Mike Moustakas was doing his best Jason Voorhees impersonation on Friday the 13th as he was just killing the Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers on the night, hitting two home runs as the Cincinnati Reds routed their division rivals 8-2 on Friday night to guarantee at least a split of their 4-game series. The win was Cincinnati’s 6th in the last eight games.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (9-24) 8 10 0
Pittsburgh Pirates (13-19) 2 7 0
W: Mahle (2-4) L: Keller (0-5)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati’s offense was quiet in the first two innings, going in order in both frames. But Tyler Naquin and Kyle Farmer had back-to-back doubles to lead off the 3rd inning to get the Reds on the board and tie the game up. A sacrifice fly from TJ Friedl later on in the inning put Cincinnati ahead 2-1.

After the Pirates got a run back in the bottom of the inning it was Mike Moustakas that untied it with a 1-out solo homer off of Mitch Keller. The Reds played add on in the 5th inning, starting off with another leadoff double for Tyler Naquin. Brandon Drury would plate Naquin and TJ Friedl with a double of his own later in the inning as Cincinnati went up 5-2.

Old friend Heath Hembree took over for the Pirates in the 7th inning and his old team didn’t welcome him back. TJ Friedl walked and scored on a Brandon Drury 2-run homer – his 7th of the season. Then Mike Moustakas crushed his second blast of the day, a 427-foot shot to center that made it 8-2. That’s where the score remained as Cincinnati’s bullpen shut Pittsburgh down.

The Pitching

Tyler Mahle gave up a leadoff home run to begin the bottom of the 1st. Or did he? A fan caught the ball in the first row, and the umpires reviewed the play to see if he had reached over the fence. He didn’t, the call stood and the Pirates were out to a 1-0 lead. Mahle would retire the next eight batters in a row, but Gamel got to him again with a 2-out single in the 3rd inning and he would score when Ke’Bryan Hayes lined a double into the left field corner, tying the game up at 2-2. That would be the last time the Pirates would score as Mahle went 6.0 innings and struck out eight with just one walk and those two earned runs.

Alexis Diaz continued his rookie dominance, pitching a perfect 7th inning as he lowered his ERA to 0.55 on the year. Joel Kuhnel came out and took over the game in the 8th inning and he tossed a shutout inning to hold the Reds lead at 8-2 and send the game to the 9th. Jared Solomon entered the game in the 9th and needed just three outs to seal the win for Cincinnati. The rookie reliever had to work around a single from former Red Josh VanMeter, but he kept the Pirates off of the board and the Reds picked up an 8-2 victory.

Key Moment of the Game

Brandon Drury’s 2-run double in the 5th inning that made it a 5-2 ballgame.

Notes Worth Noting

Mike Moustakas last homered twice in the same game on September 25th, 2020 in Minnesota. Since returning from the injured list on April 28th, he’s hit .347/.439/.632 with five doubles and three home runs.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Pittsburgh Pirates

Saturday May 14th, 6:35pm ET

Luis Castillo (0-0, 5.79 ERA) vs Zach Thompson (1-3, 7.08 ERA)

62 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    It was a treat to watch this one tonight. Balanced attack, even with TySteve having an off night.

  2. Reddawg2012

    The Reds are 9th in MLB in runs scored. Just saying.

      • Tom Reeves

        At the 50 game mark, this team will be close to 20-30 for the season. Not great but a heck of an improvement.

  3. Old-school

    Reds are better than the Pirates and its good to see some wins. The Dh and the Pirates and Cubs and GABP summer might just be an opportunity for Moose to reclaim some magic. The best thing that could happen this season is Moose catch fire for 2 months and enter late July with an OPS of .800 and 18 home runs. Someone might bite on a lefty bat with the DH for 2 months this year and next.

    All it takes is 1.
    Mariners took Saurez. Hes 1-4 with 3 K’s tonight and hitting .203 and comfortably 2nd in MLB in K’s with 45 and its not even May 15th yet.

    • Votto4life

      I’m not sure there is anything Moose can do between now and July to get a team to take on that contract unless Moose is coupled with Louis Castillo. Even that depends on how Luis pitches over the next couple of months. If both play well between now and then, it’s possible.

    • Indy Red Man

      You are definitely right about that….atleast when Brubaker and Keller take the hill. Thats their SanMartin and Vlad, but Idk who their top guys are? They can’t afford a #1 or #2.

      Can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’d highly consider keeping Moose unless their prospects really look promising. Maybe this team can be competitive next year if they can sort out the pitching? We don’t even have India and they’re putting up alot of runs. I think Pham is a guy that could age fairly well so maybe you consider a 2 year offer this summer? Its not like we have alot of big bats in the outfield

      • Votto4life

        I can’t believe you’re saying it either. The Reds must do everything in their power, to remove an aging, out of shape, DH earning $20,000,000 a year for the next two seasons. Even f it means including Castillo and paying part of their salaries.

    • LT

      If Moose keeps this up, maybe Reds can find a team that can take both him and Votto, who is still an out of step dancer, smh.

      • greenmtred

        Votto has a no trade clause. Votto had a great year just last year. He’s old, but he was old last year, too, and it seems quite possible he’ll figure out what’s wrong and hit well again.

      • Old-school

        Votto is not going to be traded this year or in the off-season. He will make his farewell tour starting Opening Day 2023. One plausible option would be July 2023. If the Reds are out of it, I could see Votto going to a playoff team( Toronto? ) and not only approving but encouraging a trade so he can experience playoff baseball his last time. Pujols went to the Dodgers last year at the end of his ginormous ginormous contract.

      • LT

        I really don’t care where Votto goes. He’s been living off a couple good years he had 7-8 years back, came up with different ways to describe his struggles or hinted at retiring but we all know he’ll hang around to get every penny possible from the Reds. Only in Cincinnati that a guy making almost $20 mil a year hitting a buck and change is so revered because he’s a great thinker by Paul Daugherty.

  4. doofus

    My wife and I have been in Hawaii since the streak started. To keep the streak alive please contribute to the Go-Fund-Me account: #keepdoofusinhawaii.

    • Jim Walker

      +1000 Aloha! Give McGarrett and Dano my regards.

      • Jim Walker

        Never got into Magnum and strictly the original 50. Probably an age thing. 😉

      • Melvin

        Well I don’t consider myself old by any means but I am old enough to have watched the Big Red Machine for which I consider myself very fortunate. 🙂

  5. doofus

    I swear I saw Tom Browning at a luau Monday night at the Royal Hawaiian.

    • Steven Ross

      Ahhhh…the Royal Hawaiian! Da kine bruh. Don’t forget to order da two scoops.

  6. LDS

    So, it seems the Pirates are REALLY bad. Three in a row. And one win away from 3 straight series wins. Nice change from 1-20. The real question is if this is real, e.g. the Reds win in Cleveland and Toronto, what happens as they start integrating the players as they come off the IL?

      • TR

        I’m pulling for Senzel and Barrero to join India and Stephenson as the regular core of the Red’s next competitive team with Castillo as the ace of the pitching staff.

    • LDS

      My Senzel optimism is gone. The man is too fragile for a full season of baseball. Maybe Friedl will start hitting. Maybe Siani develops further as a hitter. Maybe there’s someone else in the minors or a good trade to be had. Regardless, I’m skeptical that Senzel is part of the next competitive Reds team, something I doubt we’ll see anytime soon.

      • Jim Walker

        Two thoughts in concurrence.

        Sadly, Senzel brings to mind one of Gilda Radner’s Roseanne Roseannadanna signature lines, “There is always something”. In his case always something each on its own acceptable reason why he isn’t able to be on the field producing.

        Secondly, about a week ago Paul Householder started coming to mind every time I thought about Senzel’s situation. For those too young, Paul Householder was a “can’t miss” outfield prospect who debuted with the Reds in 1980. Five years later, Householder was done w/ the Reds He accumulated 1024 PA’s; 82 OPS+; -0.5. bWAR

        Senzel is past half way there with 673 PAs; 76 OKPS+; -1.2 bWAR.

        Sometimes something just isn’t meant to be.

      • LDS

        I remember him. And sadly, I remember Rosanne Roseannadanna, too.

      • Votto4life

        LDS I agree with you. Nick Senzel might put it all together at some point , but it likely won’t be with the Reds.

        I think there is plenty of blame to go around. But maybe he just isn’t as good as they thought he was when they drafted him.

        Too bad the Reds didn’t move him earlier. Senzel was worth a king’s ransom at one point. Something to keep in mind, when it comes to Hunter Greene.

    • Votto4life

      LDS that is the $64,000 question. Are the Reds really this good or is it just the “pirate effect”. I honestly don’t know the answer. Probably a little of both? I’m looking forward to finding out next week.

  7. Doc

    One thought: India back in the regular lineup without doubt. He and Drury man 2B and 3B.

    Lodolo had a really good outing before the back discomfort. I put him back in the rotation, making it Castillo, Mahle, Greene, Lodolo, Overton. Begs the question where does Minor go? Don’t know enough about him to have a thought on that.

    OF – At some point Senzel needs time to prove himself. Covid IL is not like the other ILs so I don’t put it in the injury prone tally.( Votto’s been out quite awhile with same issue. ) Friedl is making the decision more difficult, especially since the Little Red Machine has been putting up some Big Red Machine offensive numbers recently in the winning burst. Challenging.

  8. kevinz

    Best can remember Moose stretch for reds.
    Doubt any value cuz of salary.
    So all can hope for is health and to do well.
    Like the Vets reds have making decisions hard.
    When the healthy return.

  9. Votto4life

    I don’t think you can just give Friedl a job at this point. I Know he has been playing well lately, but he is still only hitting .204.

    I do like the idea of starting Drury everyday at 3B. If he continues to hit, they may be able to flip him for something at the deadline.

    The Starting pitching will take care of itself. Castillo, Mahle, Greene, Lodolo, Overton and Minor will unlikely all be healthy at the same time. Also, at least two of them will likkey be traded in July.

    Unfortunately, The Mike Minor trading chip ship has probably already sailed. But he can earn his keep in the second half by eating innings. With the Reds likely trading Castillo and Mahle there will be a lot of innings to account for.

    • Jim Walker

      The trio of Friedl, Almora and Senzel could pave the way to flip Naquin. Personally, I might look first for somebody that would still bite on Senzel’s long term potential which might bring more back than Naquin as a short term rental.

      • doofus

        I believe Senzel becomes a solid + player. I also feel, unfortunately, that he will not be in a Reds uni when it happens. I believe other GMs will gladly take him.

  10. RedsGettingBetter

    Watch Solomon out … He looks as a good bullpen choice right now even being a rookie… he could stay if keeps having good outings at least while Moreta gets back his confidence again at AAA…

  11. Old-school

    Looking at trade candidates in 2 months:

    1.) Tyler Naquin- FA next year, making $4 million-.767 OPS- high likelihood.
    2.)Tommy Pham-FA next year, Making $6 million, .756 OPS-high likelihood
    3.) Moose – FA in 2024 -$18 mil in 2023 with $4 mil buyout for ‘24. By the trade deadline, only ~ $6 mil will ram in on ‘22. Thats $28 million.

    Moose OPS .764

    It’s a stretch but with the DH and a premium on adding bats and Moose in a hot summer at GABP- its no longer outlandish.

    4.) Luis Castillo- if he pitches well, He will bring back a haul. The Reds will owe him north of ~10 mill in 2023 in his last year of arbitration. It is likely past time to sign him to an extension- high likelihood of being traded.

    5.) Tyler Mahle- he’s got a lot of work to do to build up his trade value, but his track record is one of durability with high K’s. Pitching depth is always the top Priority at the trade deadline. Too early to tell.

    6. ) Drury- Drury is cheap and Controlled next year in his A4 season. Doesnt make sense to trade productive under 30 cheap controlled players.

    WE need to root for Moose to channel his inner Scooter Gennett and August of 2019 AA. Scooter hit 4 home runs in a game once.

    • doofus

      All these make sense, but I do not have confidence on Krall’s ability to get solid+ returns in any deal.

  12. Mark A Verticchio

    Thinking about the Reds slow start. It has a lot of factors, talent, poor management, injuries, but the schedule was ridiculous not only in terms of who they played but also home and away splits. I did a little look see and realized that when the team returns home on the 23rd after 39 games they would have played 26 on the road and 13 at home that has to be the worst home away splits in MLB. I realize that will be made up but sometimes splits like that can be hard to overcome. I realize they are not that good but that is almost unfair.

  13. Doc4uk

    Interesting that team has scored a lot more runs with Senzel and Votto out of the line up. Easier competition for sure, but clearly Moran , Almora, and Moustakis have picked up the slack and then some.

    • DataDumpster

      At a time when serious illness due to COVID is very unlikely (especially among younger people in good health,) Senzel and Votto have been locked up on that list since May 3-4 and not expected to return until May 23. Not missing either of them and starting to wonder about certain player’s comittment, the Reds training staff/ injury policies (don’t come to work with a sniffle or a sore muscle), etc.
      Meanwhile, players that are fighting for their careers like Drury, Moran and Moustakis have greatly picked up the pace. Trade value is all that matters now, but help yourself/help the Reds and at least give the fans a chance to see a mediocre team that could still take 3rd place while figuring out who is the “core” two years out. It’s a plan, I guess. Not hard to figure out.

      • greenmtred

        Unlikely but not unheard of. You do have to wonder about long covid, too: It’s suspected to be more prevalent than previously thought, and can affect pretty much every organ in the body. Including the brain. It’s hard for me to see what Votto or Senzel would gain from malingering.

      • Jim Walker

        I do not think anyone is malingering. Regardless, the thought has crossed my mind that the team and players may be stretching the intent of the COVID list by keeping them there while they are working on hitting or healing 100% from minor issues not directly related to COVID that would not typically have them on the regular IL.

        The Reds do appear to have avoided making some 40 man roster moves to facilitate MLB access to certain players because of the different rules surrounding the COVID list.

        However, given what we do (and don’t) know about COVID, if a player is documented to have previously had COVID, who is to say that fatigue or loss of quickness or any other of a number of other issues is not a long termer symptom.

        And for the record, the transaction list on the Reds official website lists Senzel as on the 10 day IL as of May 4. Nothing there about Votto, indicating he is still considered COVID I presume.

      • DataDumpster

        Jim, you have explained in more detail what I was thinking. Bell is reluctant to bench anybody for a few days when they clearly need it so the team has an interest in using this “COVID list” to facilitate other transactions, give other players more playing time or avoid using other options. This is just an observation, but it has worked this time, both Senzel and Joey needed to regroup and allow some new players to create some possibilities, which they did.

  14. Steven Ross

    It’s the Pirates but Reds are fun to watch again. Solid pitching, timely hitting and good defense. What a concept!

    Drury looks like he’s going to be tough to remove from the lineup when others supposedly return. Tough decisions. Moran’s been a pleasant surprise at First but not the answer. Question is: will Votto be effective when he returns? I just don’t know anymore.

  15. Klugo

    One thing I’ve noticed during this little run is that the defense has been there. That’s a controllable thing, no matter the opponent.

    • Mark Moore

      Yes. Even Moose had some hustle on that foul ball. He didn’t catch it, but I don’t put that on him. It was in a weird spot and close to the stuff they keep at the wall along the baselines.

      Outfield D has been pretty good. Farmer is doing Farmer-type things at SS (plus he’s a little better at the plate after his extended slump).

      • Jim Walker

        Agree about Moose’s hustle on that play but when a guy can’t close his glove on a ball that hits in the middle of it, I am reminded of the football commentary that a dropped pass hit the receiver in the “worst possible place”, though his hands and right between the numbers.

    • Jim Walker

      The defense has been better physically but it seems to me they are continually getting burned on the shift when there is a runner at 1B.

      2 or 3 more potential GIDPs went by the board last night. They can’t get a man to 2B in time to cover or a fielder has to bust his butt to get to a ball in time to get even 1 out. Last night one grounder right through the traditional SS DP location resulted in a hit with no outs recorded on the play.

      Against better teams, these situations might make a huge difference in game outcomes.

      It would be interesting to see data that indicates the shifts they are using in these situations are on the net more productive than just playing a modified GIDP configuration.

  16. Roger Garrett

    Reds just need to continue to look towards 2024 and there is nobody over 30 that is untouchable.We know Moose and Joey are here next year as well and they will play as will Pham this year.Play younger players as much as possible to see if they are part of 2024 and we must get value for value on anybody that is moved.We know who we lost and why and the only problem I had was when we replaced Miley with Minor for the same money I believe.Never did get that one.I agree with Old school about Drury and the Reds may have caught lightning in a bottle with him.I like the fact he went 0-5 in the first game and bounced back last night in a big way.I would play him as much as possible or at least untill somebody else does better.Time for Barrero when healthy to be given the job at short.Just have to find out what he can do as a starter this year and next.Nothing against Farmer at all.I am good with fighting it out with the Bucs this year for last place as long as we stick to playing younger players for the most part.

  17. Old-school

    This could be a huge developmental season for the future. Look how far Jon India and Tyler Stephenson developed in only 1 year and I enjoy watching both of them play baseball.

    The big step is the next pair of young Reds and how they develop. If Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo can take that next step in learning how to pitch, and locate and change speeds and find their identity on the mound while building innings mileage by staying healthy, it will be a very productive 2022 season.

    I’m definitely watching this team,- 9-24 or not.

    • DataDumpster

      I decided toward the end of last season to reduce my engagement of this team but it has been such a pleasure to see Stephenson play. What an outstanding player and young man. I also can’t remember another catcher being as tall as he is, which I would think would be a disadvantage for mobility and framing the pitch. Yet, it is hard to spot a weakness of any kind in his game.

      • Old-school

        Joe Mauer comes to mind at 6’ 5”and he was an elite average and obp guy who hit the ball to all fields-not a lot of power.

  18. MBS

    I don’t get why so many people are ready to trade Drury, Naquin, Pham, etc. There are no players to replace them just waiting in the wings. McLain is really the only likely candidate to start the 23 season as a Red. Siani is also in AA, and doing well, but the rest of the talent is in Dayton and Daytona.

    • Votto4life

      Tommy Pham is 34 years old and hitting .239. The two previous seasons he hit .229 and .211 respectively. He is earning $9 million dollars. The question isn’t why he should be traded. The question is why did the Reds sign him is the first place.

      • MBS

        Pham, Solano, and Minor were all signed because Krall though the Reds broken body needed a band aide, instead of a full body cast. We would be worse without Pham, but we have yet to see anything from Solano and Minor.

      • Votto4life

        The Team is not going to win this year or next. The fact that Pham makes the team better now (which is up for debate) is not relevant. If they can trade him, even if it just means saving the remaining of his salary, they should do it.

      • MBS

        This team will save a ton of money in 24 and 25, unless they decide to extend players and sign FA’s. If they don’t our payroll will be in the mid 35 – 40 million range in 24. I’m not worried about Bob’s pockets, he is either making money now, or he is the worst owner in baseball. I guess both could be true at the same time.

  19. Votto4life

    I think Bob is already counting his savings in 2024 and 2025.

    I also don’t think it’s likely there will be any significant free agent signings. I think Bob is shying away from long term deals. Let’s face it, Cincinnati has never been a hot destination for Free Agents and that has likely became worse after this past off season. Extending India and Stephenson may be difficult as well.

    In terms of free agent signings, think one year deals will become the norm for the Redlegs.

    I think we are likely to see more signings like Pham and Moran. Players still standing, when the free agency game of musical chairs, has come to an abrupt stop.

    If this team is ever going to win again, it will be through their farm system. Whether it will ever actually happen is anybody’s guess.