Reds Shutdown Rox Offense

On a night where the 1990 World Series Champs was being honored, the 2010 Reds created a buzz of their own. Norm Charlton and Randy Myers, two-thirds of the “Nasty Boys” from that 1990 team, threw out the ceremonial first pitches. A number of the players from that 1990 team were also in attendance. The perfect night to display the 2010 Reds. And they did not disappoint.

Pitching would be the theme of the evening for the Reds.

Bronson Arroyo won his third straight outing allowing just 2 runs and five hits in 7+ innings of work. He handed over a precarious 3-2 lead to the bullpen. The victory also snapped a four-game skid and kept the Reds in first place in the NL Central.

Ah, the bullpen. Not the strength of the Reds in 2010. But on this celebratory evening, it created a tense moment or two (or even more) and preserved the 3-2 victory.

Reds skipper Dusty Baker removed Arroyo for the All-Star Arthur Rhodes. Rhodes has been the “one guy” Baker hasn’t really needed to worry about, but Rhodes walked pinch-hitter Ryan Spilborghs for a bases loaded situation. No worries. Rhodes proceeded to coax Dexter Fowler into weak fly out to Jay Bruce in right, strike out Jonathan Herrera looking and strike out Carlos Gonzalez swinging at a pitch up and in to the lefty. After the strikeout, the 37,188 in attendance, who had been on their feet for most of the inning, provided Rhodes with a standing ovation for his efforts. The loudest roar at GABP all season.

The game was then placed in the hands of closer Francisco Cordero. After retiring Jason Giambi and Seth Smith, Cordero walked Miguel Olivo. Can’t really blame Cordero for that as it was Olivo that drew the Rockies to within 3-2 on a solo shot off Arroyo in the top of the eighth. But Coco held tough and caught Ian Stewart looking at strike three for his 25th save.

It wasn’t only the fact the Cordero got the K, it was where the pitch was located…inside corner to the left-handed Stewart. That’s not a sight, or territory, we’re used to seeing from Cordero. It’s mostly outside, outside, outside. Maybe the ASG break was the best for the recently maligned closer. He threw more inside pitches last night that he probably has all season. If Corderois now able to consistently use both sides of the plate, he will be extremely more effective.

Cincinnati maintains their slight .5 game lead as the Cards once again hammered the Dodgers, 8-4.

Other Game Notes:

-Lost in the win was an excellent defensive play by Fowler. With two outs and two on for the Reds, Fowler tracked a drive deep into the muggy Cincinnati air. Fowler run to the wall just to the right field side of straightway center and jumped up to take away a three-run homer from Bruce…Also lost was the effort by Rockies starter Jason Hammel: 7 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 10 K, 1 BB…Through the first six innings, Arroyo faced the minimum number of Rockies hitters. Projections have Arroyo going 18-7 for the season. The 18 wins would be a career high…Colorado came into the game winners of 8 of the their last 10 games.