Nice to be back home. I didn’t take the tour of DC, St. Louis and the Windy City. Would’ve been nice if I had except for the 4-6 record.
Coulda, shoulda, woulda. Could have gone better. Should have gone better. Four extra inning games and only one win.
Here’s a few items I found interesting during the 10 game roadie…
The opener for this series was also the Nats home opener. The game featured, to me, a compelling match-up of starting pitchers: Mat Latos (please note that it is spelled with one “t”) and Gio Gonzalez. You may remember that during the off-season, the Reds were linked to both. Of course, the Reds landed Latos while Gonzalez was dealt by the Oakland A’s to the Nats. When the Gonzalez rumor emerged, the majority of the comments I read were not keen on acquiring Gonzalez. The most pressing of issues: high walk rate. You might be able to get away with free passes in Oakland, but not in GABP.
Did Gonzalez use that as motivation? Maybe. It was a shame (for Gonzalez and Nats fans) that he didn’t get the win as the Reds pushed across a pair of runs in the top of the 9th to force the extra frame. Net: Reds lose 3-2…on an Alfredo Simon wild pitch.
And the image of Devin Mesoraco created a buzz…
Second game, another extra-inning affair. This time, not one, but four extra frames. Another loss, 2-1. Next game didn’t go extras. Good thing. I don’t know if I could watch the Good Guys looking hapless against Edwin Jackson for more than nine innings. Reds drop a third straight, 4-1.
Getaway day…a win…for the third straight series. Jackie Robinson Day, too. Started out great as Ryan Ludwick cranked his first home run as a Red, a grand slam in the top of the 1st, as the Reds plated those four runs. It wasn’t enough as the Nats chipped away at the lead to force, you guessed it (or already know), extra innings.
This time, Marshall would hold and record his first save as a Red…in the 11th. The Reds scored three in the top of the 11th. The Nats tried to comeback. Made for a little bit of added excitement.
A three-game series where the Good Guys didn’t fare the best. Once again, they won the final game of this three-game series. Avoided being swept in the process.
The series started off with yet another extra-inning game. The Reds droped a heartbreaking 2-1 decision as Matt Carpenter won the game with…a sacrifice fly. Always providing entertainment value with those.
A blowout loss in the middle game had all the makings of leading to a series sweep by those pesky Redbirds. But it was not to be…
The highlight of the series? No question it was Bronson Arroyo. It wasn’t as good as the gem he twirled in DC, but Arroyo has shown signs that the 2011 Bronson is currently no where to be found. Maybe on a boat somewhere…
The second game of the series saw Dusty shake up the top of the order. Zack Cozart was inserted into the lead-off spot. Drew Stubbs was moved up to 2nd, a move that met resistance from the fan base. Brandon Phillips took over the role of clean-up hitter. Didn’t work for this game. Worked better in conjunction with Arroyo’s effort.
On to Wrigley…
A sigh of relief, aka the Cubs, appeared in order. A sweep in the Windy City would enable the Reds to at least post a .500 road trip. All seemed well after the first game of the series where the Drew Stubbs show once again took center stage at the friendly confines. The Reds took the opener by a 9-4 final score. The win also provided the first winning streak of the season…at two.
Second game, no such luck. Paul Maholm mastered the Reds for six innings. Three bullpen guys allowed only two more hits as the Cubs coasted to a 6-1 victory.
The Good Guys were jinxed. Ohio native Dan Patrick threw out the first pitch…twice…and did the “Wrigley thing” by singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. All while donning a Cubs jersey and cap.
But yesterday was a new day and a 4-3 win made for a series win, only the second series win in the five played thus far.
Here’s a few things…
The Reds offense currently owns a slash line of .223 (14th in NL)/.294 (14)/.338 (13). They rank 11th in hits (123), 12th in home runs (9) and 13th in runs scored (53).
The pitching? An ERA of 3.84 shows the staff ranking as 11th in the NL. They do rank 7th in strikeouts (119), 10th in walks (52), 11th in runs allowed (69) and 14th (yipes!) in hits allowed (142).
The defense had a rough go of it. Heading into the Chicago series, the Reds, as a team, had committed only four errors. As they head back to GABP, they are now saddled with 11.