Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
March 3, 2007: Cincinnati Reds 14, Minnesota Twins 1
Well, this one was a blowout almost from the beginning. The Reds scored three runs in the first inning, and never looked back.
Bubba was not in the starting lineup, but he entered the game in the 2nd inning, pinch-running for the DH, Hatteberg. (Yes, the DH. It's a spring training game; the rules are relaxed.) He was stranded in that inning, but ended up getting three at-bats in the game, before being pulled in the 8th.
His first at-bat was in the 3rd. One out, David Ross on 2B. Bubba grounded out to 2B on a 2-1 pitch, moving Ross to 3B. But Casto flew out to end the inning.
In the 5th, Bubba came to the plate with one on, one out. He put down a nice bunt. The third baseman threw it away, and Bubba not only reached, he ended up on 3B. Hopper scored from first. (I think it was scored a hit and an error.) Next up was Denorfia. He lined out to left; Bubba scored easily. The announcers commented on Bubba's great baserunning there; he read the ball off the bat nicely, and waited to see if it would be caught before leaving the base.
(Looks like he's got the long pants on this time. With extra dirt, as usual! )
Bubba at bat once again in the bottom of the 6th. He hit a bloop single down the left field line, got to 2B on a walk, then scored from 2B on a Keppinger single.
In the 8th, he was due up again, but Narron subbed Conway in. Bubba's day was done. His line: 2 for 3, with two runs scored. He's now batting .500 / .625 / .500.
The Cincinnati announcers had some nice things to say about Bubba. They talked to him before the game, and he told them that he's happier than he's been in a long time, finally getting regular at-bats. They were amazed that he never got more than 180 at-bats in a season since he came up, considering that he was a first-round draft pick and hit .279 in his minor league career. They also pointed out that since he was used mostly as a LIDR, when he did get an at-bat, it was often against the closer. They thought he and Denorfia would make a good pair: one lefty, one righty, both great on defense and able to handle a bat. (Though how to keep Denorfia, Crosby, and Hamilton is another question.)
The Reds play two games tomorrow against the Pirates. Arroyo will start the "B" game at 10am. Homer Bailey will start the "A" game at 1:00pm. I will unfortunately be at work tomorrow morning. I hope to catch at least the end of the "A" game. (Wish I could follow the first game live, though. Former Yankee Shawn Chacon will be starting for the Pirates. I've always been fond of "Obi Shawn," even though he drove me crazy sometimes.)
UPDATE: Well, I got a reprieve. Got to the office, and found the computer network down. No one was around to fix it, since it's Sunday, so they sent us home.
Unfortunately, it looks like Gameday isn't covering the early game. We have to hope Trent comes through for us, I guess.
UPDATE #2: Trent posted the lineup for the later game, and Bubba is starting in RF and batting leadoff. We should have Gameday coverage of that one.
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