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Reds Look to Cueto to Stop Slide and Keep Best Record in Baseball

Updated on August 6, 2012

Reds Look to Cueto to Stop Slide and Keep Best Record in Baseball

by Robb Hoff

August 6, 2012

Nothing quite like a bad Bronson Arroyo start to open the can of worms that has been stewing in the hot summer sun since the Cincinnati Reds started to reel off a winning streak for the ages: how long can the starting rotation stay intact and effective?

Now that the Reds have dropped two games in a row, the rotation question looms larger.

Bronson Arroyo is starting to deteriorate to the form that Reds fans unfortunately had to watch like a never-ending car wreck last year when he surrendered the second most home runs in a season in National League history.

But an ineffective Arroyo is not alone. Homer Bailey and Mike Leake have shown the signs of fading in their last two starts respectively, and the Reds can ill afford a rotation meltdown if they are to withstand the charges of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals, who both show no signs of exiting the chase for the division title quietly.

The Arroyo loss also jeopardized the Reds claim to best record in baseball, but the Reds have their ace Johnny Cueto poised to take the mound tomorrow. A win by Cueto tomorrow, and the rest of the Reds staff can breathe a little easier. If the Reds ace can't come through once again, there will be some stirring in Reds Country about the rotation.

Second baseman Brandon Phillips returned to the lineup Monday night, and the signs point to the return of first baseman Joey Votto sooner rather than later. A healthy Phillips and Votto will most definitely take the sting out of bad Reds starting pitching, but even then, if the Reds have to eventually replace one or more starters in the rotation, the end result could make it a whole lot harder to tread water as the days of August start to bear down.



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