Final R H E
Philadelphia Phillies (1-0) 4 10 0
Cincinnati Reds (0-1) 3 9 1
W: Hellickson (1-0) L: Feldman (0-1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Baseball is back. Forget everything else for a moment. Baseball is back and this is a good thing. We’re going to have a lot of fun here at Redleg Nation over the next six-plus months.

–Scooter Gennett made his Reds debut in the bottom of the seventh. Smoked a line drive right at the first baseman, who tagged Tucker Barnhart off first. Hard luck double play.

Then, in the bottom of the ninth, with the Reds trailing 4-1, Gennett hit a two-run opposite field home run. It’s Scooter’s world, we’re just living in it.

–Adam Duvall had two hits, including a double. Jose Peraza went 2-4. Billy Hamilton tripled and drove in a run on a sacrifice fly. Tucker Barnhart singled, drew a walk, and threw a laser to second base to nail a runner trying to steal.

–Good work by the bullpen tonight: 4.1 innings of one-run relief. Blake Wood gave up that run, but it only run scored thanks to some unfortunate defense by Scott Schebler. It wasn’t ruled an error (and it wasn’t the easiest play to make), but Schebler let a line drive skip past him in the sixth for a triple by Phillie pitcher Jeremy Hellickson. Philadelphia’s final run crossed the plate, and it was an important one, as it was the difference.

–Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias were bringing it, each throwing in the high-90s on the radar gun. Each pitched a scoreless inning.

–Barrett Astin made his major league debut in the fifth inning, and manager Bryan Price didn’t wait long to throw Astin to the wolves. With the Reds down 3-1, Astin entered with runners on first and second with two outs. He induced a ground ball, but Zack Cozart made an error to load the bases. No sweat; Astin just threw up another ground ball, inning over.

Nice work by the kid.

The Bad
–Scott Feldman got the Opening Day start in his Reds debut, and the boos began raining down on him early thanks to a rough first inning. Feldman allowed a home run to the leadoff hitter, and when the inning was over, the Phillies had scored two runs on four hits. Second inning, second homer.

Feldman then settled down a bit, until the fifth, when the Phillies lineup got a chance to hit against him for the third time. After a double and a walk, Price finally pulled the plug, bringing on Astin (see above) who quelled the rally and kept Feldman’s final line from looking even worse than it was.

In 4.2 innings, Feldman allowed three hits on seven hits and two walks.

–The Reds left seven runners on base. Five of those came in the third and fourth innings, when the Reds loaded the bases twice, yet came away with only one run.

–Rough game for Joey Votto, as the curse of Jeremy Hellickson continues. Votto was 0-4 and really didn’t make good contact all day. After his eighth-inning strikeout, Votto abused some equipment and said a naughty word in the dugout.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Largest regular-season crowd in Great American Ballpark history. You can tell Reds fans are excited! (Or something like that.)

–Welcome back to Cincinnati, Scooter Gennett!

–In the top of the seventh, we saw the first intentional walk under the new rule that doesn’t require the pitcher to throw an actual pitch. Drew Storen had a 2-0 count on Michael Saunders when Price ordered up the intentional pass. As Saunders trotted to first, everyone — including Thom Brennaman on the television broadcast — seemed confused. I was confused, too.

Probably shortened the game by at least seven seconds, though!

–Joey Votto will be fine.

–For an innings-eater, Scott Feldman sure didn’t eat very many innings. It was interesting to see how Bryan Price used his bullpen in the absence of a long outing by the starter in the opener. Specifically, we saw Storen in the 7th, Lorenzen in the 8th, and Iglesias in the 9th. Does that show us anything about Price’s mindset when it comes to these guys? Who knows, but it bears watching.

–Astin had never pitched above AA until today. Not a bad debut.

–Up next: Brandon Finnegan will face the Phillies on Wednesday night.

33 Responses

  1. Mike Adams

    Did anyone else see what I thought I saw in the eighth inning? When Joey Votto was batting, Neris came right after him, giving him pitches to swing at. Then when Duvall came up next, Neris was bouncing the ball across the plate or missing badly as if he wanted nothing to do with Duvall.

    • I-71_Exile

      He could have been dialed in focus-wise on Votto and then lost it for Duvall. Who knows?

      That said, Joey might take some time to find his wallet. It’s still just one game, but Joey’s spring was about the opposite of last year where he was on fire.

  2. nicolecushing

    Key stat of the day:

    On opening day, before a packed stadium, at home, against the lowly Phils, our Redlegs go 1 for 8 with RISP. That disappointing execution seems, to me, to stem from a chronic lack of confidence. A team afflicted with an en masse case of situational “yips”.

    Not-quite-there offense + poor starting pitching = worst Reds season in many years, possibly ever. 100 losses is not out of the question, especially since Bryan Price will see the handwriting on the wall and start to mentally check-out of his job shortly after the All-Star Break.

    I know this is only opening day. And I know several aspects of the team will improve a little over the season. But I also know that there will be injuries, a Cozart trade, etc. I hate to always be the Debbie Downer of Redleg Nation, but I think this is just being realistic.

    I wish it wasn’t the case, but it is. The Reds will probably have the worst record in the league this year.

    • I-71_Exile

      So when the Reds don’t lose 100 games and the pitchers end up being around league average what will you say?

    • nicolecushing

      You’re right. But there’s no indication that things will get any better. I don’t have confidence that we’ll see a healthy Bailey or Mesoraco to come in and save the day. Healthwise, both of them are like used cars that keep having problems. (Which is a shame, because I really enjoyed watching both of them.)

      This is a situation where, theoretically, the Reds had every chance. A piss-poor opponent (picked by Sporting News to be last in the NL East), a home game, big crowd, early in the season, and they STILL flubbed it.

      Based on 5+ years of watching this team, I think today’s performance will be the rule rather than example. I hope I’m wrong.

    • Chuck Schick

      They won last year on Opening Day and sucked so your projection makes zero sense

      • nicolecushing

        Sure it does. They sucked last year. They’ll suck this year. Only they’ll suck a little *worse* this year. Again, I hope I’m wrong.

        Obviously, one game does not a season make. But this isn’t a knee-jerk ragefest after one loss. It’s about how they played today and how the problems from this game are the same problems we’ve seen in the past. It’s about recent history (last year they lost 94 games) and about how there’s no signs of things getting better this year.

    • Dewey Roberts

      I have been Reds fan since 1961. I am very pessimistic about the future of this organization. Feldman is our ace- that about says it all. What a return for all the trades of star players.
      I know people want to think that the Reds will be good in 2018 or 2019. Don’t count on it. This is a bad team and a bad organization at the present. Jocketty was a disaster and the jury is out on Williams. I see lots of losing seasons in front of the Reds. This year the team will probably lose 90-95 games. Bad pitching will demoralize the hitters.

      • Keith

        Feldman isn’t the ace. Nobody is pretending he is. He was just the healthiest veteran on Opening Day. No reason to put any more pressure than necessary on the young arms. If the organization could have predicted that bailey and disco would be hurt, they probably would have planned accordingly. Injuries happen. This team has a lot of young, exciting talent. Won’t necessarily materialize into wins every day, but they’ll be fun to watch if you want to look on the bright side.

      • Dewey Roberts

        Well, then, it was stupid to have Feldman pitch on opening day if he is not the “ace.” And just so you understand I realize Feldman is not a true ace. That is my point.

    • Joe McManus

      What…5+ years? I kid; love lighten up Francis. Would have loved to see a win and it will be a year of growing pains, but there is no chance we lose more games than we did last year.

    • Chuck Schick

      They are on pace to go 0-162. Things are very grave.

      When they won on opening day last year there was a chorus of ” they could contend for the wild card.”

  3. mdhabel

    Definitely most excited about Peraza’s performance. I am really hoping he can have a true breakout year

    • Chad Dotson

      His last at-bat was ugly, but I think today was a microcosm of what we can expect from Peraza. He made good contact, played pretty good defense, an ugly at-bat because he swings at too many pitches outside the zone.

      I think he’s going to be fun to watch this year.

      • Scotly50

        I am as well. If Gennett keeps up his hitting, the Reds will have a dilemma.

  4. LR Green

    Well, the Redlegs won’t go undefeated this year. I don’t really see how they can be worse than last year. I mean, the pitching can be bad – and still be much better than last years gasoline-inducing staff. I think the ceiling is .500 – and that seems amazingly unrealistic given we run our Scott Feldman on Opening Day. But I do think this crew has some interesting talent.

  5. joshtrum

    I know it’s a titanic struggle, but with a team of new faces and some optimism, maybe we can make a more optimistic title for the recap. I get all sad when I see Titanic Struggle. Maybe blooper(real) or Re-Boot-Build, both seem apt. Anyway, I anticipated Feldman would be just about here for opening day. Still feel we shoulda let one of the young guns get the start, but today is past, tomorrow is coming, and my hopes are Brandon continues from last year en route to a sound win on Wednesday. Go Redlegs.

    • Chad Dotson

      For what it’s worth — and for those who may not know — we’ve been using “Titanic Struggle” for years because that’s a line that Marty always uses on the radio broadcast.

  6. MIchael B. Green

    Just one game but I believe that other than one bunt attempt, Billy Hamilton hit the ball in the air every PA. Time to watch Major League, Billy.

  7. DavidTurner49

    Question for those who saw the game- Was Feldman off today somehow or is this who he is now?

  8. GreatRedLegsFan

    After two or three bad outings there’s no meaning in keeping him in the rotation, do not repeat the Alfredo Simon fiasco.

  9. Darrin

    We have to remember Peraza is still only 22 years old, he’s going to be good, possibly very, very good. Other worldly good? Of course not, but definitely the potential to be an all star. Maybe a perennial all star. There’s a reason he was ranked the number 1 prospect in the braves organization a few years ago.

  10. cfd3000

    I hadn’t seen Feldman before (at least, not to,pay attention to), but for a guy with average “stuff” who supposedly limits damage by limiting walks and home runs I’d say he’s in trouble already. Not horrible, but there’s no reason to be giving him starts with so many more promising young arms in development. I’d much rather see Robert Stephenson working on his control, or Sal Romano figuring out how to handle adversity, or… almost anyone else. Very disappointing. Otherwise baseball,is back and the Reds are better than the 2016 version. I’m ready. And can I just say I hate that the day after Opening Day is always an off day? More baseball please!

  11. Paul (@jockopablo)

    As bad as Feldman was, the Reds were one hit away from winning that game, and they had multiple chances to do it with bases loaded.

  12. Simon Cowell

    Not much to take away although very predictable results

  13. Nick Carrington

    Small sample but I wonder if Lorenzen has been working on the curveball over the offseason. Threw a couple good ones and one that was way off. If he can control that pitch, he’s going to be dominant. Cutter was fooling people.

  14. Daytonian

    There’s more to Opening Day than just the game. There’s the Opening Day parade. My granddaughter loved all of the fire trucks! Opening Day in Cincy is still the best holiday ever (maybe excepting Bockfest). All of the Reds fans wearing their Cincy gear who never made it to the ballpark but watched the game in the bars! Cincy is simply a great baseball town!

    • Chad Dotson

      It’s an even better town when the Reds are winning. Hopefully, we’ll get to witness that in the near future.

  15. Chad Dotson

    In case it was unclear, what I intended to say was that the order of usage bears watching. In other words, does Price consider the bullpen heirarchy to be Iglesias, Lorenzen, Storen. I just assumed he’d have Storen in the traditional “closer” role early in the year.

  16. Chuck Schick

    Perhaps you could share with us who was traded for Feldman?

  17. Chuck Schick

    I can’t think of a finer idea than to proactively give their best hitter fewer at bats because he had a rough start a year ago. A rough start in which he was hitting the ball extremely well and endured a historically awful BABIP.

    What a great message that sends to your best player.