Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Reds falter against D-backs, fall 7-1

Mat Latos struggled from the outset on Wednesday.

The Reds continued to soldier along without the services of Joey Votto, and the results were what most fans fear could become the norm over the next three-to-four weeks. The offense sputtered and the starting pitching flopped and it all equaled up to a disappointing night at the ballyard for the Redlegs.

The Good
-Drew Stubbs did his job setting the table out of the leadoff spot, going 2-for-4 with the only RBI of the game.
-Todd Frazier continued to produce, finishing 2-for-3.
-One of the keys to a deep Reds run this year, in my mind, is Bill Bray getting back on track. He pitched a perfect inning of relief.

The Bad
-Mat Latos is usually outstanding against his former NL West rivals, but that trait did not hold true tonight. The Diamondbacks touched up Latos for two early runs and chased him with a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth. He lasted just 4.2 innings, allowing five earned runs. His ERA now stands at 4.33.
-The long ball hurt Latos - he surrendered a first inning, two-run homer by Jason Kubel and then Kubel took him deep again - a solo shot - in the fourth. Aaron Hill's double and a bases loaded walk to Miguel Montero chased Latos from the game.
-The Reds had some opportunities – they mustered eight hits -  but couldn’t cash in, going 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.
-Ryan Hanigan was charged with his first passed ball of the season. But, considering he’s gone this long without a PB, that’s more good than bad I suppose.
-Scott Rolen saw his batting average slip back below .200 (.197) with an 0-for-4 night.
-The Reds are without Joey Votto. They will be for a minimum of the next three weeks. That’s pretty darn bad.

The Notables
-Xavier Paul was called up before the game and made his Reds debut, flying out as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning. If Paul could translate any of his minor league success this year (.332/.338/.529) the Reds would have a great bench player. Unfortunately he has always struggled in the Show.
-Jay Bruce was back in the lineup after a night off, and went 0-for-4.
-The Pirates tied Cincinnati atop the NL Central with a come-from-behind, 9-6 win at Colorado. St. Louis lost, however, 4-3 at Milwaukee.
-Cincy still has a chance for a split of the series as these two teams meet for a Business Man Special on Thursday afternoon. Mike Leake (3-6, 3.96) will try to continue his hot streak against Joe Saunders (4-6, 3.52) in a match-up of two pitchers who have pitched much better than their records reflect.

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