Trevor Bauer dominated the Reds for eight innings tonight.
From there, it may have been the best game of his life - Romano retired the next 15 batters, pitched into the eighth inning and recorded his sixth quality start of the season as the Reds would score seven runs in the ninth for a 7-4 victory.
Alas, things are rarely that simple.
Terry Francona expected to see Oliver Perez run out of the bullpen when he headed to the mound late in the Indians' Tuesday night game against the Reds. After one intentional walk and one unintentional walk, it was 4-3 and the bases were loaded, and Manager Terry Francona decided to make another call to the bullpen.
"When I saw OT coming through the gate - and again, it's not that I don't think he can pitch - just not the guy I was expecting", Francona said, via The Athletic's C. Trent Rosecrans.
It would have made a lot more sense to have the lefty Perez out to face Votto, especially with several left-handed Reds hitters following in the lineup. Cleveland tacked on two more in the second to double their lead.
"I said OP and Carl thought I said OT", Francona told Cleveland.com. "I know Carl is beating himself up right now, but that one lands on me".
The Reds entered the ninth inning trailing 4-0, facing Cody Allen in a non-save situation. There's no getting around it.
Said Willis: "I made the mistake". "I need you to just get outs. I brought the wrong guy up", Willis said. "It's not that O-T can't get the job done, but it probably wasn't the best matchup".
Allen even got on the mea-culpa train. "We're confident in every guy that runs out of that gate and we shouldn't have been in that position in the first place".