Saturday, July 7, 2012

Reds blank Padres behind dominating performance by Arroyo

Arroyo was dominant on Friday

Dusty Baker's bunch entered Friday's contest against the Friars badly in search of a win. His club was riding a 3-game losing skid due in large part to being able to muster just one run in each of the last three games. Furthermore, the upstart Pirates had overtaken them for the top spot in the division while the hated, third-place Cardinals were nipping at their heels for second.

Needless to say, the Reds desperately needed to turn their fortunes around. And that burden fell on the willing shoulders of ole' veteran Bronson Arroyo. The 34-year old right hander didn't disappoint either. His complete game, shutout performance helped propel the Reds (45-38) to an easy 6-0 victory over the Padres (34-51) at PETCO Park, and helped even up the series at one a piece.

Here's a look at all the good, the bad and the notables:

The Good:
- The Reds scored more than one run in a ball game and thus, emerged victorious!
- Arroyo delivered a much-needed lift to his club by turning in the first complete game shutout by a Reds pitcher this season. He retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced while scattering three hits and striking out eight. He needed only 110 pitches (72 for strikes) to record all 27 outs and even chipped in a single at the plate. His record now stands at 4-5.
- The Cincinnati offense pounded out 12 hits -- seven in which were of the extra base variety.
- Zack Cozart led off the scoring with a lead-off homer in the top of the first (9th). He would later add a double (20) and a base on balls.
- Todd Frazier and Ryan Hanigan each collected a pair of hits including 2-run homers by both. It was Frazier's 9th of the year while it marked the second of 2012 for Hanigan.
- Joey Votto boasted a 2-3 night with a couple of walks. One of those knocks was his league-leading 35th double of the campaign.
- Drew Stubbs broke out of an 0-32 slump with a double in the ninth. He would later score on Votto's double.
- The bullpen received a nice, relaxing day off.
- The Pirates actually lost a game (6-5 to SF) helping Cincy climb back to within one game of first place.

The Bad:
- It was another late start time for us folks that live in the Eastern Time Zone. I can tell you that my bed certainly misses me because of it.
- Brandon Phillips went hitless in five at-bats. Perhaps Tony La Russa was right and he's not All-Star material after all? I'm kidding.
- The boys in red stranded eight men on base.
- That's about all the bad I can find in this one. Well, besides having to endure yet another late-night start time of course.

The Notables:
- An announced crowd of 26,016 took in the action under clear skies and comfortable 68-degree conditions.
- Reds starters have now produced a quality start in nine straight outings.
- Stubbs' hitless streak was the longest by a Red since Willy Taveras also went 0-32 in 2009.
- Former Red 1B Yonder Alonso was 0-2 with a walk while C Yasmani Grandal went 1-3 with a couple of Ks.
- Up next: Game three of the 4-game set takes place tomorrow as it'll be Homer Bailey (6-6, 4.24) paired up against San Diego's Clayton Richard (6-8, 3.64). You can catch all the action beginning at 10:05et.

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