There wasn't much Cincinnati Reds starter Homer Bailey could say after allowing eight earned runs in four innings Sunday at Great American Ball Park. He didn't want to use complicated jargon with the reporters talking to him after a 14-4 loss to the Washington Nationals. He chose to describe his struggles in simple terms.
"I don't have any excuses," Bailey said. "I didn't make pitches today. This isn't rocket science. If you make bad pitches, those guys are going to hit them. I just have to get a little better."
Bailey, who returned from the disabled list in late June, reverted to the form he showed in his first two starts. His ERA stood at 27.00 after he allowed 14 earned runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers.
Bailey responded with two quality starts. He reduced his ERA to 8.31 by allowing two earned runs in 12 2/3 innings against the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks in two starts before the All-Star break.
The Reds (39-52) fell to 0-3 since the All-Star break because they couldn't overcome Bailey's early struggles. Daniel Murphy hit a two-run home run in the first inning and a three-run home run in the fifth against Bailey, who left the game in the fifth without recording an out.
"We lost this game today because of starting pitching," Bailey said.
The loss dropped the Reds to 4-18 against the three teams in first place in the NL. They are 1-5 against the Nationals, 3-7 against the Milwaukee Brewers and 0-6 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Reds relievers didn’t perform much better than Bailey. Ariel Hernandez gave up one run in two innings. The Nationals scored three runs in one inning against Drew Storen. Tony Cingrani allowed two runs in one inning. Only Blake Wood, who pitched a scoreless ninth inning, had success.
With Bailey's start, the season ERA for Reds starters jumped from 5.93 to 6.04. Price confirmed that health issues weren't the reason Bailey struggled in this game.
"There's no doubt you don't pitch as infrequently as he has the last three years and come back and be the 2012 and 2013 version of Homer Bailey," Price said. "That being said, our expectation and I'm sure his is he'll go out there and perform and give us games that look a lot more like the Colorado and Arizona games than the other three. Even when he doesn't have his best stuff, I think when he's locked in, he can manage a baseball game and win a game against a good club with lesser stuff."