The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Nick Senzel entered the game for the Cincinnati Reds in the Top of the 6th inning, and did so as the team’s shortstop. That alone is enough to get noticed in these games at this time of year, but the fact that he handled each of the handful of grounders hit his way effectively and added an RBI single in his first PA gets him this here honor today.
Rest assured, any time the future gives us concrete glimpses that ‘future’ and ‘now’ are close to becoming the same thing, we’re going to write about it, and today was one of those days. Enough of writing about a gawdang rebuild already.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Jesus Reyes, who fanned a pair as part of his perfect 7th inning; Alex Blandino, who walked and scored; Mason Williams, who doubled, walked, and scored; Shed Long, who bonked an RBI double; and Tanner Rainey, who fanned 3 (against 2 walks) in his scoreless 1.1 innings of work.
- Robert Stephenson faced the minimum number of Arizona Diamondbacks in the Top of the 1st, and struck out Christian Walker to begin the Top of the 2nd for his third consecutive strikeout. Things were good. Things then went bad, and quickly. Alex Avila mauled a Bob Steve meatball for a solo homer immediately afterwards, and after Kevin Cron singled on a liner into CF, Jeremy Hazelbaker crushed a hanging breaking ball for a 2-run dinger. Reds trailed, 3-0.
- Arizona tacked on another run in the Top of the 5th, this time against Raisel Iglesias - though his defense sure didn’t help him. A David Peralta single got things started, as he scored a batter later on Nick Ahmed’s double into CF. Of course, Jeff Brantley made it sound like that CF Phil Ervin could’ve had the ball, but took a few steps backwards before charging late and ultimately failing to catch the liner, instead diving and having it get past him. To top things off, Jesse Winker deftly backed up Ervin and fired the ball back in, but catcher Tony Cruz dropped the ball despite it having initially beat the runner by several feet. That’s a long way of saying “the Reds trailed, 4-0.”
- Cincinnati finally got on the board in the Bottom of the 6th, and it was the back-ups that were behind it. Blandino coaxed a leadoff walk off pitcher Michael Blazek, and he later moved all the way over to 3B on a double by Mason Williams. Blandino then scored on a line-drive single up the middle by Senzel, which is a sequence I hope to type so damn many more times over the next decade. Reds trailed, 4-1.
- Kevin Cron, younger brother of C.J. Cron, took some Domingo Tapia sashimi and walloped it out of the ballpark over the CF wall in the Top of the 8th, which left the Reds behind, 5-1.
- Williams walked and later scored on Long’s long double to the wall in CF in the Bottom of the 8th, and that brought the Reds a run closer at 5-2. Unfortunately, that’s how things ended on the day.
Honorary “Joey Votto didn’t play today so here he is” Joey Votto GIF
- Cincinnati pitching struck out 16 Diamondbacks on the day, which is a rather large pile of struck-out Diamondbacks, as piles of struck-out Diamondbacks go.
- Robert Stephenson mixed good with bad in his 1.2 IP, recording strikeouts for 4 of his 5 outs recorded while also issuing a walk and a pair of dingers. He was largely around the plate in his outing, though, which is a positive at this time of year.
- Old friend Seth Mejias-Brean is still alive and well in the Seattle Mariners system, and today he bopped a grand slam against the Cubs, which should make all parties here happy.
- Anthony DeSclafani will get his first start of Cactus League play on Tuesday when the Reds travel to Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix to take on the newfangled Milwaukee Brewers. That, to me, is the most damn intriguing thing to watch this spring, as a healthy Disco rights so, so many things about what’s been wrong with the rotation for two-years going. First pitch is set for 3:05 PM ET, and it will be televised by FS-Ohio.