The Reds offense failed to overcome some bullpen mismanagement and ended up going down to the Cubs 4-2.
Brandon Claussen, who can't have failed to have noticed that veteran starter Joe Mays was brought into the Reds' bullpen after Claussen's last crappy start, gave up three runs (earned) on five hits through six and two thirds for the loss. But that so doesn't tell the story.
In fact, Claussen had a shut-out going through the first six innings. Two-thirds of the way through the seventh and with a pitch count over 100, he loaded up the bases. Manager Jerry Narron didn't want to hang the poor kid out to dry with as well as he'd done, so he took him out in favor of a fresh arm.
No, in fact, that's what he should have done. Instead, Narron took Claussen out in favor of the almost-31-year-old, untested-in-high-pressure-situations guy who'd already pitched two consecutive games, Esteban Yan. Ooh, sorry Narron. The correct answer was Todd Coffey. Coffey.
Yan promptly gave up the grand slam, which gave him one run (earned) over a third of an inning. I stormed out of the room in disgust just long enough to write this post, and when I returned, he'd loaded the bases again before getting out of the inning.
Joe Mays held the Cubs hitless through the eighth. David Weathers allowed zero runs on one hit and two walks in the ninth.
Disappointed as we are in Narron and Yan, they did allow just four runs. The offense was welcome to come to the game at any time and put in their two cents, but didn't do much to defend their pitcher against Carlos Zambrano.
Ken Griffey, Jr. was the only Red to have more than one hit, going 2-for-4 with a walk. Brandon Phillips and Griffey provided the Reds' two RBI.
The loss brings the Reds' record to 36-26. They try to split the series this afternoon at 1:15 p.m. when Eric Milton faces Carlos Marmol, the rookie called up in place of Kerry Wood.