Jeff Brantley once said that “every team in MLB will both win and lose 60 games in the duration of a baseball season. It just matters what you do in the other 42.” This year, the Reds ended with a 75-87 record, going 15-27 in those “other 42”. While Raisel Iglesias and Tyler Mahle accounted for 27.5% of the Reds’ losses by the numbers, not every loss falls completely on the Reds. Some players play their best against certain teams, and the Reds have been no stranger to those guys over the years. So who were the biggest Red killers this year?
There’s no set way to define a Reds killer. It can be a star that ramps it up even more in games against the Redlegs, a no-name player that went crazy for one night or one series or just a guy that had a walkoff hit against the club this year. I decided to split this blog into three parts: division killers, outside killers, and fan-vote killers chosen from Twitter.
Tommy Edman, St. Louis Cardinals – In his rookie year as a Cardinal, Edman collected a .356 batting average and .916 OPS against the Reds. What separates him from the rest of the Cardinals, though, is his backbreaking grand slam at Great American Ball Park in July that completed their comeback and added to a brutal 3-7 Red skid after the break. Edman is only 24, so we will probably see alot more of him in Cardinal red.
Josh Hader, Milwaukee Brewers – Hader entered 8 of the 19 games between the two clubs and mostly shut down the Reds every chance he got. He struck out 18 of the 42 Red batters he faced, and only gave up 6 hits and 2 runs. Hader picked up 6 saves against the Redlegs, the most out of any team that he faced this year. To be fair, Jose Peraza and Christian Colon both got hits off him when he was in town last week. It’s progress!
Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs – The Middletown native was a thorn in the Reds’ ass once again in 2019. 7 of his 16 hits against the Reds went over the fence, including a walkoff dinger to push the Reds further down the Central standings in July. He has eaten Reds pitching for his entire career, and has given his childhood team the blues ever since entering the majors. He’s a big fan of watching his home runs fly, but doesn’t like when pitchers celebrate in his face.
Kevin Newman, Pittsburgh Pirates – Honestly, I didn’t really have anyone to pick from on the Pirates. Chris Archer isn’t a Red killer outside of the fact that he tried to injure Derek Dietrich. Corey Dickerson was a Red killer, but he was traded to Philadelphia during the season. Clint Hurdle tried and failed to kill the Reds with fastballs to the dome, and lost his job for it. The only name that I could really think of was Kevin Newman. His grand slam sent Lucas Sims to the showers on Derek Dietrich’s 3-HR night, and his walkoff homer in September gave Raisel Iglesias his 12th loss, a franchise record. Good for you, Kevin Newman.
Mike Fiers, Oakland Athletics – What else do I need to say about Mike Fiers? He used his 90-mph fastball and mid-70s curveball to no-hit the Reds after a lengthy delay caused by one of the stadium lights at the Oakland Coliseum failing to turn on. Classic gamesmanship from the A’s to throw off Reds hitters. Even though Derek Dietrich tried to fix them and play the game on time, it didn’t work, and the Reds took a no-hitter on the chin as people in Cincinnati watched at 2 AM ET.
Jake Bauers, Cleveland Indians – The young utilityman played in all four games of the Ohio Cup battle this year, but turned it on when the Tribe headed to Cincinnati. While he only hit .226 this year, Bauers went 4-9 with a walk, a dinger and 4 RBI to help bludgeon the Reds in a two game set in Cincinnati, right as they were only 3 games under .500. He only accounted for 39 RBI the rest of the way.
Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves – Guess who hit his first career home run last year at Great American Ball Park? Guess who also walked off the Reds this year the night after Joey Votto proclaimed that the Reds would “sneak on in to the playoffs”? That’s right, it’s Acuña. The young star had 2 homers and 5 RBI in a 4 game home series against the Reds in August, including that walkoff hit. He’s on my list for future Reds killers.
Daniel Murphy, Colorado Rockies – Murphy hit 11-22 with 3 bombs and 11 RBI over his six games against the Reds this year, including a game-winning shot in both teams’ first game back from the All-Star break that was a backbreaker to any hopes the Reds had of making the postseason. He only hit 10 homers against everyone else in 2019.
Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers – Braun added to his Red killer legacy with a .923 OPS in 15 games against them this year. Mostly though, Reds fans can’t stand him for his multiple run-ins with PEDs and for his consistency every year in somehow killing the Reds.
Matt Adams, Washington Nationals – While only going 3-20 against the Reds this year, two of those hits were long balls to help the Nats win 5 of 6 games over the Redlegs this year. His .957 OPS in 81 games against Reds pitching might earn him a spot on the all-time Reds killer list.
Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs – Like we mentioned before, Schwarber enjoys murdering his childhood team. Even though the Reds didn’t get a chance to draft him in 2014, he plays as if they did and most Reds fans that don’t hail from Middletown are not fans of his work.
Jay Bruce, Philadelphia Phillies – An off the board pick, but the former Red took his old team deep both in Philly and in Cincinnati this year. It was pretty cool to see Jay Bruce homer once again in Cincinnati, but it didn’t come for the right team.
Kyle Schwarber is my pick for 2019 Red Killer of the Year. The Middletown hero has somehow only hit 18 home runs in his career against the Reds so far, but 7 of those came this year. He’s only 26 and will be playing for the Cubs for at least 3 more years, so he’s not going away any time soon.
This list was somewhat painful to complete, but in order to conquer our enemies we must know them better. Did we miss anyone? If so, send us a tweet or leave a comment here! Be on the lookout for a list of all-time Red killers coming in the offseason.