LOS ANGELES – David Bale thought the way Tyler Mahley delivered in the first three rounds on Sunday was one of the best of his career.
Mahle has been working to advance the charges with his not-quick pitches and generating hits with a fast ball. He was frustrating the Los Angeles Dodgers’ hitters with fastball and splitting.
Then the fourth half came and nothing went well.
It was just another low point in a week full of low points. The Cincinnati Reds were defeated 9-1 at the end of the series on Sunday at Dodger Stadium and swept the four-game series, extending their losing streak to six. It was the first time the Dodgers had trounced the Reds in a four-game streak since 1975.
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The Reds have not advanced once during their six-game losing streak, 54 consecutive games drawn or held behind.
“Everything that can go wrong is wrong,” Mahley said.
After an off-season period in which the Reds parted ways with many of their most famous players, and a 99-day lockdown, the record was added 2-8 to start the season, the worst record in the tournament. It is the third time in the last five seasons (2018 and 2019) that they have won only twice from their first 10 matches.
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Mahley surrendered seven scoring runs in 3 and 2/3 runs, matching the high of his career. He only allowed one hit the first time through the Dodgers lineup, for a total of four hits, but the fourth inning turned out to be a disaster.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with any of their players or anything else,” Mahley said. “They have a great lineup, of course, but I didn’t feel that way, like, ‘Man, they have (Freddy) Freeman next. “I knew I just had to put in a good show to get them out.”
The first five Dodgers hitters reached the base in the fourth inning. Max Muncy double netted on the right field line and Will Smith slapped the RBI double on the left field line.
This is a Dodgers squad that has the luxury of beating 2019 National League MVP Cody Bellinger for seventh in their lineup and Chris Taylor, who signed a four-year, $60 million contract last winter, eighth. Taylor continued to display hits in the fourth inning with a two-footb to the center.
Freeman, who opened the fourth inning with a single, added a two-stage single in his second inning bet. He burst into a smile as soon as he made it to first base as a crowd of 41,167 Dodger Stadium fans chanted his name.
“Against this squad, it’s really a fine line between putting in great performances and then letting go of a quick run,” Bale said.
Over the six-game losing streak, it was a bad week that began with captain Phil Castellini’s comments mocking fans’ criticism ahead of the club’s opening game. Tommy Pham missed two matches due to a collision on the court. Nick Senzel missed four games due to illness. Jonathan India has missed three matches with a right hamstring injury and could head to the injured list.
The Reds have the lowest on-base percentage in the league (.254) and the second-worst batting average (.180). They averaged 2.5 points during a losing streak, scoring only one game before the sixth inning in any of those six games.
“It was tough,” Bell said. “It kind of feels: we just go down and fight to get it back but we can’t go back. We had a really good show. Looking at the long term it feels like taking on these challenges early on, playing against these good teams and facing a good show should help us.” It’s just hard to pass while that’s happening.”
Andrew Henney, the left Dodgers, beat the Reds’ squad, allowing one stroke over six games. Henney hit 11 hits, his highest total since hitting 14 on August 20, 2019. Henney started three games with 10 hits last season.
Injuries to several right-handed hitters – India, Senzel, Donovan Solano and Jose Barreiro – meant the Reds had four left-handed players in their squad. They stood no chance of sliding Heaney, who drew an astonishing 14 whiffs in 22 swings the Reds made in it.
“Maybe he wasn’t the guy that comes to mind when you think of the dominant start – he’s really good – but he made a great game for sure,” Bale said.
Kyle Farmer’s double win over Heaney in the third inning leaves no hitter out of play, but the Reds will face other left-handed players during their next three-game series in San Diego.