- Scott Powers, ESPN Staff Writer
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His pitching has indicated otherwise as of late.
Reed has never been that dominant closer type who has retired opponents by the side in the ninth inning this season, but he has looked much crisper than he’s been in recent weeks. His recent struggles continued Friday as he allowed a two-run home run in the ninth inning to cost the White Sox the game in a 7-5 loss to Kansas City Royals at U.S. Cellular Field.
It was the fifth time in Reed’s last six appearances he allowed a run, which has caused his ERA to shoot up from 3.65 to 4.56 in the span of two weeks.
Some would think Reed may be hitting a rookie wall as he’s now made 54 season appearances, but he disagrees.
“I feel great,” said Reed, who has 25 saves on the season. “There’s nothing. I don’t even feel a bit sore. Everything feels good. Things aren’t just working out.”
Reed’s numbers reflect him being a different pitcher in nonsave and save situations. In nonsave situations, he’s allowed 15 runs in 21 1/3 innings with a 6.23 ERA. In save situations, he has a 3.25 ERA.
Reed knocked down the theory he handles the two situations differently.
“Like I’ve always said, my mindset doesn’t change when out there in non-save situations,” Reed said. “Things haven’t been going my way. It has nothing to do with non-save or save situations, things like that.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura thought Reed’s problem was simple -- he needed to be better.
“It doesn’t seem like fatigue,” Ventura said. “Even velocity and stuff like that, it’s there. It’s just one of those that now you’re getting people seeing him a little bit more. (He) needs to be sharper.”
And the White Sox will need Reed down the stretch. There will undoubtedly be a few pressure-packed ninth innings in the coming weeks, and Ventura has all intention to still hand the ball to Reed in those instances.
The question will be which Reed shows up.