Dusty Baker Hard-Pressed To Explain Cincinnati Reds' Poor Defense

By John Raffel
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds have lost seven games in the last nine outings for a good reason: they are not playing good baseball.

That was evident Sunday in a 3-2 loss to the Texas Rangers in which two runs scored on the same suicide squeeze bunt.

That’s right, two runs.

For Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker, seeing a team score twice on the suicide squeeze bunt is new to him. But allowing two runs to score is a reflection on the fact that Baker didn’t have his defense ready to handle the situation.

With one out in the fifth and a runner on third, Elvis Andrus bunted toward the mound and base runner Engel Beltre came to the plate. Cincinnati starter Mat Latos made a nice barehanded grab, but made a poor decision. He threw at the plate, but the ball hit Beltre in the face. Beltre was able to score and so was another run because of the poor throw.

Beltre told reporters later he should have hung onto the ball and made a bad throw.

When a team goes 2-7 on a nine-game stretch, bad decisions are being made and that was evident on Latos’ throwing error.

Baker told reporters the Rangers tend to bunt in situations like that, which should have given the Cincinnati defense a cold warning to make a heads up play. Baker said he was almost willing to exchange one out for one run. It was allowing two runs to score that did the damage. This shouldn’t happen on the MLB level.

The team is struggling and they aren’t going to recover from losing streaks with the type of poor defense the Reds put in on Sunday.

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