On any other night, the story of Brett Kennedy going toe-to-toe with Jose Berrios to keep the Reds in a tight game would be the headliner. And deservedly so. Making his 2nd start of the season, after not appearing in the big leagues since 2018, it was a huge spot for Kennedy to pitch for a team in the middle of a playoff hunt. Kennedy more than delivered, shutting down a solid Toronto Blue Jays lineup for 5 innings while his own team’s offense didn’t even get a hit until the 6th inning, and ultimately helping the Cincinnati Reds pull out the 1-0 victory. Major, major props to Kennedy and what he did tonight.
But tonight, the story is how the Reds ended up with that 1-0 victory. And the name of that story is Christian Encarnacion-Strand. After missing a chance to score with 2 guys on in the bottom of the 8th, CES came up with an out in the 9th and took a hanging breaking ball from Jordan Hicks and sent it to the upper deck in left. Look at this shit.
If the Reds continue this run and end up in the playoffs or, hell, even win the division, that home run will be near the top of the list of defining moments of the season. Coming off a rough stretch against a tough team also fighting for a playoff spot, delivering that hit in that moment is huge for this team in swinging the momentum back in the right direction.
The Reds will send Brandon Williamson (4-2, 4.33) to the hill tomorrow to face off against Chris Bassitt (11-6, 3.95). First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PM EDT. Go Reds.