By HAL McCOY
Unsolicited observations from The Man Cave after fighting, and mostly losing, to a virus infection and a bad cold (are there any good ones?).
It wasn’t a write-home-to-mom day for Cincinnati Reds pitchers Monday during a spring training exhibition game in Peoria, Ariz. against the Seattle Mariners, a game the Reds lost, 11-3.
What’s the old quote, “Will it play in Peoria?” It didn’t play well in Peoria for Alex Wood and Tyler Mahle.
Wood, the left hander the Reds acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers to help stabilize the team’s not-so-stellar rotation, made his Reds debut Monday and it was dubious.
He pitched the first inning and needed 33 pitches. He gave up three runs after walking the first batter, giving up a screeching double off the left field wall to former Reds third baseman Edwin Encarnacion and a down-range home run off the center field batter’s eye to Domingo Santana.
Mahle needed 25 pitches to cover the second inning. He gave up a single and a walk and loaded the bases. But no runs scored when he struck out former Reds utility player Kristopher Negron and Encarnacion.
Michael Lorenzen pitched the third and gave up a walk and a long home run to left field by Kyle Lewis. Lewis was Seattle’s No. 1 draft pick out of Mercer University.
It wasn’t a fun day for Joey Votto, either. He struck out his two times at the plate. But, of course, he walked his third time up.
Yasiel Puig had a 14-pitch at bat against Shawn Armstrong and walked.
The Reds had a good look at Seattle’s Yusei Kukuchi, the Japanese pitcher the Mariners signed last month out of Japan to a four-year $109 million deal. He pitched a 1-2-3 first before the Reds scored two against him in the second.
Phillip Ervin, trying to say, “Why not me for center field?,” drilled a home run off the center field batter’s eye.
Wandy Peralta, trying to keep his spot in the overcrowded bullpen, reversed the trend in the fourth by pitching a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts.
But it was a nightmarish seventh for Keury Mella. He gave up four runs on three hits, including a three-run home run to Evan White.
The Reds are 1-1-1 so far this Spring after a tie with the Cleveland Indians in the opener and a 13-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
—QUOTE: From former major league pitcher Jamie Moyer: “I always approach spring training as if I have something to prove.”
—Why does a football team like Miami of Ohio player Ohio State, knowing it will have its head handed to it, with its helmets still on?
As Miami coach Chuck Martin points out about this year’s game at The Horseshoe, “That game will pay one-eighth of our entire athletic budget for the year.”
Martin, by the way, is putting Miami football back on the map with two straight 6-and-2 seasons in the Mid-American Conference.
—QUOTE: From former tennis icon Martina Navratilova: “Whoever said it is not whether you win or lose that counts (journalist Grantland Rice) probably lost.”
—The Dayton-area is oh-so-fortunate to have two classy and talented basketball coach in the University of Dayton’s Anthony Grant and Wright State’s Scott Nagy.
The Flyers were picked to finish in the middle of the Atlantic 10 pack, but Grant, who always looks as if he just posed for a Gentleman’s Quarterly cover, has UD near the top of the standings. Playing with basically a six-man team, Grant has the Flyers near the top because his team always playing with exhausting intensity and a never-quit determination.
Wright State, picked to win the Horizon League, started slowly and could have tossed it in. But the Raiders also play with heart and determination and fought back to grab first place. Nagy would not let the Raiders quit on themselves.
QUOTE: From former Tennessee women’s basketball legend Pat Summit: “Confidence is what happens when you’ve done the hard work that entitles you to succeed.”
—Remember Luis Quinones, the former bench player with the Cincinnati Reds? Does he have a new vocation?
Luis Quinones was aboard the favorite, I Ya Scream, in the fourth race at Mahoning Valley Race Course Monday and finished fourth.
No, not the same Luis Quinones.
—QUOTE: From baseball author Roger Kahn: “Horse racing is animated roulette.”