India, Farmer feed off each other in win over Red Sox

2B, SS combine for three hits, four RBIs and one run in finale

September 22nd, 2022

CINCINNATI -- With so much available tracking data, hitters covet hard contact, barrel percentages and triple-digit exit velocity. But when you’ve been slumping like Reds players Jonathan India and Kyle Farmer, any type of hit would do.

During Cincinnati’s 5-1 victory over the Red Sox to secure a two-game series split, India knocked a pair of RBI singles while Farmer blooped a two-run single.

“The bloop hits are good hitting sometimes,” Reds manager David Bell said. “When you have runners in scoring position, you just need a good at-bat. Sometimes just getting the bat on the ball is good enough.”

Entering the night, India was in a 4-for-40 skid over the previous 12 games. Against Boston starter Connor Seabold in the bottom of the third, Stuart Fairchild led off with a single and advanced on a two-out wild pitch to India. That set up India, who lifted his first single to left field on one hop to Tommy Pham as Fairchild easily scored the game’s first run.

The exit velocity of the single: 76.7 mph.

“It’s been a season of ups and downs. I just want to finish strong, play the rest of the way out and not make any excuses,” India said.

It was a 1-1 game with runners on first and second base in the bottom of the fifth inning against Seabold, India fought off a fastball in on his hands that scored Fairchild.

“They pitched me well tonight. They’re throwing the ball in,” India said. “They weren’t missing. There weren’t any balls, and if I took them they were strikes. So I had to fight it off somehow and stay through the ball well. I got a couple knocks out of it.”

The exit velocity of India’s second hit: 81.5 mph.

“It’s kind of the conviction behind the swing. Staying on the ball, being able to get through the ball,” Bell said. “It’s not always pretty. It’s not always perfect contact. But when you do things the right way and have the right approach, good things can happen.”

Next was Farmer, who was hitless in his previous 18 at-bats. On a 1-2 fastball up and in, he fought it off and lifted a hit that landed just beyond the infield dirt in short right field. It scored TJ Friedl and India and gave Cincinnati a three-run advantage.

The exit velocity of Farmer’s single: 52.7 mph.

“You never know when it's going to turn,” Farmer said of ending his slump. “It's baseball and I've been through it before, everybody has been through it. You've just got to ride the wave and just kind of play it out. I was fortunate enough to knock that one through.”

During Tuesday’s loss, Farmer nearly hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning but settled for a sacrifice fly.

“If I had pulled it just a little more in the gap and it would have been a different ballgame. But I'm thankful I got that RBI too,” Farmer said. “When you're going through a slump you'll take anything positive.”

The rally made a winner out of Reds starter Chase Anderson, who gave up back-to-back singles in the fourth inning after retiring nine in a row. The game was evened at 1 on Alex Verdugo’s sacrifice fly, the only run allowed by Anderson as he pitched five innings and allowed three hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

“Tonight was a great team win,” said Anderson, who has a 2.16 ERA in his last four starts. “Offense did a really good job of getting us back in the game and pulling us ahead.”

Farmer endured a career-high 0-for-34 stretch in the first half, while India also struggled at the plate and battled injuries. Both hitters emerged after the All-Star break but fell again on hard times together lately.

“It seems like whenever he's going through a slump, I'm going through a slump,” Farmer said. “And when he's going good, I'm going good. So I kind of feed off of him and seeing him get those two big knocks tonight made me, personally, feel really good for him and I guess for myself, because I just enjoy watching him play and enjoy watching [him] smile around the bases. He's been struggling a little bit, but it's Jon and he competes every day and he goes out there and works every day.”

“Hitting is contagious,” India said. “We’re a big part of this lineup. When one of us does well, the other follows. It’s pretty cool when I get a hit and he drives me in.”