This game had it all. Great pitching, great offense, and lots of high cholesterol were the main course of the final game of the Cincinnati Reds homestand. After falling to 1-4 on Tuesday night, the Reds needed a win. Naturally, they called on their ace Sonny Gray.
Cy Young Candidate
On Opening Day, Gray tossed a gem of a game. He went six innings and only gave up one run on three hits with nine punch outs. On Wednesday night, he went toe-to-toe with another great pitcher in Kyle Hendricks of the Chicago Cubs. Hendricks had his own gem on Opening Day, tossing a complete-game shutout. Once again, the Reds bats were dormant for three innings. Fortunately, their ace was able to weather the storm.
Once again Gray was spectacular. He finished the night giving up two unearned runs on two hits in six and two-thirds innings, couple that with 11 strikeouts and he’s looking like a Cy Young candidate so far. He completely baffled Chicago all night long. Gray had his signature curveball working great, as well as a nasty two-seamer.
Finally! Some Offense
Through three innings the Reds were kept in check by Hendricks. In the fourth though, Eugenio Suarez drew a walk. Second baseman Mike Moustakas, who won his appeal with the league after testing negative for COVID-19, drove him in with a two-run home run to right. That was Moose’s second home run on the season and his sixth RBI.
Fast forward to the fifth inning, the Reds really kicked the door in. Suarez drove in two, chasing Hendricks from the game. From there, the Reds exploded, and the Cubs’ bullpen imploded. Rex Brothers came on in relief and loaded the bases. Nicholas Castellanos promptly unloaded the bases with a grand slam to left, putting the Reds up 8-0. After getting Jesse Winker out, Brothers surrendered his second gopher ball of the inning to Nick Senzel, making it 9-0.
Cue the High Cholesterol
Gray worked a flawless sixth inning and trotted back out for the seventh. After getting two outs, he surrendered a base hit and a walk. David Bell once again inexplicably yanked his starter, who only had 92 pitches. Brooks Raley came on in relief and immediately gave up five runs. The Reds bullpen has been very bad to start the year, and this was no different.
Lucas Sims came on to finish the seventh inning for Cincinnati. In the bottom half, the Reds played add on. With a runner on second, Winker laced a liner that got through Kris Bryant‘s legs for an error. Travis Jankowski, who came in to pinch run for Moose earlier that inning, scored on the play. The next batter, Nick Senzel, ripped a double down the line to score Castellanos and move Winker to third. After a Freddy Galvis walk to load the bases, Tucker Barnhart walked to drive in Winker making 12-5.
Questionable Triple Play
Shogo Akiyama came up with the bases loaded, and instantly gave us a hot topic to debate. He ripped a liner at Kris Bryant, and the ball seemingly hit the ground first. Bryant though, in a savvy baseball move, got up and tagged third and threw to first completing a 5-3 triple play. Or was it? The play is not reviewable by baseball rules unless it is a crew review by the umpires. They chose not to review, and Bryant had the first triple play of 2020. Look for that topic to be discussed in the coming days by all of baseball’s pundits. Here is a tweet from Billy Krumb with the replay.
Replay shows KB didn’t catch the ball cleanly at 3rd, but the play isn’t reviewable. pic.twitter.com/mYxmT43LAy
— Billy Krumb (@ClubhouseCancer) July 30, 2020
Lock it Down…Sort of.
Sims pitched a clean eighth for the Reds and they didn’t add any runs in the bottom half, so we went to the ninth with the scores 12-5. Cody Reed made his second appearance in as many days and immediately surrendered two more runs. It was now 12-7, and Reds fans collectively held their breath, praying for nary a collapse. Reed finished out the inning though and gave the Reds a much-needed win.
The bats were alive for the Reds on Wednesday, as they cranked out 12 runs. Moustakas continued to rake for the Reds was leading the charge. Suarez and Senzel finally came around as well, driving in four runs combined. This is the kind of support Gray and company will have to get on a nightly basis. This win was also huge as the Reds as they try to split the series with the division-rival Cubs. Luis Castillo will take the ball Thursday, as he will try to one-up his performance from last weekend, where he went seven innings and gave up one run on four hits with 11 strikeouts. That game is at 6:10 pm/EDT.
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