The Short Version: A close game becomes a blowout in the blink of an eye because Reds manager Bryan Price decides to give up and put in a garbage pitcher. This is getting really old. That’s the short version. This nonsense is getting really old.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (1-5) 3 13 1
Pittsburgh Pirates (6-1) 14 15 1
W: Williams (2-0) L: Castillo (0-2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Jesse Winker got three hits. Joey Votto, Luis Castillo, and Jose Peraza — if you can believe it — had two hits. Billy Hamilton reached base three times (!), with a hit and two walks.

The Bad
–Bryan Price.

–The signing of Yovani Gallardo to a $750,000 major league contract. I am a big fan of the current front office, but add this one to the list of inexplicable moves.

–As the game went to the bottom of the sixth, the Pirates were leading 4-2, but the Reds had threatened a couple of times and the game’s ultimate outcome was certainly in question. Luis Castillo had battled through another bout of poor command, and he was forced to leave after five innings. Manager Bryan Price chose to go with the corpse of Yovani Gallardo at this point in the game.

Look, I understand if Gallardo was signed to be a mop-up man. I mean, it doesn’t make much sense, since he has been one of the worst pitchers in baseball the last two seasons. But whatever, if he’s only pitching in 10-2 ballgames, I guess it’s okay.

The game was 4-2 when Gallardo entered. It was 10-2 when he left, after recording just one out. Everyone on earth knew that putting Gallardo into this game was an incredibly risky move, since it was still close. Well, everyone on earth except for the person who mattered.

I’m not smart, but I simply do not understand why this guy is on the Cincinnati Reds roster. And if he is still on the roster tomorrow, it will raise some interesting questions about this organization. DFA him, and after he clears waivers, send Gallardo to Triple-A to be roster-filler. He’s getting paid either way.

–Gallardo gave up 6 runs in a third of an inning. Compared to that, Austin Brice was brilliant: four runs (three earned) in 1.2 innings, surrendering five hits. (For the record, I think Brice has a chance to be a decent big league pitcher. He’s 25, he has a live arm, and he’s in a different category than Gallardo.)

–The Reds threatened in the top of the first, but some shoddy baserunning ran them out of the inning. Winker led off with an infield single (maybe a gift from the scorekeeper, but whatever). One out later, Votto singled to center and the Reds were in business. Almost immediately, however, Scooter Gennett followed with a line-out to left. Somehow, Votto was doubled off first and I don’t think I can give it a better explanation than that. I have no idea what Votto was thinking there.

Votto wasn’t happy:

–Jesse Winker dropped a can of corn fly ball. One of the worst defensive plays you’ll see in the big leagues.

–Reds hit into three double plays tonight.

Not-So-Random Thoughts

–Tonight is the night that I wash my hands of Bryan Price. I’ll never call for anyone to be fired. Price seems like a decent human being, and I would never wish for anyone to lose their job. Seriously, this is real life for Price and his family, and it’s not my place to scream that he should lose his job.

But it’ll be awfully hard for me to defend him after the last few days. I mean, the Gallardo nonsense is completely indefensible. Sure, he was forced upon Price, but no one is forcing Price to put Gallardo into games that are still close. And it’s just one thing after another. Take a look at this:

Think about that. The Reds have faced lefty starters three times this season, and our manager has chosen to lead off my favorite player in those games. I love Billy, and that has not changed. But leading him off against lefties…it’s just indefensible.

Too many indefensible moves. I am literally the most patient Reds fan on earth. And all those indefensible moves adds up to one thing: I’m not going to defend him.

–The Reds tied up the game at two with a couple of runs in the top of the third, thanks to a couple of unusual suspects. Luis Castillo led off with a double to deep center, and that was followed by a Billy Hamilton walk. Castillo scored on Winker’s second infield single of the night and, one out later, Votto singled home Billy. Game tied 2-2, for a brief period.

The Pirates scored two in the bottom of the third, but the Reds came right back with a two-out rally in the following frame. Castillo collected his second hit of the night, a single to left, and that was followed by a Hamilton single. Winker singled after that, but Eugenio Suarez flew out to end the rally.

–Eugenio Suarez played a couple of innings at shortstop. File that away as we try to figure out what the plan might be for top prospect Nick Senzel.

–If you read this recap, after tonight’s debacle, you are a true Reds fan and a loyal citizen of the Nation.

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