|Cincinnati Reds (11-15)||2||3||0|
|St. Louis Cardinals (9-8)||6||12||0|
|W: Cabrera (2-1) L: Mahle (0-1)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
The Reds offense continued to struggle to do much of anything after a 1st inning 2-run homer. In a game full of walks, the Reds couldn’t take advantage of the ones they were given and the Cardinals did – while also racking up 12 hits on the day as they picked up the win and a 3-1 series win over Cincinnati.
In the game preview we noted that Daniel Ponce de Leon had reverse splits, and that right-handed hitters had some success against him last season, but that he absolutely dominated lefties – though he did walk lefties at a high rate. The first inning played out just like that. Nick Castellanos walked and Eugenio Suárez homered – and did he ever, crushing a 434-foot blast deep into the left field seats – to make it 2-0. The lefties in the inning went 0-3 with a walk.
In the 2nd inning the Reds threatened as Freddy Galvis was hit by a pitch and Tucker Barnhart walked with one out, but Joey Votto and Nick Castellanos couldn’t come through with a hit and stranded the runners on the bases. The following inning saw Cincinnati go 1-2-3. In the 4th things got started in the right way as Shogo Akiyama lined a single into right field, but the offense went quietly after that.
The 5th inning began with a Joey Votto ground out, but Nick Castellanos doubled and Jesse Winker followed up with a walk to put two runners on and the Reds in position to tie the game up. Eugenio Suárez struck out looking on a pitch that hadn’t been called a strike all game long. St. Louis went to the bullpen with two outs, bringing in left-handed reliever Genesis Cabrera to face Mike Moustakas. The move worked as the Reds second baseman flew out to left field to end the inning and strand two more.
The Reds went quietly in 6th and 7th innings, though Curt Casali did reach base with a walk to lead off the 7th. He just happened to be erased two pitches later on a double play.
The 8th inning started out with a play you aren’t likely to see much of – Jesse Winker was called out on strikes on a pitch that hit him in the elbow. It was a full count, and he undeniably leaned into the pitch. But the pitch was just outside of the strikezone according to Hawk-Eye (the system that tracks pitches) – and by rule, even though he leaned into it, if it wasn’t in the zone, it should be a ball. But the umpire ruled that it was in the strikezone, and thus was a strike, and rung Winker up. He argued. David Bell argued. No one was ejected, but the call wasn’t going to be changed, either. The next two hitters flew out to end the inning.
Down by four runs, the Reds sent the 6-7-8 spots of the lineup to the plate. Phillip Ervin led off with a lazy fly ball to left field for the 1st out. Travis Jankowski followed and drew a walk. The very next pitch was swung at and wound up ending the game on a double play.
It wasn’t an easy 1st inning for Tyler Mahle, who appeared to be getting squeezed by the home plate umpire a bit. But he worked around a leadoff single and a 1-out walk to strike out the size and strand two runners.The 2nd inning wasn’t any easier. Yadier Molina singled to lead off the inning, but was erased on a fielders choice. Harrison Bader, the Cardinals #9 hitter, took an 0-1 slider and hit it off of the top of the center field wall for a 2-run, game tying homer. Mahle walked the next hitter before getting the final out of the inning. After two innings, Mahle had racked up 57 pitches on the day.
The 3rd inning was much like the first two – not easy. Paul Goldschmidt led off with a double and came around to score on a 2-out single by Reds killer Yadier Molina, putting the Cardinals up 3-2. He’d get out of the inning without any further damage.
That would be the last inning for Mahle to pitch, though, throwing 71 pitches before being replaced by Michael Lorenzen to begin the 4th. Things didn’t go well for him to start the inning as Dylan Carlson led off with a single and Harrison Bader walked to put two on. A sacrifice bunt followed to move the runners over. The strategy failed as Brad Miller grounded the ball to second and Mike Moustakas came home with the ball where Tucker Barnhart made a nice pick and tag to get the second out of the inning. Paul Goldschmidt followed with an easy fly ball to right field to end the inning.
Tyler Thornburg tossed a hitless 6th inning to keep the score at 3-2. But then the 7th inning started with Nate Jones on the mound and things went south, quickly. Matt Carpenter doubled and scored on a Yadier Molina single on a pitch that was nine miles out of the strikezone. Dylan Carlson would hit his 1st homer of his career to make it 6-2. Harrison Bader continued his assault on Reds pitching, following up with a ground rule double that brought Derek Johnson out for a mound visit. It worked as Kolten Wong grounded out to end the inning. The damage had been done, though.
Cody Reed took over to begin the bottom of the 8th. He walked the first hitter of the inning before striking out Paul Goldschmidt. Matt Carpenter, however, drew a walk of his own to put two men on with just one out. Reed buckled down and struck out Tyler O’Neill before getting Yadier Molina to fly out to end the threat.
Notes worth noting
We’ve only got one note today, from our founder:
Baseball is supposed to be fun. This is not fun at all. The Reds are just not a good baseball team right now. https://t.co/rXmtOOEEBp
— Chad Dotson (@dotsonc) August 23, 2020
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Milwaukee Brewers
Monday August 24th, 8:10pm ET
Trevor Bauer (3-0, 0.68 ERA) vs Brett Anderson (1-2, 3.71 ERA)