YeOldeJacob and the 2011 Cincinnati Reds, Part 1; 4/3 vs. Brewers
by, 3rd April 2011 at 09:31 PM (149 Views)
With the Reds finally competitive again, and being a team with the distinct potential of blossoming into a dynasty resembling the mid-70s Big Red Machine (call it a stretch, but this team has what it takes), I’m going to be at Great American Ballpark much more often than I ever have been (I’m shooting for 10 games, which is a decent number for someone well outside the Cincinnati area). As such, I have decided to make my trips to GABP (and maybe even a trip to see the Reds at Wrigley Field) a series of blogs. Without further ado, onto part one of Jacob and the 2011 Cincinnati Reds.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Reds
April 3, 2011
Starting Pitchers: Randy Wolf (MIL) vs. Bronson Arroyo (CIN)
It didn’t start out fantastic. In fact, the game got off to about the worst start it possibly could have (though the Reds have seen worse). Bronson Arroyo gave up a lead-off homer to Rickie Weeks, who started the game with a round-tripper for the second time in the series (he did it on Opening Day as well).
But in true Bronson Arroyo fashion, he settled down and spent the rest of the game dealing. And with the lingering effects of Mononucleosis. Arroyo is one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball. The dude’s a laid-back surfer who is a scientist on the mound. What’s not to love?
The Brewers pitching, on the other hand, was abysmal. The Reds teed-off on Randy Wolf, who until today was a bit of a thorn in the Reds’ side. Wolf left the game after the fourth inning after being rocked for six earned runs on 10 hits. Two of those hits were longballs from Johnny Gomes (solo HR) and Brandon Phillips (Three-run HR).
The Brewers bullpen did nothing to stop the bleeding, as the Reds would end up doubling the runs and nearly doubling the hits they compiled against Wolf. Ryan Hanigan hit two home runs, one solo shot and one three-run dinger, against the Brew-Crew’s bullpen.
And the Brewer’s defense was putrid. They only had one error in the contest, but that doesn’t reflect how poor these guys are on the field. I saw less indecision and hesitation from my teammates when I played first base in our local Babe Ruth Youth league.
Back to Reds talk; for a crowd at just over half-capacity, they were making more noise than I’ve ever witnessed. It’s nice to know the entirety of “Reds Country” is as excited for 2011 as I am. The crowd was at it’s loudest in the ninth inning, though, as out trotted Aroldis Chapman.
Only one of his fastballs dropped below 100 mph, and he was averaging about 102-103 mph. This is the second time I’ve seen him pitch live, and it was as exciting and electric as the first. I can’t wait to see where this guy’s career goes… as long as it is in a Reds uniform, that is.
After the game I headed into the ever-overpriced Reds Pro Shop (what Pro Shop isn’t overpriced?) on a whim. It was a good thing I did, because the Reds and New Era have added a new hat to their “Cooperstown Collection” of retro-hats:
Finally, my long search is over. Thank you, Reds and New Era. Thank you.
The Brewers certainly don’t look like the superpower nearly every analyst thinks they are. I know, it’s the beginning of the season, but an opening-series sweep is one helluva statement. The Reds seem primed to prove the experts wrong; last year was no fluke. And the Brewers seem primed to prove what everyone should know already; Starting pitching doesn’t mean shit if you don’t have a bullpen or a defense.
Extra notes: I love Jim Day. The man is all kinds of homer, and all kinds of infectious. Seeing him take a fan’s broom and sweep his desk (while berating the experts who have been routinely predicting the Reds taking a step back and the Brewers taking the division) was a great way to cap off the game.
Along with the hat, I walked away with a wicked sunburn on the entire left side of my face. Totally worth it.
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