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Arroyo Befuddles the St. Louis Cardinals as the Cincinnati Reds Avoid the Sweep

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ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 19: Starter Bronson Arroyo #61 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 19, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 19: Starter Bronson Arroyo #61 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 19, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Once again the St. Louis Cardinals come up short in an attempt to sweep the Cincinnati Reds in the third game of a three-game series. The road back to effectiveness from Tommy John surgery has been a bumpy one for former ace Adam Wainwright and Thursday's game at Busch was no exception. After three solid innings that featured a sinker reminscent in velocity to his Cy Young runner-up days, the righty was once again struck by a bout of home-run-itis, giving up two in the fourth inning. Former Cardinals Ryan Ludwick clubbed the second and put the Reds up 3-0. Wainwright would leave after five innings with a line that included seven hits allowed, one walk issued, five strikeouts induced, and four runs allowed.

Wainwright's counterpart on the day was veteran junkballer Bronson Arroyo, who spent the better (or worse?) part of the game befuddling the Redbirds with his vast repertoire of spin balls. A role call of his first-pitch offerings on the day gives one an idea of his approach:

1) Splitter, 72 MPH

2) Sinker, 86 MPH

3) Four-Seamer, 83 MPH

4) Changeup, 79 MPH

5) Slider, 74 MPH

6) Slider, 77 MPH

7) Changeup, 82 MPH

8) Changeup, 78 MPH

9) Changeup, 80 MPH

10) Sinker, 88 MPH

11) Changeup, 79 MPH

12) Sinker, 88 MPH

13) Changeup, 79 MPH

14) Sinker, 87 MPH

15) Changeup, 80 MPH

16) Curveball, 71 MPH

17) Changeup, 82 MPH

18) Curveball, 73 MPH

19) Sinker, 88 MPH

20) Curveball, 73 MPH

21) Sinker, 88 MPH

22) Sinker, 87 MPH

23) Sinker, 87 MPH

24) Curveball, 73 MPH

25) Changeup, 79 MPH

26) Changeup, 82 MPH

27) Changeup, 79 MPH

28) Curveball, 72 MPH

29) Changeup, 79 MPH

This was a masterwork in junkballing. Few of the spinners hung. The Cardinals largely made weak contact, though there was a fair bit of batted-ball luck in Arroyo's eight-inning start that saw the Cards total just five hits. That Arroyo equaled the Cardinals' hit total against him with his strikeout total is impressive for someone throwing what he was throwing. (Sean Marshall's slider was faster than Arroyo's four-seam fastball today.)

A Holliday homer plated all three of the Redbirds' runs and brought them within a run of the visitors, who would then go on to pad their lead agains the relief corps and leave town with a 6-3 win, the Reds' first of the series. The St. Louis flight to Pittsburgh will be a sad one even if the Cardinals can be happy about their 4-2 record against the Reds this young season.