By Hal McCoy
The Cincinnati Reds’ trip up Schitt’s Creek without paddles continued its slow voyage Saturday in Great American Ball Park — another game, another defeat.
The futility reached 11 straight defeats, a 5-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, dropping the Reds to 2-13, eight games behind the first place Cardinals in the National League Central.
It was the second time in three games the Reds were shut out, they have gone 99 innings without leading at the end of an inning and they have been outscored, 68-19 during the losing streak.
On a bright not, at least the Reds didn’t lose, 21-0, as the Pittsburgh Pirates did against the Chicago Cubs Saturday.
Despite getting only two hits off St. Louis starter Dakota Hudson in 6 2/3 innings, the Reds put runners on base in each of the first five innings, but couldn’t dent home plate
Hudson, 6-and-0 for his career against the Reds, benefitted from two double plays and a caught stealing to rescue him from any major problems.
Hudson underwent Tommy John surgery in September of 2020 and missed most of last season.
On the other side, Reds starter Tyler Mahle was 2-and-0 and the Reds were 6-and-0 in Mahle’s six previous starts against the Cardinals.
But Mahle suffered command and control issues and it cost him and the Reds another defeat.
He gave up two hits in the first inning, but squirmed free. Not so in the second when he issued a pair of one-out walks. One scored on No. 9 hitter Andrew Knizner’s single.
It stayed 1-0 until the fifth when Mahle walked the first batter, Tommy Edman. Dylan Carlson singled and with two outs Corey Dickerson singled home a run to make it 2-0.
Reds relief pitcher Lucas Sims came off the injured list Friday and made his 2022 debut Saturday in the sixth.
He retired the first two easily, but center fielder Nick Senzel misjudged Knizner’s deep fly and it bounced off the wall for a double.
Sims hit Tommy Edman with a pitch and Goldschmidt doubled to deep left center for two runs and a 4-0 lead.
Hunter Strickland and walked the first batter, Harrison Bader. He stole both second and third and scored on Nolan Arenado’s single and it was 5-0.
—Tyler Naquin, fresh off the injured list, drew a walk to open the first, but Tommy Pham hit into a double play.
—Kyle Farmer was hit by a pitch with one out in the second, but was caught stealing.
—With one out in the third, Alejo Lopez walked and Aramis Garcia singled, but Lopez was thrown out at home.
—Brendan Drury walked to open the fourth, but Pham hit into his second double play.
—Nick Senzel doubled with one out in the fifth, but Colin Moran struck out on a full count and Lopez grounded out.
—The Reds went down in 1-2-3 order in the sixth, their first inning without a base runner.
—Farmer walked with two outs in the seventh, but Senzel struck out.
—Lopez singled with one out in the eighth, but Garcia popped up and Naquin grounded out.
—Kodi Whitley closed it out for the Cardinals in the ninth with a 1-2-3 inning. Despite all that on-base activity, the Reds were only 0 for 2 with runners in scoring position and stranded four runners.