The Cincinnati Reds were on their way to playing in their 19th 1-run game of the season tonight. Heading into the top of the 9th, they trailed the New York Yankees 3-2 and had knocked on the door a couple of times already. But, when you’re going deep into an injury-depleted bullpen, runs tend to get scored. And runs got scored. Silvino Brancho was called on to pitch the 9th, which was a decision that was made, and had a chance to get out of the inning. With 2 outs and an 0-2 count on Oswaldo Cabrera, Brancho lost his command and walked him. A couple of hits later and that 3-2 deficit was a 6-2 deficit and that was all she wrote for the Reds.
These things tend to happen when you have a pitching staff constructed in a way that the Reds have right now. When you add injuries to the equation, well you get implosions like tonight’s. You can’t put this all on the pitching staff, however, as there were some solid performances tonight that kept the Reds in the game for the first 8 innings.
Ben Lively continued his solid run in his return to the big leagues. He made his first start of the season and kept the Yankees at bay. After giving up a solo home run to Aaron Judge in the top of the 1st he settled down and, after giving up a single to Anthony Rizzo, retired 16 straight Yankees. A walk to Aaron Judge in the top of the 6th ended his evening and the Reds opted for Ian Gibaut who promptly gave up a 2-run dinger to Anthony Rizzo.
The scoreless innings until the 6th weren’t without their interesting moments, though. Going into the bottom of the 5th, Yankees’ starter Clarke Schmidt was asked to wash what was assumed to be a foreign substance off his hands after his routine hand check. Bell, obviously frustrated with how this was handled, came out for some clarification and was ejected shortly thereafter. This came just a few days after another Yankee, Domingo German, was ejected and suspended for a foreign substance violation. Here is what the rulebook says on the situation:
Per MLB, here's a rule during foreign substance (sticky stuff) checks.— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) May 19, 2023
"Any pitcher who possesses or applies foreign substances will be subject to immediate ejection from the game and suspended automatically in accordance with the rules."
This also isn’t the first time a pitcher has been asked to wash a substance off, as we all remember Max Scherzer was ejected back in April after being asked to wash his hands and use a new glove. It seems like there needs to be a little more clarification on these rules.
% of Clarke Schmidt curves and sweepers— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) May 19, 2023
spinning at 3,000 RPMs or faster:
May 3 - 10%
May 9 - 20%
May 14 - 48%
Tonight - 69%
Interesting. Anyway. The Reds, to their credit, fought back as they have done multiple times this season. Jonathan India got things started with a single to center and then moved to third on a double by Matt McLain. That brought up Jake Fraley, who once again raked, and brought in both runners with a double to center. Unfortunately the Reds couldn’t capitalize anymore than that, and couldn’t get anything else going the rest of the evening, giving the Yankees a 6-2 win.
Luke Weaver gets the start tomorrow in game 2 while the Yankees have not decided on a starter for the match-up yet. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM EDT. Go Reds.