That Terry Francona, sure knows how to win games!
It looked bleak early in the Indians first game of the spring, a 11-10 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Starter Gio Soto gave up five runs, couldn't finish the first, and put the Tribe in a hole before they could even get to hit.
|Photo - AP via Yahoo! Sports|
But the Indians came roaring back, not only scoring three in the bottom of the frame, but putting up four more in the following two innings to take a 7-5 lead. The Reds came back, to eventually take a strong 10-8 lead hearing into the bottom of the ninth, before Mike McDade ended the first game on a positive, and winning, note.
A walk-off? The first game of spring training? How do you react to that?
"I just don't know if everybody knew it was a walk-off," Indians manager Terry Francona said with a laugh. "Everybody was kind of looking around. Nobody knew how to act. Yeah, today was good. [The starters] got three innings just like we wanted. Everybody got an at-bat or two to kind of shake off the rust a little bit."
The win is nice, but let's dig a little deeper into the box-score.
Tribe Debuts: Michael Bourn was 0-for-1 with a walk, Nick Swisher was 1-for-2 with a run scored and a run batted in, Mark Reynolds was 1-for-2 with a run scored, and Drew Stubbs was 1-for-2. Other at-bats included Jason Giambi, who popped out, Ryan Raburn hitting a solo home run and scoring a pair, and Mike Aviles going 0-for-1. The Tribe's new-look speedy outfield had a mix up early on, but are very aware that's why spring training exists.
Cincy Debuts: Let's not forget that it was Shin-Soo Choo who led off the game, but he did it in an unfamiliar Red uniform. Choo, acquired in the Indians/Reds deal this offseason, was 0-for-2 with a walk and run scored. Also seeing time at second was Jason Donald who went 1-for-2.
Mike McDade?: Yeah it was Mike McDade who had the lasting hit, a three-run bases-clearing double off Drew Hayes in the bottom of the ninth. It was the only hitter that Hayes faced as Carlos Contreras loaded the bases to get yanked.
The Chiz Kid: Also hitting a home run, of the two-run variety, was Lonnie Chisenhall, who went 1-for-2. Other Tribe regulars, Asdrubal Cabrera went 0-for-1 with a run scored and a run batted in, and Carlos Santana had the big 2-for-2 day with two runs batted in and a run scored. Michael Brantley hit two doubles, scored twice and knocked in a run.
Out of the Pen: Other than Gio Soto, the only other pitcher that struggled on the day was Joe Martinez, who gave up the other five runs to the Reds. Vinnie Pestano and Rich Hill had clean shutout innings, with Hill striking out one. Matt Langwell pitched two scorelss and Frank Herrmann picked up the win after a solid ninth.
Next Game: The Indians and the Reds do it again on Saturday when the teams flip flop home and away status at the same 3:05 time. Brett Myers gets the start for the Indians with Chris Perez, Corey Kluber, and new comers Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw all seeing work.