The Cincinnati Reds came back home last Thursday with the best record in baseball, 7-2, and looked ready to build on that with a 10 game home stand. Today we break down the home stand with the last game of the Cubs series later today.
The Brewers Series
Milwaukee comes to Great American Ball Park with a 6-5 record and made the Cincinnati Reds pitching look silly.
Game 1 – Bronson Arroyo got the start for the Reds and gave up five runs over six innings. Jimmy Nelson for the Brewers went seven innings and gave up one run. The Reds had no answer for Nelson and it costed them the game. The Brewers would win 5-1.
Game 2 – the Reds were up 3-0 thanks to a Zach Cozart 2-run home run and Joey Votto had a solo shot on top of that. Scott Feldman got the start for the Reds and gave up two runs over five innings. Cincinnati then handed it to the usually dependable Blake Wood. Wood would give up three runs in the sixth inning and the Brewers never looked back, winning the game 10-4.
Game 3 – pitching again hurt the Reds. Starting pitcher Brandon Finnegan left after one inning with a lat injury. So they handed it to Robert Stephenson who gave up one run over three innings. The Reds then handed it to their best pitcher, Raisel Iglesias, in a 3-3 game in the sixth inning. He shut down the Brew Crew and the Reds were up to bat with Iglesias leading off the inning. He got a lead off double which sparked a three run inning and the Reds never looked back, winning 7-5.
Game 4 – Sal Romano, in his major league debut, had 82 pitches over three innings. He can contribute a number of the pitches to Arismendy Alcantara, who had 2 errors in those three innings. It rattled Romano, it was evident that he was struggling with the pitch count. But after Romano was pulled, Tim Adelman took over and looked great. Adelman only gave up one run over four innings. A Eugenio Suarez home run brought the Reds a little hope but it was seemingly too late. The Reds fall to the Brewers 4-2, losing 3 games to 1 in the series.
Eric Thames, first baseman for Milwaukee, had five home runs and eight RBI in the series. Cincinnati pitching had no answer for Thames, who is still putting up crazy numbers three weeks in.
The Orioles Series
This was a much different series for the Reds, as pitching was what kept them in the series, but it was the offense that faltered.
Game 1 – Cincinnati scored nine runs in the first three innings, mostly thanks to a Adam Duvall grand slam and a Joey Votto 2-run home run. It was up to Bronson Arroyo to manage the rest and he had a great start. His velocity was up and he was moving his pitches well. He did give up three runs over five innings, but at that point it meant nothing because the Reds closed the door in the second inning. Arroyo gets his first win in over three years and his first one as a Red since 2013 as the Reds win 9-3
Game 2 – Welcome to the Amir Garrett Show. Garrett delivered the goods, giving up two runs over seven innings. On top of that, he had 12 strikeouts and made it look too easy. He shows poise beyond his years. Unfortunately, Ubaldo Jimenez made a better start and only gave up two hits over 7.2 innings. Reds’ hitters couldn’t muster anything against him, and this was only the beginning of their offensive struggles in this series. The Reds would lose 2-0
Game 3 – Finally a great start from Scott Feldman, giving up four hits and one run over seven innings. But yet again the Orioles did one better, thanks to Wade Miley. Miley went eight innings and gave up two hits. The game then went extras and yet again Blake Wood faltered when it mattered most. The Orioles would win 2-1, giving them the series win as well.
Overall, the Reds couldn’t muster anything at the plate except for game one. Of course, their weakest link was their strongest in this series. They were in every game this series but couldn’t get the clutch hit when they needed it. After scoring nine runs in 3 innings, Cincinnati didn’t score for 23 straight innings.
The Cubs Series
Game 1 – The Reds offense put up five runs against Jon Lester and got great six innings from Tim Adelman. One would think this would be a recipe for success, but it was our bullpen that buckled in this game. In the top of the 9th with two outs, Anthony Rizzo steps to the plate with two runners on. He hit a three-run homer and sent the game to extras. At this point, the Reds were in a battle they didn’t want to be in, more baseball against the Cubs. The Cubs have come back from down three runs in the ninth three times already this season. The 11th inning begins with an Albert Amora walk and then a Kyle Schwarber double after a great at-bat. Kris Bryant is then up to bat and had a go-ahead sac fly to put the Cubs ahead 6-5.
Game 2 – Cody Reed gets the start and gave up seven runs in two innings. That sounds bad but considering the Reds scored five against Jake Arrieta, they weren’t out of the game yet. After Reed was pulled, Bryan Price put in Lisalverto Bonilla. Bonilla pitched very well for 4 innings and then gave up a three-run home run to Jason Heyward in the sixth inning. This was ultimately the dagger for the Reds, putting the Cubs up 11-5 with three innings left. The Reds didn’t go down without a fight though, scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth but it was two late. The Reds would fall to the Cubs 12-8.
One would think putting up five runs each against Lester and Arrieta would be more than enough, but the pitching couldn’t support the offense so far in this series.
The Reds will have one more game on their abysmal home stand and then head back on the road to Milwaukee. It could be good for the Reds to get away from Cincinnati, especially after such a rough home stand.
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