Another day, another massive socked homer by Joey Votto.
On Friday, in the series opener with current National League Cy Young Award favorite Zack Wheeler doing the hurling, Votto swatted a 3-run blast that proved to be the single biggest swat of the game. It was more than enough to back Tyler Mahle in the 6-1 victory by the Cincinnati Reds over the Philadelphia Phillies in a matchup of two hot ballclubs with eyes on the 2021 postseason.
Nick Castellanos later added a solo blast to ice the score cake, but with the way Mahle was dealing on the night, this one never truly seemed to be in doubt. At least, it didn’t until the bullpen took over, because the Reds bullpen just induces that kind of fear in every situation, but thanks to Mahle keeping Philadelphia completely off the board through 7 brilliant IP, there were fewer opportunities for this one to ever go sideways.
Mahle finished those 7 IP with only 3 H scattered, with nary a walk against 7 K in a bonkers-good 108 start. From there, Michael Lorenzen (1.0 IP) and Heath Hembree (1.0 IP, ER) took the Reds across the finish line, with a 2-run homer from Eugenio Suarez in the Top of the 9th only halfway offset by a Didi Gregorius RBI double in the Bottom of the 9th in this 6-1 win.
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
It’s become so damn cliché to give it to Joey Votto every game. Damn cliché, that Votto, who socked his 15th dinger in the last 22 games he’s played.
So, we’ll give it to Tyler Mahle here, as he didn’t just fire 7 scoreless tonight, he made it back to back starts of such goodness - and this one wasn’t even against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
- Tyler Naquin had yet another multi-hit game, perhaps getting the gist that the path to regular playing time is going to get very squeezed when Nick Senzel comes off the IL in the coming days.
- Naquin also got the start in LF on the day, as Jesse Winker was a late scratch due to a sore lower back. Naquin was originally slated to be the CF on the day, but after he slid to LF, Shogo Akiyama got the start. Shogo picked up a single and a walk.
- Tomorrow will see Luis Castillo take the bump for the Reds looking to expunge all memory of his most recent outing and return to the form that had made him basically the best starting pitcher in baseball since the start of June. He’ll be opposed on the bump by lefty Matt Moore and his 6.79 ERA, so expect another off-day for Winker to get well and a lineup full of right-handed bats. First pitch is set for an early 4:05 PM ET and will be televised nationally on FS-1, so you’ll get to hear some national broadcasters have zero idea the Reds have won any games at all this year.