For the third straight game, the Brewers were too much for the Reds and this time, Cincinnati picked up just a couple of runs on seven hits. Brandon Phillips belted a solo homer (his ninth) and Alex Gonzalez went two for four. Another mediocre offensive performance overall.
Micah Owings wasn’t all that great either. He gave up five runs in 5 2/3 innings and while the pen did a decent enough job, the Reds couldn’t never get the bats going to sneak away with just the one win in the series. Nick Masset has been really good this year and he did it again with 1 1/3 innings of shutout relief.
Now it’s go time against the Cardinals. Game one is tomorrow and we’ll see Edinson Volquez against Todd Wellemeyer.
We’re about a half hour away from the Reds finale against the Brewers and the goal is to avoid the sweep. The Reds had made some nice headway in the division but after losing two to the Brewers, they now sit 2 1/2 games back (just two in the loss column) against Milwaukee and and the Cardinals. Just as important, the Reds kick off a huge four game set against the Cards beginning tomorrow. It’s not do or die time, but this week could go a long way towards helping out the Reds cause as they’re playing the best of their division.
Last night was pretty ugly as Aaron Harang was bounded around. He gave up eight runs on twelve hits and he didn’t even last five frames. Harang has been a bit of a Jeckyl and Hyde because in his losses, he looks pretty bad (at least five runs given up in four of five losses). Then in his wins, he’s really good (three runs or less in five wins and one no decision). Still three of his last four starts haven’t been up to snuff so hopefully he’ll snap out of it soon.
Chris Dickerson had a nice game leading off and he went three for four with a run and an RBI. Jerry Hairston pitched in with a two run homer and Brandon Phillips went yard with a solo shot.
Micah Owings throws here in less then 20 minutes. The Brewers will throw Yovani Gallardo.
After the Reds nice little winning streak, they’ve now dropped two straight as they lost a very late night game against the Padres in sixteen innings. After Jay Bruce homered in the sixth, the Reds didn’t score for the next ten innings as they lost 6-5. Micah Owings took the loss in what was effectively a start and he gave up the one run in 5 2/3 innings.
Laynce Nix also belted a two run homer but eight hits over sixteen innings isn’t going to cut it. Willie Taveras went 0 for 7 and his batting average is now below .300 at .295.
The Reds are in fourth place but they’re just two games back of the first place Brewers. They finish up against the Padres this afternoon before the Phillies come to town.
The Reds won a close one last night. While Micah Owings wasn’t all that great on the mound, he was true to form and he helped out his own cause with a triple that ultimately led to two runs. Also give some props to the pen, who pitched three shutout innings with Francisco Cordero capping things off with a shutout ninth to earn his eighth save of the season.
Jay Bruce hit his eighth homer of the season in the 6-5 win. Willie Taveras also went yard with his first long ball. Ramon Hernandez, hitting clean up and playing first base, picked up two hits and Paul Janish joined him. Not bad considering Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips were both out with the flu.
Next up are the first place Cardinals. If the Reds are going to chew into that 3 1/2 game deficit, they’re not going to get a better chance then by actually playing the first place team. It’ll be Johnny Cueto against Joel Pineiro in the opener tonight.
The Reds are now stuck in this win one/lose one cycle. Two days again, Edinson Volquez led the Reds to their sixth shutout and things looked good. Then last night happened.
With nobody out in the second inning, Aaron Harang was pulled from the game. When the dust settled on that frame, the Reds were down 9-0. Throw in a rough ninth inning by Paul Janish in the epitome of mop up, and the end result was a 15-3 beatdown at the hands of the Brewers. The loss by Arroyo was his second and in that one game, he saw his ERA rise from 4.91 to 7.15.
Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce both went yard but it was way too little. The Reds finish up the two game set tonight and it’ll be Micah Owings against Braden Looper.
The Reds have a big series this weekend against….the Pirates? Yes, the Reds finished April with an 11-10 record and while they sit in a tie for third place, this is hardly the train wreck that things could have been considering the Reds are hitting a meager .235. Right now, it’s the Cardinals then everyone else but that doesn’t mean the Reds can’t jockey for position. That’s why a good weekend against the Pirates, who are also tied with us at 11-10, could go a long way towards pushing the Reds further into contention.
What about Joey Votto? I know he has just the three home runs but that .979 OPS is nice to look at. Throw in the 20 RBIs and 21 games and it makes for a nice success story. You wonder why this guy was held back for so long.
And then there’s the pitching. While the Reds are second to last in baseball in hitting and slugging, they’re fifth in the NL in ERA. That’s what it’s getting it done. It also helps that they’re outplaying their Pythagorean W/L by two games but that could even out over time once the offense heats up (gulp).
Tonight, we’ll have Bronson Arroyo going up against Zach Duke. It’s the battle of the 3-1 hurlers. Of course Arroyo has a 6.48 ERA and Duke has a 2.43 mark so hopefully those two numbers start to come together after tonight’s game.