The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Joey Votto finagled his way into earning a 5-pitch walk from Shawn Tolleson in the Bottom of the 10th, and lucky for Votto, you, me, and the rest of Cincinnati Reds fans everywhere, Tolleson had let the bases get loaded beforehand. Ergo, Mr. Joe Votto drove in the winning run, and the ancient Red Reporter bylaws dictate that that's good enough to earn the JNMHSotG. Votto also singled as part of his 1 for 4 day, and while he's hasn't quite shown his Optimus Prime form yet this Spring, he's getting there slowly but surely.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Billy Hamilton, who picked up a pair of singles as part of a 2 for 4 day (with a run scored); Nick Christiani, who tossed 2 scoreless innings; Logan Ondrusek, JJ Hoover, and Manny Parra, who each threw a perfect inning out of the pen; Brandon Phillips, who smacked his 3rd HR of the Spring; and Kris Negron, who went 1 for 1 with a 2-run triple.
- Jeff Francis got the start today thanks to Johnny Cueto's scapula's hissy fit, and he didn't exactly get out of the gate very strong. In the Top of the 1st, Josh Wilson hit a 1-out double, Prince Fielder followed with a walk, and after Francis hit Adrian Beltre with a pitch, Alex Rios hit a sharp single that deflected past Joey Votto to drive in Wilson. Francis got a much needed strikeout, but then allowed a single to the World's Greatest Rookie of the Year, Geovany Soto, which scored both Fielder and Beltre. Reds trailed, 3-0.
- Hamilton did his best to get the good guys back into the game by leading off the Bottom of the 1st with a single. He then moved to 2B on an error by Brent Lillibridge and later scored on a single from Ryan Ludwick. Reds trailed, 3-1.
- The Rangers tacked on another run in the Top of the 5th courtesy of Fielder, who took a solo ride on Cornelius much to the dismay of Sam LeCure. Reds trailed, 4-1.
- Phillips got one back for the Reds in the Bottom of the 6th when he saw a Debbie sitting behind the LF fence that needed a souvenir and thought she'd appreciate a HR ball. The Reds kept right on marching back in the Bottom of the 7th thanks to a pair of walks by Jay Bruce and Corky Miller and a triple by Kris Negron that scored them both. Game tied, 4-4.
- The Reds loaded the bases in the Bottom of the 10th thanks to a single by Ramon Santiago, another by Roger Bernadina that moved Santiago to 3B, and an intentional walk issued to Phillips in order to get to Votto. See, there was a lefty on the mound, and they actually thought pitching to Votto would be more beneficial to their cause than pitching to Phillips. They chose...poorly. Votto walked on 5 itches, and that was that. Reds win, 5-4!
- Ohio State lost to Dayton today. That needed to be mentioned.
- I think the Cincinnati Bearcats lost to Harvard today, but I don't know for sure because I didn't go to Harvard and therefore don't know how to math good.
- Billy Hamilton is hitting .325 with as many walks (6) as strikeouts (6) this Spring.
- Shin-Soo Choo is hitting .146 with twice as many strikeouts (10) as walks (5) this Spring.
- Before the game today, the Reds reassigned RHP Drew Hayes, LHP Lee Hyde, IF Argenis Diaz, and RHP Chien-Ming Wang to minor league camp, according to John Fay. It's a mild surprise to see Hyde get the boot given the relative shambles of the lefties who were originally projected to be in the big league bullpen, but the others were pretty predictable cuts.
- Johnny Cueto was supposed to start today, but was instead scratched thanks to an irritated scapula. I do not know what that means, but I do know that I've hated every inch of this offseason/preseason. BRING ON OPENING DAY.
- Aroldis Chapman is scheduled to have a small metal plate put in above his left eye. That's right, folks...they're making the machine more of a machine. He might throw 112 mph when all is said and done. Get well soon, Chappy!