Gutierrez great in debut but Reds shutout in 1-0 loss

Gutierrez great in debut but Reds shutout in 1-0 loss

The Reds offense could not get the hit needed with runners in scoring position, ultimately leaving ten runners on base. The strong winds blowing in from the outfield took hits away from both teams but likely two home runs from the Reds. An excellent debut by Vladimir Gutierrez coupled with three shutout innings from the bullpen was encouraging but felt wasted in a 1-0 loss to open the series against the Cubs.


Nick Castellanos continued his tear with a 99 mph line-drive single to start the Reds hitting. A Tyler Naquin strikeout brought Tyler Stephenson to the plate with two outs. He delivered with a flare to right field for a double, moving Castellanos to third. Tucker Barnhart jumped on the first pitch but popped out to the shortstop to end the threat.

The Reds came right back in the second after a one-out Max Schrock walk put a runner at first. David Bell employed a hit and run, and India drove a soft line drive to right field with Schrock in motion, putting runners on the corners where they stayed after a Gutierrez strikeout and Jesse Winker flyout to center.

The third inning saw more baserunners with a two-out Stephenson walk. Barnhart jumped on the fourth slider in the at-bat, driving a ball down the line in right. On almost any other day, the ball would have cleared the fence for a two-run home run, but the wind pushed this ball back in. Statcast derives its distances based on exit velocity and launch angle, and had the ball traveling 360 feet, but the ball fell short of the 353-foot wall in right and bounced out for a ground-rule double. If the ball clears the wall, the Reds go up 2-0 but even had it stayed in play, Stephenson likely would have scored but instead had to go back to third base. 

The Reds did not threaten again until the sixth, when Schrock rocked a double to deep left-center field. Again, Statcast had the ball with a distance for another home run, but Schrock settled for a double. A Jonathan India walk put runners on first and second for an Eugenio Suarez strikeout to end the inning.

The frustration continued in the seventh after another one out Castellanos single past Javier Baez. Naquin singled on a dying line drive to left-center, moving Castellanos to second. Stephenson then sent a soft ground ball to second for a double play to end the inning keeping the score 1-0.

The Reds went down in order in the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel finished with a 1-2-3 ninth to end a frustrating game 1-0.


Vladimir Gutierrez made his major league debut and delivered an excellent performance with five innings of one-run baseball. Gutierrez worked quickly and pounded the zone, only throwing 67 pitches. He relied heavily on his four-seam fastball and sinker, which accounted for 62.7% of his pitches, mixing in a slider and curveball. 

While the wind helped a few hard-hit balls find gloves throughout the outing, Gutierrez threw three hitless innings capped by a great sliding catch into the left-field wall by Jesse Winker.

After a Kris Bryant fly out, Baez golfed an infield single off a diving Max Schrock’s glove. An Ian Happ walk put runners on first and second with one out, but Gutierrez bore down to strike out Wilson Contreras and Rafael Ortega on fastballs to end the only real threat he saw. 

Unfortunately, David Bote spoiled the shutout outing in the top of the fifth with a line-drive home run (110.3 mph 366 feet) that cut through the wind and landed in the basket down the left-field line. The Cubs then went down 1-2-3, including Gutierrez’s third strikeout getting Adbert Alzolay looking. A pinch hitter with runners on first and second in the top of the sixth ended Gutierrez’s debut.

Heath Hembree entered in the sixth and was welcomed with a single by Bryant. Hembree and Barnhart then teamed up with a strike ’em out, throw ’em out, erasing the baserunner. Hembree went on to strike out the next three batters he faced, ending the sixth and getting two outs in the seventh before yielding to Sean Doolittle.

Doolittle continued to lock down the Cubs with a pop-out to end the seventh. He retired Eric Sogard and Patrick Wisdom before being robbed of a strikeout on Joc Pederson. Pederson ultimately walked, which brought in Brad Brach to strike out Bryant looking to end the inning.


Hardest-Hit Balls

  • Tyler Stephenson: 104.0 mph | Groundout in 5th inning
  • Tucker Barnhart: 102.6 mph | Double in 8th inning
  • Jesse Winker: 100.8 mph | Flyout in 3rd inning

Unluckiest Out of the Day

  • Max Schrock: .450 xBA | Groundout in 4th inning

Highest Velocities By Pitcher

  • Vladimir Gutierrez: 94.2 mph
  • Heath Hembree: 96.1 mph
  • Sean Doolittle: 93.7 mph
  • Brad Brach: 95.1 mph

Highest Pitch Spins

  • Heath Hembree: 2,944 rpm | Slider

Most Pitch Movement

  • Vladimir Gutierrez: 63 inches vertical movement | Curveball
  • Vladimir Gutierrez: 19 inches horizontal movement | Sinker

Team Expected Batting Averages (xBA)

  • Reds: .240
  • Cubs: .179
What’s Next?

The Reds take on the Cubs in game two of the three game set in another day game at Wrigley Field. First pitch is at 2:20 p.m. EST as Luis Castillo faces off against Zach Davies.

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Chris Duzyk

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.

1 Response

  1. Brian Van Hook says:

    Need more opportunities for Vlad. Hoping the Reds found their replacement for Hoffman.