What happened is that the Reds saw that there was no Lance Berkman in the lineup and were energized immediately. Yeah, no Lance. If he’s not hitting in Cincy, something is wrong and he knows it, so he asked for the night off.
Not that he would have hit anyway, as Volquez was ON tonight.
Paulino wasn’t terrible, but tonight, as he did in his last start, he seemed to lose it after 4 innings, and by lose it, I mean he left pitches up, mid plate and he got hit. Coop yanked him much more quickly than he did last time and Chris Sampson shut it down, but the guys didn’t hit and there went the ballgame.
Brocail was lousy again, having incredible trouble finding the strike zone. 32 pitches, 17 strikes, 15 balls (and he didn’t get 2 borderline calls that would have helped) - an IF single, 2 walks, a sac-fly and a K (of Alex Gonzalez on a FB that was waaaaay outside.)
Don’t know if he isn’t really healthy or if he’s just lousy – he was all over the place with both the FB (I mean, ankles to shoulder to 8″ off the plate) and the slider, so it isn’t that he has one good working pitch. Maybe Paulino could replace Brocail/Geary as he seems to be able to pitch one effective inning.
Day off tomorrow, and I’ll check out the minors and see how guys are doing.