|Arizona D-backs (74-67)
|Cincinnati Reds (66-76)
|W: Ginkel (2-0) L: Mahle (2-11) SV: Bradley (13)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
A big inning for Arizona was enough to put them ahead for good as they held off a comeback attempt from the Reds on Friday night in a game that lasted what felt like seven years.
Alex Blandino led off the 1st inning with a walk. After back-to-back strikeouts, Aristides Aquino doubled to the wall in left field to put the Reds up 1-0. In the 3rd inning it was another walk by Blandino that got things going for Cincinnati. He walked, then Joey Votto walked, and Eugenio Suarez followed up with an RBI single that put the Reds up 2-1.
After a big top of the 5th inning that put Arizona up 6-2, the Reds and Eugenio Suarez clawed back most of that lead. The Cincinnati third baseman crushed a 3-run homer, his 42nd of the year that brought in Alex Blandino and Joey Votto.
That was where the Reds offense stayed for a while. But in the 9th inning they were threatening, trailing 7-5. Joey Votto led off with a single, and Eugenio Suarez followed with one of his own. Suarez was replaced on the bases by Nick Senzel to get them more speed. With 2 outs Phillip Ervin walked to load the bases for Curt Castali, but after battling through a 7-pitch at-bat, he flew out harmlessly to end the game.
Alex Blandino went 1-1, walked three times, and he scored three runs. Joey Votto also reached base four times in the game, going 2-3 with 2 walks. Eugenio Suarez continued to swing a hot bat, going 3-5 with four runs batted in.
Tyler Mahle got the start and was pitching well enough, aside from a solo homer allowed to Nick Ahmed in the 3rd inning. And then the 5th inning happened. With the Reds up 2-1 things got away from both Cincinnati and Tyler Mahle. After Ahmed led off the inning with a fly out, Mahle was touched up for a single up the middle, a popped up bunt that found the right spot on the grass for a single, and then a 3-run home run by Ketel Marte that made it 4-2. Wilmer Flores followed up with a double before he was removed from the game and replaced by Lucas Sims. Sims would allow two more runs to come in while he was on the mound and quickly it was 6-2 for Arizona.
Amir Garrett threw a shutout inning between the 6th and 7th innings before Matt Bowman came on to record the final out of the 7th, holding the score at 6-5. Michael Lorenzen came out for the 8th and gave up a double to the leadoff hitter, who would come around to score later on a grounder into left field that made it 7-5. He would be replaced by R.J. Alaniz who would get a strikeout to end the inning. Sal Romano came out for the 9th and made easy work of it, needing just 11 pitches for a 1-2-3 inning.
Notes Worth Noting
The game, which featured no weather delays or extra innings lasted 4 hours and 10 minutes.
Eugenio Suarez’ big night has his OPS on the year back over .900, jumping up to .905. He’s sitting on 42 home runs this season. He’s 3 behind Pete Alonso for tops in baseball. Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich both have 44. The home run was his 22nd since the All-Star break, which leads all of Major League Baseball.
Joe Votto scored his 1000th career run. He sits 5th on the Reds all-time list, but he won’t pass anyone until next season unless he has the most incredible three weeks ever (he needs 43 runs to pass Frank Robinson).
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Arizona D-backs at Cincinnati Reds
Saturday September 7th, 4:10pm
Alex Young (6-3, 3.84 ERA) vs Luis Castillo (14-5, 3.25 ERA)
Mahle just seems like a better fit for the bullpen. IMO he has the mentality to be a closer.
I guess he’ll still be in the mix for the 5th spot for next season after Bauer, Castillo, Disco & Gray; along with Sims, Romano & Gausman, plus anybody else coming via free agency.
Any pitcher who has already thrown a no hitter and a perfect game should not be written off this early as a possible starter. However, the Reds cannot afford a fifth starter who pitches four good innings, then gets bombed; that has been a frequent occurrence with Mahle this year, and I think he has earned a long stretch in Louisville. When the number of pitchers is limited next year, starters will need to pitch deeper into games and relievers will need to pitch longer stretches. Almost sounds like the kind of Reds baseball I grew up with.
Despite Bell’s favorable remarks, where has Mahle shown improvement this year? In what phases of pitching has he improved? It’s not too hard to find progress in Castillo, Gray, Disco, but where has Mahle progressed? That’s concerning. Perhaps one of the contributors who likes playing with all the fancy data can show where improvement is happening, but its not showing where it counts with a 2-11 record and an ERA bumping 5.
I’d a lot of work to do. All positions, excluding 1B, 3B & RF, must be assessed by FO looking for offensive upgrades. There’re several good, still young pieces already in place (Winker, Ervin, Senzel, Vanmeter, Blandino) but none can be told to deserve a regular spot just yet, so we’ll see.
Everyone is trying to hit a HR with every swing. This why so many left on base.
JVM, Ogrady and Ervin did this all night.
Suarez now has 165 Ks on year. 42 HRs is great but the Ks are way to high but I guess this is modern analytics driven baseball. Best to swing for fences and hope contact with bat occurs.
I think ‘swing for the fences’ became this years overall hitting philosophy with the arrival of Turner Ward and Yasiel Puig. A new hitting coach is needed to alleviate so many LOB without the need for the long ball. Homeruns will happen if contact is made without swinging so hard.
Good info. Yes, Votto has been special to watch. Thanks.
Votto has been an offensive force for 12 years now, but I for one think it’s too soon to right him off entirely. The new approach does appear to be working and he seems to be more and more comfortable with it.
Last 15 games .327 avg / .929 OPS
Last 30 games .280 avg / .865 OPS
Small sample size, sure, but when combined with the development of a new approach at the plate, these are encouraging numbers. Reports of his death may have been greatly exaggerated. A nice milestone for Joey Votto last night. Next year 1000 RBI and 2000 hits? It’s been fun to watch and I’m still looking forward to more.
Having said all that the fate of this team’s offense depends on the young guys. Aquino, Senzel, VanMeter, Winker, Ervin, maybe Blandino. If they grow into strong major league hitters this will be a formidable team in 2020. If not, the pitching may not be enough. I’d love to see the Reds win more than they lose the rest of this year, then win a lot more than they lose next year. But I can already tell you I’ll be awaiting Opening Day 2020 with more excitement than in a long long time.
My concern/complaint about Joey Votto is his recent consistency in being an offensive non-factor early in the season when it counts, then ‘figuring it out’ and hitting well late in the season when it doesn’t count. When he hit .400 after the ASG a year or two ago, what good was it? He hit nothing in the first half, then once the Reds were 20 games behind he was on fire. Since this is becoming a pattern, the fixes need to be learned and applied far earlier than July or August. Maybe like during spring training, but I realize it is a novel idea to actually use spring training to prepare for the regular season.
It’s like he’s coaching a little league game and it is required that everyone has to play. Bell takes micro managing to a new level. I cannot imagine any free agents wanting to play in this system.
I’ve heard a few choirs sing that were not bearable!
Watching September baseball is like watching spring training, or NFL preseason, for teams out of contention. Except that spring training comes with anticipatory excitement; September comes with boredom.
Bingo Doc ,play when it counts April 1thru September,it takes coaching and incentive.Even the youngsters are in on the bore.