Three stars, Nice series win

Sunday’s Three Stars of the game after a Reds 6-5 victory over the Marlins

No. 3 star: Carlos Zambrano, MIA. 6 ip, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR. Zambrano, pitching for the first time since 8/12/11 for the Cubs when he made a tumultuous exit from the game, recovered well after a 3-0 Reds first inning lead. He retired 16 of 17 until Jay Bruce hit a two-out homer in the sixth.

No. 2 star: Aroldis Chapman 2 ip, 1 H, 3 K. Strong performance for Chapman in the relief role for the victory. He held Miami in check to setup the comeback. Chapman hit 100 mph on four occasions, including three times as he struck out Emilio Bonifacio to end the top of the ninth with a man on third base.

And the No. 1 star of the game: Jay Bruce, 2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBIs. Bruce has three homers for the series. His second long ball off of Heath Bell tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth and gave the Reds new life in a rally that culminated in Scott Rolen’s PH infield single. Bruce also has 12 career multi-homer games.

News and notes:

*Rolen is 8-for-18 lifetime (.444) as a pinch-hitter, with 10 RBIs. But he’s not a fan of the role, per se.

“It’s certainly not easy,” Rolen said. “It’s not something you’re used to. Everybody says ‘cold.’ But as soon as you realize you’re in the game, your blood pressure goes through the roof. You’re not really cold. You get circulation in a hurry. It’s like a starting pitcher going to the bullpen. You have time to prepare. You’re nerves go up and down and such. It’s not easy on the guys that do it, like Cairo and everybody. They’re great at it. I’m not sure that’s my job.”

*Brandon Phillips notched hits in his first two-at-bats on Sunday vs. the Marlins. The second hit, a rolling single up the middle in the bottom of the second inning, gave Phillips his 1,000th hit as a member of the Reds. He’s the 28th player in club history to reach 1,000 hits.

“I didn’t know what they were clapping for, honestly,” Phillips said. “I really knew nothing about it. I’m not the type of person that worries about career stats and stuff like that. I try to perform for my team and my family. But it was beautiful for the fans to show their love to me. It meant a lot.”

*Entering the ninth inning, Bell’s 0.90 career ERA vs. the Reds was his lowest against any team he has faced at least 15 times.

*Take away the seventh, and I thought Bronson Arroyo looked very good today (6.1 ip, 10 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HB) Arroyo threw only 82 pitches (64 for strikes) and had lots of good movement. Miami picked away and benefited from a throwing error by Ryan Hanigan that set up a sac fly by Logan Morrison for an unearned run in the sixth. In the seventh, a leadoff HBP to Greg Dobbs would begin a critical Marlins rally.


“Physically, I felt great. If I could feel like that every time out, I’d be thrilled with the season. I felt strong.” — Bronson Arroyo

“He’s one of the best closers in the game. I got a pitch I could handle and put a good swing on it.” — Jay Bruce on his homer against Heath Bell

“I came in here, they gave me a job to get the final three outs, and I didn’t do it. I pitched yesterday, but it wasn’t a save. I went out there and I didn’t do my job. My job is to save the game, and I didn’t do it one bit. I’m definitely going to strive to be better and not let that happen again. The whole team went out there, and we used just about everybody and they played one heck of a game. Zambrano pitched one heck of a game. For me to go out there and just blow it in one inning is really stupid. They don’t deserve anything like that. I need to be more accountable and I need to be better than that.” — Heath Bell


So, maybe the key Bronson’s success is use him for only 6 innings. Joel Luckhaupt, the FSO statistician, pointed out that for 2011-2012, Arroyo has a 4.77 ERA for innings 1-6, but a 7.66 ERA for the 7th inning or later.

Given Arroyo’s physical condition last season, I’m not willing to consider any statistical analysis that figures only the 2011 season in.

Nice series. Bruce to the rescue. Hard to see him not hitting 40 this year.


It’s going to be a fun year watching these Reds!!!! Comeback win #1 of many when Arroyo pitches.

One complaint from me though:

Hey Dusty, It may have been a decent idea to to not run Bronson out there in the 7th. He had a nice line after 6 and that could have built a lot of confidence going forward. I know none of that really matters with Bronson, but hopefully you don’t make the same mistake again. That was a very poorly pitched & coached inning in my opinion. I sat there watching it like….wtf is going on? Take him out! But hey, we all make mistakes and we still won the game!

Big series starting tonight. Lets go sweep the Cards! Be Big tonight Homer!

I do think Arroyo will be better this season than last season. He was beat down last year and unhealthy in general. Looked sharp yesterday through six. But yes, Once the lineup goes 2 times around seeing Arroyo, he runs out of tricks he can throw up there hitters and they catch on. Not a horrible outing from him yesterday. But he was mis-used in the 7th, he should never have been going out there!

I almost felt bad for Hanley Ramirez – he didn’t want to play third base and said so last Winter. Every play in the ninth after Bruce’s HR went through Hanley and he didn’t make one of them. Another reminder, if we need one, that defense really matters.

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