The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Mike Moustakas was a late scratch for the Cincinnati Reds series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday. That thrust Kyle Farmer into the lineup on a bit of short notice, and while it would’ve been great to have Moose healthy for this one - more on that below - it’s hard to hope for more out of the 3B spot for the Reds on the night.
Farmer’s 2-run blast flipped the scoreboard (for a time) and put the Reds on top after facing an early deficit, part of a 2-hit, 3-ribbie evening for the versatile Red.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Jose De Leon, Cionel Perez, and Sean Doolittle, who each fired scoreless frames in relief; and Jesse Winker, who had a pair of singles and a walk.
- Castillo’s 1st inning fumbles continued in this one, unfortunately. A leadoff single followed by an unhelpful throwing error by Jonathan India got this one started, and an RBI single by Asdrubal Cabrera then followed. David Peralta followed with an RBI single of his own, while Cabrera later scored on a double play. That left the Reds in an early 3-0 hole.
- Castillo got the Reds on the board in the Bottom of the 3rd, though. His double down the LF line put him on, and he moved to 3B on a bloop single into RF by Jesse Winker. Tyler Naquin’s productive groundout to 1B brought home the Reds starter, and the Reds were down 3-1.
- The Reds did some 2-out work against Zac Gallen in the Bottom of the 4th, and it began with an India walk. Tucker Barnhart - yes, Tucker Barnhart - reached on a bunt single, and Farmer then bonked in India with an RBI single into LF. Reds trailed, 3-2.
- A walk to Barnhart chased Gallen in the Bottom of the 6th, with Arizona turning to reliever Yoan Lopez in his stead. That proved fortuitous for the Reds with Farmer the first batter to face him, as Farms smashed the go-ahead 2-run dinger over the wall in left-center to put the Reds in front, 4-3.
- Tejay Antone took the mound for the Top of the 8th in what was supposed to be a second inning of work, but before he could retire a batter he served up a solo dinger to pinch-hitter Andrew Young, who took him yard over the CF wall to level the score at 4-4 and bring in Amir Garrett from the ‘pen. That, though, was only the beginning of the ridiculousness, as Garrett surrendered a walk and a double as the storm came rolling in, and Lucas Sims was unfortunately tasked with trying to clean that up as hail and sleet and the heavens began to fall unmercifully. The umpires chose not to stop the game, however, and Sims hit a guy with a breaking ball while soaked before walking in Arizona’s go-ahead run, and only after a comically bad series of requests from the Reds did the tarp finally come out. That left the Reds behind 5-4 in a completely shambolic series of events as the game was suspended until just after 5:30 ET on Wednesday...
- Sims was back on the mound to continue the Top of the 8th on Wednesday in partly sunny, partly snowy, fully chilly circumstances with the bases again loaded and 1-out. He got a pair of quick outs to escape the damage, and it was up to the Reds bats to get out of last night’s
- They did not. Reds lost, 5-4.
- Castillo was only charged with 1 ER in his 4 IP, and while his defense certainly let him down a bit early, he was once again nothing close to his best self on the mound. He was later bailed out by a brilliant over-the-shoulder catch by Eugenio Suarez while the bases were loaded, and pitched around another bases loaded jam an inning later. His final line: 4 IP, 7 H, 3 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 4 K on 89 pitches.
- Mike Moustakas was eventually placed on the 10-day IL with a non-COVID illness prior to the first pitch. In an interesting related note, Alex Blandino was activated in his place despite only having been on the Injured List for a handful of days for similarly undisclosed reasons. Hrmm...
- Wednesday’s contest between these two will feature Tyler Mahle on the mound for the Reds opposite Merrill Kelly of the Diamondbacks. First pitch is set for 6:40 PM ET.