McCoy: Bullpen woes continue as Reds fall to Diamondbacks

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Art Warren (77) is pulled from the game during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

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Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Art Warren (77) is pulled from the game during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

This is a season of summer re-runs for the Cincinnati Reds and it keeps playing over and over and over again.

It has more re-runs than Bonanza.

The plot: The Reds starting pitcher works with all his heart and soul, then turns a lead or a tie over to the bullpen. And the bullpen turns a Rembrandt/Picasso into a kindergarten finger painting.

Such was the case Wednesday afternoon in Chase Park when Luis Castillo turned a tie game over to Art Warren in the eighth inning and Warren, along with Reiver Sanmartin, turned it into a four-alarm fire.

They gave up four runs that led to a 7-4 defeat to the Arizona Diamondbacks that prevented the Reds from a three-game sweep.

Castillo held the Diamondbacks to three runs (all in one inning) and four hits, with two walks and six strikeouts. But 118 pitches after seven did him in.

Then came Warren. Then came Sanmartin. Then came defeat.

Arizona suffers the same maliase, a bafflingly bad bullpen. Starter Zac Gallen muzzled the Reds on two runs and two hits and retired the last 16 batters before leaving after seven.

And his bullpen muddied things up. Fortunately for the D-Backs, they scored four in the eighth because much-trouhled closer Mark Melancon gave up a run, two hits and two bullet outs before finally ending it in the ninth.

For two innings, it looked as if the Reds were wearing uniforms with targets on the backs.

Gallen hit four batters, two each in the first two innings, as he persisted on pitching inside.

After Jonathan India struck out, Gallen hit Brandon Drury and with two outs he hit Joey Votto, which drew an “Are you kidding me?” look from Votto. But Mike Moustakas grounded into a fielder’s choice.

The second inning was a three-act comedy when Gallen hit two more Reds and the D-Backs perpertrated two errors.

Both batters Gallen hit scored as the Reds took a 2-0 lead. Gallen hit leadoff batter Nick Senzel, who disgustedly slammed his bat to the turf. Albert Almora Jr. singled, putting runners on first and third. Gallen tried to pick Almora off first and threw wildly, permitting Senzel to score. Almora was thrown out trying to go from first to third.

Gallen then hit T.J. Friedl with a pitch and he came around to score on India’s double for the 2-0 lead.

That lead lasted only until the bottom of the second when Arizona scored three runs to grab a 3-2 lead.

David Peralta led with a deep double to center and scored on a double to left. On the next pitch, 22-year-old shorstop Geraldo Perdomo lined a Castillo fastball 402 feet for a home run into the right field seats for a 3-2 Arizona lead. It was Perdomo’s second homer of the season.

After giving up the run-scoring double to India in the second, Gallen quit using the Reds as clay pigeons and retired 16 batters in a row through the seventh inning and he was at 91 pitches.

And that’s all the Reds needed. Noe Ramirez replaced Gallen and retired the first two in the eighth, extending Cincinnati’s frustration streak to 18 outs in a row.

Then Drury happened. The former Diamondback launched a game-tying home run two rows deep into the left field seats, Drury’s team-leading 13th homer, tying it, 3-3. And it was only the third Cincinnati hit.

Castillo retired the Diamondbacks in order in the seventh, with two strikeouts, the last one at 100 miles an hour. But manager David Bell decided 110 pitches were enough.

And the battering of the Reds bullpen began.

Warrn took over in the eighth and his first two pitches were ripped for singles by Josh Rojas and Ketel Marte.

After Christian Walker popped up, David Peralta lined one to right center and Friedl’s throw home was off line and Rojas slid home.

The D-Backs pulled a double steal when Warren ignored the runners putting runners on third and second.

Sanmartin replaced Warren and the double steal enabled Marte to score from third on a late throw home by second baseman India on Pavin Smith’s ground ball, lifting Arizona to a 5-3 lead.

Perdomo singled to center, his third RBI, and to add to the bullpen ineptitude, Sanmartin balked home the fourth run of the inning for a 7-3 Arizona lead.

Melancon made it interesting in the top of the ninth when Votto singled, took second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Moustakas. But Senzel flied to deep center, Almora lined hard to shortstop and Friedl flied to left.

The Reds split the trip to St. Louis and Phoenix with three wins and three losses. After an off day Thursday, the begin a homestand Friday night against the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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