The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Anthony DeSclafani has spent the last 17 months in elbow hell. Since September 28th of 2016, he’d not donned a Cincinnati Reds uniform and taken a big league mound, not even in Cactus League play last year. That changed on Tuesday, as Disco got the start against the Milwaukee Brewers for his 2018 debut, and he looked quite good in the process.
Disco threw 27 pitches and allowed only a pair of baserunners in 2 IP, both of which came on bloop, jam-shot hits into shallow LF by left-handed hitters. He allowed neither to score, though, and fanned a pair while issue no walks, and appeared to be locating his fastball quite well, particularly on his glove side. He got a K looking on a fastball on the outside corner, as well as a swinging strike three on a breaking pitch, and looked comfortable on the mound with regular battery mate Tucker Barnhart behind the plate.
That’ll do, Disco. That’ll do quite well.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Adam Duvall, who smacked a homer; Tyler Mahle, who fired a pair of perfect, electric innings, fanning 3; Jose Peraza, who tripled; Mason Williams, who doubled and scored; and Scooter Gennett, who singled and scored against his former club.
- Gennett poked a 2-strike grounder into LF to beat the Brewers shift in the Top of the 4th, and that put him on base for Duvall’s 2-run homer off Brandon Woodruff to open the scoring, a liner off a high fastball that just cleared the wall in left-center. Reds led, 2-0.
- The Reds added another run in the Top of the 5th, as Williams doubled and later scored on a sac fly into LF off the bat of Joey Votto. Reds led, 3-0.
- Jackson Stephens took over for the Bottom of the 5th, and things immediately got hairy. Each of Jesus Aguilar, Keon Broxton, and Orlando Arcia occupied a base when Eric Sogard stepped to the plate, and the begoggled lefty then smacked a bases-clearing double into the RF corner that leveled the score, 3-3.
- Some bloopage and some poor defense in the high skies of Arizona brought Nick Franklin to the plate in the Bottom of the 6th against Jimmy Herget with a pair of runners on base, which made the massive dinger he smoked over the wall in RF of the 3-run variety, and the Reds trailed, 6-3. That, folks, was all she wrote, as each bullpen back-end held the rest of the opposition in check.
(Wait, that’s Tony Graffanino. Carry on.)
- If “simply seeing Anthony DeSclafani on the mound” wasn’t such an exciting revelation, Tyler Mahle would’ve been the clear standout today. His stuff just seems so, so on point when he releases the ball, and he certainly looks the part of being a rock solid big league starter. I think he’ll make a major impact on the Reds this year and beyond, but service clock reasons will probably keep him from making the rotation on Opening Day. Come May, though...
- Sal Romano will get his second start of the spring on Wednesday when the Cincinnati Reds travel to Surprise to tangle with the Kansas City Royals. Yes, that means that he’ll be getting start number two before we see Brandon Finnegan’s debut, and if Reds.com’s ‘Probable Pitchers’ tab is to be believed, we’ll see Michael Lorenzen get his second start of the spring before Finnegan’s debut, too.
- Now that the suspense has been effectively built, it’s worth noting that Finnegan is slated to pitch after Lorenzen on Thursday at some point, as MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon relayed from manager Bryan Price. Unless he isn’t, of course, since it seems they may instead get him work in a ‘B’ game - a controlled game - between now and then instead. I don’t want to be too alarmist, but it’s odd to me that he was cleared as ‘good to go’ when camp started some two weeks ago yet is still in this sort of clearance limbo.