Final – 10 innings R H E
Cincinnati Reds (1-7) 5 8 0
Pittsburgh Pirates (4-3) 6 12 1
W: Francisco Liriano (1-0) LRaisel Iglesias (0-2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread | Statcast

The Reds scored runs today! Remember those?

Unfortunately, they can’t seem to hit and pitch well on the same day as the Pirates took the victory in extra innings. It was the Reds’ fourth one-run loss of the year.

Cincinnati jumped out to an early two-run lead, its first since Opening Day, to ignite some life into the team. As fate would have it, though, that didn’t last.

Here’s how it went down:

The Hitters

In baseball’s usual weird form, the drought was broken by an unlikely player.

Kyle Farmer, starting at third base in place of Eugenio Suarez, broke the 30-inning scoreless drought in the top of the third inning. He smashed a hanging breaking ball from Trevor Williams for a two-run home run — the first of his career — to center field. And he didn’t just plate himself; he knocked in another runner. The Reds scored two runs at once. Did you know that’s legal in baseball? It was also the first home run allowed by Pirates starter Trevor Williams since August 22, 2018.

The third-inning outburst didn’t stop there. Scott Schebler, Joey Votto, and Yasiel Puig hit three straight singles to plate another run. The party kept going in the fourth. Derek Dietrich led the inning off with a single and scored on a double into the left-field corner by Curt Casali.

Votto provided more fireworks in the eighth inning, hitting a 106-mph homer to center field to tie the game after the Pirates had reclaimed the advantage two innings earlier. It was his 270th career homer, tying him with Adam Dunn for fifth-most in Reds history.

The Hurlers

Tanner Roark didn’t have his best stuff on Saturday afternoon. The Pirates consistently hit the ball hard against him, and he had trouble putting hitters away. Roark generated only five swings and misses while allowing 26 foul balls and 18 balls in play at an average of 88.9 mph. Still, he pushed his way through the fifth inning, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out four. He was the first Reds starter to allow a home run this season when Josh Bell took him deep in the fifth.

It was another rough first inning for Roark, but he didn’t get help from his defense. Jason Martin led off the inning with a single in his first career at-bat and later stole second. With two outs, Josh Bell hit a fairly lazy flyball to right-center field. It dropped just out of the reach of right fielder Puig to score Martin. The hit probability on the ball was 17%. It wasn’t an egregiously bad defensive play, but it looked like neither Puig nor center fielder Schebler got a good jump. You can see both of their routes below (batted ball line is in red, the throw back to the infield — which missed the cut-off man — is in blue):

At the end of the day, that’s the center fielder’s ball in most cases. But Billy Hamilton isn’t out there anymore. Schebler has below-average speed for a center fielder. His maximum sprint speed last year was 27.7 feet per second. That’s above average overall — not for a center fielder, however. It would put him 52nd among 63 qualified center fielders last season.

Some better luck came for Roark in the second inning. With runners on first and third, opposing pitcher Trevor Williams bunted the ball back to the mound for a safety squeeze. Roark initially turned toward second to turn the double play but changed his mind, throwing home instead. The runner was ruled safe initially; after a replay review, the play was overturned to give the Reds a rare break and avoid an early two-run hole.

Roark took advantage and got through the next two innings without issue before Bell’s solo shot in the fifth. He wasn’t efficient, racking up a high pitch count due to his shaky slider command and inability to put hitters away. But he exited the game with the lead.

Three relievers saw work in the sixth and promptly coughed up the 4-3 advantage. Jared Hughes was the first to emerge from the bullpen gate. He threw all of two pitches. The first went for a single, and the next was a sacrifice bunt. Bell called on Zach Duke for a lefty-on-lefty matchup against Adam Frazier with a runner on second base. Duke issued a walk and was pulled for Michael Lorenzen.

This critical situation seemed to be an ideal moment to use Raisel Iglesias, the team’s best reliever. But for a second time this season, Lorenzen allowed inherited runners to score. He got Jung Ho Kang to ground out but got behind 3-1 to Starling Marte before grooving a high fastball that went for a two-run double.

Amir Garrett tossed a perfect eighth inning, aided by a tremendous diving catch from Puig. There’s little doubt Garrett has been the Reds’ best reliever this season.

Iglesias did eventually appear, getting the ball in the eighth, ninth, and 10th innings. He looked far more like his normal self today. Although his control was a bit shaky, he gave up only one hit in his first two innings of work. After giving up the two-out single in the ninth, he promptly picked off Pablo Reyes to avoid facing Bell. Most importantly, his velocity was back. His fastball averaged 95.4 mph and topped out at 96.9.

Bell sent Iglesias back out for the 10th inning. This was his first appearance longer than two innings since 2016. He struck out Bell to start the inning, but it fell apart afterward. Pinch hitter Francisco Cervelli singled and Kevin Newman doubled to end it and give the Reds a seventh straight loss.

Notes & Random Thoughts

  • It’s good to see Votto get his first homer early this year. He didn’t go yard until April 24 last season.
  • Peraza played center field in extra innings. It was his first appearance at the position since 2017.
  • Reds managers continue to use Lorenzen in high-leverage scenarios. Is it warranted, though? His strikeout rate continues to fall. It sat at an unsightly 15.8% last year, a large drop from 22.2% in 2017. His swinging-strike rate fell from a career-best 10.4% to 6.8%. Control has always been a problem for him, too. He has a 9.8% walk rate in his career. Until he proves he can miss more bats and limit walks, he doesn’t seem well-suited to these situations in games.
  • Peraza (0-for-4) looks like he’s pressing at the plate. No other qualified hitter in baseball is chasing more pitches than him (66.7%) coming into today’s game. Jonathan Schoop is the only other player above 50%.
  • It’s clear Bell is trying to get Matt Kemp going, but it’s not working so far. Kemp is swinging at nearly every breaking pitch he sees. He put up another 0-for-4 performance and struck out twice. He’s now 1-for-20 with 10 strikeouts and an average exit velocity of 85.2 mph.

Stat of the Game

The last few of these have been depressing. Let’s do a fun one in honor of the Reds scoring again.

Farmer now has one career homer with the Reds, tying him with the likes of Johnny Vander Meer, Mario Soto, Stephen Smitherman, Willy Taveras, Chris Welsh, Gary Nolan, Mat Latos, Quinton McCracken, Donald Lutz, Norris Hopper, Aaron Harang, Jack Hannahan, Wilton Guerrero, Gabby Guerrero, Anthony DeSclafani, Dontrelle Willis, Brennan Boesch, Arismendy Alcantara, Tim Federowicz, Phil Gosselin, Homer Smoot, Pinky Pittenger, Boob Fowler, and — last but not least — David Weathers.

Up Next

Anthony DeSclafani (1.80 ERA, 2.94 xFIP) will look to build on his strong debut on Sunday. The Reds will look to finally get another win against the Pirates. First pitch is again at 1:35 p.m. ET. Pittsburgh will send Chris Archer (0.00 ERA, 3.54 xFIP) to the mound for his second start of the season.

31 Responses

  1. TyGuy88

    Paging Nick Senzel, paging Mr Nick Senzel.

    • TyGuy88

      He will be up when we get another year of control. But my point is that he is needed in CF and in lineup.

  2. Mike

    Thanks for the videos. Good touch. They won’t go full screen, which would be nice.

    • Matt Wilkes

      Thanks for the heads up. I’ll try to find more mobile-friendly videos.

      • Matt Wilkes

        New videos are now the right width for mobile and can go full screen.

  3. Hanawi

    I have been less than impressed with Bell. Some of the front office decisions were also a bit iffy. The signing of Duke and immediately putting him on the team was terrible. He wasn’t good last year and didn’t show anything in spring training.

    Trying to squeeze a 3rd inning out of Iglesias reeks of desperation. Just put Stephenson in the game.

    And apparently taking the castoffs from the Dodgers isn’t a winning strategy. I really hope they don’t regret trading Gray and Downs.

  4. Hanawi

    Positives. Roark didn’t look pretty early on, but he battled and ended with an ok day. Same as the first start. If he can make it through the first one or two innings, then maybe he can put it together.

    Votto showing some early power. 3 doubles and a homer. If he’s off to his usual slow start, then might bode well for the rest of the year.

    Garrett looking pretty nasty so far. Might be the future closer.

  5. burtgummer

    After they get swept again they will return home to a lot of empty seats for the Marlins series .With a west coast trip looming things will get even worse.The Reds need new ownership

  6. Doc

    Questionable decisions started with selection of the roster coming out of ST, and, no, I’m not referring to 44-games-early-last-year-at AAA Nick Senzel not being promoted. Maybe Bell should try thinking inside the box, rather than outside. Outside the box isn’t getting it done.

    Move Lorenzen to CF, when Senzel is healthy bring him to 2B. Time to think of the future, but at least the FO tried for relevance this year.

  7. Daytonian

    THANKS for closing with a fun, interesting stat related to today’s game,

  8. Vada

    Wanna know what would be worse than this 1-7 start? Extending the contracts of Puig, Kemp, Farmer, and Wood TODAY for 7 years. Now, THAT would be the “final nail in the proverbial coffin.” If the owner continues to feed hlhis GREED the city of Cincinnati could lose its team. Cautiously optimistic is a term that no longer applies for 2019.

    • Michael Smith

      @matthendley interesting tale your spinning. Pretty sure everyone see value in scooter, just not extending him into his 30s when most second basemen drop off a cliff and we have a very good, cheap replacement waiting for a spot

  9. Tom Reeves

    One way to look at these losses is as a disaster. Another way to look at them is like we look at BABIP. Right now, the Reds have an unsustainably low BABIP. That will regress to the mean and, when it does, this team should win. The upside is that this team has been in every game and was a break or two away from winning every one of them. This team could just as easily be 7-1 and it is to be 1-7.

    Or, maybe we’re cursed. Who knows?!

    • Matt Wilkes

      Yeah, I think its important to have this perspective. 1-7 sucks no matter how you put it, but it’s a lot worse when you’re getting blown out every game. Reds have only lost one game by more than two runs.

      • Steven Ross

        One run or two run loss, I’m always reminded of: you are what your record says you are. A loss is loss. No other way to spin it.

      • Matt Wilkes

        Sure. Just trying to look on the bright side.

      • Matt Wilkes

        I’m not discounting that the Reds need to do the little things better.

  10. Reddawg12

    I have no faith in Zach Duke or Michael Lorenzon. They seem to have trouble every time they’re called on. I really don’t think they should be pitching in high leverage situations.

    • Ernie Howerton

      I think the Lorenzen experiment should be stopped and let him play as a outfielder,he hasn’t got the job done as a pitcher.

  11. Optimist

    At least Suarez didn’t break a thumb on an HBP. #babysteps

  12. TC

    The batting order being filled out is atrocious! Winker didn’t hit in spring training and shouldn’t be your lead off hitter now…
    Switch Peraza to leadoff bat Dietrich second, then Votto, suarez, Kemp, Puig, Barnhart.

  13. Dayton Ducks

    Well, the 1995 Reds started off 1-7.
    That’s all I got.

  14. daytonnati

    Mat Latos hit a home run for the Reds??

  15. Brian Byrer

    To keep things in perspective…we are 8 games into a 162 game season. 4.9% of the way through. In the NFL, a team is 4.9% of the way through their season with about 12 minutes to go in the 4th quarter of their very first game. Still lots of time!

    It’s taking more and more mental gymnastics for me to keep hope alive for this season.

  16. Indy Red Man

    Grandal 2-2 tonite & now hitting .320 for the Brewers. I remember the first time I saw him as a Padre. I said that kid can swing it! We need to develop talent. Make atleast 1 or 2 adept trades like the Suarez and Castillo deals. Make the proper evaluation on what we have currently. I’m not a Peraza guy whatsover. Although I may be wrong.
    He does make contact and he is young. However you slice it though..Iglesias is only 29 and he’d save them 20+ runs a year over Peraza easily! If Scooter is too expensive then go with Senzel or Dietrich at 2B. Let Winker get his 500 atbats like Bell said he would. See what you have? As soon as Senzel is ready then play him every day. Let Casalli start too. Who says he has to be a backup? He’s a big guy and he’s dangerous at the dish. Let Lorenzen play some CF and some mop up on the mound when it doesn’t matter, so his beef balls down the middle don’t burn down everyone else’s efforts.

    The new goal is 2021. Next year maybe, but they can’t sacrifice anything valuable for short term. Thats just the way it is. Obviously this team isn’t anywhere close. I do think they can build around the 4 guys besides Roark in the rotation now plus Garrett. Thats part of the core they need to build around!

    • Indy Red Man

      My thoughts run ahead of my typing speed. Meant to add that shipping out Grandal and keeping Mes was just another one of their brain cramps.

  17. CFD3000

    I would have bet a lot of money that Donald Lutz had more than one home run as a Red, and would have lost just as much guessing that you made up Pinky Pettenger and Boob Fowler.

    Roark looked rough, hope that’s an outlier. And I am much more concerned about the bullpen than the offense. This team will hit – but can they hold a lead? I predict they’ll win at least 6 of their first 18 games this year but that’s still a big hole to start the year… if they can’t come up with three nasty boys, or at least three moderately unpleasant boys, it’s going to be a struggle to get back to .500.

    • Indy Red Man

      “The 3 obliging boys”?

      or “The 3 Drano boys”? because everyone is circling around and around when they come in:)

  18. Indy Red Man

    If you could rewind RLN….you’d find my requests for Puig and Sonny Gray. Not that they’re helping in any way at this point?

    Another guy I’ve been talking about for atleast 1.5 years is Nick Castellanos. He’s big and durable. He’s only 27. A career high in batt avg and obp last year (.298/.354). He hit 23 bombs playing in huge Comerica. That has to translate to 30+ in GABP. Detroit just paid him 10/mil for this year to avoid arbitration. They’re dealing him somewhere? Detroit needs everything. The Reds could pull that off and have someone they can count on.

    • Indy Red Man

      One good thing about GABP is that its small. You can’t hide a corner OF’er like you could when Billy was here, but Dunn & Gomes were horrible. His offense would make up for it. Schwarber is still playing and he’s bad in the outfield.

  19. Cyrus

    Does anyone have connections with anyone who knows what the vibe is in the clubhouse? One thing that you like to see from new leadership is how it manifests itself in the clubhouse. I realize the baseball season is a true marathon but does anyone have Intel on the atmosphere inside the dugout? Do the players seem positive about the new manager and the new additions? Are guys getting along? What I don’t see yet is evidence of a fresh perspective and approach to things. Much of what I’ve seen conjurs up memories of that old movie, the “Bad News Bears”.