Bryan Price kept spinning the chamber and it came up Jumbo Diaz. Through a combination of ineffective pitching and his own horrendous fielding, Diaz allowed five runs in the top of the eighth inning. The reliever entered the game with the Reds behind 3-2 lead and after Ryan Braun belted a grand slam the score stood at 8-2. The loss meant Reds once again missed an opportunity to sweep the hapless Brewers. The Reds were 2-3 on the rain-shortened home stand and are 10-11 overall. The team leaves tonight on another 10-game road trip with stops in Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Chicago (White Sox).
Lorenzen Debut The main news today was the debut of Michael Lorenzen (23), Ã‚Â who was replacing Homer Bailey in the starting rotation. Like Bailey, who took the mound for the first time for the Reds at age 21, Lorenzen went five innings and threw over 100 pitches in his first game. Lorenzen walked one an struck out five. He kept the Reds in the game. Several Redleg Nation writers attended the game and Kevin Michell will have a more extensive scouting report on Lorenzen’s first start tomorrow.
My two cents: Lorenzen seemed poised. His only walk was a pitch-around. No wild pitches, no hit batters. I’ve seen plenty of pitchers show nerves in their first game and Lorenzen was the opposite of that. The Brewers hit him hard at times, particularly when Lorenzen’s fast ball elevated. He threw a lot of pitches, which isn’t unusual for a first game. On the stadium radar gun, Lorenzen’s fastball sat 93-95 all day. He threw a breaking ball in the mid-80s frequently. On his first pitch in the top of the third, Lorenzen showed a 78-mph breaking ball. It went for a strike against Jean Segura, as the Brewers lineup turned over to face the young right-hander for a second time.
Jeff Brantley said after the game that Lorenzen had a good start, that he challenged the strike zone. Brantley said Lorenzen did make a few mistakes over the middle of the plate. He said that Lorenzen has the stuff and intestinal fortitude to succeed at the major league level. Brantley liked that Lorenzen sat next to Johnny Cueto in the dugout during the game. Lorenzen spent a lot of time with Johnny Beisbol in spring training, too. (C. Trent Rosecrans)
One last note: Lorenzen is going to hit some. He played centerfield for Cal State Fullerton. In the first AB of his career, he lined a sharp single to right field. He saw a breaking ball in his second at bat and looked like a pitcher hitting.
Last #Reds starting pitcher with a base hit in his first big league PA before Lorenzen: Mike Leake in 2010.
— Joel Luckhaupt (@jluckhaupt) April 29, 2015
Home Run Derby All three of the Reds runs were scored on solo home runs. Todd Frazier, Tucker Barnhart and Jay Bruce went deep. Bruce’s home run was the first extra base hit from the Reds #4 spot this year. /waves tiny Reds pennant/
Other than that Mrs. LincolnÃ‚Â J.J. Hoover, Tony Cingrani and Carlos Contreras pitched shutout innings in relief. /waves tiny Reds pennant again/
Byrd Struggles Marlon Byrd struck out three more times and has now had 76 plate appearances without drawing a walk. Byrd is hitting .162/.171/.270 yet continues to play every single, solitary game.
VersatileÃ‚Â I didn’t check this out, but Marty Brennaman said that Kristopher Negron has now played at seven positions this year. Brantley added that Negron is also the emergency catcher. Kris Negron may not be hitting like he did last year yet or spring training, but that defensive flexibility is extremely valuable to the team.
Jocketty Interview Walt Jocketty answered questions this morning on MLB Radio. Highlights: (1) Jocketty expects Devin Mesoraco to catch again within the next two weeks. “It only hurts when he squats.” Mesoraco will DH in Chicago next weekend, (2) Jocketty said the Reds will make a decision on the course of treatment for Homer Bailey within a week. The Reds GM said they pretty much have decided what they want to do, but are proceeding “conservatively” by seeking additional medical opinions, and (3) Jocketty said that Raisel Iglesias, who has been starting for the Louisville Bats, might be moved to the bullpen and then possibly to Cincinnati for that same role. “Sooner, rather than later.”