Flushing Meadows in Queens, New York has been home to the New York Mets since 1964. Since then, the Mets produced six Cy Young Award winners: Tom Seaver (1969, 1973, 1975), Dwight Gooden (1985), R.A. Dickey (2012) and Jacob deGrom (2018) who the Reds face tomorrow night. It was hard not to reflect on that storied history as Luis Castillo pitched from that stage tonight. Yes, it’s just the last day of April. But it isn’t unreasonable to watch the 26-year-old Castillo perform and wonder whether he has a Cy Young season or two in him.

Castillo had a nice family and friends cheering section at Citi Field tonight. The guy in the front in the red sweatshirt is his brother.

Reds 3 – Mets 4 | Game 29 of 162

Box Score | Win Probability | Exit Velocity | Pitch Velocity

Run Prevention

Luis Castillo was his usual dominant self through the first six innings. The only run he’d surrendered scored on a two-out drag bunt. Then our old friend Todd Frazier reprised his Home Run Derby form and swatted Castillo’s first pitch of the 7th inning, a 96.4 mph fastball, 413 feet over Citi Field’s center field fence. Castillo finished with 7 Ks and 3 BBs. He was lifted with two outs in the 7th. 

Robert Stephenson entered the game and struck out Dominic Smith on 3 sliders, ending the Mets threat. Stephenson returned in the 8th and gave up a leadoff walk before striking out the dangerous rookie Pete Alonso. Manager David Bell lifted Stephenson for Amir Garrett. Garrett struck out a batter for the second out, then Mets RF Michael Conforto singled on a ground ball just out of the reach of Jose Peraza, scoring the Mets third run.

David Hernandez, pitching the third night in a row for the first time in his career (that’s really hard to believe), retired the Mets in order, striking out two in the 9th, producing free baseball.

Raisel Iglesias pitched the 10th inning and gave up a double, single and a sacrifice fly, allowing in the winning run.

Run Production

In the debate over whether the Reds offense is performing well, you’d have to put tonight’s game in the pile of evidence for “no.” Facing 36-year-old Jason Vargas, he of xFIP 6.66 (7.20 ERA), the Reds offense was largely silent. Silent that is until the 9th inning rally off of fading Mets reliever Jeurys Familia. 

The Reds first run was the result of Eugenio Suarez’s 7th home run. Suarez drove a Vargas 83.7 mph fastball (you read that right) 383 feet in the 6th inning.

The Reds seemed all but finished in the 9th inning after Tucker Barnhart and Derek Dietrich struck out, needing two runs. Then Jesse Winker drew a walk. Jose Iglesias followed with a single to CF. Kyle Farmer pinch hit and with an 0-2 count flipped a ball over the first baseman’s head to score Winker, cutting the Mets lead in half. Jose Peraza grounded a single up the middle, scoring Iglesias, tying the game. Joey Votto walked to load the bases. But Suarez struck out.

So Much Breathless Senzel Anticipation

The Louisville Bats played the Toledo Mud Hens tonight. Nick Senzel led off and played CF for the Bats. Senzel struck out his first three at bats before singling in the 8th inning. 

What’s Next

The Reds (12-17) and Mets (15-14) play the third game of this 4-game series. Tomorrow night’s 7:10 PM ET matchup features starting pitchers Anthony DeSclafani and Jacob deGrom (30, RHP). 

55 Responses

  1. Old-school

    Reds finish April 12-17.
    Bad offense. 1-8 start. Great #1/2 SP punch. Solid bullpen minus 1 or 2.

    But, the Dodger trade has not materialized to into wins abd it won’t in may either. Wood hurt, Kemp bad and hurt. Puig ineffective. Schebler and peraza very poor. Barnart poor on offense.

    Reds need Cody Reed in the bullpen and Nick Senzel ASAP. Hard to see after April that the Reds catch the Cards/ Brewers or Cubs this summer. Need a 28 yo healthy Gennett. That may not happen.

    What the Reds really need is a young complete CF and 2b and lefty starter and catcher. Start the #2020list.

  2. Sliotar

    “Insanity” was the word I used in yesterday’s recap to describe the use of 6 pitchers.

    We did not even make it out of April before this Captain Hook nonsense caught up with David Bell.

    I had Labor Day, then later the 4th of July as the date the bullpen breaks down. Nights like tonight sure feels like it will come sooner than that.

    Related… Raisel Iglesias is a gamer. Whatever he had in the tank, he sure looked like he was giving it all. No way he could have thought he would be out there after 2 innings last night.

    • ohiojimw

      Iggy is at 45 pitches over 2 nights in this series. With the series finale being a matinee on Thursday, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is not used again until Friday. But then with deGrom and Syndergaard going the next 2 games, maybe the opportunity won’t be there.

    • Scott C

      Yes the use of the bullpen did catch up with Bell last night BUT, and i believe this is a big but, you can not refuse to use every available resource to win a game today on the basis that you MIGHT need them tomorrow. The need tomorrow might not come. That was one of my biggest complaints about the Price/Riggleman era (well no probably the unadulterated love of the sacrifice bunt was the biggest complaint) was not using a pitcher today because I might need him tomorrow, that led to Iglesias not being used nearly enough in high leverage situations last year, and a lot of games we could have won if we had used better pitching options. I know the argument of saving arms, but this is what these guys have trained for and are paid for.

  3. Sliotar

    Can we please hear from the “We are lucky to have Votto” crowd?

    (Which is an embarrassing take, IMO, but to each their own.)

    He has had a great career, but at least a couple of head-shakers tonight, including as someone noted in the Game Thread…perhaps the Reds TOOTBLAN of the year.

    Decline Phase, indeed.

    • Doug Gray

      We’re lucky to have Votto. Still.

    • Spaceman Red

      We are lucky to have Votto. Leads the team in OBP yet again. It will be great when all the people who believed him mail the protestors a postcard from Cooperstown in ten years or so.

      • ohiojimw

        This is true but nobody is bigger or more important than the team. A stunt like JV pulled tonight when he was doubled off deserves a seat on the pine for a game or two regardless of how good of a hitter he is.

        And this isn’t the first time we’ve seen him with his head seriously not in the game just this season.

      • greenmtred

        Votto has been great, and is still good at some things. But he looks more like a role-player, a complimentary piece, than the driver of the offense. If the other hitters were hitting, he’d often score, because he still gets on base, but I no longer assume that good things will happen when Joey is up with runner(s) on base. That said, he often starts slowly, and may heat up and more closely resemble his former self. Also, hard to quantify though it is, the other players seem to find him important.

    • ohiojimw

      Sliotar> As I recall you are something of a hockey fan. Can you imagine Votto playing for JohnTortorella given JV’s penchant for plays like being doubled off like tonight?

    • CFD3000

      The Reds, and Reds fans, are lucky to have Votto. In 2017 he was the best hitter in the league, 2nd in the MVP voting. In 2018 he was literally the hitter most difficult to get out in the entire National League. In 2019 he is, so far, the Reds hitter most difficult to get out. An actual fan of the Cincinnati Reds might wish he didn’t play for the Reds. Seriously?

    • Big Ed

      Votto did not need a walk in the 9th inning. He needed a hit. On the 3-0 pitch, he fouled off a 87 mph 4-seamer belt-high over the center of the plate. Young Joey Votto lines that pitch over the shortstop’s head for what would have been the winning run. This Joey Votto fouls it off. He still has some offensive value, but he is no longer elite.

      His base-running mistake is hard to understand; the play was directly in front of him. Votto still gets on base a lot, but it takes two doubles to score him from first.

    • matthew hendley

      We are beyond lucky to have Votto. His high OBP game, should only come as a surprise to the uninformed or the ignorant. He made a mistake last night, true, It does happen. There are only a handful of better 1B in the entirety of baseball. @SOltiar, go ahead and tell us how Peraza will blossom into a MLB superstar hitter on his 8th attempt

    • Scott C

      We’re still lucky to have Votto.

  4. TomN

    Dodger trade. Such a let-down. I thought puig was better than this but unless he gets a nice fat pitch thigh level, inner half of the plate, he does nothing. Kemp should retire.

    Farmer is actually the best part of that deal. Versatile, smart player.

    Thank God we got Iglesias. He’s a very good SS and a smart hitter. Bring up Senzel, dfa kemp, option scheb to aaa, if we can. Keep Ervin up here. Bring up Reed, DFA Duke.

    The Reds missed an opportunity this off season. Should have tried to get Grandel or Realmuto. Tucker brings little to the offense.

    Tonight’s game was so winnable but couldnt beat a 36 year old who probably will be selling insurance by July.

    • ohiojimw

      Vargas may well not be pitching in MLB come August; but, I doubt he will be selling insurance. While researching him for the RLN game preview post today, I discovered that by the time his current contract is settled (club option for next year), he will have earned at least $65M in his career.

    • Hanawi

      Still not sure why fans thought a bunch of guys that the Dodgers didn’t want; none of whom would be full-time starters for them, was going to turn the Reds into a playoff team.

      • matthew hendley

        This comment is trending as some of the stupid things said by individuals who are having issues with a loss in a sport that otherwise has a lot of losses. Puig will make the team better, Wood will make the team better. @tomn- Cant DFA an injured player.

  5. jreis

    I tell you what I wish we could clone Michael Lorenzen. I love his base running skills and baseball IQ. getting From first to third on that Peraza single was a thing of beauty. the more I watch him the more I want him in the everyday line up. He seems like the only Red that really “gets it” to me.

    the votto base running error was just a result of Joey not wanting to get thrown out at second on an outfield single which, embarrassingly, has happened numerous times this year and last.
    I think as Joey ages we have to be creative on where he fits in the lineup. it just takes so much effort to get him from first base to home plate that hitting leadoff is not the best place for him. I still think he may be best hitting in the eight hole where at least his walks will be productive in the fact that they will at the very least turn over the lineup for the next inning.

    • ohiojimw

      Wish I could feel as charitable about Votto’s TOOTBLAN tonight; but I can’t. That ball didn’t look close to falling in even to me watching on TV.

      The somewhat similar play last week or the week before involving Votto, yeah, he was flat between a rock and a hard place. I didn’t think so tonight. The ball looked deeper, higher and obviously going to be caught unless the Mets CF OF let it drop on purpose. And why would they do that? Wouldn’t they rather have Votto running that Suarez?

      • ToBeDetermined

        I was listening to WCBS, the New York broadcasters were stunned that Votto (the veteran that he is) totally misread the play. They felt that was the play of the game. They felt after that double play that Familia who has been having a terrible season just like Vargas really started pitching much better.
        Kind of gave him the confidence that that feeling of “oh here we go again, wasn’t going to happen”.

      • matthew hendley

        I saw that play and it looked 50/50 at best. what did that expected hit stat say on the play. I don’t think it was the catch that was a problem, it was that he didn’t head back immediately. If he had I think the throw goes into second and he makes it back to first.

      • Still a Red

        I’d have to look at the archived game video, but I seem to remember the CF for a moment looked like he hesitated. Votto is going to looking at him probably, not the ball, at that point. It may have well been a great decoy play by the CF.

      • VaRedsFan

        Come on folks.
        If the guy didn’t have to dive or slide for it, then it was 95 % routine. Do we have to create a rational explanation, even though one doesn’t exist, every time he makes a play like this??

  6. jreis

    well and that is why I don’t like Joey leading off because basically you create a situation where you have force play at second no matter where the ball is hit when he gets on first.
    PS, I am embarrassed to ask but I am old and have an excuse but what in the world is TOOTBLAN?

    • ohiojimw

      Thrown Out On The Bases Like A Nincompoop

      Do you remember a guy who played for the Cubbies a few years ago, Ryan Theriot? From what I’ve read a Cubs beat writer came up with the term in response to Theriot’s misadventures on the base paths.
      There seems to be some uncertainty whether or not the 1st “T” originally stood for “Theriot” instead of “Thrown” but as it has evolved into common use I think about everyone refers to it as Thrown.

      • ToBeDetermined

        Interesting
        I never hear of a TOOTBLAN until I came upon this website.

    • greenmtred

      Thanks, Jreis. I’d forgotten, too, and it’s too winsome an acronym to forget.

  7. Reddawg12

    Already 7 games out of first and 5 games under .500, facing Syndergaard and deGrom the next two days, with one of the worse offenses in MLB. Things not exactly looking up.

    • matthew hendley

      Thor and Degrom are having HORRIBLE starts to the seasons. Their dominance for the next 2 days is not garrenteed. Easily a chance that the reds pull one out.

      • greenmtred

        Not guaranteed? Well, maybe not, but this is the Reds’ batting order we’re talking about, and that could be just the thing to turn Thor’s and Degrom’s fortunes around.

  8. CincyBorn23

    I really overestimated how good this team (particularly the offense) would be. Gonna be a long summer, but I’ll be watching every inning.

  9. Klugo

    Castillo was dominant for 5 1/3. Shouldve been lifted after one out in the 6th.

    • matthew hendley

      He gutted through the 6th, I would have lifted him in his at bat at that point. letting him get his 6 full.

  10. matthew hendley

    J. Vargas is like a broken watch, its still right twice a day. Great job by castillo, certainly some CY potential there. The Reds are fighting in these games, much more so then last year. I don’t have a problem with how the pitchers did last night, but I have a massive problem with Bullpen utilization. DB, is showing little to no competence in the handling of his BP. The rate he is going through pitchers he will get someone hurt. Reed did have a good night again in LOU, I think he should share the bus/plane with senzel on Friday and we should bid adieu to Duke.

  11. Shchi Cossack

    Stephenson gave up a leadoff double in the 8th, not a walk. A leadoff walk probably doesn’t result in a run scored in the 8th inning.

    Stephenson has 12.29 K/9 rate and a 0.89 WHIP.
    Garrett has a 9.95 K/9 rate and 0.95 WHIP.

    Stephenson is NOT a ROOGY & Garrett is NOT a LOOGY!!! Both pitchers are capable of pitching multiple innings against any hitters.

    Castillo pitched a brilliant game thru 5 inning, but he obviously suddenly began struggling thru the 6th inning. Why let Castillo hit I the top of the 7th inning and come out to pitch the bottom of the 7th inning? He’s already provided 6 full innings in a tie ballgame. Stephenson was one of the few relievers rested and ready to pitch was going to pitch in the game. If Stephenson pitches the 7th and 8th innings, the game is probably still tied at 1-1 after 8 innings.

    I’m really tired of DB over extending the starters and then ripping through the bullpen with matchup pitching using half the bullpen every game. The inevitable outcome is an over utilized bullpen und multiple high leverage innings that could have been avoided.

    • Still a Red

      On any single game, DBs use of Stephenson and Garrett as ROOGY and LOOGY may make sense, but they should be capable of more…and DB will burn out the BP if he keeps it up.

    • Dee West

      If righties are only batting .095 against Garrett why pull him? Even though he gave up a route hit right at Perazza and gave up a run. If Garrett can hold other pitchers inherited runners , then let him hold his on runners!! David Bell uses Lorenzen a lot with inherited runners but he has the worst hold rate, 10 inherited runners and 5 have scored. David Bell is wearing his bullpen out. I bet if we package Garrett in a trade we could get something because Bell is not using him right. I thought Bell is an analytical skipper?

  12. WVRedlegs

    Iglesias with another blown save and loss. The offense continues to struggle. Still last in the NLC. It has been one snot bubble of a season so far.
    The Rebuild is officially a colossal failure. I hope all the fools that thought this was going to be a good baseball team will take that Dodgers trade for what is really was, a disaster for the Reds. The Dodgers got a future #2 starter and future 2B out of it. The Reds got didly squat.
    The Rebuild is a failure. The last gasp attempt to breath life into The Rebuild, the Dodgers trade, is a colossal failure.
    Reds front office deserves what they got and where they find themselves five years running, ladt place.

    • PhP

      So many assumptions in one post. Can’t grade the trade as a failure based on 1 month of the season. Especially when the best player (Wood) hasn’t even played yet. Already crowning Grey a #2 starter and Downs as starting 2b. Let’s wait 5 years to see how great these prospects turn out.

    • CFD3000

      I’ll have to disagree as well WV. This is a knee jerk reaction, with a lot of assumptions. I still expect Puig and Wood to contribute plenty. And I’m not sure how the Reds prospects are sure things in LA but the prospects the Reds kept can’t be expected to amount to much (and I know that’s only implied). BUT it has been a disappointing start for the offense and Iglesias and to be fair I have to tip my cap for the “snot bubble” comment. Had me laughing.

  13. Shchi Cossack

    The drag bunt hit that resulted in the Mets 1st run in the game in the 3rd inning was NOT a result of any defensive alignment and comments in the game thread indicated. Votto fielded the excellent bunt properly, but McNeil beat Castillo to 1B. The hitter should not beat the pitcher to 1B on a ball hit to the right side of the infield. If Castillo breaks to the bag properly, McNeil is out and the run doesn’t score.

    • CFD3000

      Agree Cossack. Votto fielded the bunt in a straightforward way and made a clean toss to Castillo. The pitcher just didn’t do his job there to beat the runner to the bag, and a critical run scored. Castillo should have seen it coming – it was McNeill’s second attempt to get that bunt down. Disappointing, especially in a close game.

    • VaRedsFan

      He doesn’t attempt the drag bunt if Peraza isn’t in short RF.
      Mets broadcasters were quick to fault Castillo in covering 1B, but then after the replay it showed Castillo reacted immediately when going to cover 1st and they redacted their statement.

      So, YES, it was shift related

      • Big Ed

        I agree with VaRedsFan. A good drag bunter with reasonable speed ought to beat the pitcher to first, and he did it there. The runner gets a head start on the pitcher who is recoiling from the pitch, gets a running start from the drag bunt, and gets to run through the bag whereas the pitcher has to field the throw and find the bag.

        The Mets played much better small ball last night than the Reds, and that is why they won the game. Analytics and small ball — i.e., playing the game correctly — are not incompatible.

    • WVRedlegs

      Chris Welsh commented when McNeil tried to bunt on the prior pitch that Peraza was lined up to far in the OF at 2B and should move in. After McNeil put down a perfect bunt, Welsh said that it was poor defensive position by the coaches to have Peraza that far out to begin with and then especially after McNeil tried and fouled it on the prior pitch. He said that was all on Bell.
      That McNeil is a really good player. I wish the Reds had him.

  14. Still a Red

    Never was much of a Puig fan…way too ‘free swinging’…Reds seemed to always have his number when he was in LA. That said, I guess he is potentially an improvement over Billy H offensively.

    • VaRedFan

      .260/.343/.480 with 8 HR’s in 123 AB’s vs the Reds.
      Not great, but not awful

  15. Roger Garrett

    We lost because we aren’t hitting.Said it several times and will say it agan.Same offense minus Billy and Scooter plus Puig.Weren’t even in upper half of scoring runs last year and will be worse this year.We will play close games which mean no cookies to hit to pad team and individual stats.Senzel makes us better provided he hits better then Schebler right now.Scooter makes up better because he hits better then Iggy,Peraza or Dietrich,Casaili is more of a threat then Tucker will ever be so he needs some starts.Mets started Vargas and threw the ball all over the lot and we got beat by one guy the lead off guy who has 4 hits.Had chances to win it in the 9th and 10th but we can’t hit.Cards will bury us early because they can hit and not because they pitch any better or field any better.Unless we build a team on offense and it can be done we are not going to compete in our own division.Look at the other 4 teams and its not even close offensively.It just is what it is regardless of how we slice it.

    • VaRedsFan

      There is a lot of truth in here. I’ve said it many times, about pressure situations. Guys are relaxed, and hit well when when the games are blowouts in either direction. Mostly, because they aren’t facing the best pitchers at the time.

  16. Chris Holbert

    With the bullpen burned again, who will pitch tonight when DeSclafani blows up in the fifth. Peralta, Duke…Dietrich, Farmer..

    • Big Ed

      Schebler. He can’t be any worse on the mound than he is at the plate.

  17. SoCalRedsFan

    I still don’t understand why Bell treats Amir Garrett like a LOOGY. He acts like he can’t get righties out and they’re hitting under .100 against him.

  18. TR

    I was also puzzled by Votto taking off on the short flyball to center. I don’t recall his name, but the Mets do not have a slow, over-the-hill guy in centerfield. Instead of going halfway, it probably would have been one out or no outs with a runner in scoring position. Instead, in a close game, it’s suddenly two outs and nobody on.