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Reds bullpen nails while Jesse Winker saves the day as Reds beat Mets in the ninth, 5-4

Tanner Roark struggled, but the bullpen nailed down the night while Jesse Winker played heroball.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at New York Mets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Hit a dong in the ninth inning for the go-ahead run: get yourself a trophy.

Jesse Winker’s ninth inning blast gave the Reds the win in this one. It was his 8th honked wanger of the year, half of which have tied the game or given the Reds the lead in the contest (h/t Sofa King Slyde). This wasn’t a cheap home run, either. On a cold day in Queens when the ball was just not carrying, Winker mashed this one 415 feet at a 105 MPH exit velocity. He got all of it, and he did it against one of baseball best relief pitchers in Edwin Diaz.

It was his only hit of the night (though he added a walk earlier in the game). His OBP (.316) is probably quite a bit lower than many would expect, including Winker himself. But the eight home runs is already a career high for Winker, and the calendar has yet to turn to May. For a guy who was supposedly only lacking game power... well, if the rest of Winker’s game come’s around as the season goes along, we’re about to witness something special.

Honorable mention to the Reds bullpen, specifically Michael Lorenzen, Amir Garrett, David Hernandez, and Raisel Iglesais, who combined for 5 IP, allowed only 2 hits, no earned, and seven strikeouts. (Wandy Peralta admittedly inherited an impossible situation, but also spiked several pitches in the dirt on a four pitch walk that scored a run. So, meh). Jose Peraza had a two hit night (a double and single) with an RBI (and smoked another that nearly made it by Todd Frazier at 3B that would’ve opened this game up late). Jose Iglesias doubled and singled, with an RBI and a run scored.

Key Plays

  • The Reds got on the board first in the beginning of the second inning. After walks to Yasiel Puig and Scott Schebler, Jose Iglesias battled Zack Wheeler and punched an 0-2 fastball just down the right field line for an RBI double. Tucker Barnhart then looped a single to right that scored Schebler. After a Tanner Roark strike out, Jose Peraza roped his own RBI double down the left field line to score Iglesias and send Barnhart into 3B. Joey Votto was then intentionally walked to load the bases before Eugenio Suarez smacked a ball that somehow died at the warning track for the second out of the inning, but scored Barnhart. Jesse Winker grounded out to Wheeler to end the frame, but in all, nine Reds batted good for four Cincinnati runs. Good guys up 4-0 after one and a half.
  • Brandon Nimmo (another once-rumored Cincinnati Red) doubled to begin the Mets second inning before a Todd Frazier (a once-Red) grounded out on a broken bat back up the middle. Wilson Ramos then doubled over the head of Puig in RF to score Nimmo. Ramos would score on the very next batter, as Amed Rosario singled to CF. That’s all the Mets would muster, though they cut the Reds lead in half, 4-2.
  • Walks haunted Tanner Roark in the fourth. After getting two quick outs, Roark walked Juan Lagares, and then allowed a single to Wheeler. Then, he walked Jeff McNeil to load the bases. With nowhere else to put runners, he also walked Peter Alonso on four pitches. That would be that for Tanner. He was replaced by Wandy Peralta. The walks haunted him, too, as he proceeded to walk Brandon Nimmo on four pitches. When it was all said and done, the Mets had tied the game after four full, 4 all.
  • In the top of the ninth with two outs, Jesse Winker hammered an Edwin Diaz offering into the seats in right-center field for the go ahead dong. Reds lead the Mets, 5-4.
  • Raisel Iglesias, in his second inning of work, nailed down the Reds win, 5-4.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • The Reds faced Zack Wheeler in this one, which isn’t really all that notable, except for how many trade rumors the Reds and Mets have been involved in surrounding the right-hander. This is only the third start he’s made against the Reds in his career, which spans back to 2013. Wheeler put up a nice year in 2018 and, as we saw in this ball game, can still pump it into the strike zone with some juice (he’s hit 100 mph on the season).
  • It only took 36 pitches from Zack Wheeler to get to the pitcher’s spot in the Reds order, and for Thom Brennaman to bemoan the “lost art of bunting.” So, if you had the “under” on two innings before Thom bitched about bunting technique, cash those tickets.
  • It was a forgettable outing for Tanner Roark tonight. 3.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, a hit batter. Was not a typical, “in command” type outing that we’d expect from Roark, and it’s even more frustrating as it comes on a rare night where the Reds bats actually gave him run support. Things will be better from Tanner, but this wasn’t a good night.
  • #CallHimUp
  • The Reds will send MLB’s ERA King to the mound tomorrow in Luis Castillo (among qualifying pitchers). He’ll face Jason Vargas, who is, uh, not leading baseball in ERA, with a 7.20 mark in 15 innings. First pitch scheduled for 7:10 EDT from the Big Apple.
  • Tunes.