By HAL McCOY
The Iglesias who usually puts the finishing touch on a game in the ninth inning for the Cincinnati Reds carries the first name of Raisel. He is the closer.
It was a different Iglesias doing the deed in the ninth inning for the Reds Wednesday night in Citi field and he carries the first name of Jose. He is the shortstop.
With the Reds and New York Mets locked in a 0-0 tie with two outs and nobody on in the top of the ninth, Jose iglesias pulled a home run down the left field line for a 1-0 Cincinnati victory.
It was deja vu all over again for Mets closer Edwin Diaz. On Monday night Diaz gave up a two-out and nobody on tie-breaking home run to Jesse Winker.
On Wednesday afternoon, Lauren Shehadi said on the MLB Central TV show, “Jacob deGrom is going to pitch a no-hitter tonight.”
And for half the game it looked as if she might be correct. Jacob deGrom, lean as a garden hose but as deadly as a black mamba, held the Reds hitless for 4 1/3 innings until opposing pitcher Anthony DeSclafani broke his bat and numbed his pitching hand with a bloop single to right.
And deGrom held the Reds to no runs and three hits over seven innings, pitching to the form that won him the Cy Young Award last year.
But on this cold, windy, rainy night deGrom ran into DeSclafani who was even more dominant while he was in there.
DeSclafani pitched 5 2/3 innings and gave up no runs and three hits, walking one and striking out eight. But when Jesse Winker dropped a long line drive near the wall in center field for a two-base hit, manager David Bell came to get him, even though he had given up only three hits and used up only 85 pitches.
But it worked for the Reds and Bell is fast becoming what former manager Sparky Anderson was with pitchers. Captain Hook.
But Wandy Peralta finished the sixth and retired the one batter in the seventh before giving up a couple of singles. That’s when the bullpen took it from there. Jared Hughes pitched 1 1/3 innings, striking out one and retiring three straight on weak ground balls to the mound.
Zach Duke retired the one batter he faced and with closer Raisel Iglesias unavailable Michael Lorenzen followed Jose Iglesias home run with a 1-2-3 ninth.
The Reds only major threat against deGrom surfaced in the fourth when they filled the bases without a hit — an error, a walk and a hit by pitch. But deGrom struck out Tucker Barnhart on a 3-and-2 88 miles an hour changeup.
The Reds threatened in the seventh on Tucker Barnhart’s walk and a single by Jose Iglesias with no outs. That brough up Scott Schebler, he of the .130 average. A sacrifice bunt? Nope. They let him swing away and he hit into a double play. Jose Peraza flied out and it remained 0-0.
The Reds had only four hits, DeSclafani’s single, a single by Jesse Winker, a single by Iglesias and the home run by Iglesias, giving him half the Reds hits.
Meanwhile, the Mets never pushed a runner beyond second base in this one. They put together two singles in the seventh against Peralta, putting runners on second and first.
That’s when Hughes came on to strike out pinch-hitter Wilson Ramos and ended New York’s only threat by getting pinch-hitter Dominic Smith to tap back to the mound.
DeSclafani got nothing more than a no-decision and stayed in the game after his hand went numb after his hit. He threw two warm-up pitches to the backstop and threw another to the backstop to the first hitter. Bell and the athletic trainer Steve Baumann visited the mound, but he stayed in.
“Yeah, I lost feeling in a finger,” he said during his post-game interview with the media. “But it actually helped my slider. It slowed it down and gave it more bite.”
Asked if he would have liked to stay in the game, he said, “For sure. It is obviously frustrating not get the last out. But our bullpen has been solid and it is all about winning games.”
In his last three starts, DeSclafani has given up one earned run in 17 2/3 innings and struck out 20.