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The Cincinnati Reds almost beat the Braves on Wednesday, too


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

The Cincinnati Reds finally got a rather thorough outing from Opening Day starter Hunter Greene, as the young righty fired 6.0 IP of 3 ER ball that featured 10 K against nary a walk. That was good! The early offense was, too, as Cincinnati leapt out to a 2-0 lead early against fireballing Atlanta Braves starter Spencer Strider, a 2-run smack by Tyler Stephenson to plate both Jonathan India and TJ Friedl the game’s first landed punch.

A see-saw affair soon followed, as these two teams are wont to provide of late. Speaking of late, it was an 8th inning Eddie Rosario solo homer off Cincinnati Reds righty Buck Farmer that tilted the weight in Atlanta’s favor for good once again, and the Reds fell 5-4 to wrap the series sweep.

That’s an entire series worth of losses, all of which came in 1-run games. Their final loss to the Philadelphia Phillies in the previous series was of the 1-run variety, too. It has been the kind of nail-biting, see-saw action that makes the game of baseball inimitable, as literally every single swing of the bat can flip the scoreboard from favorable to disastrous. Sadly, though, it’s been quite the early-season trend for the Reds to have battled hard and come up completely empty in most of these situations, the kind of thing that makes a look-back at their lack of bullpen investment all that more glaring, in hindsight.

An 0-3 trip to Atlanta stings, to be sure. For a club like this, that’s this young and inexperienced, it at least was encouraging that they never quit, never went away, and perpetually approached each pitch as if they knew they still were very much in the game. That’s not at all something that could be said during the mailed-in 2022 season, and that’s refreshing despite the frustration of slipping to a 4-7 overall record with the Phillies and world-beating Tampa Bay Rays next up on the docket.

Still, it does at least feel like this roster is soaking in the frustration and beginning to learn from it, embrace it, and turn it on its head sooner than later. Sooner preferably, please.

Tony Graphanino

[Link to interactive FanGraphs WPA chart and box score]

Other Notes

  • TJ Friedl had a trio of singles, a ribbie, and scored a run. That’s once again Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game material from TJ.
  • Ian Gibaut and Buck Farmer were the two Reds relievers who pitched tonight. They both allowed earned runs in 2.0 total IP while combining to yield 2 hits, 2 walks, and a dinger.
  • The Reds play the Phillies in GABP tomorrow. Nick Lodolo will be tasked with ending this debilitating run of losses, while fellow lefty Bailey Falter will toe the rubber for the Phils. As a result, keep an eye out for a righty-heavy lineup from Cincinnati, one that I have a sneaking suspicion might include at least one new (but very familiar) face...
  • Tunes.