Not only was it their third consecutive loss and their fourth in five games as they battle St. Louis in the NL Central, but. ...
Cincinnati rookie Mike Leake (five earned runs and nine hits in six innings) was tagged with the first loss of his major-league career. He made history by becoming the first Reds rookie pitcher to ever go undefeated through his first 12 starts, then the Dodgers' Andre Ethier made history by blasting a hanging curveball for a three-run homer in the sixth to mortally wound Leake.
Then, in the bottom of the sixth with Los Angeles leading 5-0, two on and none out, Scott Rolen and manager Dusty Baker were both ejected by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt when Rolen lost it after being called out on strikes.
It was only the third ejection of Rolen's 14-year career and, as he explained, "I thought it was a big at-bat, a game-changing at-bat, possibly."
Rolen joked that, after Tuesday's marathon game that featured a 2 1/2-hour rain delay and didn't wrap up until 1 a.m., he and Wendelstedt were asking each other whether they got enough sleep and then the umpire said, "Why don't you go up and sit in the cold tub and get ready for Thursday's game."
"That was it," Rolen said with a wry smile. "I'm not sure what it looked like."
The ejections were one sure signal that summer is heating up. The surprising Reds are keeping a close eye on the Cardinals, but they've also hit a rough patch that is testing them.
"We knew we'd go through periods like this," Baker said afterward. "We've got to keep fighting. It's a long season, and it's not going to be up all the time. There's a long way to go, and there are going to be good times, and there are going to be great times."
There also will be rough times and, as Baker said, "That's why you want to be as many games over .500 as you can, so when you hit one of these streaks ... you want a cushion."
The Reds have one more game against the Dodgers on Thursday afternoon before heading west to play Seattle and Oakland.
And it is not lost on them that these same Dodgers swept the Cardinals just one week ago in Los Angeles.
Likes: Love that Great American Ballpark sits right on the Ohio River. Very cool to look out beyond the right-field bleachers and see the river flowing. ... Nice billboard featuring Hall of Fame writer Hal McCoy and his "The Real McCoy" blog for his old newspaper, the Dayton Daily News, while driving into town the other day. Even better to see my old friend in person these last two nights. ... Had a chance to catch the Bruce Springsteen exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before leaving Cleveland earlier this week. Great display, including a phenomenal amount of hand-written lyrics and some iconic clothes, including the threads that Bruce wore on the cover of both Born in the USA and The River. The red cap from his back pocket on Born in the USA is almost comically plain, and worn. ... Johnny Cash's tour bus, also on display at the Rock Hall.
Dislikes: Nobody's thrilled with rain delays, and Tuesday night's was a doozy. The Reds and Dodgers waited two-and-a-half hours before resuming play midway through the game after 11 p.m. The game didn't end until 1 a.m. But you know what? The thunderstorm was worth it. Man did it pour. And the lightening show was spectacular.
Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"Got kind of tired packing and unpacking
"Town to town, and up and down the dial
"Maybe you and me were never meant to be
"But baby think of me once in awhile
"I'm at WKRP in Cincinnati"
-- Hugh Wilson, Theme to 'WKRP in Cincinnati'