Pena on Chapman after loss
A 2-1 Reds loss to the Padres was decided in the ninth inning Tuesday when closer Aroldis Chapman gave up a two-out homer to Chase Headley on a 99 mph fastball that drifted up. Chapman may have been hung with the loss, but the lineup did starter Mike Leake few favors after he gave up all of one run and two hits over eight innings.
Chapman, who debuted on Sunday for a save vs. Colorado, came into Tuesday looking sharp again. He struck out both Seth Smith and Carlos Quentin with 100 mph pitches. Then came the 1-1 offering to Headley. It was deposited into the seats by the left field foul pole.
Reds catcher Brayan Pena was far from worried about Chapman after the game.
“It was just one pitch,” Pena said. “It’s one of those things that you have to give him some credit too. He missed a lot of time. The fact that he’s throwing the baseball the way he’s been throwing it and it takes time. I’m not making an excuse for the guy but … he went through stages, right? He was hurt. I think all of us, we’re very happy with the way he’s throwing the baseball. His velocity is there. He’s around the zone. He’s using his breaking ball and changeup. Just one pitch, we left it a little bit up and it really cost us the game.”
Items of note:
*I will have more on Leake’s excellent start and continued hard luck on Reds.com/MLB.com soon.
*Todd Frazier extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games with a leadoff double in the fourth.
*Ryan Ludwick reached bases on a catcher’s interference in the sixth. It was the third time Ludwick has reached on catcher’s interference this season.
*Brandon Phillips, who was 3-for-4 with a RBI single and a double, is batting .368 (14-for-38) over his last 10 games.
*The Reds are 4-9 in series openers this season.