It seems as though the Reds have been playing almost every Monday and Thursday - traditionally light days in the majors - for the past several weeks. They've only had one off day over the last month (Thursday, June 2), while the Brewers and Cardinals have both had two. This might mean absolutely nothing, at least in relative terms. It kinda smells like a junk stat. But it does seem like the Reds have been perpetually trying to catch their breath since mid-May. Baseball is not a particularly aerobically demanding sport. But, at the very least, it's a slow grind and we're seeing some of that wear. Jose Arredondo, who was debited for the go-ahead runs in both losses to the Giants, is just one example. Scott Rolen, hopefully, is a counterexample. Given the injury luck floating around right now, I would urge everyone to avoid heavy sneezing. Lay off the snuff, OK?
Kuroda and Arroyo hooked up back on June 3 in what would be one of Bronson's 2 or 3 bests starts of the season. He threw 110 pitches, surrendered only 5 hits and 1 earned run. Arroyo is continuing his odd habit of ending up with a lot of decisions, which is explained in large part by his being such a hot and cold pitcher. He's made 13 starts and taken home 10 decisions so far (4-6), most on staff. If it means anything, it confirms what most of us know without looking - the Reds' fate (L or W) is more entangled with Arroyo's performance when he takes the mound than any other individual starting pitcher. Another key element to Arroyo's origin story is that he can outperform mediocre peripherals. How long he can continue to do that is up for debate, but it's going to be difficult to get his second-half surge going if he continues to give up nearly 2 HR per game. Oddly enough, Arroyo's FIP right now is exactly equal to his ERA. If his luck is going to bolster his improved pitching, it'll come by having fewer fly balls go yard. What better place to start than Los Angeles - a place where every "fly ball" is caught by someone?
Bonus Prediction Challenge: Who's going to be the first Red to break the current 5-game HR drought? I'll leave it to joshuar8476 whether he wants to assign points to this or not.
Lineup after the jump. Please stay with us.
|2011 - Bronson Arroyo||4-6||13||13||0||0||0||0||75.0||93||48||44||16||18||47||5.28||1.48|
|2011 - Hiroki Kuroda||5-7||13||13||0||0||0||0||83.1||86||35||31||10||25||63||3.35||1.33|