Friday, June 15, 2012

Reds outslug Mets, 7-3

BP has been smokin' at the plate as of late.

It was a good night to be a Reds fan as the boys took care of business for their fourth straight win, starting the trip to the Big Apple in style with a 7-3 win over the Mets. With the win, Cincy moves to a season-best nine games over .500 at 36-27 and moved to four games up on Pittsburgh.

The offense remained in sync as the Reds accumulated 11 hits and have now picked up 10 or more hits in six of their last eight games.  The “good” list for this one is the longest I’ve had all season – and that’s certainly a good thing. Here’s the breakdown of the night’s action:

The Good
-Although it was ugly, Jay Bruce started the scoring with an inside-the-park home run in the first. Mets outfielder Jason Bay seemingly suffered (another) concussion when he slid head first into the fence in left and was noticeably wobbly on his way off the field afterward.
-Aroldis Chapman put his recent struggles behind him, pitching a perfect ninth, albeit in a non-save situation as the Reds went from a three-run lead to a four-run edge in the top of the inning.
-Joey Votto continues to tack onto his amazing doubles total with another tonight, his 28th of the year.
-Brandon Phillips remained hot at the plate, smoking his ninth home run, a two-run shot in the third to give the Reds a 4-0 lead against Mets starter Dillon Gee in the third.
-Ryan Ludwick continued to flash some power at the plate, smacking a double.
-Wilson Valdez played centerfield with Drew Stubbs on the DL and Chris Heisey ailing. Not only did he not have any issue in the field, he went 2-for-5 in the 2-hole in the lineup with three (yes, three) RBI.
-Everyone knows the Reds are facing an interesting decision when Scott Rolen returns this week. Todd Frazier continued to make his argument to stay in the lineup by going 1-for-2 with two walks and a run.
-It wasn’t tremendous, but Bronson Arroyo (3-4) achieved the “QS” with six innings of four hit ball, although two of those hits went out of the park, leaving Arroyo charged with three earned. His ERA stands at a very solid 3.84 for the year.

The Bad
-Have to dig deep to find anything to complain about tonight. However, it is disconcerting to see the need for Valdez to play center. The outfield is scary thin right now, but that likely soon allows the Reds an “easy” out for the Rolen situation by shifting Frazier to left.
-Dusty Baker continues to use the same relievers night after night after night. Granted, it was another three-run ballgame until the Reds added insurance in the ninth, but Baker needs to remember that he has other options besides Arredondo, Marshall and Chapman. Seeing guys like LeCure and Simon relegated to mop-up duty only along with the mysterious disappearance of J.J. Hoover is not only foolish, but short-sighted as “the big three” will eventually wear down.

The Notables
-Both Bruce and Phillips are now over the 40-RBI mark on the year with 41 and 40 respectively.
-Willie Harris was called up before the game and pinch hit in the ninth, delivering a double and eventually scoring an insurance run.
 -Homer Bailey (4-4, 4.35) takes the ball in game two of the series against Mets lefty Jon Niese (4-2, 3.69) 

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