Mike Moustakas’ three-run homer in the first inning off Yu Darvish felt like it was worth 25 runs. The Reds entered play having failed to score a run in 15 consecutive innings, and they had backed themselves into what was a must win game tonight. The three runs Moustakas drove in would prove to be more than enough for Trevor Bauer. He took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, and dominated the Cubs over 7.2 innings.

The Reds are about to get some much needed help (assuming the Braves don’t blow a 29-9 lead on the Marlins), and they are now 2.5 back for the final wild card spot and 3.0 back of the idle Cardinals for the NL Central #2 spot with 17 games to play.

Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (25-19) 0 3 1
Cincinnati Reds (19-24) 3 4 1
W: Bauer (4-3) L: Darvish (7-2) S: Iglesias (6)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Mike Moustakas’ 3-run home run with 1 out in the first inning, giving the Reds a 3-0 lead. That play increased the Reds probability of winning by 24.4% (from 49.3% to 73.8%).


What more can you say about Trevor Bauer? If the Reds were better in the standings like they should be, everyone would be talking about what an absolute steal of trade this was for the Reds. Tonight’s ridiculous line: 7.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K, 0.94 FIP.

Mike Moustakas might finally be heating up. He now has .946 OPS in the month of September. If he can start hitting bombs every couple games, that would be huge for the Reds down the stretch.

Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker had really good plate appearances in the first inning to draw walks off Yu Darvish to set up the 3-run Moose bomb. Darvish had only walked 8 batters all year entering tonight.



Up Next:

Reds at Cubs
Tuesday, 8:15 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Sonny Gray (3.19 ERA, 42.1 IP) vs Adbert Alzolay (2.08 ERA, 8.2 IP)

40 Responses

  1. seadog

    You asked?? I will tell you what more to say about Bauer. Forget ERA. Look at WHIP.
    That was probably one of the best games I have ever seen a “Reds” starter have in a “must win” ballgame. Zero walks.
    Bauer wants to win. He is a winner. Let’s see who else steps up.
    And again—this “Offense” live/die by the HR. They will set a new record for BABIP.
    Not “luck”. This offense/defense is that BAD.
    Play the kids. Please, Please

    • Gene Kehoe

      Love Bauer’s intensity and desire to win! Maybe HE should manage this team! I just don’t see anywhere near that same intensity from anyone else on the field or in the dugout. Teams like the Braves (look at the records Duvall and the Braves set last night) do more damage in one inning than the Reds do in a week!

    • Still a Red

      Guess the walk or homer strategy worked last night…wish we had more in the tool box.

  2. Charlie Waffles

    Let the good vibes roll.
    Four hits? Again?
    Whew. Goosefraba.

  3. Davy13

    Marlins score 9 runs with 13 hits and lose.
    Reds score score 3 runs with only 4 hits and win.
    Divine providence!

  4. RedNat

    Old timer here. In recent years there has been a push to recognize the starting pitching from the BRM era. But im telling you, Billinhgam, Norman, Nolan. They couldn’t hold a candle to our starters of this team. Im not sure if the stats back this up but this is the best starting pitching i have seen since following the reds ( which goes back a long time).

    Psychologically it has to be tough on these starters knowing that there is little offense ( or defense for that matter) to back them up. They have definitely stepped it up this year

    • jim walker

      Mario Soto would fit right in with this crew. Can’t imagine the mental toughness it took to perform like he did with the sad sack team he was saddled with around him.

      Also maybe Jose Rio in his prime before the elbow went bad.

  5. JayTheRed

    Bauer is pitching for his next payday. That helps too. I’ll be sad when he leaves Cincy this coming offseason. The guy just brings an intensity to the game I have not seen in a long time in Cincy. Now if only the hitters could get some of that intensity.

    Let’s hope Gray is back to normal Sunny Side 🙂 on Thursday.

  6. DataDumpster

    An excellent starting pitcher performance, one big HR, and little else to speak of. Seems like we’ve won 5 or
    6 games that way. Anyway, I’ve been searching for the ray of hope for the Reds making the playoffs. My eye is on the Cardinals. Much better disciplined and coached team than the Reds but how can they continue to work through their crazy schedule after their covid problem? The next 18 days until season end will feature no off days for them and 5 double headers (including 10 games against Milwaukee.) I would not discount the very real possibility that the Cards run out of good arms or just get plainly exhausted. Milwaukee could land some punishing blows on them but continue floundering against other teams as they have all season. Are the Reds capable of a 3 game winning streak? That and .500 ball for the rest of the games adds up to 29-31, which may be enough for second in this weak division.

  7. Melvin

    I would be very happy to be proved wrong and we make the playoffs at least. Not much time left.

    • Corey D

      Since you visit this site and comment, everyone assumes you want the Reds to do well.

  8. GreatRedLegsFan

    I guess Bauer added a couple of millions to his next contract. I got on my feet when Iglesias was called in, but fortunately he didn’t blew it this time.

    • Corey D

      Please get on your feet every time he is called in. That might be good luck. Test it out and let me know.

  9. Greenfield Red

    Not much changed last night. Top 4 in the lineup 0-14 with 7 Ks. 4 hits total. A Little League error. Good starting pitching. The 1 out of ordinary thing was the bullpen didn’t fold up like a card table.

    • Gene Kehoe

      Seems like Suarez, Barnhart and Votto struck out every time they came up! The offense we’re (not) getting from Catcher, 1B, SS and CF is just killing us.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        I agree they were horrible. They were also facing one of the best pitchers in the league not named Bauer or deGrom. Bauer struck out 10 Cubs tonight. They were pretty awful too. Unfortunately, in my opinion anyway, baseball has become one of 3 things, HR, strikeout or walk. It has made the game much less interesting to watch. When I look at the lineup, it makes me cringe to see the numbers.

  10. Still a Red

    Votto first at bat, a solid line drive right at the deep second baseman shift…otherwise a good single and Moose gets a grand slam. Joey’s gotta figure out how to beat that shift…maybe he needs to bat lower in the order and hit with a runner on second (takes shift away), except no one gets on. Ted Williams had trouble with the shift, didn’t like dinking it to left, decided to just go over the shift. Joey can’t do that anymore. Also, he called out on a bad pitch once.

    Suarez just looked awful. Can’t seem to read those breaking balls away…not even close. If he’s going to swing why can’t he take them the opposite way?

    Barnhart just can’t hit the ball. He’s got a pretty good eye (he should, being a catcher), he takes a good cut, but he can’t seem to put the bat on the ball.

    Glad to see Shogo going Ichiro…have him lead off again.

    • jim walker

      Votto is in a race he can’t win with father time.
      For the 2017 and 2018 seasons combined his OPS slash was .437/,503/.940 which gave him a wRC+ of 148, just an eyelash short of 1.5 times better than MLB average

      The same numbers for 2019 and 2020 (to date) .353/.408/.761; wRC+ 100, dead on league average.

  11. ClevelandRedsFan

    Give me homerun or give me death.

    The last time the Reds scored a run not from a homerun was the first game of the Friday double header. That’s 5 games in a row that the Reds haven’t scored a non-homerun run.

    This is still a bad team with an elite performers in Bauer.

    Reds clearly have no interest in changing their feckless approach. Until they do that, I don’t see this team going on an extended run.

    • Redgoggles

      Amen. I now prefer to watch our pitching over our hitting, but generally haven’t been watching much the last couple of weeks as I’ve not seen any real committed effort to change our (BORING!) approach. Confirmed by our GM/President saying basically it’s bad luck, which I understood to mean that “they are doing everything right”. Well, good luck with that.

      I would vote for bunting against the shift, focusing on hitting the other way and contact hitting with two strikes over launch angles, HR pull swings, and/or whatever we’ve been seeing this year. For all of the talk of analytics/smart baseball – which I completely support DW’s leadership and organizational changes – why isn’t it considered smart to make the next adjustments by changing the approach to combat the shifts? Maybe it’s not that easy, but I’m not even seeing any effort in that direction. So until that happens, I see no reason to expect changes in (offensive) results. And, it’s a shame considering our pitching and the expanded playoffs this year.

      • VaRedsFan

        Just watch the highlight shows. Most all of the other teams are adjusting and getting oppo base hits. It’s a choice to pull the ball into the shift.

  12. Colorado Red

    Unfortunately, this does not matter.
    The season is done, over, stinking.
    A few players may have some fire in the belly, but not many.
    Cannot score, expect by HR’s. Really bad management.
    Dick, Nick, and David, all need to be fired.
    The rebuild is a complete disaster.
    2.5 down, with so many teams to pass. Turn out the lights the party is long since over.

    • Corey D

      Thanks for visiting the site and commenting. I guess we wont see anymore from you until next season. Since this season is over. Bye for now.

  13. Matt WI

    It’s easy to associate “intensity” and “fire” when a team happens to win. But let’s not kid ourselves… baseball isn’t a game where you just simply push off the line a little harder, or one person (besides a pitcher on a good day) can just carry the day. I defy anyone to walk into the clubhouse and tell Joey Votto, Suarez, Moose, or whomever that they don’t care and don’t try hard. Bauer is a great pitcher, and he seems to have the same attitude, win or lose. Same guy that threw a ball into the stands in KC and everyone crushed him for it. It just fits a nice little narrative that “caring” looks like “winning”.

    Offense is down all over the place. The Cubs, after a fast start, are struggling and have a lineup that expected to be better than what the Reds were hoping for out of their own. Have they stopped caring? They are fighting for the playoffs.

    Baseball is a hard game and this is an especially strange season.

    End of the day, if the Reds were 5 games over .500, Votto, Suarez, and the rest would someone magically be “caring more” when really they’d have the same attitudes as they do when they lose. I’m not happy the team has struggled so badly, and I don’t pretend to have the answer. I just don’t think “care” is the best place to look.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      That was well put Matt. Pretty much agree with everything you wrote.

    • mudpuppie

      Sorry Matt, I disagree with you. Shows up in hustle. As the Cowboy says “it stops when you become embarrassed by your performance”

    • jim walker

      I disagree only to the point that stupid “little league” plays at the MLB level generally indicate lapses in focus; and, this team has had a bucket full of them. I also see some guys not really hustling on the basepaths. They take the safe base(s) and don’t pressure defenses to make clean quick plays and accurate throws back in.

      • doofus

        Agree. The Reds are also not an “athletic” team.

        Exactly, the ‘little league” plays have haunted this squad for years. No focus.

        Votto, Suarez, Winker and Moose run the bases with pianos on their backs (I excluded the catchers, because, well, the majority of catchers do run with pianos on their back). And, if they do try to stretch for an extra base they are usually thrown out.

      • Matt WI

        For sure… some hustle and pressure can’t hurt, I can hear that. My main point is that hustle doesn’t hit a baseball. If they really aren’t looking at video between games, working on things in pregame, etc, then that’s a serious issue and accountability needs to happen.

        I just assume most of them actually are doing the work and probably do feel embarrassed or stressed… and wish the results different more than we do.

      • Corey D

        Thanks Matt. It seems easy to forget but, baseball is a very hard sport. I get tired of reading negative comments about player effort and would love to watch someone go the the club house and tell Reds players they don’t try/hustle/care.

      • jim walker

        The trick is for the runner to look dangerous to the outfielder; but know if he needs to pull up if the ball is cleanly played and returned.

        Votto used to be really good at this and knowing when he could go 1st to 3rd and score from 2nd on a single or 1st on a double. That he doesn’t play this way anymore is as much a sign of his aging as his woes at the plate.

        Barnhart on his double Tuesday had slowed to a trot by the time he was 2/3 of the way to 2nd; and, the Cubs RF was still kicking/ bobbling the ball around. By comparison, Bote for the Cubs comes on around to 3rd on a similar ball Castellanos had trouble corralling.

      • Jimbo44 CN

        Amen. No hustle, Castellanos is doing the twist in Right Field and only a few are busting it, like Akiyama.

    • docmike

      One of the best posts I’ve sen on here in a long time. In a non-stop parade of people complaining about the team lacking heart, fire, grit, or whatever, it’s nice to see someone who actually gets it. To some, every winning team is made of guys who care, and teams that lose obviously don’t care. It gets frustrating to read the same tired narrative over and over.

      • RedsFan11

        But in reality you are saying just that. If you are winning it’s because of the little things. Taking an extra base, hustling, no mental lapses on easy plays, less errors, trying to go the other way in shifts, working the count, not swinging for home runs every pitch, etc. Doing things like that shows that you care. Majority of players on this team, manager included, don’t do that

      • VaRedsFan

        Good thread and posts started by MattWi. Of course they “care” and they are trying. But what RedsFan11 said, are they doing every little thing they need to try to win? It took Votto a whole month (not to mention the 3 wasted months last year) to abandon the crouch and actual do some positive things at the plate. It took the manger a month of JVM, Ervin, Colon, ect at bats, then it took the GM remove such players so Bell would stop running them out there.
        Just the other night, Castellanos tried to throw a runner out at the plate with 2 outs (safe by at least 2 miles)…trail runner advanced and later scored. THE VERY NEXT NIGHT, Goodwin did the same thing.

        All of the little things add up, and before you know it, it’s cost you a game here and a game there.

      • jim walker

        Since I called out Barnhart by name above, let me cut him a bit of personal slack.

        Who was ever there to push him, to get in his face or confront him? To tell and more importantly show him the right way to do stuff? Probably nobody since he arrived at MLB in 2014 and has never played on a winning team at that level. Yet he is supposed to know the right way to play and be a leader now?

        When people say Rolen played a big role in making the 2010 through 2012 teams and even 2013 team after he left winners (despite the WC debacle that team won 90 games), that kind of clubhouse mentoring and butt kicking is what they are talking about.

        It is not always fired up and loud. Sometimes it is just a cold hard stare. Or something in between that gets the message across.

      • docmike

        I don’t think it’s so easily explained as that. Taking the extra base can be a good thing… until you get thrown out trying for that extra base and it short-circuits a big inning. I vividly remember losing a game in the 2012 playoffs to the Giants where Brandon Phillips tried to go first to third on a wild pitch and got thrown out. The trick is to know when to try and when to stay. If you don’t try for the extra base when maybe you should’ve, it doesn’t mean you weren’t hustling or don’t care. Maybe you just didn’t want to give the other team a free out on the basepaths.

        Same thing with the Castellanos plays. It sounds like he was guilty of trying to do too much, rather than not hustling or not caring. You don’t want to get the reputation of being a team you can run on at will. Sometimes you have to try to get the out at the plate. Again, the trick is making the correct decision in a split second. Making the wrong decision is just that, it doesn’t mean the team needs more fire or grit.

        When I watch the Reds, I don’t see a team that has quit or doesn’t care. On the contrary, I see a team that is desperately trying to get back into the race. I see a team that is probably frustrated by all of the injuries, bad luck, and poor performances that have held them back. None of which can fixed with a simple dose of fire or grit.

  14. Jimbo44 CN

    I dont believe you and I are watching the same team. Hustle makes up for quite a bit. Remember a guy named Pete Rose?
    Sorry, but if they don’t get more than four hits in a game, they are going to lose most of the time. Thank God for the pitching staff. As I watched this game last night, I said to my wife after the three run homer, “I’ll bet that’s all they get” Wow, call me Kreskin, but they have no fire and cannot hit, period.