The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
It’s been something of a curious year for Cincinnati Reds starter Luis Castillo.
Despite still possessing some of the single filthiest stuff on the planet, he hasn’t exactly taken the kind of step-forward most of us hoped for this year. It’s been much more the latter-half of his 2019 performance than the start to his 2019, the start that had him on the shortlist for pretty much every single Cy Young Award projection for the year.
Well, the great version of Luis was on the mound on Friday in St. Louis, and the Reds were certainly better for it.
Castillo plowed headstrong through the Cardinals to give the Reds a win, a 2-hitter on 112 pitches that showed just how valuable he can be for the Reds when at his best. He allowed a lone ER, struck out 6, walked 3 (thanks, Laz Diaz), and notched his first career complete game in the process.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who bonked the big blast of the game with a 2-run homer, and later walked, too; Eugenio Suarez, who had a pair of hits and a ribbie; and Shogo Akiyama, who singled, walked, and scored a run to continue his excellent run of late.
- Thanks to a foot bruise for Mike Moustakas, the same mysterious illness keeping Nick Senzel out, and Jesse Winker’s sore back, David Bell shook up the lineup tonight. Shogo Akiyama was back in the leadoff spot, and while that didn’t pay off immediately, other moves did. Nick Castellanos singled from the DH spot in the Top of the 1st, a spot he’s not occupied yet this year, and that put him on base for #3 hitter Joey Votto, who shrugged off a brutal strikezone from home plate umpire Laz Diaz to eventually crush a 442 foot 2-run dinger off Adam Wainwright, putting the Reds ahead early, 2-0.
- The Reds Reds’d in the Bottom of the 2nd, however. Castillo walked leadoff hitter Brad Miller, which haunted after Paul DeJong doubled and Matt Carpenter’s productive groundout to 1B (which was originally ruled safe prior to a replay) brought in a run. Reds led, 2-1.
- The Reds got that run back in the Top of the 3rd, however. Shogo smacked a breaking ball into LF for a single, and he moved up a bag on Votto’s walk. That put a runner in scoring position for Eugenio Suarez, who drilled an RBI-double down the LF line to put the Reds up 3-1. That wrapped the scoring for the night, and the Reds picked up a much, much needed win.
- The Beats relayed prior to the start of tonight’s game that it’s ‘unlikely’ Nick Senzel rejoins the Reds at all in St. Louis. So, it went from totally nebulous to ‘maybe Friday’ to ‘not in St. Louis,’ and with just 15 games left to be played, I’ll allow you to flusteredly throw your hands up in the air and wave them like you care more than you let on. Dang.
- You’ll get to enjoy a Saturday primetime contest between these two clubs tomorrow, as first pitch is set for 8:15 PM ET. Tejay Antone and Dakota Hudson will begin the tossing for their respective clubs.