With second place in the NL Central in basically a three-way tie, these final two games of the series in St. Louis presented a great opportunity if the Reds could win both. Instead, the bats were lethargic again and the club received mediocre starting pitching. Not exactly the big effort they needed.
The offense managed a few hard-hit balls but ended up with only four hits, three singles by Kyle Farmer (wRC+ 95) and an opposite field double by Jesse Winker (wRC+ 196). The two walks belonged to Curt Casali (wRC+ 101) and Joey Votto (wRC+ 99), both drawn in the 8th inning. The mini rally fizzled when Nick Castellanos (wRC+ 142) swung at back-to-back sliders way outside for strike three.
The Reds — Shogo Akiyama (wRC+ 62) pinch hitting, Eugenio Suarez (wRC+ 59) and Mark Payton taking his debut Major League at bat — went down quietly in the 9th.
Wade Miley’s third start was his best so far. The 33-year-old lefty finished five innings, giving up 3 runs. He walked three and struck out three. Miley gave up a couple bloop singles that turned into two runs when he gave up another hit, this one a line drive. On the one hand, Miley was unlucky. On the other, those improbable hits happen when the ball gets put in play. That’s why Miley’s low strikeout rate is a liability. He depends on inducing soft contact and did that for the most part tonight, but even those balls occasionally fall in. The third Cardinals run was off a 5-inning home run by Harrison Bader.
Tejay Antone relieved Miley and pitched a clean 6th and 7th and got an out in the 8th, striking out 3. Antone has 21 strikeouts in 15.1 innings and has been superb. Cody Reed came on with an out in the 8th. Reed walked Matt Carpenter but then induced an inning-ending double play from Yadi Molina.
- Jesse Winker 103.2 mph | double
- Nick Castellanos 99.9 mph | ground ball
Highest Velocities by Pitcher
- Tejay Antone 96.6 mph
- Wade Miley 92.3 mph
Unluckiest Out of the Day
- Matt Davidson 90% hit probability | line out
Luckiest Hit of the Day
- Kyle Farmer 23% hit probability | single
The Reds need a win tomorrow to earn a split of the 4-game series with the Cardinals. The two teams play at 2:15 pm ET in a game that will feature the pitching matchup of Tyler Mahle and Daniel Ponce de Leon. It will be de Leon’s third start. He’s pitched well but been been limited by pitch counts. He has yet to go four innings.
[Featured image: https://twitter.com/Reds/status/1154459459864842241]