It’s been a banner first couple of weeks for top Cincinnati Reds prospect Matt McLain, but Sunday’s outing against the Chicago Cubs might well have been his finest yet. The team’s resident shortstop banged out 4 hits on the day - one a double - while also swiping a bag, scoring a run, and filing away a ribbie.
It was part of an electric day from the top of the Reds order, and worthy of today’s Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game.
Jonathan India chipped in with a double, walk, and pair of runs scored while back in the leadoff spot against left-handed starter Drew Smyly, while Spencer Steer socked a homer and drove in a pair from the #3 spot. Each of TJ Friedl, Nick Senzel, and The Surging Kevin Newman [TM] had 2-hit days as well on an afternoon when the Reds seemingly had everything working.
It was enough to back Graham Ashcraft on a day when he once again didn’t have his best stuff. The big burly righty was better, at least, than his most recent series of outings, and settled for 3 ER in 5.0 IP. Kevin Herget was bonked around for a pair of ER, but the trio of Lucas Sims, Ian Gibaut, and Alexis Diaz all fired scoreless innings, resepectively, to help seal the matinee win and series sweep.
Thanks for hosting, Wrigley!
- The win (and series, for that matter) vaulted the Reds all the way up to 3rd in the National League Central.
- The loss (and series, for that matter) sunk the Cubs all the way to dead last in the National League Central.
- Few things are more enjoyable than the annual demise of the south-siders.
- The Reds will have Memorial Day off, which is somewhat of a bummer unless you have literally anything else to go do outside on your day off. On Tuesday, they’ll begin a series in Fenway Park, and it must be pretty damn cool to get to spend a week playing baseball games between Wrigley and Fenway. Boston will roll out Brayan Bello in the series opener on Tuesday evening, while the red-hot Ben Lively will start for Cincinnati. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET.