Reds: Amir Garrett shows great resolve following horrendous start

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 25: Amir Garrett #50 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 25: Amir Garrett #50 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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I’ve been very critical of Amir Garrett during the course of the 2021 season, but his play of late warrants applause. Prior to the season, Garrett proclaimed himself the closer, a notion that I found preposterous for many reasons. However, the Cincinnati Reds reliever has been excellent of late, and this latest version of AG is exactly who the Reds need on the mound late in games.

Garrett’s numbers did not impress me prior to the 2021 season, and even as we speak, the 29-year-old owns a 7.50 ERA. However, over the past seven games, Garrett seems to have found his groove, and that will only help Cincinnati as the season goes along.

Amir Garrett has been the Reds best reliever of late.

While much of the fan’s focus has been on Tejay Antone, Amir Garrett has been the better pitcher over the past several games. Antone is carrying a 3.27 ERA over his last seven appearances with four hits and four earned runs over 11 innings of work. Antone has struck out 12 batters during that timeframe and walked five.

Garrett’s last seven games have seen the southpaw return to form. AG has thrown in six innings, allowing just three hits and walking two batters while owning a 1.50 ERA. During AG’s last seven outings and he’s struck out 10 batters. Garrett’s previous seven-game stretch saw the southpaw record just four punch outs over six innings and walk seven batters to the tune of 13.50 ERA.

If we dig a little deeper, since Amir Garrett’s fiery interaction with the Chicago Cubs dugout, he’s seen his numbers improve dramatically. AG hasn’t allowed a single run to cross the plate since his heated exchange with Javier Baez, and he’s sat down 14 of the 18 batters he’s faced.

Amir Garrett need to keep his emotions in check.

For those who point to Amir Garrett’s intensity as a good thing, neither he nor the Cincinnati Reds are in a position to strut right now. The ailing Reds dropped four straight to the San Francisco Giants, and sit four games below .500.

Much of the Reds troubles can be attributed to the injuries that have crippled the offense. Joey Votto, Mike Moustakas, and Nick Senzel have missed time lately, and Eugenio Suarez has been struggling to find his swing.

Amir Garrett received a five-game suspension for inciting the benches-clearing fracas back on May1st, and it appears the left-handed hurler has learned from his time away. Garrett credits Wade Miley for helping him figure out what went wrong mechanically, and also said he learned not to have fun.

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While MLB has been terribly inconsistent with their message surrounding what’s appropriate behavior and what isn’t, and that competitive spirit is what helps drive Garrett, he needed to tone it down. The best version of Amir Garrett is the one who gets key outs versus the left-handed hitters. If that version of AG isn’t having as much fun, that’s fine by me.