Rough night/series at the yard
Reds starting pitching has suddenly not looked so hot. The only pitcher to reach six innings in the lost series vs. the Pirates was Mike Leake (six on Saturday). We all know he has some other issues going on that could affect his next outing. Bronson Arroyo lasted only four innings and allowed five runs on Friday. Edinson Volquez gave up six runs in 5 2/3 innings on Sunday.
And on Monday, Travis Wood lasted a rotation season-low 3 2/3 innings and allowed six earned runs and eight hits during a 9-3 loss. The rotation has a 5.23 ERA through 16 games this season.
“The bottom line is we’ve got to get our starting pitching straight,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “They jumped us four runs yesterday, jumped us three today and our pitch count gets extremely high for our starters early.”
*Aroldis Chapman made his return to the mound after a four-day break. Chapman reached top speeds of 102 mph, according to MLB.com Gameday’s Pitch F/X. Sorry to be a killjoy, but he did not reach 106 mph against Andrew McCutchen, as the scoreboard read. It was 102. The bottom line to me, is that Chapman has more life on his fastball again.
*The Pirates hitters challenged Reds pitching all night. The staff threw 196 pitches tonight.
*Travis Wood threw 42 of those pitches in the top of the first inning.
*Pittsburgh series win is their first at Great American Ball Park since a 2-1 visit here from 9/2-9/4, 2008, snapping an 0-4-1 streak.
*Dusty Baker said that Brandon Phillips will return Tuesday. His production was certainly missed in the series.
*Joey Votto has reached safely in all 16 games this season. Votto drew a third inning walk tonight.
*Reds batters notched a season-low four hits vs. Kevin Correia. From the fourth-thru-seventh innings, Correia needed only 28 pitches.
“I don’t know what I’m doing. The guy is throwing 103 and I’m just trying to – I don’t know what I’m trying to do but I was able to foul off a couple of pitches and that’s good by me.” — Kevin Correia on facing Aroldis Chapman
“I feel good. I don’t think my speed went away. It was just like a normal day, like any other pitcher. My arm wasn’t feeling as well as it is and that’s it. My arm never felt bad.” — Aroldis Chapman
“Can you afford to give him three or four days off so he can throw as hard as he did tonight? Or will he get conditioned to going a couple of days in a row? Remember, everybody wanted him to be the closer. You can’t be the closer right now going a couple of days a week. A closer has to go three, four, five days in a row sometimes. Then, you might not use your closer for a week. That’s how things go.” — Dusty Baker on Chapman
“They battled and fouled off some pitches, fouled off some good pitches and hit some good pitches. The times that maybe I made a mistake, they hit it as well. They played well tonight.” — Travis Wood.