Ben Lively celebrated the final day of 2014 with a phone call from Walt Jocketty, I assume, as the former GM of the Cincinnati Reds dealt the former 4th round pick of the club to the Philadelphia Phillies that day for veteran slugger Marlon Byrd. It was a last-gasp attempt at keeping the Reds relevant in the midst of a clear and present rebuild, and it began what would become quite the baseball journey around the world for Lively.
He’d eventually work his way through the Kansas City Royals and Arizona Diamondbacks systems, respectively, before eventually landing with the Samsung Lions of the KBO for a trio of years. Back stateside again, Lively was promoted to the Reds again this week when Luis Cessa was designated for assignment, and today did the heaviest of the lifting by the Reds pitching staff in a 5-0 win over the New York Mets.
Lively fired a trio of scoreless frames after Derek Law served as an ‘opener,’ and for his efforts picked up his first win in the big leagues since 2017. That’s Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game worthy in my book despite solid efforts from Jonathan India (2 hits, run), Jake Fraley (2 hits, run, ribbie), and Spencer Steer (solo boom) as well.
It was an early barrage against Mets starter Kodai Senga that put the game in hand, with 2-out hit after 2-out hit in the Top of the 1st eventually giving Cincinnati a 4-0 lead in the opening frame that they’d hold on to for the duration. Law and Lively eventually gave way to Lucas Sims (1.2 IP) and Kevin Herget (3.0 IP, save) for the later work, and the Reds raced home with the win and the 2-1 series victory.
[Link to WPA chart and box score, via FanGraphs]
- The Reds are now 12-9 in home games on the season. Nice!
- The Reds will head to south Florida this evening, and tomorrow they’ll begin a weekend series against the Miami Marlins and the gaping void beyond their CF wall left by the now-removed Dinger Statue from God. Graham Ashcraft will look to get back on track as the starter in Friday’s series opener opposite promising prospect-turned-rookie Eury Perez. First pitch in that one is set for 6:40 PM ET.