The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Jay Bruce blasted the 3rd dinger of his spring, and his 3 RBI and 2 runs scored helped the Cincinnati Reds top Mike Fiers and the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday. Bruce entered the game having hit just .176 in his 38 spring PAs, but today's outburst lent credence to the recent assertion that he felt "awesome". Since spring stats mean jack squat and guys who have a lengthy history of dinger mashing know what dinger mashing feels like, I'll take Bruce's word for it, sigh calmly, and go back to penciling him in for 30 and a .800-ish OPS.
That'll do, Jay. That'll do.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Brayan Pena, who great-guy'd his way to a 2 for 4 day with a ribbie and a run scored; Zack Cozart, who went 3 for 5 with a pair of runs scored and another pair driven in; Kris Negron, who dropped a prototype leadoff game by going 1 for 2 with a pair of walks; Michael Lorenzen, who dodged a few early hits and walks to allow just a single run in his 4 IP; and Jumbo Diaz, who tossed a clean inning in relief (while sveltely striking out the side).
- The Brewers pushed the first run of the game across the plate in the Bottom of the 1st thanks to a Ryan Braun single. I do not actively don't not like him. Reds trailed, 1-0.
- Bruce's smash came of Fiers in the Top of the 4th, and it plated a trio of Reds thanks to the OBP skills of both Todd Frazier and Marlon Byrd. Reds led, 3-1.
- The Top of the 6th saw the Reds score a 5 spot, the first of which scored when Bruce singled to CF and Jesse Winker scored thanks to an uncharacteristic error from Carlos Gomez. Trust me, had Joey Votto hit it, he'd have caught it. A single from Pena, a double from Cozart, and a single from Negron followed, and by the end of the rally the Reds led, 8-1.
- Burke Badenhop got lit up again in the Bottom of the 6th and yielded a pair of runs thanks to singles from Adam Lind and Khris Davis, but I'm still not at all worried about Burkey. Spring is spring, and it ain't spring for much longer. Reds led, 8-3.
- Both teams traded blips in the 8th and 9th once the junior junior circuit got some work, and Tony Cingrani got the final outs to shut the door. Reds win, 10-4!
- Aroldis Chapman faced just a single batter (and got a groundout) before abruptly being pulled from the game much to his dismay. Apparently, it was precautionary due to some existing concern about his hamstring, though the details flowing in are still a bit murky. Perhaps something was lost in translation, but the most important part is that Chapman appears to be completely OK and in no danger of missing much time.
- Jose Mijares, who had been in Reds camp earlier in the spring before being released, was suspended earlier to day for 50 games for "a drug of abuse," whatever that means. Looks like the Reds either knew something or lucked out, though it's all unfortunate since Mijares has a pretty decent track record of being a solid lefty reliever.
- Zack Cozart is hitting .308 this spring. YOLO.
- My oldest, best friend in the world and his wife welcomed their first child into this crazy, crazy world this morning. I'll forever remember it happening on the dawn of the Reds' first World Series title run in a quarter century.