One small play, one big difference
Javy Valentin thought the ball he hit in the third might be out. He broke out of the box slowly. The ball hit the base of the fence in right. He ended up with 330-foot single.
Could it have been a double?
"Maybe," Valentin said. "If I run right away, I got an opportunity."
"It's been addressed," Dusty Baker said.
"I apologized," Valentin said. "It's not going to happen again."
The play might not have been the difference in the Reds' 4-2 loss to the Diamondbacks on Opening Day, but it was something Baker won't tolerate. When Brandon Webb was pitching like he was Monday, the margin for error is extremely slim. Valentin's mistake was one glaring mistake that wasn't physical. Edwin Encarnacion's error led to a run. Aaron Harang didn't get a bunt down immediately after Valentin's long single. But those mistakes have nothing to do with effort.