Ill-fated pitch stings Reed for decisive blast

Ill-fated pitch stings Reed for decisive blast

PHOENIX -- D-backs closer Addison Reed knew he wanted the pitch to Nationals outfielder Michael Taylor back the moment it left his fingertips. But Reed's pitch was gone for good.

The Nationals trailed, 6-5, with one out and the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning on Wednesday with a confident Taylor -- who had replaced an ejected Bryce Harper -- at the plate, and inconsistent Reed on the mound.

One could argue Reed's initial pitch to Taylor was the better of the two he threw to the outfielder, and that first one bounced at the plate. Taylor deposited Reed's second pitch over the wall in center field for a grand slam that proved to be the game-winner in Washington's 9-6 victory and series win at Chase Field.

"The ball, the grand slam that went out, was belt-high and over the middle. I haven't gone back and looked at it, but I can almost guarantee it was belt-high," Reed said. "Right out of the hand, it felt like a terrible pitch, and he did what he was supposed to do with it."

Taylor's clutch grand slam

The final delivery to Taylor hurt the most, but Reed's pitch to Jayson Werth three pitches earlier stung, too. The right-hander threw a 93-mph four-seam fastball to Werth on a 2-1 count that crossed the plate in the strike zone, but was called a ball. Werth walked on the next pitch. Two subsequent pitches to Taylor and the game was essentially over.

"When you are all over the place like that, you want a strike to be called a strike," Reed said, "but when you are all over the place, it's hard for [the umpire] to call a strike."

Werth said he felt like he was "in the driver's seat" once the count reached 3-1.

"I felt like it was [close]," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "I have not looked at the video, but you know what? Sometimes you get them and sometimes you don't. That's the way it goes."

Reed retired the first batter he faced, Clint Robinson, before giving up consecutive singles to Denard Span and Yunel Escobar. He walked Werth on five pitches. Reed's first pitch to Taylor was an 86-mph slider in the dirt.

"The walk was tough," Hale said. "I thought he threw some good pitches there and he didn't get the calls. It was a scratch hit by Escobar, and he got the ball up on Taylor. [Taylor] did a good job of hitting it coming off the bench."

The stage had been set for Yasmany Tomas, who had gone hitless in his previous 11 at-bats, including six strikeouts, to be the afternoon's hero. The slugger was out of the starting lineup for the second consecutive game, but drove in a run as a pinch-hitter to give the D-backs a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the eighth.

The lead did not last. Reed is now 2-for-4 in save opportunities.

"I don't think it's mechanical," Reed said. "Everything felt good, and the ball just wasn't going where I wanted it to go. It's something I can definitely work on, but it's nothing I'm too worried about."

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.