Outside of a four-run 2nd inning, the Reds offense was locked up again. Sonny Gray didn’t have his best stuff, but the bullpen pitched great in relief. Continued lack of consistent offense doomed the Reds once more. Robert Stephenson allowed a home-run in his second consecutive appearance and former Cardinal Stephen Piscotty walked it off for Oakland in the 13th inning.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (15-22) 4 8 1
Oakland Athletics (17-21) 5 11 0
W: Hendriks (1-0) L: Stephenson (2-1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Statcast

Key Plays

Run Prevention

Sonny Gray’s night did not get off to a great start. The first six pitches were balls, and the second batter, Jurickson Profar, crushed a no-doubter 425 feet to give the Athetics an early two run lead. After another walk, he did get out of the inning without anymore damage thanks to a double play on a hard hit ball by Matt Olson.

Gray settled down a bit after the first inning when he could not locate his fastball at all.

In the second, he threw a lot more curveballs (his second most used pitch in 2019) and did a nice job keeping them down, inducing a swinging strikeout. He also painted the corner for a strikeout looking.

The Reds turned an incredible double play in the 4th inning. Even Iglesias was a little surprised. He caught and turned 180 degrees and threw all in one motion.

As the game wore on, Gray never really found his stride, allowing base runners in each inning. In the 5th, he allowed his fifth walk and two singles to load the bases with one out, ending his night. Final line: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 3 K. While Gray’s ERA climbed to 4.15 on the year, his FIP/xFIP sit at a strong 3.01/3.59. Not his best outing but hopefully just a bump in the road.

Amir Garrett came on to get out of the jam. His first batter in the 5th inning was Matt Olson. After 5 sliders to start the at-bat and get ahead 0-2, Amir worked some fastballs but missed low, running the count full. Garrett went back to the slider and got Olson to chase a pitch that was not even close.

Unfortunately, Garrett’s second batter did not go so well. Stephen Piscotty dribbled a grounder (6% hit probability) between Votto and Farmer with the Reds playing a bit out of position. Votto chose to go to the bag, leaving Farmer to field the ball falling away into right field. He double clutched and threw the ball away, allowing two runs to score. Easy come, easy go. Garrett struck out Ramon Laureano to end the threat.

Lorenzen came on in the 6th. He retired the first two batters but fell victim to another weak hit on the day (75.6 mph EV, 24% hit probability), before a strikeout ended the inning. He retired the side in the 7th, adding two more strikeouts, one coming on a really nice changeup. Lorenzen’s FIP and xFIP for the game were actually negative, which is always fun to see.

David Hernandez pitched a scoreless 8th inning despite walking two batters. He struck out two as well.

After talking things over with manager David Bell, Raisel Iglesias came on in a tied game in the 9th inning. Raisel responded well, striking out two and getting the third out on another brilliant play by the other Iglesias. Broken record at this point. (Note: I had a really good title ready to go if Iglesias lost the game in the 9th).

Jared Hughes pitched the 10th inning and retired the side with the help of, what else, a Jose Iglesias double play. He got three flyouts in the 11th to extend the game. He retired the side in the 12th inning. No strikeouts or walk, but getting the job done.

Robert Stephenson came on in the 13th inning and gave up a home run. My video feed had cut out (must have been a sign) but Statcast told me the ball was hit over 109 mph. That is very hard.

Run Production

Sonny Gray’s two walks must have rubbed off on Brett Anderson. After a 1-2-3 1st inning, the Reds got the two runs back and then some, sending 10 to the plate and scoring four runs. Yasiel Puig started the rally with a walk after going down 0-2. Iglesias followed with another walk, and then the bats woke up.

The Reds were a bit lucky here, as you can see with some of the low hit probabilities, but I think I speak for everyone when I say we will take it.

  • Kyle Farmer doubled off the wall in left, scoring Puig (99.5 mph EV, 57% hit probability)
  • Curt Casali grounded out to second base, scoring Iglesias (96 mph EV, 16% hit probability)
  • Jose Peraza hit a chopper that squeaked through the middle (88.6 mph EV, 6% hit probability) to score Kyle Farmer
  • Josh VanMeter recorded his first major league hit with a single through the right side (89.3 mph EV, 17% hit probability)
  • Nick Senzel singled to right and scored Peraza (105.8 mph EV, 65% hit probability)

Raise your hand if you have heard this before: after the Reds four-run 2nd inning, the bats once again fell silent and could not muster any kind of threat against Brett Anderson.

Lou Trivino, who has been very effective this year, relieved Anderson in the 7th and the Reds finally showed signs of life. Senzel led off with a single to right and Votto followed with a four-pitch walk. A Suarez strikeout and Puig GIDP (102.9 mph EV) ended any chance of the Reds taking the lead.

Skip ahead to whatever extra inning we ended on. Not much to talk about.

  • Reds 2nd inning: 4 runs, 4 hits, 3 walks
  • The other 12 innings: 0 runs, 4 hits, 4 walks

Game Notes

Another one run loss. Yes, some of it is bad luck, but at a certain point, a team’s record is what it is. The run differential is still very positive. All we can do is hope it turns itself around.

Nick Senzel continues to make great contact. Coming into tonight, his barrel per plate appearance rate was 16.7%. The qualified leader, Gary Sanchez, sits at 18.7%. Senzel’s first inning flyout was a barrel with a 46% hit probability, nearly his fourth homer of the year.

Congratulations to Josh VanMeter for his first big league hit. The kid absolutely raked and earned his call up despite not being a top prospect. Has to be pretty cool for him and his best friend/roommate Nick Senzel to experience this together. Here is to many more for both Nick and Josh!

Jose Peraza walked, not once, but TWICE, for the 4th and 5th times all season. His walk rate increased to 4.2%. He also got picked off trying to steal 2nd, making him 4/6 on stolen base attempts this year.

Derek Dietrich was hit by his 6th pitch of the year. Since he entered the league in 2013, he is 2nd in the league with 99 HBP, trailing Anthony Rizzo by 19.

The Reds have had some poor strike zones this year, but Curt Casali caught a break that might be featured on FanGraphs later this year for worst ball of the season. Several other strikes were not given and it seemed to favor the Reds tonight.


Random Thoughts

Votto getting a taste of his own medicine

Wishing Shed all the best. He crushed this ball tonight. Also the Rainiers have to be in my top 5 for favorite minor league team name.

Not Reds related, but crazy catch by Jackie Bradley Jr.

Also not Reds related but it was late and I was bored. Dogs are great.

Up Next

The Reds and Athletic’s close out the series in what will most likely be the Reds final game in Oakland Coliseum, barring a World Series encounter in the next few years. Tanner Roark will face off against Chris Bassitt at 3:37pm EST.

21 Responses

  1. Hanawi

    They are also 3-5 in 2 run games. You would think that would even out at some point, but the Reds have been pretty bad in close games the last few years. The biggest problem is that they don’t manufacture runs at all. Lot of free swingers in the lineup, not great speed, and don’t do the little things very well to get guys over and in.

    • Big Ed

      C, I am far from a David Bell defender, but it is a player’s responsibility at this level to know how to play the flipping game. This team indeed stinks at situational hitting, because situational hitting requires competitiveness.

      These guys in their heart of hearts aren’t that competitive. Senzel is (which is why he should have been here for Opening Day). Winker is. The pitchers generally are. But I get the sense that many of the core offensive players never take into consideration “down and distance” – “what does the TEAM need here” – as they walk up to the plate.

      To be great, a guy has to loathe losing. The guys on this team don’t. The front office, when it kept Senzel on the farm so as to help (theoretically) the 2025 Reds, pretty much told the team that winning does not really matter this year. Lesson taken.

    • Broseph

      I think your comment, Big Ed’s is a little bit of projection. “These guys in their heart of hearts aren’t that competitive.”

      Nobody who plays the game enjoys losing. Just because the reds don’t have Pete Rose, Ryan Freel type players on the team doesn’t mean their not competitive people. Some people just don’t play with their hair on fire 24/7, but you’ll see guys like Votto look like he’s about to explode when he gets frustrated enough – that’s competitive.

      I get what you’re saying with situational hitting, but as it’s been stated over and over again, it’s more about overall ability and randomness, rather than “clutch” hitting.

      This team just isn’t hitting well right now, or isn’t good enough, but their competitiveness I’m sure is high just like the other MLB teams.

    • Big Ed

      Well, Broseph, I’ve just seen too many “what-on-earth-were-you-thinking?” moments on this team over the last couple of years. There just aren’t that many guys on the Reds who have the laser focus of a Yadier Molina on winning.

      I wish I had the full details, but in a very early game this season, I remember an inning where the Suarez came up with runners on, less than two out, where the pitcher had lost the strike zone. Suarez swings at the first pitch and hits a lazy fly to short right, and the Reds end up not scoring. A player more attuned to the situation would have had a better approach, even if he still made an out. Not taking the free bunt single against the shift, or getting the opposite-field single, are other example, and the examples go on and on, like Votto’s various tootblans.

      A lot of great athletes aren’t really very good at winning. Having great bat speed, and knowing how to use that bat speed to win the game at hand, are two different skills.

  2. Reddawg12

    All I can say is I’m glad these games have been on so late that I couldn’t stay up and watch them. Losing is not fun.

  3. Don

    Modern baseball analytics and agents/player union do not value hitting to right side to move runner over or butting to get the inning leadoff hitter to 2nd with one out. Having wild upper cut swing, strike out 33% of the time, for fences everytime is modern baseball. It just seems weird what is rewarded today in baseball, it is making for predictable, little action boring games. I used to watch any baseball game, now I only watch reds games as baseball is not really fun to watch when compared to how baseball was played in the 1980s.

    • Bill J

      Don remember when they hired Turner Ward it was because he taught launch angle, (more home runs). I don’t know about you but I’m getting tired of all the exit velocity, hit probability, pitch speed, what good are they if a 97 mph pitch with an exit velocity of 86 mph & 16% hit probability is a hit & drives in a run.

  4. Roger Garrett

    Just another brutal display of not being able to hit as a team.Started last year and continues this year.Lack of on field leadership that puts the team first is a culture thing that will take time to change.Losing and losing for as long as this team has is just hard to overcome.There are bright spots and its the younger guys such as Senzel and Winker plus Iggy,Dietrich and even Farmer that I really like.Tucker Joey and Suarez represent the core group and they are not leading as they should so far.Maybe they will or maybe they won’t.Its not doom and gloom because the change of the guard is in swing and more arrive next year.

  5. FreeHouse

    Its 2014 all over again folks with so many 1 run loss games. This team is who they are and that’s a last place team. They will get swept away by Oakland later today.

  6. Mason Red

    So I guess sometimes what’s seen in spring training can be a good indicator of what’s to come once the season starts. This team was awful in ST and they continue to be awful. But the next time they win a game or two there will be glowing reviews about how this team may finally be on the right path.

  7. Ted

    When you give up two runs with two outs on a dribbler that has a 6% chance of being a hit you’re not going to win games. Yes Farmer made a bad throw but that’s a ball Votto has to take because of where Farmer was playing. Far too often Votto’s awareness at first base is poor when it comes to those types of plays… he’s either jumping right in front of the second basement when its an easy out if he just lets it go, or in the case last night, not taking the ball and letting it go for the second baseman who’s nowhere near the ball because he was shaded to 2nd base on the shift. This team will go as Votto goes, unfortunately he’s a poor leader who seems to go brain dead on the field a lot more than he should. And now his only strong attribut as a player as a good, consistent hitter who drives in runs is gone. This team has no chance to win the way Votto has played this year and this may be who he is going forward. His defensive mental error cost them last night and he’s hitting around .210 with 5 RBI almost 40 games into the season. Last week against the Mets in a tight game he takes off from first base on a flyball to the outfield that is right in front of him, but he’s oblivious and keeps running to 3rd right into it easy double play. Same thing as last night, not aware of where the second baseman’s playing so he makes a poor mental error that had a huge infuence on the outcome last night.

    • Matthew Habel

      He also won an MVP during the Reds NL Central Championship season

  8. FreeHouse

    Joey Votto and Yasiel Puig are among the worst they got and they aren’t going to get DFA. Let’s just get used to the idea that this team is not good. They are very competitive but not good enough to contend for a playoff spot. This team is much alike the 2014 Reds which were apart of many 1 run games and lost of of them. I guess a top 10 pick is among us for next year too.

  9. FreeHouse

    Agree. With the schedule coming up the Reds could be 13 games under .500 by the end of next week.

  10. Alex

    “…but at a certain point, a team’s record is what it is.”

    And that’s all that needs to be said about the 2019 Reds.

  11. SultanofSwaff

    It seems the Reds are getting away from what made BobSteve so unhittable for most of this season—the sliderf and changeup. His last two outings featured the fastball a lot more and the results speak for themselves.

    Really poor start by Gray. Between pitching in Yankee stadium or in his return to Oakland, nerves seem to get the best of him.

    Boy, all this depth the lineup was supposed to have never materialized. Puig and Peraza and Schebler hurt for sure, but lesser playing time for Winker and Casali and Dietrich do as well. I’m just not sure how Peraza fits into this puzzle when Gennett is healthy.

  12. David

    A lot of people want to blame David Bell. He’s just the manager. The players are on the field. Who knows what he has asked for, and the players didn’t execute? David Bell hasn’t been responsible for most of the bad drafts the Reds have had in the last 10 years. They have three players on the team that were top draft level picks (first few rounds) by this organization in the last 10 years. Senzel , Winker and Lorenzen. Pretty poor.

    In a larger sense, the Reds continuing problem is talent. They don’t have enough of it.

    It’s hard to say what is going to happen next year, or the year after. I left my Ouija board in my other pants. But if the Reds continue to be mismanaged, crappy drafts, lose, have low attendance and low TV viewership (and who could blame you for not watching….losers?), then this franchise will end up in another city. May in 8-10 years. Probably after Bob Castellini dies and his family decides to sell out.

    You have already seen the thinking of the Lords of ML Baseball. Mexico will likely get a team in Monterray and Mexico City.
    The Monterray Rojos. It’s more likely to happen than you think.

  13. DK in Erie PA

    Negative? Yeah, that’s what fans get when they are witnessing one of the worst offensive clubs in baseball. With the pitching performance this year, the Reds should be building a lead, not occupying the basement. I am a 52 yr-old lifetime Reds fan who purchases the Extra Inning Ticket every year so that I can watch my Reds. I watch just about every game. And watching the Reds this year is an EXTREMELY frustrating way to spend my time. What I want is to be entertained, this team is not entertaining. People mad at Bell? Yes, he is the manager. People mad at Votto? Yes. That guy’s performance has fallen off the table. He got old in a hurry. Yes, he can still take a walk, but has not hit this year, didn’t hit last year, plays questionable defense and is a terrible base runner. Great interview, yes. Great person? I don’t know, probably. Did the Reds give him a huge contract to be great person, interview or perform? We had (5) of the worst offensive players in baseball playing everyday this year, now (4) since Schebler was mercifully demoted. Schebler, Peraza, Puig, Votto, Barnhart – all among the worst offensive players at their position. Watching the Reds go inning after inning, swinging at the first pitch and hitting weak pop-ups and ground balls and stringing inning after inning of no hits. Mad about everything? Have you watched them over the last 4 years? It’s not like the Reds have good will in the bank from years of good performances. How does Puig make the game interesting? How he swings hard at the first two strikes and then strikes out on a pitch in the left hand batters box? Look, I’m assuming that your guys watch the games too. The eye test doesn’t lie. This is not fun team to watch and not a good team. Wait till next year I guess.

  14. TR

    Hitless the night before and the next game they go hitless for eleven innings unable to score a run which was enough to win the game. Management has it’s hands full to keep fans interested in this team.

  15. Matthew Habel

    I like to look at BABIP variance, if more balls are fielded by the shift, BABIP should be lower. I also use wOBA vs xwOBA to see if actual results are better or worse than expected results. When defense is shifted, the actual results will be worse than expected because there were defenders in the right place.

    League BABIP, infield shift vs standard positioning
    2016: 0.288 vs 0.302
    2017: 0.278 vs 0.302
    2018: 0.276 vs 0.299
    2019: 0.282 vs 0.295

    Standard positioning, wOBA vs xwOBA:
    2016: 0.315 vs 0.316
    2017: 0.318 vs 0.322
    2018: 0.313 vs 0.312
    2019: 0.314 vs 0.315

    Actuals and expected are almost identical.

    Infield shift, wOBA vs xwOBA:
    2016: 0.338 vs 0.349
    2017: 0.341 vs 0.357
    2018: 0.325 vs 0.334
    2019: 0.335 vs 0.339

    Actuals are less than expected