The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Due to the nature of the start, tonight’s trophy goes to Matt Harvey.
In his last audition for whichever team might covet his services, Harvey was solid. His final line: 5 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 5K on 92 pitches. He pitched pretty damn well, and aside from the HR he allowed to Hoskins (which was actually on a decent pitch that Rhys just muscled out), he didn’t do much wrong in this one. Maybe even better than the results, Harvey was constantly dialing it up to 97 MPH, which is certainly good to see.
He probably could’ve gone further, but this hook was always going to happen with a trade presumably pending soon. He did enough for long enough, the Reds weren’t going to take any chances given the pitch count and situation.
In the grand scheme of Reds baseball history, this won’t go down as a particularly memorable acquisition. Unless the guy they get for Harvey turns out to be an all time great, it’s not likely you’re going to be sitting around with your friends and family 20 years from now saying, “Man, you remember that spectacular move the Reds made to get Matt Harvey?”
But on a micro-level, in terms of this year and the next competitive Reds window, this was a pretty fine move on the part of the Reds front office. And it only could’ve been by the effort that Harvey put in to make it so. For a guy that came over with so many rumors and so much baggage, he’s done nothing but go to work and get things done.
It might not turn into much, but it puts the team in a better position than they were in previously, with a catcher they never had any inclination to use anymore. And that’s not nothing.
So, farewell, Matt. I, for one, will root for ya down the road.
Honorable mention to Joey Votto, who hit three times in this one, walked, and drove in two runs. Jose Peraza doubled, singled, walked, and scored a run, while Scooter Gennett doubled, drove in one, and scored two himself. Tucker Barnhart hit and walked twice, driving in a run, while the bullpen was nails again (Wandy Peralta, Sal Romano, Amir Garrett, and Jared Hughes all appeared and pitched well).
- The Reds got the first runner across the plate in the bottom of the 2nd. Mason Williams led the inning off with a single, and then Tucker Barnhart banged a double off the wall that scored Williams. Adam Duvall singled, too, but Matt Harvey popped out a bunt and Tucker Barnhart got nailed by nine feet at the plate on a fielders choice (no clue in the world why he ran but hey, it’s the Reds on the basepaths). Jose Peraza grounded out to end the inning. Still, Reds up, 1-0.
- Rhys Hoskins hit his third dinger of the series in the top of the 4th, this time a two run shot. Phillies take the lead, 2-1.
- The Reds were able to tie it up right away. Duvall walked with one out, and Harvey was able to bunt him to 2B. Billy Hamilton lined one in to CF to score Duvall. Peraza walked, but Scooter Gennett was unable to do any more damage. 2 all after 4 full.
- Billy led off the bottom of the 6th with a double, and then moved on over to 3B on a sac bunt from Peraza (yes, really). Gennett was then hit by a pitch before Votto served a single into RF. Gennett moved to third, then scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by Suarez. Reds double up, 4-2.
- Reds played some add on in the bottom of the 8th. Peraza singled to lead things off, and then scored on a Gennett double. He then scored on a Votto single. Suarez then grounded into a double play, which ended his streak of homers in consecutive games. The Reds score 2 more, lead 6-2.
- And that, folks, was that. Reds win again, 6-2.
- I’m far too young to write sentences like this but: I’ve really no idea what a Funko Pop is, but apparently if you went to this game, you got one fashioned like Joey Votto, for reasons I’m not entirely sure of. It looks like a cartoon bobble head sorta deal? Cool.
- Sal Romano pitched in relief. He’ll probably be taking Harvey’s spot in the rotation, so that’s all good. Amir Garrett pitched in relief after exiting the game with a mild Achilles strain. Apparently it was very mild.
- Eugenio Suarez did not dinger tonight. His streak will end at five straight games with a home run.
- I will not complain about bunts. I will not complain about bunts. I will not complain about bunts. I will not complain about bunts. I will not complain about bunts. I will not complain about bunts. I will not complain about.....
- The Reds will look to take the series tomorrow afternoon, your typical 1:10 PM EDT start. Luis Castillo will take the mound for the home team, opposed by Zach Eflin for the Phillies. Which also means the Reds successfully dodged Jake Arrieta and, maybe more importantly, Aaron Nola in this series.