The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
With the season ending injury to Jesse Winker, and what is becoming a lengthier and lengthier issue for Scott Schebler, the Reds have had some major holes in the corners of their outfield. Which also means there would be opportunities for other younger players to step up and try to make the leap into the Major Leagues. In game one, it was Phillip Ervin showing what he could do with opportunities. Tonight, it was Mason Williams.
He managed three hits in this one, one a double (and the last one he moved over to 2B on a balk). It’s a tiny sample size, of course, but Mason has played extremely well out in right field since getting the call up, batting .360/.360/.560 in 27 PA. Obviously, he’s not walked a single time, which isn’t great, and his BABIP is high (he’s a fast guy, but .421 is probably not sustainable). Still, this production isn’t necessarily coming out of thin air; he was a fairly high regarded prospect not all that long ago.
So, have a day, Mason! And keep having them as long as you want.
Honorable mention to Eugenio Suarez, for honking another tater on a two hit night. Jose Peraza homered, too, after hitting three times earlier in the day. Joey Votto was on base twice more in this one, though it was HBP; I’m giving him a mention just because he looked like he wanted to kill people after being hit by Ryan Madson (more on that later). Jesus Reyes hit a batter himself in his Major League debut, but otherwise it was a flawless 2 innings.
- Jose Peraza kept his hot bat from game one going and wasted no time getting the Reds on the board in game two. On the second offering from Jeremy Hellickson, Peraza deposited a ball deep into the bullpen in left center. Joey Votto was hit by a pitch, but Eugenio Suarez grounded into a double play and Scooter Gennett looked at strike three for the final out of the inning. The Reds manage one quickly, up 1-0.
- The Nats got back just as quickly. With one out in the bottom of the inning, Juan Soto tattooed a Matt Harvey pitch off the wall in deep center for a double before Anthony Rendon doubled himself, scoring Soto. That’s all they’d get to tie it a 1 after 1.
- Michael A. Taylor laid down a bunt single to open the bottom of the 2nd, moved over on a sacrifice from Hellickson, and then scored on a Wilmer Difo single to center. Nats take the lead, 2-1.
- Soto and Rendon went back to work in the bottom of the 3rd, each singling to open the frame. Bryce Harper popped out into extreme foul territory (that Eugenio Suarez made an incredibly play on to chase it down and catch over his shoulder). Matt Adams doubled into RF to score Soto. Taylor was intentionally walked to load the bases, but Spencer Kieboom popped out before Hellickson grounded out to get Matt Harvey out of the jam. Nats lead, 3-1.
- Suarez donked a solo-dinger with one out in the top of the 4th. The Reds get back within one, 3-2.
- Soto and Rendon teamed up again in the 4th with some two out magic. Soto drew a walk before Rendon doubled into the left center gap to score him (and especially wonky throw by Preston Tucker out there didn’t help). Nats get another, lead 4-2.
- Matt Adams hit a long home run to deep center field to lead off the 5th that chased Harvey (and inadvertently Tucker Barnhart, more on that in a second). Austin Brice came in and induced a groundout from Taylor, but walked Kieboom. He struck out Hellickson before giving up a double to Difo that scored Kieboom (for reasons out in LF, where Adam Duvall is being missed dearly right now). The Nats get 2, lead 6-2.
- That was that. Reds lose game two, 6-2.
- Joey Votto batted second in this game, as opposed to his usual three hole. Considering Joey’s season long power outage, while still being an on-base machine, I’m here for it.
- Scott Schebler was returned from his rehab stint yesterday, which many thought at the time meant he’d be activated soon thereafter. That’s not the case, however, as that balky shoulder is still all balky. It doesn’t feel well enough to allow him to play the field, and Riggleman says that he’ll be shut down from throwing for seven days before being re-evaluated. Shucks.
- Tucker Barnhart was ejected with 0 outs in the bottom of the 5th inning by the home plate umpire. Harvey had just allowed a long dong to Matt Adams, and Tucker said enough to get tossed before the ball left the ballpark. Tucker was called out on a bad strike call earlier in the game, and I think he and Andy Fletcher had gone back and forth a bit all day.
- Matt Harvey was also yanked after the Barnhart ejection, but that had more to do with giving up 5 runs in 4 innings pitched. He gave up 9 hits and 2 walks, striking out 1 and obviously, didn’t have his best stuff on this particular day. He worked his way out of some things, which was decent to see but, yeah. He’ll need to be better than that going forward.
- Votto was hit by two pitches in this game and he was not happy about the second, from Ryan Madson. He had plenty to say to him as he took his base, while he was on base, and walking back to the dugout after the inning. Bryce Harper was plunked by Austin Brice earlier in the game, and had to be removed an inning later. Spencer Kieboom was hit by Jesus Reyes. Both were inadvertent. I don’t know if Madson was throwing at Joey, but Votto surely didn’t like the idea of it.
- Long day of baseball today, huh? Well the Reds and the Nats will do the deed once more tomorrow afternoon at 1:35 PM EDT. The Reds will be looking for win to split the weekend series. Luis Castillo will be charged to pitch it for the Reds, opposite of Tanner Roark.