|Pittsburgh Pirates (41-68)||4||8||1|
|Cincinnati Reds (58-51)||7||9||0|
|W: Gray (4-6) L: Crowe (3-6)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
The Reds entered play on Thursday night 7.5 games back in the NL Central and 4.0 back for the second wild card spot with 54 games to play. The one glaring sign for optimism when looking at the Reds remaining schedule was they had 13 games left against the Pirates. That represented 24% of their final schedule. The team the Reds are chasing in the NL Central, the Brewers, have already played the Pirates 10 more times and only have 3 remaining contests.
Reds fans were quickly given an injection of hope in the first of the 13 contests.
Jonathan India lead off the game for the Reds with a home run.
Eugenio Suarez was placed in the #8 spot in the lineup for the first time since 2015. He hit a 3-run home run in the second inning to push the Reds lead to 4-0.
Joey Votto put the game out of reach later in the second inning with a 3-run home run of his own. Votto became the first Reds player since Frank Robinson in 1962 to hit 10 home runs in 10 games.
Sonny Gray did not allow a run in the first four innings, but he had a tough luck fifth inning that chased him. The bottom of the Reds bullpen depth chart (Hoffman and Wilson) pitched three big scoreless innings. Mychal Givens finished off the Pirates for a 7-4 victory.
The Reds are seven games above .500 for the first time since July 13, 2014. The Brewers and Padres were both off tonight. The Reds are now 7.0 games out of the NL Central and just 3.5 games out of the second wild card spot.
Biggest Play of the Game
According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the biggest play of the game was Eugenio Suarez’ 3-run home run with 0 outs in the 2nd inning, giving the Reds a 4-0 lead. That play increased the Reds probability of winning by 14.3% (from 73.2% to 87.5%).
Jonathan India hit his 12th home run of the year. I don’t even want to think about where the Reds would be without him. India continues his strong case to be the Reds first NL Rookie of the Year since Scott Williamson in 1999.
Joey Votto hit his 22nd home run of the year. Votto joined Frank Robinson back in 1962 as the only Cincinnati Reds to hit 10 home runs in a 10 game span. It’s just incredible what the Reds 37-year old first baseman has been able to do. He put the Reds on his back when they needed him the most.
Eugenio Suarez hit his 22nd home run of the season as well. Suarez now has 4 home runs in his last 10 games. It seems inevitable that Suarez will end up on the bench a lot with Mike Moustakas back any day, but you hope that Suarez can continue to hit some bombs to provide a great bench bat/spot starter for the Reds. He could make David Bell’s job very difficult.
Sonny Gray pitched well tonight, he just could not get the results: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. The Pirates had just a .172 expected batting average. Gray had not allowed a run through four innings tonight. He was at a very manageable 65 pitches. The Pirates got two hits with a .060 and .140 xBA. One of those hits was a ball hit to Votto with runners on 2nd & 3rd base that should have been an out. Votto had the runner dead at the plate, but he retreated and Suarez forgot to cover third base (in fairness, it was a very unorthodox play into the shift). Overall though, I was very encouraged by Gray’s effort. He came out looking strong on the heels of a good start over the weekend against the Mets.
Kyle Farmer just keeps hitting. He collected 3 hits and is now hitting .265/.330/.415. He also had just another solid night in the field defensively.
Nick Castellanos returned to the Reds lineup and had one walk. His plate discipline was notably strong for a guy who hasn’t started a game in nearly three weeks. His presence in the lineup is definitely a big boost for the Reds.
Jeff Hoffman and Justin Wilson gave the majority of the Reds bullpen a big night off. Hoffman pitched two shutout innings, and Wilson gave the Reds one.
Mychal Givens helped the Reds set a new record. He became the 10th Reds pitcher to record a save (joining Tejay Antone, Brad Brach, Sean Doolittle, Michael Feliz, Amir Garrett, Heath Hembree, Michael Lorenzen, Josh Osich and Lucas Sims). The Reds previous record was 9 set in both 1959 and 1965. You can find the full record here.
Tyler Stephenson left the game early. There was no official word from the Reds, but Jim Day mentioned that Stephenson had gone down into the tunnel with the trainer while the Reds were batting in the bottom of the 5th. He was then taken out of the game.
Tyler Naquin was robbed of a home run in the 5th inning by Bryan Reynolds.
Tyler Naquin vs Duane Underwood Jr.#ATOBTTR
Exit velo: 104.3 mph
Launch angle: 36 deg
Proj. distance: 398 ft
This would have been a home run in 6/30 MLB ballparks
PIT (4) @ CIN (7)
? 5th pic.twitter.com/YLFWNc6Uxp
— Would it dong? (@would_it_dong) August 6, 2021
Not so random thoughts…………….
The Reds are now 10-1 in their last 11 games vs Pirates dating back to 2020. The Reds are not going to win all 12 remaining games against the Pirates. The Reds will have a starter not have it one night, or one of the Pirates starters will just have a great night. Tonight’s game did make you question just how many games can the Reds rack up wins against the Pirates? You have to wonder if the Reds could do something crazy like go 11-2 in these final 13 games? If they do something like that, there is a really good chance the Reds are in the playoff hunt in the last week of the season.
The Reds complete dominance over the NL Central continues. The Reds are now 31-18 vs NL Central this season. They are an even crazier 38-19 against the division since 9/13/20.
The Reds are also just playing some great baseball overall. The Reds have won 7 of 9, and they are 36-23 (.610) in their last 59 games.
Pirates at Reds
Friday, 7:10 PM
TV: Bally Sports Ohio
Wade Miley (2.92 ERA) vs JT Brubaker (4.49 ERA)