Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Defense Fails Reds; Dodgers Win 10-3

For the Redlegs, their first night contest of the young season did not go as planned. 

A team that is normally defensively astute, saw a litany of errors overshadow the efforts of the club on the mound as the team fell 10-3 to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The best team that money can buy showed their powerful presence once the Reds new 100 million dollar man exited the game. 

Two errors and two misplays virtually led to the majority of the Dodgers offense on this evening, skewing the pitching results to look far worse than they really were. 

Offensive Side of the Diamond:

The legend of Billy Hamilton continues to grow as he dropped down a bunt to lead off the game, immediately setting the tone.  Before he had the opportunity to make a mad dash towards second, Brandon Phillips laced a first pitch fastball towards Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig, halting the esteemed Hamilton in his tracks. 

It looked as if Joey Votto was about to bounce into a double play, before shortstop Miguel Rojas chucked the return throw into the Dodgers’ dugout, allowing the speedster Hamilton to scamper across the plate. 

They got back on the board in the bottom of the second after Todd Frazier’s leadoff single was made worthwhile after an extended bat from designated hitter Juan Duran allowed Hamilton to get back up to the plate.  Getting to swing from the right side, Billy the Kid showed that he can do so much more than run, as he dropped a RBI single into right as Todd Frazier managed to scoot by catcher Tim Federowicz after Puig’s heat-seeking missile narrowly missed gunning him down. 

After that, the offense dissipated.  Outside of Neftali Soto’s smash down the right field line, the team went cold.  Mustering only three hits after the second inning (one being an infield tapper), the team’s bench looked overmatched facing the Dodger relievers.

Reds’ Toeing the Rubber:

Everyone’s new favorite flavor of the week to make the Opening Day start, Homer Bailey, looked as dynamic as can be on Wednesday night.  Just nine batters were faced, with a measly one reaching base on a walk that only seemed to occur because Bailey was working on the control of his breaking pitches. 

Following him was the Vancouver native, and Louisville Bat, Jeff Francis.  His first inning of action was quite impressive as he mowed through the combination of Dee Gordon, Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig with little effort.  Unfortunately, it all went downhill in the fifth for the southpaw.

With a runner on first and nobody out, Juan Uribe lifted a shallow pop up to right centerfield, for an old-fashioned “Texas Leaguer” that hung up in the air seemingly forever.  Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce were the main parties converging on the ball, and when Bruce called off the infielder, he nearly immediately slipped and fell, allowing the ball to drop in for a “hit.” 

Coming unraveled, Francis walked the next batter and nearly pulled a muscle in his neck watching new Cuban sensation Alex Guerrero clobber a Grand Slam down the left field line, giving the Dodgers a 4-2 lead and putting them ahead for good. 

Next up was the first member of the bullpen mob, “Sudden” Sam LeCure.  Facing “El Titan” Adrian Gonzalez, he found himself on the wrong end of a ball being rocket launched over 400 feet past the right centerfield fence.  If LeCure could have ended the bleeding there, his evening may have been much more enjoyable.

He seemed to have been out of trouble when Joc Pederson hit a bouncer up the middle directly at the second base bag, which should have been an easy double play, but Kristopher Negron booted what should have been an inning-ending twin killing. 

Already leaning on the ropes, LeCure was still just an out away from getting out of trouble when Tim Federowicz strolled into the box.  He lofted a high fly ball down the left field line with Skip Schumaker making a dead sprint effort to get to the ball.  To say it was misjudged would be an understatement as it landed a solid 10-15 feet behind where Schumaker had just come from, bounding into the stands for a two-RBI ground-rule double, adding even more distress to LeCure’s night. 

* * *

Tomorrow at 3:05 PM, the Reds return to their afternoon schedule as Tony Cingrani takes the mound opposing the newest San Francisco Giant, Tim Hudson. 

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