‘Red Dawgs’ preach ‘next guy up’ mentality

For a Reds bullpen that has taken some lumps this season — and entered Thursday with a National League-worst 5.35 ERA — Wednesday was a big day for the entire group.

“You just pass the baton on to the next guy,” said Sims, who pitched two innings with four strikeouts. “Go out there and do your job and pick each other up. Next man up mentality. It was a really good team win.”

The staff is hopeful that Wednesday’s effort could be a confidence-building springboard going forward.

“That lets the boys know how good we are,” said Antone, who struck out three over 1 1/3 innings. “Everyone in that bullpen can do that. Next guy up. Everyone wants the ball. I think that’s kind of our mentality. We’re the Red Dawgs out there, so coming to prove everyone wrong.”

The bullpen created Red Dawg sweatshirts after reading some preseason predictions that indicated that the Reds would not have a good season in 2021.

“We’re the underdogs. We are going to wear that mentality,” Antone said. “We want to be the underdogs, so they kind of moved it to the Red Dawgs. We love it. It’s fun. It kind of gives us something to joke about, but at the same time, be serious about and do together.”

Doolittle, a veteran of successful teams in Oakland and Washington, has liked how Reds relievers have bonded as a group and believes that will…

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