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Wade Miley hit hard in Cincinnati debut, Cubs beat rallying Reds 8-7

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The Reds fall to 1-3 on the season in a different kind of frustrating fashion.

Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

While we still have high hopes for the 2020 Cincinnati Reds, a series of confounding circumstances led to our co-stars tonight.

For one, we’ve seen the pandemic and its peripheral worries sap the lineup of Matt Davidson, Mike Moustakas, and Nick Senzel, the latter two still waiting for official diagnoses while feeling under the weather. Add-in that Tucker Barnhart is on paternity leave and that Wade Miley got completely crushed in his start this evening, and the stage was set for some alternative Redsing.

We got it, and it was rather delightful.

Tejay Antone made his big league debut in relief of Miley, and allowed a lone ER in 4.1 impressive innings of relief. He yielded a lone hit, walked a guy, and hit a guy, but also mixed it with 5 K and a fastball that sat 95-96 mph. That’ll do.

Then came Tyler Stephenson, the former 1st round pick who we’ve waited on for seemingly forever. Still just 23 years old, Ty Steves bonked a 415 foot dinger over the CF wall in his first career big league PA, and it was the kind of blast in a lost game that just sends your mind dreaming about the next decade of Reds baseball. For the record, he became the first Reds player to dinger in his first big league PA in 70 years. That’s a lot of years.

(He then added a laser of a single in his second PA, and scored again. Then he walked to drive in a run. Heck yeah.)

Congrats to both Tejay and Tyler, of course. I just hope we can immediately turn our attention back to the present Reds.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Eugenio Suarez, who walked thrice; Joey Votto, who singled twice, walked, drove in a pair, and scored twice; and you, person who waited out the nearly two-hour rain delay and actually watched this one all the way through.

Key Plays

  • Walks, as they are wont to do, haunt. Walks that follow hit batters usually haunt, too. Put the two together to start a game, and it’s a pretty good indication the starting pitcher ain’t got it on the evening. Such was the case for Wade Miley in his rain-delayed debut on Monday, as he went plunk-walk in the Top of the 1st against the Chicago Cubs, before a trio of 2-out hits rendered the Reds down 4-0 before you could find your seat.
  • Remember how we talked about Miley walking and hitting guys? Well, he did it again in the Top of the 2nd, again to Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo - though he mercifully rotated to spread the bruising. Putting two runners on for Javy Baez is an interesting strategy, and it worked not, as Baez parked a double into LF to score Bryant and make it 5-0, and Rizzo scored a batter later on a cross-up passed ball. Jesus H. Tap-dancing Christ on a cracker. Reds trailed, 6-0.
  • Pretty sure Rizzo hit a homer. Reds trailed, 7-0.
  • The Reds got a hit in the Bottom of the 6th. It was Jesse Winker, the hit-maestro, as he came off the bench to poke a single that scored Joey Votto, who had walked and moved up a bag thanks to a Geno walk. Reds trailed, 7-1.
  • Cubs got that right back, though. It’s not important how. Reds trailed, 8-1.
  • Ty Steves! The rookie bonked a donker over the CF wall in the Bottom of the 7th, a solo blast to open his big league ledger. Walks to Votto and Suarez later followed, with Joey scoring on a bloop into CF by Nick Castellanos. The Reds couldn’t convert on a later bases loaded scenario, however, and that left the score at just 8-3.
  • The Reds continued their grind in the Bottom of the 8th, with Ty Steves getting the ball rolling with a single. Phil Ervin backed him with a walk, while Joey dumped a 2-out single into RF later to score them both. That made it 8-5.
  • For drama’s sake, Craig Kimbrel took the mound for Chicago in the Bottom of the 9th, and things immediately got interesting. He issued a trio of walks - the last to pinch hitter Shogo Akiyama - before plunking Freddy Galvis to drive in a 6th Reds run, and that brought Stephenson to the plate. Kimbrel then walked Stephenson on his 34th pitch of the evening to end his evening, and Jeremy Jeffress was summoned to try to stamp out the Reds flame. He did, eventually, as Votto hit a screamer into CF that was caught for the final out. Reds rallied, Reds lost, 8-7.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
  • We’re still waiting on word regarding both Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel, both of whom remain sidelined after having woken up Sunday feeling no bueno. Speaking of which, we’re just four games into this season and saw journeyman Christian Colon start at DH, in case you’re wondering just how quickly a team can go from stacked to limping.
  • Wade Miley’s final line: 1.2 IP, lotta hits, lotta runs, lotta walks, couple beanos. Huzzah.
  • On the other side, Jon Lester threw 5 no-hit innings, with just a walk as his blemish. He only struck out 1 Reds batter in the process, too, showing just how blase the offense was on the evening.
  • Tuesday’s contest between these two clubs will again be set for 6:40 PM ET, with that one hopefully able to dodge downpours and begin on time. Tyler Mahle will start for the Reds in the absence of Anthony DeSclafani, while Alec Mills will go for the Cubs.
  • Tunes.