Reds Week 2 Recap: Another Week Above .500 Thanks to Smart Coaching
By: Craig James
The Reds finished the second week of the season with a 4-3 record. A three game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates started off the week, followed by a lackluster series against the Milwaukee Brewers, which marked the first series loss of the year. After two weeks, the Reds still sit atop the NL Central with an 8-5 record.
So far this season, Bryan Price has been handling this ball club like his job depends on it, oh wait, his job does depend on it. Price looked like a genius bringing in Michael Lorenzen in the third inning of the first game against the Pirates.
Brandon Finnegan didn’t have a good start, as he threw 69 pitches in just two innings of work. Lorenzen, arguably the Reds best pitcher so far, came into a bases loaded jam with no outs and escaped without letting a Pirate cross the plate.
The first game in the Steel City featured a dominant performance by the Reds bullpen, with Lorenzen, Cody Reed and Wandy Peralta retiring 21 straight Pirate hitters. Who woulda thought the Reds ‘pen could do that after what we all watched last year?!? The Reds also took advantage of the Pirates top prospect Tyler Glasnow’s inability to hold runners close when they got on base. The Redlegs swiped five bases in that game.
Tuesday’s win over the Pirates marked the Reds third straight series win to start the season for the first time since 1990…we all know what happened in 1990 don’t we?! Adam Duvall and Scooter Gennett both homered (what a signing he has been so far). This marked the eighth straight game the Reds have homered. One thing to watch coming from this game is how Rookie Davis’s forearm is after being hit by a pitch and being taken out of the game.
He was placed on the 10 day DL. The bullpen dominated in this game as well, throwing five innings and only allowing one unearned run.
The last game in the series featured a masterful performance, yet again, by Amir Garrett. Garrett is now 2-0 with a 1.42 era. Batters are only hitting .163 against him. The Reds #2 prospect has lived up to the expectations and then some in his early Major League career. Garrett did something in this game that I can’t recall ever seeing, he carved a giant letter ‘A’ in the Pirate mound…power move from a rookie and he backed it up.
Eugenio Suarez’s bases clearing double blew this game open, leading to a 9-2 rout and series sweep of the Pirates.
Now it was on to Cincinnati for a four game set against the Brewers. The Reds dropped the first game of the series because Bronson Arroyo pitched and that’s all I have to say about that *Forrest Gump voice*.
As good as the Reds bullpen was in Pittsburgh, they were equally bad in the second game of the series against the Brewers as they allowed eight runs. Scott Feldman pitched well enough to give the Reds a chance to win, so that was at least nice to see. The Reds fell in this game 10-4, but Zach Cozart and Joey Votto both homered. This game featured the debut of the Reds #3 prospect, Jesse Winker, who was drafted in the first round in 2012. Wrist injuries slowed down Winker’s path to the Major Leagues just a bit, but the 23-year-old made his MLB debut on Friday, striking out in a pinch hit appearance.
Saturday’s game against the Brewers was the Reds only win of the series, it was also Jackie Robinson Day, as both the Reds and Brewers wore 42 jerseys for the game.
The Reds had eleven hits on Saturday and eight of them were for extra bases, that’s how you win a lot of ball games. The key moment in the game was when Jesse Winker hit a two run double to left. This marked Winker’s first Major League hit and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Reds. On Saturday, Brandon Finnegan had to exit the game after the first inning with a left shoulder strain. Finnegan was placed on the 10 day DL. Robert Stephenson, Rasiel Iglesias, Tony Cingrani, Drew Storen, and Michael Lorenzen finished off the game in the victory for the Reds. Lorenzen threw a scoreless ninth and notched his first Major League save.
Easter Sunday featured a creepy bunny in a Reds uniform and Sal Romano’s Major League debut.
Romano is #9 on the Reds top prospect list, which is pretty impressive considering Romano was a 23rd round draft pick in the 2011 draft. Romano didn’t have the best MLB debut by any means in his start on Sunday, but it could have been a lot worse. One thing Reds fans and Brewers hitters noticed right from the jump is Romano throws hard, he was anywhere from 94-98 with his fastball. He threw 60 fastballs on Sunday and averaged 95 mph. Romano worked out of a few jams, but eventually walks did him in. He finished throwing three innings, allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, 4 walks, and allowed 2 home runs. Romano threw 82 pitches in just three innings. The long ball did the Reds in Sunday, as they allowed three of them. Eric Thames of the Brewers hit 5 home runs in the series.
The Reds are home all week with a series against the Baltimore Orioles and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs (that still sounds weird to say).
Week 2 Notable Items
- Major League debuts from Rookie Davis (SP), Jesse Winker (OF) and Sal Romano (SP)
- The Reds bullpen was named bullpen of the week. They threw 35 1/3 innings, 45 strikeouts, 7 walks, 12 earned runs and 25 hits
- Eugenio Suarez continues hot start at the plate, batting .364 with a team leading 11 runs scored and tied for team lead 10 RBI
- Rookie Davis and Brandon Finnegan placed on 10 day DL
- Reds hitters are 6th or higher in MLB in runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, stolen bases, batting average, slugging percentage and OPS. In other words, this team rakes
- Reds pitchers are 6th in ERA, 2nd in strikeouts and 4th in batting average against. In other words, this is SHOCKING considering the perception of the pitching staff entering the season