Lots of things caught up to the Reds last night.
Anthony DeSclafani needed a couple of innings to shake off some big league rust. He was very effective in the final three innings of his first Reds appearance since 2016. Unfortunately, he gave up four runs in the first two frames, putting him and his team behind.
The bullpen caught up to them, and that's a growing concern because of how much the relievers are already being asked to do. No one wants the Reds to lose 100 games, but the reason they're a fair (and in Delaware, legal) bet to hit the century mark is because the bullpen guys will have to be throwing with the arm they usually wear a glove on by the end of the season. Wandy Peralta might be asked to walk the ball up and put it on a tee, which is essentially what he did last night.
But part of that comes with the territory when a team is using so many starting pitchers that have so litte experience.
The maddening part of last night's game is how dumb the Reds were.
Start in the top of the first inning. Jesse Winker played Charlie Blackmon's hit into a triple. Winker's lack of speed is not indictment on intelligence, of course, but he looked clueless trying to corral the ball and his throw - even with an admittedly weak throwing arm - was a hurried spike into the grass that would've been funny had it not been so tough to watch.
Later in the inning, Joey Votto had a moment of indecision on a ball hit to him by Carlo Gonzalez. The brief pause allowed DeSclafani -moving toward first to take a potential throw - to block Votto's line of sight, which allowed a run to score and a Gonzalez to reach base. I love Joey Votto, but with all of the good come brain farts that occur more frequently than you'd think, given how cerebral a player Votto is.
In the fourth, Tucker Barnhart led off with a single that for some reason he tried to stretch into a double. He was thrown out by a mile. The Reds trailed 4-zip. The next four hitters were Votto, Eugenio Suarez, and Scooter Gennett.
In the seventh, with the Reds mounting a meager rally, Jesse Winker was sent home despite his lack of speed on a ball hit by Votto with two outs. If Winker and his slow legs stay at third, the Reds have the bases loaded for Suarez. Instead, another out given away on the basepaths ended the inning.
This team is bad enough. The talent gap between the Reds and their opponents is large enough. Their uphill battle is imposing enough. Dumb baseball makes all of this worse.
And it was tough to watch last night.
Wonder if Bryan Price was looking in.
Here's some stuff....
The Cavs secret weapon in game three is......
Warriors in four. Unless they want to win in five, in which case they'll win in five.
Educated guess: Jesse Winker plays baseball games in a Louisville Bats uniform at some point this season.
Will FC Cincinnati outdraw the Reds tonight? Probably. But right now, who cares? The fairer measurement will be what the crowd are like when both teams are good.
It might be a while.
The President revoking the Eagles' invitation to the White House accomplished what exactly?
I love LeBron James, but the body language here sucks. This isn't leadership. JR Smith, say what you want about him, needs a pick-me-up. Not the silent treatment. This is how your pissed-off wife reacts when you stay out later than you said would, not a team leader.
Here's some other stuff....
On Scooter Gennett: How the Reds found their surprising slugger
Fun baseball read: Geography trivia, caffeine and Atomic Balm: A long day in the Twins bullpen
Fun college baseball read: East Carolina's Jungle Rocks The Greenville Regional
Good, nerdy football stuff: Metrics that Matter: Players most dependent on gamescript
It's not summer until we see a story like this.
Radio Show: Extra Innings tonight on 700WLW. First and Last early tomorrow on ESPN Radio. Cincy 3:60 at noon and the show with no name tomorrow at 3:05 on ESPN1530. I like broadcasting. This morning though, I'm headed to the golf course.