By HAL McCOY
If you’ve ever seen a sea gull try to fly with a broken wing then you’ll know how Cincinnati Reds pitchers Alfredo Simon and Steve Delabar felt Tuesday night.
In a nutshell, has there ever been two worse days in a row for a Reds team? Ever? The Reds lost, 13-1, Tuesday after losing 15-6 Monday. In two games against the Tribe they gave up 28 runs and 36 hits and 15 walks.
This certainly isn’t what owner Bob Castellini meant on the day he took over the team when he said, “We plan to bring championship baseball back to Cincinnati.”
THE BIGGEST INSULT by the Tribe was applied by No. 9 hitter Rajai Davis. Coming into the series he was 1 for 30 with no walks. During the two games he had five hits, four RBI, scored five runs and walked four times.
If there is any team Simon dominates, it is the Cleveland Indians. He was 4-and-0 last year in five starts against the Tribe while pitching for the Detroit Tigers.
In a mere 4 1/3 innings Simon gave up 10 runs and 14 hits as the guy who pounds the drum in the left field bleachers beat it so often he put a hole in the skin.
To be somewhat fair to Simon, the last two runs charged to him came when Steve Delabar came into the game in the fifth and walked home two runners that Simon put on base. And then to add hot sauce to the wound Delabar walked in two more runs — five walks to the six batters he faced.
That isn’t the first time Reds pitchers walked home four runs in one inning against the Indians, but it is the first time one pitcher did it. Just last July 15 Johnny Cueto (two), Ryan Mattheus (one) and Pedro Villarreal (one) did it.
AND WHAT YOU never want to do is to spot Cleveland pitcher Danny Salazar to a four-run lead in the second and a 7-0 lead in the third. He entered the game with a 1.90 earned run average.
Jay Bruce singled behind a no-out walk to Brandon Phillips in the second, then Salazar retired 16 straight, somehow keeping loose in the dugout while his teammates sprinted (or walked) around the bases.
Phillips broke the spell with a dubious single under shortstop Francisco Lindor’s glove with one out in the seventh inning, then Bruce and Suarez singled to fill the bases. And the Reds scored on Adam Duvall’s sacrifice fly.
The Reds have lost 15 of their last 16 games in Cleveland, but now the series switches to Great American Ball Park for the next two nights, where the Reds have dominated the Tribe.