All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Paul answers the call

I confess, I swiped that title from Mark Sheldon, who has since changed it to something more conventional. It needs to be saved for posterity!

Crazy game for the Reds tonight, and Paul Janish ended up the hero. Everyone expected the Trolleydodgers to beat the Reds like a red-headed stepchild. And it looked like it was going according to script, when Homer Bailey struggled in the first inning, giving up 3 runs. The way the Reds offense has been hitting, that seemed insurmountable.

But then, in the 2nd inning, the Reds batted around, putting 6 runs on the board. They added three more in the next two innings, and leading 9-3, seemed destined for a win.

But the Dodgers clawed back, including four runs off Nick Massett in the 8th. It was tied 9-9 in the bottom of the eighth. Janish had been double-switched in, and was batting in the pitcher's spot. He came to bat with two runners on, two outs.

Both the runners (Jay Bruce and Ramon Hernandez) had been walked by Ramon Trancoso, so fans were irate when Janish swung at the first pitch and fouled it off. They were still complaining about it when he lined the second pitch into left field for a single. Manny Ramirez made a pretty good play on the ball, and tried to throw it home to stop the go-ahead run from scoring. It wasn't close. Bruce scored easily. Janish tried to take second on the throw, and got caught in a rundown. He did a good job trying to stall long enough for Hernandez to score the insurance run. Then Ronnie Belliard, trying to throw it home to get Hernandez then changing his mind, dropped the ball, and Janish made it safely to 2B.

Those runs stood, and the Reds won, 11-9.

It was great that Janish got to be the hero. They interviewed him on TV afterwards and everything.

But the Reds are still a pretty bad team. No Reds starter has yet gotten a win this season, which kind of points to a bullpen problem. And Dusty Baker's managing was just bizarre tonight. The Reds' starters have not been going very deep, so the pen is rather tired. Yet he pulled Danny Ray Herrera after only six pitches - not because he was ineffective, but because he wanted to start a new inning with a new pitcher. He could have left Arthur Rhodes in longer, too; he threw only 15 pitches. It was Nick Masset who gave up the lead and four runs in the 8th - Masset, who's been terrible, and has a 14.14 ERA to prove it. Why was he even in the game?

Janish, at least, is doing well. He's hitting .364 / .462 / .818 / 1.280 - the best hitter on the team, if OPS means anything. The Reds announcers, talking after the game, said Janish just might be the Reds' SS of the future. They think if he can just hit .260, his defense is enough to make him a starting SS.

I hope he gets that chance. I think the Reds are counting on Zach Cozart, but his minor league numbers are not much different from Janish's. Janish deserves a shot as much as Cozart does.


posted by BubbaFan, 11:45 PM


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