|Chicago White Sox (16-12)
|Cincinnati Reds (13-15)
|W: D. Cease (2-0) L: J. Hoffman (2-2)
|Statcast | Gamecast Play-by-Play | Game Thread|
Had you told me the Cincinnati Reds would be close to .500 on May 4th. I’d have gladly taken it. Having watched the Reds get off to bad starts and the cold weather portend even colder lumber year-after-year in the month of April, this start doesn’t concern me. The biggest concern for this team entering 2021 was a lethargic offense, accentuated by a weak bat in Kyle Farmer projected at SS. The offense has been anything but a liability, with the pitching and defense largely responsible for the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the early season series to date.
The pitching figures to improve based on past history. But can the unexpected success of the offense continue?
In the top of the 2nd inning, Jose Abreu worked Jeff Hoffman to a full count, and having him where he wanted him, got the pitch he wanted and sent it into the centerfield seats. Hoffman looked like he had regained control of the inning with 2 strikeouts, but gave up a walk to Yasmani Grandal and 3 singles followed. Ironically, Hoffman would strike out the side, but he would also throw 36 pitches in the inning, all but ensuring another long night for the Reds’ bullpen. Chicago 3, Reds 0.
Yoan Moncada doubled to lead off the 3rd. A wild pitch would push him to 3rd base. When Hoffman hit Adam Eaton, his day would be over having thrown 63 pitches and having lost his ability to find the plate. Jose De León would enter the game. A sacrifice fly would bring in a run. Chicago 4, Reds 0.
Leury Garcia would walk in the 4th, and pitcher Dylan Cease would double off the base of the wall to put De León into a jam he would not escape. Two more singles and hard-hit sac fly would plate 3 more. Chicago 7, Reds 0.
The Sox score another run in the 5th. Chicago 8, Reds 0.
The Reds got their first hit of the game in the bottom of the 5th, a single by Tucker Barnhart. He’d get another. It would be the only 2 hits the Reds would get all night.
Jeff Hoffman’s line: 2.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.
Jose De León would prove to be ineffectual, allowing the game to get out-of-hand, surrendering 3 runs of his own.
Sal Romano was erratic, handing out 3 singles and a walk interspersed with 2 strikeouts in the 5th. But he would settle in retire the side in order in the 6th for only the second time in the game.
Carson Fulmer would come on in the 7th and pitch a clean inning, but give up another run in the 8th. Chicago 9, Reds 0.
What Did We Learn Today?
I was at GABP on a rain-soaked night in the summer of 2018 when Alex Blandino wrecked his knee in a late night game that should never have been played after a monsoon necessitated a 3-hour rain delay, much of it I spent at the Holy Grail having a late dinner, assuming the game was destined to be postponed, only to discover the umpiring crew and MLB had other ideas. After Alex broke Arizona with the team this spring, I was hoping he’d get off to a promising start, but it’s just not happening. Here’s hoping he finds his swing. He’s a fun guy to watch. Tonight on the mound in the 9th was a reminder of the athleticism of Blandino and what might have been.
For everyone quick to give away Barnhart’s job to Tyler Stephenson, your mea culpas are welcome. Tucker was 2-3 tonight, a single and double bumping his average to .323. Stephenson is the future for sure, but today belongs to Barnhart. He entered the night with an OBP near .400. That’s Vottoville kids.
A reminder: tomorrow’s game times was moved from its original 6:40pm start to 12:35pm.
On Deck for the Redlegs
Chicago White Sox vs. Cincinnati Reds
May 5th at 12:35pm ET