Daily Archives: April 5, 2006

April 5, 2006

Game 2: Reds 8, Cubs 6

The Reds knocked the Cubs down a peg today with a 6-8 win at Great American Ball Park.

Bronson Arroyo got the start and the win by allowing five runs (three earned) on six hits through 6.2 innings. He had seven strike outs and no walks.

The Cubs struck first when Aramis Ramirez hit a 2-run job off Arroyo in the top of the first, but the Reds responded in the bottom when Ryan Freel doubled and Rich Aurilia plated him two batters later. Score: 2-1.

The Reds tied it up on the third when Arroyo helped himself out with a home run to left field in his first at-bat as a Red. I guess that time in the AL didn't leave his hitting skills too rusty. Either that, or Chambliss is just freaking amazing. They took the lead when Freel walked and Aurilia again scored him, plus himself, with a 2-run bomb to left-center. Score 2-4.

The Reds padded the lead in the fifth when Ken Griffey Jr. led off with a line-drive homer to left-center. David Ross came up with the bases loaded and knocked in Adam Dunn on a sac fly to right field. While Freel was batting, a passed ball allowed Edwin Encarnación to come home. Score: 2-7.

The Cubs grumbled back to life in the sixth, however, when, after Ross failed to hold onto a pop-up in foul territory, Derek Lee hit a 2-run home run on the very next pitch. Score: 4-7.

After two batters in the seventh, the Reds relieved Arroyo with Kent Mercker. Unfortunately, John Mabry promptly plated Ronny Cedeño and himself on a home run to center field. Score 6-7.

After one batter in the eighth, Todd Coffey got the call and held the Cubs hitless through the rest of the inning.

The Reds got a little breathing room in the eighth when Freel bunted and caused Scott Hatteberg to be forced out at second. While Felipe Lopez was batting, Freel stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. Freel scored when Lopez grounded out to short. Score 6-8.

If Freel keeps this up, opponents will start letting the lead runner advance and choosing Freel in fielder's choice situations. I guarantee that Hatteberg wouldn't have scored on that play if he'd been the one on the basepaths.

David Weathers pitched the top of the ninth and held the Cubbies scoreless to get the save and make the bottom of the inning unnecessary.

The win brings the Reds' record to 1-1. The Reds host the Pittsburgh Pirates tomorrow at 7:10 p.m. Brandon Claussen takes on Ian Snell for the Pirates. The Reds faced Snell in spring training way back on March 11. You might recall that Snell blamed an Edwin Encarnación home run on the wind. The Reds came out of it with the 2-1 win, for what it's worth.

April 5, 2006

Put On Your Gameday Face

Now, I'm no fan of the tough-guy, no-smile pictures that some baseball players are so fond of taking for their team mug shots. Scowling at a camera doesn't make you tough, OK? It makes you look like you never learned how to say “cheese.”

But when you're sitting in your office, watching a game on the MLB.com Gameday application and your favorite player just made a bonehead play, it's really irritating to look up at his goofy grinning face.

Adam Dunn

For example, you'd probably have no problem with this face when it seems to be saying “Hey, I'm on pace for 162 home runs.” But when it's saying “My net effect on today's score was negative two runs,” don't you just want to wipe that smile right off?

Scott Williamson

Or what about when you're staring down the opposing pitcher on your team's behalf. It's kind of hard to get the appropriate emotional tension when he looks like the comic relief in a teen romance movie.

Rich Aurilia

I think the ideal Gameday face is tricky, because it's going to depend on the player's personality. Does he want to say, “Hey look, I'm not so bad,”

Ken Griffey, Jr.

or “What are you looking at, sucka?”

Felix Lopez

Does he want to make you feel a little sad,

Austin Kearns

or give you the opportunity to giggle at his adorably goofy ears?

Yes, the expression in the mugshot on Gameday colors the entire perception of the game. I'm just glad they didn't use this photo:

David Weathers
April 5, 2006

Do It Right This Time

The Reds are about to take on the Cubs again, older, wiser, and a little less sucky in Great American. Our newest pitcher, Bronson Arroyo, takes the mound to set the tone for his 2006 season. No pressure, kid.

The Baby Bear Boo-Boos game that I posted for opening day took only one day to become the second-most read post on RHM ever, so lots of people must be anticipating those injuries.

April 5, 2006

RHM Rewind: Part 2

Welcome Reds fans and all visitors to Red Hot Mama. For those of you who haven't been here since last August (or ever), I'm recapping some of my favorite stuff that's appeared here in the off-season. Yesterday we looked at what happened in September and October 2005. Today, let us consider November and December:

  • We discussed the very nature of good and evil.
  • Funnyball was released in stores everywhere, much to the excitement of about three people.
  • I got all preachy about how winning isn't everything.
  • Casey got traded. Ouch, that one hurt.
  • Griffey changed numbers. This may have been the single most confusing thing to people in the stands at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota this spring. I overheard every possible explanation for it, from “that must just be his spring training number” to “I think his dad is the base coach now and wanted his number back.”
  • Literally tens of people took the Reds jersey quiz to determine the Reds' jersey that best suited their personality. Don't you think it's time you did too?

Tomorrow, a recap of the beginning of 2006. You won't want to miss it: it includes Freel getting arrested again.