Lorenzen motivated to do better after first loss

Lorenzen motivated to do better after first loss

PHILADELPHIA -- Since becoming a reliever for the Reds last season, Michael Lorenzen hasn't had to wear too many stinging losses on his watch. But one happened on Saturday as Lorenzen gave up the walk-off RBI single to Tommy Joseph in a 4-3 loss to the Phillies.

It was the first time Lorenzen took a loss this season, and he had one loss in 2016.

"You trust in the process and don't let any results or anything like that faze you," Lorenzen said. "I did my part when it came to the preparation, throwing my pitches with conviction. That's what I do. The results will take care of themselves and today, those were the results that happened today. Tomorrow I will be back and I'll work, go through the same process, throw every pitch with conviction and see if things go my way."

Lorenzen is 3-1 with a 3.55 ERA with 23 hits, eight walks and 22 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings over 21 appearances this season. His numbers are trending close to what he did last year, but his WHIP is currently at 1.22, slightly higher than the 1.08 WHIP he produced in '16. Opponents are batting .235 now compared to .224 then.

The other game where Lorenzen didn't get it done this season was April 21 against the Cubs when he was summoned to try for a two-inning save. Anthony Rizzo slugged the game-tying three-run homer with two outs in the top of the ninth inning before the Reds went on to lose in 11 innings, 6-5.

"His hits-per-inning, his walks, his home runs allowed, stuff like that are still to me on the low side," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He's throwing strikes, he's got great stuff. He had a game where he got roughed up a little bit. That definitely affects the numbers.

"There's no guarantee even when you get your best guys in games that they're always going to lock it down. That just doesn't happen."

Price has relied on Lorenzen, Raisel Iglesias, Wandy Peralta and Drew Storen to form a lockdown foursome in the late innings. Cincinnati's bullpen entered the day with the second-best ERA in the National League despite leading the league in innings.

Joseph's walk-off single

On Saturday, Lorenzen was not able to put Philadelphia down when he entered in the ninth inning of a 3-3 game.

Aaron Altherr led off with a single to center field and went to second base when Lorenzen bounced a curveball in the dirt that got away from catcher Tucker Barnhart for a wild pitch. That enabled Joseph to line his single to left-center field that gave Billy Hamilton little chance of making a play at the plate with a desperation heave.

"I feel like I am growing a lot," Lorenzen said. "That's the thing, continually growing and events like this -- you can either back down or you can grow from them. I am going to get that much better because of it. Every single thing I do is going to be with a little more intensity. Stuff like this, you hate for it to happen. I think it's beneficial for those that don't back down."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.