Cardinals 5, Reds 2
The good news is Reds are averaging six runs and 11 hits over the last two games. The bad news is almost all of them came Tuesday night.
Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the Cardinals was a lot like the five losses on the homestand: Good starting pitching, bad relief pitching, shaky defense and an MIA offense.
And the Bronson Arroyo hard-luck saga continues. The Reds have scored a total of 10 runs in the his five starts -- six were in the last one. He's 0-2 with a 2.86 ERA.
Arroyo went seven innings and allowed one run on five hits. He only threw 96 pitches. But Jerry Narron didn't even think of sending him out for the eighth. I can go along with that. It was a 1-1 ballgame. Arroyo was up to lead off the eighth, and Ryan Freel was on the bench. Freel gets on, steals second and scores, Narron looks smart. But Freel popped out.
When Kirk Saarloos walked Chris Duncan to put the winning run at second with no outs and The Great Albert Pujols coming up, the game was over. Pujols doubled home two.
“I pretty much stunk,” Saarloos said.
The walk to Duncan was the killer.
“That’s not the best situation in the world,” Narron said. “There was nowhere to put (Pujols).”
Oh, yes, the Reds' only run came on Josh Hamilton's sixth homer of the year.
“That’s the way it’s going,” Arroyo said. “At some point, we’ll put something together and get a winning streak going.”
The bullpen has a 8.64 ERA over the last nine games. Given Saarloos' and Todd Coffey's struggles there are as many questions about the right-handed setup man as the closer. Wayne Krivsky spent the last three days in the Louisville, so he got a look at Brad Salmon, Jared Burton and Gary Majewski.
Will we see one of them soon? Is it too early to start talking about bringing Homer Bailey up to pitch out of the pen?