Final R H E
Los Angeles Dodgers (30-17) 0 6 1
Cincinnati Reds (21-25) 4 7 0
W: Tyler Mahle (1-5) L: Walker Buehler (4-1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

History didn’t suggest things would work out well for Tyler Mahle and the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday afternoon. Good thing they play the games because boy did it ever work out.

The Offense

The Reds did their damage early. Jesse Winker got things going with his 10th home run of the season in the second inning. It was a 394-foot shot to center field that put the Reds up 1-0. The next inning saw Cincinnati string together some hits. Tucker Barnhart singled to lead off the inning. Nick Senzel would single to put runners on 1st and 2nd. Joey Votto’s ground ball led to an error on a fielders choice to put the Reds 2nd run on the board. That led to Yasiel Puig coming up later in the inning with runners on 2nd and 3rd base, where he’d come through with a clutch single to make it 4-0. That was more than enough for the pitching staff, though it was unknown at the time.

Yasiel Puig and Jose Iglesias each had two hits in the game. For Iglesias, that pushed his average up to .296 on the season for the Reds. Offense did come at a premium on the day – the teams combined for 13 hits – all singles with the exception of Jesse Winker’s home run. The defense did help, some, as both center fielders – Nick Senzel and Alex Verdugo – seemed to take away extra-base hits during the game.

The Pitching

This is what made the Reds win happen. Entering the game, left-handed hitters had been killing Tyler Mahle to the tune of .324/.360/.592 this season. The Dodgers stacked their first six hitters in the lineup today as lefties. It didn’t matter. The Reds 24-year-old dominated them for 6.0 shutout innings where he threw 98 pitches with 61 strikes, walked just 2 batters, and he struck out 5 of them. When they did make contact, it was mostly on the ground.

After the strong performance by Mahle, David Bell went to his bullpen and they did what they’ve done most of the year – get the job done. David Hernandez needed all of 7 pitches to get through his inning of work, and that included a strikeout. Amir Garrett needed a few more pitches, but he worked around a single with 3 strikeouts. His ERA sits at a stupidly low 1.40 after his outing this afternoon. Despite not being a save situation, Bell went to Raisel Iglesias for the 9th inning. It worked. He did give up a single, but that was all the Dodgers could muster up as he closed out the game for the Reds 21st win of the season.

Notes Worth Noting

The 31,156 fans that came out for the Reds got a treat, and I do mean something beyond the Ernie Lombardi Bobblehead that was a giveaway. They got to see the shutout on a gorgeous day in Cincinnati. It was the largest crowd, by nearly 4,000 fans, since opening day. The game on Friday night is next on the list.

The shutout was the first of the Reds against the Dodgers since June 11th, 2014. That game also took place in Great American Ballpark.

Opposing hitters are 1-30 against Amir Garrett’s slider this year. As we shared the other day, his slider, along with the change up of Luis Castillo and the slider of Robert Stephenson could be in the discussion for the best pitch in baseball.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Los Angeles Dodgers at Cincinnati Reds

Sunday May 19th, 1:10pm

Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-1, 1.72 ERA) vs Tanner Roark (3-2, 3.50 ERA)

15 Responses

  1. Reddawg12

    Solid win. It’s good to see the Reds staying competitive and pulling out W’s against the best teams in the National League. If only the offense could get hot and stay hot for a few weeks, things would get pretty interesting.

    Very tough matchup tomorrow so it’s good they pulled out a victory today!

  2. steve stevens

    One of the best wins this season. Mahle’s command was superb. Especially important is to see his breaking ball developing. But what was most impressive was a masterful game calling by Barnhardt. Up and in, low and away, those dangerous lefties never seem confortable (well except a white-hot Bellinger). And Tucker moving around to confuse the hitters plus a pinpoint control by Mahle did the rest. Great job by the ‘pen too.
    On a negative note, Iglesias doesn’t seem right. He’s throwing hard, but shows no confidence at all. His slider is not working. Lacks control and command. Hopefully he gets on track.
    Nice to see a large crowd and the team responding with a very fine win. Tomorrow for the series!

  3. Mike

    Thank you for using the old, normal box score.

  4. TR

    Pitching coach Derek Johnson is getting it done with the Reds staff. And Mahle is maturing into a real good starting pitcher.

  5. Indy Red Man

    What and where is this team? Does anyone know? They’re going to hit better then they’ve hit, but how much better? They’re going to pitch worse then they’ve pitched, but how much worse? 2nd lowest in HRs allowed? In GASP? I believe in the pen even though Iggy has been shaky. He was hitting 98 today! I believe in Castillo, Mahle, and Gray. I’m not big on Roark but he’s been competing! Disco has had his moments too, but he’s just not long for this organization as a flyball pitcher. Can Scooter give them a spark? Or go on a little heater and increase his trade value?

    If I was a GM of a organization with no pitching like KC, Texas, White Sox, or Baltimore then I’d look for sleeper guys for my rotation like Lorenzen or Stephenson that might mean more to you then they mean to the Reds. Maybe the Reds could add a key component to their offense? The Reds future is now pretty much imo? Trammell isn’t hitting that much. India is in Single A. I don’t see much help from the minor anytime soon.

    • Reaganspad

      Lorenzen or Stephenson might be Roark next year

  6. Bonnet Rouge

    It’s not just Doug Gray recaps, but since he took over, I have to say, the recaps are all much more fun to read. Not as much as the sorely missed Reds Rocket, but few things can be. Another great write-up. Go Reds.

  7. lost11found

    One season long positive so far has to be he continued development of Mahle.

    • Roger Garrett

      Yes he has made the adjustments.Nobody can just throw fastball after fastball regardless of the velocity.Curve is working and his change I guess it is or maybe a split finger is getting better.I actually thought he got better his last couple of innings which is encouraging in that it goes against the data regarding the third time through the order.Hernandez was really good,Amir was great and Iggy was good enough but with 23 pitches and the bottom of the order.

  8. Doug Gray

    No one in baseball has really figured out how to beat such a pitcher in the last 14 months. Going back to the start of last season Hyun-Jin Ryu has a 1.87 ERA with 18 walks and 143 strikeouts in 134.2 innings…. I hope for the best, but I’m not exactly expecting the Reds to come out crushing him.

  9. Doug Gray

    Cubs and Dodgers are in town. Cubs always bring the crowds. Today was a bobblehead day, which also brings the crowd. Not entirely sure how to explain Friday night. All of that said, while I don’t think we’ll be seeing many sub 10,000 fan games like we did a few times in April, I don’t think we’re going to be seeing 25,000+ regularly, either. Historically, attendance doesn’t pick up until the year following winning – not the year it actually starts.

  10. steve stevens

    There is a plan. Make him work, just swing at balls right in the middle. Bunt vs. the shift, play small ball. At the very least, that takes the guy out of the game earlier and gives a chance against the ‘pen.
    The Reds fail against such a pitcher because they are hackers that want every ball over the fence. It’s the GABP effect that brought that kind of approach.

  11. Martino Amello

    Agreed.. Doug does a nice job recapping games.. Mahle is so underappreciated despite his W/L record which is misleading on so many levels.

  12. Doc

    After seeing what happened after Frazier and Duvall HR derby appearances, I would hope no Red takes part for a long while to come.

    • Doug Gray

      There’s been many studies that show that the home run derby doesn’t really effect players. Usually what happens is guys riding outlier crazy seasons come back to their norms. Whether it’s BABIP or HR/FB rates that are normalized, that’s what people see and they attribute it to the HR derby messing them up, when in reality it’s just their stats normalizing.