Bronson Arroyo looked sharp tonight. For about 6 pitches. And half of that was probably because they were against the very-much-struggling BJ Upton. (The Lesser Upton managed to not strike out once tonight. Is that progress?) After that, Arroyo danced around disaster for 5 innings, allowing 4 runs despite the fact that it felt like it could’ve been 8. Well, once the Cincinnati relievers got involved, it almost was 8 on the back of a 3-run, 2-out 8th inning rally capped by a pinch-hit home run by Success. The biggest night was had by Andrelton Simons, who homered on two of his three hits, raising his average 22 points on the day. Neither of those HRs were cheapies. They were bombs right down the 3B line.
Paul Maholm was more effective, even though it didn’t always seem that way. The Reds are a patient team, and they made him work. Still, it’s hard to argue with 5.2 innings and only 2 runs, and while Maholm isn’t replicating his run at the end of last season any time soon, we can live with him pitching like this. Gearrin, Avilan, and Kimbrel were effective in relief, allowing no runs over 2.1 innings of work, but Jordan Walden made things interesting, allowing 2 in the 8th an necessitating Kimbrel’s appearance.
Brian McCann wasn’t particularly impressive in his 2013 debut, but I was glad to see him back in the lineup. He adds some much-needed lefty depth behind Justin Upton, who failed to homer but had two hits. Also, it’s weird to see McCann and Evan Gattis hitting back to back. It can’t go on forever, but you figure, Gattis can spell Freeman at 1B once every two weeks, play in the OF once or twice a week, and grab a start at catcher once a week, and you’re talking 3 or 4 starts every week, plus your random pinch hit appearances. Seems workable to me.