After a rain delayed start, Tyler Mahle fought tough against a potent Braves lineup, with the bullpen holding on for five innings. They could not, however, make it a sixth, ending the 7-game winning streak and dashing all hopes for the elusive 117-win season.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (32-46) 4 6 1
Atlanta Braves (45-32) 5 10 0
W: Jackson (1-0) L: Floro (2-2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

Mahle walked the first batter of the game on four pitches. Ozzie Albies followed that with a double to spot the Braves an early 1-0 lead. Albies advanced to third on the throw home and later scored on a Kurt Suzuki sacrifice fly. 2-0 bad guys after the first.

The young hurler settled down after his bumpy start and gave the Reds a fighting chance. He escaped potential trouble in the third after back to back singles by Markakis and Suzuki. He struck out Danny Santana to end the inning. He then pitched his first 1-2-3 inning in the fourth.

Scott Schebler got the Reds on the board in the fifth inning with a two-out, 426 foot funk blast to deep right field.

Atlanta got that run back in the bottom of the inning, but it could have been much worse. Mahle surrendered a single, double and walk to the Braves top 3 hitters but then induced a double play from the hot-hitting Markakis and a fly out from Suzuki to get out of the jam with just allowing one run.

The Reds played a bit of “anything you can do, I can do better” in the sixth with three consecutive singles from Votto, Gennett and Suarez to load the bases. Jesse Winker drew a walk to drive in one run. After a Jose Peraza pop-out, pinch-hitter Adam Duvall punched a ground out to deep second base to score another run and tie the game.

The good guys took their first lead of the game in the seventh inning. Scott Schebler led off with a double and was advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tucker Barnhart. Votto then hit a hard ground ball back to the pitcher, whose could not handle it cleanly and only had a play at first base.

The Braves evened it right back up with some help from a Votto error which put Freddie Freeman on second base with one out. After Kyle Crockett was replaced by David Hernandez, Santana doubled home Freeman to tie the game.

After scoreless eighth and ninth innings, the Reds made some noise in the top of the tenth but failed to score. Barnhart led off with a single, followed by a walk from Votto. Riggleman then used Scooter Gennett to bunt the runners over. The Braves walked Eugenio Suarez to load the bases, and Winker and Peraza ended the inning with a popout and groundout, respectively.

The Reds bullpen was good tonight but ran out of time against a very strong Braves offense. The game ended on Dylan Floro’s first pitch in the bottom of the 11th inning as Ozzie Albies just got one over the right field wall.

Other Games Notes;

  • The Braves pulled starter Mike Foltynewicz after five innings and 91 pitches. The first man out of the bullpen, Luke Sims, surrendered the two game-tying runs.
  • Michael Lorenzen came on for the Reds in the sixth inning and was not great, allowing a walk and a hit in four batters faced. He did start a rundown between third and home after making a nice play on a ground ball back to him, preventing a run from scoring.
  • Scott Schebler continues to look great in the leadoff spot. His home run had a 109 MPH exit velocity and 25 degree launch angle, adding up to a 100% hit probability
  • Jared Hughes pitched well in the ninth inning to extend the game to extra innings and stayed on in the tenth as well, allowing two hits (one a weak grounder) and a walk in two innings.
  • The Reds employed the sacrifice bunt twice today. It produced one run the first time. It did not work the second time.
  • I did not see the play happen and turned on the volume late but I believe a fan was hit by a Scooter Gennett foul ball. I did hear it reported shortly after that the fan did not lose consciousness and was going to be fine. Stay safe out there.

A hard fought game all around but you can’t win them all. The Reds will look to start another winning streak tomorrow.

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Matt ironically became a diehard Reds fan while living in Pittsburgh and experiencing the 2013 Wild Card game. He is currently living in the land without baseball, Portland, OR, where you can find him exploring the great outdoors whenever he is not watching the Reds.

Join the conversation! 51 Comments

  1. Put this loss on Riggleman and his insane idea of bunting,reds really cant give him chance at full time job,we need someone who will not give away outs

  2. I wish Riggleman well, but I hope the next manager doesn’t bunt in that situation. Who could seen what would follow???

  3. Of all players, bunting Scooter there.

  4. Bill James once wrote, “every team is going to win 50 games, every team is going to lose 50 games. It’s the 62 games that are truly contested and how players and managers perform in them is what decides a team’s season.”

    The Reds are outgunned financially without a salary cap and on most nights, for now, outgunned in MLB and near-MLB roster talent.

    Having Mr. Old School (not the RLN Legendary Poster) and his bunt at all costs mentality managing is not optimizing the chances of winning those 62 games, which tonight was certainly one of.

    • Whether or not you agree with playing for 1 run in a tied, extra-inning ballgame is a matter of opinion. The success of that strategy will always be based upon execution. Gennett did. Winker did not. While Riggelman did take the bat out of Scooter & Suarez’ hands, he just as much gave Jesse the opportunity to get that runner in from 3rd vs a lefty. Winker was clearly overmatched. Blame it on the manager.

      • I like the odds of getting an RBI single (or better) from Scooter, Suarez, and Winker better than from Winker and Peraza. I wonder what Scooter thought when he got that call from the dugout. I expect everyone on the Braves breathed a sigh of relief when they saw Scooter square to bunt.

      • I don’t think anyone’s excusing Winker for not getting it done, but for the team, wouldn’t you rather have two opportunities than one?

  5. I just don’t get that upstairs cant see how much his bunting is hurting this team,need to get new manager in this year so he can start getting this team aligned to how he wants it next year

  6. Curious – does the press challenge Riggle’s thought process on this nonsensical sac bunting? Does he know it statistically hurts his team’s chances of winning? Inexcusable. Even though it produced 1 run in the 7th, it was still stupid to do it then also and decreased the team’s probability of winning. And, he made the same mistake bunting Winker a few days ago vs the Cubs with 2 on, 0 out. I’m also curious if Dick Williams has discussed the fallacy of this “strategy” with him?

    • Instead of Scooter and Geno with no outs and 2 on, you bunt and open up 1st base to walk geno. So instead you get Winker/Peraza with 1 out. That is piss poor managing.

  7. 1. Trade Billy for a low A pitching lottery ticket. Move Senzel to CF and be done with it.
    2. Keep Scooter but dont extend him. Try to compete in 2019 and if they are out of it, deal scooter and the deadline for whatever you can get. Shed Long or Dilson Herrera 2020.
    3. Trade Iglesias next month for a SP prospect that will be around for 5-6 years instead of 2. He can fetch at least 1 top 100 prospect. Make it happen. Move Amir to closer.

    That’s it. Not that complicated. Let Duvall stick around as the 4th outfielder.

    • 1. Trade Billy for a low A pitching lottery ticket. Move Senzel to CF and be done with it.

      Billy might be more valuable if packaged with Iggy to a contending team as a “Playoff Late-Inning Package”, since both Iggy and Billy can be real weapons in the late innings if used properly.

      Further, how do you know Senzel wouldn’t be the worst defensive outfielder in MLB? How do you even know he can hit MLB pitching?

      2. Keep Scooter but dont extend him. Try to compete in 2019 and if they are out of it, deal scooter and the deadline for whatever you can get. Shed Long or Dilson Herrera 2020.

      If they are going to trade Scooter, his value will likely never be higher than it is this summer, what with him leading the NL in batting average and still a year and a half of control remaining on his contract. Holding on to him and then trading him later is the exact same mistake they made with Frazier and Chapman.

      3. Trade Iglesias next month for a SP prospect that will be around for 5-6 years instead of 2. He can fetch at least 1 top 100 prospect. Make it happen. Move Amir to closer.

      That would be nice, but again, it all comes down to finding a contending team that is willing to overpay for Iggy. Unless that same team is also trading for a new pitcher, they generally would not be willing to part with a starting pitcher when they are pushing for the playoffs. Iggy has no value to non-contending teams. As for Garrett, I’d rather see him get another try starting, but it feels like we’re already on the Chapman path where one of the best pitchers on our team is again going to be limited to pitching in the 9th inning with a lead. It’s infuriating.

      • 1. Have to assume Senzel can hit MLB pitching, otherwise this is all for nil anyways
        2. Don’t trade Scooter, hes leading the NL in hitting. The whole point is to acquire good players. Try to compete in 2019 and they don’t do that by trading scooter.
        3. 1 top 100 player for Iggy isn’t overpaying

        • Scooter was thrilled to come home to Cincy, and he’s played like it. I’m sure he’ll take a team friendly deal to stay. Why so many want to trade him makes no sense. We need to find out if Senzel or Suarez can play SS, that’s the key to 2019 on the offensive side. I do agree that packaging Iggy and Billy to a contender makes a ton of sense and should net us a good return at the trade deadline.

          • Maybe you’re right, but Scooter was quoted this spring as saying that he would not take a team-friendly deal. And I wouldn’t either, if I were him. This may be his only shot at a really big payday.

          • I don’t know why everyone assumes he will take a discount to play for the Reds. His next contract is probably the last significant contract he will get, taking him into his mid 30s. I have seen guys throw around 4 year $40 million, but I am not sure that gets it done What if he wants a six year $70 million contract or wants a higher AAV for a shorter contract with full not trade clause? Does that still make sense?

            If he is willing to take a discount sign him today. I just am not convinced that is the case. I think his agent has probably made the dollar figure he was looking for clear in the offseason, which is when the Reds said he needed to prove last year wasn’t a fluke. He has proved it wasn’t a fluke, but at the same time possibly increased his value.

            I think the major disagreement between the trade Scooter camp, and those that think trading him is insanity is how they view his abilities. I personally don’t view him as an elite bat. This statement is what many will disagree, but I view him as a good bat with below average defense, which overall that is still a good player and will be difficult to replace. He has put up wonderful stats when looking at BA, RBI, and HR, which many will point to and cast an MVP vote for. However as others have pointed out with modern analytics he is due for a regression in those stats. We are actually seeing that now as his OPS is dropping below .900. His OPS of .895 is still excellent, I just don’t view Scooter as elite. This is not 2012 Votto we are talking about extending, this is a good 2B on a last place team

          • Those same people said he would regress in the 2nd half of last year.
            Those same people said he would regress this year.

            Eventually he will regress, and those same people will beat their chest and say “I told you” …4 years later

          • You have to stop viewing regress as “he will be horrible”, the regression is from the MVP numbers he was putting up earlier in the year to something that is still well above average, just not MVP candidate levels. I believe his OPS was in the mid .900’s earlier in the season and has “regressed” to .895 which is similar to the .874 he put up last year. In comparison Suarez is at .981. Scooter is a good player, he in my opinion is just not a cornerstone piece that needs signed to an expensive long term contract. Especially considering there are two guys at AAA playing 2B who can hit.

            If he is open to a discount as others believe then sign him. If not thank him for his time and do something to improve the future.

  8. I don’t know what is worse…watching Riggleman with his “old school” sacrifice bunting madness or listening to Thom B blame the lack of scoring, in that inning, on Winker.

    • Did you see the Winker AB? Bases were loaded with only 1 out. The pitcher has to throw strikes, that is unless the hitter is overswinging at pitches outside the strike zone. Riggleman is an interim manager. The Reds are not playing for a post season slot. I didn’t hear Thom blame anyone, but he would have been remiss in his job had he not pointed out that Winker has to do better in that situation. All in all it was a good game. Great start by Mahle (after the first couple batters). Good job by the bullpen overall. Unfortunate fielding play by Joey that was instrumental in Atlanta tying up the game. Actually, neither Riggelman or Thom B. are preventing the Reds from making the playoffs..

  9. Also can we please stop with the “packaging” of players? That rarely happens.

  10. Tough game against a very good team, but it’s hard to win when going 1-11 with RISP. Only between Winker & Peraza, 11 runners were LOB.

  11. Tough loss, but Winker and Peraza were key in the seven game win-streak–if they hit grand slams or 3-run clutch homers every game then we’d have to expect them to go on that streak to win 117. Lots of ways they could’ve (should’ve?) won this game, but also more than as many ways they should’ve lost some of the last seven. Yes, the bunting in none of the right places has to stop (please!) but in the bigger picture this game is still part of a sequence of better baseball where they “should” win half of the games.

  12. Funny while blaming Riggleman for bunting Scooter (dumb move), nobody blamed Votto for committing an error and allowing what would become the 4th (and tying) run on base for Atlanta.

    Votto is sacrosanct and cannot be criticized. Right.

    • Exactly! It was a huge play in the game. Physical errors, part of the game, I can live with. It’s the mental errors that causes the anger.
      Schebler could have have thrown Freeman out at 2nd, but made a terrible throw.

    • No, you definitely give credit (or discredit) where it is due. But consider it this way – errors sometimes can’t be helped but bad managing can always be. No need to be purposely giving away outs, the game is hard enough as it is.

    • Thank you David!!!!

  13. John fay is reporting Billy Hamilton wants his leadoff spot back and Riggleman,Jocketty and company plan on giving it to him..

    “He’s a fun guy out there with his teammates. It’s not just if he swings the bat well. We want him out there. Period.
    -Riggleman

    ” It’s not even about hitting. It’s about great at bats. I know I can hit. I feel like I have a chance.

    – Hamilton

    • I think Billy, Walt, & Company have something there. Hamilton has 3 options. He could be leading off tonight for Louisville. Seriously, with the number of ABs that Billy has had, you let the number do the talking for you.

    • I saw that article as well as the one that Riggleman may get the manager job if the team continues to play well. I just wish they would move Suarez up in the order and Barnhart back down. I get the wanting to separate all the LH batters, but why not just go with Schebler (or WInker), Votto, Suarez, Gennett? I thing the impact of a LOOGY would be minimal on that lineup, and it really doesn’t come into play that often where it would change the outcome of the game

      • Atlanta isn’t worried about a potential LOOGY. Their 1st 4 batters last night were left handed. (Albies-switch hitter)

  14. What’s the worst that could have happened if you let Scooter hit away with two men on and no one out? A double play. (Okay, a triple play, but let’s be serious.)

    That would have still left a runner on (probably at 3rd base) for the league’s leading RBI man. You have to let Suarez swing the bat there.

    Oh, and I like Scooter’s chances of NOT hitting into a double play there. He is the league’s leading hitter, you know.

    • In that scenario Suarez would be walked, and you get Winker with 1st/3rd and 2 outs

      • Exactly, they would issue the walk to Suarez in that scenario. But, back to the real issue, the odds of the double play occurring are much less than the certain out they gave up having Scooter bunt. You just don’t do that with your best hitters…

        • Fair enough about walking Suarez in that scenario–you’re probably right.

          I’m going back to my main point–I like the odds of the league’s leading hitter NOT hitting into a DP there. If he did, you at least know you gave your best hitter his best shot.

        • Did you see the Scooter sac bunt? It was a great bunt & it took a good play to get him out at first. As a road team in extra innings, I’m not sure I disagree with Riggleman’s strategy. At home I would expect him to let Scooter swing away.

  15. On Votto, great player he is, sometimes in the field he reminds me of Danny Driessen, try to cover to much field to HIS right.

  16. Riggleman manages to take rbi opportunities away from Scooter and Suarez in the 10th? Stupid…no matter how you slice it? Bad atbat from Winker too. He did hit the granny on Thursday off a lefty but .188 vs LH pitching overall? Small sample size but I would def keep Duvall around for platoon/def replacement

    Price used to do the same thing w/Peraza batting 2nd….bunt someone over so they could walk Joey. Please. Stop!!!!

    Billy bugged me last night too. Takes a walk to leadoff the inning and then doesn’t run? Then his next at-bat he was ahead 2-0 on Folty and fouled off an obvious ball 3? He goes on to make an out and then Schebler homers. Every time you think Billy/Jose could be turning the corner then there is a 0-9 with 10 guys left on base with their names all over it.

    • Billy has been turning the corner for 5 years and Peraza for two full years.Can’t hide them unless they set on the bench and until they do this offense will never get to where it could be.

  17. I hope the principal owner, the producer of the show, hires a young manager to take the Reds forward. But with the recent turn around, I doubt it will happen. I’m afraid veteranariness will win out in the managerial choice. The bunt has it’s occasional place in the game, but not as a constant diet as Riggleman too often uses it especially with the offense the Reds possess.

  18. The Run expectancy for 1st/2nd and no outs is 1.47 runs.
    The run expectancy for 2nd/3rd and 1 out is 1.36 runs.

    You’ve still reduced your overall run expectancy. But you’ve decreased your chances of scoring 0 runs by 3.62%, so you’ve increased your likelihood of scoring at least one run. What’s more, you’ve increased your chances of scoring exactly one run by almost 5%, and exactly two runs by 6%! Basically, the sacrifice you’re making is increasing your probability of scoring 1-2 runs at the expense of scoring 3 or more. So in a close game in the later innings and runners on first and second, it might make sense to bunt them over.

    Now the players that are doing the bunting and hitting thereafter matter. It shouldn’t be done with Scooter/Suarez/Votto. But should be done with Billy, Peraza, and Tucker. IMO

  19. I am proposing for the Reds to be both a buyer and seller at the trade deadline. Sell the usual suspects that have been named but buy JT Realmuto. I know that’s coming out of “left field” but it would be real acquisition. Tucker has been solid offensively and very good defensively. Realmuto is plain better.
    + He’s still young (27; same age as Tucker).
    + Affordable for a few years – not eligible for free agency until 2021.
    + Far superior hitter than Tucker. One of the best catchers offensively (3rd in oWAR & 6th in overall WAR). His WAR is double of Tucker.
    + Nearly as good defensively – arguably he is having a better season defensively up to now than Tucker. Point is that he is not much of a defensive drop-off and makes up that difference in large measure with his offense.

    I live in Miami. It is no secret that the Marlins are selling for prospects. He may not be available because of his age and contract-friendly situation, but if the Reds make an enticing offer he could be had. A sure thing is a better risk than a prospect. If the Reds FO go for a player like that, they are sending a signal to the fans that they are serious of contending beginning with 2019. Realmuto would be a nice core piece playing in a hitter-friendly ballpark. Offensively, they would be so much better than now. Imagine that!

  20. Lets get Price and Riggleman into a time machine. They could have Babe get down a sweet bunt so they could intentionally walk Lou Gehrig and pitch to someone nobody ever heard of with the game on the line:)

    So Dilson goes 3-5 and BobSteve has a nice game. AAA hitters are now hitting .204 off of Stephenson! Don’t they both have to be called up this year or cut loose? I know this is it for Dilson.

  21. A cautionary note on any contract talks with Scooter and the Reds. Scooter should take note that last year Mike Moustakas hit 38 HR’s in his age 28 season and was “rewarded” with a 1 year contract for $5.5M and a $1M buyout of a mutual option for 2019. He did have $2.2M in PA incentives however. That was his free agent offer. Anything more than what Cozart got from the Angels would be foolish for the Reds to pursue. Sign Scooter for his last arbitration eligible year and 2 free agent years. Nothing more. No option year or years.
    Scooter is making $5.7M this year and is probably looking at about a projected $9-10M for next season, his last arbitration year. A 3 year deal for $36M is about as far as the Reds should go. That would give Scooter $13M in ’19, $12M in ’20, and $11M in ’21. No option year. That is a sweet increase in 2019 in year 1 of the deal over what his projected salary would be from arbitration with a small decrease each season. That could get his attention and signature. A front loaded deal as opposed to a back end loaded deal.
    Give Scooter’s reps the details and offer with a deadline date of the Sunday before the all-star break. If he and his reps decline then it would be time to start shopping him before the deadline. If Scooter turns it down, he in no way, shape, or form should be a part of the 2019 Reds. A lame duck Scooter in his last year heading to free agency does nothing for the rebuild or the new phrase for the phase, the “building up”.

    • The guy that started for the Braves last night is their Bob.The difference is they chose to let him and learn at the big league level and now even in year 3 he still struggles to sometimes get out of the 5th inning because he has a tendency to walk a few and throw a lot of pitches but he misses bats and at times is unhittable just like last night.Who knows what Bob could become if we committed to him in the same way the Braves did.The bigger question is why wouldn’t we.Losing is losing and I miss you Chuck Shick.

    • Why not a team option year at the end with a reasonable buyout? Not much to lose there.

  22. Last night was a textbook example of why Peraza will never sniff an OPS over .700. Bases loaded after a walk and he pops up a pitch he can’t handle….the very.first.pitch. In extra innings he grounds out weakly on another pitch out of the zone with a runner in scoring position.

  23. I don’t get the fixation on Riggleman and bunting. The Reds lost because – Schebler missed the cut-off in the first inning and Votto didn’t get in front of a ground ball. Otherwise they win in 9 innings and don’t even have to go into extra innings. Agree that Riggleman didn’t think through the sacrifice bunt in this situation but it needs to be part of their game in certain situations. You have to give Riggleman credit for results and being willing to make moves to help them win – pulling pitchers faster and dropping a bunt at the right time. If you are the Yankees it’s easy to say don’t bunt but if you have a pitcher hitting, Hamilton and Peraza in your line-up and a thin bench bunting is going to be necessary at times.

  24. Riggleman might want to look at Scooter’s BA before deciding to have him bunt. That’s a Jerry Narron move.

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About Matthew Habel

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Matt ironically became a diehard Reds fan while living in Pittsburgh and experiencing the 2013 Wild Card game. He is currently living in the land without baseball, Portland, OR, where you can find him exploring the great outdoors whenever he is not watching the Reds.

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2018 Reds