Friday Leftovers: Johnny Bench, M-Braves, Mather, and More

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The Blue Wahoos continue to tussle with the Jacksonville Suns at the Baseball Grounds as the five-game set continues through Saturday. While the Suns have a shot at clinching the series today, they would need two victories and a generous amount of luck to claim the top spot in the South Division. Meanwhile, Pensacola has a shot at derailing Christian Yelich and company if the bats come around tonight and tomorrow. We’ll have a game preview up and running Saturday morning as the second round in the Battle for the Golden Skillet winds down.

Back at home, it’s Friday afternoon and time to see what’s cooking around the Internet. So grab your plastic utensils, because we’ve got the Leftovers!

BRM interviews Reds legend Johnny Bench

Our good friend Jordan Barhorst earned the opportunity of a lifetime when he interviewed Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench earlier this week. Arguably the best backstop in major league history — he was a two-time MVP, fourteen-time All-Star, and ten-time Gold Glove winner — Bench will participate in Pepsi MAX Field of Dreams Game with other notable players on May 18. Consider this: if you could pick a squad of living baseball legends, who would you select? Two lucky winners fielded teams of five major leaguers and a couple of buddies and prepare to battle at a minor league stadium. Bench discusses the upcoming game and the state of today’s Reds at Blog Red Machine.

Mississippi 19, Montgomery 2. Really.

In Tuesday’s massacre, the surging Mississippi Braves took an early lead and never looked back. Maybe the first ominous sign was the second-inning grand slam following three straight singles, but that’s just me. Leading 11-2 after seven frames, the M-Braves piled on with eight runs in the eighth inning. In all, Mississippi slashed seven doubles in addition to a triple and the aforementioned four-alarm fire. The box score is something spectacular, so check out the final stats from the biggest blowout thus far in the Southern League.

Highlight Reel: Extra bases abound

Just a digression: much like broadcasters with a scoreboard, a blogger doesn’t realize how important his hosting tools are until they stop working. With that said, follow these links to BlueWahoos.com in lieu of VideoPress as the production team gives highlights from both home and the road:

Travis Mattair skies one out of the park in Sunday’s 8-2 victory
Brodie Greene adds a run against Jacksonville
Joe Mather goes to work at the Baseball Grounds

Big League Wahoos

>> Tony Cingrani (2-0, 2.63 ERA) gets the nod in Cincinnati’s first match of three against the Brew Crew. The stellar southpaw makes his fifth start of the season and looks to improve upon his last outing, during which he gave up two home runs to Chicago’s Alfonso Soriano. Other than that outlier, Cingrani has fanned thirty-three batters while walking only five.

>> Teammate Donald Lutz is working a four-game hitting streak dating back to Sunday as the Reds resume play today. The German product was promoted from Double-A in late April and has since garnered a .267 average across seven games.

>> Former Red and current Diamondback Didi Gregorius has returned to Arizona after an injury and quickly found his stride. The hot-hitting shortstop is 8-for-18 (.444) since coming back, including this towering home run on May 5.

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