Let’s start off with the good and lead into the bad. Some scouting talk on the Reds’ right fielder Jay Bruce:
Miguel Monero singled to right and Chris Young was waved homeward from second. Apparently third base coach Chip Hale forgot to read the scouting report, the one that said, “Run on Jay Bruce at your own risk.” He ran. He risked. Bruce’s throw was so swift and true that Young gave up 15 feet from home plate – just trotted into the tag.
Bruce now has nine assists, tied for the league lead with Washington’s Elijah Dukes.
Since Dukes has been optioned to AAA, Bruce has a chance to take the Major League lead in outfield assists and continue to build his reputation for gunning out runners.
Now for the bad:
SCOUT’S ASSESSMENT of Phillips: “Too much ESPN-itis. He’ll make the spectacular play and he’ll try to turn the routine play into a spectacular one, too, and mess it up.”
And it was Phillips’ bonehead play that put the Reds in a hole. That and Bronson Arroyo allowing a lead-off double to pitcher Danny Haren, who had no-hit stuff going last night. Until Jay Bruce singled to center field off Haren, he had the all the look of a no-hit pitcher going for Arizona last night. It should also be mentioned that Arroyo gave up a homer to Haren in the 6th inning. Not only was it a damning shot, but it just goes to show you how bad Arroyo’s stuff really was again last night.
The night just followed a common theme. The Reds give up a few runs early. They don’t hit and the deficit becomes insurmountable. And they lose big despite scoring a few late mercy runs. You have to begin to think this is what we’re going to see all season long from these Reds. Just good enough to tease you and hover around .500 baseball in a suspect NL Central.
In Joey Votto’s return to Great American Ball Park, he went 1 for 3 with a walk. Supposively the ovation he received was underwhelming. But that’s what you get when you are playing .500 baseball. The atmosphere has to be created for the fans to buy into the program. The Reds simply aren’t doing enough. You want fan morale and noise to increase in your home park? Make a statement that says you care. Throw these guys a life raft. Go out and get someone that is going to help these guys win.
If you’re asking me how to do that, I don’t exactly know who you get and who you give up. If I did know the correct answer to that, I should be on the Reds payroll.