Atlanta managed to sneak an early run past Vlad Gutierrez on Thursday, a blustery start to the final game of a series in which the Cincinnati Reds had lost each time they’d played. Fortunately, though, the bats woke up immediately thereafter and pounded lefty starter Kyle Muller (and his bullpen mates) in a thunderous 12-3 victory.
Jesse Winker swung the biggest bat, his grand slam in the Top of the 2nd blowing the doors off the damn thing. Tyler Naquin socked a 3-run dinger, Kyle Farmer poked one of the 2-run variety, rookies Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson added rally killers of their own, and the Reds offense finally picked up the beat Joey Votto has been laying down for the better part of the last month.
(Votto, meanwhile, settled for a 359 foot single off the RF wall and a walk in his short afternoon, eventually getting an early break as the Reds rout was well on.)
On the bump, Gutierrez continued his excellent run of form, allowing that lone earnie in 6.0 rock solid IP. He scattered 5 H and a pair of walks against 6 K in his 102 pitch outing, lowering his season ERA down to a very respectable 3.95 in the process. The talent that made him such a pricey signing out of Cuba a few years back sure appears to be real, folks, and he’s showing himself as a very viable big leaguer with a very bright future.
Jeff Hoffman served up a solo tater to Ozzie Albies while going long-man in a pair of IP, though he did fan 4 in his time. Amir Garrett cleaned up the rest, albeit with a mix of good defense/bad defense helping/hurting his cause in the 9th, an unearned run hitting the ledger after Eugenio Suarez dropped a bloop to open the frame.
Reds won, 12-3.
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Winker added his 32nd double of 2021 to his 24th dinger as he continues to rack up XBH at a completely prolific rate this year. While those numbers are fun enough in their own right, that Winker’s dinger came off a LHP that had been as stingy as any in the game against LHH so far this year might be of more importance.
Well done, Jesse.
- The Reds will roll into Philadelphia late tonight, and on Friday they begin yet another incredibly vital series, this time against the Phillies. Of course it’s against the Phillies, why the hell else would they be in Philadelphia?
- Anyway, Friday’s series opener will see the NL Cy Young Award frontrunner on the mound in Zack Wheeler, showing just how frustrating it was that the Reds couldn’t carve out another win in the series against Atlanta given that kind of formidable starter on the schedule for this road trip. It’ll be up to Tyler Mahle to counter him, with first pitch set for 7:05 PM ET.