Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (11-15) 2 3 0
St. Louis Cardinals (9-8) 6 12 0
W: Cabrera (2-1) L: Mahle (0-1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Reds offense continued to struggle to do much of anything after a 1st inning 2-run homer. In a game full of walks, the Reds couldn’t take advantage of the ones they were given and the Cardinals did – while also racking up 12 hits on the day as they picked up the win and a 3-1 series win over Cincinnati.

The Offense

In the game preview we noted that Daniel Ponce de Leon had reverse splits, and that right-handed hitters had some success against him last season, but that he absolutely dominated lefties – though he did walk lefties at a high rate. The first inning played out just like that. Nick Castellanos walked and Eugenio Suárez homered – and did he ever, crushing a 434-foot blast deep into the left field seats – to make it 2-0. The lefties in the inning went 0-3 with a walk.

In the 2nd inning the Reds threatened as Freddy Galvis was hit by a pitch and Tucker Barnhart walked with one out, but Joey Votto and Nick Castellanos couldn’t come through with a hit and stranded the runners on the bases. The following inning saw Cincinnati go 1-2-3. In the 4th things got started in the right way as Shogo Akiyama lined a single into right field, but the offense went quietly after that.

The 5th inning began with a Joey Votto ground out, but Nick Castellanos doubled and Jesse Winker followed up with a walk to put two runners on and the Reds in position to tie the game up. Eugenio Suárez struck out looking on a pitch that hadn’t been called a strike all game long. St. Louis went to the bullpen with two outs, bringing in left-handed reliever Genesis Cabrera to face Mike Moustakas. The move worked as the Reds second baseman flew out to left field to end the inning and strand two more.

The Reds went quietly in 6th and 7th innings, though Curt Casali did reach base with a walk to lead off the 7th. He just happened to be erased two pitches later on a double play.

The 8th inning started out with a play you aren’t likely to see much of – Jesse Winker was called out on strikes on a pitch that hit him in the elbow. It was a full count, and he undeniably leaned into the pitch. But the pitch was just outside of the strikezone according to Hawk-Eye (the system that tracks pitches) – and by rule, even though he leaned into it, if it wasn’t in the zone, it should be a ball. But the umpire ruled that it was in the strikezone, and thus was a strike, and rung Winker up. He argued. David Bell argued. No one was ejected, but the call wasn’t going to be changed, either. The next two hitters flew out to end the inning.

Down by four runs, the Reds sent the 6-7-8 spots of the lineup to the plate. Phillip Ervin led off with a lazy fly ball to left field for the 1st out. Travis Jankowski followed and drew a walk. The very next pitch was swung at and wound up ending the game on a double play.

The Pitching

It wasn’t an easy 1st inning for Tyler Mahle, who appeared to be getting squeezed by the home plate umpire a bit. But he worked around a leadoff single and a 1-out walk to strike out the size and strand two runners.The 2nd inning wasn’t any easier. Yadier Molina singled to lead off the inning, but was erased on a fielders choice. Harrison Bader, the Cardinals #9 hitter, took an 0-1 slider and hit it off of the top of the center field wall for a 2-run, game tying homer. Mahle walked the next hitter before getting the final out of the inning. After two innings, Mahle had racked up 57 pitches on the day.

The 3rd inning was much like the first two – not easy. Paul Goldschmidt led off with a double and came around to score on a 2-out single by Reds killer Yadier Molina, putting the Cardinals up 3-2. He’d get out of the inning without any further damage.

That would be the last inning for Mahle to pitch, though, throwing 71 pitches before being replaced by Michael Lorenzen to begin the 4th. Things didn’t go well for him to start the inning as Dylan Carlson led off with a single and Harrison Bader walked to put two on. A sacrifice bunt followed to move the runners over. The strategy failed as Brad Miller grounded the ball to second and Mike Moustakas came home with the ball where Tucker Barnhart made a nice pick and tag to get the second out of the inning. Paul Goldschmidt followed with an easy fly ball to right field to end the inning.

Tyler Thornburg tossed a hitless 6th inning to keep the score at 3-2. But then the 7th inning started with Nate Jones on the mound and things went south, quickly. Matt Carpenter doubled and scored on a Yadier Molina single on a pitch that was nine miles out of the strikezone. Dylan Carlson would hit his 1st homer of his career to make it 6-2. Harrison Bader continued his assault on Reds pitching, following up with a ground rule double that brought Derek Johnson out for a mound visit. It worked as Kolten Wong grounded out to end the inning. The damage had been done, though.

Cody Reed took over to begin the bottom of the 8th. He walked the first hitter of the inning before striking out Paul Goldschmidt. Matt Carpenter, however, drew a walk of his own to put two men on with just one out. Reed buckled down and struck out Tyler O’Neill before getting Yadier Molina to fly out to end the threat.

Notes worth noting

We’ve only got one note today, from our founder:

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Milwaukee Brewers

Monday August 24th, 8:10pm ET

Trevor Bauer (3-0, 0.68 ERA) vs Brett Anderson (1-2, 3.71 ERA)

35 Responses

  1. Johnnie Sparks

    If they lose 3 of 4 vs Milwaukee blow it up , start with bell. He can’t put a line up together or a bullpen.

  2. RedsFan11

    my comment the other day. Reds organization pays Votto $25mil so they think they should bat him 3rd. So does The majority off the fan base. Everyone knew when they signed him to the long term deal eventually he would trend down. You know it was coming maybe it came earlier than you hoped, either way time to take the pain and move him to 6th-8th.

  3. seadog

    No doubt Votto’s best spot is not leading off. Agree 100%. Problem is which of the other players hitting South if the Mendoza line to you put there?

    Problem is deeper than Votto. Real problem is this is not a good baseball team the way it is built.

    • scotly50

      The problem is, and has always been, that the team is built around Votto.

      • mudpuppie

        Building around Votto has to stop, and stop now…..He is now nothing more that a piece of the wall now, not the cornerstone anymore. And that is sad…. His prime years wasted…. Now just a shadow..

    • Colorado Red

      Or the way it in managed.
      A manager should inspire the team, no one is.
      Fire Bell, Fire Dick, etc.

      • Mike Kelsch

        I imagine Castellini would be reluctant to fire one of the owner’s kids.

  4. RedsFan11

    Galvis trotting to first in a game ending double play tells you everything you need to know about this team.

    • TR

      I’m still puzzled why the Reds didn’t bring back smooth fielding shortstop, Jose Iglesias, whose offense was not bad at all last year.

  5. Jon

    But who else do we have for leadoff? Winker is quickly coming back down to earth, Suarez has been bad all year, Akiyama is currently a seven or eight-hole hitter, Castellanos and Moustakas are struggling, and Senzel can’t play more than a handful of games at a time without some sort of ailment sending him to the bench or IL. If the Reds were smart, they’d consider signing Nelson Cruz this winter for a one year deal at DH. He’s 40 years old, but can still mash. Even signing Molina to catch for one year while letting Stephenson develop in AAA wouldn’t be the worst idea. The Cardinals seem hesitant to re-sign him. At the very least, Reds pitchers would avoid pitching to him.

    • TR

      And Molina would bring some Cardinal grit to the Reds.

    • AJP

      Speaking of Molina. He knew what to do on his opposite field single that drove in a runner from third.And he produced. He didn’t swing for a home run, he went with the pitch knowing going the other way would get a run in. The Reds could use some quality at bats like that.

    • Aaron B.

      Akyama is the obvious leadoff guy. Put him there and stick him there and see what happens. Don’t platoon him, he has a short swing he should be able to slash a slider if he is looking for it. This is one of the problems, no real roles on offense. Maybe it was a toss up between Senzel and Akyama for leadoff before the campaign started, but Senzel is showing he is injury prone and we need to stabilize the lineup somehow. Enough with the 6th inning platoon switches, those don’t make sense because then you are stuck in the 9th with a short bench, plus its probably pissing off players who are pressing knowing they may only get 2 at bats before getting pulled mid game. They hired too many sabremetric statheads and are losing grasp of basic psychology and motivational techniques.

  6. Seadog

    Someone mentioned on the previous post Trevor Bauer having his last start for the Reds this week. Sad to say they are probably right
    Bauer came to the Reds last year as damaged goods. According to him he had an ankle/foot injury that effected his back the last half of last year.
    This year we are seeing the real Trevor Bauer. He is healthy. Unfortunately for us Reds fans/him Covid hit and the Reds continue to tank. Now “contracts” set in. The Reds really have no choice but to trade him at this point.
    I personally hate that. Trevor Bauer is having a Cy type season. On top of that, he is great for this game—entertaining.
    In my humble opinion he will help a team down the stretch and into the post season. I just wish it had been our Reds.

    • Jon

      If it does come to that, let’s hope Dick Williams makes a smart trade and gets a legitimate return. Unlike that of Jocketty with Cueto five years ago (and many others made during the rebuild).

  7. mudpuppie

    Looked like they got Bell out of bed to do the post game. No wonder the team plays like it’s in slow motion…

    • Gene Kehoe

      Yeah, they play like the manager talks — half asleep!

  8. IrishMike

    Totally agree. Votto is hurting the team. Question is… does our manager have the cahunas to demote him in the lineup or even sit him down. All these guys care about is hitting home runs… it’s ridiculous… and they’re not hitting many of them anyways. I should ask for my 89 bucks back that I paid for the Baseball package- cause so far it’s been a bad investment in an inferior product !

  9. martin

    Bob Castellini has to be grinding his teeth to powder in the way the front office has really failed to produce. The entire organization is not producing talent and it’s been this way for some time now. Senzel? All ways hurt…who else? Who else have they drafted which has shown impact on the MLB level? Suarez was a trade. Winker? He would be the one I guess.

    • ClevelandRedsFan

      This organization has a blind spot for hitters, can’t draft or develop hitters.

      This organization has produced some decent pitchers: Lorenzen, Iglesias, Mahle, Garrett, Chapman. Iglesias and Chapman were international signings.

      But no true impact players that were drafted and developed that can be top 5 in MVP or Cy Young.

      Until that changes, this team will continue to lose.

  10. Roger Garrett

    Real problem is we have so many players that nobody else wants yet they start for us.Go through our line up.Most of these guys are not every day players.We have a ton of guys that at best are just designated hitters against a certain pitcher.Joey,Big Nick,Wink and Moose are limited in the field and on the base paths.Average at best and I am being kind.Galvis is what he is and that’s average in the field,has some pop,and a career OBP under 300.Tucker is what he is and although Shogo performed well in Japan he has struggled so far.I have no clue about Suarez and his issues now but his track record has been good but right now today on a team full of weak links he holds the top spot.That leaves Senzel who in my opinion is the only one with multiple skills that will improve and could play and start on a lot of other teams but we know his injury history so we don’t really know what we have in him other then potential.I love the Reds and pull hard for these guys and hope they get better but come on.

    • seadog

      You are on the right track. The Reds do have a lot of players other teams passed on and they got on the cheap—Galvis/Davidson/Colon/Jankiwski/Payton/Casali etc. Few were drafted. Votto/Winker/Senzel

  11. Jon

    The 60-game season is quite strange. The Reds are only 26 games into the year. In any other year, we’d be saying the players are still shaking off the rust and will play better when the weather heats up. Rather than it still being April, for comparison purposes it is almost the end of June. Yet in reality, it’s nearing the end of August. I can’t wait until we (hopefully) have a normal season again in 2021.

  12. mudpuppie

    Maybe time for Votto to become a pinch hitter off the bench at a critical time late in the game….

  13. RedsGettingBetter

    What about Alan Zinter? Do Reds still have a hitting coach ? Nine hits spread over three games, it is overwhelming…

  14. martin

    Who are the core players the club can count on? Suarez, Winker, Castellanos, Moustakas and Senzel as starters are good. Not great but good. Is there a superstar there? No, there is not. Pitchers would be Gray, DeSclafani, Bauer, and Castillo and Garrett. Lorenzen and Iglesias woud not be counted on in the playoffs in clutch in my opinion. There are some decent arms like Sims and Stephenson and now Antone. Reds have about 10 players on the entire team who are pretty good but not superstars sans Bauer who is gone. They still have a lot to add to make this club a team which could win in the playoffs.

    • Jon

      Where is the Reds’ superstar offensive player? The Cubs have Bryant, the Brewers have Yelich, the Braves have Acuna, the Padres have Tatis, the White Sox have numerous young players with serious potential, the Dodgers are loaded… Yet after rebuilding for five seasons, this is the best the Reds have? Senzel can’t stay on the field. Suarez was the Reds top offensive player last year, but nothing this year. India thus far during his minor league career looks expendable.

  15. mudpuppie

    I see where Hunter Pence was designated for assignment. You know his talent is in decline but he certainly respects the game and you would never ever see him not hustle. Be a real example for the younger guys and maybe a in your face clubhouse guy

  16. Scott C

    Doesn’t correct the offense but Nate Jones needs to be DFA’d tonight. Bringing him in has been like throwing gasoline on a fire. A three to two game and you’re one hit from tying the score, at 6-2 it takes a lot more things to go right to get back into the game. Lorenzen has seemed to right the ship so far. Surely there is someone who can pitch better than Jones.

  17. Still a Red

    Well something is wrong. The machine, which on paper looks good, can’t get off the ground. I’m afraid the poor performance will cause Bauer and Castellano to leave. And Votto, if things don’t improve for him, might throw in the towel. I’v been reluctant to blame Bell…people have to perform…but maybe all the ‘matching up’ doesn’t really work.

    • Gene Kehoe

      I agree, Castellano might opt out, Bauer will be somewhere else no matter what, and if Votto continues his decline in September I can see him retiring. He is a very proud player, and not being able to produce is surely just killing him! Bat him 7th, take the pressure off him, and see what he can do.

  18. Bill J

    Of course the season isn’t over but, when the Reds started the manager search some laughed at a few of us for suggesting David Ross. Now whose team is ahead of the Reds by 5.5 games ¿

  19. GreatRedLegsFan

    Before season started it never crossed my mind to see Votto leading off. My first option was Akiyama, then Senzel and lastly Winker. Under current circumstances, not sure who’d fit that bill.

  20. Steven Ross

    No harm in trying Votto at leadoff but seems obvious it isn’t working. Votto isn’t the only one not hitting in this lineup. Look at Tucker. The list is long. I’d stick with Akiyama and maybe even Winker but this team has so many dead bats now I’m not sure if anything or anyone would work. I do know this team needs a reboot. Time to change things up. It’s not working plus so boring to watch.