Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (1-4) 2 5 1
Pittsburgh Pirates (5-1) 5 9 0
W: Steven Brault (2-0)  L: Homer Bailey (0-2)  SV: Felipe Rivero (3)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread | Statcast

If you didn’t catch tonight’s game, you didn’t miss much. The Reds briefly had a 1-0 lead, but that was about the only moment of excitement on Thursday night in the first road game of the season against the Pirates.

Here’s how it went down:

The Hitters


Against a pitcher with a 4.56 career ERA and 5.11 xFIP, the Reds could get nothing going on offense. While they did manage five walks on the night — three from Tucker Barnhart — the club managed just five hits. Only one of those knocks, an Adam Duvall solo home run in the eighth, was an extra-base hit. Their first run came courtesy of two wild pitches from Pirates starter Steven Brault.

Other than that, not much action from the Reds’ bats tonight.

Jose Peraza picked up his first hit of the season on what amounted to a swinging bunt down the third-base line, so that’s something I guess. Take ’em how you can get ’em.

The Hurlers

The line for Homer Bailey wasn’t quite as pretty tonight as it was on Opening Day. The right-hander allowed only one run through the first four innings but ran into trouble the third time through the Pirates batting order, allowing three runs in the fifth. An unearned run on a Peraza error ended Bailey’s night after 4 2/3 innings. All told, he allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks (one intentional), and he struck out just two.

While Bailey did a decent job of painting the corners, the overall quality of his pitches was noticeably down. His fastball averaged only 91.2 mph and he got just five swings and misses on the night (four on his splitter). The inability to miss bats really hurt him once Pittsburgh hitters saw him a couple times, as he had a lot of trouble putting hitters away late in his outing. This is a development worth watching his next time out, but perhaps the freezing temperatures played a role in the diminished stuff.

Kevin Quackenbush pitched a clean two-thirds of an inning, giving up only a single.

Amir Garrett was next in line and continued to throw the ball well. The lefty got the Reds through the next 1 2/3 frames unscathed, allowing only a double while striking out two. He did get the benefit of this nice play from Phillip Ervin in right field to save a run:

Let’s hope Garrett sees some time in the rotation at some point this year.

Austin Brice pitched the eighth inning. He issued a leadoff walk but retired the next three hitters in order.

Not-So-Random Thoughts

  • The Reds pulled off the rare one-game sweep of the Cubs this week, so we still have that, guys.
  • You have to wonder if Joey Votto will ever figure it out. He’s hitting just .158/.238/.158 this season. Might be time to write him off as a bust, y’all.
  • Bear with me for a moment because I’m going to beat a dead horse some more. Batting Billy Hamilton in the leadoff spot defies logic in general, but particularly against left-handers. He’s a career .235/.266/.334 hitter with a 59 wRC+ against southpaws in his career. He was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts tonight. That won’t get it done anywhere in the lineup, but it looks a lot worse at leadoff.
  • In non-Reds news, this was probably the best moment of the day in baseball:

Up Next

Here’s some fun with small sample sizes: Luis Castillo (10.80 ERA, 2.99 xFIP) will take the mound for his second time this season on Friday against Trevor Williams (0.00 ERA, 5.29 xFIP) for the Pirates. Castillo is looking to rebound after a rough first outing, while Williams is hoping to build on a six-inning, no-hit performance his first time out. First pitch at PNC Park is again set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

28 Responses

  1. Aaron Bradley

    Sell the team, Bob. This is not winning baseball. GALLARDO AND QUACKENBUSH is not going to cut it. Your GM is clueless, your manager is clueless and you have the worst hitter in baseball leading off because you love his speed. You can’t steal first but if you could he would get picked off anyhow.

    • Jeff Reed

      Marquis and Gregg to Quackenbush and Gallardo. Are the Reds still in rebuild or has the Owner/FO shifted to veteranism?

  2. Ethan L

    This is gonna be a long, long season…

  3. Michael

    Well to Price credit, PNC park is Billy’s best park he hits in with a .300 average

  4. Anderson Sparky

    Price continues to accelerate his long-overdue exit with his ridiculous line🤔-ups. Billy Hamilton should penciled permanently in the 10-hole, and protecting Suarez with Votto makes no sense. Slot Gennett in the 2. Meanwhile, Peraza continues down the path of Dilson 2.0. Where’s Nick Senzel and Hunter Greene when you need them? But I forgot, this is only year 4 of the year-down rebuild. We’re so close!

  5. Aaron Bradley

    If this team was designed to win why do they have at least 3 non-baseball bobble head giveaways? One of them being hippo from the zoo, one an Elvis, and I can’t remember the other. What is going on with our beloved Reds? I am trying not to swear and go nuts because I really am angry. I am angry because I don’t really tolerate idiocy or ineptitude very well. THese aren’t complicated concepts we are talking about here. If a guy has a track record where he can’t hit he shouldn’t be playing. This is basic stuff unless we are in little league. Billy is fast and he is probably a nice guy. But he isn’t a good hitter. He is a terrible hitter. He shouldn’t be switch hitting. He shouldn’t be starting. He could be a good bench player. Why bring in Revere? WHat was the point of that when there was no serious competition? What is going on? Was Revere supposed to hit 3 home runs in the few ABs he got? Was it an insurance policy in case someone got hurt? Why do we have so many marginal players on this roster while the team couldn’t sign any meaningful talent? Take all the scrubs and guys getting paid a million each and they could have gotten one decent guy and fleshed out the bench and bullpen with the young guys. Why not call Hunter Greene up and throw him in the fire. THat’s what I would do. The Mets did it with Dwight Gooden. That would be a bold move that would put butts in the seats. Who cares about service clocks when this team is showing no hope of ever getting good. Get Senzel up here too. They had 3 years to become competivie and they failed so throw all the patience out the window and put the best athletes in starting roles NOW not tomorrow. Or else sell the team. The off season was as bad as one I have ever ever seen and now a slow start. It’s like purposeful torture. If I didn’t know any better I’d say that’s what this is.

    • Westfester

      Yup, the season is ruined with only 157 games left to play. We don’t have a chance to turn it around.

      • Anderson Sparky

        Nice to see the apologists out early this season. It’s only year 4 of the tear-down rebuild of the House that Dusty built, but was never allowed to finish. But with Bryan Price as your manager, there’s no reason to panic. Man’s got it goin’ on G.

  6. scotly50

    This the same line-up, minus Cozart, as last year. They lost 95 games. Really Dick !!!! This is the best you can do. Sat on your hands the whole offseason while every team in our division reloaded.

    • Aaron Bradley

      The Pirates didn’t reload, they got arguably worse, but still miles ahead of us. That’s depressing as hell.

      • Jeff Reed

        All is not lost, the Reds could still get a series split.

  7. Jim Walker

    I’ll be honest. I went all in on the BlueJackets early tonight; and, it looks like I made the right choice. Yeah, they lost in OT; but it got them the standings point they needed to lockdown a playoff spot. They’ve gone 13-1-2 in their last 16 games. Hopefully we see stuff like this from the Reds again someday soon rather than much later.

  8. gusnwally

    I am not a chronic complainer. This may actually be my 1st time complaining on this site. But, when I saw BH was leading off against a lefty( batting RH) and Winker was also in the game. It made so little sense that I watched Hawaii five o that I had just recorded after the first couple of innings.Billy was so overmatched in his 1st two times up, I saw no reason to continue. Plus I assumed Homer was due for a stinker. He is a 500 pitcher and had 1 good one already. So the math was easy, even for me.

  9. sezwhom

    It’s early April so I always give everyone a pass but when the Reds broadcasters are complaining about BH leading off and for the life of me, why Garrett isn’t a SP, I nod my head and go: yep. The only mulligan I refuse to give is to Price. I just don’t see it.

  10. davemoorewvu

    Feels like I’m always bashing Price, but.. the double switch in the 5th, down 5-1, he puts Ervin in for Winker? And leaves Hamilton in the game? Down 5-1, not up 5-1 and it was a late game defensive replacement… We were DOWN 5-1 and he takes Winker out of the game, and leaves Hamilton in???

    I’m finally ready for Bryan Price to move on. Can we please hire a real manager now??

    • davemoorewvu

      I see what you’re saying, but I still would’ve taken Hamilton out of the game down 5-1. We needed offense, and by taking Winker out, you’ve just reduced your chances of producing any offense at all.
      I’ll sacrifice a pinch hitter and another pitcher to still have Winker in the game, and to get Hamilton out. Just my opinion..

    • Felix The Cat

      Price has to protect Bailey , that is his boy and Garrett is the one who would replace Homer so as long as Garrett isn’t stretched out Price has a good reason not to use Garrett as a starter , thus the bullpen. Remember when baseball had to come thru Cincy now we bearly draw a home crowd or bring a crowd on the road. We don’t have to fire Price, he needs to change his thinking about the pitching staff. Homer will get his money there is nothing that can be done about that , he has been getting paid the last 3 seasons for nothing anyways so let’s move on with the youth movement. It’s not like Homer is Bronson and he is good for the locker room and you can’t get your money worth out of him. I didn’t see Homers interview last night but I bet he had an excuse.

    • Nick Carrington

      I’m with Cossack on Garrett. Pitching him 2-4 innings as often as possible makes sense. If he’s going to be in the bullpen, then maximize his value and keep him stretched out enough to potentially make a start when necessary.

  11. Bill Lack

    I thought Bailey’s problem was leaving the ball up and out over the plate too often…JMO.

  12. wizeman

    Peraza and Hamilton can’t hit a lick. They must have decided Senzel cannot be a shortstop.
    Don’t think anyone on staff has better stuff than Garrett. Of course others can say his stuff is limited and works best in short stints but that is not apparent to me.

  13. eric3287

    It’s only been a week, but the complete mismanagement of the roster is mind-numbing. Granted Price wasn’t given the ’76 Reds (or even the ’86 or ’96 Reds) he has gone about the first week of the season demonstrating he’s as clueless in the dugout as Peraza/Billy are at the plate.

    The Easter 6-5 loss to the Nats is a perfect example of Price’s ineptitude. Down 3-1 in the 7th, which one of Price’s bullpen arms does he turn to? Why, the newly acquired, worst pitcher in baseball, Yovani Gallardo who promptly gives up 2 runs. Bottom of the 8th, down 5-2, bases loaded, no outs, the Nationals go to their bullpen and bring in righty Ryan Madsen to face righty Adam Duvall. Boy, if only the Reds had a left handed outfield bat they could count on in this situation. Wait! They do! One of their top prospects, left hander Jesse Winker. Does he pinch hit? Of course not. Duvall GIDP scoring 1 and thus ends the threat. Pitching Gallardo and not pinch-hitting Winker are indefensible decisions.

    With the 5 outfielders on the roster, Price should be able to strategically deploy them late in the game (Ervin in for Schebler against a tough lefty, Ervin in for Billy against really any pitcher, Winker in for Duvall vs. a righty). Hell, he can even do it with the catching position. Unfortunately, strategy is simply not Price’s strong suit and so he wastes what should be, if not a good roster, at least a flexible one.

    • davemoorewvu

      And after the 2 run HR in the 9th, he sends Hamilton up to bat with 2 outs. Hamilton strikes out looking at a pitch practically right down the middle, and then argues a little about the call. Why does Price not pinch hit for Hamilton in that situation?

      Look, I like Hamilton a lot, but the way Price uses him makes me so mad. I think the fan base is going to eventually really start to dislike Hamilton. And that sucks, because he does some good things. Just please stop batting him leadoff.

  14. BigRedMike

    Hamilton must be playing due to his amazing level of success against LHP.

  15. SultanofSwaff

    Sadly, we have a large enough post injury sample size with Homer Bailey to know that he’s not going to return to the level he once enjoyed. At best we’re looking at a league average starter but more likely a back of the rotation placeholder who can only give you 5 innings most days. For the rebuild to take flight on the pitching side, 1 of Stephenson/Reed/Garrett need to step up and take Homer’s job.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Homer is not going anywhere until after the 2019 season. His contract goes through 2020, but the Reds can buy out his $25 million salary for that year for $5 million, which they will. The front office is not going to pay him to do nothing, you can bet on that. Much like the Giants did in recent years with Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito.

  16. Scott Carter

    I agree play Winker in left on a regular basis, platoon Duvall and Schebler in right. I would also platoon Ervin in center as well. In fact I would sit, trade or release Hamilton, he has no business being on a MLB roster. Speed is great but can not offset such a poor offensive inefficiency. Ervin may not be as great as Hamilton in center but he can play it well enough that his OBP will more than offset the slight lack of speed. If we did that then we could occasionally play Schebs in center when a strong right hander was pitching.
    I’m not sure whether the problem with the Reds is that Price is just too dense to see things (Like Garrett should be starting, Winker should play everyday and neither Hamilton or Peraza can hit, and Peraza does not add anything defensively either) or if the front office is to blind to the fact that Price can’t manage the assets that he has been given.

  17. eric3287

    Not only that, they completely whiffed on grabbing him off waivers in 2013, let the Pirates get him and the rest is history.

    The Bob Castellini Reds: A day late and a dollar short.

  18. Bill

    Cossac k don’t know how old you are but I remember Post, Colavito and Clemente all 3 with great arms and all played RF. Duvall needs to be in RF!!