The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Eugenio Suarez - 1 for 4, HR and a big play to save the Reds
While there are players with fancier stats to put up here, the player that had the greatest impact on the Reds chances of winning was Eugenio Suarez. Suarez made a ridiculous play at third in the 4th inning that saved at least one and possibly more runs. It’s one of the best you will see, and he hit his 16th home run of the year in the 7th. It’s those little things, such as defense and big time hits, that made this game interesting when it looked like the Braves could bang the door wide open.
Honorable mention - Jonathan India who was 2 for 4 with a stolen base and a run scored, Nick Castellanos went 3 for 4 with a double, Tyler Stephenson for going 2 for 3 with a RBI double, Vladimir Gutierrez who went 6 IP and gave up only three earned runs (6 H, 2 BB, 4 K), and Ryan Hendrix, Art Warren, and Jon Osich for not giving up any runs from the pen.
- In the top of the fourth the Braves were threatening and Vladdy Goots was battlin’. We don’t put much in the Key Plays about the defensive side of the ball but there had to be a mention for Eugenio Suarez. He made a stellar play at 3B, diving for a crossed over into the foul territory, and heaved a prayer to first to get the runner to end the inning. For a guy that gets flack for his defense, and his offense this year, the dude can honestly pick it at third.
- To immediately respond, Castellanos ripped a double into the right center field gap. Stephenson hit a drive to left that went foul, and then flied out to deep right field. Votto flew out to right field but Castellanos wisely decided not to test Acuna’s arm. Suarez then hit a fly ball to the warning track but the Reds squandered a scoring opportunity.
- With two outs in the top of the fifth, Ronald Acuna Jr. was able to walk and then occupied Gutierrez’s mind at first. Freddie Freeman had a 0-2 count when Acuna Jr. finally took 2B and Freeman took a ball. On the next pitch, Freeman bashed a pitch to deep center field that became a ground rule double, scoring Acuna Jr. Ozzie Albies flied out to end the threat. Braves lead, 1-0.
- In the top of the sixth, Gutierrez got it down to two outs. The first pitch to Dansby Swanson was served into the right center field seats. Braves lead, 2-0.
- These rookies, man. Jonathan India led off the bottom of the sixth with a single. He tagged up on Winker’s deep drive to center and was barely save. Castellanos flied out on a 3-0 count, leaving Tyler Stephenson with two outs and India at second. India stole third and then Tyler Stephenson laced double down the left field line. Votto grounded out. Braves lead, 2-1.
- The Braves add insurance in the seventh. Guillermo Heredia hit a solo shot out to right center field. Inciarte singled when Ryan Hendrix was brought into the game and then Hendrix did the hard thing. He struck out both Acuna Jr. and Freeman but then gave up a ground rule double to Ozzie Albies. Luckily, it was a ground rule double because it kept Inciarte from scoring. Austin Riley flied out to end the threat. Braves lead, 3-1.
- To lead off the bottom of the seventh, Eugenio Suarez continued to play savior. Suarez, who earlier saved a run with fantastic defense, bashed a dinger into deep left center field. It was his 16th of the year. Braves lead, 3-2.
- Kyle Farmer hit a double with two outs in the bottom of the 9th to make things interesting. Scott Heineman, Scott Heineman struck out to end the threat. Braves win, 3-2.
- If you have the time, I’d read this thing.
"He’s got a throwback style to him."— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) June 25, 2021
From sleeping with his bats to becoming Joey Votto’s mom’s favorite player, Jonathan India’s rookie year marches on.