The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Jackson Stephens wasn’t the rookie pitcher the Cincinnati Reds sent out to start Thursday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals, but he certainly was the rookie pitcher who had the most success.
Brought in for 3 innings of relief, Stephens needed just 32 pitches to get his 9 outs recorded. He allowed just a lone hit, walked none - which was refreshing as all hell to witness - and used a fastball that routinely sat at 95 mph to control the Cardinals hitters he faced. Hopefully, it’s a sign that he’s still got plenty of gas left in the tank for this year, and odds are we’ll see him get at least one more chance to start before the end of the season.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Scott Schebler, who doubled, scored, and tripled in a run; and Joey Votto, who doubled, walked, and scored.
- The Reds got on the board in the Top of the 2nd thanks to some finicky glove shenanigans on the part of St. Louis shortstop Paul DeJong. Schebler had doubled to reach 2B and made it to 3B on Adam Duvall’s productive groundout before Phillip Ervin rolled over on a slow grounder at DeJong that looked the part of the inning’s 3rd out. Fortunately for the Reds, it went right under his glove, and Schebler touched home to give the Reds the 1-0 lead.
- Walks, as they so often do, haunt. Amir Garrett ran smack into that idiom in the Bottom of the 3rd as he issued back to back 2-out walks only to see both runners swipe bags on a double steal before Jose Ramirez dumped a 2-run single into RF. Reds trailed, 2-1.
- Have I mentioned that walks will haunt? Garrett walked Matt Carpenter to open the Bottom of the 5th and promptly served up what became a 2-run dinger to Tommy Pham a batter later. Reds trailed, 4-1.
- After that, Asher Wojciechowski later came on, loaded the bases, and allowed a 5th run in the Bottom of the 8th, a run the Reds got back off Juan Nicasio in the Top of the 9th after Votto doubled and scored on Schebler’s triple. Unfortunately, that ended the scoring, and the Reds lost, 5-2.
- Amir Garrett was decent for awhile until he absolutely wasn’t, which is a pretty accurate way of describing most every outing he’s had so far this year. He faced 3 hitters in his 5th inning of work - walking two, allowing a dinger, and recording nary an out - which left this as his final line: 4+ IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 7 K on 86 pitches.
- As The Enquirer’s Zach Buchanan noted on Twitter, 3 of the 4 batters Garrett walked came in to score. Don’t do walks, kids.
- The Reds will return to Cincinnati this evening, and on Friday they’ll begin their final homestand of the 2017 season. Man, it’s a bummer to type that.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates will roll into town, too, and on Friday they’ll begin a 3-game series against the Reds in GABP. Homer Bailey will get the start for Cincinnati, while the Pirates will send Chad Kuhl to the bump. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET.