The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Devin Mesoraco doubled and scored the first Cincinnati Reds run of the day in this one, in the process also catching into through the 7th inning in a display we all hope will become more commonplace for the powerful backstop. The double kept Mesoraco's streak intact - he's yet to hit a single so far this spring, with all of his hits going for extra bases - and his aggresive running on the bases signaled he's as close to 100% heading into the season as he could be.
On a day when the rest of the team struggled mightily against the Texas Rangers, that's good enough news to nab a JNMHSotG trophy. So, have another one, Devin.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joradn Pacheco, who had a pair of ribbies with a late double; Eugenio Suarez, who doubled off the wall in RF; Scott Schebler, who singled in 2 runs; and Yorman Rodriguez, whose walk continued an impressive trend so far this spring. Tough day all around, however.
- Anthony DeSclafani breezed through the first 8 outs of the game having allowed only a bloop single to Adrian Beltre, but that changed in a hurry with 2 down in the Bottom of the 3rd. James Jones smacked a grounder to 1B Adam Duvall, but Disco was late covering the bag at 1B and Jones beat him there for a single that should've been the end of the inning. Because baseball is so often a cruel game, Rougned Odor followed by singling up the middle in front of Beltre, who then crushed a 400+ foot dinger to CF. Dang. Reds trailed, 3-0.
- Disco fell victim to the dinger-bug again in the Bottom of the 4th, this time to Justin Ruggiano. Ruggiano lifted a high-fly to LF that just cleared the fence, a 2-run shot since Mitch Moreland had blooped a single in front of Billy Hamilton in CF two batters beforehand. Reds trailed, 5-0.
- This late in Cactus League play, the most important priority aside from playing actual good baseball is playing as much of it as needed to be ready for Opening Day. With that in mind, DeSclafani came back out to pitch the Bottom of the 6th in an effort to be stretched out and ready for when things count, but that went about as poorly as you could imagine. He allowed a 1-out solo blast to Moreland that landed in the party deck above RF, and two batters later Ruggiano tagged him for his 2nd dinger of the day, a 2-run shot after an Elvis Andrus single. Reds trailed, 8-0.
- The Reds entered the Top of the 7th having tallied just one hit all day, but Devin Mesoraco upped that with a leadoff double to LF. He motored to 3B on a fly-out off the bat of Duvall, and then scored on a sac-fly from Jose Peraza to get the Reds on the board. Still, they trailed, 8-1.
- Not to be outdone, Jumbo Diaz took the mound for Cincinnati in the Bottom of the 7th and promptly allowed a dinger of his own. While his lone dinger yielded pales in comparison to Disco's four, Jumbo earns additional dap for it being both of the 3-run variety and for it being hit completely out of the ballpark. Ronald Guzman was the culprit, with both Jones and Juremi Profar on base in front of him. Reds trailed, 11-1.
- The Rangers added a 12th run off Ryan Mattheus in the Bottom of the 8th, but the Reds staged a decent rally in the Top of the 9th to make this one somewhat respectable. They tallied a pair of runs on Pacheco's double in the Top of the 9th (after Taylor Sparks reached on an error, Ivan De Jesus, Jr. singled, and Juan Perez reached on a fielder's choice that retired De Jesus, Jr.), and both Pacheco and Tyler Holt later scored when Scott Schebler singled to LF with the bases loaded. That wrapped the scoring, however, and the Reds fell, 12-5.
- The respective Cactus League ERAs of the four Reds pitchers in this one: 8.38 (DeSclafani), 7.94 (JC Ramirez), 9.00 (Jumbo Diaz), 8.44 (Ryan Mattheus). With teams making final cuts to thin number crunches and settle on 25-man rosters league-wide, rest assured that the Reds will have their eyes on any potential bullpen help that may hit the waiver-wire.
- If you'll remember, Brandon Phillips was a late scratch from Tuesday's game against the Chicago Cubs with a stiff neck. According to C. Trent Rosecrans of The Enquirer, today's game was a scheduled off-day for the veteran 2B on the heels of yesterday's lack of a game, but he's expected to be back in the lineup on Friday for the first time since Sunday's loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Speaking of which, Chris Welsh leaked the expected lineup for tomorrow, and it's got BP batting cleanup. Welsh also noted that tomorrow is the final Cactus League game that FS-Ohio will be televising, which means we're that much closer to real, actual baseball that counts.
- This loss to Texas marks the 5th consecutive Cactus League loss for Cincinnati, by the way.
- Homer Bailey threw another bullpen session today, and according to The Enquirer's Zach Buchanan, all appears to be well with the recovering starter.