Cincinnati Reds: Three takeaways from the walk-off loss to the Dodgers

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 15: (R-L) Former Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Turner Ward of the Cincinnati Reds look on during the first inning on Jackie Robinson Day at Dodger Stadium on April 15, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. All players are wearing the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 15: (R-L) Former Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Turner Ward of the Cincinnati Reds look on during the first inning on Jackie Robinson Day at Dodger Stadium on April 15, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. All players are wearing the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
MONTERREY, MEXICO – APRIL 13: Raisel Iglesias, relieve pitcher of the Cincinnati Reds, pitches on the ninth inning of the game between the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals at Estadio de Beisbol Monterrey on April 13, 2019 in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. (Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

3. What has happened to the Reds’ bullpen

Last year, the Cincinnati Reds bullpen was the strength of the team and the starting pitching was the Achilles heel. So far this season, the roles are reversed. The Reds’ starting pitching, for the most part, has been their biggest strength and the bullpen has struggled.

Before I get to Raisel Iglesias, can I take a moment and give props to Robert Stephenson? Who would’ve thought that 15 games into the season, Bob Steve would be the best arm in the Reds’ bullpen? The last two players to make the Reds’ roster (Stephenson and Wandy Peralta) have been the best relief pitchers on this year’s team.

I’m sure you thought, as I did, that we’d have no concerns involving Jared Hughes, David Hernandez, and Raisel Iglesias, right? Now, I get nervous when I see any one of those three players emerge from the bullpen.

Last night, Michael Lorenzen did his job against the one batter he faced and Wandy Peralta took care of Joc Pederson and then struck out Corey Seager. For the record, when the Reds need an out against a left-handed hitter, I want Peralta, not Zach Duke, on the mound.

Stephenson came in during the bottom of the 7th and mowed the Dodgers’ hitters down in order. He then followed that up with a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 8th, striking out Enrique Hernandez and Austin Barnes in the process. Kudos to Derek Johnson for his work with Stephenson thus far this season.

The 9th inning was a different story, however, when Raisel Iglesias walked the first batter on five pitches and then served up a meatball for Pederson to crush over the right field wall. The Dodgers won the game 4-3 in walk-off fashion, leaving the Reds scratching their heads.

It's already time to move on from Zach Duke. Next

The Cincinnati Reds’ bullpen had better get it together quickly. It’s very disappointing to see both the offense and bullpen, thought to be the strengths of this year’s team, letting the starting pitching down. They’ll both get a chance to make amends tonight when the Reds get another crack at the Dodgers in LA.