Final R H E
Los Angeles Dodgers (15-9) 5 4 0
Cincinnati Reds (11-12) 6 10 0
W: Hendrix (1-0) L: Alexander (0-2) S: Doolittle (1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Cincinnati Reds got off to a great start as Jesse Winker ambushed Los Angeles Dodger starter Walker Buehler. Winker continued his scorching start to the 2021 campaign by sending the first pitch of the game into the bleachers. The Reds took an early lead for a second straight night, which was refreshing since prior they had not lead in 38 consecutive innings before taking the lead yesterday.

Unfortunately for the Reds, Walker Buehler started looking like……. Walker Buehler for the next couple innings. The Reds had a threat with runners on 2nd & 3rd with 1 out in the top of the 4th, but Buehler struck out Naquin and Blandino. Reds starter Jeff Hoffman danced around trouble for the first three innings, but he walked the first two batters in the fourth inning. Will Smith made him pay with a 3-run blast.

The Reds didn’t quit down 3-1. Walker Buehler had not allowed 3 earned runs in any of his last 13 starts including the postseason. Kyle Farmer doubled after a Barnhart HBP, and the Reds were in business. Tyler Stephenson fought off a 0-2 pitch for an RBI groundout. That is when Jesse Winker continued to be the hottest hitter on the planet and tied the game.

José De León could not get the job done, and the Dodgers immediately took the lead back. He was one batter away from likely getting Walker Buehler out of the game. The Reds trailed 5-3 after five innings.

The Reds still wouldn’t quit. They got a rally going in the 7th when Barnhart, Farmer and Castellanos singled. Joey Votto came to the plate with 2 outs and the Reds trailing 5-4. Votto was facing a left-handed pitcher, but he found a way to rip a double down the line to put the Reds up 6-5.

The Reds burned their top two relievers yesterday as Sims threw 32 pitches and Antone threw 53. The trio of Fulmer, Hembree and Doolittle found a way to get the job done and finish off a thrilling 6-5 win. The Reds have secured a series victory against the defending world champions. They came in losers in 7 straight games. Baseball is a funny game.

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Joey Votto’s  2-run double in the 7th inning, giving the Reds a 6-5 lead. That play increased the Reds probability of winning by 42.0% (from 28.0% to 70.0%).

Positives

Jesse Winker extended his hitting streak to 12 games. He carried the Reds offense with a solo home run, RBI single and a double. He even made an out on a sharp liner with an expected batting average of .490.

Joey Votto came in struggling (0 for 11 in the last 2 series), and he has not been his best since 2018 against LHP (.237/.357/.338). He had the big hit tonight, a 2-RBI double to put the Reds up 6-5.

Kyle Farmer snapped an 0 for 16 stretch with a double off the wall, and a single later.

Nick Castellanos had two hits, and made a crucial catch on the run, near the wall.

Ryan Hendrix touched 98.0 MPH on his fastball. He got the Reds out of De Leon’s jam in the 6th. Hendrix has certainly showed some promise in his brief time with the club.

Carson FulmerHeath Hembree, and Sean Doolittle combined for 3.0 no-hit innings to preserve the Reds win. The only baserunner came on a terrible ball 4 call against Hembree. What a job by these guys.

Negatives

Jeff Hoffman walked 5 batters tonight. You can’t do that against any team, especially the Dodgers. Hoffman still has a shiny 3.33 ERA, but he has got to find a way to limit the traffic on the basepaths if he wants to have any chance.

José De León walked and hit a batter, and gave up 3 hits. He allowed the Dodgers to immediately take the lead after the Reds fought so hard to tie it.

Not so random thoughts……………

The Reds offense just never gives up. They grind out every at-bat, even when they are down. We have saw multiple times where they have fought back and just not been able to get over the hump (see Opening Day vs St. Louis and last Friday at St. Louis). Tonight was the night they were able to break through. I know that it’s hard to give moral victories for those nights at the time, but the collective fighting every at-bat eventually pays off. It did tonight.

Something, something, Angel Hernandez. It is insane that man has a job. It’s too late to write anything else about that guy that has not already been said.

Up Next:

Reds at Dodgers
Wednesday, 4:10 PM
TV: Bally Sports Ohio
Sonny Gray (7.88 ERA) vs Clayton Kershaw (2.56 ERA)

62 Responses

  1. CI3J

    And this, folks, is why you play the games. A few days ago, there were some on this site implying that the Reds were going to be on a 10-game losing streak by the time this series was over. Well, here we are.

    All that said, I still think this team, as currently constructed, is a .500 team at its core, but could be a few games over or under, depending on “luck”, when it’s all said and done. They’re a fun team, but not a championship caliber team.

    • TR

      Who knows, since it’s a long season. I don’t recall myself or anybody else speculating 31 years ago the Reds would win the WS by sweeping the A’s, either. One game and series at a time. Just glad baseball is back.

    • JB

      If the Reds did get swept by the Dodgers would have you come on here and commented how smart those people were for saying that? I didnt think so. Nothing the Reds were doing during the 7 game losing streak would say they had a chance against the Dodgers. Plus statistics show that the Dodgers dominate the Reds in the last 15 years and the Reds stink on West Coast trips. The Reds found a way. Can they keep it up? Time will tell but they need more than Winker and Castellanos because at some point those two will find a slump. Hopefully theirs will be short and not a Suarez slump.

      • MBS

        Enjoy the wins when they come. No point in arguing why they should have lost, when they already won the games. That’s not even crying over spilled milk, that’s crying because you though the milk would spill, but didn’t.

      • Rowdy Red

        Good game Reds, you fought and won. No Suarez at SS is the right move. Listen that position is your best fielder on the team, it takes extreme quickness, baiting hitters and Divinity. Would be nice for someone like Castellan’s to talk with him and let him know he’s our 3rd baseman and let him know he’s needed and go to the plate with a positive mind and swing the lumber.

  2. 2020ball

    Tuned in on my phone, but was watching my other team w a friend at the bar. Big win! After the sweeps this is a nice way to not roll over and play tough vs a tough team on the road. Good on em

    • Sliotar

      I honestly don’t know if Nick Kirby is doing parody … or trying to be serious.

      We don’t seem to watch the same game sometimes.

      IMO, 13 Ks and 1 BB doesn’t seem to fit the definition of “grinding out every at-bat.”

      Winker and Castellanos have 9 of the Reds 16 hits so far in LA … and both the HRs.

      They are driving the Reds bus at the moment … All-Stars for sure. Probably fighting to win the Chevy Truck or whatever they will give the AS MVP after the game in Denver.

      Find some more helpers down in the lineup and get the sweep … Dodgers feel out of sorts right now. Strike while they are like that.

      • 2020ball

        Our corner outfielders are for sure carrying us right now. That and our starting pitching has been good.

      • 2020ball

        “We don’t seem to watch the same game sometimes.”

        That, my friend, depends on your perspective I think. Funny how that can affect what you’ll see.

      • Rex

        well said as always

        without Winky-Dink and Nick we are screwed

      • greenmtred

        Well, Votto helped a bit. Your point is well taken, though. I didn’t see the game, but will continue to scroll down and read the comments so I can learn how it happened that they won despite David Bell being the worst manager in the game.

      • VaRedsFan

        I always read the game thread if I miss part of the game too

      • Old-school

        Stephenson did a great job pinch hitting in the 5th inning to allow the Reds to crawl back to 3-2 by simply putting the ball in play with 2 strikes against Buehler for a ground ball RBI to shortstop to get Barnhart home and Farmer to 3b after his double. Winker then singled in Farmer to tie the game and hit the reset button.

        I think what Sliotar is referencing is the inning prior when Castellanos doubled, Votto walked, and Moose hit a ground ball to advance both into scoring position with 1 out yet Naquin and Blandino struck out stranding important runs.

        Blandino was 0-4 with 3 K’s and while Naquin has some gaudy numbers, keep in mind in a span of 48 hours from April 3-5, he hit 3 home runs and drove in 10 rbi in a 12-1 win against the cards and 14-1 win against the Pirates. Meaningless stats in garbage time against bullpen arms charged with throwing strikes in filler innings.

        Great job by Heath Hembree and Ryan Hendrix helping this bullpen. Hembree has a long track record and good find by the Reds.

        Reds have off days Thursday Monday and Thursday again.

        Assuming Shogo comes off the IL by next Friday for the 10 game road trip to Cleveland/Pittsburgh,Colorado- who on the 26 man roster/40 man roster gets demoted? If the Reds think Blandino can play occasional SS, it’s got to be Farmer. If the Reds don’t think Blandino can play occasional SS, its got to be Blandino?

      • jim walker

        @OldSchool RE: who goes for Shogo??

        I don’t think it is Farmer. He can credibly play any spot on the field aside from pitching. He is a legit 3rd catcher, not just an emergency guy at that spot which may be the decision point in his favor.

        The Reds are still at 14 pitchers with only 4 bench players. A pitcher is likely to go. I really think Garrett is a candidate for IL. Let’s see what happens when they get back to Cincy where Doc Kremchek and company can give him a complete and thorough once over exam.

        If Garrett isn’t sent to the IL then likely it will be a tough numbers game break for either Hendrix and DeLeón who are the 2 guys in the pen with an option available

  3. Melvin

    Well. I’m certainly happy we aren’t headed for a 10 game losing streak now. Let’s win tomorrow too. 🙂

  4. RojoBenjy

    Am i to understand that in a 1 run game that Jesse Winker the best hitter in the National League at the moment was DOUBLE SWITCHED OUT of the GAME?

    • Doug Gray

      Yes. The Reds had a 1-run lead and they double switched out a guy who is the 5th best outfielder on the team defensively in a huge ballpark who would be due up 8th if the game went to extra innings.

      • Melvin

        I guess I can understand that a little considering the situation that you just described. Either way it’s a gamble. If they would have tied the game somehow or even taken the lead and Winker’s spot would have come up in extra innings we would have felt pretty bad. I’m not sure most managers, real or arm chair lol, including me, would have taken out the hottest hitter in baseball with just a one run lead but hey…we won. 🙂

      • 2020ball

        I think most if not all managers would’ve. Jesse knows he’s not a good outfielder whether he likes it or not.

      • Melvin

        MMMM I’m not so sure he would agree 100% with you on either point. lol I’m sure others on here will eventually voice their opinion. It’s good discussion.

      • VaRedsFan

        With that logic, Votto and Suarez should never play the 9th inning with a slim lead. They are worse at their position than Winker is at his.

      • Old Big Ed

        Va, that is a good point, but the Reds don’t really have anybody who is a better defender at SS or 1B than Suarez or Votto. Farmer and Blandino might be at both positions, but this is the odd team that doesn’t really have a solid backup SS or 1B. And yes, you could play Moustakas at first, but he hasn’t really played there much, plus it might make 3B a defensive liability.

        It was unlikely that Winker’s bat would again be needed. If the Dodgers tied the game in the bottom of the ninth, Winker would be the 8th hitter in the top of the 10th. If the #8 hitter came up, then the Reds would by definition have scored 3 runs and likely more. The best chance for Winker to hit again would be for the game to go to 11 innings.

    • 2020ball

      Standard use of the double switch, or even just a straight substitution, to get your very worst defender out of the game when you’re winning late. Seen it for years.

    • RojoBenjy

      I’m thinking of it this way: With the struggling bullpen, is a defensive substitution really worth more than the hottest bat in the league?

      All it would take is one or two innings of back and forth tying it up and Winker’s (now Doolittle’s) spot would become due. Who’s he going to pinch hit there? All he had left was India—I don’t want him up when I could have had Winker.

      I certainly understand all the reasons a manger may double switch. But just because you can make one doesn’t mean you should. And that is where managers can think themselves into a corner. I appreciate everyone having a civil debate on it. I enjoyed reading the replies.

      • Doug Gray

        A stronger defense helps a struggling pitcher, so yes, it absolutely is worth more than the bat that won’t be due up until the 8th spot in the order in extra innings where the only way he gets to the plate is when your team is up multiple runs already, or you’ve now gone several innings beyond where the game currently is and you’ve blown the lead.

      • RojoBenjy

        Let me amend- I understand MANY of the reasons for a double switch. Not all i’m sure

      • RojoBenjy

        Thanks, Doug. Wasn’t sure if there is a metric out there to weigh which was more valuable or if it’s more experience and opinion that drives it.

        I would probably be the guy chirping if Winker had blown a play in the 9th to lose it. And I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that the men had a really good team win and it was fun!

      • Amarillo

        I have another thing to add. The only available relievers we had left for extra innings are Doolittle for another inning (which assumes he gave up a run and blew the save), Sal Romano, and Amir Garrett. As well know Garrett has been struggling, and Sal is fine but not super likely to be able to have multiple clean innings with the new runner on Second rule. This means that the chance the Reds would get to the 11th or 12th and be in a spot where you’d want Winker to hit again, are pretty low. I think it would be more likely the game would end in the 10th than Winker get a chance again.

  5. GreatRedLegsFan

    Very weak outing by Hoffman: 3 R, 3 SO & 5 BB in just 4 IP. Also De Leon looks to be ticketed to the alternate site anytime soon, otherwise the bullpen performance was remarkable. Line-up looked a lot better with Moustakas and without Suarez, I hope he’ll find his way back.

    • Still a Red

      Poor Suarez…got rung up taking a curve ball well above the strike zone!.

      • MuddyCleats

        Agree, you would get that called in a LL game let alone in MLB. When it’s going bad…..

  6. GreatRedLegsFan

    Question: In the top of the 9th, Winker hit a line drive to the RF that Betts flumped. What would have been the outcome of the play if the outfielder loose the ball to the bleachers after touching it? Is it a rule 2B?

    • Melvin

      Good question. I’m pretty sure it’s considered a double. However it might have something to do with where the runner was in the base paths when the ball went out as to what extra base he would get. In Winker’s case, with his speed, he wouldn’t get more than a double but certainly more than a single. Don’t know it if that helps. lol

    • 2020ball

      AFAIK if it doesn’t hit the ground and he fumbles it over the rear fence, its a HR. If it hits the ground at some point its as if he threw it into the stands on an errant throw and the runners move up a base, but thats me just guessing and I dont recall the play youre talking about.

      • Matt O'Neal

        I believe this is right. Like if a fielder tries to snag a homer and it deflects off his glove into the stands. Still a homer. As long as it never touches the ground, and isn’t a throw by the defender, but a misplay defensively, it’s a homer.

      • Jeff in TN

        May 26th, 1993. Carlos Martinez (Indians) awarded a home run thanks to Jose Canseco. If you’ve never seen the video, it is SOOO worth a watch. I believe that would answer this question…

  7. Steven Ross

    I’d rather see Farmer at SS than Suarez. The latter is lost at the dish while the former has sparkling numbers when starting at SS. He deserves the nod right now.

    • tomn

      It was nice to watch a Reds game without Suarez in the middle of the order to ruin any rally. Can’t Bell just bring himself to drop Suarez to 7th in the order. Or just continue to bench him. It’s been fun to watch them win in LA.

      • AllTheHype

        Cinc 4th batters have combined for a .138/.255/.322 slash so far with 29.4% K rate. Suarez will surely be back in there tonight.

      • RojoBenjy

        The over/under on seeing Henny batting cleanup today?

    • AS

      Farmer looked phenomenal at SS last night. I agree with you – I’d rather se Farmer at SS vs. Suarez. I was at the game last night Farmer had some very tough balls hit his way – he was able to play them like a natural.

  8. Mark Moore

    What a great thing to wake up and see this morning.

  9. Still a Red

    I’d say it was fair to say the team ‘grinded’ this one out, even with 10 strike outs. Against a pitcher that hasn’t allowed 3 ERs since last season. It wasn’t JUST Wink and Castellanos. Farmer came through. Stephenson came through. Barnhart came through. And of course, Joey, hitless in last 11 ABs, worked a full count and (and apparently with a little help from above) delivered. Only 1 run scored on HR. 10 hits in all. Also, BP full of unknowns (other than Dolittle) came through. I’d say they ‘grinded’ that one out.

  10. Still a Red

    I wonder if platooning Senzel has something to do with trying to keep him healthy (physcially at least) the whole season by limiting his innings played? Not sure I’d agree with that strategy if that’s what’s going on…hope its not just playing the odds game.

    • James

      If you give it some thought, the Reds just beat arguably the best team in baseball! We out hit ,and for the most part our BP pitched decent. We scored 12 runs and only gave up 8, against the team the won the World Series last year! Heath Hembree has provided some breathing room in our BP as well with Ryan Hendrix. Winker is ultimately unstoppable and just our hitting in general is out playing, pretty much all of the teams out there!

  11. Jeff

    Suarez making Mario Mendoza look like Ted Williams. End of the year the Mendoza Line may have a new name.

    • MuddyCleats

      Man some “fans” sure know how to kick a guy when he’s down! I guess the other 12 Ks last night were OK? Not like Reds haven’t had a team SO problem for a while now. Let the guy sit for awhile, move him down in the lineup and pls consider moving him back to 3B where he has put up big #s

  12. Old Big Ed

    I didn’t think DeLeon was that bad last night. His fastball was pretty lively. He threw 25 strikes in 35 pitches, for a 71.4% strike rate, which was a hair better than Walker Buehler’s last night.

    The three hits were a 2-out, none-on single by Justin Turner, their hottest hitter; a line-drive double about 2 inches fair; and a grounder through a drawn-in infield that would have been an out with a normal alignment. The walk was to Mookie Betts on his 35th pitch.

    DeLeon’s arm will play, and I can see why they might want to stick with him for a while.

    Kudos to Ryan Hendrix for his first MLB win.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Agreed. DeLeon’s drop and drive delivery gives you a different look. I’m gonna hang the double on Barnhart…..as usual, it was like the 5th fastball in a row he called for when the sequence screamed changeup away.

    • MBS

      Also people seem to forget the Dodgers are really good. They won’t just let you get a W, they will fight back.

  13. SultanofSwaff

    Without Moose and Shogo, this team is #2 for OPS in all of baseball. That’s gonna keep you in a lot of games while the pitching roles get sorted out.

    Keep the faith!

  14. Philip Brody

    When Shogo comes back, one of the 14 pitchers will go down. De Leon has an option, Romano does not. Fulmer , Hembree and Hendrix looking good. Could sit Garrett with an injured something to explain his pitiful performance.

    • Doc

      Is injured ego an IL excuse (rhetorical question)?

      • MBS

        I don’t think the IL would help him. The Reds just need to bring the pressure down a little. Send him out in non pressure situations until he regains his form. We are going to need to Count on AG later in the season.

    • rex

      he might have strained an oblique with all the bat flipping and silly tweets

      • chrismo

        Or tweeked his back “rocking the baby” or whatever nonsense he was doing early in the year!

  15. Colorado Red

    Winning the series is no loner a goal.
    SWEEP is the goal.
    GO REDS

  16. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    It’s so early in the season, but if a team ever needed a sweep, it’s this Reds’ team right now. A sweep would go a long way to righting the ship. It might also give Sonny Gray a much needed boost of confidence.

    Baseball is a funny game. In most situations, it’s not what team you play at the time but more often and more importantly when you play that team at a particular time.

    Winning two tight games late against the defending World Champs is a positive a team can definitely build upon. Now the Reds need to complete the sweep and quietly leave town, catching this Dodgers’ squad who are collectively in a funk couldn’t have happened at a better time for the Reds.

  17. MK

    Went to my grandson’s high school game yesterday and the home plate umpire was terrible. He called three different strikes on balls that hit the plate. Then I came home to watch Angel Hernandez. Maybe Hoffman can get a little pass on those walks.

    It was good to see Doolittle close successfully. Maybe he needs the adrenaline of the close to be more successful. Let’s hope it continues.