Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

MLB News

Barnhart homers, but Reds fall behind Finnegan

April 14, 2018

CINCINNATI -- The Reds are trying to maintain a positive approach as the losses continue to mount. But, it has been 87 years since the Reds have had a worse start to a season through 14 games."It's a tough spot to be in," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "We're all

CINCINNATI -- The Reds are trying to maintain a positive approach as the losses continue to mount. But, it has been 87 years since the Reds have had a worse start to a season through 14 games.
"It's a tough spot to be in," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "We're all adults and we get paid to do a job. We need to grind it out every day and work toward turning it around."
Tucker Barnhart received his Gold Glove Award and homered on his Bobblehead Day, but Greg Garcia homered twice to spoil Brandon Finnegan's return from the disabled list. The Cardinals handed the Reds their seventh straight loss, 6-1, at Great American Ball Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Reds are off to their worst 14-game start since 1931 when they also started the season 2-12, en route to a 96-loss season. The '31 club won just twice in its first 19 games.
"You never expect this," added Price. "We need to show some spirit, some heart and integrity in the way we go about our business. We need to put a better product on the field every day."

Finnegan, who celebrated his 25th birthday on Saturday, made his first appearance since June 26. He made four starts last season around a pair of stints on the DL, then began this season on the DL with a left biceps strain sustained during Spring Training.
As could be expected after such a long layoff, Finnegan (0-1) showed some rust in the first inning on Saturday, walking the first two batters on 10 pitches and allowing Marcell Ozuna's sacrifice fly to put the Cardinals ahead, 1-0. Finnegan, who needed 23 pitches to get through the first, admitted to having some jitters early in Saturday's game.
"He wasn't real sharp," Price said. "He had a hard time getting things going. He looked better. Had three pitches working. I expect he'll get better."
"Wasn't my day," Finnegan said. "Feels good to be back. Good to be healthy. Big sign for me was getting through this game healthy. It's not an easy game."
The Reds didn't hit a ball out of the infield against Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas until Joey Votto's fly to left with one out in the fourth inning.
Among the few Reds' bright spots on Saturday was right-hander Dylan Floro, who was promoted from Triple-A Louisville on Friday and pitched two perfect innings in his Reds debut.
"He did a nice job," Price said. "Had a good sinker-slider combo. Good trust with his stuff."
Scooter Gennett had two of the Reds' four hits off Mikolas and went 3-for-4 on the day to extend his hitting streak at Great American Ball Park to 15 games, the fifth-longest since the park opened in 2003.

Aside from Barnhart's homer, the Reds had only one runner reach second base through the first eight innings, but they loaded the bases with one out in the ninth before Jordan Hicks got the final two outs to secure the Cardinals' third straight victory.
"Everything that can go against us is going against us," Finnegan said. "Everybody else is getting lucky. All of their weak hits are finding a hole, ours aren't. We just have to keep pushing. Keep coming to the field and working to get better. It's just the second week of baseball. We have a long way to go." 
Garcia gets to Finnegan: Two-out lightning from Garcia changed the complexion of Saturday's outing for Finnegan, who was a strike away from a 1-2-3 second inning when Garcia launched a 1-2 pitch into the right-field seats for a solo home run to put the Cardinals ahead, 2-0. Garcia struck again with two outs in the fourth, this time for a two-run home run to further spoil Finnegan's afternoon.
"I thought I made a lot of good pitches, just two bad ones and they both got hit out," Finnegan said. "That's the life of playing in Great American Ball Park. Nobody hit the ball really hard, except those two home runs."

The last time the Reds started a season 2-12 was in 1931, when they went 2-17 out of the gate en route to a 96-loss season and last place finish in the eight-team National League. Manager "Dapper" Dan Howley's best record in three seasons with the Reds was in 1932, when they finished 60-94. The '31 Reds were 20-57 on the road, but just one game under .500 at Redland Field.
Homer Bailey is scheduled to make his team-high fourth start of the season on Jackie Robinson Day, the 71st anniversary of Robinson's debut which broke baseball's color barrier. It will be Bailey's 24th career start against the Cardinals, who he is 6-13 against with a 5.86 ERA. The Reds have lost seven straight and are off to their worst start since 1931. Bailey will face Carlos Martinez on Sunday. 

Jeff Wallner is a contributor for based in Cincinnati.