The Reds blew a 5-0 lead to the woeful Pittsburgh Pirates as Cincinnati’s struggles over the final six weeks of the season continued in an 8-6 loss.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (82-79) 6 9 1
Pittsburgh Pirates (61-100) 8 16 1
W: Mears (1-0) L: Santillan (1-3) SV: Stratton (8)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

It didn’t take long for the Reds offense to get going on Saturday, and they got a little help from the Pirates, too. Tyler Stephenson lined a single into right field, but Yoshi Tsutsugo couldn’t come up with it and it bounced right under his glove and Stephenson raced to third. Nick Castellanos followed with a sacrifice fly – his 98th RBI of the season – to put Cincinnati up 1-0.

In the 3rd inning the Reds got back to it. Delino DeShields singled to lead off the inning, moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Mahle, and then scored on a single by Max Schrock to extend the lead to 2-0. In the following inning Joey Votto had a 1-out walk and scored on the 31st homer of the year from Eugenio Suárez that landed in the bushes in center. In the 5th inning it was Nick Castellanos doing some damage again, this time with a solo homer – his 34th of the year and pushing his RBI total to 99 – to make it 5-0.

After watching their 5-0 lead turn into a 6-5 deficit in the 5th inning, the Reds got a pair of doubles from rookies TJ Friedl and Tyler Stephenson in the top of the 6th to tie the game back up. After Pittsburgh grabbed the lead right back, the Reds went 1-2-3 in the 7th and while Delino DeShields would walk in the 8th he was quickly erased on an inning-ending double play.

Trailing 8-6 in the top of the 9th, the Reds sent 1-2-3 of their order up. Max Schrock grounded out to second base. Tyler Stephenson was called out on a checked swing for the second out. Nick Castellanos would wrap things up with a ground out to second to end the game.

The Pitching

Tyler Mahle was cruising through the first four innings of the game. He entered the bottom of the 5th inning with a 5-0 lead. But the wheels absolutely fell off as he allowed three straight singles before a triple and another single. After a strikeout of Yoshi Tsutsugo he gave up another single before David Bell had seen enough and called on Justin Wilson to try and shut the rally down. But when Mahle left the game he had already given up four earned runs in the inning and was still responsible for the two men on the bases. Both runners scored after a double by Michael Chavis and the 5-0 lead was gone and the Reds were trailing 6-5 in the blink of an eye. Ben Gamel then singled on a bunt and stole second base to put two men in scoring position. It wouldn’t matter as Wilson then walked Jacob Stallings to load the bases. The inning came to a merciful ending when Wilson struck out Oneil Cruz.

Tony Santillan came on for the bottom of the 6th inning in a 6-6 game after Cincinnati was able to tie things up in the top half of the frame. The inning started well as he recorded two quick outs, but he hit Yoshi Tsutsugo and then gave up a triple to Bryan Reynolds as the Pirates took the lead right back from the Reds.

Luis Cessa came out for the 7th inning and gave up a leadoff single. A nice play from Joey Votto where he short-hopped a grounder and tagged first before firing to Jose Barrero covering second who made a nice tag to get a force out led to two quick outs. But then Jacob Stallings, Oneil Cruz, and Hoy Park followed up with singles to load the bases. Cessa then walked Cole Tucker to bring in the Pirates 8th run of the night. A ground out back to Cessa would end the inning, but Pittsburgh extended their lead.

Like the pitchers before him, Jeff Hoffman struggled to keep runners off of the bases as he allowed a hit and walked two batters – though one was intentional – in his inning of work. Unlike the previous few pitchers, his inning was scoreless as he gave the Reds one final opportunity to get at least two runs to tie the game up int he top of the 9th. They didn’t as their late-season woes against the Pirates continued.

One more game.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Pittsburgh Pirates

Sunday October 3rd, 3:05pm ET

Reiver Sanmartin (1-0, 1.59 ERA) vs. TBA

37 Responses

  1. Rut

    This was a recap where the pic of Milton the goat would have been useful.

  2. CI3J

    Doug, didn’t you predict the Reds to win 83 games this year?

    All on the line for you in the final game!

  3. DaveCT

    Kralling to the very end. The last gasp,.the final breath.

    Whatever you do — do not look how great Raisel has been, and how happy he is.

    You may actually observe something and integrate it. Or not.

    • TR

      Good for Raisel Iglesias and the Angels. The last year or so it was obvious Raisel was not pleased to be brought in if a ‘save’ was not possible, so IMO, it was time for a change. What fans didn’t expect was that the front office would replace Iglesias and Bradley with misfits for the bullpen until the trade deadline in July. If there’s going to be meaningful change overall in Redsland, it’s got to start with a change in ownership.

      • Redsvol

        Agree. Reds really messed up the handling of Iglesias. He was relatively inexpensive in today’s market snd we got absolutely nothing for him. If you have to trade him then at least get something! He definitely likes it in LA – 101 strikeouts in 69 innings! Probably would have won 5-10 more games this year with That version of Raisel. April and may would have been much different.

      • Still a Red

        Wouda, shouda, couda…everything in the last two years performance, and comments on this site, pointed to Raisel being a net negative. While it would have been nice to get a better trade,, you could only get what teams are willing to pay. I’m sure they didn’t turn down a better trade. And be careful what you ask for when asking for a change in ownership.

      • Hanawi

        I’d also advise you don’t look at the numbers for Noe Ramirez who was the main piece they got back. They ended up letting him go and he had a solid season for the Dbacks.

      • TR

        Being careful has got us David Bell contracted as manager for at least two more years.

  4. GreatRedLegsFan

    Looking at the overall record, 82-80 or 83-79 matches most pre-season predictions. If compared to, for example, the expectations for the Padres, Reds are right on the money. I believe this season’s results shall make front office think about which path they’re going to take during the next five years or so: rely in the new crop of players already in the majors plus those coming up within the next two years or so (and getting rid of the underperforming veterans in the process) or just continue allowing playing time to the latter at detriment of the former. That’s a major task that, unfortunately, I don’t foresee Krall & Co. capable of, GO REDS!

  5. Redsvol

    Boy mahle is frustrating. I still say lockhim up on extension but games like this make me want to pay him below market. Is he starter #3 or #5? Giving up 6 runs in an inning to the pirates should be impossible for a top starter. Either he or his catcher Stephens should have been able to stop the bleeding. Got to have more mental toughness than that.

    The team scored 6 runs with a very makeshift lineup. That’s enough to win. Bullpen wasn’t good but that loss is on mahle and Stephenson.

    Looking forward to seeing what San Martin can do in another game. And I’d like to see Barnhart catch since it could be his last game in reds uniform.

  6. Still a Red

    Pay Castellanos what he’s worth! Joey will be off the books soon. Castellanos and Winker and the young boys should be who we build the next team around. See if you can send Moose back to AL to DH and get him off the books. If you can get a bona fide CF for Suarez (his contract is attractive), do it and play Senzel at 3rd (Farmer can spell him there). See if someone can take Shogo (altho he wasn’t really given much of shot here). Teach Aquino how to hit or lay off the breaking ball down and away. I’d keep Barnhart, play Tyler more, including more frequently at first.

  7. LDS

    I see the Padres are firing their manager. Good for them. That’s the difference between serious organizations and the Reds. As for matching the pre season projections, that’s irrelevant. What’s relevant is where they could have been with just a small amount of investment by the FO and a decent field manager, one not committed to playing aging veterans. Maybe by the time I’m 80 the Reds will win again.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree the situation should be viewed as what was possible as the season developed versus how things were projected ahead of time. What’s the old cliche? That’s why they play the games.

      Unfortunately going back at least as far as Walt Jocketty’s infamous “We got Jack for that.” quip, the Reds ownership and upper management has been locked into a static view of their world within a season versus a dynamic view.

      • Jim Walker

        @LDS, it is a new month, you might be able to get through to the Krall budget article. I did about an hour ago, not that it said anything you or I couldn’t have researched and written if we had a Zoom availability with Krall 😉

        It reprised the 2022 salary commitments and pending options then tossed in a couple of Krall quotes that indicated setting the budget was the first step; and, they would see where they stood on Castellanos and others once the budget was set. But there was no indication where Krall thought the budget might come in

    • burtgummer01

      Sheer ignorance
      The padres added significant payroll where the Reds reduced payroll and the Reds will have a better record
      The uneducated mind is a funny thing

      • LDS

        The Reds simply proved a team can be mediocre without spending a lot of money. Speaking of money, I see Krall says the budget is the 1st priority. It’s behind a paywall so I haven’t read it. But the headline is ominous.

      • burtgummer01

        But yet people expect them to be great even when ownership is perfectly content is losing baseball games as long as he makes money

      • Votto4life

        Krall stated that the first priority is knowing what there budget is going to be and that it be based on revenue. He said that will take a couple of week to figure out next years budget. I’m not sure what will happen in the next two weeks to answer those question but that is what he said.

        I read it as “Don’t get your hopes up” but maybe I’m just cynical.

  8. Michael B. Green

    The first move CIN needs to make this offseason is to sign a bona fide closer. Since, 1990, these were the closers on 1st place teams (in reverse chronological order): Randy Myers, Jeff Brantley, Francisco Cordero and Aroldis Chapman.

    These are a few of the bona fide closer free agents this year: Alex Colome, Greg Holland, Juaquin (sp) Soria, Mark Melancon, Kenley Jansen and Craig Kimbrel. I would look hard at Jansen or Kimbrel.

    Trade candidates are Edwin Diaz and Chapman.

    Getting a true, proven 9th inning guy, frees up the pecking order for Sims, Santillan, Cessa, Warren, Moreta and Hendrix.

    The only lefty, assuming CIN controls him, is Justin Wilson. Not sure Sanmartin will get convereted to a reliever (no reason to do so now). Assuming Garrett is traded or non-tendered, that would create a need for a LHRP. The minor league invites did nothing to help the team contend. They could go that route again for depth, but if CIN is committed to winning, they will get a bona fide LHRP.

    If you have Stephenson, India, Barrero and perhaps Senzel (if he is not traded) in your lineup, along with Winker and several key veterans, bolstered by a strong SP staff, you go for it – NOW. NOW is the time.

    • Jim Walker

      Either here on or elsewhere someone walked through Wilson’s confusing option situation.

      There are separate team and player options. As I recall the team gets 1st shot at $7.15m for 2022 against a $1.15m option buyout payment.
      If the team declines that option, Wilson has a player option at $2.5m (which would cancel the team buyout payment) but also obligate him for 2023 at a bargain price of MLB minimum+$500K+ a series of innings pitched bonuses which could net him up to another $500K.

      The team isn’t likely to pay the $7m plus; so, it comes down to whether Wilson wants to take the $1.15m buyout against it and look elsewhere/retire or commit himself for 2 more seasons at something along the line of ~$3.5 total guaranteed that could grow to $4m or a tad more if he made all the innings pitched options in 2023.

      By way of context, BBRef estimates that at the end of the 2021 regular season, Wilson’s total career salary earnings are just short of $23m. So, at age 34, he could be happy to just take his $1.15 team option buyout and call it a career.

  9. Dennis Westrick

    I’m guessing Mahle’s chances for a Cy Young award are over?

    • Jim Walker

      I thought the game presented Bell with a good gut check moment for Mahle and Bell took it by leaving Mahle on the mound to see if he could figure out a way to stop the bleeding. The winning season was in hand. Who cares about 84 wins versus 83 (or 82)?

  10. Dennis Westrick

    Same old Bell tactics! Let’s use a RP per inning until we find one who’s not up-to-snuff and lose another game where the Reds had a lead of 4 runs or more!

  11. Dennis Westrick

    When I made it to the Mecca of Baseball (GABP) on September 23rd after my 900+ mile journey from Central Florida I got the news! What news you ask? The nice elderly gentlemen that took my ticket as I entered the ballpark told me he just heard that the Reds FO had extended Bell’s contract for 2 years! The look on that man’s face said it all and I told him I feel your pain! I still love my Reds but not the current manager or FO leaders!

    • greenmtred

      I know. I could never fathom why Bell kept all of those great players on the bench and insisted on playing the scrubs. The only answer I could come up with was Satanic influence. Sparky would never have done that: If he had been lucky enough to have the current roster, he’d have won two World Series!! In one year!!

  12. Bill J

    People wanting to sign players for what we know would be large contracts, they need is real evaluators of talent. Look at Tampa Bay, there largest contract is $13,000,000.

  13. Old-school

    We are in a new generation of baseball and SP rarely make 30 starts and throw 180+ innings.

    No one can predict the future or injuries (See Homer Bailey and Devin Mesoraco) But, the Reds need to plan for injuries and have a deep arsenal of SP options.

    SP starts with Castillo and Mahle @1/2 in 2022. Mahle is gassed now and has those home/road splits but he made 33 starts and threw 180 innings accumulated fWAR of 3.7 with 210 K while Castillo threw 187 innings, 33 starts and fWAR 3.7 with 192 K.

    Miley had a great year.But, after a 2020 season in which he only threw 14 innings due to injury and he finishes 2021 on the IL , you have to look long and hard at Miley’s injury history and age of 35 before deciding to exercise that 2022 option. Cant see him making 28-30 starts and throwing 160 innings again and being effective. Whatcould the Reds with that $10 million?

    Sonny Gray is more concerning. A max effort 5’10 guy who turns 32 in a month who threw only 135 innings in 2021 and made 26 starts. 3rd worst ERA of his career and another $10 mil pitcher you have to squint real hard to see 160-180 innings and 30 starts in 2022.

    Vlad was gassed the last month but should be in the mix.
    Santillan had a stellar year. Where he fits in 2022 is unknown but he looks the part of a solid MLB pitcher for the Reds.
    Hunter Greene had a good year. I dont see him coming out of ST in the rotation but he certainly should be by Memorial Day and that would allow him to finish the year with Reds and not be concerned with innings limits. Lodolo has had a, injury plagued year and cant be counted on in 2022.

    I would trade Gray and decline the option on Miley.
    Free Agent SP will cost money but I dont see Gray and Miley as durable pitchers in 2022 and they will cost $20 million combined in 2022.

    • Jim Walker

      I think Miley represents a situation where it actually makes sense to exercise the option and then trade him for value. He is a left hander who had a good year. Somebody will pay him $10m or more if he hits the market. There is no way the Reds “get stuck” with any portion of that salary unless they choose to keep him instead of trading him and he subsequently breaks down.

    • DX

      What would Tampa do?
      They would offer an extension to Castillo, Mahle and Winker. It would be affordable or Tampa would trade for value. If you want value in return it starts with these guys.

      I don’t get why anyone thinks trading Gray or Miley makes sense. They are inning eaters, affordable, and won’t get much in return.

      Does Blake Snell come to mind? How did it work for Tampa?

      Stop thinking like the Reds

      • burtgummer01

        They’ll trade Sonny and decline Miley’s option because it puts more money in ownerships pocket that’s all he cares about

      • Jim Walker

        I have no problem with exercising the option on Miley and keeping him at least to the trade deadline. My comment was in response to the suggestion of just letting him walk for nothing. Because he is LH and an innings eater, $10m is cheap for him; and the team should exercise the option. Then if they don’t want to have the salary on their books trade him to a team that was waiting in line to pay him >$10m. There should be at least several of them.

      • Indy Red Man

        “I don’t get why anyone thinks trading Gray or Miley makes sense. They are inning eaters, affordable, and won’t get much in return”

        You don’t? Dealing off decent OLDER pitchers when you’re nowhere close to competing with the elite teams? Miami got young OFers Bryan De La Cruz and Jesus Sanchez for mediocre relievers Trevor Richards and Yimi Garcia so what could 2 solid starters bring? Miley will be 46 before the Reds are any good again.

  14. Roger Garrett

    My take is a little different then most but its not hard to see whats happened once we got win 82 last Monday.Now some would say what makes the difference between 82 wins or 83 or 85 and its a good argument cause we never made the playoffs.However I believe what has happened reflects the big time problem within the organization that has been adopted by all and that is they are willing to settle for what ever may happen.I said it on the game thread that to leave Mahle in after allowing 6 out of 7 batters to reach was wrong.It was wrong for him for the team and for the fans.Some have said maybe Bell just wanted to see if Mahle could get h out of it.I prefer to think however based on these last 5 losses after reaching 82 wins that Bell didn’t care at all one way or another and just watched the game.I can also say after giving up 8 in one inning on Friday and 6 in one inning last night that maybe nobody cared one way or another.Its obvious from the last few years that Bob has been willing to SETTLE for a certain number of wins and this year is no different.He now has a manager that will settle and maybe some players that will settle.That along with many other things is why this is my last game today.As a fan I won’t settle because I believe you play every game to win.Untill Bob sells I won’t be back.

  15. Mark A Verticchio

    If they lose today losing 6 of 9 to the last place Pirates is a fitting end to this collapse. The Reds and their fans are going to rue the day the front office decided to bring Bell back. You see what the Padres are doing to their manager, the Reds should have done the same. I would take Tingler over Bell every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

  16. Mark A Verticchio

    Well maybe the team will finish 83-79, not great, but better than expected. Their is promise for next year if everything falls in place and Bell somehow becomes a better manager.