Three in a row for the series, and the Reds have won five of their last six.
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
We’ve gotta do a double dose JNMHSotG today.
Johnathan India is absolutely on fire at this point. Through his last 10 games, he’s slashing .385/.515/.538… and that was before the walk, double, and home run that he contributed today.
It’s very encouraging to see the power show up. He played well through the first couple of weeks of the season, but he really wasn’t hitting anything with much authority at all. Things were just kind of falling in for him, which is fine when it’s going good. He seems to have figured something out, though, as indicated by the three extra base hits in the last two games. If this is his adjustment to the league, look out.
And, I can’t get out of this section without giving some dap to Tyler Mahle, who was absolutely nails today. He really only had one “issue” today, in the 5th, that wasn’t helped much at all by his defense. All told, he went seven full, allowing five hits and two runs, with one walk and eight strikeouts. He had six of those strikeouts through the first nine outs, then finished by retiring 10 Cardinals in a row.
Honorable mention to Nick Castellanos, who had another multi hit day, Tyler Naquin, whose hustle double contributed a run. Eugenio Suarez for obliterating another home run, and Tejay Antone for his 1-2-3 8th inning, and Lucas Sims for locking down the save.
- Tommy Edman got things started for the Cardinals with a lead off double in the bottom of the 1st. He’d come around to score on a two out Nolan Arenado bloop to right field. Cardinals get one, lead by one after one.
- In the top of the 3rd, Jonathan India smacked a two out solo home run to left to tie the game. 1-1.
- After a Nick Castellanos ground out to start the 4th, Tyler Naquin grounded to right field and legged it out all the way to second base for a double. Tucker Barnhart grounded sharply to center field, brining Naquin around to score. The Reds would make some more noise, eventually loading up the bases with two outs but a Tyler Mahle groundout ended the threat. Still, the Reds go on top, 2-1.
- In the bottom of the 5th, Paul Goldschmidt looped one into short right that Castellanos couldn’t get to even by diving. The dive let the ball get beyond him, and Goldschmidt went all the way around to third base for a triple. Arenado then, again, chipped one out to right field for a single and an RBI. Similarly to the Reds in the previous half inning, the Cardinals would make some noise and load the bases with only one out, but fail to do anything else with it. Tie game after four full, 2-2.
- Barnhart took a four pitch walk to begin the top of the 6th, and then Eugenio Suarez turned a 98 MPH meatball into a 110+ MPH dinger. Reds double their score, take a two run lead.
- Probably worth noting here that Yadier Molina left the game earlier after being hit by a tipped ball behind the plate. With that note out of the way, with two on and two out in the top of the 7th, Génesis Cabrera uncorked a wild one over backup Andrew Knizner’s head. It bounced off the backstop directly back to Knizner… who fired over the head of Arenado trying to catch Winker stealing. The ball sailed into left, and Winker scored easily. Reds add one, lead 5-2.
- Lucas Sims made it a bit more interesting in the bottom of the 9th, but a diving catch by Shogo Akiyama sealed the win for the Redlegs, 5-2.
- This hasn’t exactly been a banner year for the Reds, but man, how important has Tyler Naquin been this season. Between injury and general ineffectiveness from the other center field options, Naquin has really saved the day at the position so far this season.
- Kill me.
- Nick Castellanos has now hit safely in 21 straight games.
- The Reds and Cardinals will square off once more in this series, a Sunday afternoon affair that is scheduled to begin at 2:15 PM EDT. Wade Miley will face John Gant in the series finale. They’ll be looking to complete a four game sweep of the Cardinals, which probably hasn’t happened since, I dunno, the Eisenhower administration?