Starting on Monday, the Reds
will play their next seven games at home against two division rivals who
reside in the bottom of the NL Central. After facing two aboriginal American
teams on their last five-game road trip, the Reds managed only two wins. The
Reds were swept in a two-game series by the Atlanta Braves during Wednesday
and Thursday of last week. Both games were won by the Braves in the bottom
of the ninth inning. The Reds beat the Cleveland Indians on Friday and
Saturday, but failed to get it done Sunday afternoon.
The Reds and Cardinals have both gone 6-4 during their last ten games and
have been passing first place in the NL Central back and forth. The upcoming
home-stand against the Pittsburgh Pirates (19-25) and the Houston Astros
(15-29) could be monumental considering how well the Reds have been playing
and the mediocrity of their opponents. After the Reds' next seven games at
GABP, they will travel to St. Louis to face the Cardinals for three games.
Here is a rundown of the Reds' latest peyote filled road trip:
WEDNESDAY: Aaron Harang looked okay pitching six innings (8H, 4ER)
against the Braves. The Reds kept it close until rookie Jason Heyward
doubled off Nick Masset to win the game in the ninth inning. Reds lose 5-4.
THURSDAY: The Reds took an early 8-0 lead against the Braves and Mike
"Godzilla" Leake looked like he would easily receive his fifth win of the
season. Reds' relievers allowed six runs in just 2 1/3 innings after Leake
left the game. The big blow was a pinch-hit grand slam by Brook Conrad.
Francisco Cordero allowed the walk-off homer to Conrad. Laynce Nix nearly
saved the four runs as he scaled the outfield wall, but the baseball
bounced off his glove and left the park. Reds lose 10-9. Aroldis Chapman
pitched for the Bats on Wednesday.
Chapman pitched well (5 2/3 innings, 3H, 0ER, 7K), but left the game in
the sixth inning because of a blister on his middle finger.
FRIDAY: Bronson Arroyo pitched 6 2/3 innings (7H, 4ER, 2K) against
the Indians and despite not having his stuff, received run support and a
win. Laynce Nix and Jonny Gomes led the Reds' offense as they both went deep
and drove in two runs a piece. Reds win 7-4.
SATURDAY: Johnny Cueto pitched six strong innings (4H, 2ER, 5K)
against the Indians. Cueto left the game after only 93 pitches with a
blister on his index finger. Despite Francisco Cordero's scary two-run
ninth, the Reds defeated the Indians 6-4. Laynce Nix hit a home run and
drove in two for the second consecutive night. Louisville Bats' Sam LeCure
pitched a complete game one-hitter against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
SUNDAY: After pitching 2 1/3 innings (4H, 3ER), Homer Bailey left the
game against the Indians with tightness in his right shoulder. Relievers
Micah Owings, Danny Herrera, and Carlos Fisher finished the game for the
Reds allowing only one run combined. Scott Rolen provided all of the Reds'
offense going 2-3 with two home runs and three RBI. Reds lose 4-3.
Cueto and Chapman's blisters are considered minor. Cueto will likely make
his next start while Chapman shouldn't miss more than one. Homer Bailey on
the other hand, may go on the DL after he is examined in Cincinnati on
Monday by Dr. Tim Kremchek.