Wins have been few and far between for the Cincinnati Reds so far this season. The whole ‘fire sale’ thing of the post-lockout winter didn’t help, obviously, while untimely injuries and trade deadline dumpings have only served to exacerbate their precipitous fall to the bottom of the National League Central.
Wins where their starting pitcher yields 5 ER in an early exit have been even more alien, far out in the nether-regions of the bell curve. That’s precisely what happened on Sunday in GABP, however, as the Reds stemmed the early Chicago Cubs barrage and rallied hard to claim an 8-5 victory, one that gave them a split of the home games played in Cincinnati after losing their ‘home’ game at the Field of Dreams on Thursday.
It was Justin Dunn on the bump getting pelted early, as he served up a trio of dongs while only pitching into the 4th inning. Zeroes followed immediately from the Cincinnati bullpen in a rare bit of excellence, however, as Reiver Sanmartin (0.1 IP), Joel Kuhnel (2.0 IP), Buck Farmer (1.0 IP), Hunter Strickland (!) (!!) (0.1 IP) (!!!!!!!!!!), and Alexis Diaz (1.2 IP) combined to slam the door on the Chicago offense down the stretch.
That gave the offense time to keep on punching, something they did early against Keegan Thompson with a 4-run Bottom of the 2nd while tacking on a run in the 4th and another trio in the Bottom of the 5th.
Aristides Aquino had the biggest blast of the day, his 3-run tank coming in that 2nd inning burst. Alejo Lopez had a 2-hit day after taking over early for Nick Senzel’s tight hammy, while each of Jose Barrero, Austin Romine, Donovan Solano, and Jake Fraley had 2-hit days, too.
Joey Votto, though, went 0 for 5 and genuinely made me feel sad in the process. God, I hope he un-finds this funk again before it’s all over.
Anyway, it’s an 8-5 win in the books before the Reds welcome Nick Castellanos and the Philadelphia Phillies to town for a series beginning on Monday evening. Surely all nine fans in attendance tomorrow night will give Nick a round of applause.