My fajitas took a bit longer to prepare than expected. By the time I had finished my lunch and settled in for the Reds game exactly eight minutes after it had started, Tyler Mahle had thrown 15 pitches. One had left the yard. 1-0 Tigers. Welcome to Reds baseball, where it feels like the hope and promise of a fresh game can disappear in just eight minutes.
Luckily, Tyler Mahle settled in and the Reds sent souvenir after souvenir after souvenir into the stands, sweeping the Tigers in the process. And yes, my fajitas were delightful and worth missing those eight minutes, thanks for asking.
Cincinnati Reds 5 | Detroit Tigers 3
— Tucker Barnhart is some kind of hot. After reaching base in all five at-bats yesterday, Tucker began today’s game with a HBP and a single up the middle. In the seventh, Barnhart ripped another single, this time driving in Billy Hamilton to extend the Reds’ lead. I don’t know if the Reds expected Tucker to be such a boon in the lineup when they extended him, but the backstop has been a more than serviceable two-hole this year.
— Outside of two solo long balls, Tyler Mahle had another solid outing. As I said at the beginning of the season, this kid has the makings of an ace, but he needs some refining. Michael Fulmer seriously outedueled Mahle for five innings today, but Fulmer’s outing could be a lesson for Mahle. Work ahead and pump strikes. I was going to say avoid the long ball, but that proved Fulmer’s demise, so no lesson there. Still, 15 dingers across 80.0 innings pitched for Mahle is not a long-term recipe for success.
As long as Tyler Mahle is striking out a batter an inning I’ll have confidence in his future.
— Steve Mancuso (@spmancuso) June 20, 2018
6 more innings of 2 ER ball for Tyler Mahle.
That makes just 4 ER in 22.1 IP in the month of June for him – a tidy 1.61 ERA in that time – to bring his season ERA down to a respectable 3.89.
— Red Reporter (@redreporter) June 20, 2018
— Scooter scooter’d in the bottom of the sixth, saving the Reds from squandering a leadoff double by Scott Schebler and preventing Mahle from taking a loss. I still think the Reds should trade him, but boy is he making that position harder and harder to hold.
— BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE: Eugenio Suarez thwacked a homer right after Scooter’s, giving the Reds a lead and putting Mahle in line for a win. Vote Geno, Vote Scooter, Vote Votto. All these guys deserve to play in the nation’s capital come July.
— Amir Garrett, Michael Lorenzen, Jared Hughes, and Raisel Iglesias shut down the Tigers for the final three innings of this game, allowing one baserunner on a weird in-betweener to third who then scored on a Baltimore chop. Those two hits were baseball at its weirdest, but not really a reflection of Hughes effectiveness. Hey, maybe one or two of those guys might make for a good trade chip?
— After giving up a run in the top of the eighth, Adam Duvall took it right back in the bottom of the frame with an opposite field yam. Billy Hamilton added a groundrule double behind Duvall that didn’t amount to anything, but Billy did have a nice day at the plate (2-4, 2B, R).
— With bases loaded, no outs in the seventh, Scooter hit a hard liner to right that couldn’t get a run home and Suarez hit a short pop-up to left with the same result. Alex Blandino struck out on a full count, stranding all three runners and preventing any more insurance runs from crossing the plate. Even though Scooter and Geno were the heroes today, you just have to score with bases loaded, no outs.
— Other than that, not much really. I guess two singles through 5.0 innings isn’t great, but it all worked out in the end?
Not So Random Thoughts
— Jesse Winker made a head’s up play on the bases in the second, seeing his liner to center booted by the centerfielder and hustling safely to second. We give Jesse a lot of grief for his lack of wheels, but at least for today, he made up for his lead feet with a decent bit of savvy.
— I like this kid, a lot:
Vote Geno, Scoot and Joey for the ASG!!!!! #Reds
— Nick Senzel (@LilSenzii) June 19, 2018
— Sort of related to Senzel’s tweet, but The Atlantic ran a really cool feature on the value of team chemistry in baseball. It’s definitely worth the read.
— Other fun, encouraging and/or hilarious tweets:
The OBPs of the first six hitters in this Reds lineup:
Man, that’s freakin’ beautiful.
— Red Reporter (@redreporter) June 20, 2018
Nick Senzel was 0-2 before the rain delay. Since the game resumed he's 1-1 with a single and a walk. I'm not sure what I'm trying to say about Nick and rain. But, it's something.
He's also reached base at least twice in 13 of his last 18 games.
— Doug Gray (@dougdirt24) June 20, 2018
“My wife’s boyfriend sold his prosthetic leg on Craigslist to afford me the opportunity to be here” pic.twitter.com/e4UjGQoKgO
— Chris Hassel (@Hassel_Chris) June 20, 2018