The day started out well. Although the Cardinals took an early lead against the Cubs and Chris Carpenter pitched a solid 5 innings in his return from the DL, Darwin Barney tied the game with a two-run homer, and DeJesus had a walk-off hit in the 9th. That brought the Reds’ magic number down to one.
The evening also saw the return of Zack Cozart to the lineup, a stellar defensive play from Brandon Phillips, and an impressive start from Bronson Arroyo. And, in a lucky turn of events, I got to actually watch the game tonight, since it was the big MLB Network game of the night.
Unfortunately, the bats were very uncooperative. Joe Blanton of the Dodgers has not been particularly good in 2012, and the offense couldn’t get anything done against him. They did chase him early, but Kenley Jansen was good in the 7th, and Ronald Belisario dominated us in the 8th and 9th, when the Reds were dreaming of late inning heroics and swinging away. Unfortunately, Sam LeCure and Sean Marshall conspired to be not quite good enough to get out of the 10th inning, which put the Dodgers up 3-1, and the Reds couldn’t answer.
Really, Bronson was spectacular all around. Bronson had all arm-angles working, and was aggressive with breaking balls in the zone to get ahead in the count. This allowed him to avoid walks, and conserve pitches, as he hit for himself in the bottom of the seventh with less than 80 pitches under his belt. He ended up pitching 8 innings, allowing only one run, and he drove in a run in the bottom of the 5th inning, to boot!
Just not spectacular enough to win all on his own. Well, tomorrow’s another day.