Trailing St. Louis Cardinals in wild card

PITTSBURGH – When Tucker Barnhart was asked what kept him confident in the Cincinnati Reds’ playoff chances after they lost for the 11th time in their last 15 games, he pointed toward the experience in the clubhouse.

“It's looking to my left and seeing Joey (Votto),” Barnhart said following the Reds’ 6-5 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday. “Looking to my right and being next to (Mike Moustakas). I mean, those guys have been there and done that. I've been there and done that, gotten out of funks. In my opinion, it's about just getting back to playing free, playing fun, going out there and just trusting that we're going to get the job done.”

Whenever a team struggles in a playoff race, the narrative usually turns to players pressing or trying to find a greater sense of urgency. Things typically look worse when an offense fails to score runs consistently.

Cincinnati Reds third baseman Mike Moustakas (9) and right fielder Nick Castellanos (2) celebrate after a Moustakas home run in the third inning of the MLB National League game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, May 2, 2021. The Reds led 6-5 after five innings.

The Reds haven’t won back-to-back games since Aug. 26-27 and they haven’t won a series since sweeping the Miami Marlins in four games at home from Aug. 19-22. They know they’ve struggled, and players have shown some frustration on the field.

Manager David Bell addressed players after Tuesday’s loss in Pittsburgh with a message that things will turn quickly for them.

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