Cincinnati Reds: Offense sputters in latest one-run loss

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 23: A detailed view of a Cincinnati Reds cap and a glove in the dugout. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 23: A detailed view of a Cincinnati Reds cap and a glove in the dugout. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Reds managed to scratch across just two runs against the Pittsburgh Pirates last night and Raisel Iglesias couldn’t nail down the save.

Raisel Iglesias, who’d been dominant of late for the Cincinnati Reds, couldn’t notch his 27th save of the season last night. Instead, the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied in the ninth inning and hung Iglesias with his ninth loss of the season. The Reds lost 3-2 in the series opener against the Buccos.

We’ll leave the debate of the Player’s Weekend uniforms you all, but there’s no debating the poor offensive performance of the Cincinnati Reds in the team’s latest one-run loss. The Reds are 19-26 in one-run games this season. No other team has more than 23 (Toronto Blue Jays) one-run losses on the season and the San Francisco Giants (29) lead the league in one-run wins.

Do me a favor and flip that record around. What if the Reds were 26-19 in one-run games? A seven-game difference would put Cincinnati at 67-60, two games back of the NL Central leading St. Louis Cardinals and just 1.5 games back in the NL Wild Card. If one stat will haunt Reds fans all offseason, it’ll be the team’s record in one-run games.

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Now then, onto the game. What more can you say about Aristides Aquino? If it weren’t for the Reds rookie, Cincinnati may have been shutout 1-0. But, The Punisher came up big once more with his 12th home run of the season and an RBI double late in the game that gave the Reds a 2-1 lead.

Unfortunately, Raisel Iglesias slipped back into some old habits. While the Reds closer didn’t pitch poorly, the Pirates were able to put the bat on the ball, advance the winning run into scoring position and hang another loss on Iglesias this season. Iggy leads all relievers with nine losses on the season.

Now, I’m not going to pin this loss squarely on the shoulders of Iglesias. While I’m always about holding players accountable, Iggy had been lights out of late. Throughout the month of August, Iglesias had racked up 6 saves over 7.2 innings pitched with 10 strikeouts and just 1 walk. His ERA during that stretch was 1.17. Iggy had a bad game, but he wasn’t alone.

Is anyone else concerned about what we’ve seen lately from Eugenio Suárez? I’m a big fan of Geno, but lately he’s just been a bit off. The Reds third baseman had an uncharacteristic throwing error a couple games ago and last night dropped a routine pop up in the infield. Geno also struck out four times in four at-bats. With plenty of capable replacements, maybe it’s time for a day off.

But this loss doesn’t fall on just one player. This was a collective loss across the board. Only putting one run on the board against Mitch Keller through six innings is unacceptable. Keller allowed six runs in his last outing, but was able to silence the Reds bats and strikeout nine.

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The Cincinnati Reds offense has probably been the biggest problem all season. The players who are counted on to get the clutch hits have not played up to their potential, but thankfully some of the younger players have stepped up to make things interesting. Last night’s loss was just another example of why the Reds are 8.5 games back in the NL Central.