Tyler Mahle got plenty of help from the offense as the Cincinnati Reds beat up on the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night to move to .500 on the season with a 14-1 victory at PNC Park.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (16-16) 14 15 0
Pittsburgh Pirates (14-20)
W: Mahle (2-1) L: Keller (2-4)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the top of the 2nd inning on an Eugenio Suárez solo home run, snapping an 0-15 slump. Two innings later the game was tied up at 1-1 and that’s when the Reds offense really went to work. Jesse Winker singled and moved to second on a Nick Castellanos walk. Mike Moustakas singled to give the Reds a 2-1 lead. Tyler Naquin followed with a double to make it 3-1. After a fly out, Tucker Barnhart doubled in two more to make it 5-1. Kyle Farmer singled and pitcher Tyler Mahle walked to load the bases and turn the lineup over. Nick Senzel came through with a single to bring in two more and extend the lead to 7-1.

In the 6th inning it was Tyler Mahle helping himself out once again. With runners on the corners he put the ball in play and got a fielders choice RBI as the Pirates couldn’t turn the double play. That made it 8-1. Cincinnati wasn’t done for the night as Tyler Naquin hit a ball off of the foul pole in the 7th inning for a 3-run homer to make it 11-1 and get the game out of touchdown range. The Nicks (TM) had back-to-back doubles in the 8th to help produce three more runs and make it a 14-1 game.

The Pitching

Tyler Mahle was handed a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning, but he didn’t hold it very long as Jacob Stallings tied things up with a solo home run of his own in the bottom of the frame. The game stayed tied through the third, but with the Reds offense going off for six runs in the top of the 4th inning it gave Mahle a lot to work with and he went to work in the bottom of the inning, needing just 12 pitches to go 1-2-3 and hold a 7-1 lead.

After getting his first career RBI in the top of the 6th inning, Tyler Mahle returned to the mound for the bottom of the inning with an 8-1 lead and 90 pitches. Jacob Stallings saw five pitches in an at-bat that ended in a fly out and also ended the night for Mahle after 5.1 innings where he allowed a run on four hits and four walks to go with seven strikeouts. He had thrown 96 pitches to that point.

David Bell came out and brought in Heath Hembree who induced a pop up and got a strikeout to end the inning and hold onto the Reds 8-1 lead. After an inning of work the game was handed over to Amir Garrett and he struck out the final two batters of the 7th. The lefty came back out for the 8th and worked around a leadoff double to keep the score at 14-1. Sal Romano took over for the 9th hoping to not give up a two touchdown lead. The Pirates couldn’t even double up as Romano got them 1-2-3.

Key Moment of the Game

It could have been any number of points in the Reds 6-run 4th inning, but we’ll go with the Tucker Barnhart double that plated two runs and made it a 6-1 game and put the Pirates of of “slam range”.

Notes Worth Noting

Tucker Barnhart had 13 RBI last season. He has 13 RBI this season.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh

Tuesday May 11th, 6:35pm ET

Jeff Hoffman (2-2, 4.39 ERA) vs JT Brubaker (2-2, 2.78 ERA)

72 Responses

  1. RojoBenjy

    Farmer has risen above the Mendoza line, fans!

    Glad the team took care of business. Now to finish them off!

    • LDS

      But Suarez isn’t. Winning without swinging for the fences is a nice change.

      • MBS

        I had a very wordy, Quit picking on Suarez post, but I had to remove it. I realize you’re feeling maybe just slightly more pessimistic about Suarez than I am feeling about Castillo. I think they both will turn it around before long, but I cringe every 5th game. So I guess I should empathize more with the Suarez hatters. Good news is Garrett is looking like he’s turned the corner. The Reds need to get Sims, Suarez, and Castillo there to.

      • LDS

        I’m concerned about Castillo as well. Mostly, I’m concerned about bad management and ownership for that matter. A good manager would tell Suarez that he’s not going to hit 50 HRs a year so put the ball in play. As a fan for 50+ years and now retired so I can pay more attention, let’s just call the team frustrating. Some good talent, not well utilized IMO, questionable team management, and lousy ownership. So it goes.

      • 2020ball

        not sure a good manager would ever say that, since i know every manager would want that. So yeah, no manager would ever say that.

        A manager, however, could talk to said player and coach them on what theyre doing wrong mechanically. And im pretty confident thats already happened in this case. its up to suarez to sacrifice some power from his swing to shorten it, not the coaches.

      • Scott C

        I said the other day that Suarez will only get better if he starts taking the ball to right field. He did exactly that his first AB and then abandoned that approach, flying out trying to pull the ball, striking out looking on a pitch that was begging for him to take it to right, and then striking out swinging trying to pull.. I have not been one to pile on David Bell for his decisions but this one seems obvious, sit Suarez for at least three games to see if he can get his mechanics straightened out. I’m not worried about Castillo, I think he is close to figuring it out.

      • Melvin

        The AB that irritated me the most about Suarez last night was when he had runners on 2nd and 3rd and no outs. Instead of finding a way to get a run home by an easy ground ball or whatever he popped out trying to pull the ball swinging for the fences. That’s pride and that’s his main problem right now. Stubbornness. Not lack of talent.

    • RojoBenjy

      By the way, I noticed the very strategic wording of Doug’s recap; “after a fly out“ is when Tucker hit the double to break it open.

      I think the comment fits in here amidst a discussion of Suárez

      • Grand Salami

        Suarez should not be batting above the catcher tandem, r/l matchups be darned. He is an 8 hole hitter but for India. Learning to swing and make contact while not often being pitched to seems it would be best for his rehabilitation

  2. Derriz

    Way to go Tucker. Bring on the pain.

  3. John C.

    Not sure if anyone caught this but they stated during the broadcast that Farmer was hitting .350 coming into the game as a starter. Couldn’t find that stat anywhere to confirm.

  4. Rednat

    now that looks like a box score from the BRM era. HITS and RBIs all down the line. love the opposite field hitting!

  5. Jim Walker

    Tucker Barnhart’s amazing run continues; who would have thunk after Casali all but displaced him as the more equal of tandem last year with young Stephenson making a loud announcement of his arrival on the scene.

    Is it because TB is now surrounded by a better cast or the competition at his spot or trying to convince the Reds to exercise that $7.5M option on 2022 vs the $500K buyout? Or maybe some of all these. Let’s just hope he can maintain even half of the improvement over his prior career levels through out the season.

    • 2020ball

      really impressed with tucker this year, even more impressed hes converted successfully from switch hitting. hopefully his play this year isnt a mirage, hes putting up allstar level defense and offense so far.

    • RojoBenjy

      Couldn’t it be his change to batting left only?

      Also, remember Cozart’s All Star year was a one- off. Could be Tucker is having his turn at such. But regardless let’s enjoy it! I’m sure he is

      • Tomn

        Yeah I think lh only batting has paid off for Tucker. He seems to be hitting lefties and righties. He looks much more confident at the plate. Good for him.

      • Melvin

        I’m glad for Tucker. He’s a good guy. I’m from Indy just like him. My son actually played in a tourny against him once or twice. I remember coaching against him. Always had to worry about him throwing behind the runner at first getting too far off. lol He would nail so many. Having said all that I wouldn’t be a bit surprised that his days with the Reds are numbered.

      • Jpser05

        Not to be a Debbie Downer, as I am excited about Tucker’s hot streak. But he has struck out 32 times in 82 plate appearances. I fear he may regress quickly. I hope I am wrong.

    • Jim Walker

      @Melvin>> I think this could very well be Barnhart’s last season on the Reds. With Stephenson in the wings, I do not think the Reds are going to pay TB that $7.5m salary in 2022 versus $500K to buy out his option. There is always the chance TB would come back in 2022 for less but the question is how much less and would some other team pay him more.

      This said, if the Reds are clearly in the playoff hunt at the trade deadline, I do not see them moving TB at the deadline because they don’t have a veteran #2 approaching the Casali ilk on ice at AAA to back up Stephenson down the stretch in 2021.

      • Melvin

        Let’s not forget about Farmer as a backup catcher. I’d rather see him get his ABs at catcher rather than the infield. If the Reds are going to trade Barnhart they should while he’s hitting so well. His value will probably never be higher than now.

      • Melvin

        How often has it been discussed in here how the Reds usually wait too long to trade someone before their value decreases. If Barnhart is going to go….

      • jazzmanbbfan

        He’s a two time gold glove winner so if another team values that, he might not get 7.5 million but more than the Reds may be willing to pay.

    • MK

      Would think Billy Hamilton might look at Barnhart and say maybe he is on to something giving up switch hitting, concentrating on one side of plate, in his case righty.

      • RojoBenjy

        Did Billy decide to not just stick with his natural side all by himself? I seem to recall grumbling that the Reds organization wouldn’t let him do it, but that could have been speculation at the time.

        Billy’s LH swing is painful to watch

  6. GreatRedLegsFan

    It’s interesting to note that Naquin has pushed Senzel out of CF, who in turn has pushed India out of 2B. Yet to be seen what will happen with Suarez when Votto returns from IL and Moose returns to 3B. The Reds OF lineup Winker/Naquin/Castellanos is by far the most productive in NL. Naquin hitting .943 OPS after 32 games is just amazing.

    • Jim Walker

      Even more amazing is that all this involves a #15 overall draft pick, Naquin (Cleveland 2012), a #2 overall Senzel (Reds 2016) and #5 overall, India (Reds 2018). To me, it is more that Naquin has pushed out India which is possible because Senzel could switch to IF. Hopefully they are going to get India down to AAA soon where he can learn to make the offensive adjustments and be back up soon (or not if the team stays healthy and productive).

      And let’s not forget the 2017 #2 overall Hunter Greene and 2019 overall #7 Nick Lodolo are lurking at AA for the Reds.

      • Rednat

        i would like to see India gets some reps at shortstop if they do send him down. i think he is nimble enough and has a strong enough arm to play the position.

        what i see developing is a situation where you will have 3 players Suarez, Moose and Votto for 2 positions, first and 3rd base. it really makes no sense to keep all 3. obviously Votto isn’t going anywhere. so it seems like either Suarez or Moose has to go.

      • Melvin

        Yeah “Rednat’. it would be good if he could at least be able to play there (SS). I’m not sure he couldn’t already with a little coaching and instruction. I’m sure he’s played there several times in his life at different levels. Most guys who make to the majors have.

      • RojoBenjy

        “ To me, it is more that Naquin has pushed out India which is possible because Senzel could switch to IF”

        That sounds right to me, Jim

      • RedsMonk65

        Quote from India during spring training (reported by the Dayton Daily News):

        “I played shortstop my whole life before college. I was a shortstop in high school and even when I was young. I played a little in college. I’m always ready for shortstop. That’s my favorite position. I’m going to play where they tell me.”

        So, he has played the position and SAYS he can play it at the pro level. Of course, saying you can do something and actually being able to do it are two different things. It will be interesting to see how things play out.

      • KDJ

        A lot of high draft picks looks exciting until you realize it is the reward of year after year in the basement.

      • Melvin

        I didn’t know that “Redsmonk”. Very interesting. You never know but based on what I’ve seen I’m confident he could play SS.

      • Doug Gray

        The general consensus is that if guys were capable of actually playing shortstop then they’d be playing shortstop. Teams don’t play shortstops at other positions if they can help it because they know how important that spot is. The Reds played him at shortstop a little bit the first year he was in the organization. They didn’t play him at shortstop ever again. Probably a reason for that. (We will ignore that they’ve also since played Suarez at shortstop with all of the evidence that he’s terrible there)

      • Melvin

        Yeah I know Doug but the Reds SS situation is very unusual isn’t it? I don’t know how good India would be there. My gut feeling is better than people think. I think the main argument is he probably would be better than Suarez and a better all around option than Farmer. I guess it’s possible that the Reds thought they already had enough SS prospects. Who knows? Alfrod and Garcia could both be in the equation soon.

      • Doug Gray

        I know that appeal to authority arguments are generally kind of weird, but I have a hard time believing that the Reds are sitting India so that they can play Kyle Farmer at shortstop if they had any faith at all that India could outperform him on the whole as a shortstop. It just doesn’t add up.

      • Melvin

        As far as things not adding up Doug I think we always have to remember the David Bell factor. Lol

      • Doug Gray

        Just my take: David Bell is infinitely smarter than almost everyone on this website gives him credit for.

      • RedsMonk65

        Yes, hence the qualification I mentioned: “saying you can do something and actually being able to do it are two different things.” Maybe he thinks he can, but really cannot. I’m not in a position to say.

        The question had been raised higher up in the thread as to whether India had any experience at all playing shortstop. I remembered the quote and posted it. So, he does have experience at the position; it is not completely foreign to him as it would be to many others.

        But he has not played SS much at all as a pro. I agree that if he hasn’t been playing there to this point in the minors/Majors, then there’s probably a good reason why. I don’t know.

        Then again, the Suarez experiment/disaster at the position demonstrates that nothing is impossible.

        Not advocating for India at SS. Just curious, especially given the conversation focused on getting the young bats in the lineup as often as possible.

      • MBS

        The “they know what they are doing” arguments are right most of the time. The problem with relying on that, is you miss out on atypical ideas. Atypical ideas in life in general are the things that move thought forward. The problem with Atypical ideas are they are usually wrong. You got a player with out a position who you clearly value, you have a position of value with out a player. It’s worth seeing if India can transition to SS at the AAA level. In the mean time bring up Rodriguez to play SS.

    • DaveCt

      Geno becomes (hopefully and with grace), a super-sub, 3B, SS, 2B, and 1B.

      Farmers stays put. Nick S, too. Shogo and Naquin fight for playing time in CF. Feels about right to me.

      Moose > Geno
      Farmer (SS) > Geno
      India > Geno at 2B
      Geno > others at 3B, SS, and 1B.

    • Tomn

      I prefer Senzel at 2b than CF. Every time he dived for a ball in CF I cringed. Not that 2b is a walk in the park.

      • Grand Salami

        He was busier on Miley’s night than he had been all year combined in CF!

    • Roger Garrett

      You know what will happen.India will be in the minors,Senzel will be platooned again and if Wink isn’t careful and struggles so will he.Moose,Suarez and Joey along with Farmer will play as we watch our young guys continue to get jerked around.We get older still and the rally cry goes up we think we can compete while finishing below 500 again.Blaming it on the fact we don’t have a real short stop but citing Naquin as a great find and a late bloomer.Sounds about right.Bell is given an award for making the most double switches in one season ever.

      • RojoBenjy

        Bookmark this comment, Roger.

        I really want you to be wrong but I also fear this is exactly what will happen, more or less. I bet you wouldn’t mind being wrong about this either.

        We fans have learned helplessness lol

  7. mlj.ind@sbcglobal.net

    Lots of runs with few HRs is a good thing for sure. I like power as much as anyone but a team has to be able to play “small ball” to win consistently. Hope the players enjoyed it tonight and keep it up. 🙂

  8. Melvin

    Lots of runs with few HRs is a good thing for sure. I like power as much as anyone but a team has to be able to play “small ball” to win consistently. Hope the players enjoyed it tonight and keep it up. ?

  9. GreatRedLegsFan

    Time is approaching when some roster moves must be done. As soon as Votto returns from IL, and so Moose moves back to 3B: Will India be demoted? Will Akiyama be traded/DFA? Will Suarez be benched? Suarez is hitting .650 OPS since 2020 in 313 AB, with a whooping 36% SO rate! Also, Green and/or Lodolo will be knocking the door anytime soon.

    • Jim t

      India will be sent to AAA. He needs to play everyday and as long as reds are in contention that won’t happen at ML.

      The reds are Suarez and Moustakas, playing to the back of their baseball cards away from being serious contenders in the central. The pen is coming around and I really believe that when the weather heats up Castillo will find his groove. Garrett was throwing very well last night. His FB was min 90’s This is a very competitive division. No one is heads and shoulders above the others. The pirates are the only team that is not at least league average.

  10. TR

    Changes are coming and have to be made for the Reds to be competitive in the NLC in the next few years and here are some of my opinions. I get the feeling Senzel is comfortable back in the infield. He’s more adept at avoiding the runner in the double play than bouncing off an outfield wall. With some time in the minors, I see India at third base. If smooth fielding Jose Garcia can average .250 at the bat, good enough. If not, get a proven hitting shortstop like Trevor Story. Winker should eventually replace Votto at first base. If Castellanos leaves, Naquin is in right field. Akiyama is not the solution in center, so a replacement will be needed for that key position. The Reds are in transition but I see a good team down the road.

    • Jim Walker

      The Reds biggest position player question moving forward is RH hitting power at a corner OF spot if Castellanos opts out/ leaves and Aquino is not that guy.

      Suárez is only in his age 29 season; and, his contract (thru 2025) is team favorable if he can OPS even to the tune of .800. Maybe he becomes that RH hitter corner OF guy?

      Naquin is in his age 30 season. He could be the CF guy for 2-3 years if he performs and the Reds can sign him beyond 2022 when he would be beyond team control.

      • MBS

        I see Stephenson as the bat that replaces Castellanos’s right handed power in lineup. He should be the everyday, and he looks like he can sting the ball.

    • Jack

      Suarez for Story? lol, yeah the Rockies would not be that crazy but if Suarez is still striking out 37% of the time with a sub .150 batting average at mid season they have to do something with him if they are serious about contending (evidence suggests they aren’t)

  11. Klugo

    14 runs and only 4 coming from the long ball outta the team leading the NL in HRs. That’ll do.

    • RojoBenjy

      Makes for entertaining game play for sure!

  12. docproc

    Loved how many hitters went oppo for RBIs last night. Senzel seemed committed to going to RF. That will serve him well if he stays in the leadoff spot, which I hope he does.

    • Melvin

      It would serve everyone well wouldn’t it?

      • Old Big Ed

        Amen, brother Melvin. Suarez, however, homered to right and then spent his other ABs trying to yank one to left. The Reds would be much, much better served if Suarez would content himself with taking what the defense gives him.

        Senzel has done that over the past two weeks and is finally becoming the player we had all hoped he would become.

  13. Matt O'Neal

    Kyle Farmer has a 116 OPS+ in 16 games he’s started and a -24 OPS+ in the 14 games he’s come off the bench. That’s a wild split.

  14. CFD3000

    It’s always fun when everyone hits, and the starter pitches well (at least, in terms of runs allowed). Suarez is a problem. Who knows if Naquin is real or just a flash in the pan? India has a great future with the Reds. But…

    No props for Blandino? I loved the pledge off before the game, and loved that he won it for the Reds. That kind of teammate suggests a loose, supportive, engaged clubhouse. And those intangibles can translate to wins on the field. Great night for the Reds on and off (or just barely on) the field!

    • RedsMonk65

      Yes, he’s a good one to have on the bench. I think you’re absolutely right in your observations. If clubhouse cohesion is a factor in championships (and I think it must be), then this team can check that off the list. Serious about doing well and winning, but comfortable enough to keep things loose. Its obvious that these Reds as a whole have that quality.

  15. Jim t

    2-1 without Joey. Will be interesting to see how we finish record wise while he is on DL.

    • Doc

      Will also be interesting to see how all these forecasts and lineup projections hold up when July hits. Last season, comments about performance were all accompanied by the ‘small sample size’ tag. Well, at 32 games into 2021 we are still only halfway to last year’s small sample size, so that tag would have to apply to this year also, to compare apples to apples.

      Last year, for example, Castillo did not catch fire, nor did the team, until about now. Hope lightning strikes twice and we see a really nice run.

  16. SultanofSwaff

    We can probably agree the starting pitching and offense will be fine, and positionally you have depth everywhere which will help weather injuries but also allow the manager to mix and match to optimize performance. It’s just the bullpen (29th) that needs to get its act together, and it seems to be trending in the right direction. I thought it would take about 40 games to settle into roles and it appears the sorting is nearly complete. Antone, Sims, and Hembree are the high leverage righties, Fullmer and DeLeon the long men. What is unresolved is the lefties. Between Doolittle, Garrett, and Perez, we need to see some improvement. If that happens, this team will be scary.

  17. MBS

    I wonder why they haven’t sent India down yet. Nothing about this makes sense. Play him, and I get it’s hard to find a spot for him, or let him develop in AAA. He’s still a top prospect, no sense sitting on the bench.

    • RojoBenjy

      See my comment below. I give up trying to figure out their logic—excuse me—“logic”

      And I think I mean it when I say give up trying to figure it out. Because it’s driving me crazy. I’ll just see what unfolds. The “explanations” given sometimes are even less logical

  18. MK

    Would have liked to see Mahle pushed to finish the 6th inning. He wasn’t at the magic 100 pitch mark yet. Since it was a blow out it was a good opportunity to push it a little.

    • RojoBenjy

      I agree. You would think that was what the manager had in mind when he sent him to bat the previous inning

      I give up trying to figure out how this club is being managed —excuse me—“managed”

  19. Indy Red Man

    The Reds are now 5-2 in Mahle’s starts and his only really bad outing was the Cubs game. His pitch counts are the only problem, but that can be ironed out. I think he just needs to trust his stuff more!

    He threw a changeup to Reynolds last night that was so good that the viewer couldn’t tell it was a changeup until Reynolds swung the bat and was way ahead of the pitch plus the velocity reading of course. He could use that as a put away pitch if he would trust his stuff. He’s got to wrap these at-bats up in a quicker manner! Thats the only thing holding him back from being a legit #2 starter!

  20. Roger Garrett

    Bell has redone his infield all because Votto is hurt,auditioning Farmer,Senzel and Moose with India now the odd man out.He cites his team being versatile and willing to do whatever it takes.Its all smoke and mirrors period.India would never had got a chance in the beginning if Suarez isn’t moved to short and now that he is back at third he is done for.Senzel gets jerked around again,now India and if Wink struggles you will here the platoon rumors again.All of this because Votto is out.What a joke.Nothing that this organization in the way they handle young players makes sense especially when compared to they way they deal with the vets regardless of how they perform.Senzel better gets something on somebody cause when Joey returns he is next again cause Moose has to play somewhere and so does Eugenio.

  21. Optimist

    Something I hadn’t considered concerning the SS. If in contention I expect they buy one of the rental SS’s for the playoff run. If out of contention, they’re sellers, and SS is an experiment for the remainder of the season. BUT, the truly cheap option is if in contention, AND, AlfRod and/or J Garcia continue there hot starts in AAA/AA, then use them for the stretch run. Forget the Suarez/Farmer/India experiments – that’s the sure way to limp into the playoff chase.