Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Seventh and Eighth Innings Not Kind to Bullpen

by: Jack Ward
Staff Writer

The Reds coming off their second bad road trip, are home for ten games. So far they are four and four with Monday night’s win against the Pirates. The Reds bullpen blew two leads against Milwaukee and should have swept that series. Also on Monday night the bullpen ended their major league record of 23 games allowing at least one run.

Speaking of the bullpen, they are still last in the National League with an ERA of 6.43 and last in saves with three. Tony Cingrani saved his second of the season in three tries against the Pirates on Monday night. Tony barely hung on after a leadoff double and getting David Freese on a warning track fly ball for the last out. But a nice outing by Tony who has given up only three hits in his last 5 2/3 innings.

And it appears that Tony Cingrani and Ross Ohlendorf will be the Reds closers for the time being. Bryan Price said he would flip flop them in the eighth and ninth according to matchups. The Reds sent JJ Hoover down to Triple A to get his game straightened out. Meanwhile, Aroldis Chapman made his first appearance for the Yankees Monday night. His usual stat line. One inning, two K’s, no hits. He wasn’t in a save situation. But before you get too nostalgic remember the Reds lost 98 games with him last year. I’m not saying Aroldis wasn’t great and it was NOT his fault that the Reds lost 98 games, but the value of a closer depends upon the team getting him the lead in the ninth. A closer can’t pitch every night either so the Reds need to get the lead and then do something very foreign to them this season…HOLD IT! That’s where really your seventh and eighth inning guys are just as important as the closer.

Here’s the problem. The Reds are last in the National League pitching in the seventh inning. In 33 seventh innings, the Reds have given up an incredible 28 runs! What about the eighth inning? It gets worse. In 33 eighth innings this year, Reds have given up an unbelievable 32 runs and 40 hits!!! The Reds are the worst by far in the National League in the 7th and 8th innings. As a matter of fact, they are worst in all of baseball! It goes without saying that they are the worst in all of baseball in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings combined. You would think that that’s going to improve as the season goes along.

Nice home stand so far by Brandon Phillips. Brandon’s last seven games he has hit 5 home runs, drove in nine, batting .310. Brandon recently played in his 1500th game for the Reds.

The Reds have made some adjustments to the roster bringing up pitchers Steve Delabar, Layne Somsen and catcher Ramon Cabrera. Delabar has made two appearances. In two innings he has given up two runs and three hits. If you are a pitcher in the Reds organization and you are healthy, hang in there you may be given your chance in 2016.

Until next time,

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