Saturday, May 12, 2012

Two solo home runs from Nationals prove too much for Reds to overcome

Reds' fans came for a win and a bobblehead,
but left with just the bobble.
The Reds (16-16) took on the Nationals (21-12) Saturday night looking to help their chances at keeping their "series" winning streak alive, however it was not meant to be as Cincinnati lost its second game in as many nights to Washington. Mat Latos went to the mound opposite Jordan Zimmerman, and had a decent night, though he did not go deep into the game. Even more concerning was the lack of offense which has plagued this Redlegs ball club all season.

Let's look at the good, the bad, and the notables:

The Good
-Latos threw 109 pitches in five innings, allowing just one earned run on three hits. He struck out four, but walked five.
-Though he did not record a hit, Brandon Phillips drove in the only run (11) for the Reds, scoring Zack Cozart. Phillips also made a nifty, defensive play up the middle, with the climax being a behind-the-back toss to Cozart to get a force out at second base, which helped get Latos out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth.
-Joey Votto was 1-2 with two walks on the night.
-Logan Ondrusek quietly continues to do his job very well, throwing a scoreless inning of relief yet again.
-Aroldis Chapman did what he does by striking out four batters in his two innings. Both he and Ondrusek still have 0.00 in their ERA column.
-If you were as lucky as our own Jimmi Adair (that's his in the pic!) to be one of the first 25,000 fans to arrive, you received a Joey Votto bobblehead, commemorating his 2011 Rawlings Gold Glove Award.

The Bad
-Jose Arredondo allowed a sixth-inning home run to Danny Espinosa on the first pitch he threw, giving the Nationals a 2-1 lead, which they would not relinquish.
-Drew Stubbs, Phillips, and Jay Bruce combined to go 0-12 (0-4 each). The team has got to get a better effort from their two, four, and five hitters if they plan to contend.
-The Reds went an ugly 0-6 with runners in scoring position, leaving six men on base.
-If you did not get there in time, you went home sad and empty-handed.

The Notables
-Chapman faced Bryce Harper for the first time and promptly struck him out on three pitches, at 99, 87, then 100 miles per hour.
-The Reds drew 42,294 people to Great American Ball Park, accounting for the second-largest, non-Opening Day crowd in the park's regular season history, according to the Reds official twitter.
-Scott Rolen was placed on the 15-day DL with recurring shoulder soreness, and said in an interview, "As much as I want to help the team, I'm hurting the team. I'm not taking competitive at-bats...I don't see this as a real long-term thing. Like I said, it's not a surgical procedure or anything."
-Mike Costanzo was called up to take his spot. Costanzo has now appeared in a uniform with the Blue Wahoos (AA), Bats (AAA), and Reds in 2012.
-Tomorrow is Mother's Day, and the first 8,000 kids will get a Jay Bruce cereal bowl. It will be Bronson Arroyo (2-1, 2.75) vs Edwin Jackson (1-1, 3.49) at 1:10pm EST as the Reds look to avoid the sweep.

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