The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
We’re spoiled to the point where seeing Luis Castillo allow 2 ER in 6.2 IP actually raises his season ERA to a still-sparkling 1.45.
Castillo fanned 7, walked 3, and allowed just 5 hits in his 99 pitch outing, at times looking as dominant as he has ever been while also laboring just a bit, too. Still, on a night where he wasn’t at his absolute best for the duration, it was the kind of performance against a Mets roster with plenty of punch that was enough to make you smile.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Eugenio Suarez, who bonked a dinger; Joey Votto, who singled, walked, and doubled but also had one of the head-scratchiest TOOTBLANs of recent memory; Kyle Farmer, who chipped in with a pinch-hit RBI single; Jose Peraza, who singled in a key run, walked, swiped a bag, and looked severely leadoffy; David Hernandez, who fired a perfect inning of relief; and Phil Ervin, who singled and walked.
- The Mets small-balled their way into a run in the Bottom of the 3rd. Juan Lagares ended up on 1B after Amed Rosario - who had singled - was out at 2B on a force play, and Lagares later scooted to 2B on a sac bunt by pitcher Jason Vargas. A wild pitch from Castillo then allowed Lagares to take 3B, and that proved large when Jeff McNeil dropped a perfect drag bunt down the 1B line and beat out the flip to bring in the run. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- Suarez finally put the Reds on the board in the Top of the 6th, when he clubbed a Jason Vargas meatball into the seats beyond the wall in left-center just a batter after Joey Votto had hit one almost out to the very same spot. Game tied, 1-1.
- Castillo cruised into the Bottom of the 7th having barely topped 80 pitches, so there was no real reason to question why he was sent back out. Todd Frazier, though, was set and ready for Castillo’s heater to lead off the inning, and mauled it for a solo dong over the wall in LF to put the Reds behind again, 2-1.
- Robert Stephenson bailed out Castillo at the end of the 7th, but he allowed a double to McNeil to open the Bottom of the 8th that ultimately burned when Michael Conforto later singled off Amir Garrett to put the Mets ahead, 3-1.
- The Reds mounted a decadent rally against Jeurys Familia in the Top of the 9th, though, as Jesse Winker coaxed a walk and Jose Iglesias eventually followed with a single to begin the action. Farmer later slapped a 2-out single into shallow RF to bring in Winker, while Jose Peraza followed with an RBI single of his own to plate Iglesias and set the score level.
- Raisel Iglesias took over for the Reds in the Bottom of the 10th after the rally, and it went poorly. He allowed a leadoff double to J.D. Davis, a single by McNeil, and that set the table for a sac-fly off the bat of Peter Alonso into the RF corner that drove in the game-winner. Reds lost, 4-3.
- McNeil’s drag bunt ribbie in the Bottom of the 3rd was particularly frustrating because he tried one that went foul exactly one pitch prior to executing it perfectly. Not only did the Reds shifted defense not adjust between pitches, but Castillo hummed him another fastball as the pitch that was bunted perfectly. Given how devastating his change-up is - and how much more difficult it is to bunt off-speed pitches - it’s a bit a of a head scratcher as to why that pitch was called.
- New Jersey is not New York, but it’s close. So, it’ll certainly be cool for New Jersey native Anthony DeSclafani to get a start against the Mets close to home on Wednesday, which he will as the scheduled starter for the Reds. New York will counter with Jacob deGrom, who you may remember from such things as “winning the 2018 NL Cy Young Award.” First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET.