Reds manager David Bell was far too generous when explaining Elly De La Cruz's errors

Call it what it was, David.

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell doesn't need to mince words when it comes to Elly De La Cruz. Bell needs to call it what it is. Every single Reds fan who was watching Tuesday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies saw what happened with their own two eyes. De La Cruz was out there hot-doggin' it and it cost his team at least one run, and probably more.

There are the De La Cruz apologists out there who'll claim that the two errors charged to the Reds' shortstop on Tuesday night were due to the wet conditions, or they'll say that Joey Votto would've scooped that ball out the dirt, or that he's just 22 years old, and on and on the excuses go.

Bell said after the game, "It's, you know, a couple of plays where he (De La Cruz) tried to be too quick." Bell almost got it right, but the Reds skipper wasn't going to throw his infielder under the bus. What Bell should've said is that De La Cruz was trying to be too cute.

Reds manager David Bell was far too generous when explaining Elly De La Cruz's errors

De La Cruz had two errors on the night, and there was another miscue during the bottom of the eighth inning that could've been charged to his account as well. Thankfully the official scorer ruled that Garrett Stubbs' grounder, which ate up De La Cruz, was a base hit and not an error. That would've been a difficult play, and it was rightly called a single.

But the other two plays are ones that De La Cruz, who has elite-level talent, has to make. In the bottom of the sixth with two outs, Bryson Stott grounded a ball right to De La Cruz, but his throw was off-line, which caused Christian Encarnacion-Strand to misplay the ball. That allowed Trea Turner to score and the Phillies took a 3-1 lead. Reds starter Graham Ashcraft was visibly upset after the play.

Some Reds fans will argue that Encarnacion-Strand should've secured that ball, and that an established first baseman would've recorded the out. That may be the case, but if De La Cruz's throw in on-line, it's an out and the Reds are down just one run heading into the seventh inning.

Elly De La Cruz was showboating & the cost the Reds at least one run

The second error was far more egregious, and no one should be defending it. In the bottom of the seventh with a runner on first and no outs, the ball was hit right to De La Cruz. Instead of properly throwing the ball to a covering Jonathan India at second base, De La Cruz attempted to stylishly throw the ball using his glove, which in turn pulled the Reds' second baseman off the bag. There was then runners at first and second with no outs.

The Phillies then blew the game wide open after Bryce Harper's grand slam later that inning. If De La Cruz converts both of the plays, at worst, the Reds are down 2-1 entering the bottom of the seventh inning. By the end of the eighth inning, the Phillies led 7-1.

Was De La Cruz the reason the Reds lost the game? That's incredibly unfair and puts far too much emphasis on two plays. Don't forget, the Reds had scored just one run heading into the eighth inning. But Bell, along with De La Cruz's teammates, need to hold the 22-year-old infielder responsible when he makes silly plays like that.

De La Cruz has the type of talent that can allows him make spectacular plays on the defensive side of the ball. But far too often, he makes the routine plays harder than they need to be. You can call it showboating, hot-dogging, or whatever. But when the lack of fundamental baseball takes outs away, Bell needs to call it what it is.

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