The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star(s) of the Game
It’s rather remarkable how easy the game of baseball looks when your ace takes the mound and aces, and when the big bats in the batting order bonk the hell out of the ball, too.
That’s precisely what happened for the Cincinnati Reds in the first game on Thursday’s doubleheader in Milwaukee, as Sonny Gray kept runs off the board while Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos knocked the crud out of the ball.
Meanwhile, Winker walked, homered twice, and drove in 3, largely because Castellanos - who came a triple shy of a cycle - was on base in front of him most of the day. That was more than enough to back Sonny on the day, who cruised through 5 innings of scoreless ball.
Honorable Mention is due to: Jose Garcia, who singled in his first career MLB PA, later coaxed a walk, and scored.
- The bottom half of the order got the Reds on the board to start the scoring in this one. Freddy Galvis coaxed a walk, and he moved up a bag on Garcia’s subsequent single in the Top of the 2nd. Galvis was then able to scoot home on Curt Casali’s RBI single, and the Reds held a 1-0 lead.
- It was the thumpers in the Reds lineup that got the next runs, however, as Castellanos and Winker went back to back off Milwaukee starter Adrian Houser in the Top of the 3rd, and the Reds were up 3-0.
- Those two teamed up for another pair of Reds runs in the Top of the 5th. Castellanos hit a laser off 3B Eric Sogard that ricocheted into LF and allowed him to leg out a hustle-double, and that chased Houser in favor of lefty Alex Claudio for Winker. Well, lefties don’t bother Winker these days, and he clubbed his second opposite-field dinger of the day, a 2-run blast into the Reds bullpen that left them up 5-0.
- Walks to Garcia and Casali opened the Top of the 6th, and Garcia tagged-up and scooted to 3B on a deep fly-out by Shogo Akiyama. That put a runner in scoring position on 3B with 1-out, and he moseyed home on a deep sac-fly ribbie to CF by Castellanos. Reds led, 6-0.
- The bullpen came on for the Bottom of the 6th, and the bullpen did a tad bit of bullpenning. Nate Jones served up a solo dinger to Omar Narvaez, but Jesse Biddle later wrapped the inning in his Reds debut with no further damage. Reds led, 6-1, and Biddle and Robert Stephenson combined to keep it that way til the end.
- Energy-guy Mark Payton swiped his first career base today. G’job, Energy-guy Mark Payton!
- Sonny’s final line: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K on an easy 85 pitches. In the process, he extended his ridiculous MLB-record streak of starts allowing 6 H or less to 40.
- The Reds will send Wade Miley for the second game of today’s doubleheader against the Beers, who’ll counter with Josh Lindblom. First pitch is scheduled for whenever the heck they decide, though it’ll probably be roughly 45 min to an hour from now.