Well, the game started off well. Drew Stubbs continued to fight for the center field job by leading off the bottom of the 1st with a solo home run. Unfortunately, the home run was a true rally-killer. The Cincinnati Reds never scored again.
Bronson Arroyo started for the Reds, but it was his evil, first-half of the season self that showed up. Arroyo allowed 3 runs in 5 innings and was tagged with the loss. He almost allowed the cycle, but opted for a second home run instead of a single. I guess he’s an over-achiever.
After Bad-royo, the Aroldis Chapman experience took to the mound. Although scheduled for 4 innings of work, Chapman lasted just 1 2/3. It was the first time all Spring that he’s struggled, allowing 4 unearned runs in his shortened time. More frightening than his poor outing was the fact that he left early due to concerns over a stiff back.
John Fay interviewed Reds pitching coach Bryan Price about Chapman’s soreness.
“If we had any concerns about his back, we wouldn’t have gone any further right then,” Price said. “We’re not going to have guys out there throwing, knowing they have problems with their back or arm….[W]e noticed him stretching out a little bit. As soon as we saw that, we brought the trainer out to verify that there wasn’t problem. There was.”
Hopefully, it’s nothing more than a reaction to the rigors of Major League Baseball. I do think this will make the Reds even more cautious about having him be with the team on opening day.