The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Mason Williams started in the cleanup spot for the Cincinnati Reds on the day, in case you needed any indication of what type of depleted lineup was rolled out in the series finale against the Milwaukee Brewers. That’s not meant as a knock on Williams, of course, as he’s a perfectly decent reserve outfielder who deserves to play a bit here and there; rather, it’s more of an acknowledgement that when you remove the likes of Joey Votto, Scott Schebler, Jesse Winker, and Adam Duvall from the everyday mix while also getting Eugenio Suarez a day off, the pickins become slim in a hurry.
At least Jose Peraza, who was back in the lineup after a day-off Tuesday, continued to swing a hot bat. The Cincinnati SS singled twice, netting 2 of the team’s 5 measly hits on the day, and for that he deserves some continued dap.
- Christian Yelich went into today’s game having hit .320/.414/.600 against Cincinnati Reds pitching this season. Needless to say, that 1.014 OPS immediately rose, as he opened the Bottom of the 1st with a solo homer off Robert Stephenson over the CF wall. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- Ryan Braun ended up on 2B with a double after lining a ball into LF that intially was caught by a diving Phil Ervin - only for the ball to trickle out of Erv’s glove when he landed. That proved large later in the inning when pitcher Freddy Peralta picked up his first hit of the season, an RBI single up the middle to put the Reds behind, 2-0.
- Stephenson was at 90 pitches through 5 innings, but Jim Riggleman opted to send the young righty back out for the Bottom of the 6th. A grand total of 4 pitches later, and apparently what Riggleman had thought he’d seen had evaporated entirely, as he pulled Stephenson after back to back singles by Jonathan Schoop and Manny Pina. Sure, why not? Riggles turned to Wandy Peralta, and that didn’t pan out, either, after Peralta bunted to move the runners up, Yelich singled in a run on a liner into LF, and Lorenzo Cain plated another run on a softly chopped infield single. Reds trailed, 4-0. That, unfortunately, is how the scoring ended.
- Stephenson’s final line was rather ugly, due largely to the 6th inning damage that big him with a pair of inherited runs scoring: 5+ IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K on 94 pitches. His ERA sits at 7.59 after his trio of starts since being called up from AAA Louisville.
- Cincinnati’s 2019 schedule was released earlier today, which features a March 28th Opening Day against the Pittsburgh Pirates as well as a ‘home’ series against the St. Louis Cardinals that will be played in Mexico. Here are some more details on the next 162 game set.
- Eugenio Suarez got the day off from starting after filling in for Jose Peraza at SS last night. That allowed Dilson Herrera to get a second straight day, which was pleasant to see.
- The Reds NL Central road trip takes them south from Milwaukee to Chicago, where on Thursday they’ll open a weekend series against the Cubs. First pitch on Thursday is set for 8:05 PM ET, with Anthony DeSclafani and Cole Hamels the scheduled starters.