|Cincinnati Reds (74-87)
|Pittsburgh Pirates (69-92)
|W: Alaniz (1-0) L: McRae (0-4)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Rain kept the game from getting started on time, and when the game did get going it seemed that the teams didn’t want to get much going on offense. Or perhaps the pitching was getting it done.
Cincinnati got on the board first when Tucker Barnhart unloaded on a fastball for a solo homer, his 11th of the season. Two innings later they’d get their second run of the game when Jose Iglesias singled off of the glove of shortstop Kevin Newman, who was drawn in. Phillip Ervin came in to score and tie the game up at 2-2. Both teams went into an offensive drought from there, though.
They didn’t score for the next forever innings. Or so it felt that way. Eugenio Suarez singled and reached second on a throwing error with 2 outs in the 11th, but a strikeout of Aristides Aquino ended the threat. In the 12th they got a threat going when Kyle Farmer led off with a single and Phillip Ervin was hit by a pitch to put two on with no out. And that’s when things got a bit wild. Tucker Barnhart grounded into an easy double play. Sort of. Ervin slid into second base with his hands high in the air and the throw to first went off of his hands. That’s a dead ball and a double play. But because of it, Farmer had to go back to second. The next pitch got away from the catcher. Farmer may have been able to score on the play had he been at third, but instead he simply advanced to third.
It didn’t matter in the end. Jose Iglesias lined a double into left-center to FINALLY get the Reds back on the board and in front, 3-2. Pitcher R.J. Alaniz stayed in the game with a lead so he could head back to the mound, but it meant he had to hit for himself. And did he ever come through. His first Major League at-bat resulted in his first hit and RBI as he singled on a hanger in the middle of the zone to put the Reds up 4-2.
Lucas Sims got the start for the Reds on Saturday night. He gave up two runs in 2.0 innings – both coming in the 2nd innings. The first run came on a passed ball. The next one came when Steven Baron doubled in Kevin Kramer to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead.
Matt Bowman took over in the top of the 3rd inning and he fired 3.0 perfect frames that included a strikeout. He needed just 37 pitches to get that done, too. Amir Garrett came out to begin the 6th and he threw 1.1 perfect innings with two strikeouts before handing the ball off to Sal Romano. He tossed a hitless inning before handing the game over to Kevin Gausman with one out in the bottom of the 8th inning. He got out of the inning with a little help from center fielder Michael Lorenzen, who threw out Kevin Newman who tried testing his arm and stretching a single into a double. It didn’t go well for the Pirates infielder. Gausman returned for the bottom of the 9th hoping to send it to extras. He did, but it wasn’t easy. The bases were loaded with no outs, but he got out of it with two strikeouts and a pop up to Joey Votto.
Raisel Iglesias came out for the bottom of the 10th inning and made very quick work of the Pirates. Iglesias needed all of six pitches to get three outs. Two of those came on lazy fly balls to the outfield with the third being the laziest of lazy fly balls – an infield pop up to Joey Votto in foul territory. Despite a low number of pitches that was all for Iglesias, who was replaced by R.J. Alaniz to begin the bottom of the 11th inning. He worked around a 2-out walk and a 2-out single to send the game into the 12th. Alaniz, fresh off of his first hit and RBI he made quick work of the first two hitters, getting a fly out and a a strikeout. He fell behind Corban Joseph 2-0, but got the win with an easy fly out to center to end it at 12:38am.
The pitching got the job done.
Notes Worth Noting
Earlier this week it was announced that Trevor Bauer was sick and had his start pushed back to Sunday. Today it was announced he wouldn’t pitch on Sunday and that Tyler Mahle would make the start. On short rest. Because it’s September and that makes sense….. But no one pays me to make these decisions.
The game was delayed by 1 hour and 5 minutes at the start by rain. There were no issues once the game began (at least by the weather).
From the Reds media relations department: R.J. Alaniz has retired the first batter of every game he’s pitched in for the Reds (that would be 8 games).
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Pittsburgh Pirates
Sunday September 29th, 3:05pm
Tyler Mahle (2-12, 5.34 ERA) vs Trevor Williams (7-8, 5.52 ERA)