Final: Pirates 4 Reds 1
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 27: Starling Marte #6, Andrew McCutchen #22 and Marlon Byrd #2 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrate after the final out against the Cincinnati Reds during the game at Great American Ball Park on September 27, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Pirates won 4-1. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Fans need to change their growing narrative that the Reds "don't care" and they are "going through the motions". News flash: That is what happens when you don't hit and don't score. It's not the other way around. This is not a chicken or egg theory. A team looks listless as a result of not scoring. Players don't do cartwheels back to the dugout when they hit into rally killing double plays. The Reds have scored 1 run in the last 22 innings and scored 6 runs in the last 37 innings. That is not because they aren't excited. Unless maybe you believe they should be chest bumping between strikeouts and pop-ups with runners in scoring position.
Do you really believe a team that has gone through 159 games to get to a three game series that decides home-field, doesn't care? They are not losing because Dusty can't figure out who hits in the 2nd spot. They are not losing because the crowd isn't loud. They are losing because they are not performing. It is painful to watch. But this team has been hit and miss all season. They have played well enough to excite at times and shown they are flawed enough to frustrate at other times. Where have you heard that before? Fortunately, it was enough to win 90 games and get them to the postseason. Unfortunately it's not been enough to get them above 3rd place in their own division and to secure a home playoff game. This isn't new. This is the 2013 Reds.
Things heard during the Inside Pitch last night:
*......"We are looking for heroes, its hero time,"--Dusty, 700 WLW.
*I probably should not admit this, but when I heard Dusty make the hero comment, I thought of this.
*Dusty says he expects to keep Phillips in 4th spot the rest of the way, through the World Series. --700 WLW
*Phillips in September: .205-.276-.261-.537
*Phillips will wind up with lowest BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, WAR, SB and runs created in his 8 years with the Reds.
*........ "You've got to get this guy going, no if's, and's or but's about it, '-Marty on Votto, 700 WLW.
*Joey Votto set a franchise record by reaching base for the 312th time last night, breaking Pete Rose's record. Imagine if the rest of the lineup could only "get going" like Votto and reach base more than anyone else in MLB.
*The Reds will hand a shot at home-field to Bronson Arroyo for his 265th and perhaps final start as a Red today.
*Friday crowd of 40,107 was the 14th sellout of the season, one shy of last year's GABP record. The Reds extended their season record to 2,411,210
Task pretty simple to figure out:
The Reds need to win the next two games, in order to host the Wild Card game Tuesday night at 8pm. A loss today or tomorrow means the Pirates will host the game at PNC Park.
Current playoff outlook As of now, the winner of Reds-Pirates Wild Card game would face the Braves in NLDS.
Best record NL/Battle for top seed
Braves 94-65 ---
Cards 95-65 ---
*Braves hold tie break (4-3 series lead)
Saturday: Bronson Arroyo vs Charlie Morton
Sunday: Johnny Cueto vs Gerrit Cole
Tuesday: Wild Card game, Mat Latos vs Francisco Liriano
NL Central division champs: St Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals clinched the Central last night.
Before the season the Cards lost their starting SS (Rafael Furcal) and 2012 NL leader in saves, Jason Motte.
The Cards lost 3/5th of their starting rotation to injury: Cris Carpenter, Jamie Garcia and Jake Westbrook.
They have used 10 different starting pitchers.
They lost Yadier Molina to the DL for 15 days
They have been without 97 RBI man Allen Craig since September 4 and will be without him through at least the next round of the playoffs.
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 27: Joey Votto #19 and Jay Bruce #32 of the Cincinnati Reds talk in the dugout during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park on September 27, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Pirates won 4-1. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)