Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (65-57)
5 8 0
Cincinnati Reds (58-65)
4 8 1
W: Flaherty (7-6) L: Wood (1-2) SV: Martinez (14)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Reds comeback fell just short as the Cardinals took advantage of Alex Wood in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings to barely hold on for a 5-4 win on Sunday.

The Offense

The Reds grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning when Eugenio Suarez clobbered a 417-foot home run. But they wouldn’t get back on the scoreboard again until the 7th inning. At that time they were down 5-1 and hoping to rally. Jose Iglesias and Kyle Farmer both had singles to start the inning. After a strikeout, Nick Senzel walked to load the bases. With Josh VanMeter due up, the Cardinals brought in Andrew Miller, leading David Bell to counter by pinch hitting Jose Peraza. We don’t know how it would have played out with VanMeter hitting instead, but Peraza walked on five pitches and brought in a run to make it 5-2. That brought Eugenio Suarez to the plate, and on a 1-0 count he line a ball down the line, but it was just foul. On the next pitch he grounded into an inning ending double play.

After a quiet 8th inning the Reds got things moving in the bottom of the 9th. Jose Iglesias doubled off of the wall in right-center and moved to third base on a Kyle Farmer single into center field. That brought the tying run to the plate in Tucker Barnhart. The Reds catcher dropped a single into right field to bring in 2 runs and make it a 5-4 game. Michael Lorenzen came on to pinch run for Barnhart at first, but a fly out was followed up by back-to-back strikeouts to end the game.

The Pitching

The home run plagued Alex Wood again this afternoon as he allowed two of them, leading to 4 earned runs and 5 total runs allowed in 5.0 innings. He walked a batter, and allowed 8 total hits in the game, while striking out 6 batters before turning the game over to the bullpen.

Rookie reliever Joel Kuhnel pitched 2.0 hitless inning in the 6th and 7th, walking a batter and striking out a batter, holding the game at 5-1. He handed the ball off to Kevin Gausman for the next 2.0 innings, which were also hitless. Gausman didn’t allow a runner, and he struck out all 6 batters he faced, giving the fans free pizza in the process. In the top of the 9th inning he struck out the side on 9 pitches.

Notes Worth Noting

Aristides Aquino didn’t homer, and that feels noteworthy every time that it doesn’t happen. He did walk twice in the game – his first 2-walk game of his short Major League career.

Kevin Gausman’s immaculate inning was the first by a Red since 2017.

Jose Iglesias extended his hitting streak to 13 games, which is easily the longest of the season for any single Reds player.

From our friends over at RedReporter:

Unfortunately, Red Report had an accounting error. They didn’t count today’s loss. The Reds are now 16-33 in day games.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

San Diego Padres vs Cincinnati Reds

Monday August 19th, 7:10pm ET

Eric Lauer (6-8, 4.55 ERA) vs. Trevor Bauer (10-9, 4.12 ERA)

38 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    Frustrating to say the least. Looks like we had opportunities (again) and couldn’t make them happen.

    The upside, seeing s we aren’t going to the post-season, is that we’re seeing the makings of a good team. The dog days of August not withstanding, I’m still excited that we feel robbed and frustrated at this point. That gives me, at least, some hope.

    • TR

      Frustrating for sure with the Reds missing out on consecutive weekend series from taking 3 of 4 from the Cubs and Cards.

  2. Roger Garrett

    The 7th was key of course but the Reds battled again until the end.I like that and Gausman who I have liked for years showed electric stuff.Pen dominated for 4 innings and gave the team a chance to catch up and they almost did.Its kind of our year in summary.Oh so close but not quite close enough.Just one negative and that was Peraza for JVM in the 7th.Yes he walked to force in a run but just really getting annoyed at this kind of stuff.I got in late and there may have been something I missed that may have caused this to happen so I stand corrected if there is one coming.

    • Don

      yes that 7th inning Peraza pinch hitting for JVM meant that OGrady needed to bat in the 9th in a pressure spot.
      In the 9th Senzel swinging at 1st pitch was a rookie over anxious play. Pitcher was struggling to throw strikes and that gave the pitcher the advantage.
      OGrady may be good but he looked overwhelmed in that AB and looked like he was hoping for a walk and swinging at the pitch in the dirt.

      • Curt

        If you asked Dodger skipper Dave Roberts, he’d have said, “If O’Grady was able to make it from Louisville then Bell should have started him at 1B, he’s a 1B after all and that’s how you let the rooks know you believe in them and that they belong there. Put them in the line-up right out of the gate. It’s the way you get the best out of them. If the game is close at the end, you don’t want the last guy off the bench in a pressure situation to be the guy you just called up do ya?” JVM back to second or to third if maybe Saurez doesn’t need to be rushed back. If 2nd, then pick a SS and go with one. If 3rd, then it’s Jose and Galvis up the middle.” Simple.

        But Dave, what if O’Grady blows it and goes 0-5? …..(blank stare)…..Dave? …..

        (Roberts perplexed) …“If he blows it, you didn’t believe in him enough…do you know where we are in the standings?”

        Sorry Dave, of course…

    • RojoBenjy

      I gotta say I was mad about that too. Thankfully Peraza didn’t mess it up but a JVM single or double there would have won it.

  3. Klugo

    I have to believe AWood will be just fine if he never had to walk into GABP again after this season is done.

    • Big Ed

      I myself will be just fine if Alex Wood never has to walk into GABP again, even before this season is done.

      • RojoBenjy

        That’s another way to look at it.

    • RojoBenjy

      If no one else gives him a sniff perhaps he would consider it.

      He’s also basically working out his own spring training right now. That has to be considered.

      • Klugo

        I think if this helps drive his price down, he may be worth it as a #4 or#5 guy. Maybe. But he doesn’t look like he’s having a whole lot of fun figuring it out right now.

      • VaRedsFan

        Just because one is labeled a 4-5 guy doesn’t mean we have to accept sub par performances. I’d like to have a lefty in the rotation, but not a poor one, which is Wood is

      • Klugo

        He is now, but he’s been quite good in the past and I’m interested to see if he can figure it out again, particularly life in GABP.

  4. RP

    I love Suarez but he has to change his 2-strike approach. More compact and willingness would go a long way. His “swing from the heels” approach has really killed us in key spots and his .OBP would agree.

    • VaRedsFan

      I love when he goes to right field. It’s almost an accident when he does it now.
      I was curious as to how many HR’s he’s hit with 2 strikes. I was thinking about less than a third. Boy was I wrong….16 homers with 2 strikes. But it comes with the penalty of only batting .163. That’s unacceptable.

    • Pete

      I always believe in batting your best hitter third, who’s the best hitter? Tucker just keeps impressing. I hope he bats sixth much more frequently.

  5. Don

    16-34 in day games
    18-24 in 1 run games

    Looking for some good news after a very tough loss for 2nd Sunday in a row

    Reds record after 9 games was 1-8 and they were 6.5 games behind in division.
    Since then they are 57-57 and are only 7.5 games back after today.

    Reds have only lost 1 game in the division to 1st place from April 7 to August 18.
    The Reds have been a 500 team for 114 games over 5 months and 10 days.
    This must be cheered and defined as success for this team after the last 5 years.

    They just have never been able to overcome the 1st 9 games.

    Cheering for them to overcome those 1st 9 games and can get to a 500 season for the year in the last 7 weeks of season.

  6. RedsMonk65

    Posted late on game thread in response to Don’s point about Aquino’s walks:

    If there were runners on base, outcome of Aquino’s at-bats may have been different because the pitches would likely have been different. Aquino represents (at this point in his young career, anyway) something the Reds haven’t had in a long time — someone in the lineup who instills fear and respect in opposing pitchers. Whether he gets a hit or not, he changes the game because of the possibility. Reds need to take advantage of that and puts guys ahead of him with high OBP.

    This team needs another solid bat in the lineup. That should be a priority over the winter — in addition to bullpen help and maybe another starter, depending on what happens with Wood down the stretch. Hopefully he turns it around and gets re-signed for a reasonable amount/time. If not, someone else needs to step in. Right now, I would not sign him. He has to show something.

    Great game by the bullpen. How long has it been since we could say that? No runs and no hits in 4 solid innings.

    Our starting pitchers (Castillo, Bauer, and Wood) have had some real bummers of late. More concerned about Wood than anyone else at this point. Given the inconsistency of our overall offense, they each need to dominate in order to give the Reds a chance to win.

    • Don

      agree RedsMonk65.

      Aquino is currently someone the pitchers fear as on the broadcast it showed his 11 home runs have come on 5 different types pitches.

      Winker (355) and Votto (352) have highest OPS for those on the roster all season.
      JVM is higher (383) than both in his short time.
      Senzel OBP is OK at 321 but he needs to get that to 380 or higher to be the everyday leadoff hitter.

      Everyday lineup until Votto is back from IL in September
      Senzel – CF
      JVM – 1B
      Suarez – 3B
      Aquino – RF
      Winker/Ervin – LF
      Galvis – 2B
      Iglesias – SS
      Barnhard/Farmer – C

      Votto on his return should replace Galvis or Iglesias and JVM goes to 2nd and either Galvis or Iglesias starts at SS.

      Get JVM 5 plate appearances every game.

      • RedsMonk65

        Absolutely. JVM should be given every opportunity possible so that Reds know going into 2020 what he’s capable of doing (or not doing).

        I also think Votto should be moved down in the lineup — not necessarily forever, but for now. Maybe this IL stint will be a three-way blessing: get Van Meter more at-bats, get Votto healthy, and a way to ease into a lineup shuffle.

        For much of September, I wouldn’t mind an experiment like this:

        1. Senzel — CF
        2. Van Meter — 2B
        3. Winker/Ervin — LF
        4. Aquino — RF
        5. Saurez — 3B
        6. Votto — 1B
        7. Galvis/Iglesias — SS
        8. Barnhardt/Farmer — C

        I would like to see what that lineup could do. Probably not going to happen, though.

      • Pete

        I’d swap Aquino and Suarz, bat TB sixth. Tucker is a tough AB right now, Galvis is a free swinger. I realize we are not use to it but Tucker is turning into a very good hitter. Really anxious to see how he does until the end of the season. Yes, I am a member of his fan club, never was before.

      • Shchi Cossack

        The Louisville Bats triumvirate:

        Josh VanMeter (.348/.429/.669/1.097)
        Aristides Aquino (.299/.356/.636/.992)
        Brian O’Grady (.273/.352/.552/.904)

        We have already seen JVM prove himself at the MLB level with regular playing time. We have already seen The Punisher prove himself at the MLB level. We have another month and a half to complete their evaluation and plans for the 2020 season.

        O’Grady is next in line from AAA. If Votto can’t play, O’Grady should start every game at 1B. The Reds simply must take advantage of the opportunities that have fallen in their unsuspecting laps from AAA. Some or all of them may fail, but some or all of them may succeed and even excel.

        Galvis has 925 games and 3338 AB at the MLB level.
        Iglesias has 768 games and 2588 AB at the MLB level.
        Peraza has 493 games and 1686 AB at the MLB level.

        If the Reds don’t know what those 3 players can do at this point, there’s really no hope for the current management and coaching. What they need to find out is what Winker (249 games & 740 AB), Ervin (164 games & 400 AB), Senzel (86 games & 328 AB), VanMeter (59 games & 126 AB), Aquino (18 games & 58 AB) and O’Grady (6 games & 6 AB) can do at the MLB level. Iglesias, Glavis and Peraza can share the remaining games of 2019 at SS. If the Reds do not have a plan for SS in 2020 by now, then they are flashing their glaring incompetence. The other 6 players need as much evaluation as possible against top competition and they can cover every redundantly cover every defensive position except SS and C. Those 6 players should start every game and none of the tomfoolery like pinch hitting Peraza for JVM!

      • Pete

        SC – I believe your, and my, opinion is the same as the FO. Bell doesn’t seem to share it. When the Assistant GM told the media the Reds want to see VanMeter play daily, I’m assuming they meant it. For the first time since I can remember, the Reds are developing talent. My God it’s exciting.

      • Don

        SC and Pete,

        I would agree with playing OGrady as first as long as JVM stays in the lineup someplace.

        If the FO wants this done, the manager has been told this and very key here is that this manager has also been told the team will live with the Win/Loss result that occurs based on this franchise direction. If the manager then does not implement this plan a change is required for the franchise to be successful.

        Either the manager must go and replaced with a manger whom will work with the FO or the owner needs to gut the FO and put in place a team that will do the managers bidding.

        Nothing kills an organization faster than dysfunction and a lack of cohesion at different levels of management and they are all not working together.

  7. Indy Red Man

    Well he did just miss the RF line with the bases loaded in the 7th. It was kind of a Ervin swing where he fought the ball off inside and atleast kept his hands in.

    • Jim Walker

      Ervin has become something of a 2 strike battler. A number of guys on the Reds team could benefit from his 2 strike approach. Even got to 3/2 and saw 6 pitches when he struck out today.

      • Pete

        PE has only struck out 2 times in his last 28 PA’s. Hard to keep up with how some of these guys are improving at the plate. Re: Aquino’s K-rate is only 22% now and it doesn’t look like accident. The losses are hard but the future looks so bright.

  8. Mike

    Just curious. What happened to Steve Mancuso? I don’t see his name or writing anymore.

    • Doug Gray

      Steve is still around, but he is writing a bit less here. You’ll see something from him tomorrow in the Question of the Week topic.

    • Old-school

      There are 3 good Reds destinations, depending on what you want.

      1.) Reds minor leagues and prospects- Doug Gray
      2.) Reds daily discussion and have your opinion heard. This site.
      3.) Deep insightful Reds content- but not the back and forth conversation. Steve and others.

      You get to decide.

  9. matthew hendley

    So, is it safe to say that the QO is off the table as far as Alex Wood is concerned.

    • Hebron Reds Fan

      Should the QO be off the table though? Should we make the offer and hope he turns it down in hopes of a multi-year deal? He is projected at a market value of $19 million I think.

  10. Roger Garrett

    I have nothing to add to what Cossack has said because he is correct in everything he said.Hope the Reds get a copy of his post.

  11. Frank Edwards

    In my opinion in the 9th inning rally. Lorenzen pinch running for Barnhart was the wrong decision. Lorenzen should have pinch hit instead of O’Grady. That at bat by O’Grady killed that rally real quick. Watching that 3rd strike right over the plate.