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Huge Mike Moustakas homer turns tides for Reds in 9-4 win over Pirates

A crucial sweep of the day’s doubleheader.

Summer snow storm dumps 5 inches of snow and damages trees in Boulder, Colorado Photo by Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Shogo Akiyama was on-base three more times, and that was awesome.

Joey Votto socked a homer, and that’s always a joy-bringer.

Eugenio Suarez walked twice and scored twice, and that’ll make us all smile.

Brian Goodwin, too, made us all super duper happy with his 2-run smash.

Nobody, however, had nearly the impact that Mike Moustakas had on the back-end of the doubleheader between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates. Moose ejected a Nik Turley meatball over the CF wall in the Bottom of the 5th inning, doing so just minutes after the Pirates had socked a dinger of their own to take the lead and deflate most all of us. It was the big fly the Reds needed desperately, a 3-run blast that flipped the scoreboard and kept hopes of a late-season resurgence alive.

Frankly, it’s exactly the kind of mash that we all hoped we’d see when the Reds splashed record money to sign Moose last winter, and a welcome reminder that while he’s been banged up for much of this year, there’s a big, big lefty bat in there when he’s right, and when it counts the most.

Thankya, Moose.

Key Plays

  • The Pirates got off to a quick start against Anthony DeSclafani in the Top of the 1st, but some lackadaisical baserunning made it slightly less impactful than it otherwise would’ve been. Disco plunked Adam Frazier with a pitch, and he later scored on a Colin Moran double. Moran, though, jogged across home plate on a subsequent single by Josh Bell, who was thrown out at 2B trying to stretch it into a double. Replay confirmed that Bell was tagged out at 2B just before Moran crossed the plate, however, so the Reds were only down 1-0.
  • That made Goodwin’s 2-run blast in the Bottom of the 2nd a lead-taker, as he lifted an opposite field blast after Eugenio Suarez had walked to put the Reds up, 2-1.
  • Votto bonked the hell out of a hanging Mitch Keller curveball in the Bottom of the 3rd, belting it well over the wall in right-center for a solo blast to put the Reds up, 3-1.
  • Bell inched the Pirates closer in the Top of the 4th, however, as he turned around a 95 mph Disco fastball for a solo blast over the CF wall. Reds led, 3-2.
  • Despite having been shaky on the day - and shaky as heck in recent starts - Disco was still firmly on the mound in the Top of the 5th, which is effectively the Top of the 7th in these short doubleheader games. He was still out there even after Adam Frazier had singled into RF. Where I’m going with this is that it became a bit of a question why he was still out there to face Ke’Bryan Hayes, and Hayes answered that question by socking a go-ahead 2-run homer in a game the Reds really, really needed. Reds trailed, 4-3.
  • Sorry, but Mike Moustakas tattooed a massive, massive 3-run tater in the Bottom of the 5th, doing so after each of Shogo Akiyama and Eugenio Suarez had coaxed walks in front of him. MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE!!!! Reds led, 6-4.
  • Pirates pitching plunked a guy and then walked the bags juiced in the Bottom of the 6th, and then they just kept right on a-walkin’ guys, as a Shogo free pass pushed in another run. Nick Castellanos then smashed a bullet into LF to plate another, and a Geoff Hartlieb wild pitch then forced in another run as Votto walked. Reds led, 9-4, and Nate Jones made that score hold up.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • The handling of the bullpen in the Top of the 5th was confusing, but let’s walk our way back through it first. Disco stayed in longer than most everyone thought he should, and then Jose De Leon and Sal Romano were the first relievers in - with Romano making his first appearance all year with the bases loaded. Perhaps that’s a pretty good indication that the likes of Lucas Sims and Amir Garrett were not available? Archie Bradley and Robert Stephenson were warm and ready in the last gasps of Game 1, but perhaps they got ‘too’ warm at that point? Hrmmm...
  • As former RR fearless leader Joel Luckhaupt noted on Twitter, this is the first time in the history of the Reds that they’ve scored 9 runs on 5 or fewer hits.
  • Speaking of a short bullpen, Michael Lorenzen will be starting tomorrow’s game now that Sonny Gray is on the IL. First pitch in that one is set for 6:40 PM ET.
  • Tunes.