Friday, August 10, 2012

Offense, bullpen falter as Reds lose fifth straight game

What the heck is going on? The Reds (66-46) were looking to snap a four-game losing streak when they visited Wrigley Field and the Cubs (44-66) who were riding an eight-game losing skid of their own. Chicago had other ideas however. After a rain delay and another offensive struggle, the Reds dropped their season high fifth game in a row, losing 5-3 to the Cubs.

Mike Leake started for Cincinnati and was given a 3-1 lead before surrendering it in the sixth, his final inning.  Sean Marshall (L 4-4, 2.49) suffered the loss after a baserunner he allowed, scored on an Alfonso Soriano two-run home run given up by Logan Ondrusek.

Now for the good, the bad, and the notables:

The Good
-Following the rain delay, the Reds got off to a great start when Zack Cozart hit his fourth lead-off homer (13) of the season. Then Ryan Ludwick drove in his 58th RBI on the year later in the inning.
-Todd Frazier finished 2-for-4, with a double and a solo shot (14).
-Brandon Phillips finished 3-for-4 with a double.
-Though Leake couldn't hold a 3-1 lead, he did turn in a quality start, pitching six innings, allowing three earned runs, while striking out five and walking two.
-The Reds are still in first place and hold a 2.5 game lead over the Pirates who also lost today.

The Bad
-Marshall was charged with an earned run in his one inning pitched, as was Ondrusek who gave up the game-winning home run to Soriano in 2/3 of an inning.
-After Xavier Paul reached on a pinch-hit single in the ninth, Wilson Valdez promptly grounded into a double play.
-Drew Stubbs went 0-for-4, though he did score a run in the loss. Devin Mesoraco finished 0-for-3.
-Jay Bruce was 0-for-4, dropping his batting average to .243, while Miguel Cairo also went 0-for-4 to knock him down to .154 on the year.
-The Redlegs left eight men on base and were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

The Notables
-The rain delay officially lasted one hour and 20 minutes.
-Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger was ejected after arguing with a pitch that was called a ball while he was batting. He was arguing that the pitch immediately preceding the ball was in the same place and called a strike.
-33, 397 fans braved the 66-degree, rainy day to watch the Reds drop the series-opener to the Cubs.
-It will be a day-time affair tomorrow as Homer Bailey (9-7, 3.98) will square off against Justin Germano (1-1, 3.38) with first pitch scheduled for 2:20pm EST.

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