“At first, I was ready to be kind of the long man out of the pen,” Mahle said. “Once they told me I was starting the fifth game, I was ready for that. We had the rainout, so I got pushed back because they wanted Sonny (Gray) to pitch on his fifth day. So then they told me Tuesday. It’s not anything that threw me off. I’m ready to go out there whenever they want me to pitch.”
Mahle allowed two earned runs on six hits in four innings against the Chicago Cubs in his first start July 28.
“I got two strikes on a lot of guys and gave up more hits than I wanted to with two strikes,” Mahle said. “That was the biggest thing. My slider was there some at-bats, and other at-bats it wasn’t. I thought I threw my fastball pretty well, and my split wasn’t that great.”
In the stands: The Reds sold more than 2,100 fan cutouts, 700 WLW’s Lance McCallister reported Monday, and 1,300 of them were installed in the stands at Great American Ball Park over the weekend. Fans will see them for the first time Monday on the Fox Sports Ohio broadcast. The Reds play two games at home against the Indians and then travel to Cleveland for two games.
The fan photos cost $75 and benefit the Reds Community Fund. They can be purchased through the official Reds website.
Hot bat: Nick Castellanos recorded at least one hit in each of the first nine games. It’s the longest hitting streak in the big leagues to start the season. He leads the Reds with a .387 average and is tied for second in the National League with 11 RBIs and four home runs. He was named National League Player of the Week on Monday
“He works really hard,” center fielder Nick Senzel said, “and that work pays off. He’s a real steady dude. He doesn’t get too high or too low. He’s a mature hitter. He’s really good and been good for a while. Just for him to get off to a good start it helps helps us tremendously.”
Strikeout leaders: Sonny Gray and Trevor Bauer each struck out 20 batters in their first two starts. Through Sunday, they were tied for second in the National League behind Washington Nationals starter Max Scherzer (21).
As a team, the Reds ranked second in baseball with 105 strikeouts behind the Indians (113).
Roster move: With Joey Votto returning to the team from the injured list after a one-day absence, the Reds optioned Aristides Aquino to the practice site at Prasco Park in Mason.
Skipper absent: Indians manager Terry Francona was not with the team for the first game of the series Monday, according to a report by the Associated Press, because of a gastrointestinal issue. It was not related to COVID-19.