Tyler Mahle continued his road brilliance on Thursday, and it helped the Cincinnati Reds eek out a win in a lost series in Pittsburgh. There are certainly many, many ‘grand scheme’ issues that are in play here at the moment, but this is a game recap only, so I suppose we’ll focus on a positive while it’s in front of us.
Folks, the offense continued to look puny, with a lone run on the day being the sole output on a day when the Pirates started a guy who was in Indy Ball earlier in the year and was DFA’d by the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this month to start. For the record, he wasn’t even who the run was charged to, either. The heart of the order struggled tremendously - Nick Castellanos and Mike Moustakas combined to go 0 for 8 - and only an Asdrubal Cabrera sac-fly on the heels of a Shogo Akiyama bunt helped them get their run.
Joey Votto doubled off a lefty and walked on the day. Joey Votto always gets a mention from me. Mychal Givens, Michael Lorenzen, and Michael Lucas Sims did noble work from the bullpen, too, as each put up a zero.
Focusing on the lone positive in front of us was easy for a sentence and a half, I suppose, but that ends when I do that thing where I talk about the next game for the Reds, as that’s a home slate against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Friday’s contest will feature NL Cy Young Award candidate (and Lexington, KY native) Walker Buehler on the mound, while Saturday will feature NL Cy Young Award candidate Max Scherzer. Sunday, the Reds will get 3-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw - a LHP, of course. All that on the heels of having lost 7 consecutive series.
The St. Louis Cardinals, occupiers of the 2nd NL Wild Card spot at the moment, are idle tonight, and on Friday they begin a 3-game slate against fellow Wild Card contender San Diego in series that will be fascinating to watch (if, and only if, the Reds actually win a game over the weekend to keep themselves at all relevant).
These are the best of times, these are the worst of times.