R-E-L-I-E-F Spells Implosion

It’s nearly 24 hours later, and that one still hurts. Not that you need a reminder, but the Reds lost their game in Washington yesterday in heartbreaking fashion. After trailing 2-0 for much of the game, the Reds rallied for a pair of runs in the top of the ninth against Brad Lidge, sending the game into extra innings. So far, so good. But then in the bottom of the 10th, Dusty Baker called upon Alfredo Simon, a pitcher with a career 5.23 ERA. What followed was an unmitigated disaster, which ended abruptly on a walk-off wild pitch—not the way you want to lose a game. This one didn’t belong to the Reds. Here is the play-by-play for the decisive half-inning:

Alfredo Simon relieved Jose Arredondo
Ryan Zimmerman hit by pitch
Adam LaRoche fouled out to third
Jason Werth singled to shallow left, Zimmerman to second
Xavier Nady grounded out to third, Zimmerman to third, Werth to second
Zimmerman scored on wild pitch, Nationals won 3-2

Mercifully, the game ended there. Who knows how long it would have taken Simon to record a third out. Then again, he wasn’t exactly hit hard. The ball left the infield just once. But when you start beaning batters and chucking wild pitches in extra innings, you’re asking for trouble.

Simon’s outing may have been rough, but it wasn’t even close to the biggest bullpen blowup of the week. That honor goes to Jonathan Broxton of the Royals. In the top of the 12th inning on Wednesday, Billy Butler doubled in Eric Hosmer to give Kansas City a 4-3 lead against the Oakland Athletics. Here’s what transpired in the bottom of the inning.

Jonathan Broxton relieved Tim Collins
Daric Barton struck out looking
Seth Smith pinch hit for Collin Cowgill and reached first on a fielding error by shortstop Alcides Escobar
Jemile Weeks walked, Smith to second
Eric Sogard walked, Smith to third, Weeks to second
Coco Crisp grounded out to second, Smith scored, Weeks to third, Sogard to second
Yoenis Cespedes hit by pitch
Jonny Gomes hit by pitch, Weeks scored, Athletics won 5-4

Wow. A lot to decompress. The error obviously hurt, but Broxton didn’t need much help killing his team’s chances. Somehow, he managed to allow five base runners without giving up a hit. Two walks AND two hit batters in the same inning? That’s brutal. Credit our old friend Jonny Gomes for taking one for the team to walk off with the win. Also, let me just say that having to spell out all of those funky names in the Oakland batting order was quite a challenge. Thank God for Seth Smith.

So here’s your silver lining for the day Reds fans: Things could be worse. You could root for the Royals.

Facebook Comments