The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
The sting of blowing a 5-run lead on the road with your ace on the mound is going to stick around for awhile for these Cincinnati Reds, especially with nearly 48 hours before they get to play another game.
Of course, Derek Dietrich will be able to sleep pretty comfortably knowing he did just about all he could to put a win on the board. The former Miami Marlins non-tender continued his torrid 2019 campaign on Wednesday in the series finale against the Milwaukee Brewers, as he singled, bashed another mammoth homer, walked, was hit by a pitch, and scored twice, with that plunking being the 100th of his illustriously-plunked career.
Somewhat shockingly, only 1 of those HBPs has come against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Congrats on another big day, DD. The rest of this game is going into the recycling bin of my memory.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Jose Iglesias, who had a trio of singles, pair of ribbies, scored a run, and made yet another set of snazzy plays on defense; Tucker Barnhart, who blasted a 3-run dinger; Josh VanMeter, who doubled in a pair of runs, walked, and scored; and Jesse Winker, who singled, walked, and scored twice.
- The Reds took Zach Davies and his 1-something ERA to task in the Top of the 2nd. Consecutive singles by Winker, Dietrich, and Iglesias loaded the bases, and the Reds then plated a pair on VanMeter’s slicing looper that fell in fair down the LF line. Later, both VanMeter and Iglesias scored on Tucker’s massive 3-run bonk into the RF stands, and the Reds held an early 5-0 advantage.
- Keston Hiura got the Brewers on the board immediately afterwards with a solo shot in the Bottom of the 2nd. The Beers then put runners-a-plenty on the bags with nobody out, but Castillo managed to wriggle out of it unscathed thanks to some stellar defense. Reds led, 5-1.
- Dietrich got that run back in a massive way, canning a 432 foot solo blast off the batter’s eye in the Top of the 3rd. Reds led, 6-1.
- However, Mike Moustakas answered with a 408 foot blast of his own in the Bottom of the 3rd, and that was just the start of a laboring inning for Castillo. He then walked Yasmani Grandal and hit Ben Gamel before Hernan Perez loaded the bags with a single that Iglesias knocked down at SS. A trillion pitch PA against Orlando Arcia then followed with 2-out, but the Milwaukee SS manage a jam-shot single into LF that scored a pair and chased the Reds ace to an early shower. Fortunately, Michael Lorenzen managed to get out of the inning without further damage, and the Reds held a 6-4 lead.
- Lorenzen, though, couldn’t keep the Brewers off the board in the Bottom of the 4th, as the lead evaporated on a 2-run single into CF by Eric Thames, one that scored both Lorenzo Cain (infield single) and Moustakas (single into RF). The game was afoot, 6-6.
- Corbin Burnes got the first pair of outs quite easily in the Top of the 5th, but things fell apart quickly thereafter. He allowed singles to both Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker before walking Dietrich to load the bases, and that brought in Junior Guerra from the bullpen to face Iglesias. All Iglesias did is what he’s done all season - drop a single into RF to score a pair of big runs. Reds led, 8-6.
- Wandy Peralta took over for the Bottom of the 6th, for some reason. He allowed a single to lefty Moustakas before Yasmani Grandal hopped in the righty batter’s box and blasted a 2-run dinger to again tie the game, this time at 8-8. Peralta’s implosion wasn’t done yet, either, as he allowed a single to another lefty in Eric Thames and hit Gamel with a pitch before exiting. That proved #fun when David Hernandez replaced him and promptly allowed both runners to score courtesy of singles by Perez and Arcia. Later, a Jesus Aguilar sac-fly brought in another run, and it was fucking 11-8.
- Neither bullpen wanted this game to end. The Reds got a Suarez walk and Dietrich HBP from lefty Alex Claudio, and after Jeremy Jeffress took over Iglesias singled to load the bags. Curt Casali was then plunked in the first pitch of his PA to drive in a run, which brought Phil Ervin to the plate. Phlerv sliced a ball deep down the RF line that almost, almost was fair, but later struck out on a ball that went to the backstop, and for some awful reason Casali took off for 2B despite the other runners not budging, and he was TOOTBLAN’d out in one of the more embarrassing moments of this embarrassing string of embarrassments. Reds trailed, 11-9, and that’s exactly how this miserable game ended.
- As MLB.com’s David Adler noted, Hiura’s dinger was the first off Castillo’s change-up all season long.
- Speaking of Castillo, his final line reflects pretty well what the eye-test showed: that he simply didn’t have his best stuff. 2.2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K on 74 pitches. The same can certainly be said for Davies, too, as both entered play today with sub-2.00 ERAs.
- The Reds have yet another off-day on Thursday, and considering their next series is just a bus ride down from Milwaukee, my guess is they’ll spend a few days perusing the city of Chicago. Friday, though, will see them take on the Cubs in Wrigley for the first time this season, with a vintage 2:20 PM ET start time. Anthony DeSclafani will toe the rubber for the Reds in the series opener, while the Cubs have yet to name their starter.