It was right there in front of them. The Cincinnati Reds had battled the Minnesota Twins all afternoon in the Queen City. Down by one going into the bottom of the 8th. Mike Leake had pitched a stupendous game. Joey Votto blasted a two-run homer over the left field fence to give the Reds the lead by one going into the top of the 9th. The Cuban Missile, Aroldis Chapman was on his way in to close it out. All was in place and going fine for the Cincinnati Reds. It was set up perfectly. Then it happened.
Chapman, the Cincinnati Reds’ wonder pitcher, blew it. Flat out, he blew it. Chapman allowed a double to leftfield and then a monster homerun by Josh Willingham. It was a no doubt, absolute rocket shot that propelled the Twins to the victory.
This is Chapman’s fourth blown save and fourth loss of the season. He has been anything if not terrible in the month of June. After starting the season with a 4-0 record and not allowing a single earned run in his first 25 appearances, he is making up for lost time in a big way. I have no idea what in the world is wrong with the man, but he is clearly not the same pitcher and, I hate to say it, he must be removed from the role of closer. For those of you who have followed me all season know that I asked for him to be the closer (heck, I badgered for it); however, I have to admit that Chapman as a closer has been utter disaster for the Cincinnati Reds. It’s time to go back to Sean Marshall. This is happening way, way too often.
Poor Mike Leake got screwed out of another win by Chapman. This is the second consecutive start for Leake in which he pitched near perfect baseball, only to see it blown away in the last inning.
The Cincinnati Reds must look for another option as closer. Is there no one in the minors or on the trading block that they can pick up?