Reds fall to Angels

It’s usually only in spring when a team can say it’s lost three times within a just over 24-hour span. The Reds took a 3-1 loss to the Angels today in a game that lasted a brisk two hours and 13 minutes. They have dropped seven of their last eight games. For those who a fretting about that recent run of woe — don’t. No one will remember the spring records once April 5 rolls around.

*Reds pitching was much stronger today than in recent days, led by Johnny Cueto (4 ip, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 pickoffs, 1 GIDP).

“This is the one I feel best about this year so far,” said Cueto. “I was pretty much using all of my pitches to get ready for the season.”

“He threw the ball well,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “That first inning, the ball hit the line for a triple. He was almost out of that inning. Then he hung a curveball to Torii Hunter and that was it. That’s our longest outing by our starters – four innings – which is great this time of year.”

*Cueto was looked at by Baker and the trainer during the bottom of the second because he appeared to be bothered by his finger on his pitching hand.

“We were fearful it was the start of a blister, which you don’t want,” Baker said. “It’s so dry down here. When it’s dry like that, the ball feels rough and it feels abrasive on your fingers. But it was all good.”

*Sean Marshall now has back-to-back strong appearances. Marshall was 1 ip, 1 BB, 2 K.

*Jeff Francis worked the final three innings. 3 ip, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 K

*Albert Pujols was 0-for-3 with a double play in the third inning.

*Reds catcher Dioner Navarro caught the backswing of Pujols’ first-inning pop out and had to be looked over by the trainer. Navarro said he was fine.

*Wilson Valdez made his second appearance of spring in center field. Valdez, normally a utility infielder, can further improve his chances of making the club with the added versatility. He’s played only five games out of a career 362 in the outfield.

“I asked some scouts, friends of mine and scouts in our organization, they told me he was a fine center fielder,” Baker said. “You don’t find many utility guys that do both. The best one I played with was Derrel Thomas, who was equally as good at shortstop, second base and the outfield. And [Valdez] can throw.

“You hear things but that’s why you use Spring Training, to see for yourself.”

*First pitch temperature: 77 degrees

*Attendance: 9,337. It was a sellout.


2 ER…that’s much more like it.

No worries – this is a no despair zone, remember? We don’t get to kvetch about the Reds until the anniversary of Tony Perez’ firing as manager – what was it, 42 games into the season. Till then this is the best of all possible teams (except there may be dead bats in the outfield, and sore arms in the bullpen and the SP depth seems to be a deepness of yecch instead of goodness). So let’s keep it positive, all right?

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