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Shane Bieber and Cleveland thwart Cincinnati Reds, 6-3

The Reds claimed the series, Cleveland claimed the finale.

Cincinnati Reds v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

On a day that saw his good buddy and former Cincinnati Reds stalwart Jay Bruce announce that he was retiring from the game, Joey Votto had another turn-back-the-clock performance. Hell, to be fair, Joey turned it back about a week and a half ago and has been stuck in his 2010 self pretty much since then, smashing lasers and bashing dingers the way he always has.

Sunday saw him poke another pair of doubles sandwiched around a single, he drove in a pair of runs with a big hit in a big spot, and he mostly looked like the only bat in the lineup who had any sort of clue how to figure out Cleveland ace and reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber on the day.

Honorable Mention is due to Tyler Naquin, whose dinger-socking simply knows no bounds at the moment.

Key Plays

  • Miley found himself in a 3-0 count against Jose Ramirez in the Top of the 1st. Folks, if you’re pitching to Jose Ramirez, I’d advise you to not get into a 3-0 count against him, let alone hum a meatball to him in such a scenario. Anyway, 420 feet later, the Reds trailed 1-0.
  • A Miley walk and an infield hit on a ball that Kyle Farmer nearly made a stellar play on at 3B had a pair of runners on with 2-out in the Top of the 4th, and the game of inches bit the Reds a batter later. Almost out of the inning, but instead up against Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez, who socked a 3-run homer over the wall in CF to put the Reds in a 4-0 hole.
  • The presence of Shane Bieber on the mound for Cleveland made that deficit daunting, but the Reds managed to strike back against him in the Bottom of the 5th. Singles from Mark Payton and Jesse Winker put a pair of runners on for Votto, who plated them both when he deposited a double into the RF corner. Reds trailed, 4-2.
  • Sal Romano, meatball, runner on, Jordan Luplow, batter’s eye. Reds trailed 6-2 in the Top of the 7th.
  • Bieber was still on the bump for Cleveland in the Bottom of the 8th, doing his his best to K fools and make ‘em look silly more often than not. That he did, though not to Naquin, who bonked a 428 foot solo dinger off his former teammate to make it a 6-3 game. That, though, was unfortunately how things wrapped.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Wade Miley’s brilliant start to the season was bound to end sometime, and that time was on Sunday. Of course, it was truly one big swing that turned the tides on what had otherwise been a pretty dang solid start, so there’s that, at least. His final line: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, BB, 5 K on 83 pitches, and he even got an early trip to the locker room for being ejected from the dugout in the Bottom of the 7th.
  • Mike Moustakas was out of the lineup again today, while Nick Senzel was out of the starting lineup for the second straight day, too.
  • It’s an off-day for the Cincinnati Reds on Monday, but they aren’t going anywhere. On Tuesday, they’ll welcome the Arizona Diamondbacks to GABP to begin a mid-week three-game series against the snakes, one in which they’ll hopefully get some retribution for losing two of three in Phoenix earlier in the month. Maybe don’t pitch to Eduardo Escobar this time, I don’t know. Anyway, Tuesday’s series opener is set for a 6:40 PM ET start, and will feature Luis Castillo on the bump trying to fix things for the Reds.
  • Tunes.