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.

5 Responses

  1. Matt B.

    I really didn’t need to see Photoshopped Madonna. Otherwise, thanks, Chad.

  2. Sultan of Swaff

    Lehr only got one inning today…..again. Hard to win the 5th starter spot when they won’t give you innings to stretch you out. The Reds are simply paying lip service to an open competition for the 5th spot in the rotation. Maloney’s the guy.

  3. Steve

    I agree with you on Maloney. I thought he had the White Sox off balance most of the first three innings. He had solid command of his breaking ball and was starting off with that pitch with quite a few of the hitters.

    Phillips’ home run was a real blast – it hit way above the home run line in straight away centerfield.

    I’d heard a rumor that Drew Sutton was still on the roster, but he never seems to play in any games. I was glad to see him get an AB. He really is noticeably larger than last year. He reportedly has gained back weight he had previously lost due to illness. He had a sharp single and a stolen base.

    Could Votto be the MVP if it weren’t for that Pujols guy?

  4. Glenn

    Glad to see Harang doing well. This year will be key for him. No turn around this year and there won’t ever be a turnaround.