Another barnburner in Goodyear
Here are some points of interest following the Reds 13-10 defeat against the Indians on Saturday:
*Shin-Soo Choo watch: Choo had one tough play in the game and it came in the first inning when he ran and caught Jason Giambi’s long drive to right-center field. For the second day in a row, Choo started the Reds’ first inning off by getting on base. This time, it was a lined-single to right field followed by a stolen base. He’s been on base three times in two games and scored three runs.
“That’s what he’s here for. We like that,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “Imagine if he gets on like this the year Brandon is going to have, Joey, and Ludwick and Bruce and Frazier. It would be exciting.”
*Billy Hamilton watch: Hamilton, who was 1-for-4, entered the game to replace Choo in the top of the fourth. He bunted to the pitcher grounding out in the bottom of the fourth in his first at-bat. In his second and fourth at-bats, he looked at a called third strike both times.
In he seventh, Hamilton lined a single to right field. He was well on his way to stealing second base when Emmanuel Burriss slashed a RBI single into center field. A smattering of fans booed when Mark Berry held Hamilton at third base. There was a chance he might have scored but then again, no sense having your top prospect involved in a potential home plate collision. In the top of the ninth, Hamilton had the only fly ball hit to him all day and it was routine.
*Prospect Donald Lutz was hit by a Brett Myers pitch in the bottom of the first. Lutz glared a stinkeye Myers’ way as he headed to first base and exchanged a word or two with catcher Lou Marson. It ended there, however.
“I said something to the umpire,” Myers explained to the Cleveland reporters. “I said, ‘He’s got to get out of the way of that, doesn’t he?’ Because he didn’t move at all. The umpire came out. I don’t know if he said anything to Lou or whatnot. It wasn’t anything. Maybe he thought I said something to him, but I was talking to the umpire. It was a changeup. It wasn’t a fastball. If I was trying to hit him, I definitely wouldn’t choose a changeup.”
*Through two games against Cleveland, there have been 44 runs scored and 62 hits. The Reds are 0-2 and their pitchers have walked 12 batters in the two games. I wouldn’t read a ton into this, as most pitchers that have worked these games will likely not be on the big league roster come April. The only two “name” pitchers were the starters — Tony Cingrani and reliever Alfredo Simon.
“Well, a lot of guys are getting action,” Baker said. “We had some good things but there were a lot of hits, 35 hits. They hit some balls out of the ballpark on us and we walked quite a few (six) of them. Young guys, we’re giving them a chance to play.”
*Indians utility player Ryan Raburn has worn the Reds pitching staff out in these last two days. Raburn was 3-for-3 on Saturday with two home runs, giving him three homers in two games.
*I talked with a familiar face in the press box today. It was former Reds pitcher Justin Lehr, who had his career end with an elbow injury. Lehr is now scouting for the Astros. The only throwing he does is when working the occasional private lesson.