The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game
A surface look at Sunday’s outing from Tyler Mahle won’t exactly raise too many eyebrows. The young Cincinnati Reds righty was charged with 4 ER in 6 IP, and scattered 7 H in the process. That said, with just a little bit of help from his defense, that day could well have been much, much better - and it certainly finished in such a fashion.
Mahle fanned 9 and did not issue a single walk, and after the 4-run 3rd inning he slogged through he managed to retire each of the final 10 batters he faced. Overall, it was far from his best outing statistically, but he once again flashed the kind of potential that will make the decision to boot him from the Reds starting rotation when Alex Wood gets back healthy a very, very difficult one for David Bell and the Reds front office.
That said, Mahle will get tagged with the loss in this one either way, which is rather unfortunate given that the Reds were poised for one of those rare 4-game west coast sweeps entering the day.
Honorable Mentions are due to: Eugenio Suarez, who dingered; Kyle Farmer, who dingered, too; and Jose Iglesias, who continued his lefty-mashing ways with a 3-hit day (with a ribbie).
- Matt Kemp giveth! The Cincinnati LF poked a double down the LF line to begin the Top of the 2nd, moved to 3B on a productive groundout by Curt Casali, and scored on an infield single off the bat of Jose Iglesias. Reds led, 1-0.
- Austin Hedges is not Austin Barnes. Of that I am roughly 13% certain despite both being Austin-centric catchers for California baseball teams. Austin - the San Diego edition - belted a solo dinger off Tyler Mahle in the Bottom of the 3rd to immediately tie things up.
- Matt Kemp taketh away! Later in the Bottom of the 3rd, Mahle surrendered back to back 2-out singles to Manny Margot and Manny Machado, which was too manny singles if you ask me. Mahle then nearly got out of the inning when Wil Myers hit a towering fly ball to the wall in LF, but despite it hitting his glove, Kemp couldn’t make the catch, and a pair of runs scored and the inning stayed alive. Eric Hosmer then doubled to drive in Myers, and the Reds were down, 4-1.
- Farmer and Suarez both bonked solo shots off veteran reliever Craig Stammen in the Top of the 7th to inch the Reds within a run, but that was unfortunately as close as they got. Reds lost, 4-3.
- Mercifully, we learned that Nick Senzel is en route to Louisville to begin his AAA season after having been in Arizona rehabbing from his sprained ankle. He’ll make his season debut on Tuesday, and it remains to be see exactly how long the Reds will hold him down before finally cutting Matt Kemp and calling him up.
- Kemp, by the way, stayed in the game after his fumbled catch in LF despite being initially banged up after slamming into the wall on the play. He struck out in the Top of the 4th, but then exited in favor of Scott Schebler.
- In case you were wondering, the Reds collective OFs entered play today valued as the single worst OF unit in all MLB. That’s hardly surprising, I guess.
- Joey Votto sat out a second consecutive game today, though manager David Bell did mention that Votto was able to pinch-hit despite his sore back.
- The Reds will finally head home later today, and they’ll have a much needed off-day on Monday. On Tuesday, they’ll fire up the GABP power stacks as the Atlanta Braves come to town. First pitch Tuesday is set for 6:40 PM ET, and it’ll be Sonny Gray throwing it.