The Short Story: Anthony Desclafani allowed 3 runs through 5 innings; but, a 2 run home run by Eugenio Suarez had the Reds in the game. Then in the sixth inning, Wandy Peralta loaded the bases with no outs; and when the dust cleared, the Pirates had added 2 more runs. With the help of shaky Reds defense, the Pirates added a trio of late runs in the 8th and 9th inning. A ninth inning  2 run homer by Tucker Barnhart came a day late and dollar short for the Reds who missed many chances along the way.

Final R H E
Pittsburgh Pirates(81-78) 8 13 1
Cincinnati Reds (66-94) 4 13 2
W: Brault (8-12) L: DeSclafani (7-8)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

Good things that happened:

Joey Votto reached base his first 4 times at bat (2 walks; single, double)

Eugenio Suarez had 3 hits (2 singles and HR)

Billy Hamilton made another highlight reel catch worth seeing:

Hamilton also reached base twice with a walk and a hit and stole a base.

Would you believe Tucker Barnhart had a bunt single, triple and 2 run home run? Well, it’s true; he did.

So how come the Reds lost???

Anthony DeSclafani had a mediocre outing allowing 3 runs in 5 innings. The first 2 Pirate batters of the game  reached and scored. He later allowed a solo homer after Eugenio Suarez had tied the game with a 2 run bomb for the Reds.

Wandy Peralta and Matt Wisler combined to allow 2 runs in the Pirate 6th inning. Perlata faced 3 batters; and all 3 reached on singles, 2 of the infield variety. Wisler came on to clean up Peralta’s mess and allowed 2 of his three inherited runners to score in the process.

Shaky defense by the Reds in the 8th and 9th inning abetted a trio of late Pirates runs.

Despite recording 13 hits and being recipients of 5 walks, the Reds could not capitalize and keep up with Pirates. For the evening, the Reds ended up with 13 men left on base.

Final thoughts

However improbable it may have seemed a few short weeks ago, the Reds recorded their 94th loss of the season tonight, matching the futility of the last two seasons. Where have you gone positive momentum? Redleg Nation turns its weary eyes to you? (apologies to Paul Simon).


56 Responses

  1. Sliotar

    Barnhart went 5 for 5 and I really did not notice until the HR in his last at-bat.

    The apathy in the park, with the players, with the fans, with broadcasters…it’s everywhere.

    How sad.

    • Jim Walker

      Isn’t it amazing how 2 team off days in 4 calendar days and an additional off day seemed to reenergize Suarez and Barnhart? Wonder why they couldn’t have had more days off during the season?

      • Sliotar

        We will never likely know the truth, but I believe that Riggleman was either told, “lose less than 90 games and the job is yours full-time” or he believed it on his own.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      In the 8th or 9th inning it took Marty 3 tries to get it right on who was covering 2nd base when Iglesias throw went into centerfield. Just reflective of how at this point, no one seems to care.

  2. Colorado Red

    Mailed it in.
    The Reds have mailed it in. Hopefully, this will prove that Jim should never manage the Reds again.

    • Michael E

      Whether Riggleman is a solid manager or not, the Reds need some fire lit under them. I don’t think a hothead is it, but someone that brings energy. Baker (especially), Price and Riggleman make excellent zombies. I don’t know who can do that, but an old retread cannot.

      • lwblogger2

        Baker was a zombie? Which Baker were you watching? He’s not a guy who yells at his players but he’s a rah, rah leader and is always deeply invested in the game. Baker had a ton of faults but being a zombie wasn’t one of them from what I saw.

  3. Jimbo69

    Waiting to see what happens with starting pitching in the offseason. I’ll come back to the team when they put a real product on the field.

  4. Matt Hendley

    Always darkest before the dawn. This actually looked like the least mailed in game of mailed in games in recient mailed in games.

    • Jim Walker

      I thought so too. Maybe playing a division rival put at least a little hustle to their step.

    • Colorado Red

      Or always the darkest before it goes completely black.

  5. Sliotar

    Current state of Reds fandom in a nutshell….

    Friend sends me text – “Chad Dotson is saying on Twitter he is giving the Reds 6 more months to go all-in.”

    Chris Welsh during 9th inning – “The Reds could trade a top prospect this winter but I don’t think they are close enough (to contending) to justify doing that.”

    Welsh, moments later – “I don’t think it’s feasible that the Reds could fill all of their roster holes through free agency.”

    These last 4 years will be a textbook for future MLB baseball ops people on how not to do a tear-down and “rebuild”.

    • Colorado Red

      They got half of it. The Tear-Down.
      But messed up on the rebuild part.
      walt did not understand that.

      • CI3J

        No, they even flubbed their lines in the “teardown” part. Held onto assets too long, demanded too much too late when they did try to make trades, didn’t go all in and do it at once but instead staggered it over several seasons.

        It was all half measures when full measures were needed. This front office seems incapable of making the hard choices and following through decisively. And that’s where things are now, a team stuck in limbo while other teams who did a teardown/rebuild at the same time are back to competing again.

      • Michael E

        AND they did not demand a stud prospect when they could have. Instead they demanded 3 or 4 role players and potentially decent, but underwhelming MLB regulars.

        I see other teams acquire another teams top prospect, but all Walt wanted was “MLB ready”, regardless of talent/potential, just sling a handful of unrated prospects at the Reds wall and hope something sticks.

      • Bill

        Agreed on the “MLB ready” prospects. They should have targeted guys with the most potential instead of getting a bunch of guys who were at AAA. Combine that with holding on to guys because of the All Star game and you have a failed rebuild

      • lwblogger2

        I don’t like Walt but I don’t think getting MLB ready guys was his choice. Castellini dind’t want the rebuild to take too long and he wanted more of a reboot than a rebuilt. This things was side-tracked from the very beginning because Castellini.

      • Michael E

        …oh and I agree with CI3J and Matt on this. Chapman got yuck, then the Yanks traded him again five months later and got a gold mine (Torres already looking like a fringe MLB all-star).

      • lwblogger2

        Sure did. I think that was probably Castellini’s doing too. He wanted him gone right there and then. The Reds should have traded him earlier. They didn’t and he ended up shooting up his garage. Then the big-guy wants him out and forces a trade, despite his value being at a relative low point. Then the Yankees end up trading him after he got his value back up again. It would have represented a bit of a risk and about $4-million for the Reds to do the same thing but that could have been their haul and not the Yankees’ haul. So freaking frustrating.

      • Matt Hendley

        Blew the chapman trade, the cueto trade, the leake trade, so no they didnt

      • Bill

        The Chapman trade was a complete disaster. The Leake trade was good, although an argument could have been made on extending him instead. The Cueto trade at the time looked good, It just hasn’t turned out great. Reed could still make it a decent trade.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Not that it matters, but I’m not even sure the Leake trade was good. Personally I wasn’t a fan at the time and not much has changed. I’ve said from the very beginning that Mella wasn’t enough of a headliner Here we are 2 1/2 years from that trade and Mella hasn’t done much at all for the Reds. He’s not, and really hasn’t been, a top prospect in the Reds system at any point. The Reds were fortunate enough to get 2 solid half seasons of Duvall before he fell off this year.

      • Bill

        Mella probably is not ever making a difference on the Reds, but Duvall was an All Star and provided Gold Glove caliber defense. He was then flipped for another young SP. A month of Leake was never going to return much value. If either of the pitchers from Atlanta make contribute it makes the trade even better. I think Leake should have been extended over Bailey and at a cheaper rate, but expecting a serious prospect for a rental of a 4/5 pitcher was probably expecting too much.

      • Hotto4Votto

        At the time Mella was the Giant’s #1 guy and a back end top 100 type prospect. We shouldn’t expect the headliner to return value? I disagree with that, even for a rental. Mella’s never amounted into much of anything since the Reds got him. That’s a disappointment to me and it is the determining factor in how I view and evaluate the trade. People are free to evaluate it differently, as there is no universal way of grading trades. I apply the same logic to the Frazier trade, and will primarily judge it based on the play of Peraza. If Schebler never amounted to much it wouldn’t have factored into my evaluation of that trade because he was never meant to be the main guy. He’s a bonus when it works out.

        At a certain point you can’t keep counting future moves in what a guy brought back because that could go on into infinity. I don’t think counting anything from the Braves is relevant to that trade. Just as I wouldn’t count Disco as a factor in the original Latos deal or Blandino in the original Choo deal. Those become separate deals or moves that should be judged independently.

        Like I said, it’s not a big deal. The Reds lucked into a two good half seasons of Duvall and he turned out to be a good OF’er though it wasn’t a position he had much experience with at the time. And I do say lucked into, because he rated somewhere around the Giant’s 25th best prospect in a system devoid of top level talent. No one thought he was more than a bench bat at best who had impressive pop. In the end that’s what he was, the Reds just happened to find a defensive position he could play, had the playing time available, and got him during his prime years.

      • Bill

        For me I look at the full value of the return. Duvall has produced had far more WAR than Leake and at a significantly lower cost. Suarez was not the headliner in the Simon trade if I remember correctly. Crawford who was a recent first round pick was supposedly the top prospect and I couldn’t tell you where he is now. So by your logic the Reds lost the Simon trade, which I am confident Tigers fans would disagree with. I think you were overvaluing Leake, who was basically an average starting pitcher who the Giants only got for a month.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I don’t think there was a clear headliner in the Simon trade. Suarez was a young SS who had already shown some solid tools in his MLB debut, Crawford was a former 1st round pick but was still far away. FWIW, Suarez was the first prospect listed when MLBTR reported on the trade. Typically they list the top prospect first. And yes the Reds absolutely won the Simon deal, it would be silly to say otherwise.

        Not every trade is the same. Some trades have an obvious headliner, some don’t. The Cueto trade is a difficult one to suss out for instance. Finnegan had the most hype at the time of the trade, but according to the Reds broadcasters the trade doesn’t get done without Reed. Yet it’s still hard to say Reed was the headliner as Finnegan was a very touted prospect in his own right. Was Davis or Jagielo the headliner in the Chapman trade? I don’t know, they were ranked very similarly in the Yankees system at the time. I referenced the Frazier trade because Peraza was the obvious headliner, Schebler was a nice secondary piece, Dixon was a throw in. Mella was the headliner for Leake, Duvall was a throw in. Sometimes the throw ins end up providing value. Kudos to the scouts who pegged those guys as potential contributors. It’s nice when it work out.

        According to bWAR Leake compiled 2.9 WAR in 2015. He was a pretty good pitcher that year and commanded a nice contract that offseason in FA. I actually think many Reds fans undervalue him because he was never a top 3 pitcher on the staff with the Reds because they had Cueto, Latos, Bailey, during his tenure here.

  6. Craig Z

    Can they play a double-header tomorrow and get the season over with?

    • Matt Hendley

      Unfortunately MLB is having all the teams play the Sunday games at the same time so no

      • Jim Walker

        This is a borrow from international football aka as soccer in these parts. Everybody plays at the same time on the same day the last game of the year to help avoid teams conspiring to influence relegation or promotion situations they are not involved in.

        Maybe what MLB needs is some form of relegation. It wouldn’t work in the literal sense; but, maybe teams with the worst records could be dropped in the draft order and receive less bonus pool money instead of being rewarded for their incompetence at winning.

      • greenmtred

        I’m afraid that would only exacerbate the competitive imbalance. Maybe, to borrow from soccer, the worst teams could be relegated to AAA until they pull themselves together. A logistical nightmare, no doubt. On a different note: This has been a largely horrible season, but I want to thank all of the writers and commenters at RLN for being the silver lining and providing something baseball-related to look forward to and enjoy.

      • Jim Walker

        Without getting too long or involved. I’d drop the 5 teams with the worst records to the bottom of the 1st round (with the matching drop in bonus pool money)then return them to the order their records would place them. Except for every consecutive year in the bottom 5, I’d leave them at the end of the order for an additional round.

        So first overall pick would go to the team with the 6th worst record in a given year, 2nd pick to 7th worst record etc.. That’s an inducement to win not tank; and, it rewards teams closer to being competitive. Or as an alternative, after dropping the worst 5 teams they could assign the first five picks of the first round based on a lottery of teams with the 6th through 10th worst records. That would really stir the pot.

  7. CI3J

    I was rooting for the Reds to finish 68-94, just because it’d be a kind of interesting footnote in an otherwise depressing season. But you know what? I hope they lose these last two games to send a message to the front office that hey, whatever you are doing not only is not working, things are actually getting WORSE.

    That “positive momentum” and “winning culture” talk was an insult to any fans who have actually been paying attention.

    • Michael E

      I have been rooting for losses the past two months when it was very clear nothing was going to be gained by winning.

      I am holding out limited hope they can jump San Diego (possible) and Detroit (almost impossible, can tie and win a coin toss) draft spots. They could pick as high as 5th next year. They need to be picking 1st overall, but this was not the year for that given the stench coming from Baltimore and KC.

      If we’re going to stink, STINK. Trade the few above average players we have for top prospects and rebuild again. If they aren’t going to do a major makeover of the rotation, with a focus on acquiring or grooming an ACE-potential starter or two, then sell the old and in prime guys and reset the rebuild (sad but likely necessary).

      For goodnes sake, do NOT sign Matt Harvey, and tell us it’s proof of trying to improve. An SP4 will not move the needle and will lock up 6-10 million per year (or more) that could be used to sign a GOOD starting pitcher. I fear all the bad will come true, overpay a below average Harvey, sign Riggleman to 3 yr contract, and sign/re-sign league average or worse SPs to long term deals thus killing off any last payroll flexibility to sign or trade for a REAL ace.

    • Hotto4Votto

      The Reds may finish with a worse record than the last two seasons, and will have a lower draft pick than either of those two seasons. The Reds can’t even fail right.

    • greenmtred

      If the FO hasn’t gotten that message already, there’s no hope. I think the 68-94 record for the third straight year is worth aspiring to.

  8. Mark Lang

    Well – I’ll admit I was wrong – I thought for sure this would be a 100 loss team.

  9. Scott Gennett

    Last four seasons results are just an example of how difficult and competitive baseball business is, good results demand highly qualified management, which Reds have missed for the last ten years or so.

    • BigRedMike

      Yep. The Reds are in a division in which the other teams are actively trying to win and get better. The Reds cannot afford to just wait around and hope the current roster improves. Improvement at every position is needed in order to contend. The other teams in the division are not going to just be content with their existing rosters. Brewers go out and acquire Yellich and Cain, Reds fans reaction is, so, they do not pitch, right?

      The Reds made zero moves in the past season to improve the roster and that has resulted in yet another 90+ loss season. Maybe try a different approach.

  10. bouwills

    It looks like Detroit has locked up the 5th pick in next years draft after losing last night. San Diego currently is in 6th position but only 1 game ahead (or behind? ) of the Reds . The Reds are currently in 7th position for the 2019 draft, still 1 game ahead (behind ?) the Rangers. Draft position is the only area of interest left this season, besides winning culture, which goes without saying.

  11. Ed

    Being a reds fan sucks. I wish somebody would put an ownership group together to make the produce man go back to what he knows fruits and vegetables. I cant believe this man has hijacked our love of this team. If people really cared to change things they would stop going period. The crowds were embarrassing enough. It can be worse. I wish baseball had an incompetent Claus and remove this ownership group and their dum and dummer front office. Reds fans deserve way better than this garbage!

  12. Jeff Reed

    A real beginning of the rebuild in 2015 was waylaid due to the All Star game where management held on to tradable players too long in order to showcase Cincinnati, and the result is four seasons of 90+ losses. A blowup of the Reds is needed or the futility will continue into 2019. The only real tradable players who will get the Reds good, proven starting pitching are Suarez and Iglesias with less valuable players added on. I know this is not popular but something dramatic has to be done. Futility cannot be the description of next season also.

  13. docproctor

    Barnhart went 5 for 5 last night and raised his batting average to….. .249. And his OPS to .704.
    It needs to be said that he’s been a disappointment this year.
    Sure glad we got Casali this year–that was a great pickup.

    • Jim Walker

      Maybe last year was a career year for Barnhart offensively. His current OPS and OPS+ are certainly more in line with his career output than last year was.

      Interesting to note that Barnhart has 100 more career plate appearances this year than last. He’s played 10 games as a 1B this year versus zero last and caught in 7 more games than last year; so, I’d judge a around half those PAs came as a catcher. That is surprising given the playing time Casali has received since he joined the Reds.

      I guess just mark Barnhart up as another guy who was over used early; and, given the rigors of his position has never quite gotten over it. Also the deep slump he had in September could be an indication he’s dinged up. But when all is said and done 110 games behind the plate may be his annual limit.

    • Hotto4Votto

      I have thought at a few times this season that Barnhart’s offense is not what some have made it out to be. Like all the manager talk of moving Barnhart up to the #5 or #6 hole (or even the stretch where he hit 2nd in the order, yikes) because his bat is better than hitting 8th. His bat is better than Hamilton’s, but is that really the bar we want to set? He hits well enough for a catcher, but really shouldn’t hit higher than 8th in a productive offense. He’s a good defensive catcher, seems to call a good game, and isn’t clueless with the bat. That, to me, still makes his deal a good one for the Reds. I don’t have any issue with Barnhart and Casali as the catchers moving forward. I think both will do a good job, but they aren’t Piazza or even Yadier with the bat.

      • Jim Walker

        As I understand the arbitration rules and count Curt Casali’s service time, he is going to emerge from 2018 as arbitration eligible (via super 2). I think the Reds should go on and try lock him down for 3 years which would be through his age 32 season. At that point they would have 2 very attractive catchers either one of which could be utilized as a valuable trading piece.

  14. Shchi Cossack

    All I see from the Reds’ fanbase is frustration or apathy. Unfortunately, the needle is moving away from frustration and solidly into apathy. The Reds are working on losing another generation of Reds fans. That makes me sad.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree Cossack. The team seems to have a number of good to even very good pieces that haven’t meshed (and maybe just don’t fit together) to be a unit which is capable of winning. Now the org finds itself in the even more difficult position of needing to show forward momentum while retooling on the fly.

  15. Bill j

    Strange thing, read a story on about the Mets and Giants looking for GMs, and of the names mentioned not one was either WJ or DW.

    • lwblogger2

      DW is under contract and WJ is “retired”, so that makes sense. I get your point though, and you’re right that nobody would want them. Especially WJ. I think Williams and Krall could be a good combo but I really, 100% believe, that their hands are tied by Castellini and the “retired” Jocketty, who Castellini has baby-sitting them.

  16. Matt Hendley

    Ok, so question if we are taking any steps to win, what about luke heimlich. For those not familiar he is a U or Oregon grad a LHP with starter stuff that would be starting within months of getting signed. He has baggage though and it isnt small? He would be dirt cheap, would out perform most current pitching….but…..

    • Bill

      That would be a PR nightmare. I won’t get into the guilt of innocence of the guy, but being a convicted child molester is not a good look for any team that signs him. Does any team really want that tied to their reputation for a guy who may never throw a pitch in the majors? I’m sure someone would sign him if he was a perennial Cy Young candidate, I just don’t see anyone taking that risk on a prospect

  17. Phil Gasson

    Makes me ache for the days of Marge and Bowden. This mgt. hasn’t been this hated since Bill DeWitt sr..

    • Jeff Reed

      Marge wasn’t big on building a farm system and Jim Bowden’s emphasis was not on pitching, but they certainly made it exciting to be a Reds fan.

      • Ed

        What you say is true jeff but they won a hell of a lot more than these clowns. They were geniuses compared to these dolts.