The Cincinnati Reds didn’t have a hit through the first five innings of the game and trailed 2-0. But they got things going in the 6th and completed a come-from-behind win in Rally Reds fashion to wrap up their home schedule for the regular season with a 4-2 victory in what may have been the final home game for Joey Votto after 17 seasons with the club.
|Pittsburgh Pirates (74-82)
|Cincinnati Reds (80-77)
|W: Sims (7-3) L: Hernandez (1-2) SV: Gibaut (3)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
The bottom of the 1st inning started out well for the Reds as both Jonathan India and TJ Friedl walked, but the inning went nowhere as a double play and pop up followed. Brandon Williamson got himself into some trouble in the top of the 2nd after allowing a 1-out double and followed it up with a walk and a wild pitch to put two men in scoring position, but he got out of it with a fly out to center to keep the game scoreless.
In the bottom of the second inning Joey Votto came to the plate with one out and the home crowd gave him a standing ovation and were heard chanting “Joey, Joey!” as he stepped out of the box to acknowledge the crowd who was showing their appreciation for his 17-year career in what could be his final game at Great American Ball Park.
Joey Votto loves Cincinnati and Cincinnati loves Joey Votto.
— Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) September 24, 2023
Votto would eventually strike out looking and the Reds would go in order in the inning.
Neither team would do much of anything in the next couple of innings. But in the top of the 5th inning Jack Suwinski put the Pirates in front with his 26th homer of the season with a leadoff solo shot. Pittsburgh added on after a 1-out double was followed by an RBI single from Jason Delay to extend their lead to 2-0. That would mark the end of the day for Brandon Williamson as David Bell called on Buck Farmer to enter the game and while he issued a 2-out walk, he’d get out of the inning with no further damage.
Cincinnati went down in order in the 5th, leaving them hitless on the day against a pitcher who had given up four or more runs in every start he’s made this season (eight of them) but one – and in that one he allowed three runs in 4.0 innings. The club would finally break through when Jonathan India led off the 6th with a single into left field. TJ Friedl then followed up with a game-tying, 2-run homer.
That group got together again in the bottom of the 7th to put the Reds in front. India picked up a 2-out double and then came around to score on Friedl’s single into left that put the home team up 3-2. Alexis Diaz entered the game for the 8th inning. He had to work around two walks, but picked up a strikeout to strand both runners and keep Cincinnati on top.
Christian Encarnacion-Strand crushed a 1-out home run to put the Reds up 4-2 in the bottom of the 8th. Joey Votto then stepped up to the plate and with the crowd chanting “Joey, Joey!” once again, he lined a single into center. Cincinnati then called for a pinch runner and Votto went down the line in the dugout getting high fives from everyone before taking a curtain call and acknowledging the crowd who was still chanting his name.
Ian Gibaut came out of the bullpen to try and pick up the save in the 9th inning. He made quick work of things, needing just 10 pitches to retire the Pirates in order and help the Reds avoid being swept as Cincinnati picked up the 4-2 win.
Key Moment of the Game
TJ Friedl’s go-ahead hit in the bottom of the 7th inning.
Notes worth noting
Joey Votto was the post-game interview on Bally Sports Ohio. Here’s how that went:
To: Reds Country
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) September 24, 2023
TJ Friedl has homered in three straight games. The Reds broadcast on Bally Sports Ohio noted that Friedl joined Roberto Alomar as the only player in MLB over the last 50 years to have 17 home runs and 17 bunt hits in the same season.
The Marlins won in Milwaukee. Arizona is leading the Yankees in the 8th inning. The Cubs are up by a run in the 8th. There are five games remaining for Cincinnati and they’ll probably need to win all of them to have a real chance at making the playoffs.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Cleveland Guardians
Tuesday September 25th, 6:10pm ET
Hunter Greene (4-6, 4.24 ERA) vs Lucas Giolito (8-14, 4.60 ERA)