Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….
W: S. Marshall (2-3)
L: J. Axford (1-5)
S: A. Chapman (9)
–Bronson Arroyo flirted with a no-hitter until the eighth inning, when he surrendered first a hit, then the three-run lead. Still, it was an outstanding night by Bronson. Until the eighth, Arroyo had allowed only one runner to reach base.
In the end, Arroyo pitched 7.2 innings, allowing three runs on three hits.
–Jay Bruce had the big blow, a three-run homer in the sixth inning that opened up the game’s scoring. Drew Stubbs hit a homer in the eighth that gave the Reds the winning margin. Brandon Phillips was the only Red to collect two hits.
–Good work by Sean Marshall and Aroldis Chapman to close out the game. After his recent struggles, it was nice to see Chapman get the save. Honestly, though, Aroldis was a bit shaky until he threw a first-pitch slider (after one strikeout and one walk) to the third hitter of the inning. It was one of those beautiful sliders we used to see…you know, before he was made the closer and stopped throwing any pitch but his fastball. After that, Chapman seemed to settle down and pitch like he did until a couple of weeks ago.
–Reds win the series, and it was a fascinating game from beginning to end.
–After recording the strikeout to end the game, Chapman delivered one of the most unusual post-game celebrations I’ve ever seen. He took a couple steps toward home plate, then did a double somersault before rising with a huge grin. It was kinda awesome, really.
Here’s the video. It’s fantastic.
–The Reds had lost their last six one-run games before tonight.
–Milwaukee reliever John Axford looks like Colonel Angus.
–Last Reds no-hitter: Tom Browning’s perfect game in 1988.
–Okay, let’s address the “controversy” that everyone wants to talk about. Bronson Arroyo gave up the no-hitter, and there was some sentiment out there that Dusty Baker should have brought in Sean Marshall to face the lefty with two outs. Of course, Dusty stuck with Bronson and in a flash, the game was tied.
— Joe Sheehan (@joe_sheehan) June 27, 2012
Good bit of hitting by Aoki. But it’s also true that the bullpen is fully rested and Arroyo routinely breaks down in the 7th or 8th.
— Red Reporter (@redreporter) June 27, 2012
Heart said leave in. Head said no-hitter gone, game on line, pitcher 100+ pitches, lefty up, lhp marshall light out lately #Reds
— Lance McAlister (@LanceMcAlister) June 27, 2012
I understand this line of thinking, and there is absolutely some merit to it. Can’t argue.
However…if I’m going to be honest, I have to admit that I probably would have left Arroyo in the game there, too. Yes, Arroyo always seems to run out of steam late in games. Yes, the bullpen was rested. Yes, Sean Marshall (“He Who Should Be Closer”) destroys lefties on a regular basis.
But Arroyo was under 90 pitches to begin the inning, and he was absolutely CRUISING. He hadn’t allowed a single base runner since the first inning.
It’s fair to criticize Dusty for not making the move there, especially in light of the fact that he seems to have left Bronson in the game one or two batters too long about a hundred times over the last few seasons. Yet, I probably would have made the same decision that Dusty did. I guess that’s why I’m not a major league manager.
–Try to take a break from the Dusty discussion to remember this: REDS WIN!
Nice little evening at the Great American Ball Yard for Bronson Arroyo, Ã¢â‚¬Å“we DID enjoy innings 1-7Ã¢â‚¬Â night. twitpic.com/a0xm15
— BennyCL (@BennyCL) June 27, 2012
–Redlegs go for the sweep tomorrow. Things are getting fun again, aren’t they?