Ya don’t see that every year!
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Jonathan India has been plunked, plunked, barreled into, crashed, kablammed, and generally roughed up routinely of late. He exited early yesterday due to soreness in his ankle picked up on a big collision at 2B last series, and once again had a big crash there today, too.
Still, the Cincinnati Reds rookie continues to not only be serviceable, he’s turned into one of the team’s absolute best performers of late. Today was no different in the series finale against the Kansas City Royals, as India’s 2-run double flipped the scoreboard and helped the Reds win the series after last night’s miserable, frustrating implosion. He even added a pair of singles, a run scored, and a walk, for good measure, and looks the part of a prototypical leadoff man more and more by the PA.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Sonny Gray, who buckled down after a 2-run 4th inning to fire 7 excellent IP (with just those pair of runs in); Shogo Akiyama, who singled, doubled, scored, and drove in a run; Heath Hembree, who shrugged off last night’s frustration and fired a 1-2-3 9th; and Mike Freeman, who singled, drove in a run, and scored.
- A Carlos Santana single got the Royals working against Gray in the Bottom of the 4th, and a Ryan O’Hearn walk put a pair of runners on. Santana then scored on what could’ve been a double-play ball when there was a collision between O’Hearn and India at 2B and the relay throw went awry, and Jorge Soler – who reached 1B on the play – later scored on a Michael A. Taylor ribbie single, too. Reds trailed, 2-0.
- Cincinnati got those runs back in the Top of the 7th, however, with singles by Tucker Barnhart and Shogo getting the action started. Freeman then singled to score Tuck before India dumped a 2-run double into the LF corner to put the Reds ahead 3-2.
- Doubles from Eugenio Suarez and Shogo gave the Reds a 4-2 lead in the Top of the 8th, and singles from India, Tyler Stephenson, and Tyler Naquin gave the Reds another insurance run in the Top of the 9th. That was good enough for Hembree, and the Reds walked away winners of a 5-2 game.
- The game was delayed by rain in the 8th inning for, I dunno, about an hour or so, maybe? Sonny was at 99 pitches and likely was done for the day anyway, so it really did come at about the most opportune time.
- The Reds will head to Milwaukee later this evening for a crucial 4-game series against the Brewers to wrap the first ‘half’ of the season prior to the All Star break. Milwaukee fell to the New York Mets today, too, for those who are already watching the standings by the day. Thursday’s series opener will feature Tyler Mahle on the bump for the Reds, though the Brewers have yet to announce their starter (thanks mostly to them having the back-end of a doubleheader against the Mets coming up later today). Anywhoo, first pitch Thursday in whatever they call Miller Park these days is set for 8:10 PM ET.