Toronto dominated every aspect of the game in defeating the Cincinnati Reds, 10-3, before 31,529 at Great American Ball Park.
|Toronto Blue Jays (69-56)||10||12||2|
|Cincinnati Reds (64-61)
|W: Ryu (2-1) L: Greene (2-5) Sv: Francis (1)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Hunter Greene was pounded in historic fashion in his first game back after two-plus months off with a hip injury. Toronto scored four runs off Greene in both the second and fourth innings, and it was pretty much over at that point.
Since the Reds were 10 games over .500 at 50-40, they’ve gone 14-21. After winning the opener of this series, they dropped the final two. They are now a game behind the second-place Cubs, who defeated the Royals today, and may fall four games behind first-place Milwaukee if the Brewers hold on to the 3-1 lead they had after 5 1/2 innings against the Texas Rangers.
The Reds leave for a 10-game California road trip against the Angels, Diamondbacks and Giants. This is a key stretch of this season coming up. If they continue the 40-percent win pace, they could be pretty much out of the race by the time they return home.
The defense was terrible, with four errors today. Elly De La Cruz made two at shortstop, and I am absolutely not sold on him as the starting shortstop moving forward. He has seven errors, and is on a pace of 18 errors over a 162-game schedule. That’s not horrendous, but I think I notice it more because his fielding and throwing mechanics don’t look solid. He’s getting by on his amazing athleticism.
Noelvi Marte got his first major league start at third base, and after an early throwing error, he bounced at least a couple of other throws. You can give him a pass on that, with it being his first game. But the all-rookie infield was definitely not a bright spot today.
Cincinnati’s team batting line today was: 7-for-35 batting, 1 walk and 12 strikeouts. Toronto lefty Hyun Jin Ryu has a history of pitching dominantly against the Reds, and that continued today. The young Reds hitters struggled against Ryu’s pinpoint placement of pitches of all sorts just where he wanted. Both runs he allowed were unearned.
Spencer Steer, who seems destined to be the team’s everyday left fielder for awhile, led the team with two hits. Tyler Stephenson hit an eighth-inning solo homer, and Marte got his first major-league hit, a hustle double, in the ninth inning.
Today was a tough day for the team, but Noelvi Marte is grateful for every opportunity he gets in the bigs. pic.twitter.com/CFDFkcDhy1
— Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) August 20, 2023
Trailing 5-0 in the bottom of the second, Cincinnati got a gift from the Toronto defense. With Spencer Steer on third and Christian Encarnacion-Strand on first after singles, Marte popped a ball to shallow left in his first major-league at-bat. It was easily caught, and Toronto third baseman Matt Chapman cut off the throw to the plate. He then fired to second to try to get CES, who had tagged at first and was headed to second. But Chapman’s throw was wild and rolled into wide-open right-center field, allowing both runners to score to make the score 5-2 Toronto.
The pitching line for the Reds as a team today: 9 innings, 12 hits, 10 runs, 9 earned runs, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts, 5 homers allowed.
To say that Hunter Greene wasn’t fooling anybody today is like saying a hurricane is a gentle breeze. In three-plus innings, Greene experienced a historically bad outing. Greene allowed the most extra-base hits in a game by a Reds pitcher since 1954. Of the 10 hits Greene allowed, nine were for extra bases. Five were homers, tying the most a Reds pitcher has ever allowed in a game. It certainly wasn’t what the Reds team and Redleg Nation were expecting in this big return from a hip injury that sidelined him for two months.
The game’s second batter, Bo Bichette, launched one to deep center that T.J. Friedl leaped and got his glove on, but the ball fell back to the warning track enabling Bichette to make third base. Brandon Belt followed with a shot that appeared to take a bad hop on a pulled-in second baseman Matt McLain. The ball got by, Bichette scored, and McLain was charged with an error. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. blasted a liner to right that Stuart Fairchild caught as he slammed into the wall. Fairchild later exited the game, and it was announced that he is in concussion protocol.
In the second, Danny Jansen smoked a double down the left-field line, followed by a Kevin Kiermeier homer to right to put Toronto up 3-0. Whit Merrifield then squared up Greene for a double to left-center. Belt followed an out later with a homer to right to build the Blue Jays lead to five.
That was followed by two hits and a walk to load the bases, but Greene got out of it by inducing a come-backer to end the inning.
Over 51 pitches in the first two innings, Greene threw 62 percent fastballs, 31.4 percent sliders and 5.9 percent changeups. The Blue Jays appeared to be waiting on fastballs, and they did severe damage most of the time when they swung. Over his final inning-plus, the ratio of fastballs diminished, but the damage didn’t.
The wheels came off in the top of the fourth when Bichette and Belt hit back-to-back solo homers to rebuild the Blue Jays’ lead to a five-run margin at 7-2. After a Guerrero walk, George Springer homered to left to make it 9-2.
Needless to say, things didn’t go the way Greene had hoped:
Hunter Greene is frustrated with his performance today and says he needs to go back and watch the tape to pinpoint what didn’t work for him. pic.twitter.com/XYQJ7cvEtB
— Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) August 20, 2023
Buck Farmer came in to finish the inning without any more runs scoring, and added a scoreless fifth.
Sam Moll pitched a scoreless sixth, and Derek Law did the same in the seventh and eighth. Alex Young surrendered a run in the ninth.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Monday, August 21, 9:38 p.m. ET
Graham Ashcraft (6-8, 4.89 ERA) vs. Lucas Giolito (7-9, 4.44 ERA)