Final R H E
Pittsburgh Pirates (14-33)
1 5 0
Cincinnati Reds (24-26)
4 6 0
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.

The Offense

Prior to tonight’s game:

Tonight it was only 25 percent, coming on this solo blast:

Statcast had it traveling 404 feet on an exit velocity of 104.9 mph.

Before tonight’s game:

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:

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.

The Pitching

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.

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.

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)

37 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    It was fun. I know many of us were ready to throw in the towel a week ago, but taking 2 of 3 from St. Loser’s WLB’s and at least 3 of 4 from the Pie-Rats has us re-energized as fans. It’s not close to a sure thing, but the glow of hope burns a little brighter for me tonight.

    Catch you all tomorrow for the wrap of this series.

  2. Craig Z

    Glad to see Lorenzen pitch well. He and the Reds needed that.

  3. Charlie Waffles

    One game at a time. That was a big game for Lorenzen. Flip flopping Lorenzen and Antone’s roles down the stretch is a good move. Have to get tomorrow’s game. We will see what this team is made of in those 6 games against MIN and CHW. One game at a time.

    • jim walker

      Absolutely. 1 game at a time. Win or lose, file and forget then go get the next one. When the time comes, somebody will tell you when the next game is, be that the start of a playoff series or the spring 2021

  4. jessecuster44

    This is fun. Credit the team for playing very well lately, and nice to see Lorenzen so strong in a significant situation.

  5. seadog

    Awesome job Tom. I would go deeper with the pen. Bob Steve and Lorenzen are still both bullpen pieces. This pen has the chance to be extremely good down the stretch.
    Balance the excitement. It was the Pirates. They do this against the Sox offense. Different story.
    Very fun to have a chance though.

  6. Kevin Patrick

    Obviously having Suarez out hurts, but how nice is it to be able to slot in Moustakas at 3rd? How nice is it to have a guy like Goodwin out in center? Manager bashing aside, at this point in the season I’m glad the Reds have so many players they can plug into so many places. Everyone’s played enough to be ready enough to perform well enough. You see it in the bullpen, infield, and outfield. I won’t be surprised to see Farmer at short tomorrow. I bet we also see Senzel back in center for a few innings. Let’s hope Castillo goes deep in the game tomorrow.

  7. SteveO

    Reds get Justin Miller from Blue Jays for Intl cap space. I guess he’s heading to Prasco. Have the Reds lost faith in Kuhnel?

    • MK

      SteveO are you making the assumption that those two things are connected?

  8. Rednat

    Shogo has been the key to this recent run by the reds. he is also showing the team a new way to be productive at the plate. i like how he is chopping down on high and outside pitches, trying to punch the ball through the left side. you used to see that all the time back in the 70s and 80s with the speedsters. He has been a pleasure to watch!

    it is interesting to me how the game is evolving. the value of left handed hitters that just pull the ball to the right side has really taken a hit with the shifts.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Good point. It’s not enough to have good splits as a lefthanded hitter vs. RHP. I would assume spray charts provide a more complete picture of a hitters ability to be successful against opposite handed pitching.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      Last 15 games .333 BA, .490 OBP. That will get it done from the leadoff spot!!

    • MK

      I have become a fan of the KBO and if you like that hitting approach you will enjoy their game. Maybe it is an Asian baseball approach but the Korean hitters are some of the best two strike hitters I have ever seen. Shogo works the count well also.

  9. GreatRedLegsFan

    Looking forward to the White Sox series. Reds should complete the sweep today, take at least two from the White Sox and the Brewers at home, leading to a 29-28 record to visit the Twins.

    • Colorado Red

      That is easier said then done.
      The White Sox are going for the #1 seed in the AL.
      Tough road down the stretch.

      • TR

        It’s always tough, even against the Pirates. One game at a time.

  10. Jim t

    While I completely subscribe to the one game at a time mind set if we finish 7-3 we are in.

    Also I wouldn’t want to be the team that faces us. If Gray gets healthy with the way Bauer and Castillo are throwing watch out.

  11. Keith

    How about that catch by Goodwin? The way AG was missing the strike zone, that was a massive catch. If that was a homerun, easy to imagine that inning unraveling, especially since it appeared that AG was gifted a few strike calls in the AB that ended in a strikeout. Maybe the Reds are cashing in some karma.

    • Still a Red

      I agree with that! AG seemed to be missing off the left side of the plate, but he got a few called strikes. Announcer suggested he was leading too much with his body and letting his arm trail. Coach came out, probably just to give AG’s adrenaline a little break. But it was scarey when our pitchers can’t find the strike zone…wish we had scored a couple more insurance runs.

  12. Marcia Stroupe

    Be kinda cool ..a team full of Mendozas winning it all….I believe if they make the playoffs the you know what just might hit the fan.

    • TR

      Are those players all from Mendoza, Argentina?

  13. SultanofSwaff

    Tonight is a must win every bit as much as when they play the Cardinals. You have to rack up wins when the pitching matchup favors your team by a lot……especially with Bradley and Iglesias likely available.

  14. Don

    Finding a way to get to 2nd in the division and being the 6 seed will be the best position of the 5-8 seeds with the playoff format in the NL.
    Top 4 are pretty much locked in, just which order 2/3 is the question.
    1- Dodgers
    2/3 – Cubs/Braves
    4 – Padres

    Divisional round round
    Winner of (Dodgers vs #8) vs (Padres vs #5)
    Winner of (#2 vs #6) vs (#3 vs #7)

    The Dodgers and Padres (best 2 records in the NL) will be the favorites to play in divisional round to get to the NL championship.

    Neither the Cubs or Braves based on record and what I read are through to be better then either the Dodgers and Padres so #6 and #7 have what appears to be an easier path for an upset in the 3 game Wild card that the 5 and 8 seeds.

    The Cards still control their own destiny to #2 in the central and will for some time since they have some many more games to play than the Reds (15 vs 10) and are 4 fewer losses. Cards have 7 vs Brewers, 5 vs Pirates and 3 vs KC.

    We all need to be rooting for the Cards to get to 30 losses (7-8 in their last 15) so that they cannot be any better than 28-30 Win % of 0.4827 and the Reds can finish 29-31 (Win # .4833) to finish ahead of the Cards in the division.

    If the Cards go 8-7 and finish 29-29 then Reds have to get to 31 (7-4 finish) wins to be be ahead of the since the Cards have the tiebreaker if both are at .500 win%.

    Comparing to the Brewers (brewers one less loss)
    Assuming the Reds win at least 2 of the 3 vs the Brewers the Reds will have the season tiebreaker with a better head to head record if Brewers and Reds finish with the same record.
    Brewers have the 7 with the Cards, 3 with Royals and the 3 with the Reds.

    A Reds win tonight and a Brewers DH sweep would be the best result for the Reds as getting the Cards closer to 30 losses is critical.

    We have to hope the Royals take 2 of 3 from the Brewers and Pirates can win at least 2 of the 5 vs the Cards over the weekend while the Reds continue winning vs the White Sox.

    One game and win at a time for the Reds and hope for the help from others.

    • TR

      The playoff race is shaping up a bit like the great NL pennant race of 1964 when the Reds, Phillies and Cardinals went down to the wire after the Phillies blew a big lead. The Cardinals eventually took it all including the WS over the Yankees.

  15. docmike

    That BABIP stat is all the evidence that anyone needs to see that the Reds have hit into a lot of bad luck this year. Yes, I know they need to go the opposite way to avoid the shift. I’m sure that affects other teams too. But .243 BABIP when the major league average is .292? And the next lowest team is .266? Sorry, but that’s not all just poor hitting by the Reds. Almost everyone on the team is hitting well below their career averages for BA. A lot of that is just bad luck (or random variation, if you prefer) that would tend to even out over a 162-game season, but just hasn’t had enough time to this year.

    Look at it this way: even if the Reds had a BABIP of .260 (instead of .243), that’s still well below average, and easily the worst in the majors. But can you imagine how many more hits that would have led to? And how many more runs would’ve scored? And how many more games could’ve been won?

    • greenmtred

      What’s luck? How do you have bad luck for an extended period of time? Wouldn’t it seem likely that random variation would nearly preclude that? Maybe bad luck is a kind way of saying bad approach.

      • Redgoggles

        And a never changing approach (swinging hard, for the fences regardless) does result in tendencies being more pronounced and easier to successfully employ shifts……which logically would reduce the BABIP? I saw somewhere that the Reds lead MLB by scoring 60% of their runs via the long ball. Bad approach is more likely than bad luck, imo. There have been a few signs that approach is changing (more are trying to hit the other way, even saw a bunt against the shift!,etc.), and I would anticipate the more that continues, we will see the BABIP will increase. Without those approach changes, I think we are that bad, not unlucky.

  16. Stock

    Quest for the playoffs: I think 29-31 puts the Reds in the playoffs. Seeds 5-8 are still up for grabs.

    Miami (currently 2 games up on the Reds): They have 2 double Headers last week and 2 more this week. The next two games have Rogers (6.50 ERA) and Urena (7.71 ERA). They follow this up with double headers on Friday and Sunday. The final week is 7 games vs. the Braves and Yankees and their bullpen should be used up with 2 double headers in 3 days over the weekend. Their last 6 games the pitcher they face with the highest current ERA is Garret Cole at 3.20. They better do well in 5 games vs. Washington because the other 9 games looks like 3-6.

    Philadelphia (currently 1.5 games up on the Reds) Philly had 3 double headers last week, one this week and one next week. Currently playing the Mets and DeGrom and Lugo will start vs. them. They show how weak their SP is vs. Toronto when they throw out Eflin (5.01 ERA), Rosso (7.88 ERA), Velasquez (6.46 ERA) and Irvin (17.18 ERA). Then they follow this up with another 4 games of weak pitchers. I see them hoping they go 2-4 in those games.

    St. Louis (currently 0.5 games up on the Reds) Their schedule the next 12 days is not terrible. Milwaukee for 7 games. But all these double headers have to be taking a toll. 4-7 in their last 11 may be signs of just that.

    San Francisco (currently 0.5 games up on the Reds) Their schedule is tough. 6 of their last 10 games vs. SD and OAK. The other 4 vs. COL who is better on the road then at home. Will be hard pressed to go 5-5 the last 10. 3-7 would not surprise me.

    Cincinnati. Have a difficult final 10 games but think they have figured out the back end of the bullpen. Castillo is finally pitching well. Antone is a God. They should win 30 games and make the playoffs.

    Milwaukee (Currently 0.5 games behind the Reds) With 8 games vs. Cincinnati and St. Louis the final week they control their own destiny.

    Colorado (Currently 0.5 games behind the Reds) 4 games vs. the Dodgers this weekend after tonight’s game vs. Oakland. if they go 2-3 in these five games they have a good shot.

    Mets (Currently 2 games behind the Reds) Tough schedule and too much ground to make up.

    Prediction: 5 seed (Miami 31 – 29), 6 seed (Cincinnati 30-30), 7/8 seed (Milwaukee, Philadelphia) (29-31)

    • Don

      6 seed would be a great place for the Reds and they would play the poorest record of the division winners and avoid both the Padres and Dodgers until the NL championship series

  17. donny

    Hate to be the bear of bad news but the reds have to play White Sox , Twins.
    The Reds have been god awful against the American league teams for a long time now. ” I MEAN GOD AWFUL ”. The White Sox seem to be starting there dynasty this year. Best team [White Sox ] in baseball in my eyes and will win the world series this year.

    • Old-school

      Maybe not the Twins. The Reds play the Twins the last 3 games of the season. The Twins are currently 3 games behind the white Sox(4 in the loss column) and 3 games ahead of the Indians( Indians lost 7 in a row!)

      The Twins could very easily be locked into the #1 overall of the 2nd place teams in the A before the last weekend and have no incentive to play their best players to rest up for the playoffs. The Twins likely will have an AAA lineup for the season finale and perhaps the entire series.

    • TR

      I’ll go with the O’s in the AL. Praise for the White Sox is probably not too welcomed by Cubs fans.

    • Aaron B.

      Besides Giolito who do they have as a starter (and he is pretty inexperienced too). And relivers, I think they are weak in that area too. They do have quite the offense I’ll give them that.

      • Stock

        Dylan Cease and Keuchel have been great this year. Lately Dunning has been good and as you mentioned Giolito

  18. Redgoggles

    Maybe the White Sox and Twins will overlook the Reds like the Reds have overlooked the Pirates, Tigers, Royals, etc. Or, maybe the Reds just aren’t that good. Seeing (small) signs in the offense’s changing approach gives me a bit of hope, but they are going to have to be better in the next 11 games to have a chance. Time for Winker and Castallanos to get hot again.

    • Don

      The “experts” underestimated the AL Central in 2020 and overestimated the NL Central. Other than the Pirates the AL Central is better top to bottom compared to the NL Central and the records show this.

      Inter-Division records
      Cubs 8-5 (7 to play)
      Reds 6-8 (6 to play)
      Cards 7-8 (3 to play)
      Brewers 7-10 (3 to play)
      Pirates 2-15 (3 to play)

      Cubs are the only team with a better win% against the 3 teams mentioned than the Reds.
      Cubs 9-4 (4 to play)
      Reds 11-8 (1 to play)
      Cards 5-5 (8 to play)
      Brewers 7-7 (3 to play)

      So the Cards and Brewers must have overlooked them more than the Reds

  19. Old-school

    Head of CDC testified that likely mid 2021 before Enough vaccine ready for public – first responders late this year.

    That means no Significant fans in stands till the earliest mid summer 2021 and tight budgets. Then labor strife in 2022.

    Reds need to do damage next 2 weeks and salvage 2020