The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Spring is winding down and it’s almost time for real, live baseball. The team’s time in Arizona is drawing to an end, which means it’s time to take all of the platitudes about “being in the best shape of my life” from February and turning it into something tangible on the field.
Adam Duvall is apparently ready, as he went off today. Despite nearly every Reds prognosticator being ready to give Duvall’s job away to Jesse Winker, Duvall reminded everyone that he is still a very big, powerful baseball player. In this one, he collected 3 hits, 2 of which cleared the fence for many runs. All told, he scored those two runs and batted 4 in.
It’s going to be a big year for Adam Duvall. Outings like this when it really counts will go a long way toward his goal of cementing his place in the starting line up in May, June, and beyond.
Honorable mention to: Joey Votto, who walked twice and gets on base in any month. Billy Hamilton, who got going a bit today after a rough spring, collecting 2 hits and what felt like several stolen bases. Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez, who combined for 3 hits and 2 RBI. And Arismendy Alcantara, who continued a strong spring by dingering once as part of a 2 hit day.
On the pitching side: Scott Feldman, who was perfectly serviceable in his 5.2 innings pitched, allowing only 2 runs an 4 hits, striking out 4. Barrett Astin, too, only allowed a hit in his 2.1 IP, with a strike out.
- Billy Hamilton started the Reds off with a sharply hit ground ball single that was deflected by Alex Wood and, when that happens, you’re not throwing Billy Hamilton out. Hamilton moved to second on a Cozart single before Joey Votto struck out. With Adam Duvall at the plate, Hamilton stole third before Duvall plated him with a single of his own. Eugenio Suarez grounded into a double play to end the Reds first. 1-0, Reds.
- Rob Segedin doubled to lead off the top of 2nd inning for the Dodgers before Cody Bellinger reminded everybody why he’s yet another Dodger prospect that’s ranked in the top-10 in all of baseball (ignoring that point one something spring batting average). He smacked a 2 run dinger, but Feldman and the Reds limited the damage. Dodgers, 2-1.
- Sweet Swingin’ Arismendy clawed the Reds back in the home portion of the inning, however, with a dinger of his own. After two full, the game was tied, 2-2.
- The Reds added on in the bottom of the 3rd, with Cozart singling to begin the frame. Joey Votto Joey Votto’d on 4 pitches. After a Duvall flyout, Eugenio singled to left field, scoring Cozart. Schebler then tapped one to shortstop to score Votto. Reds double up and lead 4-2.
- The Reds scored a Billy Specialty run in the 4th. After doubling with one out, Hamilton stole third. The ball got away from Dodgers third baseman Segedin and, in his attempt to scramble for the ball, inadvertently held Hamilton up from going home. The umpires ruled interference and awarded Billy home plate, despite being thrown out comfortably. Reds up, 5-2.
- In the bottom of the 5th, former and future All Star Adam Duvall bopped a big fly, his 4th of the spring. Reds: 6-2.
- And wouldn’t you know it, after Joey Votto’s second walk of the day, Duvall hit his second tater of the day. Adam Duvall is a strong man, and don’t forget it. Reds lead, 8-2.
- Josh VanMeter, a real person, singled to begin the bottom of the 8th, followed by a Tony Renda walk. Billy reached on a throwing error, loading the bases, and Cozart smacked a sac fly to score Real Guy VanMeter. The Reds would only get the one insurance run, however. 9-2.
- Lucas Luetge gave up a lead off tater to The Fresh Prince in the top of the ninth, but allowed no other damage. Reds win easily, 9-2.
- The Reds made a slew of moves today, the most interesting of which was claiming Scooter Gennett off of waivers from the Brewers. We wrote about it, so go yuck it up with us over there.
- In “Moves that seem like shade but probably aren’t shade though it really, really seems like it,” Scooter Gennett, who has really only played 2B and will probably only play 2B for the Cincinnati Reds, will wear number 4 this coming season. It’s been a while since that number was available, of course. Hmm.
- In what is kind of a baffling move (to me, at least), the Reds have reassigned OF Desmond Jennings to minor league camp. He seemed pretty likely to make the team on Opening Day. As the Enquirer’s Zach Buchanan notes, however, Jennings has an opt-out before OD, so it’s not likely he’ll be around Cincinnati at all. Hmmmmm.
- SB Nation’s baseball preview is out. It offers nothing of substance about the Reds, which I was a little more salty about than logical earlier, but whatever. Check it out.