The start of the second half was delayed for three hours, but the Reds are probably wishing now they had delayed it 24 hours. Tyler Mahle has not been the same pitcher in July that he was in June, as he allowed six earned runs on late Friday night. The Reds offense was without Joey Votto and Scott Schebler, and they were only able to push across one run in a 12-1 loss to the Pirates.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (43-54) 1 9 2
Pittsburgh Pirates (49-49) 12 16 0
W: Taillon (7-7) L: Mahle (7-8)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Tyler Mahle allowing a 3-run home run to Sean Rodriguez with 0 outs in the 6th inning, giving the Pirates a 5-0 lead. That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 11.0% (from 16.0% to 4.9%).

Positives

Jesse Winker had a 3-hit day. He now has an 11-game hit streak, and is hitting .300/.408/.437 on the year. Winker came into today hitting .357/.468/.565 since June 1st.

Eugenio Suarez had a 2-hit night.

Negatives

Tyler Mahle really struggled in his first start of the second half. Mahle was charged with 6 earned runs in 5.2 innings. He walked 3 batters, and 2 of those came around to score. The big blow for Mahle was when he left an 82 MPH pitch right over the plate that Sean Rodriguez smashed into the bleachers for a 3-run home run. Mahle was really good in June, but he has now allowed back-to-back starts with 5+ ER.

Jackson Stephens got rocked again. He allowed a grand slam to Starling Marte that put this game away for good. He now has a 5.11 ERA/5.90 FIP. He has a 2.19 HR/9. It’s time for a fresh arm from Louisville.

Michael Lorenzen walked 2 batters in his inning of work.

Alex Blandino had to be helped off the field after being rolled into trying to turn a double play. It certainly did not look good for Blandino. It looked like the kind of injury that he could be out for quite some time. The Reds were out of players and had to put Curt Casali into 2B. He of course had the first ball hit to him and booted it.

Not so random thoughts……..

Joey Votto got the first game of the second half off. Riggleman said it was just to give Votto an extra day of rest after all of the traveling for the all-star game. Votto did have to enter the game with 2 outs in the 9th after the Blandino injury.

The Reds major surplus of middle infielders is not looking so deep right now with Senzel out for the year, and Blandino’s injury tonight. This is why you can never have too many good position players. It is always good to have 3 good middle infielders for 2 spots, and 4 good outfielders for 3 spots. During the course a 162 game season, you will need them all. That is why I am not in a rush to send Gennett or Duvall packing unless the return is just right.

Up Next:

Pirates at Reds
Saturday, 7:10 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Anthony DeSclafani (5.32 ERA) vs Nick Kingham (4.26 ERA)

62 Responses

  1. kmartin

    Good job Nick, thanks for staying up so late to write the recap.

  2. Scott Gennett

    Weather forecast shows rain until next Wednesday, all the way series against Pirates & Cardinals.

  3. cfd3000

    The Reds have actually been fairly lucky so far with limited injuries. Awful to see Blandino with what looks like serious knee injuries on a meaningless play. I’m rooting for that young man. Let’s hope Schebler is fine in a week and everyone else stays healthy.

  4. Jack

    You should never trade any player unless the package is right. Just because you have a surplus doesnt mean you give players away. The Reds might end up trading only Harvey because nobody is offering anything. You have to remember Mahle is a rookie. He is going to be up and down all year. Why they started this game is ridiculous.

    • Mike V

      completely agree … not fair to anybody only good for the bottom line .. and there was an injury to top it all off

  5. Seat101

    In the past, the rationale for rarely postponing the game was that the people who lived farther away from Cincinnati were virtually guaranteed a game anytime they bought a ticket.

    I imagine that ratings are (now) a more important considerstion for playing every game on the date scheduled (and perhaps this was always the more important reason).

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I would imagine that another important consideration is the cost involved with opening and staffing the stadium for a make-up game for which very few tickets will be sold, since it is not a scheduled game. If as the Reds business operation, you have a budget for expenses associated with 81 home dates, you suddenly have 82 home dates if you postpone last night’s game, because the stadium already was open and the staff was already there.

      • vegastypo

        And I’m sure the 700 people who were still there when the game began were grateful to see the great game that unfolded. No way they should have played that game. Any argument that involves poor little ownership having to spend extra money goes nowhere with me.

        Besides, if they weren’t playing in such a wet infield, I doubt the Blandino injury happens either. I thought the runner stuck when he tried to slide and ended up rolling into Blandino.

        Even if they wouldn’t have sold that many tickets for a separate date, I suspect they would have sold more than the number of people who were still around for last night’s game. And, I would add, those who were there last night did spend money on concessions and while waiting for fireworks, etc.

  6. Hotto4Votto

    Minor quibble, but I don’t know if the Reds had good MIF to begin with, but rather had good 2B depth. Out of all the depth (Blandino, Herrera, Long, Dixon) possible at 2B only Blandino could back up SS. We’ve been short in that regard all season with no one in the upper minors a viable option (offensively) to back up the position.

  7. Old-school

    Blandino injury doesn’t look good at all.
    Will the Reds trade Matt Harvey now for an AAAA shortstop 25 man roster filler?

    • Hotto4Votto

      The Reds need to find a back up SS at some point. Peraza can’t play every single game until the end of the year and Suarez isn’t much more of an emergency option at this point. Probably won’t target someone specific with Harvey as they should be seeking to extract as much value as possible, but should definitely make a move to bring in a capable back up to SS. They just don’t have any SS prospects worth anything until you get to Single A Dayton.

      • Old-school

        I see the Reds profiling a veteran glove- first defensive guy who wont threaten Peraza but can play SS on a business day special and gives versatility in the late innings or extra innings. A Juan Castro/ Janish/ Benavides type.

        Alcides Escobar is in offensive freefall. He fits the profile.

      • Hotto4Votto

        That’s probably what will happen. Get someone in that won’t cost much in return but will be an option to start at SS once a week or so. They just need someone who is posting better than a .604 OPS in AAA (Trahan’s current production).

  8. Steve Mancuso

    Can’t lump “middle infield” together to consider organizational depth. Even with Blandino’s injury, the Reds *still* have depth at 2B. They can’t get Dilson Herrera in a game. But they don’t have a backup SS on the 40-man roster. How about trading Scooter Gennett for an IF who can also play 2B? (My idea last year was Gennett for Ketel Marte.) It’s really crippling to have not one but two 2B who are basically limited to one position.

    I guess Suarez is the emergency backup at SS. Herrera can play 3B in a pinch.

  9. Shchi Cossack

    NL OBP leaders:

    #01 .422 Votto
    #02 .408 Winker
    #04 .401 Suarez
    #17 .373 Gennett

    #19 .363 Yelich
    #23 .364 Harper
    #29 .357 Blackmon
    #36 .350 Rendon
    #39 .347 Rizzo

    #49 .338 Peraza

  10. Shchi Cossack

    NL wOBA leaders:

    #03 .409 Suarez
    #09 .380 Votto
    #10 .379 Gennett
    #14 .370 Winker

    #15 .369 Belt
    #16 .368 Kemp
    #17 .368 Rendon
    #18 .367 Baez

  11. Shchi Cossack

    NL wRC+ leaders:

    #02 160 Suarez
    #09 138 Votto
    #10 137 Gennett
    #15 130 Winker

    #21 126 Schwaber
    #24 125 Yelich
    #30 121 Marte
    #34 117 Harper

  12. Shchi Cossack

    Last night (or this morning), with Winker hitting 5th in the lneup…

    In the 2nd inning with no outs:
    Suarez singles
    Winker singles
    Duvall grounds out weakly to 3B
    Ervin grounds out weakly to P
    Mahle grounds out weakly to P

    In the 4th inning with no outs:
    Winker singles
    Duvall strikes out
    Ervin strikes out
    Mahle strikes out

    In the 6th inning with one out:
    Winker doubles, scoring Gennett
    Duvall strikes out
    Ervin grounds out

  13. BigRedMike

    Remember when Riggelman decided that Winker was not among the 3 best OF’s on the Reds. That was a great decision.

    WInker is 4th in MLB in OBP.

    As Jason and Chad pointed out on the podcast, Senzel is not a prospect, he is better than Winker and look at what Winker is doing in his first season.

    • greenmtred

      Winker is probably the best hitter among the outfielders, but, as an outfielder, he is not one of the three best. They need him to play except when he needs a rest, but they need a centerfielder who can cover his butt on gappers.

  14. WVRedlegs

    That is just incredibly bad news for Blandino. Don’t expect him back this season. Reds will have to trade for a backup. The Marlins have a guy by the name of J.T. Riddle that is your basic versatile backup, but is more of a SS. It wouldn’t cost much. Tis the season to trade.

  15. Shchi Cossack

    Winker now has 6 months of playing time, but just 133 games and 459 PA.

    .299/.398/.465/.864
    .166 ISO & .332 BAbip
    13.7 BB% & 14.8 SO%
    132 wRC+ & .374 wOBA
    12.3 soft%, 45.4 med% & 42.3 hard%
    1.5 fWAR

    With his speed and defensive warts, Winker is an average player but a hitting machine. Until the Reds have a better internal option (2020 maybe?), Winker starts next season in LF and continues to improve. If the Reds come up with 3 better OF (Trammell, Friedl, Siri, Fairchild, Aquino or even Suarez/Senzel/India), then Winker becomes a serious trade option for whatever the Reds need, but until then, Winker starts in LF.

    • Old-school

      Or a great DH in 2021 and backup first base/OF

      • Shchi Cossack

        We can only hope that the Reds have the DH available after the next CBA. I can imagine a Reds lineup with Winker possibly being the weakest link and producing a .900 OPS, or Votto becoming the weakest link as he ages and producing an .800+ OPS.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Since his May-early June slump, Winker has looked absolutely awesome at the plate. If he continues this way, he clearly has to be an everyday player in left field (not in right). The only rationales for continuing to give Adam Duvall starts in left field are his outstanding defense, and power and RBI potential. But it’s been clearly demonstrated in comments here recently (perhaps by you, Cossack) that the ability to get on base has been the fuel for the Reds offensive resurgence. Duvall does not fit in that group. He would be an excellent defensive replacement and pinch-hitter.

      • BigRedMike

        If the Reds manager ever contemplates whether Winker should play, he should be shown a list of the top 15 players in MLB in OBP and see where Winker currently resides. Wonder if the manager of those players would decide if those top 15 players should be in the lineup.

        Play him everyday and work on his defense, he is young enough to show improvement.

        Duvall has no real value other than as a 4th OF

      • bouwills

        You guys do realize that Winker is 15 hits in 81 AB vs LHP for his ML career? That’s a 185 BA. To be considered an everyday LF in this league , he’ll have to do a lot better than that. Especially with his lack of speed & mediocre defense. I’d like to see Jesse win the ROY award & maybe a few batting titles during his career, but he’s not in that territory yet.

      • BigRedMike

        No, he really doesn’t need to do anything different. Winker is in the Top 10 in MLB in OBP and is a great hitter. He should play everyday regardless of the pitcher.

        The stats Cossack showed above reflect how well he has been in his FIRST 459 plate appearances. There is a good chance he will only get better.

      • Old-school

        Adam Duvall is a .200 hitter against all – comers? He hits 3 home runs a month. Thats it offensively. He’ s a solid left fielder defensively- but LF defense doesn’t beat much.

        No one complains about the speed of Votto/Suarez/gennett/ Barnhart.Winker is faster.

        Duvall is a nice power bat off the bench and versatile extra OF and occassional first base.

        The Reds have had a handful of ROY winners…it’s been 2 decades. Play Winker in LF every day.

      • greenmtred

        Speed is more of a factor in the outfield but, again, a fast and good centerfielder can mitigate Winker’s short-comings. He’s hitting too well to sit.

      • Shchi Cossack

        The Old Cossack is VERY glad you brought up Winker’s alleged inability to hit LHP based on an exceptionally small sample.

        How about his record in 2018 against LHP?
        .244 BAbip
        .214 AVG
        .125 ISO
        .362 OBP
        .322 wOBA
        99 wRC+

        There are 56 players (not just LF) in MLB with 70 or more PA as a LHH v. LHP and Winker ranks 27th of 56 as a LHH against LHP in wRC+. There are 213 players in MLB with 70 or more PA against LHP and Winker ranks 113th of 213 against LHP.

        But by all means, focus on AVG as just one aspect of his performance that support your agenda that is driven by an unsustainably low .244 BAbip..

      • bouwills

        Not into stats that much SC & I don’t want to become a heretic at this site but, JW is carrying a .214 BA vs LHP this season as a less than speedy, less than exceptional defensive player. Add to that the Reds franchise player, their less than speedy , less than prolific defensively, $25MM 1st baseman Joey Votto is batting .217 vs LHP this season and it isn’t difficult to see why Riggleman (& previously Price) doesn’t want to insert Winker in the lineup vs LHSP. I don’t have an agenda. I really don’t. Like the manager, I’d like to see the Reds win.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Bouwills, I do owe you a personal apology and I knew better. You struck a nerve with the Old Cossack but I didn’t mean to target you personally. As you mentioned, my issue is with the person/people filling out the lineup card. They should know better, but they obviously don’t, and that just irks me to the point of overreacting to a perfectly appropriate discussion.

  16. roger garrett

    Bad news for Blandino but surely they have a plan just in case he or Peraza went down for an extended time.Too late for me last night but looks like as stated the wheels came off in the 6th which it does a lot for pitchers every where and then Stephens did what he does.As also stated we went in undermanned offensively without Scott and Joey especially power wise and well it adds up to getting hammered.Just points out the fact that power or the lack of plays big time in GABP.Yes its one game and Mahle wasn’t good but 9 hits and 1 run well won’t get it done.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Well that will provide the necessary 40-man roster spot for a backup SS by transferring Blandino to the 60-day DL when a SS is either signed of promoted.

  17. Shchi Cossack

    So how awesome are the top Reds hitters among the 80 qualified hitters in the NL?

    NL qualified Soft%:
    #02 Votto @ 8.6%
    #03 Suarez @ 8.9%
    #07 Winker @ 12.3%
    #10 Barnhart @ 12.8%
    #29 Gennett @ 16.0%

    NL qualified Hard%
    #02 Suarez @ 51.9%
    #10 Winker @ 45.2%
    #20 Gennett @ 41.5%
    #25 Votto @ 40.0%
    #31 Barnhart @ 39.2%

    NL qualified LD%
    #01 Votto @ 33.6%
    #09 Gennett @ 26.5%
    #10 Peraza @ 26.4%
    #12 Barnhart @ 26.3%
    #18 Hamilton @ 25.4%
    #19 Suarez @ 25.3%
    #23 Winker @ 24.6%

    NL qualified BB/K
    #02 Votto @ 1.16
    #03 Winker @ 1.09
    #26 Suarez @ 0.58
    #28 Barnhart @ 0.57
    #38 Peraza @ 0.50

    NL qualified WAR
    #08 Gennett @ 3.3
    #10 Suarez @ 3.2
    #21 Votto @ 2.5
    #37 Peraza @ 1.8

    NL qualified wRC+
    #02 Suarez @ 157
    #09 Votto @ 138
    #10 Gennett @ 137
    #15 Winker @ 130

  18. WVRedlegs

    If Blandino is out for an extended period, which looks like it might be the case, the Brewers released INF Eric Sogard a couple of weeks ago. Very versatile. He could be a nice backup. He is a better player than he showed this year at MIL. Reds could have 2 ex-Brewers to beat them with.

    • vegastypo

      But wait! Couldn’t we get that dynamic duo of Cliffhil Penningoss back? They were so good early in the season !!!

      • lwblogger2

        I like Sogard but thought someone nabbed him.

      • lwblogger2

        Actually, looks like he’s still out there. He’s been awful this year and isn’t getting any younger though. I’ve always liked him as a utility man.

  19. bouwills

    No problemo. I don’t take laptop comments personally. But about that “appropriate discussion” (about Reds outfielders). I don’t see Duvall & Winker as competitors for playing time. Their talents are complementary in nature. Neither is a complete player right now. As for the future, I don’t see any of the Reds OF players as being starters past next year, Unless Nick Senzel’s “vertigo” type issues can’t be overcome, Senzel is an everyday starting infielder for the Reds for the next 5-6 years beginning next May. So if Suarez or Scooter aren’t traded, one of them becomes a corner outfielder. If it’s Suarez, he moves to RF which doesn’t affect Winker because he can’t play RF. But it does displace Schebler & thus 2 left-handed hitters will be competing for playing time in LF next year. (Duvall will be marginalized unless he has a great 2nd half in 2018, in which case he will be trade-worthy & traded). If it’s Gennett, he goes to left field & Winker is out of a job. Hamilton will be 28 come Sept. 9th. That’s about prime age + for a speedster. He had 56 stolen bases in 2014, 57 in 2015, 58 in 2016, & 59 last year. He most likely won’t reach 60 this year, only having 22 to date. Billy gets a little older, quite a bit more expensive, & a lot less tradeable next year. The Reds doted over CF Stubbs for a couple years, then Hamilton for about 5, the latest & greatest will be Siri (although he too may never pan out as a cfer & leadoff hitter). Nonetheless, they will give him the job & hope. When it’s time (about 1 year from now), Trammel gets the RF job (or LF if Suarez is in RF) & keeps it longer (& maybe more productively than Jay Bruce). Aquino & Friedl, I don’t know. All in all, I think all of the Reds current outfielders are (long term) about trade value.

    • BigRedMike

      Why is Suarez being moved to the OF?

      The Reds will need to figure out what to do with Senzel, since it is appears that the Reds are going to keep Gennett. In addition, Hamilton will be with the Reds due to the owner’s love of the player.

      Good point as others have noted, maybe Winker would be a good trade option to an AL team. Would make sense if a SP was secured in the trade.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Our views of the short term arrangements are very close.

      I see the Reds keeping Gennett, at least thru his arbitration next season, and Gennett can not play OF so he will be the starting 2B. I believe Suarez’ defensive explosion at 3B last season was an outlier and his 2015, 2016 & 2018 seasons are more indicative of his IF defense, so Senzel takes over at 3B next season with Suarez shifting to RF. Where we differ is the short term outlook for CF. I believe Schebler can play an average defensive CF and provide very good offense as a CF.

      If the Reds do not trade Hamilton or Duvall before the 2019 season, they become the 4th and 5th OF, with Hamilton a pinch runner and late inning defensive replacement and Duvall a pinch hitter and late inning defensive replacement.

      That creates an offensive juggernaut and an average defense, while allowing the Reds to focus on tuning up the starting pitching for the 2019 season.

      I hope the Reds do not extend Scooter’s contract. By 2020/2021, we should see Friedl, Fairchild, Siri, Trammell, India, Long and maybe Aquino lined up for a MLB opportunity and Herrera possibly stepping into a starting 2B role. Hopefully the next wave of pitching prospects will be more successful than the current wave of pitching prospects.

      • bouwills

        Cossack, as for myself, I learned a little in then exchange.

      • bouwills

        Of course, my coup de gras is trading Iglesias package for Robles package with Nats. Both Suarez & Gennett to corner outfield slots. Senzel to 3rd. Hererra/ Long to platoon 2nd in 2019. Everyone else but Schebler as trade bait for pitching prospects.

  20. roger garrett

    Blandino with torn ACL.Dixon called up.

  21. Shchi Cossack

    Riggleman has his lineup ready…

    1. Jose Peraza (R) SS
    2. Scooter Gennett (L) 2B
    3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
    4. Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
    5. Jesse Winker (L) RF
    6. Adam Duvall (R) LF
    7. Curt Casali (R) C
    8. Anthony DeSclafani (R) P
    9. Billy Hamilton (S) CF

    I hope that Peraza picks up his performance today since Riggleman appears set in starting him at the top of the lineup. Hamilton’s and Duvall’s dual 0-4 w/ 3-SO yesterday did not give the Old Cossack warm, cozy feeling going forward. Neither player looked good at the plate, but it was just 1 game.

  22. Old-school

    Awful news on blandino.
    He was good backup at 3b/SS/2b.

    This means Reds sign veteran for 2019- Alcides Escobar type.

    Good luck Alex. Reds fans support you. Come back soon.

    • Shchi Cossack

      I’m trying real hard to convince myself that the shoulder roll slide into Blandino’s knee was completely accidental. I hope it was, but it didn’t look completely accidental.

      • Old-school

        The weather caused it…runner caught spikes in wet muddy surface and rolled over to avoid own injury. Just a bad situation.

      • lwblogger2

        That’s what it looked like to me.

      • WVRedlegs

        Knowing the history of PIT’s history of HBP with the Reds, I looked hard for a reason to blame the runner. I watched it 5 times and couldn’t find fault with the runner.
        As old school says, very weather related. A casualty of decision to play the game in such wet conditions. This one is on the umpires or Reds front office , whoever gave the go ahead to play.

      • lwblogger2

        It’s up to the crew chief and the respective organizations…. I agree with you and old-school on Blandino’s injury.

      • RedInIND

        I’m with you on this one, SHCHI. I watched the replay of the hit 10 times, trying to go frame-by-frame. Moroff slid short of the bag and he could/should have stopped, but he popped half-way up, then rolled into Blandino. Chris Welch at that time said it was not a vicious slide and it was legal because Moroff was on the ground before he reached the bag and when a runner goes down and pops up, that is not an illegal slide. Chris addressed the slide issue, but he made no mention of the fact that Moroff rolled over Blandino when he was still 3 feet short of the bag and was already out 3 feet before that. Same game plan as Utley vs Tejada. Riggleman’s take on the situation doesn’t change my mind, either.