The Reds ran up the score against the Brewers today in a 10 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 4 game (box). The game was on MLB.tv, so I was able to watch most of it, and even to hear Marty stop by the Brewers broadcast booth for a bit. He sounded about as upbeat as IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve heard him recently, so maybe thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the trick: we get him to think that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s doing a Brewers game and heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll like the Reds more.
Starting Pitching: Lorenzen made his second start and got his third win this spring, though it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t without a little excitement. The Brewers hit the ball hard a few times in the first and plated a run with nobody out. After that he settled in and while he only struck out 2 in 4 innings of work, he seemed to be rolling up ground ball after groundball. Who knows what the Reds plans are for the kid right now, but he seems capable and confident enough to pitch in the major leagues, wherever they put him.
Offense: The Reds scored 8 unanswered at one point, with a 3-run shot from Bruce in the 4th getting the Reds on the board, and a 5-run outpouring in the 6th putting it away. Negron led off and walked twice and had a hit. It definitely seemed to set the tone. Cozart had himself a day, going 3-for-5 with 2 knocked in. On the downside, Hamilton did not look good at the plate. He did take a walk, and he legged out a swunt single that a reliever mishandled, but his swing looked bad, and everything he made contact with was very weak. He just doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t look like the same guy that came up at the end of the season two years ago.
Relief: There was a bit of a relief today as Chapman was pulled from the game after throwing 6 pitches, but word is heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fine. He seemed angry to have to come out, though clearly that was the right move. There was maybe a hamstring issue, or just a miscommunication, but heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s saying heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fine. As with so much re: Chapman, the whole thing was a little weird, but hopefully it was just a blip on the radar. Jumbo struck out the side in order, while Cingrani gave up his first run in relief, though it only raised his spring ERA to 1.42.
Optimistic takeaway for the day: Burke Badenhop, Reds bullpen savior, gave up another 2 runs today, and overall heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just been a nightmare so far. That said, this was the first time IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve really gotten to see him, and I think heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to be fine. His pitches were moving like crazy, and he had really good command and control. I think that for the type of pitcher that he is, pitching in the middle of the desert doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work so well. If you give him some normal conditions, the little bloop singles from today would be weak ground balls.