Cincinnati Reds: Three takeaways from disappointing series loss to Tigers

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 22: Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 22: Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
CINCINNATI, OHIO – JULY 25: Raisel Iglesias #26 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

3. The Reds bullpen is struggling.

On Opening Day, staked to a 7-1 lead, the Reds bullpen of Lucas Sims, Nate Jones and Brooks Raley did a great job, giving up no runs over three total innings. This gave confidence to the thought the Reds bullpen could be counted on in 2020. That idea took a hit during the final two games against Detroit.

In Game 2, Luis Castillo left the game after six strong innings of one-run baseball, and a 3-1 lead. In the seventh inning, Robert Stephenson lasted only a third of an inning and accounted for two earned runs.

Michael Lorenzen pitched the final two-thirds of the inning and gave up one run, a two-run homer to Miguel Cabrera. The Reds tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh. The score remained tied until Raisel Iglesias entered the game for a non-save situation in the ninth. Iglesias couldn’t keep the Tigers off the board, giving up a two-run home run and taking the loss.

In Game 3, Trevor Bauer also pitched an amazing game, leaving after 6.1 innings, in a 1-1 tie. Amir Garrett and Pedro Strop pitched well out of the bullpen. Bell called on Lorenzen in the ninth inning and he promptly gave up a two-run home run to put the Reds down 3-1. Lorenzen was hung with the loss and the bullpen was all fans could talk about on Sunday afternoon.

That’s two loses for the Reds, both by relief pitchers. After three games, Lorenzen has given up three runs and Iglesias two runs. That doesn’t work in most years, but especially in the 60 game 2020 season.

Next. Stop blaming David Bell

If the Cincinnati Reds are going to have success this year, the bullpen has to pitch much better. It isn’t realistic to think the bullpen won’t give up some runs over the course of the year, but giving up two-run home runs in the ninth inning in back-to-back game isn’t acceptable. It will be interesting to see who David Bell turns to in the upcoming series against the Chicago Cubs.