Nice start for Bruce

The Reds aren’t off to a crisp spring start with a 1-3 record following Tuesday’s 10-4 loss to the Diamondbacks.

That can’t be said about Jay Bruce. Serving as the DH in the game, he was 2-for-3 with a solo home run to right field. Bruce, who struggled mightily last season, is 5-for-9 (.556) overall.

“That’s why we’re trying to get him as many at-bats as we can so he can have a good start,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We’re going to try and play him quite a bit.”

Other notes:

*Opening Day starter Aaron Harang gave up three earned runs and four hits over 1 1/3 innings with one walk and two strikeouts. He was scheduled to work three innings but reached his pitch limit of 50 too quickly.

“There’s still some fine tuning of stuff from the way I’ve pitched for so long and to mechanically make some adjustments,” Harang said. “It’s not going to work overnight. I still have stuff to work on but that’s what spring is for. The ball felt like it was coming out free and easy and I was just missing. It’s still a long spring. The biggest thing is just building up the pitch count right now.”

* Fifth starter contender Matt Maloney did not help his own cause. Maloney gave up four earned runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning, including Upton’s two-run home run in the fifth. This was the opposite of his stellar 1 2/3 scorless innings Maloney had on Friday.

“He was a little up today,” Baker said. “He wasn’t quite as sharp as he was the other day. He was at the top of the zone. He can’t pitch there. He has to keep the ball down, especially on a day like today when the wind is blowing out.”

*The Reds and Indians have scheduled a ‘B’ game for Sunday at 10am local time at the Reds complex practice field. Harang will start that game.

*Game time temperature was 60 degrees but felt colder with a stiff wind. At the same time, it was 65 degrees back in Cincinnati.

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1 Comment

Marty B has said twice on the radio (that I’ve heard) that the key players for this season are Harang and Bruce, as in: if Bruce hits for average and power and cuts down his strikeouts, and harang pitches like three years ago, the Reds will be a “fun team to watch this summer.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see bruce graduate to the four-hole in the lineup?

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