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Reds blow multiple leads, fall in extra innings in final game of the season

The loss completed the Reds’ fourth straight 90-loss season

Pittsburgh Pirates v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Losing seasons are tough. 90-loss seasons are tougher. But sitting through 4-straight 90-loss seasons is absolutely brutal, and somehow we’ve all managed to get through it. So today, I’m going with the cheesy option and giving the JNMHSotG to all of you. It certainly hasn’t been easy watching these Reds lately, but y’all have stuck with us and read, debated, and watched with us all season and we at Red Reporter can’t thank you enough.

This season, although no different from the previous three in terms of wins and losses, was probably the most frustrating. Coming off a 2017 campaign that saw some fantastic offensive production, there were reasons to be excited about 2018. That optimism was immediately put to rest with a 3-18 start, a fired manager, and ultimately another lost season. There were some other positives that happened, and we will get into those throughout the off-season, but 2018 as a whole was a disappointment. Thank you for sticking around through another tough year. So have a trophy, Red Reporters. We hope to be writing about a winning team soon as much as you guys hope to be reading about one.

Honorable mentions are due to: Tim Federowicz, who smacked a 2-run blast in the 2nd for his first homer as a Red; Sal Romano, for allowing only 2 runs on 3 hits in a solid final outing of 2018; Dilson Herrera, for smacking his 5th homer of the season

Key Plays

  • The Reds went full-on Billy Ball to take the lead in the bottom of the first. After Jose Peraza led off with a ground out, Billy Hamilton came up and hit a slow-roller past Kevin Kramer at 2nd base. This would normally end up as a single, but Billy saw an opportunity and turned a routine base hit into a double. That brought up Joey Votto, who walked, but on ball four Billy took off for 3rd. That forced a bad throw by Elias Diaz, which allowed Hamilton to trot on home for a 1-0 lead.
  • The Reds were able to tack on a couple more in the bottom of the second. Scott Schebler led off with a walk and moved to second on a single by Phil Ervin. After Dilson Herrera smoked a liner to third that caused Phil Ervin to get doubled off first, Tim Federowicz smoked a ding dong into the second deck in left to give the Reds a 3-0 lead.
  • Pittsburgh was able to cut into the lead in the top of the 5th. Colin Moran led things off with a walk and then moved to third when Jose Osuna smoked a double off the wall in left-center. That brought up Kevin Kramer, who lifted a fly ball to left for a sacrifice fly to bring in Moran. After getting a ground out for the 2nd out, Sal Romano threw one by Federowicz, allowing Osuna to score from 3rd. Reds led, 3-2.
  • The Reds were able to add to their lead in the top of the 5th. Curt Casali led off with a single to right and then moved to 2nd when Jose Peraza was hit by a pitch. After a Gabriel Guerrero fly out moved Casali to 3rd, Blake Trahan would hit a high bouncer to Kramer, who would then bobble the throw and allow Casali to score. Reds led, 4-2.
  • The Pirates were able to erase the Reds’ the lead in the top of the 6th, as Starling Marte launched an absolute laser to the seats in right off Reds’ reliever Matt Wisler. Then Josh Bell followed up Marte by unloading on a meatball to dead center to tie the game at 4-4.
  • The tie didn’t last long, as a freed Dilson Herrera smoked a pitch over the wall in center to give the Reds a 5-4 lead.
  • The Pirates, once again, came back in tied it in the bottom of the 7th. Jose Osuna led off with a double to right and then moved to third on a fly out by Kramer. After Jim Riggleman opted for reliever Jared Hughes, Kevin Newman would line a single into right to bring home Osuna to tie the game at 5-5.
  • The Pirates took the lead in the 10th. Pablo Reyes hit a liner to right that got past a diving Brandon Dixon. As Gabriel Guerrero was backing him up, he bobbled the ball, allowing Reyes to go to third. After a ground out by Starling Marte and an intentional walk to Josh Bell, Jackson Stephens threw one by Federowicz to allow Reyes to score.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • There was a cool moment in the top of the 4th inning. Jim Riggleman opted to pull Billy Hamilton and Joey Votto after they had taken the field in order to give them one last ovation for 2018. As they left the field, they removed their jerseys and hats and gave them to kids in the stands.
  • With the loss today, the Reds failed to finish 68-94 for the 3rd straight season.
  • The regular season for four other teams continues tomorrow, as the Brewers and Cubs and Dodgers and Rockies will each face off in a 163rd game to determine the division winners.
  • The season might be over, but we will still be around. Follow along as we keep up with the manager search, trade rumors, Free Agent signings, and the like.
  • The Reds will be back in action again on March 29, 2019 as they face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hopefully a pitcher who is pitching very well for another team will be making the start. Luis Castillo would also be fine. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM ET.
  • Have a great off-season. Go Reds.
  • Tunes.