Vladimir Gutierrez gave the Reds five strong innings in his second career start as the Reds held on for a 4-2 win in the first of a four game series in St. Louis. Reds manager David Bell could not have drawn it up better as both of his two best relievers, Tejay Antone and Lucas Sims, each pitched two scoreless innings. Sims got in a dangerous spot in the 9th after getting burned on a perfect bunt, but Barnhart and Suarez combined for a great 2-5-4 double play on a failed bunt attempt.
The Reds unexplainable dominance over Adam Wainwright continued. The Reds collected 8 hits and a whopping 10 hard hit balls according to Statcast off Wainwright. Jesse Winker hit the big home run of the night, and Nick Castellanos extended his hit streak to an MLB best 19 games.
|St. Louis Cardinals (31-26)||2||6||0|
|Cincinnati Reds (25-29)||4||10||0|
|W: Gutierrez (1-1) L: Wainwright (3-5) S: Sims (4)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Biggest Play of the Game
According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Jesse Winker’s 2-run HR off Adam Wainwright with 2 outs in the 2nd inning, giving the Reds a 3-2 lead. That play increased the Reds probability of winning by 21.6% (from 36.2% to 57.7%).
Jesse Winker hit his 14th home run of the season. He is now just two home runs away from tying his career high. Today is June 3rd. Oh……and he had 3 totals hits on the evening.
Nick Castellanos extended his MLB-best hitting streak to 19 games. He is just the fourth Red to reach 19+ games since 1995. Castellanos is now the 46th Red all-time to reach 19 games. It gets chopped down quick from here on out (full list), as only SEVEN Reds have reached 25 games.
Longest Reds hit streaks since 1995:
32 – Hal Morris (1996/97)
22- Brandon Phillips (2007)
21 – Sean Casey (2000)
19 – Nick Castellanos (2021)
18 – Dmitri Young (2000)
Jonathan India reached base three times tonight. India now has a 96 wRC+ on the season. I’m not sure it has been emphasized enough how impressive that is for a guy that was on literally no one’s radar to be on the big league club four months ago.
Vladimir Gutierrez put together a second consecutive solid start to begin his big league career (5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 K, 3 BB). He gave up two runs in the first inning, but really settled in after. He retired 10 consecutive batters at one point.
Tejay Antone just continues to be incredible. He pitched two scoreless innings with three strikeouts, seemingly with ease.
Tyler Naquin reached base twice (double and HBP), and he made a really nice sliding catch in the 8th inning.
Eugenio Suarez went 0 for 5. He had his streak of reaching base in all 7 starts in the leadoff spot snapped. Geno did have a flyout tonight with an EV of 104.9 and xBA of .530.
Not so random thoughts……………..
There was a lot of discussion on the interwebs about J.R. House sending Tyler Stephenson on this play. I liked the aggression here with Mike Freeman on-deck. This took an absolutely perfect off-balance throw, by Tommy Edman. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the defense. On the other hand, why Freeman was batting 6th tonight might be a better criticism.
The way that Tejay Antone was used tonight by David Bell worked out perfect, and showed exactly why you don’t save your best reliever for the final inning(s). Antone came in right when Gutierrez left after 5 innings. Antone held the Cardinals down for two innings to keep a 3-2 lead in the 7th. The Cardinals, to no surprise, did not use their best relievers trailing, and the Reds were able to extend the lead against a subpar pitcher. If you don’t use Antone and give up the lead, you are facing better relievers.
Reds at Cardinals
Friday, 8:15 PM
TV: Bally Sports Ohio
Luis Castillo (4.28 xFIP) vs Kwang Hyun Kim (4.18 xFIP)