The Cincinnati Reds, after a month of losing and frustration, are showing a little fight once again. It is almost assuredly going to be too little too late. However, the Reds will enter the final week of the season still mathematically in the playoff race. There is at least a little bit of silver lining and perspective for long-suffering fans to take from that.
Despite winning three out of four games against the Washington Nationals, the Reds still find themselves six games behind the St. Louis Cardinals who have now won 16 straight games. Cincinnati simply lost too much ground during their 9-17 stretch where they failed to win a series in nine tries.
On Monday afternoon at 1:10 p.m. Eastern Time, the Reds will make up Wednesday’s rainout with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cincy split the first two games of the series. Left-hander Reiver Sanmartin will make his Major League debut for the Reds in the makeup game. Then, Cincinnati travels for a quick two-game set against the White Sox in Chicago on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Kyle Farmer Grand Slam Leads Cincinnati Reds to Win
The ball was flying out of Great American Ball Park on Sunday afternoon. Tyler Stephenson and Nick Castellanos went back-to-back in the bottom of the fifth to lift the Reds on top 3-1. In the next frame, Kyle Farmer hit his first career grand slam to blow the game wide open.
On the mound, Tyler Mahle continued his strong season with a smooth six-inning performance. Mahle allowed just one unearned run on three hits while striking out six batters to earn his team-leading 13th win of the year. His earned run average is now down to 3.54 as well.
Walk-Off Home Run Saturday Night
It may not have been as important of a spot as we would have expected a few weeks ago, but walk-off victories will still always be fun. That is what Cincinnati Reds fans were treated to at GABP on Saturday night.
A back-and-forth affair that featured four different lead changes and three ties, the Reds waited until the very end to seal the deal. Vladimir Gutierrez struggled mightily once again making it through just 2 2/3 innings. The rookie starter walked four batters and allowed four runs on five hits during his short stint on the mound. A pleasant surprise for most of the season, it seems clear that Gutierrez has hit the rookie wall over the last month.
Nick Castellanos would ultimately cap off a two-hit, three-RBI night with a solo home run to center field in the bottom of the ninth to walk things off for the Redlegs.
Seven different relievers covered the next 6 1/3 innings and allowed just two runs. Both came via solo home runs. During this recent slide out of playoff contention, the Reds have suffered through inconsistent starting pitching and a slumping offense. However, the much-maligned bullpen has actually stepped up and been pretty consistent. Again, there are still some small positives to pull from this frustrating end to the season.
Reds Survive Bad Start Friday, Win in Walk-Off Fashion
The fireworks that Reds fans saw on Saturday night got a practice run on Friday. In a similar game that saw both teams build sizable leads, Aristides Aquino finally sent everyone home happy in the bottom of the 11th inning when he drove in TJ Friedl to give Cincy an 8-7 victory.
The Nationals built an early 4-0 lead off of Sonny Gray who would make an early exit. However, Cincinnati responded by scoring seven unanswered runs in the third through seventh innings. Max Schrock, Delino DeShields, Nick Castellanos, and Eugenio Suarez all hit long balls during the big comeback.
Mychael Givens blew the save opportunity in the top of the ninth as he allowed three hits and two walks and the Nationals tied the game at seven. After a clean 10th inning, Aquino came through in the clutch in the bottom of the 11th to get the Reds a victory.
St. Louis Cardinals Won’t Stop Winning
The last month hasn’t been very fun for fans of the Cincinnati Reds. Since sitting at a season-best 69-57, the Reds are just 12-18 despite a favorable schedule. When the Reds failed to take the bull by the horns, the St. Louis Cardinals stepped up and did just that to the tune of 16 consecutive victories.
Unless the Cardinals turn around and lose six straight, along with the Reds winning six straight, the season will be over in Cincinnati. A frustrating end to what was, at times, a very fun baseball season.