The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
All that pent up optimism that you had when the Cincinnati Reds entered spring training healthy, refreshed, and flexed took a major hit over the last few weeks. It sure as hell did for me, at least, with the cascade of crap news regarding Alex Wood, Nick Senzel, Nick Senzel’s ankle, Scooter Gennett, and Hunter Greene coupled with the awful 1-8 start to the season making me wonder if there was something bigger at work with these Reds.
If ever there was a juice cleanse of a game, though, tonight’s outing against the Miami Marlins may well have been it.
The entire damn Reds went nuts. Luis Castillo? Nuts. Jesse Winker? Nuts! Back to back to back dingers from Matt Kemp, Eugenio Suarez, and Scott Schebler? NUTS! Tucker Barnhart had 2 hits and 3 walks, Jose Peraza had 2 hits and scored, Joey Votto doubled and scored twice, KYLE FARMER HONKED ANOTHER DINGER, and ever single position player who played reached base at least once on the evening in a complete thumping of the fish from Florida.
All told, though, I suppose Castillo deserves some additional dap, as he posted his third consecutive ace-esque start to begin the 2019 season. He fired 7 innings of 2 hit, no run ball against his former club, fanning 8 and limiting the Marlins to just a lone walk - and walks had been the only minor bugaboo plaguing him in his previous two outings of 2019. That’s a sparkling 0.92 ERA to start the season, which is delicious.
Welcome back, Reds. We missed you.
- The Reds put a digit on the scoreboard first in this one, which is a sentence that feels oddly strange to write at this juncture. Anyhoo, Votto smacked a 1-out double off the wall in RF in the Bottom of the 1st, and he scored two batters later when Suarez smoked a single up the middle into CF. Reds led, 1-0.
- Matt Kemp - Matt Kemp! - got the action going in the Bottom of the 3rd with a 1-out single into LF, and he moved to 3B a batter later on another single by Suarez. Kemp then scored on a single into RF by Scott Schebler, though Suarez was nailed trying to go to 3B to somewhat poo-poo the rally. Reds led, 2-0.
- Winker finally, finally got off the schneid with a 2-run dong in the Bottom of the 4th, a slicing fly into the first row beyond the RF wall off Marlins starter Jose Urena two batters after Tucker Barnhart had singled into RF. Reds led, 4-0.
- Wei-Yin Chen took over for Urena for the Bottom of the 6th, but the Reds cared not and kept right on hitting. Jose Peraza picked up an infield single to lead off, and after Barnhart walked (and Castillo K’d trying to bunt), a passed ball pushed the runners up a bag. That proved large when Winker singled past a drawn-in infield, and an error by the RF allowed both runs to score. Votto was then hit by an inside pitch, and Kemp followed with a 3-run tater over the RF wall that shocked our collective fucking socks off. Suarez then followed with a solo honker, Scott Schebler honked a solo jack to make it three in a row, and the Reds held a Charlie Scrabbles-esque 11-0 lead.
- Kyle Farmer hopped in the lineup for Votto with that kind of lead, and he hopped into the box score with yet another dinger off Chen, a 3-run blast in the Bottom of the 7th that put the Reds up a stupid 14-0, which is how things finished.
- The 14 run outburst paired with the pitching staff’s brilliance means the 2-8 Reds have now actually scored more runs than they have allowed in 2019. Let’s just flush those 10 games down the crapper and pin this as the start of what should be a stupid-fun 152 games going forward, shall we?
- In case you missed the news earlier, Yasiel Puig was originally in the starting lineup tonight before it was announced that he’d received a 2-game suspension as a result of the scuffle in Pittsburgh over the weekend. He won’t appeal and served the first game of the suspension tonight. Manager David Bell was suspended for a lone game, and he, too, served that tonight, with Freddie Benavides serving as manager in his stead.
- As The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans noted, the last time the Reds went back to back to back was in 2012 with a trio of names that’ll make you nostalgic.
- Top prospect Hunter Greene had his Tommy John surgery today, the Reds announced.
- Michael Lorenzen even got in on the good action today, walking and scoring a run while also fanning 4 in 2 scoreless innings of work on the mound. He didn’t end up with a hit, but he did scorch a liner that was caught in CF.
- The second game of this series will be another 6:40 PM ET start, as Tyler Mahle and Trevor Richards will be on the bump Wednesday for the Reds and Marlins, respectively. Tyler Mahle is about to throw some more filth in what will be his breakout season, too, so be sure to tune in.