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Billy Bunts, Big Bats Bop. Reds 7, A's 6.

Rather regular lineups faced off today. The Reds won. It didn't count, but we cheered anyway.

This did not happen today, but it's the most recent photo we have.  /shrugs
This did not happen today, but it's the most recent photo we have. /shrugs
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Billy Hamilton is stealing everything these days.  Bases, your heart, my heart, headlines; you name it, he's taking it, and today he and his havocky wheels stole the JNMHSotG with yet another scintillating performance that doesn't count.  Hamilton went 2 for 4 with an RBI (that was nearly doubled had Devin Mesoraco not been thrown out at the plate), run scored, and two more stolen bases, and I'm going to interject opinions among these facts by stating that the ruckus he caused on the basepaths in the Bottom of the 7th contributed heavily to Brandon Phillips getting a fat pitch to junkdoink over the LF wall.  Yes, Billy Hamilton is going to annoy the living hell out of pitchers due to his ability to snatch, and if pitchers dare focus on his snatchability, BP, Votto, Bruce, and the rest of the middle of the order are going to feast on meatballs all Summer long.  I just used snatchability and meatballs in the same sentence, and I'm now daring Google to tell me that's ever happened before.  Place your bets.

Honorable Mentions are due to:  Joey Votto, who launched his first Spring homer (to left-center, of course...swoon); Zack Cozart, who went 2 for 3 with 2 runs scored; Brandon Phillips, who went 1 for 4 with said 1 being said junkdoink; and to Skip Schumaker, who went 1 for 2 with a walk, RBI, and run scored.

Shiva Buddah baby Jesus, I'm becoming a Skip Schumaker fan.  Next thing I know, I'll be picking Louisville to win the National Championship and OH MY GOD I JUST PICKED LOUISVILLE TO WIN THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

Mass hysteria, people. RIP Harold Ramis.

Key Plays

  • An early defensive fudge put the Reds behind, and that was a bummer.  With 2 outs in the Top of the 1st and both Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes on base, a would-be third-out foul-out was bungled by Mesoraco as he and Votto collided and the ball dropped harmlessly.  Later in that at bat, Derek Norris smoked a double that would score them both.  Reds trailed, 2-0.
  • Sonny Gray went to Vanderbilt, and for that, I love him.  Unfortunately for Sonny Boy, it appears that the bulk of the Reds' roster today was comprised of Tennessee Volunteers fans, and they hit him mercilessly.  Votto's solo blast in the Bottom of the 1st got the Reds on the board, and the good guys pushed two more runs across the plate in the Bottom of the 2nd courtesy of Cozart reaching via error, Skip walking, Devin singling in Cozart, and Hamilton singling to score Skip.  Reds led, 3-2.
  • Consecutive singles by Todd Frazier, Cozart, and Skipwise the Brave plated another for the Reds in the Bottom of the 4th, and a productive (productive?) GIDP from Ramon Santiago drove in a fifth run later that inning.  Reds led, 5-2.
  • Tony Cingrani wasn't his sharpest today, and that burned him in the Top of the 5th.  Cinnerman walked two to lead off the inning and then allowed a single to Jake Elwood Elmore James Blues that scored Michael Taylor, and Balki Claus then followed with a gift-balk that drove in Sam Fuld.  Don't be ridiculous, Tony! A later sac fly drove in the third run of the inning, and I don't have a joke for that.  Game tied, 5-5.
  • Billy's bunt single and subsequent SB's kickstarted the Bottom of the 7th, and if you're one of the kind folks who read the earlier part of this here conflagration, you know that BP later mashed a tater that drove them both in.  In the Top of the 9th, some guy who won't be a Major Leaguer doubled off some other guy who probably won't be a Major Leaguer, and that drove in a guy who might be a Major Leaguer, but that was all the A's could muster.  Reds win, 7-6!

Other Notes

  • The most observant of you just listened to at least a portion of Disco Duck.  This internet, it's a fascinating place.
  • There's a very real chance that the majors will figure out Billy Hamilton (to an extent) at some point in the future.  Maybe even the near future.  Until then, though, he's going to be a menace the likes of which have not been seen in a generation.  It's already a joy to watch despite these games meaning jack squat.
  • There once was a B-themed title of a recap that required B-themed tunes, so here's one of those.
  • And one more.  Accordion rap samples FTW!