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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Reds Disguised As Hit Men Take But The Bullpen Sabotaged The Effort

The Reds wore camoflauge, presumably to honor the military on the anniversary of D-day, but perhaps to hide the fact their offense has been missing in action. The bullpen couldn't stay hidden.

Matt Kemp and former Red Yonder Alonso counterattacked with five and four RBI respectively. Kemp's two run single with two outs lifted the Padres to a 9-7 improbable win.

The Reds invaded home plate three times in the first inning against Andrew Cashner enroute to building leads of 4-0,  6-1 and 7-3.  Yonder Alonso hit a grand slam off Tony Cingrani to erase the lead.

"I was just trying to make sure I got a strike. I didn't want to expand the strike zone," said Alonso after his nine pitch at bat turned the tide. "I just hit it and hoped it would be in the gap."

Cingrani tried to give Bryan Price the ball but he refused it and became animated.

"There was no message. We weren't playing well and I got angry," Price said. "I was irritated with the aftermath. The home run wasn't the end of the game.  There will be low points in every game. We let up. We let off the gas and it cost us the ballgame. You can't be docile all the time. There isn't a team that's good enough to not take advantage of every opportunity.  I want us to be a team that fights for every out and every hit."

"Bryan was trying to make sure we didn't give in," Michael Lorenzen said. "It's tough to see but you have to take a deep breath and come out tomorrow."

Todd Frazier acknowledged the pain of it.

"It hurts. We have to put two and two together. We can't have runs one day and no pitching. We can't have pitching and no runs," Frazier said.  "A wise man once told me that if you're in grand slam range you've got a chance.  Bryan was trying to get us going.  We have to come together."

Brandon Phillips spearheaded the fist inning with a single up the middle.  Joey Votto coaxed a walk. Todd Frazier tried a frontal assault, hitting a long fly to straightaway centerfield that was over Will Venable's head for a two-run double as Votto scored right on the heals of Phillips.  Brayan Pena doubled down the rightfield line.

Zack Cozart, who hit four home runs during the entire season in 2014, launched his seventh off Cashner in the third.

Michael Lorenzen in his sixth career start allowed two walks and a single by Yonder Alonso in three scoreless innings to start the game.

Matt Kemp got the Paderes on the board with a home run that Bruce just missed catching in rightfield.

Lorenzen got it back by leading off the bottom of the fourth with his first single of the game.  Billy Hamilton bunted Lorenzen to second.  Votto tripled on a line drive on which Venable took a questionable route and slipped.  Pena hit a line drive that Venable appeared to be fooled on to score Votto and fell for a double.

Lorenzen got two quick out in the fifth but walked Derek Norris.  Justin Upton singled past Cozart.  Kemp hit another ball to right that Bruce had another chance to catch.  Kemp ended up with a two-run double as the ball eluded Bruce and hit at the base of the wall.
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The Reds used two bloops and a walk to score a seventh run off Cashner in the sixth.  Frazier was thrown out at the plate on Bruce's run scoring bloop single.

Ryan Mattheus took over for Lorenzen in the seventh.

Mattheus struck out Jed Gyrko and Venable to start the inning.  Derek Norris dribbled a weak grounder toward Frazier, who had no play.  Mattheus then walked Upton and Kemp.  Manager Bryan Price had seen enough and went with the percentages, bringing in Tony Cingrani to oppose lefty hitting Alonso, who two singles.  Cingrani narrowly missed the outside corner on a 2-2 pitch.  Alonso fouled off three full-count pitches before hitting a long fly that fell into the rightfield stands. His second home run of the season.  The umpires reviewed the play to see if there was fan interference. There wasn't and the game was tied.

Jumbo Diaz pitched the eighth inning.  Diaz gave up a leadoff double to pinch hitter Abraham Almonte but appeared to gain control of the inning by striking out Gyrko and Venable. Inexplicably he walked Norris and Upton before Kemp singled sharply between short and third.

Craig Kimbrel got the save striking out Cozart with runners on first and third.

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