Reds Falter in Loss to Nats, Strasburg

The crowd of 37,868 witnessed the phenom that is Stephen Strasburg. That same crowd witnessed Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo also presented the Reds fans with one of his worst starts of the season.

Arroyo pitched as many innings as Strasburg (5.2). He threw as many pitches (97) and actually threw more strikes (64 to 63). Well, one more strike. Arroyo allowed one less hit (6 to 7). There’s the one stat where Arroyo was worse, runs allowed (7 to 3).

To be fair here, Arroyo has been the main guy on the starting staff most of the season. And to be more fair, the Reds were presented with their share of chances. The offense didn’t completely come through.

Bottom of the 6th: Miguel Cairo had delivered a two-out, two-run single against Strasburg to make the score 7-3. Strasburg was removed for Drew Storen to face Drew Stubbs. Three pitches, three strikes, three outs.

Bottom of the 7th: The biggest chance of the game. Bases loaded, no outs, one run scored. One stinkin’ run crossed the plate with OC (strikeout looking), Votto (fielder’s choice scoring the one run) and Gomes (strikeout swinging) coming to the dish with the bases loaded. One. Score after the fail: Nats 7, Reds 4.

Bottom of the 8th: runners on 1st and 2nd with two outs. Pinch-hitter Chris Heisey delivered a run-scoring single to draw the Reds to 7-5. The Reds still had a runner in scoring position in the name of Ryan Hanigan. Brandon Phillips proceeded to hit into a force out to end the inning.

Bottom of the 9th: Cabrera began the inning with a walk. Votto, Gomes and Bruce to follow. Surely, at least one run was possible. Votto, K on four pitches. Gomes, weak flyout to left field on the first pitch. Bruce, K on three pitches. Ballgame. Drive safely. Aside for OC’s walk, Nats closer Matt Capps got the three outs on eight pitches. Nats 8, Reds 5.

Other Notes:
With all the hype on Strasburg, the Reds were the best offense he’s faced this season. His first five innings were excellent. It’s the last 2/3 that he showed signs of tiring and the Reds did exploit that…Miguel Cairo continues to be a solid contributor for Dusty Baker. He was on base for all four of his plate appearances (2 hits, 2 walks). In the 24 games he’s started, Cairo is hitting .351, 5 HR and 11 RBI…For the game, Gomes whiffed three times. Votto and Stubbs went for two each…Micah Owings was optioned to Louisville and Carlos Fisher was called up before last night’s game. Owings was rocked on Tuesday night…I’m not so sure Bill Bray isn’t that far behind Owings heading to Louisville. In his last two outings (Tuesday and last night), Bray has allowed all four inherited runners to score. Not helping the bullpen situation at all and Coco, Sir Arthur and Masset need every bit of help they can get.