by Steve Mancuso

Mistakes by the lake snap Reds win streak

The Reds weren’t going to win every game. Tonight, was one where they seemed destined to fall short from the start. Well, at least after they scratched to a 1-0 lead in the 1st. When the outcome was still in the balance, they made too many mistakes both in the field and on the mound to beat a .500 Cleveland team.

In losing tonight, the Reds were outscored for the first time in six games. It had been since May when Luis Castillo had given up more than three earned runs in an appearance. The Reds offense was held to three runs.

We hope this was an anomaly. A one-game stop not even worthy of an overnight stay. Not foreshadowing a fateful road trip. David Bell’s team heads to second-place Atlanta for three games and then Philadelphia for three more against the surging first-place Phillies. It will be a tremendous test. Toto, we’re not playing the Pirates any more.


Pitching

In one respect, Luis Castillo wasn’t the same bleh guy he was at the start of the year when he struggled. His velocity was up right around where it has been (96.5 mph) during his good starts since the start of June. But Castillo’s location betrayed him, just as it did in his early 2021 appearances.

He walked four batters. Even more, he missed his target by a foot or more within the strike zone, putting his pitches in peril. For example, a fastball that Tucker Barnhart wanted on the outside corner ended up a 345-foot home run by Jose Ramirez when it leaked back inside. Without command of his fastball, Castillo couldn’t set up his other pitches. He induced only 6 swings-and-misses on 71 pitches. He left the game with the score 8-1.

The Reds defense did Castillo no favors. Jonathan India booted a ground ball in the third inning (somehow ruled a hit) that led to two runs. Eugenio Suarez was slow on a couple of ground balls early in the game. Tyler Stephenson fielded a ball at first base and made a bad throw to second instead of making a play at the plate after getting the out at first.

The Reds didn’t hold the soon-to-be Guardians scoreless until the 5th inning.

Jeff Hoffman pitched OK. In 2.2 innings, he gave up a couple hits and a walk. Justin Wilson, after giving up a first-pitch 471-foot home run (1.000 xBA) hit to Bradley Zimmer, pitched a 1-2-3 7th.

Lucas Sims [LUCAS SIMS!] come on for the 8th, making his first appearance in almost two months. Sims threw 19 pitches: 10 fastballs, 8 slider and a curve. His slider spin rate was up 64 rpm. At an average of 2954 rpm it would be the second highest in the league. Sims pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.

Offense

The Reds offense faced a series of small bites from the Cleveland pitching staff and never sustained an attack. They had hits here and fly balls dying on the warning track there. But they ended up with just three runs.

The first inning went well, as the Reds jumped on lefty Matt Hentges for a run in the first inning. Jonathan India started with a walk and advanced to third on a Jesse Winker grounder and Nick Castellanos fly out. Joey Votto then lined an 0-1 breaking ball from Hentges into right field, scoring India. It was run number 65 for the Reds leadoff hitter.

Votto, Tyler Stephenson, Aristides Aquino and Tucker Barnhart each had two hits. India had a double to go with his walk, plus a stolen base that led to the Reds second run.

For the record, the Reds had a higher xBA than Cleveland.

Stats

Hardest-Hit Balls

  • Jesse Winker | 106.1 mph, Line out
  • Jonathan India | 104.8 mph, double
  • Aristides Aquino | 103.3, single

Highest Velocities By Pitcher

  • Luis Castillo | 97.8 mph
  • Jeff Hoffman | 95.9 mph
  • Justin Wilson | 93.6 mph
  • Lucas Sims |  96.1 mph

Highest Pitch Spins

  • Lucas Sims | 2998 rpm | Slider

Most Pitch Movement

  • Luis Castillo | 20 inches horizontal | Sinker
  • Jeff Hoffman | 52 inches vertical | Curve

Team Expected Batting Averages

  • Cleveland | .243
  • Reds | .247
What’s Next?

The Reds move on to Atlanta (57-55), the second stop in a three-city road trip. They play three games there, starting with the pitching matchup of Sonny Gray vs. Drew Smyly at 7:20 p.m. 


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Steve Mancuso is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up during the Big Red Machine era. He’s been writing about the Reds for more than ten years. Steve’s fondest memories about the Reds include attending a couple 1975 World Series games, being at Homer Bailey’s second no-hitter and going nuts for Jay Bruce at Clinchmas. Steve was also at all three games of the 2012 NLDS, but it’s too soon to talk about that.

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pinson343
pinson343
1 month ago

Exercise left to the reader: X = 3.