Other then Jay Bruce getting home runs #1 and #2 on the season, the positives were few and far between for the Reds who were swept in a 5-3 loss on an overcast Sunday in Pittsburgh.
We knew entering this series that the Reds would be lucky to take even one of three games from the Pirates. Fact is, even though the Pirates are known as the cellar dwellar of the Central, the Reds don’t handle them well; especially in Pittsburgh.
It came down to one bad inning in which Bunny Arroyo allowed 5 earned runs. Arroyo wasn’t horrible aside from that inning, working 7 innings with 3 walks and 7 strikeouts.
This Reds team has a thin lineup. They don’t have the ability to come from behind night after night. The Reds worked all weekend without the services of Scott Rolen, and with Joey Votto feeling the effects of the flu. When those things happen it’s going to be a tough day offensively.
Still it’s encouraging that maybe Jay Bruce is getting going a little bit at the plate. Bruce homered off of a tough lefty in Paul Maholm, and the Pirates closer Octavio Dotel (who otherwise had a 9th inning that saw him strikeout three). Both swings were off breaking balls. Bruce once again was robbed of a hit which would have been a three hit day on a nice play by Garrett Jones.
The Reds come home to host a couple of teams from the West, and we’re already deeming it time to Circle the Wagons. This homestand is going to determine a lot about not only this season and how it turns out but also some things for the future as far as personnel in our opinion. More on that later, but it’s time for the Reds to turn things around and quickly. If not, the focus is going to be waiting til next year like we’ve so often done.