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I liked it better when they fought. Pirates beat Reds, 9-6

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Ugh.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

When he’s been available, Nick Senzel has played some damn fine baseball this season. He had the COVID scare early, and he’s missed a few other games some various minor injuries, but when he’s been in the lineup he’s seemingly hit everything hard. On the season, he’s hitting .262/.333/.524, good for a 126 wRC+. Somehow, he’s only sporting a .290 BABIP, despite an average exit velocity in the top 92 percentile in the league.

He kept banging today, of course, or you wouldn’t be reading about him in this space. He had three hits in four attempts, a single, double, and dinger, to go along with four RBIs. It wasn’t enough (more on that in a bit), but that’s a damn fine line for the Reds starting center fielder.

Honorable mention to Jesse Winker, who continues his blistering streak with two hits, including a double. Freddy Galvis knocked his second dinger in as many nights. Tucker dingered, too. The bullpen (the BULLPEN) pitched 7 scoreless innings of baseball!

Key Plays

  • In the top of the first, Adam Frazier hit a lead-off dong. Then, with two outs, Colin Moran donged, too. Pirates up, 2-0.
  • Buckle up for this one: Gregory Polanco led off with a dinger in the top of the second. Erik Gonzalez then doubled, before Jarrod Dyson flied out for the first out of the inning. These would be hard to come by for the Reds. Jacob Stallings then singled to score Gonzalez. Frazier singled, then Kevin Newman singled to load ‘em. Then takes a long breath Josh Bell singled to score two, Moran singled to score one, Bryan Reynolds walked to load ‘em again. Polanco walked (there was no where to put him). Gonzalez then grounded out for only the second out in the inning, but scored a runner in the process. Mercifully, Dyson lined out to short to end the massacre inning. Pirates, 9-0.
  • To lead off the bottom of the 2nd, Eugenio Suarez walked before Jesse Winker singled. Nick Senzel singled to score Suarez. Josh VanMeter flied out for the first out before Freddy Galvis grounded into a twin killing inning ending double play. Reds get only one, 9-1 Pirates.
  • In the bottom of the fourth, Winker smacked a one out double before coming around to score on a Senzel big fly. That’s all the Reds would do, however. Chip away two more, 9-3, Pirates.
  • In the bottom of the seventh, Freddy Galvis hit a lead off home run, his second dinger in two games and fourth on the season. Reds get one more, running out of time, 9-4.
  • In the bottom of the 8th, Joey Votto led things off with a walk before moving to second on a Suarez single. Winker grounded into a fielder’s choice, Suarez out at 2B, but runners on the corner with one out. Senzel then blistered one down the third base line all the way into the left field corner, scoring Votto. They stayed there. 9-5 with one more turn.
  • Tucker Barnhart, maybe with slump-buster in the bottom of the ninth, clubbed a homer. Phil Ervin singled, but that would be that. Just needed about four more innings. Final, Pirates 9, Reds 6.

Tony Graphanino


Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Anthony DeSclafani has had and will have much better days. After not giving up a single run all season, he made up for lost time tonight. Final line: 2 IP, 9 H, 9 ER, 2 BB, 1 K. Yowezers.
  • Shogo showed off some leather tonight with a couple of nice plays out in left field.
  • The bullpen got a lot of run tonight and, believe it or not, it wasn’t a complete dumpster fire! Cody Reed relieved Disco and threw 2.2 innings of zero run ball, striking out three and walking one. Michael Lorenzen went 3.1, with only a hit and two K (he needed a night like that). Lucas Sims finished it off with an inning and two strikeouts.
  • The Reds and Pirates will kick up game number two of the series tomorrow evening, this time at 7:10 PM EDT. Sonny Gray will try and right the pitching ship for the Reds, while the Reds will face off against Chad Kuhl. Please win.
  • Tunes.