The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
When Billy Hamilton broke his finger attempting to bunt yesterday, Phillip Ervin’s chance to get regular playing time in CF became quite clear. Phlerv got the start on Thursday for the Cincinnati Reds against the New York Mets, and put on display the kind of skillset that initially made him a 1st round pick years ago.
Ervin doubled, walked, scored a run, drove in a run, hit a ball about as hard as can possibly be hit, and swiped a bag for good measure. While the now 25 year old has repeatedly shown flashes (and stretches) of the kind of performance that makes scouts drool, he’s struggled to put seasons on the whole that reflect that talent. However, he’s still plenty young enough that those skills paired with a big league opportunity just might unlock the entirety of what he can provide a team long-term.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Scott Schebler, who doubled twice.
- The Reds wasted little time in getting on the board against Matt Harvey, plating a run in the Top of the 1st. Ervin led off with a walk (/swoooooon), and he moved all the way to 3B when Votto later singled past the shortstop Jose Reyes (who was attempting to cover 2B on Ervin’s steal attempt). A sac fly to the warning track by Adam Duvall later, the Reds had a 1-0 lead.
- Schebler poked a double into the RF corner to open the Top of the 2nd, and he scored a series of batters later when Phlerv ripped - and I mean ripped - a double off the wall in LF. Reds led, 2-0.
- Brandon Nimmo “doubled” to begin the Bottom of the 2nd, though it was more “hit a ball into the RF corner that Schebler ran down and then had bounce right off his glove.” That burned later after a productive grounder moved Nimmo to 3B and a Dominic Smith single up the middle brought in the run. Reds led, 2-1.
- Smith walked to begin the Bottom of the 4th, and wouldn’t ya know, it haunted. Kevin Plawecki’s double put runners on 2B & 3B, and a later slow single into RF by Reyes was enough to plate both runners. Reds trailed, 3-2.
- Tim Adleman took over for Mahle for the Bottom of the 5th and, well, blergh. Back to back dingers from Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo greeted him, and the Reds fell behind, 5-2.
- Nimmo. Dingers. The guy the Reds once reportedly had trade for in the Jay Bruce deal last year struck again in the Bottom of the 6th - this time off Alejandro Chacin, and this time a 2-run honker. Reds trailed, 7-2.
- That’s it. That’s all there was. Reds lost, 7-2.
- Tyler Mahle’s velocity seemed to be a bit down in this one, as he barely scratched 93 mph and more regularly sat 90-91 mph with his fastball. He was wilder than his reputation would suggest, too. His final line: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K on 72 pitches. Hopefully, it’s just a case of not having his best stuff.
- The second game of this series will feature Amir Garrett’s return to the Cincinnati rotation, and he’ll square off against New York starter Seth Lugo. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.