The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
There was a time when if a Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher eased into the 6th inning and exited with a final tally of just a lone earned run allowed, he would be the automatic trophy-taker in these here recaps. Such is the putrid state of the current Reds offense, though, that any single proof of life is going to get an outsized nod, though, and that’s what we witnessed in the series opener against the San Diego Padres on Thursday night.
Joey Votto dingered, and that deserves some dap.
Tucker Barnhart dingered, too, and that, too, deserves ample dappage.
Then, there was Jesse Winker...he, too, dingered. Too.
In all, it was still a relatively quiet 3-run evening for these Reds, but given how silent their bats have been all season long to this juncture, it’s encouraging as hell to see a few lightning bolts strike in the right spots in a W.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Tanner Roark, who was charged with just that lone earned run in his 5.1 IP, scattering 4 hits and 2 walks against 5 Ks in his 86 pitch outing; Raisel Iglesias, who looked like his old dominant self in a perfect save appearance; and Robert Stephenson, who danced around some initial tough defensive luck to fire 1.1 crucial scoreless innings, with nary a walk and 3 Ks.
- Votto swung through a pair of Chris Paddack offerings in the Top of the 1st to open the game in an 0-2 count. Perhaps he was just setting the young righty up, though, as Paddack tried to sneak a fastball by the wily Votto only to see it turned around for a mighty, meaty solo dinger to begin this game. Reds led early, 1-0.
- It took until the Top of the 5th for anyone to dent the scoreboard again, but fortunately it was again the Reds doing the denting. Scott Schebler drew a walk, and he later scored when Tucker hit a laser that just cleared the RF wall for a 2-run dinger of his own. Reds led, 3-0.
- Roark finally ran into a bit of a bump in the road in the Bottom of the 6th. A leadoff walk to Luis Urias was followed by a single off the bat of Fernando Tatis, Jr., and that chased Roark in favor of the lefty Zach Duke with Eric Hosmer due up. Duke managed to fan Hosmer, and David Bell turned to the red-hot Robert Stephenson to get the inning’s final out, which he should’ve had in the bag except for the fact that Derek Dietrich - who had been moved to LF from 2B in the double-switch that brought Bob Steve into the game - blew what should’ve been a routine fly-out in the LF corner, and it bounced over the wall for a fortunate ground-rule double to drive in the Padres’ first run. Reds led, 3-1.
- Winker’s oppo blast came in the Top of the 9th as a final insurance run, and it was enough to put the icing on the cake, as Raisel Iglesias finally, finally locked down a game. Reds won, 4-1!
- Unsurprisingly, Votto’s 1st inning dinger was the first leadoff dinger of his career. That came precisely ‘a’ at-bat after the first pop-out to 1B of his career. Safe to say, it’s been quite the odd year for these Reds thusfar.
- Anthony DeSclafani will look to get back on-track on Friday when he gets the start for the Reds. He’ll be opposed by Matt Strahm as the Padres starter, with first pitch again set for 10:10 PM ET.