It’s great to have baseball that counts back. It’s even better that the Cincinnati Reds won that first game that counts. It got tight and scary in the 9th, but the good guys held on, ending the game with the bases loaded to hold on to a 5-3 win.
Luis Castillo looked outstanding. The strikezone was a bit of a mess today. More than a few calls looking like strikes being called balls. Still, he was dominant. He averaged 96.2 MPH with his fastball and topped out at 98.2 MPH. He got 11 swings and misses on his change up during the game. There were another four – two each on the fastball and slider – from the rest of the arsenal. Castillo left the game holding onto a 1-0 lead, but a runner on base was his and that runner came around to score. His final line was 5.2 innings with just two hits, one earned run, three walks, and he struck out eight batters.
When Jose Peraza arrived in Cincinnati from Los Angeles he had not really shown much of any kind of power in his career. He was only 22-years-old at that point, but power wasn’t a part of his game. And really, it wasn’t expected to be a part of his game much either. Peraza, however, isn’t a small guy despite the power not being on display early in his career. He’s listed at 6′ 0″ and 196 lbs. No one is going to confuse him with Aaron Judge. But they aren’t going to confuse him with Billy Hamilton, either.
Last year saw Peraza start to show some real power. He had never hit more than 23 doubles in a season. He had never hit more than 11 home runs in a season. Those two things came in different seasons, too. Then 2018 happened and he hit 31 doubles AND 14 home runs. At age 24 a jump in power isn’t surprising. Bu the jump was quite big for Peraza. Well, in 2019 he’s on pace to hit 162 home runs after going deep on Thursday afternoon, hitting a 391 foot home run off of Jameson Taillon.
While the Jose Peraza home run tied the game up at 2-2, it was the next Reds home run that had me jumping out of my seat. Derek Dietrich came off of the bench in the 7th inning with two runners on and hit a 390 foot home run off of Richard Rodriguez. It gave the Reds a 5-3 lead, which they would ultimately hold onto. Not a bad way to make your debut with a new team, huh?
Michael Lorenzen played center field today. While I still think it’s unlikely to happen all that often this year, it happened today. And while I question just how risky it is to allow it, from a pure fan of baseball perspective, it’s awesome to see.
No baseball games on Friday is stupid. I understand why it happens, but it’s stupid and I hate it.