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San Francisco Giants help Reds Make History

May 2, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford (middle) is congratulated by outfielder Gregor Blanco (left) and first baseman Brandon Belt (right) after Crawford hit a three- run home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the seventh inning at Great American Ball Park. The Giants won 9-6. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
May 2, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford (middle) is congratulated by outfielder Gregor Blanco (left) and first baseman Brandon Belt (right) after Crawford hit a three- run home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the seventh inning at Great American Ball Park. The Giants won 9-6. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
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When Kelby Tomlinson knocked in Hunter Pence for the go-ahead run in the San Francisco Giants’ eventual 3-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday, it helped the Reds set a record.

It was one of futility, but still, it was an all-time record: that run, given up by reliever Caleb Cotham, marked the 21st consecutive game that the Reds bullpen allowed their opponent to score.

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Think about how amazingly difficult that record must have been to achieve. Not once in 21 games did the Reds pitch a shutout. Nor did a starter ever leave a game to watch whatever lead he secured be held completely and securely intact. To take it a step further, not once did a closer come in and toss a perfect ninth inning to preserve the win.

In fact, the Reds only recorded one save during those 21 games—the only one of the season so far—which was achieved by J.J. Hoover, when he gave up a pair runs on April 16 to barely hold onto the 9-8 win.

And the Giants played a key role in this history-making endeavor, by scoring off Reds relievers in the record-tying 20th game of the streak, as well as the record-breaker (and the record-extending 22nd game.)

The Reds ALMOST ended the streak on Wednesday. But after 2⅓ innings of run-free work by the bullpen, Reds reliever Ross Ohlendorf gave up back-to-back doubles to Mac Williamson and Denard Span with two outs in the top of the ninth. But Ohlendorf did manage to get Matt Duffy to strike out in the next at-bat to preserve the 7-4 win.

Guess that’s what happens when you trade away arguably the best closer in the game in Aroldis Chapman. (Then again, had the Reds kept Chapman, he would have been absent throughout out April while serving a domestic abuse suspension, so avoiding the streak would not have been any easier, regardless.)

The Giants have problems with their own bullpen, which has been weakened by injury and the struggles of young relievers filling in for the DL’d veterans. But when comparing San Francisco’s 4.15 bullpen ERA to the Cincinnati bullpen’s league-worst 6.52 ERA, it can make a Giants fan feel much better about things—especially knowing that the likes of Sergio Romo and George Kontos will eventually be returning from the disabled list.

Next: SF Giants Team Grades at 1/6th Mark

And who knows, maybe even Tim Lincecum could resurface in San Francisco as a long reliever.

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