Fresh after an off-day, and fresh off losing their [insert large number with a ‘th’ after it] consecutive series when they mattered most, the Cincinnati Reds rolled into Pittsburgh to face the last-place Pirates for the first of nine contests between the two in the final three weeks of this season.
They promptly got trounced early, surrendering an immediate lead in the Bottom of the 1st and one that grew to 6-0 by the time starter Wade Miley left the bump.
Not even a mid-game rally could dig them out of that hole, though their 4-run Top of the 6th ended their 20-inning scoreless streak. Not even a series of zeroes put up by their bullpen could shake them from their current funk, nor could a 9th inning solo bonk by Nick Castellanos.
As a result, the Reds stunk - and sunk - yet again, this time in a 6-5 defeat.
It remains to be seen exactly what that will do to them in the standings this evening, as their early ET start means the other contenders are still wrapping things up at the moment. The New York Mets are clinging to a 3-2 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals at the time of my fingers hitting this keyboard, with St. Louis having battled back after an early 2-0 deficit. The San Diego Padres, meanwhile, have yet to begin their game against the red-hot San Francisco Giants, who clinched a playoff spot last night.
I assume these two clubs will play each other again tomorrow. The schedule tells me it’ll again be a 6:35 PM ET start. I don’t quite have it in me to think about all of that just yet, though.