This team refuses to lose! At the very least, they refuse to allow their record to drop below .500. That's something of an achievement, given the the spate of injuries and unexpectedly low production to this point from a handful of key contributors. Depending on what you think of the hive mentality, last night may have been a confidence-booster for the team as a whole. They came away victorious in the type of game they've been losing lately. And while they weren't able to put runs on Johnson, they made him look like less than the world-beater he's been in the first month of the season. It should also have put a little wind in the sails of Edinson Volquez. While he didn't get out of the first inning unscathed, he allowed only that one earned run in the first and two hits over five.
Volquez had an especially hard time throwing strikes, hitting the zone barely half the time. Aroldis Chapman had similar struggles. Bronson Arroyo, however, is one member of the Reds staff who hasn't had much problem staying the zone. He's only walking 1 and a half batters (he faces Eddie Gaedel surprisingly often) per game. His K-rate, in a happy development, stands at 8.2-per/9-innings. Which, if it carried over a whole season, would be the highest of his career. So while we reasonably can expect another Arroyo-esque season from Bronson, he's been staying in the zone more often and missing bats while he's there. He's more than capable of putting together the kind of season they're paying him for, especially if he keeps fooling hitters.
Some of what would normally have been walks or outs on balls in play are becoming hits. He's been using his fastball more often, which is down a shade in velocity over last year, so that might explain his hittability. When opposing batters actually guess right on the fastball and/or Arroyo misses his mark, he's in bad trouble. But he's been Goodrroyo for most of 2011. I'm tempted to say that Reds could stand him being Averagearroyo to have a chance at a series win with Nolasco on the mound. But my Charlie Morton flashbacks won't let me. Everyone just play their best, make some new friends, learn a lot and we'll all go home happy.
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