To say that it was a rough April for Cincinnati Reds shortstop Eugenio Suárez would be an understatement. The infielder hit .130/.229/.304 with 40 strikeouts in 105 plate appearances. As the kids say: The struggle is real.
“When you are struggling, nothing is the same,” said Suárez on Sunday. “But I tried to be the same Geno Suárez that everybody knows. I do my best and everybody knows that, too. I got all of the support from my family and my teammates, even when I go 0-4 with 4 strikeouts I feel the support. I just focus on my work. I know that hard work pays off and today was an example of that.”
The tide turned on Sunday, at least for one day, for the Venezuelan slugger. In a big 3rd inning for the Reds, Eugenio Suárez capped off the 4-run inning with a solo home run that landed 426 feet away in the Cincinnati bullpen in center field. Two innings later he picked up a single, giving him two hits on the day and matching his season high for hits in a game. It was his first multi-hit game since April 10th. An inning later he’d pick up another single. Suárez finished the day with three hits and with that he raised his OPS by 62 points for the season.
“Personally I felt very good after I had a 3-hit game,” said Suárez after the game on Sunday. “It was a really good day for me today. Just concentrating and putting the ball in play more than I have been doing and today I got three hits and a big homer, so of course I feel happy. I hope it keeps going like that.”
Nick Castellanos? More like Nick Blastellanos
While Eugenio Suárez may have needed the kind of day he had on Sunday more than Nick Castellanos needed the day he had, the outfielder had the biggest day of anyone on the field on Sunday. Castellanos had five hits on the day, which on it’s own would be a fantastic day. But among those five hits were two home runs and a walk-off single.
When the game was over Nick Castellanos had scored four runs, driven in four runs, and raised his line on the season to .330/.366/.660 with six doubles, a triple, and nine home runs. The nine home runs are tied with Ronald Acuña Jr., J.D. Martinez, and Kris Bryant for the best in all of Major League Baseball. His OPS jumped up to 1.026, which puts him in the top five of the National League along with teammate Jesse Winker (3rd).
Home Run Derby day at Great American Ball Park
There were 10 home runs on Sunday afternoon between the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds. That tied a record for the ballpark. Cincinnati hit five home runs that went a combined 1914 feet. That didn’t match up with the five home runs hit by the Cubs that went 1996 feet.
What we learned this weekend
It’s never easy, is it? On Friday night the Reds won 8-6, but the Cubs scored two runs in the top of the 9th and left the bases loaded. On Saturday the Reds lost 3-2, but had runners on 1st and 3rd with no outs in the bottom of the 9th and came up short. Then on Sunday they had to go into extra-innings before winning in the 10th despite having a 3-run lead in the 6th and a 4-run lead in the 7th.
The bullpen continues to be an adventure. Lucas Sims ran into problems in the first game of the series and needed to be bailed out by Tejay Antone to record the final out of the game. On Sunday it was Antone who needed the help of his teammates after giving up four runs in the 8th inning. He had only allowed one run all season up to this point. After the weekend the bullpen has a 5.51 ERA on the year. The rotation has a 4.34 ERA.
This offense doesn’t quit, and they’re pretty good, too. The Reds lead the league with 43 home runs. They lead the league with 151 runs scored despite playing in fewer games than the other four teams in the top five. Their .780 OPS is 18 points better than the Boston Red Sox and 25 points better than the Los Angeles Dodgers, who rank 2nd and 3rd in baseball.