The Short Version: The offense was nearly nonexistent once again, and the Reds wasted another strong outing by the pitching staff to drop a series in St. Louis.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (11-16) 2 8 0
St. Louis Cardinals (17-10) 5 7 2
W: Flaherty (3-1) L: Gray (0-4) S: Gant (2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Sonny Gray was sharp early, then scuffled a little in his last two innings. Still, his overall line wasn’t bad at all: 5 innings, 2 runs allowed on 3 hits; he struck out 5 and walked 2. Here’s the good part…Gray’s season numbers after today: 3.64 ERA, 2.05 FIP, 36 strikeouts, 8 walks. His K/9 is nearly 11. Very strong.

Of course, he hasn’t won a game yet, so there’s that.

–Robert Stephenson pitched another scoreless inning of relief, so he’s down to a 1.93 ERA through 14 innings so far this season. Wandy Peralta struck out two of the three hitters he faced in a perfect inning, and his ERA is down to 1.00.

–In the top of the eighth, Dexter Fowler hit a stand up double with two outs that scored the Cardinals final run of the game. When the throw came back in to Jose Iglesias near second base, Fowler was coming into the base. When he carelessly stepped over the bag, Iglesias dove all-out and tagged him. Heads up play and great effort.

The Bad
–This offense, man. The Reds had a runner in scorer’s position in the first inning (thanks to an error and a walk), and then didn’t have anyone else advance as far as second base until Jesse Winker’s double to lead off the ninth inning. Just awful.

–Nothing whatsoever is going right for Scott Schebler. I really feel sorry for the guy. He went 0-3, dropping his slash line to .127/.253/.225. Then, in the bottom of the eighth, the sun caused Schebler to lose an easy fly ball in center field. It fell harmlessly to the ground, but it was inches from hitting Schebler on the head.

And of course, that “double” (as it was scored) that should have been an error opened the door to a three-run inning for St. Louis that put the game out of reach.

And yes, Schebler doubled in two runs in the top of the ninth (this is a good thing!) but those two runs weren’t nearly enough.

The Recap
–Reds unable to secure a third consecutive series victory, as the offense disappeared once again.

–Not much else to recap. The Reds were down 5-0 before they finally scored in the top of the ninth. Winker doubled to lead off the inning and, two outs later, Iglesias singled him to third. Both scored on Schebler’s double, but that was all the Reds could manage on this beautiful Sunday afternoon.

–It’s only 14 innings, but if you had told me Robert Stephenson would strike out 18 MLB hitters and and walk just 4, I’m not sure I’d have believed you.

–Reds head off to the Big Apple next, as a four-game series with the Metropolitans will begin tomorrow. Tanner Roark will get the start at 7:10 pm on Monday.

Today’s Tweets

28 Responses

  1. matthew hendley

    11-16is still better then 3-18. Reds MUST win the first 2 to have a chance of winning the series. Sonny Gray is a tough cookie, one of these days it will fall in for him. I think that Scheblers double was in fact a double and did not see an error. Not going to win EVER series, lets hope this is a standard aberration and not a forboding of things to come. There are players that are playing nearly every day that deserve extensions JI, YP. Peraza has worn out his homerun gratefulness. Its game on starting tomorrow with him.

    • Wayne nabors

      he wasn’t referring to schebler’s double in the 9th,but the ball that almost hit him in the head

      • matthew hendley

        Ahhh for identification purposes I named it the attempted Back Catch

  2. Old-school

    Disappointing to lose the series, but St Louis is in first for a reason and are better right now.. Reds have bounced back to end April as good as possible after 1-8. Questions for May:

    Is Robert Stephenson for real?
    Are Castillo and Gray a legitimate 1/2? So far so good.
    Does warm weather and GAPB revive this offense?
    Can Puig hit a hot streak and be that hammer in the middle of the order?
    Are Scott Schebler and Jose Peraza this bad on June 1?
    Is Scooter back Memorial Day or July 4?
    Is Alex Wood damaged goods?

    Go reds.

  3. Sliotar

    1 walk from the offense today.
    Not good enough, the way the game is played now.

    More days than not, there is a sloppy play…today it really hurt.

    Another K out of Decline Phase in the leadoff spot.

    Just a very uninspiring club right now.

    7 of the next 14 against the Giants….who are flat out awful. Need some wins there, because, yeah, in theory the offense will warm up with the weather…but so, too, does the competition. Lot of cupcake games will have been played by June 1.

    • matthew hendley

      ‘Decline phase’ Had a hit, smoked another hit (referred to as error) his BA is improving, he has taken more walks this last week, and he has been the victim of some significantly poor umpiring. He cannot bat anyone in from the bottom of the order, when no one there gets on base. He is notorious for having poor Aprils. Yet, everyone looks shocked when he meet with his career norms for the month. See how he is at the end of May before you write him off.

      • greenmtred

        I’m not the first to mention this, but Joey doesn’t seem to be spoiling as many pitches as we’re used to. That has always seemed like an important part of his game, extending the pitcher and getting a hittable pitch.

  4. Doc

    When will management listen to Mahle, who keeps saying he wasn’t good enough (he wasn’t)? Why not let him get straight in AAA? Stephenson to starting lineup, Mahle to Louisville, Reed to Bullpen, Duke to a front porch rocking chair.

    • Reddawg12

      Agreed on Duke being shown the door and Reed taking his spot. Disagree on Mahle and Stephenson. Bob Steve is finally, after all these years, having success at the MLB level and not walking people in the bullpen. I don’t think there should be any rush to move him out of that role (for now). Plus, he’s really only using 2 pitches right now, which wouldn’t cut it as a starter. I also don’t think the bullpen can afford to lose him at the moment.

      Mahle is the 5th starter. He isn’t going to be dominant, but he has kept the team in games. I think a little more patience is warranted. Now, if Alex Wood ever gets healthy, then I would definitely feel that Mahle should be the first to go.

      • Doc

        And how many pitches is Mahle using? Effectively? If two pitches won’t cut it for Stephenson, and I don’t argue that they will, how will Mahle cut it with one effective pitch?

        Mahle was not good the end of last year, and he was not dominant at Louisville when shipped down. Stephenson was dominant all year at Louisville.

  5. WVRedlegs

    It was a disappointing series to open up with monster win only to fall flat in the final 2 games. I only got to see small portions of today’s and yesterday’s games.
    When they bring Senzel up they should also bring up O’Grady or Vanmeter. Will need a 40 man spot for any of those 3 though.

    • matthew hendley

      You have Duke, which will cover Senzels spot. A trade or 60 Day IL stint will be needed to bring up any other person not on the roster.

  6. TR

    After a disappointing first month, the Reds are only three games out of 2nd. and 3rd. place. In spite of improved starting pitching, this is, so far, a tough team to watch.

  7. Steven Ross

    Honestly, I want Schebler to hit because we know he can but we also know when he’s in a free-fall, like now, there are definitely better options. I continue to shake my head at Bell’s decisions regarding who plays and the order of the lineup.

    • ohiojimw

      Through the end of 2018, Schebler was an average MLB hitter, 102 career OPS+ He compiled those numbers in 1280+ PAs spread across 4 seasons. 1240 of his plate appearances came in the last three seasons as a Red. His seasonal high OPS+ in these seasons was 106, low was 101. His Raw OPS has also been in very tight range .762 low (2016) .791high (2017) over those three years.

      So, I guess the good news is he should get on a run at some point and progress to closer to his norm. The not as good news is that his norm is just average.

  8. CFD3000

    The Reds have allowed the fewest runs in the National League (and 2nd fewest in the majors). By a lot – more than 10% less than the next best team. After a 1-8 start they’ve been a winning team. And all that without any offense to speak of. This team will hit. Winker is hitting now, Puig and Votto have looked better of late. When they do this will be a good team, perhaps a very good one. Yes, this series got away after a great start on Friday. But I love what I’m seeing from the pitching staff and I remain optimistic overall. Go Reds – at least 3 of 4 in New York!

    • ohiojimw

      And recall when we all said if only they had league average pitching, they’d be on their way??!!?

      Got to have it all working together or at least not have one area really bottom out for an extended period.

  9. scotly50

    This team has a replacement for Mahle, he is just injured. Wood will eventually be back.

    The offense is struggling because our best returning hitter pulled a groin, and the collective outfield is not even hitting .200. And do not forget Senzel, he may or may not be an immediate help for the offense. Play Ervin, for God’s sake.

  10. jreis

    man, this is another game where if we have Billy roaming centerfield we win the game. I think this offense misses Billy too believe it or not. he is still scoring about 50% of the time he gets on base in KC and the reds are definitely missing a player that can put some pressure on the opposing defense and pitcher.
    just wished they would have signed him for one more year until Trammel or Siri was ready to take over the reigns in center

  11. vegastypo

    When Sheldon of MLB.com was in the radio booth for the reporter inning, he and Marty were opining that when the Reds get home to play the Giants, Senzel will be promoted. Maybe they’re totally guessing, or have bigger reasons to expet that timetable, but it might explain why Schebler is getting every opportunity to turn it around, before centerfield is claimed once and for all.

    • ohiojimw

      And perhaps why Phil Ervin is getting such a short look. Imagine if the plan is in place for Senzel’s arrival but then Ervin went on an offensive run like he did when he was called up in late July 2018 and played everyday.

      I was thinking perhaps Ervin was nicked and they didn’t want to acknowledge it but then he played RF in the last inning Friday.

      I’m also a bit surprised they haven’t used Peraza at all in CF given that Dietrich and Jose Iglesias are available to cover the middle IF.

      It is like Schebler is out there on an island with no lifeline.

      It is going to be one very interesting roster move decision when Senzel is called up unless somebody else gets hurt in the interim.

      • matthew hendley

        I still think that senzels move will be the Inevitable DFA of Zack Duke, returning the Bullpen to Normal. Its the Wood and Scooter decisions that will be interesting.

      • VaRedsFan

        The way Bell uses his bullpen, he needs the extra arm. Senzel will come up for Ervin. If they DFA Duke, then Reed would take his spot

  12. Chris Holbert

    I would hope that when the Senzel era begins that would lead to the end for Kemp as a Red, and create Winker, Senzel, and Puig, with Ervin and Schebler as 4 and 5. Duke needs to go and give Reed that spot. The decision will be easy when Wood is available, Mahle goes to AAA and develops an off speed pitch and Wood takes that spot. The bigger question will be when Scooter is ready. That probably leaves Farmer as the odd man out, but who know for sure.

  13. matthew hendley

    Peraza leading off again! DD on the bench again? Are we trying to lose