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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Happy to be watching the game today

Today's game against the Braves is the first time the Reds have been on TV here in Arizona since July 9th, when they played in Atlanta. So I'm thrilled to get a chance to see these guys. Very excited to see Encarnacion hitting today, especially given that there's a righthander on the mound.

Depending on whether I have anything to say, I may update this from time to time as the game moves on (I am watching this on about a 1 hour delay...).
  • Lohse gave up a 2-run shot in the first. Didn't look like a very good pitch. Chip Carey claimed that Lohse was a sinkerball pitcher, which is a bit surprising given that he's induced between a 43% and 46% of all batted balls to be grounders over the past three years.
  • Oh, wow. Griffey just got one. Just as the annoucer said he liked the ball down and away from him, he got one there and drove it way the hell back in centerfield.
  • Smoltz was filthy in the second. Denorfia looked completely overmatched. Just as bad as Smoltz was vs. Lohse in the top of the third. I had hoped Denorfia would play better up here, but he hasn't been very impressive thus far.
  • Nice to see Clayton hitting 8th tonight. Perfect place for him. Narron always said he liked someone with decent bat control there. It's also the spot in the batting order that influences run production the least. Less even than the 9th spot.
  • So in his first two up, Encarnacion has hit very hard line drives to right and right-center field. The latter was a bases-clearing triple. I know I'm beating a dead horse, but how is he not playing every day? He's so exciting to watch. And I thought old-school guys loved young hitters who hit the ball to the opposite field...
  • I think Denorfia just decided to take all the pitches he saw from Smoltz his second time up. Worked, as he managed a walk. Based on what he did the first time up, that might be the best possible outcome for Chris. I'll take it.
  • Did I mention that I love Brandon Phillips? Amazing play in the 5th vs. LaRoche. He's just so much fun.
  • The game's not over yet -- I'm writing this in the middle of the 5th inning -- but Lohse looks pretty good today. He misses his spots now and then, but he's generally been around the plate, is showing good movement on his pitches, and has been well in control, with the exception of the at-bat vs. Andruw Jones in the 1st. I remain convinced that he was a pretty good pickup for the Reds. Claussen looks destined for a bullpen slot unless someone gets hurt.
  • So that's three opposite-field batted balls in three times up for EdE. Result: 2 H, 1 3B, 2 RBI's.
  • This (in the 6th) is my first chance to see Bill Bray pitch. He does have a kind of herky-jerky motion, which could make him a bit of an injury risk (though probably less so as a starter than for a reliever). He was missing his spots a bit more than I'd like, but the results were good.
  • For all my fanboydom of Edwin Encarnacion, my stomach still went into knots when Renteria hit that ground ball to him in the 7th. Thank goodness he made that play, or he'd be benched for a week!
  • ...And Majewski gives it up. I see the sink on his pitches, but he keeps throwing them up there belt-high. I'd think he would need to be around the knees to be effective. Seriously, I don't think I saw any pitches around the knees in the 8th inning. The results speak for themselves. Bah.