The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Eugenio Suarez endured a largely awful month of June after the Cincinnati Reds 3B got off to yet another solid start to his season. The former All Star posted just a .569 OPS for the entire calendar month, well out of the realm of expectations for him after his brilliant 2018 season.
So far, July is off to a much different story.
Suarez belted a pair of 2-run dingers against the Milwaukee Brewers in Monday’s series opener, and while the pitching staff farted around and blew things despite that fact, Suarez does appear to again be swinging a red-hot bat, especially after homering on Sunday, too. Ultimately, that’s a net positive for the Reds, though it would sure be nice if they could figure out their burgeoning bullpen problems before it’s too late.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Tyler Mahle, who pitched rather well (6 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K); Jesse Winker, who singled and dingered; Joey Votto, who singled, walked, and scored twice; and Matt Bowman, who fired a scoreless inning of relief.
- Tyler Mahle took a no-hitter into the Top of the 5th, but that was promptly greeted by a 442 foot dinger off the bat of Keston Hiura, which gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead.
- Winker’s solo dinger into the LF seats in the Bottom of the 6th leveled the score, and after Votto later coaxed a walk off Brewers starter Adrian Houser, Suarez ended the Beers’ hurler’s night with a 2-run blast that put the Reds ahead, 3-1.
- Unfortunately, David Hernandez fell completely apart in the Top of the 7th after taking over for Mahle, and did so while the Reds dugout surprisingly sat idle. Mahle allowed a leadoff dinger to Lorenzo Cain in the inning to cut the lead to 3-2, and a subsequent infield single by Eric Thames officially chased him in favor of Hernandez. Things, then, did not go well. A single, an RBI Ben Gamel double, and a walk loaded the bases with 1-out, before a walk to Yasmani Grandal forced in the game-tying run. Christian Yelich then smacked a 2-run single into RF to put the Reds in a hole, and a later sac-fly from Mike Moustakas made it a 6-3 deficit.
- The Reds did manage to punch back, however, and did so against the nearly unhittable and thoroughly despicable Josh Hader in the Bottom of the 8th. Votto smacked a single into CF, and Suarez followed with yet another 2-run blast, one that cleared the wall in CF and cut the Brewers lead to 6-5.
- Unfortunately, Yelich Yelich’d again in the Top of the 9th, hitting a chin-high offering from Robert Stephenson somehow over the wall in RF, a 2-run blast that put the Reds in an insurmountable 8-5 hole.
- Jose Iglesias singled off Brewers reliever Jeremy Jeffress in the Bottom of the 9th, and after swiping 2B on defensive indifference, he scored on an RBI single by Phillip Ervin. That, though, was all the Reds could muster, losing the opener 8-6.
- David Hernandez has seen his ERA balloon to an ugly 5.40. He’s obviously still got much better peripherals than Zach Duke - who was DFA’d earlier today - but Duke held a 5.01 ERA prior to his dismissal.
- Tanner Roark will toe the rubber for the Reds in Tuesday’s contest against these Brewers. He’ll be opposed by Chase Anderson, who the Reds poked for 6 ER in 5 IP back on June 21st. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET.