Cody Reed obviously realizes what is at stake and he put his best foot forward Tuesday afternoon in Goodyear, Ariz.
And he may be landing both feet squarely into the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation.
It is hard to believe that anybody for the Reds pitched well in a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim that the Reds lost, 9-1.
But Cody Reed was awesome.
HE PITCHED A GLORIOUS 5 2/3 innings against the Angels — no runs, one hit, two walks and five strikeouts.
The 6-foot-5, 228-pound 23-year-old left hander stumbled through a rough big-league indoctrination last season, going 0-and-7 with a 7.36 earned run average in 47 2/3 innings over 10 starts.
In five appearances this spring Reed has pitched 16 2/3 innings and given up six earned runs and 11 hits while walking five and striking out 20.
REED WAS ONE OF THREE pitchers the Reds obtained two years ago from Kansas City (Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb) for Johnny Cueto. Finnegan was the centerpiece, already having appeared in major league games, including the World Series for the Royals and he was in the Reds rotation all of last season.
Scouts, though, said Reed would be the best of the lot. Lamb is already gone, but Reed is making a stern case for rotation inclusion.
REED WAS HOOKED UP in an excellent pitching exhibition against former Reds pitcher J.C. Ramirez. He pitched five innings and gave up only one run and four hits, walking none and striking out six. His one misstep cost him — a fourth-inning opposite field home run by Cincinnati’s Ryan Raburn, a guy most likely to be on the Reds’ bench this season as a veteran outfielder.
THE REDS HAD AN opportunity to scramble over .500 for the first time this spring at 13-12, but they let it get away when the Angels scored five unearned runs in the seventh inning.
Evan Mitchell came into the game with two outs in the sixth to replace Reed and promptly struck out Mike Trout.
AND HE HAD TWO OUTS and nobody on in the seventh when the calamity struck.
Danny Espinosa singled and Jefry Marte walked.
Second baseman Tony Renda fielded a routine ground ball by Ben Revere and was 20 feet from first base, an easy flip for the third out. But his throw was high, wide and ugly for an error as Espinosa scored.
The Angels then tried a double steal and catcher Tucker Barnhart decided to throw through to get Revere. Revere stopped and retreated toward first and first baseman Chad Wallach dropped the throw for another error and Marte scored to push the Angels in front, 2-1.
Mitchell then walked Tony Sanchez, Nolan Fontana drilled a two-run double and Kole Calhoun singled for another run and a 5-1 Angels lead.
THE ANGELS PUT A LID on it in the eighth against lefthanded bullpenner Tony Cingrani by scoring three run on four hits and a walk.
The walk was to former Reds prospect Ryan LaMarre in the middle of the rally that featured a run-scoring double by Jefry Marte, a run-producing single by Tony Sanchez and a single by Matt Williams for another run and an 8-1 lead.
To put an exclamation point on the whole affair, Eric Young Jr. homered off Louis Coleman in the top of the ninth to make it 9-1.
The Reds had eight hits, two by Tucker Barnhart, including a double.