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Cincinnati Reds lose to Dodgers again as playoff hopes dry up

Another frustrating day for Cincinnati fans.

Los Angeles Dodgers v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

The guy who had pitched the best for the longest for the 2021 Cincinnati Reds was on the mound on Sunday with a chance for a series victory in the midst of a fleeting playoff chase. This is Cincinnati, though, and things went predictably awful.

Wade Miley was tagged for 6 ER (with 3 HR) in just 3.0 IP, the 9 hits he surrendered in that time the latest in a series of outings in which he’s barely fooled anyone. That gave the Los Angeles Dodgers - with Clayton Kershaw on the mound to start - all they would need for the day (and more), and the Reds sank to their 8th consecutive series defeat in what, at one point, was considered a legitimate chase for the final NL playoff spot.

Miley’s struggles down the stretch of this season have certainly been noticeable, but so, too, have been the team’s complete inability to do anything with a LHP on the mound, a scenario that again presented itself on Sunday with Kershaw. Manager David Bell gave Joey Votto a day-off and rolled with a patchwork lineup designed to give threats mostly from the right-side of the plate, but that didn’t work this time against a lefty starter, either.

TJ Friedl chipped in with a pinch-hit dinger against righty Tony Gonsolin later in the game for his first career big league hit, and later scored on a Jonathan India double after singling in what was a very promising game for the youngster. The Reds managed to inch the deficit to 6-4 against the LA bullpen with that mini-rally in the 8th inning, but that was sadly all they could muster. After that, it was Jeff Hoffman’s chance to make this less interesting, a opportunity he and the infield defense couldn’t help but seize as the Dodgers lead grew back to 8-4.

Votto chipped-in with a solo blast as a pinch hitter in the 9th to make it 8-5, but that’s sadly where the scoring stopped.

The Cincinnati Reds lost, as they have done so often of late. This time, it was in If the St. Louis Cardinals hold on to win against San Diego today - they’re up 7-3 right now - the Reds will be 3 full games out of that playoff spot with just a dozen games to go.

Truly absymal, this.

Tony Graphanino

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Friedl, of course. He smoked a homer into the RF sun deck in just his second career big league PA, and the idea of having a versatile OF in that 4th/5th role who can actually hit a ball over the wall (this would be a subtweet if it were a tweet) makes how he could fit into the team’s OF mix next year awfully intriguing.

Other Notes

  • The Reds get the Pirates again starting on Monday which...well, who the hell knows anymore, man. Vlad Gutierrez will start for Cincinnati against Dillon Peters, a lefty who just foiled the Reds entirely 5 days ago. It’s set for a 6:40 PM ET start in GABP, and I’m certain there are plenty of good seats still available at most any other event you’d like to enjoy during that timeframe.
  • Tunes.