Cincinnati Reds: One bad inning has been a theme during losing streak

CINCINNATI, OHIO - APRIL 17: Manager David Bell of the Cincinnati Reds relieves Sonny Gray #54 in the fifth inning. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - APRIL 17: Manager David Bell of the Cincinnati Reds relieves Sonny Gray #54 in the fifth inning. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

As the Cincinnati Reds are trying to figure things out, the fanbase is becoming increasingly frustrated following the team’s fifth straight loss. Following last night’s loss to St. Louis, Cincinnati starter Sonny Gray cited one bad inning as the reason for last nights’ loss. That’s been a theme throughout the Reds’ five-game skid.

After starting the season in first-place with a record of 9-5, the last week has seen things go from bad to worse. Five straight losses now has the Reds sitting at 9-10, tied with the Cardinals for third-place behind the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs.

The Reds have to avoid the big inning.

Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer caught up with Sonny Gray following last night’s loss. During his interview, Gray mentioned that it was “one inning” that hurt the Reds chances of winning last night’s game.

"“It was one inning for me, and I couldn’t get out of that one inning.”"

Last night, a four-run third inning at the hands of the Cardinals doomed the Reds and the Cincinnati fell to St. Louis by a final of 5-4. A four-run seventh inning on Thursday afternoon put the Arizona Diamondbacks up 8-4 over the Cincinnati Reds. In extra innings, the D-backs scratched across six runs and won the game by a final score of 14-11.

Wednesday’s game versus the Diamondbacks is one that Reds Country would just as soon forget. Holding a three-run going into the ninth inning, Amir Garrett allowed a three-run bomb and the D-backs knotted the score before winning the game in extra innings. Cincinnati fell to Arizona 8-5.

Tuesday night’s affair got off to a rocky start with the Diamondbacks denting the plate three times in the first inning. That three-run cushion allowed Arizona to stay in the game and the umpire’s decision to continue playing baseball despite a torrential downpour that turned into freezing rain costed Cincinnati two runs in the top of the eighth inning. The Reds lost 5-4.

The Reds’ bats haven’t been the problem.

While we haven’t seen the offensive explosion that characterized the first week-plus of the season, Cincinnati’s bats have been good enough. You’re not going to bat 1.000, but over the five-game losing streak, the Reds have averaged 5.4 runs per contest. That’s enough runs to win. However, Cincinnati’s pitching staff has allowed an average of 7.0 runs during the last five games.

The bullpen has been a glaring weakness, while the starting rotation has been solid. But, the Cincinnati Reds have to stay away from the big inning. David Bell is not going to turn to his dynamic duo of Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone unless his team has the lead, or at least a tie heading into the latter part of the game.

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Cincinnati will look to stop the skid at five game when they play Game 2 of a three-game series versus St. Louis. Wade Miley will need another efficient performance and steer clear of allowing a crooked number to appear on the scoreboard.