On Irish Night the Cincinnati Reds decided to do a jig, but they were all out of sync and it looked more like an Irish wedding, especially their No. 1 Irishman, third baseman Jack Hannahan.
It was the San Diego Padres 3, the Cincinnati Reds 1, and Irish eyes were not smiling.
The Reds made four physical errors, three by Hannahan. And he also struck out, hit into a double play and grounded out with the tying run on third base.
Hannahan’s throwing error in the first led to two unearned runs and the Reds never recovered.
“I rushed that throw,” said Hannahan. “The second one (a ground ball through his legs), it stayed down on me and the third one (another throwing error) I just flat-out air-mailed.
“I cost Tony (Cingrani) a couple of extra innings of work because of his pitch count,” he added. “A frustrating game. A game like this magnified what I did. I’m 33 years old and I’ve been around and it’s baseball. At no time during that game did I not want the ball hit to me. It’s frustrating to cost your team a win, especially the race we’re in.”
But this isn’t just a tale of Hannahan’s humbling night.
It was another night when a Reds pitcher pitched his best and couldn’t get a win. Cingrani gave up two runs, neither of which was earned, two hits, walked two and struck out five.
But he could only survive five innings because two errors in the first forced him to make 32 pitches and by the end of five he had thrown 92 on a steamy night and left trailing, 2-1.
The first two Padres had the hits, a single by Chris Denorfia and a single by Will Venable. When left fielder Xavier Paul kicked around Venable’s hit Denorfia came all the way around to score. And then Chase Headly grounded to third. Hannahan’s throw was high, wide and ugly, but first baseman Joey Votto did not come off the bag and the ball zipped past him, permitting Venable to score for a 2-0 San Diego lead.
And to add a twist of mystery, San Diego manager Bud Black, a former pitcher and pitching coach, believes something is wrong with Cingrani and said, “He was a solid 92 and 93 miles an hour the first two innings, and then his velocity dropped dramatically and he just didn’t look right, looked as if something was amiss.”
Said Cingrani, “I don’t know what was going on, maybe it was the seven days off. My body feels perfectly fine, but the ball just wasn’t coming out.”
It was a night when the Reds made another incredibly bad baserunning faux pas when they trailed by one run, this one by Paul.
“That wasn’t a typical big league-team, no matter whose name is in front of it,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We didn’t play well.
“We had quite a few strikeouts by swinging at sliders in the dirt — and we knew he threw those,” Baker added. “Hannahan had a tough night. He is known for his defense, one of the best around at playing defense. It just got into his head.”
Hannahan was playing in place of Todd Frazier because of San Diego pitcher Tyson Ross’ slider, a pitch Frazier attacks with little success.
“And that was a costly baserunning mistake, with runners on first and third and no outs. That ran us out of the inning,” said Baker. “No explanation.”
Jay Bruce walked to lead the seventh inning and Paul singled him to third. No outs. Two on. And no runs.
Devin Mesoraco flied to shallow right. Bruce faked trying to tag and score from third and Denorfia’s throw headed homeward. When that happened, Paul broke from first to second. First baseman Yonder Alonso cut the throw and fired to second to wipe out Paul. And Hannahan grounded to short.
“I was trying to force the cut-off so Jay could score from third, but that ball was a little too shallow for Jay to tag,” said Paul. “My mistake was misjudging the depth of where Denorfia caught the ball.”
After giving the Padres a 2-0 running start in the top of the first, the Reds retrieved one run in the bottom of the first when Shin-Soo Choo walked, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Brandon Phillips.
And that was all the Reds would get off right-hander Ross, 2-5 with a 2.91 ERA when the night began. Ross worked seven innings and gave up one run, four hits, four walks and struck out six.
The Padres made it 3-1 in the eighth. Left-hander Manny Parra was brought in to face left-handed Venable and he drove his 15th home run over the right field wall.