There were a lot of good things to take away from last night’s game in Miami, as the Reds cruised to a pretty uneventful 6-2 victory over the Marlins:
– Homer Bailey pitched the first complete game for a starter on the Reds staff in 2013. Not that this didn’t come without controversy (we’ll talk that more in a bit).
– Xavier Paul provided all the offense the Reds would need with just one swing of the bat in the top of the 2nd with a bases-clearing, three-RBI double, changing an already 3-1 score (after two consecutive walks to Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips had already scored a pair immediately prior) into a 6-1 chasm.
– Zach Cozart, Votto, Phillips, and Ryan Hanigan ALL had multi-hit games, with Votto notching a 3-4 with a walk.
– Joey Votto made a “photobomb” appearance (seen in the locker room wearing just a towel) on post-game Reds Live, much to the pleasure of many female viewers who lit up Twitter shortly thereafter (and I pander to my audience … might as well talk this more, too).
Homer Bailey deserves much of the discussion from the game Tuesday night. The fact that Dusty Baker allowed Bailey to get to such a relatively high pitch count could simultaneously be commended and chastised in the same breath. I, for one, had no problem seeing Homer give it a go at the complete game when the inning started. Seeing his velocity hit intra-game peaks in the 9th only cemented that Bailey was juiced, running on all kinds of adrenaline and wanted to finish it off in the worst way possible. Will the 125 pitches he ultimately threw catch up to him in the form of fatigue as the season moves forward? Boy, I really hope not … but he’s been the most comparable guy the team has to one Justin Verlander, who routinely does the same thing (and will forever be linked going in the same 2004 draft class, Verlander 2nd and Bailey 7th, but Homer straight out of high school). The full “effects”, if any, on how Homer Bailey continues to pitch going forward will simply have to remain to be seen. We simply don’t know how his arm and/or shoulder will react after a reasonably heavy load in the game.
On the lighter side of things, a funnier moment happened in the aftermath of the win. Jim Day of Fox Sports Ohio was hosting post-game Reds Live, as he customarily does, and had interviewed Xavier Paul on-field as the “star of the game” of sorts, even though offensively it was really a team effort kind of night. Clearly, Day wanted to get Homer Bailey; however, Bailey rarely seems to stop for on-field interviews unless he really is forced to do so. What happened next wasn’t anything necessarily out of the ordinary, getting Homer to comment on his masterful 10 strikeout and no walk performance on the night from his locker in the clubhouse with media from multiple sources gathered around him. What was slightly more unusual was facing the cameras at an angle in the corner that directed at other players’ locker spots and, notably, facing at Joey Votto’s spot over Homer’s right shoulder (the #19 jersey clearly visible hanging in the stall). As the interview kept going in the later stages, Homer was speaking about his start, answering a series of typical questions (including the concerns on the number of pitches he threw, and so on) when a person walked across the rear of the shot. Considering said individual went directly into the aforementioned locker meant it really was only one person, and, within moments thereafter, Twitter lit up from multiple places (notably from the female variety) to acknowledge said “photobombing” incident. Kudos, Joey Votto, for “stealing the show” and getting your “nipples on TV” (see previous MLB Network interview from last Friday for full disclosure).
[Author's note: I disavow having written the preceding paragraph, but I acknowledge my "journalistic duty" to pander to the lowest common denominator ... for those "offended", I'm sorry ... for those "not offended", well, you're welcome, I guess.]
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