Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….
W: A. Chapman (1-0)
L: H. Bell (0-1)
–Jay Bruce hit two solo homers. The second was the most important, as it tied up the ballgame in the bottom of the ninth.
–Drew Stubbs followed up Bruce’s homer with a single, advancing to third on Ryan Hanigan’s single to right. Pinch hitter Scott Rolen then won the game with a sharp grounder to third that Miami’s Hanley Ramirez couldn’t handle. It’s a walkoff win, Reds fans.
–Bronson Arroyo was pitching pretty well until he got mono in the 7th inning.
–Aroldis Chapman was dominant in two innings of work. Why isn’t he a starting pitcher again?
–Brandon Phillips had a couple of hits and scored a run. UPDATE: Brandon also got his 1000th hit as a Cincinnati Red. Congrats to Brandon.
–Everyone in the park could see that Bronson was tiring in the seventh, and that the Marlins were starting to hit every ball hard. Well, almost everyone in the park could see that. Dusty Baker didn’t have anyone warming up in the bullpen.
As Steve said in the game thread: “BakerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sleepwalking in the seventh inning not only cost the Reds the lead, but also turned a good 6-inning start from Arroyo Ã¢â‚¬â€œ getting his season off to a good start Ã¢â‚¬â€œ into a bad outing.”
–It was unconventional, but what a fun win. Reds take two out of three, and that’s the way you compete for a pennant: by winning as many series as you can. When you win a series against a good team like Miami…well, that’s just icing on the cake.
–Jay Bruce just looks like a different player, physically. The baby fat is gone, and he looks like he’s ready to be the player we all hoped to see one day. Let’s hope he keeps up the good play. Bruce is, after all, on pace to hit 162 homers this year.
–More evidence that Dusty should have — at the very least — had someone warming up in the pen as the seventh inning started:
Bronson Arroyo (2011-12): Innings 1-6: 4.77 ERA. Innings 7+: 7.66 ERA. Six innings may be his limit now. #Reds
— Joel Luckhaupt (@jluckhaupt) April 8, 2012
–Question: why not bring in Aroldis Chapman in the seventh with runners on and no outs and the game on the line? Why bring in Logan Ondrusek in that situation, and use Chapman in the top of the 8th after the lead is already gone? What’s the purpose of having Chapman in the pen if you aren’t going to use him in high-leverage situations? I’m clearly not smart enough to understand what’s going on here.
–On the flip side of that coin, despite his ludicrous management of the pitching staff today, let’s give Dusty credit for leaving Chapman out there for a second inning of relief. Smart move.
–Okay, the whiny Cardinals come to town next. It would be nice to see the Redlegs make a statement early in the season by playing well against one of their main division rivals.