The Reds played a couple of games today, and a good time was had by all. Aaron Harang had a good outing in the “B” game against the Indians: 4.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits, striking out two, walking two. The big guy threw 62 pitches. Not bad.

At first I thought, “Hey, 4.1 innings, that’s a lot for this early in spring training.” Then it occurred to me that we’re just over three weeks from Opening Day. Shazam. The season’s almost here!

There was an “A” game today, as well. Yeah, I was surprised, too. I just figured, we’re new in the Cactus League, we’ve had 9 straight losing seasons, they will probably make us play against JV squads, at least for the first year. But no, the Reds get to play against the top players from other organizations, including the White Sox. Of course, the game was a tie, which is like kissing your sister, as the saying goes. It’s much better than kissing this, though.

I think I’ve had too much caffeine.

Anyway, Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, and Matt Maloney were pretty good. BP and Votto had been struggling mightily before today, 0-14 and 1-15 respectively. Today, Votto went 2-3, with an RBI, and BP had a walk, an RBI single, and a 2-run homer. That’s okay, I guess, but if Phillips weren’t such a slacker, he would’ve pitched too.

Matt Maloney, my pick to win the 5th starter’s spot, rebounded from a poor performance in his last trip to the mound. Maloney tossed three scoreless innings, giving up three hits, two walks, while striking out two strikeouts. The big lefty also picked off two runners; that’s the type of thing that will get you noticed by the manager when you’re trying to win a spot in the rotation. This was actually the first time Maloney has started a game this spring, so I’d say he helped his cause mightily today.

Oh, and Red Hot Mama got to visit the new ballyard in Goodyear, and she has the pictures to prove it.