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Reds jump on Patrick Corbin early, defeat Nationals 9-3 in series opener

That was good, and thorough.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Curt Casali entered play tonight having hit LHP significantly better than RHP in his professional career, and that certainly was the case again on Friday for the Cincinnati Reds backstop.

Casali mauled Washington Nationals lefty Patrick Corbin early and often as the Reds offense exploded early, eventually finishing with a 3 for 4 evening that included a 3-run jack, a pair of runs scored, and 4 ribbies. Considering he’d already been hitting righties pretty well this year anyway, his big evening pushed his season OPS into the over .800 realm, and it’s just about time to begin wondering if he’s deserving of some more playing time as a result.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who went 3 for 4 with a ribbie and run scored; Nick Senzel, who went 2 for 4 with a double, ribbie, and run scored; Jose Iglesias, who scored thrice in his 2 for 4 evening; Jose Peraza, who had a pair of singles and scored a run; and Jared Hughes, who fired a pair of scoreless innings of relief.

Key Plays

  • The Reds wasted absolutely no time in tagging Washington starter Patrick Corbin, with Senzel and Votto each singling on the first pitches of their PAs in the Bottom of the 1st. Senzel then scored when Eugenio Suarez singled, too, and Votto then came around when Yasiel Puig hit a ball so hard off the LF wall that he, too, was held to a one-bagger. Two batters later, Casali blasted his 3-run donk, and the Reds held an early 5-0 advantage.
  • Washington got one back in the Top of the 2nd, thanks largely to a leadoff ‘double’ by Juan Soto that was, in all seriousness, no more than a botched attempt at a catch at the wall in LF by Peraza. A pair of productive groundouts later, it was 5-1 Reds.
  • It was more of the same from the Reds in the Bottom of the 3rd against Corbin. A trio of singles by Jose Iglesias, Peraza, and Casali loaded the bags, and then the Reds got some great fortune when Kyle Farmer hit what appeared to be a routine 6-4-3 double play ball to SS Trea Turner, but he booted it completely to allow a run to score, reload the bases, and still have nobody out. Senzel later lifted a sac-fly to deep LF to plate another run, and Peraza later motored around to score, too, on Votto’s 105.5 mph laser single into CF that was simply too much for Turner’s leaping stab to grab. Reds led, 8-1.
  • Soto struck again in the Top of the 4th, hitting a missile off Mahle that just cleared the wall in CF for a solo dinger. Reds led, 8-2.
  • It was Javy Guerra on the mound when the Reds struck again in the Bottom of the 4th, and again it was Casali doing the donking. He smacked a double to the wall in right-center after Iglesias had singled in front of him, and the plated the 9th Reds run of the evening. Reds led, 9-2.
  • Singles were the name of the game against Mahle in the Top of the 5th however, too. Victor Robles and Yan Gomes led off the inning with them, and a sac bunt later moved them to 2B and 3B, which was enough to plate a run on Turner’s single into CF. Reds led, 9-3. That, fortunately, was how things finished.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Tyler Mahle was far from his best on the night, but was still decent enough given the offense’s outburst. His final line: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K on 91 pitches.
  • Votto’s 3-hit night marked his 5th straight multi-hit game, which is awesome.
  • Senzel has now reached base safely in an MLB-best 19 consecutive games. The kid is a budding superstar of the sport, folks.
  • Saturday will see Tanner Roark take on his former club, as he’ll be the Reds starter opposite Nats righty Erick Fedde. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM ET.
  • Tunes.