The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Two pitches into Scott Feldman's Opening Day start with the Cincinnati Reds, I tweeted sarcastically that the early returns on his cheapo signing looked to already be shrewd. He then allowed a homer to Philadelphia Phillies leadoff hitter Cesar Hernandez, which made the initial inane comment shine that much uglier as a would-be metaphor for the upcoming season of the rebuild.
Since those Opening Day bummers, however, Feldman has settled into his role as the veteran of the Reds' pitching corps, and on Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles he looked downright dominant.
Feldman allowed a lone run in 7 highly efficient innings pitched, walked nobody, yielded just 4 hits, and struckout 4 in his 86 throws from the mound, and looked plenty capable of being exactly what he was signed to be: not the team's best starter, but a stabilizing force in the middle of the rotation. More of that would be juuust fine.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who smacked his 5th dinger of the season; Raisel Iglesias, who struck out an absurd 5 batters in his 2 scoreless innings from the bullpen; and Zack Cozart, who cracked another extra base hit (a double).
- Baltimore struck first off Feldman, with Jonathan Schoop belting a solo homer just inside the LF foul pole in the Top of the 2nd to put the Reds behind, 1-0.
- Votto equalized later, however, smashing a towering solo shot of his own over the wall in CF off a Wade Miley breaking ball in the Bottom of the 4th. Game tied, 1-1.
- As both offenses stalled, the game moved to extra innings, and the Orioles jumped ahead immediately in the Top of the 10th. Mark Trumbo coaxed a 1-out walk off Blake Wood, and it hauntedafter he moved to 2B on a productive grounder thanks to an RBI single into LF by Hardy that brought him in to score. Reds trailed, 2-1.
- After that, Brad Brach mowed through the heart of the Cincinnati order quickly, and Cincinnati lost, 2-1.
- The Orioles got thrown out at 3B in back to back innings, which was rather hilarious. One came on Billy Hamilton misplaying a liner off the bat of JJ Hardy that went over his head, but Billy adeptly tracked it down, hit the cutoff man, and the Reds nailed the Baltimore SS attempting to stretch it into a triple.
- The Reds will return to senior circuit play on Friday when the Chicago Cubs come to town. Tim Adleman will make his first start of the year, and he’ll be opposed by lefty Jon Lester. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET.
- Considering Lester can’t throw to first and both Billy Hamilton and Jose Peraza sit atop the NL steals leaderboard, expect one part steals tomorrow and twelve parts the booth talking about how often steals should be attempted.
- Peraza, however, is just 2 for his last 23, and ya can't steal if you don't make it to 1B.
- Tonight's loss clinches a non-winning 10 game homestand, as it marks the 5th loss since the Reds returned for their lengthy stay in GABP. A sweep of the Cubs, though, would at least leave it as a .500 homestand.