The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Eugenio Suarez belted a big-time 2-run homer off Max Scherzer, who has pretty well established himself as one of the two or three best pitchers in all of baseball over the last few years. On any night, that’s an impressive feat, but when that’s the lone damage the Cincinnati Reds did to the scoreboard on a night where the Washington Nationals otherwise demolished things, well, that’ll earn you this here trophy.
Congrats, Geno - now let’s just hope we can actually see some decent baseball for the rest of the weekend since the current road trip is off to quite the awful start.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Keury Mella, who picked up a disaster from Tyler Mahle and turned it into a respectable 4.1 IP, as he scattered 3 hits, allowed a run, walked 4, and fanned 2 in his first outing of the year with the Reds; Scooter Gennett, who singled, doubled, and scored; Joey Votto, who walked twice; Jose Peraza, who donked a 2-run double; and Jared Hughes, who fired a perfect inning of relief (with a K).
- The Nats scraped across the first runs of the game in the Bottom of the 2nd as Tyler Mahle again ran into early trouble. A single into LF by Bryce Harper and a walk to Juan Soto began the trouble, and after both moved up a bag on a productive groundout by Matt Adams, the Reds chose to intentionally walk Daniel Murphy to get to Matt Wieters. Wieters turned on a meatball that initially looked like it’d be a salami, but instead was just a fly-out to Billy Hamilton at the wall. Max Scherzer then helped himself with an RBI single into RF, Adam Eaton was grazed by a pitch, and Trea Turner singled up the middle drive in two more. Anthony Rendon then loaded the bases when his ‘single’ hit the 2B ump and rendered the ball dead with a single, and Harper then walked in his second PA of the inning to force in a 5th run and end Mahle’s night.
- Phew. That last Key Play got so long, it needed a breather.
- There we were, still in the Bottom of the 2nd, with Keury Mella now on the mound after Mahle exited early once again. Mella’s first outing of the year with the Reds began with a walk to Soto, the second such walk of the inning from the 19 year old. That made it 6-0 before a pop-out finally ended the inning. Yeesh.
- An Eaton single brought in Murphy in the Bottom of the 3rd off Mella, and that made it a full 7-0 deficit for the ol’ Redlegs.
- A Scooter single and a meaty blast by Geno finally got the Reds on the board against Scherzer in the Top of the 4th, as the Cincinnati 3B belted a long 2-run donk into the seats beyond the LF wall. Reds trailed, 7-2.
- Things calmed down from that point on, as Mella pitched into light trouble and out of damage until the game got to the Bottom of the 8th. That brought on Raisel Iglesias in a non-save situation, and after Wilmer Difo singled into CF, Trea Turner blasted a 2-run dinger into the bullpen beyond the LF fence to put the Reds behind, 9-2. Harper later followed with a mammoth solo dinger to make the score 10-2.
- Peraza’s double in the Top of the 9th off Jimmy Cordero plated both Brandon Dixon - who had singled in a pinch-hit spot - and Billy Hamilton - who had walked - but that ended things, as the Reds fell, 10-4.
- Tyler Mahle entered play having allowed some 14 ER in his previous 3 GS, which had only totaled 9.0 IP combined. His final line tonight just added to that misery: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, K on 49 pitches. It’s pretty safe to say that his spot in the rotation for the near future is probably in a bit of a bind.
- Anthony DeSclafani will start for the Reds in the second game of this series come Friday evening, and he’ll do so opposite lefty Gio Gonzalez. That’s ‘lefty’ Gio Gonzalez, in case you missed that, since I’m fairly confident we’ll see righty Dilson Herrera still on the bench and not starting against him, since that’s just how Jim “Big” Riggleman operates. First pitch is set for 7:05 PM ET.
- Dilson Herrera is out of options after this season.