The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Tucker Barnhart entered play on Saturday hitting...y’know, let’s just not bring up the past for a minute, since I’m not sure anyone’s eyes need to see that.
Anyway, Tucker had himself a day on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs, coming up just a triple shy of the cycle. He clubbed an early 2-run dinger, doubled, and singled, which is a longer way of me again saying he came up just a triple shy of the cycle. He scored twice, drove in a pair, and finally had the kind of offensive day he and we have been waiting for since...again, let’s just say it’s been a rough offensive start to his season until today.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Derek Dietrich, who dingered (again), walked, and scored twice; Yasiel Puig, who dingered again, too; Joey Votto, who had a trio of singles and scored; Eugenio Suarez, who had a trio of singles and drove in a run; Jose Iglesias, who had a pair of singles and once again flashed the finest SS glove in this corner of the solar system; the entire lineup, who - as you can see - has begun to heat up; and Michael Lorenzen, who fired a pair of perfect innings with 3 K.
- The Reds got on the board against Yu Darvish in the Top of the 2nd to open the scoring. Derek Dietrich coaxed a leadoff walk, and it haunted two batters later when Barnhart lifted an opposite-field dinger that landed in the basket on the LF wall. Reds led, 2-0.
- Albert Almora, Jr. got Chicago on the board a half-inning later, launching a solo shot off Tyler Mahle on a 3-1 meatball. Reds led, 2-1.
- The Cubs took the lead on a 2-run homer off the bat of asshole Addison Russell in the Bottom of the 4th when he hammered an 0-2 pitch over the wall in right-center. That followed Vic Caratini’s single, which is how 1+1=2 in this scenario. The Cubs weren’t done, unfortunately, as back to back singles from Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant put a pair of runners on for Anthony Rizzo, who again burned the Reds with a 2-run double off the wall in RF. Reds trailed, 5-2.
- The Reds got a run back in the Top of the 5th thanks to a trio of hard-hit balls and some good fortune. Votto got it started with a leadoff single, and he later moved up to 2B on a wild pitch. That proved fortunate, as he was then able to score on a laser of a single from Suarez down the LF line, one that was hit too danged hard for him to make it past 1B. Later, after a double play had cleared the bags, Puig destroyed a solo dinger over the LF wall, and the Reds trailed, 5-4.
- Mahle was still on the mound for the Bottom of the 5th despite having been bonked around the previous inning. That burned quickly when Jason Heyward - the first batter of the inning - lifted a solo shot of his own into the LF basket, and the Reds were down, 6-4.
- Barnhart was yet again a catalyst for a run in the Top of the 6th, doubling to the wall in RF and later scoring on a scorched RBI single into CF off the bat of Nick Senzel. Reds trailed, 6-5.
- Joe Maddon opted against going with his beleaguered bullpen in the Top of the 8th despite Yu Darvish having thrown 100 pitches, and that worked to the benefit of the Reds. Dietrich, for one, got homer-happy once again, blasting a solo shot that put the score square at 6-6.
- Unfortunately, Jared Hughes took the mound for the Bottom of the 8th and pooped the bed. He walked Almora, which is almost impossible to do, and that was followed by the asshole Addison Russell dropping a bunt down the 3B line for an infield single. Hughes then hummed a meatball to David Bote, who clubbed it for an RBI double into the LF gap. That left Russell on 3B for Wandy Peralta, and though Peralta got Schwarber to fly out deep to CF, that allowed another run to tag and score. Reds trailed, 8-6, which was unfortunately how it finished.
- Today marked the first time all season where Joey Votto has had multiple hits in back to back games. He also reached base for the 14th consecutive game. He’s still not yet “Joey Votto” Joey Votto, but that’s at least a start, perhaps?
- Speaking of Votto, he and Suarez had back to back singles to open the Top of the 9th off Tyler Chatwood, but Winker grounded into a brutal 3-6-1 double play to effectively kill that final rally. Get ‘em next time, Wink.
- Balls were flying in Wrigley today, as that laundry list of Key Plays would suggest. The result wasn’t too kind to Tyler Mahle as a result. His final line: 5 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, BB, 5 K on 95 pitches.
- Sunday’s series finale at Wrigley will feature veteran Tanner Roark on the mound for the Reds, while the Cubs will counter with a veteran of their own in lefty Jose Quintana. Per usual, first pitch is set for 2:20 PM ET.