Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer (17) and second baseman Jonathan India (6) are two currently active players who have both spent time on the ever-revolving injury carousel this year (Photo credit Sam Greene/The Enquirer).
By Dr. John Huang
(CINCINNATI, Oh.) – It’s Father’s Day. And this isn’t your Father’s Cincinnati Reds. Unfortunately, the Big Red Machine is not walking through that door anytime soon.
Mike Minor (1 – 3) gave up a two-run homer to Milwaukee’s Victor Caratini—his fifth of the season—and the Milwaukee Brewers (38 – 30) beat the Reds 6 – 3, completing a three-game sweep at home of the stumbling Redlegs before 25,001 sun-splashed fans at Great American Ballpark.
“I missed a lot of pitches,” a disappointed Minor said in the clubhouse afterwards. “I was getting really frustrated. I hung some changeups and stuff. The last couple of outings, the changeup’s been kind of my worst pitch. It’s usually my best pitch, so it’s really frustrating.”
In the bottom of the fourth inning, right fielder Albert Almora Jr. delivered a game-tying, two-run double past a diving Andrew McCutchen, and Minor pitched a respectable six innings, but predictably speaking, the Reds’ lack of reliable bullpen pitching once again cost them the victory.
“Just like all the decisions I get to make, there’s always a lot of factors that go into it,” Manager David Bell said, when explaining his decision-making on when to pull his starters. “It’s the fun part of what I get to do. Of course, your feel, your experience—all those things are at the top of the list for sure. It’s what makes it a great job, just trying to weigh all those factors and having a good staff around me and communication with the players. It all helps.”
After a dreadful record-setting 3 – 22 start to open the Major League season, the Reds (23 – 43) have played some fairly competitive baseball. Wipe away the first 25 games, and they’re actually right at .500. I know that’s not something you usually celebrate. But
c’mon—it’s the Reds, right?
Ever since Reds’ President Phil Castellini offered to usher the team out of town, the Reds have seemed a bit snake bitten. Injuries continue to take a dastardly toll. Just when Jonathan India and Joey Votto appeared back in the lineup, the Reds placed two of their best relief pitchers—RHPs Alexis Diaz (right biceps tendonitis) and Tony Santillan (lower back pain)—on the 15-day disabled list and transferred RHP Lucas Sims (lower back spasms) to the 60-day disabled list.
Take a quick glance at the lineup card, and you won’t find pitchers Vladimir Gutierrez, Connor Overton, Nick Lodolo, Justin Wilson, Tejay Antone, Daniel Duarte, and Justin Dunn as current active participants either. Outfielders Aristides Aquino, Tyler Naquin, Jake Fraley, infielder Donoan Solano, and catcher Tyler Stephenson have also joined their teammates on the revolving carousel of walking wounded.
“It’s something we’ve been dealing with the whole season,” lamented Bell. “We want all our guys to be healthy. We take great interest in keeping our guys healthy. It’s disappointing. The positive side of this is that Diaz is going to be back. I’m very hopeful he’ll be back twelve days from now when he can be. It’s not a bad reset for him.”
Other than another notch in the loss column, the environment in the ballpark couldn’t have been better.
“It’s always nice,” Minor said about the excitement in the stands. “Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, any of those days are usually packed out there, and I want to put on a good performance for the fans. But today we didn’t—me especially. But it is nice having all the fans out there and everybody cheering and the festivities. Like I said, I didn’t pitch the way I wanted to.”
It’s not your Father’s Reds, but Happy Father’s Day anyway to all the dads who are still Reds’ fans.
Dr. John Huang covers professional sports for Sports View America. He’s also a columnist for Nolan Group Media and serves as editor-in-chief of JustTheCats.com. Check out his latest Kentucky Basketball book, KENTUCKY PASSION, at https://www.amazon.com/Kentucky-Passion-Wildcat-Wisdom-Inspiration/dp/1684351669 . If you enjoy his coverage, you can follow him on Twitter @KYHuangs.