It wasn’t easy at all times but the Cincinnati Reds rode a strong start by Tyler Mahle before getting the game to Tejay Antone and Lucas Sims to close the game out. While the sweep is still on the table, the win on Saturday marked a 4-game series win in St. Louis for the first time since 1990.
|Cincinnati Reds (27-29)
|St. Louis Cardinals (31-28)
|W: Mahle (5-2) L: Helsley (3-4) SV: Sims (5)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Cincinnati didn’t get much doing in the first three innings of the game… that is until the top of the 3rd with two outs when Jonathan India obliterated a Johan Oviedo pitch 419-feet into the stands to tie the game up at 1-1. The Reds played add on in the top of the 4th when Tyler Naquin pulled out a hustle double and scored on a Tucker Barnhart single to make it 2-1.
Jonathan India did all he could go get things going in the 5th with a leadoff double – his 3rd time on base in the game – but he was stranded as the Reds went 1-2-3 to follow. With the game tied up at 2-2 in the top of the 6th Tucker Barnhart led off with a 4-pitch walk and after falling behind 1-2, Eugenio Suárez clobbered a 2-run homer 409 feet into the Cincinnati bullpen to give the team the lead once again.
The Reds were threatening once again in the top of the 7th after Jesse Winker walked and Nick Castellanos singled – extending his hitting streak to a league best 21 games. But Tyler Stephenson came on to pinch hit for Tyler Naquin and struck out, and Tucker Barnhart followed with a strikeout of his own. That left things to Eugenio Suárez to try and get the job done against Genesis Cabrera. But before he had a chance it was Cabrera who got the job done as he fired a 99 MPH fastball over everyone, but the ball ricocheted right back to catcher Andrew Knizner who fired down to third base. If the throw had been anything close to Nolan Arenado then Winker would have been out by 15 feet. It wasn’t. The ball sailed into left field and Winker scored easily to make it 5-2. Suárez would fly out, missing a hit by about 3 inches as Tommy Edman made a diving grab to save a run and end the inning.
Tyler Mahle served up a leadoff double to Tommy Edman to lead off the bottom of the 1st and he’d come around to score on a Nolan Arenado single that put the Cardinals up 1-0. Mahle settled in from there until the bottom of the 4th inning when a little batted ball luck went a long way for St. Louis. A blooper to right field that went 243 feet got by a sliding Nick Castellanos and went for a leadoff triple. A soft single followed to right to bring the run in, but that was all the Cardinals got – but it was enough to tie the game back up at 2-2.
From there it was smooth sailing for Tyler Mahle. He retired all nine batters he faced in the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings – including needing just eight pitches to get through that final frame. He was pinch hit for in the top of the 8th, ending his day with eight strikeouts, a walk, and just two earned runs in 7.0 innings on 95 pitches.
Tejay Antone came on to pitch in the 8th. He did what Tejay Antone does and made easy work of St. Louis getting a 1-2-3 inning on just 10 pitches that included nine strikes to hold onto the 5-2 lead and send it to the 9th.
Lucas Sims came on to try and close the game out in the 9th with a 3-run lead to work with. Nolan Arenado singled to lead off the inning before Sims struck out Andrew Knizner. But Tyler O’Neill crushed a ground-rule double to put runners and 2nd and 3rd. The Reds reliever needed four pitches to strikeout Matt Carpenter for the second out of the frame. A line drive to center by Edmundo Sosa almost fell, but Shogo Akiyama made a charging and sliding catch in center to end the game.
Notes Worth Noting
Tyler Mahle lowered his ERA on the year to 3.32. He now has 20 walks and 72 strikeouts in 62.1 innings this year.
Jonathan India is hitting .261/.367/.428 on the year. After going 0-15 from April 25th through May 12th, the Reds second baseman has been on fire, hitting .328/.446/.574 in a 20 game span.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Sunday June 6th, 2:15pm ET
Wade Miley (5-4, 3.26 ERA) vs John Gant (4-3, 1.60 ERA)
Shogo is the Reds’ best defender not named Barnhart.
Wish we got to see more of him. But he’s in a tough spot with the outfielders we have that hit well. As a defensive replacement, though, you could hardly do better than Shogo!
He’s the most fundamentally sound defensive player on the current roster other than Barnhart. I agree.
I just came here to say that that was some kind of catch he made for the 27th out!
Debatable. I would put India there.
India and Senzel are both up there as well. Moose is solid at 3B.
Or, maybe, India.
Let’s keep winning.
Way better than losing.
If Tyler Mahle keeps this up, he may find himself an All-Star.
Very true. He was ahead of hitters more often than not today. That’s the next step for him. If he does that consistently, look out.
Nice, quick wrap, Doug. Greatly appreciate you and the team here at RLN.
Feels really good. That stat about a 4-game series is a keeper.
Brooms out tomorrow, but we head back home with heads held high regardless.
I disagree with the wrap up only in that I think Jonathan India deserves to have his photo represent the game, not Suárez—home run notwithstanding
You and I both see the stud potential in India. And he got the JD post-game anyway, right?
Who got the hit that put the Reds in the lead for good?
If you want to be technical, it was Barnhart because he scored the 3rd run.
But Geno’s 2 RBI are worthy and it’s not a big beef for me
Obviously it’s a beef with you because you brought it up. It’s like Suarez stole your lunch money or something.
Just outstanding starting pitching on this nice 5-1 week. Mahle with 2 wins over the Cubs/cards, Miley outstanding , Gutierrez solid and Castillo was huge in his 6 solid innings.
Consistent solid pitching allows for winning baseball and winning streaks and Tyler Mahle is a very good pitcher.
I always have touted Tyler. I saw him pitch several games at Pensacola. He is the best pitcher to come through the Reds farm system since Cueto and Bailey.
Yep. I saw him pitch there when Mesoraco was rehabbing. I thought he was a veteran rehabbing too when I first saw him. He knows how to pitch.
The Cardinal pitchers have hit our batters 7 times in this series. We’ve hit theirs none. Their bullpen has walked them right out of first place. Wonder who is feeling the effects of the sticky substance crack-down.
This is a brilliant observation!
From Yadi’s stuck-to-chest-protector ball, to Wainwright’s crazy “can’t let go of the ball” pitch, to the glob of something on Yadi’s chest present during the game that Wainwright just pitched—
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire
Mahle was just brilliant today as he is most of the time on the road.Reds did enough and a big homer by the man Suarez.Sure was nice not to solely depend on Wink and Casty to win a game.India is player for sure.Just need to keep playing him and he will get better.Getting the lead early takes the pressure off the starter and may allow him an extra inning or two as it did today.Its a winning formula for all teams but especially for the Reds.
I have liked India from day one, Stephenson too! Exciting to see the farm produce.
Like bounce back from slump for India.
Just a ballplayer to me.
Not a flashy with Wow tools player.
Plays game the right way.
You just can’t keep whiffing on 1st rounders. Rich teams might be able to buy their way out of mistakes, but the Reds aren’t one of those teams.
Looks like atleast 3 of 4 will hit it big between India, Stephenson, Greene, and Lodolo.
I think all 4 of these guys are legit barring injury but with 2 of them pitchers that is a real risk/ possibility.
Agree have to draft well.
Develop players well is the key too.
Best hitters have had been 2nd rd Picks.
Winker and Votto come to mind.
Excited for all the players you mentioned.
Also hope Barrero joins India on the Dirt soon.
Need hit on International players as well imo.
India was average at best in the minors so I wasn’t expecting much.But he’s definitely playing very well
I was higher on India then most.
Showed OBP skills in Pitchers Leagues.
Hit over 300 his last 100. AA AB’s .
Think his wrist affected his Power.
India has grit. He reminds me of a young Pete Rose.
he is a high school legend in Fort Lauderdale and at maga star with the Gators which means little but he is a gamer.
we looked lost at times with Daytona…it appears covid got him right
how many games this year already has he been the difference?
pencil him in every day at 2b or even dare I say 3b!
Gant going for the Cards tomorrow. He has a 1.60 era and a 1.52 whip))) That has to be one of the craziest stat lines I’ve ever seen. Cards are a mess really. I think the Cubs will come back to earth as well. Milw is the favorite imo with their pitching. The Reds catch them 6 times though starting Tuesday. We’ll miss Woodruff in the first series so thats a plus!
Its hard to say what we have in this Reds team? There is enough talent on paper and we’re getting some guys back too. I’d feel better if the front office could go out and get a quality lefty somewhere or try Lodolo out of the pen.
That is one bizarre pitching stat. Really hope our guys keep the pressure on tomorrow. A day off on Monday and heading home should help their focus.
their bullben is wiped out
Despite being 2/29 with runners in scoring position these three games, the Reds have won all three games. Crazy stat, but the Reds will take it. Seems like this team has gotten a boost from the starting pitching, this will always mask a bunch of problems.
OK, not done yet! Won the first 3 of 4! Now let’s finish the job and fricassee the Dirty Birds. Let’s see who Bell The Brilliant “rests” tomorrow! India, Winker and Castellanos are all hitting near or above .400 against the Cards. I’m sure Bell will want to rest one of them and put together his typical “hit-the-road” lineup! Go for the kill, er, sweep! Need to make up for those pitiful losses to juggernauts like the 20-40 D’Backs!
Bell isn’t the only manager who regularly rests players: they all do. It’s too easy to overlook that players actually need rest because it’s a long season and also because they may well have dings–incipient injuries–that benefit from it.
Reds have some very nice surprises with Winker, India, Naquin and Stephenson. Barnhart is having one if his best years and Casty is arguably the best hitter in the mlb right now. I can’t help but think the Reds could compete for the division with some pitching help. Looks like we have some potential in Santillon and later in Greene and Lodolo. We have 10 games against the Brew Crew before the break. The Cubs face a tough schedule up til then as well. The Cards look very beatable. After the break, the division is in the Reds’ hands with plenty of opportunities to beet our division rivals. In addition, we should get several pieces back off the IL. I believe a playoff run is possible with some right maneuvers. I certainly understand the argument the other way too.
Excellent assessment of the Reds and the road ahead!
As it often takes at least a hundred pages to see if you really like a book, the Reds situation and future is slowly coming into view one game and series at a time
Man can you never just rejoice when things go right. Giinge Bell some credit for managing an under staffed roster, especially with injuries, and poor bullpen to stay relevant might be an option. I get Bell befuddles some people but other managers do weird stuff too. Just don’t see need to bash Bell after 3 wins against Cards who are fawned on as superior run team. Also first 3 game winning streak since 6 game streak at start of the year, a lot of positives to talk about today.
comment to dennis
Befuddled yes! Like why burn two (2) relief pitchers today when TA was fully capable of closing the game out after only 10 pitches! Also, in last nights game Hembree could have finished (only needed one more out) but Bell was using Little League rules again and was forced to use another relief pitcher when Doolittle couldn’t finish the job. That being said, neither TA or LS will likely be available tomorrow if needed according to Bell’s “thinking” even though Monday is an off day for the Reds. Been actively following this team since 1961, yes 1961, and have seen the good, bad and the ugly!
Been following since early 70’s myself. I just try not to let MB syndrome set in where only focus on negative rather celebrate success. Never giving Bell any credit for positive decisions is counter productive. He got very little credit for moving Suarez around or 3 wins this weekend. He has got TA AND LS in 2 wins he only has so many tools and guys don’t pitch day after day now. He used both for multiple high leverage innings and has 3 wins which was considered unlikely prior to series. Maybe acknowledge his moves have been fine over last week. We have no idea what maybes would have produced but he has them winning lately.
Bell got chastised for using Antone for 2 innings the other day. He–and Dusty and Price before him–have been regularly criticized for not going for the win, You actually did this in a comment above. I take your point and your frustration, but I’ll also wait and see whether he brings Antone in today if the game situation is appropriate. Aside from everything else, he knows the players and is in close contact with them, something none of us can claim.
starting pitching that goes 7 innings, does not expose the bullpen, that is what starters need to do, great pitching from Mahle.
Great team offense, scored all runs without Winker or Castellano involved.
Stephenson and India are solid ballplayer. The type which is needed to have a solid franchise. Great to see the youth playing well.
Solid 3 games, a win Sunday and the Reds and Cards are tied in the loss column, need to move up the division standings one team at a time.
88 to 90 wins is what will win the NL Central. Reds need to go at least 61-45 to get to 88 wins. Every game is critical.
Miley needs to have another solid start.
I looked at last night’s box scores to see how long starters are going at least on this date. 20% of starters went 7.0 innings (6 of 30); 23.33% 6.0 inn (7 of 30); 36.67% went 5 or 5+ (11of 30) and 20% went less than 5 innings. Of the 6 that went 7 innings, 4 won, 2 lost, 0 had a no decision. deGrom gave up 0 ER, Gausman 0 ER, Mahle 2 ER and all won. Cobb for LAA gave up 5 but won 12-5; The two that lost gave up 4 and 5 ER.
So, if (big if) this is representative of how long starters are going, 7 innings is a luxury and 5-6 is more likely if the starter is pitching decently. I think expecting starters to go 7 innings anymore is not going to happen, thus bullpens that lack quality arms are going to be exposed.
Bell has done a good job in this series utilizing the best pitchers to win the game that day.
Reds are up 3-0 in the series
Gutierrez pitched 5 innings
Castillo pitched 6 innings
Mahle pitched 7 innings
Sims and Antone have combined for 6 innings.
Those 5 pitchers have given up a combined 5 runs in 24 innings.
Bullpen needs some help
Garrett and crew and the offense needs to win one and step up tomorrow. Miley should keep them in the game so Reds gotta be greedy.
Better greedy than needy!
Cubs down 4 to 2 versus the Giants in the bottom of the 8th! Things are looking up!
4-3 top 9 and they have the go ahead run at 1st now
Giants hung on and won! Reds 3 games out of first in the loss column.
Please David Bell, keep putting Jonathan India and his .367 obp in the lead off spot from this day forward!
For those that didn’t see it, a great article on a Reds farm hand:
Really nice to see the team playing so well with the bull pen being very thin and the injuries they are dealing with. Get some players healthy on offense and Suarez, Castillo and Garett play to the back of their baseball cards and this could be a very interesting summer. Bell has done a very nice job holding this team together under very difficult circumstances. His utilization of the roster and his handling of the youngsters like India and Tyler has been effective. He also is getting nice production out of players other organizations have given up on like Naquin. Love watching this team they are young and hungry and play hard. Many have had to play out of their normal positions and take on new roles to help.
Glad to see India staying hot and glad the Reds didn’t make a knee-jerk decision and option him when he was slumping and we had a million 2B options. Naquin is the best acquisition of the offseason (not a high bar, I know) and has really turned all three of our OF spots into formidable offensive threats. Great to see Mahle continue his excellent season, kid knows how to pitch and gets after it. Always great to beat the dirty birdies.
It’s so refreshing to see the starting pitching finally come around, but the bullpen still concerns me. Lorenzen coming back sooner than later should help. Any chance the Reds could trade an excess OF (like Shogo or Aquino) to a team in need for a decent bullpen arm?
The comments above about the Cardinals cheating with foreign substance sparked my curiosity. I checked the data, and DAAAAAAANG.
Here are some simple facts:
5/26: Cardinals pitcher investigated for foreign substance on his hat.
Cardinals record since: 4-6 with 3 of those wins coming against the worst team in NL: D-backs.
Since 5/26, Cards pitchers have a 6.3 ERA (63 runs in 10 games).
That ERA is over 2 runs higher than their season ERA of 4.14.
Cards pitchers hit 7 reds in 2 games.
Cards have been caught cheating before. Remember when their front office hacked the Astros computers to get scouting info. A few years ago a baseball stuck to Molina’s chest protector. Baseballs don’t do that without substance.
Point being: because of the commenting guidelines I can’t hammer this home appropriately. But, Cards are dirty rat cheaters.