The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
With Sonny Gray on the 10-day IL with a back issue and with yesterday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates having been a bullpen game a day after a doubleheader, the Cincinnati Reds certainly needed a big, big outing from starter Luis Castillo on Wednesday.
Fortunately, he delivered in a big, big way.
Castillo kept the Buccos off the board entirely, mixing 98 mph heat with his patented changeup to keep them off-balance and firmly off the scoreboard. He controlled both the strike zone and his command, needing just 91 pitches to clear his 7 IP on the bump.
His final line - 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 10 K - is a very, very accurate reflection of just how effective he was tonight.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Shogo Akiyama, who walked, singled, and drove in the lone Reds run of the evening with said single; Archie Bradley, who tossed a quick, spotless 8th inning from the bullpen; Jose Garcia, who singled, scored, and made some nifty plays with the glove on the infield; Raisel Iglesias, who nailed down the save; and Nick Castellanos, who singled and doubled.
- It took until the Bottom of the 5th, but the scoreboard finally got off zeroes. Fortunately, it was the Reds doing the work against Pirates starter JT Brubaker, and it came in the form of a 2-out rally. Garcia began things with a single, and he moved to 3B when Curt Casali singled behind him. Shogo then battled his way into an RBI-single into LF, though some baserunning gaffes eventually resulted in Casali being tagged out between 3B and home. Still, Reds led, 1-0.
- Hey! That was it.
- This was the first time in his last 25 starts that Luis Castillo has put up a 0 ER outing, dating back to last July 4th. Rest assured, there have been many, many good outings in that stretch, but nothing so fresh and so clean clean as this one.
- The Reds opened play today a half-game out of both 2nd in the NL Central and a half-game out of a wild card spot in the NL. We’ll have to wait until play around the league wraps for the evening to know exactly where they stand, but you’ve got to admit it’s getting better...getting better, all the time.
- It’ll be an off-day for the Reds on Thursday, one they’ll use to get the bullpen rested and to welcome back Eugenio Suarez from the paternity list. On Friday, they’ll welcome the Chicago White Sox to town, who are the owners of both the best record in the American League and best offense (by wRC+) in the AL, too - at least at the time I’m writing this. The starters for Friday’s opener have yet to be named, but it likely won’t be Lucas Giolito or Dane Dunning from Chicago, as they’ve been the team’s starters yesterday and today. It also won’t be Dallas Keuchel, as he’s on-track to start for the Sox tomorrow.