Vladimir Gutierrez took a little bit of time to get settled into this one, surrendering his only two earned runs in the very first frame of the game. However, he settled in quite nicely thereafter, before being yanked after hitting Austin Riley on the hand in the fifth inning.
Unfortunately for the Reds, the Braves Kyle Wright had no such difficulties settling in. He looked comfortable early and often, surrendering only 2 hits through 6 innings, before walking Pham to lead off the 7th and getting pulled. Kyle Wright is a very good pitcher, of course. But, it’s troubling to see the Reds struggle to score runs like this, given the offensive prowess that walked out the door this past offseason.
The Reds desperately need Mike Moustakas to bounce back, and to Tommy Pham rehabilitate his career. It’s early, but that doesn’t appear to be happening just yet. Of course, they managed to score six runs in each of the first two games, against the defending champs, so maybe I’m just full of shit and should relax.
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
In a game where the offense was pretty much nonexistent, I guess you have to turn pitching here. The aforementioned Vlad Gutierrez settled in fine, with a final line 4.1 IP, 6 H, 4 K, 2 ER. The Reds bullpen, consisting of Hunter Strickland, Justin Wilson, Ryan Hendrix, and Dauri Moreta allowed no more runs, striking out three and walking two among them.
Honorable mention to Tommy Pham, for actually making it to second base for the Reds, and Joey Votto, for earning the check and batting him in.
- The Braves got the scoring started early, in the bottom of the first. Matt Olson blooped a one out hit to short left, then Austin Riley hit a sharp grounder into right field. Marcell Ozuna smacked one by Mike Moustakas at third, a double that scored Olson. Ozzie Albies flied out to center, but it scored Riley. Braves up, 2-0.
- The Braves Will Smith came out for the 9th inning. He smacked down Jonathan India and Brandon Drury for two quick outs, before giving up a walk to Tommy Pham. He balked Pham to second, before Votto found a hole in the infield to score Pham. Aristides Aquino flew out to end the game, as Smith smacked the door shut on a Reds rally.
- Mike Moustakas looks a little washed so far this season. Let’s see how that plays out.
- Nick Senzel has been absolute nails out in centerfield in these games, and that didn’t change at all tonight. He saved a double in the 6th for the second out, where he basically had to cover the entire outfield. It was impressive, to say the least.
- The Reds defense in general was pretty great tonight, specifically in the outfield. They gunned down Matt Olson twice at the plate.
- I gotta figure tomorrow is one of the more anticipated Reds debut in some time. I’m talking about Hunter Greene, of course, as he’ll be on the mound tomorrow for the Reds, making his Major League debut in Atlanta. He’ll be firing 101 MPH fastballs starting at 1:35 PM EDT.