Bullpen implodes as Phillies drop opener to Reds

Jeremy Hellickson tossed six strong innings for the Phillies in season opener against the Reds.

By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
April 4, 2016 - Updated 8:25 p.m.
@PGordonPBR

CINCINNATI  -  Manager Pete Mackanin admitted over the weekend that he hadn't yet defined roles in the Phillies bullpen, so Monday's season opening 6-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds certainly won't help matters.

Despite a strong debut by Jeremy Hellickson, reliever David Hernandez failed to retire a batter in the eighth inning and the bullpen imploded, surrendering five runs over the final two innings.

"Tough to see," Mackanin said. "I'm not going to go after a guy after just one game, but we need to do better."

Hernandez walked the first batter he faced, then surrendered a double before issuing another walk. Eventually, all three runners would score. James Russell surrendered another two runs before Hector Neris stopped the bleeding.

The lone bright spot from the bullpen was a scoreless seventh inning tossed by Jeanmar Gomez.

Hellickson held the Reds to one unearned run on three hits in six innings. He also collected six strikeouts.

Zack Cozart ripped a leadoff double to right for the Reds in the opening frame. Eugenio Suarez followed and reached on an error by Ryan Howard, allowing Cozart to score.

The Phillies answered in the second with Freddy Galvis depositing a Raisel Iglesias changeup over the wall in center for a two-run shot, giving the Phillies a 2-1 lead.

The next five runs came from the Reds in the eighth inning, the highlight being a two-run single by Joey Votto.

Iglesias tossed six innings for the Reds, collecting seven strikeouts while surrendering one run on six hits.

Cozart finished 3-for-3 on the afternoon.

Most Important Play via WPA
Adam Duvall opened the eighth with a walk before pinch-hitter Scott Schebler doubled to right, putting a pair of runners in scoring position for the Reds with no one out. The double accounted for a +28.5% change in win expectancy for the Reds (39.8% to 68.3%).

First Star via WPA 
Schebler's double was the biggest hit of the contest (+.284).

Least Valuable via WPA
Hernandez had the roughest day of anyone at Great American Ball Park (-.409).

Up Next
The three-game series will resume on Wednesday with Aaron Nola scheduled to oppose left-hander Brandon Finnegan. Unfortunately, weather may play a factor as rain is in the forecast.

- The Philadelphia Baseball Review is the top baseball news source in Philadelphia, providing news coverage and analysis of all things baseball related in the Philadelphia region.

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