People talk about the effect the altitude has on pitching in Denver, but Phoenix is the second highest ballpark. After a Cactus League preseason characterized by poor pitching, perhaps we should have expected what happened today. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Joey Votto. The Reds didn't have much in the way of good pitching, but their offense was decent. Votto gets the nod by going 4-5 with a run, an RBI, and a stolen base. Honorable mentions go to Stephen Drew, Brandon Phillips, and Jonny Gomes.
- Once again, the Reds got off to a quick start. Brandon Phillips drew a one out walk, and went to third on Joey Votto's single. Joe Saunders then walked Scott Rolen to load the bases, and walked Jonny Gomes to force in Phillips. Despite walking three of the first five batters, Edgar Renteria swung at the first pitch and flew out. It was deep enough for Votto to tag and score, though. Crazy Jonny Gomes then started leaning towards second base, luring the throw over. It looked like Gomes was caught in a rundown, but then Juan Miranda's throw sailed into left field and Scott Rolen scored. Reds lead, 3-0.
- In the second inning, Drew Stubbs walked with two outs. Brandon Phillips hit a double and Stubbs moved to third. Then Joey Votto poked a ball to right field. Stubbs scored, and Phillips slid around the catcher, but was tagged out before he could touch the plate. Reds lead, 4-0.
- The Reds continued to hit Saunders in the third and looked like they might put up a big inning. Scott Rolen doubled, and one out laterd, Edgar Renteria singled. Jay Bruce then hit a double that scored Rolen and put Renteria on third. Saunders intentionally walked Ramon Hernandez to load the bases, but Mike Leake hit into a force out and Drew Stubbs flew out to end the threat. Reds lead, 5-0.
- The Diamondbacks began to claw their way back in the bottom of the third. Former Red Willie Bloomquist singled, moved to third on Renteria's bad throw, and stole third base. He then scored when Stephen Drew hit a ground rule double. Reds lead, 5-1.
- The bottom really fell out in the fifth inning. Mike Leake surrendered four straight singles to Willie Bloomquist, Kelly Johnson, Justin Upton, and Stephen Drew. Chris Young then hit a sacrifice fly, and Juan Miranda grounded out. Leake was one away from escaping without further damage, but then he gave up a three run homer to Ryan Roberts. After walking Henry Blanco, Jordan Smith entered the game to finish the inning. Diamondbacks lead, 6-5.
- In the seventh inning, Scott Rolen singled, and Jonny Gomes showed that he doesn't just walk these days by blasting his second home run of the year. Reds lead, 7-8.
- Aroldis Chapman pitched a wild seventh inning, but escaped unharmed. Nick Massett came in to pitch the eighth and was nowhere near so lucky. Gerardo Parra hit a leadoff single, and Kelly Johnson walked one out later. Stephen Drew singled, scoring Parra and tying the game, right before Chris Young homered to put the Snakes solidly in the lead. Diamondbacks lead, 10-7.
- The Reds' bats had mostly gone silent, but they attempted a comeback anyway. Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto opened up the ninth singles, putting runners on the corners. Scott Rolen then hit a ball well, but it was caught by Chris Young. Phillips was still able to tag and score. Jonny Gomes singled to extend the inning, but pinch hitter Juan Francisco and Scuffling Jay Bruce both struck out to end the game. Diamondbacks win, 10-8.
- Phoenix is roughly 360 miles from the West Coast. Close enough, I guess.
|Final - 4.10.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Aaron Heilman (1 - 0)
SV: J.J. Putz (3)
LP: Nick Masset (0 - 2)