Final R H E
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.

Hitters

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.

Hurlers

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.

Up Next

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)

33 Responses

  1. Don

    David Bell lost this game today.

    Asking Mahle to pitch the 7th was a mistake
    No clue why Farmer tried to hit in 8th when Dietrick and Winker on the bench.
    No clue why Hernandez started 8th with Lorenzen and Hughes both well rested.

    Amazingly dumb managers. I thought managers/coaches were to try and put their players in the best position to be successful. Today, it looked like he was trying to put players in poor position and seeing if they could over come long odds.

    It is a shame, players played good enough to win and we done in by own manager.

    • KYPodman

      Agreed, why bat Farmer in that situation, pinch hit Dietrich. Also, why not pinch hit Lorenzen instead of Winker and then let Lorenzen pitch the 8th.

    • FreeHouse

      Exactly! If he pinch hits for Farmer with either Winker or Dietrech Moronta is gone. Even though Barnhart drew a walk Casali against Watson would been better for us. But it is what it is Bell still learning from his mistakes.

    • JB WV

      I didn’t have any problem with Mahle being left in. His pitch count was relatively low and he was dealing. But for the life of me I have no idea why he brought in Hernandez after pitching two innings yesterday. Lorenzen was ready to go and he’s a gamer.

      • Stock

        Agree 100%. This loss is on Bell. If a man pitches 2 innings the night before he should not pitch the following day. The Reds would be 3-4 wins better if Bell managed his bullpen correctly.

    • lost11found

      I was fine with Mahle pitching the seventh when Duke was the lefty warmed up. If it was Amir? different story… Belt’s a good hitter. hanging pitches get creamed by good hitters.

      I also was surprised they didn’t PH for Farmer with the bases loaded and 0 outs..

  2. FreeHouse

    David Bell will learn from his mistakes. He definitely blew this game but on to the next one. There were 3 mistakes by him, the first was leaving Mahle in the game against Belt. I didn’t like that matchup against Bell and aside from that Mahle hasn’t won a game all year why not pull him out with the lead and a chance for him to earn his first win. Second mistake was not pinch hitting for Farmer to force Bochy to take out Moronta with bases loaded and 0 outs. The matchups would have been better than what they were. Last mistake was putting Hernandez today that guy been throwing almost everyday. Where was Lorenzen? Tough schedule coming up let’s see how they do.

  3. FreeHouse

    I hate to say but Votto looks like he’s done. I had been in denial but have to accept the fact he sucks now.

    • scotly50

      Votto will be our next Matt Kemp.

  4. FreeHouse

    Reds should be 9-1 the last 10 games. Crazy how the Giants managed to pull 3 games off their ass.

  5. CincyBorn23

    This was a really bad loss, just like all the others to the Giants this season. I fear all the upcoming games against the Cubs, Dodgers, and Brewers are not going to be fun for Reds fans. Just not sure we match up very well.

  6. Drew

    David Bell is awful have no idea why DD didn’t hit for Farmer. Not too upset he left Mahle in against Belt. But to use Hernandez instead of Lorenzen or Hughes. Don’t see this home stand going well.
    Votto is a mess,really wondering if this is it for him.

  7. Davy13

    All the comments & criticism sound fine to me. But my biggest concern and the biggest factor is Votto’s futility at the plate. Other than being robbed of a hr in the no-no game vs Oak, he seems like a shell of the batter he has been. If the team would have gotten even 2/3 Joey with his bat the team would win these type of games.

    He is 35 on his way to 36. The last couple of years I would advocate in this blog that the Reds needed to be bold about going after another cornerstone/stud batter (e.g. Yelich) because of Votto’s age. Has he fallen off the cliff? Did the team take for granted that Votto’s skills would remain on top for a while?

    • lost11found

      The K’s are a problem though. you have to see that. If he’s not a threat, pitchers won’t nibble as much and the OBP will start dropping too.

      I still want him in the lineup but it is really possible that this is what he is now.

    • Dave Kindle

      Have you watched any of the games or just read the box score? Did you watch the Reds last year? This is not a slow start but a continuation of last year. It happens, whether we like it or not. Ball players get old and Votto has gotten old ina hurry

    • jay johnson

      He shouldnt be taking that pitch with a 3-2 count.it matters to umps

    • Hotto4Votto

      He shouldn’t take a pitch high and inside that should have been ball four? You take that pitch 100 times out of 100. Don’t swing at balls, it’s bad baseball.

  8. Steven Ross

    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.

    Please stop with the spin on Votto. I hope he finds it but to be honest, he’s been awful. 4 K’s today. He has 7 RBI total for the season. Anybody else and they’d either bench him or send him down. Today’s loss was on Bell though. Why not Hughes or Lorenzen in the 8th? Even the Giants announcers couldn’t believe it when Hernandez came in. PH Tucker for Casali! Really? Why not Dietrich or Winker for Farmer? We’re now 6 & 13 in one run games yet have a +30 run differential. A lot of that is on the Manager.

    • RedAlert

      Totally agree ! A whole lot of it is on him ! boneheaded moves galore today

    • lost11found

      If the up calls a strike its a strike. How many of the balls called on him are p/fx strikes? can’t defend him with one and not acknowledge or provide the data on the other.

    • Dave Kindle

      Senzel has been leading off and has more RBI than Votto already. So every time he has struck out it been due to bad calls? Please

  9. Andy

    This game falls squarely on David bell and poor game management
    With the bases loaded against a lefty why not use lorenzen there. That matchup is much better then winker. Winker needs to start seeing lefties but not in that situation

    And in the 8th you bring lorenzen in. Not the guy that threw 2 innings and 25 pitches the night before.

    With 80 arms in the bullpen how or why bell went to Hernandez is an absolute mystery

    Bottom line though is it’s another loss. Stop shooting yourself in the foot please!

  10. Teddy

    The David Bell decisions are even more mind numbing when you consider they’re off tomorrow, so there’s no reason to hold anybody back in the bullpen or the bench. As soon as Mahle walks the leadoff batter top 7 and they bring in Belt to pinch-hit you bring Garrett in to shut the door and then you go to Lorenzen in the 8th and Iglesias in the 9th and then you very likely win the game. Then you fly home feeling great with a four-game winning streak under your belt and o ly 3 games under fir the 1st time since the the 2st week in April. That’s the other thing….how important this game was because it’s really the first time this year they had a chance to put a winning streak together and if they win they are heading back home on a four-game winning streak feeling great, so the game was huge psychologically. Instead, you take the long plane ride home feeling like crap knowing you’ve gone 5-5 over the last 10 games when it should have been 8-2 at worst and now you’re back to square one, still 5 games under ….where they’ve been all year. The way he handled the bases loaded no out situation in the 8th, even after the blown 7th, as to who he chose to bat vs. who he left on the bench just literally makes no sense at all… it’s hard to even come up with any reasonable explanation as to what the thought process could have possibly been. I’m really starting to lose faith that the guy has what it takes to be a good big league manager. I really, really hope I’m wrong and this is just as learning curve

  11. lost11found

    Not so sure a about Peraza. There are lots of ways to be successful in baseball, not just the votto way.

    Another light hitting middle infielder comes to mind in Didi Gregorius. He has put together a nice career. Peraza may run out of chances here, but his story is far from over.

  12. Teddy

    “That’s the situation we’ve been pitching David in,” Bell said. “After last night, it was a lot to ask out of David. He pitched great last night. It’s the situation we’ll look to use him in. It would’ve been a great effort by him to go back out there today and we asked him to do it. Maybe he wasn’t quite as sharp, but you have to think maybe last night’s outing was a lot to ask of him today.”

    What????? If it was a lot to ask of him…. then why did you ask it of him ???? That reminds me of similar quotes after Iglesias blew the SF gane last week when Garrett was pitching great and for no reason he pulled him out of the game and put Iglesias in who gave up the home run to lose. Afterward he said something to the effect of we’re going to keep pitching him in that situation because that’s what we do…. as if the actual poor results and blown games, 1-5 record with an ERA around 5 that you’ve been getting from Iglesias won’t affect the future situations as to how you would use him???? I’m going to lose my mind

    • Reddawg12

      Have you considered that maybe David Bell and his coaching staff have more information about the pitchers than any of us do? It’s very possible that there were other relievers who were unavailable (even if it wasn’t publicly stated) and Hernandez was his best option in that spot. They haven’t had an off day for 3 weeks, I’m sure the guys were tired. Everything is not as black and white as it seems to the fans.

      • Big Ed

        I considered that. But I concluded from multiple games of evidence that David Bell is just a fumble-bum.

        He needs 2 of 3 in the Cubs series to equal the 20-24 record of Tony Perez.

      • Reddawg12

        A fumble-bum whose pitching staff leads the NL? So he gets blamed for the negatives but gets no credit for the good things? Ok.

  13. TR

    I think the criticism of David Bell after every loss, in his first year as a ML manager, is a bit much. With what he has to work with, I’m willing to give him a year to get settled and work things out. After the terrible start, the Reds being five games under .500 and only four games out of the wild card, at mid-May, is not bad.

    • Big Ed

      Who devised the spring training program that left the Reds woefully cold/unprepared for the season? Jocketty? Marge Schott? Wayne Simpson? Mr. Red?

      Or David Bell?

  14. Roger Garrett

    I believe you are right Jim.Bob Steve just disappeared for 4 or 5 days as did Hernandez and now Hughes.Duke is a guy you really can’t trust and Peralta is a gas can most of the [email protected] are older guys and Bob Steve has no options left but there is the DL to use and Louisville is just a few hours away.I am willing to just forget about yesterday’s game and move on and hope we don’t have it happen again.Not talking about losing but rather losing with so many questions about the 8th inning in regards to us batting and then us pitching.File it and move on.

  15. lwblogger2

    I think so too. Not sure what it is but something is up. Either guys are nicked or someone was sick, or who knows?

  16. lwblogger2

    Hitters not adjusting their approaches isn’t just a Reds thing. Very, very few hitters in the modern game seem to take different approaches based on game situations and/or count situations. It’s kind of a lost art.