Justin Verlander was a Hall of Famer long before he had Tommy John surgery in his late 30s, returned to win a Cy Young Award with the Houston Astros last year, and inked a mega-money deal with the New York Mets. He’s from Goochland, VA after all, and if that’s not an automatic entry to the Hall, I don’t know what is.
Anyway, Verlander looked like his vintage self in shutting down the Cincinnati Reds offense on Wednesday evening. The 40 year old limited the Reds to just 2 hits over 7.0 IP, with the Reds doing all of their offending in the Bottom of the 1st before an untimely TOOTBLAN ended what would be their lone rally of the day. In all, Verlander yielded a lone ER and 2 BB - both to Tyler Stephenson - while striking out 7 in a 104 pitch evening.
Hard to compete with that, really. You need not look any further than what the Reds themselves did on the mound, as Hunter Greene, Ian Gibaut, Buck Farmer, Alex Young, and Casey Legumina combined to limit the mighty Mets to only 2 ER. The bulk of that work was done by Greene - tonight’s Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game - who yielded both ER in 5+ IP, a towering homer to LF by Pete Alonso the biggest hit he allowed on the night.
It was the second consecutive 1-run game these two teams have put together, with each side claiming a win in the series so far. That leaves the rubber match tomorrow, a 12:35 PM ET matinee that will feature Kodai Senga on the mound for the Mets opposite a to be determined starter from the Reds - though all signs point to that being the recently promoted Ben Lively.
Mets 2, Reds 1.