The Reds challenged me to come up with yet another way to start a wrap of a losing effort last night. They were outlasted by the Brewers and fell 5-6.
Elizardo Ramirez worked six innings and probably should have been left in there another one. He allowed three runs (earned) on seven hits and one walk and threw 92 pitches.
David Weathers squirmed his way out of a bases loaded situation for a scoreless seventh, thanks to a catchable throw home by Rich Aurilia and a relay by Jason LaRue that didn't go fifteen fit over Scott Hatteberg's head. All-in-all, a notable inning. Weathers looked like he was ready to kiss someone after that. I could just imagine the conversation in the dugout between innings:
Weathers: Didja see that? Didja see that? I got an out!
Freel: Yeah, David, I saw.
Weathers: I got THREE outs!
Freel: Yeah, good job.
Weathers: BEFORE anyone scored!
Kent Mercker took over in the eighth and didn't allow a hit. Todd Coffey had a chance to take the game home after the Reds pulled ahead in the top of the 10th, but allowed the tying run on a solo shot to Geoff Jenkins. It was the only run he allowed on two hits in his two innings of work.
It was Esteban Yan's turn in the eleventh. He allowed no runs on two hits through his inning and a third. Brian Shackelford played the LOOGY role and got his one out in the middle of the 12th. Jason Standridge got the last out of the 12th and, unfortunately, none in the 13th before giving up two runs (earned) for the walk-off loss.
Gotta give some credit to the offense last night; they certainly kept battling back. That being said, Scott Hatteberg was the only Red with more than one hit, going 2-for-3 before being pinch hit for by Brandon Phillips. Adam Dunn had the only home run of the night. Austin Kearns both successfully stole a base and was caught stealing when Jason LaRue couldn't deliver the sac bunt on the suicide squeeze.
All-in-all, it was a weird, disheartening game that found the Reds at the sad end of a five game losing streak. It's been time for Wayne Krivsky to do something about the bullpen for a good long time now, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who's sick of waiting.
The loss brings the Reds' record to 44-41. They head to Atlanta today to face Tim Hudson and the Braves. Good news: the Braves are but a shadow of their former greatness this year. Bad news: they just took 2-of-3 from the Cardinals. Good news: maybe they're all tired from scoring 10 off Jeff Suppan. Bad news: they might not need much energy to score off Joe Mays. Good news: Edwin Encarnación should be back for tonight's game. Maybe he can pitch.