Honestly. 162-0? Some of the silly things people tweet.
Well, it wasn’t the pitching that sent the Reds to their first loss of the 2011 season. The bats were simply a little sleepy. Crow about leaving Nick Masset being left in the game and surrendering the winning run. Imagine if Dusty Baker had brought in Francisco Cordero with the same result. Get the picture? Yes, it would have been ugly. Plus, today’s game was the third of nine straight days where the Reds play. CoCo pitched last night, too. Those two things may have played a role in that decision.
On to the Props and Drops…
Brett Myers – Two great outings to begin his 2011 campaign and nary a decision to show for his efforts. The only bad pitch was to Scott Rolen who deposited a pinch-hit home run. He showed why he’s considered the Astros ace and one of baseball’s better pitchers. He kept the Reds hot bats off balance all game long.
2. Sam LeCure – He posted a line similar to that of Mike Leake. Cannot say enough about a guy that thought he would be a long reliever as camp broke only to be thrust into the starting rotation due to injuries. He showed a nasty breaking ball and had the Astros hitters off stride as well.
3. Edgar Renteria – One of the common themes on Twitter pregame was the number of people upset that Renteria was starting over Paul Janish. Soft J had himself a nice game last night, both offensively and defensively. Rentria doesn’t exactly have the defensive prowess he one had (he’s won 2 Gold Gloves), but his bat was tremendous. 3-for-3 with a RBI and a BB.
4. Scott Rolen – As mentioned, Rolen came of the bench (I’ll get into that in a bit) to crank a pinch-hit home run off Myers in the bottom of the 7th to tie the game at 2. For his career, Rolen owns Myers to the tune of a .450 batting average (9-for-20) with 2 HR and 5 RBI.
1. Juan Francisco – We’ve been hearing for a couple of years that the two-time winter ball MVP has mad hitting skills. The knock on him has been poor pitch selection and swinging at bad pitches. That was extremely evident today. Francisco was 0-for4 and swung at the first pitch on three occasions. For the season, Francisco has 8 AB and has seen a total of 18 pitches. And the fact that he was given the start over Rolen (almost a given on day games after a night game) didn’t set well especially after Rolen’s heroics in the 7th.
2. Clutch hitting – 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. I don’t think much more needs to be said.
With the way LeCure and Myers were throwing, you’d figure the Reds had a shot to win as some feel the Reds have a better bullpen than the Astros. Just not today. One hanging breaking ball was the difference in the outcome.
The Reds travel to Arizona for three and then to San Diego for three. From what I can tell, they will not face former Red Aaron Harang in SD. He’ll hurl the game right before the Reds visit Petco Park.
Tomorrow, we’ll have a preview of the D’backs series…