In what felt like a must win game the Cincinnati Reds couldn’t hold an early lead on the Pirates and watched Pittsburgh score five unanswered runs on Tuesday night. Cincinnati fell to 78-74 on the season as the late-season collapse continued.

Final R H E
Pittsburgh Pirates (57-94) 6 10 0
Cincinnati Reds (78-74) 2 10 0
W: Keller (5-11) L: Mahle (12-6)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati’s offense got things going in the 2nd inning when back-to-back singles by Kyle Farmer and Eugenio Suárez put runners on the corners with no outs. Tucker Barnhart grounded into a double play, but it did bring Farmer across the plate to put Cincinnati up 1-0. After the Pirates tied the game up in the top of the 4th, Cincinnati got the run back on a sacrifice fly from TJ Friedl, but that was all the Reds would get after loading the bases with no outs.

After the Pirates took a 3-2 lead in the 5th, the Reds stranded Jonathan India after a leadoff walk. In the 6th inning singles by Kyle Farmer and Tucker Barnhart had two men on the bases with two outs. Rather than have TJ Friedl face Anthony Banda, David Bell went to his bench to bring Asdrúbal Cabrera to the plate to get a righty-on-lefty match up. It didn’t work as Cabrera struck out to move to 0-20 in his Cincinnati Reds career.

The 7th inning saw Cincinnati try to get something brewing again. Delino DeShields and Jonathan India both walked to begin the inning. Max Schrock then blooped a single just out of the reach of second baseman Hoy Park to load the bases for the Reds. Nick Castellanos popped out to first base. Joey Votto then hit a lazy fly to center that wasn’t deep enough to move any of the runners, leaving the fate of the inning up to Kyle Farmer.

After watching Pittsburgh score three runs in the top of the 8th and take a 6-2 lead, the Reds offense had a ton of work to do. Eugenio Suárez doubled to start the inning. But Tucker Barnhart popped out to shortstop and slammed his bat in frustration, splitting it down the middle. Pinch hitter Jose Barrero came out and he lit a soft liner into right field that made for an easy catch for Ben Gamel. Delino DeShields struck out to end the inning.

Jonathan India singled to lead off the inning. It was his 1st hit of the game, but the 4th time he had reached base thanks to three previous walks on the night. Max Schrock flew out to center, leaving Cincinnati with two outs remaining in the game. Nick Castellanos struck out for the second out of the inning, leaving things up to Joey Votto. Jonathan India took both 2nd and 3rd base on defensive indifference. It was for nothing as a fly out to center ended the game.

The Pitching

Tyler Mahle had to work around back-to-back 1-out walks in the 1st inning, but he did just that. The Pirates didn’t really threaten anything until the top of the 4th inning when Ben Gamel hit a solo home run to tie the game up.

After the Reds grabbed the lead right back in the bottom of the 4th, Mahle couldn’t hold the lead in the top of the 5th. A single by Hoy Park led off the inning and he moved up to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Ke’Bryan Hayes and Cole Tucker then followed up with back-to-back RBI singles to tie the game and then put the Pirates up 3-2. A walk to Bryan Reynolds followed. That was all she wrote for Mahle on the night as manager David Bell called on Tony Santillan. He got a ground out and a strikeout to strand both runners. Santillan returned for the start of the 6th and struck out Anthony Alford. Justin Wilson entered the game there and allowed an infield single to Michael Perez, but struck out the next two batters to end the inning.

Lucas Sims came out for the 7th and he struck out two batters in a perfect inning. Michael Lorenzen then took over for the 8th. He got a ground out to begin things, but then walked Ben Gamel and threw a pitch to the backstop that moved Gamel up to second. Another walk followed and then Michael Perez lined a single into right field to bring home a run and the Pirates padded their lead, making it 4-2. Cincinnati brought the infield in with runners on the corners. Hoy Park didn’t leave it to chance with the infield and hit a sacrifice fly to give Pittsburgh a 3-run lead. Yoshi Tsutsugo came on as a pinch hitter and doubled in another run as the night came to a close for Lorenzen.

Art Warren took over for Lorenzen with two outs and a runner on second base. He gave up an infield single to put runners on the corners. Warren rebounded by striking out Cole Tucker to mercifully end the Pirates half of the inning. Jeff Hoffman threw a perfect 9th to keep the game within “slam range”. The slam never came.

Notes Worth Noting

As noted by Joel Luckhaupt, Asdrúbal Cabera’s 0-20 start is the most hitless at-bats to begin a Reds career by a non-pitch since 1930, tying him with Ivey Shiver in 1934.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Cincinnati Reds

Wednesday September 21st, 12:35pm ET

TBA vs Luis Castillo (8-15, 4.08 ERA)

47 Responses

  1. Bet on Red

    now the bullpen is truly burned. A day game tomorrow (maybe), Reds need a no no from LC

    • RedsMonk65

      I don’t think they’ll be able to play tomorrow. Just as well, though.

  2. RedsMonk65


    That’s all I have to say about that.

  3. Redsfan4life

    That does it. Fun season overall. Exceeded mine and Ii imagine most peoples expectations. Winker being out was the final blow it seems.

    • Rich

      We have had so many opportunities to win close games in the last month and just have not played how a playoff team should. It’s going to seem like a disappointing season because of that. I never expected this team to be in the playoff hunt this year so this has been a pleasant surprise. Imagine if we had hit this well last year. We need to build this team around Winker, Stephenson, India, Barrero, Lodolo, and Greene. If we can get another great year from Joey and get Suarez back to hitting .250 then we can be a pretty decent team next year if the young pitchers have a good year. We have to sign an outfielder if Nick leaves (and he will) and another starting pitcher as I’m not sure we want to pick up Miley’s option.

  4. Jon

    The Castellinis need to be publicly shamed for this garbage. Perhaps fans attending the remaining home games can start chants of “sell the team”. Or fans bring signs to GABP saying the same thing.

    • Scotly50

      No, they were already laying comatose. The plugged just got pulled tonight.

    • Randy Peterson

      David Bell, what on earth were you doing in the 6th inning? 2 on, 2 outs, Friedl due up. His first time up he hit a frozen rope to the warning track. 2nd time up, he knocks in a run with a Sac fly. He hit lefties this year in the minors at a .302 clip, so you take him down for an old, washed up, lifeless 0-19 Asdrubal Cabrera, who proceeded to strikeout. Just unbelievable.

  5. Mark A Verticchio

    I think we all agree. Pathetic…….

  6. Magnum 44

    I agree with Redsfan it was a incredibly fun season they played well for 3/4’s of the season this team has some warts, but for the first time since Votto Bruce Phillips and Cueto this team at least has a foundation. The trick to the off-season is trying to find someone to take on the Moustakas contract. I have been thinking K.C….. who knows it just stinks that we have such a crappy owner he might sell off everything.

  7. SteveO

    Cabrera needs to be DFA’d immediately. He is not producing at all and is not in the future plans for the Reds. Lopez needs to take his 28 man roster spot tomorrow!

    • Randy Peterson

      They should have never picked him up to begin with!!!

    • TR

      Whoever pushed to bring Cabrera in should be dismissed.

  8. Cyrus

    The number of responses speaks volumes. How you finish anything in life says a lot about your character and what your future might hold.

    Leadership is also underrated, especially in baseball where you spend six months with the same group of guys with almost no time off for family, etc. Down the stretch, a leader is needed within the team as player-run teams are almost always more successful than coach-led teams.

  9. Jon

    Cardinals: Go out and acquire one of the best third basemen in the league while giving up virtually nothing.

    Reds: Sign Doolittle after dumping Iglesias and Bradley.

  10. J

    The front office must be kicking themselves because they probably could have signed Ivey Shiver for a lot less money.

    • greenmtred

      They would have had to pay him in 1934 dollars, though: I bet they’re worth 4 or 5 2021 bucks.

  11. Mark A Verticchio

    9 and 17 the last 26 games says it all. I know there have been some injuries but when you consider the schedule this should have never happened and I agree it comes down to failed leadership. A few weeks ago a lot of people said it would be O.K. to collapse as long as it meant the end of Bell. Well looks like a lot of folks got 1/2 there wish. Myself, while not a bell supporter by any means I could have done without the last 26 games, particularly with, of all teams, the Cardinals taking over.

    • Votto4life

      Feel the same…I am not a Bell supporter either but I wanted him to succeed.

      My only concern about firing David Bell is who will they replace him with? I know a lot of people want Barry Larkin, but in my view that would be just a terrible choice.

    • greenmtred

      If you examine the box score for last night’s game, you’ll have trouble concluding that it came down to anything but a lack of hitting from pretty much everyone, including the best hitters, and a melt-down by the best relief pitcher.

    • TR

      The Reds take the season series from the Cardinals. Then the ‘easy schedule’, for some fans, make it look like a walk-in to the playoffs. Now the Cardinal ‘bug-a-boo’ is back over the Reds. A failure of leadership to put winning as the #1 goal.

  12. Votto4life

    I have the feeling that the payroll is going to be dramatically slashed this off-season.

    The best we can hope for with Nick is the Reds to make a QO to score a draft pick, but it really wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t. I think there is little chance the Reds will sign Lorenzen and Givens. Maybe they will sign one, maybe neither.

    The Reds will not pick up Barnhart’s option though they may resign him for maybe $5 Million. I can see the Reds trading Wade Miley and maybe Sonny Gray.

    It’s going to be a rough winter. The good news is they will likely play the youngsters next season, because they won’t have a choice.

    • Old Big Ed

      There is a 100% chance that the Reds make a qualifying offer to Castellanos. It would take a cloud of fentanyl vapor enveloping the entirety of GABP for a month for them not to do that.

  13. Jon

    The more I think about it, the more I realize this hurts worse than 2012. At least after 2012, the future still looked bright. The entire rotation was due back in 2013. The main core of hitters (Votto, Phillips, Bruce, Hanigan, Frazier) were due back with the exceptions of Ludwick and Rolen. The bullpen was still intact.

    Yet heading into 2022, things are much more bumpy. First there’s the CBA expiring, which will likely hold everything up this winter. Then you’ve got the apparent turmoil in the front office. And the Reds will have to find a way to improve this awfully-constructed offense while likely losing another big piece in Castellanos. And we have no clue what to expect in 2022 when Greene and Lodolo are dropped into the rotation.

    • Alex

      The CBA won’t affect the reds I don’t think. Reds ownership is going to be cut cut cut this off-season. Miley, caste and tucker and maybe sonny gone. They’ll let all FA like lorenzen and givens walk for sure. And than they’ll use some prospects to get teams to take Suarez and or moose.

      The season the ownership group really cares about is coming up and it’s time to SAVE SOME MONEY. The last of the dick Williams approach fled the ship. Its time to get frugal, aim cheap and keep expectations low.

  14. Jim Walker

    Perfect timing for me, CBJ fall camp opens Wednesday.

    I tweeted after that 7th inning Reds debacle that I hurt too much to laugh but was too old (and had experienced too much of life) to cry over a baseball game. Then the Pirates topped it off by putting however many they scored on the board in the 8th. At least that got me laughing.

    • Old Big Ed

      That was pretty much my reaction, too. Turned it to Gunsmoke for an old episode where Miss Kitty was about 26 years old. Mercy.

      They just weren’t good enough this year. Front office had a bad year; Bell made some head-scratching decisions; and Moustakas, Suarez and Akiyama ate $35 million of payroll and did not contribute.

      The farm system is in good shape, notwithstanding the laments of the Boddy loyalists, and I will be at Goodyear come March.

      • Jim Walker

        Would you believe that in recent days I’ve been biting my tongue to keep from writing that Moustakas was limping so badly he made Chester of Gunsmoke fame look like a world class sprinter?

  15. Jim Walker

    From June 1 thru August 31, the Reds were 47-34. That’s a .580 winning percentage for 81 games, the number of games in half a season. In September the Reds are 7-11, a .389 winning %.

    Keep in mind Jesse Winker went out of the lineup on August 15 and yet the Reds still won 16 games in the month, the same number they had in July and 1 more than they had won in June.

    So yes, the loss of Winker (and others) might have knocked them down to a ~.500 day to day playing level but .389? That’s as bad as the seasonal record of the Pirates and DBacks and not as bad as the seasonal records of the Cubs who quit trying on August 1.

    It takes nothing less than a complete failure of leadership to have turned on a dime into the team they are now from the team they were before. And when I say the complete failure of leadership, I mean complete, from among the players, coaches and manager, and front office. It is just disgusting

    • Reddawg2012

      I’ve been a David Bell supporter all along, but it’s hard to argue with anything in your post. Something went very wrong down the stretch and I don’t think it can fully be attributed to the Winker injury. This team didn’t just hit a rough stretch…it was a nose dive and the wheels came completely off.

      I don’t know what the solution is, but these are discouraging times in terms of the overall direction of the organization.

      • CI3J

        There has been some speculation that something happened behind the scenes that hasn’t been made public yet, but the nosedive seemed to correspond with two events: 1. Bell’s mishandling of Barrero, and 2. The reports that Nick planned to opt out.

        Of course, it could all just be a coincidence, but there definitely seems to be a difference in the body language of the players on the field. Some would say they have just “quit” on Bell. Yeah, I know, these are professional athletes making millions, they should just go out and do their job, but they are human as well, and they can be affected by emotions.

        Or maybe they just ran out of energy. That seems to be the case with Miley and Guiterrez. In which case, that’s also on the manager for not better preparing his players.

      • CI3J

        There has been some speculation that something happened behind the scenes that hasn’t been made public yet, but the nosedive seemed to correspond with two events: 1. Bell’s mishandling of Barrero, and 2. The reports that Nick planned to opt out.

        Of course, it could all just be a coincidence, but there definitely seems to be a difference in the body language of the players on the field. Some would say they have just “quit” on Bell. Yeah, I know, these are professional athletes making millions, they should just go out and do their job, but they are human as well, and they can be affected by emotions.

        Or maybe they just ran out of energy. That seems to be the case with Miley and Guiterrez. In which case, that’s also on the manager for not better preparing his players.

      • greenmtred

        Your post is good and thoughtful, and we may never know what actually happened, though it seems likely that it is an accumulation of things rather than a single event. I’m a David Bell agnostic rather than a supporter, since I don’t pretend to have the information that goes into the decisions he has to make and I attach less importance to a manager than some. I’m not certain that Barrero was mishandled, though. Many of us had, in my view, unrealistic expectations for him when , in reality, he’s a rookie with little MLB experience.

  16. Klugo

    On the bright side, Santillan looks like he’s gonna be a monster out of the bullpen for years to come.

    • docproc

      With you on this. Also like Warren, Cessa (2 more years), and Sims (3 more years). Would love this Moreta kid to show us something in the next few games.

  17. Bill J

    I noticed no one mentioned the 30 LOB in the game, 30. One other thing back in the late 50s Baseball Digest did a report on teams when their Best player was out of the lineup, at that time Frank Robinson was the Reds best, the Reds I believe, won every game he was out.

  18. Pablo

    Woah, I didn’t believe that 30 LOB but it’s true!! And while having the same number of hits (10) as PITTSberg. Deflating way to go out while the Cards continue to steamroll into the playoffs. Wouldn’t be surprising to see them beat LA.

  19. VaRedsFan

    Votto 0-8 with the bases loaded this year

  20. CFD3000

    Frustrating fizzle of a finish. This collapse has been hard to watch, and the combination of a diminished roster with Winker, Naquin, Senzel and Akiyama all gone from the outfield, and continued playing time for Suarez (who, admittedly, has had a recent decent run), Moustakas, Cabrera, and Farmer (also not terrible) instead of Barrero, Schrock and Farmer has been brutal.

    The Reds will lose Castellanos and Lorenzen and likely Barnhart and Miley. They need to also lose Moustakas, Cabrera, Deshields and, sadly, Aquino. They will (okay, should) add Barrero, Lopez, Greene and Lodolo, and swap Santillan to the rotation instead of Gutierrez. And Mahle, and Gray could both be moved to upgrade the outfield or the bullpen. Biggest need is addition by subtraction, followed by bats for the outfield. The 2022 Reds could be quite good. Or pretty bad. The fact that the outcome lies in the hands of a GM and Owner I don’t trust to make good baseball decisions is disheartening. I’m going to enjoy the last 10 games of ROY India, Joey MVP, and Nick C. Then ask me next March how excited I am about the 2022 team. Because right now I have no idea. Go Reds!

    • CFD3000

      Oops, meant Barrero, Schrock, Lopez and Farmer…

  21. Old Big Ed

    I predict that they give Cessa a shot at starting next year. A competent from office — ahem — would give first priority to getting out from as much of the Moustakas and Suarez contracts as possible. Doing so could include trading Mahle or I suppose Castillo, both of whom have solid trade value, by which I mean either a prospect or perhaps a team’s taking on a meaningful chunk of the Moustakas or Suarez contracts.

    They have a decision to make with Senzel, who will draw interest but is at a low value now. I get the sense that Senzel wants out, and bridges may already be burned, but I could see him being a solid producer for a team like Rangers or Rockies. Or maybe they package him with Mahle in a major trade.

    The one absolute giant stride forward that the organization has made is that its Latin American operations have made enormous strides. Elly De La Cruz exploded onto the scene as a legitimate 5-tool star, and other teenagers like Carlos Jorge, Andruw Salcedo, Yassel Pino, Yerlin Confidan, and the barely-17 Leonardo Balcazar all had very good seasons among the positions players. Allan Cerda continues to progress at A+, and there are several others. The last really good Latin hitter that the Reds have signed and developed is Tony Perez more than 55 years ago, so this improvement addresses a generational weakness.

    • Jim Walker

      But the guys at the top of the managerial food chain have to follow through and give the Latino guys equal opportunity as their draft day prizes who they always seem to think are worth more risks and get the breaks moving up the chain.

  22. Hotto4Votto

    Tough game. A game the Reds needed to win. No group really delivered. Mahle couldn’t hold onto two separate leads and didn’t get through 5. The offense missed multiple opportunities that they just can’t afford not to capitalize on. Lorenzen took a close game and made it worse. Ugh.