The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Johnny Cueto got the start today for the Cincinnati Reds, and he flashed his usual, irreplaceable awesomeness. The Reds' ace breezed through 2 innings, striking out a pair of Cleveland Indians while surrendering just a single hit, the kind of perfect outing we all hoped to see after his fantastic 2014 season. There's a very real chance that we've only got 38 or so days left where we'll wake up and see Johnny scheduled to take the mound in a Reds uniform, so bask in it while you can. Have a trophy, Mr. Cueto.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Aroldis Chapman, who backed issuing a leadoff walk with striking out the next three batters he faced in his IP; Jay Bruce, for smacking a shift-beating single (that'll learn 'em!); Taylor Sparks, who cracked a double in his first big league spring game; Phil Ervin, who singled & drove in a run; and Michael Lorenzen, who struck out four in his two scoreless IP, made a nifty behind the back play on a comebacker, and flashed the kind of power fastball & filthy breaking ball that has him inching ever closer to making the Reds' roster.
- The Reds put some chalk on the scoreboard in the Bottom of the 2nd, kick started by Bruce's oppo single, a pair of productive grounders, and a hard hit ball from Josh Satin that Chinnie Losenhall booted at 3B that allowed Bruce to scamper home. Reds led, 1-0.
- The Indians got that run back in the Top of the 5th, as a few dinked singles and some iffy defense got in the way before things snowballed. Burke Badenhop was on the mound for the first time as a Red, and after a soft single up the middle, he got a grounder right at Eugenio Suarez at SS that should've been a tailor made double play, but it instead went through his wickets and left a pair of runners on. Another single followed before another grounder was knocked to 1B Donald Lutz, but before he had a chance to come home (there was ample time for that), he booted it, and luckily Badenhop had the wherewithal to pick up the stray ball and tag 1B for at least one out. The inning - which should've been long over - continued with a 2 RBI single from Jose Ramirez, and Yan Gomes then mashed one wayyy over yander, clearing the LF wall by about a dozen Danny Ray Herreras for a 2-run dinger. Reds trailed, 5-1.
- Cleveland tacked on another run in the Top of the 6th off Jose Mijares, as a leadoff walk from Bradley Zimmer - you guessed it - haunted Jose. A wild pitch moved Zimmer to 2B, a Jerry Sands single moved him to 3B, and a sac fly from James Roberts got the run home. Reds trailed, 6-1.
- Thanks to the earlier "B" game played between these two sides, the Reds' subs ended up being guys who spent the bulk of 2014 in the very, very lowest rungs of the minors, and that began to show when the defense collapsed around Dylan Axelrod in the Top of the 7th. A leadoff walk didn't help, but back to back throwing errors from noted error-thrower Carlton Daal brought one run in, and a Taylor Murphy ground-rule double pushed another across after that. Later, Zimmer smoked a liner to the wall in CF for a triple to score Murphy. Reds trailed, 9-1.
- In the Bottom of the 8th, Sparks' double got the Reds their first hit since the 3rd inning to spark (sorry) a mini-rally, and he later scored on a Phil Ervin infield single that the Indians' 3B nearly turned into a fantastic defensive play. Luis Gonzalez followed with a double to the corner in LF that sent Ervin home. The Reds bats then went silent again, however, and that was that. Reds lose, 9-3.
- Two of the Reds highly touted OF prospects got their big league spring game feet wet today, as Phil Ervin and Aristides Aquino came in to finish the game. Jeff Graupe was interviewed shortly after they both entered the game, and while he's certainly got a bit of bias in his evaluation of the young OFs, he had plenty of good things to say about them. Both struck out in their first PAs, yet both smacked singles in their second trips to the plate.
- After being held to just 4 hits yesterday, the Reds offense managed just 6 today. They also took zero walks. COME BACK SOON, JOEY VOTTO!
- Marlon Byrd is hitting .500 so far this spring. THE REDS WON THE TRADE!
- The Reds got 3 errors from their SS combo of Suarez and Daal, and had Donald Lutz not made a few nice early picks on low throws, that number could have easily been 5. Spring jitters, me hopes.
- Fresh off their questionable 2014 baserunning exploits, the Reds are now 0 for 2 on stolen base attempts so far this spring.