Daily Archives: March 3, 2007

March 3, 2007

ST Game 3: Twins 1, Reds 14

About this time the Reds are making me feel a mite stupid for wondering where the offense was going to come from this season. Sure, spring training doesn't matter, blah, blah, blah, but they won over the Twins 1-14.

Aaron Harang led the change and worked his two innings adequately, allowing one run on five hits. If Jeff Brantley is to be believed, he was pounding his fastball all afternoon.

Speaking of Jeff Brantley, I didn't like him. I'm sure he's a heckuva guy, but something about his style just rubbed me the wrong way. I found myself wanting to disagree with everything he said just out of spite. I'll try to keep that under control, but if you notice that I've started going off on rants just to be contrary to Brantley, feel free to call me on it, and I'll feel free to glare at you and go grumble in the corner for a while.

Bobby Livingston and Victor Santos each allowed a hit in their scoreless pair of innings apiece. Kerry Ligtenberg, apparently pronounced “LITE-en-berg” despite not having an H, didn't even yield a hit in his two innings. Brian “Love” Shackelford walked a batter in the scoreless eighth.

And if you thought it took a long time to run down the pitchers, the RBI are even more prodigious!

First, the home runs: Scott Hatteberg and Brandon Phillips each contributed one. Mark Bellhorn, David Ross, Chris Denorfia, Paul Janish, Jeff Keppinger, Dewayne Wise, and Joey Votto also knocked in runs. Beyond that, it's all a blur. You can read an inning-by-inning account on C. Trent's blog, where he also takes some time to admire a particular lady in the stands. It's like the male version of RHM!

The win brings the Reds' spring training record to 3-0. Tomorrow the Reds will go up against the Pirates in Bradenton at 1:05 p.m. I thought they said Homer Bailey would be taking the mound, but that might be later in the week.

March 3, 2007

Spring Training Game Thread 3/3 Twins vs Reds at Sarasota

We get our first look at Aaron Harang this spring training today as he goes up against the visiting Twins. Now that Kyle Lohse has taken Torii Hunter out of the picture, this ought to be easy, right?

Speaking of Lohse, they said that he came out of yesterday's game with a mild hamstring strain, not emotional shaken-upness like I first thought. Either way, here's hoping he's OK.

March 3, 2007

ST Game 2: Reds 5, Twins 2

The Reds visited the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers last night and brought them the unhappy hostess gift of a big, fat L as they extended their massive spring training winning streak to 2 with a 5-2 victory.

It was the battle of Twin-turned-Red Kyle Lohse versus Red-turned-Twin Ramón Ortiz, and having seen them both in action, I expected those first two innings to be a much more lopsided affair. Amazingly, Ortiz failed to commit any errors, while Lohse knocked Torii Hunter upside the head to knock himself out of the game two outs into the first. Hunter's OK, but Lohse doesn't look so hot with that earned run, two walks, and a HBP in 2/3 of an inning.

Brian “I'm Brian Meadows!” Meadows took over to complete the two innings that Lohse was supposed to work, and he fared better, allowing zero runs on just one hit. Mike Stanton and Bill Bray each worked a hitless inning to take us through the fourth.

Matt Belisle got the blown save and the win when he allowed the tying run in the fifth by virtue of the offense taking a two run lead in the top of the seventh. Hardly seems fair.

Elizardo Ramirez put in a couple scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth to set up Jason “You had to look up my first name, didn't you?” Kershner for the save in the ninth.

The pitching part of these wrap ups takes so long in spring training. It reminds me of when Ortiz used to pitch for the Reds.

In the other halves of the innings, the Reds came up with fewer home runs than the day before, and even fewer errors. The one homer came from little Edwin Encarnación in the fourth inning. The zero errors were a group effort.

Also knocking in runs were:

  • Bubba Crosby, with two on a cheap shot, but who cares?
  • Mark Bellhorn, who also had the distinction of a caught stealing
  • Chad Moeller, whose guaranteed major league contract seems to be fitting in less and less as closers are signed and outfield prospects prove themselves

Latin Love Machine Javier Valentín started off behind the plate and contributed a walk and a strike out in his ABs. The Twins broadcasters I was listening to mentioned how the LLM came up with the Twins but hadn't been popular there because of some of his “mannerisms” on the field. Sounds pretty stupid to me. Their loss, I guess.

The win brings the Reds' spring training record to 2-0. The Twins return the favor by travelling to Sarasota today to pit Boof Bonser against Aaron Harang.

March 3, 2007

Welcome Aboard Hermanson

The Reds made a move to address this “hole” at closer that everyone seems to think they have by signing one Dustin Hermanson to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training on Thursday. From Reds.com:

Veteran right-hander Dustin Hermanson was signed to a Minor League contract on Thursday and invited to Spring Training as a non-roster player. Hermanson was scheduled to fly to Sarasota on Thursday night and be in camp Friday.

“He's a good guy to take a chance on, in our opinion,” Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky said.

Hermanson, who will earn $500,000 this year if he makes the team, had 34 saves and a 2.04 ERA for the White Sox in 2005. Lower back inflammation forced him out late that season during Chicago's run to a World Series title.

More importantly, from HMZ's diary:

I think it's a good deal. This is a guy who was arguably among the game's best closers as recently as 2005 (the last time he was healthy), and has pitched in the NLCS twice and in the World Series. If he makes the 25-man roster, he'll make $500,000 according to Trent's blog. If not, there will be one more arm for Rick Sweet to wave in from the bullpen in Louisville.

And if he returns to his 2005 form with the White Sox, the Reds will become the most recent team to pull their closer off of baseball's scrap heap, surpassing last year's Marlins (Joe Borowski) and Mariners (J.J. Putz), Kriv-Dawg will look like a genius, and all it will cost them is half a million recycled lithographs of George Washington.

Like they say, you can't have too much pitching, right?