The Cincinnati Reds head into Pittsburgh for a weekend series after dropping two-out-of-three to the Washington Nationals in typical 2011 Reds fashion. The consistent failure to produce timely hitting has been a thorn the size of a California Redwood stuck in the club’s side.
“That’s been the story of the year,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “Get one guy hot one day. Get another guy hot the next day, two guys hot this day. Most of the year, we can’t get three or four guys hot at the same time.”
The Reds lost the first game 6-4, thanks to shaky defense, and suffered a 3-1 defeat in the finale to spoil a rare quality start from Bronson Arroyo. Reds were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position over the last two games of the series while leaving 10 runners on base in the final contest alone. Eight hits were collected by the Reds in that game, but Ryan Hanigan and Brandon Phillips accounted for seven of them.
“Last year, a lot of our success was because a lot of guys were hot all year,” Hanigan said. “This year, it’s been sporadic. It’s frustrating. I know guys are working at it. Hopefully we will turn it around and finish strong.”
Former Red Jonny Gomes scorched a bases loaded single to left field that plated two runs in the sixth and proved to be the game winning hit. Oddly enough, Gomes’ lack of success in similar situations with the Reds warranted his trade to the Nats.
“My main objective over here is to help this team win,” stated Gomes. “Against the Reds or not against the Reds, it would bring a smile to my face against any other team.”
Cincinnati lost its sixth straight road series and now prepare to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. The last time these two clubs met in mid-July, Pittsburgh was atop the NL Central division with a half-game lead on Milwaukee. The Reds beat the Pirates to avoid a sweep and the Pirates have plummeted in standings going 7-20 since then. They currently trail the Reds by a game for third place.
Homer Bailey gets the call for the series opener on Friday with a career 5-0 record and 1.52 ERA against the Bucs.
The injury bug has bitten the Reds clubhouse this season as six players have been sidelined recently. Shortstops Zack Cozart and Edgar Renteria are battling with a hyperextended elbow and strained groin, respectively.
All-Star third baseman Scott Rolen is recovering from shoulder surgery, left fielder Chris Heisey went down with a common oblique strain and pitchers Logan Ondrusek and Dontrelle Willis are both battling forearm strains on their throwing arms.
Originally from Jamie Ramsey’s Blog at ramsey.mlbblogs.com:
Hey Reds fans, the Reds Community Fund needs your help. Head & Shoulders is celebrating outstanding accomplishments at MLB ballparks this month with a Twitter contest called the “Hats Off Movement”.
Fans are encouraged to “tip their hats” to awesome moments on the field via twitter using a team specific hashtag.
The Reds will generate a point each time the hashtag #HatsOffCIN is used. The team with the most points at the end of August will win a $50,000 donation to support theReviving Baseball in Inner Cities program in Reds country.
So watch the Reds, tweet your favorite plays during the game and be sure to use the hashtag #HatsOffCIN each time. And thanks for supporting the Reds Community Fund!
Follow me on twitter! @DBLY4
About the Author
Written by Derrick Blyberg
Heading into my senior year of college at Taylor University located in rural Upland, Indiana. Sport Management major, Public Relations minor. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. Former high school athlete. Writing experience in baseball game recaps, press releases, feature stories, and player interviews. Other work experience includes sports information and managing intramural sports. Aspiring a career in sports public and/or media relations. Follow me on twitter @DBLY4 or email me DBlyberg@gmail.com.