NEW YORK -- Three starts into his big league career last season, Reds pitcher Jon Moscot separated his left non-throwing shoulder on a freak play in Detroit. Three starts into his 2016 season while facing the Mets, that same shoulder presented him with soreness for the first time since he had surgery to repair the separation.
In a 5-2 loss to the Mets on Wednesday, Moscot didn't just battle with his shoulder but also jams of his own creation and the suddenly dangerous Neil Walker.
"I went out for the fifth inning and my warmup pitches just didn't feel entirely right," Moscot said. "I'm not sure what it is, or what it was. It might just be a little tweak or something. I threw through the fifth and it went all right."
Moscot, who went for X-rays after he left the game, finished five innings with three runs (one earned), four hits, four walks and two strikeouts.
Reds manager Bryan Price was optimistic that Moscot would be fine.
"I think it's just some scar tissue breaking up," Price said. "It's not going to be an issue. We don't see it being a problem moving forward."
If it is a bigger problem than expected, the Reds have potential options. John Lamb threw eight innings Wednesday in his latest rehab start for Triple-A Louisville, with 80 of his 105 pitches going for strikes. On Thursday, Anthony DeSclafani is set to make his final rehab start for Class A Dayton before returning to the rotation.
Should Moscot be OK, he'll have to hope his penchant for limiting damage will serve him well for staying in the rotation. In the first inning, a two-out error by left fielder Scott Schebler cost him two runs, including a Walker RBI single.
"I don't have a 100-mph fastball. I've got to work a little bit harder," Moscot said. "I know that I get into certain situations and I've got to step up my game. If you know me and how I pitch, that's me. I don't cave, really."
Walker crushed a 2-0 sinker for a homer in the third inning, which Moscot admitted was a bad pitch.
"I tried to throw a sinker down and away, it got too much plate and the guy is on fire right now," Moscot said. "I can't go 2-0 on him, that was my mistake."
"But other than that, he was pretty good," Price said. "I wish I was talking about a win."
Moscot escaped the fourth despite two more Reds errors and survived the scoreless fifth following a one-out walk as his shoulder bothered him. He told Price he could give him another inning, but was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth.
"My feeling was you've got a guy coming in complaining about his shoulder - granted it's not his throwing shoulder -- but it seemed like it was time," Price said.
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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.