The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Tyler Naquin socked yet another dinger for the Cincinnati Reds in this one, at the time doing so in a spot where it looked like it might end up being something special against the Philadelphia Phillies on the night.
Unfortunately, the bullpen is not mightier this year. Still, props to Naquin for continuing to be one of the absolute best under the radar pickups in all baseball this offseason. He walked, too.
- Phillies starter Aaron Nola ran into a case of the Tylers in the Bottom of the 2nd. Tyler Stephenson poked a leadoff single off of him to begin things, while Tyler Naquin followed with a 2-run honker into the RF seats that gave the Reds an early 2-0 lead.
- Philadelphia got those runs back in the Top of the 3rd against Sonny Gray, however, and did so courtesy in part of a former Cincinnati prospect. Ronald Torreyes, you may remember, was part of the package the Reds sent to Chicago to land Sean Marshall a damn decade ago, and he greeted Sonny with a solo bomb just inside the LF fair pole that made it a 2-1 game. Later, noted asshole Odubel Herrera hit a solo dinger into the RF seats, too, and that leveled the score.
- Cincinnati’s makeshift defense cost them a run in the Top of the 4th. JT Realmuto legged out an infield single on a ball hit into the hole between 3B and SS, one that Kyle Farmer actually made a pretty nifty play and jump throw to defend. Unfortunately, it short-hopped Stephenson - a catcher who’d never played 1B before Joey Votto got hurt - and skipped right on to the wall, allowing Realmuto to scoot to 2B. A wild pitch and bloop single later, and the Reds trailed, 3-2.
- Sonny’s day ended in the Bottom of the 5th, unfortunately. Jean Segura battled his way into a 2-out single, and later swiped 2B, too. That put him in scoring position for the double off the LF wall by Rhys Hoskins, which put the Phillies ahead 4-2 and prompted David Bell to turn to Heath Hembree.
- After Hembree escaped any further damage, the Reds went back to chipping at Nola in the Bottom of the 5th. Jonathan India singled up the middle and then swiped 2B, putting him in scoring position for Mike Freeman’s ribbie single. Reds trailed, 4-3.
- Andrew McCutchen got that run back in a hurry, though, socking a solo dinger off Hembree in the Top of the 6th that put the Reds down 5-3. Hembree’s night officially ended on a single by Alec Bohm, and that brought in Amir Garrett, who promptly yielded an RBI-double to Torreyes that sank the Reds into a 6-3 crevasse. Unfortunately, that crevasse was set to get deeper as notorious asshole Odubel Herrera socked a 2-run tater off Amir, as did Hoskins, and the Reds were down 10-3.
- I dunno, man. It was 13-3 and Alex Blandino was pitching and it wasn’t even the 9th inning yet.
- 17-3. A damn grand slam off Blandino, those freaking pirates of Phillies.
If you’re looking for the box score and win expectancy chart from FanGraphs, it’s here.
- Sonny at times featured his usually electric stuff on the night, but also struggled with pitches left out over the plate at inopportune times. His final line: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, BB, 8 K on 96 pitches.
- Prior to the game, the Reds made a couple of moves of note, including placing Max Schrock on the 10-day IL with a calf strain and putting Michael Feliz on just the ‘IL’ for an undisclosed (take a guess) reason. Cionel Perez was recalled for Schrock’s roster spot, while Mike Freeman was selected to replace Feliz - and the Reds were allowed an additional 40-man roster spot due to Feliz being on the nebulous IL list.
- Tomorrow’s series finale will feature the second career start (and first in GABP) for Vladimir Gutierrez, fresh off his positive initial outing in Wrigley last week. He’ll be opposed by promising young Phillies starter Spencer Howard, who entered the 2021 season the 27th ranked prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America. Howard has appeared in a handful of games with the Phillies this season, and tomorrow will be his 3rd start. First pitch is set for an early 12:35 PM ET, so plan accordingly.