The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Desmond Jennings hasn't exactly beaten the doors down in Cactus League play since signing with the Cincinnati Reds last month, but so far he's shown that he's finally healthy from the injuries that have plagued him through the last two seasons. For a veteran with his kind of track record, that's ultimately all that the Reds should really be hoping for at this point, since he's a pretty well known quantity when operating at 100%.
Jennings has made a career of busting LHPs, and he got the start on Tuesday against Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Rich Hill. He responded by walking twice, stealing two bags, and scoring a run, a solid all-around offensive day from a guy who's capable of playing solid defense in one of the most important spots on the mound. If he's going to break camp as the team's 4th OF, that's exactly the kind of performance the Cincinnati brass will hope for on a regular basis, and for that he picks up a trophy on a day when there weren't too many other solid performances.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Robert Stephenson, who tossed scoreless 7th and 8th innings; Louis Coleman, who K'd a pair in his inning of relief work; Zack Cozart, who singled and drove in a run; Jose Peraza, who singled in a run, too; Aristides Aquino, who doubled and scored; Phil Ervin, who walked, scored, and stole a base; and Gabby Guerrero, who singled in a pair of runs.
- Patrick Kivlehan took a 2-out walk in the Top of the 4th, and that came back to haunt Dodgers starter Rich Hill when he threw an errant pickoff throw to 1B in an attempt to nab the Cincinnati utility man. Kivles & bits moved over to 2B, and he then scored on Cozart's single into CF. Reds led, 1-0.
- Tim Adleman had largely cruised through his first three innings of work (only a pair of singles allowed), but when he took the mound for the Bottom of the 4th against the heart of the Los Angeles order the wheels quickly fell off. He walked Yasiel Puig to leadoff, and Yasmani Grandal then followed with a 2-run bomb against the team that originally drafted him. Adleman was later pulled in favor of Evan Mitchell after a 1-out walk and single, and a Joey Votto throwing error later both runners had scored and runners were left on 2B and 3B. Both of those then scored on a double by Logan Forsythe, and the Reds were in a hole, 6-1.
- Another walk haunted - imagine that - in the Top of the 5th, as Jennings led off the inning with one and later scored on Peraza's dinked single into LF. Reds trailed, 6-2.
- It took until the Top of the 8th for the Reds to get back in on the action, but their bench bats did just that. Chad Wallach led off with a walk - HAUNT - and after back to back deep flyouts, Aquino doubled to the wall in LF and both runners scored when Guerrero backed that with a single into LF. Reds trailed, 6-4.
- Walks to Ervin put runners on 1B & 2B with 2-out in the Top of the 9th, and Brandon Dixon's single into LF brought in Ervin to make it 6-5, but that's where the ballgame ultimately ended.
- Adleman's final line - 3.1 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K - underscores that he pitched rather well through his first 3 IP, which is more or less all you can really expect from a starting pitcher at this point of the Spring. Control issues, a meatball, poor defense, and a reliever allowing inherited runs to score sure didn't help the bottom line, either.
- The Reds will host the San Diego Padres on Wednesday in Goodyear Ballpark, with first pitch set for 4:05 PM ET. Cody Reed will get his second start (fourth appearance) of this Cactus League season, and he’ll be opposed by San Diego starter Clayton Richard.