by Matt Wilkes

RC+ Recap: Reds 6, Braves 4 – Tucker Barnhart Saves the Day

Sonny Gray pitched a gem behind a slider-heavy approach, and the Reds cruised into the ninth inning with a 3-1 lead over the Braves on Sunday. Then the bullpen got up to its old tricks just one day after blowing a winnable game.

With Raisel Iglesias unavailable, Amir Garrett was tasked with getting through the ninth against Tyler Flowers, Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuña Jr., and Ozzie Albies. Garrett has not pitched well since returning from the injured list, and that trend continued. He retired Flowers before walking Freeman and giving up the game-tying home run to Acuña. Garrett’s walk rate now stands at 13.4%, which is a huge problem. His ERA, which was once below 2.00, is starting to catch up to his expected numbers (3.34 xFIP). Garrett did not get a single swinging strike on 16 pitches.

Robert Stephenson came up huge and got out of the jam by striking out Adam Duvall — Saturday night’s walk-off hero — and getting Brian McCann to ground out.

Still, the Braves had the momentum, and the Reds seemed poised for yet another heart-crushing loss. But some unexpected heroes at the bottom of the lineup stepped up in extra innings. After Nick Senzel grounded into a double play for the second time in the game, Aristides Aquino and José Iglesias hit back-to-back singles to keep the inning alive. Tucker Barnhart came through against new Braves closer Shane Greene, driving a first-pitch cutter 415 feet into the right-center field seats.

Quite the win probability chart today.

Source: FanGraphs

Reds Most Valuable Players

  • Tucker Barnhart: .488 WPA (Win Probability Added) | 1-for-3, 3-run HR, 2 BB, 2 R
  • Sonny Gray: .380 WPA | 7.0 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 4 BB, 7 K
  • Robert Stephenson: .134 WPA | 0.2 IP, K, BB

Reds Least Valuable Players

  • Amir Garrett: -.544 WPA | 0.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, BB
  • Nick Senzel: -.203 WPA | 1-for-5, 2 K, RBI

Play of the Game

  • Tucker Barnhart: .484 WPA | Three-run HR in 10th inning

Hardest-Hit Balls

  • Aristides Aquino: 105.7 mph single in 10th inning
  • Nick Senzel: 103.6 mph GIDP in 2nd inning
  • José Iglesias: 101.0 mph lineout in 6th inning
  • José Peraza: 101.0 mph groundout in 9th inning
  • Tucker Barnhart: 101.0 mph home run in 10th inning

Luckiest Hit of the Day

  • Jose Iglesias.240 xBA, 85.0 mph, -3° LA; Single

Unluckiest Out of the Day

  • Sonny Gray: .480 xBA, 86.8 mph, 6° LA; Groundout

Highest Pitch Velocities by Pitcher

  • Amir Garrett: 97.2 mph two-seam fastball
  • Sonny Gray: 95.3 mph four-seam fastball
  • Lucas Sims: 94.9 mph four-seam fastball
  • David Hernandez: 94.7 mph two-seam fastball
  • Robert Stephenson: 94.6 mph four-seam fastball


Matt Wilkes got hooked on Reds baseball after attending his first game in Cinergy Field at 6 years old, and he hasn’t looked back. As a kid, he was often found imitating his favorite players — Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns — in the backyard. When he finally went inside, he was leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 or keeping stats for whatever game was on TV. He started writing about baseball in 2014 and has become fascinated by analytics and all the new data in the game. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in Columbus. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.

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1 year ago

That win probably chart probably resembles what my blood pressure chart would have looked like during the game. Didn’t realize that Garrett’s numbers pointed to a ‘regression.’

Steve Mancuso
1 year ago
Reply to  vegastypo

Welcome to RC+, Vegas. Hope you’ll make it a regular practice to visit and comment here. I think you’ll like it.

I missed the game yesterday due to a work thing. Not sure I would have survived the 9th inning to make it to the 10th.

1 year ago

I thought they might try to bunt with Senzel….glad the next three made it work though.