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The Cincinnati Reds almost beat the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday


Washington Nationals v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Emilee Chinn/Cincinnati Reds/Getty Images

There were some high points on Tuesday. The trio atop the Cincinnati Reds lineup got on-base a combined 7 times on the day, with Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game Jake Fraley in charge of 4 of those. Spencer Steer kept mashing, while Jose Barrero woke up with a massive 2-run homer late.

The problem, of course, is that despite the solid-looking pieces that dot the roster, there’s still enough peripheral filler there to make winning games against well-oiled machines a bit difficult. Such was the case on Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves, when the Reds rolled out Luis Cessa - a reliever - as their starter and that quickly turned into a bullpen game from a team with an ill-equipped bullpen, too.

The end result was a 7-6 loss, albeit one that was certainly hard fought. The Reds held a 4-1 lead at one point after trailing 1-0 early, and battled back from down 7-4 to make it a bit nervy for the Atlanta crew. Still, it appeared to be yet another instance where if the Reds had added just a little bit more during the offseason they might well have been in a position to win both of the first two games of this road series in Atlanta.

They’ll try again tomorrow, of course. First pitch is set for 7:20 PM ET once again, with Hunter Greene and Spencer Strider set to face off in a matchup of two of the absolute hardest throwers in the game.

Tony Graphanino

[Link to interactive FanGraphs WPA chart]