|Cincinnati Reds (18-23)||5||11||0|
|San Francisco Giants (17-23)||6||10||2|
|W: Tony Watson (2-0) L: David Hernandez (0-2) SV: Will Smith (10)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread | Statcast|
The Reds seem to be a better team than the Giants on the paper and on the field. Yet, they continue to find ways to lose. Today was no 12-11 loss after blowing an eight-run lead, but it still stung.
Up 4-2 in the seventh, Tyler Mahle gave up a game-tying two-run home run to pinch hitter Brandon Belt. The Reds had a chance to get the lead back and then some in the eighth. They loaded the bases with no outs and did retake the lead but could score only one run. That proved costly as the Giants scored two in the bottom of the eighth to take the win.
Rather than heading home with a sweep and a four-game winning streak, the Reds are licking their wounds heading into the off day.
The Reds and Giants played 7 games this season. The Reds outscored the Giants 54-34 and the Giants led a TOTAL of 3 innings in those 7 games. The Reds record in those games? 4-3. This season in a nutshell.
— Derek Moore (@DTMoore7) May 12, 2019
Don’t look now, but the Cincinnati offense seems to be coming around. Even with the no-hitter on Tuesday, they’re averaging 6.8 runs per game over the last 10 contests. They notched 11 hits on Sunday, with multi-hit games from Eugenio Suarez, Jose Iglesias, and Jose Peraza.
The Reds wasted no time getting on the board in this one against Madison Bumgarner. For a third time in four games, they scored multiple runs in the first inning. Nick Senzel reached on an error to start the game and moved to third on a single by Suarez two batters latter. Suarez then stole second with two outs, which proved huge as Jose Iglesias knocked in both runners with a two-out single.
Senzel played a hand in more scoring in the second, following a Peraza double with one of his own. It was the first double of Senzel’s MLB career.
Yasiel Puig homered for a second straight game to extend the Reds’ lead in the sixth. The ball traveled 388 feet at an exit velocity of 103.1 mph.
After the Giants rallied to tie the game in the seventh, the Reds had a golden opportunity to blow the game back open in the eighth. They loaded the bases with nobody out on a Suarez single, Puig walk, and Iglesias single. But Kyle Farmer — strangely up against a right-hander over Jesse Winker or Derek Dietrich, who were both available on the bench — struck out.
Tucker Barnhart then walked against Tony Watson to give the lead back to the Reds and set them up for further damage. Winker was brought in as a pinch hitter after the Giants had already turned to a lefty pitcher. He grounded back to the pitcher for a forceout at the plate, and Peraza lined out on a ball with a .660 expected batting average to end the threat.
Tyler Mahle’s line doesn’t quite indicate how he pitched. The right-hander allowed four runs, six hits, and a walk in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out eight, raising his season strikeout rate to 26.8%. He bookended his start with two-run home runs — one by Pablo Sandoval in the first and Brandon Belt in the seventh — but threw shutout baseball in between.
The second time through the lineup was when Mahle shined. From the fourth through the sixth innings, he retired nine of the 10 batters he faced and struck out four of them. His command was pinpoint, spotting his fastball, splitter, and curveball wherever he wanted.
But he seemingly ran out of gas in the seventh. Mahle walked the leadoff batter, Brandon Crawford, his first and only free pass of the game. David Bell stuck with Mahle, and it didn’t pay off. After Mahle retired the next hitter, Brandon Belt belted a two-run home run to tie the game.
Zach Duke gave up a single but got out of the seventh without any further damage, striking out one.
After a masterful performance last night, David Hernandez couldn’t repeat today. He got into trouble immediately, giving up a single to Evan Longoria and a double to Sandoval after only three pitches. A groundout tied the game. Hernandez struck out Crawford and was on the verge of escaping with the game tied, but he allowed an RBI single to Kevin Pillar — he of a 51 wRC+ — to let the Giants pull ahead for good. It’s a bit curious that Hernandez pitched on back-to-back days after throwing two innings last night.
Notes & Thoughts
- Mahle seems to be getting a better feel for his curveball, which is a positive sign. Although he hung one to Belt in the seventh, he threw it 31 times today for a 33% usage rate — both season highs.
- Joey Votto had a single hit at 65.9 mph in the fifth inning against Bumgarner. Believe it or not, that’s his 33rd hit of 70 mph or less since the 2015 season.
- Peraza was caught stealing for the third time this season. With only four successful steals, he’s now at a 57% success rate this season, which provides negative value.
Cubs @ Reds
Tuesday, May 14, 6:40 p.m. ET
Kyle Hendricks (3.19 ERA, 3.80 xFIP) vs. Tanner Roark (3.27 ERA, 4.79 xFIP)