Tyler Mahle weathered the storm of lack of control mixed with a sub-par Joey Votto defensive performance. The Reds came through with some run support on the back of Scooter Gennett and pulled away from the Dodgers for their third straight win.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (11-27) 4 9 1
Los Angeles Dodgers (16-21) 1 4 1
W: Mahle (3-4) L: Buehler (2-1) S: Iglesias (5)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

Rough start to the game for the Reds. Mahle’s control was not sharp as he walked Joc Pederson with one out in the first. Votto then fielded a double play ball from Yasmandi Grandal but bobbled it three times and failed to get an out. After battling back to strike out Bellinger, Mahle allowed another walk to load the bases and then an RBI single to Matt Kemp before getting out of the inning with only one unearned run. He threw 33 pitches in the first, 16 of them coming after the error.

Votto’s poor defensive night continued in the second when he tried to get the force out at second base on a Buehler sacrifice bunt and the throw skipped into the outfield. Later in the inning, a should-have-been called third strike was called a ball, which walked Grandal to load the bases for the second time in two innings. Mahle escaped again by getting Bellinger to fly out.

Following a single and another walk in the third, Scooter Gennett made a nice play on a grounder by Buehler which ended the third as Mahle got out of yet another jam.

Between a couple bonehead defensive plays from Votto and some questionable calls from the umpire, Mahle had a lot working against him. He also clearly did not have his best stuff but he absolutely kept the Reds in the ballgame, so kudos to him. His final line was 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO. 109 pitches. He absolutely earned the win.

On offense, the Reds were shut down by Walker Buehler for five innings. He retired 14 consecutive batters after allowing two singles in the first inning, striking out seven along the way.

In the sixth, however, the top of the order came alive as singles by Winker and Votto set the table with runners on first and second. A two-out,  two-run double by cleanup-hitter Scooter Gennett gave the Reds a 2-1 lead. That score held until Billy Hamilton’s two-out triple in the seventh scored Tucker Barnhart and extended the lead to 3-1.

Gennett struck again as the Reds played add on in the eighth with a two-out, solo shot to right field. Scooter was clearly the offensive MVP, going 3-4 with a 2B, a HR and 3 RBI. His wRC+ is now 127.

Dylan Floro continued his strong play and pitched the sixth inning without allowing a base runner while striking out two. After 1.2 innings of one-hit pitching from Wandy Peralta, Raisel Iglesias came on in the eight inning for a four-out save opportunity. Iglesias made quick work of the Dodgers bottom of the order and struck out the side in the ninth inning for the exclamation mark on a great team win.

Other Game Notes:

  • Mahle entered the game allowing 2.5 BB/9 and gave up 4 walks in five innings
  • Riggleman let Mahle bat with nobody on and two outs in the fifth. Tyler had racked up 95 pitches through four innings. When he went back out in the fifth, he proceeded to throw his second 1-2-3 inning in a row.
  • Votto singled after a nice seven-pitch at-bat with two outs in the sixth inning to set up Scooter’s game-winning double.
  • Outside of Votto, the Reds did flash some strong leather. Scooter made the run saving play against Buehler. Suarez made a nice catch falling into the stands. And Duvall tracked down a hard-hit ball right at the wall in left.
  • In the seventh inning, Alex Blandino sacrifice bunted Barnhart over to third base after a leadoff double. That successfully dropped the Reds expected runs scored from 1.068 to 0.865. The Reds scored two batters later.
  • Scott Schebler didn’t look great in his pinch-hit strikeout in the seventh inning. His wRC+ is down to 109 after a hot start.
  • Adam Duvall was curiously in the two-hole today and went 0-4 with three strikeouts. His wRC+ is now 67.
  • Billy Hamilton had a strong night at the plate, going 2-4 and raising his wRC+ to 81
  • Jesse Winker collected a hit and a run but went 1-5 and has hit a bit of a rough patch offensively, sitting at a wRC+ of 100.
  • Votto is apparently teaching his teammates more than just great hitting. Winker trolled some fans after catching a fly ball and acting like he was going to throw it to them.

The Reds are now 3-0 in the Matt Harvey era. They will go for 4-0 with Harvey on the mound tomorrow night for round two of late-night baseball.

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Matt ironically became a diehard Reds fan while living in Pittsburgh and experiencing the 2013 Wild Card game. He is currently living in the land without baseball, Portland, OR, where you can find him exploring the great outdoors whenever he is not watching the Reds.

Join the conversation! 39 Comments

  1. Reds win 3 in a row behind good consecutive starting pitching by Castillo, Romano, & Mahle. Oh, just to find that 4th keeper from among Finnegan, Stephenson, Reed, or Garrett this year.

    • Yeap – There’re other 6 candidates to fill those two missing spots in the rotation (excluding Harvey and DeSclafani), yet none has been able to figure it out for a number of reasons (Bailey, Finnegan, Reed, Stephenson, Stephens & Garrett). Who knows, maybe Harvey will make it and Disco will successfully return from DL, wonder what they’ll do with our old friend Bailey and his remaining +$35MM in that scenario.

      • Garrett has been a different pitcher this season and was the team’s best starter in Spring Training. Why he’s not in the rotation is baffling.

        • For the sake of argument, maybe he’s so good because he’s in the bullpen? (Just wondering if this is a possibility. I’d like to see him in the rotation as well, because he’d be more valuable to the team)

          • Keith he was the best pitcher in spring training while he was starting games there as well. No doubt currently its easier for him to throw less innings in the pen but he for sure deserves to be starting and honestly regardless of what he prefers he should be starting because the goal is to maximize the talent on this team not coddle non sense. Unless he is vehemently against being in the rotation his butt should be on that mound every fifth day.

          • Probably the Reds’ thinking. If they didn’t believe it to be so, they’d be starting or there would be plans for him to be starting soon. They probably wouldn’t have traded for Harvey.

  2. It seems Amir prefers the pen, at least for now.

    Screen Shot 2018-05-11 at 6.14.18 AM

  3. Nice win, but so is ANY win this year. Mahle is a fighter. Didn’t let the poor D get him down. BTW, he did face the Dodgers lineup a 3rd time through with NO damage. The DREADED 3rd time through! I think he could have kept going but the relievers did a great job.

    Glad to see Scooter’s really on the mend too!

  4. Hughes,Hernandez and Floro took a lot heat from everybody on this site when they were signed. Nice signings that can be flipped for something or they can keep them until the younger kids are ready.

  5. That’s 11 wins for the season and it’s not even Memorial Day!! Good times…good times.

  6. Looking like Floro is this year’s Scooter Gennett or Dan Straily (however you want to put it). The guy has been nails so far this season.

  7. Very encouraging those consecutive performances by Castillo, Romano and Mahle. Perhaps Darwin was the answer over Jenkins and Price?. Let’s see what he can do with Harvey. Hopefully a couple of the kids in AAA step up to take over .

    The ‘pen is doing a fine job. For all the heat that most put on the FO for the negative things, it’s fair to give some props for the Hughes and Hernandez signings.

    Quietly, BHam at .315 obp, Blandino becoming a very interesting piece for the bench at least.

    The circus at 1b was very entertaining and almost cost the game. But Mahle showed what you want to see from a winner.

  8. Mahle held the fort after a rough start. Gennett comes through. A good way to start the Krall Era.

    • Maybe the Krall promotion is the missing piece. He may be the Hal King of his time.

      • Or maybe Krall will follow the ways of O’Brien/Krivsky and bring some innervation to the Red’s front office.

    • You must be referring to the continuation of the Matt Harvey era …

      Had to type that before he actually pitches.

  9. Winning feels weird … and definitely better.

    Let’s see what tonight brings. #rebuildandtradeharvey

  10. Best win of the year!! Mahle mixed in some nice change-ups and atleast showed the hitters a few sliders. Nobody can throw fastballs 90% of the time! I think he’s adjusting and making real progress! Floro is a keeper as well! He hides his face with the glove and has a lot of movement on the ball. He could be a solid Addison Reed type moving forward! Brice is solid as well! I’d look to move Iggy, Hughes, and Hernandez at some point though. Hughes are Hernandez are too old to be on the next good Reds team and Iggy will be too expensive by then!

    • Both Hughes & Hernandez are signed through next year. I’d look to move 1 & keep 1 unless the return is very good. As for Iglesias, Krall (or Williams), (or Joketty) has to get a big return. No sense in making that deal unless the return is franchise altering (to the good).

  11. Three in a row. Put Milton out to pasture!

    • Well, back in his stall for now … but I do love a non-Milton, non-BLARGH! recap.

  12. There’s been a lot of talk about Darwin maybe being able to fix Harvey. My question is that if Darwin is such a pitching guru, why was he at AAA and not with the ML staff instead of Jenkins to start the season??
    But a great win!..and a winning streak…it has happened before!

    • Maybe it makes sense to try to fix what’s wrong before pitchers get to MLB.

      • That’s the way I prefer it, Green. But since the Reds moved their young pitchers up to the big leagues so quickly, Darwin is essentially fulfilling that role at the MLB level. Such is the state of the rebuild.

  13. I like to see our young starters pushed to over 100 pitches (109 tonight). I wished they had left Castillo in the other night when he had some adversity in the 6th. Groom the kids to be strong and work themselves out of trouble. Stop managing by the 90-100 pitch “shot clock” . The great pitchers over the last decade have all gone deep in ball games without much regard to a pitch count.

  14. Strong recap! Great details. Thanks from us non West Coasters.

  15. Rigglemen’s not afraid to let these pitchers work. Mahle was close to 100 pitches after 4 innings but he came out strong in the 5th. Iglesias pitched 2 innings each back-to-back games. Results? Wins.

  16. Just saw the Statcast video of Billy’s triple. Under 11 seconds from Home to Third. Fastest triple so far this season.

    I know he doesn’t do it as often as we’d all like (meaning get on base) but you have to admit it is something special to watch when he does. And I know it won’t last, but it is fun to see while it does. Big bonus is that the hit meant something with the RBI attached.

  17. Nice game for the Redlegs. I think Utley had the RBI in the first, though it matters not. And Votto should probably have been charged with two errors IMHO. On the other hand, though Gennett was clearly the offensive star, Votto’s at bat in the 6th was the key to the comeback. Down 0-2, spoiled a couple tough pitches, then lines a single to extend the inning. Professional hitter. And I don’t know who initiated the conversation, but I liked seeing Mahle and Votto talking productively after Votto’s poor decision on the bunt. And really nice to see Mahle hang in and get the win allowing just one run after a rocky start, in front of his family and friends. A tip of the Reds cap to Tyler. Go Reds!

  18. As others have said, Floro has been a pleasant surprise. He has some hitters looking baffled at times. The slider and sinker appear to be really effective and metrics show that (see fangraphs). This may be a guy we hold on to.

    Some real positives from Castillo, Romano and Mahle! Who absolutely have to perform for us to get back on track. Bullpen is coming together and looking really solid.

  19. Pitching has improved. Mahle is mentally tough

    Team Pitching WAR is no longer negative, progress

  20. Gennett’s .830 OPS puts him 7th among all second basemen………and 7th among all left fielders IF the Reds get smart and mask his defense by stashing him in the outfield more often. Ahead of some randoms named Altuve and Stanton.

    Dylan Floro has accumulated a 0.6 WAR already. His track record says that he’ll give up hits but he’s stingy with home runs. 9/1.3 strikeout to walk ratio. 64% ground balls vs. 52% last year. Why? He’s throwing his changeup more and it’s keeping the hitters guessing. It’s a better pitch as well as he’s picked up ~200 rpm on his spin rate. Remarkably, hitters have only barreled him up 2.4% of the time overall (most of our starters are around 10%).

  21. I wasn’t watching, but instead sleeping with the TV on.

    But I don’t mind the Blandino bunt. Bottom of the order, with a one-run lead in the 7th. Not a bad time to try to score 1 run and 1 run only, which the bunt may have done. A 2-run lead is better than a 1-run lead, that late in the game.

    Remember, the run-probability tables are computed based on the what the average player could be expected to do. With the bottom of the order due up, the Reds didn’t have average players.

    • Yes, Run Expectancy tables have their uses but they are the starting point not the be all, end all in evaluation. They are completely context neutral, not taking into account who’s hitting, who’s running, who’s on deck, who’s in the hole, who’s on the bench, where the defenders are playing, how good the defenders are against the bunt…

      Look, I agree that in most cases it is BAD strategy to bunt, however it bugs me when a Run Expectancy result is used and there is no other narrative. I have the same issue when someone says player A is better than player B because they have more WAR, especially when the WAR values are very close.

  22. Garrett has increased the whiff % on his fastball from 9% to 16%, and his slider went up too, 42% to 53%. The bullpen might be the right fit!

    Jesse Winker’s power outage is a blip. Hit line drive % has gone up compared to last year (33% to 25%). His whiff % on fastballs has gone down, but on offspeed it has gone up. It would appear the league is getting a book on him. Curious to see how he adjusts.

    Adam Duvall’s exit velocities and hard hit % are in line with his norms and his whiff rates on fastballs and offspeed pitches are where they usually are, which is NOT GOOD. Bad luck? Not really as it’s his chase rate that has gone way up since his all-star season. He’s just not very good at recognizing pitches. To me it says he needs to be a mix and match guy where the matchups are favorable.

    • What data are you looking at that sais Duvall’s chase rate has gone way up since his all-star season?

      His O Swing % has gone down each year of his career and is at a low this season of 29.5% vs 34.1% last season and 36.5% the season before. The O swing % is the % of pitches outside of the strike zone that a batter chases and swings at. The lower the % the less times the batter is chasing a bad pitch, So if I’m reading the data correctly, Duvall is actually swinging at less pitches outside of the strike zone this season than ever before, which is a positive improvement in the pitch recognition.

      Please correct me if I’m wrong.

      In addition he has a babip of .181 when this gets back to his historic average of .270, this means he is having a lot of bad luck. If he is hitting the ball as hard as he has in the past and not chasing bad pitches, his babip will rise eventually to close to his norm and his batting average, on base % and ops will all rise with this.

  23. Good to see Mahle and Castillo and Romano string some starts together.

    Garrett is pitching well. The fact the Reds cut Finnegan and didn’t go with Garrett suggests they see him long term in the bullpen.

    Price commented earlier that they felt his fast ball would tick up in the pen and he
    would only have to face hitters once. Williams commented the bullpen would get him some success and the reds wanted him to experience that.

    His FB velo is up this year to 95.2 mph and his slider percentage is up to 34%. His change percent is down to 5%. He’s becoming a 2 pitch pitcher which suggests his starter days are over. He s getting appearances and some innings but only 19 innings in 17 appearances. I’d like to see his innings at 100 this year. He’s on pace for 80+.

    The Reds bullpen is much better with Hernandez back…Florio emergence..Hughes and Iggy and now Garrett plus Brice. Lorenzen at his best would be a solid bullpen.

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About Matthew Habel

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Matt ironically became a diehard Reds fan while living in Pittsburgh and experiencing the 2013 Wild Card game. He is currently living in the land without baseball, Portland, OR, where you can find him exploring the great outdoors whenever he is not watching the Reds.

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2018 Reds