David Bell's foolhardy decision vs Padres shows how desperate Reds are to score runs

What was the Reds' manager thinking?
Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell
Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds lost their eighth consecutive series on Thursday when they fell in extra innings to the San Diego Padres. The Reds are in free-fall, and it's been the team's lack of hitting that's been it's Achilles heel over the last several weeks.

While the Reds did put four runs on the board during Thursday's contest, that's hardly admirable considering that all Cincinnati could muster with the bases loaded and not outs in the second inning was one measly run.

The Reds fanbase is becoming exceedingly frustrated, and a great deal of anger is being directed at manager David Bell. While the Reds skipper isn't to blame for the majority of the team's problems, a decision during the first inning shows just how desperate this team is to score runs.

David Bell's foolhardy decision vs Padres shows how desperate Reds are to score runs

During the first inning, with the Reds already trailing 2-0, Jacob Hurtubise reached via hit-by-pitch and Jeimer Candelario brought him home with an RBI triple. Candelario was struck on the elbow by the impending throw and was in obvious pain for a few moments. The Reds third baseman stayed in the game, and Cincinnati had a runner on third with only one out.

Mike Ford was the Reds next batter, and after a three-pitch at-bat that saw Cincinnati's designated hitter look foolish and strikeout, Spencer Steer stepped into the batters' box. Steer worked a walk which then brought Nick Martini to the plate.

But rather than allowing Martini to face Padres' starter Matt Waldron, Bell called for a delayed double-steal. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Steer took off for second base. Once the catcher committed to throw, Candelario broke for home plate and was gunned down easily by Padres shortstop Ha-Seong Kim. The umpire initially ruled Candelario safe, but upon review the call was correctly overturned.

Putting a double-steal on with two outs and two runners on base is fine if Elly De La Cruz or Stuart Fairchild is the player who's 90 feet away from scoring. But Candelario's sprint speed ranks among the 59th percentile — he's not fast.

This was a boneheaded decision on the part of Bell and the Reds' coaching staff, and it speaks to the level of desperation this team is feeling right now. Things are not going to get any easier with the Los Angeles Dodgers coming to town.

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