Gio Gonzalez triggered his $12 million vesting option for 2018 tonight when he officially hit the 180 innings pitched mark during tonight’s start against the Atlanta Braves.
While the rest of Gonzalez’s night was nothing worth remembering — he gave up five runs on seven hits in five innings and stands to be the game’s loser — it’s an option the Nationals are no doubt more than happy to have triggered, as Gonzalez has been fantastic this year, posting a 2.50 ERA and featuring a 163/69 K/BB ratio in 179.2 innings entering tonight’s start. Given that performance, $12 million is a stone cold bargain for Gonzalez next year and will be even if he suffers some falloff.
Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani put on a show during Saturday’s matinee against the Cubs. Up 2-1 in the third inning, the hurler hooked a Brian Duensing fastball over the left field fence for his first career home run — and first career grand slam:
Grand slams are impressive no matter the player or situation, but they’re made all the more special in rare circumstances like this one. Not only is DeSclafani the first pitcher to deliver a grand slam in 2018, but he’s the first Reds hurler to do so in nearly 60 years. Per MLB.com’s Brian Scott Rippee, right-hander Bob Purkey was the last to hit a slam for the Reds in 1959, when he took Cubs reliever John Buzhardt deep in the third inning of a 12-3 drubbing.
The 28-year-old righty had a decent outing on the mound as well, holding the Cubs to two runs, four walks, and three strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings before passing the ball to reliever Michael Lorenzen. Entering Saturday, he carried a 2-1 record in three games, with a 4.60 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 across 15 2/3 innings — not too shabby for someone who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016.
The Reds currently lead 8-2 in the bottom of the seventh.