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All good streaks must come to an end: Reds fall to Braves, 5-4.

Defensive mistakes, runners left on base, and an over-worked bullpen provided the perfect recipe for the Reds to give up a late lead.

Atlanta Braves v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

After Joey Votto’s near-MVP performance in 2017, it was natural to worry about the Reds’ slugger after his slow start to start the season. Over the last few games, Votto seems to be putting those concerns to bed quickly. He had another Votto-esque game that we have been so accustomed to tonight against the Brave. In all he reached base 3 times, going 2 for 4 with a 2-run blast and a walk. Have a trophy, Joey, and here’s to many more in 2018.

Honorable mentions are due to: Jesse Winker, for also reaching thrice, going 2 for 4 with a walk; Scott Schebler, for smacking the hell out of the ball and going 2 for 4 with a RBI double; Alex Blandino, for staying hot with a 2 for 3 night; and Austin Brice, for striking out 2 in 2 shutout innings of relief.

Key Plays

  • The Braves wasted no time getting ahead tonight. Ender Inciarte extended his hitting streak to 9 games on a looping liner to left field to lead things off. That brought up Ozzie Albies, who hit a chopper that was fielded, and then thrown away, by Scooter Gennett to bring in Inciarte to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead.
  • The Braves added to their lead in the top of the 3rd. A fielding miscue by Joey Votto allowed Ender Inciarte to reach. After a fly out by Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman would single to left to put runners on 1st and 2nd. A Nick Markakis fly out would move Inciarte to 3rd, and he’d then score on a double by Johan Camargo. A line out by Ronald Acuna Jr. would end the threat. Braves led, 2-0.
  • The top of the order continued to be trouble for Finnegan in the top of the 5th, as Albies hit a solo dinger off the foul pole in left to give the Braves a 3-run lead.
  • The Reds finally were able to take advantage of having base runners in the bottom of the 5th inning. Jesse Winker reached base for the third time with a leadoff walk. After a Jose Peraza line out, Joey Votto smacked a 2-run dinger to left center to cut the lead to 3-2. They weren’t done yet. Adam Duvall worked the count and drew a 2-out walk and then Scott Schebler smoked a ball off the wall in center for a double. Duvall was sent home on the play and was thrown out by a mile. HOWEVER, after he was initially called out at the plate, replay showed that he got under the tag and the play was overturned. Tucker Barnhart then came to the plate and hit a liner down the first base line for a double to bring in Schebler and give the Reds the lead. An Alex Blandino fly out ended the threat, but not before the Reds would take a 4-3 lead.
  • The Reds ran into a bit of trouble in the top of the 8th. Kevin Shackelford came on in relief for his first appearance of the season. Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a grounder up the middle for his first career hit and then went to third on a single by Dansby Swanson. After a strikeout of Preston Tucker, Kurt Suzuki came up and lined a single past Peraza to tie the game at 4.
  • The top of the 9th did not go well. With 2 strikes, Shackelford hit Ozzie Albies to lead off the inning and then Freddie Freeman would line a single to center to put runners on 1st and 2nd. That would get Shackelford the hook in favor of Dylan Floro. After getting Nick Markakis to ground into a force out to put runners on 1st and 3rd, Camargo would hit a chopper off the glove of Pennington at short to score Albies. Braves led, 5-4.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • After playing 12 innings last night, the Reds’ bullpen was obviously gassed, highlighted by them having to rely on Kevin Shackelford and Dylan Floro to get through the 9th in a tie game.
  • The Reds left 10 runners on base, including leaving the bases loaded twice. That typically comes back to bite you.
  • The Reds will take the field against the Braves in the series finale tomorrow afternoon. Homer Bailey will get the start for the Reds, while Sean Newcomb will take the mound for Atlanta. First pitch is slated for 12:35 PM ET.
  • Tunes.