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Luis Castillo leads Reds to victory in Game One.

When lady luck is on your side, you treat her right.

Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Luis Castillo - 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K - Outside of one inning, Luis Castillo really had his good stuff today. He could have finished the game, but Bell elected to go with the bullpen in the 7th which worked out. It was nice to see Castillo finally get some luck on his side.

Honorable Mention: Nick Castellanos who went 2 for 4 with solo dong blast and two runs scored, and Joey Votto and Jesse Winker who both singled and walked. Raisel Iglesias slammed the door in the 7th to pick up his 5th save.

Key Plays

  • I missed the first inning because I was on a beer run and got some ice cream. So, I missed the start. The ice cream was good, the beer will be better.
  • In the top of the second, the Reds got into a little bit of two out business. Aristides Aquino got hit by a pitch and Curt Casali reached on a error by first baseman, Josh Bell. Jose Garcia came to the plate and scorched a ball to left field for a single to score Aquino. Garcia has been struggling a bit at the plate, which is expected, so it was nice to see from him. It was his first career RBI. Reds lead, 1-0.
  • In the bottom of the second, Luis Castillo got himself into some trouble. Colin Moran bashed a single and then Gregory Polanco, who is hitting like .150, cranked a shot to deep right field. Nick Castellanos misread it off the bat, coming in on a ball over his head, and ended up regaining his ground and almost made a great play. Honestly, it should have been an out the whole way and it was bad defense by Castellanos. Knowing the Reds, we were now waiting for Castillo to give up a timely dinger and for some more bad shit to happen. However, a fly to short right kept the runners in place, and then a grounder to third nabbed the runner who broke for home. Cole Tucker then grounded out to second base to end the threat. I don’t think I’ve seen something like this happen for the Reds in 2020 and they kept the 1-0 lead.
  • The third came around and the Reds kept it going. Votto and Castellanos led off the inning with singles. Matt Davidson hit a weak grounder to the right that advanced the runners, and Eugenio Suarez hit a ball to deep right field that scored Votto. Jesse Winker hit a 1-1 pitch to very high, and mid center field, that the center fielder misread. The ball dropped which scored Castellanos. Aquino then hit a weak liner to center for another single. Curt Casali then struck out because he’s allergic to fun. Reds lead, 3-0.
  • In the bottom of the third, the Pirates came back with an answer. With one out, Erik Gonzalez hit a double, Kevin Newman grounded out, Bryan Reynolds walked, and then Colin Moran singled through the hole on the left side of the infield. Gonzalez scored. The next batter, Gregory Polanco, scorched a ball to the left center field gap which scored Reynolds. Luckily, for the Reds, the ball bounced over the wall to limit the damage a bit. Castillo then pushed Josh Bell to a full count but he struck him out on a killer change up. Castillo really struggled with his command in this inning and his leash may get short. Reds lead, 3-2.
  • Castellanos led off the 5th inning and got under a pitch a bit but hit it hard. He was able to lift it out to left center. Reds lead, 4-2.
  • You remember when I said Castillo was struggling in the third? Yeah, he knocked that shit off and squirreled together a good one. David Bell elected to go with Raisel Iglesias for the 7th even though Castillo was at 93 pitches. I’m sure he’ll get some flack for that, but I understand it after an off day and all the arms in the pen. Iglesias gave up a lead off single and then coaxed a grounder up the middle. It looked like it would go for a double play. Farmer kind of sailed the throw and Votto’s reaction to it was a hair slow. The ball went into the dugout to put the runner at 2nd. It really looked catchable by Votto but the velocity and tail on the ball fooled him. The Reds win!

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • After Castellanos’s dinger, Amir Garrett dabbed the Pirates’s center fielder from the bullpen. The dab is very stupid, but I like to see the bullpen out there goof balling. Especially, since Garrett doesn’t like Pittsburgh much.
  • If you didn’t know, today is the 13 year anniversary of Joey Votto’s debut. He still bangs, btw.
  • You may not wanna look to fast, but Votto’s wRC+ is now at 112.
  • Tunes