The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
The Reds did a lot of little things well tonight, but the bullpen held it down, and it feels like it’s been a minute since we could say that.
After a solid if unspectacular start from Luis Castillo (6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 10 K, 1 HR, a wild pitch; that’s what is unspectacular for Castillo now), the Reds found a way to take the lead in the top of the 7th. Which meant the Reds bullpen was going to have to keep it in check, and that they did. Michael Lorenzen pitched the 7th and got one out into the 8th (2 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 100 MPH on the gun, while also singling in a run), then Raisel Iglesias pitched 1.2 innings, cleaning up for Lorenzen and then mowing down the meat of the Cubs lineup to earn the save.
This is what we should expect from these guys in the bullpen, but it’s been a tough stretch (and a couple of different tough stretches for Iglesias this year). But in a must win division game, the guys came in and shut it down tonight. That earns them both a trophy.
Honorable mention to Eugenio Suarez for hitting a tater to open this one up. Yasiel Puig also hit a dinger and a stupid single. Nick Senzel hit and also smoked a grounder that ate Baez up; it was ruled an error, but it was a solidly hit ball. And obviously Castillo, whom I mentioned above. He pitched plenty well for the Reds to win tonight.
- Eugenio Suarez wasted no time getting the Reds on the board in this one, mashing a one run tater in the top of the 1st. Reds up, 1-0.
- Kyle Schwarber evened it up with a two out, one run dinger of his own in the bottom of the 3rd. 1 all.
- Luis Castillo let a lead off walk haunt in the bottom of the 4th. Kris Bryant walked before Anthony Rizzo poked a double to beat the shift down the third base line. Victor Caratini struck out for the first out, but Jason Heyward grounded out to first, scoring Bryant. Rizzo came around to score on a wild pitch, but David Bote struck out to end the frame. Cubs get 2, lead 3-1.
- Yasiel Puig hit a ball that probably should’ve been foul, and then probably should’ve been a routine pop out, but eventually got blown into the basket in Wrigley for a home run. Reds get one back in the top of the 6th, still trail 3-2.
- In the top of the 7th, on the first pitch thrown by Cubs reliever Steve Cishek, Curt Casali hit a home run to left center field. Jesse Winker hit a pinch hit single, and then Nick Senzel reached on a fielder’s choice hard hit ball that ate up Javier Baez, putting runners at first and second. Joey Votto flied out for the first out of the inning before Suarez grounded hard to third that hopped over Bote and went into left for an E5, scoring Winker. Puig grounded out for the inning ending double play, but the Reds take the lead in the 7th, 4-3.
- Phil Ervin opened the top of the 8th with a single, then moved to second on a wild pitch. Scooter Gennett moved Ervin over with a ground out. Brad Brach came in to face Jose Iglesias, who battled but popped out. Kyle Farmer came in to bat for Casali and probably should’ve popped out in foul ground between home and first, but the wind kept it in and Rizzo and Caratini couldn’t snag it. He promptly hit a double down the left field line to score Ervin. Michael Lorenzen then batted for himself and hit a single into right center field, which scored Farmer from second. Senzel flew out, but the Reds tack on 2 more, lead 6-3.
- The Reds bullpen shut it down, with Raisel Iglesias going 1.2 IP for the save. Reds win, 6-3.
- After having to leave the game early Sunday with what appeared could be a dreaded oblique injury, Jesse Winker is apparently feeling much better today. He’s available, if needed, as relayed by C. Trent. (He batted in the top of the 7th, obviously, and hit).
- Down on the farm, Tony Santillan was pulled from a game early last Thursday, which came just fresh off an IL stint. It didn’t look great at the time, but apparently, Santillan only has a triceps strain. He’ll hit the IL, but as Doug Gray relays, it doesn’t appear serious.
- More injury news: Alex Wood will make his third rehab start with Louisville on Wednesday, where he’s expected to crank it up to four innings (courtesy of Bobby Nightengale). Amir Garrett will hopefully be activated Thursday (h/t C. Trent again).
- The Reds and Cubs will play game two of this huge division series tomorrow, with another start time scheduled for 8:05 PM EDT. Anthony DeSclafani will take the mound for the Reds, while Alec Mills will go for the injured Cole Hamels.