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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.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Reds Bullpen Fails Padres Bullpen Prevails

The Reds bullpen betrayed John Lamb on Thursday. The San Diego Padres bullpen was near perfect.

The Reds used a four-run third against San Diego starter Christian Friedrich to take a 4-1 lead but Derek Norris hit his 10th home run off J.C. Ramirez with two men on to take the lead in the 7-4 win over the Reds.

The Padres bullpen allowed a hit and a walk over the last four innings.

San Diego scored first off Lamb in the second inning. Melvin Upton Jr. singled, stole second and went to third when Ramon Cabrera's throw went awry.  Alexi Ramirez grounded out to Zack Cozart to get the run home.

Cozart opened the third with a double off Friedrich.  Billy Hamilton hit the ball into the hole at short.  Cozart had to hold to see if Ramirez would field it before advancing to third.  Hamilton waited for nothing and kept running to second on a throw by leftfielder Upton that was cut off by thirdbaseman Yangervis Solarte.  When he realized Hamilton wasn't stopping he threw the ball past Adam Rosales at secondbase.  Hamilton streaked to third.  Brandon Phillips singled up the middle and trotted home on Adam Duvall's 21st home run that was lined into the Padres bullpen. Duvall is tied with Nolan Arenado for the league lead.

Lamb gave up Matt Kemp's 16th home run in the fourth but retired five out of the next six.

The lefty lost control in the sixth.  Lamb walked Wil Myers to open the inning. Kemp's slow roller sent Myers to second. Solarte singled to make it 4-3.  Ramirez took over.  Upton singled and Norris lined the next pitch to the seats in left.

"I think the at bat to Solarte took a lot out of him," Bryan Price said. "He gave us a competitive five innings but when Solarte got that hit I knew I wanted to take him out."

The bullpen has been a sore point all year. In spite of pitching just 256 innings to the starters 381. The starters have allowed 64 home runs and the bullpen 53.

"It's not just the number," Price said. "Forty of them have come from the seventh inning on. It's been a huge nemesis."

Rosales doubled and scored on a single by Travis Jankowski in the ninth off Ross Ohlendorf.

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