By HAL McCOY
This says it all about where the Cincinnati Reds are, or aren’t, these days.
It was the third inning Monday night of a game against a bunch of lowly no-named guys wearing San Diego Padres uniforms, a team that entered the game with 40 losses and 16 ½ games out of first place.
Catcher Austin Hedges lifted a popup right behind the pitcher’s mound. All four Reds infielders surrounded it. Any of the four could have caught it. None of the four did. The ball plopped into the grass as Eugenio Suarez, Zack Cozart, Jose Peraza and Joey Votto looked at each other. It fell for a single.
IT DIDN’T LEAD TO ANY damage because the damage already had been done. The Padres hit two home runs off Bronson Arroyo in the second inning en route to a six-run inning that led to a 9-3 Padres victory.
Losing nine straight in Los Angeles and losing 16 of the last 18 games they’ve played against the Dodgers is somewhat understandable. The Dodgers are good.
But San Diego? The Padres are not good and haven’t been for a long, long time. But the Reds haven’t won a season’s series against San Diego since 2012 and are 9-and-17 against the Padres since 2012.
TO ADD SALT INTO THE wide, wide gaping wound, the Reds lost to San Diego pitcher Luis Perdomo, who came into the game 0-and-3 with a 5.30 earned run average. He gave up three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings.
THE REDS SCORED TWO IN the top of the first after Perdomo quickly retired Billy Hamilton and Zack Cozart. But Joey Votto singled to left, Adam Duvall was credited with an infield hit when Cory Spangenberg double-clutched on his throw from third base.
Suarez walked to fill the bases and Scott Schebler singled for two runs and a 2-0 lead.
From there the Reds were feeble against Perdomo while the Padres went to work annihilating Arroyo.
THEY SCORED ONE IN THE bottom of the first on a two-out single then scored six in the second.
It began when Arroyo hit Spangenberg with a pitch and Allen Cordoba beat a perfect bunt. A double by Austin Hedges scored two to put the Padres in front, 3-2.
After Perdomo’s sacrifice bunt, Jose Pirela lined one off second baseman Jose Peraza’s glove that was generously ruled a base hit and another run scored to make it 4-2.
Franchy Cordero whacked a two-run home run and two batters later Yangervis Solarte homered and it was 7-2. The home runs pushed the total given up by Arroyo this year to a league-leading 22.
Manager Bryan Price, wishing not to ravage his bullpen, permitted Arroyo to remain in the game long enough to give up a couple of more runs before he left with two outs in the fifth inning and a 9-2 deficit.
In 4 2/3 innings Arroyo gave up nine runs and 13 hits and his earned run average was pushed to 7.01.
HOMER BAILEY MAKES HIS second rehab start Wednesday night in Dayton for the Dragons at Fifth Third Field against the Great Lakes Loons.
In his first rehab start last Friday Bailey pitched five scoreless innings (64 pitches) for the Class AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
THIS COMES AS NO great shock, but Reds utility player Scooter Gennett, who hasn’t been in the starting lineup the last two games, was named National League Player of the Week for last week, the first of his career.
Gennett batted .500 (10 for 2) with four home runs (all in one historic game), two doubles, 13 RBI and six runs scored. He finished his week first in total bases (23), RBI and slugging percentage (1.200).
FINALLY, AS IT SHOULD BE, Reds shortstop Zack Cozart leads the National League in shortstop All-Star voting. During most of the early voting Cozart trailed LA shortstop Corey Seager, even though Cozart’s numbers all were better than Seager’s.
Ironically, while Cozart went 0 for 10 over the weekend in LA, Seager hit a game-winning walk-off single in the ninth inning to give the Dodgers a 5-4 win and on Sunday his grand slam home run in the eighth inning turned a 7-5 Reds lead into a 9-7 Dodgers victory.
Cozart has nearly 1,000,000 votes to just over 800,000 for Seager.
THE REDS DRAFTED THE PLAYER they wanted in the draft Monday night, the highly-publicized 17-year-old high schooler Hunter Greene, already featured in a Sports Illustrated story.
Greene is a 6-3, 195-pound pitcher/shortstop from Sherman Oaks Notre Dame High school in California and he was announced as a pitcher when he was drafted but the Reds plan to look at him in both positions.
“We do not see prospects like this very often,” said Dick Williams, President of Baseball Operations, General Manager. “The physical talent is special, but he also exhibits great intangibles. We enjoyed getting to know Hunter and his family during this process. His parents should be very proud of the job they have done. We are excited for the opportunity to bring him into our organization.”
Greene posted a 1.62 ERA over 121.1 innings pitched while striking out 30 percent of the batters he faced. As a senior, he was 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA over 5 appearances, collecting 43 strikeouts with just 4 walks over 28.0 innings pitched. At the plate, he hit .324 with 6 home runs, 28 RBI, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 23 runs scored, a .374 on-base percentage and a .598 slugging percentage.
“Hunter is an extremely athletic and very talented high school prospect who has been on the scene for many years,” Buckley said. “He is a 2-way prospect who has shown an advanced feel for pitching, significant raw power with the bat and very good fielding ability.”