video thumbnail

PHI@CIN: Votto collects his 30th double of the year

CINCINNATI -- Despite his track record of 200-inning seasons and overall dependability through the years, Bronson Arroyo finds himself close to entering the Reds' record book for something infamous.

As Phillies ace Roy Halladay mowed down one Reds hitter after another, Arroyo was finished early during a 9-0 defeat on Tuesday.

On the ledger for the starting pitcher was two more home runs allowed while getting touched up for six runs (five earned) and eight hits over 5 1/3 innings with two walks and two strikeouts.

Arroyo has surrendered 36 home runs this season. That broke the club record for a right-handed pitcher of 35 previous held by Sammy Ellis (1966) and Aaron Harang (2008).

Not far in the distance is the overall franchise record of 40 homers allowed, owned by former lefty starter Eric Milton in 2005. Arroyo isn't angst-ridden over the year he has endured while going 8-11 with a 5.13 ERA -- his highest ERA since his '00 rookie season with the Pirates (6.40).

"I probably had been more frustrated in the past. Going 9-15 with 22 quality starts in '07 wasn't real fun," Arroyo said. "It's more frustrating when you continue to pitch well like [Johnny] Cueto and [Mike] Leake have and don't win ballgames. I haven't really matched the quality starts I've had over the past five seasons, so it's a little easier to swallow. Regardless, you'd like to go out and perform better than you have."

Of the 102 runs Arroyo has given up this season, 52 of them -- or 51 percent -- came via the home run.

Performances had been optimistic for Arroyo lately. He snapped a nine-start winless streak last Wednesday with eight scoreless innings at Florida and had three straight quality starts.

Tuesday had the makings of another decent game as Arroyo matched Halladay with three scoreless innings on just one hit.

The difference was that Halladay became completely dominant. After a leadoff bloop single by Brandon Phillips, a Joey Votto walk put runners on first and second with one out. But Halladay retired 18 of 19, including a stretch of 17 in a row. He did not surrender another hit until Votto's leadoff double to left field in the seventh.

Because of rainouts, Halladay was rested and pitching for the first time in eight days. The last time he had a break like that, he no-hit the Reds in the playoffs last year.

"I definitely felt like location early on, especially in the bullpen and the first inning, wasn't great," Halladay said. "But physically I felt real good. I felt like we got into a rhythm as the game went."

Home-plate umpire Ron Kulpa made the call on five of the right-hander's nine strikeouts.

"He was getting some help at the bottom of the zone, we thought too," Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Halladay. "That's where he lives. He's getting those pitches at the bottom of the zone and he's going to be exceptionally tough. That's where he stays all the time."

After giving up a one-out walk to Chase Utley in the fourth, Arroyo was taken deep by Ryan Howard for a two-run home run on a 0-1 pitch.

"Bronson was singing along pretty good, too, until that home run by Howard, which I thought was a popup at the time," Baker said. "But it went out of the ballpark."

In the sixth with one out, Hunter Pence attacked a high 1-2 pitch and drove it to right-center field for a solo homer. Arroyo did not record another out as Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz both singled to right field. A potential double-play grounder to third baseman Miguel Cairo was bobbled and dropped to load the bases for Halladay.

"I knew he'd probably swing first pitch, and I just wanted to throw him a sinker and see if we could get a double play," Arroyo said. "Obviously, he's not real fast."

Halladay sharply lined a first-pitch sinker down the right-field line for a three-run double.

"We make an error and the first pitch is out over the plate," Baker said. "That was a mistake there that ended up costing us four runs, especially from the pitcher in Halladay that's hitting .100. In that situation, we just have to make a better pitch than that. After that, the gates opened."

In the seventh inning, Ibanez added a two-run homer against Logan Ondrusek to turn the game into a blowout. Howard added a second homer in the ninth on a solo shot off Sam LeCure.

Following the Votto double in the seventh, Halladay hit Jay Bruce with a pitch and created a one-out bases-loaded jam when he walked Drew Stubbs. The Reds, who only had four hits all night, came up empty. They are 1-5 this season vs. Philadelphia.

"They hit the ball out of the ballpark on us tonight. They got what they needed -- seven innings out of Halladay," Baker said. "We didn't muster up a whole bunch of offense."

MLB.com Comments