After a rain delayed start, Tyler Mahle fought tough against a potent Braves lineup, with the bullpen holding on for five innings. They could not, however, make it a sixth, ending the 7-game winning streak and dashing all hopes for the elusive 117-win season.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (32-46) 4 6 1
Atlanta Braves (45-32) 5 10 0
W: Jackson (1-0) L: Floro (2-2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

Mahle walked the first batter of the game on four pitches. Ozzie Albies followed that with a double to spot the Braves an early 1-0 lead. Albies advanced to third on the throw home and later scored on a Kurt Suzuki sacrifice fly. 2-0 bad guys after the first.

The young hurler settled down after his bumpy start and gave the Reds a fighting chance. He escaped potential trouble in the third after back to back singles by Markakis and Suzuki. He struck out Danny Santana to end the inning. He then pitched his first 1-2-3 inning in the fourth.

Scott Schebler got the Reds on the board in the fifth inning with a two-out, 426 foot funk blast to deep right field.

Atlanta got that run back in the bottom of the inning, but it could have been much worse. Mahle surrendered a single, double and walk to the Braves top 3 hitters but then induced a double play from the hot-hitting Markakis and a fly out from Suzuki to get out of the jam with just allowing one run.

The Reds played a bit of “anything you can do, I can do better” in the sixth with three consecutive singles from Votto, Gennett and Suarez to load the bases. Jesse Winker drew a walk to drive in one run. After a Jose Peraza pop-out, pinch-hitter Adam Duvall punched a ground out to deep second base to score another run and tie the game.

The good guys took their first lead of the game in the seventh inning. Scott Schebler led off with a double and was advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tucker Barnhart. Votto then hit a hard ground ball back to the pitcher, whose could not handle it cleanly and only had a play at first base.

The Braves evened it right back up with some help from a Votto error which put Freddie Freeman on second base with one out. After Kyle Crockett was replaced by David Hernandez, Santana doubled home Freeman to tie the game.

After scoreless eighth and ninth innings, the Reds made some noise in the top of the tenth but failed to score. Barnhart led off with a single, followed by a walk from Votto. Riggleman then used Scooter Gennett to bunt the runners over. The Braves walked Eugenio Suarez to load the bases, and Winker and Peraza ended the inning with a popout and groundout, respectively.

The Reds bullpen was good tonight but ran out of time against a very strong Braves offense. The game ended on Dylan Floro’s first pitch in the bottom of the 11th inning as Ozzie Albies just got one over the right field wall.

Other Games Notes;

  • The Braves pulled starter Mike Foltynewicz after five innings and 91 pitches. The first man out of the bullpen, Luke Sims, surrendered the two game-tying runs.
  • Michael Lorenzen came on for the Reds in the sixth inning and was not great, allowing a walk and a hit in four batters faced. He did start a rundown between third and home after making a nice play on a ground ball back to him, preventing a run from scoring.
  • Scott Schebler continues to look great in the leadoff spot. His home run had a 109 MPH exit velocity and 25 degree launch angle, adding up to a 100% hit probability
  • Jared Hughes pitched well in the ninth inning to extend the game to extra innings and stayed on in the tenth as well, allowing two hits (one a weak grounder) and a walk in two innings.
  • The Reds employed the sacrifice bunt twice today. It produced one run the first time. It did not work the second time.
  • I did not see the play happen and turned on the volume late but I believe a fan was hit by a Scooter Gennett foul ball. I did hear it reported shortly after that the fan did not lose consciousness and was going to be fine. Stay safe out there.

A hard fought game all around but you can’t win them all. The Reds will look to start another winning streak tomorrow.

32 Responses

  1. Show Triple Slash

    I wish Riggleman well, but I hope the next manager doesn’t bunt in that situation. Who could seen what would follow???

  2. Show Triple Slash

    Of all players, bunting Scooter there.

  3. Sliotar

    Bill James once wrote, “every team is going to win 50 games, every team is going to lose 50 games. It’s the 62 games that are truly contested and how players and managers perform in them is what decides a team’s season.”

    The Reds are outgunned financially without a salary cap and on most nights, for now, outgunned in MLB and near-MLB roster talent.

    Having Mr. Old School (not the RLN Legendary Poster) and his bunt at all costs mentality managing is not optimizing the chances of winning those 62 games, which tonight was certainly one of.

    • bouwills

      Whether or not you agree with playing for 1 run in a tied, extra-inning ballgame is a matter of opinion. The success of that strategy will always be based upon execution. Gennett did. Winker did not. While Riggelman did take the bat out of Scooter & Suarez’ hands, he just as much gave Jesse the opportunity to get that runner in from 3rd vs a lefty. Winker was clearly overmatched. Blame it on the manager.

      • KDJ

        I like the odds of getting an RBI single (or better) from Scooter, Suarez, and Winker better than from Winker and Peraza. I wonder what Scooter thought when he got that call from the dugout. I expect everyone on the Braves breathed a sigh of relief when they saw Scooter square to bunt.

      • Bill Lack

        I don’t think anyone’s excusing Winker for not getting it done, but for the team, wouldn’t you rather have two opportunities than one?

  4. Mr. November

    Curious – does the press challenge Riggle’s thought process on this nonsensical sac bunting? Does he know it statistically hurts his team’s chances of winning? Inexcusable. Even though it produced 1 run in the 7th, it was still stupid to do it then also and decreased the team’s probability of winning. And, he made the same mistake bunting Winker a few days ago vs the Cubs with 2 on, 0 out. I’m also curious if Dick Williams has discussed the fallacy of this “strategy” with him?

    • bmblue

      Instead of Scooter and Geno with no outs and 2 on, you bunt and open up 1st base to walk geno. So instead you get Winker/Peraza with 1 out. That is piss poor managing.

  5. bmblue

    1. Trade Billy for a low A pitching lottery ticket. Move Senzel to CF and be done with it.
    2. Keep Scooter but dont extend him. Try to compete in 2019 and if they are out of it, deal scooter and the deadline for whatever you can get. Shed Long or Dilson Herrera 2020.
    3. Trade Iglesias next month for a SP prospect that will be around for 5-6 years instead of 2. He can fetch at least 1 top 100 prospect. Make it happen. Move Amir to closer.

    That’s it. Not that complicated. Let Duvall stick around as the 4th outfielder.

    • bmblue

      1. Have to assume Senzel can hit MLB pitching, otherwise this is all for nil anyways
      2. Don’t trade Scooter, hes leading the NL in hitting. The whole point is to acquire good players. Try to compete in 2019 and they don’t do that by trading scooter.
      3. 1 top 100 player for Iggy isn’t overpaying

      • Gonzo Reds

        Scooter was thrilled to come home to Cincy, and he’s played like it. I’m sure he’ll take a team friendly deal to stay. Why so many want to trade him makes no sense. We need to find out if Senzel or Suarez can play SS, that’s the key to 2019 on the offensive side. I do agree that packaging Iggy and Billy to a contender makes a ton of sense and should net us a good return at the trade deadline.

      • Chad Dotson

        Maybe you’re right, but Scooter was quoted this spring as saying that he would not take a team-friendly deal. And I wouldn’t either, if I were him. This may be his only shot at a really big payday.

      • Bill

        You have to stop viewing regress as “he will be horrible”, the regression is from the MVP numbers he was putting up earlier in the year to something that is still well above average, just not MVP candidate levels. I believe his OPS was in the mid .900’s earlier in the season and has “regressed” to .895 which is similar to the .874 he put up last year. In comparison Suarez is at .981. Scooter is a good player, he in my opinion is just not a cornerstone piece that needs signed to an expensive long term contract. Especially considering there are two guys at AAA playing 2B who can hit.

        If he is open to a discount as others believe then sign him. If not thank him for his time and do something to improve the future.

  6. Byron

    I don’t know what is worse…watching Riggleman with his “old school” sacrifice bunting madness or listening to Thom B blame the lack of scoring, in that inning, on Winker.

    • bouwills

      Did you see the Winker AB? Bases were loaded with only 1 out. The pitcher has to throw strikes, that is unless the hitter is overswinging at pitches outside the strike zone. Riggleman is an interim manager. The Reds are not playing for a post season slot. I didn’t hear Thom blame anyone, but he would have been remiss in his job had he not pointed out that Winker has to do better in that situation. All in all it was a good game. Great start by Mahle (after the first couple batters). Good job by the bullpen overall. Unfortunate fielding play by Joey that was instrumental in Atlanta tying up the game. Actually, neither Riggelman or Thom B. are preventing the Reds from making the playoffs..

  7. bmblue

    Also can we please stop with the “packaging” of players? That rarely happens.

  8. Scott Gennett

    Tough game against a very good team, but it’s hard to win when going 1-11 with RISP. Only between Winker & Peraza, 11 runners were LOB.

  9. TomatoTovotto

    Tough loss, but Winker and Peraza were key in the seven game win-streak–if they hit grand slams or 3-run clutch homers every game then we’d have to expect them to go on that streak to win 117. Lots of ways they could’ve (should’ve?) won this game, but also more than as many ways they should’ve lost some of the last seven. Yes, the bunting in none of the right places has to stop (please!) but in the bigger picture this game is still part of a sequence of better baseball where they “should” win half of the games.

  10. David

    Funny while blaming Riggleman for bunting Scooter (dumb move), nobody blamed Votto for committing an error and allowing what would become the 4th (and tying) run on base for Atlanta.

    Votto is sacrosanct and cannot be criticized. Right.

  11. bouwills

    I think Billy, Walt, & Company have something there. Hamilton has 3 options. He could be leading off tonight for Louisville. Seriously, with the number of ABs that Billy has had, you let the number do the talking for you.

  12. Bill

    On Votto, great player he is, sometimes in the field he reminds me of Danny Driessen, try to cover to much field to HIS right.

  13. Jeff Reed

    I hope the principal owner, the producer of the show, hires a young manager to take the Reds forward. But with the recent turn around, I doubt it will happen. I’m afraid veteranariness will win out in the managerial choice. The bunt has it’s occasional place in the game, but not as a constant diet as Riggleman too often uses it especially with the offense the Reds possess.

  14. roger garrett

    Billy has been turning the corner for 5 years and Peraza for two full years.Can’t hide them unless they set on the bench and until they do this offense will never get to where it could be.

  15. bouwills

    Did you see the Scooter sac bunt? It was a great bunt & it took a good play to get him out at first. As a road team in extra innings, I’m not sure I disagree with Riggleman’s strategy. At home I would expect him to let Scooter swing away.

  16. Bill Lack

    27 outs and he’s giving them away 2 at a time… ugh.

  17. Davy13

    I am proposing for the Reds to be both a buyer and seller at the trade deadline. Sell the usual suspects that have been named but buy JT Realmuto. I know that’s coming out of “left field” but it would be real acquisition. Tucker has been solid offensively and very good defensively. Realmuto is plain better.
    + He’s still young (27; same age as Tucker).
    + Affordable for a few years – not eligible for free agency until 2021.
    + Far superior hitter than Tucker. One of the best catchers offensively (3rd in oWAR & 6th in overall WAR). His WAR is double of Tucker.
    + Nearly as good defensively – arguably he is having a better season defensively up to now than Tucker. Point is that he is not much of a defensive drop-off and makes up that difference in large measure with his offense.

    I live in Miami. It is no secret that the Marlins are selling for prospects. He may not be available because of his age and contract-friendly situation, but if the Reds make an enticing offer he could be had. A sure thing is a better risk than a prospect. If the Reds FO go for a player like that, they are sending a signal to the fans that they are serious of contending beginning with 2019. Realmuto would be a nice core piece playing in a hitter-friendly ballpark. Offensively, they would be so much better than now. Imagine that!

  18. SultanofSwaff

    Last night was a textbook example of why Peraza will never sniff an OPS over .700. Bases loaded after a walk and he pops up a pitch he can’t handle….the very.first.pitch. In extra innings he grounds out weakly on another pitch out of the zone with a runner in scoring position.

  19. roger garrett

    The guy that started for the Braves last night is their Bob.The difference is they chose to let him and learn at the big league level and now even in year 3 he still struggles to sometimes get out of the 5th inning because he has a tendency to walk a few and throw a lot of pitches but he misses bats and at times is unhittable just like last night.Who knows what Bob could become if we committed to him in the same way the Braves did.The bigger question is why wouldn’t we.Losing is losing and I miss you Chuck Shick.

  20. pborbon

    I don’t get the fixation on Riggleman and bunting. The Reds lost because – Schebler missed the cut-off in the first inning and Votto didn’t get in front of a ground ball. Otherwise they win in 9 innings and don’t even have to go into extra innings. Agree that Riggleman didn’t think through the sacrifice bunt in this situation but it needs to be part of their game in certain situations. You have to give Riggleman credit for results and being willing to make moves to help them win – pulling pitchers faster and dropping a bunt at the right time. If you are the Yankees it’s easy to say don’t bunt but if you have a pitcher hitting, Hamilton and Peraza in your line-up and a thin bench bunting is going to be necessary at times.

  21. sezswhom

    Riggleman might want to look at Scooter’s BA before deciding to have him bunt. That’s a Jerry Narron move.