The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
When the Cincinnati Reds finally managed to trade away Brandon Phillips, a clear path to everyday playing time was finally on the table for Jose Peraza. While Cactus League play is no real indicator for how the regular season will play out, it's hard to deny that Peraza has taken the early opportunity in stride, and his spring performances thusfar have been fantastic.
Peraza was at it again on Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox, singling twice from the leadoff spot, swiping a pair of bags, and scoring on the day. He's hitting .556 in this, the first week of action, and has been the early bright spot from the position players while the team's overall performances have left a lot to be desired.
Oh, yeah. About that. The Reds lost again, so it's a good thing none of these results really matter in any form or fashion.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Ryan Raburn, who belted his first homer of the spring; Adam Duvall, who plated a pair with a double and later scored a run; Raisel Iglesias, who threw an impressive 2 innings of scoreless ball, allowing just a hit and a walk against 2 Ks; Joey Votto, who picked up his first walk and first single of Cactus League play; Dilson Herrera, who went 2 for 2 with a ribbie; and Brandon Finnegan, who worked his first 2 innings of the Spring, settling in after a leadoff double scored to eventually retire the final 6 Chicago batters he faced.
- Everth Cabrera doinked a double to leadoff the Top of the 1st against Finnegan, and he later moved around to score. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- I’d tell you more about that run, but Amazon's Cloud failure crashed the internet and MLB's Gameday decided to give me a middle finger instead of details, so here we are.
- That early run hit the back-burner quickly as the Reds offense went to work on Chicago's Reynaldo Lopez. After a Peraza single and the first Joey Votto walk of Cactus League play, Adam Duvall spanked a 2-run double to the wall in CF in the Bottom of the 1st to put the Reds ahead. Raburn then followed by sporking a 2-run dinger well over the wall in right-center, and the Reds were ahead, 4-1.
- Zach Vincej scored a 5th run for the Reds in the Bottom of the 2nd, eventually scoring on a sac fly hit to CF by Desmond Jennings after singling earlier in the inning. Reds led, 5-1.
- Drew Storen took the mound for the Reds in the Top of the 5th, and the socks you wore to the gym two days ago probably smell better than his outing. He yielded a leadoff triple, walked a batter, and then was tagged with an RBI single in his first three batters faced. Later, a 2-out, 2-run bloop single off the bat of Leury Garcia chased Storen from the mound and left the Reds up by a lone run, 5-4.
- Jumbo Diaz was tasked with the Top of the 6th for Cincinnati, and his outing went similarly to that of Storen - though the defense behind him didn't exactly help. Diaz allowed a pair of hits, but with both runners on and 2-outs a would-be 3rd out on a deep fly ball to LF kicked off Tony Renda's glove for an error, allowing both runners to score. Reds trailed, 6-5.
- Cabrera and Garcia were at it again in the Top of the 7th, this time off recent waiver claim Nefi Ogando. Ogando began the inning by plunking Cabrera, who then stole 2B. That mattered not, however, as he'd have scored regardless when Garcia poked a double into left-center (one that also kicked off Renda's ball-kicking glove). Cincinnati native Adam Engel then singled into RF to allow Garcia to score, and after a productive grounder moved Engel up to 2B, he then scored on a single into LF by Danny Hayes. That left Ogando's Cactus League ERA at a sparkling 40.50 - though that fortunately dropped when he K'd Cody Asche to end the inning. Reds trailed, 9-5.
- Well, I'll be damned. Cabrera singled (again) off Austin Brice in the Top of the 8th, stole (again) 2B, and then scored (again) on a single by Leury Garcia (again). That put the Reds behind 10-5.
- Cincinnati borked around and scored 4 in the Bottom of the 9th, with Brandon Dixon singling to score Arismendy Alcantara - who was on base on a fielder's choice after Blake Trahan walked and was out at 2B on Alcantara's grounder. Dixon then moseyed over to 2B at a medium pace, and he then scooted around to score on a double ot the LF wall from Renda. Renda, of course, then made it a trifecta by scoring on a Herrera two-base smack into RF - who himself scored on an error at 2B off the bat of Jesse Winker. After that, though, Chicago managed to finally get the final out of the inning, and the Reds lost, 10-9.
- The Chicago White Sox sent a split squad to Goodyear today, meaning half of their already anonymous rebuilding roster wasn't available. That's why they didn't use mass substitutions midway through the contest, per usual.
- Zack Cozart was originally scheduled to get his first Cactus League play today. After initially being in the lineup hitting second and playing shortstop, he was a healthy scratch due to the shoddy weather in the area.
- The Reds are now 0-2 or 0-6 or 0-947 to begin Cactus League play. It matters not.
- Cincinnati will head across The Land of the Endless Strip Mall on Wednesday to tangle with the Milwaukee Brewers at their Maryvale complex. Lisalverto Bonilla is set to get the start for Cincinnati opposite beer-slinger Chase Anderson, with first pitch set for 3:05 PM ET.
- If you're in the Milwaukee TV market and/or have an MLB.tv login, you'll be able to watch the game from Maryvale since FS-Wisconsin will be airing it. If you have neither of those, you can use a slab of cardboard and some little green army men to simulate the action for yourself.