The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Cody Reed came to the Cincinnati Reds in the Johnny Cueto trade, and he arrived with just muted fanfare. The young lefty's dominant close to 2015 while with AA Pensacola saw him rocket up the prospect rankings, and the former Kansas City Royals farmhand showed up in Goodyear this Spring looking to prove the hype was real.
Welp, if Monday's outing against the Los Angeles Angels was any indication, it's as real as it gets.
Reed tossed 3 scoreless innings, allowed just 2 hits (both on broken bats), and walked nary a batter, striking out 1 in an extremely efficient outing. No, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols didn't play, but that shouldn't do too much to discount that Reed flashed both command and a pitch repertoire that should have everyone excited. That's your JNMHSotG.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Adam Duvall, who dingered & tripled; Scott Schebler, who doubled, singled, and added a steal; Joey Votto, who had a single, sac fly, and a dinger of his own; Jordan Pacheco, who joined in on the dinger party; Jay Bruce, who had a pair of hits and a ribbie; Jose Peraza, who notched his first Cactus League hit of the year, stole two bags, and used his motorcycle legs to turn a later single into a double; Ray Chang, who doubled; and J.J. Hoover, who tossed a hitless inning from the bullpen.
- Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and Jay Bruce strolled into a bar in the Bottom of the 1st. The trio ordered up a pint of walk, a shot of RBI single up the middle, and a highball of bunt down the 3B line to try to beat the shift (shaken, not stirred). However, the merchant mixologist - still weary from a long night the night prior - got things confused with his usual regulars, and served them up in reverse order. The three chaps had been friends long enough to take it in stride, however, so Votto dropped the bunt, Phillips chugged a walk behind him, and Bruce shot the ribbie single like the Texan he truly is. Reds led, 1-0.
- Mountain Doovall took a Matt Shoemaker meatball and smoked it over the fence in right-center for a solo dinger in the Bottom of the 2nd. Mmm, smoked meatballs. Scott Schebler followed with a single and a steal of 2B, and he motored to 3B to leave runners on the corners when Tyler Holt followed with a single to LF of his own. Tucker Barnhart then smashed into a tough-luck double play, but that did allow Schebler to score. Reds led, 3-0.
- Jordan Pacheco smacked his first dinger of the Spring in the Bottom of the 3rd, and Votto thought that was so cool that he launched a solo smash of his own. BP nearly made it back-to-back-to-back, only to have his would-be dinger robbed by a catch over the wall, but Bruce put down a bunt single of his own and then scored when Duvall cracked a double off the wall in LF. Duvall then scored when Schebler doubled to LF, and the route was officially on. Reds led, 7-0.
- Tim Adleman allowed 44 ER in his 150 IP on the Reds farm in 2015. Tim Adleman allowed just about that many runs in his work on Monday, thanks in large part to a Jenry Marte 3-run dinger that came immediately after a guy named "Jett" got a PA in a Cactus League game. Spring Training is awesome, y'guys. Adleman yielded another hit and a walk that threatened to bring this one much closer, but a great play by Jose Peraza on a comebacker that ricocheted off the Reds' pitcher mercifully ended the inning. Reds led, 7-3.
- As players are wont to do in baseball, Peraza found himself leading off immediately after his great defensive play, and he immediately picked up a single. He stole both 2B and 3B, and after Pacheco walked, Votto poked a sac-fly deep enough to plate the Reds' leadoff hitter for the day. Reds led, 8-3.
- Things slowed down after that, but the Angels blooped in a run in the Top of the 8th when Ji-Man Choi walked, moved to 2B on a groundout, and scored when Nick Buss looped a "double" in front of Yorman Rodriguez - who never appeared to see the ball. Buss then scored on a laser off the bat of David Fletcher that got by Seth Mejias-Brean at 3B. Fortunately, though, that ended the scoring on the day, and the Reds took home a win, 8-5.
- The Reds played a 'B' game against the Cleveland Indians earlier on Monday, a 5 inning affair that Cleveland won, 1-0. Robert Stephenson got the start and pitched 2 scoreless, walkless innings (with a hit allowed and 2 Ks), and Alex Blandino was the only Reds bat to reach base (with a single and a walk).
- Monday's outing marked the first game ever in which Joey Votto and Jay Bruce both reached base on bunt singles and (/brain explodes)
- Peraza's single to LF in the Bottom of the 4th meant that every Reds starter (sans Barnhart) reached base at least once in this one.
- Surely unrelated to the previous note: the wind was blowing straight out to CF in this one.
- Before the game, we found out that Keyvius Sampson is being slowed by triceps soreness in his throwing arm. Add him to the growing list of Reds being slowed by ailments alongside Devin Mesoraco, Zack Cozart, Billy Hamilton, Homer Bailey, and Raisel Iglesias. Pair that with the knowledge that the team actively tried to trade away Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips, and the list of regulars currently playing that the Reds wanted to be in camp can be counted on one hand.
- The Reds will finally be back on TV on Tuesday when they hit the road to take on the San Francisco Giants. It'll be their first night game, with first pitch set for 9:05 PM ET. Anthony DeSclafani will toe the rubber for the Reds opposite Madison Bumgarner.