David Bell made dimwitted decision in Reds 7-6 loss to Braves on Tuesday night

Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell (25) makes a pitching change
Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell (25) makes a pitching change / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds fell to the Atlanta Braves by the final score of 7-6 on Tuesday. This was the Reds second straight one-run loss.

Normally, I don't blame the manager when a team loses. No manager makes a substitution, calls for a bunt, or changes the lineup card with the intent to lose the game. Sometimes the decisions a manager makes just don't work out.

But on Tuesday night, Reds manager David Bell made an dimwitted decision in the eighth inning when he brought on pinch hitter Kevin Newman for Jake Fraley. This, just one batter after hitting Stuart Fairchild for TJ Friedl.

Reds manager David Bell pulled Jake Fraley in favor of Kevin Newman.

After a Spencer Steer double in the eighth inning, Jose Barrero smacked a two-run home run. Barrero's first round tripper of the season brought the Cincinnati Reds within one run of the Atlanta Braves with a score of 7-6.

Smelling blood in the water, Jonathan India drew a four-pitch walk and that was all she wrote for Braves reliever Joe Jimenez. Brian Snitker went to his bullpen and called upon left-handed pitcher Dylan Lee. David Bell immediately countered by pinch hitting for TJ Friedl with Stuart Fairchild.

I wasn't necessarily a fan of this move, especially seeing as how Friedl has actually had success versus left-handers in the past. But Fairchild has produced in big moments so far this season and on Monday night came within an eyelash of hitting his second home run of the season off left-hander A.J. Minter. Fairchild would fly out to right field, but India swiped second base during the at-bat.

So, here we are with India in scoring position and your hottest hitter coming to the dish in outfielder Jake Fraley. David Bell then inexcusably decides to pinch hit for Fraley with Kevin Newman. What in the world was he thinking?

Reds manager David Bell overthought the situation in Tuesday's loss.

Okay, we all know what he was thinking. Bell preferred the the right-handed hitting Newman instead of the left-handed hitting Fraley. Are you kidding me? In that situation? Fraley was 2-for-5 in the game, is hitting .370 on the season, and his three-RBI double just two days ago helped the Reds overcome a late-inning deficit against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Now, Fraley has just one hit against lefties this season and is historically not good against southpaws. And, in Bell's defense, Newman's four base hits this season have all come off left-handed pitchers. So you can at least see where the Reds skipper is coming from.

But this is one of those "read the room" situations for Bell. At some point, he's going to have to trust Jake Fraley to get a hit against a left-handed pitcher. Fraley has been, arguably, Cincinnati's best hitter this season.

Rather than crush his confidence and put doubt in his player's mind, Bell should have let Fraley take his hacks and gone down swinging with the player who's consistently batting third in his lineup. It's not the worst managing decision Bell's ever made, but it's up there.

This was a classic example of David Bell over-managing; relying on numbers rather than feel for the game. That can work in some instances, but on Tuesday night, it was the wrong call.

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