It's a something's-got-to-give game. Former Reds draft pick Jeremy Sowers has made 4 starts against the Reds and surrendered 8.55 runs per 9 IP. Current Reds ace Aaron Harang has received just 3.57 R/G of run support (note: I don't count the game where he only pitched 2 innings because of a rain delay and then the Reds scored 7 runs). Both of these facts can't hold to their pattern tonight. What is stronger, the irresistible force or the unsupportable ace?
For being a pitcher who was drafted in the first round twice, Sowers has not been very good in the big leagues. Over 4 partial seasons in the Majors, Sowers is just 13-24 with a 5.24 ERA and 140 strikeouts compared to 101 walks in 316 IP. And this season, he's actually walked more batters than he's struck out. That's not a recipe for success. Sometimes I'm thankful that he didn't sign in 2001.
I think it's safe to say at this point that Harang is not feeling any ill-effects of his questionable return after a 2-hour rain delay on May 25th. Oh sure, he stunk on May 30th, but since then, he's gone 24.2 innings and allowed just 6 earned runs (2.19 ERA). In fact, he's given up more than 3 runs in just 4 starts this year. I'd say that's keeping the team in the ballgame. Of course, the Reds are just 7-8 in his starts, so he must not be a very good pitcher after all.
As much crap as we've given Willy Taveras lately - crap he's truly deserved - if he can put a string of games together like he had last night, his recent abysmal play will quickly become a distant memory. Unlike Corey Patterson last year, who I wanted out of the lineup so that Jay Bruce could play, I don't want Taveras to fail. This is mainly because I don't think there is any chance the Reds aren't going to keep Taveras around for 2010, and if that's the case, then I'd much rather he were successful than sucking, even if he's on the bench. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, go Willy! When you do well, the Reds have a better chance of winning. And when you fail, well, the eggs will go back up on the sidebar.