April 18, 2007: Louisville Bats 3, Richmond Braves 1
The big news of the day was that Norris Hopper was called up before the game. Chad Moeller was DFA'd to make room for him.
I must say, I wasn't expecting that. I thought they'd stick with three catchers. Perhaps they are convinced that Hamilton can be the lefty bat off the bench, instead of Javy Valentin. Or maybe recent games have made it painfully obvious, even to Krivsky, that a righty bat is desperately needed.
The Reds' hitting, as a team, this season so far:
BA OBP SLG OPS
VS. LEFT .203 .269 .292 .561
VS. RIGHT .266 .356 .416 .772
That makes the Reds the fourth worst in MLB (third worst in the NL) against lefties. But they're third best in MLB (and second best in the NL) against righties. You can see why they might think they need another righty bat.
Anyways...Bubba was not in the lineup last night. Jeff Bannon took his place, playing RF and batting second, with Tyrell Godwin in Hopper's spot.
However, at the end of the top of the sixth inning, center fielder Dewayne Wise was ejected from the game. He struck out, and was arguing the call with the umpire. (You'd think he'd know better. He's 29, not some kid.) Bubba came in to take over center field. He made a couple of nice running catches in CF, one he had to run in for, one at the wall. And he had one at-bat, in the 8th.
Bubba came to the plate with two on, one out. The first pitch was a called strike. The next pitch Bubba hit back up the middle. A grounder to CF. Votto scored from 2B. Bubba tried to take 2B on the throw home, but was out. RBI single for Bubba - that broke a 0-16 slump.
Bubba's hit provided an insurance run, and the play was chosen the Frisch's Big Boy Big Play of the Game. Bubba may not be hitting all that well right now, but he sure picks his spots. That's the third time in twelve games Bubba's gotten the Big Boy Big Play of the Game. The guy is clutch!