Since last night was the first opportunity I have had this year to catch the redlegs in person, I thought I'd share a few thoughts/observations. Take 'em for what they're worth (not much). We got there a few minutes late (thanks, taxi cab driver--your "shortcut" was a great way to get to the ballpark, as half the city was using it.) So we walked in at the top of the 2nd.
--Keppinger has the opportunity to become a real CIncinnati fan favorite Freel-type player. The guy looked very comfortable at short last night. I'm still not convinced his offensive skills are anything other than mediocre, but I'd prefer to see him on the field 11 times out of 10 over Juan Castro.
--If Livingston isn't hitting his spots, he's toast. His velocity wasn't that great (if the RFK radar gun is to be believed), but he had good location for the first few innings and hung in there. (Well, that and he was facing the Nats.) But in the 5th, he just started tossing these 91 MPH fastballs with no movement right over the plate, and the Nats hitters ate him for lunch.
--Todd Coffey is such a streaky pitcher, I don't really know what to make of him. Came in in a tough situation last night and managed to stop the bleeding, then spared further damage to the pen by going a couple more innings. Too bad he's just as likely to repeat that performance as not the next time he pitches.
--I think some of the recent observations about Dunn I've been reading here are correct. When he gets bat on ball, more often than not he mashes. But if he's facing a pitcher who's good at hitting the corners and not giving batters anything to hit, it's difficult for him to succeed. There was one AB in particular last night where he seemed to just flail at a couple of pitches that were just outside. Those of you who think Dunn's BA would jump if he were more selective with his pitches, might want to think again. He's a mistake-pitch hitter, and at this point in his career isn't likely to deviate from that. Appreciate him for what he is.
--People love Junior. Flash bulbs going off every time he came to bat, cheers when he was announced, etc. The guy behind me said to his friend "You know, I'm only here tonight to see Junior. Just imagine, if he'd been able to stay healthy..." How very true. He may not have aged well, but he's aged gracefully.
--To that end, lots of reds gear at RFK last night. My wife said it's because of all the Ohio transplants out here. I have no idea what she was talking about.
I might have had more to comment on, but I spent an inordinant amount of time bantering with the wife (boring her, more likely) about some of the finer points of the game, and frequently scowling at the hoarse-voiced, obnoxiously drunk woman seated directly next to me.