The Short Version: I wrote the headline to this recap before the game even started. That makes me sad.
|Atlanta Braves (13-10)||5||13||0|
|Cincinnati Reds (5-19)||4||12||1|
|W: Winkler (1-0) L: Shackelford (0-1) S: Minter (1)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score|
–Nice outing by Brandon Finnegan, allowing just two earned runs on seven hits in five innings. He struck out four, walked one, and threw 77 pitches. I never felt like he was truly in command, but it was certainly a step forward for Finnegan, who came into the game with an ERA over 11. (It’s 8.03 now!)
–Interesting moment in the bottom of the fifth. Down 3-0, Jesse Winker led off with a walk (because that’s what Jesse Winker does). One out later, Joey Votto hit his second home run in as many days. Later, with two outs, Adam Duvall walked and Scott Schebler hammered a ball off the left-center field wall. Third base coach Billy Hatcher inexplicably sent Duvall home, and the throw beat Duvall to home plate by at least ten feet. Inning over.
Except it wasn’t! The Reds asked for a review, and somehow the catcher missed the tag as Duvall slid in. Tie game…and then Tucker Barnhart proceeded to double to give the Reds a 4-3 lead.
–Winker had two hits and a walk; he’s now hitting .311/.442/.361. Votto was 2-4 with a homer, a walk, a run scored, and two RBI.
–Schebler was 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Alex Blandino went 2-3 at the plate and made two nice plays at third base.
–Austin Brice pitched two shutout innings of relief, allowing just one hit.
–Have you noticed that Scooter Gennett is not a good defensive player? He struck again tonight, very early in the game.
Ender Inciarte led off the game with a single for Atlanta, and he promptly stole second. Ozzie Albies bounced one to Scooter at second, and he threw it away. Amazingly, that was only Gennett’s third error of the season.
–In the bottom half of the first, the Reds collected consecutive singles from Winker, Jose Peraza, and Votto. Bases loaded, no outs!
Then Scooter popped one up to shallow center field, and Duvall hit into a double play. Rinse, repeat.
–In the top of the third, Votto had his own episode of horrible defense. He ranged way too far to his right to field a grounder that was moving directly toward Scooter (maybe he was nervous about letting Gennett field it), then he threw it a mile over Finnegan’s head.
Somehow that was scored a base hit. That may be the dumbest scoring decision ever.
–Kevin Shackelford made his season debut tonight, and it didn’t go well. He gave up three hits and a run in his first inning of work, surrendering Cincinnati’s 4-3 lead in the process.
In the next inning, the ninth, Shackelford hit a batter and surrendered a single before being replaced by Dylan Floro. One out later, a ball was hit at Cliff Pennington who was (a) in the game for some reason, and (b) unable to field the ball. Braves scored and took a 5-4 lead.
–There was almost no one at Great American Ball Park tonight, and from the sound of the crowd, they were almost all Atlanta fans. I fear this won’t get better at any point in 2018. Three straight 90+ loss seasons, a historically terrible start to the season, and plenty of reasons to believe the rebuild has stalled.
–I really thought the Reds were never going to lose another game. Not sure what to do with my life right now.
–Schebler murdered the baseball nearly every single time he hit. He’s really dialed in right now. I would love to see him remain healthy for the rest of the season. He’ll make everyone forget about Duvall.
–In the ninth inning, with the game tied, 1/3 of the Cincinnati lineup consisted of Cliff Pennington, Phil Gosselin, and Dylan Floro. You know, the Reds were never serious about being more competitive this season. They always planned for this to be another 90-loss season; they just couldn’t say it publicly. Otherwise, they would have acquired actual players for the bullpen and bench in the off-season (or given those spots to kids who have a chance to be on the next good Reds team) instead of sitting on their hands.
–We got a stark reminder that the Braves have been rebuilding for about the same length of time as the Reds. They had two young studs starting for them tonight. Both are younger than Nick Senzel.
They had three guys, when you include Dansby Swanson in that trio, starting tonight who are 24 or younger, and who were all ranked between #1 and #11 in Baseball America’s prospect rankings.
–If you see this in time, I’m going to be on the Reds post-game show on WLW at 10:30 tonight. Listen in!
Shocked. This is my shocked face.
— A DOT HAM (@GiantAsianMan) April 25, 2018
Bases loaded, no outs, first inning. Reds are unable to score. pic.twitter.com/29VWyDPX68
— Redleg Nation (@redlegnation) April 25, 2018
It has been a long time since Duvall hit at all.
— Jason Linden (@JasonLinden) April 25, 2018
So. Joey Votto's wRC+ is 103. That happened fast.
— Patrick Jeter (@prjeter) April 26, 2018
RHP Kevin Shackelford, who came off the disadbled list yesterday, is warming in the Reds' bullpen. When he appears, he will become the 19th Reds pitcher of the season.
— Reds Media Relations (@RedsPR) April 26, 2018
If you're wondering about Adam Duvall…
At age 27-28, he hit .245./299/.489 for the Reds, with an OPS+ of 103.
In the last century, exactly one other Reds OF has had an OPS+ b/w 95-105 at age 27-28 (min. 800 plate appearances): Eddie Milner (82-83).
— Chris Garber (@cgarber8) April 26, 2018
If you aren't watching the game, turn it on now. Both Cliff Pennington and Phil Gosselin are in the game. At the same time!
— Redleg Nation (@redlegnation) April 26, 2018
For someone who was brought in for defense, Cliff Pennington isn't very good at defense.
— Matt Wilkes (@_MattWilkes) April 26, 2018
Adam Duvall is 46-of-244 (.191) since August 10th of last year. It may be time for him to stop getting regular playing time.
— Ryan Ritchey (@_RyanRitchey) April 26, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.