The Short Version: Tyler Mahle wasn’t as efficient as we’d like, but he pitched five shutout innings to pick up his first big league victory. He needs to thank Eugenio Suarez — who hit a grand slam — and great relief work from Kevin Shackelford, Michael Lorenzen, and Luke Farrell. Go Reds!

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (63-83) 6 8 0
St. Louis Cardinals (76-69) 0 5 1
W: Mahle (1-2) L: Flaherty (0-1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Oh, this was all good.

–Interesting moment in the top of the 5th inning. With the Reds leading 1-0, Jose Peraza reached on an infield single and Tyler Mahle was hit by a pitch. Later in the inning, with two outs, Zack Cozart grounded to shortstop and the umpire called Mahle out at second to end the inning.

Except that Mahle had hustled to the bag and actually beat the throw. Manager Bryan Price challenged the call, and review confirmed that Mahle was safe. So the Reds had bases loaded with two outs and Joey Votto at the plate. Votto singled to left on the first pitch he saw, giving the Reds a 2-0 lead. Then Eugenio Suarez followed with a grand slam, his 25th home run of the season. Reds 6, Cardinals 0.

–Jesse Winker led off the game with his 5th home run of the season. (Reminder: Winker only hit two home runs for Triple-A Louisville this season). He also made a very nice diving catch to save a run in the first inning.

–In addition to the grand slam, Suarez had a walk, pushing that OBP up to .379. Votto had two hits and a walk (his OBP is .451, because he’s good). Peraza had a couple of hits (not gonna mention his OBP).

–Mahle wasn’t brilliant tonight — three walks, 100 pitches in five innings — but he did pitch scoreless baseball for those five innings and collected his first big league win. Congrats, Tyler Mahle!

–Kevin Shackelford pitched two really outstanding innings, allowing just one hit and no runs. Michael Lorenzen and Luke Farrell followed up with perfect innings of relief. Outstanding work by Reds pitching tonight.

The Bad
–I don’t have anything to say here.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Seventh shutout for Reds pitching this season. Reds will go for the series win tomorrow afternoon.

Even better: the Reds are no longer in danger of a 100-loss season!

–A September win against a Cardinals team that is trying to get into the playoffs is almost as good as being in a pennant race. Okay, no it isn’t. It’s not even close. But it’s still a little fun.

–Tyler Mahle didn’t walk many hitters in the minors. Once he settles down and gets some MLB experience, he has a chance to be a really nice pitcher for the Redlegs.

The fact of the matter, however, is that Mahle actually wasn’t awful in this game. He racked up a high pitch count in the first three innings, but it really seemed like he was getting squeezed by home plate umpire Sean Barber, as he stranded eight runners. In his final two innings, Mahle was sharp.

I like Tyler Mahle.

–Only 16 games left in the Reds season. Enjoy it while you can. Winter is coming.

Tonight’s Tweets

50 Responses

  1. BK

    Are we learning anything about Schebler’s viability in CF?

    • Brian

      I think if Schebler’s defense isn’t great in center, and his OBP is going to hover around .315, we are better off with Hamilton in CF (but not leading off) and Schebler coming off the bench. I just feel like Winker provides too much value at the top of the order to sit him (small sample size, obviously).

      • jim t

        Bat Winker 1st in RF. Hamilton 8th in CF. Use Schebler to spell al the outfield spots. Move Suarez to SS. Senzel plays third. Competition for 2nd between Herrera, Peraza and Gennett.

        Nice bench with Mez, Schebler and whoever loses the second base competition and a RH hitting outfielder yet to be determined.

        Find a LOGGY to go with Peralta.

        Sort out your starting rotation.

      • Vicferrari

        I am curious why any one thinks batting Hamilton 8th is better than 9th, I have given a ton of arguments in the past and no one countered my points- that I have seen. It makes 0 sense to bat Hamilton 8th in my opinion

      • Tom Diesman

        I’ve all heard that it was better to bat the P/PH spot #8, but I’ve never seen a clear concise argument as to why. I’ve always assumed it had to do with sequencing the better hitter closer to the top of the order, but I’ve never seen it weighed against the extra ABs you give the worst hitter, P/PH, my moving them up in the order. I’d also think that Hamilton’s base running could play well with the P/PH at the plate, where he could when on base and not impeded steal ahead of the obligatory sacrifice bunt resulting in two bases instead of one.

      • PDunc

        If we believe Phil Ervin can be a viable 4th outfielder, I would consider moving Schebler. Go take a look at Hamilton’s splits, he should only be hitting against right-handed pitching. I don’t know where to find Winker’s minor-league splits (and he has too few major league at bats to make a fair judgment) but he is left-handed and likely to hit better against right-handers than left. Having your 4th outfielder hit right-handed, as Ervin does, might make more sense than hitting left-handed as Schebler does.
        Instead of keeping 5 true outfielders I’d keep Scooter or Peraza as a 5th outfielder and utility infielder.
        Votto-1B, Suarez, Senzel & Peraza in some combination 3B, SS and 2B, Winker, Duvall, Hamilton & Ervin primary 4 outfielders, Barnhardt & Mesoraco at C, Gennett and ? as utility.

      • james garrett

        Schebler may never be able to play centerfield but after 12 or 15 starts its not time to ditch him and defer back to Billy.Don’t see how we can set a guy that hits 25 to 30 bombs in his second year in the big leagues at age 26.Billy has 4 years worth of data that we don’t need to get in to because it is what it is.Now if we want to pay Billy 6 million to play elite defense and steal bases then so be it.Of course everytime Billy hits a weak grounder or fly ball with runners on somebody will say where is Scott or Winker.Of course it works the other way too because we will say Billy would have caught that.Offense/defense its up to the Reds.

      • VaRedsFan

        Have you been watching Schebler bat with guys on base? He’s good though if you want to pad a 8-1 lead, of if you are down 8-1

      • Steve Mancuso

        Schebler 2017 when lead w/i 4 runs: .239/.319/.487
        Schebler 2017 when lead > 4 runs: .228/.307/.481

        Schebler career: .248/.322/.467
        Schebler career with runners on base: .252/.343/.434

      • Da bear

        Steve what are the splits when the lead is 1 run or 2 runs? If your RBI to HR ratio is 2 or lower it’s usually a sign you do not drive runs in efficiently. There are exceptions but very very few. I have to agree with VAredsfan from watching many games without hard data it does not appear as if Schebler hits well in the clutch.

    • Chad Dotson

      I think we’re learning he can’t handle the position on a full-time basis. Perhaps as a backup.

      • lwblogger2

        I’d agree with that. You can put him out there here and there but you probably don’t want him playing 50+ games in CF.

  2. Reaganspad

    Love the stupid cards reference much more than the Cubs. I have always kind of liked the Cubs as my 5th favorite team. You know, like the twins

    But the cardinals, that is like the guy who steals from your grandma or those hurricane looters. They naturally deserve our disdain

    Stupid cardinals (not the bird, the bird is cool) but those guys pretending to be a ml baseball team. Cheaters

    I am out of words to share. I wish BP were a Red today so he could tweet something really stupid about them

  3. Shchi Cossack

    As much as the Old Cossack would like to see the Reds land gold in next season’s rule 4 draft, I’d much rather see them beat the stupid birds and crush their playoff aspirations.

    This is a pretty nice lineup…

    #1 .389 OBP & .901 OPS
    #2 .394 OBP & .944 OPS
    #3 .451 OBP & 1.028 OPS
    #4 .379 OBP & .862 OPS

    The 4 best hitters in the lineup in the top 4 positions, getting the most PA & supporting each other in the lineup. Sliding Scooter (.347 OBP & .885 OPS) into the #5 hole makes that lineup look unfairly dangerous with Duvall (.792 OPS) and Schebler (.796 OPS) and Barnhart (.742 OPS) rounding out the bottom 3 in the lineup. If Tucker is the weakest offensive link in the lineup, good things tend to happen.

    Price allowed Shackleford to pitch multiple innings in relief AND hit for himself in order to stay in the game and pitch his 2nd inning of relief.

    Mahle’s reaction when he got plunked in the middle of the back was classic…no reaction at all and trotted down to 1B to take care of business. Of course then he legs out the fielder’s choice play at 2B with a terrific slide, leading to the fireworks later in the inning by Votto and Suarez.

    Winker nearly had a 2nd HR in the game on a screaming line drive down the left field line that just went foul after his drive down the right field line leading off the game. Very Vottoesque. Winker has 5 HR in 95 PA (1 HR every 19 PA) with a .219 ISO. Duvall has produced 1 HR every 19 PA with a 244 ISO. Schebler has produced 1 HR every 18 PA with a .246 ISO. Hmmm… Both Schebler and Hamilton have 1.2 WAR for the season.

    Suarez just barrels up the ball virtually every PA.

    There’s no question that Cozart is favoring his quad, especially when he has to move and reach down for the ball. The thing is that quad injuries heal with rest, recovery and rehabilitation during the off season. Even with his physical struggles and lost playing time, Cozart has still produced 4.7 WAR this season with a 144 wRC+.

    • Vicferrari

      I know someone commented in the game thread that Cozart was better suited for the AL. I know his defense has taken a big drop off with the injury, but my impression is that he would be a top tier short stop if not for this. Can anyone in the know rate where he was this season or last prior to the injury- because like it was stated rest will heal his injury

      • Shchi Cossack

        Prior to his quad injury this season, Cozart was still among the league leaders in defense at SS. His defense had dropped off a little from an elite level, but was still way above average. Cozart will need to get regular rest during the season going forward, but he’s now two years removed from his catastrophic knee injury and the related muscle injuries are from pushing to hard and too long. Cozart is an extreme competitor and requires a strong manager to control his playing time so he can minimize and avoid over-stressing his legs. The additional off days included in the new CBA will help in that regard, but his playing time needs to be restricted to 120-140 games with regualr rest early in the year so he can play at a high level for the entire six month season when he is on the field. If the Reds and Cozart do reach an agreement to bring him back in 2018, Peraza will play an important role in limiting Cozart’s playing time.

      • Jim Walker

        Just as about as crucial as the injury is his age in relationship to the age where middle infielders go over the cliff of defensive decline. He’s right on the cusp now.

        The leg may or may not bounce all the way back. This is his second season post surgery of battling it versus Votto pretty much got over it in a single season post surgery, although part of the difference may be that Cozart plays a more physically demanding position.

        However the age issue is not going top go away.

  4. Aaron Bradley

    Beaming our young pitcher in the back? I expect payback tomorrow of some sort. Can’t let that go without a response, sorry.

    • Vicferrari

      Might need to peg the umpires like the Tigers do when they get squeezed

      • lwblogger2

        You think that was on purpose? I doubt it was but it isn’t out of the question.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      If there had been perceived intent, sure but seriously, hitting the opposing pitcher. Did you see the reaction of the Cards’ pitcher? No reason for any response.

    • Shchi Cossack

      The young starter for the Birds was trying to pitch inside and was just missing inside. That pitch just missed a ‘little bit’ more inside than the previous pitches. Winker and Mahle were joking about it on the bench after Mahle came out of the game. I don’t see any lingering issues here. The young Bird’s pitcher was immediately pulled . His pitch control was obviously gone.

      • Aaron Bradley

        Yea sorry I didn’t really know the circumstances, but in the back against a young pitcher is unacceptable. If that had happened to the Red Birds they would have stormed the mound, accident or not.

      • Aaron Bradley

        They shouldn’t be encouraged to pitch inside against an opposing pitcher if they lack control. That is playing with fire, and retaliation is the only way to prevent it in the future. But of course they would play/pretend to be victims so perhaps you are right and prudence is called for. Still, I think its disgusting.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        It would be disgusting if there was any hint of intent. There wasn’t. Pitchers will never learn to pitch inside if they don’t try to. If they don’t out of fear of a pitch “slipping” then everyone complains that pitchers aren’t like the “old days” of Bob Gibson and Don Drysdale. I think we all like to demonize the Cardinals (because it’s fun to) but I doubt they would have stormed the mound if the tables were turned.

    • docmike

      Uh, no. I hate the Cardinals as much as anybody, but the pitcher was CLEARLY not trying to hit his opposing number. Just take your base and make ’em pay on the scoreboard, which is exactly what the Reds did.

      It’s completely stupid to hit someone on the other team every time one of your guys gets hit. We’re not the Pirates (thank goodness).

  5. Jim t

    So hoping that Suarez can handle the transition back to being a SS when Senzel is ready for MLB.

    • Vicferrari

      But I think it best to find out later and keep running the injured guy who can only field on 1 leg to play one of the most demanding positions in the game.

  6. mariners77

    In total agreement, Chad, about win number 63.

    I recall a number of national pundits smugly predicting 100+ losses for the club this year – sorry, guys, wrong again. Whatever else has happened during this forgettable season, at least we avoid that ignominy!

  7. Vicferrari

    So how many more starts for Tyler?, will they shut him down before seasons end, how about anyone else?

    • sultanofswaff

      You’re only talking 2-3 more starts. I’d run him out there, but keep him around 80 pitches or 5 IP, whichever comes first. With so many bullpen options, Price shouldn’t be concerned about starters going deep.

  8. Mike Adams

    Hey Chad, under your BAD heading might I make a suggestion? Instead of “I have nothing to say here” how about inserting “Cardinals”?
    And while you are at it, add another heading of UGLY and also put “Cardinals” there too!

      • Steve Mancuso

        Sign that guy up for a future recap. Great idea.

      • WVRedlegs

        Bad: Col. Sanders (KFC) is a Cardinals fan.
        He was sitting on the first row behind home plate the last two nights and was prominent in the background on TV with left handed hitters.

      • TR

        I missed the Colonel. I hope he enjoyed the game with a beer and a grilled chicken breast.

  9. sultanofswaff

    Shackelford is quietly settling into his role and could make a compelling case for a bullpen spot next year if he finishes strong. His first taste of the bigs in August was pretty bad—-16 hits in 12 innings with 8 walks. September has been the complete opposite—-4 hits in 6.1 innings with 8 strikeouts and 0 walks. 30 K’s in 24 IP overall. There’s a lot of swing and miss stuff here that has me intrigued.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      If he keeps pitching like this I will gladly eat my words of a month ago about him not belonging in the major leagues.

    • Da bear

      He pitches like Jansen-lite, same vertical downward trajectory. Could be tough for batters to square up their lumber.

  10. WVRedlegs

    Price certainly is using Shackleford more often in more meaningful situations. And Shackleford has responded very well so far. Last night Shackleford covered first base very nicely and quickly on a grounder to Votto. I think Votto was surprised how quickly he was over there. Shackleford presents a nice, big target for Votto on those plays. Votto made a smooth throw and they made it seem routine. Several times last year the pitchers flubbed it up somehow. Votto made a couple of bad throws, but most of those flubs were on the pitchers.
    Price is letting Shackleford earn his stripes. More and more Shackleford is looking like one bullpen solution for 2018. A back of the bullpen solution at that.
    It just makes me wonder if there is something to the possibilities that Lorenzen could get another shot at the rotation with the development of Shackleford? Or as the Cossack has brought up, that Iglesias may get another shot. It will indeed be an interesting off-season. Only 16 games left. Where has the time gone?
    That Price, somebody should fire him for trying to develop his pitchers.

    • Nick Carrington

      Shackleford has eight straight scoreless appearances (8 innings) and hasn’t walked anybody during that time. 9 strikeouts too. Impressive stretch. We still need a bigger sample, but he is giving himself a chance.

      I wish Iglesias would/could start. He’s probably their best pitcher. But, I see no indication that will happen, and it seems to be medical related, so it’s hard to blame the Reds for that.

      Lorenzen is quietly going through a strong stretch as well. Only two earned runs in his last 9 innings, which coincides with a change in mechanics. I think the Reds were sincere when they said they’d let him start in Spring Training. I also think it’s most likely they put him in the bullpen at the end of spring. But, if there are trades and/or injuries and he pitches well, he may get a shot.

    • james garrett

      Bull pen guys are always up and down.They go good for awhile and then run into bad spells just as Lorenzen and Peralta and others have done.Shack has good stuff and I believe he was a closer in the minors.He pitched well the first inning so why not a second inning and sure he looks like a piece for next year’s pen.I have to disagree Red and I hail from WV that Price isn’t developing Shack He just let him pitch another inning because he looked good in the first inning.Its a 6 run game and Matheny is pulling his starters.

      • WVRedlegs

        It was funny last night on the telecast when Kelch and Welsh were talking about what Price had said in what he is seeking for the 2018 bullpen. Kelch said that Price and his staff didn’t want to hold open auditions in spring training for bullpen roles and wanted to go into the winter with a good idea of who most of his 7 bullpen guys would be. What starters might eventually get moved to the pen.
        Welsh quipped, “Hasn’t that what the last two years have been about?”
        There was about 5 seconds of awkward silence after that from Kelch, and Welsh. I think Kelch was a little stunned. Welsh realized that he put himself out on a limb with that and quickly got back off. Then they both went into some talk about the pen for next year. But it was a funny exchange.
        FWIW, what they said Price wants in a bullpen is a closer, a long relief man, and 5 guys with shutdown stuff. Any of the 5 he could rely on to bring in tough situations at any time of the game.
        JG, I think Price is adding development to Shackleford by his usage. Being a closer at AA or AAA does not make them a good MLB reliever. Just ask Blake Wood.

      • james garrett

        Wood had shut down stuff but 95+ goes a long way down the middle.My point was he just let Shack pitch another inning after he threw a good inning.I guess I view developing pitchers as letting them pitch regardless of the outcome and maybe giving them another inning even if the last one didn’t go so wel.Relievers rarely get another inning unless like Shack did last night.His pitch count was low and he got em out and threw the ball well.If he had been hit and gave up a run or two he doesn’t go back out there to work on anything.We are splitting hairs on our opinions here buddy but we can agree Shack looked good and he could land a spot next year.Your comment about a closer is true because the minors are just that the minors,I do think it takes a strong mental oulook and of course stuff to get those last 3 outs and that is a plus.As far as the pen next year they surely have to have another lefty to go with Peralta.

  11. VaRedsFan

    We hadn’t planned to make this announcement until after the season, but…

    Redleg Nation has decided to write about the Reds again in 2018.
    I bet you guys knew this since July