Pirates mount largest comeback in franchise history to hand Reds crushing loss in wild-card race


The Cincinnati Reds’ postseason hopes took a crushing blow on Saturday night as they blew a 9-0 lead against the Pirates. The host Reds wound up losing the game 13-12. For Pittsburgh, it’s their largest comeback in the 133-year history of the franchise. 

After the third inning, the Reds held a 9-0 lead. Soon after, though, the Pirates commenced a methodical comeback for the ages.They put one run on the board in the fourth. In the sixth, the Pirates plated five, three of which came on Bryan Reynolds’ 23rd homer of the season. Then in the seventh a bases-clearing double by Alfonso Rivas brought the Buccos all the way back: 

In addition to the franchise history noted above, that nine-run margin is tied for the largest blown lead in Reds’ franchise history. It’s a mark they last equaled in 2004. 

The Pirates would go on to score 13 unanswered runs before the Reds attempted a comeback of their own. Down 13-9 going into the bottom of the eighth, the Reds tallied two runs in that frame and another in the ninth. Also in the ninth, the Reds had the tying run on third base with one out, but Elly De La Cruz struck out and Jonathan India flied out to end the threat and the game. 

All of it yielded a predictably wild win-expectancy chart: 

The Pirates had previously come back from eight runs down on four occasions, most recently in 1994 against the Astros. Never had they surmounted a nine-run deficit — until Saturday at Cincy. 

As for the Reds, they’ve now lost four games in a row at a time when they can least afford such a skid. Saturday’s improbable defeat drops them to 79-77 on the season, 2.5 games out of the final wild-card spot in the National League, and chasing the Cubs and Marlins. They have six games left on the regular-season schedule, including Sunday’s series finale against Pittsburgh. 

Coming into Saturday’s slate, SportsLine gave the Reds an 18.3% chance of making the playoffs, but that figure will be lower after the stunning loss to the Pirates. If the Reds wind up missing the playoffs by a single game or via mathematical tiebreaker, this one will sting even more than it already does. 





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