Cincinnati Reds: Stop blaming David Bell for Amir Garrett’s mistakes

MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 27: Manager David Bell #25 of the Cincinnati Reds takes Amir Garrett #50 out of the game against the Miami Marlins. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 27: Manager David Bell #25 of the Cincinnati Reds takes Amir Garrett #50 out of the game against the Miami Marlins. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Amir Garrett proved last night that we can no longer count on AG. However, after the Cincinnati Reds fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks by a score of 8-5, fans rushed to social media with their virtual torches and pitchforks clamoring that David Bell was at fault for last night’s loss. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Were there other options to close out last night’s ballgame? Of course. Bell could have turned to any number of relievers outside of Tejay Antone who’d already preserved the three-run lead with 1.1 innings of solid work that included four strikeouts. But, the Reds skipper decided to hand the ball to Garrett with a 3-0 lead heading into the top of the ninth inning.

Amir Garrett, not David Bell, is to blame for the Reds loss.

Amir Garrett could not find the strike zone last night. In fact, the lefty has struggled to find the strike zone all season. But, we all know how talented AG is, which is why Bell turned to the 28-year-old with a three-run lead in the ninth inning.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are not giant killers. The D-backs are without their best player (Ketel Marte) and had just seven wins on the season heading into last night’s game. Arizona now has eight wins on the season, four of which have come against Cincinnati.

There was no better situation for Bell to boost Garrett’s confidence than against the left-handed hitting David Peralta, the switch-hitting Eduardo Escobar (whose splits aren’t dramatically different as a left-handed or right-handed hitter), and the left-handed hitting Stephen Vogt; who was later lifted in favor of the right-handed hitting Carson Kelly.

Garrett walked Peralta, induced a flyball out from Escobar and then, following a wild pitch, walked Kelly. AG set the stage for former Cincinnati Reds’ utility player Josh VanMeter to exact revenge on his former teammates, and the left-handed slugger did just that as he launched a deep fly into the moon deck of the right field bleachers.

Reds skipper David Bell put Amir Garrett in position to succeed.

There wasn’t a game situation better suited for Amir Garrett than what was presented last night. The bottom line is, AG surrendered the lead, and the Reds lost the game in extra innings. This loss sits squarely on the shoulders of Garrett, and for his part, he owned it, saying the last two losses are on him.

After allowing Lucas Sims and Sean Doolittle to finish out Tuesday’s suspended game on Wednesday evening, it makes sense that Bell turned to Garrett rather than the other two. Sims went 0.2 innings on Wednesday evening and Doolittle worked a scoreless ninth after play resumed.

At the end of the day, you have to rely upon your best players to make plays. Amir Garrett did not do that in last night’s contest. Moving forward, there’s no way David Bell can trust AG in a high-leverage situation until the southpaw proves that he can find the strike zone consistently. Of his 25 pitches, only 10 were strikes.

Next. Who should replace AG as the Reds closer?

As fans, we’re always looking to place blame when things don’t go the way we expect. In this instance, the blame for last night’s 8-5 loss lies with Amir Garrett, not David Bell. However, the next time Reds fans see AG, I highly doubt the game will hang in the balance.