The Short Version: Tyler Mahle pitches another outstanding game and, after taking a day off, the Reds offense returned on Sunday. You know what that means: for the first time in 2018, the Cincinnati Reds won a series against another major league baseball team!

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (7-21) 8 14 0
Minnesota Twins (9-14) 2 8 0
W: Mahle (2-3) L: Berrios (2-3)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Don’t look now, but your Cincinnati Reds just went 4-3 in the last week. That’s a winning record, friends and neighbors.

–Another good start by the kid, Tyler Mahle: 6.1 innings pitched, one run allowed on four hits and two walks, striking out seven. Mahle threw 93 pitches and, again, began to struggle the third time through the opposing lineup. Still, an excellent start and I continue to be encouraged by Mahle’s development.

–Jesse Winker reached base for the 14th consecutive game, going 2-5 with a double, a run scored and an RBI. Jose Peraza went 3-5 — hitting in his seventh consecutive game — and he’s now hitting .299/.321/.411 on the season.

–Eugenio Suarez was 2-4 with a double, a walk, and two RBI. Scooter Gennett was 2-5 with a double and two runs scored. Joey Votto had a hit and two walks. Adam Duvall murdered a baseball for his fourth home run of the season.

The Bad

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Gotta say it again: for the first time in 2018, the Cincinnati Reds won a series against another major league baseball team!

–The Reds scored in each of the first four innings. In the first, Peraza singled with one out and later came around on a Suarez double to the left field corner.

In the second, Tucker Barnhart walked, Alex Blandino grounded into a fielder’s choice, then scored from first on a Winker double over the right fielder’s head.

The Reds pushed two across in the third inning. Votto led off with a single, and Scooter doubled him to third. After Suarez walked to load the bases with no outs, Scott Schebler and Duvall both grounded into fielder’s choices that plated runs.

The floodgates opened in the fourth. Blandino, Winker, and Peraza all singled, scoring one. Then, with two outs, Suarez and Schebler connected for back-to-back RBI singles.

–With an 8-1 lead, it seemed like a good opportunity for the Reds to get Amir Garrett stretched out a little. Garrett came on in relief of Mahle and finished out the seventh inning. Any hopes that he would finish out the game were dashed quickly, however. The Twins singled and walked to open the eighth, and Reds manager Jim Riggleman quickly replaced Garrett with Wandy Peralta. Peralta quickly retired three straight hitters.

— Watching the kids — Tyler Mahle, Jesse Winker, Jose Peraza, Amir Garrett, Alex Blandino, even throw Eugenio Suarez into that bucket — lead the Reds today is the only joy you can get in a miserable season like this.

–The Reds are only 10 games out of first place in the NL Central!

Today’s Tweets

27 Responses

  1. JR

    Nice recap Chad. It’s easy to get excited about Tyler but I’m not quite sold yet. I remember Mike LaCoss and Jack Armstrong. But Tyler and Homer are our best two pitchers right now. We can build around that. Not yet sold on Peraza either but he’s doing just fine right now. Glad the Reds at least won a series the first month of the season. Man, that’s getting desperate.

    • Dewey Roberts

      I have seen Tyler in the minors. I am not surprised he is doing well in the majors. I think he had staying power.

  2. JB WV

    Liked the lineup today with Hamilton on the bench, coming in late for defense. Riggleman seemingly steers the ship with a stronger hand. These guys need that. Mahle’s pitch count was low when he came out, 70 some, thought he could go a couple more batters. But hey, a series win!! Might have to head up next weekend for a couple games.

    • JB WV

      My bad. Must have looked at the PC at the start of the inning. And I agree. He’ll go deeper with more experience.

  3. Tom Mitsoff

    Peraza’s turnaround has been quite compelling. I haven’t been watching every game from beginning to end so I can’t verify this by my own two eyes, but one of the Reds announcers (may have been Thom) said this weekend that Peraza is making all the plays at short, along with his hitting resurgence. It is a reminder of how he was late in 2016 when he hit over .300 in the second half. Obviously, if he can do that, then the number of walks becomes not quite as important.

    I may have been looking at things with a pessimistic eye when every day was a loss, but it seemed a few weeks back that Peraza was a step short on the defensive range factor, along with swinging wildly at everything. He’s only 23, and was probably feeling the heat of knowing that the organization’s top prospect was being tried out at his position in the spring.

    The last week has provided reason for optimism. The offense that went to sleep most of April is back, with three starters hitting over .300, two others at .299, and also Joey Votto heating up. I think this is what we were anticipating from this offense that was better than average most of last year. The bullpen could really shape up to be special. Hughes has looked outstanding. When Lorenzen gets back, you’ll have either Floro or Brice as your long man, and that’s not all bad, based on what we’ve seen so far this year.

    If Castillo can’t turn it around, he should go to Louisville to do so when DeSclafani returns, or even sooner. With the exception of Finnegan, the rest of the starters have given acceptable performances more often than not.

    It’s obviously more fun when they win, and unlike about two and a half weeks ago, it feels like when the game is close, they have a shot.

  4. Dewey Roberts

    Price had 4 complete seasons of experience but was as bad at the end as at the beginning. A good manager makes a difference.

  5. redsfan06

    Rigglemen’s comment really bothered me too. It appears the concern about trying to put together a couple of wins overrides the concern of developing a potential stud young pitcher for the future. This conflict seemed to be a constant factor in the Price era.

  6. Tom Mitsoff

    I agree. That’s the same sense I have gotten.

  7. Mason Red

    I’ve been hard on this team but maybe they are coming around. The change at manager may have really helped. Regardless….Go Reds!

  8. Eddiek957

    I think the outfield rotation should be winker and schebler six out of seven games billy and Adam split the other eight starts

  9. RedsFanEd

    Happy to see this run of games. Too bad the first 3 weeks were so bad. You can’t win a pennant in April but you sure can lose one. Not that I expected this team to contend but … This team will have to go 75-60 the rest of the year just to finish 81-81. Which would show tremendous progress. I happy to see wins.

  10. TurboBuckeye

    With the team closer to full health now it was inevitable the offense would start to come around. Aboslutely love Billy coming in off the bench as a pinch runner/late defensive sub.

  11. nicolecushing

    I’m beginning to become cautiously optimistic about the team. Riggleman doesn’t care if he pisses off players who aren’t performing (as evidenced by pinch hitting for Hamilton and the early hook for struggling pitchers).

    Consequences for poor performance are a welcome change to excuses. Aggressiveness is a welcome change from passivity. Believing your team can win is a welcome change from Price-esque (Prician?) self-pity. Everyone talks about the 77 F Bomb Salute. Nobody talks about how that rant included him saying out loud, in front of cameras, “it’s hard enough to f——g win here”. What kind of message did that send to players? Yes, small market teams face greater challenge than large market teams, but if you focus on your limitations you’re already beaten before you take the field.

  12. Dave Roemerman

    Fact-check, Chad. The Reds have won another series this year – a 1-0 sweep of the Chicago Cubs in their second series of the season (following being swept by the Nats). The second game was a rainout, of course. It’s nice to get one that’s legit, finally!

    • Chad Dotson

      This is true. But I don’t think we can consider one game a “series.” By definition, a series has to be more than one game.

      I have, however, enjoyed poking fun at my Cub fan friends about the fact that they got swept by the Reds.

  13. GreatRedLegsFan

    Riggleman’s approach to shuffle line-up here & there is comforting, after Price’s stubbornness to deploy same line-up day after day. However, it was easier with a DH, now back to NL games it remains to be seen. I wonder if Gennett has ever been tested at LF, so Hamilton and Duvall stay as bench players and Blandino can take over 2B. Gennett’s bat is necessary, but his defense is flaw.

  14. scotly50

    I would like to see Votto and Winker flipped in the line-up. I think it would help the team with scoring runs. I think Votto may actually be faster than Winker.

    I agree on Castillo. He is doing a Cody Reed out there. Bring a Bat pitcher up for a start and let him work on his mechanics.

    I wish the Reds could play the Twins more often.

  15. Jeff Reed

    Managerial experience is a big factor in ML success. The question is how they get it either in the minor leagues or as a ML bench coach. Riggleman has experience and at his age has nothing too much to prove, but he is making moves that show a positive result. He does talk to his coaches and players during the game and comes across as an authority figure without being distant from the players. The result, so far, is positive.

    • Streamer88

      What I’m about to say is anecdotal and without factual support BUT I’ve noticed younger newer managers tend to play aging vets more instead of promising rookies either because they don’t want to anger the vets (Price) or we’re very recently a vet themselves (Matheny, Mattingly, Girardi).

      The more accomplished guys are more likely to move past that. They know they won’t lose the locker room if they play the rookie. At least Riggleman appears to be the latter.

    • SultanofSwaff

      If Billy remains in the role he’s best suited for now, he’s a rather expensive hood ornament. Why pay him $5mil to win you a couple games in a lost season.

      I’m a big proponent of packaging players to get one can’t miss player back rather than picking up multiple marginal players. To that end, that’s the only kind of deal I’m making because the players we’re talking about are nice bench pieces on a team with non financial pressures.
      Dealing Hamilton and Duvall and Gennett would be an excellent trade for a team in win-now mode, but ONLY if you get a difference maker (Ozuna/#1 prospect type) in return. Senzel takes over 2B and the player you acquire plays RF or CF.

      • JB WV

        At this point it’s addition by subtraction with BH, sad to say. It’s clear that Schebler and Winker need to play everyday, and with Blandino emerging as a plus utility guy you can plug in several positions, Riggleman can find playing time for all. Love to see Duvall get on a roll to maximize his value.

  16. SultanofSwaff

    My 2 cents:
    1. There’s probably an advantage to having a left handed player in LF and vice versa in RF as they could cover the lines better. This assumes the CF handles the ‘tweener’ balls in the gap.
    2. The stronger armed player generally plays RF as he has to make the long throw to 3B.

  17. Reaganspad

    that is a real number for Schebler. Love how he is hitting to LF to beat the shift. He does that and he is the all star in our outfield this year

  18. Reaganspad

    yup. $5.0 million or so that would have been better spent on one player like a Hughes or Hernandez

  19. misconcepcion

    In my circles back in that day, the bipedal wonder Bob Boone was simply “Boboon” (sometimes adding Purple-Assed as a prefix; alternatively “Bah Boon”). Strategically-challenged to the max. Lay down a bunt after a leadoff single. Smart baseball. Oink.
    A fine, durable veteran who’s part of one of beisbol’s beloved family legacies with three members (players grandpa Ray, PED Bret and Aaron) joining Bah as part of the larger Redleg family, Boboon was, nonetheless, as clueless regarding baseball strategy as the late, lamented Bo Diaz was bereft of foot speed.

    Regardless, ANY manager who uses the 2-hole hitter to bunt a lead-off baserunner to second with Domo Ariigato Mr. Joe Votto on-deck deserves to be shot.

    NOT with a gunshot, for chrissakes, but with rock salt or yellow paint-ball, at least.