by Steve Mancuso

Votto homer gives Reds 3-2 win, record now 5-5

The Reds managed only 4 hits and 1 walk against Cleveland, but made the most of them, squeezing out a 3-2 victory, their first comeback win of the 2020 season. The Reds are now 5-5

Joey Votto turned a 1-run deficit into a 1-run lead in the bottom of the 6th with a 378-foot home run that he pulled into the bleachers. It was the third homer of the year for Votto, all of them have been to right field. Votto had been reinstated from the Injury List with negative test results after he experienced symptoms of COVID yesterday. Shogo Akiyama, who had singled to lead off the inning, scored ahead of Votto. The blast gave Votto 287 home runs as a Reds player, tying the great Tony Perez for third on the list. He trails only Frank Robinson (318) and Johnny Bench (381). Votto has 700+ fewer at bats than Perez in a Reds uniform. 

Sonny Gray wasn’t as dominant tonight as he had been in his first two starts. But after a slow start, he tightened things up and recorded 11 straight outs. He successfully worked through the dangerous 2-3-4 part of the Cleveland lineup a third time. Gray threw 102 pitches over 6 innings. He gave up 1 earned run and 2 walks while striking out 8. He got called strikes or whiffs on 33% of his pitches. Gray allowed only 4 hits, extending his major league all time record to 36 games giving up 6 or fewer hits. Gray gave up a solo home run to Francisco Lindor and contributed to the second Cleveland run with an error on a pickoff attempt and two wild pitches. 

Nick Castellanos started the Reds offense with a solo home run, his fifth of the year, in the 4th inning. The 94-mph Zach Plesac fastball traveled 413 feet.

Tucker Barnhart made the best defensive play you’ll see from a catcher on a stolen base attempt in the top of the 6th when Lindor attempted to steal second. Gray’s curveball bounced at home plate but Barnhart was able to grab it and throw the speedy Lindor out at 2B. In a crucial situation in the 8th, Barnhart threw a trail runner out at 2B on a Nate Jones pitch that bounced away from him. It was the second out of the inning.

Michael Lorenzen pitched a clean 7th inning, striking out two batters. 

Nate Jones pitched the 8th and would face the top of the Cleveland order. He started by hitting the #9 hitter. The Reds were then a victim of bad luck when Cesar Hernandez hit a ground ball that should have produced a double play. But just as the ball reached the dirt of the infield, it took a terrible bounce that Freddy Galvis, who was playing in the traditional 2B position, was lucky to field but couldn’t get an out. But then Jones then struck out Jose Ramirez and Lindor to end the inning.

Raisel Iglesias pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning with two strikeouts.

Most Valuable Players
  • Joey Votto .271 WPA win probability added
  • Raisel Iglesias .134 WPA
  • Nate Jones .126 WPA
  • Sonny Gray .105 WPA
  • Michael Lorenzen .099 WPA
Hardest-Hit Balls
  • Nick Castellanos 104.7 mph | fly out
  • Nick Castellanos 102.5 mph | home run
  • Joey Votto 101.9 mph | home run
Highest Velocities by Pitcher
  • Michael Lorenzen 98.4 mph
  • Raisel Iglesias 98.3 mph
  • Nate Jones 96.4 mph
  • Sonny Gray 94.9 mph
What’s Next?

The Reds and Cleveland play tomorrow night at 6:10 pm. The Reds will face one of the best pitchers in MLB, maybe the front-runner for the AL Cy Young winner, in Shane Bieber. Tyler Mahle makes his second start for the Reds after a good first outing

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Steve Mancuso is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up during the Big Red Machine era. He’s been writing about the Reds for more than ten years. Steve’s fondest memories about the Reds include attending a couple 1975 World Series games, being at Homer Bailey’s second no-hitter and going nuts for Jay Bruce at Clinchmas. Steve was also at all three games of the 2012 NLDS, but it’s too soon to talk about that.

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Brian Van Hook
5 months ago

On that attempted steal in the 8th inning, it looked like Barnhart had that pitch in the dirt bounce up and off his mask before trickling away. Super play to still nab the guy at second base.

5 months ago

A shout-out to Shogo. While he was on base during Votto’s at-bat, pitcher Plesac threw over numerous times to keep him from stealing, seemingly wearing him out which set up Votto’s HR.

5 months ago
Reply to  Bob

I noticed that. Shogo definitely distracted him. Plus it was nice that he was on base in the first place, not many baserunners tonight. I like what I’ve seen of Shogo, and believe his hitting will pick up.

5 months ago

Judging from the video highlights, Chris Welsh had a good game last night. Just before Iglesias let loose the final pitch, he said; “Here’s a high heater.” And he called it that the Indians would lose the review of Barnhart throwing out Hernandez in the 8th inning (Thom didn’t).

5 months ago

The fans seemed a little stiff and … tonight. I started to add a bad pun, but it would have been boring.

Brian Van Hook
5 months ago
Reply to  pinson343

I guess those fans just weren’t “cut out” to be more emotional.