Final R H E
Pittsburgh Pirates (72-74) 9 12 1
Cincinnati Reds (62-84) 7 9 0
W: Antonio Bastardo (3-0)  L: Tony Cingrani (2-5)  SV: Tony Watson (13)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Hitters

After getting in a 3-0 hole early, the Reds answered with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Joey Votto started things off with a two-out single, moved to second on a double by Adam Duvall, and scored on a single by Brandon Phillips.

In the bottom of the second, the Reds tied the game on a two-run home run by Ramon Cabrera, who hit a laser into the right field seats at an exit velocity of 105 mph. After the Pirates took a 4-3 lead in the top of the fifth, the Reds answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Jose Peraza led things off with a line-drive single to right field, moved to second on a bunt by Steve Selsky, and scored on a single by Votto. The Pirates had a golden opportunity to get out of the inning, but pitcher Ryan Vogelsong dropped a feed from first baseman John Jaso, allowing Phillips to reach. More bad defense by the Pirates gave the Reds two more runs, as Scott Schebler was credited with a two-run triple after center fielder Andrew McCutchen took a terrible route on a line drive and allowed the ball to roll all the way to the wall.

Steve Selsky hit his first career home run in the bottom of the 10th, though it proved to be too little too late.

The Hurlers

It was another erratic outing for Robert Stephenson. He lasted longer than his three-inning outing last weekend, but not by much. In just five innings and 100 pitches, the right-hander allowed four runs on four hits, four walks, and a hit batter. He continued to show good stuff, however, striking out six hitters.

The Pirates jumped on him in the first inning, as he walked Josh Bell, surrendered an RBI double to Andrew McCutchen, and gave up a two-run home run to Gregory Polanco. Stephenson would allow just two baserunners over the next three innings before a rough fifth inning. A double, a single, and a walk loaded the bases with one out. Stephenson got Polanco to pop out but hit Jung Ho Kang to force in a run.

Jumbo Diaz took over in the sixth, striking out the first two hitters before giving up a broken-bat, two-run double to Alen Hanson. The big man was lifted for Wandy Peralta, who got David Freese to ground out to third base to end the inning.

The Pirates tied the game again in the seventh, as Polanco hit a two-out single against Blake Wood before Kang went deep to knot the game up.

Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Igleisas combined to pitch a scoreless eighth and ninth inning. Lorenzen worked around a two-out walk, while Iglesias eliminated a baserunner with a double play to get out of the ninth inning.

The 10th inning was a disaster for Tony Cingrani, as he allowed his traditional leadoff walk en route to giving up three runs on four hits and a walk while recording only two outs. It’s probably safe to say he’s pitched himself out of the 2017 closer competition.

Josh Smith kept the Reds’ deficit at three by getting McCutchen to fly out to end the inning.

Not-So-Random Thoughts

Joey Votto is good. As one Pirates beat writer put it:

Reds relievers have now set the major-league record for home runs given up with 93. That is not good.

Minor-League Playoff Update

The Rookie League Billings Mustangs were swept in the Pioneer League championship series by the Orem Owlz, a Los Angeles Angels affiliate.

What’s Next?

Let’s play two! The Reds and Pirates will play a doubleheader on Saturday to make up for a rained-out game earlier in the season. Game one is set for 12:10 p.m. ET, with Anthony DeSclafani (2.93 ERA, 3.91 xFIP) squaring off against rookie Jameson Taillon (3.27 ERA, 3.26 xFIP). First pitch of the nightcap is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. ET, as Brandon Finnegan (4.04 ERA, 4.86 xFIP) will take on Trevor Williams (6.75 ERA, 3.48 xFIP), who will be making his first career big-league start.

40 Responses

  1. ohiojimw

    What with becoming arb eligible, Cingrani will be lucky if he hasn’t pitched his way out of any job with the Reds with his body of work from this year. Even Chapman had to occasionally throw a pitch other than his fastball in the same zip code as the strike zone. And to state the obvious, Chapman’s fastball Cingrani does not have.

      • VaRedsFan

        Wouldn’t hurt my feelings…which means, of course, the Reds will pencil him in as the closer as early as March 1st.

    • kmartin

      Ohio — you are correct about Chapman needing to throw pitches other than the fastball. In today’s Cubs-Brewers game Chapman threw Ryan Braun a 101 MPH fastball, then a 89 MPH slider, and finally a 90 MPH change for strike three. Braun’s swing at the change up was pretty hilarious.

    • lwblogger2

      I don’t see the Reds letting him go that early. If he was 3rd, or perhaps even 2nd arbitration year eligible, then I could see it as more likely. His performance doesn’t merit a large pay increase in his first arb year, so I’d be really surprised if the Reds didn’t keep him.

  2. pinson343

    Nice recap, Matte. I like your dividing things up into the hitters and the hurlers. On a Friday night, it helps to only have to think about one thing at a time.

    Cingrani “allowed his traditional leadoff walk” is well put. After that the Pirates loaded the bases with none out on 2 more gifts. SRod hit the slow ground ball to the left side that it looked like Suarez could glove but elected not to. Don’t understand that, it left the Reds without a play. Next up, Cervelli, and you can’t let him beat out a sac bunt. It was a good bunt, and Cingrani got to it quickly, but was slow on his release to first base, apparenly thinking he had more time than he did.

    I hope Cingrani is situational middle relief next year.

    • greenmtred

      So do I. Situational middle relief for the Cubs.

  3. ohiojimw

    Comparing Stephenson’s work at MLB with Reed’s, I’m wondering who in the Reds org decided Reed had moved past RS for first shot at the bigs.

    Reed may eventually be a better MLB pitcher than Stephenson. However at this point Reed came off looking like a thrower versus a being pitcher at the MLB level. Stephenson is already showing signs of being a pitcher at the MLB level. I can’t help but wonder where he’d be in his development with 15 starts under his belt instead of 6 or 7.

    • pinson343

      When called up, Reed was pitching significantly better than Stephenson. And things got worse from there for Stephenson at AAA.
      I believe they’ll both be good starting pitchers.

      • ohiojimw

        An irony here is that Sampson arguably pitched as well or better than Reed as an AAA starter in the run up period to when Reed was brought to MLB; and, to date of the three, Sampson has probably looked better in his limited MLB starts than either of the other two.

      • lwblogger2

        Why he hasn’t been given more of a shot, especially considering his age and his stuff, is a huge mystery to me.

      • ohiojimw

        When I look at a situation like Sampson’s, I’m reminded of something I’ve heard the late Doc Rodgers and Tracey Jones, back in his legit baseball analyst days, both talk about on multiple occasions. As players come up through an org, it can often make a huge difference who if anybody, in the org has a personal stake in seeing a specific player get opportunities and succeed.

        Jones was pretty blunt about it, often saying that everybody who wasn’t a sure fired future HoF player better have one or more people in the org looking out for their interests. DR in his own understated way would say that naturally an org tended to have a bias for guys it was more invested in and whose rise or fall could impact on the future careers of the decision makers responsible for the person being in the org.

        So, like Straily, Sampson was a free waiver claim. He wasn’t a first round org draft choice. He didn’t come to the org as part of an extremely high profile trade.

        Unlike Straily, Sampson let that first immediate chance at the rotation slip thru his fingers (and maybe the team wasn’t quite as desperate for starters as when Straily fell into their lap); and it seems Sampson has been on the outside looking in ever since

      • lwblogger2

        Makes a lot of sense to me. I know there’s still the “good ol’ boys’ network in play to some degree. I really respected Doc Rodgers. The guy was smart and knew how baseball teams worked.

      • ohiojimw

        Interesting aside that both Straily and Sampson were on waivers via the Padres when claimed by the Reds. Perhaps a bit of a Kevin Towers influence involved in picking both of them????

  4. pinson343

    Disappointing loss, I felt the Reds would win it in the 10th against Watson.

    • ohiojimw

      I was hoping the same. Thought Selsky might a whack at somebody he was familiar with at AAA or that Votto or Duvall might run into one. Guess Selsky got his whack but the blowout in the top of the inning made it irrelevant.

  5. DavidTurner49

    What’s happened to Cingrani since his good year? Hitters learned to lay off his high fastball and he didn’t develop an effective second pitch?

    • VaRedsFan

      Bingo…unless you can adjust, the rest of MLB will figure you out.

  6. Greatredlegsfan

    As things stands and barring injuries, it looks like four pitchers are locks to be part of the starting rotation in 2017: Bailey, DeSclafani, Finnegan and Straily. The 5th spot to be battled between Reed, Stephenson and Garret. As for the bullpen, I just can think of Iglesias and Lorenzen to return, while other five spots are for anyone else.

    • VaRedsFan

      Sampson should be in the mix for either of those spots

      • Reaganspad

        I would say that he is our 5th starter until someone takes that spot from him and he moves to the pen

      • David

        I don’t think the Reds have given up on Iglesias as a starter.

  7. ohiojimw

    On the happier side, apparently the Giants are thrashing the Cardinales again tonite. I’m trying to decide which would be more pleasurable to me, a)the Cards hanging by a thread when the Reds arrive in StL on 28 Sept and the Reds finish them off or b)the Cards are already done for when the Reds arrive and playing out the string just like the Reds..

    • RedInIND

      Nothing wrong with either one of these scenarios, although the a) version would be sweeter.

  8. DHud

    If Cingani is back next year, amongst several others, I will be very upset

    • Gaffer

      Agree, how do you pay him anything in arbitration.

  9. Dan

    “He continued to show good stuff” I don’t know how you can state that. 6 batters struck out because they didn’t know where the ball was going and neither did Stephenson. Right now he pitches as good as Jumbo Diaz.

    • Matt Wilkes

      I think you can have good stuff without having good control. Stephenson throws in the low to mid-90 and has great movement on his pitches, but like you said, he doesn’t always know where they’re going.

    • Steve Mancuso

      I’ll take six strikeouts of major league hitters as a plus. Stephenson is 23. Diaz is 32.

    • greenmtred

      Batters not knowing where the ball is going is a pretty good definition of good stuff.

  10. Gaffer

    Reds relievers gave up the most HR, but Finnegan leads the league overall as a starter. So, it’s safe to say we have that stat safely covered.

  11. jessecuster44

    It’s ironic that many complain about Votto walking too much when the real problem is that Reds pitchers walk other hitters too much.

    Frankly, if you consistently demonstrate the inability to throw strikes to the first batter of the inning, you shouldn’t be in the Major Leagues.

    Cingrani, Jumbo, Wood… really hoping that none of them will be with the Reds next yr.

  12. Earl Nash

    When I think of the angst that past Reds bullpens have given me, it’s hard to believe this one is the worst of the worst. They still got a chance at 100 HRs and put that record really out of place.

    Tom Boom Boom Hume and late career Danny Graves salute you fellas!

    • jessecuster44

      Tom Hume was awesome back in the day. Don’t compare him to this mess.

      • Earl Nash

        Tom Hume definitely had some good seasons and pitched a ton of innings out of the pen in a different era, but the dude was known for giving up the gofer ball.

  13. Playtowin

    Tony Cingrani is not very good. He has only one pitch…a hittable fast ball. He has lousy control to Include issuing too many walks and poor location. He would not be suitable as a situational lefty given his inconsistent results. He is more likely to pour gasoline on a fire than not.

  14. TR

    Here’s hopeing Cingrani along with Diaz and Ohlendorf will be gone come April and that the FO will prioritize a strong bullpen for 2017.

    • WVRedlegs

      Why wait until April? Hopefully Cingrani, Ohlendorf, Jumbo, and Hoover get non-tendered in November. They will have to open a few 40 man roster spots to protect a few prospects before the Rule V draft in December.