The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Luis Castillo was good. Very good, even.
For the second consecutive day, the Cincinnati Reds got the kind of start they hoped for from their high-powered starting rotation. But for the second consecutive day, it wasn’t enough when paired with a thoroughly impotent offense.
Castillo allowed a run in his 5.1 IP day, a cardinal sin while repping a club who cannot score. That run proved to be the difference, but it was hard to fault Luis on a day when he helped keep the lethal Atlanta offense off-tilt.
The Reds themselves mustered just 2 hits on the day, let alone pushing an actual run across the actual plate. It’s physically impossible to win like that, of course.
- The scoreboard was finally dented in the 5th inning, though unfortunately (and predictably), it was Atlanta doing the duty in the Bottom half. Austin Riley was on 1B with 2-outs after his fielder’s choice retired Nick Markakis at 2B, and the 2-out scenario was key, as he was running on Castillo’s 3-2 pitch to Ronald Acuna. Acuna smoked a laser of a double to the wall in left-center, and Riley lumbered home to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead.
- Marcell Ozuna was pursued by the Reds last winter, reportedly, before he settled for a 1-year pillow contract with Atlanta to find his offense again and hopefully re-enter free agency with a much better platform year. Who knows what that’ll look like in a pandemic landscape this winter, but there’s no denying his brilliant year will have him high on teams’ lists this winter. He’d been completely silent in this series until the Bottom of the 8th, but his 2-run tater off Raisel Iglesias served as the largest nail in the Reds coffin this season. Unfortunately, it was not the final nail, as former Red Adam Duvall later socked a 2-run tater of his own that inning to stretch the gap to 5-0. That, folks, is how the Reds season ended.
- The Reds set a record by not scoring a single run in their multi-game postseason series. Unsurprisingly, they set a record for most consecutive scoreless innings to start a playoff series, too. Lotta records being set. None of them good.
- 2021’s Opening Day, should we all stretch our existence until then, is scheduled for Thursday, April 1st. My guess is Jack Flaherty will start for the visiting St. Louis Cardinals that day, unless the Cardinals sign Trevor Bauer, which will probably end up happening. Start time is TBD, fwiw.
- Thanks again for following along with us through what has been a completely hellish year. Red Reporter, as usual, has served as a tremendous escape-outlet for me, personally, through it all, and I hope we managed to make it lighthearted enough during these dark times to be a place of resource and refuge for you, too.