The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Once again, Jesse Winker woke up today and chose to absolutely destroy baseballs against the Los Angeles Dodgers, again leading the Cincinnati Reds to a very much-needed victory.
The Cincinnati Reds outfielder swatted the first pitch of the game into the seats in Chavez Ravine, later added both an RBI single and a double, and continued the offensive tear he’s been on pretty much since the start of (/checks notes) his entire damn MLB career.
It’s become must-watch TV when Winker steps into the batter’s box, and he’s emerged into one of the absolute most impressive bats in the game.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who walked, doubled, and banged in a pair of huge runs; Kyle Farmer, who singled, doubled, scored a run, and drove in another; Nick Castellanos, who had a pair of hits; Tucker Barnhart, who doubled, was plunked, and scored twice; Carson Fulmer, who fired another scoreless IP of relief; Heath Hembree, who fired a helluva scoreless 8th, too; and Sean Doolittle, who took the opportunity in the 9th and slammed the damn door.
- Jesse Winker led off the game with a solo dong over the wall in right-center on the first damn pitch of the game because Jesse Winker a) hits leadoff often and b) socks dingers like a boss. It gave the Reds an instant 1-0 lead.
- Said lead held up until the Bottom of the 4th, at which point Jeff Hoffman walked both Justin Turner and Max Muncy to put a pair of baserunners on. He’d yet to allow a hit to that point, but that became moot when Will Smith swatted the go-ahead 3-run dinger into the CF stands, and the Reds had their tides turned in a 3-1 hole.
- The Top of the 5th saw the Reds punch back against Dodgers starter Walker Buehler, however. Tucker Barnhart wore a plunk on his back elbow via Buehler breaking ball, and Farmer’s double put a pair of runners in scoring position with nobody yet out. That allowed for a productive ribbie from pinch-hitter Tyler Stephenson, who scored Tucker with a groundout, and a later Winker single leveled the score at 3-3.
- A HBP of Smith and subsequent double by Chris Taylor set the Dodgers up for a big inning in the Bottom of the 6th against Jose De Leon, and they took the lead with a 2-run single through the drawn-in infield by Matt Beaty. Reds trailed, 5-3.
- Tucker’s double got the Reds going in the Top o’ the 7th, and he later scored on another Farmer run-scoring hit, this time a single into LF. Later, Nick Castellanos singled up the middle to put a pair of runners on for Votto against lefty Scott Alexander, and Votto banged the go-ahead 2-ribbie double into the RF corner to give the Reds a 6-5 advantage that they would not relinquish.
- Prior to the start of this one, Mike Moustakas was activated off the 10-day IL by the Reds. Mark Payton was optioned to the alternate site to make way on the roster.
- Wednesday’s series finale features quite the pitching matchup, as Clayton Kershaw will toe the rubber for Los Angeles opposite Sonny Gray for the Reds. Let’s just hope this is the outing that gets Sonny going this year, since Kershaw has again been nails to begin this season. First pitch is set for a much more palatable 4:10 PM ET for you easter-coasters.