All good things end eventually and so it went for the Reds six game winning streak yesterday. However today is a new day and a chance for the Reds to start a new winning streak against the Giants in game 2 of the current series at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Game time is 10:15pm ET.
Tyler Mahle will make the start for the Reds. In his last start the young Reds right hander bobbed and weaved his way through trouble not always of his own making for five innings with the Reds fate seemingly hanging by a thread on almost every pitch. However, when the dust cleared, Mahle had allowed just 1 unearned run; and, the Reds offense came to life late to secure a win. All and all Mahle’s performance was one of the most masterful jobs turned in by any Reds starter in some time. Mahle needed 109 pitches to complete those 5 innings full of leverage situations. Tonight his task is to demonstrate the physical and mental mettle to go back to the mound five days later and do it all over again if need be. Such is the life of a top of the rotation MLB starter.
Left hander Ty Blach starts for the Giants. MLB.com says that in a rotation bereft of Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto, Blach has emerged as the Giants most effective starter. Like last night Giants starter Chris Stratton, the 27 year old Blach became a Giants property as a result of the 2012 June draft in which he was the 178th overall pick (5th round). After a cameo MLB debut on 2016 Blach appeared in 34 games (24 starts) last season. He has been in the rotation all year for the Giants in 2018, making his tenth start tonight. Blach is a fastball (60%)/ change up (23%) pitcher who also mixes in both a slider (6%) a curve (11%). His heater comes in at about 90MPH, the change and slider at around 80MPH and the curve a bit slower than that.
Here are the 2018 Comparative stats.
Mahle’s K% is edging toward the elite level; but, he still has work to do at keeping the ball in the park. If Blach starts racking up K’s against the Reds, it could be a sign of long night ahead.
Both bullpens got a workout last night but the Reds a little more so. Jackson Stephens and Dylan Floro are both probably unavailable tonight aside from maybe a single out. Austin Brice is good for probably only an inning. Tyler Mahle really needs to go at least 5-6 innings. If he doesn’t we are likely to see the Reds leverage crew pitching wasted innings.
Cory Gearrin worked 2 innings out of the Giants pen last night and would appear to be their only reliever on short call for tonight.
|1. Jose Peraza (SS)
2. Jesse Winker (LF)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Scooter Gennett (2B)
5. Adam Duvall (1B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Tony Cruz (C)
8. Tyler Mahle (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)
|1. Gregor Blanco (LF)
2. Andrew McCutchen (RF)
3. Buster Posey (C)
4. Brandon Belt (1B)
5. Evan Longoria (3B)
6. Brandon Crawford (SS)
7. Austin Jackson (CF)
8. Kelby Tomlinson (2B)
9. Ty Blach (P)
As expected Votto is sitting out. Barnhart also gets a rest.
News and Notes
Early reports are that all went well in the initial rehab efforts of Anthony Desclafani and Michael Lorenzen Monday evening
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) May 15, 2018
Joey Votto left Monday’s game with “lower back tightness” and may sit out tonight but nobody seems too concerned about any longer term issues with it, least of all Votto.
"I'm a sensitive soul."
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) May 15, 2018
But Votto also recently had some other not so lighthearted thoughts
Joey Votto: "It hasn’t been a fun time to be a Cincinnati Reds fan." https://t.co/mRusICBwFe
— Enquirer Sports (@ENQSports) May 15, 2018
The Reds bullpen won the “Bullpen of the Week” award largely for their efforts helping with the 6 game winning streak.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 14, 2018
Last night was one of those games that seemed like it was settled early when Sal Romano gave up 6 runs in 2.1 innings. But then the Reds came roaring back to cut the deficit to 2 runs only to have the Giants then expand it to the 5 runs then 6, the largest lead of the game. However, the Reds managed to plate 3 more in the 9th to set the final margin of 10-7. Seems like those last 3 were just “consolation runs”? Well, an unearned run and a late seemingly meaningless run by the Giants provided 2 of the 3 run game margin, leaving me with the feeling that this was a game the Reds might have stolen back but weren’t quite up to doing so.
Over an MLB season just 10 games added to or subtracted from the 81-81/ .500 midpoint often become the difference between a playoff team and an also run. The lesson to be learned by a young team like the Reds is that every game and every out earned or made is precious because in baseball teams that find ways to consistently steal back games like last night’s are usually the teams playing in October. Go Reds!