Monday, April 9, 2007

Gameday 4/9: Reds @ Diamondbacks (L 3-2)

Griffey provides Ross with his first RBI of the year.
Ross returns the favor by going 0-for-2.

Thom Brennaman is my hero.

He was ruthless in his criticism of the Reds' performance tonight, and for a good reason. The Reds should have won this game tonight. The D-Backs issued six walks. The Reds left nine men on base. Hits with men in scoring position? One. Arizona reliever Tony Perez wasn't even in the same hemisphere as the strike zone for his first seven pitches, yet the Reds could manage only one walk and no hits off the guy.

You've got to feel sorry for Bronson Arroyo. For the second straight start, he pitches an absolute gem for five innings before becoming somewhat hittable (7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, no-hitter thru four). His curveball was just as nasty as it was against the Cubs. Yet the Reds still could muster only two measly runs against Doug Davis - a guy who was second in the majors last season in walks and did nothing to quell that reputation tonight.

There just always seems to be that one guy that drags the ship under every game. The disturbing thing is that it always seems to be a different guy. You can't have a much worse game than Adam Dunn did tonight. I've been impressed by his performance so far this season, but all night tonight, he hit infield practice to Orlando Hudson. Four ground balls, two double plays. Ryan Freel had a pretty abysmal game, too, managing to put the ball in play only once in his four at-bats. When your leadoff hitter isn't getting on, it's not easy to win ball games.

On the other side, Jeff Conine and Alex Gonzalez continue to perform consistently out of the 6 and 7 holes - which continues to get flushed down the toilet by Ross' massive .071 batting average (congrats, Ross, on your first RBI of the year, on a weak popup to short right field that forced Griffey to run so hard to the plate that you could almost hear the hamstring shredding).

Phillips had his first good game of the year, as well, in hitting two singles, stealing a base, and driving one deep to the wall in left for the final out of the game. Still, runs? Zero.

The Reds showed good patience at the plate in drawing their six walks, but as the games go by, I'm becoming increasingly convinced that they keep the bats on their shoulders simply because swinging at the pitches isn't going to produce anything.

The Reds owe Arroyo some drinks at the hotel bar tonight after that embarrassing performance. Lots of drinks. Anything to make him forget that he couldn't get the win tonight.

Kyle Lohse goes up against some guy named Edgar Gonzalez tomorrow night. If the Gnats could get seven hits off this guy in five innings, the Reds had better be making some fireworks.

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