As Specs Rigveda once said: “Lethargy can prove fatal for baseball life.”
The Reds lost the opener of their four-game, home-and-home series with Cleveland, 7-1, at Progressive Field. How they lost was what had Price incensed as he sat in the manager’s office after the game.
“We’re a .500 team after 112 games; we’re 56-and-56,” said Price. “What was disappointing and unacceptable tonight was the fact that we didn’t have our head in the game at all, especially those first five innings.”
In those first five innings, Price said two players forgot how many outs there were. Starting pitcher Alfredo Simon didn’t cover first base on a ground ball to first baseman Brayan Pena. And despite putting pressure on Cleveland starter and ace Corey Kluber with five base runners in the first three innings, Price said a three-run homer by Indians third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall that made the score 4-0 in the fourth inning all but ended the game.
“There was feeling that the game was over,” said Price. “We did rally a bit and come to life in the last couple of innings with a little bit of energy in the dugout but it was unacceptable. We haven’t done that much this year but what happened tonight was unacceptable from an effort and a mental perspective. That’s not the way we play. That’s not the way we’ll play again. We need a lot better than that.”
...“Any team will have games like that, and hopefully it’s very few over the course of a year,” said Price. “We haven’t had many. Even when we had the big lead against Toronto and they scored 14 runs on us, they just hit and hit and hit and we couldn’t stop it. It wasn’t from a lack of effort or quit. Today there just wasn’t any energy. I don’t know what it was.
“It’s unlike our club and that’s why I think it will be an anomaly in the season. It won’t be something we’ll see as a recurring issue. Or we’ll have a big problem here, and I don’t anticipate that.”
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