Schebler redeems himself with game-winner

Reds left fielder struck out three times before hitting walk-off double

Schebler redeems himself with game-winner

CINCINNATI -- Scott Schebler mimicked Joey Votto's Opening Day game, but followed Jay Bruce's advice.

Like Votto on Monday, Schebler struck out in his first three at-bats and then delivered the game-winning hit. In a 3-2 walk-off win for the Reds over the Phillies on Wednesday, Schebler's two-run double gave them back-to-back victories to begin 2016.

"Man, I struggled those first couple of at-bats," Schebler said. "I just couldn't figure it out. Finally I made an adjustment. Jay was telling me, 'Hey, you don't have to hit it 500 feet, just put the bat on the ball.' That really helped. Him talking to me, talking me down, he said, 'Hey, it's going to come down to you in this game. I promise you, that's just how this game works. You struggle in this game and it ends up coming down to you.' And he was telling me the whole game, and it certainly did. And it came down to me."

Schebler's walk-off double

It was Bruce who was the first teammate to get to Schebler and lead the celebration on the field. Later, two players provided two Gatorade coolers' worth of liquid to shower Schebler on the field.

"The first one was cold. The second one was even colder," Schebler said. "Add the outside air and it wasn't the greatest but I had a lot of adrenaline running through my body so I didn't really feel it to be honest."

Against Phillies starter Aaron Nola, Schebler went down swinging on three pitches in his first at-bat in the second and saw four pitches before striking out in the fifth. In the seventh, like Votto on Monday, he struck out after starting out in a 3-0 count.

Cincinnati was down by a 2-1 score when the Phillies' bullpen faltered again. Reliever Dalier Hinojosa gave up three singles to load the bases with one out for Schebler. The third hit was by Bruce, who rolled an opposite-field single into left field to set up Schebler.

"I could hear Jay screaming at first base at me, just cheering me on, that means the world to me," Schebler said. "Just to have teammates like that is great."

On a 1-1 pitch from Hinojosa, Schebler took a big hack at a 94-mph fastball and missed. He laid off of the 1-2 breaking ball and fouled off the next fastball.

Hinojosa's next pitch was another 94-mph fastball over the plate and Schebler did not miss it. He launched a drive to left-center field, with the ball landing just short of the fence.

"He has big power to left-center field and drove that ball in a tough environment. It wasn't carrying really well today," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Schebler was one of three players the Reds acquired in December from the Dodgers in the three-team trade that sent Todd Frazier to the White Sox. In his Reds debut Monday, he delivered a pinch-hit double in the winning rally when they turned a 2-1 deficit into a 6-2 win.

"Just make a habit of that, just keep coming back," Schebler said. "Hopefully we'll have the lead before the eighth inning one of these days. To do that, it's hard, especially the way relievers are these days. They're tough -- to come back like that twice in a row, that shows real resilience."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.