The last two days, it’s seemed everything that could go right for the Cardinals did. That’s not to say the Reds didn’t have their chances today, or that they came out flat yesterday. The Cardinals are a good team, built by a front office that has been at the top of their game for more than ten years. The past two days they put it to the slumping Reds. Their veterans came through and their young players performed.
Tyler Mahle made his first appearance since August 12 and first start since August 4. He stranded two runners in the first by striking out Matt Carpenter on a nasty splitter and Tyler O’Neill on a slider. Mahle was disadvantaged by the umpire not calling the high strike, which is Mahle’s preferred fastball spot. He gave up three runs in three innings. He struck out five and walked two. Mahle is lined up to pitch again next weekend, possibly in the doubleheader on Saturday against the first place Cubs.
Manager David Bell was quick to go to the bullpen, replacing Mahle at 71 pitches. Michael Lorenzen came in for the 4th and 5th and while he allowed base runners both innings, he was able to work out of it for two shutout frames. Lorenzen had no strikeouts and a walk. He’s pitched seven shutout innings in his last three starts. Tyler Thornberg pitched another solid inning in the 6th, his third shutout appearance since making the club. Nate Jones pitched the 7th and gave up three big runs on four hits. Cody Reed worked around two walks for a shutout 8th. He struck out two.
Eugenio Suarez gave the Reds a brief 2-0 lead in the 1st inning with a mammoth 434-foot home run to left field. It was his fourth of the season and drove in Nick Castellanos who had walked.
The Reds had chances. They had two on in the second, but Joey Votto flew out and Castellanos grounded out. In the 5th with two runners on, Suarez struck out looking and Mike Moustakas flew out. The Reds squandered leadoff runners in the 4th and 7th. The latter when Votto hit into a double play. Votto didn’t have a hard-hit ball (> 93 mph EV) in the series. He’s 3-24 since returning from the break and being installed in the leadoff spot. Votto has one extra-base hit, a double, walked twice and struck out five time.
Somehow, the lineup of Phil Ervin, Travis Jankowski and Freddy Galvis didn’t produce a rally in the 9th (although Jankowski walked).
The Reds just aren’t hitting: Votto (.207), Moustakas (.212), Suarez (.149), Shogo Akiyama (.224), Tucker Barnhart (.178), Freddy Galvis (.216), Curt Casali (.167). Nick Castellanos is batting .133 in the last 14 games.
The Reds made a couple nice defensive plays. Barnhart took a one-hop throw from Moustakas and blocked home to get an out at the plate. Castellanos made a terrific over the shoulder running catch toward the RF fence.
- Eugenio Suarez 108.0 mph | home run
- Nick Castellanos 106.2 mph | double
- Shogo Akiyama 103.1 | single
Highest Velocities by Pitcher
- Michael Lorenzen 98.1 mph
- Nate Jones 96.8 mph
- Cody Reed 96.8 mph
- Tyler Mahle 96.3 mph
- Tyler Thornberg 94.3 mph
Unluckiest Out of the Day
- Jesse Winker 49% hit probability | ground out
The Reds leave St. Louis and head for Milwaukee for a 4-game series with the Brewers. All are night games with 8:10 pm ET starts. Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray make the first three starts for the Reds. The fourth game starter hasn’t been announced.
The Reds will face lefty Brett Anderson on Monday. Anderson started against the Reds on August 8 and went 3.2 innings, giving up 2 earned runs, striking out 2 and walking 2.