Last night I talked about how rain delays were starting to become a Cincinnati tradition. Well, tonight, I’d like to make a motion to add two more items to that list: Nick Castellanos hitting dingers and the Reds bullpen blowing leads.
Castellanos put the Reds (5-6) on the board in the bottom of the 1st inning with an absolute bomb of a Home Run to dead Center Field for his sixth round-tripper of the season. In the 4th inning they would add to that lead after Eugenio Suarez hit his first Home Run of the season. Those two runs were the first two scored off of Cleveland Indians (6-6) ace Shane Bieber this season, but it was all the Reds could muster at the plate all night long.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 4, 2020
Tyler Mahle was absolutely outstanding for the Reds on the mound filling in for the injured Wade Miley. Mahle threw six innings of one-hit, shutout baseball while striking out six batters. Unfortunately, that left the bullpen with nine outs to record with just a two run lead. They got the job done last night, but had no such luck tonight.
The Indians would push across two runs in the top of the 7th inning despite a ball never leaving the infield to tie the game. Then, in the eighth inning, Designated Hitter Franmil Reyes sent a 2-run Home Run over the Center Field fence to give the Indians a 4-2 advantage. The Indians held on to that lead to get back to .500 on the season and send the Reds back under .500 with the loss.
The Ohio Cup will now move to Cleveland tomorrow evening for the final two games of the series. First pitch will be at 7:10 p.m. Eastern Time with Tejay Antone taking the mound for the Reds against Mike Clevinger of the Indians.
Bullpen Woes Continue
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 5, 2020
Pedro Strop entered the game in the 7th inning and immediately induced a ground ball to the glove side of Freddy Galvis at Shortstop that he couldn’t come up with and was charged with an error. It is fair to say that if he makes that play the Reds probably end up getting out of the inning. However, there is a lot of blame to still be placed on Strop and the bullpen from that point on.
After the error to begin the inning, Strop walked the next batter before getting a strike out and a fly out. With runners on first and second with two out the veteran right-hander allowed another walk to load the bases. Next up was Cesar Hernandez who bounced a ball to Joey Votto who was playing well off the bag at First Base and the speedy Hernandez was able to beat it out which allowed a run to score.
The Reds then turned to Lucas Sims with the bases still loaded and he proceeded to walk the first batter he faced which allowed the tying run to score. Nate Jones came in to pitch the 8th inning and he also walked the first batter he faced. Franmil Reyes then stepped to plate and parked a 2-run shot into the Center Field stands to give the Indians a 4-2 lead.
In three innings of work the Reds bullpen allowed four runs, walked four batters and hit another. That simply will not get the job done.
Shane Bieber is as Good as Advertised
The Indians 25 year old right-hander took the mound for the third time this season and earned his third win. Bieber went 7 2/3 innings allowing two runs on five hits while striking out eight. He has now struck out 35 batters in his first three starts of the season which is the third most all-time behind Nolan Ryan (37) and Gerrit Cole (36). Tyler Mahle of the Reds actually matched him (and was in line to win the game) through six innings, but it is undeniable that Bieber is one of the best pitchers in baseball and an absolute pleasure to watch.
Shoutout Tyler Mahle
The focus unfortunately ends up falling the bullpen once again, but Reds starter Tyler Mahle deserves a shout out after turning in an outstanding performance. I know it was already mentioned above, but it deserves its own mention. Mahle threw six innings of of one-hit, shutout baseball while striking out six. Tip of the cap to you, sir, while filling in for Wade Miley in the starting rotation.