The Cincinnati Reds avoided a sweep in Chicago on Sunday as they rode a good start from Tyler Mahle and some early offense against Jake Arrieta – including another blast from Eugenio Suárez – to win 5-1 over the Cubs.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (23-28)
5 7 0
Chicago Cubs (29-23)
1 4 2
W: Mahle (4-2) L: Arrieta (5-5) SV: Antone (3)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati didn’t take long to get the offense going on Sunday. Jesse Winker singled with one out and Nick Castellanos extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a single of his own. Tyler Stephenson worked a 10-pitch walk to load the bases. That set up a sacrifice fly by Tyler Naquin to get on the board. Kyle Farmer reached on a fielders choice that initially was called a force out at second that would have ended the inning, but the call was overturned on replay review to load the bases once again. Tucker Barnhart was hit by a Jake Arrieta pitch to bring in a run and make it 2-0. Jonathan India capped the inning off with an infield single that made it 3-0. Tyler Mahle struck out to end the inning as the team hit around.

The Reds played add on in the top of the 4th inning when Eugenio Suárez crushed his 12th home run of the season to begin the inning. The ball landed somewhere in Lake Michigan (ok, it only went 433 feet, so not quite to the lake). A 2-out error by the Cubs came back to haunt them as Tyler Stephenson reached on a throwing error. A wild pitch moved him up to second base and he would score on a Tyler Naquin single that made it a 5-0 Cincinnati lead and also ended the day for Jake Arrieta.

The Cubs bullpen did what they had been doing for most of the month of May – shut down the opposition. Cincinnati didn’t score again once Arrieta left the game and held the Reds to just one hit and two walks over the final 5.1 innings of the game.

The Pitching

Tyler Mahle was feeling great early on. The Reds starter took a perfect game into the 5th inning, but a leadoff walk shut that down. A Willson Contreras single followed to end the no-hit bid, too. But Mahle got the job done as he struck out the next three batters to get out of the inning unscathed and hold onto the 1-hit shutout. The inning did run up his pitch count, though, and after 98 pitches he was replaced in the bottom of the 6th inning by Amir Garrett. He had a 1-2-3 inning that worked around a walk of Joc Pederson thanks to a ground ball double play from Kris Bryant.

Lucas Sims took over for the bottom of the 7th inning and he fired a hitless inning with a walk and two strikeouts. David Bell turned to Cionel Pérez for the 8th inning. The lefty allowed a single to lead off the inning, but an Eric Sogard double play erased the runner. But Pérez then gave up a walk and back-to-back singles to make it a 5-1 game before Cincinnati turned to the bullpen once again to bring in Tejay Antone to try and hold onto a lead. He did so for the time being as he induced a ground out to second base to end the Cubs threat in the 8th. In the 9th Antone returned and made quick work of Chicago with a ground out, a strikeout, and a ground out to pick up his third save of the season.

Notes Worth Noting

The homer by Eugenio’s Suárez broke a tie with Mike Trout for most home runs since the start of the 2018 season. The Reds third baseman now holds a 110 to 109 edge.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Philadelphia Phillies vs Cincinnati Reds

Monday May 31st, 2:10pm ET

Vince Velasquez (2-0, 2.95) vs Wade Miley (4-4, 3.50)

43 Responses

  1. Klugo

    Tyler Mahle will throw a MLB no hitter before the end of his career. Mark my words.

    Kyle Farmer is getting an extended audition at SS and , unfortunately, he hasn’t been doing much with it.

    • greenmtred

      Well, he did make a very nice play. He’s the only guy so far who has looked like a shortstop.

  2. Rednat

    Frustrating because the reds have the pitching to compete with the cardinals and cubs. When you look at our position players though we are just a step behind them from a cosistancy standpoint. Both on the offense and defensive end

  3. Mark Moore

    This one felt good. Let’s see how the Philly series back at home pans out.

  4. Roger Garrett

    Great job by Mahle and the offense got enough runs early.Twice on the road trip Mahle stepped up and got it done.Big Big win today.Meant 2 games in the standings.r

  5. Old-school

    Mahle is the Reds best starting pitcher. Great job by him in DC and Chicago

    • MK

      Are the M&M boys the top of the rotation now?

  6. Indy Red Man

    Good win! Mahle has been great and Naquin is turning out to be a very good signing as well!

    On the flip side, its time to call up Garcia! Farmer is 6-43 (.140) in the last 2 weeks. You play a bench player all the time and he’ll show you why he’s a bench player. We need every run we can get and an upgrade offensively anywhere they can find it.

    • Old-school


      Reds said Farmer hitting .308 in last 30 starts at SS?

      We all know better but theres no SS anywhere till 2022.

    • ohiojimwalker

      You play a bench player all the time and he’ll show you why he’s a bench player.

      I’ve been fighting the urge to put this old Sparky (Anderson) thought into play for a couple of weeks. Thanks for saying what needed to be said.

  7. Syd

    Who do you think is going to be sent down tomorrow to make room for miley? I think it will be perez.

  8. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    Tyler Mahle, one of the few reasons to watch this team lately. Almost always gives his team a chance to win. Where’s his commercial on TV?

    • TR

      Mahle comes across as a hard working guy concentrated on one thing: pitching.

    • MK

      So the two leading hitters in the league and a rookie trying to win ROY not worth watching?

  9. RojoB

    Glad they won today.

    Not sure I agree with the first line of the game article at Reds dot com “Eugenio Suárez led an impressive offensive effort…”

    If by that they mean he led off the lineup, I agree. Otherwise, a solo home run with no other contribution does not a leader make. Naquin led the offensive output today with timely hitting—not slugging

    • MuddyCleats

      I wouldn’t call Suarez “Star of the Game”, but a HR, NO Ks and NO errors in the field qualifies as a nice game IMO. He made a nice play @ 3b on a hard hit ball turning it into a DP at a key moment late as well. Agree, he has a long way to go, but his pitch selection is better and his overall approach has improved. His front side is staying closed. I believe on his 4th AB today, he took a couple of shots to RF before lining out to SS? Like every player, MLB is a game of adjustments and cycles. He’s far fm perfect, but trending upward. NO errors @ 3B this yr. Keep him there and @ LO until something better emerges. If u want him traded…..he needs to show some value

      • RojoB

        Agreed. My comment wasn’t so much downing Suárez but more a chuckle at the Reds’ site being a little overly complementary.

    • Hotto4Votto

      FWIW, in a very small sample size, Suarez has done well in the six games he’s led off. He has a .286/.348/.714/1.062 slash line over 23 PA with 3 HR and 6 K’s. Compared to the rest of his season it’s a marked improvement. Maybe, just maybe, it was the right button to push?

      • RojoB

        Someone in the last game recap thread pointed that out too. We can hope that it’s forced him to think about hitting instead of slugging.

        I did find it ironic that the narrative from the Reds was that “we can find nothing wrong with his mechanics” and while I was listening to Saturday’s game on the radio, Cowboy was breaking down his swing difference between that day and 10 days ago— specifically fixing the front shoulder flying open too soon as Muddy mentions above.

      • LDS

        He still isn’t hitting with RISP. While the slash line is better, he’s a long way from “being back”. Baby steps. Hopefully, it improves his trade value.

  10. Cubano

    Real talk- it’s just chatter, obviously, but the latest mlbtraderumors chat has a bunch of discussion about the Reds being sellers- fourth in the division with key pieces out for several weeks and Castellanos potentially opting out…

    In an ideal world- What does “selling” look like for the Reds? Who stays and who goes? How do you even begin to replace someone like Castellanos? I think someone noted the team is currently 6 in avg and obp, but 27 without Winker and Castellanos. It would take a massive, massive overhaul to come close Castellanos production, and it’d likely be diffused across several players.

    If you deal Winker, Gray, Barnhart, even selling low on folks like Senzel, Moose, Castillo and Suarez- what do you have left? It looks to me like a total rebuild. I like India and Stephenson. Farmer is a good bench/utility player. Blandino, Schrock, Scott H., seem likely to be headed for JVM/O’Grady utility roles.

    Forget Bell and Bob C- what are you looking to do with what we have?

    • Klugo

      I’d say they’re probably looking at a number of options left to play in place of Castellanos, starting with Naquin. They have Shogo for another year. No one they replace him with with fill his shoes.
      To me, gotta start by seeing what you can get for Miley, Castillo, Barnhart, Suarez, Moustakas, Castellenos. May have to get a little creative. So, I’m not holding my breath.
      This team was dead in the water last season and rattled off like 10 straight to get in the playoffs. There is still a lot of baseball to be played and, if we can get healthy, a run to the playoffs isn’t that far-fetched. But ,imo, you gotta look hard at getting some value for those guys listed above, if you can, either way.

      • MuddyCleats

        Shogo signed thru next season and w/ Votto, Moose & Senzel out, a perfect time to give him extended ABs to try and get him going. However, the Reds can’t seem to find a way? Winker should have been @ 1B to give Shogo PT. Vs the tough LHP, slide Jesse back to LF and let Stephenson man 1B. Braves and Mets R dying for OF help. Hard to work a trade when the guy isn’t playing at all

      • RojoB

        What is the reason behind Shogo getting no playing time?

        Usually this owner dictates that the guys getting paid a lot need to play. This is an anomaly

    • Hotto4Votto

      For me, I’d try to look at how the next competitive window aligns with the prospects we have coming up. We have a good amount of pitching prospects who are near-ready, and a few hitting prospects to join them. It’s not hard to picture a rotation of Greene, Lodolo, Gutierrez, Santillan, and Antone/Mahle in the next few years. India, Stephenson, and Barrero (Garcia) have all got their feet wet now, and should continue to grow over the next few seasons. Other prospects seem further away as most everyone else of note is still in A-ball. But guys like Callihan, Hinds, Siani, Richardson, Hendrick etc could progress and debut by 2024.
      By 2024 almost every veteran of note could be a FA (through buyouts/declining options) except Suarez. This includes Winker, Mahle, and Garrett who are already in arbitration. That’s two seasons and the rest of this season to figure out what to do by then. It’s unlikely based on the offseason we just saw that the FO is going to be willing to add to the core that we have in order to make the necessary improvements. Plus, any adding through trade will likely deplete the future.
      With that in mind, I’d try my hardest to extend Mahle and Winker as soon as possible. I would try to trade Castellanos, Barnhart, Gray, and anyone else who’d bring back a reasonable prospect(s). Most likely looking for a Votto replacement and OF’ers if I had my preferences. Then focus on getting the young guys playing time and experience in 2022-2023. By 2024 the young core *should* be ready to compete.

  11. MK

    I’d sell Barnhart, Akiyama, Senzel, DeLeon and would not create a big impact on the team.

    • Corky Miller

      Sure,a two time Gold Glove catcher that produce offensively won’t be missed. Thank God you’re not the GM.

      That said, if the right offer came I’d move everyone except Winker, Stephenson, Mahle, and Antone.

      Still not just giving away Barnhart. Stephenson isn’t close defensively.

      • MuddyCleats

        Tend to agree on Stephenson. I like him a lot, but he’s still young & learning. Cowboy mentioned his time at first picking throws may have a negative affect on his blocking skills. Likewise, I don’t see him framing pitches like Tucker – he doesn’t move the same & stick pitches in an attempt to steal strikes. If I’m on the bump working hard, I want my catcher working w/ me not just nonchalantly catching the pitch. I also noticed his throws back to Castillo were not always on the mark either. Last thing he needs is to be doing extra work chasing throws back fm the catcher! Luv Tyler’s inside out swing, but I’d also like to see him pull the ball some too – especially in a hitter’s count. Most MLB catchers have some pop – haven’t seen that fm Tyler yet? On a positive, he does seem comfortable at 1B which is another plus 4 him & team.

      • RojoB

        I wish MK was the GM (the owner really)—then this club would start getting something for guys at peak value. Because Barnhart is a two time GG and was never a bat first player, is exactly why you try to get more than he’s worth this year. “More than he’s worth?” Yes, because his offensive numbers are the anomaly, and if you wait to trade him later it will be too late because he will have regressed to his norm.

        That has been the problem with this ownership since 2013–hanging on to players past their prime trade value when the club was not a legitimate WS contender.
        R Iglesias

        Chapman is another story.

  12. Reaganspad

    Why don’t we just get healthy. There is 2 months before the traditional trade deadline. I would like to see in the next 60 days:

    Lorenzen healthy and what he can contribute

    Vlad get another start and take the 5th starter

    Castillo be Castillo. If he is 7-1 versus 1-7 we are in 1st

    Votto return

    AlfRod get the SS job. Move everyone back to their norm

    Senzel out for a while, as is the punisher

    One hot streak gets you healthy. I’ll play these

    • RojoB

      Realistically, I think this is the fan’s only hope. Help not coming from the folks that run this club in the form of trades, etc.

      And the owners are most likely to stand pat for the season, looking to marketing and not managing as their preferred strategy to sell tickets.

    • ohiojimwalker

      What if the Castillo we are seeing now is the real Castillo?

      Since the start of the 2019 season through his latest start (55 appearances, all starts), Castillo’s ERA is 4.00; FIP 3.64; xFIP 3.46. Not a lot of wiggle room in those numbers to make a case he has been anything other than a league average starter over this extended period.

      • Reaganspad

        Wouldn’t league average be 4-4?

        I think it is fair to say he is under performing by even that standard

      • ohiojimwalker

        @Reaganspad, I don’t devalue W/L record for starters as much as many folks as I do think what you are suggesting bears looking at. However, the state of the game when the starter handed it over to the pen is a major factor in trying to assign “blame” or “responsibility.”

        Castillo has an in game ERA > 5 in 7 of his starts this season if I just counted them correctly. The FIP diverges greatly from the ERA to his favor in a couple of them.

        Going back to my longer view I generated the above stats from, his average stint comes to just better than 17 outs a game (5.2 innings) since the start of 2019. That is not indicative of a top tier pitcher even in these times and with a manager like Bell.

    • Old Big Ed

      The Punisher isn’t really “out for a while.” He is 100% healed and will have at least two weeks of regular play at Louisville, which is perfect for both him and the Reds. He is the kind of hitter who needs regular ABs to produce, and he oughta be able to get about 50 ABs at Louisville.

      What they do with him is a different question, but other than Senzel, he is likely the best defensive CF option that they have. He oughta play full time against lefties, plus they have 5 DH games at AL parks between now and the All-Star break, which will be about the time that Senzel gets back (before re-injuring himself).

      • ohiojimwalker

        I think the rehab is 20 days but not sure if that is calendar or team game days. Monday is always an off day for the Bats this year. If they time Aquino correctly (1st day a Tuesday to my logic but others could calculate differently,) that would get him 18 games in 20 calendar days if he plays every day and there are no games lost to weather. Bat him leadoff and use him as a DH pretty much ASAP; and that could be a bundle of PA’s

  13. Indy Red Man

    Castellanos is doing the same thing Bauer did. He’s performing so well that the Reds can’t afford him. Anthony Rendon got $245/7 years ($35 per year). Reds would be hard pressed to give Nick C. $25 mil/year. Sad but true. They’re 6 games out now and could make a run, but could just as easily fall 9-10 out. I’d be ready to make some deals with 2023 if that happens.

    • Old Big Ed

      The situations of Rendon and Castellanos do appear to be fairly comparable. Rendon was thought to be a better defender at a more key position, although Castellanos is much better defensively now than 2-3 years ago. Another key point is that Castellanos has a home OPS this year of 1.334, and only .840 on the road, so teams may discount him a little for that.

      Plus, I think there is still a COVID hangover on spending money, because most teams will still have far lower attendance revenue than in the pre-COVID era. So, I doubt that he quite gets Rendon numbers, but he will still be out of the Reds’ league. Unfortunately, I could see the Cubs resigning him. Or even worse, the Cardinals. He might fit for the Red Sox, Mets or Giants, too. Maybe the Astros.

      I think the Reds would get a draft pick for making him a qualifying offer after he opts out, but I am not sure of that.

  14. Nick in NKY

    I was really excited when the reds signed Castellanos, but reality awaits at the end of the season. If I’m the reds, I offer to redo his contract adding some more years and dollars while removing the opt-out. I offer that to him this week or next, and if he hasn’t negotiated a deal by the deadline and the team is out of the running I deal him for certain.

  15. Steven Ross

    I’d bat Shogo leadoff followed by India. Slot Winker 3rd with Nick Cleanup and Suarez 5th. Makes way more sense to me.

  16. RedsKoolAidDrinker

    Doug, two questions regarding Mahle.
    1. Did you foresee him becoming this good of a pitcher?
    2. What would you classify Mahle as right now? Can he be a good team’s #2 pitcher or better or worse?

  17. MuddyCleats

    I think Naquin has earned his ABs; I’d want him hitting behind Nick for some protection. But to do that, one of the OF has to move to 1B or Nick back to 3D which I am not sure he is open to or it would benefit him or the team?? Team knows how old Joey is and that he has been injury prone the last few yrs. They should have had multiple people working at 1B as a backup plan, and I think Nick would have been a good candidate IF they approached him in the off season about it and gave him some playing time there in ST. Likewise, it would make him more valuable in trade talks. Stephenson has been good, but Tucker needs days off too and he needs to work on his catching. W/ a tough LHP, I am sure they’d like Tyler catching & a good RHH option @ 1B. Classic example of Reds being the Reds: creativity and imagination to make the team better seems to b lacking?