by Steve Mancuso

RC+ Recap: Reds lose 5-4, split 114-game season after 1-8 start

The game ending on a checked swing called-third-strike with the winning run at the plate seems about right.

On Wednesday, April 8, after 9 games, the Reds record stood at 1-8. 114 games later, the Reds find themselves seven games below .500 at 58-65. Matt Habel isn’t wrong.

Alex Wood had 6 strikeouts in 5 innings and only walked one batter. But he gave up 4 earned runs. The bullpen effort of Joel Kuhnel and Kevin Gausman covered 4 shutout innings. Gausman struck out all 6 batters he faced. Maybe being a relief pitcher suits his 2-pitch arsenal better than a starting role.

The Cardinals walked Aristides Aquino twice. Jose Peraza drew a bases-loaded walk. The deciding run was a homer by Tommy Edman on a ball with an 8% hit probability.

Reds Most Valuable Players

  • Kyle Farmer (.131 WPA) Win Probability Added
  • Jose Peraza (.100 WPA)
  • Tucker Barnhart (.067 WPA)

Reds Least Valuable Players

  • Alex Wood (-.275 WPA)
  • Eugenio Suarez (.258 WPA)

Play of the Game

  • Tucker Barnhart (.120 WPA) two-run single

Hardest-Hit Balls

  • Eugenio Suarez (105.9 mph) home run
  • Josh VanMeter (101.3 mph) lineout

Luckiest Reds Hit of the Day

  • Nick Senzel (33% hit probability) single

Unluckiest Reds Out of the Day

  • Josh VanMeter (80% hit probability) lineout

Highest Pitch Velocities by Pitcher

  • Joel Kuhnel (98.0 mph)
  • Kevin Gausman (96.6 mph)
  • Alex Wood (90.8 mph)


Steve Mancuso is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up during the Big Red Machine era. He’s been writing about the Reds for more than ten years. Steve’s fondest memories about the Reds include attending a couple 1975 World Series games, being at Homer Bailey’s second no-hitter and going nuts for Jay Bruce at Clinchmas. Steve was also at all three games of the 2012 NLDS, but it’s too soon to talk about that.

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Matt Wilkes
1 year ago

Never good when you hit a home run to put your team in the lead in the first inning and still end up on the LVP list. Rough game for Suarez.

1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Mancuso

The dp he hit into had a 48% hit probability. Probably not true, but the Reds seem to lose more than their share of coin flips

R Smith
R Smith
1 year ago

Errors aren’t the best metric for defense, but Suarez is now tied for the NL 3b lead and seems to miss on routine plays. He’s also slo which will only get worse. He wasn’t good in 2018 either. Is it time to consider moving Senzel back to infield and finding a CF? Senzel has been ok in center but he’s been an elite infielder.

1 year ago

Wow! How important was that 1-8 start? We just ain’t never recovered from that. Despite all the moves they’ve made to get rid of defective pieces/players to try and contend, still nothing seems to be working. Turn that 1-8 start around and this is an entirely different conversation. Really unbelievable almost that the start we had to this season has doomed it (so far). But, anything can happen and we’re technically still alive, so….

Jefferson Green
Jefferson Green
1 year ago

This feels like a team still getting its sea legs after so much losing and roster change – learning how to win, really. The (almost) all-new coaching staff and approach combined with a rookie manager and a changed roster made for a longer learning curve. I keep hoping the Reds will catch some breaks that will build both confidence and momentum, but too many bounces and little things go the wrong way (like a game winning home run that is really a long pop-up that carries on a scorching day (I thought it would be a routine out when it came off the bat). To be clear, the Reds have made their share of mistakes that have contributed, as well. Overall, though, I really like the fresh approach by the FO and coaching staff and have a strong sense that the moves of recent weeks will pay off in 2020. And I still hold out hope for a miracle run…