Sweet game, and I'm glad I chose to go to this one, since I figured this was the game they had the best chance to win. We walked up around 5 and got front row, infield box tickets, literally in the first row behind the Diamond Club seats and two seats to the left of the Scout seats (Section 121, if you're ambitious and/or curious. Great seats, and you should be able to walk up day of game and get them. Best section in the ballpark, methinks). Pretty amazing seats for $36 a pop. We ended up sitting outside at the Machine Room Grille before the game and watched Reds BP. Dunn was launching the hell out of everything and David Ross had an upper deck shot. First time I've gotten to see Reds BP, so that was pretty sweet. The food at the Machine Room pretty much sucks, and my Dr. Pepper tasted very much like a Pepsi, but I think I'll probably recover.
On our way out of the Machine Room, there was an XBox 360 with MLB 2K6 on it, so we killed some time playing that a little. Fun game, but baserunning is a bitch. My dad and I went down and found our seats, and the usher was surprised, especially when we told him that we got them around two hours before the game was supposed to start. Once we got there, we spent some time trying to see how many Marlins players we could identify and then, with around a half-hour to kill, decided to take a trip around the ballpark. You don't really realize how great of a park it really is until you do that. I don't think there's a bad seat in the house, to be honest, and the whole place is real purdy, just like my favorite Reds blogger.
When we got back to our seats, most of the ones around us had filled in. I was rather unhappy to see children under the age of 7 surrounding us on three sides. Turns out only one was extremely annoying, and that kid, along with the one to our left, who was extremely quiet, were gone by the 5th inning. The kid to the right was actually pretty damn knowledgeable for his age, and not at all irritating.
The game itself was pretty fun. Claussen didn't pitch nearly as good as his line indicates, but I'll take it. Phillips looked pretty good, and the entire Marlins team seems like they've been taking fielding lessons from Adam Dunn. So many bobbled balls it isn't even funny. Freel was safe on his attempted steal of 3rd, but I think the ump decided we shouldn't be stealing up 5-0 already. Edwin is still taking too many good pitches early in the count, but hopefully he'll get over that. Dunn is just in an awesome groove right now, and I really think he and Kearns can both keep it up. Both will have their averages fall, but they should see a rise in their walk rate to go along with it, and a 3-4-5 of Griffey, Dunn, and Kearns should be nasty.
I've given up on Mike Burns, and I gave up on Hammond a while ago. Hammond's line wasn't that bad, but I expect it would've been largely different if it hadn't been people like Reggie Abercrombie that he was facing. Herr Valentin looked good, and maybe, just maybe, Scott Hatteberg will start to hit over .200. I really don't mind Junior being out right now, as long as we've got Freel in CF. We should hand Phillips the starting 2B job for a month or so and see what he's got, and Freel has to be in the lineup everyday. I firmly believe he's more valuable to this team than Junior is.
All in all, I'm glad I went, had a great time, and wish we could play the Marlins every day.