The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Getting 7 IP from a starting pitcher these days league-wide is just not something that’s at all a given. For the Cincinnati Reds, that’s absolutely been the case, as they’ve not had an outing like that prior to tonight since what feels like the Carter Administration.
On Monday against Cleveland, Anthony DeSclafani was as on-point as we’d all hoped he’d be since coming off the DL, firing 7 innings of 1 ER ball against an offense that, at times, can be as potent as there is in baseball. Disco spun those 7 IP with 5 H, ER, 2 BB, and 3 K, needing just 98 pitches to make that happen. It was exactly the kind of outing we’d been pining for, as Jim Riggleman had pulled Disco early and often in his previous starts only for the bullpen to allow several inherited runs to ding his otherwise solid performance.
Monday’s game was different, though, and it was quite the impressive performance. If ever there was the kind of start that cemented that DeSclafani was back and atop the rotation, it was tonight’s, and it sure felt like a breath of fresh air.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Scott Schebler, who had 4 hits, including a dinger and a a trio of ribbies; Joey Votto, who clobbered a solo dinger; Billy Hamilton, who singled twice, wrought havoc on the bases, and scored a run (along with adding some more solid CF defense); Tucker Barnhart, who singled, doubled, and drove in a pair; and Jesse Winker, who singled, doubled, walked, scored, drove in a run, and has his season OBP up to .392.
- Just a day removed from re-learning how walks will haunt, the Reds got on the board first thanks in large part to Eugenio Suarez’s leadoff walk in the Top of the 2nd. A productive ground-out got him to 2B, which allowed him to skip home on Barnhart’s later double to the wall in right-center. Reds led, 1-0.
- Cincinnati tacked on another pair of runs in the Top of the 4th off Mike Clevinger, and it once again came courtesy of a leadoff walk. This time, it was Scooter Gennett doing the walking and scoring, as he came all the way around on Winker’s double into the corner, slapping home when the ball kicked off Yan Gomes’ glove at home. Winker took 3B on the play, which loomed large as Barnhart again followed with a ribbie - this time on a single into RF. Reds led, 3-0.
- Cleveland finally got to Disco in the Bottom of the 4th, as former Red Yonder Alonso clobbered one over the RF wall for a solo shot. Reds led, 3-1.
- Votto got that run back for the Reds in the Top of the 5th, however, blasting a Clevinger meatball over the LF wall on a towering opposite-field fly, a solo shot that put the Reds ahead, 4-1.
- The Reds went to work on reliever Mark Scrabble in the Top of the 7th, as well. Billy singled into CF to begin things, and his legs then swiped 2B and moved over to 3B when the throw trying to nail him a) failed to get there in time and b) skipped into CF. Schebler then followed with a ribbie single, which put the Reds ahead, 5-1.
- Schebler clobbered a Josh Tomlin meatball for a 2-run dinger in the Top of the 9th, which came after Hamilton had singled in front of him. That put the Reds ahead, 7-1.
- Amir Garrett was solid in the Bottom of the 8th. He was far from that in the Bottom of the 9th, unfortunately. He opened the frame with a walk of Alonso before serving up a 2-run dinger to Jason Kipnis, which chased him from the game. Tanner Rainey then came on and immediately allowed a double to Gomes and followed by allowing a bloop single to Greg Allen an out later, which chased him from the game in favor of Raisel Iglesias. Igloo got Lindor to fly out to LF - which brought in a run - and then served up a meatball to Michael Brantley, whose double brought Allen all the way around to score to cut the lead to just two. Fortunately, the rally ended when Iglesias fanned Jose Ramirez, and the Reds held on to win, 7-5.
- Sal Romano will get the start for the Reds on Tuesday, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET.
- Votto’s dinger was the 266th of his career, which moved him past Matt Stairs and into sole possession of 2nd place on the all-time list of dingers by Canadian-born MLB-ers, behind only Larry Walker. Hat tip to Reds PR for that nugget.