Elly De La Cruz went 0 for 4 and struck out once, yet on his shoulders the fate of the Cincinnati Reds did not rest this particular evening. In fact, for as talented as the Reds latest rookie call-up is, it’s beginning to look like there’s a whole pile of heavy-lifting ability surrounding him even if none of them really knew it before the start of April.
Matt McLain socked a 3-run homer, legged out an infield single with blazing speed, scored from 1B on a Jonathan India hit into shallow LF that took the kind of ballsy read you’d only expect from a seasoned vet, and took home tonight’s Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game award as the Reds blasted their way past the Kansas City Royals 7-4 to sweep the series. India homered, too, as did both Stuart Fairchild and Spencer Steer, and it was more than enough to back a once-again-grindy Ben Lively (5.2 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) and the bullpen’s cast of castoffs on the day.
The Milwaukee Brewers lost today. The Pittsburgh Pirates lost today. The National League Central, shitshow that it is, now features the 34-35 Reds sitting just 1.5 games out of first place in the division, and you know they’re just now beginning to find their footing.
(Oh, and they’ll get Joey Votto back in a minute and Christian Encarnacion-Strand at some point. The final 90+ games of this season are going to be as fun as the front office allows, folks).
That’s a sweep on the road, and more good vibes as the Reds head to Houston to face Dusty Baker and the Astros. Knock knock, the Cincinnati Reds are here!