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Cincinnati Reds hit three homers off Justin Verlander, down Astros 4-3

You saw that coming, right?

Houston Astros v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

It was a mixed bag of good success for the Cincinnati Reds in their outing against the Houston Astros on Tuesday. A good one, at that.

Because it was such a group effort, we’re going to give everyone a trophy, in part just to perhaps piss off Albert Breer.

Kyle Farmer hit a homer. Jesse Winker did, too. Derek Dietrich walked and socked a 2-run job, with Winker and Dietrich both doing so off the esteemed Justin Verlander. Heck, Joey Votto even smacked a pair of doubles. This is all a wonderful series of developments.

On the pitching side, Anthony DeSclafani was largely excellent, allowing a lone earned run in 5.1 IP, his third straight outing of allowing said lone earned run. Raisel Iglesias bounced back from his de-saving from Monday to fan both of the batters he faced in a 2-out outing. Then, Michael Lorenzen followed in his newfangled 9th inning role with a save of his own, and this storybook ended up smelling rosy, as books often smell.

Point is, the Reds beat the Astros and Verlander, and that’s a feat that’s worth celebrating all parties involved.

Key Plays

  • The Reds wasted zero time in getting to Justin Verlander, which is a sentence I’ve longed to write for most of my adult life. Winker smacked a high fastball the other way for a solo shot into the LF seats to lead off the Bottom of the 1st, and after Votto flipped a bloop double into shallow LF against the shift, Dietrich yanked a 2-run homer just over the RF wall in the corner to give the Reds an early 3-0 cushion.
  • Doubles doomed Disco in the Bottom of the 6th, though it was admittedly not nearly as bad as it could’ve been - it just ended his evening. Michael Brantley got things started with a double to the wall in left-center, and Yordan Alvarez then brought Brantley home with a double into RF. Reds led, 3-1.
  • Farmer got that run back in emphatic fashion in the Bottom of the 7th, however, tatooing a Verlander breaking ball well over the LF wall for a solo dinger, giving the Reds a 4-1 lead.
  • The ‘stros made things much more interesting in the Top of the 8th when Alex Bregman turned around a 96 mph meatball from Amir Garrett for a dinger, one that stung doubly because Myles Straw had walked earlier. Reds led, 4-3, and that’s precisely how things finished.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Astros star 2B Jose Altuve had been on the 10-day IL for over a month with a hamstring issue, but according to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle, he’ll be activated prior to tomorrow’s series finale with the Reds.
  • Speaking of that series finale, it’ll be of the matinee variety on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 12:35 PM ET, and the Reds will send Tyler Mahle to the mound for the start. Houston will counter with longtime Pittsburgh Pirate Gerrit Cole, who has mostly struck out each and every batter he has ever faced ever.
  • Tunes.