by Matt Wilkes

Reds win 4th straight behind Jonathan India’s multi-HR game

The Reds were quiet in the final hours of the trade deadline, but the bats remained loud on Friday night.

Behind a strong start from Sonny Gray, two homers from Jonathan India, and another home run from Joey Votto, the Reds defeated the Mets 6-2 to secure their fourth straight win. At 55-49, Cincinnati is six games games over .500, tying a season best.


Offense

It took all of one pitch for the Reds to score. On Carlos Carrasco’s first pitch of the 2021 season, Jonathan India greeted him rudely by sending a fly ball over the left field wall (106.7 mph, 400 feet) for his ninth home run of the season.

India played a role in the Reds’ next run, too. With two outs in the fifth inning, he hit a double down the left-field line. Amidst a chorus of boos from the Citi Field crowd, Jesse Winker hit an RBI single past the third baseman to make it a 2-1 game.

In the sixth, the legend of Joey Votto continued to grow. The Reds first baseman and future Hall of Famer led of the inning with a home run to dead center field (102.2 mph, 423 feet) to extend his streak to seven games. He’s just the eighth player in MLB history to accomplish that feat. The record is eight.

The Reds tacked on three more insurance runs in the ninth. Against left-hander Anthony Banda, Eugenio Suárez singled to lead the inning off. David Bell used Tyler Stephenson as a pinch-hitter against a southpaw and the rookie delivered with a double. Fellow pinch-hitter Aristides Aquino drove Suárez home with a sacrifice fly.

India then removed all doubt about the outcome by blasting his second home run of the day (103.8 mph, 392 feet), a two-run shot that made it 6-1. It’s the first multi-home run game of India’s professional career, majors or minors.

Pitching

Sonny Gray bounced back from his worst outing as a Red, spinning six innings of one-run baseball. He allowed five hits and a walk, but all of those came in the first three innings as Gray retired the last 11 hitters he faced.

Off the bat, Gray didn’t look like himself for a third straight start. Two batters into his outing, he allowed the Mets to tie the game as Brandon Nimmo singled and Jeff McNeil hit an RBI double. A walk and a single loaded the bases with no outs. But after a visit from pitching coach Derek Johnson, Gray struck out the next batter before getting an inning-ending double play.

Gray allowed a single in both the second and third innings, but those would be the final baserunners the Mets would manage against him. Although he wasn’t missing a ton of bats (10 whiffs), Gray was painting the edges of the strike zone with his four-seam fastball, which got a season-best 12 called strikes.

Nine of the 14 batted balls against Gray were hit on the ground, which further helped his cause.

Fresh off the injured list, Michael Lorenzen made his second appearance of the season and pitched a perfect seventh inning on just eight pitches.

Mychal Givens got into a bit of trouble in the eighth inning, allowing a single and a four-pitch walk after striking out the first batter. But he buckled down and got McNeil to pop out and Pete Alonso to ground out, ending the threat.

Amir Garrett looked poised for a smooth ninth inning when he retired the first two hitters. But he then allowed a single, RBI double, and walk to give the Mets a run back. He was able to settle down, striking out James McCann to end the game.

Stats

Most Valuable Players

  • Sonny Gray: .234 WPA (Win Probability Added)
  • Jonathan India: .175 WPA
  • Jesse Winker: .099 WPA
  • Joey Votto: .099 WPA

Hardest-Hit Balls

  • Tyler Naquin: 108.1 mph | Double in 4th inning
  • Jonathan India: 106.7 mph | Home run in 1st inning
  • Jesse Winker: 105.6 mph | Groundout in 9th inning
  • Jonathan India: 103.8 mph | Home run in 9th inning
  • Tucker Barnhart: 102.8 mph | Groundout in 6th inning

Unluckiest Out of the Day

  • Eugenio Suarez: .670 xBA | Lineout in 4th inning

Highest Velocities By Pitcher

  • Sonny Gray: 93.8 mph
  • Michael Lorenzen: 98.1 mph
  • Mychal Givens: 95.0 mph
  • Amir Garrett: 96.6 mph

Highest Pitch Spins

  • Sonny Gray: 2,787 rpm | Curveball
  • Mychal Givens: 2,621 | Slider

Most Pitch Movement

  • Sonny Gray: 69 inches vertical movement | Curveball
  • Sonny Gray: 21 inches horizontal movement | Sinker

Team Expected Batting Averages (xBA)

  • Mets: .208
  • Reds: .252
What’s Next?

The Reds and Mets will be back at it tomorrow night at 7:10 p.m. EST in a battle of southpaws. Lefty Wade Miley will face recent Mets trade acquisition and fellow left-hander Rich Hill.

Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire


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Matt got hooked on Reds baseball after attending his first game in Cinergy Field at 6 years old, and he hasn’t looked back. As a kid, he was often found imitating his favorite players — Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns — in the backyard. When he finally went inside, he was leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 or keeping stats for whatever game was on TV. He started writing about baseball in 2014 and has become fascinated by analytics and all the new data in the game. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in Columbus. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.