by Chris Duzyk

Winker’s extra inning home run snaps losing streak

The Reds snapped their 7-game losing streak with a 5-3 win over the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers. Tyler Mahle and Lucas Sims tamed the Dodgers bats for 7 innings before Amir Garrett gave up another game tying home run. Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos led the Reds offense, with Winker extending his hit streak to 11 games, the longest in the league before hitting a 2-run home run of his own in the 10th inning. Tejay Antone shut down the Dodgers to complete three innings in relief.


Offense

Other than Alex Blandino starting the game off with a walk, the Reds offense did not reach base the first time through the lineup as they worked to decipher Julio Urias’ curveball.

The second time through, Jesse Winker extended his 11 game hit streak with a 105.1 mph single to center, and Nick Castellanos followed by driving a changeup down the line for a double. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, Eugenio Suarez hit a weak grounder to short that was good enough to score Winker. Nick Senzel followed with a fly ball to left, deep enough to score Castellanos making it 2-0. Tyler Stephenson followed, getting his day started with a double to left before Jonathan India struck out to end the inning.

The Reds struck again in the 5th after Kyle Farmer started the inning getting hit by a pitch and was moved up with a sac-but from Mahle. After a Blandino walk and Winker strikeout, Castellanos drove a single to left (103.5 mph EV) scoring Farmer from second, helped by a poor throw from Raley.

A pair of walks along with a Blandino stolen base after Will Smith tried to throw behind him at second base had the Reds threatening in the 7th with two outs. However, they were ultimately stranded after a Suarez groundout to 3rd. The lineup stayed quiet through the 8th and the 9th heading into extra innings.

Jesse Winker wasted little time in the 10th, parking a 0-1 sinker off Kenley Jansen just over the left field fence giving the Reds a 5-3 lead. Castellanos followed with a walk before Suarez, Senzel, and Antone went down in order to go to the bottom of the 10th.

Pitching

Tyler Mahle had yet another solid outing, throwing 5 innings of 1 run ball with 5 strikeouts. The home plate umpire did no favors for Mahle starting the game, calling two pitches that appeared to be strikes balls, forcing him to come in on Mookie Betts who drove the ball down the line for a double.

After a cross up between Mahle and Stephenson led to a passed ball, Corey Seager worked a walk. Chris Taylor then hit a flyball to right that seemed like it may have been deep enough, especially with Bett’s speed at 3rd base, but Castillano’s throw held him. Mahle got out of trouble inducing a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning with no harm done.

Mahle then went to work in the 2nd and 3rd innings, going three up and three down, handing out strikeouts to Raley and Seager. Chris Taylor started off the 4th with a single to center. After hitting Muncy with a fastball that got a little too far up and in, Mahle induced back to back flyballs before Gavin Lux roped a single (106.7 mph EV) to right center scoring Taylor from 2nd. Mahle then struck out Rios swinging at 3 straight fastballs to get out of the inning.

The fifth started with pinch hitter Matt Beaty flying out to deep right field. Mahle then climbed the ladder with a 95.3 mph fastball to strike out Mookie Betts swinging. After back to back singles to center by Seager and Taylor, Mahle again went to the high fastball to strike out Muncy to end the threat and the inning.

Lucas Sims came in for the 6th and went to work, starting with a Will Smith strikeout. He followed up by winning a tough 8 pitch battle with Luke Raley blowing a 95 mph fastball by him. After 3 sliders and a curveball, none of which had a spin rate under 3,000 rpm – the curveball coming in at 3,269 rpm – Sims finished the inning with an upstairs fastball striking out the side.

Sims began the 7th as he did the 6th, with a strikeout. However, he then issued a walk to Austin Barns before getting Betts to lineout lazily to the shortstop.

With two outs and a man on, David Bell went to Amir Garrett. After starting Seager off with a slider that missed low, he came back with another that Seager blasted 412 ft. to centerfield (105.4 mph EV). Garrett got Taylor to groundout to end the inning, but the damage had been done.

Tejay Antone began his three inning relief win in the 8th with a 4 pitch walk to Max Muncy, but got Will Smith to ground into a double play. After “hitting” Luke Raley (appeared to hit the knob of the bat, not his elbow), Antone struck out Lux to end the inning.

After hitting Rios to start the 9th, Antone settled in, getting Turner, Betts, and Seager out in order to send it to extras. Antone completed the win in the tenth, striking out Muncy and Raley – the final strike coming on a called backdoor curveball with 60 inches of vertical and 15 inches of horizontal break.

Stats

Most Valuable Players

  • Jesse Winker: .439 WPA (Win Probability Added)
  • Tejay Antone: .255 WPA

Hardest-Hit Balls

  • Jesse Winker: 105.1 mph | Single in 4th inning
  • Tyler Stephenson: 104.9 mph | Double in 3rd inning
  • Nick Castellanos: 103.5 mph | Single in 5th inning

Unluckiest Out of the Day

  • Tucker Barnhart: .750 xBA | Lineout in 9th inning

Highest Velocities By Pitcher

  • Tyler Mahle: 96.7 mph
  • Lucas Sims: 95.6 mph
  • Amir Garrett: 95.4 mph
  • Tejay Antone:  mph

Highest Pitch Spins

  • Lucas Sims: 3,442 rpm | Curveball

Most Pitch Movement

  • Tejay Antone: 65 inches vertical movement | Curveball
  • Tejay Antone: 20 inches horizontal movement | Curveball

Team Expected Batting Averages (xBA)

  • Reds: .239
  • Dodgers: .216
What’s Next?

The Reds take on the Dodgers for game 2 of the 3 game series at Dodger Stadium. First pitch is at 10:10 p.m. EST as Jeff Hoffman faces off against Walker Beuhler.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire

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Chris began his Reds fandom with family trips from central Kentucky to Riverfront Stadium. At a young age, he had to learn to swing a wiffle ball bat left handed to properly imitate Ken Griffey Jr. and Sean Casey in backyard games against his brother. A graduate from Centre College, he was able to combine his love of baseball statistics and analytics often into his statistics and econometrics courses. He currently is living in Northern Kentucky where all it takes is a simple walk across the bridge to enjoy the games. Find him on Twitter @cduzyk.

6 Comments

  • pinson343

    I love it that this site does not have people making never-ending complaints about the manager’s decisions. Ninety nine percent of the negative comments made about Bell on various web sites are unjustified or just plain stupid. I’ve supported Bell consistently.

    But right now I’m going to make an exception. I was upset when he brought in Garrett to ruin an 8 inning 2 hit shutout performance by Mahler and Antone against the DBacks. But afterwards he implied he’d use Garrett in low leverage situations while he figures things out. He was used for an inning in a low leverage situation, and showed no sign of fixing his problem. He did not throw a single slider for a strike (fortunately) and did not strike out anyone. That did not merit his return to high leverage situations.

    There was a high probability path to preserving last night’s win with the bullpen – two innings of Sims and two innings of Antone. With a good chance to win tonight, you go for it. Losing tonight and then facing Buehler and Kershaw could have meant a 10 game losing streak, which even in April is serious.

    Sims only had one more out to get but a LHed batter comes up and Bell goes to Garrett, even though hitters have been taking batting practice against him since Opening Day. I understand that you can’t just give up on Garrett, he’s a vital piece of the bullpen and he’s going to be OK. And he needs to pitch, but not in that situation. This was a Dusty Baker at his worst move – you give putting in “your guy for this role” precedence over winning the game.

    I sincerely hope I don’t feel compelled to write another post like this for the rest of the season.

    Go Reds !

    • kmartin

      I agree with your strategy of Sims for two and Antone for two and no Garrett. However, I was relieved that Bell let Antone pitch the 10th. My fear was that Bell would not want to use Antone for three full innings so he could use him again in the series. Instead Bell went for the win and let Antone pitch the 10th. Antone threw 53 pitches so my guess is that he will not pitch Tuesday or Wednesday, but going for the win was smart by Bell.

      • Chris Duzyk

        Once we scored in the top of the 10th, I was all in on letting Antone finish. With Buehler and Kershaw coming up, take the win where you can get it.

    • kmartin

      My Mother was a Reds fan from the age of five until she passed away at 97. One thing that drove her crazy, even at 97, was when a manager replaced a pitcher with an inferior pitcher just to take advantage of a left-left or right-right matchup.

    • Chris Duzyk

      I think the original plan was Sims for two and Antone for two, but when Seager came up with two outs, it was the opportunity to get Garrett a one-out appearance with a lefty on lefty matchup. He stated in the post-game, he will continue to get opportunities to work through this, but a high leverage situation like that, up two against the best team in baseball with a 7 game losing streak on the line, seemed like a rough spot.

  • RedDawg

    It bears mentioning that Castellanos had the first two hits of the season on Urias’ changeup. Nick is a free swinger, but manages to do lots of damage despite more than desired strikeouts. Looking at you, Mr. Suarez. I agree with Pinson regarding the pitching decisions tonight, and, kmartin, grandma is rarely wrong 🙂