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Reds fall 5-2 to Pirates in Tyler Mahle’s debut

The much-awaited debut for the rookie ends in a loss, but there was still plenty to be excited about.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

The debut of Tyler Mahle has been an anticipation among Reds fans for most of 2017. While it came earlier than most of us expected, it also isn’t exactly a shock considering he has dominated at Pensacola and Louisville to the tune of a 2.06 ERA across the two levels. Mahle made his first start of his hopefully long career with the Reds against Pittsburgh today and, for the most part, was solid. After cruising through the first three innings, he became a little wild and ran into some trouble but was solid overall. He finished having pitched 5 innings, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits with 4 walks and 5 strikeouts. He also recorded his first career hit, to boot. Have a trophy, Tyler, and here’s to many more in your career.

Honorable mentions are due to: Joey Votto, who did his best Joey Votto impression by reaching base all 5 times he came to the plate by walking 5 times; Zack Cozart, for going 2 for 5 and scoring a run; Scooter Gennett, for going 1 for 4 with a double and driving in a run; and Devin Shackelford, Drew Storen, and Michael Lorenzen, for keeping the Reds in the game by each firing a scoreless inning of relief.

Key Plays

  • The Reds struck first in the bottom of the second inning. Scooter Gennett led off with a double and then moved to third on an errant throw on a pick-off attempt. After Jose Peraza walked, Scott Schebler lifted a fly ball to center to bring in Gennett. Reds lead, 1-0.
  • Tyler Mahle cruised through the Pirates’ order the first time through but ran into some trouble in the top of the 4th inning. He walked Josh Bell with 1 out and then hit Josh Harrison to put runners on first and second. That brought up John Jaso, who doubled to right to bring in Bell and Harrison. Pirates lead, 2-1.
  • Pittsburgh added another in the top of the 5th. Starling Marte singled to lead off the inning and then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Max Moroff. That brought up Andrew McCutchen, who slapped a single into center to score Marte. Pirates lead, 3-1.
  • The Reds were able to get one back in the bottom of the 5th. Zack Cozart led off with a single and then Joey Votto worked a walk after an 11-pitch at-bat. The runners would move to 2nd and 3rd after Adam Duvall struck out on a wild pitch. That brought up Scooter Gennett, who grounded out to 2nd and brought in Cozart. A Jose Peraza fly-out ended the inning. Pirates lead, 3-2.
  • The Pirates got some insurance in the top of the 9th. Elias Diaz led off with a single then moved to third on a double by David Freese. That brought up Starling Marte, who singled to left to drive in both runners to give the Pirates a 5-2 lead.
  • The Reds threatened in the bottom of the 9th, loading the bases with 2 outs, but an Adam Duvall groundout brought the potential rally to an end. Reds lose, 5-2.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Tyler Mahle’s 4 walks today was a season high for him. Considering the control issues our rookie pitchers have had this season, the fact that this is a high for him in 2017 is a welcome sight for the pitching staff
  • This is absolutely ridiculous:
  • The Reds are off tomorrow before welcoming the Mets to town for a 3-game series.
  • Reds’ first-round pick Hunter Greene makes his pitching debut tonight in Billings at 6:00 PM ET. You can listen live here, if you’re into that sort of thing.
  • Tunes.