The Short Version: There really is no short version. It was a 12-inning game and in all the confusion of extra innings and bunts and pinch-hitting pitchers, I originally forgot to write the short version. So here it is: Reds lose.
|Final — 12 innings||R||H||E|
|Cincinnati Reds (2-9)||3||11||1|
|Philadelphia Phillies (6-5)||4||6||1|
|W: Rios (1-0) L: Brice (0-1)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score|
–Luis Castillo had a quality start, if you like those sorts of distinctions. I just like the fact that he kept the Reds in the ballgame: six innings, three runs allowed on five hits, no walks, four strikeouts.
Castillo gave up a couple of runs in the second when he allowed the opposing pitcher, Nick Pivetta, to single with two outs. A moment later, the umpire called a balk and it appeared to rattle Castillo a bit. The next hitter, SS JP Crawford — the #9 hitter — proceeded to hit a two-run homer.
–Jose Peraza was 2-3 with a double. Joey Votto was 3-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Scooter Gennett was 2-5 with a double and a run scored. Phillip Ervin had a hit, a walk, and a couple of RBI.
–In the seventh through ninth innings, Amir Garrett and Raisel Iglesias were simply lights out. Garrett struck out two hitters, permitting just one little flare hit. Iglesias struck out four in his two innings of work. It’s almost like these guys are good pitchers.
–Down 3-2 in the top of the ninth, the Reds put together a rally to tie the game. Scooter Gennett doubled off the very tip-top of the left field wall to lead off the inning. Devin Mesoraco and Phillip Ervin followed with singles to tie the game and give the Reds runners on first and second with no outs.
(I’m putting this in the “Good” section so I don’t bust up the narrative flow here. But more insanity from the Reds manager ahead.) But in yet another instance of Reds manager Bryan Price putting a roadblock in the way of Cincinnati’s odds of winning, Price sent Tucker Barnhart up to pinch-hit for Phil Gosselin. And he asked Barnhart to bunt. Which Barnhart did, successfully.
First of all, why send up a pinch-hitter to bunt? Why not just let Gosselin do it? Secondly, why give away a free out to the other team — when you have Cliff freaking Pennington on deck?. You take the bat out of the hands of Barnhart — a competent hitter, at least — give away a free out, and count on Pennington to get the run in?
Predictably, Pennington and Hamilton had two of the worst at-bats you’re ever likely to see, and the Reds left two runners in scoring position. And Price used up all his position players (he used Alex Blandino to pinch run for Mesoraco) in order to get a sweet bunt. And required Raisel Iglesias to bat for himself in the tenth inning.
–The Reds bullpen only allowed one hit and one unearned run in 5.2 innings of work.
–In the bottom of the 12th inning, Scooter Gennett made a terrible throw to first, an error that permitted the leadoff Phillie to reach base. Said leadoff Phillie — named Pedro Florimon — came around to score to the winning run.
Scooter is an exceptionally likeable guy, and he hits pretty well against right-handed pitchers. But he’s going to have to hit awfully well to cover up his terrible defensive work. He’s just not good in the field.
–Going back to the the top of the sixth… with the Reds down 3-2, Peraza led off with a single, then he stole second base. Votto singled to left field, and third base coach Billy Hatcher inexplicably sent Peraza home, where he was thrown out by about a hundred miles. Just a bad decision, especially given the fact that there were no outs and the Reds could have had runners on the corners with the 4-5-6 hitters coming up.
–It’s completely ridiculous that, in the midst of what is supposed to be a “rebuild,” that this club’s manager started Gosselin at third base instead of Blandino. What’s the point of this Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Season if the manager can’t even play the kids who might have a chance to be a part of the next good Reds team? Seriously, what’s the point???
–Reds lose again, but at least this one was entertaining. That’s something, right?
–In the top of the tenth, Votto got a two-out single. Scooter proceeded to hit a two-run homer…but he was completely robbed by Philadelphia center fielder Odubel Herrera. In each of his last two ABs, Scooter very nearly hit two home runs. But didn’t quite get either of them over the fence.
–Jose Peraza got his first extra base hit this season before Joey Votto collected his first one. Baseball is weird.
–Is it too much to ask that Amir Garrett pitch 180 innings, and Raisel Iglesias pitch 100+?
–Even Thom Brennaman was questioning Price’s moves in that ninth inning.
My goodness what a catch by Billy pic.twitter.com/VX4UGKIZJ6
— paco (@AllaireMatt) April 11, 2018
Amir Garrett is an excellent pitcher. The only time he hasn't been excellent is when he was hurt and we didn't know it.
— Jason Linden (@JasonLinden) April 12, 2018
I feel like Cliff left us hanging there.
— Jason Linden (@JasonLinden) April 12, 2018
Odubel Herrera robbing Scooter Gennett of a two-run home run in the top of the 10th. pic.twitter.com/332XhfEGBs
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) April 12, 2018
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at email@example.com.