The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Matt Harvey still being a pitcher for the 2018 Cincinnati Reds in this, the month of September, is an odd enough bird around which to wrap your heads. That he’s still showing good signs of life, though, and wasn’t traded for a song at either trade deadline, is just as confounding, really - even if the Reds are convinced they’re going to re-sign him this winter.
On Friday against the Chicago Cubs, Harvey showed a pretty solid glimpse as to why the Reds might be so enamored with him still, as he fired 6 innings of scoreless ball against the resident NL Central leaders, striking out 6 against a lone walk while allowing just 4 hits. On the heels of his excellent outing over the weekend against the San Diego Padres, it sure seems like Harvey is continuing to get more and more comfortable as the season drags on as he’s finally, finally healthy.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who homered and singled; Jose Peraza, who homered, too; Cut Casali, who had yet another 2-hit game (single, double); and Eugenio Suarez, who singled and walked.
- It was back to back jacks from Peraza and Votto off of Chicago starter Cole Hamels that got the scoring going in the Top of the 4th, as both hit solo shots over nearly the exact same spot of the LF wall to give the Reds a 2-0 lead.
- After Harvey exited after the final out of the Bottom of the 6th, it was David Hernandez who took over for the Bottom of the 7th, and the Cubs did some damage - albeit not all due to Hernandez. Vic Caratini laced a leadoff single into RF to get things going, and David Bote rolled over on a grounder to Suarez at 3B to follow that initially looked like a would-be 5-4-3 double play. Unfortunately, it took a bad final hop, banged off Suarez’s shoulder and left both runners safe. A subsequent grounder to Votto off the bat of Tommy La Stella resulted in just an out at 2B as La Stella beat out another would-be double play, and that left a pair of runners of for Ian Happ, who once again torched the Reds by clubbing a 3-run dinger over the wall in right-center. Gahhhhhh. Reds trailed, 3-2, which is unfortunately how things wrapped.
- Though Friday’s game was moved to an evening game late thanks to Chicago’s wonky travel schedule and make-up games, Saturday’s contest will be a vintage afternoon affair at Wrigley. Cody Reed will hope to do his best Jon Lester impersonation, and he’ll get the chance to do so opposite the lefty Lester himself. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 PM ET.
- Speaking of which, the Reds are going to face all lefty starters in this series, with Hamels and Lester set to be followed by Jose Quintana. Man, there was sure a time when I hoped the Reds rotation was going to have a trio of lefty starters...