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Brandon Williamson solid in debut, Reds defeat Rockies to even series

The rookie left-hander delivered his best performance of the season in his MLB debut.

Cincinatti Reds v Colorado Rockies Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The 2023 season has not gone well for Brandon Williamson. After a decent season in his first year in the Cincinnati Reds organization, he was looking to make some improvements and possibly contend for a spot in a young, thin Reds rotation. He has done anything but that, putting up a 6.62 ERA in 8 starts for Triple-A Louisville this season. However, with the Reds’ pitching staff constructed as it is in 2023, he was still able to get his opportunity on Tuesday night at Coors Field and delivered his best performance of the season. He threw 5.2 innings and allowed only 1 run on 2 hits with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts. That included a stretch of 14-straight retired batters until Ezequiel Tovar homered in the bottom of the 6th to break a scoreless tie. On a night where the Reds’ offense was struggling to get things going, that was more than enough to keep them in the game for the eventual win. That’s enough for tonight’s Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game. Congrats on a hell of a debut, Brandon.

As mentioned earlier, neither offense could get going for the first half of the game. In fact, each team had only managed to collect one hit apiece until the 6th inning until the aforementioned home run by Tovar put the Rockies on the board. Thankfully, the Reds managed to start hitting the ball in the 7th. With 2 outs in the top of the inning Tyler Stephenson, after an unfortunate line-out double play by Spencer Steer, reached on a base on balls. Then came Nick Senzel, who sent a ball over the wall in center field to put the Reds on top, 2-1.

The Reds added some insurance in the top of the 8th. Curt Casali got things started with a 1-out walk then moved to 2nd on a Jonathan India ground out. The Reds opted for the speedier Kevin Newman to pinch run and it paid off, as Matt McLain lined a ball into center to bring home Newman who just beat the throw at the plate to put the Reds up 3-1. Alexis Diaz came on in the 9th and took all of 6 pitches to sit the Rockies down in order and earn his 10th save of the season, giving the Reds the 3-1 victory.

Tony Graphanino

[Link to interactive WPA chart & box score, via FanGraphs]

Other Notes

  • Jake Fraley had another solid night at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a walk with his lone out being a fly out to the warning track in the first.
  • Matt McLain’s RBI single in the 8th was his first career RBI.
  • The Reds look to win the series tomorrow afternoon. Graham Ashcraft (2-1, 3.95 ERA) will take the mound against Austin Gomber (3-4, 6.30 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 3:10 PM EDT. Go Reds!