Reds can't rally after delay, drop opener

April 21st, 2021

CINCINNATI -- As a cold and miserable rain picked up its pace at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday night, conditions worsened and the Reds saw their lead wash away with it in the eighth inning. Their manager, David Bell, wished he pushed to stop the game sooner.

In a rough night for the Cincinnati bullpen, the D-backs scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning and took a one-run lead before the game was suspended with one out in the inning.

Play resumed Wednesday, but not before another 25-minute delay as a mix of rain and snow fell. The score, however, remained as Cincinnati dropped the opener, 5-4.

"You know, I think the weather got bad really quick," Bell said Wednesday before the game resumed. "I think there was a point in that [Carson] Kelly at-bat, it just got worse and worse at a really fast rate. I think there was probably a pitch before the at-bat ended where I almost ran out there and just asked if we could stop the game, and I didn’t do that. And obviously, I wish I would have done that. It is a tough call. There’s a lot of consideration."

Tejay Antone's scoreless streak to start the season ended at 8 2/3 innings when Andrew Young led off the eighth by tattooing a homer to center field to make it a 4-4 game. Amir Garrett replaced Antone and walked his first batter, Pavin Smith, followed by a Kole Calhoun double. Showers intensified as Lucas Sims replaced Garrett with one out. 

Sims hit the first batter he faced, Wyatt Mathisen, with a 1-0 pitch to load the bases and walked Kelly with a full count to bring home Smith with the go-ahead run.

"There was a lot of safety issues," Sims said after the loss. "I was concerned about me slipping or something going wrong with the ball. And also my competitors too. If I have no clue where the freaking ball is going ... I don’t know the last time I hit a right-hander with a slider. I don’t know if I’ve ever done that."

Sims asked for a new ball that was dry. He kept throwing away each ball home plate umpire Jordan Visconti offered him.

"Every single one of them was soaking wet," Sims said. "There was no reason we should have been playing. I thought for safety reasons there was no way I was going to throw any of those baseballs."

Moments later, the umpires summoned the grounds crew to roll out the tarp for a rain delay.

"I don’t think for a second that the umpires were intentionally putting our players in danger or anything like that," Bell said. "They’re using their best judgement, so I can only think about what I did and what our team did. Our players were trying to play through it. I give them credit for that."

In 39-degree weather, Sims remained in the game when it resumed. He got a popup and a flyout to keep the bases loaded. But the Reds were unable to come back against the Arizona bullpen.

"I went into DB’s office yesterday and told him I wanted to get us out of that," Sims said. "I felt like that was my ballgame. That was a big situation that I felt like I wanted to get us out of and keep it there and give us the chance to win that game. And he let me, so that was nice."