The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
On a day when every offensive player largely went nuts, the pitching on both sides was ten kinds of awful, and the scoreboard couldn't make up its mind, the JNMHSotG goes to the player who walked things off - Arismendy Alcantara.
Alcantara entered this game late, but his 2-run double in the Bottom of the 9th put the Cincinnati Reds down as winners on the day, which was a fitting way to finish this actionable affair. Alcantara finished 2 for 2 with a run scored, a double, a pair driven in, and his third stolen base of Cactus League play, and continues to look the part of a young, versatile utility player who can fit a roster quite perfectly.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Zack Cozart, who went 3 for 4 with a dinger; Nick Senzel, who continued to make our hearts flutter with a double and an RBI in late game action; Eugenio Suarez, who had a solid 2 for 4 afternoon; Patrick Kivlehan, who went 2 for 2 with a pair of runs scored; Brandon Dixon, who spanked a pair of doubles and drove in 3; Sebastian Elizalde, who doubled as part of his 2 for 3, 2 ribbie afternoon; and probably twelve other guys who had multiple hits.
- Cozart waltzed right out of the dugout in the Bottom of the 1st, put a ball on a tee, and blasted a leadoff dinger to put the Reds ahead, 1-0. Cincinnati wasn’t done in the opening frame, however, as back to back singles by Devin Mesoraco and Eugenio Suarez preceded a load-the-bases walk by Adam Duvall, and Schebler then followed with a 2-run single into LF. Duvall ended up on 3B only momentarily, as he then scored on a sac-fly to RF by Patrick Kivlehan. Reds led, 4-0.
- Milwaukee smacked back in the Top of the 2nd against Sal Romano, however. Jesus Aguilar singled to lead off, and he ended up on 3B when Manny Pina’s grounder to short resulted not into a 6-4-3 double play, but in runners on the corners when Cozart’s throw to Brandon Dixon at 2B went awry. Both then scored on a triple to the wall in LF by Eric Sogard, and Sogard himself scored on a double by Orlando Arcia. Former Red Ivan De Jesus, Jr. then leveled the score by singling into RF to bring Arcia home. De Jesus, Jr. ended up on 3B on a later double by Keon Broxton, and he then scored on a sac fly from Eric Thames that left the Reds trailing, 5-4.
- Elizalde got the Reds back in front in the Bottom of the 3rd when he dumped a double into the RF corner, scoring Schebler (who walked) and Kivlehan (who singled). He then scored a batter later when Dixon hit a deep double to the wall in CF, and the Reds led again, 7-5.
- Romano’s day ended in the Top of the 5th with a 2-run honk by Pino that went well, well over the wall in left-center. Game tied, 7-7.
- A ha! The Reds saw’d after Milwaukee see’d once again, as Dixon spanked a 2-run double in the Bottom of the 5th that scored both Kivlehan and Elizalde (both of whom had singled in front of him). Reds led, 9-7.
- After that, the substitutes came in flurries, and the back and forth nature of this game went bonkers. A Trent Clark triple off Drew Storen in the Top of the 7th scored Jesus Aguilar to make it 9-8 Reds, but Senzel’s double in the Bottom of the 8th drove in Alcantara to put the Reds back in front by a pair, 10-8.
- Unfortunately, a walk-single-walk start to the Top of the 9th was Jacob Ehret’s start to the day, and he then walked Rene Garcia to drive in a run. A walk wasn’t the problem to Nate Orf after that, though, as he spanked a double down the 3B line that kicked off Senzel’s glove, and it scored two to put Milwaukee in front, 11-10.
- All was not lost, however, as Hiram Burgos took the mound for the Brewers to attempt to close things out, and he was a complete dumpster fire. TJ Friedl singled to begin the Bottom of the 9th, and a Reydel Medina single and Shed Long walk loaded the bases, and Alcantara's walk-off double to CF scored enough Reds to put a W in the books. Reds won, 12-11!
- Sal Romano got bit by his defense early, but he clearly had his worst outing of the spring aside from that. He allowed 9 hits - 6 of which went for extra bases - and 5 ER in 4.2 IP, though he did strike out 6 while issuing nary a walk.
- Cincinnati announced earlier today that Jesse Winker had been optioned to AAA Louisville. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, of course, since the Opening Day OF seems to be set and Winker can still get PAs in big league camp.
- Also, of course, there’s the need for the likes of Desmond Jennings, Ryan Raburn, Arismendy Alcantara, and Patrick Kivlehan to get PAs in the OF to determine who can make the big league bench as reserve OFs, and there are only so many spots in the lineup these days.
- The Reds have a whole mess of baseball to play on Saturday, as they’ll send half their squad to Las Vegas to take on the Chicago Cubs in the first game of a weekend set. They’ll also send Amir Garrett to the mound in Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, AZ against the Oakland Athletics in split squad action. Both games are set to start at 4:05 PM ET.