It’s 2021 and pitching duels are dead. Except when they aren’t. And that’s what we saw on Wednesday afternoon in Cincinnati at Great American Ball Park as Sonny Gray and Dallas Keuchel went shutout-inning to shutout-inning for seven before turning the game over to the bullpens. Both sides performed well, but it was Reds who finally broke through with a Jesse Winker walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning.
|Chicago White Sox (16-13)
|Cincinnati Reds (14-15)||1||5||0|
|W: Sims (1-1) L: Hendriks (1-1)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Dallas Keuchel kept the Cincinnati Reds offense off-balance all day. The team had not struck out through six innings, but also only had two hits – a double by Jesse Winker in the 1st inning and a single by Tyler Naquin to lead off the 5th inning. Keuchel did pick up his first strikeout in the 7th, fanning Tyler Stephenson on a full count as he kept Cincinnati off of the board.
The Reds had a big opportunity in the bottom of the 9th inning with the bases loaded and two outs, but they couldn’t come through. The 10th inning began with Tucker Barnhart on second base and Cincinnati needing just one run as the White Sox came up short in their half of the inning. Nick Senzel singled into left, but Barnhart had to pause for a second to make sure the ball wasn’t caught, setting up Jesse Winker with runners on the corners. Winker came through against one of the best closers in the game as he lined a single into center field to end the game and give the Reds their 14th win of the year.
Unlike Dallas Keuchel, Sonny Gray went about his side of the pitching duel by striking out everyone. Well, not everyone, but Gray picked up eight strikeouts through 7.0 innings as he allowed just two hits – both singles – as he kept the game scoreless. After 90 pitches the Reds turned the scoreless game over to Tejay Antone to try and keep the White Sox off of the board the rest of the way.
After a 1-2-3 8th inning that featured two strikeouts, Tejay Antone returned for the 9th with the game still scoreless. He worked around a 1-out walk by getting an easy double play to end the inning and give the Reds a chance to walk the game off in the bottom of the 9th.
It turns out that the Reds didn’t get to walk things off in the 9th, so the game was turned over to Lucas Sims in the 10th. After a leadoff walk he induced a ground out and then got some help from Tony LaRussa and the White Sox. Reliever Liam Hendriks was the final out of the 9th inning and thus he began as the runner on 2nd base in the 10th. He advanced to third on the ground out. LaRussa called for a steal of second base and with an inexperienced runner in Hendricks at third, Tucker Barnhart was confident in gunning the ball to second to nail Leury Garcia for the second out. Sims then struck out Billy Hamilton to strand the runner at third and send the game to the bottom of the 10th.
Key Moment of the Game
Jesse Winker had runners on the corners in the bottom of the 10th inning of a scoreless game and came through with a walk-off single.
Notes Worth Noting
Joey Votto was hit by a pitch in the hand. He initially remained in the game, but was removed later with what the Reds called a “left thumb injury”.
Sonny Gray hasn’t allowed more than six hits in a game for 48 consecutive starts. That breaks the old MLB record of 47, which was also held by Sonny Gray after his last start.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati at Cleveland
Friday May 7th, 7:10pm ET
Wade Miley (3-2, 2.67 ERA) vs Zach Plesac (2-3, 4.78 ERA)