Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Reds sputter again out West, fall on Independence Day

Mike Leake was brilliant after a rough first inning.

Just a couple of days ago, Reds followers were joining in with the rest of baseball in poking fun at the Dodgers’ inability to muster any offense. The past two nights, however, the Reds did their best Dodger Blue impersonation as the offense went missing in action. On Wednesday, the Fourth of July ended up being one to forget for the Redlegs with a 4-1 loss at Dodger Stadium.

The Good
-After a rough first inning, Mike Leake (3-6) settled down and was excellent the rest of the way. Leake started out like a train wreck, giving up a double and three singles to begin the game as the Dodgers started with a 3-0 lead. After that though, he was unblemished, working seven innings of three-run ball. He did not walk a batter and struck out five.
-Devin Mesoraco tallied all of the Reds offense on the night with a solo home run in the fifth. He now has five home runs on the year, or two more than Yasmani Grandal has in the past week. Not saying anything, just saying.
-Joey Votto clubbed his 34th double of the season and appeared to look fine running on the play.

The Bad
-The offense was just abysmal again. Former Red Aaron Harang (6-5) tossed seven innings of three hit, one run ball. The Redlegs could muster only three hits on the night against Dodger pitching.
-Bill Bray continued to struggle with his control since his return from the DL. He walked two and did not record an out and was charged with an earned run.
-Drew Stubbs continue to appear totally lost at the plate. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and is now 0-for his last 28. This team is completely different when Stubbs clicks offensively. When he doesn’t, the rest of the lineup doesn’t seem to go either.

The Notables
-The Reds have certainly squandered opportunities to make this western swing much better than it has been thus far. They now are looking up at another team in the Central for the first time in nearly a month as with the Pirates victory over Houston, Pittsburgh holds a one game edge in the division. St. Louis also knocked off Colorado to gain a game on Cincinnati.
-Cincinnati stays out West with a three-game series against the Reds West, aka the Padres to lead into the All-Star Break. Thursday brings a very interesting pitching matchup as Mat Latos (7-2, 4.42) returns to Petco Park against one of the men he was traded for, Edinson Volquez (5-7, 3.68) in a 10:05 p.m. Eastern start. 

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