The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Johnny Cueto was roughed up in his previous outing as the Kansas City Royals tagged him for six earned runs in just 2 and 2/3 innings pitched. Fortunately, today was much better for the Reds' ace, as Cueto managed to shut down an Angels roster full of everyday regulars over four scoreless innings. Cueto allowed just two hits while striking out two and walking nary an Angel, and looked as if he had some of his more dominant stuff in the process. It's no secret that the Reds - as currently constructed - will be relying heavily on their starting pitching to carry them to a fourth postseason berth in five seasons, and Cueto's shoulders will be asked to bear a lot of that burden. Ergo, it's good to see him improving as he's continually stretched out, and his performance today was certainly JNMHSotG worthy.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who walked twice; Chris Heisey, who had yet another extra-base hit (a double); Robert Stephenson, who tossed a clean inning from the bullpen; and Kris Negron & Rey Navarro, whose back to back doubles in the 8th inning accounted for the first Reds' run in two days (and the only one of the game).
- The Angels commenced scoring immediately after Cueto departed after his scheduled 4 inning stint. Sam LeCure came on and promptly walked Erik Aybar to lead off the Bottom of the 5th, and Aybar then stole 2B. Hank Conger then drove Aybar in with a single, and he ended up taking 2B on a disputed play at the base. The call was reviewed (and I just wrote that about a baseball game for the first time), the decision stood, and Conger later scored on a Kole Calhoun single. Reds trailed, 2-0.
- J.J. Hoover was tasked with retiring Angels in the Bottom of the 6th, and he, too, had some issues. Howie Kendrick singled with one out, Hoover walked Ian Stewart to move Kendrick to 2B, Kendrick tagged and moved to 3B on a fly-out by Aybar, and then Kendrick scored on a pinch-hit single from Carlos Pena. Reds trailed, 3-0.
- Negron and Navarro got their own little 2-out rally started in the Top of the 8th off Joe Smith, as both doubled after Smith had struck out Yorman Rodriguez and got Argenis Diaz to ground out. Unfortunately, that was all the bopping the big boppers off the bench could bop. Reds lose, 3-1.
- Marty, 'tHom, 'tHom, or Marty said that in the Reds previous 12 games this Spring, they'd scored fewer than 3 runs 7 times. Today would make 8 of 13 should their statement be, in fact, factual. Slyde's not out there with them, so I'm mildly skeptical (and mildly unwilling to take the 30 seconds to look and find out for certain).
- Joey Votto is finally beginning to look like Joey Votto after a very un-Joey Votto beginning to camp. He doubled twice and walked in yesterday's game against the Cubs, and he walked twice today.
- John Fay and C. Trent are anxiously awaiting to hear from which injury Brandon Phillips is suffering so that they can write how he's hitting just .222 this Spring. Stay tuned.
- Tunes? Tunes!
- It's sunny out, so more tunes.