Cincinnati Reds Lose 7th Straight as Mets Clinch NL East

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3. 2. 61. . 10

W: Matt Harvey (13-7)

L: John Lamb (1-4)

It wasn’t the Cincinnati Reds, but one team did get to celebrate a division-clinching win on the infield of Great American Ball Park this year. With a 10-2 win on Saturday afternoon, the Mets captured their first NL East title since 2006, their sixth win in as many games over the Reds.

The Reds were essentially out of this one from the start. John Lamb struck out two of the first three hitters he faced, but allowed two walks and a single to load the bases with two outs in the first inning. Lucas Duda unclogged the bases with a grand slam and in the blink of an eye, the Reds were down by four.

It would only get worse from there as the Reds headed toward their seventh consecutive loss.

Lamb allowed a solo homer to Curtis Granderson in the second and was removed after the inning. In what was his worst major league start, the lefty allowed five runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out four.

A two-run double by Ivan De Jesus in the bottom of the second brought the Reds within three, but the Mets immediately got the runs back on a two-run double by Michael Cuddyer in the third off of Carlos Contreras.

The score stayed at 7-2 until the ninth inning. Collin Balester relieved Contreras and threw the ball well, firing three scoreless innings, and Ryan Mattheus tossed a perfect eighth inning.

It didn’t go so well for Burke Badenhop in the ninth. He allowed five hits in the inning, including a three-run homer to David Wright to put the Mets up 10-2.

The Reds’ offense had 13 hits on the day, including nine off of Mets ace Matt Harvey. Joey Votto had three hits to extend his on-base streak to 43 straight games, and Todd Frazier, Jay Bruce and De Jesus added two hits each. But the Reds had only the two runs to show for it, leaving two or more runners on base five different times and grounding into two inning-ending double plays.

Other Notes

  • Reds pitchers walked seven batters in the game, with two from Lamb, three from Contreras in just two innings and two more from Balester. That will be one big area where the pitching staff needs to improve next year, as the Reds have allowed 3.35 free passes per nine innings this year, the third-worst mark in baseball.
  • In the fourth inning, Bryan Price made the curious choice to send pitcher Josh Smith to the plate to pinch hit for Contreras with four players still available on his bench. Smith popped out to the shortstop.

Up Next: The Reds will try to avoid a four-game sweep on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. ET. The pitching matchup once again doesn’t appear to be in the Reds’ favor, as Keyvius Sampson, who has largely struggled in his rookie season, will face off against reigning NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom.

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