When in the middle of a losing streak, it seems like everything goes wrong. The Cincinnati Reds have struggled in nearly all areas of the game this season except for defense, where they ranked third in all of baseball in fielding percentage (.989), UZR (11.2), and fourth defensive runs saved (13) coming into Sunday’s game.
Poor defense can be attributed to nearly all the Reds’ runs allowed on Sunday, as they lost to the Cleveland Indians 5-2, their eighth straight defeat.
The Indians’ first run came in the third. Following a double and a walk, a ball deflected off of Joey Votto‘s glove allowing the first run of the game to score. One batter later, an error by Brandon Phillips scored another.
More bad defense haunted the Reds in the sixth. Yan Gomes, in his first day off the disabled list, reached on an error by J.J. Hoover to start the inning. Phillips then botched what would’ve been a ground ball double play and though he was able to get one out, Gomes moved to second. Hoover didn’t help himself with a pair of walks, but with a chance to get out of the inning he couldn’t catch a feed from Votto at first, allowing two more runs to score (Votto was charged with the error, for some reason).
To be fair to the defense, the Reds were bad in every other aspect as well. Raisel Iglesias was finished after the third, having thrown an inefficient 84 pitches. He was charged with two runs on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts. The outing marked the fourth time in the last six games that Reds’ starters were unable to make it more than four innings.
The offense awoke from their afternoon nap in the seventh, as Marlon Byrd got the Reds on the board with a solo home run–his ninth of the season.
Aroldis Chapman gave the run right back in an erratic eighth inning in which he gave up two hits and two walks.
The Reds mounted a small rally in the ninth, as Brayan Pena made it 5-2 with an RBI double.
- Iglesias’ short outing meant the Reds had to use five relievers. While Hoover and Chapman struggled, Ryan Mattheus threw two scoreless innings, Burke Badenhop retired the only batter he faced, and Jumbo Diaz had a shutout inning.
- Over the last five games, the Reds have scored just seven runs. That’s not going to win many games.
Up Next: The Reds head back home to begin a three-game series with the Rockies on Memorial Day at 1:10 p.m. ET. Jason Marquis (3-4, 6.91 ERA) will start for the Reds while Eddie Butler (2-5, 4.38) will take the mound for the Rockies.
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