In a matchup between potential NL Cy Young candidates, Yu Darvish outlasted Trevor Bauer as the Reds lose to the Cubs 3-0 in Game 1 of the day’s DH.
Bauer battled through 5.1 innings of work after struggling with command early on. He walked lead-off batter Kyle Schwarber who would go on to score off of a fielder’s choice in the 2nd inning. Bauer also fought off many long at-bats against the Cubs – one of which that was a 9-pitch at-bat against Anthony Rizzo that ended in a home run, the Cub’s 2nd run of the day. While most never have to worry about Bauer’s pitch count, he was at 69 pitches after 3 innings and 100 after 5. Bauer managed to give up 3 runs off of only 4 hits, but 2 of the hits were solo HRs from Anthony Rizzo.
Bauer finished the game at a line of 5.1 IP, 112 pitches, 3 ER, 4 H, 5 K, 2 BB. In no way was it a bad outing from Bauer, but by Bauer’s standards so far this season it was not nearly his best. He had season lows in innings pitched and strikeouts. Bauer has proven himself as a top pitcher in the Reds rotation and will look for a much needed bounce-back start in his next outing – Bauer went 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 8 K in his last start that ended in a loss to the Brewers.
Bauer continued to just barely oust Sonny Gray as the strikeout below was his 52nd of the season – passing Sonny Gray (51 Ks) for most strikeouts in the first 6 starts of the season for the Reds. Bauer finished with 5 strikeouts on the day, extending the record to 54 strikeouts through 6 starts.
Trevor Bauer, Nasty 82mph Knuckle Curve. 😨 pic.twitter.com/mbYQM24dtb
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 29, 2020
Trevor Bauer made a very nice tribute to Jackie Robinson as he sported #42 cleats for Jackie Robinson Day which was yesterday. The Reds and Cubs also held a tribute at the beginning of the game for the late Chadwick Boseman, who passed away yesterday after a four-year battle with cancer. Boseman played Jackie Robinson in the movie 42.
— FOX Sports Cincinnati (@FOXSportsCincy) August 29, 2020
Jose De Leon came on in relief of Trevor Bauer in the 6th inning and pitched 1.2 hitless innings allowing no runs and striking out 3. De Leon was just recalled to the MLB roster after Wade Miley was placed on the IL. De Leon will need to continue to pitch well to earn his position in the Reds bullpen.
Joey Votto in his first game back after three games off smashed a double into the right-center gap at 103.5 mph in the 3rd inning. The hit for Votto ended a 19 at-bat hitless streak. Votto then followed it up with a lead-off single in the 5th inning. Votto will need to continue to improve his hitting to receive playing time as David Bell has made it clear that he is willing to play others at 1B.
Mike Moustakas had a solid game as he went 2-for-2 in the game with 2 singles and a walk. His walk in the 5th inning loaded the bases for Freddy Galvis with 2 outs.
The Reds had chances to score in each inning, except for the 1st. Their best chance came in the 5th inning after back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. Darvish then struck out looking both Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez. Galvis grounded out to end the inning after Moustakas walked to load the bases.
A baserunning mishap happened in the 6th inning, costing the Reds their last chance with runners on base. On a ball that was thought to be foul hit by Mark Payton, Anthony Rizzo tagged first base and then tagged Shogo Akiyama after a throwback from Baez. Akiyama had no idea that the ball was fair and started to run back to first base – otherwise, he would have easily been safe at 2nd base.
While the Reds showed the ability to get hits and get on base (7 hits and 3 walks), their inability to hit with runners in scoring position (RISP) was the real story of the game. The Reds went 0-7 with RISP failing to put a run on the board.
Most Valuable Player
- Mike Moustakas: 0.151 Win Probability Added
Play of the Game
- Nick Castellanos: 0.103 WPA | Single, 5th inning
- Mike Moustakas: 103.7 mph | Single, 4th inning
- Joey Votto: 103.5 mph | Double, 3rd inning
- Tucker Barnhart: 98.4 mph | Lineout, 4th inning
Highest Velocities by Pitcher
- Jose De Leon: 97.3 mph
- Trevor Bauer: 95.8 mph
Luckiest Hit of the Day
- Mark Payton: 0.480 xBA | Single, 4th inning
Unluckiest Out of the Day
- Freddy Galvis: 0.470 xBA | GIDP, 4th inning
The Reds will square off against the Cubs in game 2 of today’s doubleheader in just a few minutes. Another pitching duel may be in store for Game 2 with the Reds’ Tejay Antone facing off against Alec Mills of the Cubs. Antone has been dominant in 2020, led by his increased velocity and superb spin rate. Catch up on Antone’s spin rate here. Mills last faced the Reds on July 28th where he went 6 innings giving up only 2 earned runs receiving the win.