by Matt Korte

RC+ Recap: Reds offense sputters in Tejay Antone’s starting debut

Cleveland took their second of three matchups with the Reds this Wednesday night in a low scoring affair, winning 2-0 at Progressive Field. Both teams saw their starters pitch well and their offenses struggle. Tejay Antone only allowed six base runners in his first start for Cincinnati, while Mike Clevinger pitched his way out of several jams for 5.2 scoreless innings. Michael Lorenzen’s struggles continued in his fifth appearance of the year as he failed to contain the Indians in the fifth inning. Cincinnati’s offense was uninspiring throughout, only threatening the Indians early in the game.

Tejay Antone gave the Reds 4.1 innings of work in his starting debut. His outing was highlighted in the second inning when he struck out three, utilizing his slider well to both get ahead in counts and sit down batters. Antone loaded the bases in the third inning thanks to a pair of walks and a bloop single, but kept the shutout forcing Francisco Lindor to ground into a double play. Antone kept the Indians at bay, but struggled with control as the game went along, finishing with four walks and allowing one earned run.

Mike Clevinger worked his way out of a jam in the second inning in large part to when Nick Senzel fell trying to decide between advancing to second base or retreating back to first on a ball in the dirt. The Reds put pressure on Clevinger again in the third with a Freddy Galvis walk followed up by a Shogo Akiyama double, but the Indians starter got two outs to shut down the threat. Clevinger kept Cincinnati quiet for most of the night, and was eventually pulled in the sixth inning after allowing three straight walks.

Michael Lorenzen came in to relieve Antone in the fifth inning and started off with a four pitch walk to Oscar Mercado. Cesar Hernandez followed that up with an RBI single to draw first blood. Jose Ramirez then hit what looked like an inning ending double play, but Josh VanMeter chose not to turn it which allowed the speedy Mercado to increase the lead scoring from second base.

Outside of Lorenzen, the rest of the Reds bullpen pitched three innings of scoreless baseball. Lucas Sims made quick work of the sixth inning, retiring all three of the batters he faced including a strikeout against Bradley Zimmer with an inside curveball that twisted up the left handed batter. Amir Garrett had an effective seventh inning against the top of Cleveland’s order, allowing one baserunner and striking out one batter. Brooks Raley came in with a tall task against the meat of the Indians lineup, but logged a three up, three down inning for the Reds.

Nick Castellanos extended his hit streak to 12 games with a single poked the other way in the 8th inning. It was for naught as Joey Votto grounded into double play to close out the inning.

Most Valuable Player

  • Tejay Antone: 0.21 Win Probability Added (WPA)

Play of the Game

  • Tejay Antone: .157 WPA | Francisco Lindor double play in 3rd inning

Hardest-Hit Balls

  • Shogo Akiyama: 101.6 mph | Double in 3rd inning
  • Freddy Galvis: 100.6 | Flyout in 7th inning
  • Joey Votto: 97.5 mph | Flyout in 6th inning
  • Shogo Akiyama 97.3 mph | Groundout in 1st inning

Highest Velocities by Pitcher

  • Michael Lorenzen: 97.2 mph
  • Tejay Antone: 97.0 mph
  • Lucas Sims: 95.4 mph
  • Amir Garrett: 94.7 mph
  • Brooks Raley: 89.9 mph

Unluckiest Out of the Day

  • Freddy Galvis: 69.0 hit probability | Fly out in 7th inning

What’s Next?

The final game of the Ohio Cup will take place Thursday night at 6:10 pm in Cleveland. Luis Castillo will get his third start of the season against veteran Carlos Carrasco (2019 stats shown below).

Castillo is coming off of two starts against the Detroit Tigers where he had mixed results. Castillo logged 11 strikeouts and allowed just one run in his first appearance, but struggled in his second showing with 5 earned runs. Facing Castillo will be Carlos Carrasco who is back as a starter in 2020 after being diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia last May. After a three month fight with the disease, Carrasco came back as a reliever for the Tribe in September, but will be starting his third game for Cleveland Thursday. Carrasco will limit baserunners with a low walk rate, but is susceptible to hard contact.

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Matt Korte is a lifelong Reds fan despite living most of his life in Michigan. The first five years of his life were spent in Cincinnati, but Matt became a lifetime fan when revisiting Cincinnati and watching Brandon Phillips hit a grand slam to defeat a Barry Bonds led Giants team in 2007 with his father. He hopes to one day see a Cincinnati sports team advance in the playoffs for the first time in his lifespan. A recent BS and MBA graduate, Matt currently works at Concordia University Ann Arbor as the Assistant Sports Information Director. When not working, you can find him consuming as much Reds, Bengals, fantasy sports, Star Wars, and Survivor content as possible. You can catch Matt on Twitter at @MKorte7815 where he can be found discussing all of the above.