Cincinnati Reds closer Raisel Iglesias celebrates every save by raising both arms in the air and pointing to the sky as he stands on the mound.
“It’s really just a thank you to God for keeping me healthy and positive through that inning,” Iglesias said. “I’ve done it for about three years. It didn’t come from anyone. I made it up myself.”
Iglesias has saved 99 games in the last six seasons and earned his most recent save Monday with a perfect ninth inning in a 3-2 victory against the Cleveland Indians. For a brief moment, all was right with the Reds bullpen, which threw three scoreless innings in that game.
The next day at Great American Ball Park, the problems that have plagued the relievers most of the season returned. Pedro Strop walked two batters and gave up a run on an infield single in the seventh Tuesday. Lucas Sims relieved him and walked in the tying run.
In the eighth, Nate Jones gave up a go-ahead, two-run home run to Franmil Reyes as the Indians rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win 4-2 in the second game of the four-game series.
Reds relievers picked up the decision in four of the team’s first six losses. The bullpen ranks 26th out of 30 teams in baseball with a 6.21 ERA and has allowed 10 home runs, tied for the second most in baseball.
Amir Garrett has a 2.45 ERA in four appearances. Sims has allowed three runs but no earned runs in five appearances. Strop has allowed two unearned runs in three appearances. They are the only Reds relievers who have made multiple appearances and kept their ERAs under 6.00.
Despite the issues, manager David Bell said he continues to believe in his bullpen.
“We need these guys to be good,” Bell said, “and they are. We’re going to stay with them. I know they want to pitch better. We believe that’s going to happen. They’re doing everything they can to make the adjustments needed, and that’s all you can do.”
Iglesias gave up three earned runs in two innings in his first two appearances and rebounded with two scoreless appearances. He said relievers have to turn the page.
“I look at what I do wrong and just move on,” he said. “You just have to continue on to the next day. With a short season like this, you don’t want to have anything that’s dragging you along through the season. Focus on what you did wrong, move on and keep going.”
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