The Cincinnati Reds have now lost eight straight series. It gets more and more frustrating to write that same intro as the losses pile up. Since sweeping the Miami Marlins in a four-game series on August 22nd, the Reds have gone just 8-16. In that span, they haven’t won more than two games in a row and have seen their season-best record of 69-57 fall to 77-73.
After the St. Louis Cardinals swept the San Diego Padres in their three-game weekend series, the Reds are now three games out of the second National League Wild Card spot behind their divisional rival. At this point, with just 12 games remaining, the Cincinnati Reds just need to rack up wins. Scoreboard watching doesn’t matter unless the team starts winning. However, it may still be too little, too late.
When you need to go on a winning streak, getting to spend a week playing the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals is probably the best-case scenario. The Redlegs will host all seven games at Great American Ball Park beginning on Monday night at 6:40 p.m. EST against the Pirates. Vladimir Gutierrez will take the ball opposite Dillon Peters who shut the Reds down last Tuesday.
In theory, there is still time to turn this around and make the playoffs. A three-game deficit is certainly one that can be overcome, even in just 12 games. The Cardinals still have 14 to play and face a much tougher schedule. However, that has been the case for weeks now and the Reds have failed to take advantage. A 6-1 week is probably what is needed to make things interesting again. We just have to get there one game at a time. Go Reds!
Reds Get Big Win Friday Night
Heading into a series having to face Walker Buehler, Max Scherzer, and Clayton Kershaw doesn’t exactly give a struggling offensive team much confidence. However, the Reds were able to get on the board against Buehler Friday night and rely on a spectacular outing from Luis Castillo to outduel the Dodgers.
Tucker Barnhart broke up the 0-0 tie in the fifth inning with an RBI single driving in Kyle Farmer. Farmer had led the inning off with a double. The Reds shortstop came through again in the sixth with a two-RBI double to increase the lead to 3-0.
The 3-0 lead would prove to be plenty for Luis Castillo as he dominated the Dodgers for the entirety of his 6 1/3 innings. La Piedra struck out 10 batters and allowed just five hits in his shutout performance.
In relief, Luis Cessa contributed a perfect 1 2/3 inning to increase his hitless inning streak to 6 2/3. Since being acquired from the Yankees, the 29-year-old has been fantastic in Cincinnati. Michael Lorenzen would give up a run in the ninth but earned his fourth save of the season to close out the 3-1 victory.
Max Scherzer Dominants on Saturday
Max Scherzer and domination are practically synonymous at this point. The veteran right-hander was nearly untouchable on Saturday afternoon. He would strike out seven batters and allow just two hits in seven shutout innings.
Cincinnati wouldn’t get on the board until Joey Votto scored via an error in the ninth to break up the shutout.
It was another 0-0 battle until the fifth inning when Sonny Gray allowed a two-RBI triple to Gavin Lux followed by an RBI groundout that made it a 3-0 ballgame. Los Angeles would add another run in the sixth on a sacrifice bunt. Gray exited the game after six innings having allowed four runs, three earned, on four hits.
After an additional run from a Mookie Betts single in the ninth, the Dodgers wrapped up a 5-1 win to tie up the weekend series.
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers Win Rubber Match
The Cincinnati Reds made a valiant comeback attempt, but this one was over pretty quickly after the Dodgers were spotted a six-run lead. LA knocked around Wade Miley for six runs through the first three innings to build a comfortable advantage. The first five of those six runs came via a trio of home runs off the bats of Will Smith, Gavin Lux, and Corey Seager.
Cincy kept chipping away though as they would eventually make it a 6-4 game in the bottom of the eighth. The comeback included the first Major League hit, and home run, from Reds’ outfielder TJ Friedl. The top prospect launched one over the right-field fence in the sixth inning and would later add a single.
Jeff Hoffman gave up two runs in the top of the ninth to all but eliminate any chance of finishing off the miraculous comeback. Joey Votto homered in the bottom of the ninth, but that is all the Cincinnati Reds could manage as they fell 8-5 and dropped their eighth straight series.