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Reds bonk homers, bash Brewers en route to third win in last four games

Look at us.

Pittsburgh Pirates v. Cincinnati Reds Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Images

Luis Castillo returned to a big league mound for the first time in 2022, and the Cincinnati Reds put on a performance worthy of his season debut on Monday in a 10-5 win over the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers.

Castillo had some rust on him, to be sure, but the shoulder issue that kept him sidelined for a month looked to be behind him. He yielded 3 ER in 4.2 IP, fanned 5 against a trio of walks, and generally looked close to the ace we all know he can be (and has been) in his 87 pitch return. From there, though, it was the Cincinnati offense that took the reins and and drove this stagecoach to another win.

Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game Brandon Drury socked a huge 3-run homer off Milwaukee starter Brandon Woodruff that flipped the scoreboard, each of Colin Moran (again!) and Kyle Farmer (finally!) swatted homers to pile on, while Tommy Pham was on-base a trio of times and wrought havoc down on the Brewers with his work on the basepaths.

There have been a few wins this year, with emphasis heavily on few. This one, though, was probably the first one all season where the Reds took some punches from a quality big league club and punched right the heck back in a bigger, badder way. That they did so with an ace the caliber of Castillo on the bump surely, hopefully had a bit to do with that, as it’s a signal that this beleaguered pitching staff might finally be getting enough pieces back to round into some sort of form.

Tony Graphanino, We Hardly Knew Ye

(FanGraphs has apparently removed the ability to embed their WPA charts, rendering it impossible for us to keep doing so here the way we have done for years. So, we’ll try to at least continue to drop the link for you - which includes a box score, for those who never noticed before - while providing you with a non-interactive image of the chart to at least look at, should you choose. If you never noticed it was interactive, well, carry on my wayward son.)

Other Notes

  • The positive news was great today, obviously, but there was another setback because that’s just how the Reds world operates. Mike Moustakas hit the mystical, undefined IL today, so who knows just what he’s tested positive or negative for or when he’s going to be back and available for the Reds. It’s another bummer for Moose in what’s been a non-stop barrage of them since he signed with the Reds.
  • Every single Red starter on the day had at least one hit and scored at least one run, which is both rare and awesome and probably won’t happen again in your lifetime, so savor it.’
  • Joel Kuhnel! Joel Kuhnel was back on the mound for the Reds tonight! Good to see ya again, Big Kahuhnel!
  • Hunter Greene will go back to work tomorrow with hopes of yielding at least 3-4 fewer dingers than he did last time out. He’ll be sharing the bump with Freddy Peralta, so he’ll have to be dang good for the Reds to be in a position to pull out another win. First pitch is set for 6:40 PM ET once again.
  • Chicken Pickin’ Tunes.