McCoy: Reds ripped in season finale, second team in franchise history to lose 100 games

Chicago crushes Cincinnati 15-2

Mark it down and put it in the record books, preferably in invisible ink for the Cincinnati Reds.

On the last day of the 2022 regular season, the Reds became the ignominious owners of the franchise’s second 100-loss season.

And the 100th loss was a no-doubter, a crushing loss to the Chicago Cubs, 15-2, an emphatic negative ending to the season.

To rub salt in the open wound, Pittsburgh defeated St. Louis, meaning the Reds and Pirates tied for fourth/last place in the National League Central at 62-100.

The 2022 Reds joined the 1982 team that lost 101 as the only two teams in the long and storied franchise history to lose 100 games.

What is more disturbing to their fans is that the Reds have lost 90 or more games in five of the last seven seasons, not counting the shortened season in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The numbers say it all for this lost season.

The Reds finished 28-48 against fellow NL Central opponents, 8-11 against the Cubs. They were 33-48 at home. They were 34-41 against teams below .500 and 28-59 against teams above .500.

It all added up to the second worst season in franchise history.

The game was a microcosm of the season. The Reds left the bases loaded three times without scoring and the bullpen was under heavy assault.

The Cubs used a pair of three-run homers as the centerpiece of their final day destruction of the Reds.

Reds starter Graham Ashcraft walked two with two outs in the second and paid heavily. David Bote reached the front row of the right-field seats for a 3-0 lead.

Cincinnati left the bases loaded in the first when Spencer Steer struck out. They scored a run in the second on a walk, a single by Austin Romine and a passed ball.

The Reds drew within one run in the third on Stuart Fairchild’s triple and Steer’s single and the Cubs led by only 3-2.

Then the Cubs’ sixth, seventh and eighth innings arrived … another microcosm of the Reds’ season --- bad bullpen work.

The Cubs scored six in the sixth, four in the seventh and two in the eighth — 12 runs in three innings.

Cubs leadoff hitter Zach McKinstry furnished the loudest blow in the sixth, an exploding bomb three-run home run off Derek Law. Then Joel Kuhnel gave up four runs, four hits and a walk while retiring one batter in the seventh as the Cubs expanded their lead to 13-2.

Chicago’s third home run was off the bat of Franmil Reyes in the eighth, a two-run shot off Reiver Sanmartin to make it 15-2.

Along the way, the Reds filled the bases in their sixth for the third time and didn’t score. They were 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11.

The Cubs needed only 13 hits for their 15 runs, mainly because Reds pitchers walked eight and hit a batter.

And thus ended a most unforgettable season on the banks of the Ohio River.

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