McCoy: Bullpen wastes Mahle gem as Reds lose twice to Diamondbacks

Cincy falls in resumption of suspended game and regularly scheduled game

It was a cold couple of nights for the Cincinnati Reds, plunged into the freezing zone due to hugely negative outcomes on the Great American Ball Park frozen tundra.

Two losses were slapped on their record by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

First, they completed the final two innings of Tuesday’s suspended game and quickly lost that one, 5-4.

Then they played Wednesday’s regularly scheduled game and it was a crusher.

The Reds led by three runs with one out in the ninth inning, but Amir Garrett gave up a three-run game-tying home run to former Red Josh VanMeter.

Then the Diamondbacks scored five runs in the 10th inning to grab an 8-5 victory.

It was an unfathomable turn of events after Reds starting pitcher Tyler Mahle pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings and gave up only two infield hits.

First things first, though.

Tuesday’s game against the Diamondbacks was stopped in the eighth during due to a driving rainstorm with the D-Backs batting and leading by a run.

The Reds had two chances to tie or overtake the D-Backs. They went down 1-2-3 in the eighth. Jesse Winker singled with one out in the ninth and was the potential tying run. Tyler Naquin popped out and Eugenio Suarez struck out and that was that.

But it appeared the Reds would win Wednesday’s scheduled game with that 3-0 lead in the ninth.

Garrett walked David Peralta on a full count to start the ninth. With one out he walked Carson Kelly on four pitches. He went to 2-and-2 on VanMeter before he deposited his three-run homer into the right field bleachers.

Garrett has encountered difficulties nearly every outing so far this season after a perfect spring training cut short by injury.

“It’s me not trusting my ability right now, but that can be fixed quickly,” said Garrett. “My slider isn’t very good right now.

“My teammates need me to turn it around and turn it around quick,” he added. “My last two games are games we should have won.”

Garrett gave up the game-tying home run in the eighth inning of the suspended game to pinch-hitter Andrew Young.

“I take those losses on my shoulders, man,” said Garrett. “These last two games are on me, 100 percent on me. I just have to turn it around, I know I can. I know I will.”

The bullpen mishap continued in the 10th. It began with Cionel Perez on the mound.

Pavin Smith, who made the last out in the ninth, started the inning on second base and moved to third on a fly ball. Asdrubal Cabrera was walked intentionally to set up a possible inning-ending double play.

David Peralta chopped a slow roller toward second. Alex Blandino tried to bare hand and it throw home. He missed it for an error as a run scored.

Jose De Leon replaced Perez.

Eduardo Escobar singled to fill the bases and De Leon hit Kelly, forcing in the second run of the inning. With two outs, De Leon threw a wild pitch to let in the third run and Wyatt Mathiesen singled for two more.

The Reds scored two in the bottom of the 10th, but it was eyewash.

Mahle held the D-Backs to no runs and two infield hits over 6 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out nine.

And he wasn’t wheezing at the end, he was breezing. He gave up an infield hit to Asdrubal Cabrera to open the seventh.

He retired the next two, but when he walked Stephen Vogt, manager David Bell removed him, even though the scheduled batter was Nick Ahmed, hitting .083 and Mahle had used up only 79 pitches.

TeJay Antone came in and walked pinch-hitter VanMeter to load the bases, then struck out Nick Heath.

Leaving the bases loaded was a habit for the D-Backs in their first two games in Great American Ball Park. They left them loaded without scoring three times in the first game and once in the the regular game.

But they cashed in when it counted in the 10th.

And in that first game they were 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 14. Mahle made certain in the second game that there were few runners to strand and few runners in scoring position.

Mahle’s practically perfect performance was needed because the Reds were missing two major offensive weapons — Nick Castellanos (suspension) and Nick Moustakas (injured list). And three guys in the lineup are enmeshed in slumps — Eugenio Suarez, Nick Senzel and Jonathan India.

Nevertheless, they had enough runs heading into the ninth until Garrett took the baseball.


Diamondbacks at Reds, 12:35 p.m., Bally Sports Ohio, 700, 1410

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