Jeff Reardon has played for six teams in 14 years--some good, some bad. But he has never been part of anything like the current Cincinnati Reds.
Reardon gave up Jody Reed’s sacrifice fly and Brett Butler’s RBI double in the 11th inning as the Reds wasted a ninth-inning rally and lost to the Dodgers, 5-3, Tuesday night for their 11th loss in a row.
Cincinnati, playing its worst baseball in a quarter of a century, lost for the 16th time in 19 games. The 11-game losing streak is its longest since 1966 and more grueling than anything Reardon (4-6) has experienced.
“I’ve never gone through anything like this,” Reardon said. “Seven in a row one time, but nothing like this.”
This loss was one of their most painful of the last few days. The Reds rallied to tie the score in the ninth.
But Cory Snyder opened the 11th with a single and moved to third on Jerry Brooks’ double. Brooks, a rookie in his fourth at-bat, had to overcome nervousness before getting the inning’s pivotal hit.
“I was just trying to breathe and not think about who was on the mound,” Brooks said. “I was trying not to think about him and all those saves and who he is, because if I do, I might get intimidated.”
Reardon’s career statistics are intimidating, but his fastball isn’t as formidable anymore. Brooks hit one into the left-field corner to put two runners in scoring position, and Reed hit a fly ball that right fielder Tim Costo caught for the out and then dropped as he tried to throw home.
The result: Snyder scored the winning run without a throw to the plate.
“It’s just ridiculous,” Costo said.
Butler followed with a double over Costo’s head to make it 5-3, and Rick Trlicek pitched a perfect inning to get his first major league save. Roger McDowell (5-3) got the victory.
The Dodgers took a 3-2 lead into the ninth, but Todd Worrell couldn’t hold it, blowing a save for the third time in seven chances with the help of a throwing error by catcher Mike Piazza.
Juan Samuel singled with one out, stole second and continued to third when Piazza’s throw skipped into center field. Joe Oliver then slapped an outside pitch to right field for a game-tying single.
Until the the ninth, it appeared a few wild minutes by Larry Luebbers would hand the Dodgers a victory. Luebbers walked five in the second inning--including three in a row with the bases loaded--to give the Dodgers all their runs.