Future World Series matchup?

After the Reds lost a 6-4 game to the Angels on Tuesday in Tempe, the clubs had one thing in common. Both of them have only two Cactus League wins this spring. The Reds are 2-11 while the Angels are 2-8-2. Each club has several who believe they are the favorites to win their respective divisions.

Reds manager Dusty Baker thought they could have one more thing in common.

“This could very well be the World Series matchup and nobody will remember what happened in the spring,” Baker said after the game. “Nobody remembers who won the Cactus League last year.”

Here are some things of note from the game for Cincinnati:

*Jay Bruce had a very good day — 2-for-2 with two home runs. Bruce sent a 2-0 Tommy Hanson pitch to left-center field for his first long ball.

“I think everyone in the stadium knew a fastball was coming right there,” Hanson said. “And it was up. He put a good swing on it. He’s a good hitter. Strong dude. He hit it out.”

In the fourth against Angels temporary closer Ernesto Frieri, Bruce yanked a very long drive to right field on a 2-1 pitch.

“That was nice to see,” Baker said. “That was the best game he’s had this spring. When you start going to left field like that, it means he’s staying on the ball and not out in front or rolling over.”

*In his three-inning start where he faced several members of the Angels regular lineup, Mike Leake gave up four hits with two strikeouts over his three scoreless innings.

“It’s more fun to face big name lineups,” Leake said. “It’s a little bit more of a challenge and good to see where you’re at and what you’re pitches are doing against big names.”

*Aroldis Chapman followed with two innings of relief and gave up one run and three hits, one walk and one strikeout. He allowed Howie Kendrick’s leadoff homer to left field in the fourth.

“Leake was really good. Chapman was pretty good,” Baker said.

*I will have more from Leake and Chapman and the battle for the rotation spot on MLB.com later.

*In the first inning with Josh Hamilton batting, catcher Devin Mesoraco fired a pickoff throw to second base that nailed Howie Kendrick for the third out. In the third inning, Mesoraco caught Mike Trout attempting to steal second base, also for the third out.

*Yorman Rodriguez hit a solo homer to left field in the top of the ninth.

*Keep in mind that the five runs in the decisive bottom of the 7th came against Minor Leaguer Josh Ravin, who has struggled all spring. Ravin only lasted a third of an inning and gave up all five runs and three hits with two walks. This spring, Ravin is 0-3 with two blown saves and a 40.50 ERA.

“Our starters are doing well,” Baker said. “We get to some of the young kids, maybe some of them are overmatched right now. We have to leave them out there because they have to get their work in to get them ready. It’s tough to watch sometimes but we’ve got to do it.”

6 Comments

last yearyou said mesoraco was a bust he is realy busting this spring the trouble with you judge to soon

He was a bust last year. His batting was abysmal (.212/.288/.352/.640), and his CS% of 20% (10 of 49) was even worse; the league average was 27%. In short, he stunk up the place last year only to top off his performance by acting immature and bumping an ump. However, I think we all thought he was better than last year would signify, and he is now showing it. Yesterday he picked off a runner at lst and threw out a runner at second. Oh yeah, he isn’t hitting too shabby so far in spring training either.

Mark has never said Meso was a bust long term. He definitely did bust last year though. The guy was awful at the plate and you know that. Very talented, but he busted last year, plain and simple. And is was only because of one reason. No normal playing time. First time in his life he wasn’t playing everyday. That will mess with the best of them.

Mesoraco had a few problems last year. First of all he went from playing everyday to a part time player. It was his first extended time in the majors and he had to learn the pitchers. Hopefully what he has shown this spring is a sign of good things to come. It might be in his best interest to go to Louisville and play everyday until he is needed full time on the big club.

World Series match up was what we were saying at my house as well. I don’t know a lot about the AL, but Anaheim looks to be stacked. It was nice to see the Redlegs back on the television! What did you think of Chapman’s performance? There was no televised pitch speed, so I’m a bit curious as to how fast he was throwing. What pitches is he throwing, now that he’s attempting to be a starter? As I recall, he was only using two pitches out of the bullpen last year – and often only one. I can’t imagine he’d fare too well using 80% fastballs as a starter. Am I wrong?

Speaking of our (and Anaheim’s) records in the Cactus League: I seem to remember that during our low periods during the 2000′s, we often did pretty well in the Grapefruit League while my friend’s Yankees would stink it up all spring. I’ve come to think that often the best teams do the worst during spring training, but I can’t exactly come up with a good reason why that would be. Does anyone have any thoughts (or statistics)?

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