Friday, August 17, 2012

Reds lay the Wood to Chicago, 7-3


Cincinnati (72-47) exploded for five runs in the bottom of the fourth en route to a convincing 7-3 victory over the visiting Cubs (46-71) on Friday. Bronson Arroyo improved his record to 9-7 after a gritty outing. Meanwhile, his former Reds teammate, Travis Wood, took the loss to drop his mark on the year to 4-9. 
All in all, it was just one more step in the direction the Reds want to go come October...the postseason.

Here is a breakdown of the good, bad and notables from "Elvis Night" at GABP:

The Good:
+ After having their 5-game winning streak snapped on Thursday, the Reds might have very well began a new one on Friday.
+ The "Todd Frazier for NL Rookie of the Year campaign" is building some serious steam. He smacked his 16th homer of the season, scored twice, knocked in two (51) and added a single. Where would this team be without The Toddfather?
+ On that same note, where would the Reds also be without Ryan Ludwick? The 33-year old bopped his 23rd dinger of the campaign -- a solo shot that raised his 2012 RBI total to 66.
+ I've said it before, the Reds go as Drew Stubbs goes. The much-maligned outfielder was 2-4 with a triple (2) and an outfield assist. Is he the "X factor"? I think so.
+ Jay Bruce has really been coming on lately. He launched a solo homer (25) in the bottom of the fifth to help add some insurance. He came into the night with mulit-hit performances in each of his last three games, however, just tallied the one big fly in this one.
+ Arroyo wasn't great in his 6.1 innings of work, but to be fair, he didn't have to be. The righty held the Cubs in check for nine hits and three runs on a night when his offense gave him plenty of support. He even helped his cause with a double (1) of his own.
+ Aroldis Chapman made quick work of Chicago in the ninth to earn his 29th save. He needed only seven pitches.

The Bad:
- Stubbs was tagged with his fourth error of the campaign.
- Brandon Phillips made four trips to the plate, but came away with nothing to show for it.
- The same goes for Ryan Hanigan, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Thursday.
- The Cubs are now 16-43 in games played away from Wrigley Field. That's bad.
- Reds hitters collected a grand total of zero walks tonight.

The Notables:
+ CIN leads the season series, 7-3.
+ Before the game, Chris Heisey accepted the Heart and Hustle Award, given annually by the MLB Alumni Association to a player who demonstrates a passion for and best embodies the values, spirit and tradition of the game. Reds Hall of Famer George Foster presented him with the award.
+ Up next: A twin billing will be on tap Saturday as the teams partake in a day/night doubleheader. The afternoon affair (1:10et) pits Cy Young contender Johnny Cueto (15-6, 2.45) against Notre Dame product Jeff Samardzija (8-10, 4.06). The night cap (7:10et) will feature the major league debut for freshly-promoted, Reds right-hander Todd Redmond. Chicago will counter with southpaw Brooks Raley (0-2, 9.00). It should be an excellent day at the yard as temperatures expect to hover around the low-80s with minimal chance of rain.
+ The first 20,000 fans through the gates for Saturday's night game will receive a replica Barry Larkin hat from his 1995 MVP season, presented by FOX Sports Ohio.

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