The Cincinnati Reds completed a two-game sweep of the Royals this evening, and have now won three consecutive games. Reds pitchers were dominant in Kansas City, allowing just one run in 19 innings. It was Tyler Mahle’s turn tonight, pitching 6.1 shutout innings. It appears as if Mahle has turned a corner in 2018. The Reds offense didn’t score until the seventh inning, but they quickly made up for lost time. Adam Duvall provided a night cap with a grand slam to give the Reds a 7-0 lead.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (25-43) 7 9 0
Kansas City Royals (22-46) 0 5 3
W: Mahle (5-6) L: Hammel (2-7)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Jose Peraza’s leadoff double in the 7th inning with the score tied 0-0. That play increased the Reds chances of winning by 10.6% (from 50.0% to 60.6%).

Player of the Game

Tyler Mahle: 6.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 3.73 FIP, 0.36 WPA

Mahle had his third consecutive good start for the Reds (1.12 ERA over his last 3 starts). Mahle only had 1 strikeout tonight (he had 11 in his last two starts), but he limited the Royals to just 3 hits and 2 walks. The Royals average exit velocity off Mahle’s fastball was 82.0 MPH. The average exit velocity in the MLB vs fastballs is around 88 MPH. The biggest thing for Mahle is that he has now gone 4 starts (21.1 IP) without allowing a home run.

Positives

Adam Duvall blew the game open with a grand salami in the 9th inning. He got every ounce of it too (107.3 exit velocity).

Jose Peraza had two hits tonight, including the biggest hit of the night (see above). Peraza’s OBP has crawled to .300.

Scooter Gennett had another two hit night. He is now hitting .341/.378/.550. LOL.

Curt Casali had another hit tonight, and he is 6 for 14 as a member of the Reds. Casali can hit a little bit. He had a 122 wRC+ in 28 games at AAA for the Rays, and had a career .775 OPS in the minors.

Negatives

There was something up here about Adam Duvall going 0 for 3. But then he had to go and hit a grand slam. Jerk.

Not so random thoughts………..

Just another fun night in the booth with Thom Brennaman. Thom said “this is brutal” when the Reds loaded the bases in the 9th inning, and one of his many tangents of the night included berating Jared Hughes (the Reds’ best pitcher in terms of not walking batters) for walking a batter.

Up Next:

Reds at Pirates
Friday, 7:05 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Matt Harvey (5.97 ERA) vs Chad Kuhl (3.95 ERA)

26 Responses

  1. Matthew Habel

    Not to be a downer, but Mahle’s xFIP was on the night was 6.29 so not sure it is fair to say he turned a corner. Lots of fly balls that did not leave the park and might have in a different venue.

    Good result for sure though, maybe he was just pitching to the situation. Would not put it past him.

    • Nick Carrington

      Yeah, Mahle’s SIERA was over 6 too. Remember when Homer Bailey had good results in his first three starts but didn’t strike out hardly anybody? That’s what we just saw from Mahle and Romano.

      The Royals had a BABIP of .120 against Romano and .158 against Mahle. That’s awfully fortunate.

      But these starts might bring them some confidence. It’s part of the learning process.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        I was also wondering, as I drifted off to sleep, if Romano and Mahle’s outings had more to do with the Reds playing a team that is as bad, or worse, than they are vs. them actually turning a corner. I’m still very high on Mahle being a decent-to-good Major League pitcher, less convinced on Romano, at least as a starter.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Impossible to tell, Jazzman, but positive results are positive results. The key for the rest of this year is for all of the starting pitchers to create a trend line moving in the positive direction instead of negative.

      • Jazzmanbbfan

        Yes Tom, I agree that positive results are good, regardless who they come against. Hoping this is the start of a trend with our young starters. The optimist in me wants to believe that anyway.

      • CP

        A one game sample means absolutely nothing for SIERA and xFIP purposes.

        More importantly, KC as a team strikes out the fewest amount in the majors by a decent margin, and they have the third fewest amount of HRs. It’s like he’s pitched against a squad consisting of Jose Perazas. Yeah, your xFIP is going to look ugly against that squad because you aren’t striking him out very often, and the statistic normalizes his power stats when the power isn’t normal.

        Both sides, including the guys saying he has turned a corner should acknowledge that this game was likely a simple aberration. Mahle’s 4.23 xFIP is a much better representation of who he is, and who he is looks like a promising young pitcher who gives up a little too much hard contact fly balls. .

      • Nick Carrington

        Yeah, of course. I didn’t mean to suggest that one game of SIERA is predictive. Just that if they are letting up that much reasonably hard contact to other teams, the result probably looks different.

        Great information about KC not striking out. Romano doesn’t strike out many people, but when Mahle didnt, I wondered if KC just made a lot of contact.

  2. George

    You do mean 18 straight wins to get to .500 . Right

  3. Broseph

    Negative:
    Garrett pitches 0.1 inning, further solidifying his role as the under utilized, archaic bullpen position – the Loogy.

    Perhaps the best competition for starting pitching to help this team in ‘19 has 2 players pitching once or twice a week at 1-2 innings each (Garrett, Lorenzen).
    Shame.

    • Rich Harwood

      I don’t think they’re going to use him as a LOOGY, they certainly haven’t so far. I would tend to think it has more to do with getting guys work in after an 8 inning performance, sandwiched between 2 off days. Riggleman spoke about that being the reason he pulled Mahle, said he’d normally like to have kept him in, but the guys ini the pen would be going too long without pitching.

    • Nick Carrington

      Really important to note that Lorenzen didn’t use his two best pitches in 2015 as a starter: his Sinker and cutter. He learned them late and after that season. He has never started with his current pitch repertoire.

      It’s reasonable for people to not view Lorenzen as a starter for several reasons:

      1. Health — He’s had several injuries that are concerning.
      2. Command — He’s been inconsistent in throwing strikes.
      3. Put-away pitch — He doesn’t have a slider like Garrett or changeup like Castillo to put hitters away.

      All of these are legitimate, but he’s been on the disabled list less than Finnegan or Disco. He showed great command in 2016 and in a short sample, has returned to that in 2018. He also got over 40% whiffs per swing last year with his curveball and roughly 37% with his slider. Teams hit .105 against the slider. That’s not Garrett slider good; he gets over 54% whiffs per swing with his slider, but it might be good enough.

      Anyway, all that to say that there are good arguments for and against Lorenzen starting, but I think they should give it a shot if he’s going to command the fastball like he has this season. He’s throwing a lower percentage of balls with his fastball so far than he did in 2016 when he posted a 2.75 SIERA and 2.88 ERA.

      I’d start Garrett first but also give Lorenzen a shot.

  4. TIm

    I wish the Reds would replace all of their announcers except Chris Welsh.

    • RedInIN

      Can’t speak for the radio side, as nearly all of my coverage comes from FS-O. Thom is the only one who consistently puts me in a bad mood. George Grande has now become a breath of fresh air.

      • Matthew Habel

        Loved George Grande filling in for tHom

  5. Jack

    Is it,against the rules for the umpires to talk to the players?

  6. Mason Red

    A two game “sweep” of a terrible team. I guess I should try to find some satisfaction in that incredible achievement and remind myself that a rebuild takes time….

  7. Bill

    Tim, I agree and I don’t care for Welch that much either.

  8. Tom Mitsoff

    Robert Stephenson Wednesday night for Louisville vs. Columbus: 7 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 0 walks, 9 Ks. THAT is the kind of performance that should get some attention from the front office.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Five of his last seven Louisville starts fit the major league definition of “quality start:” 6 or more innings, 3 or fewer earned runs allowed.

  9. Roger garrett

    Zero walks should get some attention although l always felt there was something else besides the walks that ruffles the organization’s feathers. I know well everybody knows his stuff at times is unhittable because he gets a lot of swings and misses

  10. big5ed

    Man, some of you guys would complain if you woke up next to Scarlett Johannson and found her hair messed up.

    Yeah, some of those balls to the track in Kansas City would have been homers if they were hit in GABP. Uh, they weren’t playing in GABP. The pitchers can pitch a bit differently in Kansas City, taking advantage of the park. The Reds would likely have scored more, too, but for the KC pitchers doing the same thing. As it turns out, the object of the game in GABP, in Kaufman Stadium, in Fenway Park and at the College World Series, from a pitching standpoint, is to yield fewer runs than the other team’s pitchers do. Romano and Mahle both did that, very well.

    Does that turn them into Kershaw or Verlander? Negative, but give them both some credit for showing some sack and pitching better. Mahle threw 39 of his 52 fastballs for strikes, deep fence or no deep fence.

    • Matthew Habel

      Depends, what is Scarlett Johannson’s K/BB ratio?

      • lost11found

        There are just too many possible jokes here. But I am going to show the wisdom born of age and keep quiet except to say. Make your own joke.

    • Jack

      Big5ed exactly. How none of them is in or has been in the big leagues is amazing.

    • big5ed

      Verlander does seem to carry a big smile a lot of the time.