Different day, same story.
Once again, the Reds offense did absolutely nothing at the plate, managing only three hits as they dropped their third straight game to the Indians in blowout fashion, 13-0.
In at least one encouraging sign, Jesse Winker had two hits, legging out a double to lead off the second inning and singling in the ninth inning. Shogo Akiyama singled in the eighth inning, which had to be relieving for him after he was previously 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. Joey Votto walked twice and made a tough out on a 105.1 mph line drive, his hardest-hit ball of the year.
Aside from that, it was another weak showing for the Reds, who have now gone 23 straight innings without scoring a run.
To be fair, the Reds had another tough starting pitcher to face in Carlos Carrasco, who was on top of his game. The right-hander got 16 whiffs on 42 swings, good for a rate of 38%. His slider was particularly lethal, generating eight whiffs and going for strike three on five of his eight strikeouts.
But make no bones about it: the Reds offense was again abysmal, with only six hard-hit balls (95+ mph exit velocity) and none after the fifth inning. Cincinnati has had some degree of bad luck this season (.228 BABIP coming into tonight), but it’s going to be hard to win if Akiyama, Eugenio Suarez, and Co. continue to struggle and Mike Moustakas remains out of the lineup.
Frustration boiled over in the sixth inning before the game got out of hand. Votto and Suarez walked with two outs, bringing the tying run in Winker to the plate. Home plate umpire Jerry Meals called two strikes that were well below the zone. Strike three was particularly egregious:
Manager David Bell was ejected for arguing the call. Of note, Meals was among the 20 worst umpires at calling balls and strikes in 2019.
On the mound, Luis Castillo showed flashes of brilliance (9 strikeouts, 16 whiffs in 5 innings) but again ran out of gas the third time through the opposing lineup. He allowed three runs on four hits and four walks.
Following a solo home run to the second batter of the game, Jose Ramirez, Castillo settled down and allowed only two walks and a weak single through the fourth inning. He retired the first two batters of the fifth and looked poised to make it to the sixth when he got ahead of leadoff hitter Cesar Hernandez 0-2. Instead, Castillo walked Hernandez and followed that up by allowing a triple to Ramirez and an RBI single to Francisco Lindor.
Jose De Leon, who was called up earlier in the day, made his Reds debut in the sixth inning. His first frame went well, as he retired the side in order, including two strikeouts. The wheels fell off and exploded in his second inning of work as he lost all command of his fastball. De Leon gave up four hits and four walks, allowing eight runs to score in the inning. Cody Reed came on in relief but provided none, giving up a bases-clearing triple and a two-run homer to Ramirez.
With the game out of hand, infielder Matt Davidson — who at one point in his career tried to become a two-way player — pitched the eighth inning. Mercifully, he threw a clean inning, allowing only a single. He also dropped in a nice curveball to strike out Mike Freeman.
Nice curve by infielder Matt Davidson. pic.twitter.com/IIJTGXMOTb
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 7, 2020
Sadly, that was the highlight of the game.
Most Valuable Player
- Joey Votto: .008 WPA (Win Probability Added)
Play of the Game
- Jesse Winker: .059 WPA | Double in 2nd inning
- Joey Votto: 105.1 mph | Lineout in 4th inning
- Jesse Winker: 104.1 mph | Double in 2nd inning
- Nick Castellanos: 99.7 mph | Lineout in 1st inning
Highest Velocities By Pitcher
- Luis Castillo: 98.5 mph
- Jose De Leon: 96.2 mph
- Cody Reed: 94.9 mph
- Matt Davidson: 85.6 mph
Unluckiest Out of the Day
- Joey Votto: 72% hit probability | Lineout in 4th inning
The road trip continues as the Reds lick their wounds and head north to Milwaukee for a three-game weekend series. First pitch of Friday’s game is set for 8:10 p.m. EST. Here’s the pitching matchup:
Trevor Bauer is coming off his best start as a Red, throwing a complete game (seven inning) shutout in a 4-0 win over the Tigers on Sunday. Lauer, an offseason trade acquisition for the Brewers, will make his first start of the year. The southpaw was supposed to start the season in the rotation but ended up on the injured list with a left shoulder impingement. He returned on July 26 and threw 2.2 shutout innings in relief, striking out six.