In the first game after the All Star Break, the Cincinnati Reds played exactly as they had been prior to the break: badly. It’s not surprising, considering they’re a mediocre team lacking offense and managed by a buffoon. It’s still easy in baseball to be eternally optimistic and hope that things will bounce your team’s way.
Not this time. Homer Bailey, fresh off two of his best major league starts, regressed. He walked 4, struck out 3, and allowed 7 runs over 5 1/3 innings. His line should have been better, as the relief corps allowed all of the runners inherited to score. Still, it was a disappointing start after his recent success. Perhaps he rested too much. Either that, or the Milwaukee Brewers are just a really good team. It’s hard to know. Reds fans haven’t seen one this millennium.
On the offensive side, the Reds did well. 6 runs is a lot for them. The awesome Joey Votto drove in 2 with an unholy home run measuring 471 feet. He almost won someone a Toyota Tundra truck. The rest of the offense was provided by Edwin Encarnación. Yes, he’s still with the team. Apparently rest did improve his game.
The Reds were mounting a comeback until erstwhile Red–and Trekkie–Todd Coffey came in for Milwaukee. Remember when he was so good for the Reds that one year? Then remember when he was exactly the opposite? Chris Welsh might know why and who was responsible.
During the television broadcast, Welsh mentioned that the Reds refused to allow Coffey to throw his splitter. When he went to the Brewers, they allowed him to throw it again. The results? No runs in a short 9 1/3 innings last year, and an ERA of 2.76 so far this year. And his home run rate is way down, too.
I wasn’t the only one who caught this. Chad at Redleg Nation mentioned it, as well, and added that Homer Bailey had been prevented from throwing the same pitch. His recent success has to do with him throwing it again.
Developing pitchers is hard, but the Reds clearly need to do a better job. For once, they’ve got the talent.