5-4 homestand, not 6-3

 Even though the Reds dropped two of three to the Dodgers last weekend, they had a chance to sweep the Cubs three-game and complete a very nice 6-3 home stand.

It didn’t happen.

The Reds were awfully quiet during a 4-1 loss to the Cubs. After coming up empty during a bases-loaded, one out rally in the first inning, there was only Jay Bruce’s RBI single in the third inning off Ryan Dempster. After that, Cubs pitching retired the final 19 of 20.

“We had a chance for a sweep,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “That three in a row is eluding us big time. We’ll get it. We’re like real close. Perhaps we’ll turn it around on this road trip. The last road trip, we had a bad one so we’re due for an excellent one.”

The Reds leave for a 7-day trip to San Francisco and Los Angeles. It stays tough after that with the Blue Jays and Yankees at home.

Notes:

*Dempster had a great game but was nearly a scratch because of hip pain. Chicago had Rodrigo Lopez also warming up pre-game just in case.

*The game essentially turned on back-to-back Cubs homers for three runs in the fourth by Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez. For Arroyo, they were homers No. 15 and 16 allowed for the season, tying him with Brett Myers for the NL lead.

*A fourth run charged to Arroyo scored on a Jose Arredondo balk in the seventh. With runners on the corners and two outs, Arredondo had a 3-2 count on Ramirez when he made a pickoff move to first base. He had keep the ball upon realizing Joey Votto wasn’t holding the runner.

*Bruce’s RBI single gave him a 10-game hitting streak.

*Jonny Gomes struck out as a pinch-hitter with Paul Janish on third with a two-out triple. Gomes is 0-for-10 as a pinch-hitter this season with seven strikeouts.

*Joey Votto has an eight-game hitting streak and has reached 60 of his 62 games played.

Quotes:

“It’s definitely disappointing. The way we’ve been playing lately, we can’t really afford to have a lot of close games get away from us. It’s been tough for us to come back from games that we’ve been behind once we’ve given up the lead. It’s hard to overcome that. Right now, we’re just fighting to get every win we can and we just can’t seem to be able to catch a nice streak where they seem to come easy. Everything has been difficult. It’s not going to get any easier in the next couple of weeks.” — Bronson Arroyo

“Somebody has got to tell him he’s playing behind him in that situation. I’ve seen Aramis hit that hole over there too many times. That’s one of his favorite RBI holes over there. We were trying to cover that hole but just didn’t communicate and tell him we were playing off the bag at 3-2. We have to tighten up our game in all departments. If we do that, we’ll be great.” — Dusty Baker on the Arredondo balk.

“All the games here on out are big games for us. We’re playing catch-up in the division and we have to win every one that we can.” — Drew Stubbs

*You won’t have me in San Francisco these next four games. We’ll pick it up from Los Angeles on Monday.

4 Comments

These next few series against San Francisco, LA, NYYanks, and Toronto will essentially determine the season. Either the Reds will still be within striking distance of a revitalized St. Louis team and an up and coming Milwaukee one, or they will drop off the Central Division’s radar altogetner. The latter outcome is most likely. These are tough teams and the Reds record against well-heeled teams, particularly of late, is not at all encouraging.

Your comments are hilarious Denny. Glass half empty huh? Reality is that those four series are 8% of the season, none of against the division, thats what they are, nothing more.

Curt

True, 8% does not constitute a season, but there certainly is such a thing as a pivotal 8%. What’s missing from your calculations is the fact that only slightly more than half a season remains after these games, and there’s every prospect that they will find themselves 8 to 10 games back after a west coast swing, notorious for ineptitude over the years, and encounters with two competing teams from baseball’s toughest division. And remember: the remaining schedule promises to be much more challenging than the cupcake schedule they’ve so far failed to exploit at only one game above..500. Moreover, the head-to-heads with the teams ahead of them are not plentiful. Milwaukee remining games are less than half those scheduled, and St. Louis games, thanks to the unbalanced schedule, were already reduced from the accustomed divisional matchups. Eight back (and that might be too generous a prediction) with eighty-some to play is not a good situation.

I’ll just wait for the time Bronson says it will be easy the next couple of weeks. LOL

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