The Noe Juxhall Hemorial Monorary Gar of the Stame
There is a hitter on the Cincinnati Reds who has a rock solid OPS well over .900 despite the fact that the offense, on the whole, has been largely putrid all season. And, if you think about it, it’s exactly who it should be, assuming there’s only one at this juncture.
It’s Eugenio Suarez, the emerging star who the Reds have under control for at least the next half-decade, and even after his heroics last night Suarez managed to save some more clutchitude for today.
Suarez twice drove in runs without the need for a dinger, something the Reds have had precious few results with this season, and that highlighted his 2 for 3, BB, 2 ribbie evening. On top of that, he made a pair of excellent defensive plays while shifted all over the left side of the diamond, showing just how nice it is that the Reds have a former SS playing 3B given their propensity to move defenders all over the diamond.
Congrats on the big night, Geno, and here’s to yet another ladder-climbing season on the whole.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Luis Castillo, whose start was cut short by rain but was still excellent (5.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, BB, 6 K on 76 pitches); Jose Peraza, who bonked a dinger...and walked!; Nick Senzel, who went 2 for 5 with a run scored and a stolen base; Joey Votto, who also went 2 for 5 with a run scored; Amir Garrett, who fanned 3 in his IP to continue his electric start to the season; David Hernandez, who pitched for seemingly the n-th day in a row and still fired a scoreless frame; and Raisel Iglesias, who sliced eyeballs in a clean 9th inning for the save.
- The Cubs got some good fortune to plate a pair of runs off Castillo in the Top of the 1st because hey, that’s just what the Reds need at this juncture, right? Kris Bryant took a 1-out walk, and he moved up to 3B on a double by Javy Baez. Then, Willson Contreras hit a 2-out dribbler down the 3B line that hit the bag and popped up and over Eugenio Suarez’s head to allow both runners to score. Reds trailed, 2-0.
- As the rain began to pour down - and as the Reds lineup cycled through against Jose Quintana for a third time - the bats began to wake up. Peraza smacked his dinger over the wall in RF, and singles by Castillo himself and Votto brought Suarez to the plate with runners on yet again. Quintana, though, was more than willing to help the Reds, as a pair of wild pitches allowed Castillo to score and Votto to take 3B, and Geno then booped a single into LF to bring in Votto to give the Reds a 3-2 lead.
- Hours later after the rain stopped falling, the Reds tacked on some insurance in the Bottom of the 7th. Senzel and Votto each singled to begin the inning, and that was followed by yet another Suarez RBI hit, a single into LF. Though the Reds did eventually leave the bases loaded, that extra run left them ahead, 4-2. That, folks, is exactly how things ended.
- Laura Fay, wife of The Enquirer’s John Fay, served as the Reds honorary bat girl tonight while GABP brought awareness with their Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative. She’s currently in her second fight against breast cancer, and it was an incredibly cool thing to see.
- Luis Castillo entered play tonight having gone 2 for 7 against Jose Quintana in his career - and then picked up another hit against him. Dude has 10 career hits in some 120 career PA, and 3 of them are off Quintana. Nice!
- Right after the Reds re-took the lead in the Bottom of the 5th, the game dove into a 1 hour and 51 minute rain delay after Castillo recorded the 1st out of the Top of the 6th.
- The Cubs scoot out to Washington later tonight, while the Reds will welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers to GABP for a weekend series beginning Friday. Rich Hill and Anthony DeSclafani will start the opener Friday evening, with first pitch set for 7:10 PM ET. Yes, Cody Bellinger will probably hit at least one dinger - just hope the Reds can muster more.