|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.
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.
Oh no, someone is going to have to throw at Wainwright for admiring a home run. https://t.co/eEB2ZWsNwR
— ???? ????y (@Nicholaspkirby) April 14, 2019
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.
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:
— dinner_roll (@dinner_roll) April 14, 2019
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.
Reds with 2 triples in one inning for the first time since 9/11/2016 (Adam Duvall and Tyler Holt in the 2nd inning)
— Joel Luckhaupt (@jluckhaupt) April 14, 2019
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.