The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Jose Peraza had his best game of the early 2018 season, and it was a well-rounded game at that. The Cincinnati Reds shortstop went 2 for 3 with a double, a stolen base, a run scored, and several defensive plays that finally, finally made it look like he can be a capable defender at the most important defensive position on the diamond.
Look, not a single healthy Red has had a solid start to the season, but the way Peraza has come on over the last week after an 0-fer start to the year is certainly promising. Here’s to hoping he can keep that going - especially while Eugenio Suarez is out injured.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who went 3 for 5 with a ribbie and a run scored; Luis Castillo, who had an up and down start but still only allowed 3 ER in his 6 IP; Amir Garrett, who fired another impressive inning in relief, fanning 2; Scooter Gennett, who singled, doubled, and scored a run; and Raisel Iglesias, who actually got a chance to pitch again for the first time in days (and looked as good as he usually does in the process).
- Luis Castillo allowed a single to opposing pitcher Nick Pivetta in the Bottom of the 2nd, which was both a) frustrating as all hell and b) double-damning, as it put a runner on-base for J.P. Crawford’s second deck dinger. Reds trailed, 2-0.
- The Reds finally struck back in the Top of the 4th, as Peraza scored on Votto’s single through the shift after he led off with a double into LF. Scooterfollowed with an infield single to put runners at 1B and 2B, and they both moved up a bag on a deep fly-out off the bat of Devin Mesoraco. That proved important when Phil Ervin hit a soft grounder to SS that was productive enough to bring the tying run in from 3B. Game tied, 2-2.
- Cesar Hernandez hit a second-decker off Castillo in the Bottom of the 5th - fortunately only of the solo variety. Reds trailed, 3-2.
- The Reds mounted a 9th inning rally off Hector Neris, which was a much-needed sight to behold. Gennett doubled off the fence in RF (that was nearly a homer and confirmed via review), and he scored after back to back singles from Mesoraco and Ervin. Game tied, 3-3.
- A hot fart of decision-making later, and the Phillies finally won in the Bottom of the 12th, as Pedro Florimon reached on a complete airball of a throwing error by Gennett, moved to 2B on said error, inched over to 3B on a bunt, and scored on a sac fly. Reds lose, 4-3.
- The Reds were carrying a short bench after placing Suarez and Scott Schebler on the 10-day DL earlier this year. That bit them mightily after they didn’t score a go-ahead run in the Top of the 9th, meaning Raisel Iglesias - who had already pitched 2 innings and wasn’t going to pitch anymore - had to bat for himself in a tie game in the Top of the 10th. Yeesh.
- Robert Stephenson got the start for the Louisville Bats tonight, and had one of his best outings at any level in quite sometime.
- Phil Gosselin got the start over Alex Blandino at 3B tonight, which I guess is palatable when you consider Gosselin is originally from the Philly area. Still, Cliff Pennington got the start in the first game of the series (and appeared late defensively tonight) while Blandino rode pine again, which makes no sense in any world where the Reds are ‘rebuilding.’ And dear god, we all know the rebuild is still in its depths.
- The Reds will return to Cincinnati in the wee hours of the night tonight, and on Wednesday they’ll open a series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Sal Romano will toe the rubber in the series opener opposite Michael Wacha, with first pitch set for a school-friendly 6:40 PM ET.