Written By: Joe Laurich, Staff Writer
The Cincinnati Reds stay in the Major League Baseball playoffs was a short and unfulfilling one, as the Reds failed to score a single run in 22 innings and lost in two games to the Atlanta Braves.
The two teams had similar stats in the series, as they were both 1-14 with runners in scoring position and had a similar hit total (Atlanta had 15 to the Reds’ 13). Both teams walked five times and were 1-14 with runners in scoring position.
While the Braves were able to find a way to manufacture runs,the Reds had the longest consecutive postseason scoreless drought. They were also the only team to be eliminated from a postseason series without scoring a run.
The Reds got a fantastic performance out of Trevor Bauer in game one, as he threw 7.2 shutout innings while only allowing two hits and striking out twelve. The Reds had opportunities to score in game one, their best being in the first inning when they had runners on second and third and no outs.
The Braves’ offense struggled for the majority of game one as well, and it wasn’t until the bottom of the 13th when they pushed a run across to win the game. It was the longest playoff game in MLB history to remain scoreless.
In the second game of the series, both offenses remained stagnant until the Braves scored a run in the bottom of the 5th. The game stayed 1-0 until the bottom of the 8th, when the Braves broke it up by scoring four runs. Luis Castillo pitched well for the Reds, allowing just one run.
The biggest question going forward for the Reds is if they’ll re-sign Trevor Bauer. Bauer’s a free agent at the end of the season, and he’ll likely command a huge salary after the elite season he had this year (1.73 earned run average, 100 strikeouts in 73 innings pitched).
The Reds have shown a willingness to spend in recent offseasons by bringing in Nick Castellanos, Mike Moustakas and Shogo Akiyama. Bauer may get more money than the Reds are willing to spend, however, and it’s unlikely that he’d take a discount to stay with the team.
If the Reds lose Bauer in the offseason, they could look to replace him in house by using Tejay Antone or Vladimir Gutierrez in the rotation. They could also sign or trade for his replacement. Some potential options as free agent signings could be veterans Mike Minor, Jake Arrieta, J.A. Happ or Jon Lester.
Another option could be trading someone expendable, like Aristides Aquino or Nick Senzel for a pitcher who may be on the trade block this offseason. Some potential pick ups include Lance Lynn or Danny Duffy.
The Reds’ lineup will remain intact for the most part, with the only potential loss being Freddy Galvis, but they have a replacement in Kyle Farmer. Jonathan India, one of the Reds’ top prospects, could also see some playing time with the big league club next season.