The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Contrary to what common consensus may be, there’s a lot of different ways to have all kinds of have fun watching the 2017 Cincinnati Reds. There’s Joey Votto’s Vottoness, Billy Hamilton’s legs, Raisel Iglesias’ arm, and Adam Duvall’s affinity for hitting the dog snot out of the baseball. On Thursday, we got to see Adam Duvall hit the dog snot out of the baseball.
Duvall took an off-speed offering on the inside part of the plate at the knees and launched it to left field for a 2-run dinger to cap off a 2-for-4 day at the plate in which he scored twice, providing a crucial piece of offense to the Reds on this wet and cloudy afternoon. He’s off to a 5-for-11 start to the season at the plate through the first series, and looked as comfortable as anyone swinging the bat in the wee morning hours of 2017. Have a trophy, Duvall. I’m certain it won’t be your only one this season.
Honorable mentions go to Eugenio Suarez, who went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk, Zack Cozart, who went 2-for-3 with two RBI’s, Michael Lorenzen, who crushed a pinch-hit homer to straightaway center field in the sixth inning, Stuart Turner, who made his major league debut behind the plate and drove in a run while working a solid day behind the plate, Drew Storen, who notched his first save as a Red, and Wandy Peralta, Cody Reed, Tony Cingrani and Blake Wood, who combined for five innings of hitless, shutout baseball from the bullpen.
- Davis’ career debut got off to a rocky start in the top of the first when Daniel Nava became the second Phillie in three games to smack a solo homer in the first inning. Odubel Herrera singled behind him, but Davis limited the damage to that in his first inning of big league action. Reds trailed One-Zip.
- The Reds got that run back in the bottom of the second, thanks to a lead-off ground-rule double by Suarez. Suarez advanced to third on a groundball and came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Cozart. Through two innings, it was tied at one apiece.
- The 34-year old Nava got the better of Davis in his second at-bat as well, this time to the tune of 2-run blast. These were Nava’s first two plate appearances of the season, by the way. Odubel Herrera doubled behind him, and made it hurt three batters later when he scored on a wild pitch. Davis needed nearly 40 pitches to get through this frame, and was looking up at 4-1 deficit at the end of it.
- Davis got a few fans back on his side in the bottom of the third, though, when he took the first pitch he saw as a major league hitter and crushed it to the base of the wall in left field for a double. Hamilton reached behind him when Cesar Hernandez dropped a pop-up in shallow right, but a pair of groundouts by Jose Peraza and Votto killed any threat the Reds had. Philadelphia leads 4-1.
- The Reds threatened again in the fourth, but this time they came through on it. Duvall led the inning off with a nice single to right that beat the shift the Phillies had against him, with Suarez following him with a single and Scott Schebler taking a walk to load the bases with nobody out. What followed that was a great sequence of situational hitting, with Cozart singling to left to bring in his second RBI of the game, Stuart Turner lifting a sacrifice fly to right and Scooter Gennett tying the game with an RBI groundout to first. Hamilton stranded a go-ahead run at third to end it, but the Reds finally had their first crooked number of the season, and the game was tied at 4-4.
- Offense on both sides was quieted for a couple innings until Michael Lorenzen was brought in to pinch hit with two outs in the sixth, and immediately clobbered a home run to center. Reds had their first lead of the game, 5-4.
- Cincinnati’s long-ball game continued in the seventh, but this time it came from a more likely source. Two batters after Peraza singled and stole second, Adam Duvall launched his first dinger of the season with a 2-run bomb to left. 7-4, good guys.
- The Reds’ bullpen was incredible in this game, and Storen polished it off with a shutout ninth to notch the save. Reds win 7-4 to take the series.
- The last MLB pitcher before Lorenzen to homer in a pinch-hit appearance was also a Red - Micah Owings, on May 10, 2009 against the St. Louis Cardinals.
- In a small sample size, the Reds’ bullpen has begun the season with a line of 12.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 7 BB, and 14 K. That’s damn near the polar opposite of what the beginning of last season looked like.
- It was announced during the game that Devin Mesoraco will begin his season at AA Pensacola this evening, and every effort will be made to get him on the big league roster by the end of April. Considering how the last couple of years have gone, news that Mesoraco will be playing baseball of any kind today is good news.
- The Reds will be back in action on the road at St. Louis on Friday, with another young arm making his major league debut. Top pitching prospect Amir Garrett will oppose former Red Mike Leake on the mound, with game time set for 8:15 p.m. EST.