Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (48-59) 1 5 0
Detroit Tigers (46-62) 2 3 0
W: Matthew Boyd (6-9)  L: Homer Bailey (1-8)  SV: Shane Greene (22)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread | Statcast

The Hitters

Phillip Ervin had a nice day at the plate (though it wasn’t so nice in other aspects), going 2-for-4 with a double and a triple and scoring the only Reds run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Eugenio Suarez in the top of the ninth inning. However, Ervin should have had two runs on the game, and the second one should’ve tied up the game.

He hit the first of back-to-back doubles with one out in the fourth inning. Joey Votto followed with a laser off the wall in right field. Ervin, however, got a bad read on the ball and did not realize it was going to be a hit until it was too late to score. Suarez was then called out strikes (on a questionable call at best) and after a walk to Scooter Gennett, Tucker Barnhart grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the threat. Those are the kinds of mistakes the Reds need to clean up; there have been a few too many TOOTBLANs for comfort this season.

Suarez also doubled for the first Reds hit of the day. Dilson Herrera, getting just his second start since being promoted from Triple-A Louisville, had the only other base hit of the game.

The Hurlers

Homer Bailey had another whale of an outing tonight, firing an eight-inning complete game while taking a tough-luck loss against Tigers southpaw Matthew Boyd. He allowed only two runs on three hits, struck out six, and walked one. The 31-year-old was perfect for the first 11 batters of the game before allowing a solo home run to Niko Goodrum in the bottom of the fourth. That was the only hit he allowed in the game until the eighth inning, when he gave up a single and a double to plate the only other run of the ballgame. Aside from that, the only baserunner he allowed came on a walk in the fifth inning.

In two starts since returning from the DL, Bailey has given up just four runs on eight hits in 14 2/3 innings and struck out 14. From a pure stuff perspective, Bailey wasn’t quite as impressive as he was in his first start back from the disabled list, but he got results anyway. His average fastball — after sitting at a season-best 94.6 mph last Tuesday — was at 93.8 tonight, and he got just 10 swings and misses on 111 pitches as opposed to another season-best 19 on 115 pitches his last time out. It’s hard to tell whether he’ll keep this up, but his command has been undeniably better than it was earlier in the year.

Not-So-Random Thoughts

  • Bailey’s complete game was the first by a Reds pitcher since May 13, 2017. Everyone knows who was responsible for that game, right? *in my best Chad Dotson voice* Lisalverto Bonilla.
  • It was Bailey’s seventh career complete game and first since June 29, 2014.
  • Ervin had a good night at the plate, but he was shaky beyond that. Aside from the baserunning gaffe, Ervin also overthrew the cut-off man to allow the Tigers second run to score in the ninth inning. Although the runner may have scored anyway, it’s a routine play that needs to be made.
  • The Reds also had a runner thrown out at home tonight when Suarez attempted to score on a flyball by Barnhart in the second inning. Tagging up was a risk worth taking early in the game, though it’s never ideal to make an out at the plate — and the Reds have done a whole of that in recent years.
  • Reds hitters had a hard time squaring up anything tonight, with just five balls being classified as “hard hit” (95+ mph exit velocity). They hit 10 balls at 85 mph or less.
  • The Reds may have lost, but they got it over with quickly. The game took just two hours and 18 minutes, the team’s shortest of the season.

Up Next

The Reds will wrap up their brief two-game series against the Tigers with an afternoon game on Wednesday. Sal Romano (5.04 ERA, 4.66 xFIP) will take the mound after making a relief appearance on Sunday as he looks to build on a string of strong outings since the All-Star break. He’ll be opposed by a former divisional foe in Mike Fiers (3.54 ERA, 4.84 xFIP), a one-time Brewers pitcher. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. ET.