Chapman blows two in a row

The Reds felt the elation of back-to-back homers to win a game in walk-off fashion earlier this month — on May 7 vs. the Braves — when Devin Mesoraco and Shin-Soo Choo took closer Craig Kimbrel deep for a win at GABP.

Now they know how the other half live. Aroldis Chapman gave up back-to-back home runs to Erik Kratz and Freddy Galvis for a 3-2 Reds loss to the Phillies on Sunday.

“Rarely do you see back-to-back homers [to end a game],” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We were thinking Galvis has power from the left side. We were thinking Kratz was really the only guy that could hurt you at the bottom of the order. I guess it shows that anybody with a bat is dangerous. That’s a tough one to lose.”

Kratz said he was ready for whatever Chapman was bringing.

“I look forward for the chance to face anybody,” Kratz said. “We’ve done a good job in this series of coming in against their bullpen and tacking on runs or adding to runs and I think any time we’ve been faced with a challenge like that as a team, we’ve stepped up. He’s just another example of that. So yeah, you definitely look forward to facing somebody who’s going to come after you and he definitely did.”

That’s back-to-back blown saves for Chapman after he notched eight in a row to start the season. Add to that the three runs and four hits he gave up to the Cubs in a non-save situation on May 3.

Could this be the start of a funk? You remember June of last season? That month he had a 6.97 ERA with one loss and three blown saves, including back-to-back blown saves. After that, he went back to invincible mode and blew only one more save the rest of the season and saved 38 overall.

Something to keep any eye on perhaps…

“I don’t see any problem,” Chapman said through translator Tomas Vera. “I’ve been hit. Everybody gets hit, why not me? I’m going to get hit as well.”

Much more on this finale will be posted on MLB.com shortly. Click here to read. It includes a stroll down memory lane at Citizens Bank Park that isn’t very pleasant. The Reds haven’t won a series here since 2006.

Notes:

*With six of the nine games of the road trip complete, the Reds rotation is 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA.

*The pitching staff had a stretch of 16 scoreless innings against the Phillies, which ended in the eighth when Sean Marshall gave up a two-out single to his first batter Chase Utley.

*Jay Bruce remains on fire. Leading off the top of the second inning against Jonathan Pettibone, Bruce hit a 2-1 pitch for a home run to center field. His fifth homer of the season, it extended his season-high hitting streak to 10 games and 15 of the last 16 games. Bruce is 16-for-41 (.390) during the streak with four homers and 12 RBIs.

*Joey Votto had two more hits to extend his hitting streak to eight. Votto’s double play in the third ended a streak of eight-straight plate appearances where he reached safely.

5 Comments

Ok…the shock and awe of what happened last game is finally wearing off, but I won’t forget it. Only way to get over it is to steal one from the Phillies down the road!

Bruce is sneaky. The guy is struggling at the plate for nearly the entire season and then within 9 games he is 2nd on the team with 28 RBI. Through May 7th he was batting .246/.296/.345/.641, with 1 HR and 16 RBI. As of May 19th, the guys is batting .279/.323/.458/.781, with 5 HR and 28 RBI. Now we have Frazier cooking, so maybe, just maybe, we can get out of this low run scoring funk. With our unbelievable superb SP, we should be waltzing through these games with far more support.

We are done with the Phillies for the year unless both teams land in the post-season. Improbable.

Of the Reds 18 losses – 14 of the games we scored 3 or fewer runs; 12 by 2 or fewer runs, 8 of those we scored 1 or none.

Of the Reds 26 wins – 18 of the games we scored 5 or more runs; 7 by 10 or more runs.

I have taken a vow of not commenting on lineups. So this is not a comment about this or any alternative lineup. But … what could this team accomplish with a two-hole hitter who contributed on a nightly basis? With three guys with an on-base % of over .350 batting in front of Phillips? Think of the runs they would score! And Cozart could hit 7th, where he belongs, if he’s ever going to hit at all. I know Phillips is the guy to bat second, but it seems crazy to move him now. I also know DB won’t want to bat three lefties at the top of the lineup. So I’m not saying I have an answer. Just a wish that Cozart would either hit, or the Reds would find someone to bat in his lineup position. What an offense that would be!

If Cozart could hit .260/.300…we would be just fine with him batting 2nd, but the numbers seldom, if ever, don’t tell the story. But hitting .206/.233 just isn’t cutting it.
He may well have the sniffles, but I think Dusty is giving him some time to think about those numbers; after all, I think we have lots of good leather to fill in quite admirably.

Don’t get me wrong; I like Cozart, but his horrendous 8/2 uppercut doesn’t work as shown by his increasingly and growing FO percentage since 2011. He must hit the ball on the ground to be successful; he is not a HR power hitter. I feel like I am harping now, so I’ll get off the bandwagon.

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