For the largest regular season crowd in Great American Ball Park history, it was the pitcher’s duel that all the baseball scribes had said it would be. The 43,168 attending witnessed two potential Cy Young candidates square off in a masterful display.
For the Good Guys, Johnny Cueto hurled 7 innings, allowing only a run on 3 hits. He also struck out 9 and walked a pair. The only run came in the top of the 3rd on a Chris Ianetta home run. The Angels received as impressive an effort from Jared Weaver who went 6 innings, allowed only 1 run on two hits to go along with 4 whiffs and 2 walks. The run he permitted came in the bottom of the 3rd on a wild pitch as Shin-Soo Choo slid into home avoiding a Weaver tag.
Before I go on, I’ll get the bad news out of the way. Ryan Ludwick separated his right shoulder as he was sliding into third base. According to a tweet from Joe Kay of the AP, he’ll have an MRI tomorrow. Just so happens that the back end of the play in which Choo scored is when Luddy injured his shoulder. After Weaver was late applying the tag to Choo, Weaver argued the call with home plate umpire Dale Scott. During this time, Luddy bolted for third and slid into the base head first.
It came down to a battle of the bullpens. More on that in a bit except for one thing. The bats seemed none to anxious to end the game.
A point Chris Welsh made that I’m sure brought some ire from Reds fans on Twitter. He stated that Dusty Baker doesn’t overuse the sacrifice bunt…or something along those lines. Think of that what you will.
And not long after making such comment, Brandon Phillips laid down a sacrifice. And as you might expect, Joey Votto was intentionally walked, effectively taking the bat right out of Votto’s hands. You have to give your best bat a chance. You simply have to allow Votto a shot.
The bases were now loaded for Chris Heisey who was replacing the injured Ludwick. How did that work out? Heisey whiffed. Angels skipper Mike Scioscia brought in lefty Sean Burnett to face Jay Bruce. And that? Another whiff and the threat was gone by the boards.
And Dusty would try the sacrifice bunt again in the bottom of the 11th after Votto reached on an Erick Aybar error. Heisey sacrificed Votto to second and Bruce was given the free four. First and second with one out. What would happen this time? Todd Frazier would strike out and pinch-hitter Jack Hannahan would ground out weakly back to pitcher Mark Lowe.
Yes, the RISP gremlins bit ‘em today (0-for-10). A lot…
Dale Scott’s squeezing of the strike zone on Aroldis Chapman was pretty evident. Just so you can see it for yourself…
Chappy’s fastest pitch? 98 MPH. Of course, it may take him a while to rediscover those triple digits. Maybe next outing…
Free baseball on Opening Day? Tomorrow an off day meant everyone was available.
Choo and defense? In the top of the 12th, seems he misplayed the ball off the bat of Peter Bourjous. The speedy Bourjous ended up on third with a triple…with one out and Mike Trout at the plate. J.J. Hoover proceeded to strike out Trout and coax a ground out of Aybar.
And to Thom…it’s the Angels, not the ’27 Yankees. Unless you’re think of of the same guy that knocked the solo shot off Cueto.
But in the top of the 13th, Hoover got himself into trouble. It started after a strikeout of Andrew Romine. You remember the ol’ scoreboard at Riverfront when it would flash “Walks Will Haunt”? One did and it was to former Red Josh Hamilton with one out. After a Mark Trumbo ground out with Hamilton advancing to second, Howie Kendrick was intentionally walked. Pinch-hitter and last Angles position player available Hank Congerwas plunked on a 1-2 pitch.
It was Ianetta again. After an eight pitch at-bat, Ianetta would double down the left field line. That double would be the only hit the Angels would get with runners in scoring position and it was the only one that mattered.
The Reds bats scuffled mightily aside from the RISP blues. They could only muster one hit after the third inning…and that came off the bat of Choo.
Wednesday is Opening Night. Maybe knowing there will be fireworks will wake the lumber.
Are there bonus points for striking out 17?
|Kendrick, H, 2B||3||1||0||0||2||1||1|
|Lowe, M, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Burnett, S, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|b-Harris, B, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|Downs, S, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
a-Struck out for Weaver in the 7th. b-Singled for Jepsen in the 10th. c-Hit by pitch for Lowe, M in the 13th.
1-Ran for Pujols in the 11th.
|Lowe, M(W, 1-0)||2||0||0||0||1||3||0|
|Phillips, B, 2B||5||0||0||0||0||1||2|
|Izturis, C, SS||2||0||0||0||0||1||0|
a-Reached on error for Broxton in the 8th. b-Grounded out for LeCure in the 11th.
1-Ran for Ludwick in the 3rd.