Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (44-64) 0 4 1
Pittsburgh Pirates (52-56) 6 13 0
W: Chad Kuhl (4-7)  L: Sal Romano (2-3)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread | Statcast

For only the second time in 10 games against the Pirates this season, the Reds lost tonight. It wasn’t a particularly entertaining game, as Pittsburgh dominated in all facets from the first inning onward. The Redlegs end the road trip with a 3-7 record.

Here’s how the game went down:

The Hitters

It was a quiet night from the Reds offense after scoring 14 runs the previous two games. They scattered four hits and three walks but never mounted a serious scoring threat. Pirates starter Chad Kuhl silenced the Reds’ bats (7 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K), minus Joey Votto, who went 1-for-2 with two walks. The first baseman’s mini-slump to start the second half is well in the rearview mirror at this point. His single in the first inning extended his hitting streak to eight games, and he added two walks for good measure. Votto has reached base in 20 of his last 35 plate appearances.

The Hurlers

Although he allowed four runs on eight hits in six innings, Sal Romano threw the ball much better tonight than in his last outing. The right-hander did a much better job pounding the strike zone, walking no Pirates batters on the night and striking out three. He dominated the bottom half of the Pittsburgh lineup, but ran into trouble against the top of the order the first two times he faced them.

Romano’s defense didn’t do him any favors in the first inning. He gave up back-to-back singles to Starling Marte and Adam Frazier to start his night. Left fielder Adam Duvall airmailed a throw to third base on Frazier’s single to allow Marte to score. Andrew McCutchen then brought Frazier home on a ground-out. After a 1-2-3 second, Romano again had trouble with the top of the Pirates lineup in the third, giving up two more runs on four hits. But he rebounded nicely, retiring nine of 10 hitters he faced in his final three frames.

Romano continued to show hesitance in throwing a third pitch early, but used his changeup more and more as the night went on. Inducing a pop-up from Gregory Polanco on the pitch in the third inning seemed to give him some confidence. After throwing the change only 12 times coming into tonight, he used it 13 times in his 102 pitches (12.7 percent) tonight.

It wasn’t the greatest of nights for Reds’ relievers. Kevin Shackelford was the first man out of the bullpen and allowed singles to the first three hitters he faced. He struck out the next batter and was lifted for Wandy Peralta, who allowed two inherited runners to score on a sacrifice fly and a single.

Blake Wood gave up a leadoff double in the eighth but retired the next three batters.

Not-So-Random Thoughts

— Billy Hamilton was ejected in the top of the fifth inning after arguing a called third strike. He had a legitimate beef, too; all three strikes were pretty poor calls:

— Hamilton was replaced in center field by Patrick Kivlehan, who has 98 innings of experience there in his entire professional career. Phil Ervin, meanwhile, has 260 innings at the position this season alone in Triple-A Louisville. The former first-round pick has not seen the field since being called up on Tuesday. (In fairness to Kivlehan, he had no issues in center field tonight.)

— Some bad news out of Dayton tonight. Anthony DeSclafani, making his second rehab appearance, recorded only one out and gave up eight runs, including three home runs. Results are obviously not the important thing here; his health is the real concern. He was visited by trainers and taken out of the game with what the Reds are calling right forearm discomfort. He’s set to be re-evaluated tomorrow. Hold your breath.

— In better injury news, Devin Mesoraco appeared in a game for the first time since Saturday as he recovers from a knee injury. He grounded into a fielder’s choice as a pinch hitter to end the seventh inning.

Up Next

After a 10-game road trip, the Reds will finally return home to Great American Ball Park for a seven-game homestand. They’ll kick off the weekend series against the Cardinals on Friday evening at 7:10 p.m ET. Asher Wojciechowski (4.50 ERA, 4.53 xFIP) is returning to the rotation after a solid stint in the bullpen. The Reds would probably be better off giving this start to a young pitcher, but they’re clearly trying to make Cody Reed, Amir Garrett, and Jackson Stephens earn their way back to the big leagues and aren’t ready to start the service clock on Tyler Mahle. Wojo will be opposed by former Red Mike Leake (3.29 ERA, 3.98 xFIP).

16 Responses

  1. DHud

    Raise your hand if your surprised about the Disco news

    Anyone? No? Nobody?

    Same song and dance from the Reds. They continuously try to kick the can down the road on injuries when everyone in the world knows exactly what’s going to need to happen eventually anyways

    • Chuck Schick

      You seem to think the Reds have more control over this issue than they do. The Reds don’t have the authority to order players to have surgery. Teams can suspend or even void the contracts of players who refuse to treat an injury, but players are entitled to receive more than the team’s opinion and can delay surgery if there is a reasonable chance that rehabilitation can solve the issue. Teams generally don’t want to mess with the MLBPA when it pertains to this issue.

      Who in their right mind has TJS if there’s a chance it isn’t absolutely necessary?

      If you’re Homer Bailey and you’re guaranteed generational wealth then you just get it over with.. If you’re Disco or Finnegan and you’re still working on year to year, low value contracts then you’d be nuts to have the surgery too soon.

      • David

        There will be further examination of Desclafani today/tomorrow. It may not be the same issue and the ligament strain in the elbow. Might be a forearm muscle strain, which is just something that has to be treated and worked out.
        Let’s not abuse each other over something we just don’t know about yet.
        I think it is doubtful to expect anything at the ML level from Tony this year. I just hope his arm is ok, and he is ready for 2018.
        I am somewhat dismayed that Feldman gets such a priority with starting when he comes back from the DL. What is his future with the Reds? Zippo.

      • IndyRedMan

        Feldman? Pointless.

        Its the same old thing with the Reds. What other team would carry Alcantara all this time? He’s hit .115 since April. They have enough trouble competing with the big boys at 100% capacity but they chose to run at 85%?

      • Chuck Schick

        Feldman has proven to be perhaps their most reliable starter over the course of the year. He has contractural incentives that give him 100k per start over a certain threshold.

        When he returns, if the Reds don’t start him and deny him the cash his agent and the MLBPA are going to go nuts. You’re also creating a potential clubhouse drama in that players believe the Reds will ” screw you over” on incentives that your relative performance has enabled you to earn. Don’t stand between a momma bear and her cub….don’t stand between a baseball player and cash.

        I agree that pitching Feldman makes no baseball sense, but the ancillary factors sometimes outweigh what’s the best baseball decision. Dick Williams doesn’t want to anger agents and the MLBPA.

      • IndyRedMan

        Ok then….6 man rotation. Problem solved

      • Chuck Schick

        Jesse…if you were Disco’s agent and your legal, ethical and moral obligation is to act in the best interest of your client…not the Cincinnati Reds…what would you advise? If he were your son, what would you suggest?

        Disco doesn’t have 100 million guaranteed nor a degree from Stanford to fall back on. Once he has the surgery he’s given a reasonable time frame to rehabilitate and then the Reds can cut bait. By delaying the potential surgery, he likely put himself in a position to get paid for at least 2 more seasons while he rehabs.

        I don’t always agree with you but I’m sure you’re a decent and reasonable person. Wouldn’t you advise someone to do what’s in his best interest over the Reds best interest?

      • JCTNRED

        Chuck, you make some very goods. Sometimes we forget these are real human beings with real hopes and ambitions and not just icons in a fantasy league. Sure, they get paid a lot, but that’s what the market produces. They need to manage their careers with their best interests in mind.

      • JCTNRED

        Dang phone, supposed to say “you make some very good points”

      • Streamer88

        This x 1000 brother. We want wins and rings but at some point we have to remember these are men, with health and we’ll being to consider. Surgery is no joke. Ask Joan Rivers.

  2. IndyRedMan

    Chuck’s not wrong but I just don’t know? I can analyze a swing or a pitchers stuff but these medical/financial issues bore me. I’m probably wrong but if the Reds suspected that Disco might need TJ in May then why not try to talk him into it? I’m sure Disco would rather miss 1 season then 2? Miss 1 season and you get the benefit of the doubt in free agency. Miss 2 and you’re Zack Wheeler! Now, you’re getting a Feldman contract!

  3. IndyRedMan

    Its going to be hard to find one? There isn’t squat available in the free agent pool imo? Alex Cobb is about the best we could afford and he’s not young or particularly talented. He might be 5-10% better then Dan Straily? They need to trade for a Jose Urena or someone like that?

  4. Timmy RedLeg

    Word is, Disco has elbow tendinitis. What’s the deal with all the injuries in baseball the last 5-7 yrs. Did players not used to get hurt, or did they just play through their injuries?