The Cincinnati Reds went into the ninth inning of Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers up 7-5 with the game in their closers hands. That’s when things went wrong.
Upon entering the game, Francisco Cordero, who was coming off a blown save on Thursday (a game the Reds led 8-0 at one point), promptly walked catcher George Kottaras, who had just entered the game in the ninth. Cordero’s control problems continued with Reds killer Rickie Weeks, who had already driven in two runs. Cordero was able to get Weeks to fly out to Jay Bruce on the warning track for the first out.
CoCo’s problems only got worse as he threw a pitch to Nyjer Morgan that Brewers announcer Bob Uecker might have classified as “just a bit outside,” allowing Kottaras to move to second. Kottaras who score easily as Morgan ripped a triple down the right field line to bring the game to 7-6.
Morgan would not score as recent call-up Zack Cozart went to home on a ground ball from Cory Hart and Ryan Hanigan made a fine play to pick the ball and hold on on as Morgan, a former Jr. Hockey player, plowed through him.
With two outs Cordero faced the dangerous Prince Fielder, but he couldn’t get Fielder to swing at two breaking balls and walked him to put the winning run at first. Casey McGehee would hit a slow roller to third, but Scott Rolen couldn’t make the play in time as the ball died in the infield grass.
With the bases loaded, the Brewers opted to pinch run for the 275lb. Fielder at second base, a move that would pay off. After getting ahead of Mark Kotsay, Cordero couldn’t fool him a third time and Kotsay lined one to right to Bruce, who’s errant throw made it official that the Brewers had won 8-7.
The collapse marked the thrid game in a row that the Reds have failed to keep a lead past the fifth inning. On Wednesday the Reds needed 13 innings to win 9-8 after leading 8-0. On Thursday, Homer Bailey held the Brewers in check until losing his focus and allowing a three-run home run to Weeks as the Reds lost 5-3. In tonight’s game the Reds charged out to a 4-0 lead, lost that, but rallied to retake the lead with a three run seventh capped by a Jay Bruce home run.
After the loss, the Reds have now fallen four games back of Milwaukee, who broke out of a three way tie for first from St. Louis and Pittsburgh.
The Reds, who are 3-7 in their last 10 games, will look to Johnny Cueto (5-3) to stop the skid. Cueto pitched phenomenal in his last outing tossing a complete game while only allowing one run, but still took the loss as the Reds failed to score.