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Sonny Gray flirts with no-hitter, Reds still lose to Mariners 5-3

It was fun while it lasted, which is a pretty good slogan for the 2019 Reds as a whole.

Cincinnati Reds v Seattle Mariners Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Sonny Gray did not throw a no-hitter for the Cincinnati Reds tonight, but for awhile it certainly looked as if it was a real possibility. That’s somewhat a microcosm of what this entire Reds season has been, really, especially when you consider that not only did the no-no not materialize, the swing that busted it up put the Reds behind on the scoreboard, too.

This team, man.

Anyhoo, Sonny was once again brilliant on the night, firing 6.1 IP of 2 H, 3 BB, 9 K ball on his 111 pitchers, continuing the trend of him being simply dominant throughout the entire second half of the season. In fact, if he’d have somehow managed to finish off the shutout, he’d have been the owner of a 1.99 ERA over his last 20 - twenty! - starts. As it sits now, that number will end up only slightly over 2, which is absurd.

Nevertheless, this will do, and do in an incredible way if it keeps up for his Reds tenure.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Phillip Ervin, who bonked yet another homer off a LHP; and Joey Votto, who ripped an RBI double.

Key Plays

  • Jose Peraza got the #LateNightReds party started in the Top of the 3rd with a single off Seattle starter Marco Gonzales, and he scooted to 3B a batter later on a single into RF by Curt Casali. Votto’s double then plated Jose, and the Reds held an early 1-0 lead.
  • That lead doubled in the Top of the 4th on Ervin’s blast, a solo shot over the wall in CF to put the Reds ahead 2-0.
  • Sonny Gray rolled into the Top of the 7th with a no-hitter, but he was also flirting with 100 pitches and not getting nearly the swings and misses as he did early. The 7th began with a HBP and a walk, and after he recorded a loud out, Kyle Lewis tagged him for a 3-run homer over the wall in CF, and the no-no and all the air in this one went poof.
  • The Mariners played add-on in the Bottom of the 8th thanks largely to the legs of Mallex Smith. He reached via error when his bunt forced a quick Kevin Gausman throw that took Votto up the line and was missed, and Smith later stole 2B after initially being ruled out (thanks, replay). A sac fly and Austin Nola single later, and Smith scored, with Nola later coming around to score on a double over the head of CF Brian O’Grady. That left the score 5-2.
  • The Reds managed to load the bases in the Top of the 9th against reliever Sam Tuivailala, which prompted a change to former Reds farmhand Anthony Bass. Bass fanned Curt Casali looking and got pinch hitter Derek Dietrich swinging on what would’ve been out #3, but the ball bounced away, Tucker Barnhart scored, and Dietrich beat out the throw to 1B to keep the inning alive. Unfortunately, Bass got Votto to ground out to end things, and the Reds lost, 5-3.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Joey Votto’s 3rd inning double was the 400th of his illustrious career. He trails only Barry Larkin and some jerk on the all-time career leaderboard for doubles in Cincinnati Reds history.
  • For some inexplicable reason, even the getaway day start time in this series is set for 10:10 PM ET. That’ll be tomorrow, of course, and will feature Tyler Mahle starting for Cincinnati opposite Mariners starter Justin Dunn, who will be making his big league debut. Hell, he hasn’t even pitched above AA in his career to date, but the former 1st round pick of the New York Mets back in 2016 did post a 3.55 ERA in 131.2 IP in the AA Texas League this year. Dunn was part of the massive deal that sent Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to Flushing.
  • Tunes.