Daily Archives: March 28, 2007

March 28, 2007

ST Game 25: Reds at Phillies

Two years ago when we first set foot inside Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater, my son was 3 years old, and not particularly interested in baseball. The CTS and I used to entertain him by taking turns going for walks around the stadium while the other tried to catch a few innings of the game. That's how I stumbled across the Kids' Zone: a playground, inflatable jumping house, and kid-centric concession area that we didn't get to leave from until the park was actually closing well after the game was over.

Every year since then (and even when going to regular season games) Winter would ask if we were going to the place with the playground. Last year we made a special trip out there when the Reds weren't even in town. This year, we went last night.

And Winter got bored before the game even started. We were back in our seats with Dippin' Dots before the first pitch. They grow up so fast, don't they?

Freel hits the wall

Well, maybe not everyone. After a caught-stealing in the first inning, Ryan Freel just couldn't hold back his enthusiasm in the bottom of the first with a headlong dive into the wall. Adam Dunn was waving for help before the dust had even cleared from Freel hitting the ground.

Everyone wants to be sure Freel's OK

After not moving very much for a distressingly long period of time, Freel did stay in the game to finish the inning. However, Josh Hamilton replaced him in the second inning. Drew Stubbs replaced Hamilton in center a little while later, and you could definitely tell that it wasn't Freel out there.

That'll teach 'em to shift on Griffey

On the other hand, Ken Griffey, Jr., showed quite a bit of maturity. With the shift on for him leading Edwin Encarnación swats a homeroff the second inning, he didn't try to blast one over their heads just to spite them. No, he laid down a nice easy bunt for a base hit. Barry Larkin did that in the very first Reds' at-bat of the very first major league game I ever attended, so I have a certain respect for the maneuver.

And a good thing Jr. got on, too, since little Edwin Encarnación smacked a big ol' home run to give the Reds their score.

The LLM immediately prior to falling on his ass after rounding third Coutlangus is doing too well to leave in Louisville Todd Coffey warming up

Kyle Lohse got the start, and was not as good as I'd like him to be now that I've dubbed him the third starter. He gave up two earned runs (solo shots) on five hits in his four and a quarter innings. Jon Coutlangus was much better as he finished out the fifth inning, and his continued adequacy makes me irritated that we've got Rheal Cormier on the roster, especially after nights like last night. He surrendered three earned runs on three hits in the seventh, prompting me to yell, “You're on our team now, Cormier!”

The scrubs wait their turn

Todd Coffey and Dustin Hermanson also got turns. Coffey pitched a scoreless sixth. Hermanson gave up one in the eighth.

It was an unfortunate showing from the Reds that brought their spring training record to 16-9. They continued their campaign today when they hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates at Ed Smith Stadium.

Reds lose. Bummer.
March 28, 2007

3/28 Reds versus Pirates

Josh Katzowitz, the guy who does the work at C. Trent's blog, has the line-ups for us today:

Josh Hamilton CF
Alex Gonzalez SS
Adam Dunn LF
Edwin Encarnación 3B
Ken Griffey RF
Jeff Conine 1B
David Ross C
Juan Castro 2B
Aaron Harang P

Duffy CF
Wilson SS
Bay LF
LaRoche 1B
Nady RF
Castillo 3B
Don Kelly 2B
Cota C
Duke P

No Ryan Freel today, which is hardly surprising after the face-plant into the wall yesterday.

March 28, 2007

Daisuke Matzusaka vs. the Reds

Daisuke Matsuzaka, aka Dice-K, shows his stuff

The games at Ed Smith Stadium always sell out when the Red Sox come to town, but today was even specialer than that because one Daisuke Matsuzaka was taking the mound for the Sox. He pitched five innings of no-hit ball with six strike-outs, but there were plenty of baserunners thanks to an error that allowed David Ross to reach in the second and FIVE walks. He was pretty good, but not the kind of dominator that you'd expect for $100 million, which also seemed to be the sentiment of the Sox' fans in the stands all around us.

Later in the game, Daisuke attempted to bunt, and didn't look so hot doing it. It prompted one guy sitting near me to ask his friend whether they have the DH in Japan. He also walked once, which is unbelievable to me. It was the only walk issues by Livingston.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, aka Dice-K, versus Adam Dunn

Meanwhile, taking the mound for the Reds was Bobby Livingston. In his five scoreless innings, he gave up just one hit and one walk with four strikeouts. All this for the league minimum!

Since the Internet connection was down yesterday and I wasn't able to post, I ought to clarify that this is the game that was going on at the same time that Eric Milton was getting smacked around by the single-A Pirates in the adjacent practice field. The CTS and I now consider Milton the fifth starter, with Kyle Lohse moving up to third and the big competition being for the fourth spot. He's a little overpaid for a fifth starter, but then again, he's just overpaid in general, so there you go.

There were no home runs this game, which is always a surprise when you watch the Reds, especially when they score five. Jeff Conine, Brandon Phillips, and Paul Janish each contributed an RBI, with the other two coming from the Latin Love Machine himself, Javier Valentín.

Alex Gonzalez at the Bat Daisuke Matsuzaka, aka Dice-K, tries to lay one down The Latin Love Machine pinch hits
It's not too often that you see a line score with five runs and three hits. I guess seven walks, one error, two HBP, and a passed ball can add up.

The win brought the Reds' record to 16-8. Yesterday they went on to send Kyle Lohse to the mound to face the Phillies in Clearwater.

It's a win
March 28, 2007

View from behind Home

a panoramic view of Ed Smith
Our camera has a setting to allow you to line-up multiple photos to take panoramic shots. Click on the photo to see this one full size.

The different photos are from different plays, by the way, so it's kind of a cool view in that it shows something that didn't really happen.