Final — 11 innings R H E
Pittsburgh Pirates (0-2) 4 8 1
Cincinnati Reds (2-0) 5 11 0
W: Hoover (1-0) L: Liz (0-1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Joey Votto had two hits, both of which drove in runs, but his walkoff single in the bottom of the 11th inning was the highlight of the game.

–Billy Hamilton had three hits, reached base four straight times, stole three bases, and scored a run. In the bottom of the fifth, Hamilton stole second base, but was sent back to first because Joey Votto unintentionally interfered with catcher Francisco Cervelli’s throw. No sweat, says Hamilton. Billy then proceeded to steal second (for the second time) and third. First person in big league history to steal three bases in one inning, yet still be stuck on third base? Unfortunately, he was stranded at third when Votto, Frazier, and Mesoraco all struck out.

Hamilton should have just stolen home, I guess.

–Lots of effective pitching from the Cincinnati bullpen tonight, but the best of the bunch was…wait for it…JJ Hoover. Hoover pitched a scoreless ninth and tenth, and looked very, very good in the process. As Steve said on Twitter, there is reason for hope that Hoover will have a bounce-back season and be an important member of this bullpen in 2015.

–Todd Frazier opened the scoring with his second homer of the season. He later singled and scored another run.

–Mike Leake loaded the bases in the sixth inning, whereupon manager Bryan Price promptly called upon newly-minted reliever Tony Cingrani. No sweat: Cingrani struck out Pedro Alvarez to keep the game tied at 3.

–1-2-3 inning for Jumbo Diaz in the eighth inning. Then Aroldis Chapman was his usual effective self in the ninth. Then JJ Hoover pitched a very strong tenth inning.

The Bad
–In five at-bats tonight, Brandon Phillips saw precisely eight pitches. That means that, in 8 AB over the first two games, BP has seen 13 total pitches. He’s taking this “I refuse to walk” thing seriously, I suppose.

–Brennan Boesch made his Reds debut in the bottom of the seventh, and tHom Brennaman praised him for working a 10-pitch at-bat. Well, Boesch struck out, and swung at at least five pitches that were nowhere near the strike zone. This, after not taking a single walk all spring.

Yep, sounds like he’ll fit in on this Reds bench just fine. Just fine, I tell ya.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–You can’t win them all if you don’t win the first two.

–Mike Leake went 5.2 innings, allowed 5 runs on 6 hits and 6 walks. First game with 5+ walks for Leake since 2010. Through five innings, Leake had surrendered three one-run leads, then couldn’t make it out of the sixth inning. In case you hadn’t guessed: not Mike Leake’s best outing.

–The first pitch of Burke Badenhop’s career as a Red resulted in boos, as a single up the middle by Corey Hart scored Andrew McCutchen, giving the Bucs a 4-3 lead. He got two ground balls from the two hitters he faced in the 7th inning, though. That’s what he does. One just happened to go for a poorly-timed single.

–Hamilton’s at-bat in the 11th showed a lot of maturity. He was patient (when every other Reds hitter before him in the inning had gone to the plate hacking away), and he worked a walk that extended the inning and allowed Votto to win it.

–Marlon Byrd collected his first hit as a Red, a little popup that somehow found grass in left-center field in the bottom of the eighth.

–First pitch was delayed by two hours and 35 minutes, then the game goes into extra innings. Rain delay and extra innings make Chad something something. I’m exhausted. Why did I agree to write this stupid recap anyway?