In the midst of their first extended winning streak of the season, the Reds came back in the bottom of the ninth against the Indians to win their fifth in a row.
By a final of 5-4, the club continued their ascension back to a .500 record in Spring Training on St. Patrick’s Day, donning their sweet-looking green Reds jerseys. Many players, such as Mike Leake and Todd Frazier, carried on with the traditional red anyway, to create an Arizona Christmas tree on the diamond.
In what may go down as one of the more horrific moments this entire season, with Brandon Phillips batting in the bottom of the second, umpire Brad Myers was unable to get his body out of the way of a lined smash, which ultimately torpedoed into his man region. Dropping like a bad habit, Myers laid on the field in visible agony, until he was carted off and waved to the crowd. We of course wish him a speedy recovery and as little continued pain as possible.
Offensive Side of the Diamond:
Going with a lineup similar to what we’re bound to see in two weeks from today on Opening Day, the Reds only managed to score in one inning before pushing their winning runs across in the ninth.
The bats started swinging heavy lumber in the second as Jay Bruce rocketed an elevated fastball to dead centerfield for a lead-off double, before moving to third on Ryan Ludwick’s looping liner to left, putting runners at the corners with no men out. Todd Frazier brought them both home with his two-run triple to the wall in right field, putting the club ahead 2-0 against Indians rotation member, Cory Kluber.
Although the team collected a dozen hits on the afternoon, the only Red to go for multiple hits was none other than the scuffling Joey Votto. Following his second hit of the day in the bottom of the fifth, instant replay came to the forefront.
Brandon Phillips made the calculated decision of attempting to swipe third base with a left-handed batter at the plate in Jay Bruce, even with just one out in the inning. On the field, base umpire Alan Porter rang him up as being out, which clearly did not seem to be the right call. Seemingly, replay was instituted for calls just like this. Once the remaining, non-injured umpires conferred with the men in the back, under a minute later, Phillips was given his swiped bag. Bruce never got to drive in Phillips, but had Ryan Ludwick not grounded into a double play, the play would have loomed larger.
All was quiet on the Chris Heisey front this afternoon in his designated hitter role. Striking out twice and going 0-for-4 on the day, Heisey proved that he was of the planet Earth, not some UFO engineering martian who possessed superior baseball skills.
Winning the game in the bottom of the ninth with a two-run double was Steve Selsky. Chances are you had absolutely not the slightest clue of who that was prior to his at-bat, barring your close family relation. The 24-year-old’s first at-bat of the spring proved vital, bringing victory to the Redlegs.
Reds’ Toeing the Rubber:
Looking incredibly sharp to get the game started for the Reds was Mike Leake. Utilizing his entire arsenal on this day, Leake mixed in his looping curveball to keep hitters off balance, working extremely well with Devin Mesoraco who had his pitches landing in the right spot. This was eerily similar to seasons of past when Leake would have a breakout, 7 or 8-inning start while just allowing a run or two to dominate the game and show glimpses of his greatness. An absolute step in the right direction as the regular season draws near.
A collective breath of fresh air was let out of the belly of Reds fans everywhere as Jonathan Broxton strode to the hill for the fifth inning, still looking like the Bengals left tackle rather than a baseball player. They were only eight pitches, but they materialized into three outs, in succession. It has been a long road back for Broxton, and any contributions they can get from the big right-hander will seemingly be icing on the cake.
Ruining his flawless innings streak, Pedro Beato was pounded all over the ballpark in the seventh inning, causing the Reds lead to cease to exist. Upon Jumbo Diaz losing control of the strike zone and conceding the go-ahead run in the top half of the ninth, they were both bailed out by Mr. Selsky’s clutch final frame double. Rather than a loss, Jumbo got himself a win.
Continuing to prove to be nasty in the Reds pen was once again, Trevor Bell. Now up to 5.2 of scoreless ball, he has only allowed 3 hits and a walk in accordance with his 8 strikeouts on the spring. Still the ultimate long shot at making a Major League roster, Bell has shown that politics and contracts often decide a lot more than the hot hand.
* * *
Tomorrow, the Reds get their first off day of the season. The club is back at it Wednesday night when they take on the Kansas City Royals at 9:05 PM with Alfredo Simon climbing the hill. That same day, Mat Latos is slated to throw in a Minor League game, so we will also update you on how that situation plays out.
No television Wednesday night, so you can tune in on WLW, or, you could always swing by BlogRedMachine and get your complete coverage here.
Tags: Cincinnati Reds