The Short Version: The Reds are shut out on one hit by Pirates starter Jameson Taillon, and Eugenio Suarez breaks his thumb. Can things get any worse?
|Cincinnati Reds (2-6)||0||1||0|
|Pittsburgh Pirates (7-2)||5||11||0|
|W: Taillon (2-0) L: Mahle (1-1)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score|
–Nothing is good. Everything is awful.
–Eugenio Suarez was hit on the hand with a pitch in the top of the fourth inning. He stayed in the game to run bases — at least long enough for Scooter Gennett to hit into a double play — but was replaced by Cliff Pennington (or “Chad” Pennington, as Thom called him on the television broadcast) when the Reds returned to the field in the bottom half.
We learned later that Suarez has a fractured thumb, and is likely headed to the disabled list.
Not a good development, especially since the Reds are already playing short-handed thanks to a HBP-caused injury to Scott Schebler.
–Tyler Mahle started the game fairly well, but things kinda fell apart on him in the bottom of the fifth inning, allowing four of the five Pirate runs he surrendered on the day. His final line: 4.2 innings, 5 earned runs allowed on 9 hits and one walk, with 5 strikeouts.
–The Reds got one hit. One. And that hit was collected by the pitcher, Mahle.
–Another curious decision by manager Bryan Price today. With a short bench, thanks to the unavailability of Schebler and the injury to Suarez, Price made the decision to double-switch Mahle out of the game when Amir Garrett entered. Phil Gosselin entered the game, shifting Pennington over to shortstop. That left just Phillip Ervin and Devin Mesoraco* — who was also not available because baseball managers think that it is illegal to use a backup catcher to pinch-hit — on the bench with four innings still to play.
Not necessarily a bad decision, but kinda odd.
*I wrote that three innings before Price used Mes to pinch-hit!
–Mahle is young. Young pitchers are inconsistent. For most of the day today, he was in control. Tyler Mahle will be fine.
–In both of his appearances this season before today, Yovani Gallardo has entered in a two-run game — including Friday, which precipitated this. Amir Garrett, who really should be starting games (in this author’s humble opinion) has been nowhere to be found most of the season thus far. Today, of course, Price brings Garrett into the game with the score 5-0 to be the mop-up man.
Garrett, by the way, pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of relief today.
Why not start him tomorrow instead of Cody Reed? Why not bring him in on Friday in a close game? Your guess is as good as mine.
–Baseball is just so dumb.
I'm just going to keep saying it: You cannot convince me Amir Garrett doesn't belong in the rotation.
— Jason Linden (@JasonLinden) April 8, 2018
Reds could call up Nick Senzel on April 13 and avoid service time issue on team control.
— Steve Mancuso (@spmancuso) April 8, 2018
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org.