The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Holy all-around team performance in a game that mattered, Batman!
In the series opener against the Chicago White Sox, the Cincinnati Reds got perhaps their best top to bottom team outing since Opening Day. The pitching was rock solid, the bats showed up in droves, and after an off-day that could’ve quelled momentum from their recent win streak, the team could not have looked more ready to romp.
Joey Votto homered, singled, doubled, and drove in a pair in his first 3-hit night of the year.
Jesse Winker did not have a 3-hit night, but his 3-run homer was the biggest blast of the day.
Tyler Mahle yielded a lone ER in his 5.2 IP, and did so against the best offense in the American League.
Part of why Mahle only yielded that lone ER was because of the work of Tejay Antone, who bailed out his starter and continued rolling thereafter.
Tucker Barnhart homered. Nick Castellanos did, too. Shogo Akiyama - as he has recently been wont to do - reached base another two times. Mike Moustakas did, too, walking twice and scoring a run.
Even Sal Romano got in on the action with a scoreless 9th.
Well done, Reds. Well done.
- Jonathan Stiever hung a meaty breaking ball to Castellanos in the Bottom of the 1st, and the Reds slugger did not miss it. Instead, he obliterated it, a sound so sweet it gives your eardrums goosebumps. ‘Twas a solo shot, and the Reds held an early 1-0 lead.
- Tucker hosed a runner trying to steal 2B in the Top of the 3rd. He then came to the plate in the Bottom of the 3rd and turned around a Stiever fastball on an 0-2 pitch for a solo blast over the RF wall. Later that inning, Joey followed a similar script, belting a laser of a solo blast into the grass behind the CF wall. Stiever then followed with walks of Eugenio Suarez and Mike Moustakas, which set the table for Winker’s absolute destruction of an 81 mph slider, a 447 foot 3-run blast that ended Stiever’s evening and left the Reds up 6-0.
- Nick Madrigal poked a double into RF to open the Top of the 6th, and that helped spell the end of Mahle’s evening. Yasmani Grandal later walked, Jose Abreu was hit by a pitch, and the bases were loaded in what could’ve ended up a major problem. Instead, Mahle got Eloy Jimenez to ground into a force-out, and while a nubber off the bat of Edwin Encarnacion plated a run and sent Mahle to the showers in favor Tejay Antone, who shut the threat down quickly. Reds led, 6-1.
- Steve Cishek was on the bump for the White Sox when the Reds got that run back in the Bottom of the 7th. Shogo walked, and he scooted all the way home on Votto’s opposite-field doubled, one that missed being a 2-run tater by about a foot. Reds led, 7-1, and that’s how this one wrapped.
- Rest in peace, rest in power, RBG.
- Trevor Bauer and Dallas Keuchel will do work tomorrow in the series’ second game. First pitch is set for 7:07 PM ET, because it was picked up nationally by FOX.