Hal gets it. The venerable columnist writes that it's way too early to be worried about Joey Votto's underwhelming slugging to date, especially with the way pitchers are treating the Reds' star: The thing about Votto is that he still is on base more than half the time he goes to the plate, a .521 on-base average with 22 walks. It is difficult to hit when pitchers nibble at the plate, refusing to offer tantalizing pitches to hit. Hal doesn't specifically mention Marty Brennaman as one of the off-base critics. But I think the timing of this article - the day after Marty's on air adoption of the Daugherty Doctrine - is no coincidence.
It's so easy to love this team. If you haven't read about batboy Ted Kremer's participation in last night's game, check this out. Ted asked Todd Frazier to hit a homerun. The Toddfather, of course, could not refuse: "He's so funny, he said, ‘C'mon, hit me a home run, I love you.' I said, ‘I love you too, I'll hit you one.'" Frazier connected with a 421 foot, 2RHR to straightaway center in the sixth in accordance with Ted's wishes. Ted also wanted the pitching staff to record 11 strikeouts in order to get a free pizza. Cingrani got the team off to a good start, and JJ Hoover finished the job in the 7th to strike out former Red Chris Valaika.
Mat Latos seeks to run the team's win streak to five tonight. In his last start, the owner of Cat Latos was cruising through six but ran into problems in the seventh inning against Pittsburgh. Righty Kevin Slowey goes for Miami. The long-time Twin has never faced Cincinnati. Also: if you're going tonight and make a creative sign, drop a message with Mat's better half.
Mesoraco caught Tony Cingrani last night, meaning Meso will be catching Leake and Cingrani at the back end of the rotation while Ryan Hanigan catches the first three. The two days off should help Hanigan, who has been bothered by a sore left thumb. It's early, but Hanigan's clearly not himself. He's hitting under .100 and even his famed pitch-framing has been off so far.
As for Cingrani, you couldn't have asked for a much better debut. According to Mark Sheldon, he threw 83 fastballs out of 102 total pitches in striking out eight in five innings. It will be interesting to see how he mixes it up next time.