The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Donald Lutz honked a solo Messerschmitt in the 9th to complement his earlier two-run single, and that matched with a groovy smile and a healthy love of braunschweiger earns Herr Lutz today's JNMHSotG. Lutz is in an interesting position in the Reds system entering 2014, as he's been all but completely converted to being a full-time OF after coming up as a 1B throughout his early minor league career. Given that the Top 4 position prospects in the Reds system are also OFs (Billy Hamilton, Phillip Ervin, Jesse Winker, and Yorman Rodriguez), it would behoove the Knockwurst to have the kind of season that his 2011 and 2012 seasons showed as possible. Lutz, now 25, has shown the kind of power potential that few in the game possess, and showing that in a slightly improved frequency would help keep him high in the potential LF pecking order with Ryan Ludwick an aging question mark.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Zack Cozart, who went 2 for 3 (which would have been 3 for 3 but for a late scoring change) with 3 runs scored and a stolen base; Jay Bruce, who went 2 for 2 with a triple that had Marty convinced had left the yard; Brandon Phillips, who went 1 for 3 with a 2-RBI triple (to go along with several vintage BP defensive plays at 2B); Roger Bernardina, who went 2 for 2 with a walk, double, and two runs scored; and every pitcher not named Daniel Corcino for completely shutting down the Padres' bats.
- Cozart got the Reds' party started with a single in the Top of the 3rd, and his hit was followed by run-scoring doubles from Bernardina and Hamilton. Bruce singled two batters later to score Phillips, who had reached on a fielder's choice. Reds led, 3-0.
- Todd Frazier singled to start the Top of the 4th, stole 2B, and scored when Cozart singled to CF. A Bernardina single followed, Hamilton reached on a fielder's choice, and Phillips tripled to score them both. Reds led, 6-0.
- In the Top of the 5th, Bruce hit a laser off the CF fence that had the broadcast booth thinking it was a no-doubt HR, but he later scored on a Frazier sac-fly. Cozart then reached on a would-be hit (an actual error), and he scored on a Devin Mesoraco double. A Ryan LaMarre walk and a soft Skip Schumaker single later, and the Reds held a commanding 10-0 lead.
- Daniel Corcino entered in the Bottom of the 6th in an out-of-hand game and proceeded to get the first two Padres out; then, the wheels fell off and hit the fan. A few walks and a few singles ensued, and the Padres plated four. Reds 10, Padres 4.
- The Reds proceeded to break MLB.com's Gameday following that exchange, and some combination of Neftali Soto, Kris Negron, Chris Nelson, and Lutz managed to keep bashing while Lee Hyde, Curtis Partch, and others held the Padres at bay. Who needs box scores, anyway? Reds win, 15-4!
- Brett Marshall, who was recently picked up from the New York Yankees' organization (which lead to Henry Rodriguez being DFA'd), got the start today in large part due to a sore Mike Leake. Marshall tossed 2 effective innings (helped by a double play), and it was the start of 5.2 IP of no-hit ball to start the game for Reds' hurlers. Leake, it appears, has an abdominal strain that isn't deemed to be serious, and he's expected to make a start at some point in the near future. I'm chock full of specifics these days.
- The Reds pounded out 20 hits, which seems like a lot.
- After further research, I've determined that 20 hits is, in fact, a lot.
- In fact, those 20 hits are more than the 18 the Reds combined for over their last three games.
- In a note that's in no way, shape, or form related to the previous other notes, it's very entertaining to watch the would-be everyday lineup face off against a split-squad set of pitchers in Spring Training.
- Tunes? Tunes!