Win No. 1 on the board
The Reds were 5-4 winners over the Angels on a RBI single in the bottom of the ninth by Joey Votto. Click here for the complete game story, which will include (once the second version is published) a breakdown on the strategy by both sides in the bottom of the ninth.
Your 3 stars:
No. 3 star: Mat Latos (6 2/3 ip, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 2 HR) Latos, he of the 2-8 record and 5.73 ERA lifetime in March/April coming in, was pretty brilliant. His best inning was the fourth when he struck of the side of Pujols, Hamilton and Trumbo. In both the fifth and sixth innings, Latos helped himself with double plays on the ground. Two elevated pitches led to a pair of homers that kept the Angels in the game.
No. 2 star: Brandon Phillips (1-for-3, 3-run HR) Phillips came close to a homer with a nice drive that was caught in the second inning. In the fourth, he got all of a C.J. Wilson 1-1 pitch and launched it well over the left field fence. His move to the cleanup spot for Ryan Ludwick is already paying off.
“When you hit fourth, you’re No. 1 goal is to drive in runners,” Phillips said. “That’s what I tried to do. I’m not worried about my batting average. I’m not worried about getting anybody over. I’m not worried about bunting. My job is to drive in runners.”
No. 1 star: Joey Votto (1-for-3, RBI single, two walks) After the Chris Heisey sac bunt in the ninth moved Shin-Soo Choo to second base, Votto hit a first-pitch breaking ball through the right side for the game winner that snapped a 4-4 tie.
Votto, who got his first hit of the season, was not expecting an intentional walk there.
“I needed to be prepared for whatever I was going to be presented with. I assumed nothing,” Votto said. “I was pitched to. I was prepared beforehand so I wasn’t stunned if they were going to pitch to me or if they were going to walk me. I want to be surprised every time I get intentionally walked. That’s what I tried to do. I think that’s the right way to play the game.”
*Reds pitchers have totaled 27 strikeouts through two games — including 10 on Wednesday.
*Had the game gone to extras, it would have been the first time since 1943 the Reds played more than nine innings in each of the first two games of a season.