Cincinnati Reds’ John Lamb Shows Potential in 5-4 Loss to D-Backs


8. 4. 61. . 5

W: David Hernandez (1-3)

L: Burke Badenhop (1-3)

SV: Brad Ziegler (22)

John Lamb might not have had the best stat line in his first home start in the big leagues, but he showed some real potential in the Cincinnati Reds’ 5-4 loss to the Diamondbacks on Thursday. Lamb pitched 5.1 innings, giving up nine hits and three runs while striking out eight. Most impressive about his performance was the fact that he didn’t walk a batter. All three of the runs Lamb surrendered came in the fifth, when he had thrown over 100 pitches. For a rookie in only his second career start, he was mixing pitches and mixing speeds, something that looks promising for the future.

Ryan Mattheus relieved Lamb in the sixth and worked out of one-out, two on situation. He then pitched a scoreless seventh, giving up only a hit and a walk. It was a much improved outing from Mattheus this time around compared to Tuesday when he allowed the game-winning hit against Kansas City.

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The offense largely came from the top of the lineup on Thursday. Jason Bourgeois and Eugenio Suarez each had two hits in the first two innings. Bourgeois scored on a sacrifice fly by Jay Bruce in the first. In the second, Skip Schumaker doubled, Tucker Barnhart singled him in and Bourgeois tripled to score Barnhart. Bourgeois finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Get used to seeing him in the leadoff spot with Billy Hamilton on the DL for the foreseeable future.

After the second inning, the bats fell silent. A four-run lead might have been enough if the Reds still had Johnny Cueto or Mike Leake, but with a rookie pitcher on the mound, they need to add on every chance they get. They instead allowed the lead to get smaller and smaller before the D-backs would eventually take the lead in the eighth on a two-run single up the middle by A.J. Pollock.

Other Notes:

  • I was going to mention here that Burke Badenhop hadn’t given up a run since July 3, but he rendered that a moot point when he gave up the lead in the eighth. I’m going to give Badenhop the benefit of the doubt here, though, because he shouldn’t even have been in the game with two outs. Bryan Price’s refusal to use Aroldis Chapman, or even JJ Hoover, for a four-out save rears its ugly head again.
  • Barnhart is making a statement that he wants to be the backup behind Devin Mesoraco next year. In his last seven games coming into Thursday, he’s gone 6-for-18 with two walks and five runs scored. On Thursday, he went 1-for-3 with an RBI single. He’s not hitting for power, but he’s getting hits that set the table for guys behind him.
  • Aside from Lamb, Bruce was the only Reds player not to get a hit. He contributed in the first with that sacrifice fly, but struck out in a crucial spot in the eighth, with runners on first and second, only one out and the Reds down by a run. He’s now 6-for-58 since August 5.

Up Next: The Reds meet the Diamondbacks in the second of this four game series Friday at 7:10 ET. David Holmberg (1-2, 5.95 ERA) will try to bounce back from his horrible start against the Dodgers. Arizona will counter with Rubby De La Rosa (10-5, 4.40 ERA).

Next: Series preview: D-backs vs. Reds