Four Cincinnati Reds pitchers combined to limit the Washington Nationals to a run on four hits in a 2-1 Cincinnati victory Tuesday night. All three runs in the game were scored on solo home runs.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (21-25) 2 6 0
Washington Nationals (20-24)
1 4 1
W: Mahle (3-2) L: Scherzer (4-3) SV: Sims (2)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

As of 10 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday, Cincinnati stood in fourth place in the National League Central, 4.5 games behind St. Louis, 3.5 behind second-place Chicago, and 2.5 behind third-place Milwaukee. Chicago has won tonight against Pittsburgh, but at the time this article was posted, St. Louis was losing 7-2 to the White Sox in the fifth, and Milwaukee was losing 6-0 to San Diego in the seventh. So the Reds could pick up an additional half-game on those two division foes.

The Offense

The game was scoreless and hitless through two innings. Kyle Farmer changed that on the first pitch of the top of the third:

Max Scherzer, who gives up very few runs but many of them on solo homers, gave Eugenio Suarez a pitch he smacked long and deep to right, just over the high opposite-field fence:

Nick Castellanos went 2-for-4 with a single and double to improve his batting average to .359. Suarez batted 1-for-4 with the homer in his first game batting leadoff.

The Pitching

Starter Tyler Mahle was fantastic through 5 1/3, allowing only three hits and a walk. Manager David Bell came to get him with the Reds up 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth, a Nationals runner on first, and switch-hitter Josh Bell due up. Cincinnati’s best pitcher, Tejay Antone, threw one pitch to Bell to induce an inning-ended twin-killing. He threw 33 pitches over 2 2/3 for a much-deserved “hold.”

Amir Garrett gave up a solo homer to Josh Bell in the top of the ninth, but Lucas Sims came out of the bullpen with two out to retire Starlin Castro for the final out. Give Manager Bell a hat tip for pitching changes that worked out well.

Notes Worth Noting

Former Nat Sean Doolittle was remembered warmly by the Washington Nationals faithful upon his return to Nationals Park …

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds at Washington Nationals

Wednesday May 26th, 7:05 p.m. ET

Jeff Hoffman (3-3, 4.31 ERA) vs Joe Ross (2-4, 5.72 ERA)

48 Responses

  1. Old-school

    Very good baseball game.
    Go Reds

  2. Sliotar

    The next game is May 26 at 7:05 pm ET.

    Otherwise, nice recap, Tom. Thanks.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Thanks for the catch, Sliotar. That will be fixed.

  3. Roger Garrett

    Hats off to Mahle who got us to the 6th with the lead.No chance at all in this game unless he did what he did.Pen was good and we win a big game.Go Reds

    • LDS

      And the Cards & Brewers both looking like losses tonight. Cubs move into a tie and the division tightened. All in all a good night for the Reds.

    • RojoB

      I love me some Mahle, even though he laid an egg last start

  4. RojoB

    I’m sorry but as long as Suárez is batting ANYWHERE from 1-6 in this lineup—the 2021 Cincinnati Reds are just biding time.

    Shogo to Mets needs to happen—let’s go, Nick Krall!

    Castellanos and Winker are having great seasons. Winker’s is a career year, regardless of his 0-fer today.

    Cue the people that think 2021 Reds organization is serious about contending and want to call us all idiots that say otherwise

  5. Grand Salami

    This division will come down to the final series. I just hope the Reds are in the mix.

    Suarez was the same but hit that dinger while Winker had contact most of the night with no hit. Regardless, the something different appears to have paid off.

    • MuddyCleats

      Didn’t see it, but recap noted Suarez hit was to RF which is nice to see. Hit – no hit can’t b controlled. A good AB approach based on pitcher & situation is what hitter can control & improving this is key to Suarez improving overall.

      • MuddyCleats

        And the video added shows the front side stayed n & on ball. Huge improvement IMO. Can he stay disciplined w/ this approach? Next two out situation w/ runners n scoring position & Def still playing him to pull will b telling.

  6. GreatRedLegsFan

    Great game, when the starter goes 5+ innings of good performance chances are high. Mahle shall with time be more efficient, so far he’s gone 5 IP with +/-95 pitches usually. Another outstanding presentation by Antone, hopefully he’ll be available after only 33 pitches. The offensive came from the least expected hitters, Suarez and Farmer, you’ll never know.

  7. Steven Ross

    A win is win so not to be Donnie Downer but….Suarez also struck out three times.

    I’d rather see Shogo or India leadoff but that’s just me.

    • Indy Red Man

      Sullen Steven maybe? I’ll always take a bomb and 3 Ks)). Baby steps brother. Baby steps. I’m 130% sure this isn’t a permanent thing.

      India is hitting .196 in May and most of that was in Coors. I like him alot, but I think he goes to Lville for steady work when Moose gets back.

      As for last night, I would’ve loved to see Naquin get a bunt down with Castellanos on 3rd with 1 out. In todays game you have to manufacture some runs when you can. Scherzer was giving him fastballs. Lay one down and get that run!

      • Angelo

        Could not agree more as there were a few situations where a bunt should have been the call instead of bouncing into a double play. Why is Amir pitching in the 9th? Another poor outing giving up a HR to Bell.

      • Still a Red

        I like that idea. Was at the game last night and was worried Castellanos being stranded at third twice must be frustrating for him…a good squeeze there, even if it failed, would have juiced him up and unnerved the Nats. I think Naquin’s a good bunter?? It would be nice to see the team manufacture a few. Saw Farmer and India attempt a couple hit and runs…pretty pathetic.

      • MuddyCleats

        Agree, don’t see this n Reds minor league games either – very undisciplined n a number of areas

      • Doc

        He’s had multiple baby steps, by your definition, but is still striking out at a probable record pace while hitting .150. Baby steps to nowhere, so far.

    • MBS

      His 3rd strikeout wasn’t a real strikeout, he was bailing out of the way of a pitch, not swinging. Plus Scherzer, so look up and down the box score and you’ll feel better. I do agree that Shogo would be a better leadoff, but they are trying to turn Suarez around.

      • Angelo

        He did not even put up an argument on that non swing strikeout. He seems to have lost his desire and fire to play.

  8. TR

    Winning close games is a key to success. Antone comes through. Many want him to start but he’s a valuable guy to have, when needed, in the closing innings.

    • Doc

      If they van get to the closing innings still in the game.

  9. Mark Moore

    The win felt good. Would have liked to see us capitalize on some add-on opportunities, but in the end we didn’t need them.

    Back at it today. Taking another (tonight if possible) gives us a boost with a series win. String those together and we all know what it means.

  10. Gonzo Reds

    Hoffman still in rotation… cringe!

    • Old Big Ed

      More of a cringe that Castillo is still in the rotation. They are now 20-16 in games that Castillo doesn’t start, and 1-9 in games that Castillo starts. Hoffman gets in trouble by nibbling his way into hitter’s counts. Castillo gets in trouble by throwing meatball after meatball, regardless of the count.

      They can break Hoffman of his nibbling, but DJ seems to have no answer for Castillo’s meatballs, the scientific name for which is Homerbaileyitis.

      Who had Mahle as the Reds’ best starting pitcher this season?

  11. Hotto4Votto

    Bell moved Suarez so far down the lineup he looped back around to the top.

    Good stuff from Mahle and Antone, really needed that type of performance.

  12. CFD3000

    Nice win, but for the record I think Suarez at leadoff is a bad idea. For one game to get him energized? Okay. More than that? Please no. Bat him 7th so there’s less pressure and let him slowly learn to avoid the low and away breaking ball, and to use the whole field again. Leadoff? Yikes.

    • SultanofSwaff

      The logic is ridiculous, but batting Suarez at leadoff almost guarantees he won’t come up with runners on base to kill a rally as we’ve seen countless times so far.

      • Muddycleats

        Or drive them n like he’s done countless times in past No easy answer bc only 3 guys: wink, nick & Tyler r actually hitting.

    • Old Big Ed

      It worked, and I am in favor of things that work. Suarez struck out three times, but he went to full counts on the first two, against Max F. Scherzer. He then got hosed on the check-swing call whilst avoiding a HBP.

      His homer was a very good example of home runs being thrown, not hit. It was a hanging change — belt-high and toward the outside of the strike zone. It ought to have been an extra base hit, and because Suarez hit the ball where it was pitched, he barreled it.

      Suarez, in other words, did what we’ve all been clamoring for — he quit trying to yank homers and instead used a nice, controlled swing to take what Scherzer gave him. If having him lead off is what it takes for him to have that apporach, then I am good with that.

      Plus, I think that getting out of a slump AND playing shortstop is too big of an ask, and Suarez should stay at 3B.

      • Jim Walker

        +1000 Now it is on Gino to continue the progress

  13. SultanofSwaff

    Nice win. Hate to see Bell burn thru our best pitchers, but that’s on Garrett as well. Shocked that with 2 on and nobody out in the 9th the Reds didn’t play for that insurance run by bunting. Instead, Bell let’s AAAA player Heineman ground into a double play. You simply have to manage the game at that point and not virtue signal to your weakest hitter that you believe in him.

    Should’ve extended Mahle in spring training along with Winker.

    Hopefully it’s not inevitable India gets demoted to make room for Moose, because the kid is doing all the right things. His last 15 games he has as many walks as strikeouts to go along with 2 home runs. I’d rather see Farmer and Blandino sent out first.

    • Jim Walker

      RE: Insurance run> I agree situational awareness is the key to so many things in life and often gets looked past or ignored at the most critical of times.

      I also agree on Blandino and Farmer but I suppose one of them needs to be around as a backup SS. Farmer has a option left and could be sent down but probably has more utility for the big team as both a passable short term SS and legitimate 3rd catcher. However, if India stays up, he needs to be playing 4-5 days a week. Otherwise he should be at AAA playing every day,.

  14. Still a Red

    Have to admit, it was scarey seeing Garrett come in in the 9th. I understand it, with 2 lefties and switch-hitting Bell coming up. Wouldn’t have been any less scared if Dolittle came in. Glad Garrett was able to get Soto…otherwise game is tied.

  15. Old Big Ed

    The Reds, believe it or not, are only 4 games out.

    They just beat Max Scherzer on the road.

    And they are about a week out from having Votto, Moustakas and Senzel back.

    Nick Lodolo is absolutely killing it in AA. The Punisher will soon go out on a rehab assignment that will have him get about 40 ABs.

    • Jim Walker

      These all sound like good things; and, I agree they should. However, now somebody has to figure out how to make all the square pegs and round holes work together or alternately trade some square pegs for round pegs

      • MBS

        I agree too many wrong shaped pegs. I don’t think there is a easy way to fix it. Yes trading away pieces can help, but you often lose value when doing so. I’m talking about MLB ready value, not prospect future value. So if we trade Moustakes, because we have to many 3B’s, we will likely get prospects back as opposed to a ML ready SS.

        Time is our best friend to fix that problem. Next season we should have the DH, and that fixes one peg. Castellanos will not return to the Reds on the current contract, and I doubt Bob spends the extra money that it would take. So there is another peg, although I like that peg a lot.

        Assuming we are out by the trade deadline, I’d trade Castellanos, Miley, Barnhart. None of those 3 will likely be Reds next season, and I’d seriously consider trading Castillo or Gray. Trading those 4 should help replenish the minors a bit. Lodolo and Greene look to be the real deal, and Santillan and Gutierrez have been impressive also.

      • Jim Walker

        @MBS> Gray is a guy to hang onto. The Reds need a guy who has been there and done that to help mentor all the young comers in the starting pitcher ranks.

      • MBS

        I agree I’d rather keep Gray over Castillo, for that reason, and also I think the return on Castillo is still higher than Gray. Seems crazy with the way the year has gone, but I think a lot of organizations would salivate over Castillo. I like Gray and Mahle as the 1, 2 coupled with the young arms in 2022.

  16. doofus

    El tornillo de corcho is second to Joey Gallo in most strikeouts (67 to 65) in MLB with 2 less games played.

    Batting him leadoff is NOT going to change the fact that he is very bad at making contact.

    662 PA’s 189 K’s 28.5%

    231 PA’s 67 K’s 29%

    193 PA’s 65 K’s 33.7%

    • Muddycleats

      I trust your stats & agree his k rate is atrocious. Suarez’s R, HR & RBI totals r still top 4 on team this year, last yr & season prior. Runs still win games. NO errors @ 3b this season. LV him @ 3D & let him concentrate on his hitting might b best approach

  17. Jim Walker

    This is the second consecutive road start that Mahle has shown through and come up strong to stop a Reds losing streak.

    I don’t know what happened to him versus the Giants in his GABP start between the two road starts; but, given where this Reds team is, the importance of the road performances should not be overlooked or underappreciated.

  18. doofus

    Lodolo tosses 7 shutout innings last night. Season ERA: 0.40. Quickly, knock on wood!

    • Jim Walker

      [snark font on] Do you think Lodolo is the best AA pitcher he can be yet? That’s the bar Nick Krall publicly stated a couple of days ago for moving Lodolo or Hunter Greene up the food chain. [snark font off]

  19. Tom Corcoran

    Suarez is not hitting his weight and he is a terrible defender. When Senzel and Moustakas are well, put one of them at third and Suarez on the bench where he belongs.
    And give Castillos the seat next to him until he decides to become a pitcher rather than a thrower. Let Antone start in his place.

  20. Roger Garrett

    Suarez went oppo on a change up so he wasn’t cheating on the fast ball.Thats a good sign.Reds had a chance early and late when a bunt could have got one in and set up another chance for more.I know Tucker swung at 3-0 with two outs in second and I know why cause Bell hoped for a cookie and hoped Tucker would hit it out.If you can take that shot then why not bunt which should be easier.We won because of Mahle and two solo homers off of Max but it is a win.