Bullpen, Chapman on the hook
Sunday night under the lights had the makings of a big night for Cincinnati. Given the full ESPN treatment, there were cool overhead blimp shots of the city and a crowded ballpark with over 34,000 fans. And there was a 6-2 lead in the seventh inning with two outs.
As pretty as it all looked, only the results matter. And they were crushing in 7-6 Reds defeat to the Tigers.
All of the pertinent information is my game story — click here and the full version should be up shortly.
Here are two quotes:
Dusty Baker: “Homer was good. We decided he shouldn’t face Cabrera with 112 pitches after he hit him hard a couple of times. He’s a dangerous man. Then we walked him, which set up Prince Fielder’s hit off of Marsh two nights in a row. We were put behind the eight-ball by the walks.”
Homer Bailey on whether he had anything left in the tank:
“I felt like I did. It felt like my velocity was still pretty good and I was making some pitches in that last inning. It was Dusty’s decision and with all the confidence I had in our bullpen, why would you argue with it. Those guys have been picking us up all year. It’s funny how the cards fall some days.”
Postgame video of Baker:
My take: If Arredondo or Marshall got the third out, no one is complaining about Bailey not facing Miguel Cabrera, who took Bailey to the warning track for a near homer in the fifth. With an off day coming Monday, no problem to me with using up the bullpen…especially if the guys did the job. It just so happened that they didn’t on this rare occasion.
As for the eighth, giving Chapman a six-out save chance with two on in the eighth with a three-run lead. It wasn’t unreasonable though. He’s the best reliever on the team and has pulled out two inning wins earlier this season. As Baker put it, this was “the inning of decision.”
Chapman, incidentally, was not in the clubhouse when media was allowed in.
No. 3: Homer Bailey — 6.2 ip, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 112 pitches/70 strikes.
No. 2: Todd Frazier — 2-for-4, HR, 4 RBIs — Frazier had seven RBIs in the series.
No. 1: Austin Jackson — 2-for-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, game-tying two-run double in the 8th off Chapman.