Robert Bush 9 a.m., March 1
Reds blast Padres in road opener
The bats of the Cincinnati Reds were no match for the Padres as the Friars drop the first game of their road trip
Ah, Cincinnati, the home of weird yet tasty stuff they call chili, with pasta and cheese and a strange, tangy sauce and onions on so on. Cincinnati is also the home of a very good baseball team – in fact, the Reds almost moved to San Diego in 1967 – a team that beat the Padres on Friday, 7-2.
The game wasn’t much fun to watch if you are a Padres fan. Starting pitcher Andrew Cashner got smacked around a little, and his defense didn’t help at times. Cashner lasted just five innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on seven hits and four walks.
Cashner gave up a run in the first inning and two more in the third before the Padres bats did much of anything. And when Logan Forsythe came to the plate, Reds starter Bronson Arroyo (yes, Bronson’s parents did, in fact, name Bronson after the famous actor Charles Bronson) hung a curve ball, and then this happened:
So, the Padres closed the gap to 3-1 on Forsythe’s fifth home run of the season, but in the bottom of the fifth inning, errors by Will Venable and then Forsythe gave the Reds two more runs. Tim Stauffer came in to relieve Cashner in the sixth inning and gave up a one-out single and then with two outs you got this:
Brandon Phillips took Stauffer deep and the 7-1 lead was too much to overcome. The Padres didn’t quit trying, it was simply that a six-run lead was too much to fire at. In fact, Venable came up in the eighth inning, and did this:
In spite of Venable's 14th home run of the year, it wasn’t an entertaining game from this side of the Mississippi river. The Reds, who are leading the race for the last wildcard spot in the National League, had to be pleased. But then, much as were the Orioles for the Padres on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Reds are a superior team on paper, and apparently especially in the Great American Ballpark where they play on the banks of the Ohio River a long home run away from the State of Kentucky.
Meanwhile, the Padres, losers of three straight, are now in fourth place in the National League West and only a loss away from being in last place. And they still have two more games to play against a team that appears far better than they do, in a bandbox of a ball park, which doesn’t seem to suit them well.
Now it’s official, Carlos Quentin is on the disabled list retroactive to July 31, with a bum knee. Outfielder Jaff Decker has been recalled from AAA Tucson and is with the team in the ‘natti. Decker served a stint with the big club back in June, earning a walk in two plate appearances. Jaff was hitting .293 with 9 home runs down in Tucson. He isn’t related to Padres minor leaguer Cody Decker. Calls to Edwin Decker of San Diego CityBeat have gone unanswered.
On the injury front, manager Buddy Black did address Cameron Maybin’s progress in last evening’s press conference after the game. Buddy indicated that Cameron wasn’t yet ready to be called up, that with all of the time missed, it was as though Maybin was sort of going through spring training again. It’s notable that Maybin hasn’t exactly been on fire in AAA Tucson, and he hasn’t had a hit since last month.
Saturday, the Padres and the Reds will go at it again. Tyson Ross (2-5, 2.91) will go for the Padres and face Reds lefty Tony Cingrani (5-1, 3.05). Game time is 4:10 PM PDST, carried on radio 1090 AM and televised on Fox Sports San Diego if you get it.