It was Matt (Mount) Adams pulled the switch on Luis Castillo but Adam Eaton strapped him in the electric chair that was Great American Ball Park in a 13-7 Reds' loss to the Washington Nationals.
Adam Eaton started the game with one of his five hits, setting a new career high. Castillo walked Anthony Rendon but got Bryce Harper to bounce into a force play. Adams hit what a two-seam fastball that was supposed to be in at the hip, 461 feet to right center field. The Reds' barely warmed up were already behind 3-0.
It didn't get better for Castillo. After a quiet second inning. Eaton doubled and stopped at third on a hit by Rendon. Harper's sacrifice fly got the fourth urn home. Trea Turner homered in the fourth. Eaton doubled again to start the fifth. He took third on Rendon's fly out to the right field corner. Eaton scored on another fly to left by Harper.
Castillo allowed six runs in five innings, giving up six hits and a walk.
"There were pitches to be made. They got good pitches to hit. Good teams don't miss those pitches," Price said.. "Washington is a seasoned team. They take advantage of mistakes. Stuff alone doesn't win ballgames."
Castillo at least bounced back to limit damage in spite of the lack of command. He kept his confidence.
"It is a long season. This is my first outing. I am going home to review my start and look at videos. I will make some adjustments. I believe in myself. I believe in the stuff that I have. It was a tough first inning. It's not ideal to start a game that way but you have to pick every thing up and compete."
"The most important thing he has to learn is pitch execution over stuff," Price said. "That will get better. He competed in the strike zone. We'll work with guys who compete in the strike zone."
The Reds finally got on the scoreboard for the first time in 2018 when Scott Schebler hit a Stephen Strasburg change up into the seats in right field. The Reds scored two runs off Strasburg in the sixth.
"They've been change upping me to death. I finally got one that I could handle," Schebler said. "Breaking the ice was good for the team. Strasburg has a good change up. Scherzer does too. I was looking heater because he blew me up on fastballs the first two times up."
Schebler worked on hitting the ball to left during spring training but didn't see many change ups in Goodyear.
"Coming into to the season, I've seen a heavy load of them. That's the pitch I need to stay the other way on. I didn't make the adjustment until late in the game," Schebler said. "Once I hit that ball, I was kind of locked in the rest of the game."
Jesse Winker singled to open the inning. Trea Turner dropped Eugenio Suarez ground ball. Joey Votto walked to load the bases. Scooter Gennett singled to score Winker. Adam Duvall, who led the NL in sacrifice fleiies last season got Suarez home with a fly to deep center.
"It was good to see the guys coming out and swinging the bats better today," Price said. "We can springboard into tomorrow's game with that. We couldn't contain the first four in there order and gave up seven in the last three innings. You're not going to win many games if you have to score 14. We had other chances where we could have scored more but they're a good team. They can make pitches too."
The Reds were down 6-3 but the bullpen let them down. Austin Brice gave up a home run to Eaton. Jackson Stephens got the first two outs in the eighth but singles by Brian Goodwin and Matt Wieters in front of pinch hitter Ryan Zimmerman was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Eaton drove two home with a single. Kevin Quackenbush gave up a grand slam home run to Goodwin in the ninth to put the game our of reach.
Duvall hit a two-run home run off Matt Grace and Suarez touched Enny Romero with a two-run home run in the ninth.