Cincinnati Reds’ Bullpen Reaches New Low in Loss to Padres


61. . 9. 127. 7

W: Brandon Maurer (2-0)

L: Jumbo Diaz (2-1)

SV: Craig Kimbrel (13)

The plight of the Cincinnati Reds bullpen has reached a new low, if that’s even possible. For the third time this week, the Reds’ relief core blew a multiple run lead as they fell to the San Diego Padres for the second game in a row, 9-7.

Ryan Mattheus and Tony Cingrani (again) were the guilty parties in this one. Mattheus entered with the Reds ahead 7-3 in the seventh inning and things started off well enough. He struck out the first two hitters he faced, but then gave up a weak infield single and walked two to load the bases. He was removed for Cingrani, who promptly gave up the game-tying grand slam to former Red Yonder Alonso.

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The meltdown continued in the eighth as Jumbo Diaz entered the game and couldn’t throw strikes either. He loaded the bases on a double and a pair of two-out walks before giving up the go-ahead, two-run single to Matt Kemp, who also homered in the game and knocked in five runs.

Before the bullpen coughed up the lead, Michael Lorenzen pitched admirably, firing six strong innings of three-run, six-hit ball with three walks and five strikeouts.

Thanks in large part to horrible defense by the Padres, the Reds’ offense provided their pitchers with more than enough runs to win.

Things got started rolling away, as Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto reached base to start the game, and scored on a Todd Frazier double. Brayan Pena made it 3-0 with a double of his own to score Frazier. The Reds ran themselves out of a potentially bigger inning, as Skip Schumaker was caught stealing second with two outs and a runner on third with Lorenzen—who went 2-for-3 on the day—at the plate.

Zack Cozart smacked a solo home run, his seventh of the season, in the third to extend the Reds’ lead to four.

After Kemp’s home run made it 4-1 in the top of the fourth, the Reds increased their lead again as Will Venable had a miserable inning in center field. The first run scored as Venable completely whiffed on a line drive by Votto that wound up being an RBI triple. The second came on a nearly identical play, as a line drive from Frazier went right over the center fielder’s head.

In the sixth, with the Reds holding onto a 6-3 advantage, a Jay Bruce pop-up landed right between three fielders to allow another run to score.

Everything went downhill from that point on, however, as the bullpen did their thing and let another win get away.

Other Notes:

  • Burke Badenhop was the only member of the bullpen who did not give up a run, throwing a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
  • Alonso and Kemp combined to go 6-for-9 and drove in all nine of the Padres’ runs.
  • An odd exchange happened in the disastrous seventh inning. After Cingrani surrendered the grand slam and walked the next batter, Bryan Price went out to the mound. Cingrani tried to hand his manager the ball as Price begin tearing into him and left him in the game. Here’s a GIF (via Nick Kirby on Twitter):

Up Next: The Reds will try to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Padres on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. ET. Johnny Cueto will hope to get some run support in this start as he faces off against Odrisamer Despaigne.

Next: Reds fall to Padres in Moscot's Rough Debut