Game 1 one to forget for Cincinnati Reds: 7 things to know about 1-0 loss to Braves

Credit: David Jablonski

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Joey Votto interview (Sept. 29)

Credit: David Jablonski

Reds leave 13 runners on base and blow two golden opportunities in final two innings

Joey Votto said the Cincinnati Reds would be a nightmare in the playoffs, and he was right — but not in the way he meant.

Game 1 of the wild-card series was a nightmare for the Reds and their fans, though Votto said after the game it was fun and “a joy to be out there.” The Reds out-hit the Atlanta Braves 10-6, left 13 runners on base, went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and failed to push across a single run.

Freddie Freeman’s one-single to center scored Cristian Pache in the 13th inning as the No. 2 seed Braves beat the No. 7 seed Reds 1-0 on Wednesday at Truist Park in Atlanta.

“Today’s going to be a day we want to forget pretty quickly because we have another game tomorrow,” said second baseman Mike Moustakas, who was 0-for-5, “and it’s going to be win or go home. I don’t think anybody in this clubhouse is ready to go home.”

The Reds and Braves will play Game 2 on Thursday. If the Reds win, there will be a deciding Game 3 on Friday. Here are seven things to know about Game 1:

1. Historical game: This was the first postseason game in baseball history to go to the 12th inning without a run.

This was the longest postseason game in Reds history, topping Game 4 of the 1974 NLCS and Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Both of those games ended in 12.

ExploreNOTES: Castillo ready for Game 2 start

2. Dominant pitching: Reds starter Trevor Bauer pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed two hits. He set a Reds postseason record with 12 strikeouts, passing Homer Bailey, who struck out 10 batters in Game 3 of the National League Division Series in 2012 against the San Francisco Giants.

Pitching against baseball’s best offense, Bauer also became the first pitcher in baseball history to strike out at least 12 batters without walking a batter or allowing a run in a playoff game.

The Reds could not take advantage of one of the best pitching performances in baseball history.

“I’m disappointed," Bauer said. "It sucks.”

3. Strong bullpen: The Reds bullpen was almost as good. Raisel Iglesias, Lucas Sims and Michael Lorenzen combined to allow one hit in 4 1/3 innings.

Archie Bradley started the 13th and got the Reds in a first-and-third jam with one out. Amir Garrett replaced Bradley and gave up the game-winning single to Freeman.

ExploreLongtime Braves beat writer got his start in Dayton

4. Missed opportunities: The Reds had runners at the corners with no outs in the first and 12th innings and failed to score. They had the bases loaded with one out in the 13th and couldn’t score.

“We had a lot of opportunities to score some runs early, in the middle of the game and late," Moustakas said. “We just didn’t get the job done, me definitely being included in that. I think I left five guys on base, maybe more than that. Those are situations we need to get the job done against great pitching and a great baseball team.”

5. Baserunner blunders: Nick Castellanos was thrown out at third with one out in the sixth. He was trying to take an extra base on a single by Joey Votto.

“It was a good aggressive play,” manager David Bell said. “The outfielder made a good play, a perfect throw. It was a close play at third base.”

An inning later, the Reds attempted a double steal with Aristides Aquino at third and Kyle Farmer at first with two outs. Farmer was caught in a rundown, and then Aquino broke for him and was tagged out just before crossing the plate.

Bell took the blame for that call and said he put Aquino in a tough spot.

“We might have been overaggressive right there,” Bell said, “trying to do everything we can to get a run across, especially with the way Trevor was pitching. It’s a play we’ve run before. It wasn’t the right time. That’s on me. That was a mistake there on me trying to score a run, trying to get something on the board.”

6. Strikeout totals: When Castellanos struck out leading off the 13th, every batter who had appeared in the game had struck out at least once at that point. The game finished with 37 strikeouts.

The Braves struck out 21 times, with former Red Adam Duvall leading the way with four. The Reds struck out 16 times.

7. Looking ahead: The Reds have now lost five straight postseason games. That counts the last three games of the 2012 National League Division Series, the 2013 wild-card game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and this game. Counting a four-game sweep in the 1995 NLDS, they have also lost five straight postseason games in a row to the Braves.

To end that streak, they’ll need a strong start from Luis Castillo on Thursday, and they’ll need to forget the performance by the offense in Game 1.

“We’ve been doing that all year,” Bell said. “We’ve been doing that our whole life. I have no doubt. Obviously, we’re playing a good team, and we have to play our best. Being able to bounce back, I can’t wait to see our team do that.”

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