Like him or not (odds are you don’t), Ryan Braun is captivating television. Thus the Reds weaker of the split-squad teams being placed on national television this afternoon.
Wrapping up the spring nicely, the club won both games they played today, allowing fans from all over Reds Country that were beginning to sweat, to breathe a little bit easier. They wrapped up with a 14-17 record overall, after topping the Brewers by a final of 8-2 at Maryvale Baseball Park this afternoon.
Offensive Side of the Diamond:
Kyle Lohse was the man on the hill for the Brewers, quite the different pitcher since his time spent in Cincinnati.
The only two heading north for Monday’s game in the lineup today were Ramon Santiago and Roger Bernadina. Bernadina continued to blister whatever is put in front of him as he singled in one of two at-bats, finishing his spring average at an impressive .413.
Fans watching at home got a brief glimpse of nostalgia as Jason Bourgeois cranked a home run to left center field in the top of the fifth and the words of Thom Brennaman rang in ears from Ohio to Indiana to Kentucky—“Racing back to the wall Bourgeois…the Reds…are National League Central Division…CHAMPIONS!” (This of course was Brennaman’s call the night of September 28, 2010 when Jay Bruce hit the walk-off home run off Tim Byrdak and the Houston Astros to clinch the National League Central and a Reds playoff berth for the first time in 15 years.)
Similarly to what happened over at Goodyear, the bats got cranking once the young guns were inserted into the lineup. Yorman Rodriguez ripped a RBI double, Juan Duran mashed an opposite field two-run home run and Juan Silverio notched himself two hits.
Reds’ Toeing the Rubber:
Getting the start for the Reds was…J.J. Hoover? Pitching only one inning, then getting out of dodge was Hoover, who allowed a run on a RBI double from Ryan Braun. According to our fan poll from a few weeks back, nearly half of you believe that Hoover should be the man getting the majority of the save opportunities with Aroldis Chapman out. After his performance today, Hoover wrapped up with an ERA of 5.63. (Remember, last year, Hoover started extremely slow, losing multiple games late due to an excessive amount of work. He may take a few weeks to kick in into gear.)
Pedro Beato and Jumbo Diaz both offered one last gasp at impressing manager Bryan Price who was in attendance by throwing a scoreless inning each. Neither man is likely to make the Opening Day roster, but with the vast amount of injuries, nothing can be counted out.
Very rarely is the most interesting player on the field wearing the number 85, but that was exactly what Michael Lorenzen was this afternoon. If you can remember, Lorenzen was the supplemental first-round pick of the Reds in the 2013 draft out of Cal State-Fullerton. He excelled as both an outfielder and closer in college, before ultimately siding on becoming a pitcher in the Reds organization. He had bouts with wildness in the lower levels of the minors last season, walking 13 in just 21 innings of work, but he had yet to walk a batter this spring. Over his four innings of work this afternoon (which earned him a win), Lorenzen walked five batters and allowed three hits, but danced around allowing any runs. While he may not make it up to Cincinnati this season, he is one of the arms down on the farm to keep a keen eye towards.
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The Reds are in action tomorrow, but not against a Major League club. They take on the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the team’s Double-A affiliate at 7 PM. Tune in here for the wrap-up, or, you can follow former writer Kourage Kundahl (@kourageFS) on Twitter, who is the man when it comes to Blue Wahoos baseball.