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Reds blow three separate leads, lose to Giants 6-5 in series finale

A see-saw Sunday ended in a frustrating Reds loss.

Cincinnati Reds v San Francisco Giants Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

It sure took awhile, but it appears that the dynamic Yasiel Puig that the Cincinnati Reds hoped they’d traded for this winter has finally begun to emerge.

March/April, of course, has historically been the single worst ‘month’ throughout his career, his .692 OPS in 134 games played to start the season well below the .821 OPS he owns in total across his 750 career games played. And, true to form, he has begun to knock the snot out of the ball this May, entering play on Sunday having gone 11 for his last 33 in 9 games played with 2 dingers and a .936 OPS.

That 6 of those last 9 games have come against the San Francisco Giants - his former arch rival - is both nice and probably no coincidence, and he continued his tear against them on Sunday. Puig walked and cranked a hearty solo homer on the day, and if he’s in the midst of one of his patented hot streaks, the Reds are about to have a damn entertaining centerpiece to their lineup for the coming weeks.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Eugenio Suarez, who singled twice, scored twice, and swiped a bag; and Jose Peraza, who singled, doubled, and scored.

Key Plays

  • The Reds went to work with in the Top of the 1st against Giants starter Madison Bumgarner. Senzel reached initially via catcher interference, and he later motored to 3B on a sharp single into LF off the bat of Eugenio Suarez. Suarez later swiped 2B as the Giants were indifferent to his blonde mane claiming 90 additional feet for his kingdom, and that proved large when Iglesias dumped a 2-out looper into shallow CF that allowed both runners to score. Iglesias was nailed at the plate trying to score later that inning, but the Reds held an early 2-0 advantage.
  • That 2-0 lead evaporated in the Bottom of the 1st, however, as Steven Duggar (of course) reached and later scored when Pablo Sandoval sliced an opposite-field 2-run dinger that just cleared the LF wall in the corner. Game tied, 2-2.
  • The Reds did some more 2-out damage off Bumgarner in the Top of the 2nd. Jose Peraza began the action with a 2-out double, and he scored a batter later on the first career double off the bat of Nick Senzel. Reds led, 3-2.
  • Puig stretched the Cincinnati lead to 4-2 in the Top of the 6th with a 388 foot laser of a home run off Bumgarner, a solo shot obviously, because math is math.
  • Tyler Mahle had cruised into the Bottom of the 7th after the early Sandoval dinger, having thrown just 80 pitches to that point. So, he naturally walked Brandon Crawford to begin the inning and allowed a 2-run, game-tying dong to Brandon Belt later that inning. Game tied, 4-4.
  • The Reds re-took the lead against relievers Reyes Moronta and Tony Watson in the Top of the 8th, as Suarez singled after a 13 pitch at-bat, Puig walked, and Iglesias singled off Moronta to load the bases before pinch-hitter Tucker Barnhart worked a walk off Watson to drive in a run. Of course, that loading occurred with nobody out and the Reds only managed a lone run, which suuuuuure became frustrating...
  • ...when the Giants opened the Bottom of the 8th with a single by Evan Longoria and a double by Sandoval off reliever David Hernandez. Longoria eventually scored on a productive groundout to short, while Sandoval later scored on a single into CF off the bat of Kevin Pillar. Reds trailed, 6-5, which is unfortunately how things would finish.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Mahle’s final line looks a lot uglier than it did just a few pitches prior to his day being done: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, BB, 8 K on 93 pitches.
  • The Reds will return to Cincinnati on Sunday evening, and after a much needed off-day on Monday they’ll begin a 6-game homestand Tuesday evening. First up on said homestand: the Chicago Cubs, who the Reds have yet to face this season. Tanner Roark will start for the Reds, though the dumb Cubs have yet to announce any of their starters for the series. It won’t be Jon Lester, as he’s starting tonight for them in their series finale against the Milwaukee Brewers. First pitch Tuesday is set for 6:40 PM, and you should a) go, b) boo the hoard of Cubs fans in attendance, and c) boo Addison Russell.
  • Tunes.