Nick Lodolo didn’t have the exact position he had shown in earlier starts, and his barbarity propelled the Cincinnati Reds to the top of the record books.
Ludlow, who hit 11 and scored zero on consecutive starts, battled for dominance for most of his five rounds against the Boston Red Sox during Tuesday’s series opener, occasionally inflicting a 5-3 loss at Great American Ball Park.
The 6-foot-6 left-hander allowed three strokes, three runs, three walks, and three strokes. It’s the last part that made history.
The Reds broke a major league record when Ludulu hit Boston’s first-team player Yu Chang with a curve ball in the fourth inning, according to Elias Sports Bureau. It was the 99th bowler hit by the Reds this season, eclipsing the record set by the Chicago Cubs last year. The Reds franchise record, previously set in 2005, was 80.
“When it got my attention, or I realized it, I was surprised,” said Reds manager David Bell. “Fortunately there weren’t any bad things or no one really hurt that I can remember. It’s more than that, like a product we saw tonight where guys get to break balls and things like that. I’m sure there were some speedballs mixed in there, but I I was a little surprised to find out.”
2022 Reds season:The rookie rookies are the best mark of the lost season
Jose Barreiro:Bad streak breaks after pre-match conversation with Albert Pujols
Ludlow has hit the top 18 in the league this season, the most any Reds bowler has hit since Rob Benton hit 18 in 1912. The last time a Reds bowler hit 18 in a season was 115 years ago (Jake Weimer) , 23).
The strange part is that Ludulu’s batsmen are generally not bad novels. Fifteen came against the right-handed hitters and all but one looked identical. They are large curved balls that break into the hitter’s back foot, bringing to life the phrase “backfoot slider.” Ludlow has plotted ups and downs on the same spot, so it’s a risk-reward trade.
“You play the inches game there,” Ludlow said. “Look at how many attacking hits I’ve had with the balls two inches from the back foot. That’s what it is. You can’t do anything about it. I’m still going to keep throwing it.”
Catcher Austin Romain, who caught every one of Ludlow’s last nine starts and watched him hit 11 hitters, credits Ludulu’s unique arm angle.
“It never stops falling apart,” Bell said. “As a batsman you have to stay with him, stay with him. There’s a fine line between swinging and keeping breaking and hitting the back foot. I think that tells us a lot about the pitch. It’s a great pitch.”
Ludlow threw no less than 15 throws per turn, turning around on his shortest start since August 11 in front of a crowd of 16,698 that broke into the “Let’s go Red Sox” chants multiple times. He ran around a mistake and walked into the first half. A double play after a hard hit helped him and he walked into the second half.
After walking 2-out in the third inning, JD Martinez drilled a ball into the center court wall. Reds center’s Nick Senzel hit a wall in an attempt to catch him, which turned into a triple at RBI. Snzel, who tried to stay in the game but could not run without slalom, then announced that he had broken a toe and would miss the remainder of the 2022 season.
“My foot hit the fence and that was the case,” Snzel said. “Obviously it’s hard. I wanted to end this thing and obviously that’s not going to happen.”
Ludlow Homer solo surrendered to Rob Rifsneider in the fourth inning on a high speed ball at 0-2, and the ball landed in the second set in left field. It was the first time Ludlow had dropped Homer from 0-2, or after 0-2, all year long.
“He’s got really electric stuff,” Rifsneider told NESN in an on-court interview after the game. “I was late to Fastball and saw that Romijn might go fast again there. It’s good to have a good bat against a guy like that. He has really, really good stuff, so I’m sure he’s going to have a really long career. I mean it’s really a phrase About the erase slider, so I’m thankful for clicking on it once.”
Martinez crushed Homer solo in the fifth inning and that was the pitch Ludlow really wished he could take back. Ludlow allowed three home guards over his previous seven starts, a 44-round 1/3 distance, before dropping two in back-to-back runs on Tuesday.
“It was a bad move, frankly, on my part,” Ludlow said. “If I’m going to miss, I should know where I’m going to miss with this guy.”
The Reds awoke Boston, 9-7, but failed to take advantage of their best offensive opportunity against Red Sox rookie Brian Bello. They loaded the bases without ends in the second half, but didn’t run after hits from Nick Senzel and Jose Barreiro, and halftime hits from Romijn.
“It kind of affected us for the rest of the match, not being able to get the big hit there,” Bale said.
TJ Friedl hit Homer solo in the third inning, sending a fast ball high to the right field benches, but two-wheel rallies faltered with two riders left on the base in rounds three and five. Stuart Fairchild, who replaced Senzel, did not take the second place after a double lead in the fourth inning.
The Reds loaded the two bases with one at the bottom of the ninth inning, scoring one on a base-laden outing and another on the sacrifice fly, but they finished the night with 10 riders remaining on base. They have scored three or fewer games in eight of their last 10 matches.