The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Sonny Gray entered play on Tuesday sporting a tidy 2.26 ERA over his last 20 starts this season. That’s a very polite way of saying he’s been on a hot-damn roll for well over half of the 2019 season, and that fortunately continued against the Chicago Cubs tonight.
He racked up 9 Ks in his 6.2 IP - bringing him to 199 on the season as a whole - while limiting the Cubs to just 2 ER in his outing. He allowed just 3 hits, and as Former Fearless Leader Joel Luckhaupt noted on Twitter, that brings his streak of games in which he has allowed 6 hits or fewer to an MLB-best 32 straight starts (dating back to 1908).
Honorable Mentions are due to: Aristides Aquino, who bonked another homer; Joey Votto, who doubled, plated a run, scored a run himself, and walked twice; Eugenio Suarez, who had a pair of singles and a ribbie; Michael Lorenzen, who fired another 1.1 scoreless IP of relief; and Raisel Iglesias, who hammered down the save.
- The Reds came out with bats a-blazin’ to open the Top of the 1st against Cubs starter Yu Darvish. VanMeter got it started with a leadoff single into CF, and he scored a batter later on Votto’s RBI double into the RF corner. Aquino then chipped in with a mammoth 2-run blast over the ivy in left-center, and the Reds held an early 3-0 lead.
- Walks, as you know by now, will haunt. That was the case in the Bottom of the 1st for Sonny Gray, who issued a 1-out free pass to Nick Castellanos, who later scored on Kyle Schwarber’s double off the CF wall. Reds led, 3-1.
- Putting guys on base without them needing a hit to get there has the ability to bedevil, as we have alluded to often here over the years. That was again the case for Gray in the Bottom of the 3rd, as he hit Ben Zobrist with a pitch and that eventually bit him for a run on a triple into the RF corner by Schwarber, again. Reds led, 3-2.
- Gray helped himself in the Top of the 5th, poking a single into CF to start a mini-rally by the Reds. Votto later coaxed a rare-of-late walk off Darvish to move Gray into scoring position, and Eugenio Suarez finished the deed with an RBI single into CF to put the Reds ahead, 4-2, which thanks to the bullpen is exactly how things wrapped.
- You’ll recall that Josh VanMeter exited last night’s game prematurely with what was called a ‘family emergency.’ Josh elaborated on what happened last night from his Twitter account, and RR’s thoughts are certainly with he and his at this time. As you read earlier, Josh was back in the lineup tonight.
- After the Reds jumped on Darvish early, the dude settled into doin’ quite a bit of bizness. He had 11 Ks through 4 IP, including fanning 8 in a row at one point - a Cubs record, as MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian noted.
- Tonight’s Reds win was their 71st of the season, meaning they’re just 2 wins away from making sure they can’t lose 90 games this year.
- That was easily one of the 8 most depressing sentences I’ve ever written.
- Wednesday’s series finale between the Reds and Cubs will mark the final time they’ll play one another in 2019, something you probably realized given how few games remain in the season. Tyler Mahle will get the starting nod for the Reds opposite Chicago lefty Jon Lester, with first pitch again set for 8:05 PM ET (since Thursday is an off-day, I’d wager).
- Some of my favorite new Tunes.