For those Cincinnati Reds fans of a certain age, the idea of watching elite leadoff hitters has often been fleeting. That’s perhaps why we got so dang excited watching Jonathan India take off last year, as the reigning Rookie of the Year looked the perfect prototype for the top of the order with his combination of speed, power, and strike zone prowess.
When it comes to kick-starting the offense, after all, there’s one thing that simply must be the case:
So, when I look up at India’s continued absence and the fact that Cincinnati’s combined production from the leadoff spot this year ranks dead last among all 30 MLB clubs by both OBP and wRC+, seeing the kind of outings we saw on the farm on Tuesday give me a big, fat smile.
Gwinnett Stripers 8, Louisville Bats 7 (F/10) (AAA)
The Bats lost a see-saw game to the Stripers on Tuesday evening. A 5-3 lead in the Bottom of the 8th turned into a 6-5 deficit, and while they scored in the Top of the 9th to force extras - and scored a run themselves in the Top of the 10th - Gwinnett kept countering, including with a pair of runs in the Bottom of the 10th to walk it off. Each of Jose Barrero, Max Schrock, and Colin Moran had 1 for 4 nights (and each walked, too), Taylor Motter socked a solo homer, and Ronnie Dawson doubled twice and scored thrice to pace the offense. Old friends Dauri Moreta and Jared Solomon yielded 5 runs combined in relief.
A 3-run Bottom of the 7th cemented the win for the Lookouts, though the 6 IP of 1 ER ball from Andrew Abbott certainly put them in the position to take that opportunity. Mike Siani played leadoff man supremo by walking 4 times, singling, and scoring, while fellow speedster Jacob Hurtubise had a similarly scintillating evening by going 2 for 3, walking, and swiping 4 bags. All Matt McLain could muster was a Vottonian 2 walk evening (with a run scored).
St. Lucie Mets 7, Daytona Tortugas 1 (Class A)
Three pitchers pitched for the Tugas on Tuesday, and each gave up at least 2 ER as the Mets just had this one in them from the start. Tyler Callihan was the lone hitter to reach base more than once, as he singled and walked, while Jay Allen continued the Tuesday trend of leadoff man supremo by getting on base via walk and swiping his 21s bag of the season.
The High-A Dayton Dragons had their game vs. the South Bend Cubs suspended in the 6th inning due to weather. They’ll resume it at some point between today and the end of the universe.