March 12, 2007

Reds 3, Blue Jays 0

Most impressive Spring Training game yet. And that's saying..............something. Right? Anything? It surely says something.

Maybe the better story is the most impressive outing of Spring Training. That's correct, it beats Bobby Livingston smoking down the heart of the Yankees. This one belongs to Matt Belisle, new frontrunner for fifth place.


Pitching: Only 2 hits allowed today. In the entire game. A truly impressive shutout victory. It begins with Belisle, and thankfully does not end with him. But Matt was the starter, going further than any starter previous to him, going 4 innings and allowing 1 hit. 1 measly hit! 1 walk and 3 K's thrown in for good measure. What a kid. I just named him dark horse, but he's not too dark anymore. Just a horse. Weathers and Hermanson followed up with back-to-back innings of no hits. Victor Santos pitched the seventh and eighth, allowing the other hit and K'ing 2. I like the guy. He pretty much has no shot of getting the fifth, especially with Belisle showing everybody up. But I think he could be used at some point during the year. Jared Burton got the save, K'ing 2 and walking 1.

Hitting: Freel got leadoff duties yet again. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come. Unfortunately, he only had one at-bat and didn't play most of the rest of the game. Hopefully everything is okay for the loveable little guy. He did make his at-bat productive, getting a hit and scoring a run. Norris Hopper replaced Freel and went 2/3 with 2 of the 3 RBI's. Phillips, Dunn, Moeller, and Denorfia got the other hits, Dunn getting the other RBI on a base hit in the first inning. Psst.......check the shortstop lineup for the Jays. Looks like Clayton and Olmedo. Sound familiar to anybody? We miss ya, li'l Rey.

Fielding & such: No errors today, 2 double plays instead. Gil & Janish turned one over to Votto (in a sign of things to come) and Phillips & Gonzalez finally got the first of hopefully many and many.

Mavericks 108, Lakers 72

Observe the brutality of it all.

I did, because I watched it on TV. And it was henceforth named "incredible."

Margin of defeat - 36 points = largest margin of victory on the year, largest margin of victory ever against the Lakers, worst loss at home ever since the Minneapolis Lakers became the Los Angeles Lakers

The win - only the third time in 32 tries at Los Angeles, 17 straight victories, have won 38 of past 40 games

72 points - second lowest points total ever scored by the Lakers, only 2 shy of the franchise record

Runs = 26-5 run in the first & second quarters, 16-2 run to finish the first half.

22-6 = best road record in the NBA, with the Suns only having a better HOME record.


What all of this means is an attempt to showcase to you how this win was huge, but just a small piece in the cog of the Dallas Mavericks' superb season. Incredible. Amazing. What a game. The Lakers were shorthanded, that's true. But just watching the game, the Mavericks cleanly beat the Lakers in every category. They were by far the better team and it was truly a team effort. I'm glad I get to be part of such a great ride.

Reds 9, Pirates 8

Ye Old Redlegs defeat the Freddy Sanchez-less Bucs.


Pitching: Milton had maybe a typical day at work, going 3.2/3, giving up 7 hits and 3 earned runs. He walked one but had 3 K's, which was nice to see. Stanton, Livingston, and Coffey threw some no-hit innings in the middle, and Coffey in particular was on fire striking out all 3 of the batters he faced. Brad Salmon had an interesting 2/3 of an inning as he gave up one hit but 3 runs. None of them earned. Shackelford got the win allowing a hit and a run, but again, no earned runs. How about all of these runs that were not earned runs? We'll talk about that in the bottom category, so please stay tuned. Meadows pitched a clean ninth for the save.

Hitting: Nice to see some offense come back, and it started with Ryan Freel leading off, going 2/3 and scoring both times. The story here, and has been the whole time, is Josh Hamilton. Hamilton was 3/3, all singles, and got an RBI for his troubles. What a kid. Alex Gonzalez was 2/3. EdE was 2/4. Adam Dunn was back to his old self, going 0/3 with 2 K's. Yuck. Castro provided the highlight with a pinch-hit 2-run HOMER!! Haha, who would have guessed? Nobody did as he got up to swing the bat. Couldn't have worked out much better, though. Then Jerry Gil hit a double and scored the winning run for the team. Nice way to do it.

Fielding & such: So, about all those unearned runs? Thanks for FOUR errors today. Playing small ball the hard way. Here's who screwed it up for Salmon: EdE had his 2nd error of the year, Bellhorn had one, and Norris Hopper of all people got in the crazy mix. Shackelford's unearned run was his fault and should have been earned because he got called for interference. 15 yards and a first down? Apparently not. Seriously, though. Shouldn't it count as an earned run if the pitcher is the one to make the error? Get real. Freel & EdE had stolen bases today, and Jerry Gil got a little ahead of himself trying to steal 2nd base and was rejected. Inherited runners who scored, which had been good and low for the Reds, was 4-for-4 today. Not great. Errors helped, though.