|Pittsburgh Pirates (14-33)
|Cincinnati Reds (24-26)
|W: Lorenzen (2-1) L: Musgrove (0-5) SV: Garrett (1)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Nice to be scoreboard-watching in mid-September, isn’t it? The Cincinnati Reds continue to inspire hope in their faithful fans at Redleg Nation and beyond, tonight winning their fourth straight and fifth of their past six with a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. There are a number of games still underway which will all have an effect on the playoff seeding race.
The most important thing we know at this moment is that Cincinnati pulled within one-half game of eight-seed San Francisco. The Giants’ scheduled game against the Seattle Mariners was postponed due to air quality concerns in the Pacific Northwest with wildfires continuing to burn.
The St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers are playing again this evening in Milwaukee. In the bottom of the fifth, the Brew Crew was up 12-2. If that lead holds up, Cincinnati will pull within one-half game of the Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, and Milwaukee will remain a half-game behind the Reds.
Prior to tonight’s game:
Fun fact: Just over 60 percent of #reds runs this season (118 of 195) have scored via home runs. That is the highest percentage in MLB.
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) September 15, 2020
Tonight it was only 25 percent, coming on this solo blast:
Tuck yeah! pic.twitter.com/FaJjbsmfyi
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) September 15, 2020
Statcast had it traveling 404 feet on an exit velocity of 104.9 mph.
Before tonight’s game:
MLB Average BABIP
2015: .300#Reds BABIP in 2020: .243 (30th of 30 MLB teams. Next closest is Texas with a .266 BABIP)
— Jamie Ramsey (@Jamieblog) September 15, 2020
We don’t have the updated stats including tonight’s game immediately available, but it probably didn’t improve a whole bunch with the Reds recording only six hits.
Before tonight’s game:
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) September 15, 2020
Akiyama improved that statistic by reaching base twice in four plate appearances tonight. He ignited the three-run rally in the first inning with an opposite-field leadoff single.
Michael Lorenzen was FAN-tastic. In a spot start, he allowed a run on four hits with six strikeouts and NO walks. Tejay Antone followed him with a scoreless inning in relief.
It’s impressive how Tejay Antone has pitched well in any role he’s put in. He’s got a 3.60 ERA in 4 starts and a 1.38 ERA in 6 relief appearances. #Reds
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) September 16, 2020
If you’re thinking about setting up the pitching for the playoffs, it might not be a bad idea at all for Antone and Lorenzen to, in essence, switch roles. If you can get five good innings out of Lorenzen in a starting role, and then have Antone and his 2.76 ERA join the late-inning bullpen crew, that would solve two problems.
With Iglesias and Bradley both unavailable tonight … it’s Amir Garrett who will go for the save opportunity. #reds lead 4-1 in top 9.
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) September 16, 2020
Antone was followed by Lucas Sims and Amir Garrett to wrap things up.
Gradually, the bullpen has self-sorted, with the result being Raisel Iglesias, Archie Bradley, Garrett, Sims and now Antone available as reliable options in close games. There aren’t many teams that have five relievers they can count on in clutch time.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Pittsburgh Pirates vs Cincinnati Reds
Wednesday, September 16, 6:40 pm ET
J.T. Brubaker (5.34 ERA, 1-1) vs Luis Castillo (3.44 ERA, 2-5)