Resigned dread was a reasonable reaction when Reds radio announcer Jeff Brantley observed in the seventh inning “this is a bullpen game now.” It’s an indication of how pathetic the Reds bullpen options are that Ross Ohlendorf found his way into the eighth inning of a tied game against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Reds curb-shopped Ohlendorf this spring after he was cut by the Kansas City Royals.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals sent Kevin Siegrist to the mound in the top of the 8th and Trevor Rosenthal in the 9th.
Game. Set. Series.
First Cavalry Wave Jon Moscot made his initial start of the season and first since he suffered a season-ending injury to his non-throwing shoulder last year. The Reds had given up 39 runs in the previous 4 games, so Moscot’s start felt like a good one. He went 5.2 innings, striking out two and walking just one Cardinal.
Fast Start The Reds took an early lead on an opposite field double by Zack Cozart and a
walk sacrifice fly by Joey Votto. The prospect for a big inning was undercut by Eugenio Suarez getting picked off at first after singling.
Here Comes Devin Devin Mesoraco grounded the ball through a big opening to the right side against a severe shift by the Cardinals driving in Jay Bruce with the Reds third run.
Bullpen Report Blake Wood relieved Moscot in the bottom of the sixth and retired Jeremy Hazelbaker with two runners on base. Tony Cingrani walked the first batter he faced (signature Reds bullpen move) but the lefty retired the next three hitters. Ross Ohlendorf – wait for it – walked the first batter he faced in the eighth and gave up a run with two outs on a double by Eric Fryer.
Reds Don’t Walk Reds pitchers struck out three batters while walking three. Meanwhile, the Reds only worked one walk (intentional) and struck out ten times. Tale of the tape right there.
Hitter-Pitcher Histories Studies have consistently shown that hitter-pitcher histories have zero predictive value. That’s in part because of the small sample size, but also because players change over time. Bryan Price relies on individual histories, at least based on what he says. Today, he said Billy Hamilton didn’t start because of his history with Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha. If the Reds front office is committed to modernizing their thinking, this is one area that needs fixed.
Progress and Plan for Homer C. Trent Rosecrans reports that Homer Bailey’s start in Arizona yesterday was his last before starting minor league rehab appearances. Bailey will meet up with the Reds in Cincinnati on Monday. The plan is for him to make three or four minor league starts before rejoining the Reds rotation. That schedule would put him on a major league mound during the second week of May. According to general manager Dick Williams, Bailey threw 51 pitches yesterday, topping out at 96 mph, while pitching in the 94-91 range.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.