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.

Final R H E
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%).

Positives

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.

Negatives

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.

Up Next: 

Reds at Cardinals
Friday, 8:15 PM
TV: Bally Sports Ohio
Luis Castillo (4.28 xFIP) vs Kwang Hyun Kim (4.18 xFIP)

68 Responses

  1. RedsFan11

    I was going to ask if anyone had a list of the recent hit streaks by Reds and where Nick C. stands. Should of known Nick K. would be all over it! 25 seems to be the number where you really start watching each at bat. He would be the 130th person to do that.

    Reply
  2. MBS

    Gutierrez had 30 something pitches in the 1st, and ended up 77 in 5, that’s a heck of a game.

    Reply
  3. Sliotar

    Nick wrote: “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.”

    The problem with this scenario is … it’s a September and October strategy. Tough to replicate over 162 games.

    Antone and Sims likely unavailable tomorrow, no SP really can guarantee more than 5 good innings right now …

    Who’s running out there tomorrow … (Can’t Count On) AG … Doolittle?

    Really good win tonight … still, Process and Outcome.

    The Outcome was fine tonight … the whole short starter length/bullpen Process, for several reasons, is flawed.

    Reply
    • JayTheRed

      I actually thought the same thing… Why use two of our best pitchers for 2 innings each. I know they said Bell really wanted to win the first game but seems to be handcuffing them for use tomorrow. I was ok with Antone coming in but why not use Dolittle with a short leash perhaps. Shrug, I’ll never understand David Bell’s Pitcher usage I guess.

      Reply
      • greenmtred

        An interesting point, and one that seemingly contradicts comments about using–particularly–Antone much more than he is being used, and playing as though each game and win is important. It’s a balance, isn’t it? Winning the first game of an away series against the team that leads the division is important for a number of reasons.

      • AllTheHype

        @Jay…Because they won the game with this strategy? You saying you would prefer they use a lesser pitcher instead of Sims and risk losing the game so they will have Sims available the next day, when it might be a blow out one way or the other and he might not even be needed the next day? You could easily be 0-2 with that strategy. The strategy employed by Bell here was very good and I hope he continues to use the bullpen this way. Burn your relievers when it matters and worry about tomorrow tomorrow.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      With Castillo opening tomorrow and very little chance to win, it made sense, they’ll be available again the day after with Mahle opening.

      Reply
      • Melvin

        Seriously, why don’t we try Blandino in long relief. Considering our bullpen. What have we got to lose? Give it a try. ML hitters haven’t seen slow pitches since Little League. 🙂 They’re bewildered.

    • Still a Red

      I wouldn’t call this a process, but a necessity. Really need some BP help.

      Reply
    • Tom Mitsoff

      Very good points. This team is deeply flawed, and the truth is that David Bell should be given credit for keeping it anywhere near .500. When you have only two of eight or nine relievers you can reliably count on, that’s a problem. When your starting third baseman is hitting a buck fifty and showing little sign of coming out of it, that’s a problem. When the pitcher some thought would be the ace is 1-8, that’s a problem.

      I’m very, very interested to see what will happen when Hoffman is ready to come off the DL. There is no way that he should replace Gutierrez, based on performances to date. If Hoffman goes to the bullpen, sure, why not at this point? But I sure don’t want to see Gutierrez optioned and Hoffman replace him in the rotation.

      Reply
      • AllTheHype

        Hoffman could be an interesting bullpen piece for a team that desperately needs a good bullpen piece. Maybe his stuff will play up a little from the bullpen.

      • ClevelandRedsFan

        I agree, but is Bell completely blameless in Suarez and Castillo’s regressions? He has seemed slow to ask those players to make adjustments. He seems to have the “it’ll fix itself” instead of “I will fix it” approach.

  4. Rednat

    is it time to put India in the leadoff spot? although admittedly he is a perfect 8 hole hitter as well

    Reply
      • Grand Salami

        The SSS Suarez experiment (improving his approach and therefore his percentages by giving him leadoff duties and giving him a lot of pitches to hit) went from being somewhat successful to only a slight improvement over his performance elsewhere in the lineup with last night’s 0-fer.

        India has shown better plate discipline this season, is more of a threat on the basepaths and is still a righty.

    • MBS

      I wouldn’t push India too much, he is still getting his feet under him. Give him a taste every once in a while but, lead off or the 2 hole is a lot of pressure for a rookie. Stephenson is probably being pushed too much to, but with the injuries we have he’s been pressed into the middle of the order.

      Reply
      • MuddyCleats

        I tend to agree and really don’t understand why u would hit Stephenson in front of Naquin other than to give the kid some protection, but who’s protecting Naquin?

    • AllTheHype

      Only if Suarez goes to 8. But I don’t trust Bell to do that. He would put Suarez back in the middle somewhere.

      Reply
  5. RojoB

    “On the other hand, why Freeman was batting 6th tonight might be a better criticism.”

    Be careful, Doug. You’ll get criticized for complaining about the lineup.

    Reply
      • RojoB

        Yes sorry about that it was late and I didn’t check the author

    • Melvin

      hahaha I was going to ask about that. I was going to ask Nick. Wait a minute. Did you just criticize the lineup? hahaha It’s not exactly like HIM to do it either. Some times we just can’t help it can we? Although some try harder than others. 🙂

      Reply
    • Still a Red

      Certainly like his speed on the basepaths…but nothing in his career stats to think batting 6th is out of order. Of course having your leadoff batter hitting under the Mendoza line makes almost anyone else viable.

      Reply
  6. JB

    The team needs 2 other guys to step up in the bullpen to cover the night after Antone and Sims pitch. Who will it be? Hembree? Hendrix? Definitely not Perez and Garrett.

    Reply
    • ohiojimwalker

      Could they find 6 innings a week each for 2 of some combination of Santillan, Greene, and Lodolo? Leave one in the minors fully stretched out. Use one of the 2 at MLB as an opener. Maybe rotate them on option every couple of weeks? Just thinking aloud….

      Reply
      • Jack

        I like, although I am sure many will complain about the service option and claim they are ruining Greene and Lodolo. Reds are in contention so rarely that you have to go for it and not worry about some mythical future. Even if Lodolo and Greene are aces in a couple years that doesn’t mean the Reds will be in contention then; who even knows who else will be on the team then. Not a whole lot available in the minors for high level position players. Will Nick still be here, Gray? Miley? Votto?

      • MBS

        I would only bring up Lodolo or Greene if a starting spot opens. I’d try to fix my pen with Santillan, Sanmartin, and Hoffman when he comes off the IL. It’s not that I don’t think Lodolo or Greene could help, I just want to get their innings needed to develop their arms. Maybe they could be relievers late in the season when they are coming closer to their innings threshold.

  7. RedsGettingBetter

    This was a valuable win. Today is another game and Bell will see how is going to use the BP. Who knows if the game would be open enough to secure another win with Doolittle and Hembree pitching two innings each …

    Reply
    • redsfan4040

      I’d like to avoid Doolittle as much as possible, with the Cardinals being largely right handed or switch hitters.

      Reply
      • RedsGettingBetter

        Well, i’d like to avoid AG as much as possible too, so the choices are short pointing just to Hendrix or Brach… somebody else?

  8. Mark Moore

    A win over the WLB Dirty Birds is always a good thing. I watched through 7 before I had to tap out and head for bed, so I only missed the final run scored and that DP in the 9th. I’ll have to go watch those this morning.

    Here’s to hoping we can keep it up. And I’m loving our Batman/Superman duo and all they are doing at the top. Just would like to see a lead-off hitter with a little more consistency getting on base in front of them.

    Reply
    • MBS

      Same here, but it does seem to be working. Suarez has a 250 BA with 3 HR in the leadoff. Coming out of a slump is not always like turning on a light switch, it takes work, and Suarez seems to be doing that.

      Also back to your point if we had a real leadoff hitter I’d put them in the 1 hole, but we don’t. Stephenson’s numbers have been going down, with either more playing time, or more pressure in the middle of the lineup. I wouldn’t want to put India in the leadoff, as he seems to be moving in the right direction at the end of the lineup with no pressure on him. Naquin would probably be the best option, but again he’s not really a leadoff hitter, and his bat is dangerous in the middle of the order.

      Reply
  9. Hotto4Votto

    Along with India, no one can be down on Tyler Stephenson either. Both are producing slightly below average offense (97 wRC+ for Stephenson) but both are showing they can compete and belong at this level. Neither played a game at the AAA level. Both ended 2019 at AA and jumped straight to the majors. Hats off to these young Reds as they start their careers and hoping for bright futures.
    And while I’m here, another good showing by Gutierrez. Some exciting young pitchers coming up in the near future with Vlad, Santillan, Lodolo, and Greene.

    Reply
    • Redlegs1869

      100% agree. Let’s not forget the season Tucker is having. He has been his usual great defender and his bat’s been very good. Drove in the insurance run last night and made the great play for the DP in ninth.

      Reply
      • MuddyCleats

        Agree, he is exceptional moving behind the plate to frame & stick pitches for strikes. Move too much and the umpire won’t go for it, but Tucker moves very subtle & does a great job of stealing strikes. DP he started was super nice and nice throw by Suarez to complete it.

  10. CFD3000

    Nice win for the Reds. Gutierrez, Sims, Antone, India and the usual studs of Winker and Castellanos all impressive, plus some nice defense – not always a given this year. Even sweeter against the Cards.

    But. I will criticize the lineup. There are 144 every day players (qualified batters) in all of Major League Baseball right now. I don’t think I’m out on a limb saying that getting on base frequently is an important detail for your leadoff hitter. And yet Eugenio Suarez continues to hit leadoff for the Reds. If it weren’t for Jackie Bradley, Jr. whose excellent defense masks a Billy Hamilton level woefulness at the plate, Suarez would literally be the worst every day player at not getting out. This is a ridiculous and counter productive experiment and it needs to end now. David Bell – do not bat the (second to) worst OBP hitter in the game first in your lineup. Please. The old “we need to get him going” ideas from Dusty Baker days didn’t serve the team well then and they are just silly now. Please, move Suarez to 6th or 7th if he must play every day. End rant.

    Reply
    • AllTheHype

      Either Bell is not an analytical guy, or he doesn’t believe 457 PAs (Suarez from 2020) are a good enough sample size. He’s either incompetent or wrong, take your pick.

      Reply
    • MBS

      We haven’t been nearly as good of a team since Dusty left. So maybe emulating him isn’t the worst idea. I think he did pretty good with a really bad situation in Houston to.

      Reply
      • RojoB

        I won’t pine for the Toothpick

        Since he left, the team got worse because of myriad personnel blunders by the organization

      • MBS

        I’m not pining for Dusty, in fact I thought it was time to move on from him. He turned around the franchise, but never took us to the next level. I will tell you this, he was the last good manager we’ve had. Price, no, Bell, no.

  11. centerfield

    I think India or Moose should bat leadoff. Maybe try Naquin or Votto next. Suarez would be my choice just after Wade Miley.
    Seriously, this team isn’t going anywhere without better starting pitching. Castillo should get one more start and then head to the BP if necessary. Castillo needs some tough love because what they’re doing now isn’t working. Gutierrez was a breath of fresh air, attacking the strike zone. When the Reds find pitchers who don’t walk the world, they need to keep them on the roster. Also, why haven’t they tried India at SS? It solves a lot of lineup problems. It has to be better than Mike Freeman. At 2B he displays a strong arm and a lot of range. Isn’t he a better choice then Farmer, Freeman, Suarez, Blandino or Wade Miley? Someone poke David Bell with a stick and tell him it’s June.

    Reply
    • Melvin

      haha Good luck with the stick idea. I agree about India. You may have noticed I’ve been saying that for a while. 🙂 David Bell seems to love Journeyman type players and getting him to change is harder and more painful than pulling teeth.

      Reply
      • Melvin

        If those Journeyman type guys can bat LH than it’s like he’s in heaven. (Freeman).

  12. Mark Moore

    Watched the T-8th where we scored and B-9th with the great double-play we turned. Good to see Sims work out of a jam and us come out with a win to start the series.

    Reply
  13. RojoB

    No one replied to my game thread comment on this, but there was a foreign substance on St. Yadi’s chest protector that looked like pine tar. Did anyone else notice that and think it odd?

    Reply
    • redsfan4040

      Didn’t notice it last night, but I do remember a few years back Yadi literally had a ball get stuck to his chest protector. That doesn’t happen without something else present.

      Reply
  14. Reddawg2012

    How much more time before we are allowed to be concerned about Suarez?

    Seems like he’s either hurt, or the league has made an adjustment and Geno just can’t keep up.

    Reply
    • MuddyCleats

      Problem w/ him hitting LO is more times to fail when he’s not doing well. He just missed a dinger in his 2-3? AB, but @ the end of the day, it’s still 0-5 instead of maybe 0-3 in 6 or 7 hole. That has to weigh on any player over time. He has improved some w/ better plate discipline and extending counts – better ABs, but his mental approach still seems screwed up? Last night he seemed to b over swinging again and pulling off the ball? The swing is too long & in HR only mode IMO. As Larkin notes, hitters try to eliminate pitches or one side of the plate as much as possible. Suarez knows opposing pitchers want to get him out away, yet he continues to get beat inside when they do make a mistake. His approach should be to look middle in until he has 2 strikes, then go to inside out mode & just put the ball in play. W/ RISP, he might want to go to an inside out approach for the whole AB ? His approach right now has him missing pitches on both sides of the plate. Moreover, you have to wonder what (if) the coaches work on correcting things bc I don’t read anything about what he/they R doing to make him better?? Dittos for AG & Castillo. Both were dominating – nasty power pitchers who R now lost as last yrs Easter Eggs. What R (they) doing to correct it? What does video & spin comparisons reveal?

      Reply
      • Jimbo44CN

        He is back again in the long loopy swing stike out mode. He broke out of it for a bit, but now hes right back where he was. Bench him or send him down to work on it for a while. He is painful to watch.

  15. LDS

    Where does the theory that a pitcher that throws 2 innings or 30 pitches can’t go on consecutive days? Guys like Marshall, Borbon, and others did routinely and effectively. As for credit to Bell for keeping the team close to .500? No, I don’t think so.

    Reply
    • AllTheHype

      Interesting you used Marshall as your example, you mean the guy whose career ended at 31 due to shoulder issues? You answered your own question there.

      Reply
      • LDS

        Could have used other examples. Starters that routinely threw 300 IP and had long careers

    • Old Big Ed

      Pedro Borbon’s career K/9 is 3.6. He would get slaughtered in today’s game. Most relievers today (including both Antone and Sims) put a lot more effort into each pitch than they did in Borbon’s era, and recovery time is more important.

      There aren’t many soft-tossers left in baseball, period. Even Wainwright hit 90 last night. Kyle Hendricks, maybe, and a few lefties, and Greinke could develop into one. There are even fewer in the bullpens.

      Having said all that, I do think a good knuckleballer as a starting pitcher would befuddle today’s hitters. And they could generally go 7-8 innings, so they would serve the dual purpose of being bullpen-savers. I would bet that Blandino has at least thought of becoming a knuckleballer; would need a year or two in the minors.

      Reply
      • AllTheHype

        Good point on effort and recovery time. The game, and pitching in general, is simply not the same as the bygone era.

        On knucklers, the big encumbrances have and will always be, command, effectiveness, and holding base runners. Very few knucklers can do all three, and all three are essential.

  16. Dennis

    So now we are reduced to talking about Suarez’s performance in terms of non-productive flyout with an EV of 104.9 and xBA of .530? OH, he went 0 for 5 and that’s OK?

    Reply
    • MuddyCleats

      The fly out was a SAC that moved the runner to 3D; can’t remember if he scored? All any hitter can do is try and hit the ball hard. If you do, most BB people would agree that’s a good AB. Many times a hard hit ball is caught or a great Defensive play robs it. In contrast, the handle shots fall in – that’s BB. No doubt, he needs to b better as do most of the other Reds hitters. Team was 0-10 last night w/ RISP. India’s double last night was his first XBH since mid May ? Votto is 1 for 7 in AAA w/ 4 Ks. Essentially Nick, Jesse and Tyler r the 3 guys u can count on. They’re hot and have the mojo going their way; everyone else is a hope and a prayer. It’s a game of peaks and valleys and more failure than success. Here’s hoping Farmer or Schrock or someone else has a big game tonight. Kim’s another soft-tosser w/ a big breaking ball

      Reply
      • CFD3000

        Suarez has done nothing to justify hitting leadoff and you have to go back to 2019 to justify even starting him every day at all. And if your justification for keeping Suarez at leadoff includes Votto’s results for the first two games of what amounts to spring training on his rehab assignment after a month off then I’m even more skeptical of the conclusion. Suarez needs to hit at the bottom of the lineup. Or not at all.

      • Jimbo44CN

        How can you critisize Votto after being on the DL of 2 months? Give him a chance to get back into it.Hitting aint so easy.

      • Dennis

        Unless MLB is monkeying with the rules again, I believe a SAC FLY is credited to the batter only when a runner scores (not when he advances a base) and does not count as an official time at bat.

  17. MBS

    I was wrong earlier saying Suarez had a .250 BA. I missed the June numbers he now has .212 BA .278 OBP .763 OPS 3 HR’s. That’s not as good, as I thought, but I still see a different approach. Also for the record I was fine with Suarez in the 7 hole, but I like that they are trying to get him going again. My guess is his time as the leadoff is going to be short lived. Once the team is healthy, the lineup will be shuffled around.

    Reply
    • MuddyCleats

      Agree, reality is Reds haven’t had a true LO guy in so long I can’t remember who it was; u may have to go back to Ryan Freel? Likewise, they’ve tried almost everyone in the spot w/ mixed results at best.

      Reply
  18. CFD3000

    The median OBP among qualified NL hitters is .335. If Suarez at leadoff is getting on base at a rate 57 points lower? Not a good choice for leadoff. Bat him 7th or 8th where the occasional home run is a welcome surprise. But get him out of the offensive heart of the order where he does NOT belong. I’d love to see him return to form, but the sample size on the struggle bus is no longer small or statistically insignificant. He’s a really bad choice for leadoff.

    On a related note, I think tonight is a critical start for Castillo. I’d love to see him find… something. But I’m not holding my breath.

    Reply
    • Old Big Ed

      Castillo’s start is a critical start for the Reds. He not only needs to pitch well; he needs to pitch 7 innings or more. The Cardinals got 7 innings out of Wainwright last night, when they had him on the ropes in the first inning. It gave the Cardinals’ pen a much-needed day off.

      I would use Barnhart as Castillo’s catcher, even against a LH pitcher. Would use Heineman in CF.

      I’m good with India leading off. It isn’t going to overstress him. India’s a major-leaguer, he doesn’t need or want to be molly-coddled.

      Reply
      • MBS

        Technically a rookie is a major leaguer, but that doesn’t make him a vet yet. No one wants to be molly coddled, but some people need it. Why mess with what’s working for a rookie, unless you have to.

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