by Kyle Berger

Reds clinch postseason berth with 7-2 victory

The Reds came into tonight’s game with a chance to clinch their first postseason berth since 2013. To do so, the Reds would need to win. In addition, two of the following had to happen: the Phillies lose, the Brewers lose at least one game of their doubleheader, or the Giants be swept in a doubleheader. While the Brewers won their first game over the Cardinals, the Brewers were hammered in the second game, losing 9-1. The Phillies also lost to the Rays 6-4. That meant the Reds could control their own destiny and win tonight’s game to clinch a postseason berth.

Tyler Mahle got in trouble early in the first inning, walking two and allowing a single to Eddie Rosario to load the bases with one out. Mahle then struck out Byron Buxton and Miguel Sanó to get out of the inning with no damage done. He rolled through the second before facing more trouble in the third. After a leadoff single from Max Kepler, Ehire Adrianza hit an RBI double to center field. After striking out Nelson Cruz, Mahle was removed in favor of Michael Lorenzen.

The Reds promptly took the lead back in the top of the fourth, on a two-run home run by Mike Moustakas following a walk to Joey Votto.

The Twins threatened again in the bottom of the inning. Jorge Polanco hit a single with a 49.9 MPH exit velocity and .110 xBA followed by a Mitch Garver double. Lorenzen then retired Marwin Gonzalez and Kepler to get out of the inning unscathed.

Freddy Galvis extended the Reds’ lead in the top of the fifth with a solo shot to right field. Later in the inning, Shogo Akiyama doubled and was driven in on a Nick Castellanos single to extend the lead to 4-1.

The Twins cut the deficit to 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth, after Sanó walked, moved to second on a groundout, and scored on a single by Gonzalez.

Lucas Sims pitched a clean seventh inning, striking out two. He remained in the game to start the eighth inning, but lost control of a fastball that hit Buxton in the helmet. Buxton fortunately was able to get up and walk off the field under his own power. David Bell then made the move to the bullpen, bringing in Raisel Iglesias to close the game out.

Iglesias struck out Sanó, and then Polanco hit a popup that fell between Akiyama and Eugenio Suárez in short left field on a play that looked to be a miscommunication. Iglesias then proceeded to strike out Garver and retire Gonzalez on a fly ball to center field to get out of trouble and end the inning.

Moustakas gave the Reds another insurance run in the top of the ninth, hitting a solo shot to right field to extend the lead. After a Jesse Winker walk, Nick Senzel hit an infield single that advanced pinch runner Jose Garcia to third. Galvis then drove in Garcia on a single to right field. Tucker Barnhart then drew a walk to load the bases. Akiyama then hit a single up the middle to score another and extend the lead to 7-2.

The Reds brought in Wade Miley to pitch the ninth and close out the win. Miley pitched a scoreless inning, allowing just a walk, to close out the game and cement the Reds’ playoff berth.

Most Valuable Player

  • Mike Moustakas .219 WPA (win probability added)
  • Michael Lorenzen .218 WPA
  • Raisel Iglesias .180 WPA

Hardest-Hit Balls

  • Eugenio Suárez 106.5 MPH | Lineout
  • Jesse Winker 106.4 MPH | Lineout
  • Mike Moustakas 102.3 MPH | Home Run

Highest Velocities By Pitcher

  • Tyler Mahle 96.7 MPH
  • Michael Lorenzen 97.0 MPH
  • Amir Garrett 95.7 MPH
  • Lucas Sims 96.3 MPH
  • Raisel Iglesias 96.9 MPH
  • Wade Miley 93.6 MPH

Luckiest Hit of the Day

  • Mike Moustakas 18% hit probability | Home Run

Unluckiest Out of the Day

  • Joey Votto 91% hit probability | Lineout

What’s Next?

Having clinched a postseason spot, the Reds are just playing for seeding at this point. The Twins will start Michael Pineda tomorrow, who has made just four starts since returning from a suspension for taking a drug that is commonly used as a PED masking agent. The Reds will counter with Luis Castillo, who has found a groove in his past four starts.

[Featured Image: https://twitter.com/Reds/status/1309701621933252609?s=20]

Kyle Berger is a lifelong Reds fan who has lived in the Cincinnati area for his entire life. Kyle has always been interested in the analytics side of baseball, and recently graduated from Miami University with a degree in Business Analytics. You can follow him on Twitter @KB_48, where most of his Tweets are about the Reds or baseball in general.

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Thomas Green
Thomas Green
28 days ago

Wow. While I was hopeful, this was not expected (especially this ‘soon’). I like it! Go, Redlegs!!

pinson343
pinson343
28 days ago

It’s not on the post-game videos and live tv had odd angles on the play. It was clear that Shogo and Suarez had a communication problem but it was not clear to me whether either had a play on the ball. Maybe one (or both) had a chance if they went really hard after it ? It had a lot of hang time.

As often with road games, I watched most of it with the sound off, so also didn’t hear what the Twins broadcasters had to say. Can anyone help me out on this ?

My first thought was that “Here we go, another terrible meltdown that will haunt us forever.” But Iglesias has been unflappable this year, he got straight down to business.

pinson343
pinson343
28 days ago

Somewhat lost in the celebration is that the Reds are in a virtual tie for 2nd place with the Cardinals/ I know they lose the tie breaker there but just the same, from what I understand they can finish as high as the number 5 seed.

Also from what I understand the Cardinals still might have to play that double header with the Tigers as the 8 teams in for the NL has not been settled yet.