Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (16-17) 2 8 0
Pittsburgh Pirates (15-20)
7 8 0
W: Brubaker (3-2) L: Hoffman (2-3)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Mark this one down as death by a thousand paper cuts. Scratch that, make it three rather deep and painful paper cuts.

In a 7-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Reds gave away runs or scoring opportunities in:

  • The third inning, when Nick Senzel reached on a single, but tried to steal second on a 3-0 pitch to Jesse Winker. He was thrown out, followed immediately by Winker launching a home run into the Allegheny River. It felt as though the Reds had just forfeited a run.
  • In the bottom of the fourth inning, Reds starter Jeff Hoffman walked leadoff batter Ka’ai Tom, then Kevin Newman launched a shot to left-center field. Left fielder Winker went back, put up his left (non-gloved) hand at the moment the ball went over his head to the wall. It looked like a play that a good defensive outfielder would at least had a shot to make. It created two runs, neither of which would have scored if the catch had been made.
  • In the top of the eighth inning, Senzel led off with his third hit, followed by Winker lining one into the left-field corner. Down by three runs, conventional baseball wisdom says you don’t take the risk of running into an out. First Senzel, who probably should have stopped at third, tried to score from first and did. But then Winker for a reason known only to him tried to turn a sure double into a triple with nobody out. He was out from here to Wheeling, W. Va. Had Winker held at second, the tying run would have come to the plate with nobody out in the personages of Nick Castellanos, Mike Moustakas and Tyler Naquin. You couldn’t ask for a better opportunity when down by two runs late.

Cincinnati’s eight-game winning streak against Pittsburgh over this and last year came to a halt.

The Offense

Winker also drove in the second Reds run with the above-referenced ill-advised mad dash to third base.

The Pitching

The back end of this staff is still self-sorting, and we saw why tonight. You saw a bunch of pitchers who are currently borderline major leaguers. Hoffman is not the answer as a starter in this rotation, and none of the relievers who appeared tonight have been effective consistently. Some substantial shuffling is needed if this team hopes to seriously contend.

Notes Worth Noting

This would have been record-setting had it happened:

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh

Wednesday, May 12, 12:35 p.m. ET

Sonny Gray (0-2, 3.92 ERA) vs Trevor Cahill (1-4, 6.75 ERA)

55 Responses

  1. Redsfan4life

    They have to find a upgrade over Hoffman. The offence wasn’t great. But it feels like next to no chance of winning now when Hoffman starts.

    • Tomn

      Exactly right. Hoffman belongs in the BP, maybe as a long man. Why don’t the Reds try bringing up Lozado (sp?)? He is in AA I know and hasn’t pitched above it, but looks pretty dominating. Other teams bring pitchers up early. Why not give it a shot. I think he’s more seasoned with college ball than Green.

      • jon vera

        Antone should be in the rotation.The guy rots in the BP most games. SMH.

  2. Melvin

    “Winker for a reason known only to him tried to turn a sure double into a triple with nobody out”. I’m not sure he knows why he did either. lol

    • Tom Reeves

      He’s trying to be peak Joey Votto… and succeeding in every aspect

  3. Cubano

    Dumb question- was the game on ESPN or something? I’m on the east coast watching w/ but was blacked-out

    • MBS

      You might be in the Pirates black out zone. I watched on MLB, but I’m down in Florida, and it was the usual broadcast crew tonight.

  4. Doc

    Senzel is something 2 for 7 on stolen base attempts. I hope he does not have an always on green light.

  5. Roger Garrett

    The Reds got 3 hits from Wink and Senzel and 2 infield hits by Suarez and that was it.Its the same pattern.We get behind early,starter goes out,Bell puts in guys that aren’t very good hoping to hold the deficit down to give us a chance to come back and it never works.At some point you have to bring in guys like Antone or Sims to hold it right there and if you catch up or get the lead go from there.This game was on the offense from the get go and they were awful.This team is very inconsistent in all aspects of the game.

  6. Jim Walker

    On a brighter note, Hunter Greene made his 2nd AA start tonight. His line:
    5IP,2H,2R(both earned),1BB, 7K; 83 pitches/ 60 strikes. He did give up a HR though.

    So, what are they going to do if he keeps pitching like this? How many starts/ innings until he is moved up to AAA? Then…….

    • Sliotar

      (IMO) … then he finishes 2021 in AAA … and the Reds wait and see if there is a season in 2022 and what the service time clocks will look like in the next CBA.

      He has already had one Tommy John surgery … and virtually no one has never come back to perform significantly after 2 TJ surgeries.

      Set the expectation with him that his day will certainly come … but not in 2021 … and who knows about 2022.

      • Jim Walker

        I disagree. If he is pitching well enough to pitch at the MLB level, bring him up. Why bet on what the rules might be after the labor situation is resolved? And why risk that after he sits out an off season that he will come back like he appears to be now when he restarts, especially if the delay is more than a typical off season.

        In the hour or so since my comment above, I switched over to MiLB TV and watch a replay of Greene in action tonight.

        The first impression before he even throws a ball is that he is now a man, not a kid. While conditioned differently than Michael Lorenzen, he looks every bit the part of a guy who has been doing hard work in gym.

        By way of comparison, I’d say if ML carries the look of a defensive back or wideout; Greene is every inch an outside linebacker or running back. Huge but toned upper legs and butt area. The body it takes to be a starting pitcher without being overly dependent on the shoulder and elbow.

        Besides heat, Greene is throwing at least 2 breaking pitches consistently for strikes in these first two outings of 2021. One is quiker with a more shallow break, the other slower with more of a vertical break but not a looping curve. He also is supposedly throwing a change of some sort. That vertical breaker could be the change as it looks something like Castillo’s without the backup action.

        Two starts, 10 innings pitched, 5 each outing. Outing #1, 71 pitches/ 53 strikes. Tonight 83 pitches/ 60 strikes. 5 hits total. 3 ER. 1BB, 15Ks.

        I just don’t see how a guy can be held back if this level of production continues.

    • MBS

      I’m hoping Greene, and Lodolo replace Gutierrez, and Santillan in AAA soon. Gutierrez might getting his shot after this last start by Hoffman. Hoffman has had 3 bad starts in a row. He should get the De Leon treatment, to see if he can work in the pen.

    • VaRedsFan

      If he can keep his command (low walks), he can just skip AAA as far as I’m concerned.

      On another note, they need to build his innings up, so coming up to the MLB bullpen might not be the plan. Does anybody know his innings goal this year?? I’d assume it might be in the 120 range.

      If he comes up to MLB to start, he would have to be shutdown, but he could throw 100 starter innings, and maybe 20 relief innings at the MLB level later in the year, if the Reds are still in it and need help.

      I know they need help now, and he could be an answer, but they have to keep him on some sort of plan to stretch him out.

    • Daytonnati

      I recall the days of Cool Billy McCool and Don Gullett were not traumatized by their elevation to the Bigs as teens?

      • James N. Walker Jr

        And Hunter Greene is no longer a teen ager. Baseball Reference gives his current age as 21 years, 278 days. They list him at 6’5″ and 230lbs.

        As I stated above, even in a baseball uniform, he looks like a chiseled specimen. I focused on his lower body because that’s where the power to be a starting pitcher with longevity comes from. However his shoulders look just as impressive.

        He is throwing three pitches with command. Are they nuances and tweaks remaining for him, of course. But if he runs off a string of 5-10 similar AA starts, it is just burning time and wasting pitches in his arm to leave him there.

  7. Sliotar

    To @Roger Garrett’s point up above ….

    Take Castellanos off this roster for 2022 … and the importance of Senzel at 1, Winker at 2 every day they can go for the rest of 2021 comes into sharper focus.

    Moustakas hasn’t hit on the road as a Red, Votto hasn’t since 2019 … Suarez, who knows.

    We laugh at the Pirates lineup … and Sonny Gray will rightly be a heavy favorite tomorrow over Trevor Cahill …

    but there are a lot of aging guys who don’t look great away from GABP in the Reds lineup.

  8. Michael B Green

    Interesting that Greene is lined up to pitch on the same night as Hoffman. Ashton Goudeau pitched at AAA and did well but will probably not get an opportunity in Hoffman’s spot.

    We’ll see if these guys continue to pitch on the same night. I doubt it, but it is interesting that Greene had a GS in Spring Training and is lined up in Hoffman’s spot.

    Would CIN do the unthinkable and start Greene’s clock early with so few IP at AA or above? Miley throwing 90 and Greene throwing 102 would certainly give a different look.

    While I dream on, I seriously doubt we will see Greene pitch in CIN this year? 🙂

    • Redsfan4life

      Doug, Could answer this far better than me. My guess is late 2022 for Greene in Cincinnati.

      • Jim Walker

        IMO, If it is late 2022, it will be due to labor shutdown or Greene having an injury issue which costs him time.

    • Hunt4RedsOct

      Coincidence, he would have pitched Sunday if the opener had not been rained out and pushed back a day.

  9. Jim Walker

    My pet peeve Reds paper cut tonight was in the Pirates at bat in the 1st. The Bucs start out with 2 cue shot loopers on good pitches along the LF line to have 2nd and 3rd with 0 out. The Reds get a K then catch a break on a line drive right at Farmer to be at 2 outs with no runs in.

    Then with a 0-1 count on the next Pirates hitter, Erik Gonzalez, Barnhart calls for a breaking pitch (no issues there) but clearly and emphatically gestures to throw it low or even bounce it. Hoffman complies and bounces the ball by Barnhart for run scoring wild pitch after which Gonzalez strikes out.

    Sometimes on either or both sides of the ball, the Reds just make things too hard for themselves.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I agree, Jim. When that happened, I just shook my head. They were a pitch away from getting out of a bad situation unscathed. It occurred to me that is one of the differentiators between good pitchers and not-so-good pitchers. Not so good ones throw a 55-footer in that situation against a weak-hitting team.

      • VaRedsFan

        You guys saw what I saw. Tucker went for the backhand instead of the standard block.

      • Jim Walker

        And Welch commented on Thursday that Gray sucked it up stuck with fastballs with a runner on 3B after issues with bouncing his break ball. One of ThinkPitch’s subtle criticism’s of previous action (Tuesday night’s bouncer) without naming names or specific incidents; but, regular fans knew that as well as complimenting Gray’s judgement he was also questioning the judgement from Tuesday.

  10. Rednat

    even though we lost you have to smile at least a little bit when you see the box score. 2 players that the reds drafted at the top of the line up going 6-8. maybe the reds can still draft and develop good position players after all.

    Sliotar is right, i hope we can still compete this year but we at least have to start imagining life without Barnhart ,Castellanos, Moose, Shogo and yes even Joey. there is help on the way with India, Stephenson and hopefully Garcia. but the way i see it our main weakness in our farm system is the outfield with Siri and Trammel gone.

    Jim Walker brought up the idea of Suarez playing left field which i thought was interesting and could really help the team fill a major void in the next couple of years

    • Roger Garrett

      Reds waffle every year between trying to compete and finding out what the young players can do.We lose and our vets continue to decline.We put our eggs in the same basket every year hoping it works and it doesn’t.Joey,Moose,Tucker,Suarez, and Big Nick will play and every day.One will opt out and the rest we could say their upside is behind them.That will not change it’s just the way it is

      • RojoBenjy

        Sure seems that way but every year we try to hope. Starting to feel like the Bengals which I kissed off in 2015

        The site is slow today. Apathy kicking in. Bad sign for ticket sales

  11. Tim

    Who predicted at the beginning of the season that Winker would be the top hitter in the NL while Suarez would be the worst? Oh…and that Miley would throw a no no?

    • TR

      I’m not surprised by Winker. He is a natural hitter, not dominated by homerun or nothing.

  12. B-town fan

    This team competes hard and hustles, and never gives up, but it makes way to many unforced errors and mental mistakes to really challenge the top teams over the course the season at this point. They need to correct this, whether this comes from the players or the manager or both collectively.

    • RojoBenjy

      The unforced errors and mental gaffes are on the skipper

      • greenmtred

        Winker’s two run misplay wasn’t on the skipper. His baserunning gaffe probably isn’t either.

      • RojoBenjy

        I said unforced errors and mental mistakes. That is a comment about the team in general.

        Baserunning mistakes are mental errors and a team’s manager can really emphasize tightening up things like that, or he can just let what happens happen. Since the Reds are very adept at TOOTBLANs, it infers that the manager does the latter

      • RojoBenjy

        Or you could just say the players are really stupid on the base paths

  13. Tom N

    Winker #2 in AVG and OPS. #3 IN OBP. All in MLB not just the NL. #1 in the NL in all three categories. What a start to the season.

  14. Steven Ross

    This team is still on track for an 80 & 82 season.

  15. Klugo

    Hard to gain momentum with Hoffman in the rotation (and Castillo right now, for that matter). What’s it gonna take to switch Hoffman and Antone’s roles? I mean you only need a long man when the starter cant get through 5 innings (ahem Hoffman).

  16. ClevelandRedsFan

    Gotta switch Antone and Hoffman at this point. Start the plan now and let Antone pitch 2 or 3 innings today, and they can be on the same schedule.

    Antone takes Hoffman’s place in the rotation on a 60-70 pitch count. Reds need to see if Antone can start.

  17. Gonzo Reds

    The biggest takeaway I have this week is that Senzel is starting to hit. He has a chance to be a Whit Merrifield type of player (who also plays 2B/OF) as long as he can stay healthy and playing at 2B will help with that. He certainly needs to get better reads and jumps if he’s going to steal bases but he does have the speed.

    As far as the SP debate I’m in the Antone camp. He should get first shot at replacing Hoffman, then Gutt/Sant from AAA as they’ve put in the time. Folks can yell and scream and stamp their feet all they want for immediate Lodelo/Greene promotions but other than a possible August cup of coffee after they get a few successful starts at AAA it’s just not going to happen. They’ll both be in the mix in 2022 spring training though.

  18. RojoBenjy

    Can we get the Statcast data on that ball that Winker didn’t catch? Someone in the game thread insisted it wasn’t a catchable ball. I didn’t see the game. Perhaps a hit/catch probability is available somewhere?

    • greenmtred

      I noticed that the broadcast didn’t attempt to show that play very clearly. It focused on the hitter and didn’t linger or slow down the action in left enough for certainty. But it looked to me as though Winker misjudged the ball and couldn’t recover. Same thing happened on a well-hit ball earlier in the season. I like Winer, and he’s currently the Reds’ best hitter. But despite being 3 for 4 last night, he made two mistakes that might have cost the game.

      • RojoBenjy

        Thanks for the account. I appreciate it

      • RojoBenjy

        Perhaps Winker is making his case to move to 1B lol

      • Tom Mitsoff

        I agree with greenmtred’s account. It was absolutely not a can of corn, but a skilled, experienced outfielder would have had a decent chance at making the catch.

  19. SultanofSwaff

    Had there been a tag applied at home, Winker makes it to third w/o a throw. So in essence, the terrible relay throw is what caused the baserunning mistake. I’m not gonna get too worked up over it.

    Senzel’s general lack of baseball instincts do concern me, however. He gets terrible jumps on steal attempts, makes awkward slides, and doesn’t know how to properly lay out on fly balls. He’s kind of a danger to himself.

    Time to slot Antone into the rotation….he has little positive value if you can’t give the bullpen a lead to protect. Use Hoffman in long relief where he’ll thrive as we’re stuggling to find pitchers who can hold the line when the team is down by a little in the middle innings.

    • VaRedsFan

      Good assessment on Senzel…I agree.

  20. CFD3000

    Is it my imagination or is Antone being prepped to start? He hasn’t pitched in at least five or six days with an off day, a rain out and a no hitter helping keep Bell from calling on him. So does he get Hoffman’s next start? Or even Castillo’s? I agree with those who want to see him flip roles with Hoffman. Here’s hoping…

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I’m guessing it is probably your imagination, unfortunately. My guess is you’ll see him today in a game which is either tied late or the Reds hold a slim lead.

  21. centerfield

    I think Antone is the closer in Bell’s mind. And according to his manger-logic, closers only pitch when there is a save situation.

  22. BK

    Reds baserunning blunders are hurting them big time. Hoffman has an ERA+ of 97. That’s essentially league average for our #6 starter which is not problematic. Winkers LF miss would have been a great play, but I agree he appeared to have misread the ball and wasn’t in as good of position as he should have been.