The Reds entered play on Friday having allowed 37 runs over the last four games (9.3 runs per game). They got much better pitching tonight, but it wouldn’t be enough. Ben Revere hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 14th inning to secure the win for the Nationals. The Reds have now lost 13 of their last 16 games.

Final/14 innings R H E
Cincinnati Reds (29-52) 2 11 0
Washington Nationals (49-32) 3 10 0
W: Petit (3-1) L: Ohlendorf (5-6)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Ross Ohelendorf allowing a walk-off RBI double to Ben Revere with 2 outs in the bottom of the 14th inning. That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 39.5% (from 40.5% to 0.0%).

Player of the Game

Anthony DeSclafani: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 2.12 FIP

Disco has jumped right into the Reds rotation and assumed the role of the ace. He feels like the veteran arm anchoring this young pitching staff, but he is only 26 years old. He has a 1.78 ERA through his first five starts. If you start to think about the next time the Reds can make a run to the postseason, it could be 2018. DeSclafani would be 28, and you’d feel like he is poised to put together his best season around then.

Positives

Votto

Joey Votto had three hits on the night, including a nice single in the first inning where he beat a very aggressive shift against him. Votto is coming off a month of June where he posted a 1.015 OPS.

Tucker Barnhart had three hits tonight! Barnhart is coming off a very good June, as he hit .281/.378/.406 in the month. Barnhart is also now second on the Reds in OBP at .325, just ahead of Jay Bruce at .318. Votto leads the team at .380. Barnhart also threw out his 23rd runner of the season in the 10th inning. He entered play today second in the MLB in CS, trailing only Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers who has 25.

Adam Duvall had two hits, including a RBI single in the 6th inning.

Eugenio Suarez had a three hit game, a stolen base, and now has a 6-game hitting streak. Suarez posted a 111 wRC+ in June. It’s looking like Suarez has made the adjustments, and is getting back to the hitter who was so good in April.

Raisel Iglesias pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of relief. He got Disco out of jam in the 7th, got himself out of his own jam in the 8th, and pitched a perfect 9th. Iggy has looked really good in the bullpen (7.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K). I don’t like the idea of him in the bullpen, but if you *have* to do it, this is the best role for him. I like the idea of a relief ace, where your best reliever can pitch multiple innings in a close game. It sure beats making him a closer, and seeing him once a month on this team.

Tony Cingrani pitched two scoreless innings (1 hit, 1 strikeouts, 0 walks). Ross Ohlendorf also pitched two scoreless innings before giving up the game winner in his third inning of work.

Negatives

The Reds #3 hitter bunted in the first inning. When will the madness of batting a guy third who is hitting .253/.294/.394 end? Bryan Price said today that he has no intention of moving Phillips out of the #3 spot. Price said that he is confident that Phillips will find his swing, and he wants someone to split up the lefties. Let’s break that down. First, Phillips has a .700 OPS since the start of 2013. He isn’t a good hitter anymore. He isn’t going to “find his swing.” Second, the Reds have a right handed batter with 22 (!) home runs this season. Stop this madness. Stop coddling a declining player. It’s ridiculous.

Zack Cozart was 0 for 6 on the night, and he is really struggling. Cozart hit just .210/.303/.419 in June. The real negative tonight for Cozart was his AB in the top of the 10th inning with 2 outs and a runner on second base. Cozart did a nice job laying off a couple close pitches to get to a 3-0 count. He for some blasphemous reason decided to hack 3-0 with Joey Votto on deck, and hit a weak ground ball back to the pitcher to end the inning. My oh my.

Jay Bruce was 0 for 6 as well, and his OPS has dropped down to .875. It was .930 on June 22nd. Bruce has just 1 HR over his last 10 games.

Not so random thoughts………

Apparently it was bash Joey Votto night in the Reds TV booth. Jim Day and Jeff Brantley ripped Votto every chance they could tonight. They ripped him for talking to the opposing first baseman. They ripped him for trolling the Nationals fans who probably had booed and cursed at him relentlessly all night. They ripped him for not getting to an uncatchable foul ball. Then, our good friend Paul Daugherty jumps on Twitter and tweets a slight at Votto (his first tweet in four days too, nonetheless). It is just downright disgusting that just about every media member in this city rips the Reds best player. I’m sick of it.

Bryce Harper made a really bone-headed play in the 4th inning. Harper thought he hit a home run, and watched the flight of the ball. He missed a home run by about a foot, and Billy Hamilton made a nice play to hold him to a single. This of course gave fans who hate Harper for no apparent reason ammunition to call him a “bum.”

It was a really, really, really bad decision by Harper, but this guy normally plays the game at 110%. He about died crashing into the wall once. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports actually wrote a great piece last year explaining just how much Harper hustles. That play today was absolutely inexcusable (and I’m sure Dusty will let him know), but don’t unfairly hate a once in a generation talent because of the one time you saw him not hustle.

Ya, I got really cranky tonight. Sorry about that. I watched just about the entire Indians-Jays 19 inning game with the wife (she’s a Tribe fan), and then watched this marathon. Probably too much baseball today.

Up Next:

Reds at Nationals
Saturday, 7:15 PM
TV: FOX
Dan Straily (4.38 ERA) vs Joe Ross (3.30 ERA)

 

All statistics used courtesy of Fangraphs, ESPN Stats & Info, and Baseball-Reference (including Baseball-Reference Play Index). All photos used courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer and are used by permission.