Bronson Arroyo’s leg kick annoys me. And I think he does it JUST to annoy me.
Not that I know Bronson Arroyo. I don’t. We’ve never spoken. But his leg kick is so extreme, so distracting, and so unnecessary, that he HAS to be doing it just to annoy fans of opposing teams, right?
Although, after his performance last night against any Phillies player not named Domonic Brown, perhaps the leg kick actually fuels his unhittableness.
Whatever the reason, the Phils offense made Arroyo look like a Cy Young contender on Wednesday night, scratching out only three hits and two runs against the Reds’ left-hander in a 3-2 loss to Cincinnati at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies didn’t get their first hit until the suddenly-hot bat of Domonic Brown launched a solo homer to right field in the fifth inning. And what really irked manager Charlie Manuel was not so much that the offense had trouble against a guy that had pounded the last six times they had faced him in the regular season (to the tune of a 10.29 ERA), but the poor approach they displayed at the dish.
“I don’t want to take anything away from [Arroyo], but we could’ve have had better at-bats,” Manuel said.
If you think you’ve heard that tune before, you ain’t crazy.
Of course, the one guy who has had a terrific approach at the plate the last few weeks, even if the results haven’t really been showing up on the stat sheet until the last few games, is Domonic Brown. And it was Brown who may have had his best overall game as a Phillie on Wednesday night.
Brown made a terrific diving catch on a fly ball hit by Arroyo, threw an absolute rocket to home to nail Jay Bruce on a sacrifice fly attempt, hit his first homer of the year and blasted a double in the eighth inning.
And Vance Worley pitched OK in defeat, allowing 10 total baserunners in six innings of work, but gave up only two runs. It was the first time in four starts Worley lasted at least six innings.
But it was the mystery and majesty of Bronson Arroyo’s left leg that had Phils hitters flailing at his collection of slop all night.
Or, perhaps it was just the throwback ’90s maroon home jerseys that encouraged the Phils to play as if it was 1992.
When It All Went Wrong
When Josh Lindblom entered the game. Of course.
When Lindblom threw a 1-2-3 seventh inning, one assumed that would be his lone inning of work. But, inexplicably, Lindblom came out for the eighth inning as well. Perhaps Charlie was testing him, to see if he could go multiple innings. But let’s face it, Lindblom has had trouble going through a single inning unscathed since he arrived from the Dodgers in the Victorino trade. Since joining the Phillies, he has a 9.00 ERA, giving up 6 ERs in six innings of work.
Things didn’t work out. Jay Bruce hit a bomb that killed a family of four in the right field stands, giving the Reds what would ultimately be the winning run in the ballgame.
Most Attractive Play
Well, we’re going to have to go with two plays. Dom Brown’s diving catch in right, and his laser-like throw to home, cutting down Bruce at the plate, were both eye-popping defensive plays. Somewhere inside Domonic Brown lies a good defensive player. We just have to unearth it, much like a paleontologist does on a dig for dinosaur bones.
Brown, who tried to single-handedly beat the NL Central division leaders. Unfortunately, he needed more help.
The entire Phillies offense, which were under some kind of order not to see more than two or three pitches per plate appearance from Arroyo. You know, this whole “only swinging at strikes” thing is so totally overrated.