|Cincinnati Reds (7-2)||9||15||0|
|Pittsburgh Pirates (3-5)||2||7||1|
|W: Garrett (2-0) L: Nova (1-1)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score|
–In his second big league start, Amir Garrett was brilliant once again. Garrett pitched six scoreless innings before allowing a two-run homer in the seventh. His final line: 6.2 innings, 2 runs allowed on five hits. Garrett struck out five and walked none. Just a beatiful outing, in which he was in total control all night long.
The kid doesn’t look like a rookie out there on the mound.
–The game was tied 0-0 after four innings. Zack Cozart led off the fifth with a double, and Tucker Barnhart followed immediately with another double to get the Reds on the board. After a Pittsburgh error, Billy Hamilton lined a single to right and Jose Peraza doubled down the left field line. In a flash, the Reds were winning 4-0 and were on their way to yet another victory.
–Two innings later, Pirates reliever Antonio Bastardo loaded the bases with a couple of walks and an infield single. Then Eugenio Suarez promptly cleared the bases with a 3-run double. Scott Schebler followed that up with a ball that would have been a home run in many parks — and certainly in Great American. It hit the top of the wall, and he settled for an RBI double.
–Three Reds had three hits apiece. Suarez was 3-4 with a run scored, a double, and 3 RBI. Jose Peraza was 3-5 with a double, a run scored, and 2 RBI. Tucker Barnhart was 3-5 with a double, two runs scored, and an RBI.
–Joey Votto had an RBI single and a walk. After the way his season has started, I’ll count that as a positive. (But I’m not worried at all about Joey Votto’s swing. That guy knows more about hitting than I’ll ever know. I’m just going to trust him.)
–Robert Stephenson pitched two scoreless innings. He wasn’t perfect — he allowed two hits — and his command wasn’t great — he walked one — but he struck out four hitters and, at times, his stuff looked absolutely filthy. I’ll count it as a successful outing. I’m rooting for this guy.
–Nothing to see here. Move along.
–The Reds are 7-2. The Reds are in first place in the NL Central. The Reds are tied for the best record in baseball. All is right with the world.
–I know we’re all irrationally excited about the way the Reds have caught fire here at the beginning of the 2017 season. We should probably calm down a bit, right?
No. We don’t know how this season is going to end, but we need to enjoy times like these, when the Reds are playing legitimately exciting baseball. This team is really fun to watch right now. Young guys are contributing, the pitching has been good, the hitting has been good, the managing has been good.
Enjoy it while it lasts. And keep those fingers crossed, hoping that it can last all season long. (Dare to dream.)
–That was a 5-1 road trip (against the Cardinals and Pirates) that we just witnessed. It’s been a while since we’ve seen anything like that.
–Amir Garrett didn’t allow a single run until the 13th inning of his big league career. That’ll do, Amir. That’ll do.
How good is this kid? The last Reds pitcher to begin his career with 12 scoreless innings was Wayne Simpson in 1970.
–Tonight’s stars: Amir Garrett and Eugenio Suarez. Both 25 years old. This is why the 2017 Reds are more interesting than recent teams.