It's On MLB NETWORK
It's On MLB NETWORK
You know, I'm kind of amused by how a few years ago when we were consistently bad we would always generate a good amount of discussion for spring training games, and now that we are consistently good (knock on wood) it's a ghost town during spring training.
By the way, my heart was in my throat when Arroyo got drilled with that lien drive up the middle. Say what you want about the man but the club can't afford to lose him right now.
Former Detroit starter Nate Robertson in for Texas in the 8th, walks Cesar Izturis and Miguel Olivo drives him in with a double to give the Reds their first run. Mez singles past a diving SS to bring in Olivo. 3-2 game.
Arroyo with his typical Houdini line. 5.1 IP 9 H 1 HR. But he only gives up 3 ER. He walked nobody and struck out nobody. In typical Bronson fashion, in the 6th inning, he gives up no runs on a single, a double and a single. With one out, Arredondo relieves him and induces a bases loaded double play. Arredondo went 1.2 scoreless hitless innings. He did walk two and strike out a pair. Ondrusek comes on in the 8th and makes reservations for Louisville. Lead-off walk. Yawn. Sacrifice. Single. Single. HBP. Sac fly. In his .2 innings he has allowed two runs and has runners on first and second.
Another walk reloads the bases. And now a single to left plates two. Ugly.
Offensively? Blah. Izturis continues his hot spring with a double and a walk. Bruce has a double. Olivo has a double. Mesoraco has two singles, now batting over .400. And that is it. The Reds were shut out for seven innings but have pushed across two in the 8th. No Votto. No Cozart. No Ludwick. No Phillips.
Last week of Spring Training. Baker not pleased with the way his team has played to date per Marty. He wants the team to ramp it up during this last week in Arizona. Tomorrow is decision day on Olivo and others on minor league contracts. Marty relays a funny story about Todd Frazier. When he saw Choo he went up to him and slowly introduced himself. (Think Chris Tucker "Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?") Choo, who speaks perfect English, asks Frazier why he is talking like that. LOL. Mark Berry back coaching third today. Seattle will utilize the DH; the Reds won't.
Mariners 1st - Saunders rips an 0-2 pitch to left for a single against Homer Bailey. Wild pitch moves him to second. A can of corn to shallow right. Paul and Phillips both peel off at the last second as it drops for a single. Miscommunication. Alphonse and Gaston. 1st and 2nd. Bailey sends Ibanez back to the bench. K. Mesoraco catching Bailey. Seems like he will be catching him this year. Smoak smokes one down the right field double down the line. 2-zip. Hard hit grounder to Phillips for out number two. Smoak moves to third. Montero grounds sharply up the middle. 3-0. Bay bounces to Hannahan at third to end the inning. GIDP 6-3. Inning over.
Reds 1st -Choo singles past the second baseman to start the inning off for Cincinnati. Phillips rockets one to center that is caught. Choo, with a baserunning blunder, would have been easily doubled off of first were it not for a miserable throw back to first. One down.
Mariners 2nd - Bailey walks the first batter he faces in the second. Ryan lines a single to left. Saunders ground-rule doubles down the line in left as it was touched by a fan out there. 4-0. 2nd and 3rd. Bailey gets Andino looking for the first out. Homer's second wild pitch of the game scores a run. 5-0. Ground ball to second as the infield was in. Phillips checks the run and fires to first. Two down. Justin Smoaks another one to right for a run-scoring single. 6-0. Price to the mound. Bailey has thrown a ton of pitches. Grounder to second ends the inning.
Reds 2nd - Ludwick with a soft single to left. Nice. Paul (Bruce has the day off) Ks. Hannahan (Frazier has the day off) doubles down into the left field corner. Ludwick out easily at home. Hannahan takes third. Reds tightening up those fundamentals it seems. Cozart comes back from a 3-0 deficit to strike out swinging on a pitch up and in.
Mariners 3rd - Montero singles off the glove of Homer Bailey. Bailey Ks Bay swinging. Bailey Ks Wells looking. Brendan Ryan lifts a deep fly ball to Choo, who runs it down for the third out. Nice bounce back by Homer.
Reds 3rd - Mesoraco (who Baker hints strongly has made the club - no surprise there) strikes out. Bailey lines a single to right, moves up on a wild pitch. Choo reaches for the second time. This time via the walk. Kinda like a real lead-off hitter. Phillips caught looking. He is unhappy with the call. Votto reaches on an error by Smoak to load the bases. And Ryan Ludwick leaves them loaded as he strikes out swinging. He chased a pitch low and away.
Mariners 4th - Saunders takes Bailey deep. 7-0. Andino lifts a deep fly to the warning track in right. Paul drops it and Andino reaches second. That is the second fly ball to right that Andino has hit today on which he has reached base. Ibanez strikes out swinging. Mesoraco dropped the ball and has to fire to Votto to get Ibanez. Justin Smoak walks. 1st and 2nd. And that will end the day for Homer as Wilkin de la Rosa will come on. Bailey's final line today: 3.1IP 9H 9R 8ER 2BB 5K 1HR. Kyle Saeger greets Wilkin with a humpback single to short left. Bases juiced. Montero walks to bring home another run. 8-0. Kelch says the long-range forecast for Opening Day is mid-40s. Brrr. Jason Bay ground singles home a run. 9-0. Mercy rule anyone? Casper Wells says, "Yes, please". His sac fly makes it 10-0. I have a little toy frog that winds up and does back flips, which is keeping me entertained. LOL. Brendan Ryan flies deep to right to end the Mariners' 4th. Paul holds on to this one. Sun must be rough on the center and right fielders today.
I understand there are people out there that enjoy the leisurely pace of the game. And that is fine. But three and a half innings in an hour and forty-five minutes is a little too leisurely, IMO. And so with that it is time to cook dinner. The wife will be home soon.
Reds 4th - Reds go quickly in the 4th. Paul flies out. Hannahan grounds out. Cozart singles. Mes flies out.
Mariners 5th - More trouble. Wilkin de la Rosa retires the first two easily and then uh-oh. Brandon Phillips loses a high fly to short right for a double. Wilkin digs the hole deeper by walking Smoak and then Saeger. Montero then goes all salami on us. 14-0. Bay doubles. That is all for de la Rosa. Manny Parra comes on and more trouble ensues. Wells greets Parra with a run-scoring single to left. 15-0. Brendan Ryan grounds to third to close things out. He has now made the last out in three consecutive innings.
Reds 5th - Parra flies out. Choo strikes out. DatDude triples to the deepest part of the ballpark in center. And he is left stranded as Votto takes a called third strike and immediately turns and shushes the umpire.
Mariners 6th - Seattle has hung crooked numbers in four of the five innings. Parra gets Endy Chavez to ground hard to Joey V. for out number one. Robert Andino is up for the fifth time in six innings. Yikes! Andino grounds out to second. Ibanez lines to Votto. 1-2-3 inning for Parra.
Reds 6th - Ludwick robbed of a hit on a liner to Chavez in center. Xavier Paul strikes out for the second time in the game. Hannahan rolls one to second. Yawn.
Mariners 7th - Justin Freeman on the mound for the Reds. First pitch is skied deep to Phipps in center. One pitch and one out. Freeman rings up Kyle Saeger. Freeman gets Sucre looking. Very nice inning for Justin Freeman.
Reds 7th - Cozart stays hot, splitting the outfielder in right-center for a double. Mesoraco, playing small ball, rolls one to the right side to move Cozart over to third. A piece of Devin's broken bat catches the umpire in the back of the head. But the umpire is wearing one of those hockey-style masks and is okay. Burriss will come off the bench to pinch hit for Freeman. He lifts a shallow fly ball that the shortstop catches in left. Two down. Phipps comes to the plate. Denis swings and misses. On to the 8th.
Mariners 8th - J.J. Hoover sighting. Bay hits a sinking line drive knuckler that Ludwick battles and wins in left. One away. Hoover Ks Casper Wells swinging. J.J. gets Taylor looking. 1-2-3 for the Reds' righty. Two strike outs. Send him to Louisville. Now. Since the Reds are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs it won't matter.
Reds 8th - Phillips out on nice play by the third baseman. One down. Joey Baseball stirs up a dust devil and grabs some bench. Ludwick is out on a bouncer to third.
Mariners 9th - Kevin Whelan will come on and try to hold Seattle right where they are. He played for Dave Miley the past couple of years. He will fit right in with the Cincy bullpen. He walks the first batter he faces. Andino laces a line drive double to left to score Endy Chavez. 16-0. Whelan settles down and strikes out Almonte. Brad Miller walks. Second base on balls in the inning. Whelan escapes futher damage as Denis Phipps makes a blue star play in center and then fires to second to double off the runner.
Reds 9th - Paul singles to start the 9th. 16 to tie. 17 for the win. Hannahan grounds into a 3-6-1 twin killing. Cozart reaches for the third time today. This time on a base on balls. Mesoraco bounces into a fielder's choice, forcing Cozart.
I can't stand John Fay. He tweets out that Bailey is giving up hard hit balls and a lot of runs. Then proceeds to lecture a questioner who seemed to be concerned that spring training doesn't matter.
Not the first time he's done something like this.
I agree with Baker, Reds have not played well this spring. Bailey bombed today, Cueto the other day, Leake the last time out, Arroyo allowing 9 hits yesterday. But my biggest concern is the lack of hitting, especially making contact. 11 k's yesterday. Today against the M's, 4th inning: Mes K's, Bailey singled and moved to 2nd on WP, Choo walks, Phillips K's, Votto on on error for bases loaded, then Ludwick K's. Reminds me of many days last year. Except for Votto and Choo, most regulars not hitting much at all. April will not be kind to the Reds if they don't wake up.
Reds with 5 k's through 4 innings today against M's
I'm not certain that they've taken ST seriously this yr. We'll truly see whether ST matters in 2013
Night game at Hohokam. (How did they come up with that name?). Only three regulars in the lineup - Bruce, Frazier and Hanigan. Per Wikipedia: Hohokam (hə-hō'kəm) is one of the four major prehistoric archaeological Oasisamerica traditions of what is now the American Southwest. And it is appropriate that the Cubs train there since Hohokam means "all used up".
Reds 1st - Burriss leading off. I can't see him making the squad. Grounds hard to short. 6-3. Heisey lifts a lazy fly ball to center. Bruce waves at breaking pitching. Samardzija sets the Reds down in order.
Cubs 1st - DeJesus bounces to Lutz at first who makes a fine play and flips the ball to Cueto for the first out. Starlin Castro singles to center. Rizzo strikes out on a changeup. Dave Sappelt hitting cleanup for Chicago. He bounces to third to end the Cubs' first.
Reds 2nd - Denis Phipps smokes a hung breaking pitch back through the box for a single. Frazier grounds into a 6-4-3. Two pitches and two outs and Lutz swings at the first pitch he sees. Geez. Luckily he missed. Don't let Cueto get any rest. Swing and a miss on a slider. Lutz Ks.
Cubs 2nd - Schierholtz sends Bruce to the wall in right. Bruce hauls it in. Brantley raving about the jumps that Bruce gets on the baseball. Castillo bounces to third. Cueto looking good early. Valbuena pops to third. We roll on to the third.
Reds 3rd - Donald bounces to Gold Glover Darwin Barney on the first pitch. Samardzija feeds Hanigan three fast balls and Hanigan looks at all three, then turns and grabs some bench. Johnny Cueto smacks a two-out breaking pitch back up the middle for a single. Wild pitch and Burriss has a duck on the pond. Burriss grounds one up the middle and hustles into second sliding as DeJesus was shaded a bit towards right. 1-0 as Cueto crosses the pay station. Heisey flies to center for the second time.
Cubs 3rd - Barney lifts a fly to Heisey in center. Samardzija swings and misses. Cueto on cruise control. I need to keep my mouth shut. DeJesus lines hard for a single to right. Cueto's change looking sharp. Cueto nearly picks off DeJesus. Castro bounces to Burriss who flips on to Donald for the force.
Reds 4th - Bruce strikes out on the same pitch - a slider down and in. One down. Phipps with a BOMB to dead center off the top of the batter's eye. He stands at second. Brantley fooled me with his call. I need to brush up on my Cowboy. Frazier lines to left-center but DeJesus runs it down to save a run. Lutz skies to Sappelt in left to end the inning.
Cubs 4th - One would think that if a person did the same thing year after year, like say play-by-play, that person would eventually acquire a certain level of competence. In the case of Jeff Brantley, one would be wrong. At times I have no clue as to what is going on in the game as he is calling the action. Rizzo grounds hard up the middle. Burriss makes a diving stop but cannot get Rizzo at first. Sappelt follows with a line shot up the middle and the Cubs have runners at first and second with nobody out. Schierholtz grounds to short. Burriss flips to Donald for one out but the relay to first pulls Lutz off of the bag. First and third. Castillo up and it is GM, GA and GN. FACTOID: Cueto faced 20 batters last year with the bases loaded. Hitters were 0-17 with two walks and a sac fly. Valbuena works a walk. A Cub stands on every base. Ground ball to Burriss who goes the short way to second to end the inning.
Reds 5th - Donald sends one back to Samardzija, who barehands and tosses to first. One out. Hanigan singles the other way. Cueto sacrifices Hanigan into scoring position. Cueto does a lot of the little things very well. Grrr. Burriss swings at the first pitch and pops it up to second. That had to be about a six-pitch inning.
Cubs 5th - Dioner Navarro, hitting for Samardzija, sends a two-hopper to Donald for the first out. DeJesus bunts back to Cueto. Two gone. Castro strikes out. Cueto sharp through five.
Reds 6th - Takahashi sends Heisey back to the bench on three pitches. Bruce down on strikes. And there a quickly two outs. Bruce will have a shot at the Golden Sombrero if he gets another at-bat. Thom said Phipps hit the ball last time 35 feet up the wall at the 410 sign. Phipps swings and comes up empty. Takahashi strikes out the side.
Cubs 6th - Rizzo whiffs. Sappelt hits one deep to center and Derrick Robinson makes a lunging catch at the wall. Schierholtz rolls one to Burriss at short. Nice outing for Johnny Cueto as his night is probably done. 6IP 4H 0ER 1BB 5K.
Reds 7th - Takahashi is pitching a second inning. The Toddfather gets a first-pitch fast ball and says Sayonara! 2-zip Reds. Frazier's fifth (meaningless) round-tripper this spring. Lutz grounds out to Barney. Izturis, on for Donald, grounds the first pitch to Barney. Takahashi will be lifted for righty Shawn Camp. Hanigan lines his second single of the game, this one to left. It looks as if Junior Arias is going to get an at-bat. He shoots one to the third sacker who fires across the diamond to end the inning.
Cubs 7th - Castillo bloops one that falls in short right. I wonder if the ground crew comes out after Simon works an inning and measure the mound to ensure it is still the correct height. He is one large man. Valbuena bounces one down the first-base line. Lutz fields and touches the bag. Castillo moves up 90 feet. Barney shoots one to right that Bruce snags for the second out. Castillo retreats to second. Okay, Brantley is horrible at play-by-play. He states the Clevenger slices one down the right field line. Will it stay fair? Heisey with a full-out dive cannot come up with it. And then he and Thom talk for a minute about the wonderful effort by Heisey with no mention of what actually happened. It turns out the ball was fair. Clevenger had himself a double. Heisey was okay. And the Cubs were on the board. Somebody (Lillibridge) , probably a pinch-hitter but who really knows as nothing was said one way or the other, lines to Robinson in center. 2-1 through seven.
Well, it figures. I stop listening and the Reds score a bazillion runs.
Reds 8th - Burriss grounds out to the pitcher. Chris "King of the Pop Ups" pops up. Bruce triples into the right field corner. Robinson strikes out.
Cubs 8th - Frazier makes a fine backhanded stab of a ball headed down the line and throws out Starlin Castro. Vogelbach walks. Dave Sappelt lines a single to center. His second hit on the night. Schierholtz Ks. Candelario slaps one to short for out number three.
Reds 9th - Take a deep, deep breath. Frazier pops to first. Lutz follows with a liner to right for a double. Izturis, who has never hit like this in his entire career, ground-rule doubles home Lutz. Corky Miller rockets a single to left to plate Izturis. Chris Berset walks. Burriss reaches on an error by Candelerio at third as Corky touches home for the third run. Burriss steals second. Second and third now. Heisey's liner to left scores a fourth run. First and third. Bruce laces one to right to score a fifth run. Heisey moves over to third. Derrick Robinson walks and the bases are all red now. Devin Lohman's sac fly brings home a sixth run. Donald Lutz is up for the second time in the inning and leaves the yard. 9 runs have crossed the plate so far. Izturis lines a single to left. He moves to second on a wild pitch. Corky grounds out to end the inning.
Cubs 9th - Clay Hensley to close things out. Gonzalez lines to Robinson in center. One away. Zapata walks. A Clevenger single chases Zapata to third. Lillibridge pops to Lohman, who remained in the game at short. Hensley gets Starlin Castro to look at called third.
Procedural question. Why do minor leaguers have to be assigned to the team in order to play in a spring training game? What is the point? I can't believe that uses an option up or I would imagine not many minor leaguers would get into Major League Spring Training games.
Izturis will start at third today. He is being given every chance to make this club and he is responding well. Leake (6.75) going against Volquez (13.50). I suppose that means Volquez is twice the pitcher that Leake is. =)
Something doesn't add up with Edinson Volquez. In his last four season he has made 73 starts. He has pitched 403.2 inning and given up just 359 hits. He has struck out 392 batters. And despite those good numbers he has a 4.62 ERA.
Padres 1st - Leake gets Everth Cabrera swinging on an off-speed pitch. Nice. Denorfia approaches the plate. Slow chopper to third. Izturis charges and fires to Votto. Two down. Weak swing by Denorfia. Gyorko grounds the ball down the line. Izturis makes a nice backhanded grab and throws him out. Efficient inning by Mike Leake; who, incidentally, appears to be wearing a Macy's tee-shirt under his jersey. I could be wrong.
Reds 1st - Choo with a routine ground ball to second for out number one. Brandon tests Gyorko as well and is retired. Two down. A wild Volquez pitching to a patient Votto. Predictable outcome. Votto walks. So Ryan Ludwick swings at the first pitch. Volquez had fallen behind the first three batters. Nice. Oh, yeah. Ludwick pops to Gyorko.
Padres 2nd - Leake is throwing strikes. He gets Quentin to pop to Phillips. Hundley with a smash back to Leake, who fields and tosses to Joey. Two down. Maybin strokes the first pitch up the middle and stands on first. Blanks rockets one to the wall in right-center. Padres take a 1-0 lead.
Cody Ransom rips a hanging breaking pitch to left but Ryan Ludwick runs it down. The last four hitters all hit the ball hard off Leake.
Reds 2nd - Mesoraco chops one to the right side. Volquez fields and runs on to the bag. Derrick Robinson, playing for Jay Bruce, first-pitch swings and grounds to Blanks unassisted. Zack Cozart draws a two-out walk. Izturis sends a bullet back to the mound which is deflected by Volquez to the third baseman, who fields and throws out Cesar. He hit it hard again.
Padres 3rd - Volquez rolls the ball to Cozart. Cabrera lines a single to Choo in center. Denorfia tops one in front of the plate. Mesoraco makes the play with Cabrera moving to second. Gyorko fouls one over the Mister Softee truck. LOL. Mr. Softee brings back some fond summer memories. Gyorko fooled by something slow. Three down. Leake looked good that inning.
Reds 3rd - Volquez fans Mike Leake looking. One down. Choo grounds hard to Kyle Blanks who short hops the ball and wins the race with Choo to the bag. For the third straight inning, Edinson issues a two-out walk. This free pass goes to Brandon Phillips. Volquez + Votto = Base on Balls. Two on for Ludwick. And Ryan walks on four pitches. Devin Mesoraco up with the bases filled with Reds. Edinson gets ahead 0-2 on back-to-back breaking pitches. Ground ball to third. Ransom fields and tags the runner. Volquez has walked five in three innings of work. Reds still looking for their first hit. In fact, the Reds still haven't hit a ball out of the infield yet.
Padres 4th - Quentin flies routinely to Shin-Soo. One down. John Allen sighting. Cozart drifts out into short center to haul in a major-league pop fly. Izturis scoops and fires. Aside from a minor wobble in the second, Mike Leake has been looking good.
Reds 4th - Robinson rolls out to Kyle Blanks unassisted. Cozart grounds sharply to third. Two down. Izturis grounds up the middle. Gyorko fields and fires. Reds with 10 ground outs in the first four innings.
Padres 5th - Blanks lines to left-center but is held to a single as Ludwick gets the ball back quickly. Cody Ransom - GM GA GN. Volquez moves Blanks to second on a well-placed bunt to the right side. Everth Cabrera tests Joey Votto. Not a good idea. Halfway home and still 1-0 Padres.
Reds 5th - Cabrera retires Leake on a nice play up the middle. Will the Reds hit one out of the infield today? All signs point to maybe. BOOM! Choo goes oppo off of Volquez and touches them all. First hit of the day for Cincinnati leaves the park. 1-1. Phillips lines hard to Denorfia in right. Two down.
Votto grounds to the second baseman who tosses to the pitcher covering.
Padres 6th - Quick sixth for Mike Leake. Comebacker off the bat of Denorfia for the first out. Gyorko slaps one to DatDude for out number two. Carlos Quentin singles to center. Hundley Ks. I wonder if Leake comes back out for the 7th. He has been pretty efficient this afternoon. Broxton warming up so that probably answer that. Broxton, Arredondo and LeCure are scheduled per Kelch.
Reds 6th. Ludwick grounds hard up the middle. Gyorko knocks it down but can't make the play. Ludwick with a lead-off infield single. Volquez bounces one in there and Hundley with a nice cup-stop. That had to hurt. He'll be signing soprano at Karaoke tonight. Reds green light Mesoraco on 3-0 and he lets the bat fly but does not connect. Ball four. Mesoraco walks. And that will be all for Volquez. Brad Brach comes on in relief. Xavier Paul steps to the plate. Paul chops to second but all they will get is the force at third. Runners on the corners with one out. I wonder how close the battle between Paul and Robinson is? Bruce with a day off. A righthander on the mound. And Robinson gets the start. Cozart shoots one to Cabrera at short who checks the runner at third and then fires to first. Donald hitting for Izturis. He falls into an 0-2 but works himself into a full count. Swing and a miss on a slider. On to the seventh.
Dinner cooking time.
Reds offensively challenged through 5 again today. 1 hit (Choo HR) and 5 walks from Volquez. With many regulars in the lineup. Votto with 2 walks today. Get ready for a lot of this if Ludwick doesn't get going.