Reds Split in Tale of Two Teams
Reds Split in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
by Robb Hoff
August 18, 2012
The Cincinnati Reds fell short in their bid to take a twinbill Saturday against the Chicago Cubs but showed tremendous tenacity in the nightcap in their comeback from an 8-2 deficit to makes things interesting before finally losing 9-7.
The good in the loss was the determination the Reds hitters showed, albeit against a really bad pitching staff. Outfielder Ryan Ludwick continued to stake his claim for comeback-player-of-the-year consideration after crushing another pair of home runs, giving him 25 for the year. The streaking Ludwick continues to show Reds fans that he's a marked improvement of the Reds primary left-fielder in 2010, Jonny Gomes and that bodes better for October in 2012.
The good in the daytime win was another masterful performance by ace Johnny Cueto, who tied David Price for the most wins in the majors with his 16th and once again showed why he should be the N.L. Cy Young Award winner.
The bad ultimately was the loss, which stalled another win streak at two and let the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals both get another whiff of the possibility of still making a bid for the division title.
The ugly was the Reds pitching in the nightcap, which was horrendous starting with the ugliest -- starting pitcher Todd Redmond.
Sadly for Redmond, this was his major league debut after toiling admirably as a starter for several years in the Atlanta Braves farm system. It was a day to forget, as Redmond flat out stunk. Unable to locate for strikes, Redmond showed very little in the way of major-league stuff with the exception of a decent two-seamer that moved well.
Following Redmond's poor showing, neither Alfredo Simon nor Sam Lecure could keep the Cubs from adding on more runs. Had these two been able to shut the door, the Reds could have survived Redmond's egg.
But the pitching wasn't all that was ugly in the nightcap. The fielding cost the team a few of those runs, including a bad throw by Redmond and a offline throw by first baseman Todd Frazier that let another run leak through.
Another poor play by Frazier on a grounder to first eventually cost the pitching staff another run and opened the flood gates for a three-run inning that put the Cubs up 8-2.
But as bad as the ugly was, it could've been worse than a loss had the Reds not shown the gumption to make a game out of it.
The Reds get a crack at a little redemption Sunday with ace-in-waiting Mat Latos on the bump against arguably the worst starting pitcher in all of major league baseball -- Chris Volstad.
Well, maybe not quite the worse if the Reds are forced to use Redmond down the stretch in the event of some calamity.
Until then, another strong outing by Latos on Sunday will go a long way in galvanizing the makings of a bonafide post-season rotation with a dominant Cueto and Latos at the top, poised to lead the Reds deep into October.