The Cincinnati Reds were held to one hit in a 1-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night. The Pittsburgh victory gave them a sweep of the day/night doubleheader and a guaranteed winning series, with the series finale coming up on Wednesday afternoon.

Final R H E
Pittsburgh Pirates (54-88) 1 3 1
Cincinnati Reds (56-85) 0 1 1
W: De Jong (5-2) L: Espinal (0-1) SV: Underwood Jr. (1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati didn’t get a hit until the 3rd inning with one out when Stuart Fairchild doubled. The Reds didn’t get another hit off of Luis Ortiz as he completed 5.2 innings of 1-hit, shutout baseball in his Major League debut. They wouldn’t get any hits against Chase De Jong as he pitched through the 7th inning. Yohan Ramirez held them hitless in the 8th, too. Duane Underwood Jr. retired the first two batters of the bottom of the 9th, but he walked Aristides Aquino to bring the winning run to the plate in pinch hitter Kyle Farmer. There was no magic to be had on the night as Farmer flew out to shallow left field to end the game.

The Pitching

Reliever Fernando Cruz got the start and he threw 19 pitches with 12 strikes, retiring all five batters he faced on the day before giving way to Reiver Sanmartin. The lefty followed up with 2.1 hitless innings of his own that featured one walk and three strikeouts. Raynel Espinal, who was called up on Monday, took over to begin the 5th inning and lost the no-hitter to the first batter he faced as Ben Gamel led off with a single into left field. Espinal worked around the leadoff hit and kept the shutout alive. He’d return for the 6th and retire the Pirates in order. The righty also recorded the first out of the 7th before giving up a double to Rodolfo Castro.

That’s when Ian Gibaut entered the game and after getting a ground out it was Kevin Newman that came through with a line drive single off of the glove of a leaping Matt Reynolds to break the scoreless game and give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. Gibaut would return for the 8th inning and get through it unscathed and keep the game at 1-0. Alexis Diaz came out for the 9th inning and picked up two strikeouts as he kept the game at 1-0 and give the offense an opportunity to do something in the bottom of the frame. They didn’t.

Notes Worth Noting

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Cincinnati Reds

Wednesday September 14th, 12:35pm ET

Roansy Contreras (5-4, 3.29 ERA) vs Nick Lodolo (4-5, 3.78 ERA)

47 Responses

  1. Mark A Verticchio

    There are 0 comments what does that say about where this team is right now. Something has to be done if they expect the fans to have any interest this year or for that matter the next few years. I have followed this team over 50 years and right now, like so many others, i just don’t care anymore, until things change, an entire new coaching staff. As bad as the talent is, and it’s bad, they seem to be getting worse instead of better.

    • Jim Walker

      Not a lot to write about as the team staggers through another meaningless September with a depleted roster, particularly on the pitching side.

      Things are what they are. Most of the best pitching of the day came from guys who weren’t even in the organization a couple of months ago or were buried deep in the organizational depth if they were.

      In game 1, Cessa, who was a reliever then injured then stretched out to a starter on the fly, was left to twist and turn through 90+ pitches which was a bridge 1 out and 10 pitches too far to keep the Reds in the game. Where was the quick hook when it might have made a difference? Unavailable presumably because Bell and Johnson despaired having enough arms to make it through 12.1 innings the rest of the day.

      • SteveAreno

        They have enough arms. Like other teams do, the middle relievers must be left in the game for more than one inning. Especially if it’s going well for them. Too often, they get yanked after one complete inning.

      • Jim t

        @steve they get pulled because starters are on 100 pitch limits and rarely pitch beyond the 6th inning. This means the pen is used daily. Pitching a relief pitcher 2 innings means he may not be available in back to back days. Baseball has changed a bunch in how pitchers are handled. All teams monitor pitchers workload.

      • Jim Walker

        @Steve@JimT>> I agree in part with both of you. One of my disappointments with the recent rule changes was that the limit on pitchers wasn’t pared down to 12. Probably more than all the stuff they did, this would help the offenses.

        Yes, there would be a period of adjustment but ultimately teams would adjust to how relief pitchers were developed and deployed.

    • Jim t

      Mark going back to last years off season you had to know this team was going to be bad. Since then injuries and trades have sealed the deal for this to be one of the worst seasons in the history of the franchise. While many want to point the finger at the coaching staff it is more then apparent to me much more needs to be done. Quite frankly I’ll be stunned if we don’t lose a 100 games. Replacing Bell and his staff is not the answer. Replacing a ownership who has done little to give the fans of this team or the coaching staff any hope of competing for a title would be the answer. If that leads to a coaching change so be it. But letting ownership off the hook by firing Bell is putting lipstick on a pig.

      • Mark A Verticchio

        Everything you say is true but you can’t get rid of all the players, and somebody has to take the fall at least that is how every other organization works.

      • TR

        Yes. Firing the Red’s field management before changing the principal ownership, to one that really wants to win, is putting the cart before the horse.

      • greenmtred

        yes. and several hundred years ago, physicians would bleed their patients as the cure for nearly every ailment. the ritual sacrifice that you suggest has precedent, to be sure, but so did bleeding.

      • Jim t

        @mark any other coaching staff would be coaching a team that is not competitive under this ownership. They had a chance last year to make the playoffs but cut cost in the bull pen which led to them missing the playoff’s. Winning is not paramount under this ownership. I hate seeing Bell take the fall for this group then them get a pass from some fans as if they are attempting to right the ship. The home of baseball fans deserve better.

      • Votto4life

        @mark “”You can’t get rid of all the players”?
        Why not? The Reds front office certainly had no problems getting rid of players the past two years.

      • VegasRed

        Getting rid of Bell and crew. is the beginning of the fix, not the only move. Your argument that Bell isnt the only problem the Reds need to fix doesn’t mean he should stay on.

  2. DataDumpster

    Not much to cheer about when back to back walks was the only time the Reds had two baserunners in the same inning. Steer had some really bad play on both end of a stolen base attempt, hitting was atrocious, and David Bell lifted Friedl for Lopez to play LF and then pinch hit for him when his spot came up in the 9th. What?
    Desperately searching for anything positive, I saw the post game interview of Fernando Cruz. First time I saw him pitch and although a small sample size, he looks very good on the mound after 10 years in the minors and comparts himself very well in the postgame segment. My best to him and hope that he will be part of the sorting for next season. Pretty inspiring.

    • RedsKoolAidDrinker

      Your first comment was prompting me to say Fernando Cruz was worth cheering for, but then I read the rest of your post. There’s usually something fun to find in baseball!

    • DataDumpster

      Baseball as a team sport seems pretty unique for that 1-1 pitcher vs. batter competition and how difficult it is to be and remain good.
      No hiding behind the guy you passed the ball to in the open court or ran the ball from scrimmage with your “support.” How somebody keeps up a dream at poverty wages for 10 years and seems on the cusp of making it a career is a big part of the draw that keeps me glued to this game.
      Now, regarding David Bell, that’s a completely different story and why as Mark noted, I have a deep sense of detachment as well. Thanks to Doug we have an excellent blog to express our enduring passion for this slog.

    • Jim Walker

      Steer’s rough edges are getting a lot of exposure. Keep in mind he actually started 2022 at AA. He basically has no cover from other spots in this lineup as he tries to figure things out.

      • LDS

        And would Steer be performing better if Bell would start him at 3rd and leave him there? Bench Farmer if he has to. The Reds don’t need 9 super utility players. It’s not working with Senzel. It’s likely not going to work with Steer

      • wkuchad

        Maybe so LDS, but I prefer to play him at 1B, 2B, and 3B. Yes, we will need a 3B next year. But we also need a 1B soon. And maybe a 2B as many here want to move India to LF. So why not see what Steer’s capable of?

        And maybe it’s not Bell’s decision to play him at multiple decisions. You don’t give Bell credit for playing Barrero. Maybe Bell was also given marching orders for Steer.

        Steer’s fine in his current role. And I hope he earns a permanent position next year.

      • LDS

        Maybe. And they do need a first baseman next year. Neither Votto nor Moustakas are likely to be highly productive. Is that Steer? Maybe. Or maybe one of the OF with lousy arms. Regardless, I view moving positions around to be an off season/ST type endeavor, not when they are first exposed MLB pitching. That would seem like enough of an adjustment.

  3. RedsGettingBetter

    Really pathetic offense…On saturday they hit just 1 single in a loss at Milwaukee, barely 3 days after that they just have 1-hit game again now facing mediocre pithcing off…Just have 4 runs in last 3 games…

  4. Chris Holbert

    There is, and has been, a serious problem with hitting and offensive philosophy, for a few years, and the current manager has been responsible for both of the last two hitting, I use tbe word lightly, instructors….where you gonna go…anywhere but GABP… embarrassing.

    • MadMike

      To expand on your comment, there was an article earlier in the year at Fangraphs, they opined that the poor hitting is a long standing organizational issue, a systemic flaw in the team’s player dev. I am not competent to judge but it sounded like the rot is deeper than just with the major league level coaching

  5. SultanofSwaff

    *Heavy sarcasm* can you imagine how bad things would get if Bell didn’t have the clubhouse?

    I’ll reiterate what I said in June–this malaise is a result of the nepotistic culture cultivated by the Castellinis. The manager is nothing but a caretaker who failed (again) to prepare the team for the start of the year or make a discernable difference in the trajectory of the season. Yet, for the umpteenth September in a row the broadcast team is going to weave a narrative crediting Bell for keeping the team together, as if just showing up to work everyday merits praise. Don’t fall for the con.

    • Gonzo Reds

      Milton is back, oh how he’s been missed!

  6. James K

    Should the Reds’ hitting coach be embarrassed?

  7. GreatRedLegsFan

    What a disappointing way to end the season, looks like there’s no way out from this futility season after season. I see other teams went thru rebuilding processes and coming back to contention, O’s being the latest example, but the Reds continue going around mediocrity.

    • Klugo

      The Braves went into rebuild the same time we did.

  8. Mark Moore

    Watched it until the bitter end. Will be online for the start today. Hoping for at least this win as we head out to WLB-land … but it’s a weak hope at best right now.

  9. jeffversion1

    I think Barrero probably catches the ball Reynolds missed to allow the Pirates run to score, but whatever. O’Neil Cruz was able to play both games of the doubleheader, but Matt Reynolds needs to play… for whatever reason.

  10. burtgummer01

    Of the 28 guys currently on the roster 11 of them were signed as minor league free agents or picked off the waiver wire
    One was a guy picked up in the minor league rule V draft who can’t hit (Johnson)
    And one was a guy who was an undrafted free agent signing who can’t hit (Barrero)
    But yeah it’s the coaching

    • Hotto4Votto

      Barrero wasn’t eligible to be drafted as he comes from Cuba. He was signed as an IFA.

      • burtgummer01

        He was signed as a non drafted free agent

    • burtgummer01

      And I forgot to mention the rapidly aging Votto and Moose

    • Jim t

      @burt nice post. This season was never about winning. 2023 either. Ownership has a budget they will spend to and that is it. Winning is not a factor. If it was our bull pen last year would have been updated. They make money regardless of attendance. When Moose and Votto come off the books some money will go back into salaries but only to a predetermined amount. They are on a budget!!! Won/loss doesn’t factor into the finances. It’s nice if they win but they make money regardless.

      • Votto4life

        Why do you think the Reds will re-invest Votto’s and Moustaska’s salaries? While every indication, over the past two seasons, proves they won’t.

  11. CFD3000

    A strong bullpen showing in game 2 – the only positive from an ugly day. I hate to say it but this team looks really shaky on offense for 2023. The return of Tyler Stephenson will help – they’ve had almost literally zero offense from catcher when he’s been hurt. And there’s a possibility that a healthy Votto will be a difference maker. But that’s not even close to a certainty. And I’ll be optimistic and anticipate improvement from Aquino and Barrero. But even there, and even with the really high ceiling for both, it would be a big leap for each to just get to a league average OPS+.

    India has looked a lot better lately, and Lopez and Solano are both worth keeping, but none of those guys will carry a team (and Solano may or may not even be back next year). So where do runs come from? The F boys (Friedl, Fraley, and Farmer)? Again maybe they are building blocks but none will scare opponents. Which means that to have a strong offense the Reds will need to go sign Goldschmidt and Arenado. And last I checked not only are they spoken for, but the Reds don’t even shop at that store.

    I’m still excited for the continued development and possible dominance of Greene, Lodolo and Ashcraft. But you still have to score more runs than the other team, which means scoring SOME runs. That part doesn’t look promising just now. EDLC hurry up. The Reds will need you!

    • MBS

      SanMartin has been great since he was moved to the pen. 33 games 11 ER, 5 of which came in 1 game where he was left out to dry, and he‘s still sporting a 2.63 ERA as a reliever.

      Cruz is still very small sample size, but I like what I’ve seen so far. If he actually pans out that would be a nice addition to the pen.

  12. Klugo

    Milton!!! The official unofficial team mascot!
    Look, dont forget these days when folks try to sell the idea that Farmer and Aquino and Fraley and Friedl and Reynolds and Fairchild and even Lopez are good enough to win. They are every day players on an abysmal team. They are replacement level players. If they trot those guys back out there next year, we are going to get our heads bashed in again.

    • SultanofSwaff

      …..and Moose too. Yes, that ragtag bunch might make a decent bench on a playoff caliber team, but none of them are everyday players.

  13. Jonathan Linn

    What are the odds that TJ Friedl gets a couple of more triple’s and leads the NL in that category? That would be pretty cool. he is only 2 or 3 away.

  14. Harold

    Sat through this the second game of the double header. I need to find something better to do with my time for sure. I am a season ticket holder, but I will find something better to do with my time next season. About half the players on our team are not ever good AAA talent. A bunch of nobody’s that have been released a half dozen times. A friend I took to the game said, If Bell is back, I’m out. Where are our stars? The answer is they are in A, AA or AAA. With the current manager and front office they will screw them up as they have with Nick Senzel, Jose Berraro, and other. This coaching staff. manager, and yes ownership is a joke. Cincinnati is such a great city and will a support quality, not this group of clowns that run our beloved Reds.

    Got my Season Ticket form the next year. What am I going to do? I think he should find something better to do!!!

    I’ll be back when we have something better to support. Too bad we can’t fire the owner. Sell the TEAM to someone who cares!!!

    • VaRedsFan

      If you don’t plan to re-new, you should send it back and say “I found somewhere else to go”

  15. Votto4life

    Those here who were enthusiastic about trading Castillo and Mahle a couple of months ago what did you expect? You now have the team you wanted.