The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Eugenio Suarez hasn’t looked quite as locked-in as he was at times during his breakout 2018 season, but perhaps that’s beginning to change. On Thursday, he belted a homer - one that just barely cleared the wall down the LF line - and that was just a part of his 3 for 4 day. He drove in a pair, scored a run, probably blew a few gigantic gum bubbles, laughed with his teammates, and generally had a grand ol’ time.
That helped fuel the Cincinnati Reds much, much needed sweep of the Miami Marlins, which is absolutely what needed to happen after they stumbled out of the gate.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Sonny Gray, who fanned 6 against nary a walk in his scoreless, 2-hit outing (more on that below); Yasiel Puig, who doubled in a pair of runs and stole a bag; Jesse Winker, who was on-base thrice from the leadoff spot (and scored twice); Robert Stephenson, who fired another impressive, scoreless inning from the bullpen; David Hernandez, who fired a pair of scoreless innings; Joey Votto, who singled twice, scored, and drove in a run; and Curt Casali, who had a 3-hit day with a double and a run scored.
- The Reds finally got the scoring started in the Bottom of the 4th, and did so by actually stringing together some in-the-ballpark hits in lieu of honking dingers. Winker began things with a leadoff single off Pablo Lopez, and he moved up a bag on Votto’s single behind him. Then, after Yasiel Puig nearly left the yard on a deep fly-out, Suarez singled into LF to bring Winker home. Reds led, 1-0.
- Curt Casali got the action going in the Bottom of the 5th with a leadoff single, and he later moved up to 2B on a fly-out to CF by Jose Iglesias. Winker then coaxed a 2-out walk, and Votto then followed with an RBI single into LF that brought home Casali. Puig followed by clearing the bags with his double into the LF corner, and the Reds held a 4-0 lead.
- Suarez clubbed his solo homer in the Bottom of the 8th to cap the scoring, and thanks to some solid bullpenning all around, the game wrapped as a 5-0 Reds victory.
- Sonny Gray’s day ended after just 60 pitches, due largely to him having been hit on the leg by a comebacker early in the game. He stayed in and fought through 4 IP, but it looked as if it was bothering him a bit and he was removed at that point.
- The Reds later announced that Gray was dealing with a left calf contusion, as MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon relayed.
- Votto’s ribbie was the 899th of his illustrious career. So, he’s officially a ribbie away from a nice, round number that I hope he immediately blows right past.
- Speaking of one ribbie, the Marlins just scored ‘a’ run this entire series. Dear lord, I can hardly recognize this pitching staff at the moment.
- It’s a very, very rare off-day on a Friday for these Reds tomorrow, but that’s due to their trip down to Monterrey, Mexico for a pair of games against the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend. Saturday’s game will feature veteran starters Tanner Roark and Adam Wainwright on the bump for their respective teams, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.