Reds lose Sonny Gray and series opener to Brewers

The good vibes were flowing for the Cincinnati Reds. After a four-game mop-up against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Reds took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on a single Shogo Akiyama RBI. Sonny Gray looked as dominant as ever with five strikeouts.

Sonny Gray couldn’t finish his warm-up shots before entering the fourth inning and had to leave.

The Reds relief pen had to cover seven innings. They weren’t completely terrible, allowing five runs in six innings, but Gray’s loss could have deflated the Reds’ offense. They couldn’t do anything for the rest of the night and the Reds fell 5-1. The loss brings the Reds’ deficit in the NL Central to 5.0 games.

The biggest game in the game

According to Fangraphs WPA Statistics (winning percentage added), the most important game of the match was Sean Doolittle gave Avisail Garcia a solo home run with 0 outs in the 4th inning, tying the score at 1. This game decreased the probability of winning the Reds by 12.2% (from 66.9% to 50.0%).

Good points

Shogo Akiyama only got his 7th start of the season and had one run. He was doubled after two at-bat appearances. It’s good to see Tyler naquin was OK to do more than just pinch. He left the game on Sunday with a hamstring injury.

The Reds played a fantastic game defensively. Eugene Suárez had a pair of great games. Brach and Farmer also performed some great plays.

Amir Garrett threw a perfect 6th inning with 2 strikeouts. He allowed a start single in the 7th inning before being lifted and that point scored. It was always nice to watch Garrett organize a strong round. The Reds desperately need him.

Joey votto returned to the Reds lineup. Clerk # 19 walked twice on his return.

Jonathan India walked tonight in the 7th inning with 2 strikeouts. He brought Winker to the plate representing the tied race. It didn’t work out, but it was another prime example of India’s impressive discipline (10.9 BB%). India doesn’t look like a rookie on the ground.

Negative

Sonny Gray had to leave the game after three dominant innings with groin strain. David Bell said in the post-game he would have an MRI tomorrow. Doug Gray covered the injury earlier in a Publish. I have nothing more to add than sadness. I think the Reds are much better equipped than the Cardinals or Cubs to handle a key SP injury, but it’s still a blow if he has to miss a start.

Sean Doolittle served a match-equalizing bomb to the first batter he faced after replacing Gray. He was by no means the worst pitcher on the team (4.35 ERA / 4.45 FIP), but he also didn’t look like the right million dollar lottery ticket that the Reds prayed.

By the time we reached the top of the 9th inning, the Reds’ odds of victory were very slim with two left-handed hitters in the bottom of the 9th, down 2 points, against Josh Hader. They didn’t have to face Hader because Ashton Goudeau gave 2 points at the top of the 9th. It may not seem like much, but the Brewers not having to pitch Hader is brutal for the Reds. Hader only threw three consecutive days in his career once (2019 and it didn’t go well). It obviously could really hurt the Reds if each of the next two games is close.

Thoughts not so random …

Tonight was like a punch after Gray’s injury. It was very nice to have Jean Sadak, Barry larkin, Tommy thrall and Jeff Brantley on calls between TV and radio. It’s refreshing to hear their overall positivity over an overall brutal evening.

Following:

Brewers at Reds
Wednesday, 7:10 p.m.
Television: Bally Sports Ohio
Vladimir Gutierrez (2.70 ERA) vs. Brett Anderson (4.42 ERA)

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