Feldman not confident in knee after rough start

August 17th, 2017

CHICAGO -- It was pretty clear pretty quickly that Reds starting pitcher was laboring on his balky right knee. Feldman's fastball velocity often sat in the low 80s on Thursday at Wrigley Field, and he couldn't get to first base to cover the bag on a grounder in the second inning.

Cubs hitters eventually capitalized with five home runs -- four in the fourth inning -- as Feldman blew a nine-run lead before the Reds came back with a 13-10 win.

"No question about it, I did not look like a Major League pitcher today," Feldman said. "I've got to see how it goes the next few days. But I'm not really feeling too confident about it at the moment. It's one thing to try and go out there and compete and pitch through it. The way I felt today -- really, the last four games -- it hasn't really gotten any better.

"I don't feel like I'm doing anybody any favors by going out there like that. If it's not going to get any better, it's embarrassing to go out there and give up five home runs and lose a nine-run lead like that."

Feldman was on the disabled list from July 18 until Aug. 12 with right knee inflammation. He was activated even as the club knew his knee wasn't 100 percent, but it was serviceable enough to pitch. The right-hander worked four innings in his previous start at Milwaukee on Saturday and looked mostly good, except for a three-run homer in the first inning.

Cincinnati was leading 9-0 when hit a two-out solo homer to left-center field in the second inning. In the fourth, led off with a homer to left field. With one out, Alex Avila, Happ and slugged back-to-back-to-back homers.

"I was throwing 82 mph, so I was trying to mix in a lot of junk today," Feldman said, after allowing a career high in homers. "It worked for three innings. The fourth inning, I think they caught on to what I was doing."

Feldman was the first Reds pitcher to allow five homers in a game since on Sept. 28, 2013. Reds manager Bryan Price expects to meet with his pitcher and the medical staff before his next scheduled start, on Wednesday vs. the Cubs again, in Cincinnati.

"It just didn't look very athletic out there," Price said of Feldman. "It seemed like there was some real limitations. It certainly will be a talking point moving forward."