The Reds succeeded in doing nothing but tiring out everything resembling a pitcher last night/early this morning in this 14-inning 5-6 loss to the Phillies.
Kyle “I pronounce the letters in my name in the opposite order of what they appear” Lohse wasn't bad at all, especially when you compare him to the other guys who have passed as fifth starters on this team. He allowed one run (earned) on one hit and one walk in six and one-third innings. He was in a bit of a jam when he left in the seventh, but David Weathers got him out of that without a hit and all was well.
When Bill Bray came in, the score was 3-1, certainly not a lead you'd be confident with, but one that looked pretty OK going into the eighth. Alas, he picked last night to get seriously smacked around and allowed three runs (earned) on three hits in two-thirds of an inning. Todd Coffey took over for Bray and got the final out in the eighth.
When Javier Valentín hit his third home run in five games in the top of the ninth, this one a two-run shot in the ninth, it looked good for Coffey to get the win and bring him one step closer to getting 10 Ws before Bronson Arroyo. But then Eddie Guardado blew the second save of the night, allowing one run one one hit to tie it in the bottom of the ninth.
Two relatively dependable new relievers blowing saves on the same night? What are the chances?
Kent Mercker pitched a hitless 10th. Ryan Franklin allowed zero runs on one hit in the 11th and 12th. Apparently Cormier was unavailable with some hip problem (them put him on the DL, dammit!) so they sent out Aaron Harang for the 13th. He allowed two hits but got out of it without a run.
Elizardo Ramirez got only one out in the 14th before he gave up the winning run.
There are so many people to thank for this loss, it's hard to mention them all. David Ross had a error when trying to throw out a guy at second. Ken Griffey, Jr. should have made a catch. Todd Hollandsworth struck out with the bases loaded. Jerry Narron pulled Edwin Encarnación, who had two home runs in his three ABs, in the seventh.
There were also several decent plays: Ryan Freel had a good defensive play at third. Eric Milton came through with a pinch hit. Hollandsworth got a startling catch in right field. But those things don't really go with the bitter, sarcastic mood I've got going on about this game, so I'm not going to mention them.
The loss brings the Reds' record to 59-57. Just two games over .500. They remain half a game up on the wild card and just three and a half back on first in the NLC, but they ought to be good and dispirited with an exhausted pitching staff for the next few games. Case-in-point, Ramirez is still scheduled to start today to take on Scott Mathieson.
On an unrelated note, I wonder when the last time was that a Reds' starting pitcher got losses two days in a row.