CINCINNATI -- As soon as the Reds secured a 4-3 victory over the Brewers on Wednesday night, right fielder Scott Schebler went to the clubhouse and grabbed his phone. Schebler wanted to see exactly how he pulled off his club's defensive play of the season.With runners on the corners and
CINCINNATI -- As soon as the Reds secured a 4-3 victory over the Brewers on Wednesday night, right fielder Scott Schebler went to the clubhouse and grabbed his phone. Schebler wanted to see exactly how he pulled off his club's defensive play of the season.
With runners on the corners and one out in the second inning, Stephen Vogt lifted a Luis Castillo pitch and drove it near the right-field corner. Just as the ball cleared the fence, Schebler made a spectacular catch over the wall to rob Vogt of a three-run homer. It instead went as a sacrifice fly that scored Travis Shaw.
"I thought it was gone off the bat," Schebler said. "It just kind of worked out perfectly. I got my cleats in good. You have to hit your stride perfectly. There are so many things that have to go right. The ball has to be in a perfect position. It's a lot of luck. It's cool that it happened for sure. It kind of saved the game."
Schebler found himself batting in the bottom of the second inning and had a little chat with Vogt, Milwaukee's catcher.
"So I went up to the plate and I'm like, 'Dude, I'm sorry,'" Schebler said. "'I know you're an awesome guy. I have to, obviously, but I feel bad.'"
Vogt, who was just acquired by the Brewers from Oakland this week, felt worse.
"That's one of the best catches I've seen. A little frustrating, but tip your cap," he said.
Reds manager Bryan Price likes to take notes on his lineup card about things that caught his eye in games. On Wednesday, Price's card was loaded with defensive masterpieces in addition to Schebler's.
• One batter before Schebler's great play, Keon Broxton lifted a fly ball to short right-center field. Schebler lost the ball in the sun, but center fielder Billy Hamilton sprinted over and made a nice sliding catch.
• In the sixth inning with a runner on first base, left fielder Adam Duvall made a quick retrieval of Hernan Perez's drive off the wall and fired a perfect strike to Scooter Gennett to nail him at second base.
"It bounced high enough to go off the padding, and I was able to get rid of it pretty quickly," Duvall said. "I thought I had a chance of at least keeping him at first. He ended up running and ran right into a tag. That was nice."
• Schebler also made a good play on Vogt's lineout to end the inning.
• Two more plays came in the seventh. Shortstop Jose Peraza made a slick sliding stop and throw on a Domingo Santana grounder to his right. Two batters later, third baseman Eugenio Suarez knocked down a laser from Eric Sogard, recovered the ball and threw him out at first base.
The Reds entered the game ranked fourth-best in the Major Leagues in fielding percentage.
"It's been fantastic, it really has," Price said. "Not everyone is afforded a defense like we have. This defense may not be intact for five to 10 years, you know? There could be moving parts. We have no idea what the future may hold. However, while you have it, you want to exploit it as much as you can."
Fittingly, the game ended with a wild defensive play. As Raisel Iglesias struck out Perez, the Brewers had a play on. Orlando Arcia broke to steal second base and drew a throw from catcher Tucker Barnhart. Arcia stopped halfway and Gennett applied the tag after a brief rundown before Jonathan Villar could score from third base.
Barnhart admitted he was screened by the hitter and didn't even see Villar.
"Luckily -- and I say that with a lot of emphasis -- it worked out for us," Barnhart said. "We're always going to play defense. I think the term 'defense travels' really makes sense with this team."
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.