April 12, 2012

Game 7: Reds 2, Nationals 3

Reds (3-4)0000000020250
Nationals (5-2)0000200001391
W: Stammen (1-0) L: Simon (0-1)


The Cincinnati Reds had their second afternoon game in a row today, and like yesterday, it was a one-run game. Unfortunately, this time it went against the Reds, who fell to 3-4.

Mat Latos made his second start for Cincinnati and again had trouble in the 5th. This time, he made it through 5 innings and gave up only 2 runs. However, his pitch count was almost at 100, so he was done early. He had better command, but threw a lot of pitches to a lot of batters. Despite getting many batters to 2 strikes, he had a hard time putting them away.

The Reds’ bullpen was already short-staffed, thanks to Johnny Cueto’s short outing previously, and both Logan Ondrusek and Aroldis Chapman were deemed unavailable. Sam LeCure and Jose Arredondo threw 2 scoreless innings apiece, which gave the offense time to finally wake up.

I know it’s only been a week into the season, but the inconsistent offense is starting to remind me of last year. This time, they didn’t score until the bottom of the 9th, blowing Brad Lidge’s save chance thanks to a 2-run single from Ryan Ludwick.

That sent the game to extra innings. Instead of sending out good relief pitchers like Bill Bray or Sean Marshall, Dusty Baker sent out Alfredo Simon. Simon was a last-minute pick-up who has done nothing good with the team so far this year. He continued to unimpress today.

Simon hit the first batter he faced, and everyone knew bad things were in store. The next batter hit a foul pop-up that Scott Rolen caught.The next batter followed with a hit. Then Xavier Nady grounded out, but managed to advance both runners.

With runners on second and third and 2 outs, Simon threw a wild pitch that allowed the batter he’d hit with a pitch to score. Just the latest in the line of horrible outings from Simon.

Still, there’s plenty of ineptitude to go around this game. Much of that is with the offense. I mean, Simon was the only pitcher who didn’t do well. The others allowed just 2 runs during the 9 innings. And if you can’t win when your pitching staff allows only 2 runs, your offense has to be the one to take the blame.

The Reds break their string of day games tomorrow when Bronson Arroyo takes the mound at 7:05pm EDT.

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