Thursday, June 7, 2012

Two homers from Ludwick not enough as Reds drop series finale

Ryan Ludwick did his best to keep
the Reds in the game, with two dingers.
Thursday evening's game was the rubber match between the NL Central leading Reds (31-25) and the second-place Pirates (29-27). Mike Leake faced off against Kevin Correia on the mound, with each garnering a no-decision in the affair. Leake threw seven innings, in which he gave up four earned runs on seven hits, while striking out four. 

It was a strictly back-and-forth offensive affair as the Redlegs took the first lead in the second, before the Pirates started a pattern of leading in the fourth, sixth, and seventh, to which the Reds subsequently responded by tying it up each time to eventually send the game into extra innings. It was there that the Pirates prevailed by a score of 5-4.

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

The Good
-Jay Bruce went 2-3, with two RBI and a run scored, including his 13th home run of the season.
-Ryan Ludwick had two hits. One homer (7) to tie the game in the fifth, and one homer (8) to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. He had a chance to tie or win the game with two on and two outs in the bottom of the tenth, but it was not meant to be as he struck out looking.
-Joey Votto recorded three hits and a run scored, while Brandon Phillips collected two hits of his own.
-Sean Marshall and Jose Arredondo threw a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively, giving Ludwick the opportunity to tie the game with his solo shot.

The Bad
-Zack Cozart was the only other Red to get a hit on the night.
-Aroldis Chapman (L 4-1, 0.30) gave up his first earned run of the season, and this is not a joke. It came on back-to-back doubles by Clint Barmes and Michael McKenry. Are you serious, baseball? The run gave the Pirates the 5-4 lead in the top of the 10th. He did strike out two batters, if its any consolation.
-The team went 2-8 with runners in scoring position, struck out nine times, and left nine runners on base.

The Notables
-The earned run was the first allowed by Chapman since September 10. Prior to that, he hadn't allowed an earned run in 35.0 innings over 29 games.
-This was the second straight series loss to Pittsburgh.
-The Reds still lead the Pirates by two games in the NL Central standings. 
-23,106 came to Great American Ball Park to watch the game, on a delightful 83-degree evening.
-Seriously? Clint Barmes and Michael McKenry?
-The Reds return to interleague play Friday, as they welcome the Detroit Tigers to the Queen City. Mat Latos (4-2, 4.91) will be opposed by Rick Porcello (3-4, 4.86), with first pitch slated for 7:10pm.

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