The Cincinnati Reds farm system truly got going on Thursday, as each of AA Chattanooga and High-A Dayton kicked off their seasons while the AAA Louisville Bats finally got back to action after storms had hit pause on theirs.
The story of the night, as it may be on many nights, was the copious amount of strikeouts across the board. 17 in total from Dayton with their bats, 19 more from Chattanooga, and while only 9 Bats were retired via K, Joey Votto sat down a trio of times that way.
To the scores!
Indianapolis Indians 5, Louisville Bats 3 (F/7)
Another year, another lack of a mascot change from AAA Indianapolis. Nick Senzel and Joey Votto both walked while on rehab action, and Matt “Yippee Ki-Yay” McLain provided the team’s biggest knock with a 2-run tater, but the Bats fell to their International League rivals. Levi “Nitro Milk” Stoudt was cromulent on the bump - 4.1 IP, 3 H, ER, 3 BB, 4 K on 84 pitches - though the walks were a bit of a concern. Jared “Han” Solomon also chipped in with a perfect inning of relief, which is cool for the future of the Reds bullpen, I suppose.
Indianapolis Indians 1, Louisville Bats 0 (F/7)
The Bats mustered just a pair of hits in the second game of their Thursday doubleheader, a game that saw their rehabbing MLBers hit the bench. TJ “i” Hopkins had a double, the lone XBH on the evening for Louisville, though Alan Busenitz, Tayron Guerrero, and Ryan “Sometimes I Feel Like a” Nutof combined for 4.0 scoreless frames of relief after starter Randy “Draw, Lose, or” Wynne tossed 3.0 IP of lone ER ball to begin the game.
Chattanooga Lookouts 6, Rocket City Trash Pandas 3
Few things perk me up the way typing Rocket City Trash Pandas into the CMS on purpose does. One of life’s little cups of joe, truly. Anyway, the Trash Pandas were relegated to the dumpster by Lookouts starter Andrew Abbott, who was, quite literally, unhittable on the night. In his 4.2 IP, he yielded nary a hit nor run, a lone walk the lone blemish on his otherwise spectacular line. The lefty struck out 11 - meaning 11 of the 14 outs he recorded came on the K - and looked very much the part of a player who could help the back-end of the Cincinnati Reds rotation, and soon. This game itself helped fan the storms wrecking the mid-Atlantic and Southeast today, as the teams combined for 41 (!!) strikeouts on the day. Allan “Sleeper Sofa” Cerda had the biggest fly of the day as he homered as part of a 2 for 4, 2 R outing that included a walk. Rece “57” Hinds tattooed a double, but also struck out 4 times. Who didn’t in this one, really.
Lake County Captains 8, Dayton Dragons 3
Tyler Callihan singled, walked twice, and swiped a pair of bags in his 2023 debut, and since he’s finally, finally healthy again, I can’t tell you how jazzed I am to watch this kid hit his way up the minors. Austin “Fox in the” Hendrick doubled in a pair of runs while Edwin Arroyo had a 2-hit night, but Lake County put up a 4-spot on starter Carson “Puddle of” Rudd in the Bottom of the 1st and never looked back in the season opener for both clubs.
The Daytona Tortugas begin their season on Friday evening.