The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
It was Homer Bailey's turn to stretch out over 4 innings today, and he generally looked pretty good doing it. Bailey struck out 5 Texas Rangers, walked none, and allowed just 2 runs in today's stint, one of which was due to some iffy defense on Devin Mesoraco's part. Mike Leake's behind schedule, Mat Latos hasn't thrown a pitch in a ST game yet, Johnny Cueto's coming off a season decimated by recurring muscle injuries, and Tony Cingrani's likely on a rudimentary innings limit, all of which leads me to believe that Homer's primed to start on Opening Day for Cincinnati (something I espoused a month ago), so it's good to see that his command hasn't taken a two week cruise following his massive contract extension. A JNMHSotG for you, Davy Dewitt.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Brayan Pena, who nerted a pair of hits in his 4 PA; Billy Hamilton, who laid down a perfect bunt single and scored a run; and Jay Bruce, who doubled to plate Hamilton.
- Kevin Kouzmanoff struck out swining in the Bottom of the 2nd, which was good. Leonys Martin stole home from 3B and J.P. Arencibia ended up on 2B (from 1B) thanks to an errant throw by Devin Mesoraco - who was attempting to quell the double steal - which was bad. In the Bottom of the 3rd, Jurickson Profar mashed a Bailey pitch far like a pro for a solo shot. Reds trailed, 2-0.
- In the Top of the 4th, Billy dropped a primo bunt down the 1B line for a single, and he scored two batters later when Bruce doubled to the wall in CF. In the Top of the 5th, Chris Nelson singled and came in to score on a Ramon Santiago double. Wait. He can do that? That's not right. Him doubling just ruins the Izturis/Valdez/Renteria/Cabrera narrative and, well, that aggression will not stand, man. Game tied, 2-2.
- Jeff Francis came in for the Bottom of the 5th and tossed singles around like he was Pacman Jones, each of which was painful due to a throwing error by Zack Cozart that let the leadoff man on. Two non-Reds scored against the actual Reds. Reds trailed, 4-2.
- Curtis Partch replaced Francis for the Bottom of the 7th, and he got jacked up like he'd stopped in at Jiffy Lube. The line shift of defensive replacements certainly didn't help him much (as Rey Navarro's error would attest), but Mr. Thirsty didn't do himself any favors by allowing hits to Brad Snyder (who?), Andy Parrino, Adam Rosales (seriously?), and Jim Aducci (this is an actual baseballing person) sandwiched around one of his own wild pitches. The Rangers scored four, the Reds offense stayed asleep, and that was that. Reds lose, 8-2.
- Three more weeks of this? My, does that seem like forever.
- Jon Morosi tweeted earlier today that the Reds currently have the lowest average attendance of any team in Spring Training thus far. A quick survey of Red Reporters revealed that the reason for this is likely twofold. First, Goodyear, Arizona is a 9 hour flight from everywhere plus a rental car and a 30 minute drive. Second, the Reds just had a lamer Winter than Kentucky basketball. Wheeeeee...!