Bullpen collapses in second loss to Reds

by Gary Shelton on July 9, 2022

in general

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Perhaps you appreciate the bullpen of the Tampa Rays. Perhaps you find them trustworthy. Perhaps you believe they can turn out the lights on the opposing team.

But the Cincinnati Reds?

They love the Rays' bullpen.

To the Reds, the relievers of the Rays are a map to a walk-off victory. It happened for the second time in two days Saturday afternoon, as the Reds -- the worst team in the National League -- pounced all over the Rays bullpen on their way to a 5-4 win in 10 innings.

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The Rays had built a 3-0 lead in the eighth inning (that should have been larger) and blew it. Then they took a 4-3 lead in the 10th inning (that should have been larger) and blew that one, too. The bullpen, who ranked eighth in the majors coming into the game, collapsed further as the end of the game got closer.

“It's not ideal," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Tip your cap to the Reds. They did a good job. You understand why we didn’t score many runs early on. Hunter Greene was really good. But you'd like to think in a 3-0 ballgame we can somehow perserve that lead."

The Rays couldn't. The stretched a 1-0 lead into 3-0 in the eighth inning on Harold Ramirez's double (he had three doubles and three RBI on the day). But the Rays had the bases loaded with no one out and didn't score anymore.

The bullpen imploded in the bottom of the inning when Brooks Rally gave up two hits and hit a batter while getting only one out. Colin Poche walked in a run on five pitches and then gave up a two-run single to Brandon Drury to tie the game.

In the 10th, another double by Ramirez gave the Rays the lead. Again, the Rays had a chance to pad the lead with runners on first and second with no one out. But they couldn't get another run home.

In the bottom of the 10th, Calvin Faucher came in and gave up three straight singles (and a wild pitch) to allow the Reds the walk-off. It came on a night after the Reds have beaten Tampa Bay on a balk.

The Rays had even worse news. Wander Franco left the game with hand and wrist discomfort, and Cash predicted he'll go on the injured list. Kevin Kiermaier left the game late after his hip started to bother him again.

The Rays play the Reds again today at The Great American Ballpark at 1:40 p.m. Shane Baz will start for the Rays against Nick Lodolo.

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