*Updated at 11:48 PM following the Cardinals win*

The calendar turned to September today, and the Reds elimination number in the NL Central was just two. That meant a Reds loss and a Cardinals win on Tuesday evening would eliminate the Reds in the NL Central in 2015.

Joey Votto got the Reds started off on the right foot. Votto smashed an opposite field home run in the top of the first inning to give the Reds a 1-0 lead. Votto would add an RBI double later in the sixth inning to give the Reds a 3-1 lead.

Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani pitched very well through the first five innings. He had only allowed two hits, one walk, one run, and struck out seven. The Reds lead 3-1 entering the bottom of the sixth. However, DeSclafani got into trouble in the sixth inning, and couldn’t get out of it. Sam LeCure came into the game, but he allowed the tying run to score.

Eugenio Suarez hit a solo home run to lead off the seventh inning to give the Reds the lead back. That lead didn’t last for long though. Cincinnati native, Kyle Schwarber struck the Reds again, as he blasted a two-run bomb off Burke Badenhop to give the Cubs a 5-4 lead.

The Cubs bullpen held the lead, and the Cubs won 5-4. The Cardinals walked off the Washington Nationals in the bottom of the ninth to officially eliminate the Cincinnati Reds from the NL Central in 2015. The Reds have been eliminated from the division with 33 days left in the baseball season.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (55-77) 4 7 0
Chicago Cubs (75-56) 5 9 0
W: Rodney (6-5) L: Badenhop (1-4) S: Rondon (25)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

WPA Reds cubs

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Burke Badenhop allowing a 2-run home run to Kyle Schwarber with 2 outs in the 7th inning, giving the Cubs a 5-4 lead. That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 49.4% (from 71.8% to 22.4%).

Player of the Game

Joey Votto: 2 for 3, 1 HR, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 RBI, 0.20 WPA

That Votto guy is at it again. He hit his 26th home run of the season in the first inning, which ties him with Paul Goldschmidt and Anthony Rizzo for 5th in the NL. Votto also had an RBI double in the 6th inning. I am not sure if this man is human or not. The great Joe Posnanski wrote a great piece about Votto’s amazing second half today.

Votto entered today with a 1.288 OPS in the second half. The only players since at least 1914 (the last year data for this sort of thing is available) to have an OPS better than 1.288 in the second half are a couple guys named Bonds, Williams, Ruth, and Hornsby. One might say this is some…..elite company.

Votto Elite

Source: Baseball Reference Play Index


Anthony DeSclafani pitched pretty well again. The first five innings were absolutely awesome. He couldn’t get through the sixth inning, which is something he needs to improve on. Overall all though, another solid start during a really solid rookie season for DeSclafani: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 HR, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 1.71 FIP.

Eugenio Suarez hit his 11th home run of the season. That puts him 9th in the MLB among SS, despite having about half of the PA of the leader. The Reds are going to have a really tough decision on how to deal with Suarez. I hope they don’t mess up the kid. He needs to be an everyday SS, 2B, or 3B.

Brandon Phillips had a hit, and then stole second and third base. Phillips’ legs seem to have found some youth, as he now has 20 stolen bases in 2015. Phillips had a total of 7 stolen bases in 2013 and 2014 combined!


Burke Badnehop got rocked by Schwarber.

Give us more Adam Duvall and Ryan LaMarre, and less Jason Bouregois and Ivan De Jesus Jr.

Not so random thoughts…………….

Fernando Rodney got the win for the Cubs tonight. He allowed the Reds to take the lead in the 7th inning, yet still got the win. Reason #1873 why wins and losses are terrible way to evaluate a pitcher.

Up Next:

Reds at Cubs
Wednesday, 2:20 PM
TV: Fox Sports Ohio
Raisel Iglesias (13 GS, 3.92 ERA, 3.37 FIP) vs Jason Hammel (25 GS, 3.42 ERA, 3.62 FIP)