Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (25-16)
2 4 0
Cincinnati Reds (20-24)
4 12 0
W: Luis Castillo (5-1) L: Jose Quintana (4-3) S: Raisel Iglesias (9)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread | Statcast

The Cincinnati Reds beat those baby bears, taking 2-of-3 from the Chicago Cubs to take a step forward towards the top of the division.

The Offense

The Reds took their time to get the offense going, but they did get there. They did go. Jose Peraza would get things started in the 5th inning with a solo home run that was launched 341 entire feet to put the Reds on the board. Luis Castillo and Joey Votto both singled in the inning. Then two wild pitches would bring Castillo around to tie the game up. Eugenio Suarez then singled in the go-ahead run, making it 3-2 for the team wearing the Cincinnati baseball caps.

That’s where the score would remain until the bottom of the 7th inning. Nick Senzel, who had two hits on the day, would single to start the inning. He would move to third base on a Joey Votto single and then score on a third straight single in the inning by Eugenio Suarez. The offense stalled out at that point, but that run provided a tad more insurance for the bullpen.

Nick Senzel, Joseph Daniel Votto, and Eugenio Suarez all had 2 hits each. Curt Casali and Jose Peraza each went 1-3 and walked in the game.

The Pitching

Luis Castillo allowed 2 runs in 5.1 innings. Neither of the runs should have happened. A 2-RBI double came on what was a routine ground ball to third base went off of the bag and then over Eugenio Suarez for a double. From there, La Piedra cruised. He struck out 6 batters and didn’t give up another run. With the rain coming down hard he took the mound in the 6th inning, but after the first out was recorded the umpires called the grounds crew to the field to roll out the tarp. After a long rain delay, that would wrap up the night for Castillo. He’s now sitting through 10 starts with 61.2 innings pitched, 34 hits allowed, 25 walks, and 76 strikeouts to go with his 1.90 ERA.

Michael Lorenzen came on to take over after the grounds crew removed the tarp. He worked around 2 hits and recorded a strikeout to finish out the 6th inning and hold onto the 3-2 lead. That led to Amir Garrett coming on for the 7th inning, with the same score, and embarrassing those baby bears by striking out the only three he faced on the night. David Hernandez came on for the 8th inning and he kept it going with another perfect inning that included a strikeout.

That set up Raisel Iglesias for the 9th inning, trying to hold onto a 4-2 lead. He got things started by striking out Daniel Descalso on 3 pitches. It was a little tougher against Javier Baez, but he struck him out on 5 pitches. It took 4 more pitches to dispense of Willson Contreras, who grounded out to Eugenio Suarez to end the game.

Notes Worth Noting

Laura Fay was the honorary bat girl for the game tonight. Laura is the wife of Cincinnati Reds beat writer John Fay. She was chosen as a part of Major League Baseball’s program that’s been around since 2009 as a part of their Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative. Fay is a breast cancer survivor after having been diagnosed in 2017. She actually served as the real bat girl (not to be confused with Batgirl, or Batwoman) for the 1st inning of the game. That made her the first female bat person in Cincinnati Reds regular season history.

The rain delay lasted 1 hour and 51 minutes. Every single minute in there was stupid.

The pitching staff recorded at least 11 strikeouts, and thus giving the ticket-holding fans a free small LaRosa’s pizza, for the 6th time at home this season.

Nick Senzel has 4 stolen bases in 12 games. That’s tied with Jose Peraza for 2nd best on the team. Yasiel Puig leads the way with 7, and I’m sure you’re just as surprised by that as the rest of the entire universe.

Amir Garrett’s slider might be the best pitch in baseball. He dropped his ERA on the season to a ridiculously low 1.47. Michael Lorenzen isn’t far behind him as he lowered his to 1.59 with his 0.2 shutout innings of work.

The Reds are now 8-7 in May and have outscored their opponents 73-52 in that time frame. That’s an average of 4.87 runs per game for the Reds and just 3.47 for the far weaker opponents.

The Cincinnati Reds have beaten the Chicago baby bears 6 of the last 7 times that the two teams have played. LaRosa’s pizza > Giordano’s pizza. It’s science.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Los Angeles Dodgers at Cincinnati Reds

Friday May 17th, 7:10pm

Rich Hill (0-1, 4.20 ERA) vs Anthony DeSclafani (2-1, 4.17 ERA)

29 Responses

  1. JB WB

    You left out the clutch 8th Hernandez turned in. Outside of being misused in San Fran, he’s been nails.

    • Doug Gray

      I noticed it as you were typing your reply. For anyone that sees this comment – originally I had skipped right on by Hernandez when talking about the pitching – JB isn’t crazy.

      • JB WV

        Thanks, but I actually am. Love your coverage, Doug. This team has a chance if they can get over .500 quickly.

  2. lost11found

    Good win of a series.

    You are taking a risk Doug in starting a pizza war…… FOOD FIGHT!!

    • Doug Gray

      Pizza food fight? Sounds amazing. I’ll get to eat all kinds of different pizzas. Giordano’s is incredible pizza. I love it. I wish I could get a chance to eat it more often than once every 2 years.

      • lost11found

        Pizza is art. What one person likes, another doesn’t. Neither is wrong!

        Me? I’ve never met a pizza I didn’t like…

      • NWOhio Reds

        Doug, if you get a craving for pizza when you’re covering spring training, Streets of New York pizza has multiple locations in the Phoenix area. The one in Scottsdale I ate at had the best pizza I’ve ever had.

      • Doug Gray

        ST. Louis “Pizza” is a lie. It’s not pizza.

      • John Kinsella

        Doug. Just saw your note about Giordanos. They opened a store in Beavercreek just a month or two ago. Next time you cover a Dragon’s game, you’ll be just a few minutes away. Just an FYI

  3. Slicc50

    Very nice game (series) against a very good team. Luis Castillo is the real deal. Eugenio Suarez looking like a star again! If this team can just get to the .500 mark here really soon, this could be a fun summer for us Reds fans!

  4. Mike Adams

    Hey, Doug, there appears to be a problem with the boxscore link above.
    Clicking on it takes one to Mary Beth’s Game Thread instead of the boxscore.
    Thanks for all your hard work here at RLN.

    • Doug Gray


      I eventually got to see this comment and fixed it, though probably far too late to matter for almost anyone. Thanks for the heads up.

  5. CFD3000

    A really nice team win for the Redlegs, especially to take the series from the first place Cubs. A tip of the cap on some nice defense at the corners. Suarez and Votto both flashed some serious leather. On the down side, Puig and Votto are still sputtering a bit despite some recent good games, and Winker is back in a funk. The offense has been producing but imagine if all those cylinders start firing. That could be really fun! Go Reds!

  6. Still a Red

    Statistically maybe he is suspect, but those slamming Votto’s defense have nothing to complain about yesterday. At 35 and stretching those hammies is no small feat.

  7. TServo

    Not to take wind out of a series win, but did anyone else notice that on Peraza’s home run, his back foot is comes off the ground when he started his swing? Maybe that’s a symptom of him trying to go the other way, but if not, it certainly suggests that he’s still way out on his front foot. That would explain why he can’t make any good contact consistently. When he was going good last year, he was staying back and driving the ball.

  8. Jay

    The Reds run differential is more than 30 runs. How is this team 20-24? Not to mention they outscored teams by 21 runs, and only went 8-7 in a 15 game stretch. What is going on? To me this looks like one day they’ll win 7-2 and then lose the next game 0-1. To put this in perspective the Pirates are -48 in runs yet over .500 in the win column. How is this possible? To me it seems the Reds just can’t score when they really need to and score a ton of runs when they’ve already got the game won. Surely this can’t continue. One would think the Reds will bypass the Pirates before its all said and done and maybe even challenge for third place.

  9. Jay

    On a light note, The Reds Pitchers are going to bankrupt LaRosa’s Pizza. Back to back 11 K games. Holy cow!

    • Jay

      Nice! Not to take anything away from the talent, but Derek Johnson very well may be the best pitching coach in the MLB. There’s still a long way to go this season, but Reds pitching is already leaps and bounds better than it was in 2018. They are throwing a lot of pitches (suggested by all the 11 K games), but pitchers are holding their own for the most part.

  10. Jay

    What concerns me is that Votto and Winker, based solely off the fact of being LH batters generally facing majority RH pitchers, are getting more favorable matchups than the other guys you mentioned. Both appear to be reaching after mistake pitches. This baffles me in Votto’s case. He usually lays off of bad pitches and walks more. Saw another post where someone wrote that Votto is seeing more fastballs overall and changeups/ off-speed stuff on 2-strike counts. It seems like pitchers are putting him away with garbage. He has had some recent success like you say so we’ll see. He has always been one to adjust and I don’t see him (or Winker) hitting near the Mendoza line all season. It would be nice to get both going to complement Suarez’s bat. It seems like they’ve got the pitching so far, and could go on a tear if even two more guys could find their bats.

  11. Jay

    This is definitely a good weekend to have Garrett, Peralta, Reed, Duke all in the bullpen. Disco, Mahle, and Roark are going to be throwing a ton of pitches just trying to keep the ball in the park against those LA sluggers and may not go past the 5th inning.

  12. CP

    I have a feeling Josh would disagree since it definitely isn’t so good for Josh VanMeter’s bank account.

    This is all about match ups though. They want an extra LHP to bring in versus Bellinger, Muncy, Seager, Pederson, and Verdugo. David Bell is going to put the lefty hitters through a gauntlet.

    Although I wonder how much longer Zack Duke is wearing a Reds’ uniform, this a series where it makes sense to keep him, 4 LHP in the bullpen against the Dodgers makes a lot of sense.

    • Doug Gray


      Major League minimum is just over $20,000 a week. While he’ll get a bump in pay in the minors when he goes back because he’s now on the 40-man roster and has MLB experience, it’s still quite a difference in pay cut.

  13. CP

    If the Reds’ starting rotation and bullpen both finish in the top 10, you may have to reassess who exactly is the bozo…

  14. Roger Garrett

    Winker needs to play every day.No sense in saying he is a platoon player already in his first full year because he is not.I understand they won’t give up on Peraza because of his age and he is the second coming of Billy but not at the expense of Winker.Peraza can play second against lefties and spell Iggy and Farmer can spell Joey and maybe Suarez occasionally.Peraza has had tons of at bats in his 4 years and been given a job at second and at short twice and couldn’t hold them because he can’t hit.Why is it that this team is possessed with speed guys that can’t hit.First Billy and his 5 years and now Peraza in year 4.Just silly and what happens if you need a righty hitter late.Tucker from the right side nope,Winker pinch hits but can’t start,Dietrich pinch hits but can’t start.Come on.

  15. Doug Gray

    Yes. It’s long been established, even long before I took over, that personal insults aren’t allowed.

    Your intent was clear: You don’t like the job David Bell is doing and rather than simply say you don’t like it, you felt the need to add an insult to his name to voice your displeasure. We aren’t having that.

    There are literally 400+ comments a day here. I do not see them all – there simply isn’t enough time in the day to see them all and still actually get work done. If I do see them, I address them. And I address all of them publicly so that everyone else who sees them understands that we aren’t having it. Just like in grade school – the teacher tells you to behave in front of the entire class so everyone else also understands that what you are doing in unacceptable. Signed, Grown Man.

  16. CP

    I think this was the first time I’ve seen someone say (paraphrased), “if you have a problem with me, you should email me like a man.”

  17. CP

    If he is supposed to be in a platoon with Winker, then I agree completely, although I think you should probably give more weight to his 2018 numbers than his career numbers given how rushed he was coming up.

    I haven’t seen him play out there much so I’m not sure how much of a defensive upgrade he is over Winker, but I think giving Peraza starts out there occasionally is fine, and I’m really liking how the organization/Bell has embraced positional flexibility. Having guys that can slide all over the diamond gives the organization so much flexibility in roster construction.