The Reds (68-79) saw the Diamondbacks (75-72) just a week ago at Great American Ball Park, where they proceeded to beat the Reds in two out of three games. Since then, Arizona went to New York and proceeded to lose four straight games to the Mets. They are returning to Chase Field a desperate team, 3.5 games out of the NL wild card race and in danger of falling completely out of the playoff race.

It’s the last West Coast late start time of the season. First pitch is at 9:40 ET.

Starting Pitchers

Luis Castillo 173.2 3.21 3.63 3.40 29.3% 9.7%
Mike Leake 178.1 4.64 5.10 4.69 15.2% 3.2%


Luis Castillo makes his 30th start of the season tonight. He’ll face Arizona in back-to-back starts, and will try to replicate his performance from last Saturday, when he pitched into the eighth inning and gave up only two runs on three hits while striking out ten. He ended up taking the loss in that game, but only because his offense gave him zero run support.

With 173.2 innings pitched already in 2019, assuming he gets three more starts this season, he would have to pitch three complete games to reach 200 innings. It’s not likely he’ll reach that mark, but Castillo is already over the 200 strikeout mark with 208. He’s nowhere near Mario Soto’s single season strikeout record of 274, but he needs only 20 to be in the top 10 in Reds history. It might be a stretch to reach the top five, but not out of the realm of possibility. He needs 35 strikeouts to surpass Johnny Cueto’s 242 strikeouts from the 2014 season.


Like Castillo, Mike Leake is also making back-to-back starts against the Reds. He got a no-decision Sunday at GABP, allowing two runs on seven hits in 6.1 innings. Compared to previous seasons, 2019 has been a disappointment for the former Red. His FIP is over five, and his xFIP is pointing that way as well. His struggles have stemmed from allowing home runs. Leake’s given up 36 home runs this season, ten more than his previous career high in 2012 with the Reds. As a result, his HR/9 skyrocketed to 1.82. His career rate is 1.16, so he’s never been one to allow a lot of home runs in the past.


1. Josh VanMeter (LF)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Aristides Aquino (RF)
5. Tucker Barnhart (C)
6. Freddy Galvis (2B)
7. Jose Iglesias (SS)
8. Brian O’Grady (CF)
9. Luis Castillo (P)
1. Ketel Marte (CF)
2. Josh Rojas (LF)
3. Eduardo Escobar (3B)
4. Christian Walker (1B)
5. Wilmer Flores (2B)
6. Adam Jones (RF)
7. Nick Ahmed (SS)
8. Alex Avila (C)
9. Mike Leake (P)

-Ketel Marte went 5-for-11 with two home runs and six RBI against the Reds last weekend en route to being named NL Player of the Week.

News and Notes

-Nick Senzel will get a second opinion on his partially torn labrum. I don’t blame him for wanting to do this. Anyone would want to try and avoid surgery if possible.

-Anytime you’re tied with Mike Trout in a certain stat category, you know you’re good. Here’s hoping Eugenio Suarez hits a couple of home runs this weekend.

-Mary Beth wrote an entertaining column today about the differences between Reds games and FC Cincinnati matches.

Wrapping up the final “of the year” series, Doug Gray handed out his 2019 Cincinnati Reds Minor League Reliever of the Year Award to Alex Powers, who posted a 1.64 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A this season.

2019 Reds Minor League Reliever of the Year: Alex Powers

Final Thought

With yesterday’s win, the Reds have surpassed their win total from a season ago and have tied their win totals from 2016 and 2017. The next step: avoiding 90 losses. The Reds would have to finish with at least a 5-10 record to avoid that mark for the fifth straight season. It probably doesn’t mean much in the long run, but here’s hoping for a strong finish in the last 15 games of 2019.

21 Responses

  1. TR

    Let’s not forget the principal owner, Bob Castellini. And I’m sure avoiding a 90 loss season will mean a lot to Rosie Red.

  2. Lockersocks79

    Anyone have thoughts on the following:

    1. Trading Bauer for the best player that we can get to fill a need (BP, SS)

    2. Using the cash reserve to go after Gerrit Cole. Cole does not like Bauer so move #1 would solve this. We might overpay but that gives us Castillo, Gray, Cole as our big three!

    3. Fire Bell and talk Larkin into coming on board. We’d eat Bells contract but his choices have cost numerous games this season. Larkin’s a brilliant thinker with great experience and potentially would rally Reds fans and draw them in to pump up a team that could use a confidence boost.

    Thats my moves…pretty simple. The hardest part is landing Cole, but money talks.

  3. Lockersocks79

    I love Ervin! My opinion from the games I’ve watched (especially when he batted behind Puig) he was clutch!

    I don’t buy platooning him so much though, give him a chance to see both left and right handers!

    I’d like to see Ervin/Aquino/Winker as the primary outfielder next year with with Senzel taking some ABs from the outfield and giving some of his 2b ABs to Van Meter

  4. Doc

    Larkin has as much managerial experience as Bell at the start of this season.

    • IndyRedsFan

      Correction…..Larkin has as much managerial experience as I have.

      Being a good player does not necessarily equate to being a good manager. I don’t understand why people don’t get that.

  5. Chris Holbert

    Every game some announcer says JV has been hitting the ball a lot harder of late…..all the way up to .265 and all of 44 RBIs….

  6. Don

    barnhart , galvis, iglesias – not really murders row.

    Iglesias at career 273 average is best by 20+ points. both Iglesais and Galvis are finishing 8th year in MLB and are known commodities.

    No clue why Ogrady is not starting in LF, JVM and 2nd and site one of them. Makes no sense.

  7. Don

    been up since 4 am so not sure how long will stay up. 4th inning has been bad inning for Castillo, he has gotten the 1st two outs so this could be a great night for him

  8. Chris Holbert

    Yep, still the fifth ranked 1B in the Central….

  9. Don

    spoke to soon, 4th inning kryptonite for Castillo again.

    • Don

      probably me, at least he only gave up 1 run.

  10. Don

    O Grady busting it down the 1st base line and forced a bad rushed throw for a hit. Great hustle.

  11. Don

    great defense by Aquino in RF. great speed.

  12. Don

    Iglesias glove saves big 5th inning against reds

    If team is going to keep Iglesias or Galvis (@ 5.5 mil). watching them side by side, Iglesias is better than Galvis. Team only should have one on 2020 roster and that one should bat 8th every game for a shot at a successful team