Taveras hurt, Bailey learning
During an 8-5 loss to the Giants in 10 innings, CF Willy Taveras was booed lustily when he jogged out of the batter’s box and never ran all the way to first base on an inning-ending groundout to the pitcher. Taveras was lifted in a double-switch before the eighth but it turned out not to be a punishment for not hustling.
The Reds later announced Taveras had a mild strain of his right quadriceps.
“Willy actually got hurt on that bunt play when he was going down first base,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “I could tell something was wrong when he slid head first into first base. Then when he didn’t run and everybody was on him, that’s not Willy. I knew something was wrong with him at that point.”
The seventh inning already wasn’t a good one for Taveras. In the top of the inning, Fred Lewis smoked a line drive to the wall. Taveras, who has a penchant for taking bad routes on balls, took a step in and then a circuitous route as the ball whizzed over his head.
Baker defended Taveras on the play.
“That ball was a rocket,” he said. “That’s the toughest ball in baseball in baseball. That was hit like a 2-iron. I didn’t think [the quad strain] had anything to do with it.”
The Reds can only look at a night like this with despair, knowing they had the best pitcher in the league on the ropes and couldn’t close the deal. Tim Lincecum tied a season high by allowing five earned runs and trailed 5-1 through five innings. He had allowed just four over his previous 33 2/3 innings.
It was a match-up of the Majors’ worst hitting team (.241) vs. the best pitcher (2.19 ERA) and best pitching staff (3.49 ERA)
Homer Bailey had his one bad inning in the sixth. The killer was that all four runs in the inning came with two outs following a walk. He was one strike from escaping the inning when Ryan Garko hit a misplaced fastball over the plate for the game-tying two-run double.
“That inning, I was missing everything by a few inches,” said Bailey, who allowed five runs and seven hits over 5 2/3 innings with three walks and four K’s. “I don’t know what to tell you. I was missing spots.”
It was another learning experience for Bailey, who is winless since July 27.
“He’s in a process where you can’t, or don’t want to, rescue him all the time,” Baker said. “Because then they never learn. It’s a tough way to learn your lessons. Hopefully, he will be better for it.”
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