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Reds start season allowing a leadoff dinger, lose to Phillies 4-3 on rainy Opening Day

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Hopefully not an omen for how the season is set to unfold.

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The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Scooter Gennett came to the Cincinnati Reds late in Spring camp, a waiver claim from the Milwaukee Brewers that most everyone didn't see coming. Nonetheless, he made an immediate impact on Opening Day, providing the single biggest burst of momentum for the team on an otherwise dreary day.

Gennett took over at 2B for Jose Peraza mid-game on a double switch, and after lining out sharply in his first PA he lifted a 2-run, opposite field homer in the 9th inning to make the game's final PA at least a bit interesting. While the Reds ultimately lost, that's at least a reasonable highlight for the newest member of the Cincinnati roster.

Honorable Mentions are due to:  Barrett Astin, who got the Reds out of a jam in his big league debut, stranding three runners and salvaging Scott Feldman's overall line; Tucker Barnhart, who singled, walked, and nailed a runner trying to steal 2B; Adam Duvall, who poked a double to the wall in LF as part of a 2 for 4 day; Jose Peraza, who singled twice; and Billy Hamilton, who plated the lone run of the day with a sac fly and later added a speedy triple.

Key Plays

  • The 2017 season truly could not have started off in rougher fashion for the Reds, as Cesar Hernandez launched a Feldman meatball into the RF stands for a solo homer to lead off the game. A single by Howie Kendrick was negated by a slick 4-6-3 double play, but a later single by Maikel Franco led to another run when he scored on a double to the CF wall from Michael Saunders. Reds trailed, 2-0.
  • The Top of the 2nd was only marginally better, as Freddy Galvis lifted a 1-out solo homer into the RF stands, too. Reds trailed, 3-0.
  • The Reds finally scratched the scoreboard in the Bottom of the 3rd, and the bottom of the order was responsible. Singles from Zack Cozart & Barnhart set up a Scott Feldman bunt attempt, and the bases were left loaded with Philly starter Jeremy Hellickson tried and failed to nail Cozart at 3B on the bunt. Billy Hamilton then lifted a sac-fly into RF to get Cincinnati on the board (albeit before a double play abruptly ended the larger threat). Reds trailed, 3-1.
  • Galvis again was behind a Philadelphia run, this time with his double off of Blake Wood in the Top of the 6th. He later scored when a liner off the bat of Hellickson himself got past a sliding Scott Schebler in RF and went to the wall for a run-scoring triple. Reds trailed, 4-1.
  • The Reds made it to the Bottom of the 9th without much of a threat in that span, but Gennett's 2-run blast brought the score closer at 4-3. However, that was the end of the rally, and that's how the first game of the season wrapped.

Tony Graphanino


Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Feldman's day ended just under the 100 pitch mark with a pair of runners on and 2-out in the Top of the 5th, and Astin got him out of that jam. Stranding those runners left Feldman's final line thusly: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K on 99 pitches.
  • The Reds loaded the bases in both the 3rd and 4th innings, and got only a lone run as a result. That was unfortunate.
  • Raisel Iglesias pitched the Top of the 9th after Drew Storen and Michael Lorenzen had both managed scoreless innings earlier in the game. Whether that's an indication of a new bullpen hierarchy or just how the cards fell during a loss, I do not know. Iglesias, for the record, looked plenty healthy, hit 97 mph with his fastball, and also kept the Phillies off the scoreboard.
  • The Reds will have a scheduled off-day on Tuesday, much to the dismay of every person who has ever been bitten by the Baseball is Back bug. The series will resume on Wednesday in GABP with Brandon Finnegan on the mound for Cincinnati, and he'll be opposed by Phillies starer Jerad Eickhoff. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET, and there will be a large, vociferous group of Red Reporter regulars in attendance.
  • Tunes.