The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Have a damn night, Sonny Gray.
This was probably the most dominant start we’ve seen from a Reds starting pitcher this season, and it came from a guy that Reds management would’ve expected it to come from when they traded and signed him prior to this season.
Gray’s final line: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 K.
The one walk came with two outs in the 8th inning; it was only the third time all night Gray had run up a three ball count. The 12 strikeouts for Sonny matches a career high he set as an Oakland Athletic, all the way back in 2014. His breaking ball was as sharp as it’s been as a Red. It was just absolutely filthy all night, and many a Brewer was completely baffled by it.
It was, by and large, a vintage Sonny Gray start. Exactly one the Reds hoped they’d get when they acquired him. And one I’m sure is owed, at least partially, to his old buddy and old/new/current pitching coach Derek Johnson.
I’m making a lot of it, but it really feels like tonight was the culmination of “Get the Pitching.” The pitching has been great all season, but David Bell has been criticized more than a few times this season for having too short of a leash with his starters. This was a vintage performance (probably aided by this being Gray’s last start before the All Star break). And in the Year of Baseball 2019, it was a helluva lot of fun to watch.
Honorable mention to Yasiel Puig, who was basically the entire offense tonight. He hit his 19th home run of the season, singled, scored two runs, and batted in two to be responsible for all of the runs the Reds scored. The hot streak is real and spectacular. Joey Votto hit, walked, and scored a run, while Eugenio Suarez doubled. Jose Iglesias hit twice and batted in a run (Puig, of course). Raisel Iglesias shut the damn thing down in the 9th.
- Who else but Yasiel Puig to get the Reds on the board first in this one, a 445 foot dong to left center with one out. Jose Iglesias and Sonny Gray would each single but be left stranded. Reds strike first blood, 1-0 after two full.
- Nothing else happened, offensively, until the bottom of the 7th, when Puig smoked a single right back up the middle. On the very next pitch, Derek Dietrich dumped his own single into right field. Then, Iglesias, doing what Iglesias does, singled up the middle to score Puig. All of that would chase Jhoulys Chacin, replaced by Jeremy Jeffress. He’d retire the Reds, but they get one more, 2-0.
- Joey Votto walked to begin the 9th, and then moved over to 3B on an Eugenio Suarez double. Nick Senzel grounded out, but Puig hit a sac fly to deep center to score Votto. Reds get an insurance run in the 8th, 3-0.
- You may have noticed that the Brewers are not mentioned here. It’s because they didn’t score a run. And they didn’t in the 9th, either. REDS WIN, 3-0.
- Some sad news: former University of Kentucky and New York Giants quarterback Jared Lorenzen died earlier today after a battle with multiple illnesses. Jared was a friend of this here website, and us here at Red Reporter would like to pass on our sincerest condolences to Jared’s family. 38 years old is too damn young...
- Scooter Gennett exited the game prior to the top of the 5th inning. It was later reported that Scooter was experiencing some tightness in his left groin, which is the opposite side that kept him out of the first three months of the season. Definitely a situation worth monitoring in the coming hours and days.
- Some really good young arms are taking the mound for the Fourth of July festivities tomorrow; National League All Star Luis Castillo will take the mound for the Reds, looking to put his recent Brewer-woes behind him. Meanwhile, Brandon Woodruff will take the mound for the Brewers, he of the 2.5 bWAR and 3.01 FIP. First pitch in this stars and bars affair is scheduled for 2:10 PM EDT.
- It’s the damn holiday weekend (unless you have to work on Friday, in which case, sorry). Everyone have a good time, stay safe, and enjoy!