The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
- Meatballs, when done right, are delicious. Making them is a talent, an art form, one honed through years of tinkering and practice, and when you come across a perfect one, it’s only right to pounce on it as if your life depended on it. Such a perfect meatball was made available by Castillo in the Bottom of the 1st, and was done in the face of a famished Jose Ramirez. Never one to pass up such an opportunity, Ramirez polished it off to the tune of a 416 foot blast into the RF seats. Reds trailed early, 1-0.
- It was Ramirez again in the Bottom of the 5th, only this time it was no spicy meatball. It was more of cheeseburger that had been wrapped a bit too tight in wax paper with cheese spilling out and sticking everywhere, but still worth chomping. Ramirez yanked a triple into the RF corner, and that burned badly thanks to Castillo having walked Cesar Hernandez in front of him. Hernandez scooted in to score, and Ramirez later trotted home on a single into RF by Francisco Lindor. Reds trailed, 3-0.
- The Top of the 6th had drama, but not in a runs scored kind of way. Walks to Joey Votto and Nick Castellanos put a pair of runners on for Jesse Winker, but a moving-target of a strike zone from home plate umpire saw Winker called out on a third strike call that was well low, and in the socially-distant fracas that followed, both Winker and manager David Bell were tossed. Oh, and what would’ve been a bases loaded 2-out scenario for Nick Senzel turned out to be the end of the inning...and the Reds still trailed, 3-0.
- After an impressive 7th inning, Jose De Leon was tasked with the Bottom of the 8th, too, and it didn’t go quite so clean. Singles to Delino DeShields and Hernandez began the pain, and after an eventual intentional walk to Lindor to load the bases, De Leon walked Carlos Santana with the bags juiced to drive in another run. Franmil Reyes then hit a jam-shot single into shallow RF, and that drove in another pair of runs. For whatever reason, De Leon was left out there to bleed despite clearly not having it after a rock solid initial inning, and he eventually walked in another run before mercifully being pulled by acting manager Freddie Benavides. Freddie turned to Cody Reed, who promptly served up a bases-clearing double to Cesar Hernandez and a 2-run dong to Ramirez, and I don’t even know what planet we’re on anymore. It was 13-0 at that point, presumably because Phil Dawson missed an extra point I don’t fucking know. Matt Davidson was on the mound and I turned it off.
- Sorry, still thinking about meatballs. Some ground chuck, spicy Italian sausage, simmered Vidalia onions, black pepper, basil, and a pinch of parmesan cheese...mmm, mmm, mmm.
- What were we talking about again?
- Ah, right. Reds baseball. Doin’ a sport. Well, Luis Castillo wasn’t at his absolute best in this one, and that’s a baseball topic. He was highly pitch-inefficient, needing 105 pitches just to clear 5 IP, though he did again rack up the strikeouts. His final line: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 9 K.
- The Reds will continue their Midwest road trip on Friday, as they open a weekend set against the Milwaukee Beers in Beer City, USA. It’ll feature a matchup between Trevor Bauer and Eric Lauer, one in which I hope the Brewers cower. First pitch is set for 8:10 PM ET.