by Matt Wilkes

RC+ Recap: Reds swept in first doubleheader vs. Cardinals

Welp. The Reds lost both games of Saturday’s doubleheader to the Cardinals in painful fashion. They have simply been brutal to watch against any team not named the Marlins of late.

Game 1

The doubleheader started on a promising note when Eugenio Suarez hit a two-run home run (105.2 mph, 423 feet) in the top of the first inning. It was his 39th of the season and 14th first-inning bomb, a Reds record.

Once again, Trevor Bauer couldn’t hold an early lead as speculation continues that he’s tipping his pitches. He was crushed for a second straight time, promptly allowing four runs in the bottom of the opening frame and six runs total in four innings. Bauer gave up 13 batted balls for an average exit velocity of 96.2 mph. For reference, Statcast considers 95.0 “hard” contact. League average is 88.2 mph. None of his pitches were working, but his fastballs were demolished.

R.J. Alaniz gave up two more runs in relief and got zero swings and misses on 38 pitches.

The Reds mounted a small comeback in the eighth inning by putting four runs on the board, highlighted by Tucker Barnhart’s three-run double, to pull within 8-6. But Lucas Sims promptly gave up two more runs in the bottom of the inning to put the game out of reach.

Reds Most Valuable Players

  • Eugenio Suarez: .190 WPA (Win Probability Added) | 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB, 2 R
  • Tucker Barnhart: .081 WPA | 2-for-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI
  • Jose Iglesias: .033 WPA | 1-for-1

Reds Least Valuable Players

  • Trevor Bauer: -.452 WPA | 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 5 K
  • Josh VanMeter: -.069 WPA | 0-for-5, 2 K
  • Derek Dietrich: -.050 WPA | 0-for-3, 2 K

Play of the Game

  • Eugenio Suarez: .179 WPA | Two-run home run in 1st inning; Reds lead 2-0

Hardest-Hit Balls

  • Eugenio Suarez: 105.2 mph home run in 1st inning
  • Josh VanMeter: 102.8 mph lineout in 5th inning
  • Joey Votto: 98.3 mph single in 1st inning

Luckiest Hit of the Day

  • Tucker Barnhart.310 xBA, 97.6 mph, 20° LA; Double

Unluckiest Out of the Day

  • Kyle Farmer: .660 xBA, 91.3 mph, 14° LA; Lineout

Highest Pitch Velocities by Pitcher

  • Joel Kuhnel: 97.0 mph four-seam fastball
  • Trevor Bauer: 96.5 mph four-seam fastball
  • Lucas Sims: 94.3 mph sinker
  • R.J. Alaniz: 94.0 mph two-seam fastball

Links

Game 2

Another first-inning lead, another eventual loss in game two.

Josh VanMeter led things off with a solo homer (104.4 mph, 411 feet) on the first pitch of the game. Joey Votto hit a bomb in the third inning (103.1 mph, 407 feet). Votto has been crushing the ball since returning from the injured list, which is fantastic to see. Check out his rolling exit velocity chart over the course of the season:

That was more than enough for Sonny Gray, who lowered his ERA to 2.80 — seventh best in baseball. The right-hander threw 6.2 innings and allowed only one unearned run, although it wasn’t his most dominant outing. Gray struck out four and got only 10 swinging strikes on 101 pitches. He also allowed 22 batted balls at an average of 90.2 mph. But he had the fortune of a .227 BABIP despite a 40.9% ground-ball rate.

Amir Garrett and Michael Lorenzen combined for 1.1 scoreless innings and three strikeouts in relief.

It all came crashing down for the struggling Raisel Iglesias in the ninth inning. With a 2-1 lead, he couldn’t record an out, allowing a single, hitting a batter, and giving up the game-tying single. Both hits Iglesias allowed were smoked (97.9 mph and 106.5 mph).

Iglesias hasn’t been as bad as it seems (4.30 FIP, 3.93 xFIP), but it’s probably time for others to get opportunities in crucial late-game situations. David Bell seems to agree. He pulled Iglesias for Kevin Gausman with runners on first and second. Gausman couldn’t record an out either, giving up the walk-off single to Matt Carpenter.

Reds Most Valuable Players

  • Sonny Gray: .215 WPA (Win Probability Added) | 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K
  • Joey Votto: .178 WPA | 2-for-4, HR
  • Michael Lorenzen: .135 WPA | 1.0 IP, 2 K

Reds Least Valuable Players

  • Raisel Iglesias: -.622 WPA | 0.0 IP, 2 H, HBP, 2 ER
  • Kevin Gausman: -.191 WPA | 0.0 IP, walk-off single
  • Jose Iglesias: -.133 WPA | 0-for-4, K

Play of the Game

  • Joey Votto: .113 WPA | Solo home run in 3rd inning; Reds lead 2-0

Hardest-Hit Balls

  • Josh VanMeter: 104.4 mph home run in 1st inning
  • Joey Votto: 103.1 mph home run in 3rd inning
  • Freddy Galvis: 101.9 mph flyout in 8th inning

Luckiest (?) Hit of the Day

  • Joey Votto.590 xBA, 99.2 mph, 7° LA; Single

Unluckiest Out of the Day

  • Freddy Galvis: .390 xBA, 101.9 mph, 37° LA; Flyout

Highest Pitch Velocities by Pitcher

  • Michael Lorenzen: 98.8 mph four-seam fastball
  • Raisel Iglesias: 95.1 mph four-seam fastball
  • Sonny Gray: 94.3 mph four-seam fastball
  • Kevin Gausman: 93.8 mph four-seam fastball
  • Amir Garrett: 88.6 mph slider

Links

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.