The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Other guys had bigger days, but Jesse Winker gets the trophy today for having the single biggest hit of the game and, probably, of the weekend. Pinch hitting in the bottom of the 7th, Winker stepped up against Pedro Strop and spanked the first pitch into the seats for a 3-run dinger that busted the game wide open for the Reds. He took Strop’s soul, is what he did, and it would be several, several batters later before the Cubs would record their first out in the inning.
It was pretty much over from there.
That completes the four game sweep of the Chicago Cubs, who are looking for some answers on the Northside. But, screw that. The Reds have won seven in a row and are playing, hands down, some of the best baseball that we’ve seen in years.
Honorable mention to Joey Votto, who hit three times including an RBI double and walked. Scott Schebler returned from leave and got on base 3 times and scored a run. Tucker drove in a run, scored one, and walked, while Jose Peraza hit and walked with 2 RBI. Michael Lorenzen, a pitcher, hit a pinch hit dinger, which is cool as heck, and Kyle Crockett, Amir Garrett, and Raisel Iglesias all fire solid innings from the bullpen, of which we’ve become accustomed.
- The scoring didn’t get started until the top of the 5th. Ian Happ and Addison Russell led off the Cubs top of the inning with singles a piece. Mike Montgomery couldn’t lay the bunt down and struck out, while Albert Almora flew out to Adam Duvall. However, Jason Heyward doubled to plate two and then Javier Baez singled to score Heyward. Anthony Rizzo dingered, and the wheels had come completely off Sal Romano’s otherwise perfectly acceptable start. Willson Contreras struck out to end it, but the Cubs get 5, lead 5-0.
- Michael Lorenzen came in to pinch hit for Sal Romano. Pitcher hitting for pitcher seems strange, but Michael Lorenzen isn’t just any pitcher. He homered to LF, of course, to get the Reds on the board. Cubs still up, 5-1.
- Almora, Jr. got it back with a dinger of his own in the top of the 7th. Cubs, 6-1.
- The Reds came screaming back int he bottom of the frame. Scooter Gennett singled, Adam Duvall doubled, and Jose Peraza singled to score Gennett. That would end Mike Montgomery’s day, as he was replaced by Pedro Strop. That didn’t work out so well for the Cubs. Jesse Winker came in to pinch hit and immediately swatted a three-run tater to the seats in LF. Billy Hamilton then singled, Scott Schebler walked, Tucker Barnhart singled to score Billy, and then Joey Votto doubled to score Schebler... [breathes...] and then the Cubs got the first out of the inning with a strikeout to Alex Blandino. Scooter was intentionally walked before Duvall lined out sharply to short. Peraza, though, worked a bases loaded walk (!) to score another run. Winker, back again, struck out this time to end the frame. But how about them Redlegs??? ALL THE WAY BACK to lead 8-6.
- And that’s where the score would hold. Amir Garrett and Raisel Iglesias locked it down from there and the Reds come back from 5 down to win, 8-6.
- This weekend serves as a reminder about just how damn fun baseball can be. I’ve missed this feeling.
- This is the best stretch of baseball the Reds have played since they won 10 straight all the way back in July of 2012. You might remember that stretch where the Reds definitively differentiate themselves from the rest of the division. Also, Marty lost a bet and had to shave his dome, which was pretty fun.
- The Reds will head southeast to visit the Atlanta Braves in their comically corrupt monument of corporate welfare. But basically all stadiums are, so I shouldn’t throw those stones from my glass house, I guess. Anyway, Tyler Mahle will go for the Reds. Mike Foltynewicz will take the bump for the Braves. Should be a fun one down in the ATL heat. First pitch is scheduled for 7:35 PM EDT.