For the second consecutive appearance, Aroldis Chapman has blown a save opportunity after converting eight straight save opportunities to start the 2013 season.
Entering the game with a 2-1 Cincinnati lead over the Philadelphia Phillies in the ninth-inning, Chapman issued a four-pitch walk to Delmon Young, poorly locating his fastball and changeup.
Young would be replaced by pinch-runner Cliff Lee, however, Lee would be picked off in an attempt to steal second base.
With one out, Philadelphia catcher Erik Kratz would step to the plate and work Chapman to a full-count before slugging a solo home run to left field, tying the game 2-2.
Following a 1-1 count, third baseman Freddy Galvis would take a 95 MPH fastball and launch a line drive shot over the left field wall, winning the game for the Phillies with a 3-2 final score.
An inconsistent season marred by poor pitch location and an over-reliance on his four-seam fastball has left Chapman with a 3.32 ERA and a decline in confidence. The dominant poise that was once present in the flamethrowing reliever’s mound presence seems to have dwindled this season, which needs to be addressed by the Cincinnati coaching staff before further damage ensues.
Despite his inconsistencies, Chapman’s slider has been lights out this season, but has not been utilized as much as it should be in his appearances.
Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey had pitched a gem of a game for the Reds, working seven scoreless innings with three strikeouts and one walk. With the loss the Reds fall to 26-18 on the season, tied for second in the NL Central standings with the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2.5 games behind the division leading St. Louis Cardinals.
The Phillies improve to 20-23 on the season, 4.5 games back of the NL East leading Atlanta Braves. Sunday’s win at Citizen’s Bank Park was Philadelphia’s eleventh win at home, the Phillies now boasting a mediocre 11-12 home record this season.