Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (67-78)
3 8 0
Seattle Mariners (59-86)
4 4 0
W: Altavilla (1-0) L: Garrett (4-3) SV: Bass (3)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

When the Reds bet the farm (get it?) and traded for Trevor Bauer, the team surely hoped for results similar to his 24 starts with Cleveland earlier this year, in which he consistently pitched deep into games and won more than he lost.

Although his seven games with the Reds going into Tuesday night’s battle with Seattle are obviously a small sample size, Bauer has proven to be something of a Jekyll and Hyde-like starter in that time, in that when he’s good, he’s great – but when he’s bad, he’s awful. In just two of those games did he pitch past the fifth inning – a stark contrast to his stats with Cleveland, when he averaged nearly 6 2/3 innings a start and threw an average of 112 pitches – and since he joined the Reds, his ERA for the season has climbed by nearly a full run. (See Matt Wilkes’ excellent post at RedsContentPlus for a deeper dive into Bauer’s struggles as a Red.)

To make matters worse, the Reds typically play terribly on the West Coast – something to which I can personally attest – and going into Tuesday’s matchup, the team had dropped 13 of its 15 games against Seattle. (Interestingly, the Reds scored more runs in their two victories over the Mariners – 29 – than they did in the 13 losses combined [17].)

That said, things looked fairly bleak on paper going into the kickoff of just the Reds’ third-ever series in Seattle, but on the bright side, Bauer was no stranger to pitching at the city’s T-Mobile Park (formerly Safeco Field). In fact, in his fourth start of 2019, he beat the Mariners there on the strength of 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball. He also pitched a combined 12 effective innings there during no-decisions in 2017 and 2018 and struck out 10 during a 2016 win in which he pitched into the eighth.

A somewhat curious Reds lineup took the field Tuesday night, with Freddy Galvis – mired in an ugly 2-for-44 slump – once again starting at second and Jose Peraza getting a start in LF against a left-handed Seattle pitcher. Admittedly, Peraza has hit LHP fairly well (.292/.328./395) over his career, but Brian O’Grady performed even better against southpaws in the minors this year (.314/.360/.606), and a mid-September game with the Reds well out of contention seemed like an ample time to give O’Grady a chance to prove himself.

After the Reds quickly went down in order to start the game, Bauer struggled in the bottom half of the first, going deep into the count repeatedly and needing 25 pitches to record three outs. He settled down in the second, however, throwing 10 fewer pitches and striking out two while retiring the side in order. Two more 1-2-3 innings followed in the third and fourth.

The Reds got on the board in the second, when Phillip Ervin tripled to right and Galvis hit a sharp grounder that Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager deflected into left field. The team threatened to play add-on in the following inning as, after back-to-back one-out walks to birthday boy Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez, Aristides Aquino singled to right to load the bases. On an 0-1 pitch that was well inside, though, Jose Iglesias – who had grounded into a double play prior to Ervin’s triple – then hit into his second DP in as many innings to neutralize the threat. Galvis and Votto joined the double-play party in the fourth and fifth, respectively.

In the bottom of the fifth, Bauer finally yielded his first hit – and with it, his first run – as Seattle’s Kyle Lewis, making his major league debut, crushed an up-and-in 94 MPH 2-0 fastball to left-center to tie the game. The following inning, leadoff hitter Dylan Moore took Bauer deep to give the Mariners the lead.

With two outs and a man on in the bottom of the sixth, O’Grady – pinch hitting for Blandino – got his chance and made the most of it, collecting his first major league home run on a 96 mph fastball that he crushed 426 feet into the second deck to give the Reds a 3-2 lead.

Bauer returned to the mound in the seventh despite having thrown 106 pitches through six. He struck out Lewis to start the inning but walked former Reds farmhand Shed Long after initially getting ahead 0-2. His final line: 6 1/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 8 K. He threw 116 pitches overall – more than he’d thrown in his any of his previous starts with the Reds – and first-pitch strikes to 14 of the 25 Seattle batters he faced.

Michael Lorenzen returned to the mound for Cincinnati in the bottom of the eighth after collecting the final two outs in the seventh. He then retired the first two Mariners he faced before walking the third, leading David Bell to bring in Amir Garrett to protect the Reds’ meager lead. Things did not go according to plan, as Seager hit a full-count, 85 MPH slider over the right field fence to put the Mariners ahead once and for all.

The two teams resume their three-game series tomorrow night at 10:10 p.m. EST. Sonny Gray will take the mound for the Redlegs.

22 Responses

  1. Jon

    I guess the only bright spot from all these losses is that they’re showing the front office that major changes are needed for the offense and bullpen this winter. That’s it. Can’t believe I lost sleep watching this Reds team only score three runs against one of the worst teams in baseball.

    • Mason Red

      It doesn’t matter what the FO thinks or wants if the ownership isn’t committed to winning. Unfortunately this franchise is a mess from top to bottom.

    • redsfanhelpme

      The Front Office does not have a clue. They will not make any major changes and we will see much of the same next year!

  2. centerfield

    I have to question the pitch selection for Garrett in the 8th. 7 sliders, 0 fastballs. Most of the sliders were in the middle of the zone and the HR was in the same location as strike 2. The hitter adjusted and extended his plate coverage because no up and in FB was ever thrown. I don’t know if this was the bench, catcher or pitcher making the final selection, but you could see it coming. The splits would say that Garrett should have never been brought in. This loss is completely on Bell.

  3. Great Redlegs Fan

    Nice game between two of the worst teams in baseball. As season wrap-up, bullpen continues to be the achilles talon, no team can go on with a three-man bullpen. Needless to say, any team that has Jose Iglesias batting 5th is in serious trouble.

  4. Don

    Thanjs for great write-up on game.

    Starting lineup scored 1 run in first 5 2\3rds innings sounds about right based on lineup, glad I went to bed before game started.

    Bell brought in Garrett to face a lefty whom hits LHP better than RHP and that batter hits winning HR.

    Sounds like a fitting end for the analytics manager to not use analytics in pitching change to loose game.

    Very glad I did not watch another game where defeat was pulled from the jaws of victory by the manager not putting the players in the optimal position to succeed.

  5. The other JB

    The Micro Manager strikes again, pulling Lorenzen ( who was dominating) for Garrett was the old classic lets make a move to make a move. I also have to question Garretts pitch selection. The biggest problem the Reds have is the manager. I’ve always been of the belief that the manager didn’t make that big of a difference in the number of wins and losses. David Bell is in way over his head , as Don said this one is on Bell.

    • TR

      If big changes are not made, including the manager and the hitting coach, next year will be more of the same for the Reds.

      • Mason Red

        If there isn’t a significant upgrade in talent it won’t matter about who the manager or coaches are. Blaming them is easy and is an age old excuse of fans of every team sport. I’m not saying Bell is a good manager. Nobody really knows because of the talent on this team or lack there of. He plays the players he has been given which is a hodgepodge of youngsters trying to find their way,career bench players,reclamation projects and waiver wire pickups. Any manager would have struggled with this team and there isn’t a manager out there who could have possibly turned this team to into a winner.

      • TR

        Not a winner in terms of a playoff team but there are potential managers out there with the temperament (one IMO is Freddie Benavides) to take the group the Reds started the season with and get them to .500 and stabilized to end the rebuild. Nevertheless I agree change will not happen this offseason in terms of the manager and hitting coach until the Reds have another so-so season.

  6. Bill J

    They will not change the manager, if I remember he signed a 3 year contract and is a part of the FO family.

  7. Ed

    Quick questions – Does the FO advise on the lineup? Or does the manager? Does the manager have a say in trades, or do they just deal with the hand they’re dealt?

    Lorenzen looked understandably frustrated to be pulled. 1 runner walked. 2 outs, allowed no hits- why pull him? Dumb. So dumb.

    Meanwhile, Amir continues to have a wildly unpredictable second half- his ERA has sorta normalized from a few recent starts but he has been so up-and-down.

    • TR

      Not the same since the Pittsburgh scuffle and suspension.

      • Ed

        So true- and he was on the “IL” underperforming and struggling before the scuffle as well

  8. FreeHouse

    Count on AG in the first half. Second half of the season not so much.

  9. CFD3000

    I didn’t see the entire game, but man that was frustrating. Tons of runners, but no runs early. And then yet another “let me keep swapping relievers until I find the one who’s off tonight” move by Bell. Okay, so it was only two relievers, but why pull Lorenzen when he had been pitching well, had two outs and a lone runner on first, and had probably already been burned for the next game? Maddening. This team should run roughshod over the Mariners. And yet…

  10. TR

    I agree. Runner(s) on base and base hits that follow to score them is an exciting part of the game often missing these days for Reds fans.

  11. RedNat

    it is interesting that we have had 2 managers over the past 2 years that are polar opposites when it comes to offensive play calling. Riggleman with the old school sacrifice bunt, get base runners in motion approach and now Bell with the new school approach of never ever bunting or taking chances on the bases.

    as a fan I prefer Riggleman’s approach to be honest. it brings a little more excitement to the game.

  12. RedsFan11

    9 base runners in a 3 inning span and you score once….

    All you need to know about this team and where its not going

  13. Bill J

    As Casey once said about the Mets, “does anyone here know how to play the game?”.

  14. Joey

    HOPE I’m wrong but I have this lingering fear that Hunter is never going to sniff the big leagues.

  15. BigRedMike

    Can the Reds win 6 more games to avoid 90 loses. Seems very possible with the starting rotation.