After the start time was delayed by an hour and thirty eight minutes due to malfunctioning lights, both starting pitchers were lights out in this one. Tyler Mahle was probably excited to not be matched up against Noah Syndergaard, but Mike Fiers pitched about as well as one can. He threw baseball’s 300th no hitter, the first since James Paxton did it exactly one year ago against the Blue Jays. Congrats to Mike on his second career no-hitter.

Mahle came into the game with the worst run support of any pitcher in the league who has made at least four starts (1.5 runs per game). Despite pitching well (again), he could not find a way to give up negative runs. Because of this, the Reds lost.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (15-21) 0 0 1
Oakland Athletics (16-21) 2 5 1
W: Fiers (3-3) L: Mahle (0-5)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Statcast

Key Plays

Run Production

After putting up 37 runs against the Giants, the Reds could not manage a single hit against the Athletics. Mike Fiers was not pitching well coming into this game either. Just one of those days for the feast or famine Reds offense.

In the 2nd inning, Yasiel Puig crushed a ball 398 feet with a 103 mph exit velocity but could not quite get it out of the park. It had an 86% hit probability according to Statcast. Puig has been hitting the ball hard this year with not much to show for it. He currently has the largest gap between SLG (0.367) and xSLG (0.438), as well as the largest gaps between BA/xBA and wOBA/xwOBA. Bottom line, his hits (and home runs) will come.

With two outs in the top of the 6th, Votto banged a 395 foot shot to center field but was robbed of a home run by Ramon Laureano. The ball had a 103 mph exit velocity and a 62% chance of being a hit. Really nice contact but a better defensive play.

A 7th inning walk by Suarez was immediately erased by a Jesse Winker double play. Puig followed that up with a walk but Derek Dietrich popped up to end the inning. That would be the last threat the Reds would pose.

Run Prevention

Despite allowing a couple hits and a run early on, Tyler Mahle looked really, really good on the mound. He controlled the top of the zone with his signature command of his fastball and also kept his curveball down, getting really nice break on the pitch. Matt Wilkes thought the curve looked sharper than in Mahle’s previous starts. Definitely an encouraging sign for Mahle as he continues developing his pitch arsenal.

Mahle’s final line was 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. His FIP/xFIP was 0.97/1.91, bringing his yearly numbers down to 3.32/3.09. He has a 3.69 ERA. That will do, Tyler.

Jose Iglesias helped out his pitcher on the first ball in play with a nice double play, fielding the ball between 1st and 2nd (Reds were in the shift) and tagging the runner before throwing to Joey in one smooth motion. Can’t say enough about this guy’s defense.

Oakland got on the board first in the second inning after Mahle allowed a single to Kendrys Morales and then a double to Jurickson Profar. The Reds relay from Puig to Votto appeared to be in time, but Barnhart lunged past the sliding runner, expecting him to go wide, and missed the tag.

Puig made a nice diving catch to end the 5th inning, diving to catch a Marcus Semien line drive with an 80% hit probability.

Jurickson Profar came through again with a home run in the 8th inning off of Robert Stephenson. It was the first homer Bob Steve has allowed this year. He also gave up an even harder hit line drive out to Nick Senzel with a 90% hit probability. Not his best inning of the season. He did come back out in the 8th and get two strikeouts.

Other Game Notes

Joey Votto popped up to second base to lead off the game. Talk about a bad omen for the offense.

On a lighter note, Derek Dietrich is legit

Random Thoughts

Up Next

The Reds take on the Athletics for Game 2 of the series tomorrow. Same time (hopefully 10:10 EST and not 11:45 EST), same place. Sonny Gray takes on Brett Anderson.

61 Responses

  1. Hanawi

    Personally I think it’s pretty poor job by MLB of scheduling and then allowing this game to go on after the delay. Starting at midnight eastern time after a team travels multiple times zones to get out there? That’s crap.

  2. Gonzo Reds

    Brutal. Well at least we didn’t have to misuse our closer in this one. Let’s see… add his record to Mahle’s to Grey’s and you get 1-14. Ugh!

    More fun to watch this year but not tonight that’s for sure.

    • Colorado Red

      Yet both have pitched very well.
      not there fault, the stupid Offense can’t score runs in half the games.

  3. Big Ed

    A David Bell team never misses a chance to sink to the occasion.

    If pinch-hitting VanMeter for Farmer was the right move in the 9th (3rd time through the order), then why did Bell not start VanMeter?

    • greenmtred

      Didn’t (couldn’t) see the game, but Farmer hadn’t gotten any hits. Neither had anyone else, of course, but it’s hard for me to see how this is on Bell. He doesn’t get any at-bats at all. Will we give him the credit when the Reds start mashing? The virtually team-wide slump is hard to explain, but in blaming the manager and/or the hitting coach, we forget the guys who are going up to the plate and not hitting. Now that they’ve started hitting (Not last night, obviously), we’ll have to consider other explanations for the slumping, since the manager and hitting coach are still the same guys.

      • Big Ed

        I’m not blaming the no-hitter on Bell, but Bell made the decision to play Farmer instead of VanMeter, and then in the 9th inning pinch-hit VanMeter for Farmer.

        I don’t see any logic in that at all.

      • greenmtred

        Big Ed, I don’t see the logic either, but there are possible explanations, including wanting to get a look at VanMeter, or maybe feeling that Farmer was lost against the pitcher. Above my pay grade. But it seems like a pretty inconsequential decision either way.

      • Big Ed

        Green Mountain, the point was why start Farmer? VanMeter has played much more 2B, so you have to figure he is the better defender. And then Bell pinch-hit for him in the 9th, which would indicate that even Bell thought that VanMeter was a better hitter. So, if VanMeter is a better hitter and a better fielder, why was Farmer starting?

        God forbid that the guy having the best year in all of AAA would get to actually play, when you have a 28-year-old utility player ready.

      • greenmtred

        Big Ed: Again, above my pay grade, but Bell does seem to be trying harder than his predecessors to give everybody playing time. As you explain that particular decision, I agree, it seems odd, but perhaps he just wanted to give Farmer a start.

    • RojoBenjy

      Big Ed—I was surprised that DB didn’t go for the lefty-righty matchup that seems to be part of his religion, and start VanMeter at 2B. I would have loved to see what the youngster can do.

  4. Mason Red

    Any no no thrown against this team should be shown with an asterisk in the history books.

  5. Reddawg12

    The Reds just can’t seem to string together any more than a couple of wins at a time. The Giants and the A’s are not even that good. After this west coast trip, it’s 4 straight series against the Cubs, Brewers, Dodgers, and Cubs again. It could start to get real ugly here soon.

    • David

      Start? Well, I guess that is perspective.

    • Scooter

      Getting ready to go on IL with a back issue.

  6. DK in Erie Pa

    I think it’s officially rock bottom. Blown leads of 8 and 4 runs, at home, then no hit by a pitcher with an ERA of 5+ all within a week. It could be worse, it could be raining

    • Steelerfan

      Another concern, although down the list, is the notion we could flip out one year acquisitions to make up for the prospects we traded if we were not contending is basically gone. Kemp waived, Wood not pitching, and I have trouble imaging anyone would give much for Puig at this point. The underlying strategy was still a reasonable one, I think, but is hasn’t panned out.

      • ToBeDetermined

        Steeler
        Great point.
        Reminds me a the quote by the great sage Mike Tyson “Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth”

        So we’ll see what they do.

    • RojoBenjy

      @DK- while I could see why you may feel it’s rock bottom, I think the rock bottom years were managed by Bryan Price. Those are also the seasons where there was no pitching. The fact the score was 2-0 and not 20-0 is better than the Bryan Price years. The talent level is much higher on this team.

    • CP

      Fascinating how a team that went 2-3 during that 5 game period has hit “rock bottom”. Good golly, Reds fans are some of the most miserable fans to be around these days.

      • Amarillo

        Rock Bottom is where the Marlins are right now. This is far from rock bottom. We still have a +21 run differential.

      • Pete

        Maybe it’s PTSD from the previous 4 seasons, each resulting in 94 or more losses. This is a totally different team, the misery will abate soon enough – I hope.

        I didn’t follow the team closely during the Bryan Price era but I’m watching nearly every game. The Reds had a legit chance to win last night, they just came up a little short – like 5-10 feet. It appears to me both Puig and Votto’s balls would have left the park in most stadiums, especially GAPB.

  7. matthew hendley

    Disclaimer: due to having to get up at 520 I fell asleep in the third. It was 1-0 and I had a feeling that the reds would have lost. but this? I think if you needed any more proof that tuner ward has led to the downfall of reds hitting, it was put on display here. Obviously congrats to Fries for the No No, but really?
    Reds will have to win out the series. Not getting NN 2 days In a row so I suppose there is that

    • matthew hendley

      However in the reds defense: It was obvious the Oakland A’s franchise was not ready to play today. I mean that in the most literal interpretation. A easily identifiable and preventable maintenance issue at possibly the worst stadium in the league caused the timing to be delayed from day/night to full night. Lighting was also off most of the game that I saw as the lights were warming back up for a couple innings not blaming it totally for the no no, but their again Bonds didn’t hit those homeruns on talent alone.

    • Jim Walker

      Understand not being able to stay up half the night so to speak but you missed some things which might have changed your view of the no hitter.

      In the one inning (6th I believe), the A’s 2B made a diving belly sliding catch of a blooping fly along the RF line. It was a fair ball all the way and double if he does not make the circus catch. Then a batter or 2 later, Votto launched a high drive a bit to the LF side of CF which the A’s CF hauled in with a leaping catch against and above the wall. As always with such balls, it is hard to say for sure the ball would have been a HR if not caught but was at least a 2B.

      The Reds not getting a run or 2 out of this sequence, let alone not even a a hit defied all the probabilities.

      • Wayne nabors

        I did stay up for whole game and the 2 balls in play were the exception,most were weak grounders and soft liners,i accepted it was gonna be a no,no after the 5th,actually amazes me how tiers owns reds like he does

  8. Kap

    This won’t be the only time the reds get no hit this season. Mark my words

  9. WVRedlegs

    It ended in a no-no. I turned it off after Votto got robbed. What a croque of hot steaming crap. This road trip was vital to regrouping before that next 23 game stretch that is coming. What a waste. This team war as more opportunities than I have ever scene.
    David Bell couldn’t manage to analyze one hit from his team of under achievers. What a waste.

  10. jessecuster44

    WTF – The team has mashed the ball 4 out of the last 5 days, and everyone is freaking out.

    R-E-L-A-X.

    They got no hit after travelling three time zones, then delayed, then had to play in a stadium without fully functioning lights. Whatever.

    • greenmtred

      I like your perspective, Jesse. There’s not much you can do about a pitcher throwing a no-hitter. It happens sometimes. The Reds hit the ball hard several times and came up empty because of good fielding. How is any of it Bell’s fault?

      • David

        Somebody has to be blamed. You can’t really fire all the players. Well, they did let Kemp go, and sent Schebler down, and Peraza may be following.
        So yeah, it was all Bell’s fault.

      • Big Ed

        Can you explain why RH Farmer started at 2B and not LH VanMeter? VanMeter is the better fielder, having played much more at the position. In the 9th, the Inscrutable One pinch hit VanMeter for Farmer. If VanMeter was the better offensive option in the 9th, why wasn’t he the better offensive option from innings 1-8?

      • CP

        It’s not particularly significant but Fiers has actually has reverse splits for his career, 105 tOPS+ versus right-handed batters and 94 tOPS+ versus left-handed batters.

    • ToBeDetermined

      jesse

      “The team has mashed the ball 4 out of the last 5 days, and everyone is freaking out.
      R-E-L-A-X.”

      The problem is that is if this team doesn’t hit home runs it hardly scores any runs. When you play in ball parks that are not as cozy as Great American Ballpark it’s hard to generate any run support for your pitcher.

  11. Old-school

    Kudos to Matt for the write-up.
    Tough assignment.

    • ToBeDetermined

      Old-school

      you stole my word I was going to use.

      Kudos for anyone who stayed till the bitter end.

  12. Alex

    Feeling pretty salty today. I’ll be over in the corner waiting for the rest of Reds nation to give up on this team. 5 seasons, 5 last place finishes.

    • greenmtred

      The fat lady hasn’t even warmed up yet, Alex. The pitching continues to be impressive and the hitting is showing considerable signs of life. The season isn’t over and last place is not assured.

      • Big Ed

        It’s over. The definition of “over” is being no-hit by Mike Fiers. We watch because it is our lot in life; we can’t change who we root for anymore than we can change our mothers.

        This team has a lot of guys who like to play baseball but haven’t shown the same affinity for playing winning baseball. The players ought to be frothing mad about how they are playing, but they aren’t.

      • greenmtred

        We’ll have to wait and see. The hitting has been improving (thanks, Cossack). I don’t think that being no-hit has much meaning beyond the one game. Major League pitchers–even mediocre ones–are talented and can get into a groove where every pitch is working.

  13. RojoBenjy

    My first reaction to the score this morning was anger and frustration. Didn’t stay up to watch or listen.

    But reading the recap, it seems as though some really well-struck baseballs were made into outs by exceptional defense—usually a key ingredient for a no-hitter thrown by a so-so pitcher like Fiers.

    Where I am encouraged is to read the Reds players responses— giving props to Fiers for what he did right, and not focusing on the terrible field conditions. Leaves me hoping that the team is not demoralized by this. The next few games will tell if my feeling is justified.

    Also—take a looks at Mahle’s game. It’s a great performance. Eight punchies is no joke.

    So rather than my gut reaction to this, i’m going to reserve judgement until I see a little more of this road trip. They need to win both series.

  14. Jim Walker

    I’m not a big fan of a number of David Bell’s strategies. However, when a team plays as inconsistently as this Reds team does, feast or famine offense and the same from the pitching, the problem is not (just) in the manager’s office.

    What’s missing is effective leadership in the clubhouse. Not rah rah in the face shouting “leadership” but effective veteran leadership to focus and maintain the required level of concentration and effort.

    • greenmtred

      I’ve been thinking about managers and our criticisms of them. The bill of particulars against Dusty and Price included: leaving starting pitchers in too long. Bunting. Speedsters always batting lead-off. Not using analytics. Playing mediocre vets instead of young guys. By memory, those were the mainproblems we had with Baker and Price. Bell, really, is guilty of none of those. So were we wrong about what makes a good manager? Or is it possible that the manager doesn’t make a lot of difference. It’s very easy to be critical of strategy retrospectively, and we all do it, but even good strategies often fail, and I’d guess that Bell has sound reasons for deciding what he decides. He’s new to these players, and many of the players are new to each other. I’m not close to ready to give up on this team.

  15. Matt WI

    This was a game that called for a Milton appearance in the recap. Oh well. Win the next five in a row.

  16. Roger Garrett

    Just hope the stink is gone before first pitch tonight.Just no words to describe such a poor performance by a major league team hitting against a pitcher that couldn’t start on 25 of the teams in the league.Nothing would have been said about the travel,lights,field condition,etc etc if they had won.Mahle was good enough again but the offense never showed up again.Potential for this offense is there but until they do it well we will continue to talk about.Same story tomorrow?Guess we shall see.Bell has less then 40 games as a manager and this is not on him.

  17. jreis

    I thought the play of the game was the missed tag by Tucker In the second inning> what in the world was he thinking? if the reds get the out there then the entire complexion of the game changes. next to Peraza ,Barnhart has been the biggest disappointment this year.

    • Jim Walker

      Catch and tag plays have always been one of Barnhart’s weaker skills. Somebody needs to explain to him that even with the changes in rules, once he has the ball he doesn’t have to give way or make room for a runner. Or at least that’s my understanding.

      It seems to me he often sets up out of position to tag with the intent of moving into position after he gets the ball. As an alternative, why not set up in tagging position and bail out of it if the ball is not going to beat the runner to the play?

      • jreis

        I agree and I agree with your comment above about veteran leadership. This team needs a Scott Rollen or Barry Larkin desperately. Votto and Suarez are the team leaders but they are frankly too nice of guys really to change the mentality of the club.

  18. T Bone

    Really disappointing. This OAK/SF stretch was their chance to boost record before 11 games vs Cubs/LA/Mil, and they can’t get out of their own way. Going to be >10 games out by June 1, I’m afraid.

  19. Old-school

    Reds are 6 under and really need to win this series and road trip. They simply can’t fall further below .500 as the season now approaches 25% complete.

    NL central updated win projections now have the Cubs at 91 wins and Cards at 89. The Reds will need to go 70-56 the rest of the way to finish 85-78 and 75-51 to win 90 games.
    Need to finish this road trip 3-2 or 4-1.

    Gotta win today. Go reds.

    • ToBeDetermined

      Old-school

      I’d be shocked if the Reds won 91 games. 91 wins at the beginning of the year was going to be really tough for the Reds. But, after their blistering (uh I mean) slow start lets see if they can be competitive and play good baseball. If they do play good baseball and they get a little luck we can reevaluate where they might end up.

  20. TR

    It seems like Alameda County has always been a tough place for the Reds to play except for the World Series sweep of 1990.

  21. Derriz

    The Dietrich antics give a chance for some entertaining baseball cards.

  22. matthew hendley

    tonights lineup is out, JVMR is starting at 2nd batting 9th. Everthing has its price though. (hint: look at LF)