Reds go for third straight win vs. Giants
The hard-luck season of Cincinnati right-hander Tyler Mahle continues Sunday when he draws San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner in the finale of a three-game series in San Francisco.
The road start will be the seventh of the season for Mahle (0-5, 3.69) in eight outings. He's pitched in a win just once this year, that coming in the lone home game against Miami, and even then he didn't get the decision after allowing one run and two hits in five innings.
Mahle's two May starts have been brilliant, yet losers.
He went toe-to-toe with Noah Syndergaard for five innings, allowing one run and four hits, in a 1-0 loss at New York on May 2.
Five days later, he pitched even better -- one run and three hits in six innings -- but so did the opposition, which in this case was Mike Fiers in his no-hitter Tuesday in Oakland.
In between, the Reds had a four-game home series against the Giants in which they scored 37 runs and hit 15 home runs. True to his luck, or lack thereof, Mahle was the only member of the Cincinnati starting rotation not scheduled to pitch in that series.
The Reds have scored a total of nine runs in his seven starts.
The 24-year-old California native has pitched six previous times in his home state, and five went well. The only exception was his only previous visit to Oracle Park last May, when he couldn't get out of the fourth inning, allowing four runs and seven hits, including a home run by Brandon Belt.
Mahle took the loss in the 5-3 loss, his only career head-to-head with the Giants.
In an effort to get something to show for a month in which he's gone 0-2 despite a 1.64 ERA, Mahle must count upon his teammates to do some offensive damage against Bumgarner (2-4, 3.99), who also has pitched well this month.
Bumgarner pitched a 14-4 win at Colorado on Tuesday after not getting a decision in a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 1. He's allowed just four runs in 12 innings in those two starts.
The left-hander, who also did not pitch in the series in Cincinnati last week, has just a 3-5 record and 4.21 ERA in nine career starts against the Reds.
Bumgarner figures to see a different Reds lineup than the one that's put up 12 runs in the first two games of the series. Derek Dietrich, who drove in what turned out to be the difference-making run in Saturday's 5-4 win, rarely plays against left-handers, giving Reds manager David Bell a chance to get Jose Peraza back in the lineup.
"I don't feel a need to be tied to anything. I feel more of a need to use all of them and include them to keep everyone engaged and part of it," Bell said before Saturday's game of a three-man, middle-infield rotation of Dietrich, Peraza and Jose Iglesias. "We're going to continue to do that."
Bumgarner will be trying not only to end the Giants' three-game losing streak but also return some normalcy to a clubhouse that was buzzing with two pieces of news Saturday.
While Bumgarner wouldn't comment on a report that he has placed eight teams off-limits as potential trade destinations, the Giants demoted their best young pitcher, struggling Dereck Rodriguez, to Triple-A.
"This is probably the biggest challenge I've gotten in my career so far," Rodriguez admitted to reporters Saturday, one day after he'd taken the loss in a 7-0 defeat. "You're up here a year and now you're going back down to Triple-A. But I'll keep my head down and do what's made me successful when I've been up here."
--Field Level Media
Updated May 12, 2019