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Joey Votto socks 300th career home run, leads Reds past Cubs 8-6

A banner evening for the Reds in their series opener in GABP.

Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Joey Votto entered play on Friday night against the Chicago Cubs having socked 299 dingers across his Hall of Fame career.

Then, he socked another one.

Votto’s 300th career dinger flipped the scoreboard after the Cubs had jumped out to an early lead, yet it was surprisingly only just part of Votto’s thoroughly awesome evening. The Cincinnati Reds 1B added a pair of doubles on his evening, too, swatting in a trio of ribbies in the process, too.

Congrats on the milestone, Joey, and we can’t wait to celebrate your 1,000th arby-eye beef n’ cheddar here sometime very, very soon, too.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Nick Senzel, who socked a dinger; Eugenio Suarez, who dingered, too; and Wade Miley, who scattered and battled and covered and smothered his way through 5 IP of 2 ER ball (while also singling and scoring twice at the plate).

Key Plays

  • The Top of the 1st saw Miley hang a meatball to Kris Bryant, who promptly socked it into the LF seats for a solo shot that put the Chicago Cubs up early, 1-0.
  • The Top of the 2nd saw Chicago plate another run. A single by Matt Duffy was followed by a double off the bat of Jake Marisnick, and a later Nico Hoerner productive groundout gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead.
  • Miley helped his own cause against Jake Arrieta in the Bottom of the 3rd, however. He singled, moved to 3B on a laser down the RF line by Jesse Winker, and scored on a productive groundout by Nick Castellanos (that featured Nick hustling down the line to beat out the double play). That proved huge, as Votto stepped right in and blasted his 300th career dinger, a 429 foot bomb into the RF sun deck that scored a pair and gave the Reds a 3-2 lead.
  • The Bottom of the 4th had more fun in store for the Reds, and more dingers, too. Geno got off his 0 for 26 slide with a solo blast over the wall in CF, and after Tyler Naquin singled, Senzel blasted his first of the season, a 2-run shot over the wall in LF that gave the Reds a 6-2 lead. Later, after a Tucker Barnhart walk and Castellanos single, Votto spanked an RBI double down the RF line, and the Reds were up 7-2, with all runs charged to Arrieta.
  • Kyle Farmer fisted a single into CF in the Bottom of the 6th, one that Marisnick thought he might have a chance to catch on the fly. Fortunately for the Reds, though, it short-hopped him and skipped right by, allowing Farmer to take 3B on the error. A later Winker productive smash-grounder allowed Farmer to slide home before the tag, and the Reds led, 8-2.
  • Cubs scored a pair of runs after a leadoff walk and a Bryant double in the Top of the 7th, but who cares. Reds led, 8-4.
  • The Cubs loaded the bags in the Top of the 9th and eventually plated another pair of runs, too, thanks to a strike zone that was completely shit. How shit? This shit. Annnnd this shit. It eventually tacked on to Carson Fulmer’s ERA as it was Lucas Sims getting squeezed in an attempt to strand runners, and forced David Bell to turn to Tejay Antone as Sims’ pitch count continued to rise. Antone, fortunately, made quick work of the situation, and the Reds took home an 8-6 win.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Prior to the start of tonight’s game, Jonathan India was both scratched from the starting lineup and placed on the Injured List sans designation, something that we’ve all come to wince about a bit over the last two seasons. Hopefully he’s OK, obviously, and hopefully whatever it technically is won’t turn into a larger issue for the roster for the time being, as has often been the case in other clubhouses.
  • Mark Payton was recalled from the alternate site to take India’s spot on the active roster, but it was Nick Senzel who was tasked with starting at 2B in India’s stead. It was Nick’s first career start at 2B in the big leagues - though he’s got a wealth of infield experience prior elsewhere, which we talked about again in detail yesterday. It’ll be very, very interesting to see how this all continues to develop once Shogo Akiyama gets back healthy since he’s actively rehabbing at the alternate site...
  • ...though as the Reds PR reported, Shogo left tonight’s game early for undisclosed reasons. It could well be related to India’s IL designation, and him getting back to the bigs became more of a priority than getting another PA in Louisville.
  • Luis Castillo will start for the Reds on Saturday against the Cubs, with Chicago sending Zach Davies to the mound. First pitch is set for 4:10 PM ET.
  • Tunes. Rest easy, Tony Markellis.