By HAL McCOY
When it comes to news about the Cincinnati Reds 2017 pitching staff, all news is bad news.
The latest calamity struck Monday afternoon during the make-up of a rained-out game in St. Louis, a game the Reds eventually lost, 8-2.
Early in the game, while Brandon Finnegan was pitching for the first time since April 15, Jim Day of Fox Sports Ohio did an interview in the dugout with Bronson Arroyo.
BEFORE THE GAME, Arroyo was placed on the 60-day disabled list and he told Day that he has thrown his last pitch, that all medicine and all treatment of his aching shoulder and elbow failed and, “You have probably seen me throw my last pitch.”
Not long thereafter, in the fourth inning, Finnegan threw his third pitch of the inning to Paul DeJohn and Finnegan winced and flinched.
After a conference on the mound with manager Bryan Price and athletic trainer Steve Baumann, Finnegan left the game with tears in his eyes.
After spending three months on the disabled list with a shoulder issue, it is likely that Finnegan will lapse back onto the disabled list after he was diagnosed as a strained left triceps (shoulder again).
DURING HIS BRIEF TIME, Finnegan was charged with three runs, three hits and four walks in three innings.
And like Homer Bailey on Saturday, who also came off the disabled list, Finnegan’s return was a massive struggle, especially with his command and control.
Finnegan walked two of the first three hitters he faced. After he walked leadoff hitter Tommy Pfam, Randal Grichuk hit a shallow fly ball to center field, where Patrick Kivlehan was stationed for the first time in his major league career.
He nonchalantly caught the fly ball and flipped it softly to the cutoff man. Pfam, seeing the lackadaisical demeanor, tagged at first and took second. Then he stole third and scored on a passed ball by catcher Devin Mesoraco, who had two passed balls while Finnegan was on the mound.
Jedd Gyorko ignited a 413-foot home run for a 3-0 Cardinals lead. At that point Finnegan had thrown 18 pitches, only six for strikes.
AND IT WAS THE 19th straight game in which Reds pitching has given up at least one home run — usually more than one — a club record.
Austin Brice replaced Finnegan in the fourth inning and gave up three runs and four hits, including a home run by Grichuk, his second home run in two days since he was recalled from Triple-A.
Brice ended up giving up five runs and nine hits in only two innings of work.
The top four hitters in the St. Louis batting order combined for eight hits, seven RBI and six runs scored.
MEANWHILE, ON THE OTHER side, St. Louis starter Michael Wacha hadn’t pitched beyond the fifth inning in five of his last six starts.
His perfect remedy is the Reds, whom he nearly always beats. He pitched six innings and gave up one run, five hits, walked one and struck out five.
That was good enough to push his career record against the Reds to 8-and-1 in 14 starts. And it pinned the 13th loss in the last 15 games on the Reds.
Adam Duvall drove in both Reds runs and Scooter Gennett scored both runs.
AND IT WASN’T TOO long ago that the Reds swept four games from the Cardinals in Cincinnati and the Reds came into the game with a 7-and-2 record this season against St. Louis.
The Reds return home Tuesday night to start a three-game series against first place Milwaukee after going 2-and-5 on the trip to Miami, Washington and St. Louis.