Return of the three stars
What a marathon day for the opener. The Reds were on the short end in a 3-1 defeat to the Angels after 13 innings during a four-hour, 45 minute game. Click here for my game story on MLB.com.
The Three Stars:
No. 3 star: Johnny Cueto: 7 ip, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 1 HR. Cueto retired his first 10 of 11 in the game with the one bad pitch being to Chris Ianetta for a third-inning homer to left field. He recovered nicely, even after appearing to be injured in the fourth while covering first base. In the seventh, he wormed out of a bases loaded jam with a pair of strikeouts to Ianetta and Shuck.
No. 2 star: Shin-Soo Choo: 2-for-5, HBP, one run scored. The Reds didn’t do a good job picking up in scoring situations, but Choo did his part in his debut. This could be a nice omen going forward.
“Choo was outstanding today,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “That’s what we brought him here for. He played a very good game.”
No. 1 star: Chris Ianetta (LAA): 2-for-6, HR, 3 RBIs. Ianetta also worked a 3-2 count against J.J. Hoover in the 13th with the bases loaded and two outs and got a scorched lined two-run single. It was the game-winner.
“I definitely was excited,” Ianetta said. “I wanted to do something good, I want to contribute. Even though I may not do something at the plate, I’m contributing when I’m catching. But I want to contribute offensively, as well, and getting the opportunity to do that was fun.”
*The Reds were 0-for-10 RISP and stranded 10. The Angels weren’t much better as they were 1-for-8 RISP with 12 LOB.
*Ryan Ludwick’s right shoulder dislocation is a big blow, even with the very solid Chris Heisey as a replacement. But here’s a good question — while Ludwick is out, does Choo move to left field and Heisey play center field? As for the 25-man roster replacement — I’ll predict Derrick Robinson, who will have to be added to the 40-man roster as well.
*Overall, Choo did OK in center field. He tracked down one ball to deep in the outfield but also got too close to the wall in the 12th on Peter Bourjous’ drive over his head. Bourjous got on with a triple, but was left stranded.
*The crowd of 43,168 was the largest-ever regular season crowd at GABP.
*The Reds are 11-3 in Opening Day extra innings games. The last one was actually on the road in 1990 at Houston. The last homer opener to go extras was in 1988 vs. St. Louis.