|Miami Marlins (3-9)||1||3||0|
|Cincinnati Reds (3-8)||2||3||0|
|W: Amir Garrett (1-0) L: Drew Steckenrider (0-2) SV: Raisel Iglesias (1)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread | Statcast|
For seven innings, the Cincinnati Reds’ bats fall asleep again. The 14-run game on Tuesday seemed like a distant memory. The Reds had one hit and no runs over the first seven innings.
That all changed when Jose Iglesias stepped to the plate to start the eighth. After making two run-saving plays with his glove earlier in the game, he provided more heroics by launching a game-tying solo home run. Two batters later, Jesse Winker put the Reds ahead for good with his second bomb in as many days.
The Reds are on their first official winning streak of the 2019 season.
One day after setting a team record for most balls hit at 100+ mph in a game, Reds batters had trouble squaring up anything. Marlins starter Trevor Richards was wild (five walks) but allowed only one hit — a first-inning single by Matt Kemp — and limited hard contact to keep Cincinnati off the scoreboard. The Reds scrounged together only three batted balls considered “hard” contact by Statcast (95+ mph exit velocity) against Richards — two by Winker and one by Eugenio Suarez.
The Reds still had their chances, however. Four of Richards’ walks came to the first eight hitters he faced. In the first inning, he loaded the bases with one out, but the Reds couldn’t take advantage. Scott Schebler popped out to center field with one out and Joey Votto was thrown out at home trying to score on a sacrifice fly.
As sabermetrician Tom Tango explained, the ball was far too shallow to consider sending Votto:
In the Votto sac fly where he was thrown out, the ball was caught 260 feet from home, and we estimate that the decision zone was at 271 to 329 feet. Any ball caught less than 271 is in the no-go zone, and caught beyond 329 is always-go zone. pic.twitter.com/DXyOIgxgCX
— Tangotiger (@tangotiger) April 11, 2019
They threatened again in the second, putting runners on second and third with two outs, but Winker flew out to end the inning. From there, Richards pulled it together, retiring 12 of the next 13 batters while picking up six of his seven strikeouts.
But it all turned around in the eighth. Iglesias, who had only 21 career home runs before tonight, launched the fourth pitch he saw from reliever Drew Steckenrider over the right-center field wall to tie the game at one. It was his first career home run to center field. Winker followed with a go-ahead shot that looked eerily similar to his homer on Tuesday. It just squeaked over the left-field wall, but it was enough to push the Reds to a win despite managing only three hits.
So, how bout that 8th inning? ? pic.twitter.com/sZzimLxndZ
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 11, 2019
Tyler Mahle was not as sharp in his second start of the year, but he battled through problems with fastball command to throw five innings of one-run, two-hit baseball. The right-hander fanned seven and issued four walks on the night. Most of Mahle’s struggles came in the first two innings, during which he gave up all four free passes. With some brilliant defense behind him (more on that later), he escaped without any damage. Neil Walker tagged Mahle for a solo home run in the third inning, but that was the only tally the Marlins could scratch on the scorecard. Over his last three innings, Mahle retired nine of the 10 batters he faced, striking out five of them.
Because he was struggling with his fastball command for the first half of his start, Mahle relied more on his slider. He threw it 21 times tonight — 23% of his pitches — though it wasn’t very effective (1 whiff, 2 called strikes). Mahle turned back to his fastball down the stretch and regained his feel for it. He struck out the side in the fourth inning, with the final punchout coming on his new splitter/changeup. It will be interesting to see if he uses it more moving forward. Mahle threw it only four times tonight.
Jared Hughes also struggled with his control. Although he walked only one batter, he got into three-ball counts against five of the seven hitters he faced. Still, he didn’t allow a run, a welcome sight amidst a shaky start to the year. He struck out two and allowed an infield single. After a two-out walk to old friend Rosell Herrera, Hughes was pulled for Amir Garrett. As he’s been in every appearance of 2019, Garrett was filthy. He breezed through four outs, striking out two and keeping Marlins hitters guessing with his sweeping slider and high-90s gas.
After looking more like his usual self in his last outing against the Pirates, Raisel Iglesias slammed the door in the top of the ninth inning. He got his first save opportunity of the year after the Reds took the lead the previous inning. It took him no time to lock up his first save. Iglesias mowed down three batters in a row on strikes to seal the win. Six of his 14 pitches resulted in swings and misses. Filthy.
The Reds’ haven’t impressed much in the field in the early going, but don’t lump Jose Iglesias into the group of those who’ve struggled. The shortstop made a pair of dazzling plays in the opening two innings to save runs for Mahle. In the first, he made a diving stop on a 103-mph ground ball by Starlin Castro and flipped the ball to Derek Dietrich to start an inning-ending double play.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 10, 2019
Iglesias was at it again in the second. With the bases loaded and two outs, Iglesias covered around 75 feet to stop a slow roller on the right side of the infield as he was pulled over in a shift. With no other choice to prevent a run, he made a glove flip to first base to retire Curtis Granderson and keep the game scoreless.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 10, 2019
Stat of the Game
Reds pitchers struck out 14 batters tonight, a season high. The previous high came on Tuesday, when the staff punched out 12 Marlins hitters. If the pitchers manage at least 12 strikeouts for a third straight game tomorrow, it will be the fifth time that’s occurred in team history. The record streak is four, which was amazingly set in the 2015 marred by horrible pitching. The Reds, of course, went 0-4 in those games.
A matinee affair will conclude the Reds’ three-game series on Thursday. Coming off a sensational outing in Pittsburgh, Sonny Gray (2.89 ERA, 4.17 FIP) will get the ball for the home team for a chance to sweep the Marlins. Pablo Lopez (6.10 ERA, 3.29 xFIP) will take the ball for Miami. First pitch is set for 12:35 p.m. ET.