The Reds did well on a busy Sunday afternoon in the Cactus League, with a win and a tie in split squad action. Cincinnati won 4-3 over Oakland at Phoenix, and battled to a 1-1 10-inning tie with the Cubs in Goodyear as the team heads into the final two weeks of preparation for the 2010 season.
In Goodyear, non-roster invitee Laynce Nix hit a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left in the second inning for the Reds only run of the day. The Cubs answered with a run in the fourth and that was all the scoring for the game. Justin Lehr went five innings for the Reds and allowed that run on five hits with a strikeout. Arthur Rhodes struck out the side in the sixth, while allowing one hit. Francisco Cordero continued his success with a scoreless two innings of work, while striking out three. Kip Wells worked the final three innings, allowing a hit and striking out three. The starting lineup featured four sure Opening Day starters, and a possible fifth. Orlando Cabrera, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, and Scott Rolen all got the starting nod, as did Drew Stubbs. Cabrera, Votto and Phillips were a combined 0-for-8. Rolen was 0-for-1 with two walks. Stubbs went 1-for-3, with a double.
At Phoenix, the Reds won a tight battle with the A’s. Jay Bruce was the only bona-fide Opening Day starter in the lineup, although he was joined by Vladimir Balentien, Jonny Gomes, and Chris Dickerson. They banged out half of Cincinnati’s dozen hits, and Gomes homered in the fourth inning off of lefty Dallas Braden. Johnny Cueto had a decent outing. He went four innings allowing a run on two hits with four strikeouts, but he walked three.
There will only be one more true split squad game day. On March 31, a split squad will head to Las Vegas for a night game with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Cashman Field. The other split squad heads to Phoenix to take on the A’s.
Monday, the Reds welcome the Colorado Rockies to Goodyear. Bronson Arroyo (1-1, 5.19) takes the mound for Cincinnati to face Colorado’s Jorge De La Rosa (1-1, 1.93). All eyes will be on Aroldis Chapman, however, as he is scheduled to take over for Arroyo in the sixth inning. He’s scheduled to pitch four innings. The game will be televised live on FS-Ohio. First pitch is 4:05 (ET). The Reds have an off-day scheduled on Tuesday.
My Player of the Week for Cincinnati this past week is Drew Stubbs. After hearing manager Dusty Baker say that Chris Dickerson was outplaying him in the battle for the center field positon, Stubbs collected hits in his last four games. Since Tuesday, Stubbs has gone 7-for-12 (.583) with five of his seven hits for extra bases. He hit three doubles, a triple, an inside-the-park homer, scored four runs, and drove in three. I thought Stubbs looked like he belonged in the lineup over the last month of the season last year. Of course, with a dozen games against the Pirates at that stage of the season when they were playing most of the guys who had spent the bulk of the season at AAA Indianapolis, it’s tough to judge. But, he’s come on with a vengeance. We’ll see if he can keep it up and get the nod on Opening Day.
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!