Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (8-6) 2 9 0
Cincinnati Reds (5-8) 5 6 0
W: Jared Hughes (1-0) L: Adam Wainwright (1-1) SV: Raisel Iglesias (2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

The Reds headed south for the Mexico Series this weekend, but they’re heading north in the NL Central standings.

Cincinnati extended its winning streak to four with a 5-3 win over the Cardinals, putting them a half game ahead of the Cubs for fourth in the division. Turns out the sky wasn’t falling after all.

The Hitters

Through five innings, the Reds managed only two baserunner — walks by Scott Schebler and Eugenio Suarez. Adam Wainwright kept Reds hitters completely off balance, allowing almost no hard contact the first two times through the order. The dreaded third time through the lineup ended his dominance, however. With one out in the sixth, Jesse Winker hit an opposite-field homer to end the no-hit bid and the shutout in one fell swoop. Joey Votto followed with a double down the right-field line but was left stranded at second base.

Derek Dietrich delivered the knockout blow to Wainwright in the seventh with a go-ahead solo home run.

Dietrich now leads the team in home runs with four. Reminder: the Reds signed Dietrich to a minor-league contract and that will never not be utterly ridiculous.

Phil Ervin got his first MLB action of the season and wasted no time making his presence known. Appearing as a pinch hitter, he led off the eighth inning with a triple on the first pitch he saw. Schebler drove Ervin home with a two-out single to give the Reds an insurance run. But the Reds weren’t done. Dietrich came up huge again with a two-run triple off the glove of right-fielder Tyler O’Neill to extend the lead to four.

The Hurlers

Tanner Roark wasn’t dominant by any means, but he turned in his best start as a Red. In 5 1/3 innings, he gave up one run, six hits, and one walk and hit a batter. He struck out five. He worked around a leadoff triple to left field by Matt Carpenter in the first inning (more on that later) by striking out Paul Goldschmidt and getting a pair of flyouts. The bottom of the Cardinals’ order got to Roark in the second when Dexter Fowler doubled and scored on a single by Wainwright. That was the only run Roark allowed. He scattered three hits and a walk over the next 3 1/3 innings.

David Bell pulled Roark in the sixth inning after the Cardinals had pair of hard-hit balls — one a ground-rule double by Marcell Ozuna and the other a lineout by Yadier Molina.

Amir Garrett entered with a runner on second. The southpaw wasn’t as sharp as he’s been in previous outings, especially with his control. After fanning Fowler looking for the second out, he hit Kolten Wong and put Harrison Bader on first base intentionally after a long at-bat that moved from 1-2 to 3-2. The move paid off, as Garrett struck Wainwright out to keep the deficit at 1-0 rather than risking it against Bader, who’d seen eight pitches already. We also got another fun Votto GIF out of it:

Garrett and Jared Hughes combined for a perfect seventh inning. David Hernandez and Zach Duke teamed up for a scoreless eighth, with the latter forcing a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. After the Reds had taken a four-run lead in the bottom of the eighth, Duke returned to the mound for a second inning of work. Wong took him deep on the fourth pitch of the inning, prompting Bell to bring in Raisel Iglesias. The Reds’ closer gave up a walk and a single to put runners at the corners but retired Goldschmidt and Ozuna to end it.

Notes & Thoughts

  • It was weird not having any Statcast data tonight. Let this be my official plea for Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey to install it next year.
  • You might look at the box score and assume Carpenter’s triple was hit in the gap and took a funny hop off the wall. Oh, how wrong you’d be. It was nothing more than a pop-up into left field. But the Reds were shifted to the right side and the ball got lost in the sun. It fell in front of the four-man outfield and beyond the outstretched glove of third baseman Suarez. Carpenter was probably getting a double either way, but the ball took a wicked hop off the field turf and skipped past Dietrich — who moved from second base to left field — letting Carpenter get to third base.
  • All three of Winker’s home runs this season went to the opposite field. Turns out he has plenty of pop in his bat when his shoulder is healthy.
  • Reds pitchers struck out only nine batters tonight, ending the streak of three straight games with double-digit punchouts.
  • Old friend Homer Bailey threw seven shutout innings for the Royals tonight. Good for him.

Stat of the Game

As I was looking up this stat, Joel Luckhaupt beat me to it.

Up Next

The Mexico Series will wrap up on Sunday at 4:10 p.m. ET. Anthony DeSclafani (6.75 ERA, 4.17 xFIP) will look to bounce back after an ugly outing his last time out. The Reds will try to solve Miles Mikolas (6.19 ERA, 5.91 xFIP), who has gone through a tough start to 2019 but dominated them last season.

12 Responses

  1. CFD3000

    Fun game. Roark battled after a weird start to the game, then was effective enough to give the bats time to wake up. Ervin, Dietrich and Schebler all clutch. Winker and Votto heating up. Puig contributed on defense and he will hit too. Some odd plays but on a strange trip and on a strange surface I’m not worried about that. How about a sweep tomorrow? Go Reds!

  2. Joey

    Is Dietrich a better defender than Scooter?

    • Big Ed

      They are probably roughly equivalent. This situation does point out why teams need not overspend for second basemen: they are a dime a dozen. It is no coincidence that the Reds found 2 of them off the scrap heap in 3 years.

      • Mason Red

        Yes Joe Morgan and Brandon Phillips weren’t really that important….

      • Reaganspad

        And Brandon Phillips was also acquired off of the scrap heap

  3. Reddawg12

    I’m encouraged that Roark always seems to go at least 5+ innings and keeps the team in the game every time. Certainly not dominant but gets the jobs done. Pretty much exactly what I hoped for out of him when the season started, a solid #5 starter.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how the OF situation works out once Senzel is healthy. It really doesn’t seem like Kemp has a spot on this team. I wonder if they would be willing to eat the remainder of his contract after Senzel is up. I just really feel that WInker needs to play every day, and once Senzel is up, he also needs to play every day. Neither should be losing starts to Matt Kemp, who I’m pretty sure is slower than me.

  4. steven ross

    Read my mind. Both tough plays but catchable. It’s about time fortune favored us.

  5. Steven Ross

    Maybe it’s just me but I’d really like to see Ervin get more PT. One observation from last night’s game: we did too much shifting to appease analytics.

  6. TR

    An interesting game. It’s always nice to put it on the Cards. Pitching, so far, has been a real positive. Bell gives the impression of being relaxed and I like the way he talks to his coaches in the dugout.

  7. 44Reds

    I predict Dietrich is our starting second baseman next year with Senzel in CF. He is going to provide a real nice bridge to Trammel or Siri (at which time Senzel can move back to 2b).

  8. lost11found

    I too was very impressed with Roark last night. did just enough to keep the cards off the scoreboard in some tough spots. Thats all you need sometimes.

    A big ol’ tip of the cap!

  9. Jazzmanbbfan

    And don’t forget Cossack, Bell is completely in over his head. Like we would know after a handful of games ?.