The Cincinnati Reds took a 1-0 lead into the 8th inning only to see that slim lead evaporate in one pitch and then go on to lose in the bottom of the 13th inning against the hot-starting Washington Nationals.
Bronson Arroyo (0-1) pitched a gem of a game. He allowed three hits, one base-on-balls and struck out four as he lowered his ERA to 2.63. This was his second start of the year and was brilliant throughout. He kept the Nationals off balance from the start. He was in and out, up and down. He had great movement on his breaking stuff to go with decent velocity on his fastball. He left with one out in the eighth and gave way to Bill Bray.
Bray immediately allowed Xavier Nady, pinch-hitting for Chad Tracy (whom I used to teach, by the way), to send a fly ball to left-centerfield that bounced out of Ryan Ludwick’s glove and over the fence. Just like that, all the hard work of Arroyo’s was for naught.
Honestly, I know the percentages and match-ups when bringing someone in from the bullpen; however, when the Cincinnati Reds have someone out there whose name is Aroldis Chapman, why in the world would you bring in anyone else in a one-run game in the 8th? It has to be Chapman. I have never coached at the MLB level, but I’ve got to say you go with Chapman, no matter what. He didn’t throw yesterday, so rest wasn’t the issue. When he did come in the 10th, he shut them down – as he has all season long so far. C’mon, Dusty Baker, ride that horse, man!
Sean Marshall (0-1) picked up the loss when he allowed two singles, sandwiched between two walks.
It cannot all fall at the feet of the pitching, though. The Cincinnati Reds’ bats were invisible throughout the game. The lone run was a result of Arroyo’s sacrifice fly. The Reds only had five hits (two from Votto, to go with three walks) and ten strike-outs. Again, they have double digit strike-outs.
The Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Nationals will go at it again on Saturday afternoon.