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Jesse Winker double doinks the Reds to victory.

Sonny Gray also pitches a gem.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Jesse Winker - 2 for 3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB

Jesse Winker has been winning a lot of awards lately and hopefully he keeps winning them. Winker has been a one man wrecking crew, powering the Reds for about a week now. He’s hitting the ball all over the field and terrifying pitchers. We’ve been waiting for his offensive revolution and we may be seeing it.

Honorable Mention: Sonny Gray who pitched 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, Nick Castellanos who hit a three run dinger in the 7th inning, Joey Votto who singled and doubled, and Freddy Galvis who did the exact same thing as Votto. Tyler Thornburg made his debut for the Reds and pitched two shutout innings with three strikeouts to finish out the game. Cool.

Key Plays

  • Jesse Winker led off the bottom of the 2nd, batting clean up in the order, and was able to drive a low fastball over the wall in left field. He hit it very hard. Nick Senzel was then walked on four pitches. Josh VanMeter hit a ball about as hard as he could but he also hit it a mile in the air. The ball was caught on the warning track. Nick Senzel tagged and went to second, and Gregory Polanco nailed him at second with a great throw. It was a very close play, close enough to challenge, but the Reds likely would have lost that challenge. Galvis then struck out. Reds lead, 1-0.
  • In the top of the 4th, a guy by the name of Bryan Reynolds took Gray deep. That’s it. Tie ball game.
  • In the bottom of the 4th, Joey Votto hit a double and then Kuhl left a breaking ball hanging in the middle of the zone. Jesse Winker crushed the pitch about 420 feet into the moon deck. Again, the dude is some kind of a roll. Reds lead, 3-1.
  • Sonny Gray is dealing and by the end of the top of the 6th he had struck out nine and walked one. He did give up a hit in the inning but got out of the inning unscathed. You’d think it would be his last inning but in between innings they caught of glimpse of Bell talking to Gray. It sure looked like he was staying in the game at 99 pitches. Reds lead, 3-1.
  • Gray did come out for the 7th. He gave up a hard hit single with two outs. With his pitch count getting up there that was it for Gray. Bell brought in Nate Jones who gave up a screamer to left field, off the bat of Jacob Stallings, but Shogo Akiyama made a great defensive play to record the final out of the inning. Reds lead, 3-1.
  • Leading off the bottom of the 7th, Josh VanMeter hit a hustle double. Galvis hit a ball towards the shortstop, who was holding VanMeter at 2B. The shortstop tried to make a play on it, but Galvis was able to beat the swipe tag on a bad throw. VanMeter advanced to third. Barnhart almost hit into a double play but Galvis did the smart thing by not running into a tag, he just stopped running, which allowed Barnhart the time to get to first. VanMeter scored easily. Kyle Farmer flied out to center and then Shogo ripped a liner to center field. Castellano then uncorked a fly ball to deep center field, which was almost robbed, for a three run dinger. Votto hit a single but the inning ended shortly thereafter. Reds lead, 7-1.
  • Tyler Thornburg made his Reds debut. The set down the Pirates in order while getting two strikeouts.
  • In the bottom of the 8th, Freddy Galvis hit a double with two outs and then Tucker Barnhart hit a drive to the wall for a double that knocked in Galvis. Reds lead, 8-1.
  • Thornburg came back out for the 9th inning. He locked down the Pirates while striking out another batter. Reds win, 8-1.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • That’s Winker’s fifth homer in five game. The dude is on fire.
  • Here’s some stats on the Shogo’s play in the 7th.
  • This is pretty cool stuff.

  • Also cool.
  • The Reds play tomorrow at 6:15 PM ET.