Different Day, Same Bronson


Once again, Reds starter Bronson Arroyo was giving away hits. Not the kind that could give you a hangover, but ones that leave the playing field. Last night, he served up four. And that’s kind of a magic number here. Over Arroyo’s last four games, he’s allowed ten home runs…in 20.2 innings.

And this four game funk comes on the heals of an eight inning, six hit masterpiece back on August 24th against the Florida (soon to be Miami) Marlins. I’ll add that in that effort, no homers, no runs. He also appeared to have found his lost velocity. Tonight, not so much. According to Pitch F/X, his average four seamer ran 86.25 mph. The sinker, 86.03. The velocity has once again disappeared.

But here’s the bizarre stat…

Arroyo is not known as a strikeout pitcher. Keep that in mind. Tonight was only the second time this season where he issued more walks than he had strikeouts (3 BB, 2 SO). The only other time was back on May 28 against the Atlanta Braves (1 BB, 0 SO). He’s had outings where he’s walked the same as he’s whiffed. He’s had a fair share of outing where he’s whiffed more than he’s walked.

There is concern if the Bronson we see in 2012 will be reminiscent of the 2011 version or, hopefully, that 18 game winner of 2010.

Defending the MVP

Those outside of Reds fandom may get a little irritated (maybe even violently ill) over how we continue to throw accolades at first baseman Joey Votto. Well, he deserves them Sure, he’ll make mistakes, but he is defending his 2010 NL MVP rather well, thank you very much. He out that on display last night as Votto drove in all three Reds runs and accounted for three of the team’s nine hits.

In the Queen City, we’ve come to expect this.

Here’s a little comparison with Votto’s 2010 numbers and where he sits after the first game of the Milwaukee series.

2010: .324/.424/.600, 37 HR, 113 RBI, 106 R, 91 BB, 125 SO in 150 games
2011: .322/.430/.552, 28 HR, 98 RBI, 98 R, 105 BB, 115 SO in 150 games

Votto led all of baseball in OBP and led the NL in SLG and OPS last season. This year, he leads the NL in walks, OBP and OPS. While it’s been pretty much a foregone conclusion that those with votes are not considering Votto as their #1, he will be considered high on their lists (at least he should be) and should finish well in the voting. I can think of Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun of the Brewers and Matt Kemp of the Dodgers that might and most likely will finish ahead of him when the final vote is announced.

While the HR and RBI are down (because he’s obviously being avoided as evident in his rise in BB), the other numbers stack up very well in comparison to 2010. He will be voted the team MVP again. No questions asked.