The Short Version: The offense was nearly nonexistent once again, and the Reds wasted another strong outing by the pitching staff to drop a series in St. Louis.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (11-16) 2 8 0
St. Louis Cardinals (17-10) 5 7 2
W: Flaherty (3-1) L: Gray (0-4) S: Gant (2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Sonny Gray was sharp early, then scuffled a little in his last two innings. Still, his overall line wasn’t bad at all: 5 innings, 2 runs allowed on 3 hits; he struck out 5 and walked 2. Here’s the good part…Gray’s season numbers after today: 3.64 ERA, 2.05 FIP, 36 strikeouts, 8 walks. His K/9 is nearly 11. Very strong.

Of course, he hasn’t won a game yet, so there’s that.

–Robert Stephenson pitched another scoreless inning of relief, so he’s down to a 1.93 ERA through 14 innings so far this season. Wandy Peralta struck out two of the three hitters he faced in a perfect inning, and his ERA is down to 1.00.

–In the top of the eighth, Dexter Fowler hit a stand up double with two outs that scored the Cardinals final run of the game. When the throw came back in to Jose Iglesias near second base, Fowler was coming into the base. When he carelessly stepped over the bag, Iglesias dove all-out and tagged him. Heads up play and great effort.

The Bad
–This offense, man. The Reds had a runner in scorer’s position in the first inning (thanks to an error and a walk), and then didn’t have anyone else advance as far as second base until Jesse Winker’s double to lead off the ninth inning. Just awful.

–Nothing whatsoever is going right for Scott Schebler. I really feel sorry for the guy. He went 0-3, dropping his slash line to .127/.253/.225. Then, in the bottom of the eighth, the sun caused Schebler to lose an easy fly ball in center field. It fell harmlessly to the ground, but it was inches from hitting Schebler on the head.

And of course, that “double” (as it was scored) that should have been an error opened the door to a three-run inning for St. Louis that put the game out of reach.

And yes, Schebler doubled in two runs in the top of the ninth (this is a good thing!) but those two runs weren’t nearly enough.

The Recap
–Reds unable to secure a third consecutive series victory, as the offense disappeared once again.

–Not much else to recap. The Reds were down 5-0 before they finally scored in the top of the ninth. Winker doubled to lead off the inning and, two outs later, Iglesias singled him to third. Both scored on Schebler’s double, but that was all the Reds could manage on this beautiful Sunday afternoon.

–It’s only 14 innings, but if you had told me Robert Stephenson would strike out 18 MLB hitters and and walk just 4, I’m not sure I’d have believed you.

–Reds head off to the Big Apple next, as a four-game series with the Metropolitans will begin tomorrow. Tanner Roark will get the start at 7:10 pm on Monday.

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10 Responses

  1. Doc

    When will management listen to Mahle, who keeps saying he wasn’t good enough (he wasn’t)? Why not let him get straight in AAA? Stephenson to starting lineup, Mahle to Louisville, Reed to Bullpen, Duke to a front porch rocking chair.

    • Reddawg12

      Agreed on Duke being shown the door and Reed taking his spot. Disagree on Mahle and Stephenson. Bob Steve is finally, after all these years, having success at the MLB level and not walking people in the bullpen. I don’t think there should be any rush to move him out of that role (for now). Plus, he’s really only using 2 pitches right now, which wouldn’t cut it as a starter. I also don’t think the bullpen can afford to lose him at the moment.

      Mahle is the 5th starter. He isn’t going to be dominant, but he has kept the team in games. I think a little more patience is warranted. Now, if Alex Wood ever gets healthy, then I would definitely feel that Mahle should be the first to go.

      • Doc

        And how many pitches is Mahle using? Effectively? If two pitches won’t cut it for Stephenson, and I don’t argue that they will, how will Mahle cut it with one effective pitch?

        Mahle was not good the end of last year, and he was not dominant at Louisville when shipped down. Stephenson was dominant all year at Louisville.

  2. TR

    After a disappointing first month, the Reds are only three games out of 2nd. and 3rd. place. In spite of improved starting pitching, this is, so far, a tough team to watch.

  3. Steven Ross

    Honestly, I want Schebler to hit because we know he can but we also know when he’s in a free-fall, like now, there are definitely better options. I continue to shake my head at Bell’s decisions regarding who plays and the order of the lineup.

  4. CFD3000

    The Reds have allowed the fewest runs in the National League (and 2nd fewest in the majors). By a lot – more than 10% less than the next best team. After a 1-8 start they’ve been a winning team. And all that without any offense to speak of. This team will hit. Winker is hitting now, Puig and Votto have looked better of late. When they do this will be a good team, perhaps a very good one. Yes, this series got away after a great start on Friday. But I love what I’m seeing from the pitching staff and I remain optimistic overall. Go Reds – at least 3 of 4 in New York!

  5. scotly50

    This team has a replacement for Mahle, he is just injured. Wood will eventually be back.

    The offense is struggling because our best returning hitter pulled a groin, and the collective outfield is not even hitting .200. And do not forget Senzel, he may or may not be an immediate help for the offense. Play Ervin, for God’s sake.

  6. Chris Holbert

    I would hope that when the Senzel era begins that would lead to the end for Kemp as a Red, and create Winker, Senzel, and Puig, with Ervin and Schebler as 4 and 5. Duke needs to go and give Reed that spot. The decision will be easy when Wood is available, Mahle goes to AAA and develops an off speed pitch and Wood takes that spot. The bigger question will be when Scooter is ready. That probably leaves Farmer as the odd man out, but who know for sure.