Cincinnati Reds: Tyler Mahle struggles again, Alex Blandino hurt and more

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 20: General view as fans wait out a rain delay prior to a game between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park on July 20, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 20: General view as fans wait out a rain delay prior to a game between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park on July 20, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Good morning and welcome to a Saturday edition of Blog Red Machine’s news and notes. In the first game after the All-Star break, the Cincinnati Reds got off to a rough start, Alex Blandino injured and more.

The Cincinnati Reds were back at it on Friday night, playing in their first game after the All-Star break. After a lengthy rain delay, the Reds played the opening game of their 3-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cincinnati lost 1-12, in a game that ended after 1:30 AM on Saturday morning. The Reds are hoping to shake off a rusty start to the second half of the season and get back at it on Saturday night.

Mahle struggles again. I think we can all agree that a 2 hour and 55-minute rain delay may have contributed to Tyler Mahle‘s struggles in the opening game against Pittsburgh. However, it is a bit concerning that this is the second consecutive game in which Mahle has struggled.

Mahle went 5.2 innings, allowing 6 runs on 8 hits. Mahle also surrendered two home runs in the sixth inning. After a single and a walk, Mahle’s first pitch to Sean Rodriguez was smacked over the left field wall, giving Pittsburgh a 5-0 lead.

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Two batters later, Mahle was chased from the game after Corey Dickerson sent one over the right-field wall. Over his last 2 starts, Mahle has pitched only 8 innings, allowed 14 hits, and 13 runs. Mahle’s next outing may be very telling as to whether or not the Reds should be concerned with the rookie’s performance.

Blandino injured during double play. Alex Blandino took over for Scooter Gennett at second base and during a double play in the bottom of the ninth, the Pirates’ runner rolled into Blandino’s lower body.

After the collision, Blandino immediately grabbed his right knee and was writhing in pain on the GABP dirt. The slide attempt did not appear to be malicious. Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman commented on the play via Reds.com:

"“I think what the young man did there was he tried to slide early and not hit Blandino. It’s muddy and he kind of stuck and rolled. I’m sure he feels terrible about it. We feel terrible about it with Blandino. Hopefully, it’s not extremely serious. I don’t have much to say about it. The kid wasn’t trying to hit him, maybe he could have peeled off or something. But I certainly don’t believe he had any attempt to hurt anybody.”"

No immediate update on the severity of Blandino’s injury was available. If he’s out for any length of time, the Reds will need to dip into their minor league system, as Blandino is the only true backup shortstop on the Reds roster.

Homer’s next start. Homer Bailey‘s rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville has come to a close. The veteran right-hander will start Tuesday against St. Louis. This will be Bailey’s first start since May 28th.

During his 7 game rehab stint with the Bats, Bailey went 2-2 with a 4.78 ERA. In 37.2 innings pitched, he allowed 10 walks and struck out 28. Bailey’s record with the Reds this season is 1-7 with a 6.68 ERA.

Next: Will Harvey be the only Reds player traded?

There was talk of Bailey heading to the bullpen earlier this season, but that idea seems to have been abandoned in favor of a possible 6-man starting rotation. As of now, Sal Romano will be the odd man out and is available out of the bullpen.