The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
The Reds swatted 17 hits today, which included a whopping 13 singles. They continually, up and down the lineup, hit the ball where the Cubs weren’t. With the emphasis on exit velocity and launch angles and shifts and pitchers that throw 100 MPH, you don’t really see this all that often.
So, with that being the case (and this being a holiday weekend where I’ve promised myself not to put too much thought into anything other than drinking and eating), I’m giving the trophy to everybody on the Reds.
Sure, Curt Casali hit a home run, and Nick Senzel had a double, while Eugenio Suarez had about 10 RBI this weekend. But the Reds strung together hits in a way we haven’t seen all season. No 2-run home run rally killers in this one, no sir.
Honorable mention to you, our dear readers, for hanging with us on this Memorial Day weekend.
- The Reds started dinking (but not dunking) on the Cubs right away in this one, as Nick Senzel, Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, and Yasiel Puig all singled before an out was recorded (Suarez’s single scored Senzel). Jose Iglesias grounded into a double play that allowed Votto to score. Jesse Winker grounded out to end the Reds first inning. Reds up quickly, 2-0.
- The Reds were somewhat fortunate to add on a run in the 3rd. Senzel led off the inning with a single, but should’ve been promptly picked off stealing second. However, the Cubs botched a pretty routine run-down and at the end of it all, Nick Senzel was standing safely on second base. Votto singled again to move Senzel to 3B, where he scored on a Suarez sac fly. Puig flew out to right for the second out. Iglesias singled to put runners on 1B and 2B, but Winker grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning. Reds add one, 3-0.
- The Reds had a big 6th inning, thanks in part to some bad defense by the Cubs. Winker (finally) hit a ball that didn’t find a glove, singling hard to right. Jose Peraza hit a weak fly ball for the first out, but Curt Casali was walked by Jose Quintana on four pitches. Kyle Farmer pinch-hit for Tanner Roark and promptly doubled off the ivy in left-center that scored Winker and chased Quintana with Casali at 3B. That’s important, because Carl Edwards, Jr., in relief of Quintana, uncorked a pitch to the backstop that allowed Casali to come home and Farmer to go to 3B. Senzel walked before Joey Votto lifted a sac fly that scored Farmer. Suarez then lifted a deep fly ball to CF that was completely botched out there by Jason Heyward and, mostly, Kris Bryant. They collided which allowed the ball to fall, scoring Senzel and sending Suarez to third on the error. Puig struck out to end the damage, but the Reds jump way ahead, 7-0.
- Michael Lorenzen came on in relief and immediately gave up a dinger to Willson Contreras. That would be all he’d allow, however. Reds up, 7-1.
- Senzel led off the top of the 8th with a hustle double; he didn’t really have much business getting to second base, but he was hustling from the get-go and was able to beat the throw in from CF. He moved to third on a fly out by Votto, and then scored on a Suarez sac fly. Reds tack on another run late, 8-1.
- Javier Baez, in the midst of a Thomism (about the Reds having shut down Baez all series long), swatted a home run to right field. Reds, 8-2 after 8 full.
- Victor Caratini pitched the 9th inning. He, of course, is a catcher by trade and not a pitcher. Curt Casali, a catcher that bats, hit a two run home run. Reds 10-2.
- And that, as they say, was that. Reds win, 10-2, and take the series with the Cubs, 2-1.
- It doesn’t always look easy, but after today’s outing, Tanner Roark has allowed three runs or fewer in 10 of his first 11 starts as a Red. I’m not sure exactly what the expectations should’ve been for Roark when he brought his experience to the Cincinnati rotation, but I’d think this probably exceeds it.
- The Reds had not won a game on Sunday in 2019. That changed today.
- With that, the Reds are 6.5 games back of the Cubs for first in the NL Central. The Pirates were swept by the Dodgers this weekend, including an 11-7 loss today, which means the Reds are only two games back of the Buccos for 4th place, with the Pirates in town for four games over the next three games. If they bring this offense back home with them, there’s a very real chance that the Cincinnati Reds will be a fourth place team (or better, as they’re only three behind the Cardinals as well) when the calendar turns to June. That seems like a really dumb thing to celebrate, but when you’ve watched a last place team for four years, well... you can’t get to first before getting to fourth!
- The team will hustle on back to Cincinnati tonight, because tomorrow they will play a Memorial Day doubleheader with the Pittsburgh Pirates. You may remember (we do, because we were there) that Game 2 of the season was washed out due to rain. This is the day they get it back. Because of the recent off days, the Reds pitching staff will be at full strength. Luis Castillo will go in the day game, while Sonny Gray will crank it up in the night game. Join us for a full day of beers, brats, and baseball starting at 1:10 PM EDT.