Final R H E
Chicago White Sox (16-12)
9 13 1
Cincinnati Reds (13-15)
0 2 0
W: D. Cease (2-0) L: J. Hoffman (2-2)
Statcast | Gamecast Play-by-Play | Game Thread


Had you told me the Cincinnati Reds would be close to .500 on May 4th. I’d have gladly taken it. Having watched the Reds get off to bad starts and the cold weather portend even colder lumber year-after-year in the month of April, this start doesn’t concern me. The biggest concern for this team entering 2021 was a lethargic offense, accentuated by a weak bat in Kyle Farmer projected at SS. The offense has been anything but a liability, with the pitching and defense largely responsible for the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the early season series to date.

The pitching figures to improve based on past history. But can the unexpected success of the offense continue?

Game #28

In the top of the 2nd inning, Jose Abreu worked Jeff Hoffman to a full count, and having him where he wanted him, got the pitch he wanted and sent it into the centerfield seats. Hoffman looked like he had regained control of the inning with 2 strikeouts, but gave up a walk to Yasmani Grandal and 3 singles followed. Ironically, Hoffman would strike out the side, but he would also throw 36 pitches in the inning, all but ensuring another long night for the Reds’ bullpen. Chicago 3, Reds 0.

Yoan Moncada doubled to lead off the 3rd. A wild pitch would push him to 3rd base. When Hoffman hit Adam Eaton, his day would be over having thrown 63 pitches and having lost his ability to find the plate. Jose De León would enter the game. A sacrifice fly would bring in a run. Chicago 4, Reds 0.

Leury Garcia would walk in the 4th, and pitcher Dylan Cease would double off the base of the wall to put De León into a jam he would not escape. Two more singles and hard-hit sac fly would plate 3 more.  Chicago 7, Reds 0.

The Sox score another run in the 5th. Chicago 8, Reds 0.

The Reds got their first hit of the game in the bottom of the 5th, a single by Tucker Barnhart. He’d get another. It would be the only 2 hits the Reds would get all night.

The Arms

Jeff Hoffman’s line: 2.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.

Jose De León would prove to be ineffectual, allowing the game to get out-of-hand, surrendering 3 runs of his own.

Sal Romano was erratic, handing out 3 singles and a walk interspersed with 2 strikeouts in the 5th. But he would settle in retire the side in order in the 6th for only the second time in the game.

Carson Fulmer would come on in the 7th and pitch a clean inning, but give up another run in the 8th. Chicago 9, Reds 0.

What Did We Learn Today?

I was at GABP on a rain-soaked night in the summer of 2018 when Alex Blandino wrecked his knee in a late night game that should never have been played after a monsoon necessitated a 3-hour rain delay, much of it I spent at the Holy Grail having a late dinner, assuming the game was destined to be postponed, only to discover the umpiring crew and MLB had other ideas. After Alex broke Arizona with the team this spring, I was hoping he’d get off to a promising start, but it’s just not happening. Here’s hoping he finds his swing. He’s a fun guy to watch. Tonight on the mound in the 9th was a reminder of the athleticism of Blandino and what might have been.

For everyone quick to give away Barnhart’s job to Tyler Stephenson, your mea culpas are welcome. Tucker was 2-3 tonight, a single and double bumping his average to .323. Stephenson is the future for sure, but today belongs to Barnhart. He entered the night with an OBP near .400. That’s Vottoville kids.

Final Thoughts

A reminder: tomorrow’s game times was moved from its original 6:40pm start to 12:35pm.

On Deck for the Redlegs

Chicago White Sox vs. Cincinnati Reds

May 5th at 12:35pm ET

Dallas Keuchel (1-1, 4.65 ERA) vs. Sonny Gray (0-2, 5.93 ERA)

26 Responses

  1. Sliotar

    Good grief … the reason many of us want Stephenson getting fully blooded in 2021 is this:

    In 2022, the Reds have a club option on Barnhart, his age 31 season – pay him $7.5 million, or buy him out for $500,000.

    The Cardinals would make sure Stephenson is fully ready by Spring Training in March, regardless of whatever Barnhart’s numbers were through (all of) May 4th.

    The love for non-young mediocre players never seems to end in Reds Country.

    • MBS

      Barnhart is doing a great job, but so is Tyler Stephenson. TS has a .364 BA with a .417 OBP. I want both to play, but playing time should start leaning Stephenson’s way.

    • Richard

      WWTCD. What Would the Cardinals Do? The mark of a self-hating Reds fan.

      You do know that this is 2021, not 2022, right? As far as the Cardinals are concerned, they re-signed their 38 year old catcher in February who hit a blazing .262, with a .303 OBP, and slugged .359 in 2020. In 2019, he posted a whole 1.2 fWAR.

      So we know what the Cardinals would do. They’ve put their future, Andrew Knizner, on ice for a declining Molina because he’s a St. Louis fixture. And gave him $9M.

      Maybe we can enjoy what Barnhart is bringing to this team? Not just on offense, but how he handles this pitching staff? Or is that too much to ask for the angry Reds fan?

      The love for non-young mediocre players never seems to end in Reds Country? How old is Molina again?????? How much are they paying him?

      • Slicc50

        Tucker is having a fine season…… far. Let’s not mention his name in the same sentence as Yadier Molina though. Very different situation. Yadier Molina has been the heart and soul of the St. Louis Cardinal organization for many years. He helped lead them to a couple World Series titles. Many think he is a future Hall of Famer.

        I don’t think it is right to call a person an “angry Reds fan” and use that comparison to justify it. Tyler Stephenson isn’t exactly struggling. He isn’t getting any younger either. He is the future. He needs to take over the catcher position as the season goes along.

      • Richard Fitch

        You seem to have missed the entire point. No one is comparing Barnhart’s career with Molina’s. Comparing the current situation is another matter.

        If you’re going to insist the Reds are fools to give a 31 yr old catcher significant playing time, then point to the Cardinals as if they would never do such a foolish thing, one ought to at least pause to consider Molina’s advanced age, declining game, not to mention the money they gave him.

        If the Reds gave a near-40 catcher a $9M contract, this comment section would roast them like there’s no tomorrow. But, it does anyway, no matter what Bell and the front office does.

        As for Stephenson, he’s going to get plenty of playing time. But, by all means lets whine about a position that between the two players has been producing as well as JT Realmuto.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      This is the time where clever front offices look deep into the future and strike bold trades, i.e., Tampa Bay.

    • TR

      That’s often the result of Tradition.

  2. JayTheRed

    White Sox are a really good team overall. I expect us to win ZERO of the games against them. Got to hope we can sweep Cleveland this coming weekend.

  3. GreatRedLegsFan

    With current bullpen, most games will just slip away unless the starting pitcher goes deep into the game. Hoffman shall not start again.

  4. Melvin

    Barnhart IS surprising…….so far. I still look for him to wear down but hopefully not. I’m happy for him but still think Stephenson should be starting more. You know Big Bob is not going to pay Barnhart when Stephenson is so cheap anyway. Tucker might be the guy we can trade for relief help. Do it now if possible while his value is at it’s highest as far as performance. Farmer can be the backup. David bell won’t like that though since neither one is a LH hitter. He’ll just have to live with it. lol

  5. Jeff morris

    Need to send Jose Deleon down to the minors. He is very ineffective.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      There’re a few arms left in the 40-man roster that they may recall to replace DeLeon, however I’d like to see them purchase the contract of Lodolo to replace Hoffman in the starting rotation and move him to the bullpen.

  6. Klugo

    Hoffman, DeLeon, Romano.
    They may be trying their best, but they are are fringe MLBers, at best and really shouldn’t have any business on a healthy MLB contending team, of which the Reds are currently not.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Agree about being fringe MLB’ers. But a lot of the Reds pitching staff this season was put together with fringe pitchers/reclamation projects in mind as long as they could spin the ball. Hoffman, DeLeon, Perez, Romano, and Fulmer all made the team to start the season without any real past success to point to. Fulmer’s been alright out of the bunch, but the rest have been pretty bad overall. Combined with underperformance (so far) from Castillo, Sims, and Garrett and this pitching is a bit of a mess. Hopefully they can turn it around, or find more success stories like Hendrix from their prospects.

  7. Rex

    I expect to see some roster moves today, as a wise man once said “What the H*** do you have to loose?”

    we can try out the younger pitchers and still hold off Pittsburg

    • Doc

      I would rather see who shakes out after a couple of weeks into the minor league season; see who is performing and earning a call up.

      To those who want Lodolo up immediately to replace Hoffman my question is: what has Lodolo shown to earn a major league promotion from having pitched a few innings in A a couple of years ago. Let’s see how he performs in ‘Nooga’ before making any decisions.

  8. RojoBenjy

    By the FIFTH inning, the Sox pitcher was 3 for 3 in his first EVER major league at bats. Can’t make this stuff up

    Anyway, our Redlegs are so Jekyll and Hyde right now

  9. Steven Ross

    We’ve probably seen enough of Hoffman to know we’re going to need a new Starter. DeLeon doesn’t instill much confidence either. Hope I’m wrong but why do I get the feeling we’re looking at 80 & 82 this year.

  10. CFD3000

    I do hope Blandino starts to hit again. He could be a very valuable utility bench guy, but not if he’s not hitting at all. But he’s such a gamer and for the moment the most effective reliever the Reds have. So a tip of the Reds cap to Alessandro. Watching Blandino pitch a scoreless ninth was the highlight of the night for me.

    • rex

      Blandino has been strong in relief this year

      • Old Big Ed

        That is a good point. I surrendered long before that, but did he throw his knuckler?

        I think there is still a place for a knuckle-baller, although there aren’t many Yodas out there anymore to teach how to master it. If I were Blandino, I’d be working like a Trojan on his knuckleball.

    • Old Big Ed

      To “hit,” a player has to swing. Blandino doesn’t swing. You would think a Stanford guy would understand this, but I am not sure that he does.

      College hitters are overrated. Of the top 25 in OPS in 2019, only 7 hitters went to college: Bregman (LSU), Rendon (Rice), Springer (UConn), Pete Alonso (Florida), Charlie Blackmon (Georgia Tech), J.D. Martinez (Nova Southeastern in Ft. Lauderdale), and Jeff McNeil (Cal-Long Beach). Martinez and McNeill were taken in the 20th and 12th rounds, so they are outliers, and 4 of them are now over 30.

      College is a good place to develop pitchers, because the hitters are passable and the coaching can be excellent. A player’s age doesn’t matter nearly so much for a pitcher (Jacob DeGrom’s rookie year was his age 26-season), so college baseball can give scouts and analysts a lot better idea if the pitcher will develop than high school ball does.

      It doesn’t work that way with hitters, for whom age is much more crucial. A college junior even in the SEC may have 7-8 ABs per week off solid pro prospects, where as Jesse Winker at age 21 was in AA ball at Pensacola, seeing advanced (and older) pitchers every night.

      On the Reds alone, college guys Blandino, Farmer, Senzel, Naquin and India are all OK, but it’s hard to see any of them becoming legit stars. Senzel will be very solid if he can stay on the field, accept that he is a 12-15 homer guy, and develop as a OBP guy. By contrast, Votto, Winker, Moustakas and Castellanos were all drafted out of high school.

  11. Tim

    How far is Greene from being ready to be in the BP? 104 mph to 5 or 6 batters would be very challenging to any offense. No one is seeing that velocity and it’s a difficult adjustment when there’s an extra 10mph on a fastball.

  12. Matt WI

    For the record, this was the first official time this season that a recap deserved a “Milton the Goat” picture. That was bloody awful.

  13. TrevDawg

    The only good thing about last night was the fodder it provided for the excellent headline used for this story.

  14. RojoBenjy

    heard this on the radio this morning

    The last time the Reds lost with only 2 hits while striking out 14 times?

    1955 against the Brooklyn Dodgers and Sandy Kaufax