Sixth Straight Defeat for the Cincinnati Reds


For the sixth consecutive game, the Cincinnati Reds came out on the frowning side of the game, dropping their second straight in St. Louis, this time by a final of 8-4.

Finally scoring more than a single run in a game for the first time in seemingly forever, the pitching could not match up with the bats, ultimately dooming the Redlegs.

The Bats:

Against a clearly still scuffling Michael Wacha, the bats began to show a heartbeat. Despite his domination against Cincinnati in his career, the Reds got their offense clicking after seeing him once through the order.

It was a multi-hit evening for Brandon Phillips, who was 0-for-11 against Wacha entering the contest. His second straight hit was a line drive base hit into left field that scored the Reds’ first run of the game.

Also racking up a multi-hit game was third baseman Kristopher Negron, who slashed two doubles on Saturday night. In the fifth inning, the Reds’ fireplug smacked a RBI double that would plate Zack Cozart and end Michael Wacha’s night just one out before he could qualify for the victory.

As the teams traded blows like heavyweight fighters, the Reds played the role of the featherweight taking on a sumo wrestler as the club desperately attempted to crawl back into the game. Jay Bruce would add a sacrifice fly in the sixth, before Zack Cozart would crank his fourth home run of the season to lead off the seventh inning.

Four runs would have done the trick on nearly any other night this season, but based on the 13 games below .500 record the Reds have, not much has gone right in 2014.

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The Arms:

The averages seemed to even out for Mike Leake, after he had four straight quality starts against St. Louis in 2014. He would make it through five innings, but would surrender six runs in that timeframe, picking up his second consecutive loss against a National League Central foe.

Getting the offense started was the unlikeliest of parties in Tony Cruz, who cranked his first home run of the season off Leake in the bottom of the second with a full count on a curveball that did anything but bend. The three-run blast from Cruz would set the tone for what would be a night in which Leake did not bring his best stuff to the mound.

If Jacob deGrom were not enough competition to Billy Hamilton for National League Rookie of the Year honors, Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong has joined the fray with a late second half surge. Wong cranked a two-run blast off Leake in the third inning to put the Redbirds ahead 5-0, and effectively dig Cincinnati a hole they would realistically never be able to crawl out of.

The first man out of the bullpen was Ryan Dennick, who would face three batters and not retire a single one. Randal Grichuk hammered a home run off the left-hander, showing that he may indeed be the more lethal of the Cardinals’ up-and-coming outfield prospects between he and Oscar Taveras.

Jumbo Diaz took over in the bottom of the seventh and should have avoided trouble, but after a pop-up dropped in between Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce, Grichuk had yet another RBI. The play was incredibly reminiscent of the final play in New York in which the ball dropped in between a Bermuda Triangle of fielders. This time around, the play was a low blow to a fan base that has already been through a miserable second half.

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Coming down the stretch, the Reds record reflects the amount of disappointment generated by everyone involved with this ball club. This series in St. Louis should have had major playoff implications, but was nothing more than a shoulder shrug and a disgusted glance or two.

The series finale takes place on Sunday Night Baseball for a national television audience as Alfredo Simon takes on Lance Lynn at 8:00 p.m.