The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Nick Senzel and Jesse Winker constituted the top of the Cincinnati Reds lineup against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, and they constituted the entirety of the Reds offense on the otherwise lackluster day, too.
Senzel had a trio of singles and a run scored, though his 5th caught-stealing of the season burned the Reds as it came immediately prior to Winker’s dinger. Winker, meanwhile, provided a lot more thump on the evening, homering and doubling twice while driving in both runs the Reds plated on the evening.
Winker’s OPS is up to a mesmerizing 1.114 on the season, and he looks as comfortable at the plate as perhaps any Reds I’ve seen in years in getting there.
Unfortunately, most everything else.
- After a barrage of awful strike calls ruined a could-be Reds chance in the Top of the 1st, the Pirates ended up with the initial run in this one. Back to back bloop hits down the LF line put a pair of runners in scoring position with none out, and after Jeff Hoffman managed to get a pair of outs without yielding, an untimely wild pitch allowed Bryan Reynolds to score. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- Winker’s 438 foot blast into one of the three rivers in Pittsburgh leveled the score in the Top of the 3rd, though it unfortunately came a pitch after Nick Senzel was caught stealing 2B. Game tied, 1-1.
- Hoffman hit Ka’ai Tom with a breaking ball in the dirt in the Bottom of the 4th, and that loomed large when he scored on a triple by Kevin Newman. Newman later scored on the first career hit by Troy Stokes, Jr., and the Reds trailed 3-1.
- Walks, as they are wont to do, will haunt. Such was the case when Ryan Hendrix walked the leadoff batter in the Bottom of the 5th, and it burned when Phillip Evans smashed an RBI-double to left-center. Reds trailed, 4-1.
- The Reds tried to mount a rally in the Top of the 8th. Senzel poked his third single of the game down the RF line, one that might’ve been a double had it not actually died after hitting the 1B bag. Either way, he scored on Winker’s RBI-double down the LF line, though Winker was thrown out at 3B for trying to turn it into a triple for some godawful reason. Reds trailed, 4-2.
- Former Pirate (for a minute) Carson Fulmer was on the bump for the Bottom of the 8th when the Pirates strung together a series of baserunners, a string that included an RBI-double by Stokes that put the Reds in a further 5-2 deficit. Sean Doolittle then took over and served up a 2-run dinger, and the Reds slumped to a 7-2 loss that really felt like a game they just never had in them.
- The movement on Jeff Hoffman’s pitches was tremendous on the night, though he never really seemed to be able to harness it. Unfortunately, that meant a lot of missing spots, and he was burned for 3 ER on 4 H in his 4.0 IP. He fanned 4, allowed a pair of walks, and hit a guy in his 75 pitch outing, his ERA rising to 4.70 in the process.
- This game just felt gross.
- I didn’t type the name JT Brubaker, but JT Brubaker was the starter for the Pirates on the night, and the way he kept the Reds bats at arm’s length deserves mention. There is said mention, frustration or nah.
- Wednesday’s series finale will be of the matinee variety, with a 12:35 PM ET start time on the docket. Sonny Gray will toe the rubber as the Reds look to take the series and get back to .500, while Trevor Cahill will be the designated meatball-tosser for the Pirates.