Reds: Multi-run innings have hurt Michael Lorenzen this season
By Drew Koch
As a reliever, you’re bound to surrender the occasional earned run. Even the best in the business get roughed up from time to time. However, Cincinnati Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen has given up multiple runs on three occasions this season, and all three happened at critical points in the game.
When you’re as good as Lorenzen, you expect to excel in the biggest moments. Manager David Bell has trusted the trio of Lorenzen, Lucas Sims, and Mychal Givens to get the important outs this season. Sims and Givens have rewarded Bell’s faith of late, but Lorenzen has had his fair share of struggles.
It happened once again last night. While I’m in no way pinning last night’s loss on Lorenzen, the right-hander did walk two batters, allowed two hits, and was charged with three earned runs in the eighth inning, and the Reds one-run deficit became a four-run hole that Cincinnati was unable to dig out of.
Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen has been victimized by the BIG inning.
Overall, Michael Lorenzen has had a solid 2021 campaign. Thought to be a potential starter this season, a shoulder injury shelved the 29-year-old for a few months, and rather than extend his time away from the team, the decision was made to insert Lorenzen into a relief role this season.
On the season, Lorenzen has appeared in 23 games, owns a 3.91 ERA, 3.83 FIP, and has 21 punch outs over 25.1 innings of work. Lorenzen’s K/9 (7.46) and strikeout-rate (20.0%) are both the lowest they’ve been since the 2018 season.
While Lorenzen certainly has not been a bad as the likes of Brad Brach, Cionel Perez, and any other number of relievers the Reds have sent to the hill this season, the big inning has hurt the righty this season. Three times on the season, Lorenzen has been touched up for multiple runs in an inning.
Michael Lorenzen has had four bad outings for the Reds this season.
After posting zeros during his first 12 appearances this season, a five-hit, four-run inning on August 24th turned a 4-1 Reds lead over the Milwaukee Brewers into a 5-4 deficit. Lorenzen lasted just 0.1 inning, walked a batter, and didn’t record a punch out.
Lorenzen then had a rough patch during a visit to Wrigley Field earlier this month. On September 6th, Lorenzen was tagged with his second loss of the season. While he didn’t give up multiple runs, Frank Schwindel’s single off Lorenzen scored the winning run in the eighth inning. The Reds fell to the Cubs 4-3.
Mikey Biceps was called upon the following night, and things didn’t get much better. The Cincinnati reliever was lit up with two solo home runs, shrinking the Reds’ lead from 4-1 to 4-3 in the eighth inning. Thankfully, the Redlegs were able to hang on for the victory.
Michael Lorenzen is a free agent this winter, and it appears unlikely the Cincinnati Reds will re-sign the right-hander this offseason. You have to believe, with this injury-plagued season behind him, Lorenzen will be looking to establish himself as a starting pitcher.
With the influx of young pitching talent this organization has, it’s hard to see the Reds and Lorenzen agreeing to a deal that will allow Mikey Biceps to earn a spot in the rotation. I think it’s more likely that Lorenzen will sign a one-year “prove it” deal with another organization and attempt to put together a 2022 campaign that shows he can be a starting pitcher in this league.