Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The bottom fell out of the 6th

An accident waiting to happen; that’s exactly how Monday night’s Reds/Brewers matchup was unfolding. Pitchers Bronson Arroyo and Yovani Gallardo engaged in a classic pitcher’s duel. The battle at the mound raged for 5 ½ innings in which Arroyo only gave up an RBI single to the Milwaukee pitcher, scoring catcher Martin Maldonado. The top of the sixth inning showed signs of a rally when Scott Rolen and Todd Frazier both notched singles putting the go-ahead run on first. The Reds couldn’t capitalize, stranding the runners. The bottom of the sixth is when the bottom dropped off the ballgame. Back-to-back homers by Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart merited a visit to the mound. Arroyo gave up a single to Rickie Weeks and then another home run to Maldonado. Enough was enough for the veteran pitcher as Reds reliever Sam LeCure retired the side. The Reds tried to rally the troops after a Zack Cozart homer in the top of the seventh, while the top of the Reds lineup couldn’t follow suit. Later in the eighth, Xavier Paul singled scoring Jay Bruce and putting runners on all bags. Though Dioner Navarro has yet to get his first hit with his club, he did get his first RBI after a sacrifice fly to right fielder Norichika Aoki, scoring Scott Rolen. By the end of the night the Reds could only put together 3 runs on 9 hits while the victorious Brew-Crew notched 6 runs on 12 hits. The Reds club had plenty of chances with go-ahead runs but just couldn’t pull the trigger.

The 66-43 Reds look to bounce back tonight at 8:10 as their ace Johnny Cueto (14-5, 2.52 ERA) looks to notch his career best record going against the Brewers rookie RHP Mike Fiers who is 5-4 on the season bearing a 1.88 ERA. Fiers was brought up in late May and has proven to the struggling Brewers club that he deserves a spot on the rotation. The key to Cueto’s success would be to keep the ball in the park; though it sounds too obvious, the Milwaukee Brewers scored 4 of their 6 runs off the long and couldn’t really manifest much of the small ball. After watching Bronson Arroyo’s breaking balls getting left over the plate and resulting in some massive belts out of the park, it would appear these Brewers are looking to break their slump and make another charge at the division contenders. There isn’t much to predict or over analyze over tonight’s matchup. The Reds ace is taking the mound but has struggled during his last two outings. The Brewers' pitching is tough but young; the Reds certainly have the artillery to bring down Miller Park with explosive power.

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