It was another big day for Aroldis Chapman. The Cuban sensation again established his command on the hill at the start of Wednesday afternoon’s game against Milwaukee, a game the Brewers eventually won 5-2. Chapman’s making it extremely difficult for manager Dusty Baker to leave him off of the Opening Day roster. But, we’ve seen Dusty remain true to his convictions before, despite overwhelming evidence and sentiment to the contrary. We’ll see what happens here.
Chapman went three innings and threw 45 pitches in his first-ever start for the Reds, his longest outing of the spring. Of those 45 pitches, 29 were strikes. The only batter to give him trouble was Rickie Weeks. He couldn’t get Weeks out all day. Weeks touched up Chapman with a leadoff homer to begin the game. Weeks hit a 3-1 pitch over the wall in left-center field to get the day’s festivities underway. He was issued Chapman’s only walk of the day in the top of the third. But, other than that… outstanding for Mr. Chapman. Three innings, one run, one hit, one walk, and five strikeouts. Chapman may get another start on Monday vs. Colorado. I hope so as that game will be televised on FS-Ohio.
The bats were another story. After putting up 13 runs in each of the last two games, only two Reds would cross the plate vs. the Brewers. Joey Votto’s struggles continued with an 0-for-3. Johnny Gomes went 0-for-2. The Reds really weren’t getting runners on, either. They had just five at-bats with runners in scoring position. They wound up 0-for-5.
The Reds got a run in the fifth to tie the game 1-1 after a Wilkin Castillo triple, a Chris Dickerson walk, and then a wild pickoff throw by Kameron Loe. But the Brewers answered with two in the sixth and two more in the seventh off of loser Kip Wells, and the Reds were unable to come back. Chris Valaika closed the scoring with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the ninth. Castillo was 2-for-2 on the day. Dickerson went 1-for-2 with a walk. Scott Rolen and Kris Negron were the only other Reds to get hits as Cincinnati finished with just six in the game.
The Reds will take the field again Wednesday for the night portion of the day-night, split-squad doubleheader vs. Cleveland. Bronson Arroyo goes for the Reds. Fausto Carmona throws for the Indians. Baker said the guys who play in Wednesday’s night game will not play on Thursday. “I spread it out because you don’t want fatigue setting in now,” said Baker. “It’s a tough stretch of games we have going.”
About the Author
Written by Dave Allen
I'm a lifelong Cincinnati sports fan who has been following the Reds and Bengals ever since I can remember. My first Reds game was Game 6 of the '72 World Series and my first Bengals game was an October 1975 clash with the Steelers. I've been involved in sports media since Junior High, when I assisted with scores for Bob Trumpy SportsTalk in 1979 on WLW Radio. My biggest Reds highlight came in 1998 when I was chosen to be the public address announcer at Riverfront Stadium (then called Cinergy Field) for Opening Day and the entire first homestand. I am thrilled to be involved with PSB and I hope you enjoy my entries!