Yesterday was a long, tumultuous day for baseball, but the Reds (16-31) ultimately came out with a 1-1 record despite being outscored 14-5 by the Cubs (24-19). Cincinnati will hope to come away with a series split when their fourth game in three days starts at 1:10 p.m. ET.

Starting Pitchers

Yu Darvish 34.0 5.56 3.97 26.9% 11.5%
Tyler Mahle 46.1 6.02 3.70 22.9% 7.5%

Yu Darvish was one of the few big-ticket free agent signings during the offseason, and his Cubs career has gotten off to a rocky start. The right-hander has been uncharacteristically wild in a way he hasn’t been since early in his big-league career and has given up nearly two home runs per nine innings. He’s also had some trouble staying on the field, as he missed almost two weeks due to the flu. His first start back on Tuesday was a positive one, as he gave up one run on three hits in four innings against the Braves before leaving the game with a leg cramp.

Darvish vs. Reds

It’s been an up-and-down season for Tyler Mahle. He’s been dominant at times and struggled mightily in others; in other words, he’s looked like a rookie. His last two starts fall under the latter category. On Tuesday, the right-hander had the shortest outing of his MLB career, getting knocked around for four runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings. His fastball command hasn’t been quite as sharp recently, which is largely leading to his struggles. Mahle may have some confidence heading into today’s game, however, as he shut this Cubs team out for seven innings back on April 3.

Mahle vs. Cubs



1. Ben Zobrist (2B)
2. Albert Almora Jr. (CF)
3. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
4. Willson Contreras (C)
5. Ian Happ (3B)
6. Kyle Schwarber (LF)
7. Javier Baez (SS)
8. Jason Heyward (RF)
9. Yu Darvish (P)


1. Alex Blandino (SS)
2. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Scooter Gennett (2B)
5. Adam Duvall (LF)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Tyler Mahle (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)

  • The scuffling Jose Peraza and Jesse Winker are out of the lineup today. Alex Blandino is making his second start at shortstop of the season and batting leadoff for the first time in his big-league career.
  • Kris Bryant is getting a day off for the Cubs.

News, Notes, & Pre-Game Reading

Stat of the Day

Tucker Barnhart has quietly been one of the best offensive catchers in baseball this season. His 118 wRC+ ranks sixth among all catchers with 100+ plate appearances, and his walk rate (13.4%) is tied for second. While he’s no slugger, he also rarely make soft contact. His Soft% is a minuscule 9.5%, third-best among all catchers and 10th-best in baseball.

Final Thoughts

The Reds have been a bit inconsistent of late, which is what you’d expect from such a young team. Typically, as the starting pitching goes, so goes the team. After an extended string of solid starting pitching, the rotation has struggled in the latest turn around. Getting a strong start from Mahle today would be huge, as Jim Riggleman had to use nine pitchers in yesterday’s doubleheader.

85 Responses

  1. msanmoore

    Hope springs eyernal once again today. Go Reds! Beat the Stupid Cubs!

  2. GreatRedLegsFan

    Good news about DiSclafani, can’t wait to see him again in a Reds uniform!

  3. docproctor

    Blandino playing SS and batting leadoff. And starting with a walk. Would love to see him have a big game at the plate and in the field.

  4. WVRedlegs

    Nice to see Blandino leading off. Pat Kelly must have made out the lineup. However , Reds offense needs more better upgrades. 3 new outfielders would be nice.

  5. bouwills

    Comparisons? Duvall vs Rizzo in 2018. The slash line difference is -.10/ -.02/.+70. Adam’s hitting ten points less (.193 vs .203) OBP almost a wash (Duvall @ .298 vs Rizzo @ .300), but Adam is well above Rizzo in OPS .732 vs .662. That translates into 7 more XBH for Duvall in 7 less AB. Throw in the fact that Rizzo is pulling down +$7MM to Duvalls ML minimum. How ’bout dem Cads. Fowler & Carpenter. Comparisons anyone? Those 2 are pulling down a combined $30 MM this season for the Cards. Both well below the Mendoza line.

    • VaRedsFan

      Rizzo has plenty of games left against Reds pitching to flip those numbers

  6. Brandon

    Shockingly, Duvall continues what he has done for a year.

  7. J.D.

    Only one feed to watch from today, unfortunately Thom is on it.

  8. Jack

    Welsh with the comment of feeling sorry for the guy who writes the check for Darvish . He should have added “or Homer”

  9. Ernest

    Reds have some work to do at Starting Pitching

  10. Jack

    Somebody is going to get hurt in the stands with those missiles the Cubs are hitting.

  11. DHud

    Slowmo of Baez with the leg kick and full windup swing…he straight came uncorked on that

  12. J

    Duvall hitting immediately after the three best hitters…. what could possibly go wrong?

  13. Phil

    Unless Mahle is throwing all change ups, his velocity has been way down last 2 starts.

    • Indy Red Man

      He was sick last week….maybe he’s still recovering? They might skip him once and see what happens? He came out today throwing 89? Thats not good?

  14. J.D.

    They have beat our ass 2 out of 3 games this weekend. Why is Chris and Thom worried about Cub players having their hands on their knees? Thom’s idiocy is rubbing off on Welsh.

  15. Indy Red Man

    Chris Welsh says the Rays are scuffling….they’re 22-22 and they’ve won 6 in a row. Whats that make the Reds? The Reds should try a reliever to start the game for Homer or Romano. How many times are we down 3-0 after 1 inning with those guys?

  16. Jazzmanbbfan

    Thom and Chris are talking about Tampa Bay starting their closer on consecutive days and bringing in the scheduled starter for the second inning. Welch saying Tampa Bay has nothing to lose with the way they’ve drafted, failed to develop players, done nothing to attract fans to the ballpark, cut payroll, etc. Couldn’t he be saying the same thing about the Reds?

    • Steve Mancuso

      Thom called the Rays “an awful organization.” Since 2008, the Rays have won 74 more games than the Reds. In only one season since then, in 2012, did the Reds have a better record than the Rays. Rays have won 80+ games 8 times since 2008. Reds have won 80+ games 3 times since then. And the Rays are the “awful organization.”

      Thom’s ignorant analysis knows no bounds. Guy simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

      • Jeff Reed

        But all seems to be forgiven by many because he’s the son of the Hall of Famer.

  17. Broseph

    Yeah, they’re doing that because winning against the Reds is like an off day, kick back and relax on the infield.

    Apparently all players in the 70s were amped up in the game 100%, even in between pitches.

  18. Seat101

    We knew this season wasn’t going to be all fine.

    Or even all fun.

    We’re losing by two runs early on in the game. Let’s save the postmortem When the game is over, eh?

  19. Jack

    Why throw Baez a fastball at 1-2 count? He chases everything thrown with 2 strikes. Down and away for God Sakes!

  20. Preach

    I’ve often thought about starting the closer. Hopefully keeps you from falling behind early, makes sure the top of the opponents line up sees him, and just changes the rhythm.

    I’m just sitting here looking at the bench Madden has every day to work with on a daily basis. Impressive

  21. Preach

    After a 4 pitch walk to the pitcher, Billy swings on pitch 1.

  22. Seat101

    Please tell me why Riggleman did not give the red light to Hamilton?

    Was there anybody who didn’t know Hamilton with swing at the first pitch?

  23. J

    Four pitch walk to the pitcher, and so of course Hamilton is hacking at the next pitch. When you’re as great a hitter as he is, why wouldn’t you be? Yes, it was a strike, but maybe you see if he can throw a second one before you do anything? And of course he’s got his big “oh well, it didn’t work out” smile afterward. I don’t care what they’re saying about Riggleman, there’s still zero accountability on this team. Nobody is required to play fundamentally smart baseball.

    • VaRedsFan

      Billy bats .358 on the 1st pitch of at bats

  24. Preach

    I’ve always hated that “solo shot home runs are rally killers” philosophy. I get the reasoning, but it still sounds like something pitchers tell each other solely for encouragement.

  25. Sliotar

    “A solo home run to start the inning is a rally killer.” – Welsh.

    This Reds TV broadcast today is literally off the rails…and that is saying something.

    I think the reality of how potent the Cubs offense has shown itself, and it’s young and isn’t going anywhere, has kind of broken the TV guys.

    • Jack

      Thom just saying that Mahle giving up 4 runs and 6 hits is good day. That’s a 6 ERA. I guess he likes mediocrity.

      • Ernest

        I like Mahle, but, 9 baserunners and 3 HR’s in 6 innings is not an example of a good day

      • Preach

        I think he was referring in part to him pitching 6 innings, but yeah, he did

    • jazzmanbbfan

      Maybe after 4+ years of the Reds being awful, it has caused Welsh to forget everything he once knew about baseball. I actually think many announcers say stuff that makes little to no sense but we overlook it when the team is at least mildly interesting. This team magnifies everything negative, including the announcers, or at least that’s my thought.

  26. Preach

    Darvish has put 4 guys in base VIA walk/hit batter already. Patience is called for.

  27. Preach

    C’mon. That play by Baez was impressive, but it shouldn’t be compared to that play by dat dude. No way. The broadcast team is talking about other folks scuffling……they need to check the mirror.

    • Jack

      Bob has told Thom and Chris to talk up the Cubs today because 2/3 of the crowd is Cubs fans. He needs them to come back again so he can make some money.

  28. Jack

    And little league game has broken out.

  29. Ernest

    Mets are looking for an OF now, any chance the Reds could trade Duvall or Hamilton to them?

    • Jeff Reed

      Why not? The Reds and Mets seem to have a good working relationship. Duvall or Hamilton or both might not bring back much but it would open up an outfield position for Gennett and make second base easier to fill.

      • TyGuy85

        Seems like a move the Reds would make. Wait until Hamilton and/or Duvall has no value then try to trade them. My guess is we’ll hold onto Gennett until he has no value, when it is obvious is at his peak value right now.

  30. Preach

    I guess Votto was trying to hit the outfield cut off man

  31. Seat101

    I’ve heard that expression my whole life: “nothing kills a rally like a homer.”

    I meant there’s more than a grain of truth to it.

    • Ernest

      It does make some sense, but, not sure a lead off HR is rally killer

  32. docproctor

    The Cubs are patient at the plate and make us pay for walking their batters.
    The Reds aren’t and don’t.

  33. Preach

    Ok, I’m going to try to use this game to my personal advantage today: “yes, wife. I will sacrifice watching the rest of my game to take you furniture shopping.” The Reds may not be scoring runs, but I’ll take all the points I can get. Later, fellas.

  34. Ernest

    Winker has not been a great hitter as of late, but, why the double switch for Schebler instead of Duvall? Seems the Cubs have more righties in the bullpen then lefties

  35. J

    Not to belabor the point (or maybe precisely to belabor it), but I can’t help but think this game goes in a very different direction had Duvall not been hitting with the bases loaded and one out in the first inning. I simply don’t buy the idea that lineups don’t really matter when you’ve got your worst (or maybe second worst) hitter hitting immediately after your best three. It’s really hard to quantify the effect a hit would have in that situation (or even a sac fly). It doesn’t just mean a run or two, it’s the difference between feeling like “we can win today” and “uh-oh, here we go again.” I’m so tired of thinking things like “well, the good news is the bases are loaded, but the bad news is the #5 hitter is up.” That should never be the case. And it doesn’t need to be the case with this team. if Duvall has to play against a right handed pitcher (and I’m not sure why he has to), there are always going to be better options for #5.

  36. james garrett

    Mahle in his 14th major league start goes 6 and gives up 4 runs against a team that has power from top to bottom.We continue to run out two or three guys + the pitcher every game that have no power and play in a band box.We have 15 hits in 35 innings with 3 innings left to go so there is enough blame to go around.The front office chose to go this route and we must live with it.

    • TyGuy85

      Chaos on the basepaths in a HR friendly ballpark.

  37. Jack

    Cubs are smacking the crap out of us.

  38. J

    I’m late to address this, but earlier it was pointed out that “Billy bats .358 on the 1st pitch of at bats.” I’ll just assume that’s a true stat, but it’s a stat that a lot of people seem to misunderstand. It doesn’t mean he hits .358 when he swings at first pitches. It means he hits .358 when he puts the first pitch in play. It doesn’t factor in the many many many times he swings and misses or fouls it off. So, in reality, when he swings at the first pitch, the *overwhelming majority* of the time (like probably at least 85% I would guess) he either makes an out or the count goes to 0-1. When the pitcher ahead of him has just walked on four pitches, it is absolutely insane for Hamilton to be swinging at the first pitch, period, end of story. He’s not as bad as Price, but the fact that Riggleman would apparently allow BH to swing in that situation is reason enough to say he should not be managing this (or any) team.

    • Jack

      Chaos. That’s why he swings. Oh and don’t forget the fake bunt . He is top notch at that.

  39. Broseph

    Might be time to sit Duvall for an extended period. Just sad Everyone but the front office saw this coming last June.

    • J

      Or maybe have him hit second. That always seems to get guys going.

  40. james garrett

    I will take it a step further and say its insane that Billy even get to bat.Do you know how bad Wilson was yesterday to walk Billy to force in the winning run?He was so bad it was a ball as soon as it left his hand and everybody watching including those in the upper deck could see it.

  41. TyGuy85

    This series just shows how absolutely large the gap is between the Reds organization and the Cubs organization/top of the division. I hope we are active and productive during this upcoming trade deadline, getting rid of players that still have value and not part of future (ie Gennett, Iglesias, etc).

    • old-school

      The Reds are 4-17 against the NL Central. that gap is not changing in 2018 or 2019 unless the Reds make drastic changes at he trade deadline.

  42. james garrett

    Just an absolute woeful performance by this offense in this series.Two games with 3 hits and one game with two hits against 3 pitchers who are on the downside of their careers.

  43. Bill

    Do the Reds have the worst on air people in baseball?

    • Jeff Reed

      It’s hard to know for the other 29 ML teams, but it’s obvious change is past due for the Red’s on air baseball people.

      • Spaceman Red

        Completely agree but highly doubt that will happen. George Grande and Thom are both awful commentators in their own special ways and yet they are back year after year. It beggars belief that people can become paid professionals to comment on something about which they know incredibly little.

  44. Mason Red

    Men against boys in this series. Light years between the Cubs and the Reds.

  45. Tom Mitsoff

    Today was my first Reds game at GABP in several years. Last time we were there, Aroldis Chapman got the save for the Reds — not sure what year it was. We’ve lived in Wisconsin for the last nearly three years, and on our way to a week vacation in Gatlinburg, we stopped to see my beloved Reds. I have to say that I was very disappointed in the experience.

    We paid $38 per seat, and this was the first time I’ve ever been to a Cincinnati baseball game where the opposing team’s fans were louder than the Reds fans. I thought with Mahle pitching for the Reds, and Yu Darvish — who has been getting routinely lit up — pitching for the Cubs, it would be a decent chance to emerge from the weekend with a split.

    Of course, that didn’t happen. Joey Votto threw a force-out throw past second base into left field, and to top that off, Adam Duvall’s throw back into the infiield missed everyone and therefore forfeited a chance for an out of a runner who had gotten too far off third base. Votto also didn’t hustle down to first base on a force-out play at second which became a double play at least in part due to his lack of hustle.

    There was nothing to get excited about at all after the first inning, when with bases loaded and one out, Adam Duvall of course strikes out.

    After today’s experience, it’s no surprise to me that the home crowds are so small. This is from the perspective of a lifelong fan and former season ticket holder. My brother from the Dayton area who I went with commented that he really hasn’t been following the team much. He’s a guy who has typically been good for at least 10 games a year historically.

    I expected today’s return to GABP to bring back many fond feelings from the past. But it didn’t, and I’m guessing many Reds fans have had similar experiences in recent years.