After nearly a week of offensive destruction, the Reds bats were finally silenced.
Mike Leake took quite the hellacious beating (only on the mound though, thankfully not physically) as the Reds fell by a score of 9-1 at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Making an appearance in the locker room today was Aroldis Chapman, who is just three days removed from having a metal plate inserted into his face. The Cuban Missile claims that he feels fine, or just about as well as one could feel after taking a 110 MPH pitch to the cheekbone. With the endless list of things that could have gone wrong, it truly is a miracle to see Chapman in such seemingly positive health.
Offensive Side of the Diamond:
There isn’t much to document on the offensive side when the team only goes for one run on five hits—none of which came from leadoff man Billy Hamilton. It’s not as if Hamilton could have mustered much of a fight on his own, as his team trailed 8-0 by his second at-bat, but the linear equation of Hamilton getting on base equaling runs is no façade.
What did prove itself an effective method was Joey Votto drawing a walk in order for him to come around and score. After drawing said walk, Jay Bruce hammered him home on a RBI double to give the Reds their only crooked number in the scoring column.
In an attempt to maximize the versatility of all those in camp, Jason Bourgeois was the sacrificial lamb trying a new position. He did appear at second base in games in both 2010 and 2011 as a member of the Houston Astros, but he is by trade, an outfielder. As many other Reds did on this afternoon, he went hitless.
Reds’ Toeing the Rubber:
Taking “getting his work in” to a completely new level, Mike Leake was mercilessly hammered today. The lineup he faced was somewhere between productive and replaceable (Jonathan Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez, then Jeff Bianchi and Kevin Mattison), but all the same, they tattered him all over the park.
His one run allowed in both the first and third innings would not have been so brutal had he not allowed a whopping six spot in the second. He was blitzed for nine hits and eight runs (seven of which were earned) in just four innings of work. (Hey, at least he didn’t walk anybody!)
The bullpen once again showed its magnificent ability to stymy the opposition over their five innings. Suffering the only run of the group was Pedro Beato, who served up a home run to Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
Working two innings of scoreless ball was Nick Christiani. He lowered his ERA south of one, a tantalizing .90. Due to his occupancy on the 40-man roster, it is fairly certain we will be seeing the long-time minor leaguer get himself some more big league experience come this time next week.
As Spring Training is reaching its final stretch, it’s becoming harder and harder to ignore Trevor Bell and his dominant performance. For the same reasons that Christiani has all but secured himself a spot, Bell may be on the outside looking in. There are a few names (Ismael Guillon, Chad Rogers, or even, Daniel Corcino) that could be sacrificed in exchange for Bell, but the Reds would have to be confident in the abilities of the former first round pick who last appeared in the Majors in 2011 as a member of the Los Angeles Angels.
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Tomorrow is Monday, and that’s very seldom a positive thing. Luckily, the Reds will once again be on television as good ol’ Fox Sports Ohio is making the trek out to the desert. Alfredo Simon takes the ball as the Reds play home team against the team they share Goodyear Ballpark with, the Cleveland Indians. First pitch is at 4:05 PM.
Even though tomorrow may provide its share of rough moments, it is most importantly the benchmark of it being exactly one week until Opening Day baseball.