|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 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.
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.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 18, 2019
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)