Stunning win on Opening Day
That Reds penchant for the drama didn’t disappear after an off-season. Ramon Hernandez brought it all back, and then, some with a stunning three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. It gave the Reds a 7-6 win.
Cincinnati came into the ninth down 6-3 against Brewers closer John Axford. A fun conclusion for the Reds and their 42,398 fans at GABP…but not a well-played game overall.
*The Reds were 1-for-10 RISP with 10 LOB. They were 0-for-9 before Hernandez came through.
*Edinson Volquez was rocked for three homers, including two in a row to start the game. Carlos Gomez hit the second one and it sailed 429 feet into the upper deck of right field. Not a cheapie by any stretch.
*Jonny Gomes made an error fielding Ryan Braun’s two-out single. It put Braun on 2B and a Jordan Smith balk later put runners on second and third. A possibly tough insurance run scored on Casey McGehee single.
*The Reds were resilent, give them credit. They did not pack it in on a freezing cold day.
*Brandon Phillips’ nifty slide step to avoid McGehee’s tag saved a rally. McGehee should have just thrown to first base and that game likely doesn’t end like it did. Scott Rolen hustled hard to beat the throw to first base, as well. Asked to describe his speed, Rolen dryly replied “Electric.”
*Credit the Reds bullpen, especially Sam LeCure and winning pitcher Logan Ondrusek for keeping Milwaukee in check.
*Gomes nearly won the game himself with a long screamer of a fly to center field. It went for a sac fly but put Hernandez in position to win the game.
*The last Reds walk-off home run on Opening Day came from the bat of Joe Randa on 4/7/2005 vs. the Mets in a 7-6 win.
*Hernandez is the fifth Reds player to collect four hits on Opening Day.
*The Reds are now 4-9-1 in their last 14 openers. The tie, incidentally came vs. MIL in 2000, after an official game was called because of rain.
*The last time a team hit two home runs to begin a season was the Reds on April 7, 1969 vs. the Dodgers. Pete Rose and Bobby Tolan each went deep against Don Drysdale at
Riverfront Stadium. Crosley Field.
*Cincinnati hadn’t won an Opening Day game since 2007, so it was the first in the tenure of Dusty Baker and Walt Jocketty.
“We don’t want to win it like that. We got lucky enough we got the win today. To me, it’s amazing. This is one of the best opening days I’ve ever had in my career. I’m so happy that I helped my team and my team won a ballgame.” — Ramon Hernandez
“They were getting some hits with runners in scoring position and we weren’t. If you keep putting them out there, sooner or later something good is going to happen. The key is opporutunies. If you don’t have opportunities, you don’t have much of a chance.” — Dusty Baker
“We ended the season on a walk-off last year to clinch the division and start it that way this year. We kind of struggled to put together productive innings today. We got some base runners and weren’t able to capitalize and get them across. I think it’s a huge shot in the arm for us to start the year. It’s always great to win the first one and in that fashion, it’s even more special.” — Drew Stubbs, who hit a homer in the fourth inning.
“I think I was a little bit excited in the first inning. After that, I calmed down and threw my pitches.” — Edinson Volquez
“Obviously, my opinion doesn’t really matter. But if my first inclination was that he was not out of the baseline, I would have made sure I kept going towards him a little bit more than I did instead of also trying to make a throw. In hindsight, I wish I had just come through and made a thtow to first and not even worried about him.” — Brewers 3B Casey McGehee on the non-tag of Phillips in the ninth.
“I got away with one in the at-bat before with Gomes. This time I paid for it.” — John Axford, who gave up the game-ending homer to Hernandez.
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