September 20, 2006

Game 152: Reds 2, Astros 7

I say one quasi nice thing about Bronson Arroyo and the guy falls apart. Was he being motivated by spite?

I mean, the Reds dropped a disappointing but not-particularly-important game to the Astros this afternoon by a score of 2-7.

Arroyo already wasn't doing that hot when he gave up a big, fat three-run homer in the sixth inning to Craig Biggio. I guess he should have plunked him. Arroyo left the game after five and one-third innings, having given up seven runs (earned) on seven hits and four walks.

The game wrap on, titled Arroyo's award chances takes a hit, besides having a minor subject-verb agreement issue in the headline, leaves the impression that Arroyo's hopes for NL Cy Young aren't entirely gone. But certainly that can't be the case. Tonight's performance included Arroyo's 30th and 31st allowed home runs, second in the national league after Jason Marquis. He's got a 14-10 record. He's arguably not even the best pitcher on this team, let alone the entire NL.

However, he is from Boston, so clearly that's in his favor.

No, I'm afraid that the Cy Young is going to Chris Carpenter again this year if only for dearth of competition. Bah.

Moving on: Bill Bray, Brian Shackelford, Jason Standridge, and Todd Coffey all pitched in relief. I bet you'd about forgotten that those guys were still on the team. And get this: none allowed a run. Someone explain to me again why we haven't seen these guys in so long?

But just as much as our starting pitching put the game out of reach early, the offense equally failed to pull the team up. Of course, they were working with a pretty atypical line-up. Rich Aurilia and Edwin Encarnación got the day off, and Ken Griffey Jr.'s still out with the toe thing.

Aurilia made it into the game as a pinch hitter, but Javier Valentín was available when Brandon Harris, Norris Hopper, and Ray Olmedo made the final three outs in the top of the ninth. All-around, it was an afternoon of baffling management decisions. But if we sat around second-guessing everything Jerry Narron did, people might start to think this was a baseball blog or something.

Ugh. Enough. The loss brings the Reds' record to 74-78. They can't lose tomorrow because they take the day off. They pick back up with the Cubs in Great American on Friday. I guess they've settled on Chris Michalak to face up against Rich Hill.

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