We had a good time yesterday in spite of the bad weather and the loss. It was nice to be back at the park and to have baseball again. The scoreboard improvments are really nice but, predictably, there were some glitches yesterday.
Harang looked good, although he did allow too many baserunners. He was able to pitch out of jams, and only allowed one run on a homer to Daniel Murphy. (Interestingly, I got an offer to trade for Murphy during the game.) The relief work was stellar from Rhodes, Weathers, and Cordero, who each pitched a scoreless inning.
But the game was lost in the 6th. Because of all of the baserunners, Harang left after five. Dusty went with spring training phenom Daniel Ray "They're will be strikeouts" Herrara. Unfortunately, he didn't live up to his spring or his nickname, giving up a run with a hit and two walks, including a walk to the pitcher. He didn't walk a guy all spring. In the paper this morning he indicated he was nervous. He seemed like an odd choice for Dusty in a big moment like that, although a lefty was called for in that spot and Rhodes was used later in the game. I guess Dusty figured he throw him in the deep end. Lincoln came in and bailed him out of more potential damage.
The defense also struggled with Darnell McDonald appearing clueless at times in the outfield. We missed Taveras in the field, but none of the miscues led to runs. Bruce made a nice play to nail a guy at the plate and had a double off of the left field wall. The other encouraging thing offensively was BP's sac fly scoring the only run for the Reds. As clean-up hitter, BP has got to drive guys in and he did so in the only real chance he got. A hit scoring two would have been preferable, but he hit it hard and got it to the outfield to score the run.
It was nice to see good pitching, but I hope yesterday wasn't a preview of the season. Like my wife said leaving the game, last year you could always count on the Reds offense to have a chance to win with a comeback. We may not have that this year.
Mike Mussina, Hall of Famer
4 weeks ago