The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Tyler Mahle once again did not go deep into a game for the Cincinnati Reds, but he also once again managed to thwart his opposition while out there.
The Reds righty fired 5 innings of 1 ER ball against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday in the series opener, scattering 5 hits and a pair of walks while fanning 5. He needed 97 pitches to do the deed, which is a big reason why he didn’t get deeper in the game, but he continues to put up mostly zeroes in the innings when he’s actually on the mound for the Reds, something that’s become something of a quintessential ask of starters in this modern era of baseball.
Mahle deserves the dap for how things started, but it’s Jesse Winker who deserves the dap for how it finished. His league-best 11 game hitting streak included the 10th inning blast that gave the Reds the lead for good, and it appears he’s just never going to stop smashing the living hell out of baseballs anytime soon.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Nick Castellanos, who singled, doubled, walked twice, stole a base, scored, and drove in a run; Alex Blandino, who walked thrice and stole a bag; Tejay Antone, who fired a trio of scoreless IP of relief to put the game on ice; and Tyler Stephenson, who singled and doubled.
- It was the Reds - the Reds! - that struck first in this one, and they did so with a pair of runs off Dodgers starter Julio Urias in the Top of the 4th. Winker’s single got things going, he moved to 3B on the double into RF by Castellanos, and both eventually scored on productive outs - a grounder by Eugenio Suarez, and a sac-fly by Nick Senzel. Reds led, 2-0.
- The Bottom of the 4th saw Los Angeles get a run back, however. Chris Taylor singled to lead things off, and Max Muncy was later hit by an inside heater to move Taylor into scoring position. That burned a few batters later when Gavin Lux singled into RF, and the Reds lead had shrunk to just 2-1.
- The Reds got that run back in the Top of the 5th. A plunk of Kyle Farmer followed by another walk to Blandino put a runner in scoring position, and Castellanos spanked an RBI single into LF that allowed Farmer to scoot home. Reds led, 3-1.
- After Lucas Sims had been largely nails in his nearly 2 IP, manager David Bell turned to Amir Garrett with a runner on and lefty Corey Seager coming to the plate in the Bottom of the 7th with 2-outs. Unfortunately, Garrett hung yet another slider, and Seager parked it in the CF seats for a 2-run dinger that tied the game 3-3 and turned what had been a previously postive tied.
- The game leaked into extras, but that proved to be a good thing for the Reds and Winker. With the requisite runner on 2B to begin the inning, Jesse socked a 2-run dinger off Kenley Jensen in the Top of the 10th to give the Reds a 5-3 lead, and thanks to Antone’s excellent work on the mound that followed, the Reds busted their 7-game losing streak and took home a much, much, much needed W.
- Tuesday will feature Jeff Hoffman on the bump for the Reds opposite Dodgers starter Walker Buehler. It’s slated for yet another #LateNightReds start, with first pitch scheduled for 10:10 PM ET once again.