I saw part of this game, and man, do I hate Jeff Brantley (FS Cincinnati, thanks). Wandy looked sharp, and I missed seeing it live where the bullpen fell all to hell, but at least it didn't impact the game, thanks to some Reds' defensive miscues and some good hitting off Aaron Harang. Harang is the anti-Oswalt when it comes to the Astros...
Wandy: 7IP, 5H, 1ER, 5K:2BB
Geary: 1IP, 1H, 1ER
Wright: 1IP, 1H, 1ER, 1BB
It's worth noting that Geary's ERA is now 5.54 and Wright's is 6.43. No esta bueno...
Geary, Geary, Geary...both relievers gave up lead-off base-runners. But for Geary, he let pinch-hitter Laynce Nix run around the bases at an easy trot before he stopped and slapped hands with Willy Taveras. And then, so did Brandon Phillips against Wesley Wright. Phillips actually had a negative batting average, so that hurts. And then he walked Jay Bruce...pretty bad. Losing Valverde, while it would hurt in the long run, could be even worse if the bullpen acts like this. The Astros are 5.5 games back, and two weeks without Valverde with the Astros' offense doing what it's been doing could push that to 9-10 games back.
The offense did some things tonight. Kaz Matsui went 3x5, and Blum and Pudge both added multi-hit games. Berkman saw 18 pitches, but went hitless. Bourn's 9-game hit streak ended tonight, but it was fun while it lasted. Five of the eight Astros runs scored with two outs. Astros hitters let Aaron Harang throw 16 of his 23 first-pitches for strikes, and didn't give a crap, tagging Harang for five earned runs on six hits in five innings.
Man of the Match:
Kaz Matsui. 3x5 and scored the first run of the game before Harang had a chance to crap his pants.
Goat of the Game:
Wesley Wright. Took 21 pitches to retire the heart of the Reds' order, none of whom are hitting over .273. Gave up a homer to Brandon Phillips, now hitting .191, and walking Jay Bruce - who to the 9th inning had drawn six walks in 68 plate appearances. Discussion. Over.