For the Cleveland Indians, the 7-4 loss to Reds Tuesday night may have been the most painful of the season.
It’s not just the fact that the Tribe blew a 4-0 lead after a brilliant start from Trevor Bauer. It’s how they managed to give up SEVEN runs in the 9th inning, part of which can be blamed by a lost-in-translation moment between Indians manager Terry Francona and pitching coach Carl Willis.
Here’s how the 9th inning went down: Closer Cody Allen gave up three runs on three hits with a walk and a hit batter. Suddenly a 4-0 Tribe lead was down to 4-3 with the bases loaded, two down, and Reds left-handed slugger Joey Votto due up.
Jul 10, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona (77) and the Indians infield point to the dugout during a pitching change during the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Progressive Field.
Francona made the call to the bullpen and right-hander Dan Otero came out of the gate. As we found out after the game, that was not the plan that Francona had intended.
It would have made a lot more sense to have the lefty Perez out to face Votto, especially with several left-handed Reds hitters following in the lineup.
Votto greeted Otero with a bases-clearing double as the Reds went on to score seven times in the 9th.
The Indians have now lost four straight, two of which can be traced directly to bullpen miscues.
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