The Cincinnati Reds got an early ribbie single from Tucker Barnhart, a later 2-run double from former Los Angeles Dodger Kyle Farmer, and they rode some brilliant pitching to a big, big, big 3-1 win in the series opener on Friday in GABP.
Luis Castillo was utterly brilliant in his time on the bump, while the bullpen combo of Luis Cessa (1.2 IP, 0 R) and Michael Lorenzen (IP, ER) did enough to slam the door on LA.
The Reds move to 77-71, and while they still have an uphill climb to make the 2nd NL Wild Card spot, it was good to see them kick-off the 10-game homestand with a win against such a formidable opponent.
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Luis Castillo’s numbers weren’t just magnificent, his stuff was, too. He routinely had 99+ mph on his heater, and his changeup was marvelous from start to finish.
His final line: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K on a season-high 111 pitches.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Kyle Farmer, who socked a pair of doubles and drove in a pair; Joey Votto, who singled, walked twice, and scored; and Luis Cessa, who fired 1.2 innings of scoreless ball from the ‘pen.
- There were a wave of departures, resignations, step-aways, mutual separations, whatever you’d like to call it within the Reds organization on Friday, something that has rattled the cages of all those who have been wondering just what the hell is going on in this damn franchise. The highest-profile departure is likely that of pitching coordinator Kyle Boddy, who has long been viewed as a significant addition to an organization that had failed in epic fashion to develop players - and pitchers - for years prior to his arrival. It seems to be a cull of Dick Williams-appointed staff, which certainly makes you wonder about what that means for those coaches in the dugout.
- Speaking of exits, Jesse Winker exited in the Bottom of the 8th in his first game off the IL, doing so after being hit by pitch. That said, he looked a bit awkward on the swing prior to the HBP, and the wonder is obviously whether he aggravated the intercostal strain that had him sidelined for a month. OOoooooof.
- If you’re scoreboard watching, the Cardinals are up on the Padres 4-0 in the 4th inning at the moment. If you aren’t scoreboard watching, what the hell is wrong with you?
- It’s an afternoon affair between these two old rivals on Saturday, and will once again feature a stellar pitching matchup. Max Scherzer will go for the Dodgers with a chance to inch ahead of teammate Walker Buehler in the NL Cy Young Award race, though he’ll also do so with a chance to yield 12 runs to Reds hitters and fall behind Buehler, too. There’s also the chance that Sonny Gray throws a perfect game for the Reds to throw his name in for some down-ballot votes. First pitch is set for 2:10 PM ET either way, however.