Sonny Gray dominated in the second game of the doubleheader as he and the Cincinnati Reds salvaged a split on Thursday and a series win over the Washington Nationals.

Game 1/Wednesday

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (21-26)
3 11 1
Washington Nationals (21-24)
5 9 0
W: Voth (1-0) L: Hoffman (3-4) SV: Hand (8)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

The Reds put together a threat in the top of the 1st inning when Jesse Winker sinlged and Tyler Naquin walked to put two runners on with two outs, but they were both stranded. That was probably a sign of what was to come over the next two days as the game was completed.

With the game suspended by rain in the middle of the 4th, the two teams took the field on Thursday afternoon to resume the game with the Nationals leading 3-0. It was 5-0 before the Reds really got things going on offense in the 8th inning. Eugenio Suárez, Jesse Winker, Nick Castellanos, and Tyler Naquin all singled to start the inning off to get Cincinnati on the board with a run. Tucker Barnhart hadded a single of his own to plate another run, and then Kyle Farmer had a sacrifice fly that made it 5-3. But that was the last of the runs that Cincinnati would get in game one as they fell 5-3.

The Pitching

Jeff Hoffman walked five batters in 1.1 innings before exiting the game with what we now know was right-shoulder impingement with the Reds trailing 2-0 and the bases loaded. He was placed on the 10-day injured list on Thursday morning. Brad Brach came on in relief and kept the score there for the 2nd inning as he worked out of a bases loaded jam. But in the 3rd inning he allowed three hits and gave up a run of his own. At this point the game was suspended for the day.

When the game resumed it was just called up earlier on Thursday Cionel Pérez taking the mound and he fired off a perfect inning with a strikeout. The Nationals would add two runs off of Ryan Hendrix and Ashton Goudeau in the 6th inning, though both were charged to Hendrix (Goudeau allowed a runner he inherited on the bases to score). Michael Feliz tossed a shutout 8th inning, but the Reds couldn’t tie the game up in the 9th.

Game 2

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (22-26)
3 6 0
Washington Nationals (21-25)
0 2 1
W: Gray (1-3) L: Strasburg (1-2) SV: Sims (3)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Eugenio Suárez led off the game with a solo home run – his 11th of the year. That’s where the scored stayed for a while, but in the 5th inning the Reds got some luck to go their way. Sonny Gray had an infield single after his comebacker deflected off of pitcher Stephen Strasburg. After a walk by Suárez, Jesse Winker hit a hard grounder up the middle right to the shifted defense, but the ball hit the second base bag and went over the infielders head and into center for an RBI single. Tyler Naquin doubled on a blooper to bring in another run and make it 3-0.

The Pitching

It may have rained on Wednesday, but it was Sonny on Thursday. No, I am not sorry for typing that sentence. Gray was in control for six shutout innings while allowing just two hits and walking one batter. He also struck out five batters as he lowered his ERA on the season to 3.40. Lucas Sims took over in the 7th, and hopefully final inning of the game. He got a 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout to pick up his 3rd save of the year and get Sonny Gray his first win of the year.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Chicago Cubs

Friday May 28th, 2:20pm ET

Vladimir Gutierrez (MLB Debut) vs Adbert Alzolay (2-4, 4.30)

29 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    Win feels good. Series win feels great. The rest of the season? Wait and see. Lots of ball to play. Lots of things need to get right.

  2. Redsfan4life

    Weather forecast for tomorrow is not great. Vlad may have to wait till Saturday to make his first start.

    • Sliotar

      This x 1000.

      Zero doubt in my mind of how good of a start Gray would give the Reds in a one-game, winner-take-all playoff game … even on short rest.

      And, he comes across as very likeable.

  3. LDS

    The two most promising things to me were scoring 3 in the losing effort without a HR and only 9 walks in the 3 game series, 5 of which came from Hoffman. In aggregate stats, the Nats had better pitching and hitting and lost 2 of 3 at home. Now the Reds need to take the series from the Cubs.

  4. Sliotar

    Good series win.

    Good to see Sims in closer spot.

    IMO, he feels like a guy that can max out for in a final inning, overwhelm hitters and get a save.

    No shame if that is how he is best utilized … plenty of other top relievers are 1-inning studs.

  5. Roger Garrett

    Great job by Sonny on the mound and on the bases.Got up early,held em till we got 2 more and game over.Good recipe for a win.Reds score only 8 in the series but won 2 games thanks to Mahle and Sonny.Manufactured a couple of runs today by putting the ball in play with men on base. Beats a punch out every time.

  6. Old-school

    Sonny gray and Tyler Mahle are keepers.SP is about guys who have been around the block and taken that next step forward. Castillo is getting his step backwards and who knows how he responds. But Sonny gray isnt being traded…. period

    Guy is a gamer and a competitor and a winner .

    • TR

      As the old baseball saying goes, pitching is the game. The past offseason talk of trading Sonny Gray made no sense to me.

  7. Tim

    Nice to see some very nice pitching for the Reds. Feast or famine. Also, kudos to Gene and Bell. We’re seeing some improvement.

    • Angelo

      Could not agree more we are like last year all or nothing it seems.

  8. Rednat

    its a shame , without the injuries this team would be right up there with the cubs and cardinals right now.

    strange season though so far. i feel that this could be a 1999 type season where we really start catching fire and surprise everyone or it could turn into 1982 where the wheels completely fall off and we end up losing 100 games or anywhere in between.

    i feel we have to start to get more production from farmer and india and blandino to really compete the rest of the way

    • LGR

      I think we should give some minor league guys some chances. Get Garcia back up here. Guy was raking, not sure if he got hurt because he hasn’t been in the last few box scores I’ve looked at. Alejo Lopez is a switch hitting singles/on base guy in double A who can probably play anywhere on the infield. With Moose and Votto out, this team is desperate for a guy who can hit lefty and play the infield lol.

      • Maloney63

        Schrock did hit the ball hard three times today with two hits. He could end up in a platoon situation with India or get a few starts at 1B.

  9. Jack

    If Castillo would just get his act together this team is a solid contender in the Central the rest of the way now that Gray seems to be rounding into form. The team has flaws for sure but so does the rest of the competition.

    • TR

      As Castillo/Suarez go, so go the 2021 Reds.

  10. LGR

    Was really hoping Lodolo would get the call up for when Hoffmans’ next start was due up. Doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen. Curious to see who gets that start. Bell will probably end up going Antone. Santillan could also get the call. Idk why Perez has gotten as many chances as he has.

    • JB

      There is basically nobody else in Louisville. Go look at the stats on the players there. They are dreadful.

      • Michael Smith

        I mean Satillan is next up on the 40 man and he has been pitching well.

  11. GreatRedLegsFan

    Reds have four players with chance to pass the 30 HR mark this season in Winker, Castellanos, Suarez & Naquin, interesting stat.

    • Jim t

      The interesting thing is that Moose and Votto aren’t on that list.

      • RojoB

        Those two are in the injured list though

      • KDJ

        Votto has only reached 30 twice in 14 years.
        Moustakas: twice in 10 years.

  12. SSmith

    Great game — and was nice to be able to attend in person. Schrock was impressive. Would like to see more of him.

  13. SultanofSwaff

    Another nice win in DC. Not that they’re out of it by any stretch of the imagination, but it would only take an 8-2 stretch over 10 games to put the team right back in the thick of things. Even the most cynical around here knows they have that in them. The division is there for the taking.

    Love the plate discipline I’m seeing from Stephenson and India. They’re holding their own as they make their way around the league for the first time and the league adjusts to them and vice versa. Their best is yet to come.

    • Dennis Westrick

      Agree 100% The NL Central Division is likely going to be decided in the last 3 weeks of the season! Gotta stay close (within 5 games) and close like last season!

  14. Jim Walker

    2 of 3 in DC has a ring to it. Now on to Chicago and hopefully putting a similar hurt on the Cubbies.

    Something will probably break during the day today about the Reds Saturday starting pitcher. The question is will Wade Miley be ready to come off the IL then? If not what? It is worth noting that Tony Santillan has not pitched since May 23. So, He is available physically, on the 40 man roster and at the proper level of the COVID availability protocols to be brought up immediately.

    Hunter Greene is also due for his next turn; but, he is not on the 40 man roster; and, because he is at AA, he is also at the lower Tier2 on the COVID availability protocol as far as is publicly known. The 40 man roster part wouldn’t be an issue; the COVID protocol presumably would.

    • Gonzo Reds

      Ideally, Santillan and Gutierrez are up and to stay so we can see what we have there. And those AAA slots can be filled by Lodelo and Greene to see if they are ready to handle the next level. If so, they would be in the mix to compete for slots next spring.

      Will be in the skybox for Marlins AAA action in Jax Sat night. I’ll be inappropriately wearing my Lookouts hat as I haven’t ponied up for a Bats hat yet. Guess I’ll have to get one before Louisville travels to Jax next year, hopefully!