By Bill Koch
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Pete Rose left in the third inning. By then, he had seen all he needed to see.
After waiting through a 3 hour, 5 minute rain delay, Rose and the other 25,633 fans who showed up at Great American Ball Park on Sunday watched still another Reds starting pitching effort go awry.
Like Ryan Dempster on Saturday night, right-hander Jimmy Haynes was victimized by one bad inning. The Reds recovered from Dempster's bad inning by staging one of their hip-hop ninth-inning rallies. Haynes wasn't so fortunate, and the Reds lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 5-0.
The loss left the Reds with a 3-3 homestand against the Yankees and Blue Jays and a 30-32 record. They trail NL Central-leading Houston by 5 1/2 games, their biggest deficit since April 25, when they were six back.
Don't tell Reds manager Bob Boone about one bad inning. He's been around long enough to know that one bad trip to the mound is all it takes to ruin a manager's day.
"Any time you have a bad inning and you put up a big crooked number, that'll do you in," Boone said.
In this case, the number was a not-so-crooked four-spot, but with Blue Jays' right-hander Kelvim Escobar pitching a four-hit shutout against the Reds, that was plenty.
If Rose was hoping to relive the glory days of the Big Red Machine, he was sorely disappointed. The normally potent Reds' lineup was pretty feeble against Escobar, who became the first pitcher to shut out the Reds this season.
It was also the first shutout of the season for the Blue Jays, the last American League team to record one.
"That dude was awesome," said left fielder Adam Dunn, who accounted for one of Escobar's season-high eight strikeouts. "Honestly, I had never heard of him until I found out he was pitching a couple of days ago. His fastball explodes on you. It sinks and he's got one of the better splitters in the league."
Haynes allowed all four of his runs in the second inning on four hits and a walk, including an RBI single by Escobar, his first career hit and RBI.
"The big one was the one to the pitcher," Haynes said. "That kind of hurt."
Haynes said improper mechanics in the second caused him to fall off the mound too far when he made his delivery.
"That caused me to have more movement than I wanted," he said. "That's one of those things you try to fix as fast as you can."
Haynes fixed it fairly rapidly, but it was already too late.
Reds starters now have one victory in their last 22 games. In that span, they're 1-11 with a 7.35 ERA.
Haynes is 0-5, with an 8.91 ERA for the season, 0-1 and 4.86 in three starts since returning from the disabled list.
Watching Reds starters continually get roughed up has to be wearing on the Reds' manager, but perhaps because he has no choice, he continues to talk as if the rotation is rounding into shape.
"I feel like it's better," Boone said. "Dempster, certainly that's the best he's thrown. Haynes is very workmanlike. I'm comfortable with the way he's throwing, that he's going to give me innings. I feel fairly comfortable with it, but I don't think there's any Cy Young candidates out there."
The Reds tried to muster some additional late-inning magic when Rainer Olmedo led off the ninth inning with a double and Dunn walked. But Sean Casey popped to third and Ken Griffey Jr. grounded into a double play to end the game.
That dude was indeed pretty tough.
|Griffey Jr. cf||4||0||0||0||0||2||.277|
a-struck out for Mercker in the 6th. b-doubled for Heredia in the 9th.
LOB-Toronto 9, Cincinnati 3. 2B-Catalanotto (23), JCastro (6), Olmedo (2). 3B-Wells (2). RBIs-Johnson (8), Catalanotto 2 (35), CDelgado (67), KEscobar (1). GIDP-Griffey Jr., LaRue.
DP-Toronto 2 (Bordick, OHudson and CDelgado), (OHudson, Woodward and CDelgado).
|KEscobar W, 3-3||9||4||0||0||1||8||109||4.60|
|JHaynes L, 0-5||5 2/3||8||4||4||3||4||109||8.91|
Inherited runners-scored-Mercker 1-0.
Umpires-Home, Tony Randazzo; First, Ted Barrett; Second, Lance Barksdale; Third, Tim McClelland.
T-2:22. A-25,633 (42,263).
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