If the pitching injury news and struggles of late by some young guys had you frustrated and down, may I present to you: Tyler Mahle.
As Wick stated yesterday, you never want to put too much importance on these games. Most of the time, especially with pitchers, they spend the Spring trying out new things and generally just getting stretched out in time for the regular season.
But for Mahle, this Spring Training is important. Due to his relative experience, he’s was somewhat of a dark horse to make the rotation out of the gate. With only 70 or so innings pitched above AA, it seemed like Mahle was destined to marinate some more at Louisville before making another appearance in the Major Leagues, unless he happened to kick down the door in Goodyear.
And man, with another couple of performances like today, he might be looking to do just that.
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Tyler Mahle, of course, takes home the trophy today for his 5 full innings pitched with only 2 hits allowed. He struck out no one, but also walked no one, and induced eight outs from ground outs, and generally just made short work of the Indians lineup all day. The Reds needed a start like this from one of their promising pitchers, and they got just that today.
Honorable mention to Scott Schebler, who continued to tattoo the baseball today. With two more hits in three tries today, Schebler is batting .500 on the spring. He also scored 2 runs and drove in 3. Joey Votto got a little more in the groove, too, gathering two hits himself, along with 2 runs scored and an RBI. Billy Hamilton hit and walked, which is notable.
Zach Weiss allowed only a hit in his inning of work in relief, to keep his spring ERA to 0.00.
- After a 2 out single by Joey Votto, Scott Schebler smacked a line drive double to center field that advanced Votto to 3B. However, a throwing error by Francisco Lindor allowed Votto to come on home. Reds up 1-0.
- The Redlegs played add-on big time in the 3rd. Cliff Pennington and Billy Hamilton led of the inning with singles, before Eugenio Suarez reached on a fielders choice to load the bags. Votto then singled to left to score Pennington. Schebler stepped up to the plate, flexed, and bonked another double, this time a liner to RF, to clear the bases. Not to be outdone by his OF mate, Adam Duvall hit a double of his own to RF to score Schebler. Reds tack on 5 to increase the lead, 6-0.
- Devin Mesoraco led off the 6th with a walk before a Brandon Dixon fly out. Pennington and Hamilton would follow up with a couple of 1-out walks before Suarez hit a sac fly to score Mes. Reds, 7-0 in the middle of the 6th.
- Austin Brice replaced Tyler Mahle and it didn’t go so well. Rob Refsnyder led off the bottom of the inning with a double before Lindor donked a dinger to RF. Jason Kipnis singled before Brice struck out Jose Ramirez. Edwin Encarnacion then singled. Yonder Alonso flew out for the second out of the inning before Eric Haase walked. With Greg Allen batting, Brice uncorked a wild one that scored PR Eric Stamets. Allen lined out to end the run, but the Indians get on the board, 7-3.
- The substitutions came in force in the 7th, which saw Mason Williams and Ben Revere fly out. Dilson Herrera, however, tripled, bad shoulder and all. Tony Cruz walked before Alex Blandino singled to score Herrera. Reds, 8-3.
- In the 8th, Patrick Kivlehan demolished a 2 run dinger to get the Reds to double digits. 10-3.
- Oliver Perez struggled again for the Reds in the bottom of the frame. Gio Urshela singled before a Yandy Diaz walk. Mike Napoli grounded into a force out at third, but Haase ripped a line drive to left-center that got behind every Red, resulting in an inside the park HR for Haase (the second 3-run inside the parker allowed by the Reds this Spring, btw). Reds still led after 8 full, 10-6.
- And that would be that. Wandy Peralta allowed a few runners in the bottom of the 9th, but allowed nothing, and this one, well, it belongs to the Reds.
- Presented without comment: Hunter Greene.
- I mean: Hunter freakin’ Greene, y’all.
- Mahle was the first pitcher to go 5 innings this ST, which is pretty cool, all things considered. He also retired his last 10 in a row.
- Scooter Gennett was scratched from this game with a sore shoulder. Hopefully that won’t be something that lingers and Scooter will be healthy and ready to go soon.
- Speaking of injuries, Brandon Finnegan threw catch today and reported minimal soreness, which is a very good sign. I have a really hard time believing he’s going to be ready for Opening Day, but as we’ve mentioned several times, the Reds don’t need a 5th pitcher for a week or so, so MAYBE...
- Michael Lorenzen will have another audition as a starting pitcher tomorrow in Goodyear when the Reds take on the Brewers. Game time is 4:05 PM EDT and he’ll be opposite of Wade Miley.
- This weekend, the Reds will turn to Cody Reed (Saturday) and Amir Garrett (Sunday). Each of them will be making their first official starts of the season.