The Reds (26-29) have won the first two games of this crucial four-game series against the division rival Cardinals (31-27), but they can’t let up now. As the saying goes, momentum is only as good as the next day’s starting pitcher, and the Reds have arguably their best starting pitcher this season on the mound this afternoon in Tyler Mahle.


  • First pitch: 2:15 pm ET
  • Location: Busch Stadium
  • TV: Bally Sports Ohio
  • Radio: 700 WLW or streaming on the IHeartRadio app

Starting Pitchers

Tyler Mahle 55.1 3.42 3.33 3.60 3.62 1.16 28.1% 8.3%
Johan Oviedo 20.0 5.40 5.38 6.04 5.74 1.60 17.4% 16.3%


Mahle is coming off what was probably his best start of the 2021 season on May 29 at Wrigley Field. The 26-year-old right-hander pitched five innings of one hit, shut out baseball, walking only one while striking out eight. In the start before that in Washington, DC, Mahle pitched shut out baseball in 5.1 innings, allowing only three hits and one walk. He actually pitches much better on the road than he does at Great American Ball Park, with a 1.47 ERA in 36.1 innings compared to an ERA over seven at GABP.

Mahle is having the most success with his split finger. He throws it only about 12 percent of the time and almost always to left-handers, but he has a whiff rate about 36.7% with that pitch. This is up from the 2020 season when his whiff rate was only 22 percent.


St. Louis didn’t announce the starter of today’s game until today. They’ll be turning to rookie Johan Oviedo for his 5th start of the year and his 6th appearance. He last pitched for the Cardinals on May 14th and May 28th and he walked 11 batters with just three strikeouts in 6.1 innings over those two starts. He made one start in between there for Triple-A Memphis and walked just one batter over 5.1 innings on May 21st.

Oviedo has had some success against right-handed hitters this year holding them to a .172 average. But he’s struggled with the walks and righties do have a .359 on-base percentage against him. Left-handed hitters are hitting .273 with a .385 on-base percentage against him and they are also slugging .455. Lefties also have more walks against him than strikeouts this year.


Cincinnati Reds

St. Louis Cardinals

Jonathan India – 2B Tommy Adman – RF
Jesse Winker – LF Dylan Darlson – CF
Nick Castellanos – RF Paul Goldschmidt – 1B
Tyler Naquin – CF Nolan Arenado – 3B
Tucker Barnhart – C Yadier Molina – C
Eugenio Suárez – 3B Tyler O’Neill – LF
Kyle Farmer – SS Matt Carpenter – 2B
Mike Freeman – 1B Edmundo Sosa – SS
Tyler Mahle – SP Johan Oviedo – SP

News and Notes

Eugenio is out of the leadoff spot

We’ll have to wait and see if this is more of a permanent situation, but after giving Eugenio Suárez some time in the leadoff spot manager David Bell has placed him back in the 6th spot in the lineup and moved up Jonathan India to take over the leadoff role for the Reds today.

Alex Blandino to the injured list with a broken hand

This morning the Reds placed Alex Blandino on the 10-day injured list with a broken hand. Blandino was hit by a pitch last night by Jake Woodford. In this series the Cardinals pitching staff has now hit seven Cincinnati batters. They lead the free world in hit batters this season. They’ve plunked 47 batters this year. Only the Cubs have topped 35 (they have 40).

Reliever Ashton Goudeau has taken the spot on the 26-man roster for the day. He had been the scheduled starting pitcher tonight for Triple-A Louisville.

Hunter Greene and Tony Santillan with double-digit strikeouts on Friday

Two of the Cincinnati Reds top prospects took the mound last night. Tony Santillan struck out a career high 13 batters in a 7-inning complete game for the Triple-A Louisville Bats. Hunter Greene took the mound in Double-A and picked up 10 more strikeouts as he pushed his league leading total to 51 on the season (in 35 innings) for Chattanooga. Doug Gray has a write up with far more details on both of the hard throwing right handers at

100 Responses

  1. Mark A Verticchio

    Why in the world is Stephenson not playing, Bell and his days off are beyond belief.

    • Doug Gray

      He hasn’t had an off day in nearly a month. The pitcher starting today holds righties to a .172 average. Play the lefty and when the Cards go to the bullpen pinch hit Stephenson somewhere and bring him in.

      This isn’t a big deal. It’s actually incredibly believable and definitely not the end of the world.

      • Mark A Verticchio

        You make some good points, but this has been a problem all year, bell and is line ups. The Reds do have a day off Monday and Stephenson is playing very well. The Cardinal pitcher today has a very small track record.

      • Doug Gray

        It hasn’t been a problem all year. People seem to have forgotten that there are 162 games, injury rates are up 30% over the last full season (2019), and guys need rest whether they are playing well or not. As I said, this is not a big deal and it’s not worth being mad about. Even Mike Trout, when healthy, gets some days off every so often.

      • Hunt4RedsOct

        They mentioned on the radio broadcast last week about the organizational change in regards to health and welfare. Off days qre preplanned to line up with an overall wellness plan for each player. It was in reference to Castellanos sitting but might be in play here.

      • Mark A Verticchio

        Doug, you can defend the days off to some extent. However the double switches and the handling of the bullpen, last night for example, are hard to explain.

      • Doug Gray

        The bullpen handling has been fine. There is 1.5 pitchers in the bullpen who deserve to be on a big league club. There’s no possible way to have success handling the bullpen in that situation other than hope and pray today’s the day that one of your 6 relievers doesn’t poop their pants and that Antone is available for a big spot. The bullpen management isn’t a David Bell issue, it’s a the Reds have one good reliever right now issue.

      • LDS

        And yet Suarez leads the team in GP? I think one day off? Can’t hit his weight? And is older? Obviously, I agree with Melvin. Players are treated like they are made of glass these days and many of them apparently are, e.g., Senzel. Even Votto emphasized the need to play to maintain a rhythm. Benching Stephenson would seem to disrupt that rhythm. And do we really want to maintain Suarez’s rhythm?

    • Melvin

      Well he was hitting well so I’m with you Mark. When I guy is hot you ride him as long as you can especially when you’re in a situation like the Reds are in scratching and clawing, trying to stay afloat while so many injuries. In my view it’s hard for a team to get hot and build momentum when their own manager is pouring cold water on them. He had a very good night last night and was getting hot.

      • Doug Gray

        Imagine how cold he’d be if he didn’t get the rest he needed and pulled a hammy because of it. That’s what the team is trying to avoid.

      • Mark A Verticchio

        I am in agreement with you Mike, but lets hope Freeman has a good day. The Reds really need to win at least one of the next two and both would be icing on the cake.

      • Melvin

        I guess I just don’t understand why players are so delicate these days. Of course I’d like them to be well rested in a perfect world. There are times, like the Reds are in though, where it’s necessary to push a little harder than you normally would in order to stay afloat. Days off can come when the team is in a little more stable situation. The Reds are in anything but a stable situation right now. It’s not like the team hasn’t had any days off in a month and won’t have another one coming up soon. What good will it be to have well rested players in September when you’re already sunk so low in June that you can’t come back?

      • Doug Gray

        These days compared to when? Back when dudes were eating amphetamines like M&M’s?

      • Indy Red Man

        Especially considering Stephenson is going to get all the rest he never wanted when Joey gets back. He’ll be lucky to start 3 times a week

    • burtgummer01

      Well said Doug.Far too many people are whining about Bell but they’re oblivious to the fact that the bullpen that the front office is the worst in MLB and they have no shortstop and were not interested in improving in the off season but yeah it’s all Bells fault

      • RojoB

        “the front office is the worst in MLB”


      • Doug Gray

        The Pirates would like a thousand words.

      • Jefferson Green

        Colorado says, ‘hold my beer’.

  2. Mark A Verticchio

    Doug, I agree the bullpen is weak as far as depth goes, but pulling Hembre was not a good idea.

    • Doug Gray

      The guy who had given up a walk and a double in the inning?

      • Mark A Verticchio

        Well he just had a strikeout and was one out away, plus consider how well Doolittle worked out.

      • Roger Garrett

        Yeah the same guy that struck out Arenado the previous inning when he was the tieing run and struck out the last batter before he was pulled who had homered earlier in the game.Sorry just can’t help it but we can all cherry pick all day long.

  3. Indy Red Man

    The ball is carrying today. Edman kind of lunged at that ball so I couldn’t believe it bounced on the track. Mahle has good stuff, but the same issues with pitch count.

    The Reds need to wait this guy out and he probably won’t get thru 5.

  4. Mark A Verticchio

    Melvin, you make some excellent points, now they need a win today. Would have loved to see Mahle escape that first inning.

  5. DataDumpster

    The David Bell “wellness plan” is part of the regimen. That’s why a player who has a hot hand gets a day off at a seemingly inopportune time. Don’t like it but ownership will have to decide between legacy baseball management and decent sounding process which cannot be measured or evaluated to any degree.
    Bell’s bullpen dogma mystifies me also but its hard to evaluate without really digging in so I rarely comment on it. But, during the pregame show, the manager had an interesting answer when asked why he removed Hembree for Doolittle (thus breaking his handedness rule and ignoring Doolittle’s atrocious inherited runners scoring stat). He replied that Hembree was looking tired and the 3 man rule meant that if Doolittle got into trouble, he wanted to have someone to sub in to pitch to Goldschmidt. This is exactly what happened so Bell seemed to justify it in a circular manner.
    Hembree threw 21 pitches after two days rest from throwing 16 pitches on Tuesday. Before him, Hendrix had a decent 18 pitch inning and was also well rested. You decide but I’m starting to think the 20 pitch rules!

    • Roger Garrett

      If he said that he is just back tracking to cover up.Nobody in his right mind plans to see Goldy when he is 4 batters away when there is already 2 outs.If he thinks Doolittle is going to possibly let all 3 men he faces reach why put him in?He got suckered if indeed he thought he had a lefty on lefty match up to start with.He is clueless at best so just admit and move on for goodness sake and don’t do it again.Everybody makes them.

      • LDS

        Absolutely. Look at that Freeman got an infield hit. Wow, the brilliance of David Bell. And Suarez struck out. To paraphrase Chevy Chase in the old SNL bit – Eugenio Suarez is still missing (and has been since 2019)

    • RojoB

      “legacy baseball management”

      That’s the Reds’ way, defined by a word that starts with the letter N

  6. Roger Garrett

    Lets hope we aren’t seeing Cy Oviedo today.Freeman with a knock and thats why he is in there.Go Dude.Just got to love it.

    • Indy Red Man

      Or not, but India got an 0-2 hanger. This guy is throwing strikes for them. Not what I expected and his pitch count is low. He hasn’t been deeper then 5 so we’re going to get their pen if Mahle holds them down.

  7. Roger Garrett

    OOPS cancel the knock for Freeman.Looks like it still Cy Oviedo though.Sad so sad.

  8. Melvin

    Better find a place for India when everyone comes back. LOL You all know by now where I think the Reds should at least try. At least Suarez is not leading off today and a hot hitter is. Sooo I give David Bell credit for that one. 🙂

    • Roger Garrett

      Give credit when it is due.Somebody on here suggested moving India to lead off a week or so back.Memo could have arrived in the dugout.Bell sees what we see but we have no clue what he has to deal with from the guys that write his check.I believe he wants to win bad and he has never thrown his players under the bus.He may just try to hard to make a difference in the game and he doesn’t need to do that.If it comes down to the manager winning or losing games then he has tried way too hard.I am all for data but feel and gut and just watching your players is just as important.

  9. Mark A Verticchio

    It is definitely time to sit Suarez for awhile, he is pulling off the ball something awful.

  10. Mark Moore

    Mahle looking efficient enough here. Really like that India is dialed in right now.

    Won’t likely comment much. I feel a nap coming on.

  11. Indy Red Man

    There we go! Let the other team make stupid plays for a change. Naquin has some wheels and that ball died in the OF grass so that was a stupid throw and gave TB 2nd base. Aggressiveness pays off!

    Naquin is a solid player! He’s no Dietrich on a heater like most of RLN thought

    • Melvin

      I’m happy to see that Naquin is showing off his all around skills. Never had seen him before this year. He’s doing well.

  12. Mark Moore

    Haven’t drifted off just yet … got to see Naquin’s thing and now Oviedo screw it up.

  13. Mark A Verticchio

    Great base running by the Reds this inning, nice to see.

  14. LDS

    Just noticed that India has gotten on base his last 7 plate appearances. Not a record by any means but pretty good for the Reds. Almost 1/2 way to Ted Williams modern record.

    • Rex

      I hope Bell keeps him at lead off…he is clearly belongs there

    • RojoB

      Way to stay the course, Tyler Mahle!

  15. Mark Moore

    So this means we’ve chased Ovieda and whoever they throw gets the top of the order to start. Time to end this inning.

  16. Mark Moore

    That really felt like an “only one run – not bad” inning.

    Now got get some back!

  17. DaveCT

    Tyler Mahle has really grown quite a bit.

    Good for him and us.

  18. Indy Red Man

    Nice damage control by Mahle. He’s only at 69 pitches so he should get atleast 6.

  19. Rex

    I wonder if we are so involved with our own issues that we are missing that the CARDS are failing apart right in front of us

    look at all the walks

    • RojoB

      Yes but if we do that then we’ll only end up saying “well the Reds didn’t win the Cardinals lost “ lol

      For me, it’s a double win—love it when Reds are winning, and when Crudinals are losing!


      • Rex

        I agree but man the Cards are looking bad in many areas…I say kick them while they down

  20. Rex

    sportline projection today shows

    Cincinnati wins75.7 div1.7% playoffs2.3%

    St. Louis wins86.9 div32.7% playoffs40.5%

    I don’t see it

  21. Indy Red Man

    Ughhhh. Pitcher with a 6.50 era and we can’t get India home from 2nd with Wink, Nick C., and Naquin at the plate.

  22. LDS

    Looks like the shock of having someone on base ahead of them is too much for Winker & Castellanos. Expected to get India in that inning.

    • RojoB

      Lol they’ll have to adjust (I hope it’s a regular thing from now on)

  23. Indy Red Man

    I have a feeling about Geno here

    • Mark Moore

      That he’ll whiff at unhittable stuff down and away? And then take something much more hittable?

    • Indy Red Man

      I know a little bit about baseball)))

      This guy is heater only and getting behind people

    • Mark Moore

      I take it back. I take it ALL back!

      +5,000 for your feeling, sir!

      • Indy Red Man

        Based off the pitcher really. Even ahead 1-2 he’s wild in the zone and grooves one for Geno

      • Mark Moore

        Indy, Cowboy was saying wild out of the zone, wild in the zone. I see what you mean. Even Farmer did a quick turn on one (for a foul ball).

  24. Rex

    omg…he just needed out of that leadoff spot

  25. Melvin

    Some team still might be willing to give up a lot to get Suarez. That might be good for both parties.

    • Mark Moore

      Love the guy, but I agree. Shop him around.

      • Indy Red Man

        He’s younger then Moose and we need right-handed balance. I’d rather give away Moose to the Yankees or whoever can afford him. It was a bad signing

      • Melvin

        They may both be traded. We have enough young guys to replace them.

  26. J

    Suarez needs Farmer and Freeman hitting behind him every day so he can get more fastballs down the middle.

    • LDS

      I’d like to see that but it feels like we’re in double switch territory

  27. RedsMonk65

    21-game hitting streak for Castellanos!

    Need to tack on some more here…You can never have enough runs playing the Cardinals.

  28. Melvin

    Winker almost another blunder but we’ll take it. 🙂

  29. Indy Red Man

    Geno was robbed or thats another rbi. That was a very nice at-bat. He didn’t try to do too much and kept his hands inside the ball. That lefty is pretty good too and throws 99-100+. Maybe he’ll start coming around?

  30. Melvin

    Naquin and Stephenson out of the game now. Hope we hold em.

  31. MK

    The management obviously does bot believe Mark Peyton is talented enough to be on the regular 26 man roster as he has been on a yo-yo back and forth AAA to MLB. However when he is up he gets to the plate practically everyday. If he is good enough to hit in front of some of the other subs why isn’t he good enough to stay up?

  32. Melvin

    Would have liked to see if Mahle could have gone a little farther. That’s one way of making you pen better by not using them. At least we have TJA.

  33. Indy Red Man

    Cards blog is calling him Paul Goldslump ))))))

  34. Mark Moore

    How is Arenado hitting that crap?

  35. RedsMonk65

    Here we go again. Can we nail a game down without the drama, please?!

    • LDS

      Why exactly did Bell pull TA after only 10 pitches burning yet another reliever

      • burtgummer01

        Why exactly can’t people understand that the Reds only have 1 good pitcher in the pen wearing him out before the all star break isn’t a good idea

      • LDS

        Because some of us don’t buy that argument. Curiously, the Reds seem to play better against good teams on the road than they do mediocre teams anywhere

      • burtgummer01

        Then some of you need to wake up

  36. RedsMonk65

    One more out … fingers crossed.

  37. Mark Moore

    Please somebody stop (and educate) Sadak, will you?

    Nasty stuff from Mahle. Here we are again.

  38. Mark Moore

    Thank you Shogo!!! It’s tough not playing and then jumping in, but you did it.

  39. RedsMonk65

    Yes! Nice catch!

    Dirty Birds fall for the third straight time against the good guys.

  40. Melvin

    Good catch by Aki. If that ball gets by him it’s bad news for sure.

  41. Mark Moore

    Nice interview, Kid. Let’s hope you have a LOT more to come. And all of them as a Red.