Stop me when you’ve heard this before. The Reds will going into a four game series against the Philadelphia Phillies with a bullpen that has been a little extended workwise. Today saw the pen hurl a total of 7 innings, allowing 2 runs on 8 hits. They walked 4, but managed 8 strikeouts. Aroldis Chapman, Nick Masset, Logan Ondrusek, Jose Arredondo, and Bill Bray took over for starter Johnny Cueto.
There were two relievers that did not work the game: Sam LeCure and Francisco Cordero. LeCure had worked 1.2 innings last night and might not have been available for this game. Cordero is rarely one to turn down getting the ball. More on that in a sec.
But this game, a Reds 5-4 win on a walk-off home run off the bat of Joey Votto (shock), should have been shorter. Much shorter. The pen relinquished runs in the 8th off of Chapman and in the 9th with Masset on the hill. If Chapman does not surrender that run in the 8th, it would have been Cordero working in the 9th instead of Masset. Possibly the same outcome with the Reds winning, but in 5 fewer innings.
With the failure to hold the lead, Dusty Baker had to look to Arredondo to work 3 innings. And what does Jose have to show for it? Not a win, mind you, but at least one day, maybe even two days off. The rest of the pen could be all right, but with not having another off day until September 8th, you might worry about another case of the bullpen being overworked. And the Phillies have been in Cincinnati since yesterday…relaxing.
A little overworked? A little. The only pitcher that will not be available tomorrow night is Arredondo. Bray worked a full inning today, but only one-third of an inning the previoud game. He should be able to go against a lefty if need be. With Masset continuing to struggle and Ondrusek seeing his first action since returning from the disabled list, you could have a thought of not working them on back-to-back days. But if another extra inning affair against the Phillies breaks out…
There is a little light up ahead. The saving grace will be that on the 1st of next month, the rosters will expand. If the pen can hold on for the first three games of the series against the Phillies, it should be a better situation for Baker.