The Cincinnati Reds faced off against the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday evening in a doubleheader, returning to the field for the first time since Friday night after a player tested positive for COVID-19 and put their season on hold as they tested and waited to see if anyone else had contracted the virus. The return led to a split of a doubleheader in Kansas City.

Game 1 Recap

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (9-12)
0 3 1
Kansas City Royals (10-14)
4 7 0
W: Keller (3-0) L: Castillo (0-3) SV: Rosenthal (6)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Jesse Winker is still seeing the ball well. And Tejay Antone looked good out of the Reds bullpen once again. Everything else? Not great, Bob.

The Offense

Jesse Winker walked all three times he stepped to the plate. Tucker Barnhart had a single in the 6th inning. That was all of the offense the Reds had until there were two outs recorded in the 7th inning. Then Mike Moustakas and Shogo Akiyama both singled to put runners on and run Royals starter Brad Keller from the game. But Trevor Rosenthal came in and struck out Josh VanMeter to end the game.

The Pitching

Things didn’t start out great for Luis Castillo, though not all of it was his own fault. The first batter of the inning grounded the ball to Freddy Galvis, who tossed the ball to Joey Votto at first – only to have Votto drop the ball. After a ground out, Hunter Dozier walked and Jorge Soler doubled to make it a 1-0 game. Ryan O’Hearn followed up with a bloop single into right field to bring in two more runs, giving the Royals a 3-0 lead. That was all Kansas City would get in the inning, but the pitch count had piled up as he needed 35 pitches to get three outs. The next inning was a shutout one, but took another 25 pitches to get through – leading to some action in the bullpen during the inning. The 3rd inning went a bit better for Castillo who worked around a single and threw just 17 pitches to keep the score at 3-0.

Luis Castillo went back to the mound to start the 4th inning, but allowed a single before getting a strikeout of Cam Gallagher. That would be the end of his day, throwing 89 pitches in 3.1 innings with two walks and five strikeouts. Tejay Antone came out of the bullpen with a runner on second to try and keep him from scoring and hold the game at 3-0. A wild pitch moved the runner to third and led to the Reds playing the infield in, which backfired a bit as a hard grounder got by the infield to bring in the 4th run of the game. Antone rebounded with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.

The Reds stuck with Antone the rest of the game, which was a little easier to do given that it lasted just seven innings. The right-handed pitcher was dominant, though, allowing just two hits in his 2.2 innings while striking out five batters.

Game 2 Recap

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (10-12)
5 7 0
Kansas City Royals (10-15)
0 1 0
W: Bauer (3-0) L: Harvy (0-1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Trevor Bauer pitched a 1-hit complete game in dominant fashion. The Reds offense played home run derby. Things went a lot better on the field for Cincinnati in game two. Off the field for the organization, things went in a different direction – but you’re going to have to check the notes section for more on that one.

The Offense

After nearly being no-hit in the first game, Joey Votto began game two with a single. The Reds couldn’t bring him around, though, going scoreless in the 1st. They followed up with a zero in the next inning, too. But the offense got a 2-out rally going in the 3rd with a Nick Castellanos single that was followed by back-to-back home runs by Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez to make it 3-0 Cincinnati. It was the 5th inning that saw Castellanos add to the lead with a solo home run, his 9th of the season, to make it 4-0 for the Reds. The next inning it was Curt Casali’s turn to play long ball as he crushed a homer over the left field fence to extend the lead to 5-0. That was all that Trevor Bauer would need to secure a split of the doubleheader.

The Pitching

Trevor Bauer, Trevor Bauer, Trevor Bauer! It must have felt like it had been 87 years for Bauer since he had last taken the mound, but it had actually been 12 days. A man of a very specific routine, 2020 has been nothing like that for Bauer who has had nearly all of his starts come in ways that were anything but. The right-handed starter made the adjustment, though, as he dominated the Kansas City Royals on the night.

The Royals were hitless into the 5th inning before Aldalberto Mondesi singled into right field. That was the only hit that Kansas City would get in the game. Bauer picked up a complete game, 7-inning shutout on one hit and three walks while striking out nine. When the game was complete, Bauer’s ERA had dropped to 0.68 on the season.

Notes Worth Noting

Mike Moustakas exits early

After the designated hitter in game one of the Reds doubleheader, Mike Moustakas got the start at second base in game two. He was replaced in the game in the middle of the 5th inning. After the game David Bell said that Moustakas is fine, but given the situation of the game (had a lead), it led to the decision to pull him then since it was the first day back.

The Last of Thom Brennaman?

We have probably heard the last of Thom Brennaman calling sporting events. While it didn’t make the Fox Sports Ohio broadcast, it was picked up on MLBtv, where Brennaman used a homophobic slur. In the middle of game 2 of the doubleheader against the Royals, Brennaman issued an apology before handing over the rest of the game to Jim Day who stepped in to resume the game with Chris Welsh.

And I want to be very clear that while the comments section are open for discussion, do not use the word that Thom Brennaman used, do no try to avoid the filter to spell it out in a different way. The ban hammer will come down swift. We aren’t going to be writing about it any further here at Redleg Nation. If you want more information on the situation google is quite accessible and will be full of information.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati vs St. Louis

Thursday August 20th, 8:15pm ET

Sonny Gray (4-1, 2.05 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (2-0, 1.64 ERA)