Arroyo did everything to win including driving in the Reds only run. (Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE)

Three Polarizing Figures: Arroyo, Baker, Stubbs

It’s no secret. Name three individuals that don a Reds uniform that create the most uproar and you will most likely hear the names of Bronson Arroyo, Dusty Baker and Drew Stubbs. All have had their name used as a verb and an adjective at some point. In most instances, that’s not a good sign.

But maybe Arroyo gets a few days of reprieve. He should. After tossing 7.1 brilliant innings and driving in the Reds only run, I think he deserves it. He also deserved the “W” and a far better fate than what was handed to him. In what could be deemed the best start among the rotation for the young 2012 season, Arroyo received congrats…and nothing more…for his efforts. And it was a tremendous effort.

For Reds skipper Dusty Baker, he can seemingly do no right in the eyes of many. Constant questions about his strategy comes into play. The #FireDusty brigade will undoubtedly have its share of fun after last night’s affair. And what becomes a little mind-numbing is that no matter what means there are to explain Baker’s moves, they will refuse to accept those terms. It has become an aftergame ritual. The Reds could win, yet there will be issues.

I suppose that’s life as an MLB skipper…

Some of those moves, even by my own admission, can be called into play. I can think of one instance (and I’m sure the anti-Dusty movement will tell you of at least a dozen others) during last night’s 2-1 loss where I was a little disappointed…and even disheartened. I know I’m not alone on this thought either.

I know Arroyo was twirling a gem and his pitch count wasn’t high, but the Reds had the slightest of opportunities to open up the game. The offense has been struggling, so when the Nationals committed back-to-back errors during the top of the 7th, I thought “this is the chance”. Sure, there were two outs, but with the lack of run production, you have to hop on any chance you’re given. Am I right?

In this case, it wasn’t. Willie Harris and Ryan Hanigan reached on errors by Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond respectively. With two outs and the Reds clinging to a 1-0 lead, Baker opted to send Arroyo to the plate. Yes, Arroyo had a single and the sac fly, but here was a chance to take this game. Didn’t happen. Arroyo proceeded to ground out to end the inning.

Okay…I know there was a reluctance to use the bullpen. Sam LeCure and Jose Arredondo were unavailable. There was a desire to not have to use Aroldis Chapman either. That left Logan Ondrusek, Alfredo Simon (who had worked the day before), Bill Bray and Sean Marshall. You still held options for the 7th, 8th and 9th. In hindsight (as is always the case, isn’t it?), you may have been better served to go for that additional run. A struggling offense needs a little help every now and then.

And Stubbs? For this series alone, he is 0-for-11 with 6 strikeouts. I needn’t expound on that.

The Reds own 22 whiffs over the first two games of the series. RISP? A combined 1-for-18. Those bats are cold.

I don’t believe I need to go any further…

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Tags: Baseball Bronson Arroyo Cincinnati Reds Drew Stubbs Dusty Baker MLB

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