The Reds hot offense was slowed down by Mets rookie Noah Syndergaard. The Thor lookalike made it through eight innings for the first time in his big league career, and he allowed just one run in the process. Syndergaard didn’t walk a single batter, and struck out five. He only had 89 pitches when he left the game.

The Reds went down 1-0 in the first inning, after Mets leadoff hitter Curtis Granderson homered off Johnny Cueto. The Reds responded with a run in the second inning on a broken-bat ground out by Chris Dominguez. However, Cueto walked three batters in the fifth inning, including walking in the go-ahead run with the bases loaded. The Reds couldn’t push across another run, and fell 2-1 in the series opener in New York.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (34-38) 1 5 1
New York Mets (38-37) 2 2 0
W: Syndergaard (3-4) L: Cueto (4-5) S: Familia (21)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

WPA Reds-Mets

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Johnny Cueto walking Lucas Duda with the bases loaded in the 5th inning, giving the Mets a 2-1 lead. That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 15.7% (from 40.6% to 24.9%).

Other important plays (+/- indicates how much each play increased or decreased the Reds chances of winning):

  • +9.7% – 4th inning: Cueto gets Flores to ground into a FC (out at home). Runners on 1st & 2nd, 2 outs. 1-1.
  • +9.1% – 8th inning: Dominguez leadoff single. Mets lead 2-1.
  • +6.9% – 2nd inning: Pena singles. Runners on 1st & 2nd with 0 outs. Mets lead 1-0.
  • -11.6% – 1st inning: Cueto allows a leadoff HR to Granderson. Mets lead 1-0.
  • -8.9% – 4th inning: Cuddyer reaches on a error by Suarez. Runners on 1st & 3rd, 1 out. 1-1.
  • -8.8% – 8th inning: Phillips flied out with a runner on 2nd to end the inning. Mets lead 2-1.
  • -7.3% – 8th inning: Hamilton grounded out with a runner on 2nd. 2 outs. Mets lead 2-1.

Players of the Game

Noah Syndergaard: 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 1.86 FIP, 0.39 WPA

Syndergaard capitalized on the Reds aggressiveness tonight. He got through the first inning on just 6 pitches, and only threw a total of 89 pitches in 8.0 innings. Syndergaard is just one of the Mets young studs in the rotation.

Positives

Brandon Phillips now has a 30-game hit streak in New York against the Mets. He has a 20-game hit streak at Citi Field. Phillips also stole his 10th and 11th base of the season (he has only been caught once). Phillips had a total of 7 SB in 2013 & 2014 combined (he was caught stealing 6 times in 2013/14).

Johnny Cueto only allowed 2 runs in 6 innings, but he did look a little shaky. Cueto walked three batters in the 5th inning, including walking in the go-ahead run. Cueto ran up his pitch count, as he threw 112 pitches in 6 innings. He did strike out 6, and only allowed 2 hits (although one of the hits went out of the park). Cueto probably didn’t enhance his trade value in this start, but he did give the Reds a good chance to win.

Jay Bruce now has a hit in each of his last 7 starts.

Ngatives

Joey Votto’s 32-game on-base streak was snapped tonight. It was the longest active streak in the MLB. Votto went 0 for 4.

Eugenio Suarez had a really bad error in the 4th inning. Cueto forced an easy ground ball to Suarez, which should have resulted in an inning ending double play. Cueto bailed Suarez out, and didn’t allow the Mets to score in the inning. Suarez already has 4 errors in 13 games. I really like Suarez, and he has a lot of upside, but he certainly has some room to improve on the defensive side. In 81 games with the Tigers last season, Suarez had -5 DRS. That is not as bad as you might think though. Jed Lowrie, Derek Jeter, Elvis Andrus, Jose Reyes, and Yunel Escobar all had more than -10 DRS last season.

Apparently, Skip Schumaker was the Reds best pinch-hit option in the 8th inning, with the Reds trailing by a run, with a runner on first base. Skip grounded out (should have been a double play, but the Mets 2B botched it). I’m not sure why Marlon Byrd wouldn’t be used there (he had the night off). Maybe Byrd was not available. Maybe.

The Reds saw a grand total of six (!) pitches in the first inning. Even more surprising was that Brandon Phillips saw four of them. Votto and Frazier went up hacking. Votto hit a lazy fly ball, and Frazier popped up to the first baseman. Votto entered the day leading the NL in pitches per PA (4.29), and Frazier is 34th (3.83). Phillips has the second worst pitches per PA (3.29) in the NL.

Not so random thoughts………………..

The most nervous moment of the night for Reds fans actually didn’t happen in New York tonight, but a few miles down I-95 in Philly. Max Scherzer, who threw a no-hitter in his last start against the Pirates, took a no-no into the sixth inning tonight against the Phillies. Johnny Vander Meer is the only pitcher in MLB history to throw back-to-back no-hitter, when he did so for the Reds in 1938. Whew.

Congrats to the USA women’s soccer team for advancing to the World Cup semifinals. I am sure many of you were flipping between that and tonight’s titanic struggle.

Around the NL Central

Brewers: The Brewers are up 10-1 on the 39-33 Minnesota Twins in the 4th inning. Yes, you read that correctly. Parra, Ramirez, and Gennett have all homered for the Brewers.

Cardinals/Cubs: 1-1 tie in the fifth inning. John Lackey and Jake Arrieta are locked in a tight pitchers duel. The game is on the MLB Network.

Pirates: The Pirates are in a 2-2 tie with the Braves in the 9th inning. Francisco Liriano continued his success tonight, pitching 7.0 innings and allowing just 2 runs.

St. Louis Cardinals 48-24 –
Pittsburgh Pirates 40-32 8.0 GB
Chicago Cubs 39-32 8.5 GB
Cincinnati Reds 34-38 13.5 GB
Milwaukee Brewers 27-47 22.0 GB

Up Next:

Reds at Mets
Saturday, 4:10
TV: FSN-Ohio
Michael Lorenzen (9 GS, 3.56 ERA, 5.63 FIP) vs Matt Harvey (14 GS, 3.16 ERA, 3.37 FIP)

27 Responses

  1. jessecuster44

    Dislike the Mets. Dislike Thor.

    • Redsfan48

      I really like their young pitching. I like Harvey, DeGrom and Syndergaard but of course I don’t like them when they pitch against the Reds.

  2. jdx19

    Weirdest thing I saw… the difference between most and 3rd least is 1 pitch per AB (4.29 vs 3.29).

    Not often you lose a game where the opposing team gets 2 hits. We’ll get ’em tomorrow.

  3. jdx19

    The Cardinals make me sick. I think they’ve walked off every game they’ve had a chance to this year. Tonight is the 2nd time they walk off on a nubber to the infield. SIckening.

    • Vanessa Galagnara

      They make everyone who is not a Cardinal fan sick. They have become the Cowboys of baseball. They can do no wrong and it just seems like everything falls their way.

      • jessecuster44

        Cowboys? Cowboys haven’t really done much since 1993. More like the Patriots.

  4. pinson343

    Didn’t see the game but the hardest thing to understand, from the pitch by pitch account, is why – with two outs, runners on 2nd and 3rd and Duda up next – Cueto did not want to challenge a weak RHed hitter, Eric Campbell. He swung and missed on Cueto’s fastball to make it 1-2, then 3 straight balls, the final two on change ups.

    Cueto admitted he was being too cautious – understandable with Granderson and Duda, but why with Campbell ?

    Nobody’s perfect, but don’t understand the strategy there, Campbell had not shown he could hit Cueto’s fastball.

  5. pinson343

    The Reds were in a tough situation in Pittsburgh after losing the first game there, having to face Coles and Burnett. This might be an even tougher challenge. They get Matt Harvey on Saturday. On Sunday the Mets have pushed back Jon Niese and instead are bringing up a LHed Uber-prospect, Steven Matz, to make his major league debut.

    Major league debuts are unpredictable of course but a talented lefty the Reds haven’t seen before …. And Smith faces him, no confidence in him.

    Also the Mets are 27-11 at home.

    One weakness of Harvey’s: he’s given up 9 HRs against LHed hitters in the equivalent of 42 innings – maybe Votto, who hasn’t homered for about 2 weeks, and Bruce can do some damage.

    • Tom Reed

      Major league debut pitchers are usually a tough act for the Reds to handle.

  6. Carl Sayre

    I thought it was 5 pitches in the 1st inning but even 6 is ridiculous. I understand they don’t want to get behind in the count especially to a pitcher with the stuff this guy has but he is young give a chance to walk you. JV has been taking the advice of a number of comments on the “nation” about going out of the zone to try to drive in more runs, the only thing I see from this approach his BA off about 20 to 25 points.

    • Steve Mancuso

      FanGraphs published an analysis of Votto’s 2015 season yesterday to see if he has been more aggressive. The results show that he really isn’t. He’s definitely not swinging at more pitches outside the strike zone. In the one situation where there’s a slight uptick in his swing rate – with two outs – he has been much less productive. More plate appearances, a function of batting second, and a little more power coming from the health of his knee, are the cause of the uptick in his RBI – that and just happenstance of runners being on base when he gets a hit.

      It’s an interesting read:
      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/aggression-isnt-the-reason-for-joey-vottos-resurgence/

  7. Grand Salami

    Reds are officially the team against which to debut pitchers.

  8. Adam S.

    Absolutely hilarious that the Phillies have promoted that spare manager Pete Mackanin. He is so bad that he makes Price look good.

    • B-town Fan

      Actually I like Pete Mackanin. I liked how he handled the Reds the half season that he managed them, they had a winning record. I think they should have kept him but they decided to go with Dusty Baker a more established manager.

      • Adam S.

        Dusty was far better than Mackanin would have been.

      • Tom Reed

        Dusty Baker was a little too Dodger blue for me from the beginning. I think our playoff record in 2010, 12 and 13 could have been more satisfying with Pete Mackanin as manager.

      • jessecuster44

        I disagree that Mackanin gets the Reds to the postseason. I dislike Dusty, but he was a better option that Mackanin at that time.

  9. Indy Red Man

    Offense in baseball is dead when u go down 1 run in the 5th inning and you’re now less than 25% to win the game? I guess that factored in the Mets chances to expand the lead w/the bases loaded but still down 1 in the 5th shouldn’t be a big deal?

  10. ohiojimw

    The worst news out of Friday night is that Cueto still isn’t pitching like Cueto the ace.
    With no chance of recouping a compensatory pick for him at season’s end, teams are going to think twice or three times before they give up anybody of projected value for him unless he really picks it up in his next several starts.

    The Reds best option may turn out to be holding on to him for the comp pick which they can get for him.

    • Vanessa Galagnara

      Cueto gave up 2 hits. Looked like the Cueto of old to me. Sometimes you lose and that is what happened today. We have 5 hits…. if we could have put those all together we would have had 3 or more runs.

      • ohiojimw

        112 pitches; only 6 innings completed; walked three men in a row which included walking in the game deciding run from a 2 out and nobody on then two out with a runner on 3rd situation. Grooved the first pitch of the game for a HR. Add in that in the two games prior he has given up a significant lead. The “real Cueto” rarely does any of these things. let alone in consecutive starts.

    • Evan armstrong

      I think come the trade deadline many here will be shocked at how few players actually get traded and how actual major league talent that we get in return.

    • Tom Reed

      Except for the acquisitions of DeSclafani and Suarez, the weak off-season was weakest when Cueto was not traded after his 20 game win season. But, apparently Big Bob and Walt were convinced the Reds would compete this year and Cueto was not traded. The compensation pick looks like the way it will go.

  11. Steve Mancuso

    Wherever you are, brace yourself for when you see today’s lineup.

  12. Jeff

    Even bracing myself was not enough. I hope the Mets only hit to RF. What a horrific lineup.

  13. Indy Red Man

    Byrd in CF….lol. Bruce played a little CF back in the day and he can outrun Byrd? Looks like a 5-1 Mets win but guess we’ll find out?