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Reds Let Out a Huge Sigh of "Relief"

If any MLB teams are wondering what to do to cure a losing streak: take a trip to Cleveland.  Cincinnati took the first of a three game series in Cleveland with a 7 to 4 win tonight.  After losing two games in Atlanta, including last night's so-bad-there-isn't-an-adjective-for-it loss, the Reds bounce back with some solid performances to defeat in-state rival Indians.

Offensively for the Reds, it was all Laynce Nix tonight.  Nix was 3 for 4 with three runs scored, two RBIs, and a home run.  Gomes and Phillips also had homers tonight.  The offense wasn't fantastic, especially when you consider they were playing Cleveland, but the Reds got it done with a few long balls.  The offense did get a jolt from a much needed source - the pitching.  

Bronson Arroyo had a solid game, pitching 6 2/3 innings giving up four earned runs.  Shin-Soo Choo was the sole Indian who had Arroyo's number, hitting two homers this evening.  Choo was responsible for three of Cleveland's four runs tonight, and to say he is the Indian's best batter is an understatement.  Choo is the Indians offense, and he receives little recognition for his abilities due to an anemic team around him.  

Cincinnati's relief pitching was great tonight.  Reds fans relaxed a bit after last night's terrible collective relief pitching effort, in which four pitchers combined in the ninth inning to give up a six run lead.  Rhodes looked great as usual.  If any middle reliever deserves a trip to the All Star game, it's Arthur Rhodes.  Masset looked good for 1/3 of an inning.  And Cordero finally looked like a closer worth $12 million.  Cordero's problems thus far have been due to a lack of getting ahead in counts.  If Cordero can throw first-pitch strikes, batters have little chance.  That's exactly what he did tonight.  It may have been his first 1-2-3 inning all season.

All-in-all, the Reds got the win after a terrible loss last night.  Starting pitching stayed good, relief pitching looked better, and, as usual, the bats looked great.  They'll need it to keep up with the Cardinals.

     - Mike Zimmerman
       5/21/2010

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