For the first time in nearly a week, the Reds have found themselves on the right end of the winning column.
Defeating the mighty Los Angeles Dodgers by a score of 8-2, the club picked up their first victory in nearly a week and just their second since March 2.
Riding the coattails of a strong effort from the bullpen, the team did not allow a run over the final four innings to preserve the lead and allow a breath of fresh air to circulate through Reds Country.
Offensive Side of the Diamond:
Let’s talk numbers. While we’re at it, let’s talk Billy Hamilton. Discussing his on-base percentage has been done at nauseam, so let’s clarify how the stat is calculated. Positive things occur to your on-base percentage when you get a hit, draw a walk or are hit by a pitch. In the top of the third, Hamilton reached base on an error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez that was clearly the cause of a rushed throw, as everyone in the park knew who was scooting down the line. Billy the Kid will not get credit for neither a hit, nor a positive time on base, as the at-bat counts the same as an out. Numbers can take you far, but they are not the be-all-end-all, which is incredibly vital to understand when discussing someone as explosive as Billy Hamilton.
When you’re hot, you’re hot, and Chris Heisey is nearly ablaze. Going 2-for-3 on the day once again, Heisey has raised his batting average to a clean .400 for the spring. He effectively ended Paul Maholm’s day in the top of the third when he unleashed on a fastball up in the strike zone for a no-doubter into the crowd of folks in left field. It was his fourth home run of the spring, in addition to slugging a hellacious .933. Starting position controversies are sadly rarely developed during spring, but Heisey is making his case to get more than the occasionally spot start.
Both Tucker Barnhart and Ramon Santiago collected multi-hit games on the afternoon, with Barnhart’s second hit being the final notch in the Reds belt as he scored Neftali Soto in the top of the ninth.
Reds’ Toeing the Rubber:
Making yet another start was bullpen extraordinaire, Alfredo Simon. He got himself into a messy situation in the fourth inning by loading the bases with no one out, yet managed to escape with just a run scoring sacrifice fly. His 4.1 innings of work signify the stretching out of his arm in the extreme case that Mat Latos is not able to make his first start of the year.
Allowing his first run of the spring was lefthander Lee Hyde, who served up a golf ball to Hanley Ramirez who promptly deposited it way over the left field fence for the Dodgers second and final run of the afternoon.
Finishing the game out was Jumbo Diaz and his rejuvenated fastball. It has even caught the attention of manager Bryan Price who has taken a liking to Diaz’s renewed speed on the pitch, as he rightfully should. Anytime a reliever, especially with Diaz’s size, can rush it up near the 100 MPH mark, there’s a weapon to be utilized.
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Getting the super late start tomorrow night, the Reds are paid a visit from the Texas Rangers. Johnny Cueto will be on the mound for the 10:05 PM start, as the game can be heard on MLB.com audio.