Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
March 4, 2007: Cincinnati Reds 10, Pittsburgh Pirates 4
There were actually two games today, though the first one didn't count. (Not that any spring training game means a whole heck of a lot, but even the stats don't count.) Arroyo was supposed to start the first game at 10am, but he pulled out. The reason was supposedly "flu-like symptoms," but fans and reporters alike suspect he just didn't want to get up that early. Arroyo is known for not being a morning person.
Anyway, the Reds won the first game, too, 5-0. It was only a six-inning game. I have no clue if Bubba played in it or not. I would guess not, since he started the second game. Ryan Freel was scratched at the last minute; he injured his wrist chasing down a fly ball yesterday. Hamilton took his place in CF, while Bubba took Hamilton's spot in RF, and Freel's spot as leadoff hitter.
The bad news is Bubba didn't get any hits today. The good news is he was on base an awful lot anyway.
I suspect he intentionally changed his approach for this game, since he was the leadoff hitter. He had no walks in the previous games he played, but two today.
Or maybe the Pirates pitchers were just really bad...
Former Yankee Shawn Chacon was originally scheduled for the early game, but started the afternoon game instead. He showed the form that led the Yankees to trade him, and is now the proud owner of 9.00 ERA. He walked Bubba on five pitches, then gave up a home run to Hatteburg. Reds up 2-0, with no outs yet recorded.
Bubba came to bat again to lead off the 3rd inning. The Pirates' new Japanese pitcher, Masumi Kuwata, started the 3rd, which meant a media circus. There were something like 70 members of the Japanese media there - for a 38-year-old guy who will likely start the season in Triple-A. Twenty photographers were taking pictures while Kuwata warmed up. Bubba lined out with a comebacker that Kuwata just got a piece of. No one else did any better against the Japanese phenom, who was the best pitcher the Bucs put out there today. Hatteberg struck out swinging, Phillips struck out looking.
Bubba was up again in the 5th. One on, no outs. He hit a bouncing grounder to 2B. Hernandez booted it, and everyone's safe. It's ruled an error. Hatteberg walks, then Votto hits a single; Bubba scores from 2B.
It was a rough inning for the Pirates. Bubba would come to bat again in the 5th. Bases loaded, two outs. He went down swinging.
Bubba at the plate again in the 7th. Bases loaded, one out. He works a walk, making it 10-3. Janish strikes out and Votto flies out, ending the inning...and Bubba's day at the office. Dewayne Wise takes over for Bubba in RF in the bottom of the 7th.
Bubba's line for the day: 0 for 3 with 2 walks, 2 runs scored, and 1 RBI. He's hitting .364 / .462 / .455.
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