Arroyo, Offense Lead Reds to Blowout Win and 2-0 Division Series Lead Over Giants
2012 is Reds Magical Season
by Robb Hoff
October 7, 2012
Towards the end of 2011, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo gave up four home runs to Milwaukee Brewers hitters in yet another loss in a loss-marred, disappointing season last year. The game was included as part of the Reds Head Kids Club ticket package for 2011 and was enough of a total waste for me and mine that it served as the impetus for me not to buy any Reds tickets in advance for 2012 because I did not ever want to watch Arroyo pitch at Great American Ball Park ever again.
Arroyo had an even worse 2011 than the rest of the team. The 46 home runs he gave up last year were tied for the third most ever by a Major League pitcher in the history of the game. His earned run average was over 5.00, and he had the looks of a pitcher that had one foot in retirement if not for the fact that the Reds had him under contract for two more years, plus owed him a deferred $15-million payable through the year 2021, which was a provision that made him virtually untradable because the Reds would have to pay in full to trade him or find a buyer willing to pay the amount.
But now it all seems like water under the bridge.
Arroyo had an outstanding bounce-back season in 2012 and has been a key contributor to a starting rotation that has helped produced more wins by any Reds team since the reign of the Big Red Machine of the 1970's.
And furthermore, Arroyo came up huge in Game Two of the National League Divisional Series, thoroughly dominating the Giants with his repertoire of Wiffle Ball pitches that stumped a decent hitting Giants team all night long to the tune of just one meager hit in seven innings of work.
As it turned out, Arroyo really didn't need to be so dominant because the Reds hitters finally exploded. After knocking a pair of home runs and scoring five runs in all in their Game One win, the Reds hitters annihilated Giants pitchers in Game Two on route to a convincing win that should have many of the laughingly paid prognosticators busy with their erasers, as they attempt to talk their way out of admitting just how little they know when it comes to the 2012 Cincinnati Reds.
Granted, the lackluster September that Reds hitters had was a legitimate cause for concern going into the playoffs, but the strength of the Reds and their 97-win season in 2012 has continued to shine through in the divisional series: pitching and defense.
Now that the Reds are on the verge of winning their first playoff series in 17 years, they'll have their sights set on the next milestone before too much longer -- their first league championship series win and World Series trip since 1990 when the "Little Red Caboose" team swept their way to the franchise's last World Series championship.
In Reds Country, the taste of past glory is long overdue, and although there's still quite a bit of work to do before this Reds team proves itself to be one of destiny, there's plenty of reasons to believe that crowning moment will return to Cincinnati.