Chalk one up for Jim Riggleman.
The interim manager of the Cincinnati Reds moved Scott Schebler up to the leadoff spot, and the offense promptly exploded for 10 runs in a victory over the Braves.
Schebler was a big part of it, going 2 fo 5 with three RBIs and three runs scored.
He hit the first Reds home run in a week and made Riggleman look pretty smart.
Not that I get the impression that was what the skipper was really going for:
“We’re 3-and-whatever we are,” Riggleman said before the game. “We’ve got to try anything.”
Sometimes managerial magic is interchangeable with luck, and I think we can all agree “anything” is better than the first three weeks of the season for the Reds.
Riggleman also sounds committed to batting Billy Hamilton ninth until he starts to look like a real major-league hitter, so I guess we can rule out the second coming of Dusty Baker here (old-school baseball man who insists on speed at the top of the lineup regardless of on-base percentage).
It is amazing how quickly this became a put-up-or-ship-out season for Hamilton, who apparently could have been traded in December and now may have a lot less value after a bad spring and worse start to the regular season.
Sal Romano pitched six good innings, striking out five and allowing only one earned run, to get his first win of the season.
More good news: Eugenio Suarez should be back in a Reds uniform soon. The third baseman is scheduled to play in Triple-A for Louisville tonight on a rehab assignment for his fractured thumb.
It’s probably too late to salvage a .500 record this season, but the Reds offense should look a heck of a lot better with Suarez and Schebler back in the lineup.
At least management should still get a chance to sort out which of the guys in the majors deserve to be in Cincinnati long term and who can be moved out to make room for youngsters moving up in the improved farm system.
There was some bad news, though.
Hunter Greene was knocked around as the Dayton Dragons lost their third straight game.
The Reds’ most-recent first-round pick took his first loss of the season after failing to get out of the first inning.
He allowed seven runs, including a grand slam, and recorded only two outs.
Greene walked three and gave up four hits.
For what it’s worth, three of the runs charged to Greene scored with Austin Orewiler on the mound in relief.
I mention that because Greene showed a knack for getting out of trouble in his first two starts.
If you’re keeping score, he’s gone from great to average to pretty bad in three times out for Dayton.
PREVIOUSLY: Greene battles elements in second start
Bumps in the road were always to be expected, of course, especially for such a young fella.
It will be interesting to see how he bounces back and how quickly he can develop a game plan for hitters who are willing to wait for his fastball and can lay off his breaking stuff.
The Dragons are the definition of streaky so far, having lost three in a row to start the season, won nine and now lost three more in a row…
Dayton Flyers basketball made news Monday, too, as one player announced he is joining up and another announced where he is going next.
Frank Policelli, a 6-foot-8 forward from Long Island, will be eligible to help Anthony Grant’s team this fall after verbally committed Monday.
He is a three-star top 300 recruit in the 2018 class who played AAU ball with current Flyer Obadiah Toppin.
Meanwhile, Xeyrius Williams revealed he plans to continue his college basketball career at Akron.
The former Wayne High School star was a starter two seasons ago but opted to transfer after an injury-plagued junior season.
At 6-9 with the ability to shoot the three, he could be a force in the MAC -- but not until 2019-20.