The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
It’s been admittedly easy to somewhat overlook Tyler Mahle. The fanfare surrounding other members of the Cincinnati Reds rotation the last two seasons, the emergence of several rookies on both sides of the ball this year, and the dynamic offensive duo of Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos have largely dominated the discussions, and honestly, that might be just how Mahle wants it.
Of course, that would belie the fact that Mahle has been simply dominant for awhile now. In fact, he entered play today the owner of a 134 ERA+ in 116.0 IP since the start of the 2020 season, and only added to that tale against the Milwaukee Brewers in Wednesday’s series finale.
Mahle fanned 12 in 6 preposterously effective innings, limited the Beers to a lone earned run on 107 mostly brilliant pitches. He’s truly become a rock in this rotation, one the Reds will look forward to leaning on every fifth day if this season is to continue evolving into something special.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Tyler Naquin, who socked a big oppo ribbie double; Tucker Barnhart, who socked a big oppo ribbie double of his own; Joey Votto, who singled and ran harder and further than I have ever seen him do before to score the go-ahead run; and the bullpen combination of Brad Brach (1 IP), Sean Doolittle (0.2 IP), and Lucas Sims (1.1 IP) that made the lead hold up.
- The Brewers jumped ahead 1-0 in this one courtesy of a Daniel Vogelbach double and an RBI single by Christian Yelich off Mahle in the Bottom of the 3rd.
- The Reds, though, punched right back against Freddy Peralta with 2-out in the Top of the 4th, as Nick Castellanos legged out an infield single on a grounder down the 3B line and scooted all the way home to score on Naquin’s subsequent RBI double into the LF corner. Game tied, 1-1.
- Cincinnati took the lead thanks to some more 2-out work in the Top of the 7th. Votto smacked a single into CF, and then motored all the way around to score on a double dumped into the LF corner by Barnhart, a run reminiscent of their first of the day. Reds led, 2-1, and held that lead to the finish.
- It’s another series against one of the National League’s elite for the Reds starting Thursday, and once again it will be on the road. After the trip to St. Louis last week and this one in Milwaukee, though, maybe that’s a good thing. They’ll be in San Diego for a long weekend against the Padres, and Wade Miley will toe the rubber for them in Thursday’s series opener. He’ll be opposed by Joe Musgrove, with a late night start of 8:40 PM ET on the docket.