The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
As it turns out, Luis Castillo is really, really, ridiculously good at throwing baseballs to opposing hitters. Who knew?
The Cincinnati Reds ace had it working again on Monday against the Los Angeles Angels, at least in the non Mike Trout category. Castillo finished 7 IP and was left in by interim manager Freddie Benavides for 119 pitches - in part due to the team’s off-day on Wednesday meaning Castillo will have an extra day of rest before his next start - and he rewarded the Reds by striking out the side in that Top of the 7th.
Those 3 K were just part of his overall brilliant night, as he allowed just 3 H, 2 ER, and a lone walk against a career high 13 K. That’ll do, Luis. That’ll do just danged fine.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Jesse Winker, who singled, walked, and scored twice in an early cameo against the RHP opener; Joey Votto, who singled, walked, and scored, too; Nick Senzel, who had a pair of arby-eyes; and Michael Lorenzen, who bailed out Wandy Peralta in what could’ve been a big situation and fanned Mike Trout with a pair of runners on.
- The Angels opted to go with an ‘opener’ in this one, sending Taylor Cole to the mound in lieu of letting young lefty Patrick Sandoval - who was called up specifically for today - go in the Bottom of the 1st. Thanks, Angels! The Reds greeted him with a 5-spot to begin things, as Jesse Winker singled, Joey Votto walked, Winker scored on an RBI single from Aquino, Votto scored on a double by Jose Iglesias, and Nick Senzel’s double cleared the bases. Senzel then motored home on Peraza’s double off the LF wall, and the Reds were up early, 5-0.
- The Reds tacked on another run in the Bottom of the 2nd, this time against a ‘reliever’ in Sandoval. It was Winker again, as he walked to begin the inning, took 2B on a slow groundout by Votto, and then moved up a base at a time on wild pitches from the LA rookie, eventually tapping home to give the Reds a 6-0 lead.
- Luis Rengifo has hit 4 dingers all year, and 2 of them have come against the Reds. His 4th/2nd came off Castillo in the Top of the 3rd, a solo blast into the grass beyond the CF wall. Reds led, 6-1.
- Mike Trout is Mike Trout, and he did a Mike Trout thing off Castillo in the Top of the 6th. Fortunately due to the brilliant defensive play made at SS by Jose Iglesias a batter before Mike Trout stepped to the plate, though, the Mike Trout Mike Troutening was only a solo Mike Trout. Reds led, 6-2.
- The Reds picked up an insurance run in the Bottom of the 7th. Phil Ervin, who came on for Winker once the lefty was on the mound, coaxed a leadoff walk, and he moved up a bag on Votto’s single. Phlerv then moved to 3B on a productive fly-out by Eugenio Suarez, and later scored on yet another wild pitch. Reds led, 7-2.
- David Hernandez continued his struggling ways in the Top of the 9th, as he issued a 1-out walk to Matt Thaiss before serving up a mammoth dinger to pinch-hitter Brian Goodwin. Fortunately, that’s all the damage that was done, and the Reds picked up a 7-4 victory.
- The Reds claimed Kevin Gausman from the Atlanta Braves earlier today, and since he hasn’t yet reported - that’ll likely be tomorrow - there was no concurrent roster move, yet.
- That said, the Reds did make a series of roster moves today aside from that. Derek Dietrich was placed on the 10-day IL due to left shoulder issues, and the Reds selected the contract of IF/OF masher Brian O’Grady to take his place (largely because O’Grady, like Dietrich, hits lefty). To make room on the 40-man roster, IF Blake Trahan was designated for assignment.
- Tomorrow will mark the end of this brief 2-game series, and the Reds will send Anthony DeSclafani to the mound to make the start. He’ll be opposed by Angels starter Jose Suarez, with the game set to begin at 7:10 PM ET.