McCoy: Offensive woes continue as Reds fall to Cardinals

Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto yells after being ejected by home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto yells after being ejected by home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Cincinnati manages just three hits; team batting average falls to MLB-worst .209

The offensive ineptitude of the 2020 Cincinnati Reds continues on a path toward oblivion.

It’s bad. How bad is it?

The Reds put three hits on their ledger Saturday in Busch Stadium, a 7-1, four-homer thrashing from the St. Louis Cardinals. Two of the hits, both singles, came when the Reds were six runs down.

—The Reds' team batting average dipped to .209, lowest by far in MLB.

—The 1962 New York Mets, losers of 120 games, hit .219.

—The 1910 Chicago White Sox hold the modern record for lowest team batting average, .212.

Joey Votto doubled with two outs in the sixth, Kyle Farmer singled with one out in the eighth and Jose Garcia singled with two outs in the ninth. That was it. Nothing more

The fast-fading hopes for a playoff spot for the Reds are disappearing like red tail lights in a fog. They are 20-26 with 14 games remaining and there are five teams ahead of them scrambling for the last plaoff spot.

St. Louis starter Dakota Hudson held the Reds to one hit over six innings and survived one inning when he walked the first three batters. The Reds managed one run out of it.

Reds rookie starter Tejay Antone pitched three good innings, but didn’t retire a batter in the fourth and his line was three-plus innings, three runs, four hits, three walks and three strikeouts.

Hudson retired the first six Reds, the last two via strikeouts.

Then Hudson took a walk on the wild, wild, wild side. He walked the first three Reds to start the third. . .bases loaded, no outs.

And the Reds captured one run on a ground ball out by Shogo Akiyama. But Nick Castellanos hit into a 5-4-3 inning-concluding double play.

Antone pitched three scoreless innings and owned a 1-0 lead when he walked to the mound for the fourth.

But when Brad Miller opened the fourth with a long home run to center field, Antone melted into a puddle.

A walk, a single and another walk filled the bases with no outs and Antone was finished. Lucas Sims replaced Antone and only one run scored, a ground ball by Matt Wieters to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.

The Cardinals took control of the game in the sixth with a five-run explosion, highlighted by three home runs.

It began when the inning started with Matt Carpenter’s home run after Sims had him 0-and-2, making him look helpless with breaking pitches. But on 2-and-2 Sims fed him a fastball and Carpenter popped it into the Cardinals bullpen.

“In retrospect, I maybe could have. . .I don’t know, I thought it was good call (fastball), but it leaked a little bit out over the plate and probably coul have been a little higher,” said Sims. “I didn’texecute and he put a good swing on it.”

Sims then walked a batter and hit one, ending his night. Amir Garrett was brought in to face the No. 9 hitter, Harrison Bader, and Bader unloaded a three-run home run to right center for a 6-1 Cardinals lead.

“Amir has been so good, excellent all year,” said manager David Bell. “Having him in there gave us a chance to get Bader and the guys after him before we got to Goldschmidt. It just didn’t work out.”

In addition to pitching out of the bases-loaded, no-outs situation, Sims pitched a second strong inning. But the third inning did him in and the Reds.

Asked if he was tired in his third inning of work, Sims said, “It was a bad inning. I was going out there. . .they told me I had another inning. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do it, unable to keep it there (at 2-1).”

The mangling continued after Tommy Edman lined into a double play. With two outs, Goldschmidt drove one over the right field wall and it was 7-1.

The frustrations are becoming an open wound. When Votto was called out on strikes to open the ninth, he protested so vehemently that he was ejected by home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn.