Two runs that scored on errors by Tucker Barnhart and Jose Peraza gave the Phillies their margin of victory. The Reds bats were largely silent, wasting a good start by Tyler Mahle. A former Reds player hit a two-run opposite field homer. 

Reds 2 – Phillies 4 | Game 62 of 162

Box Score | Win Probability | Exit Velocity | Pitch Velocity

Run Prevention

Tyler Mahle pitched about as well as you could expect for the first four innings, allowing one hit and no walks. He struck out two. In the fifth inning, he gave up a soft single to JT Realmuto before surrendering a 2-run homer to not-so-affable Jay Bruce. Mahle’s pitch to Bruce was a good breaking ball, low and out of the strike zone. The third run given up while he was pitching was unearned. Mahle was lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. 

Jared Hughes pitched two sparkling innings of relief, covering the sixth and seventh innings. Wandy Peralta pitched the eight.

The Reds defense was terrific early in the game. In the first inning, Joey Votto dove to rob Bryce Harper of a double down the line and Eugenio Suarez crashed in for a short hop to cut down Jean Segura.

In the third inning, Jesse Winker made a sliding catch up against the left field line wall, picking the ball up right off the ground.

Derek Dietrich ranged behind 2B and made a jump throw to get a runner at first.

But the key play of the game turned out to be a poor defensive decision and play by Tucker Barnhart. In the fifth inning, Barnhart threw a ball into left field trying to pick a runner off third base with two outs. That put the Phillies ahead 3-2.

Jose Peraza, who has seen his playing time shrink and shrink, entered the game at shortstop in a double switch in the eighth inning. David Hernandez induced an easy double play ball that Peraza threw about 20 feet short of first base for an error, allowing the fourth Phillies run to score from second base. Peraza is batting .212/.274/.333 with a wRC+ of 59. On his only plate appearance tonight, he swung at the first pitch he saw, out of the strike zone, popping the ball up softly at 49 mph in the infield. If Peraza can’t be a reliable back-up shortstop, he has absolutely no role on the team. Philip Ervin could be called up to  play LF against RHP — he’d be a better hitter and defender in left.

Run Production

Joey Votto hit his fifth home run in the first inning.

Votto had a single later in the game and drew a walk. The Reds managed only four other hits. Jesse Winker had a double (his ninth) and a walk. Nick Senzel went 0-for-5 and his wRC+ is now 96. 

After Votto drew a walk in the top of the ninth, Eugenio Suarez batted as the go-ahead run with two outs. Suarez struck out on four pitches.

Good Review on Draft Strategy

Craig Edwards at FanGraphs takes a look at the Reds draft strategy in a post this afternoon and gives the front office a good review. The strategy is to select players who it will take well above slot salaries to sign and pay for them by selecting college seniors who can be signed well below slot salary. The question Edwards looked at is this: Does the value the club gains by selecting the expensive player make up for what they sacrifice by choosing college seniors instead of best available players. Edwards concludes that while several other clubs failed with this strategy, the Reds came out looking good. 

“From a relatively objective standpoint, it looks like the White Sox and Marlins gave up too much value to potentially sign overslot players, while the Mets and Reds did quite well.” 

What’s Next?

The Reds (28-34) and Phillies (36-27) play tomorrow afternoon at 4:05 PM ET. The starting pitching matchup features Tanner Roark and Nick Pivetta (26, RHP).