Final R H E
Cleveland Indians (6-6)
4 3 1
Cincinnati Reds (5-6)
2 5 1
W: Bieber (3-0) L: Jones (0-1) SV: Hand (3)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Another strong start. Another bullpen letdown. The game was going well for the Reds behind an outstanding start from Tyler Mahle, who tossed 6.0 shutout innings with just one hit allowed. But the bullpen and a defensive miscue led to the tying runs in the 7th, and then a 2-run homer in the 8th put Cleveland ahead of Cincinnati for good as the Reds fell to 5-6 and back below the .500 mark.

The Offense

Facing the pitcher that had been the best in baseball through the first week-and-a-half Justin Shane Bieber, Nick Castellanos hit a home run off of the top of the batters eye that the new ball-tracking system Hawkeye hilariously estimated at 409 feet. That put Cincinnati up 1-0 in the 1st inning, but the offense didn’t get much going beyond that point as Bieber racked up five strikeouts through the first three innings. But in the 4th things picked up again for the Reds as they played long ball once again with Eugenio Suarez crushing his first of the year to dead center to put the team up 2-0. The bats once again went silent, though. Jesse Winker recorded the next hit in the bottom of the 7th inning with one out, but that didn’t produce a run and sent the game, now tied at 2-2, to the 8th.

The bullpen for the Reds showed up in the most painful way possible once again, meaning the hitters came to the plate trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the 8th and needing a rally to pull out a victory. Shane Bieber came back out for the start of the inning and after quick work of Tucker Barnhart and Shogo Akiyama, Joey Votto lined a single into right field to bring the tying run to the plate for Nick Castellanos. The Indians called to the bullpen to bring in James Karinchak to try and hold their lead. He jumped ahead of Castellanos with back-to-back curveballs that went for called strikes before a third curve went in the dirt to move Votto up to second. But after another ball and a foul, the Reds cleanup hitter took strike three on another curveball to end the inning.

With Brad Hand coming out for the 9th, Kyle Farmer hit the ball hard – but he lined out to left field to start the inning. Eugenio Suarez popped up for the second out of the inning, bringing up pinch hitter Matt Davidson as the last hope to keep things going. He didn’t, taking a called third strike to end the game.

The Pitching

Tyler Mahle seemed to be outmatched in the match up against Bieber, but he went toe-to-toe with him. While the Cleveland All-Star on the other side was giving up two home runs through the first, Mahle was mowing down Indians hitters in that same stretch. While he wasn’t exactly pitch efficient, he had allowed just one hit and struck out six batters through 4.0 shutout frames. In the 5th inning Tyler Mahle and Nick Senzel did all of the work as Mahle fired the pitches and Senzel caught three fly balls in a row. In what turned out to be his final inning of work, Mahle induced two infield pop ups and got Carlos Santana to fly out to Nick Castellanos.

After an outstanding start by Tyler Mahle, David Bell handed the game over to Pedro Strop. The reliever hadn’t pitched in a week before appearing. The first batter reached on an error by Freddy Galvis and then Strop walked the next hitter to put two on. But Jordan Luplow swung over top of a slider on a full count for the first out of the inning. The next pitch was hit into the glove of Nick Castellanos for the second out of the inning. Oscar Mercado walked to load the bases to bring the top of the order around. Cesar Hernandez worked Strop, too, and on the 6th pitch of the at-bat he hit a chopper to first and he beat the ball to the bag for an RBI single to make it 2-1 as the error to begin the inning came back to haunt.

That was all for Pedro Strop as Lucas Sims came in with three on and two outs with the hopes of keeping the lead. That didn’t happen as he walked Jose Ramirez on six pitches on a fastball that went 52 feet to tie the game up. Facing one of the best hitters in baseball, Francisco Lindor, Sims got a ground out to Joey Votto to send the game to the 8th inning all tied up.

The bullpen continued to make things more interesting than anyone would like as Nate Jones came out for the 8th inning and walked the first batter on a questionable call by the umpire. What followed was a 2-run go-ahead homer by Franmil Reyes to center field and that sigh you heard at 8:34pm ET came from everyone in the greater Cincinnati area. After striking out Bradley Zimmer the night was over for Jones and turned over to Amir Garrett. The left got Jordan Luplow to ground out for the second out of the inning before striking out Sandy Leon to end things for Cleveland in the 8th.

Cody Reed came out for the top of the 9th and struck out Oscar Mercado on three pitches. But he hit Cesar Hernandez to put a runner on. Jose Ramirez lined out to Freddy Galvis, who then turned in a nice play to end the inning to get Francisco Lindor at first on a chopper on the grass. That kept the Reds down 4-2 and gave the offense a shot to get something going. Unfortunately for Cincinnati on this night that didn’t happen.

Notes worth noting

Mike Moustakas left the game with a bruised left quad.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Cleveland Indians

Wednesday August 5th, 7:10pm ET

Tejay Antone ( 0-0, 2.08 ERA) vs Mike Clevinger (0-1, 4.91 ERA)

58 Responses

  1. FreeHouse

    Aside from Senzel, Votto and Castellanos Reds offense has been pretty pathetic. They need to give Aquino a chance.

    • Hanawi

      Aquino. And call up Garcia. See what he can do. Reminder that the Blue Jays, a terrible team last year, gave up Galvis for nothing.

      Reds need better players. Lot of guys just not panning out. Having said that, they aren’t going anywhere if Suarez doesn’t get on track. The home run was at least a start. Hopefully he can start hitting it hard.

    • Sean D

      Super small sample size but aside from Aqunios double (which honestly didnt seem to be hit all that hard) he has looked pretty lost at the plate as well. I’m a proponent of putting Tyler Stephenson on the 30 (soon to be 28) and have him get reps at DH while practicing game plans and scouting reports with the other catchers.

      • Charles Lackey

        What is wrong with the REDS bullpen? It would seem Iglesias, the closer, should be sent down and find out if he can get outs. Put Garrett in as the closer. PLUS where are the hitters. They sure aren’t in the lineup. Make some moves in the lineup to get some hitters in the game. Try this before the team digs themselves so far down that they will not recover. PLUS the REDS FRONT OFFICE needs to let the manager make out the lineups and moves, it’s very obvious the FRONT OFFICE CANNOT MAKE OUT “WINNING LINEUPS”.

  2. Old-school

    Bullpen needs a lefty who can get guys out from both sides. Tigers had 2 dominant guys. Garrett plus Soto or the other Tiger would be an immediate upgrade. Gotta give up something to get something.

    Offense needs more guys who get on base in the lineup. Senzel should lead off. Shogo drops to the bottom of the order. The DH is a hole. I agree with those saying Aquino needs a shot. Moose with a quad doesn’t sound good.

    Mahle did well. Kudos to him.

    • Grand Salami

      MLB Chat today called the rotation very good but ‘too heavy’. Mahle and Disco are proving that wrong!

  3. Wayne Nabors

    With this bullpen, bell has got to let his starters go a little longer,i know what mahle said post game but that’s just not throwing ur manager under tbe bus,he should have been allowed at least 1 more inning,i really think bell has his mind made up from the get go how long his starters go

    • Sean D

      I think he does to an extent but you CANNOT expect you’re starters to pitch that long with such a short ramp up period. Putting Mahle out there again when he was clearly not built up for that workload is not a good idea. For all we know he could’ve been blown up. Hindsight is 2020. You didn’t complain about not letting gray go another inning yesterday after being dominant for the last few hitters but the bullpen was good so you didn’t complain. You can’t complain only when the bullpen messes up

      • Wayne Nabors

        I’ve complained about that bullpen every single game,they are terrible and I do not recall having a conversation with you, so how can you say I didn’t complain?

      • Chris

        I’m with Wayne on this. I’ve complained about this babying of pitchers all year long. Also, these players are so much more prepared physically that they don’t need a ramp up period like the pitchers 2 years ago showing up at spring training out of shape. Mahle got his ramp up game in the 1st start. He should never have been pulled after going 6 innings, less than 100 pitches, and throwing a 1 hitter. Crazy! What’s ironic is that those of us who complain about this have been right virtually every night, but in Gray’s previous game.

      • Steven Ross

        Disagree. Mahle was cruising on one hitter through six. He was clearly in control. Why not let him go out for the 7th?

    • Grand Salami

      Bieber went just 8 pitches more and has more starts under his belt. It was pitch efficiency that did Mahle in, I don’t blame Bell.

      However, with three batter minimum, it may make more sense to run a starter out the next inning to see before inserting the reliever. You are stuck, as we saw, if you begin the inning with the RP but not with the SP.

    • Scott Matthews

      Sam LeCure seemed to say the same thing on the postgame. David Bell is a 6 inning starting pitcher guy with few exceptions. (See e.g. Bauer) Mahle retired 10 straight hitters and Bell goes to the bullpen for the next 9 outs. He did it all last season and he is doing it this year. We may have the best starting rotation in all of MLB. If not, it’s close. I would at least give the guy an opportunity in the 7th. Bieber is allowed to go farther. Indians won. This team is too talented to have lost some of these games because we do bullpen by committee for 7th, 8th and 9th. Bullpen is struggling. So while people say that is right move to get Mahle out after 6th unscathed, you have to remember what follows him. Tonight was consistent with this season. Bullpen loses games for Reds. And I was worried when they took out Gray and the bullpen did its job. So I get your point, but more often than not, it seems we have our bullpen fail.

      • chris

        I think the bullpen has really only done it’s job in a situation like tonight, one time this year so far, and that was Gray’s last start. I often wonder, what are we saving these guys for? Heck, two of these guys will probably be gone next year. Great we are saving these guys so they can play for another team. Again, the idea of pulling a pitcher with a 1 hit shutout after 6 innings is just disgusting. If you are over 40 and been around baseball your whole life, this new mindset is just insane.

      • Doug Gray

        Tyler Mahle said it was the right call, Chris. He hasn’t thrown anywhere near that many pitches in a long time. His words, not mine.

      • DaveCT

        If it was a risk of physical injury that most influenced the decision, it was the correct decision.

        If other, then, that is a matter of the Manager’s judgement.

        Which is otherwise known as no man’s land.

  4. Grand Salami

    Need to see if Moose can at least DH and stay out of the field to get his bat back ASAP.

    For the glut of OF, one one and half of them are producing. Shogo is starting to scare me a little by reminding me of Billy Hamilton with slightly better plate discipline.

    As for the pen, there are too many question marks. It’s not as bad as it’s pitching but it’s hard to see things getting better soon.

    • FreeHouse

      We gotta start hoping for more rainouts and have those 7 inning double headers to avoid using the bullpen lol

    • Sean D

      I agree Shogo as great of fundamentals he seems to have he has been a little concerning. It’s foolish to expect him to produce a whole lot especially as this is his first taste of MLB pitching but he seems to be a fairly easy at bat for pitchers aside from sometimes fouling off some good pitches. Giving up on him would be stupid but it’s hard to see him ground out over and over again.

      • Sliotar

        Agree. See my post below. Move him down.

  5. Sliotar

    Leadoff spot needs improved (among other things) …

    Per FanGraphs… including tonight, batting first –
    Akiyama is 5 for 25, 0 HR, 7 SO, 1 BB

    Small sample size, for sure … but no way the leadoff spot can continue for 60 games like that, and expect any kind of run. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon a change needs made.

    Flip Senzel and Akiyama in the order.

    Eventually, someone more effective needs to be getting the most chances to hit, especially after nights like this.

    • Old-school

      Yup. Senzel is ready. He’s fast.Hes got plate discipline. He’s got power. He competes.
      Give him the keys to the car and the offense. Leadoff CF. It’s his time.

      • Grand Salami

        So your saying Dusty would be salivating to start him lead off! 🙂 Then again Dusty would have probably given Shogo the keys to CF thereby locking him into the 1st hitter spot only to be spelled by Galvis as the SS against Lefties.

  6. Foster the people

    Agree with the comments regarding Aquino. Has he not earned more playing time ? Starters have been fantastic. Bullpen clearly needs revamped….it’s not working. Just my opinion, but make a change. This team is so talented. Health factors in, and it’s early, but be aggressive in this brief schedule. Go Reds !

    • Indy Red Man

      Aquino or Lorenzen or Stephenson….be creative with the 30 man and see if someone can get hot? Christian “31 yrs old with 1 mlb hr” Colon at DH? Ridiculous thats he on the team over AA? Yeah the pen has been bad, but you can’t win with 4-5 hits a night? Especially when you K constantly and put no pressure on the defense. They’re not walking either.

      JVM is 0-12, but he started 1-12 last year and had a good run til they started playing him every day. I think there might be a 15/15 guy in there somewhere that can draw a walk. Marcus Semien from the A’s had 27 hrs (.735) ops at age 26. JVM had a .735 ops last year at 24. Stick with him vs RHP and see if he develops?

    • Amarillo

      Aquino is definitely a better option than a few of the guys currently on the 30-man like Colon or Davidson so I think he should be on the team, but it’s now been a full calendar year since he has played well. So no, he hasn’t earned more playing time. Let’s not act like last August is his normal.

  7. Sliotar

    Cubs are now 9-2 … and they don’t have a closer.

    Kimbrel tried to close out 9th vs. Royals, gave up 2 runs, only got 1 out before being pulled.

    Chicago held on to win 5-4, but what a horrible signing Kimbrel has turned out to be. 2 more seasons, at $16M per. Yikes.

    • Grand Salami

      Cuba are on cruise control now. 500 and they walk away with the division. Stupid Cubs

      • VaRedsFan

        I guess Maddon isn’t the genius that so many here make him out to be.

  8. CallowayPost

    People, we were facing the AL version of Sonny Gray tonight and he finally got hit. This was a tough loss for that fact, but many players put hard contact on the ball (when they could see it) and we hit into some outs. I’m still optimistic about this team, and am not a person who wants to revamp the roster after 10 games as the team is FINALLY starting to click.

    There were some bad called strikes in this game, and it’s never easy to hit a pitcher like Bieber when you aren’t sure what the strike zone is.

    Take a chill pill.

    • Indy Red Man

      18% of their season is over. A quality start against them from Bieber is to be expected, but they made Turnbull look like DeGrom. They’re not drawing any walks and they K way too much. Meanwhile Bell can’t manage a lineup or the bullpen. We’ll see? They can turn it around with 1 good week!

      • Doug Gray

        You can criticize moves. You can not personally insult people or give them insulting nicknames. Clean it up.

  9. RiverCity Redleg

    I just don’t understand the bullpen usage. Why is Garret not getting more usage in more key times? Why has it been a week since he and Strop have pitched? He needs to use his best pitchers in the high leverage situations.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Part of it is the rainout Thursday, Saturday, and two 7-inning games on Sunday (one of which was a complete game). Counting Monday, in 5 days (4 games) you had a total of 7bullpen innings. With 9 bullpen guys that’s not enough innings to get everyone in.

  10. Melvin

    I’m all for Aquino as I’ve stated many times if nothing else for the fear and intimidation factor. That alone gives us more out of the DH spot than what we’re getting now. Moving Senzel to leadoff seams like it might be a good idea and then moving Aki down in the order. Problem is this isn’t the sim world and we aren’t the sim managers. We don’t get to make the decisions. LOL 🙂

    • Melvin

      We’re not hitting at all and haven’t used Lorenzen one time at the plate if I’m not mistaken. Time to use all of his talents maybe. I haven’t seen Janko play but he can’t be much if any better than Mikey defensively. Maybe not as good.

      • IndyRedsFan

        To all of you guys who keep wanting to play Lorenzen as a hitter…….
        Have you looked at his stats from last year?

        Here they are….

        2019….48 ab,,,,,1 hr, 6 rbi……slash line….208/283/313……596

        yes….he had pretty good numbers in 30 or so at bats in 2018….but once pitchers caught on that he could hit a little…they started pitching him a little more carefully.

        He will not hit any more than any position player currently on the roster.

      • Indy Red Man

        Nobody really knows on Lorenzen as a hitter until he gets alot of at-bats?
        Predictably once it was out that he can hit a fastball then they started throwing him off-speed and he was impatient, but thats to be expected (Aquino last Sept). Its the adjustment to their adjustment and nobody knows because he isn’t given the opportunity.

        What we do know is that he has alot of power/bat speed unlike retreads like Colon. They could do worse against LHP.

      • Melvin

        In response to IndyRedsFan: Maybe, maybe not…. but he has potential to. I agree with Indy Red Man. Stats never tell the whole story anyway. The are just a guide.

  11. TR

    Bell’s set routine of leave it up to the bullpen in the 7th., 8th. and 9th. innings no matter how well the starter is cruising along will result in a .500 finish, at best, in this short season. And the absence of DH power and the absence of Aquino in that role is a mystery.

    • VaRedsFan

      Not only that, but if a reliever did have a good inning, he is immediately removed for the next guy.

  12. Hotto4Votto

    I hope the Jumbotron still plays the graphic of the ghosts that warn Walks Will Haunt. Because our bullpen needs that drilled into their heads. What a poor performance.

  13. Mark

    I would like to see Garcia up to replace Galvis…….what is Freddy really good at right now play the kid! Also, above the mention of Tyler Stephenson as DH I like a lot better than whom they have been trotting out to play DH this year. Agree on Aquino needs more of a chance as well.

  14. Old-school

    Build your way forward with your strength s and address the weaknesses.

    Strengths

    1.) Dominant starting pitching.
    2.) Great off-season acquisitions in moose and Castellanos.
    3) decent catching core.
    4.) Bounce back from JV and an emerging talented Senzel.(still early)
    5.) Garrett and Iglesias look solid and ready to go.
    6.)Suarez and Lorenzen are core guys and talented. They Will turn it around.
    7. Shogo is good on defense and has a regular role. Put him in the 9 hole.

    Weaknesses
    1.) Lefty presence in the bullpen who can shut down guys from both sides of the plate. Go get one.
    2.).defense- reds lead MLB in unearned runs, averaging 1 run a game. Clean it up guys.
    3.) Lack of a disciplined deep offense. They have the players. Stack the top of the order with Senzel/ Votto /Castellanos/Moose and put Shogo at 9.
    4.) DH awful so far. Bring up Aquino and give him some swings in 6 hole.

    Top 2 teams make the playoffs in each division. Pirates are out. Brewers lost Cain, Yellich is slowed and Cards have issues.
    Find a way. It’s there for the taking.

    • RedsEuphoria

      Disagree with not having a lefty presence in the bullpen who can shut down guys from both sides of the place because Amir Garrett can.

      Also don’t think Shogo should bat 9th, if anything that should probably be Winker the way he’s been hitting.

      • VaRedsFan

        Maybe you haven’t been watching Amir pitch? He’s not all that.

      • Old-school

        You need 2 good lefties to win championships. Shogo would add speed and obp turning the order over. But fair enough.

      • Melvin

        Aki, if not batting leadoff, batting 9th could be a really good idea as he could set the table for the top of the order. As for Winker I really don’t think he should even be playing right now. See my comments on Aquino.

  15. MikeA

    I really don’t get all the calls for Aquino. August last year was amazing! His raw power is out of this world. But then the scouting report came out and guess what? They figured out how to pitch to him. He has to adjust-and given his MiLB track record-I don’t see it happening. Wish it would but at some point the reality is- MLB pitchers are the best in the world and hitting a baseball is very, very hard. In 9 minor league seasons he’s a guy that slashed 248/308/455 with 760k’s and 216BB. He MAY become serviceable but a superstar, not likely. I do hope that he does for him and the team.

    • Melvin

      I think most, if not all other teams think we’re crazy for not trying harder to tap into what is, not just potential, but what we KNOW is there. Of course he has to make adjustments. Every hitter does. Keep in mind he’s not just a kid in his low 20s. He’s 26. Aquino does have a powerful swing but it’s not a big sweeping out of control swing. He’s very much in control of it. It’s the kind of swing that can make him a good hitter once he makes those adjustments not just a power hitter. To not use that talent especially when we need more hitting out of our DH is not wise to put it nicely. There is no guarantee of course but one thing is 100% sure. If we don’t play him than all that talent is useless. As I’ve said before, he has a weapon that most hitters don’t have no matter what…intimidation. We all know what a great month in August he had. We also know that he struggled in September. Let’s just look at September stats and what those stats would project into a six month season…his absolute worst month and probably the bottom for him.

      Runs – 9/54
      Hits – 20/120
      Doubles – 4/24
      HR – 5/30
      RBI – 14/84
      BB – 6/36
      SB – 5/30
      All that while having a .196 BA – .236 OBP – .382 SLG – .619 OPS

      I ask you even at his worst is that not much better than what we’re getting out of the DH spot right now? Also keep in mind hitting is not his only talent. He also has good range, a good arm, and good speed should he play in the field.

      • Melvin

        Let’s just refresh our memory now on his “best”. In August he set not just Reds records but all time MLB records in several categories.

        Runs – 22/132
        Hits – 33/198
        Doubles – 4/24
        HR – 14/84
        BB – 12/72
        SB – 2/12
        BA – .320
        OBP – .392
        SLG – .767
        OPS – 1.158

        Keep in mind also he did this batting in the #4 spot protecting Suarez and really not having anyone protecting him. I ask again, WHY are we not playing him in the situation we’re in? Options remaining? REDICULOUS! It’s virtually UNBELIEVABLE that we cant’ at least find better ways of using him.

      • MikeA

        No, I would not take that. 196/236/382/619. That’s a lot more outs than production. There is more to the game than the long ball. Most importantly, not making outs. Aquino makes lots of them via strikeout. I have much more faith in Senzel, Castellanos, Winker, and Akiyama figuring it out than Aquino. Make no mistake, I like Aquino. I’ve simply seen enough tape and read up enough on him to really be concerned about the August 2019 sample size bias.

      • PhP

        I really don’t get all the Winker hate. You say that you would take Aquino’s low but last year was Winkers worst year and it was .269/.357/.473/.830 with a 113 ops+ plus. His career OBP in the majors is .375. Dude can hit. He’s struggling now but it’s only been 11 games. I’d trust his career numbers that he’ll turn it around.

      • Melvin

        Buddy I’m not a Winker hater. I don’t care who plays as long as we win. The fact is he’s not getting it done and we only have 49 games to go. We’re four games out and being in 1st place is the goal. No time to waist. When I gave Aquino’s worst I didn’t mean that I thought he would be that bad. I fully expect better than that but even if it is his worst it’s still better than what we’ve got out of the DH spot so far. Just my opinion. We don’t get to make out the lineups. 🙂

  16. Ghost of Vada

    If Bell is going to be a robot, automatically pulling starting pitchers after six innings, then he should START THE GAME WITH HIS CLOSER and use the bullpen to get to the fourth, when you’d bring in the “starter.”

    That would take some of the pressure off the mediocrities in the Cincinnati pen. It’d also let you know just how big of a hole you were going to have to battle out of that game, so you could manipulate your line-up accordingly.

    Any game in which you got to the fourth inning not terribly behind, the momentum would swing in the Reds’ favor.

    • Melvin

      Well your point is well taken that we’re losing games at the end without much time to catch up. It is an idea to start the game with relievers for as many innings as necessary until we think that day’s starter can finish whether it be innings 4-9 or whatever. The DH allows that….providing we use it properly of course. 🙂