Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
March 31, 2007: Toronto Blue Jays 1, Cincinnati Reds 0
The Reds sent an all-minor league team to Dunedin to face the Jays. They had to get special permission from the league, but given the circumstances (split-squad game on the last day of spring training), approval is pretty routine.
It was Josh "Control" Towers on the mound for the Jays. He's likely to be their fifth starter. The Reds got hits off him, but couldn't cash them in.
Took me awhile to figure out who was on the mound for the Reds. Gameday said it was Shearn, but the announcers said Livingston. Turns out it was Livingston; Shearn came in later. Not sure why things were so confused. In the other game, Milton was a late scratch, and Lohse took his place, so maybe that had something to do with it.
Bubba started in right field and batted fifth. He had two at-bats. He came up in the first inning. Runners on first and second, two outs. He put up a decent battle, but ended up grounding out to 2B. His second and last at-bat was in the fourth. Leading off, he swung at the first pitch, resulting in a high popup to SS.
So, not a great day at the plate for Bubba. He did have a nice play in right field, robbing Frank Thomas. In the second inning, Thomas hit one hard out to center right. The announcers thought it was center fielder Jay Bruce who had the play on the ball, but Bruce couldn't get there. Bubba did, though, making the catch. (And without running over anyone. ;-)
Bubba was pulled in the middle of the 4th, after his second at-bat. Jeff Bannon was put in for him. I'm not sure why he was pulled so early. I hope he's not injured. I was hoping he'd get more playing time. The other players did. Mark Bellhorn stayed in until the bottom of the 6th, and Jay Bruce played the entire game.
The other game, in Dayton against the Marlins, featured the Reds starters. Fish won, 6-2. The problem was the Reds' supposed closer, Hermanson. He came in in the fifth...and promptly gave up 4 runs, 5 hits, and 1 walk...while getting only one out. Narron eventually pulled him in favor of Coffey. Coffey easily cleaned up the mess. Hoo, boy. The Reds are going to have some interesting pitching decisions to make.
In Dayton, the Reds pulled all their starters after four innings/two at-bats each. So maybe they were just treating Bubba as a possible starter by pulling him after two at-bats. (Hey, I can dream, can't I?)
Louisville Bats manager Rick Sweet thinks the Bats will be very good this year:
"We are going to be solid defensively," Sweet said. "We will be strong up the middle. We have three outfielders who can play center field."
Bubba Crosby, Jay Bruce, the Reds' first draft choice in 2005, and Tyrell Godwin are the trio.
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