Final R H E
Atlanta Braves (12-12) 2 11 0
Cincinnati Reds (10-14) 4 5 0
W: Castillo (3-1) L: Teheran (2-3)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

*Note: All text in italics written after rain delay. If it reads as a touch grumpier, know that the game should have been called and I do not apologize for silly decisions on the part of the umpiring crew. 

The Good

Reds ace Luis Castillo looked shaky his first three innings, giving up plenty of hard contact but working around it thanks to some stellar defensive play. Dansby Swanson crushed a double in the second, and Nick Markakis hit the hardest ball of the game for a single in the third. A little bit more lift on either of those balls, and the Reds are looking at an early hole. Castillo settled down for innings four through six, setting the Braves down in order each time. He was pulled in the seventh after three straight singles to start the inning, but more on that later.

Castillo also collected his first hit of the season with a single in the third, so that’s nice for Luis.

Did this really happen? Luis Castillo, a hit? I’m unconvinced.

On the defensive note, Eugenio Suarez made the appetizer, Yasiel Puig gave us the main course, and Jose Iglesias sweetened it all with a little ice cream sundae in the fourth.

Oh, I long for the time, hours ago, when I felt enough joy to write such a sentence.

To end the first inning, Suarez made a lovely barehand on a slow Ronald Acuna groundball toward the third baseline, rifling it across the diamond to end the inning. Then in the fourth inning, Suarez made a backhanded grab on a grounder that Acuna absolutely toasted (98.3 mph exit velocity). Another strong throw to first and the Reds third bagger had frustrated the Braves wunderkind twice in the early goings.

There was no topping Mr. Puig’s defensive gem on this day though. After Freddie Freeman ripped a ball into the gap, Puig booted the ball initially but quickly collected it and unleashed a cannon to second base. Now, no one will call Freeman quick-footed, but Puig’s throw was money regardless. Right to the bag on the fly, getting the Reds out of the inning and out of danger.

And for the nightcap, Jose Iglesias, positioned perfectly up the middle, fielded Johan Carmago’s 104.6 mph daisycutter on a short hop and threw to first to end the inning. A Michelin-star performance by the Reds defense.

Oh, I forgot to mention: The Reds scored some runs too. Or at least, Eugenio Suarez did. In the third, Suarez destroyed a pitch (99.8 exit velocity, 24 degree launch angle) for what looked like a sure home run, but settled for a run-scoring single instead. It would have been a double, but Acuna played the ball perfectly off the wall to throw Suarez out at second.

Then, with runners on the corners and two outs in the fifth, Suarez again mashed a ball to deep left center, doubling off the wall and bringing home both runners.

As for those aforementioned singles Castillo gave up to start the seventh? Well David Hernandez has some words for inherited runners scoring: “Not today.” Hernandez struck out the side, leaving the bases loaded and the shutout intact. In particular, his three-pitch strikeout of Ender Inciarte was a master class of pitching command and outdueling a hitter.

That could have been the end of it but no. The umpires are cruel gods to me and the other 13 people who stayed the game. “Why?!” I cried out, but heard nothing save the pitter-patter of rain on a tarp.

Jose Peraza walked in the first at-bat after the rain delay. I can only assume we entered a twilight zone and that it didn’t actually happen. I was teleported to a different reality where this Reds game continued while the rest of you got to live in the blissful world where it was called during the single-digit hours and everything felt normal and balanced.

Some baserunning notes:

  • Jesse Winker taking second on a deep Yasiel Puig flyout: Smart.
  • Jesse Winker thrown out at third after a Kyle Farmer sacrifice fly: Not Smart.
  • Reds baserunning all season long: Priceless.

Raisel Iglesias converted a five-out save. It’s confirmed; this is the twilight zone. Or maybe the shadow realm. Regardless, it’s unexplored territory.

The Bad

Joey Votto looked lost at the plate twice against Julio Teheran. In both his first and his third at-bat, Votto struck out on called strikes, seeming as if he couldn’t locate the ball out of Teheran’s hand. Votto did walk in his second at-bat so at least some things are constant.

Freedie Freeman crushed a baseball to center field off of Zach Duke, reaffirming my prior belief that this game should have been called during the rain delay. Also, poking a hole in the whole twilight zone theory. Freddie Freeman does tend to hit home runs after all.

Rain-delayed games are no fun, but this is my new favorite tweet. (Note: This tweet did not make up for the nearly three-hour long delay, during which I was forced to contemplate football, a sport which is simply not my forte.)

Not So Random Thoughts

Jesse Winker is, and forever will be, the most delightful player on this Reds team. Puig claims the crown of most fun, Votto most entertaining, and Suarez most endearing, but Winker is just something else.

Kyler Murray was taken first overall in some draft tonight? But not the MLB draft where he was already taken ninth overall? And it was by a team named the Cardinals but not the St. Louis one? Somebody help me, I’m confused. At least his suit was fresh.

More draft-related content: I watched the Vandy-Auburn game during the rain delay, reminding me that FanGraphs released its first mock draft yesterday. They forecast the Reds to take Vandy right fielder J.J. Bleday with the seventh overall pick. Having watched a lot of Bleday lately, I fully support that hypothetical. He’s a power lefty, with decent quickness in the outfield. Reminds me of Oregon State’s Trevor Larnach from last year, another power lefty outfielder who I was super high on. Point being: Bleday is a name to watch.

Up Next

The Reds travel to St. Louis to play the Kyler Murray-less Cardinals. Game time at 7:15 CST.

Anthony Desclafani (0-1, 5.59 ERA) vs. Miles Mikolas (2-1, 4.97 ERA)

And now my watch has ended.

19 Responses

  1. Roger Garrett

    Just a nutty game but its a win.Reds just do some of the most nutty thinks on the bases,at the plate and on defense it looks like little league sometimes.Joey never swinging at a pitch with a guy on third striking out and looks upset,Puig swinging at the first pitch 3 times and goes out and where is Winker going in the eighth inning right after a good tag and advance to second.Is or does anybody coach these guys or even ask them why?Yet they won with 5 hits and a bunch of walks.Should have swept just like in San Diego.Man this team could be great if they start to hit and stop the little league stuff

  2. Scott Gennett

    Saw Hernandez’s three-up, three-down via K’s in the 7th, just amazing!!!

  3. Doc

    With Garrett and Peralta in the pen and both pitching well, how does Duke keep getting run out to the mound in meaningful situations? ERA now over 11. When will he be relegated to mop up duty in blowouts or, better still, to looking for a job? I’d rather see a pitcher of the future rather than one of the past anyway, though even better would be a 12 man staff. They’re effectively 12 man anyway given Duke’s sorry outings.

  4. lost11found

    Holds are an even worse stat than the save…

    at least they got rid of the ‘Game winning RBI’ stat

  5. lost11found

    Taking 2 of 3 from a team projected to be a mover and shaker in the NL this year is always a good thing.

    I do have some concern with votto. he seems like a two-outcome player right now. Perhaps the back issue he sat with a few days ago is worse than he is letting on.

    In addition to the idea floated in the game thread about DFA’ing duke when senzel is called up, they might toy with DL’ing votto to free up the roster spot (at least on the 25 man) if this continues.

  6. Redgoggles

    It’s too bad that Cody Reed isn’t lighting it up at AAA; plus are we really expecting Wandy to keep it up the rest of the year? That really leaves us one Amir injury away from being left handed less in the bullpen. I think that is why the rope has been longer with Duke. It will be interesting to see how Bell prioritizes usage, he seems more responsive to results (see BobSteve) than his predecessors.

    • CFD3000

      Agree on Reed but last I saw he had only pitched 7 innings. What’s up with that? He and Romano should be starting every 5 days and working through any early season issues. They will be needed.

      Didn’t see this game, a rare miss for me because of the Atlanta area blackout. Ridiculous but if I had to miss one… I feel your pain Wesley. Happy for any win. Can’t wait for Duke to leave and Votto, Puig and Schebler to arrive. On to St. Louis. Go Reds!

    • MA

      You are on a roll today! I couldn’t agree more.

      I am currently ruminating about Romano’s body makeup change this past off season. At one point I read he had lost 20+ lbs. I am wondering if that has anything to do with his increased struggles this year.

    • CFD3000

      Cossack – Lets hope so (Reed and his corner) but I am strongly in the camp of starting Reed. I think that’s still his best use, mostly because starters are simply more valuable. Giving him starts at AAA doesn’t preclude him coming out of the bullpen in Cincinnati, but relieving in Louisville means he can’t start (at least right away) for the Reds. That feels short sighted. As for Romano I agree that he’s not a future starter, but I want him to get as many innings as possible in AAA until he finds pitching success, then joins the Reds bullpen if and when needed. But if you believe he is more likely to find that success coming out of the Bats pen I can’t say that’s obviously the wrong choice – you could be right. And if only one can start in Louisville it’s Reed by a mile. I’d really hate to see him relegated to relieving just when it looked like he was really starting to figure out the starting gig for the Reds late last year.

  7. SultanofSwaff

    Boy, if this team can keep inching it’s way back to .500 the additions of Gennett and Senzel (and hopefully Reed) will be huge boosts. I’m talking like wild card playoff contender.

    The next 6 weeks will be HUGE.

  8. Still a Red

    That second strike out of Votto was tough. Looking at the strikezone location, all 3 were right on the edges…great pitches. However, I would have thought Votto would have tried to foul off that third one, given the first two were called strikes. I really do think the umps are all over the map on the strike zone this year…making it hard for the hitters to know what will be called.

  9. RedleggsAndHam

    Complaint: Not enough recaps from Wesley.
    Solution: More recaps from Wesley.

  10. RichS

    The box you see on the screen is not entirely accurate according to Welch. A good hitter will pick up on the umpires strike zone. Votto thinks he knows better. To take the strikes he is taking is BS. Loosen those arms and hit the ball. Stop begging for walks. This is a repeat of last year.

  11. SoCalRedsFan

    Don’t care who comes up, it could be literally anybody…Duke needs to go and he needs to go now.

  12. lost11found

    As long as he doesn’t bite any fingers off first!

    And MBE has to do the Game threads. She is our Eowyn! Shieldmaiden of RLN!

  13. lost11found

    Yeah. It looks like the Brewers pitching isn’t as strong as it’s was last year (unexpectedly). Add to that, if Yelich and Agilar both had career years in 2018, then the little bit of regression will hurt the O as Moustakas and Braun have another year on the odometer.

    The Cubs pitching has been a bit of a dissappointment and Bryant is still struggling. Although yesterday after a loss to LA, MLB network discussed at length about the cubs returning to dominance. So maybe I’m missing something there.

    The Cards, Pirates and Reds all fall into 8-ball category of ‘ask again later’ for me. too many early season ? marks for me to say one way or the other.

    Its shaping up to be a fun summer!

  14. KDJ

    I thought the replay clearly showed him safe. The tag was to the ground and then the left leg . . . after the right foot was on the bag.
    Gotta love the DVR.

  15. KDJ

    The first SO of Votto was indicative of the extra 3 or so inches all around the zone that Teheran enjoyed most of the night. The second SO was different; they were all well placed in the zone. How do you take three fast balls in the zone with a runner on third and one out?