Cincinnati brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the 9th inning, but they couldn’t come through with the hits needed to push it across the plate. Mike Minor served up three home runs to the Pirates on Monday night in the series opener and that was too much for the Reds offense to overcome as Pittsburgh held on for a 6-3 win over Cincinnati.

Final R H E
Pittsburgh Pirates (52-88) 6 10 0
Cincinnati Reds (56-83) 3 9 3
W: Wilson (3-8) L: Minor (4-11) SV: Crowe (4)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati’s offense didn’t do a whole lot in the first three innings of the game and trailed 1-0. Spencer Steer picked up a leadoff single in the 4th and with two outs it was Aristides Aquino hitting a bullet into the seats in left field for a 2-run homer to put the Reds up 2-1.

After Pittsburgh scored five runs in the 5th inning to take the lead, Cincinnati had work to do. In the 6th inning they would get a leadoff single from TJ Friedl and walks from Kyle Farmer and Aristides Aquino to load the bases with two outs. Alejo Lopez came through with an infield RBI single that made it a 6-3 ballgame. Nick Senzel scorched the ball in the at-bat that followed, but the 104 MPH line drive was right at the centerfielder to end the inning.

The Reds were threatening again in the bottom of the 8th with a 2-out walk from Jake Fraley and single from Aristides Aquino bringing the tying run to the plate, but Alejo Lopez couldn’t come through this time as he grounded into a force out at shortstop to end the inning.

Needing three runs in the bottom of the 9th inning to tie the game up, Cincinnati got the inning started with a Nick Senzel walk. Donovan Solano came off of the bench to pinch hit for Jose Barrero and singled to bring the tying run to the plate. Jonathan India then came off of the bench to pinch hit for Chuckie Robinson, but he struck out on seven pitches to turn the lineup over. TJ Friedl lined out to left field and then Spencer Steer grounded into a force out to end the game.

The Pitching

It didn’t take long for the Pirates to get to Mike Minor as Bryan Reynolds hit a 1-out solo homer in the 1st inning to put Pittsburgh up 1-0. Rodolfo Castro walked and Ke’Bryan Hayes singled to follow as the Pirates threatened to add more, but Minor picked up a strikeout and a pop up to end the threat.

Minor didn’t give up another hit until the bottom of the 4th on a 2-out bunt that put runners on 1st and 2nd. A wild pitch would then move both runners up and into scoring position, but another pop up would end the threat. In the bottom of the inning the Reds took a 2-1 lead. In the 5th inning Minor gave it up quickly as two singles and a 3-run homer began the inning. Ke’Bryan Hayes would reach on an error and then with two outs another home run extended the Pittsburgh lead to 6-2.

Joel Kuhnel, Derek Law, and Buck Farmer all tossed a scoreless inning of relief to follow. In the top of the 9th things got dicey for Hunter Strickland who allowed a hit and a walk, with both runners reaching scoring position after a double steal, but he got a strikeout to end the inning and keep the score 6-3 and give the offense on final chance.

Notes Worth Noting

The Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates will play a day/night doubleheader on Tuesday.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Cincinnati Reds

Tuesday September 13th, 12:35pm ET

TBA vs TBA

25 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    Minor was throwing a little too much batting practice tonight.

    Plenty more games this week to make up for it, right?

    • David

      Actually, this could shape up to be a really BAD week for the Reds. It’s already starting off on the wrong foot.

      They could lose 3 out of 4 to the Pirates, and 4 out of 5 to the Cardinals (the coming LONG weekend). And that, sportsfans, could put the Reds in LAST PLACE in the National League Central division.

      The bullpen was fine tonight. It was the starting pitching that killed them, and Bell leaving Minor in too long. Wait ’till the double header tomorrow. The starting pitching AND the bullpen could get buried (burned out). Cessa will likely start the first game….but the second is…..who knows? They could lose BOTH ENDS….to the Pirates. Let that sink in.
      Lodolo has a chance to salvage game 4 on Wednesday.
      Then….on to St. Louis….where I think they will lose 4 out of 5.

      • Jim t

        With a doubleheader today and all the injuries to the starting rotation Bell has little choice but to push his starters a bit. That coupled with the home plate umpire not giving calling any low strikes forced Minor to pitch up in the zone. The ump was terrible.

      • AMDG

        I’m not sure there is such a thing as “leaving Minor in too long”?

        Yes, he’s a terrible pitcher. But with no Greene, Ashcraft, Castillo, or Mahle, it’s not like they have a lot of better options. And the bullpen isn’t a whole lot better.

        He was brought in to pitch poorly and eat innings. And that’s exactly what he is doing. Although perhaps a bit more poorly than anticipated.

  2. RedsGettingBetter

    Now India has 6 Ks in a row since sunday… Never seen…
    Steer is hitting a lot of groundballs all of them outs…
    Robinson seems to be using a newspaper as bat
    Buck Farmer continues throwing solid…

  3. Redsvol

    I could care less about wins or losses at this point. I just want to see incremental improvements by some individuals. I see some of it from Friedl and some hitters. Not much to see among pitchers since most of them are either injured or on rehab. I think I would have used less relievers this game if I were the manager.

    I do hope we can keep hold of a “top” 6 position in losses to maintain the best lottery odds for the top draft pick. No way do I want us finishing out of the top 6. The 7th worst teams could have the 22nd pick in the draft next year which would really stink.

    • Kevin H

      The draft pick that may or may not work out. Also won’t help the reds for 3 years at least.

      I want to see competitive baseball and wins

      • SteveAreno

        The fourth or fifth draft pick vs the eighth or ninth draft pick have negligible differences. Many don’t work out at all. It’s overrated. Win more games and you get better players.

      • greenmtred

        since all or most players who make it to mlb were draft picks at some point, how is it overrated? lodolo, greene, ashcraft…the reds have been doing pretty well lately via the draft, and higher picks are more likely to pan out. winning a few more games might make watching the last few games more entertaining, but is otherwise meaningless.

      • Doug Gray

        Winning games isn’t meaningless. And since there’s now a draft lottery for the first 6 picks (which 18 teams qualify for), losing to try and get a better draft pick is much more meaningless than it was before the draft lottery, when it was still of little value.

    • Doug Gray

      I think you have a slight misunderstanding of how the new draft situation works. There’s no guarantee to be a “top 6” team. The 18 worst teams are all in the lottery for 1 of the top 6 picks. Only those top 6 picks are in the lottery, though. Once those 6 picks are determined by the lottery, picks 7 on are determined by the worst record of the remaining teams.

      • old-school

        I read something that listed the chances of a team getting the overall #1 pick in the lottery based on their finish. Its miniscule for teams below about 10. I had targeted the Reds at about a 10% chance of getting the overall #1 seed if they finished in 5-7 final worst record.

        Someone with a stats degree should figure out what chance the Reds have of getting a top3 pick if they finish say 6th. Is it actual ping pong balls or just a computer simulation with the Nats getting 18 hypothetical ping pong balls and the A’s 17 and Pirates 16 and so on and so on?

        I sort of figured one of the teams in the 8-12 finish would get lucky and move in the top 6 and a few of the teams in the top 6 would drop a few spots back but most teams would be within a few slots of where they would be anyway.

        Anyone know when the lottery occurs?

      • Doug Gray

        The lottery is supposedly going to take place at the winter meetings in December.

        The odds are 16.5% if you are one of the worst 3 record teams (all have that same shot), then it goes 13.25%, 10%, 7.5%, 5.5%, 3.9%, 2.7%, 1.8%, 1.4%, 1.1% and the other 6 are all below 1%.

  4. VegasRed

    Lose on I say. Let bell do his thing all he wants at this point.

    Why does any fan want a win when it only serves to reduce odds of higher draft spot?

    This season and winning ended long ago.

  5. GreatRedLegsFan

    At this point it’s only a matter of those players that must show they’re part of next season’s plans, i.e., Friedl, Fraley, Aquino, Barrero and Lopez. Looking forward, and assuming 2023 will be better in terms of injuries, the 40-man roster should go through a major overhaul.

  6. SteveAreno

    I still notice management does NOT choose to pitch relievers more than one inning. Very strange. Look at the other team’s box scores and you don’t see that issue. Plenty of other middle inning relievers going more than one all the time. Anyone have any insight into that? That’s strategy is not working for us with our high ERA.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      You answered your own question here. Why would the Reds pitch bad pitchers (who have “high ERAs” according to your words) even longer? Fact is the Reds bullpen is made up of Alexis Diaz and then 15 guys who probably should all be the last guy in the bullpen asked to pitch on most teams but the Reds have a bakers dozen of guys on the injured list that has led to them essentially having a Triple-A pitching staff almost across the board.

      • Jim Walker

        Except I think it is a mistake to count on anything from anyone on the 60 day list except (probably) Santillan. If any of the others come through count it as it bonus but don’t figure on it when planning 2023-24.

  7. jeffversion1

    I wish Bell would’ve batted Barrero in the ninth. He needs the reps/experience way more than the 4th place Reds need to beat the 5th place Pirates.

    • old-school

      I agree. The only argument against is he has been working intensely with the hitting coach in the cage with his approach, his mechanics and trying to command at bats better and compete better with laying off pitches that start as strikes and end as balls or simply borderline strikes he cant drive. He did great his first few at bats and the last Stephenson at bat as Larkin said, that’s the at bat he needs to get rid of. He swung at 3 low and outside sliders and was a non-competitive at bat. Perhaps the Reds wanted to stop at that point in that game and give him some homework over night to review his at bats-the good and the bad- rather than let things snowball and undermine his first few great at bats.

      See how he does today with the Doubleheader.

  8. A Former West Sider

    Anyone buying Aquino stock yet???
    A fully formed AA has more upside than any of our OF in AAA or MLB.
    Of course, we’ve seen this before – but as Andy told Red – ‘Hope is a good thing…’

    • old-school

      Its September against the Pirates and cubs and their AAAA pitching staff. Cubs worst bullpen in majors- that’s hard to outdo the Reds.

      If he goes 9-21 with 3 bombs and 3 doubles and 3 walks and only 4 K’s in the 5 game series against he Cards….maybe,.

    • Pete

      Outside of EDLC P is for the way the most talented position player in the rights organization. I think it’s very very hard to argue otherwise. We need to keep our fingers crossed because wouldn’t it be great to see late next season or in 2024, Aquino and de la Cruz batting back to back?

      • Pete

        that is, “he is far and away….”