By HAL McCOY
Most National League aficionados wish that interleague play would just go away, never to re-surface, and the Cincinnati Reds pray that it will go away.
And soon. But it isn’t going to happen so the Reds have to continue to slog along.
Since interleague play began in 1997, the Reds have the worst interleague record of all major league teams and there have been some very good Reds teams in that span.
After losing to the New York Yankees Wednesday afternoon in Yankee Stadium for the second straight day, this time by 9-5, the Reds are 138-194 all-time in interleague play, 5-12 this year.
ON WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON the Reds ran into 23-year-old Dominican dandy Luis Severino, one of hardest-throwing starting pitchers in the majors.
When the game began he had throw 93 fastballs at 99 miles an hour or higher, by far the most in the majors, and he threw one at 101.2 miles an hour, hardest by a starting pitcher in the majors this year.
And the Reds were injected with a heavy does of Severino — seven innings, two runs that were both unearned, three hits, two walks and nine strikeouts.
ON THE OTHER SIDE, Homer Bailey must have broken a mirror in his hotel room before the game, walked under a ladder on his way to the team bus and had a black cat cross his path on his way to the clubhouse.
Talk about a bad luck day.
The Yankees didn’t hit a single ball hard against him, but a series of bloops and seeing-eye ground balls through the infield, plus a couple of errors by his teammates, led to his downfall.
The Reds had only two hits through six innings, both harmless singles by Joey Votto and trailed, 4-0.
But an error on shortstop Didi Gregorius to open the seventh opened the door slightly ajar and led to a pair of unearned runs. Eugenio Suarez followed with a run-scoring double and he moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a ground ball — two runs on one hit, but the Reds were back in it, 4-2.
IT LASTED ONLY UNTIL the Yankees came to bat in the bottom of the seventh and they scored five runs, three scoring on a pair of home runs given up by relief pitcher Tony Cingrani.
Bailey, who didn’t strike out anybody, didn’t walk anybody, either, until he walked Clint Frazier to open the seventh. Gary Sanchez bounced a double over third baseman Eugenio Suarez’s head and Frazier scored to make it 5-2. Matt Holliday grounded a single to left past shortstop Jose Peraza and it was 6-2.
Cingrani replaced Bailey and the first batter he faced, former Reds shortstop Didi Gregorius, homered to right field, his fourth home run in his last three games and the Yankees led, 8-2. Cingrani also gave up a home run to former Reds third baseman Todd Frazier, his first as a Yankee, and it was 9-2.
THE REDS MADE SOME mini-noise in the eighth against relief pitcher Luis Cessa, scoring three runs on one hit, a three-run 315-foot home run into the right field corner by Adam Duvall.
It began when Scooter Gennett struck out on a wild pitch and reached first. Slump-ridden Joey Votto walked to reach base for the fourth time (two singles, two walks) and Duvall punched the three-run homer to make it 9-5.
When it is all added up the Reds, who suddenly can’t hit — four hits Wednesday after getting only three Tuesday — have lost 11 of 13 games since the All-Star break.
Shortstop Zack Cozart did not play as he continues to hobble on a bad quad, which probably eliminates him as a trade chip. The shortstop market is narrow as it is and teams are not likely to rent an injured player who can go on the free agent market after the season.