|Cincinnati Reds (56-62)
|Washington Nationals (64-55)
|W: J. Ross (3-3) L: A. Wood (1-1) S: D. Hudson (3)|
|Statcast | Gamecast | Game Thread|
Twitter doesn’t love Alex Wood anymore. A couple of solo home runs in the 4th made Wood the villain, but I’m not sure that in this Year of the Aerodynamic Ball, where baseballs leave the yard like they’re on the Kessel Run, it was anything particularly egregious. Wood is still working his way back from a long layoff and mistake pitches are all the more deadly as batters right now are selling out for the long ball. I’m not giving up on Alex Wood yet. It’s the other side of the Punisher coin.
The story of the game was Ross, who painted happy little groundouts across the infield landscape. From the 2nd inning through the 5th, Joe Ross set down 12 of 13 Reds batters, only interrupted by a Jesse Winker double in the 4th. Command has been Ross’s Achilles heel, but tonight he didn’t walk a batter until the 6th. Tonight he was a ground ball machine. He finished 6 2/3 innings, giving up only 1 run and 2 walks.
The narrative is that the Reds make average pitchers look like Max Scherzer, but the truth is that Ross had two scoreless outings before tonight. He’s clearly finding himself after Tommy John surgery.
But you can’t talk about TJ surgery without talking about Daniel Hudson, who came in to pitch the 8th inning. A survivor of not one, but two TJ’s, Hudson was a key character in Jeff Passan’s The Arm. Having once turned down a sizable contract—only to blow out his elbow shortly after—Hudson has spent years hanging on, rehabbing and rehabbing, giving up on his dream of being a starter, embracing the role of reliever to protect an elbow, knowing that it might give way at any moment.
To begin the 9th, Josh VanMeter got to Hudson for a leadoff double. Senzel flew out to centerfield. Jose Iglesias struck out. Freddy Galvis singled in his Reds’ debut. But, Tucker Barnhart fanned to end the game.
Lucas Sims came on in the 6th inning and went 1-2-3 on ten pitchers, then returned in the 7th and worked out of a jam to give the Reds a chance. Robert Stephenson came on in the 8th and acquitted himself well. Joey Votto was on base 3 times, with 2 hits and a walk. Jesse Winker went 2-4.
The rest of the offense. The Punisher went 0-4. That’s not supposed to happen, people.
In the 6th inning, Jose Peraza walked. It was his first base-on-balls in 145 plate appearances. If you’re not going to walk, you’d better make contact like Tony Gwynn. Jeebus.