Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (74-87)
4 13 1
Pittsburgh Pirates (69-92)
2 5 1
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.

The Offense

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.

The Pitching

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)

21 Responses

  1. RedNat

    fun game. we finally beat those darn pirates.

    As I see it now i think 2020 will be about gaining confidence and getting healthy. I am wrapping my head around the idea that Winker and Senzel may not be everday players next year but that still doesn’t mean they can’t contribute to this team.

    my opening day line up right now would be

    1. Peraza 2b
    2. Ervin lf
    3. SUarez- 3b
    4. Aquino -rf
    5. Votto- 1b
    6. Lorenzen- cf
    7. Barnhart- c
    8. Iglesias- ss
    9. Gray- p

    i know the line up isn’t that sexy and won’t score a ton of runs but it is the best defensive lineup we have and there is good speed in the outfield and 2b and ss. plus this is the most durable lineup we have as well.

    I would slowly bring Senzel and Winker along next year. i think both of their outfield playing days are over. i would have Winker back up Joey at first and Senzel back up Peraza at second at the beginning of the year. If Senzel gets in to a grove and appears healthy then slide him into start. i think the most important thing for next year is to get them a full year of health and actually playing games in September.

    Unless Siri is ready to play cf next year i think Lorenzen is our everyday guy in center. this would really upgrade our outfield defense.

    i think we need to sign a fifth starter and move Mahle to the pen to fill Lorenzens role. sign a couple of relievers and i think we have a pretty decent team.

    I hope Bell opens up the offensive playbook next year a little more too. more stolen bases, hit and runs, bunts against the shift etc.

    • Big Ed

      Would it be your strategy to bet “under” the total every game?

      Winker and Senzel should both be ready by opening day. And I think Peraza is a non-tender.

      • Mike

        I’m with big Ed. Any line up that has Perez’s in it instead of a healthy Senzel is not your best lineup. But alas, If Bell is still here I can Peraza starting. Peraza has the ability to finish strong after the season becomes a lost cause. I guess the pressure is off then. Personally, not sure I’d start Ervin over a healthy Winker either.

      • Big Ed

        Peraza to me would be well served to go back to AA or AAA to revamp his swing and approach. He has way, way, way, too much weak contact to right field, and rarely hits the ball that way with any authority. That is why the other teams pitch him away. He is actually pretty good on the inner half of the plate, but he is just far too easy to pitch to.

        Plus, he needs to walk much more. And quit playing outfield, except in a 17th inning pinch; like JVM, he just isn’t good at it.

    • Mason Red

      If this is the starting lineup opening day next year it’s going to be another long long LONG season.

    • Chris Holbert

      So, basically they are not upgrading anywhere, and not even starting their best players….I guess DB will be back as manager.

    • Slicc50

      If the Reds opening day 2020 lineup looks anything like that……it will be a sad day for me, as I will no longer be a Reds fan. That will tell me that Bob C has absolutely NO plans of fielding a winner in Cincinnati. If that is the case, why even watch? The Front office plan for centerfield had better not be convert our most consistent middle reliever to CF. If they bring back J. Iglesias, it better not be for the starting SS job. They simply have to find more guys that GET ON BASE! Peraza has to go. I am sure he is a fine human being, but he is not a very good baseball player. Winker and Senzel need to play every day. They will have to find a way to stay healthy next year. Tucker Barnhart, is a good catcher. He just doesn’t provide enough offensively. I would love to see the Reds find a good starting catcher and move Tucker to backup. Hopefully the Reds FO goes out and spend a little $ over the winter to improve this team offensively. The pitching will be there. The ball (hopefully) will not be so juiced next season. I know it is hard to see, but this team is actually not that far off from being a contender. Just have to fix the 3 dead spots in the lineup everyday!

    • Bigbill

      Any lineup that has Peraza playing everyday will be a poor team. Lousy OBP and slugging % with lots of stupid defensive mistakes. He is a backup at best.

    • Mason Red

      One player won’t fix this team.

  2. Big Ed

    Hey, they won a game that Raisel pitched in, so take it as a small miracle.

  3. Big Ed

    The games on the last day of the season are typically played very fast; there shouldn’t be many 3-hour games today.

    Players want to get the game moving, and don’t dilly-dally like they do the rest of the season. In other words, they will play the game today like all games were played in 1969.

    I will concede that the umpires want to get home for college football or deer season, so they will push the pace of play today, too.

  4. Hebron Reds Fan

    I think (and hope) we will see another busy off-season from the Reds. We are close with this team–and health and another year of experience will help–but some additional changes have to happen.

    We have to upgrade at SS and Catcher. If that means opening the wallet for Didi and Grandol–they need to do it. I would try to limit their years to 3 if possible.

    Offer Wood a heavy incentive-based 1-year contract. If he turns down–move on and find another solid starter via trade or free agency.

    Add a solid bullpen guy or two. Iggy (closer) and Tucker should be packaged in any trades we can pull off (easier said than done–I know).

    Non-tender DD. Do not sign Iggy (SS). Pick up Galvis option. Buy out Gausman.

    I would rather keep Geno–but if we can sell high and get blown away with a CF option and to help fill other needs–I listen.

    Bench with JVM, Ervin, Farmer, Pereza, and some of the other youngsters from this years works for me.

    Lots to do–I think we will continue to see pieces change. Looking forward to an active off-season and an awesome 2020. Go Redlegs!

    • Big Ed

      I could stomach one more year of Iglesias at short, because I believe heavily in Jose Garcia as SS of the future. He had a very good year at Daytona, and is the Arizona Fall League right now.

      Didi will be 30 in the off-season, with a career OPS of .743, playing primarily in hitter’s parks.

    • Big Bill

      ss is not a problem. Iglesias hit almost 300 all year and have you an awesome glove for pennies on the dollar. Picking up a lh power bar that can catch (Grandal) and putting Jvm at second makes this team a ton better. Next step is pure platoon between Winker and Ervin. The splits are just too wide not too. Pick up a Rh bat with some power to spell Votto against most LHP as his last two years against left handers is awful. They look worse than Peraza hitting. Lastly go after one more starting pitcher as it is rare to have as much good health as the Reds had this year for starters.

      This makes you at least a contender.

  5. greenmtred

    I’m not from Missouri, but I’m now in the show-me camp, not the glass half-full camp. Too many years in a row of not being competitive and not being able make substantive change to remedy the situation. I won’t attempt to explain why this is so (owner doesn’t care, everybody is stupid, etc.) because I don’t care. Anything other than a serious change of direction and demonstration of committment this off-season, and I’ll find other things to worry about next year. Not a threat that will bother the Reds, of course.

  6. RedNat

    I dont know if adding Grandal and Gregorius will make a huge difference in the offensive production. With Bells managing style we just aren’t going to score.a lot of runs anyway. Especially if they deaden the ball. I actually like the lineups that Bell has thrown out there the past few weeks. I just think we have to be a little more aggressive on the bases and we can score more runs.

    I think the main focus for.the off season is to get more pitching.

  7. TR

    Without an improved offense, 2020 will be a repeat of 2019. That means spending big bucks to get Castellanos to go with Suarez, Aquino and Senzel backed up by Votto, Winker and J. Iglesias. Also a new hitting coach is needed to put the emphasis on meeting the ball for base hits. If so, homeruns will happen naturally, and the # of runners LOB will decrease.

  8. centerfield

    The primary need seems to be a power bat for OF/1B. Iglesias is ok at SS, Van Meter MUST play 2B, Peraza needs to go to AAA. I think the pitching is fine except for the closer. Tucker is a decent defense catcher and his hitting is passable. Winker/Ervin in LF may work if Jesse can stay healthy – big if. Probably need a plan B for RF in case AA doesn’t work out. We need enough outfielders on the roster to eliminate the temptation for Bell to play infielders out there. Personally I think eliminating Bell and R. Iglesias would get us to 90 wins, but Bell isn’t going anywhere. RI lost 12 games!! Bell probably lost us another 10 (some overlap there). Managing is about enabling players to succeed, not trying to win the chess match against the opposing coach. The off season will tell something about the direction of this club, but Bell can still negate any positive acquisitions. I’m predicting 79 wins in 2020. I hope I am wrong and we win 103, but I just don’t see it unless the Reds add Cole and Rendon.

    • Mike

      Bell’s managing style will never produce more than 83 wins no matter who the players are. Several managers have already been relieved of duty so far. All of of them are better than managers than Bell

  9. Ned

    There’s no way on earth that this team with JVM at second and the lineup as is minus Peraza and with Winker back in, is going to be competitive. That’s basically what we’ve been watching for weeks, and they are worse. It kills me to see people suggesting 2020 lineups without any dramatic additions or substitutions. You can go back and see these proposed lineups actually playing games within the last 60 days, and probably losing.