The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
It was a team effort, really. Yasiel Puig was 2-4 with a home run. Jose Peraza had a big clutch two-run double. Joey Votto was on base four times. Sonny Gray struck out nine. Robert Stephenson, David Hernandez, Amir Garrett, and Raisel Iglesias were all slicing up eyeballs.
- The Reds did not mess around this evening. They got to Kevin Gausman right away as Jesse Winker poked a two-out single and Yasiel Puig followed that with a monstrous wally poppler into the second deck in left field.
- Tucker Barnhart led off the top of the fourth with a nice wally poppler of his own. 3-0, Reds.
- Sonny Gray looked incredible this evening, putting his breaking ball exactly where he wanted it every single time he tried. He struck out eight Braves through four innings, but then things got a bit wobbly in the fifth. Dansby Swanson ripped a skidder down the line in left field and hustled his way to third base. He would later score on a sacrifice fly. 3-1, Reds.
- The sixth inning got dreadful. Three-straight hits from the Braves’ top-o-th-order were followed by an error by Suarez and a sac fly from Nick Markakis. And that wrapped it up for Gray, who looked about 15 feet tall not 15 minutes earlier. He left the game down 4-3.
- Robert Stephenson, who has looked 25 feet tall for about 25 days now, came in and did some magic tricks or something. I dunno. I couldn’t concentrate because his breaking ball was doing some mind magic or something. Whatever happened, it ended with two Bruves struck out and the end of the innings.
- The Reds responded with a seeing-eye single to left from Jose Iglesias. Then Derek Dietrich put a nice bunt up the third base line to beat the shift and Stone Cold Jose Peraza laced a bases-clearing double to the LF corner. Can you smelllllllllllll!!!! That closed the book on Kevin Gausman and gave the Reds a two-run lead.
- Poor poor Rocky Biddle. He walked Joey Votto and, after a passed ball, intentionally put Suarez on to load the bases. Phil Ervin pinch-hit for Winker and drew the bases-loaded walk. Puig added a sac fly before Scott Schebler alsoooooooooo walked. The Braves’ bullpen came in and walked four and gave up a sac fly. But alas, the Reds got just one run out of that. Still, it was now 7-4, Reds.
- Then Waaaaaaaaaaandy Peralta got roughed up a bit in the seventh. Charlie Culberson doubled after an Ender Inciarte single and the Braves were cookin’. But after a fielder’s choice David Hernandez came in and struck out Josh Donaldson and that impostor Freddie Freeman. The Braves just plated the one. 7-5, Reds.
- Jared Hughes came on for the eighth and it wasn’t great, to be honest. He labored against every batter he faced and had the devil’s own time trying to throw strikes. Markakis drew a one-out walk before Dansby Swanson crushed a double to the wall to bring him home. But then Hughes got a big and hard-earned strikeout of Tyler Flowers before hitting the showers. Amir Garrett got a weak grounder to close out the inning, but golly neds it was a long one.
- Chad “Ziggy” Sobotka walked two to lead off the bottom of eight and, after a strike out of Phil Ervin, gave up a laser single by Puig. With the bases loaded, again, Schebler struck out. Again. Barnhart then ended the inning with the bases loaded. Again.
- Raisel Iglesias came on for the ninth, again, and gave up a lead-off extra-base hit. Againnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. But Ozzie Albies gifted the Reds an out trying to bunt or something stupid like that, so I kinda thought maybe. Then Donaldson drove a majestic fly ball to deep left-center, but Michael Lorenzen caught it just shy of the wall.
- So with a runner on second and two outs in the ninth and the Reds leading by just one run, Freddie Freeman came to the plate against Iglesias. He grounded out to the obviously superior first baseman. Reds win, 7-6.
- Most everybody had some not nice things to say about tonight’s home plate umpire, Adam Hamari. Joey Votto came awful close to getting himself tossed on a few occasions (didn’t matter he still walked three times). Marty said “this guy stinks.”
- The Reds had the bases loaded and one out in the sixth and Phil Ervin was called on to pinch-hit for Jesse Winker against the lefty Biddle. Winker was visibly shocked and then incredibly upset, though he did his damnedest to keep his hat on. He gave Ervin an atta boy when he drew the walk.
- Tucker Barnhart led off the bottom of the sixth with a strikeout and ended the bottom of the sixth with a strikeout.
- The Braves’ bullpen walked seven Reds in 32⁄3 innings.
- Scott Schebler wore the golden sombrero, but he did draw a walk, too.