The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
The idea that Jose Iglesias would be needed to play a major role for the Cincinnati Reds at all in the 2019 season seemed odd on paper just a few weeks ago. Jose Peraza was fresh off a solid 2018 season, Scooter Gennett was entrenched as the All Star 2B, and even Nick Senzel - despite his CF forays in spring training - seemed to be a reasonable depth option for the middle infield should anything ever go wrong. And, of course, Derek Dietrich was in the middle infield mix, meaning Iglesias, who was brought in on a minor league contract in the spring, was a bit of a depth-centric afterthought.
Funny how injuries manage to shake things up quickly, though.
With Scooter out, Iglesias has been thrust into a much more prominent role, being the team’s primary SS through the first 10 games. On Wednesday against the Miami Marlins, his glovework was on full display in a super-tight game, as he made a handful of brilliant plays to help keep runs off the board, and even chipped in with the equalizer dinger in the 8th inning to help the Reds turn a dull would-be loss into a victory.
Frankly, even if his bat slows down - and it probably will - he’s already shown the kind of glovework that will make him memorable to Reds fans for years down the road, and this season has only just begun.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Tyler Mahle, who battled control issues early but eventually settled in, allowing a lone earned run in his 5 IP, allowing 2 H, 4 BB, with 7 K; Amir Garrett, who fired 1.1 scoreless, hitless innings (with 2 K); and Jesse Winker, who cracked a solo dinger to put the Reds ahead for good; and Raisel Iglesias, who nailed down a save in a perfect inning of work.
- After both teams managed to scatter runners all over the bases without a run through the first pair of innings, Neil Walker dented the scoreboard - not literally - with a solo blast into the moon deck in RF in the Top of the 3rd to put the Reds behind, 1-0.
- It took until the Bottom of the 8th for the Reds to strike back, but strike back they did. Iglesias turned around a Drew Steckenrider meatball for a solo shot that just cleared the wall in right-center, and the game was then tied, 1-1. Two batters later, Winker poked an oppo-dinger over the wall in LF - his second such shot in the last two games - and the Reds jumped ahead, 2-1. That’s the score that would go in the books, too, as the Reds escaped with the comeback victory.
- After opening the season with an 0-4 record in 1-run games, getting this one on the right side of the ledger was quite the fun thing to witness.
- It’s a matinee finale for this series on Thursday, as the Reds and Marlins will conclude their baseballing for the time being with a 12:35 PM ET start. Sonny Gray will be on the mound for Cincinnati, and he’ll be opposed by Marlins starter Pablo Lopez.