The Cincinnati Reds couldn’t get out of their own way yesterday. On several occasions, the Reds had a chance to blow the game open and didn’t capitalize.
The Cincinnati Reds‘ pitchers gave up three home runs yesterday, but that was not the reason they lost the game. Of course surrendering three big flies didn’t help the Reds’ cause, but too many mistakes cost this team a chance to walk out of Great American Ball Park with a win. Max Scherzer is on the mound today, so the Reds are already behind the eight ball.
Where do you start when you look at the countless gaffes during yesterday’s 5-2 loss to the Washington Nationals? The Cincinnati Reds were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base. The Reds also grounded into a double play on three different occasions. Jesse Winker fell victim to that ugly statistic twice.
Nick Senzel led off the game with a double and all seemed right with the world in Reds Country. A fielding error by Trea Turner of the Nationals allowed Eugenio Suarez to reach first base and Senzel motored on to third with only one out. Unfortunately, Winker grounded into a double play during the next at-bat.
Jose Iglesias drew a one-out walk in the second inning and was able to make it to third base on a rocket shot by Tucker Barnhart. A sacrifice bunt by Tanner Roark got Iglesias home and Senzel reached on yet another error by the Nationals. With runners on the corners and two outs, the Reds looked like they had a chance to plate at least one more run.
But, after a walk to load the bases, Suárez popped up to the end the inning. The third inning produced more of the same after Derek Dietrich and Jesse Winker singled to start the inning, Yasiel Puig struck out with runners on the corners and nobody out. The very next batter was Iglesias who, you guessed it, grounded into an inning-ending double play.
After Tanner Roark added to his own cause by smacking a home run off his former team in the fourth inning, it was more of the same for the Cincinnati Reds in bottom the fifth. Back-to-back singles gave way to a double play and Puig struck out to end the inning.
Yesterday’s game seemed like a microcosm of this season so far for the Cincinnati Reds; a lot of good production, but nothing to show for it. All season, the Reds have received solid pitching but couldn’t get a hit. Or, the bats would come alive, but the pitchers would have an off game.
While the double plays haunted the Reds yesterday, as a team, Cincinnati ranks near the middle of the pack in all of Major League Baseball with 38 total on the season. However, what we saw from Winker and Iglesias yesterday was more of the same. Winker leads the team in this dubious category and has grounded into a double play on 8 different occasions this season.
Winker, after 28 starts batting either 1, 2, or 3, seems to steadily falling in the batting order and with good reason. Winker’s power has been absent lately and those double plays are rally killers. No reason to put him anywhere near the top of the order. In fact, I think it’s time to bat Winker in the No. 7 hole consistently.
David Bell has some decisions to make as the Cincinnati Reds wrap up their series with the Washington Nationals on Sunday afternoon. With Scherzer on the mound, the Reds sure wish Scooter Gennett was available. Gennett was 5-for-6 against the three-time Cy Young Award winner last season.
Max Scherzer is 4-1 in 6 starts against the Cincinnati Reds in his career with a 2.21 ERA and a 0.982 WHIP. This will not be an easy task for the Reds, however, they managed to take care of Patrick Corbin on Friday night. The Reds will need a Herculean effort from the offense and a solid outing from Sonny Gray if the Reds wish to take the series.