The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Joey Votto homered on Saturday, homered on Sunday, and then homered on Monday, too. On Tuesday, though, he decided to up the ante a bit more.
Votto smashed a pair of dingers for the Cincinnati Reds in their win over the Chicago Cubs on the night, giving him 5 in his last 4 games played as he continues to look less like the 37 year old he is and more like the guy who should have a pair of MVP trophies in his cabinet already. He even added a spectacular double play, too, making a great catch on a foul ball and firing home to nab a would-be scoring runner who’d tried tagging up on the play.
If the Reds can just hold on long enough to get their injured corps back to pair with this kind of Votto - and this kind of Jesse Winker, Jonathan India, and the bunch - there’s still a chance they could go places. Maybe.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Vlad Gutierrez, who spun a much needed banger of an outing after back to back rough starts from the rotation; Winker, who socked his 21st dinger of the season; Eugenio Suarez, who woke up with a dinger; and Kyle Farmer, who had another 3-hit evening to perpetuate his hotness.
- Winker and Votto went yard off Cubs starter Adbert Alzolay in the Top of the 1st, one a tug-job and one a classic oppo-blast. Reds led, 2-0.
- Guti’s lone blemish came against Anthony Rizzo in the Bottom of the 1st, however, as the Cubs 1B belted a 2-run dong to level the score.
- Farmer singled to score Tyler Naquin after Naquin had doubled in the Top of the 2nd, and Votto’s solo bonk the following top-half gave the Reds a 4-2 lead.
- Geno added his dinger in the Top of the 6th, a laser over the LF wall, and it put Cincinnati ahead 5-2.
- Farmer singled in the Top of the 9th, and came around to score on an RBI-double by Aristides Aquino, only for Jonathan India to follow with another ribbie-double that put them ahead, 7-2.
- The bullpen had to check in, of course. Edgar Garcia served up a solo blast to Patrick Wisdom in the Bottom of the 9th, another solo blast to Bob Cubplayer after that, and that brought Amir Garrett in to clean up the mess. Fortunately, he cleaned it up this time around, and the Reds picked up a 7-4 win to level the series.
- Gutierrez went to 109 pitches as he made it an out into the 7th, something much needed given the bullpen’s overall struggles and the rough, short starts by both Sonny Gray and Wade Miley on back to back days. His final line: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K.
- Tomorrow will feature Tyler Mahle on the bump for the Reds in something of a get-right game for him, I hope. He has allowed 18 ER over his last 6 starts (just 31.1 IP), and the Reds need depth from their rotation now more than ever. He’ll be opposed by Zach Davies, with first pitch set for 8:05 PM ET.