For the last three years, we’ve all been dreaming on the potential of the young crop of Cincinnati Reds prospects. Aside from Joey Votto, that has largely occupied the bulk of our collective imagination, as the team continued to compile talented youngsters while taking loss after loss on the chin.
Tyler Mahle has absolutely been one of those, especially after a masterful 2017 season that saw him throw a perfect game in AA, post a microscopic 0.96 in 144.1 MiLB innings between AA-AAA, crack Top 100 overall prospect lists, and make his big league debut. On Monday in his 2018 debut for the Reds, he showed exactly why everyone should be so high on his potential.
The 23 year old righty completely dismantled the Chicago Cubs in the series opener, with a Javier Baez triple the lone real blemish on his scorecard. On a day when offense came at a premium, the combination of Jared Hughes, Wandy Peralta, and Raisel Iglesias helped back him, and the lone run the Reds scored managed to hold up for the team’s first victory of the season.
The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
Mahle showed the combination of speed-mixing and pitch location that made us dumbly predict before the season that he’d win the NL Rookie of the Year Award. He needed just 86 pitches to complete his 6 IP, allowing that lone hit, striking out 7, and allowing only a pair of walks on the day.
That’s the kind of outing that would’ve had a ten-foot smile across Nuxy’s face. Congrats, Tyler, on having the best day by a pitcher named Tyler.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Eugenio Suarez, who tripled, walked, and scored; Tucker Barnhart, who singled twice, doubled, and threw out a Kyle Schwarber trying to steal 2B (by a country mile); Jesse Winker, who walked twice from the leadoff spot; and Raisel Iglesias, who locked down a 4-out save.
- The Reds took their first lead of any game this season in the Bottom of the 4th, as Suarez’s leadoff triple put him in position to score a batter later on Adam Duvall’s productive groundout. Reds led, 1-0.
- That, folks, was all the scoring. Reds eeked out the victory, 1-0!
- Scott Schebler was originally slated to start this one, but he was a late scratch thanks to a sore elbow. He was plunked on the funny bone yesterday, which is the onus of the issue, and it’s not expected to keep him out much longer - if at all.
- The Reds will wrap their quick two-game series against the Cubs on Tuesday, and they’ll do so by finally playing a night game. Cody Reed will take the mound opposite Jon Lester in a battle of lefties, with first pitch scheduled for 6:40 PM ET.