Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….
FINAL — 13 innings
Los Angeles (AL) 3
W: M. Lowe (1-0)
L: J. Hoover (0-1)
S: E. Frieri (1)
–Reds baseball is back!
–Johnny Cueto was very, very good today: 7 innings, three hits, one run, nine strikeouts. Classic Cueto, and it was fun to watch.
–It is so nice to have a legitimate leadoff hitter at the top of the lineup. Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a pitch in his first AB, doubled in his second, and singled later in the game. If Choo can get on base three times and score a run in every game, I’ll be okay with that.
–The Reds got good relief work from Jonathan Broxton, Aroldis Chapman, and Sam LeCure.
–Reds not named Shin-Soo Choo were 1-for-37 today.
–Ryan Ludwick left the game in the third inning with a dislocated right shoulder. He’s scheduled to undergo an MRI tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed.
The injury happened when Ludwick made a fine baserunning play by going first to third on a wild pitch. He slid head-first into third, and when he came up, he was in real pain. On the television broadcast, you could clearly see Ludwick tell the trainer that the shoulder popped out.
–Jay Bruce struck out four times. Not a good start, eh?
–Brandon Phillips was 0-5 and committed an uncharacteristic error.
–Tough loss, but I did enjoy watching the ol’ Redlegs play some hardball today.
–I’ve been saying for weeks that the only thing that could keep these Reds from being a very good club would be injuries. Right on cue, the starting left fielder gets injured in the first game.
–JJ Hoover’s outing wasn’t good, though I’d say there were some extenuating circumstances. In his first inning of work, however, he gave us a fun moment. After surrendering a one-out triple to Bourjos in the top of the twelfth, Hoover struck out the almighty Mike Trout before inducing a weak ground out to end the inning. Exciting…but then he gave up the winning runs in the following inning.
–We gotta say it. On that Bourjos triple mentioned above, there’s an excellent chance that Drew Stubbs would have made a play on that ball. I think Choo will be fine in center field, but that’s one ball already that might have been an out (or at least held to a double) last year. Fortunately, Choo’s bat is going to more than make up for the fact that his defense won’t be elite.
–Hoover threw 47 pitches tonight. Guess how many times he’s thrown that many in the majors? How many times has he thrown 40+ pitches? The answer to both questions, you may have guessed, is zero. Seems like a strange time to ask him to throw so many pitches, on Opening Day.
–First questionable Dusty bunt of the season today. Eighth inning, score tied at one. Xavier Paul reaches on an error, and Choo singles. First and second, no outs. Brandon Phillips bunts…which permits the Angels to intentionally walk the best hitter on the planet, Joey Votto.
So, once again, a managerial decision takes the bat out of the hands of the Reds’ best chance to get a hit. Of course, Chris Heisey and Bruce proceed to strike out, ending the inning.
I dunno, Dusty knows more about baseball than I do, but I’d rather not give the other team a free out. I’ll take my chances with three straight hitters, one of whom is the team’s best player.
–Four hours and forty-five minutes of baseball, in front of the largest regular season crowd in GAB history: 43,168. A good time was had by all, or at least by the 15,000+ that stayed for the entire game.
–Home plate umpire Dale Scott should be embarrassed by his performance today. Disgraceful.
–There was some belly-aching about Aroldis Chapman only throwing one inning, since he had recently been stretched out to be a starter and, presumably, should be able to go longer. I think it was a defensible decision by Dusty. Of course, as the season goes on, I think it would be a great idea to let Chapman pitch two innings or more as often as possible.
–I’ve been more apathetic about baseball than I’ve ever been, since the day last October that the Reds finished their epic NLDS collapse. Finally, that changed today. I’m so glad that baseball is back.
–Get ’em tomorrow, Redlegs. Well, get ’em Wednesday. No baseball tomorrow. Stupid scheduling, every single year.
Imagine the late, great Joe Nuxhall trying to say Shin-Soo Choo in the 13th inning.
— Todd Jones (@Todd_Jones) April 2, 2013
The Reds — specifically Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto — have been simply awful with runners in scoring position all season long.
— Chad Dotson (@dotsonc) April 1, 2013
I’m guessing JJ Hoover didn’t have many 50 pitch outings this spring.But by all means, let’s stretch him out. It’s only have a 7 man pen.
— Chris Garber (@cgarber8) April 2, 2013
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org.