|Cincinnati Reds (16-17)
|Pittsburgh Pirates (15-20)
|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.
Cry me a river. pic.twitter.com/86ghSdpqBP
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 11, 2021
Winker also drove in the second Reds run with the above-referenced ill-advised mad dash to third base.
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:
If the Reds can score 10+ against the Pirates tonight, it will be the 1st time in franchise history that they scored 10+ in 4 straight games against an opponent within a single season.
— Joel Luckhaupt of the Pawnee Lerpiss family (@jluckhaupt) May 11, 2021
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)