A slow start to the day seemed to turn around when the Cincinnati Reds put up a 4-spot in the 6th inning that was capped off by a long home run by Tyler Naquin that tied the game up. But then a day that began with a public relations nightmare by Phil Castellini ended as the bullpen imploded on itself in the 9th, giving up two home runs and six runs total and the answer to Phil’s question of “where you gonna go?” was to the exits before the game was even over.
|Cleveland Guardians (3-2)||10||10||0|
|Cincinnati Reds (2-3)||5||5||1|
|W: Stephan (1-0) L: Strickland (0-1)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Shane Bieber kept the Reds hitless through 5.1 innings, but in the 6th inning the Reds started to get things going. Bieber hit Kyle Farmer with one out before serving up back-to-back doubles to Jake Fraley and Jonathan India, with the latter bringing in two runs to cut the Cleveland lead in half. A few pitches later Tyler Naquin hit a game-tying 2-run homer off of the batters eye on a 98 MPH fastball from a fellow lefty. Statcast claimed it at 428 feet, but I’d be a liar if I said I believed that. It went to the moon.
After tying up the game in the 6th, the Reds offense went in order in the 7th inning. Kyle Farmer led off the 8th inning with a single, but he was doubled up on a fly ball by Jake Fraley when he attempted to steal the bag and didn’t pick up the fly out until it was too late and the throw back to first base beat him by five feet.
Cleveland went off in the top of the 9th inning, scoring six runs to grab a 10-4 lead. Tyler Naquin wasn’t willing to call it a day just yet and doubled to lead off the inning. He moved to third and then scored on two different wild pitches to make it 10-5. But that was all she wrote for the Reds on the day as Aristides Aquino struck out, Joey Votto grounded out, and Tyler Stephenson grounded out to end the game.
Tyler Mahle was cruising along until the top of the 3rd inning when the defense – some of it self inflicted – led to some problems. Mahle was charged with an error and then walked Myles Straw after striking out Austin Hedges. Steven Kwan followed up with a sacrifice fly to put Cleveland up 1-0. It was the next play that may have long-last problems for Cincinnati. Jose Ramirez hit a blooper into shallow left-center field and it turned into a 2-run triple as Tommy Pham and Nick Senzel collided.
Both players remained in the game after the trainer checked on them, but Pham would exit the game after his next at-bat and was clearly feeling something in his wrist while in the dugout as he headed to the clubhouse.
In the 4th inning the Guardians picked up a double and a triple to pick up another run off of Mahle, but it was the first earned run he was charged with on the day. Still, that gave Cleveland a 4-0 lead at a point when the Reds hadn’t gotten a single hit on the day. The righty would be finished for the day after the 4th, giving up four hits and two walks while striking out four.
Jeff Hoffman took over for Cincinnati in the 5th and fired two shutout frames with a strikeout. Those innings turned out to be quite important as the Reds offense dropped a 4-run 6th inning to tie things up. David Bell turned to Art Warren for the top of the 7th and while he had to work around a 2-out walk, he held the game at 4-4 while picking up two strikeouts.
Tony Santillan came out for the top of the 8th inning and he made quick work of the Cleveland lineup, needing just 11 pitches to get through a 1-2-3 inning. A fly out by Jonathan India ended the inning quietly as the game moved to the 9th still tied up. Hunter Strickland took over for Santillan to begin the 9th inning and immediately put a runner in scoring position when Owen Miller took a dead-red fastball to right field. A ground out to second base moved the runner to third with one out, placing the go-ahead run just 90-feet away. That didn’t matter as Andres Gimenez hit a towering home run into the seats just beneath the power stacks in right-center to put the Guardians up 6-4. Strickland then hit a batter and gave up a double before Cincinnati went to the bullpen.
It didn’t get better from there as Daniel Duarte came on, walked Steven Kwan to load the bases and then gave up a grand slam to Jose Ramirez. Before you could blink a tie game turned into a 10-4 game.
The Key Moment of the Game
The Andres Gimenez 2-run go-ahead home run in the top of the 9th started it while the grand slam from Jose Ramirez ended it.
Notes Worth Noting
Tommy Pham exited the game shortly after a collision with Nick Senzel in the outfield. He had his wrist examined on the field, but remained in the game for the remainder of the defensive inning and took his at-bat the next inning.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cleveland Guardians vs. Cincinnati Reds
Wednesday April 13th at 12:35pm ET
Triston McKenzie vs Nick Lodolo