In Reds’ win, David Bell burst out after another player hit: ‘At some point, enough is enough’

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell said his outburst in the dugout had more to do with the frustration of one of his players being hit for the 22nd time this season — without blaming a pitcher, a team or even the chair in particular person who bore the brunt of his anger between the two. first and second innings of Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over the San Diego Padres.

“We had a lot of guys hit, we had a lot of guys hit on the hand,” Bell said after the game. “I just don’t like seeing our guys hit – it ruins their careers. It’s not so much about the game, because it affects the game, it affects our team, but it mostly affects those individuals who are trying to stay healthy and stay on the field.

Outfielder Jake Fraley was hit in the right hand by Padres starter Joe Musgrove in the first inning. After Bell went to home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstadt to inform him that Stuart Fairchild would replace Fraley, Bell returned to the dugout and threw a metal folding chair at the bat rack.

“I got the better of me, for sure,” said Bell, who said he was not injured. “It wouldn’t matter if I did, but no.”

Fraley was injured, but initial X-rays showed no fracture in his right hand.

“It’s pretty ridiculous at this point how many guys have been hit in the wrist or the hand,” Fraley said. “I think guys are trying to throw up and go back, and you would think in the big leagues you would have more control. There’s been multiple guys and multiple pitchers, so obviously there’s some bad luck, but it’s just unfortunate.

Of the 22 pitches hit by the Reds this year, 13 were by hand or arm. Six others hit the leg, one in the back, another in the buttocks and one tore off Spencer Steer’s helmet. A total of 12 Reds have been hit this season, led by Steer, who has been hit four times. In total, 20 pitchers on 11 teams hit Reds batters. Only two pitchers – Michael Lorenzen of the Texas Rangers and Sean Manaea of ​​the New York Mets – hit multiple Reds batters.

Adding injury to insult, two players were placed on injured reserve after being hit in the hand: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, who was hit by Lorenzen on April 27 and played with a fractured right ulnar styloid before to pass into IL on May 8. ; and TJ Friedl, who came off the IL to play in all five games before being hit with the first pitch of his sixth and returning to the IL with a broken left thumb.

“We’ve had a lot of them,” Bell said. “At some point, enough is enough.”

That said, Bell noted there wasn’t much he could do.

The Reds are tied for eighth in Major League Baseball in hits, 15 behind the Cleveland Guardians, who have been hit 37 times so far this season. The Minnesota Twins (32), Chicago Cubs (26), Washington Nationals (26), Mets (25), Boston Red Sox (23) and Tampa Bay Rays (23) were more touched than the Reds. Detroit Tigers and Milwaukee Brewers hitters were also hit 22 times.

Fraley wanted to stay inside, but the ball hit just outside the guard he wears on his right hand. When he took it off, his hand was swollen, black and blue. Bell and head athletic trainer Sean McQueeney immediately told him his day was over. After the match, there was still some swelling, but it was no longer black or blue, just a slightly reddish tint compared to his natural skin tone.

Given the way the Reds’ season is going – with nine players on the injured list and another suspended – it was surprising that Fraley’s injury wasn’t worse. He will be re-examined again on Wednesday, but for now it appears he has avoided a trip to the IL.

An inning later, it appeared Jonathan India might join Fraley in the practice room, scoring on a Jacob Hurtubise ball to give the Reds their second run of the second inning and last of the game, but colliding with Padres catcher Luis Campusano. Bell and McQueeney rushed onto the field again to check on their player, as India hit the ground in frustration. India, however, would remain in the game.

For most of May, things seemed to be going against the Reds. The team lost to the Padres in San Diego on the last day of April, falling to 16-14 on the season. It was the first of 15 losses over the next 18 games, a stretch that followed the team from California to Cincinnati, then from California to Arizona, then from California once again before the day of Monday off and Tuesday’s series opener against the Padres.

Two years ago, the Reds started the season 3-22, so it’s not exactly an unprecedented streak for the team. This team would lose 100 games, but a strong start means the Reds aren’t short of anything yet. Lucas Sims pointed the finger at the Twins, owners of a 12-game winning streak earlier this season who lost seven in a row before beating the Nationals on Tuesday.

“It’s a completely different team,” Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson said. “But I feel like we played well. It’s not up to our expectations, we know how we can play, but we still have a long season ahead of us. Everything will be fine for us. It was huge to be a part of this one and hopefully come in tomorrow and win the series.

Through the first 18 games of the 2022 season, the Reds have gone 3-15 with a minus-47 point differential, and only two of those 15 losses have come by one point. Over the last 18 games leading up to Tuesday’s game, the Reds had a minus-29 run differential and had lost seven one-run games, three of which went to no fault, including two in extra innings. The Reds also have the advantage of playing in the National League Central. From April 30 until Monday’s games — the stretch that saw the Reds go 3-15 — the Brewers were the only team in the division to hit .500 or better, going 10-9. The Cubs were 8-11 over that span, the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-10 and the St. Louis Cardinals 8-11. The Reds only lost 5.5 games in the standings, and they were behind by 8.5 games after their 3-15 start in 2022.

Andrew Abbott’s seven scoreless innings Tuesday and a scoreless relief inning from Fernando Cruz and Alexis Díaz gave the Reds their third shutout victory of the season and first since completing a sweep of the Los Angels Angeles with a 3-0 victory last month. The Reds managed just three hits against the Padres – two from Elly De La Cruz, including an RBI double for the second inning – but put themselves in good position for the rest of the series. Not only did the Reds have an off day on Monday, but they also only used two relievers on Tuesday. The Padres were coming off a doubleheader Monday that saw them use a total of eight pitchers, then five more on Tuesday. All of the team’s relievers pitched Monday or Tuesday, with right-hander Jhony Brito pitching in both games.

“We knew we just had to stay true to ourselves, stay true to our routines and all that, and eventually it will change — hopefully it will be a prolonged change,” Abbot said. “We’re going to be ready tomorrow to dominate again and let the chips fall where they may.”

And the chairs?

“DB has always had our backs – showing emotion like that only drives home the point,” Abbott said. “This should light a fire under us.”

(Photo of Jake Fraley examining his hand after being hit: Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer/USA Today)

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