The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game(s)
Ivan De Jesus, Jr. had himself quite an afternoon against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday, as the Cincinnati Reds SS went 3 for 5 with a dinger, a double, and a pair of runs scored. It was a split-squad day with many of the other regulars tangling with the Cleveland Indians in Goodyear, and nobody had a better day at a more premium defensive position than De Jesus, Jr., the most versatile utility guy projected on the 25-man roster.
If that's how they choose to utilize* him, that is.
Have a trophy for a great show on a busy afternoon of baseball, Ivan.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Caleb Cotham, who threw 2.1 scoreless innings in relief against the White Sox; Adam Duvall, who blasted a dinger, singled, doubled, and scored twice against Chicago; Devin Mesoraco, who went 2 for 3 with a walk and a pair of runs scored in that same game; Yorman Rodriguez, who joined in on the pale hose bashing by going 2 for 4 with a walk; Eugenio Suarez, who smoked a dinger against Cleveland; Scott Schebler, who had a pair of hits against the Reds' Ohio rival; Jose Peraza, who went 2 for 5 with a steal and a pair of runs scored against the burning river city; and Zack Cozart, who doubled and drove in 3 against the Indians.
Key Plays - White Sox Edition
- Mesoraco singled, Duvall doubled, and De Jesus, Jr. dingered to drive in the crew in the Top of the 2nd off Carlos Rodon, and Jordan Pacheco followed with a double as part of the 4-hit string. Two batters later, Jermaine Curtis singled to score Pacheco, and the Reds took an early 4-0 lead.
- Chicago got one back in the next half inning after Avisail Garcia walked, took 2B on a wild pitch, & scored on a single off the bat of Jason Coats. Jason Coats? Jason Coats. Reds led, 4-1.
- Brandon Finnegan was dang effective through the game's first 3 innings. Here's a video replay of the Bottom of the 4th, though. Finnegan allowed single, walk, single, walk, walk, single, single before finally being lifted in favor of Caleb Cotham. Runners were still on 2B and 3B, though, one of whom came in to score on a throwing error on what would've been the inning's final out. Four hours and eleventy minutes later, the inning finally ended with the Reds trailed, 7-4.
- Pitching in Arizona has to suck. Duvall de-stroyed a ball dang near out of Camelback Ranch in the Top of the 5th. Fortunately for the Reds, Brandon Phillips (double) and Mesoraco (walk) were on in front of him, so the game was then tied. The Reds weren't done in the 5th, though, as they chased Rodon with hits from De Jesus, Jr., Pacheco, and Yorman Rodriguez loading the bases and a later 2-run ground-rule double from Billy Hamilton off reliever Matt Albers putting them ahead, 9-7.
- From that point on, the scoring completely ceased, and a tedious 9th from Jumbo Diaz closed the door. Reds won, 9-7!
- Rajai Davis led off the Top of the 1st with a double, and scored two batters later after a pair of productive ground-outs. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- Eugenio Suarez honked his 2nd dinger of Cactus League play in the Bottom of the 4th, a solo shot that tied the game, 1-1.
- Yan Gomes reciprocated, however, as the Cleveland backstop launched a solo dinger of his own in the Top of the 5th. Reds trailed, 2-1.
- The Reds counterpunched in the Bottom of the 5th off Carlos Carrasco beginning with a leadoff double from SS Blake Trahan. He moved to 3B on a single to RF by Jose Peraza and later scored on a productive groundout from Zack Cozart. Peraza ended up on 3B on the same groundout, which proved large because a Carrasco wild pitch then allowed him to score, too. Reds led, 3-2.
- That was shortlived, though, as Tim Melville - who admittedly had pitched well to that point - allowed back to back honked donkers to Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana in the Top of the 6th. Reds trailed, 4-3.
- Trahan and Peraza were behind the next Reds rally, too, as both singled in the Bottom of the 7th to leave a pair of runners on for Cozart, who plated them both with a double to LF off reliever Cody Allen. A walk, a sac-bunt, and an RBI single from Scott Schebler later (coupled with an error from Francisco Lindor), and the Reds held a tidy 7-4 lead.
- Those half-Reds turned to Tony Cingrani to shut the door, and he did so in masterful fashion. Masterful enough to where he deserved an Honorable Mention up above, but I honestly ran out of ways to refer to the Cleveland Indians. Sorry, Tony, but heckuva perfect 4-out save. Reds won, 7-4!
- Every Reds starter in the game against the Sox had at least one hit, except for poor, poor Tyler Holt.
- Prior to the action today, the Reds signed veteran righty Ross Ohlendorf to a major-league contract, with hopes that he'll bolster the team's bullpen. Bryan Price spoke often about the possibility that the 33 year old could slide into the rotation at some point, too, given the fragility we've seen with the young arms so far this spring. Ohlendorf has made 80 starts among his 145 career big league appearances, so it's not too outlandish to assume that may happen. Someone's going to have to eat innings.
- Enough! Tunes.