|Cincinnati Reds (6-1)
|Arizona Diamondbacks (2-6)
|W: Perez (1-0) L: Young (0-2) SV: Garrett (2)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread
Tucker Barnhart’s third hit of the game knocked in Eugenio Suarez from third base in the top of the 10th inning to give the Cincinnati Reds a 6-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks Friday evening in Arizona’s home opener.
Cincinnati was able to escape with the win, their sixth straight, after squandering a 5-0 lead after six and a half innings. Barnhart’s hit off losing pitcher Alex Young was his second of the game against a lefthander. In the past, Barnhart has struggled mightily against lefthanded pitching.
Amir Garrett retired the home team in the bottom of the 10th inning to earn his first save. After a cross-up pitch between Garrett and Barnhart resulted in runners moving to second and third on a passed ball with two outs, Carson Kelly was intentionally walked to load the bases. Garrett then retired Pavin Smith on a groundout to second baseman Kyle Farmer to seal the victory.
Barnhart was one of two Reds with three hits, and another of the early-season Red-hot hitters continued his eye-popping performance.
Question: Who currently leads the league in home runs?
Answer: Tyler Naquin pic.twitter.com/bMX1htC8RV
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 10, 2021
After his fourth-inning home run, Naquin led the majors in homers (5), RBIs (14), slugging (1.048) and OPS (1.488). By the end of the evening, Naquin’s slugging stood at 1.000 and his OPS at 1.444, third overall behind Nick Castellanos and Yermin Mercedes.
Jesse Winker had hits in his first three plate appearances but was lifted from the game after scoring on a Eugenio Suarez sacrifice fly in the fifth. Winker appeared to hop unusually a couple of times during his trip from third to home, and then again while headed to the dugout. Later in the game it was reported that Winker had calf muscle tightness.
Starter Tyler Mahle pitched four no-hit innings but needed 92 pitches to get that done. This early in the season, that’s probably the upper threshold of pitches any Reds pitcher is going to be permitted to throw.
So then we had the treat of watching Tejay Antone. Television announcer John Sadak reported one Antone pitch in the fifth inning at 100 mph. Baseballsavant.com had it at 99.5.
This is not the first time you’ll hear this, nor the last time: Antone MUST be moved to the rotation. He may have the best stuff on the team, and having him in what currently is a middle- and long-relief role is a misuse of his talent. Baseballsavant.com says his curveball’s AVERAGE vertical break is 53 inches. That’s four feet, five inches. Try hitting a pitch that breaks that much. And try doing it knowing the pitch more often than not is going to be a strike.
Cam Bedrosian was tagged with three Arizona runs in the seventh inning. He’s been the least effective member of the bullpen and would appear to be on a very short rope. The bullpen as a whole was a letdown, with the non-Antone relievers walking four in four innings.
Notes Worth Noting
Everything is working for Cincinnati at the moment.
Reds starting pitchers have thrown 21consecutive scoreless innings (De León 4ip, Miley 6ip, Castillo 7ip, Mahle 4ip).
— Reds Media Relations (@RedsPR) April 10, 2021
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Arizona Diamondbacks
Saturday, April 10, 8:10 pm ET
Jeff Hoffman (1.80 ERA, 1-0) vs Riley Smith (3.60 ERA, 0-0)