by Matt Wilkes

Reds meager offense no match for Jacob deGrom

Reigning NL Cy Young winner (and possible 2019 winner) Jacob deGrom outdueled Luis Castillo, and Pete Alonso out-homered Eugenio Suarez as the Reds fell 8-1 to the Mets on Friday night.

Castillo pitched well enough to win, throwing seven innings of three-run, three-hit baseball. He threw his fastest fastball (99.7 mph) and averaged his highest velocity on the heater in a game (97.7) since July 2017. He also induced 23 whiffs on 103 pitches (22.3 SwStr%), including 10 on the changeup (34.5%) and nine on the slider (45.0%, a career high). However, the home run ball got the best of him as each Mets run scored via the long ball.

The first, a Jeff McNeil homer in the sixth inning, broke a scoreless tie. It was a cheap GABP special, leaving the bat at only 93.9 mph and traveling just 344 feet (.030 xBA). Only 144 of 6,401 homers this season were hit at or below that velocity, and only 89 went 344 feet or less. Amed Rosario’s home run in the seventh inning was well-deserved, a hanging slider deposited to center field at 102.4 mph.

The game got away from the Reds after they turned to the bullpen, as a 3-0 deficit turned to an 8-0 one after subpar performances by Sal Romano (2 ER, 3 H, BB, HR) and Keury Mella (3 ER, 4 H, 2 BB). In Mella’s defense, however, it was the first time he appeared in a game since August 29 with Triple-A Louisville.

Offensively, there was little to talk about for the Reds. They managed seven hits, an Aristides Aquino solo home run in the ninth inning being the only extra-base hit. deGrom had his way against a Cincinnati offense that desperately needs upgrades, throwing seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts. The Reds had only three hard hits (95+ mph off the bat) the entire game, and every hitter in the starting lineup aside from Tucker Barnhart struck out at least once.

In the battle for MLB home run champion, Pete Alonso got the best of Eugenio Suarez. Alonso hit his 50th home run of the season against Romano in the eighth inning, pulling two dingers ahead of Suarez, who went 1-for-4 with a single.

Reds Most Valuable Players

  • Jose Peraza: .028 WPA (Win Probability Added)
    • Note: Peraza was the only Red with a positive WPA.

Reds Least Valuable Players

  • Josh VanMeter: -.096 WPA
  • Jose Iglesias: -.077 WPA
  • Joey Votto: -.075 WPA
  • Phil Ervin: -.075 WPA

Play of the Game

  • Jose Peraza: .040 WPA | Single in 3rd inning

Hardest-Hit Balls

  • Eugenio Suarez: 107.8 mph groundout in 4th inning
  • Aristides Aquino: 105.9 mph home run in 9th inning
  • Joey Votto: 98.3 mph groundout in 6th inning

Unluckiest Out of the Day

  • Eugenio Suarez: .550 xBA, 107.8 mph, 2° LA; Groundout in 4th inning

Highest Pitch Velocities by Pitcher

  • Luis Castillo: 99.7 mph two-seam fastball
  • Keury Mella: 97.1 mph four-seam fastball
  • Sal Romano: 96.7 mph two-seam fastball

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.