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Reds finish mailing it in, get swept by Pirates

Sep 29, 2013, 4:56 PM EDT

Pirates' Harrison slides into home plate with an inside the park home run against the Reds during their MLB National League baseball game in Cincinnati Reuters

It’s not that the Reds had nothing to play for this weekend; winning two out of three against the Pirates would have ensured that Tuesday’s rematch in the wild card game would be at home. Instead, they’ll travel to Pittsburgh for Tuesday’s rematch and elimination game after getting swept in the series.

Right from the get-go on Friday, it hardly seemed as though the Reds’ hearts were in it. They lost that one 4-1 when A.J. Burnett threw four more pitches in eight innings than Homer Bailey did in five (99-95). Saturday’s game saw the Pirates hit six homers. The Reds hit one in the entire series. On Sunday, the regulars mostly started for the third straight day, yet all were pulled after two at-bats in the 4-2 loss. The two runs were actually delivered by third-string catcher Corky Miller.

Now the Reds are going to be expected to suddenly turn it on again Tuesday after five straight losses in which they scored a total of eight runs. It will have been eight days since their previous win. As little as momentum seems to matter in baseball, it makes it difficult to get excited about the Reds’ chances. Besides Shin-Soo Choo and maybe Todd Frazier, no regular is swinging the bat very well. In the matchup of Johnny Cueto vs. Francisco Liriano, there figures to be quite a bit more weight on Cueto’s shoulders at the onset.

  1. flamethrower101 - Sep 29, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Here’s hoping the weight doesn’t affect his oblique…again…

  2. thomas844 - Sep 29, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    This team simply is not hitting and Phillips might not even be able to play Tuesday. Cueto better be on top of his game if the Reds want any shot of winning.

    • xmatt0926x - Sep 29, 2013 at 7:03 PM

      Well of course they aren’t hitting! After all, they decided to mail it in. Didn’t you see the headline? They all collectively agreed to just throw these games just for shits and giggles. Another wonderfully thought out piece by the snarky, low end of the hardballtalk totem pole blogger.

      They played all season just to “mail it in” in the last weekend, as opposed to just getting beat by a good team. Wow. Just wow. Are the baseball blogger pickings really this slim?

      • xmatt0926x - Sep 29, 2013 at 7:05 PM

        Just to be clear, there is a monumental difference between a team playing bad at the wrong time as opposed to a team “mailing it in”.

      • garythebat - Sep 29, 2013 at 7:58 PM

        Most of the posts on HBT are quite thoughtful and interesting. And then you’ve got Mr. Pouliot’s contributions, which basically just amount to low-grade trolling. I’m pretty sure it’s a shtick, like Statler and Waldorf or something. But at least those dudes were funny.

  3. steelers88 - Sep 29, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Pirates putting it together at the right time. The Reds better watch out!

  4. apkyletexas - Sep 29, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    I think the author should give the Pirates a little bit of credit.

    AJ Burnett went right after the Reds hitters on Friday, and the Pirate batters were looking for opportunities to drive pitches throughout the series. The Pirates came in as the aggressor and it paid off. Hopefully, they learned their lesson after losing 2 of 3 at home to the Reds last week.

    But to act like the Reds “mailed it in” is not really supportable. They had numerous innings with multiple runners on base the first couple of days, but could never get the big RBI hit. The one decision they made that was a real head-scratcher was allowing Bronson Arroyo to flame out so completely on Saturday. But, that was a Dusty Baker decision – I don’t think the players laid down at any point. And, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them rally behind their hottest pitcher on Tuesday.

  5. gloccamorra - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    Relax. It’s just wily ole Dusty putting some psychology to work in the Reds’ favor. Watch out for the guys chewin’ on toothpicks!

  6. stoutfiles - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    As a Reds fan, this series was embarrasing to say the least. I don’t, however, think they mailed it in. Yeah, maybe they didn’t care too much that last game, but the first two games they gave it their best and lost to a good team.

    They better wake up for the WC game, or this year was a huge bust, especially when you consider that everytime they came within striking distance of the division lead, they would start losing games. Crumbling under pressure, again and again.

    • metalhead65 - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:49 AM

      they mailed in the last month of the season! how do you beat the cardinals and dogers and get your fans hope up then lose to the cubs brewers and mets? then lose to the team you are trying to get home field from in a playoff game? the answer is of course the toothpick himself. he even said there was no sense of urgency in the sense of urgency in the pirates series. how can you as a manager let your team play like that with home field in a playoff game on the line? this team will never win anything in the posy season as long as that clown is the manager. all season all we heard was that he didn’t have his starting lineup together because ludwick was hurt. he gets him back the final monal month and what does he do? he moves ludwick to the 2 spot! sure it worked for him when he played for the cardinals 10 years ago! you don’t choose the last weekend of the season to mess with your lineup again! if they bring him back after they lose on Tuesday it shows all the talk about wanting to win a world series with the reds was just that all talk!

  7. crashdavis99 - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    You wanna talk about mailing it in? How about my A.L.Central Division champ Motor City Kitties? They wasted precious airplane fuel (not to mention my time watching) flying to Miami to get swept by the N.L. worst Feesh, all the while scoring a grand total of 3 runs on 16 hits (15 of which were singles) in 28 innings. The Tigers didn’t just mail it in, they sent it Fed-Ex with bubble wrap, packing peanuts and then bought insurance!

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