The Reds haven’t been shut out in three straight games since April 1989. That team had Eric Davis, Paul O’Neill, Kal Daniels, Barry Larkin and Chris Sabo. The Reds have now lost six games since the Opening Day Era of Unbridled Optimism.

7/162 | Reds 0 – Pirates 2 | Box Score | Win Probability

Statcast: Reds Batters | Reds Pitchers | Exit Velocity | Pitch Velocity

Run Prevention

Sonny Gray was outstanding tonight. He had great command of his fastball, routinely dotting the bottom of the zone. His breaking ball was sharp and also well placed. In his first start, Gray gave up four walks and didn’t record a single strikeout. Tonight Gray struck out seven Pirates and didn’t walk anyone. The Pirates managed one hit in the first sixth inning. As Wes Jenkins wrote, Gray’s first start wasn’t indicative.

In the seventh, Starling Marte led off with a single to left. He moved to second on a wild pitch. Francisco Cervelli grounded out, allowing Marte to get to third. With the infield pulled in, Josh Bell grounded hard right at 2B Jose Peraza. Marte broke to the plate and Peraza’s throw was well off line [still not sold on Peraza’s defense] but Marte had stopped short thinking he was doomed. Tucker Barnhart tagged him out. But Jung Ho Kang lined Gray’s first pitch into the left field corner. Matt Kemp lumbered to the corner to retrieve the ball and the relay broke down. Bell scored from first.

Kemp’s lack of speed allowed a bloop double to fall in the bottom of the 8th, scoring the Pirates second run.

Kemp did make a nice defensive play in the first inning on Adam Frazier’s line drive, running forward and diving to put out the leadoff hitter.

Despite much Twitterverse anquish, Jesse Winker playing center field did not precipitate the arrival of the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse. Winker made the four routine plays that came his way.

Run Production

The Reds bats remained largely silent. Joey Votto had a softish double to right center. Eugenio Suarez lined a double to the left field corner. Jose Iglesias slapped a single to center. Suarez also drew a walk. And that was it. The Reds offense has been shut out for three straight games.

45 Years Ago Tonight

Reds fans can be excused for not understanding the reference in the above tweet to “home run.”

Robert Stephenson Gets A Grip

Bobby Nightengale (Enquirer) has a nice story about Robert Stephenson, where they discuss the pitcher’s solid start to the 2019 season. Stephenson highlights a change he’s made to his fastball grip.

“The (fastball) grip, changing that this year, it just gives me a lot more confidence in my fastball,” Stephenson said. “I think confidence is another big one, too. Just being able to go out there knowing that I have confidence in myself. I think there’s nothing that can make you feel better than having confidence in yourself, no matter how much anyone believes in you.”


Thom Brennaman may have set a record tonight for mistakes made in a single broadcast. Clean-up duty kept Chris Welsh busy tonight. Most comically, he boasted that the “numbers clearly show” that bunting runners to 2nd and 3rd would lead to “more than one run” scored. The numbers show runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs: 1.45 runs/average; runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out: 1.30 runs/average. This is public information for anyone who cares to look at it.

What’s Next

The Reds (1-6) play the Pirates (3-3) in Pittsburgh tomorrow at 1:35 p.m. The pitching match-up is Tanner Roark vs. Trevor Williams.