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Many baseball losses are of the ho-hum variety. When your rooting for a team that loses more often than it wins, the defeats sometimes become routine. And even quality teams suffer beatdowns like the one the Reds absorbed on Friday, or have it stuck to them by an opposing pitcher the way they were stuck it by Jameson Taillon on Sunday.
But then there's losses like last night's, the kind that stick in your craw just a little bit more, the kind that linger just a little longer, the kind that could've turned had one or two things gone down differently. Those losses are the worst.
Last night's 6-5 L at the hands of the Phillies is the early leader for the Reds' most frustrating loss of the season. Among the things that stand out as we sift through the frustration.
*Cody Reed started a game that Amir Garrett should've been slated to pitch, and pitched the way Cody Reed usually pitches when he's given a chance to start a big league game. He was gone by the end of the third, having been betrayed by his defense, but also his inability to avoid throwing meatballs.
*The infield defense cost them a run in the first. Scooter Gennett made a costly error in the first. He and Jose Peraza also failed to turn a double play later in the game. I like Scooter. I'm lukewarm on Jose. But in a very short amount of time, the Reds have gone from having one of the better double play combos in the league to one of the shakiest, and while Jose and Scooter will benefit from time, the margin for error for this team is too small to be able to withstand poor defense up the middle.
*The Reds are bad with the bases loaded. They pissed away golden chances in the first inning, loading the bases with no outs and scoring just one run. They gagged away another in the seventh, loading them with two outs. The Reds are 2 for 15 with the bases loaded. The league as a whole is batting .294 with the bases loaded.
*There's a fine line between putting pressure on the defense and absent-mindedly running into an out (with the play in front of you). With two outs in the sixth, Billy Hamilton crossed that line.
*Bryan Price pinch-hit for the pitcher in the eighth inning, which meant he had to make a pitching change. He could've used Raisel Iglesias to pitch the eighth, and then bring him back to throw in the ninth given that his spot wouldn't have been due up in the top of the ninth until six other batters had come to the plate. It was a tie game, the Reds are in a position where they sorta need to start winning games, last night's game was for the taking, and Iglesias had thrown a whopping 11 pitches since April 2nd, all of them on Saturday. Price, who's talked often about thinking outside the box when it comes to bullpen usage, had a prime chance to use his best guy in high-leverage situations, and potentially use him for two innings.
Instead, he called on Kevin Quackenbush. This is how that turned out.
Frustrating. Both the loss and the way the season already seems to be on the verge of slipping away. I didn't think the Reds would be very good this season (my bold preseason predictions included 90 losses), but I at least held out hope that they'd get to , I don't know, May, and be marginally competitive. 2-7 marks their worst nine-game start since 1995, and given the injuries, lack or reliable starting pitching, and shaky offense, I fear that things might get worse before they get better.
Here's some stuff....
*The Bengals are bringing Eric Reid in for a visit. The free agent safety is on the market after a five-year run in San Francisco that included a Pro Bowl nod during his rookie season of 2013. This would be an interesting move, in part because it could help shape draft strategy, in part because Reid would probably represent an upgrade from George Iloka and Shawn Williams, but mainly because it might suggest that the Bengals are going to get creative in handling some of the cover issues that have plagued both their linebacker corps and their overall inability to consistently check opposing tight ends.
It'd also be a different type of late-in-the-process signing that we're used to. Reid is still just 26, and according to Pro Football Focus, he graded out just outside the top-third of NFL safeties. We're used to the Bengals bringing is washed-up guys who either don't fit or are looking for one last cash-grab. Eric Reid is far from being a great player, but he might end up being their best free agent signing in a while.
You know, if they actually sign him.
*Adam Duvall since last July 1st: .202. 12 homers, two since last August 29th. Eleventy billion strikeouts.
I'm light on my own stuff today since A) I'm actually enjoying a vacation day and B) The NBA stuff I want to write about, that you don't care about, will work better Thursday and Friday.
Here's some other stuff...
Doug Gray of RedsMinorLeagues.com has more Hunter Greene coverage.
And he has even more in The Athletic.
More on Hunter Greene. I'm seeing what's left of the Eagles tonight in Lexington, so I appreciated the headline used in this piece.
Josh Rosen of UCLA is going to be my favorite non-Bengal NFL player. This interview with him is excellent.
I've never wanted to see a man squeeze his hands more.
Andy Katz has a good podcast with both Travis Steele and Chris Mack.
And C. Trent has your Reds nugget of the day. This is interesting, and I look forward to talking about it when I'm back at work tomorrow.
Radio Show: Me being the swell guy that I am, I've offered to spend part of my day off hosting Cincy 3:60 on ESPN1530 with James, since he just took the redeye back from Vegas. Then you won't hear from me until tomorrow.