Apr 5, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; A general view of a flyover during the playing of the national anthem before the game between the Cincinnati Reds and Miami Marlins at Great American Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
On a day where seemingly everyone performed to the top end of their expectations, Johnny Cueto stood tall above the rest. Cueto picked up right where he left off from his brilliant 2011 campaign, giving the Reds 7 innings of 3 H, 2 BB, 4 K excellence, needing only 95 pitches in the process. Honorable mentions go to Jay Bruce (HR, Sac fly, R, 2 RBI), Scott Rolen (2B, R, great defensive play), and Zack Cozart (2 for 4, R). Really, though, everyone contributed, as Joey Votto had a hit and a walk, Drew Stubbs bunted (!!!), Brandon Phillips had a hit and a walk, Ryan Ludwick had a big RBI double, Chris Heisey had a pinch hit RBI double, and Aroldis Chapman and Sean Marshall made the last 6 Marlins' batters look silly.
Oh, and Ryan Hanigan walked. Know what that means? Every Red that had an at bat today reached base...including Johnny Cueto, who had a single. Welcome back, baseball!
EDITOR'S NOTE: If anyone's looking for the overflow game threads, they're on the right sidebar, below the Twitter feed. (--RSCWKRP)
- Johnny Cueto came out attacking the Marlins' hitters, and even after Emilio Bonifacio reached on a rare Scott Rolen error, he needed only 10 first inning pitches to get out of the first.
- The Reds wasted no time going after Mark Buehrle. Brandon Phillips worked a walk to leadoff, and after Zack Cozart beat out an attempted double play that nailed BP at second, former/future MVP Joey Votto singled to right field. Fearing ownership of his team was slipping, Scott Rolen of Scott Rolen's Reds took an inside fastball off the shoulder to load the bases. In an 8 pitch at bat, Skinny Jay Bruce hit a deep sacrifice fly to CF, scoring Cozart. Reds lead, 1-0.
- Both Cueto and Buehrle settled down, as eached got through the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings with little harm. While Cueto was cruising, however, Buehrle was forced to throw many more pitches, and the Reds showed patience that hopefully will permeate the rest of the season. In the 6th, Scott Rolen led off with a double to left center, and two batters later he scored on a double to right center by my favorite Red, Ryan Ludwick. Reds lead, 2-0.
- After Johnny Cuetos' stellar 7 innings, Aroldis Chapman was called upon to pitch in relief, and he answered the call with authority. Needing just 11 pitches to retire the side in order, Chapman struck out John Buck, got former Red Austin Kearns to ground out, and made Jose Reyes look silly while striking out on an off-speed pitch.
- Skinny Jay Bruce put his weight behind an Eduardo Mujica fastball in the bottom of the 8th, and crushed a 440 ft homer to dead center. Later in the inning, Drew Stubbs walked (walked!) and scored on a Chris Heisey pinch-hit double off the wall in left center. With the Reds up 4-0, Sean Marshall was called upon to finish out the game in a non-save, non-closer scenario, and he delivered. With a steady stream of sliders, slurves, and a 90 mph fastball, Marshall sat down Bonifacio, Hanley Ramirez, and Giancarlmikeisimo Stanton in order to wrap it up. Reds win, 4-0.
- With the win, the Reds recorded their first back to back wins on opening day since 1996 (4-1 over the Montreal Expos) and 1997 (11-4 over the Colorado Rockies).
- The game's attendance of 42,956 set a new record for Great American Ball Park. Bobodemus Castellini foretold this, which is why Joey Votto was signed for a $225 million extension. Just don't ask what he did with the Nike high-tops and the hoverboard.
- The Reds are now 1-0, tied for 1st place in the NL Central. Mat Latos (0-0) will face Ricky Nolasco (0-0) on Saturday at GABP at 7pm. Do the Reds, Bob's wallet, and yourself a favor and go check it out!