By HAL McCOY
CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Reds began Sunday afternoon’s game like an F-16 and finished it like a Sopwith Camel.
Or, in short, live by the home run, die by the home run.
The offense began the day by hitting three home runs on three successive pitches in the first inning for a four-run lead against the San Francisco Giants.
Then the offense retreated to sit in the corner, hoping that four runs were enough for starting pitcher Luis Castillo.
It was. . .for five innings. He was throwing a no-hitter after five, but the Giants erupted for a walk and three hits in the sixth, including a three-run home run by Buster Posey to tie it. Within a stretch of five hitters, Castillo went from a no-hitter to a 4-4 tie.
Then pinch-hitter Brandon Crawford cranked a two-run home run in the top of the ninth off inconsistent closer Raisel Iglesias and the Giants prevailed, 6-5.
After getting back-to-back-to-back home runs on successive pitches in the first inning from Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker and Derek Dietrich — four runs on five hits — the Reds did not get another hit, not one, until pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer hit a two-out, two-strike home run that proved meaningless.
What is meaningful is that closer Raisel Iglesias does well in save situations (6), but not good in tie games. It isn’t good when your closer is 1-and-5.
Iglesias sat slumped in a corner after the game, feeling sorry not for himself but for his team.
“I threw a change-up up in the zone and he hit a home run,” said Iglesias. “I feel really bad right now, really, really bad. I am the closer, the one who comes into tight games and have giving up home runs and losing some games. I’m the one who comes into tie games late in the game and I’ve done really bad and it is really frustrating to me.”
Regardless of recent revolving results, Reds manager David Bell is backing away from Iglesias.
“I second-guess myself all the time just to make sure I am making the best decisions,” he said. “We are always going to throw out best guy into that situation. And Iggy has been doing this for a long time and pitches in the spots he pitches for a reason.”
Of the game, Bell said, “We didn’t get anything going after the first inning. Luis was outstanding. he gave up a couple of ground ball hits before the home run (to Posey). Other than that he was great.”
And Castillo aimed credit to Posey for a professional piece of hitting.
“I didn’t miss with that pitch,” he said. “It was a really good pitch, down and in, with action. He put a realy good swing on it and hit the home run the other way (right field).”
Castillo said he was unaware that he had a no-hitter until Sam Duggar rolled a ground ball just under the glove of diving shortstop Jose Iglesias with one out in the sixth inning.
“I didn’t do anything different that inning and I didn’t know I was throwing a no-hitter until that first hit and I looked at the scoreboard and said to myself, ‘Oh, I was throwing a no-hitter.’”
The Reds wore throwback uniforms, dark blue with red trim and white socks worn by the 1911 Reds in the Palace of the Fans.
For sure, the modern guys wearing those throwback uniforms Sunday bore no resemblance to the 1911 Band of Blue that was 70-and-83, finished sixth in an eight-team National League and hit 21 home runs all season.
A guy named Dick Hoblitzell hit 11 for the 1911 home nine and no other player on the team hit more than one.
Of course, that was the dead ball era when baseballs were as soft as pin cushions and one ball sometimes survived an entire game.
This is the live ball era and this season it seems extra-lively, one step below super balls.
And the current Reds, wearing their blue finery, hit three home runs on three pitches — biff, bam, boom — in the first inning.
It all happened against San Francisco’s Jeff Samardzija, Notre Dame football player turned pitcher. After Joey Votto led the bottom of the first with a single, Eugenio Suarez took a called third strike.
Then came mayhem. Samardzija’s next three pitches were hit into the great beyond by Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker and Derek Dietrich, each one a bit farther than the previous. Amazingly, all three home runs were the ninth hit this year by each player.
After that, though, it was if somebody turned off Cincinnati’s offensive spigot with a monkey wrench.
5 thoughts on “Reds, Iglesias blow another lead, fall to Giants, 6-5”
Should send Peraza down to AAA. NOT Send back Reed who DID HIS JOB, not like Peraza standing there looking at strike 3 (PITCH was Right DOWN THE MIDDLE) all weekend!!.. VanMeter is up, he can play the infield.. Tired of hearing about Peraza’s defense, send him out. . He isnt hitting and thats not helping the team!!
With Iglesias, he needs a side session with the pitching coach, Iron out his mechanics.. He doesnt look as fluid to the plate.. Bell needs to be not scared to NOT go to him if he isn’t getting guys out
I think Bell should move Iglesias back to middle innings and allow him to find his way back. Garrett has earned the right to close. Let him have the chance.
I wish someone would tell Bell to stop using Iglesias as a finisher. He is your CLOSER not someone who comes in tp hold a team 2 innings, He should see his idea is not working. Also why does he take out a hot hitter in a game? Bell has some weird ideas.
As Pete Rose likes to say, “what makes a manager good is good players”.
Marty B. has said when a multi-million dollar player argues with a manager it’s the player who will win the argument every time.
Yesterday one of the beat writers commented “the team likes Bell because he has their back”. In Redsland we call that “Dusty-ball” (with all due respect, Baker a fine man)
That’s why old schooler Gentleman Jim Riggleman got hosed.
The Billy Martin style of confronting bad performance is long gone.
When recently asked if he would still like to manage, I heard Ron Oester say “not with todays players !”
To me that’s the state of baseball along with computers, home runs, throwing pitches 100 MPH, bobbleheads and fireworks. Things such as batting average don’t matter much anymore.
Personally, very glad the Indy Motor Speedway opens this week.
Mr. McCoy, This is Bob Corwin. I saw you at the Golden Lamb . And you spoke about your wonderful recovery from your eye surgery. I told you I played at Little Miami High School. Played 3 years in the Washington Senators farm system. I was watching the game on Sunday. Going into the 7th inning Luis Castillo had a no-no going. Young Tom B. made the the statement that Luis had not given up a hit. In baseball you would never mention that and the players would stay away from the pitcher if he had one going. 2 pitches later the no-no was gone. The flood gates opened up. I would have thought Marty would have schooled young Tom to never ever say anything like that. And I hope he never does it again.