The Cincinnati Reds managed just two hits on Sunday afternoon as six Atlanta Braves pitchers combined to shut them out and split the series at Great American Ball Park.

Final R H E
Atlanta Braves (37-40) 4 7 0
Cincinnati Reds (38-38) 0 2 0
W: Muller (1-1) L: Mahle (7-3)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

There wasn’t much that the Cincinnati Reds offense did on the day against Atlanta Braves #5 prospect and big left-handed pitcher Kyle Muller. He held the team to just one hit and two walks in 5.0 shutout innings while striking out nine Reds hitters.

In the bottom of the 7th inning the Reds got their first base runner against the Atlanta bullpen with Eugenio Suárez walked. With two outs Jesse Winker came off of the bench to pinch hit, but the Braves countered by bringing in left-handed reliever A.J. Minter. The move didn’t work as Minter walked Winker on four pitches to put two men on for Scott Heineman, who’s blooper was the only Cincinnati hit in the game to that point. Heineman and Minter battled for an 8-pitch at-bat, but it ended in a ground out to third base to end the inning and strand the runners to keep the Braves up 4-0.

Mike Freeman led off the 8th inning with a single to try and get the Reds offense moving late in the game. With one out Joey Votto crushed the ball to center but Ender Inciarte tracked down the ball at the warning track before crashing into the wall. That left things up to Nick Castellanos, but he came up empty as he struck out swinging to end the inning and send the game to the 9th.

Trailing 4-0 and entering the bottom of the 9th inning the Reds had the middle of their order due up. Tyler Stephenson hit one 379 feet, but that was into center field and not quite enough as Guillermo Heredia tracked it down for the first out. Eugenio Suárez struck out for the second out of the inning. That left things up to Tyler Naquin to keep the game going. He didn’t, striking out on three pitches to end the game.

The Pitching

Tyler Mahle cruised through the first two innings as he faced the minimum. But things turned in the 3rd inning after he hit leadoff batter Guillermo Heredia. At first it seemed he may get around it after striking out the next two batters, but Ronald Acuña Jr. doubled in Heredia and then he scored on a Freddie Freeman single.

In the 5th inning Tyler Mahle had a fastball get away from him and it came in high and tight against Ronald Acuña Jr. before throwing three straight pitches out of the zone. But the fifth pitch of the at-bat was sent 432 feet and almost through the batters eye in center. An inning later it was Austin Riley who got to Mahle with another solo homer to make it a 4-0 game.

Art Warren came out for the 7th inning and he struck out the side on 13 pitches, getting Ronald Acuña Jr. to swing through a 97 MPH fastball to end the inning. Sean Doolittle entered for the 8th inning and after getting Freddie Freeman to fly out, Ozzie Albies doubled into left. Austin Riley saw 10 pitches but popped up to short on the final one. Doolittle intentionally walked Dansby Swanson and got to face pinch-hitter Ehire Adrianza with two on and two out. It was the right move as Adrianza popped out in foul territory to Joey Votto to end the inning.

Freshly called up from Triple-A, Cionel Pérez came on for the top of the 9th. He struck out Guillermo Heredia to lead off the inning to great cheers from the fans as it was the 11th strikeout of the game which means free pizza for 2,000 fans. Pérez followed up with his second straight strikeout on three pitches. Ender Inciarte battled a bit more than the previous two hitters, but he popped up on the 5th pitch of his at-bat to end the inning and send the game to the bottom of the 9th where the Reds would need at least four runs to keep the game going. They didn’t get them.

Notes Worth Noting

Tyler Mahle didn’t exactly struggle on Sunday, but he didn’t pitch well, either. His home and road splits continue to be large. Including his outing this afternoon his home ERA (6 starts) now sits at 6.75, while his road ERA (10 starts) is 2.01.

Jeff Hoffman made his second rehab appearance in Triple-A Louisville on Sunday afternoon. He threw 4.0 shutout innings while allowing just two hits and striking out six batters.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Philadelphia Phillies vs Cincinnati Reds

Monday June 28th, 6:40pm ET

TBA vs Wade Miley (6-4, 2.88 ERA)

39 Responses

  1. LDS

    At the end of today, 6 games out of 1st place and a tough schedule coming up. No attempts by the FO/ownership to improve the team, just more cast offs. Lousy field management and lineup construction, always the left-right mindset regardless of the underlying numbers. It’s time to accept this team is going nowhere. And like Charlie Brown, we’ll all be back tomorrow trying to kick the football.

    • TyGuy88

      IHMO this is the issue with this management. You either buy to win or trade off players when they are at peak value. I don’t see Castellanos or Winker or partially Gray or partially Castillo being at higher value than they are right now. If you do not plan to buy bullpen and/or MLB ready SS pieces, then you should get solid or top prospects for players while they are at peak value.

      • John C.

        If you trade your best players when they are going well, when are you good? Got to keep players for a while just to improve your own team. Trading for prospects all the time can be a crapshoot. Why trade Winker? He is a foundation.

      • KDJ

        You are speaking as one who wants to win . . . either now or later.
        What if management is satisfied with these results for the price?

      • Bill J

        Right TYGUY, but can we expect that from this front office? I thought they should have traded Suarez after his big year but no.

    • MK

      For years people wanted management with an analytic approach, to keep up with the times. Well now you have it from lineup construction to game management. It has taken the human element out on Managing. Now it is about the statistics not whose hot or who makes the most sense from the eye test. Sometimes we have to be careful what we wish for.

      • LDS

        Descriptive statistics. Still looking for that peer reviewed study that supports the analytic approach. Reminds me a lot of amateur stock market players that think they’ve found the holy grail in technical analysis only to lose their entire nest egg.

      • DX

        What analytics support playing Heineman? Analytics aren’t just batting a right handed hitter cause the pitcher is left. Analytics determine who hits better against the LHP. It is not Heineman and there isn’t any statistical support

      • Old-school

        If this organization was truly committed to analytics scott heineman wouldn’t be playing or on the roster. Heineman plays because Bell has a “hunch” and reds are intentionally avoiding a roster controversy by adding non- controversial AAAA+ RH hitting players like Heineman and Matt Davidson who are guaranteed to fail. What it the Reds actually added a credible RH veteran bat who can play 1b? Someone mentioned CJ Cron from the Rockies. How bout his analytics as a RH bat off the bench and platoon at 1b?

        Doug made a great point yesterday votto and Suarez wont be benched period because of their contracts.

        But, at what point does votto sit against lefties and become a platoon player? Analytics say he should now. Votto is under .200 against lefties since 2019. Reds wont get a credible RH bat to play first base because they dont want to deal with the Votto mess. Stephenson could but then you dont have a RH catcher.

      • Melvin

        When it comes to Heineman it doesn’t take advanced analytics. All it takes is a child old enough to know his right from left. Then he/she could manage.

    • Roger Garrett

      Of course but which Lucy raises its ugly head.Just too many Lucy’s to deal with on a daily basis to become any more then what we are and that is around 500 give or take 4 or 5 games.Hopefully we do look to the future at the deadline and see what we can get for some of our players that will not be part of it.

  2. Scott C

    On a positive note, Heineman raised his BA up to the .100 mark with his non HR hit today. 100 that is perfect, isn’t it?

    • BatsLeftThrowsRight

      Hit, lmao, three Brave’s players running into each other on a 400 ft straight up pop up just outside the infield.

      • Scott C

        I know he really slugged it. They never said what the exit velocity was. Probably close to 30.

  3. Roger Garrett

    Reds have been sort of a feat and famine offense for most of the year and today was the famine day.Reds have scored over 10 runs a game 12 times or 16% of the time and have scored 3 runs or less with 8 times being shut out 31 times or 41% of the time.I was kind of surprised by the 3 runs or less stat but it kind of points out to really having 2 guys carry us on offense for the most part IMO.We will go as far as the offense carries us I am afraid so we need to bounce back tomorrow.Go Reds.

    • Doc

      And one of those two is slumping. Ironically, right after Doug’s article saying he had not finished and game below .338 or OPS below 1.000. Jinx.

      • Doug Gray

        Jinxes aren’t real. Except for the cat from Meet The Parents.

      • Scott C

        I’m not really sure you can call it a slump. He has a number of hard hit balls that were caught, some like the other night with great plays. I figure as long as he continues to barrel the ball the hits will come back.

  4. JB

    On the bright side , there was over 100,000 fans that walked through the gates for this series. I’m thinking Bob will give Krall the go ahead to acquire another DFA’d player for the team.

    • RojoB

      I think rather that he’ll order a Scott Heineman bobble head night.

      Who wouldn’t love that?

  5. Old-school

    Reds offense didnt have it and Mahle was meh.

    Reds play Cubs and brewers 10 of next 17 and cubs play Brewers next. Reds and cubs get their chance to bring the brewers back to the pack or else. Most underreported story of the season is the demise of the Cardinals. Cant beat pittsburgh, deJung is hitting .200, goldschmidt is meh and theyre old

    Reds need to separate from the cards and do damage against the cubs/ brewers to narrow the NL central to 3 teams after the All star break.

  6. Dennis Westrick

    Reds facing TBA pitcher tomorrow! Maybe this team can get more than 2 hits?

    • JB

      It was announced during the game it will be Howard and his 5.59 era. Will the Reds get more than 4 hits against this cy young candidate?

  7. Jim Walker

    So the last 2 position players on the roster who many if not most of us here, including me, think shouldn’t be on the roster saved the Reds from being no hit.

    My take on the loud Votto and Stephson outs in the 7th and 8th was that for years Drew Stubbs and Billy Hamilton demonstrated to us that with a good fly chaser in the OF, GABP has no fly ball gaps. You have to split the gaps or hit the wall with lower line drives or hit the ball over the wall.

    • Jim Walker

      Or maybe those loud outs were the 8th and 9th? It has been a happy but busy weekend here away from baseball.

    • JB

      I’ll take Naquins decent defense and way better offense than the cant get on base Hamilton.

  8. Indy Red Man

    6 out now at 38-38. Milwaukee made a key trade to get Adames who’s already hit 2 gamewinning hrs in the 9th vs the Rockies. Meanwhile the Reds are halfway thru the season and they can’t even pull off a minor deal to get a decent reliever or a stopgap SS. Don’t get wrong this is an interesting Reds team and I love our young core, but ownership thought this team was legit then they would’ve done something by now. They have enough depth in the system to make a few trades.

    I do think that big Bob owns/thinks like a fan so I believe they’ll keep Nick for the season. He could win a batting title and they can play that up plus I think they spiral down fast without him. He’s their emotional leader!

    I still the Cubs are in selloff mode and won’t last, but Milwaukee holds most of the cards imo. I give the Reds less then a 10% chance. We’re almost forced to take atleast 5 of the 7 coming up vs Milw to even have a chance to get close. They’re on pace for 93 wins and I can’t see the Reds winning more then 85-86. They’ll have to get hammered by the injury bug.

  9. John C.

    We could be a bad week away from the beginning of the fire sale.

    My biggest concern is Nick getting hurt and we not only don’t get to use him the rest of the year but just get the comp pick. Ugh.

    • Bet on Red

      Lopez called up 40 and 25 man spots required. Ill sacrifice heiniman for it

  10. RedsGettingBetter

    Castellanos was 0 for 4 and 3 Ks , I think this was the worst hitting game of him in this season plus Winker did not start so it is a high cost to pay don’t counting on the two NL better hitters and have Farmer , Heineman and the pitcher in the three last spots of the line-up adding low avg from Suarez and Aquino ( 5th and 6th spots) but with some pop.. What did we could expect? Just homers to score runs however there were none..

  11. greenmtred

    I don’t mean to imply that we don’t know much more about the game and the players than Reds’ management, but it’s worth noting that, in the not-too-distant past, many of us were calling for Antone and Sims to be used much more, for Garrett to be dfa’d and for Castillo to be be sent to AAA.

    • RojoB

      And to that effect, what you’re saying is that Akiyama and Naquin are about to go on the IL, or that one of them is about to start hitting like Ted Williams (provided they can oust Heineman from his starting role against LHP).

  12. Scott Cleaves

    1) With six outfielders available, what are the Reds waiting on for a trade for relief pitchers? 2) I see that Farmer’s average is problematic, but Suarez’s is worse. Sure, he can hit dingers, but too often it seems when just a hit would do, he goes up and whiffs. And together, it’s not nearly enough for a left-side duo. What’s the Moose’s average? 3) I agree with everything I’ve read about the overuse of analysis in the comments above. Just send up the best available hitter, please.