The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
If the reaction you had when Scott Feldman served up a leadoff homer to Cesar Hernandez on Opening Day was dear lord, this is going to be a long season, we can certainly empathize. When Freddy Galvis added a homer of his own later on, the idea of watching Feldman grow ever older while in a Cincinnati Reds uniform looked as if it'd be about as enjoyable as the miserable weather that day.
Sunday, however, brought ample sunshine and an outing on the mound by Feldman that should effectively kick those Opening Day memories to the curb for now. Against the St. Louis Cardinals in the rubber match of the series, Feldman was absolutely dominant, allowing just 4 hits and a lone walk in 6 scoreless innings on the mound. He pitched into the 7th, struck out 6, and hit spots as effectively as any pitcher the Reds have used in any outing so far this year.
He surely won't be this good for the rest of the season - that would break a pile of records - but Feldman showed enough today to at least calm the worries that the meatballs he routinely served up in his first start of the season would be a day in, day out worry. Congrats on a heckuva bounce-back start, Scott, and have a trophy.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Adam Duvall, who homerered, drove in a pair, and scored twice as part of his 3 hit day; Eugenio Suarez, who singled twice, walked, scored, and had a terrific defensive day at 3B; Blake Wood, who fired 2 scoreless innings after inheriting a pair of baserunners and nobody out in the 7th; Zack Cozart, who tripled in a run (and added a walk); Scott Schebler, who doubled in a run (and later scored, too); Joey Votto, who homered, walked, and scored twice; and Tony Cingrani, who K'd 2 in an impressive inning of relief.
- Duvall maybe-probably should've been called out on strikes on an inside pitch from Carlos Martinez in the Top of the 2nd that looked like it caught a bit of the zone, but - to Cincinnati's benefit - he was not. Two pitches later, Duvall mauled a meatball over the wall in LF for a solo homer to start the scoring. Reds led, 1-0.
- Cozart's triple to the wall in CF in the Top of the 5th scored Schebler, who was plunked to leadoff the inning, and that put Cincinnati ahead, 2-0.
- Jose Peraza was plunked on the left arm to start the Top of the 6th inning, and he later moved to 2B on a wild pitch. Votto then walked before Duvall dumped an RBI single into left-center to score Peraza, and Votto scored a batter later when Jhonny Peralta booted a grounder at 3B and threw the chance for a force-out at 2B into shallow RF. That ended Martinez's day in favor of Brett Cecil, but the lefty served up a double to Schebler that scored both Duvall and Suarez (thanks to an error on RF Randal Grichuk). Reds led, 6-0.
- Hamilton led off the Top of the 7th with a soft liner into RF that his speed turned into a double, and he scored a pitch later when Peraza dumped an RBI single into almost the exact same spot. Reds led, 7-0.
- Votto put the icing on the cake with a solo homer off Seung-Hwan Oh in the Top of the 9th, turning around an 82 mph breaking ball for Cincinnati's 8th run of the day. After that, Tony Cingrani shut down St. Louis quickly in the Bottom of the 9th, and that was that. Reds won, 8-0!
- It resulted in a mere fly-out to CF, but Joey Votto worked an impressive 12 pitch AB against Carlos Martinez in the Top of the 1st in a baseball version of a chess match.
- Schebler's double off lefty Brett Cecil comes on the heels of his homer against lefty Kevin Siegrist in Friday's game. Perhaps he got wind of all the off-season talk of him potentially being platooned in RF.
- The Reds will head to Pittsburgh later Sunday, and on Monday they’ll begin a three game series against the Pirates. First pitch is set for 7:05 PM ET tomorrow, with Brandon Finnegan slated for the start for Cincinnati. He’ll be opposed by hard throwing 6’8" rookie Tyler Glasnow in what has the makings of a great pitching matchup.