Monday, July 30, 2012

Former Reds return to haunt their old team as Cincy's streak snapped at 10

All good things eventually come to an end, right? That was precisely the case for the red-hot Reds (61-41) on Monday as they saw their 10-game winning streak come to an end in a 11-5 defeat to San Diego (44-60).

It was a homecoming of sorts for Edinson Volquez, Yasmani Grandal and Yonder Alonso -- who were all traded away by Cincy in exchange for Mat Latos during the offseason. Both Volquez and Alonso played huge roles in sticking it to their former team as the prior picked up the win (7-7) while the latter notched four hits. All in all, it was a pretty ugly showing by baseball's hottest team.

Let's examine the good, the bad and the notables, shall we?

The Good:
+ The bottom of the first. The Reds jumped out in front, 3-0, just like that. Unfortunately, that lead would be short-lived indeed.
+ Drew Stubbs continues to complicate the search/need to acquire a leadoff hitter. He was 2-5 with a pair of runs scored including a homer (13). He managed to swipe his 22nd bag of the year too.
+ Jay Bruce played long ball as well when he smacked a solo bomb in the third (21). He also doubled (25) and reached base two other times via walk.
+ Scott Rolen reached base safely thrice in five plate appearances. Two by base on balls and the other on a single.
+ The Reds are still in first place.

The Bad:
- The Cincinnati pitching staff walked a whopping 11 batters during the contest. ELEVEN!!!
- The top of the second and third. The Friars lit up the scoreboard for nine runs during those two frames and chased starter Mike Leake after just 1.2 IP.
- Speaking of Leake, it was a very disappointing performance by the right-hander. He was knocked around for five hits and five runs (all earned) in what was his shortest outing of the season, if not career.
- The usually-reliable Alfredo Simon was beat up for five runs off four hits and three walks in 2.1 innings of relief. His ERA ballooned to 2.43.
- Miguel Cairo was hitless in four at-bats and recorded the hat trick (3 Ks).
- Brandon Phillips was 0-5 and Zack Cozart was 0-4.
- Devin Mesoraco was ejected in the third while arguing balls and strikes. Some fear his actions might lead to a suspension.

The Notables:
+ The game took a lengthy 3:48 to complete.
+ Despite the loss, Cincinnati has won 17 of their last 20 and are 11-3 without Joey Votto.
+ Former Reds: Grandal left the game in the second with a strained oblique. Alonso was 4-5 with three doubles (28) an RBI. Volquez's line: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
+ Prior to the game, Stubbs was named co-winner of the National League Player of the Week (7/23-7/29) along with Brewers OF Carlos Gomez.
+ Homer Bailey (9-6, 3.53) gets the ball on Tuesday and will go against veteran right-hander Jason Marquis (4-5, 3.48) in a game slated to begin at 7:10et.

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