Cincinnati Reds: Another day, another blowout

Apr 10, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tim Melville throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tim Melville throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /
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The dreadful pitching continues for the Cincinnati Reds.

There isn’t much to say about this one. The Reds got beaten for the fourth time in a row and were completely blown out for the third straight game. From the get-go, the St. Louis Cardinals jumped all over Cincinnati pitching, pounding six home runs (and it would’ve been seven if Billy Hamilton hadn’t made a spectacular catch to rob another) en route to a 14-3 win, giving them six victories in their last seven games.

During the four-game losing streak, the Reds have been outscored by a ridiculous 36-9 margin.

Here are some takeaways from another ugly performance:

Reds need to get healthy

In his second career start, Tim Melville was rocked by the Cardinals, allowing seven runs (six earned) on six hits and three walks in three innings. Once again, he couldn’t find the strike zone, walking the first two hitters of the game before Matt Holliday took him deep for his first of two home runs on the night. He would allow another run and need a total of 35 pitches to get out of the first. When the Reds closed the gap to 4-3 in the third, Melville immediately let the Cardinals get the runs back by allowing another three-run home run, this time to Aledmys Diaz.

Melville wasn’t the only starter to see action. Two days after pitching just two-thirds of an inning in his second start of the season, Alfredo Simon pitched the bottom of the seventh. It went about as well as his Wednesday outing did. He gave up two more home runs to Randal Grichuk and Brandon Moss, coughing up three more runs in all.

The Reds will get some help when Jon Moscot comes off the disabled list on Sunday, but there’s no set date for Anthony DeSclafani to return. With John Lamb, Homer Bailey and Michael Lorenzen not expected back until sometime in May, and Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson stuck in the minors for the time being due to service time concerns, the Reds may not have any choice but to leave Melville and Simon in the rotation during a stretch of 15 games without a day off.

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Bullpen reeling

After a horrid series for the Reds’ bullpen in Chicago, it didn’t get much better tonight. Forced into action in just the fourth inning, Dan Straily did a decent job, pitching three innings and allowing just one run — a home run, of course — one hit and one walk. It would further unravel after that, however. Simon followed with his aforementioned poor appearance before Jumbo Diaz allowed two runs (yep, you guessed it, on a two-run homer) in the eighth inning. Since the losing streak began, the ‘pen has a 9.18 ERA and 1.86 WHIP. They’ve been given a heavy workload due to poor performances by the starters, but that isn’t going to get the job done.

Votto provides only offense

The Reds did have some hope at one point in the game, in spite of what the score may indicate. Faced with a 4-0 deficit in the top of the third, Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez hit back-to-back, two-out singles, bringing Joey Votto to the plate. He came through with one of his trademark opposite-field home runs, his first of the season, off of pitcher Carlos Martinez to pull the Reds within one. But that would be the last time the Reds would even sniff a run, as they would only pick up three hits the rest of the game.

Notes:

  • Hamilton’s defensive gem aside, the defense didn’t do Reds’ pitching any favors. Eugenio Suarez made two more errors at third base (though he probably should’ve only been charged with one), while Cozart made his first error of the season at shortstop.
  • Devin Mesoraco was out of the lineup for a third straight game, but seems to be closer to getting back behind the plate. He made a pinch-hit appearance in the seventh inning, flying out to center field.