Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….
W: S. Diamond (6-3)
L: A. Chapman (4-4)
S: J. Burton (1)
–None. Well, Mike Leake pitched eight strong innings, surrendering just two runs (on 86 pitches). Joey Votto hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth that looked like it would be the game-winner.
–Aroldis Chapman was ineffective once again, blowing the save by surrendering a two-run homer to Josh Willingham in the ninth. What can we say? He’s been worse as closer than Sean Marshall ever was, but we told you from the beginning that putting him in the closer’s role was a bad idea.
–In the bottom of the ninth, our old friend Jared Burton walked Todd Frazier to lead off the inning. Dusty Baker then gave Minnesota a free out (when the Reds only had three remaining to give) on a sac bunt, before pinch-hitter Scott Rolen walked. Yep, Burton couldn’t find the strike zone, yet the Reds just gave him a free out. Very magnanimous, don’t you think?
–After those two walks, Chris Heisey came to the plate and promptly hacked at the first pitch (lifting a lazy pop fly for the second out). In five ABs today as the leadoff hitter, Heisey saw a total of 7 pitches. Seven pitches. Completely unacceptable.
–Yep. The Reds just lost two of three to the worst team in the American League.
–The biggest mystery surrounding Chapman’s recent meltdown is that he has completely changed the way he pitches. He’s not mixing up his pitches anymore, relying far too often on the fastball only. Very strange.
–Dare to dream:
The only benefit to a loss like this is that maybe Dusty will overreact again (like he did w/ Marshall), and move Chapman into the rotation.
— Chad Dotson (@dotsonc) June 24, 2012
–Burton collected his first career save. Hope he can stay healthy. Burton was always one of my favorite Reds.
–I’m the last one to overreact to losses like these. This stuff happens. That doesn’t mean I have to like it, though. Series like these are not fun at all.
But there’s always another game tomorrow.