If there are two things that have become routine around Great American Ball Park over the last [insert painfully large number of seasons], they’re that the Cincinnati Reds pitching depth is going to be tested beyond fail point and that Anthony Rizzo is, more often than not, going to do the testing.
Both were true in Saturday’s loss to the New York Yankees, as a 10th inning blast by the former Chicago Cub home-plate-stander-onner put the game on ice.
What’s frustrating is that the game began on a high note in an outing not initiated by any of Hunter Greene, Graham Ashcraft, or Nick Lodolo. It was Luke Weaver, rather, who held the Yankee offense to a lone run through the first 4 innings, an effort that was enough to allow Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game Luke Maile (2-run blast) and Jake Fraley (more clutchy RBI-ness) to lead the Reds to an early 4-1 advantage. Weaver faltered in the Top of the 5th, however, allowing a solo homer to Isiah Kiner-Falefa as part of four consecutive hits before departing, and Alex Young promptly allowed another to tie the game after taking over.
(It was only a TOOTBLAN by Aaron Judge and the Yankees 3B coach that helped keep that tied, for what it’s worth, as Wil Myers and Jonathan India’s relay nailed the AL MVP at the plate.)
From there, the Cincinnati bats fell silent again, and Judge’s RBI-single off Ian Gibaut in the Top of the 10th set the stage for a) the first Yankee lead of the game and b) Rizzo’s 2-run blast to seal the deal. Cincinnati went quietly in the Bottom of the 10th, and the game wrapped as a 7-4 defeat.
[Link to interactive WPA chart & box score, per FanGraphs]
- Will Benson was recalled from AAA Louisville prior to the start of this one, taking the active roster spot of Henry Ramos, who hit the 10-day IL with a hip strain.
- Luke Maile is hitting .282/.349/.564 this season with more homers than Tyler Stephenson.
- Kiner-Falefa entered play today having homered just 5 times in his last 174 games dating back to the start of the 2022 season. In that time, 201 big leaguers have logged at least 500 PA, and only 3 of them had homered fewer times than IKF. That’s rather back-breaking, especially in a game where manager David Bell refused to pitch around Judge.
- Jonathan India fouled a ball off his leg late in the game, and exited after the PA. Per C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic, x-rays on the leg were negative, which is an incredibly nice development. Bank on India getting the day off tomorrow, though.
- These two teams will tussle again tomorrow, with first pitch set for an obnoxiously early 11:35 PM ET start. That’s because Peacock is in charge, which sucks, but that’s what you get when the Yankees are a featured TV tune-in. Luis Severino will make his season debut for New York opposite Hunter Greene in a matchup that should be juicy TV for those of you who subscribe.