by Matt Wilkes

RC+ Recap: Reds 5, Cubs 2 – Trevor Bauer dazzles in first home start

Trevor Bauer was masterful in his home debut with the Reds, leading his new team to a 5-2 win over the division-leading Cubs. Featuring seven different pitches on the night, Bauer struck out 11 and allowed one run in seven innings. He generated 20 whiffs on the night, becoming the second Cincinnati pitcher to hit that mark this season. Luis Castillo has done it eight times.

On the offensive side, the Reds were powered by three home runs. Aristides Aquino, of course, hit another dinger to put the Reds in front for good in the second inning. No hitter who’s debuted with the Reds has more homers in their first nine career games.

Eugenio Suarez added a solo shot in the fourth, another mammoth blast (430 feet) that went into the upper deck in left field, and Joey Votto hit a vintage opposite-field shot (416 feet) in the sixth for insurance.

The win pulls the Reds back within seven games of the Cubs in the NL Central and four games back in the Wild Card.

Reds Most Valuable Players

  • Trevor Bauer: .282 WPA (Win Probability Added) | 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 11 K
  • Amir Garrett: .158 WPA | 1.0 IP, HBP, K (escaped bases-loaded jam in eighth inning)
  • Aristides Aquino: .133 WPA | 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI

Reds Least Valuable Players

  • Michael Lorenzen: -.149 WPA | 0.0 IP, H, 2 BB
  • Jesse Winker: -.051 WPA | 0-for-3, K
  • Tucker Barnhart: -.032 WPA | 0-for-3

Play of the Game

  • Aristides Aquino: .150 WPA | Two-run HR in 2nd inning

Hardest-Hit Balls

  • Eugenio Suarez: 105.8 mph home run in 4th inning
  • Joey Votto: 105.0 mph home run in 6th inning
  • Josh VanMeter: 99.6 mph double in 2nd inning
  • Aristides Aquino: 99.6 mph home run in 2nd inning

Luckiest Hit of the Day

  • Nick Senzel.170 xBA, 91.4 mph, -24° LA; Single

Unluckiest Out of the Day

  • Nick Senzel: .590 xBA, 92.8 mph, -2° LA; Groundout

Highest Pitch Velocities by Pitcher

  • Michael Lorenzen: 98.1 mph four-seam fastball
  • Raisel Iglesias: 97.8 mph four-seam fastball
  • Trevor Bauer: 96.0 mph four-seam fastball
  • Amir Garrett: 87.1 mph slider


Matt Wilkes got hooked on Reds baseball after attending his first game in Cinergy Field at 6 years old, and he hasn’t looked back. As a kid, he was often found imitating his favorite players — Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns — in the backyard. When he finally went inside, he was leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 or keeping stats for whatever game was on TV. He started writing about baseball in 2014 and has become fascinated by analytics and all the new data in the game. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in Columbus. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.


  • vegastypo

    I have no idea whether data support the notion of having a feared hitter batting behind you giving you better pitches to hit. But Joe Maddon commented in Chicago several days ago that Eugenio Suarez was “a pain in the butt” against the Cubs.

    I’d like to see the Reds put Suarez and Aquino back to back in the batting order. If it’s already hard enough to pitch to Suarez, I wonder what a pitcher would think if he’s seeing Aquino in the on-deck circle.

    • Steve Mancuso

      I haven’t read the research, but I’ve heard claims that protection is a myth. It’s hard to believe, though. I think Bell will bat Suarez and Aquino b-t-b when they face a LHP. He could put VanMeter in between those two vs. a RHP. Sure hope Aquino can keep up a semblance of his early days with the Reds.