Reds 3 – Cardinals 6 | Game 26 of 162

Box Score | Win Probability | Exit Velocity | Pitch Velocity

Run Prevention

Tyler Mahle was just so-so today, striking out only 2 and walking 3 in 5 innings. Mahle had gone 17 innings without a walk before giving up one in the 2nd inning. The second and third walks came in to score. Mahle finished the day with a 4.50 ERA for the season. His fielding independent stats are better: 3.86 FIP, 3.50 xFIP, 3.35 SIERA. In 28 IP he has 26 strikeouts.  

Zach Duke was called on for the 6th inning. In 11 pitches, he hit two batters and gave up a single for a run. Duke is tied for most appearances in the Reds bullpen at 14. In 8 innings, he’s got 4 strikeouts and 6 walks. Latest stats: 11.25 ERA, 8.36 FIP, 6.30 xFIP. He’s not getting the job done. How much longer will the Reds keep using him? 

Michael Lorenzen, whose fastball hit 98 mph a few times, pitched two innings to finish out the game.

Joey Votto made an error on a routine ground ball in the first inning, playing it off to the side and booting it. 

Run Production

After hitting eleventy million home runs yesterday, the Reds failed to slug a long ball today. They put two runs across in the third inning on a Scott Schebler walk, Mahle sacrifice bunt, Jose Peraza ground ball single and an Eugenio Suarez single. They led 2-0.

They added another run in the sixth with a Jesse Winker opposite field double, Yasiel Puig single to right and a 393-foot sac fly by Derek Dietrich. 

Scott Schebler’s miserable start at the plate continues. But he has drawn 12 walks. 

Senzel Breathless Anticipation Watch

The Louisville Bats play at 6:30 tonight. 

What’s Next

The Reds (11-15) play the stupid Cardinals (16-10) tomorrow afternoon in the finale of the three game series again at 2:15 p.m. ET at Busch Stadium. The starting pitchers are Sonny Gray and Jack Flaherty (23, RHP). The Reds and Cardinals have split the four games they’ve played this season. 

38 Responses

  1. Warren Leeman

    Three runs directly attributable to DB today. The score should be tied 3-3 right now, heading into the bottom of the 9th inning.

  2. matthew hendley

    Possible Article titles: why is Zach Duke still a red? What Homestand will we find Senzel in Cincinnati? Who will grossly misstate a players ability today? and others

    Batting wasn’t horribly off. Normal pitching and a normal infield would have suppressed the Run total for the cards

    • Doc

      Senzel hitting .235 with a double, two walks and five strikeouts, along with a fielding error. Not yet savior level performance.

  3. Old-school

    Disappointing loss but credit the dirty birds for getting Ozuna. He’s good.
    Win tomorrow and all is fine with another series win.

    • JayTheRed

      Sonny should help in our quest for a win tomorrow. Lets get some hitting going.

  4. Warren Leeman

    Suarez continues to flash the leather at 3B. Schebler looks more comfortable and in command in CF with each passing game. That’s a good argument for making sure Senzel is comfortable in CF before calling him up. Every game he plays for the Bats gets him one game closer to taking over CF for the Reds and making a smooth transition. My biggest concern is the injury risk if he is not completely comfortable in CF before being called up and every play becomes intensified.

  5. Warren Leeman

    Just finished listening to Mahle’s post game interview. Mahle’s a player with an honest self-assessment. “I just pitched poorly all day. I was honestly lucky to only give up five there.”…” The double [to Ozuna] was suppose to be a fastball away and I left it up, the other pitch [to Ozuna] was a fastball up and in and left it over the plate.”

    I like a man who owns his mistakes rather than dimissing or rationalizing his mistakes.

  6. Warren Leeman

    In contrast to Mahle’s interview, Bell took a different approach. “Yeah there were some really close pitches [by Mahle] that looked like borderline pitches.”…”Tyler just missed, just off the plate, just missed getting a few calls that would have made the difference.” Not a single word about his decision to leave Mahle in the game to face the top of the Dirty Birds lineup, the 3rd time thru the order, leading directly to two runs or his decision to bring in Duke in the top of the 6th inning, leading directly to one run. That’s a classic example of avoiding responsibility and rationalizing his mistakes.

    • JayTheRed

      The more I listen to Bell the more I am not really thrilled with him as manager. He makes generalized comments all the time. I like how Mahle owned up to his mistakes. I have been complaining about Bell not letting pitchers pitch today that backfired on me but honestly, I am ok with that. The problem I don’t understand is Zach Duke. Seriously why is he still on the team. its almost been a month and he has near the MOST outings by our pitchers yet continues to allow walks and runs and just very blah pitching. I Can’t take much more of this with him. There has to be someone in AAA that is pitching better than this. There really hasn’t been any place to look for hope with him too. Stop helping the other team win by throwing him out there so often if your going to make us suffer and keep him.

  7. Pete

    Unfortunately for Zach Duke it looks like it’s time from him to get on with his life’s work. The run he was responsible for was not the deciding factor but it had to hurt the team’s momentum after drawing one run nearer in the top of the inning. For a #5 starter, Mahle’s pretty decent at least until something better comes available.

    Cut bait on Duke.

  8. Wayne nabors

    the fact that bell keeps using duke is most concerning, i mean any manager has got to see it is just demoralizing to the rest of team,he has only proven why i wanted john Farrell, reds needed a proven manager,these 1st timers has not worked out for the reds over the last few years

    • Hanawi

      I’m hoping he’s just doing it to pressure the front office to cut bait on him.

      • matthew hendley

        There may be some validity to that statement. We are only 5 games out of first. Its still april, Dukes damage can be limited now if the Reds cut bait on him soon. Either a return to a Normal alignment or bringing up another pitcher.
        Alas Alex Wood has had a setback. Mahle may get a little more rope, but he needs to perform well to improve his confidence.

  9. RedsFan11

    We are one month in. Most players are finally settling in. Here are the main 3 things that need to happen to help this team

    1) Send Schebler down / call up Senzel: this should happen by next homestand.
    2) Casili gets more starts if not become main catcher
    3) Release Duke

    • Wayne nabors

      was wanting no.2 to happen last year,ain’t no rhyme or reason for barnhart to start over casali

  10. Wayne nabors

    it was bells decision to keep a short bench with extra relief man,if he’s not satisfied quit pitching him,fo would eventually get message,sabotaging victories is definitely not the way to go

    • Big Ed

      That was an organizational decision, Dick Williams bears the responsibility for it. I don’t doubt that Bell favored it, but it was not his ultimate decision.

  11. Big Ed

    Ted Barrett is Chris Welch’s friend and all, but he had an awful strike zone today. When you can’t get the inside corner right, you are just bad.

    They are going to have to rewrite the algorithms on WAR to take into account Zack Duke.

  12. Old-school

    Look at the data. WPA.
    Marcel Ozuna heavily contributed to winning it. Tyler Mahle didn’t get it done. Zach Duke may not be a major league pitcher. But, it’s mentally lazy to suggest he or David Bell lost this game.

    Move on. Reds can win tomorrow and take this series.

    • JayTheRed

      You’re essentially telling us not to have a thought about any contributing factors that helped cause the Reds to lose this game. Sorry that will never happen.

      Are the things you mentioned the only contributing factors definitely not, but they also didn’t help.

      Yes tomorrow is another day and hopefully its Sonny for the Reds.

      • Old-school

        Marcel Ozuna hit a 3 run home run and a 2 run double off the top of the right field wall against fast ball only Tyler Mahle. Sure. . Dig deeper past that to find why the Reds lost.

  13. Indy Red Man

    I like Mahle long term, but he needs to setup the fastball better? Disco started mixing it up much better and his last 2 starts have been fantastic! If Wood isn’t available then give Lorenzen or Stephenson a shot if Mahle continues to slump.

    Cody Reed with 6.1 combined scoreless innings. Reed in & Duke out….its not rocket science? Dusty and Price loved “gritty” veterans, but they’re gone.

    • FreeHouse

      How long will they stay with Duke? Cody threw 3 innings with 5 ks today. Schebler this week has gone 0-13 with 10k’s. He clearly doesn’t belong in the Bigs and needs to get sent down to make adjustments.

  14. Rich H

    I think the criticism of David Bell and particularly Zach Duke so far is fair, but I think a couple of things should be taken in context.

    First, the Reds needed more than anything to not start off disastrously this year. They started 1-8. Of their first twenty games, at least 13 were decided by two runs or less. These are games that a manager should be throwing everything he has to try and steal a game, and David Bell did. As is documented, he has been very aggressive using pitchers and exploring matchups. Given the urgency for a decent start, and the game scenarios, this seems very reasonable to me. Watching this one, it seemed like Bell was much more willing to lay back and preserve the best arms for tomorrow, with Sonny Gray starting against Flaherty. Given the usage of the relievers, this seems pretty reasonable, and gives the Reds on paper a better chance to win the series. I’d rather chance throwing all my resources behind Gray than bad-day Mahle.

    As for Duke, he is clearly not doing his job. But, it’s April, and the team should try to build his confidence before they throw away 2 mil. It’s not working, and they should rapidly cut bait if he doesn’t pick it up, but they hired Derek Johnson for a reason, and I’m sure they take his input when they signed him. Fair to check him out, but he should be approaching the end of his leash.

    • Pete

      This makes sense.

      Cards are a tough match and saving the best for today makes sense. Go all in with Sonny. I haven’t been asking for Duke’s head but it is probably time. Guy had a solid career, nothing to be ashamed of but Reds need to move on.

    • Shchi Cossack

      @Rich H & @Pete, I believe you are both on point with your solid observations, but that does not ‘relieve’ Bell of the responsibility for his decisions in yesterday’s game. Mahle was not pitching well and everyone knew it, including DB and DJ. The Dirty Birds had turned their lineup over twice by the 4th inning, since Mahle was facing the bottom third of the lineup in the bottom of the 4th inning. Mahle was also due up 1st in the top of the 5th inning since Schebler made the final out in the 4th inning. DB has repeatedly professed the challenge of pitchers facing a lineup the 3rd time thru the order, yet he ignored an obviously struggling Mahle and sent him out in the 5th to face the top of the order for the 3rd time in a 3-2 game. That’s a winnable game if Mahle is not left in the game.

      Lorenzen should have been warmed up in the bottom of the 4th and pinch hit for Mahle in the top of the 5th. Lorenzen was obviously already targeted for at least 2 innings in the game so bringing him in in to pitch the 5th and 6th inning while the game was close seemed like a very reasonable (and better) option than sending Mahle out to pitch the 5th.

      Lorenzen breezed thru the strength of the Dirty Birds lineup in 22 pitches. There’s no reason to believe he would have pitched less effectively in the 4th and 5th rather than the 7th and 8th. The Reds finally got to Hudson in the 6th. the game would have been tied going into the top of the 7th, with Lorenzen looking solid on the mound and capable of pitching a 3rd inning before a needing a pitching change.

      Of course, no one could be sure that Lorenzen would be on his game yesterday, but Lorenzen was certainly a better option in a high leverage decision than sending a struggling Mahle out for a 5th inning. Making a decision to give up on yesterday’s winnable game in order to save the bullpen for a future game stinks of a losing philosophy for a team afraid to compete for a title against a division rival.

      • Rich H

        I agree with you about the fifth inning and preferred strategy Cossack. I’m just saying that the bullpen has been being used at an unsustainable pace, and justifiably so, but I don’t know how long you can keep using 6 guys every night.

        Yesterday’s game does seem different than what Bell has said and done, but I think there are points where he has to be a bit more selective about using pitchers. With a winnable game today, and 4 against a beatable Mets team coming up (all in the middle of 19 straight games without a day off), I can understand why he didn’t want to start using (or have to use at some point) our best arms over five innings. I think it’s also possible that the struggles so far of the guys at AAA that were the presumptive “next guys up” in most of our minds (chiefly Reed and Romano) could play a part in having to adapt the bullpen philosophy.

        Additionally, with Wood having a setback yesterday, Mahle is gonna be leaned upon for a while longer, possibly MUCH longer, and I don’t know how helpful he’ll be without developing and fighting through a bad day to give the team more than four innings. Especially when your primary long man pitched 1 1/3 the day before, and probably couldn’t give you more than 2.

        I don’t think you’re wrong about going to the pen in the fifth Cossack, I’m just saying that I think Bell managed differently yesterday than he has all year, and that there are some reasons I could understand for him doing so. I’m not trying to be an apologist, and it’s a small sample, but so far I think he’s done a pretty reasonable job, and hasn’t given me reason to lose faith that this could be a frisky team this year. Or that he will be a good manager.

    • Slicc50

      Excellent comment….could not agree more!

  15. jreis

    at this point I may give Peraza some time in cf. he played there a couple times the last two years and played decently. at least he gives you a chance at the plate. Schebler is just in one of those weird one month funks he seems to get every year. hopefully may will be better for him.

  16. Greenie

    What’s the most recent update on Wood?

    • Pete

      “I think he had his most encouraging day when he was in San Diego [last Saturday],” manager David Bell said. “But when he threw in the next session in Arizona, the next day it didn’t respond that well.

      “It’s a little bit of a step back. He may go next week for an exam, like a second opinion, on his back.”

      Doesn’t sound good.

      • Indy Red Man

        Lorenzen with 10.2 straight scoreless with 8 ks/2 walks. He gives up hits but they’re often like the other night where 1 was a groundball hit right to 2b, but we shifted it into a hit. The other was a Peraza style looper over the infield. He keeps the ball in the yard and he can hit. If they’re going to stick with 13 pitchers then some 4-5 inning starts while stretching a guy out isn’t a problem.

        Big game today! Typical Reds pattern…hit a ton of HRs in a laugher and then end up losing the series? They can’t keep losing divisional games!

  17. Eric the Red

    Mahle said the homerun ball was supposed to be up and in; Tucker was set up down and in. Mahle delivered it up and over the plate, maybe because his brain and Tucker’s setup were in conflict.

    But in any event, who would call for a fastball to Ozuna on the inside of the plate in that situation? That was complete madness. Two outs, two on, a two run lead and Ozuna at the plate and paid professionals think “inside fastball is the way to go here”?

    • Old-school

      Mahle has a 2nd time through the order problem and his last 4 starts repeat a troubling pattern. In each of his 4 starts, the Reds were trailing very early as he labored through the early innings. In each of those starts he could have been pulled and asked the bullpen to throw 5-6 innings.

      Let’s not forget the Dodger game when he hit for himself down 4-1 with the bases loaded in the top 4.

      Mahle stats 2 nd time through the order show hitters with a 1.036 OPS against with 10/14 earned runs and 3/4 Home runs on the year. With Mahle, it’s not the 3rd time through lineup. It’s the second. He’s not getting it done.

  18. Still a Red

    Mahle almost made it out of the 5th. I don’t fault DB for letting start the 5th…but maybe you bring in someone to pitch to Ozuna the second time.