Last night’s game for me was like Las Vegas: exhaustingly active but ultimately disappointing. The Reds dropped the first of the series with the Indians 9-10.
Mat Latos took the mound and was just terrible. In 4.0 innings pitched he allowed 7 runs (earned) on 8 hits, including 3 home runs. Before the game Chris Welsh and George Grande were talking about how Latos could eventually challenge Johnny Cueto for the #1 title, and maybe they’re right, but we sure didn’t see it last night.
Sam LeCure came in for the next couple innings. His line pales in comparison to Latos’s, but it still isn’t any good, allowing 2 runs (earned) on 3 hits. Even J.J. Hoover gave up 1 run (earned) on a hit in his 1.0 inning contribution. Only Logan Ondrusek, who pitched the eighth, didn’t increase the Indians’ score.
But the Indians’ pitching was almost equally terrible. The Reds had chased Derek Lowe after 5.0 innings, and he didn’t even do anything fued-fueled crazy things against Dusty Baker. Boooooooring.
Jay Bruce was the most potent of the offense. He went 3-for-4 with a walk and 2 RBI. Brandon Phillips also had a good night, going 3-for-5 with 1 RBI. You know a lot of runs scored when Joey Votto is mentioned third: 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI, and even that is just the same as what Ryan Ludwick did.
But despite all that, it was really Scott Rolen who was the offensive story of the game. After being on the DL for over a month with an inflamed shoulder, he was back in the line-up, playing third and batting seventh.
There was always the possibility that Baker would cram Rolen into the clean-up spot, since that’s where he was before going on the DL, but he never really belonged there and I was relieved to see him in the 7-hole. It apparently agreed with him. He had one of his best performances of the year, going 2-for-4 with 2 RBI.
The loss brings the Reds’ record to 38-28. They continue the series in Cleveland tonight at 7:05 p.m. Mike Leake (2-5, 5.05 ERA) takes on Josh Tomlin (3-4, 5.56 ERA).