Sunday, May 17, 2009

Must win (this time I mean it)

The Reds really must win today after losing another lead last night (this morning) to the Padres and ultimately losing 6-5 in 16 innings. I called last night's game a must win because the Reds face Jake Peavy today. If they get swept, they will have lost all of their momentum. Tomorrow's an off day.

You can't help but remember last year's Memorial Day Weekend Massacre in San Diego wherein Harang pitched 4 innings of an 18-inning marathon game the Reds also lost. Dusty's management of that game (and the subsequent decisions to bring Harang back on regular rest) have been widely criticized. This time he threw about everyone including fifth stater Micha Owings. Owings almost qualified for a "quality start" but ended up giving up the final run on a home run after going 5.2 innings.

I (and the Legends) fear for Arroyo today. If he has one of his rough games, it could really turn ugly because he has to go deep into the game. The Reds have to have 7 plus from Arroyo and we may see Cordero's first save of more than 1 inning. Let's hope Arroyo can go into the 8th and Cordero (who didn't pitch last night) can get the save.

We've discussed walks in this space before and it was walks that did the bullpen in again last night. Rhodes came in and walked Gonzalez for the second straight night. I have to conclude that they didn't intend to walk him; otherwise, why bring in Rhodes? And Weathers walked in the tying run after two other walks. The blown save was the first for the Reds, making them the last team this year to blow a save. There is no good time for a blown save, and this certainly wasn't one. It was also Rhodes' first earned run this year, making Heath Bell of the Padres (and Legends) the only qualifying reliever who hasn't given up an earned run yet.

I mention the blown save, but it's hard to blame the bullpen for this one. When the offense goes 10 innings against a bullpen and doesn't score a run that's bad, especially the Padre bullpen. Except for Bell, you've never heard of these guys. Perdomo pitched three scoreless innings for his first career win, and Burke made his major league debut (with a scoreless inning).

The Reds need a bat.

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