Missed chances, mistakes
The Three Stars from a 7-1 dud of a Reds loss to the D-backs on Wednesday.
No. 3 star: Drew Stubbs — 2-for-4. Stubbs hit a leadoff double in the first and flared a RBI single in the second inning.
No. 2 star: Ian Kennedy, ARI — 8 ip, 8 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 105 pitches/73 strikes. The Reds helped Kennedy’s cause with some missed chances early and some quick innings late, including a six-pitch bottom of the seventh.
He had been struggling and that was the best that he’s thrown in a while,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “When a guy is struggling, if you can get on him early, a guy tends to think ‘here I go again, struggling again.’ He got out of those situations early, settled down and got some run support. It was tough after that.”
No. 1 star: Jason Kubel, ARI — 2-for-4, 2 HRs. Kubel hit a two-run homer to CF in the first inning and leadoff shot to right-center field in the fourth. In between, Mat Latos had retired eight in a row.
“You throw a pitch out over the middle of the plate and it doesn’t really matter what kind of hitter he is. He’s going to hit the ball hard,” Latos said. “The first one was a fastball right down the middle and the second one was a slider, right down the middle.”
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News and notes:
*Some very poor execution in the first inning. Zack Cozart couldn’t get a sac bunt down and popped out. As his July skid continued, Jay Bruce hit a first-pitch popout to third base with runners on the corners and one out. Bruce was 0-for-4 and is 5-for-42 (.119) over his last 11 games.
*Baker harped on the missed chances and stressed that it’s something being focused on by the club as it looks for ways to produce runs without Joey Votto.
“Those are the things you have to do if you’re going to play winning baseball,” Baker said. “Those are some of the things we’re working on big time. We’re addressing it, talking about it and everybody is thinking about it. You have to get to the point where you don’t talk about it or think about it. You don’t try. You just do it. The simple fact is you’ve got to do it.”
*Latos also missed a sac bunt in the second inning. On the mound, a 15-game unbeaten streak is over. He had won his last seven decisions since April 18. Latos’ line: 4 2/3 ip, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 75 pitches/50 strikes.
*Jose Arredondo gave up two runs in the eighth, ending the bullpen’s scoreless streak at 17 ip. One of the runs scored on a passed ball by Ryan Hanigan.
*Xavier Paul made his Reds debut as a pinch-hitter and flied out in the seventh.