Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Reds go quietly into the night, fall back below .500

Jeff Samardzija had the Reds off-balance all night.

The Reds remain averse to heading over the .500 mark as once again they entered a game treading water only to slip back under. In a 162 game season there are inevitably some games that are just kind of there, and this was one of those as it seemed like the Reds were still stuck in a rain delay somewhere …

The Good
- Jay Bruce continues to look comfortable at the plate, just missing what would have been his fifth straight game with a home run. Bruce blasted one off the fence in left center for a double in the seventh.
- Todd Frazier looked good off the bench again, working a pinch hit walk in the eighth.
- Bronson Arroyo was able to string together his third quality start in five tries, however…

The Bad
- Arroyo really allowed his night to be undone by some less than stellar adversaries. Arroyo first allowed a home run to Bryan LaHair. That’s OK, LaHair is batting .381 with six home runs. But he also allowed a homer to the .173-hitting Ian Stewart, just his second in two years, and left the game after allowing a two-out RBI single to Geovany Soto who is batting .155.
- The offense was once again missing in action. To be fair, Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija had electric stuff, still pumping up 98 mph fastballs in the eighth inning. He’s also put up similar lines against Washington and St. Louis this season. In all, Reds batters struck out 10 times and part of the problem was simply not taking enough pitches. Samardzija was only around 65 pitches in the seventh inning.
- Scott Rolen has seemingly reverted back to his early season form at the plate. His average dropped to .178 with an 0-for-3 night.
- As noted above, the Reds drop below .500 again at 11-12 and lose another game to the division-leading Cardinals, who pounded Pittsburgh.

The Notables
- The Cubs look like they may have a keeper in Samardzija who was excellent all night. Bruce and Votto had a couple of hard-hit balls, but that was about it.
- Willie Harris struck out in a pinch hit appearance. He’s now batting .097. Paging Louisville…
- The brief two-game series wraps up on Thursday afternoon as Homer Bailey (1-2, 3.60) will look for his second win in as many tries against the Cubs. Chicago counters with Ryan Dempster (0-1, 1.33) who is fresh off the DL

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