The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Tejay Antone was impressive in his lone MLB appearance to date, tossing some 69 nice pitches of scoreless ball in relief some week and a half ago. Admittedly, though, the Cincinnati Reds surely were not counting on him to deliver crucial innings as a starter just 12 games into the 2020 season, especially given their remarkable talent in regards to starting options prior to the start of the season.
Well, things inevitably happen in a big league season, and tonight Antone was called upon to get the start against Cleveland in a game the Reds really needed to win.
While the win eluded them - thanks, offense - Antone held his own, flashing a biting breaking ball and a fastball touching 97 mph, showing that while he was far from a highly regarded prospect, he’s got the chops to be a legit big league arm.
Antone ended up charged with 1 ER in this - an inherited run the bullpen allowed to score - while fanning 4, walking 4, and yielding 2 hits in his 4.1 IP. And on a day when literally nobody else did much of anything, he’s the talk of this game.
- Antone was quite effective pitching into the Bottom of the 5th, but eventually his walks - as they are so often wont to do - haunted. The final one of his day came to Jordan Luplow before Michael Lorenzen took over, but the Llama was hardly effective, either. A 4-pitch walk to Oscar Mercado, of all walkers, came next, and a shimmy of a single by Cesar Hernandez through the brought-in Reds defense followed to put Cleveland on the board first. Mercado later scored on a force-out play at 2B (a too-late double play attempt, really), motoring home before Josh VanMeter’s wide throw home could get him. Reds trailed, 2-0.
- That’s it. That’s the fun. Reds lost, 2-0.
- The Reds had 3 whole hits this game, and managed to run themselves out of their only chances on the bases. That’s frustrating.
- I referenced the inherited run allowed by the bullpen earlier. Entering play today, their strand rate was the single worst of any bullpen unit in the game, and that didn’t get much better tonight. Ugh.
- Luis Castillo will toe the rubber for the Reds on Thursday in the Ohio Cup finale against Cleveland. He’ll be opposed by Carlos Carrasco in a matchup of talented righties with filthy stuff. First pitch is set for an early 6:10 PM ET, so plan accordingly.
- Looney Tunes.