Reds drop two of three to STL
Is losing by an 8-2 score to the Cardinals and dropping two out of three mean the end of the Reds and civilization as we know it? Probably not. But that was a series that they really didn’t need to lose.
A team like the Cardinals, which just made a big comeback in the standings last season, don’t need any more reasons to believe in themselves and their chances. They are now six games back in the NL Central. The good news for the Reds is there is only one more series where they meet the Cardinals again — the final three days of the regular season at St. Louis. There are also only 33 games left for the Reds. They have the situation in their control and now, need to keep it that way.
Even though the Reds are hitting the road, this is a good chance to get things right. They are 26-20 lifetime at Chase Field, where they’ll meet the Diamondbacks Monday-Wednesday. Then after a much-needed off day Thursday, the trip moves to Houston. You know how the Astros are doing this season.
You can tell the Reds lack some spring in their step lately. No wonder. By the time they finish in Arizona on Wednesday, they will have played 34 games over 34 days with only one off day.
The Three Stars:
No. 3 star: Allen Craig, STL — 3-for-5, HR, 3 RBIs. Craig hit a two-run homer off of Homer Bailey in the sixth. He has 71 RBIs in 85 games this season.
No. 2 star: Adam Wainwright, STL — 5 2/3 ip, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 90 pitches/65 strikes. Wainwright had the Reds buried over his first five scoreless innings, and faced the minimum over the first four innings. Until the sixth, he hadn’t let anyone get past first base. The only big challenge he had was a 12-pitch at-bat vs. Brandon Phillips in the fourth before Phillips flied out. He is 5-0 with a 1.23 ERA in his last five starts and hasn’t given up more than two runs in a start since July 13 vs. the Reds.
“It was just a slow game. You couldn’t fathom it. It was really slow,” Todd Frazier said of Wainwright. “It felt like he was lulling us to sleep I guess. He’s been doing it for a long time now. He knows what he’s doing.”
No. 1 star: Matt Holliday, STL — 4-for-5, four RBIs Holliday was a homer shy of the cycle but had himself some clutch hits. A two-out single to left field in the third scored two runs. In the seventh also with two outs, he helped put the game away with a RBI double to left field.
“I gave myself the whole at-bat, he just didn’t give me anything to hit,” said Holliday of going for the cycle. He singled in his final at-bat off of Jose Arredondo. “I’m not even sure the first one was a good pitch. I was going for it, but I didn’t get many pitches. He was pitching me pretty tough.”
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News and notes:
*Homer Bailey’s line: 6 ip, 9 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 94 pitches/61 strikes. Bailey didn’t succeed at putting hitters away when he needed to and had five hits against him when there were two strikes. One of them was Jon Jay’s RBI single with one out and a 0-2 count. Another was Craig’s homer on a 1-2 pitch in the sixth. In the third, there were four-straight hits on the ground.
“That’s just the way it goes. I can hold my head up high,” Bailey said. “I threw the ball well. Four groundball singles in the third. I’m trying to get groundballs to roll a double play and keep it in the yard. I did my job. They found the holes. That’s a really good hitting team over there.”
*The 17 hits allowed by Reds pitchers was a new season high.
*Scott Rolen’s double in the seventh inning was career double No. 515, which tied him with Joe Cronin for 45th all time.
*The Reds are now 9-2-2 in series since the All-Star break. That’s still quite good.
Headed to Arizona….