It was the kind of shelling the Reds haven’t been the victim of in a long, long time. The Padres put their runs on the board so early that the optimistic among us kept thinking the Reds might come back, but ultimately we all ended up feeling kind of sheepish after getting nothing in return for all our hoping.
Mike Leake started for the Reds and ouch. 1.2 innings of work, including 5 runs (earned) on 5 hits and 3 walks. Alfredo Simon was only slightly less ouchy: 2.1 innings 5 runs (earned) on 4 hits and 3 walks.
Bill Bray did well with his chance, and didn’t allow any hits in his 2.0 innings. He did, however, walk 3 guys. Walks were a major plot thread in the story arc of pitching suckitude, with all the Reds’ pitchers combining for 11 walks. That’s not only the season high, it beats out the previous season high of 7 by 36%.
Jose Arredondo escaped the bases on balls bug in his 2.0 innings but did allow another run (earned) on 2 hits. Logan Ondrusek was back to walking guys in the ninth.
It looked so good for the Reds at the beginning. They drew first blood, putting 3 on the board in the bottom of the first when Jay Bruce doubled, Scott Rolen walked, and Ryan Ludwick knocked both of them in. All of that after Drew Stubbs had already hit a solo shot to right field. You get the feeling Stubbs doesn’t want to be traded.
Bruce hit his 21st home run of the season in the bottom of the third, again, reigniting the hope of the fans. But the only other scoring would turn out to be Rolen knocking in Stubbs in a fifth inning rally that didn’t end up rallying very much.
The loss brings the Reds’ record to 61-41. They continue to lead the NLC by 3 games. It just feels worse than that thanks to the sudden shift from the seemingly effortless victories to painful struggles. The series against the Padres continues tonight at 7:10 p.m. Homer Bailey (RHP, 9-6, 3.53 ERA) takes on Jason Marquis (RHP, 4-5, 3.48 ERA).