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Brilliant Tyler Mahle propels Cincinnati Reds to 5-3 win over Diamondbacks

A scintillating outing from their talented righty.

Cincinnati Reds v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Bill James, who is something of an ass these days after years spent developing the idea of sabermetrics, once created the idea of game score to begin to quantify how good certain pitchers were in their respective outings. Of the idea, he once described it as “a kind of garbage stat that I present not because it helps us understand anything in particular but because it is fun to play around with,” and after Tyler Mahle posted a 93 in his outing on Monday evening against Arizona, it’s once again a fun stat to play around with around here.

You can read through the definition at the link above, but the gist is that it should come as zero surprise that if a pitcher fires 9 innings of scoreless, 12 K, zero walk ball, it’s going to end up scored very, very well. Since that’s exactly what Tyler Mahle did in his outing last night, it should therefore also be zero surprise that it ranked as the single best game score in the league on the night:

As Mahle, the Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game, sliced his way through the Arizona Diamondbacks once, twice, thrice on Tuesday, the Cincinnati offense still managed to lag, too. Even the return of Jonathan India, who was back in his customary leadoff spot after over a month on the sideline, couldn’t propel them to a run in any of the first 9 innings of the game.

It wasn’t until the stupid ghost-runner entered play in the Top of the 10th that the Reds finally managed to push some runs across the plate, but that, unfortunately, also coincided with the precise time the team’s bullpen took the mound, too. To that bullpen’s credit, I suppose, it was actually a bit of defensive lapsing that aided their letdown, though Luis Cessa’s own error contributed to his lackluster inning (despite the fact that he ends up with the ‘win’ on the night).

What resulted was a see-saw series of extras that ultimately saw each team rev up the run scoring, with a 2-run Top of the 12th by the Reds (and Joel Kuhnel slamming the door in the Bottom half) enough to give the Reds their third consecutive victory.

The offense, while lacking in the final bite, did pound out 13 hits on the night. Kyle Farmer had 3 of them (and a pair of extra-inning ribbies), while each of Tommy Pham, Mike Moustakas, and Albert Almora, Jr. had a pair - with the latter poking a big triple in extras to help fuel the win.

Tony Graphanino (link)

Other Notes

  • Jonny India was hit by a pair of pitches on the night, which is apparently just how his entire baseball existence is going to be when he’s in the lineup. O-B-P!! O-B-P!!
  • Mahle lowered his season FIP to 3.30 with that mastery, and that’s now far and away the lowest of his career. Methinks the ERA - now down to 4.46 - will follow in short order.
  • Wednesday’s game will feature not Mike Minor on the mound for the Reds, so you should probably tune in. In fact, it’ll be Luis Castillo on the bump, so you should definitely tune in! It’s an early one, finally, with first pitch set for 3:40 PM ET.