Flushing Meadows in Queens, New York has been home to the New York Mets since 1964. Since then, the Mets produced six Cy Young Award winners: Tom Seaver (1969, 1973, 1975), Dwight Gooden (1985), R.A. Dickey (2012) and Jacob deGrom (2018) who the Reds face tomorrow night. It was hard not to reflect on that storied history as Luis Castillo pitched from that stage tonight. Yes, it’s just the last day of April. But it isn’t unreasonable to watch the 26-year-old Castillo perform and wonder whether he has a Cy Young season or two in him.

Castillo had a nice family and friends cheering section at Citi Field tonight. The guy in the front in the red sweatshirt is his brother.

Reds 3 – Mets 4 | Game 29 of 162

Box Score | Win Probability | Exit Velocity | Pitch Velocity

Run Prevention

Luis Castillo was his usual dominant self through the first six innings. The only run he’d surrendered scored on a two-out drag bunt. Then our old friend Todd Frazier reprised his Home Run Derby form and swatted Castillo’s first pitch of the 7th inning, a 96.4 mph fastball, 413 feet over Citi Field’s center field fence. Castillo finished with 7 Ks and 3 BBs. He was lifted with two outs in the 7th. 

Robert Stephenson entered the game and struck out Dominic Smith on 3 sliders, ending the Mets threat. Stephenson returned in the 8th and gave up a leadoff walk before striking out the dangerous rookie Pete Alonso. Manager David Bell lifted Stephenson for Amir Garrett. Garrett struck out a batter for the second out, then Mets RF Michael Conforto singled on a ground ball just out of the reach of Jose Peraza, scoring the Mets third run.

David Hernandez, pitching the third night in a row for the first time in his career (that’s really hard to believe), retired the Mets in order, striking out two in the 9th, producing free baseball.

Raisel Iglesias pitched the 10th inning and gave up a double, single and a sacrifice fly, allowing in the winning run.

Run Production

In the debate over whether the Reds offense is performing well, you’d have to put tonight’s game in the pile of evidence for “no.” Facing 36-year-old Jason Vargas, he of xFIP 6.66 (7.20 ERA), the Reds offense was largely silent. Silent that is until the 9th inning rally off of fading Mets reliever Jeurys Familia. 

The Reds first run was the result of Eugenio Suarez’s 7th home run. Suarez drove a Vargas 83.7 mph fastball (you read that right) 383 feet in the 6th inning.

The Reds seemed all but finished in the 9th inning after Tucker Barnhart and Derek Dietrich struck out, needing two runs. Then Jesse Winker drew a walk. Jose Iglesias followed with a single to CF. Kyle Farmer pinch hit and with an 0-2 count flipped a ball over the first baseman’s head to score Winker, cutting the Mets lead in half. Jose Peraza grounded a single up the middle, scoring Iglesias, tying the game. Joey Votto walked to load the bases. But Suarez struck out.

So Much Breathless Senzel Anticipation

The Louisville Bats played the Toledo Mud Hens tonight. Nick Senzel led off and played CF for the Bats. Senzel struck out his first three at bats before singling in the 8th inning. 

What’s Next

The Reds (12-17) and Mets (15-14) play the third game of this 4-game series. Tomorrow night’s 7:10 PM ET matchup features starting pitchers Anthony DeSclafani and Jacob deGrom (30, RHP). 

23 Responses

  1. Doug Gray

    We’re lucky to have Votto. Still.

  2. Spaceman Red

    We are lucky to have Votto. Leads the team in OBP yet again. It will be great when all the people who believed him mail the protestors a postcard from Cooperstown in ten years or so.

  3. CFD3000

    The Reds, and Reds fans, are lucky to have Votto. In 2017 he was the best hitter in the league, 2nd in the MVP voting. In 2018 he was literally the hitter most difficult to get out in the entire National League. In 2019 he is, so far, the Reds hitter most difficult to get out. An actual fan of the Cincinnati Reds might wish he didn’t play for the Reds. Seriously?

  4. Hanawi

    Still not sure why fans thought a bunch of guys that the Dodgers didn’t want; none of whom would be full-time starters for them, was going to turn the Reds into a playoff team.

  5. Reddawg12

    Already 7 games out of first and 5 games under .500, facing Syndergaard and deGrom the next two days, with one of the worse offenses in MLB. Things not exactly looking up.

  6. CincyBorn23

    I really overestimated how good this team (particularly the offense) would be. Gonna be a long summer, but I’ll be watching every inning.

  7. Big Ed

    Votto did not need a walk in the 9th inning. He needed a hit. On the 3-0 pitch, he fouled off a 87 mph 4-seamer belt-high over the center of the plate. Young Joey Votto lines that pitch over the shortstop’s head for what would have been the winning run. This Joey Votto fouls it off. He still has some offensive value, but he is no longer elite.

    His base-running mistake is hard to understand; the play was directly in front of him. Votto still gets on base a lot, but it takes two doubles to score him from first.

  8. PhP

    So many assumptions in one post. Can’t grade the trade as a failure based on 1 month of the season. Especially when the best player (Wood) hasn’t even played yet. Already crowning Grey a #2 starter and Downs as starting 2b. Let’s wait 5 years to see how great these prospects turn out.

  9. CFD3000

    Agree Cossack. Votto fielded the bunt in a straightforward way and made a clean toss to Castillo. The pitcher just didn’t do his job there to beat the runner to the bag, and a critical run scored. Castillo should have seen it coming – it was McNeill’s second attempt to get that bunt down. Disappointing, especially in a close game.

  10. Still a Red

    I’d have to look at the archived game video, but I seem to remember the CF for a moment looked like he hesitated. Votto is going to looking at him probably, not the ball, at that point. It may have well been a great decoy play by the CF.

  11. CFD3000

    I’ll have to disagree as well WV. This is a knee jerk reaction, with a lot of assumptions. I still expect Puig and Wood to contribute plenty. And I’m not sure how the Reds prospects are sure things in LA but the prospects the Reds kept can’t be expected to amount to much (and I know that’s only implied). BUT it has been a disappointing start for the offense and Iglesias and to be fair I have to tip my cap for the “snot bubble” comment. Had me laughing.

  12. Still a Red

    On any single game, DBs use of Stephenson and Garrett as ROOGY and LOOGY may make sense, but they should be capable of more…and DB will burn out the BP if he keeps it up.

  13. Still a Red

    Never was much of a Puig fan…way too ‘free swinging’…Reds seemed to always have his number when he was in LA. That said, I guess he is potentially an improvement over Billy H offensively.

  14. Roger Garrett

    We lost because we aren’t hitting.Said it several times and will say it agan.Same offense minus Billy and Scooter plus Puig.Weren’t even in upper half of scoring runs last year and will be worse this year.We will play close games which mean no cookies to hit to pad team and individual stats.Senzel makes us better provided he hits better then Schebler right now.Scooter makes up better because he hits better then Iggy,Peraza or Dietrich,Casaili is more of a threat then Tucker will ever be so he needs some starts.Mets started Vargas and threw the ball all over the lot and we got beat by one guy the lead off guy who has 4 hits.Had chances to win it in the 9th and 10th but we can’t hit.Cards will bury us early because they can hit and not because they pitch any better or field any better.Unless we build a team on offense and it can be done we are not going to compete in our own division.Look at the other 4 teams and its not even close offensively.It just is what it is regardless of how we slice it.

  15. Dee West

    If righties are only batting .095 against Garrett why pull him? Even though he gave up a route hit right at Perazza and gave up a run. If Garrett can hold other pitchers inherited runners , then let him hold his on runners!! David Bell uses Lorenzen a lot with inherited runners but he has the worst hold rate, 10 inherited runners and 5 have scored. David Bell is wearing his bullpen out. I bet if we package Garrett in a trade we could get something because Bell is not using him right. I thought Bell is an analytical skipper?

  16. Chris Holbert

    With the bullpen burned again, who will pitch tonight when DeSclafani blows up in the fifth. Peralta, Duke…Dietrich, Farmer..

    • Big Ed

      Schebler. He can’t be any worse on the mound than he is at the plate.

  17. Scott C

    Yes the use of the bullpen did catch up with Bell last night BUT, and i believe this is a big but, you can not refuse to use every available resource to win a game today on the basis that you MIGHT need them tomorrow. The need tomorrow might not come. That was one of my biggest complaints about the Price/Riggleman era (well no probably the unadulterated love of the sacrifice bunt was the biggest complaint) was not using a pitcher today because I might need him tomorrow, that led to Iglesias not being used nearly enough in high leverage situations last year, and a lot of games we could have won if we had used better pitching options. I know the argument of saving arms, but this is what these guys have trained for and are paid for.

  18. Scott C

    We’re still lucky to have Votto.

  19. SoCalRedsFan

    I still don’t understand why Bell treats Amir Garrett like a LOOGY. He acts like he can’t get righties out and they’re hitting under .100 against him.

  20. Big Ed

    I agree with VaRedsFan. A good drag bunter with reasonable speed ought to beat the pitcher to first, and he did it there. The runner gets a head start on the pitcher who is recoiling from the pitch, gets a running start from the drag bunt, and gets to run through the bag whereas the pitcher has to field the throw and find the bag.

    The Mets played much better small ball last night than the Reds, and that is why they won the game. Analytics and small ball — i.e., playing the game correctly — are not incompatible.

  21. TR

    I was also puzzled by Votto taking off on the short flyball to center. I don’t recall his name, but the Mets do not have a slow, over-the-hill guy in centerfield. Instead of going halfway, it probably would have been one out or no outs with a runner in scoring position. Instead, in a close game, it’s suddenly two outs and nobody on.