When the day began, the outcome of the game mattered. But by the time the 9th inning rolled around, at least for Cincinnati, the outcome didn’t factor into where they would be seeded for the playoffs. That didn’t matter because the game went into extra innings anyways. Before the end of the game, the result didn’t matter for the Twins, either – as the White Sox lost in Chicago and that clinched the division for Minnesota. Cincinnati’s 3-run 10th inning was enough to get the job done, giving them a 31-29 record on the season – their first winning record since 2013, when they also entered the playoffs as a wild card team.
|Cincinnati Reds (31-29)
|Minnesota Twins (36-24)
|W: Iglesias (4-3) L: Romo (1-3)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
The Reds offense was quiet on the day, particularly early on. With two outs in the 6th inning they finally got something going. Joey Votto walked and came around from 1st base on a double by Eugenio Suárez to tie the game up at 1-1. The Twins got that run back in the bottom of the inning, but Cincinnati came storming back to tie things up again. Jesse Winker pinch hit for Kyle Farmer and doubled. Freddy Galvis pinch hit for Jose Garcia to follow and he singled in Winker to tie it up.
Cincinnati’s offense went quiet again after that, going 1-2-3 on strikeouts in the 8th inning Trevor May, and then 1-2-3 with a ground out, strikeout, and fly out against Caleb Thielbar in the 9th as the game remained tied up at 2-2.
After Raisel Igleisas helped send the game into extras, Michael Lorenzen pinch ran for Jesse Winker to begin the 10th inning at second base. Freddy Galvis popped up for the first out, but then Curt Casali singled – but Lorenzen’s hesitation on the play led to him being held up at third base. Casali then took second on defensive indifference before Tucker Barnhart singled in the go-ahead run to make it 3-2. Nick Castellanos followed with a walk to load the bases with one out for Joey Votto. He also walked to make it 4-2. After a pitching change, the Twins saw Eugenio Suárez swing away on a 3-0 count and line one right past the drawn-in infield to make it 5-2. A wild pitch sent Castellanos towards the plate, but he was thrown out by a matter of millimeters. A fly out ended the top half of the inning, but Cincinnati was holding onto a 3-run lead.
Sonny Gray got the nod for the final game of the regular season, and it’s a tune up for a potential start in the playoffs on Friday. He wasn’t at his best, walking four batters in 5.1 innings and allowed two earned runs – but he struck out four and allowed just two hits on 87 pitches while being a groundball machine, getting nine ground outs with just one fly out. He left the game in a 1-1 tie, but runners on 2nd and 3rd. Tejay Antone came in and allowed a sacrifice fly, leading to the second earned run against Gray. He followed up be getting Jake Cave looking to end the inning. Antone returned for the 7th and recorded two strikeouts in a perfect inning to keep the game tied.
Amir Garrett came out for the 8th inning. He allowed a single to lead off the inning. After striking out Max Kepler, Luis Arraez hit back back to Garrett, who turned and fired the ball to 2nd to try and get a double play – but the throw was high and pulled Freddy Galvis off of the bag to put runners on 1st and 2nd. Lucas Sims took over on the mound from there and got out of it quickly with another outstanding double play – this one turned by Mike Moustakas and Galvis at shortstop. Sims returned for the bottom of the 9th with the game still tied. After striking out the first two hitters, Miguel Sano singled and that led to Raisel Iglesias coming in to face Jorge Polanco and he struck him out to send the game into extra innings.
The bottom of the 10th inning began with a single off of Raisel Iglesias that scored a run (this is still a weird thing to type) to make it 5-3. The Reds closer struck out Mitch Garver to follow, recording the first out of the inning. Marwin Gonzalez, who singled to begin the inning, took both second and third base on defensive indifference before Max Kepler popped up for the second out of the inning. A strikeout ended the game and the regular season.
Notes Worth Noting
Cincinnati has their first winning season since 2013, clinching a record above .500 on the final day of the season.
Kyle Farmer and Jose Garcia showed off different kinds of tools while turning an impressive double play in the bottom of the 4th inning, and it saved the go-ahead run. Farmer made the sliding grab and showed athleticism to get the ball to Garcia, who showed off a laser-rocket arm getting the ball to first.
"Wow" is right… ? pic.twitter.com/XyLLOGn43m
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) September 27, 2020
The Reds take on the Braves
The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers this afternoon, clinching 2nd place for themselves and sending Cincinnati to the #7 seed as the top wild card. That will mean that the Reds are traveling to Atlanta to take on the Braves in the wild card round in a best of three series.
Worst batting average in 110 years
The Cincinnati Reds finished the season hitting .212 for the year. That’s the lowest in Major League Baseball since 1910.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
PLAYOFFS ARE UP NEXT
Cincinnati Reds vs Atlanta Braves
National League Wild Card Round – Wednesday, September 30th
Trevor Bauer vs TBA