The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Joey Votto emerged from his 3-game benching, and has looked much better in the wake. Perhaps that’s due to him returning to GABP, where the Cincinnati Reds 1B has been wildly successful this season, as he was the owner of a stellar 1.120 OPS in 60 PA in his home confines entering play today.
That’s in ridiculously stark contrast to his almost unfathomable .260 OPS in 52 road PA.
Whatever the reason, Votto continued to swing a refurbished bat on Sunday, swatting another solo homer and taking a walk while the rest of the offense sat silent, even against a Chicago Cubs club that lost its starter to injury early on.
A frustrating finish to a big series, but one they’ll try to move on from quickly.
Honorable Mention is due to: Joel Kuhnel, who fired a scoreless IP with 2 K; and Shogo Akiyama, who singled, doubled, made a nifty play at the wall in CF, and coaxed a walk from down in the order, a much-needed step in the right direction from him.
- We made it to the Top of the 4th before seeing a run on the board, and if it’s a run on the board in today’s day and age, it’s usually on a dinger. Such was the case for the Cubs, as Kyle Schwarber schwarbed a Castillo meatwad way the hell over the LF fence, a 428 foot blast that was fortunately just of the solo variety. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the lone solo dinger-swatter of the inning, as Jason Heyward parked one into the LF seats, too. Reds trailed, 2-0.
- Castillo hit Nico Hoerner with a pitch to start the Top of the 5th, or at least that’s what home plate ump Angel Hernandez saw. Whatever. Alls I know is that it put a runner on 1B to screw up the ‘only allow solo dingers’ theme of the day, as this time Ian Happ’s inevitable GABP dinger was of the 2-run variety. Reds trailed, 4-0.
- In play, run(s) for the Cubs again in the Top of the 6th. Guess what? Solo dinger. Sorry I didn’t give you time to answer. Heyward again, this time off Robert Stephenson. Reds trailed, 5-0.
- It was the Reds turn for a solo dinger, finally, as Votto got them on the board with a blast off lefty Jose Quintana in the Bottom of the 6th. Reds trailed, 5-1.
- Solo dinger Cubs. Ian Happ again. Middletown, UC, UC, Middletown, I really am sick of the damn Cubs. Reds trailed, 6-1.
- Jose De Leon got the ball for the Top of the 9th. Kyle Schwarber hit a grand slam. Reds lost, 10-1.
- Cubs starter Tyler Chatwood exited this one with 1-out in the Bottom of the 3rd, and he did so helped by trainers after an apparent injury. That brought Colin Rea in from the bullpen, meaning Rea and Castillo - who have technically been traded for one another twice - got to share the GABP mound at the same time.
- It was later revealed that Chatwood exited with elbow discomfort, as The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans relayed. Ugh.
- Speaking of starters, it was not Luis Castillo’s best day. His final line: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, BB, 7 K on 93 pitches, with aforementioned trio of dingers surrendered.
- After letting Nick Castellanos walk in free agency last winter, the Cubs got 5 HR from their OF today. You’re cruel, baseball gods.
- The Cincinnati Reds will welcome the St. Louis Cardinals to GABP on Monday to begin a 3 game set. Anthony DeSclafani will be back on the mound for the Reds in the series opener, and he’ll be opposed by Cards starter Dakota Hudson. First pitch tomorrow is set for 6:40 PM ET.