The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Yes, the 3-run dinger surrendered by Sonny Gray was enough to again see the Cincinnati Reds lose a road game. That said, the way Gray pitched prior to that dinger by A.J. Pollock was nothing short of marvelous.
And let’s be honest here - these are the Los Angeles Dodgers here, who have launched so many homers that it’s nearly impossible to fathom. We even forget that they like launching homers so damn much that they even traded for Homer Bailey this offseason only to put him in a rocket and launch him out of Dodger Stadium, too.
So, for Gray to fan 9 and allow just a pair of hits in his 6 IP effort shows just how effective he was. He walked a pair - one of them intentionally, which burned - but largely kept the best offense in the NL completely off-balance in yet another encouraging start.
That’s the kind of work that deserves an e-trophy. So, have one, Sonny.
- Gray absolutely cruised into the Bottom of the 6th having allowed barely a sniff from the potent Dodgers offense, but then ran into some issues. Austin Barnes managed a leadoff walk and eventually swiped 2B, but Gray eventually worked his way into a pair of outs. The Reds then opted to walk Cody Bellinger intentionally to pitch to A.J. Pollock in an attempt to escape the inning, but that burned like the day after eating Chipotle when Pollock launched a 3-run dinger to put the Reds behind, well, 3-0.
- Singles from Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp chased Dodgers starter Walker Buehler in the Top of the 7th, and that brought reliever Scott Alexander to the mound. The Reds got a break on a passed ball that allowed the runners to both advance, which gave them a run an out later when Eugenio Suarez hit a pinch-hit ground-out that allowed Puig to score. Reds trailed, 3-1.
- The Reds managed to inch closer in the Top of the 9th after Puig reached on a dropped pop-up in the infield that Enrique Hernandez lost in the sun. Puig then swiped 2B while Jesse Winker was striking out and motored to 3B when the throw went into CF, and that allowed him to score on Matt Kemp’s sac fly. Unfortunately, that’s all they could put together, and the Reds lost, 3-2.
- After a strikeout of Curt Casali on a check-swing in the Top of the 5th and subsequent iffy strike call on the first pitch of the next at-bat, David Bell was tossed by home plate umpire
Ziggy DamianNick Mahrley. That’s the second ejection of Bell’s 17 game managerial career, though if there’s a silver lining it’s that the Reds went on a 4-game win streak immediately after his previous ejection.
- This team-wide offensive malaise has gotten so bad that even Joey Votto is being dragged into it. He fouled out on an infield pop-up to the 1B in this one, which is something that I’m fairly certain has never once happened to him in the history of ever.
- Thankfully, there are fact-checkers out there, and indeed Votto had never once ever done that before today. That’s how deep this damn slump has permeated.
- The Reds will scoot down the coast in horrendous traffic after this one, and on Thursday they’ll begin a weekend series with the San Diego Padres. Tanner Roark and Chris Paddack will start the series opener for their respective clubs, with first pitch Thursday set yet again for 10:10 PM ET. Sorry, east coasters.