CINCINNATI, OHIO – JUNE 26: Amir Garrett #50 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates the final out. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
The Cincinnati Reds split the four-game set with the Atlanta Braves over the weekend, while the Milwaukee Brewers swept the lowly Colorado Rockies. The Reds sit six games back of the Crew and three games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central Division.
Of course, when you split a series, some things go well and others don’t. The Reds saw jubilation on the faces at Great American Ball Park, as for the first time all season 30,000-plus descended on the ballpark. Unfortunately, Friday’s one-run loss was the difference between a series win and a series split.
The Reds play a makeup game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday before entertaining the San Diego Padres for three games and closing out the homestand against the rival Cubs. What went right and what went wrong for Cincinnati over the last four days?
If you’re someone who’s looking to throw blame around don’t direct your intensity toward the Cincinnati Reds bullpen. The relief corp was very good over the past four games, especially considering David Bell didn’t have the services of Tejay Antone (after Thursday) or Lucas Sims. Both are now on the 10-day IL.
Amir Garrett pitched very well, appearing twice over the four games, allowing just one hit in two innings while striking out two batters. The southpaw racked up another save on Saturday night as well. Cionel Perez, who was called up after Antone was placed on the injured list, performed well in the ninth inning yesterday. Facing the minimum, Perez struck out two batters on just 11 pitches, eight of which were strikes.
Brad Brach, who notched the save on Thursday night, was responsible for one of the two runs the Reds bullpen allowed during the series, surrendering two walks and a run on Saturday night. The other earned run was hung on Antone during Thursday’s win.
This is a trend that Reds fans could get used to. While I’m sure that the fanbase would still love to see the front office add a reliever or two before the trade deadline, if Cincy can get solid contributions from Brach, Garrett, and Heath Hembree, it’ll go a long way toward Reds’ skipper David Bell trusting his bullpen late in games.
Next: Strange roster decisions