Here’s the bad news: the Cincinnati Reds (18-24) have to face Yu Darvish and the Chicago Cubs (25-18) tonight, and he’s been one of the best pitchers in the league this season. Here’s the good news: Trevor Bauer, who has also been one of the best pitchers in the league this season, is pitching for the Reds. It’s set up to be a pitcher’s duel at Wrigley Field.

First pitch is at 8:15 EDT. If you’re like me and are inclined to watch no matter how bad the team is playing, the game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Ohio, for the out-of-market fans, and 700 WLW for the radio listeners.

Starting Pitchers

Trevor Bauer 44.0 2.05 3.17 3.31 0.86 35.90% 7.60%
Yu Darvish 50.0 1.44 2.01 2.60 0.88 33.00% 4.20%


Bauer was the victim of some terrible defense in his last outing at Pittsburgh on Friday. He pitched six innings of a seven inning doubleheader and only allowed one earned run. The other three runs were unearned, mainly due to a Joey Votto error. Bauer did continue his impressive strikeout streak with seven more strikeouts on Friday. For the season, he is up to 61 strikeouts in 44.0 innings and looking for more.

After only allowing two runs in the first 26.1 innings of his 2020 season, it looks on the surface that Bauer has hit a little bit of a slump, allowing 11 runs in 17.2 innings. However, when you factor in that three of those runs were unearned and two of those were home runs given up to Anthony Rizzo on August 29, six runs in 17.2 innings looks a lot better. Bauer’s ERA still sits at 2.05 and his FIP is at 3.17, so he’s still performing above league average and still in the conversation for a Cy Young award.


Darvish faced the Reds eleven days ago and it was not good for the Redlegs. He pitched six innings of shut-out baseball while striking out eight and walking only two. Darvish has always been a good pitcher, but it appears he has taken his game to the next level in 2020. He’s pitching like the top candidate for the Cy Young award, with an ERA of 1.44 and a FIP of 2.01 and 63 strikeouts to only eight walks in 50.0 innings.

A big reason for his success is that he tweaked his fastball in the off-season. Darvish has always been a pitcher who throws a lot of pitches. Statcast says he throws six pitches, but he really throws around 11. His four-seam fastball has always been a weakness of his. During the off-season, Darvish worked on understanding more of the analytics behind why it wasn’t as good. An article by Matt Kelly from explains in a little more detail on how he tweaked his spin rate, and how it’s paying off for him in big ways. His whiff% for his four-seam fastball, has gone from 29.3% in 2019 to 44.7% in 2020.


1. Joey Votto (1B)
2. Nick Castellanos (RF)
3. Jesse Winker (DH)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Mike Moustakas (2B)
6. Shogo Akiyama (LF)
7. Brian Goodwin (CF)
8. Freddy Galvis (SS)
9. Tucker Barnhart (C)
1. Ian Happ (CF)
2. Willson Contreras (DH)
3. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
4. Javier Baez (SS)
5. Kyle Schwarber (LF)
6. Victor Caratini (C)
7. Jason Heyward (RF)
8. David Bote (3B)
9. Ildemaro Vargas (2B)

Aristides Aquino is hitting .400 off Darvish with two home runs and four RBI in five at-bats…. but he’s also not in the lineup.

Here’s hoping that Bauer can actually get Rizzo out tonight.

News and Notes

It’s Roberto Clemente Day. There was a good story written about him and his wife over on today.

José DeLeón, who is from Puerto Rico, will be wearing #21 tonight in honor of Clemente.


137 Responses

  1. Rut

    I like Aquino’s stats, just wish he was in the lineup!

    • jim walker

      +100. I was going to say but of course AA isn’t playing tonight.

  2. seadog

    Thank You Ashley,
    Big day for Deleon. I believe he gets to wear #21. Huge for him. David Bell, get home in the game tonight.

      • Wayne Nabors

        Have you seen him pitch this year?I don’t want him anywhere near that mound

  3. RedsFan11

    Different game, Same lineup. Webster going to add an appendix (“see Cincinnati Reds”) at the end of the definition of insanity

  4. Vada

    If anyone wants REALITY here it is. After the Reds lose tonight they will need to go 12 and 5 the rest of the year to end up 30-30. There is only one word that describes the Reds organization: PITIFUL !!!

  5. Old-school

    Reds win tonight behind Bauer. But Ashley, don’t mention Joey votto errors that lead to 3 runs and a loss.
    That’s not allowed. I love Joey votto but criticism of him is not allowed on this website or in the politically connected insular circle of the Cincinnati corporate community. His road splits are horrific. Hopefully he changes that soon

    • Indy Red Man

      I’m exhibit #1 lol

      Actually I don’t care if the Reds trade for Mike Trout and DeGrom in the off-season. Win and you deserve to have fans. Continue to be the Reds and I’ll find something else to do.

  6. seadog

    Ashley you are amazing in my mind. Thank You, Thank Doug for realizing this. MLB needs more female input in my mind. I know that sounds sexist. Just the facts.
    At the same time—if you are a “writer” write. Don’t cough up info we all know. Expand on that info.. Talk about Deleon—why is tonight so important to him? Tell your thoughts of why it is important to him.
    Write during this game—tell us why you want to visit every MLB stadium.
    Just putting out facts is kind of like my “favorite” writer Hemingway going into a bar in Key West and saying “ 80 today/rough waters”. He told his story. Tell yours You can’t write a novel on redlegnation. You can put more “ heart” into it.
    Tell your story—tell us how you feel about BABIP. Tell us why all stadiums.

    • Daytonnati

      Another Hemingway aficionado! You are my brother, Seadog 🙂

      • seadog

        Yes-and compliment Doug/Ashley/-I don’t know that there is a harder job out there than being a writer. My comps are pretty ludicrous.

  7. Mark Moore

    Really don’t get the Goodwin in CF over Shogo … just don’t get it.

  8. Mark Moore

    That right there is your “unlucky” BABIP for Joey.

  9. Mark Moore

    Oh please, please, please, please … let us see Bad Yu tonight with no control!!

  10. seadog

    reds vs Darvish. You would think it would be Cubs win. 99% of the time I am wrong. Lol. Here is what I am watching
    1. Does Deleon get in the game wearing # 21??
    2. 15 innings of no runs for the Reds. What is the record? I am sure it is higher than 15. I am sure Doug knows. Feels like every pitcher thrown against the Reds is Orel H.
    3. Doug, seems to like confusing Vegas real #’s (cards never lie/players do). with #’s the Reds put up. So
    4. What inning will they score. I say inning # 4. Place your bets
    5. I say the winner gets a pair of Doug’s cleats from junior high. Ala (Bauer)
    6. Do the Reds really have no Sac bunts in 2020? I know first year of DH in NL, but really?

    Have some fun with this game.

    Go Reds—kick the crap out of Darvish/-Please.

  11. Mark Moore


    2 walks really helped. Stake Bauer to a nice lead.

    • Mark Moore

      +500 for taking it “like a man”

      At least it was a 3-run blast.

      • seadog

        Yep. I heard “banjo’s” when he hit that. Rightfully so.
        Most all of you can find that “movie” reference. If not. Stick to TWITTER

      • Mark Moore

        Additional +100 for a movie reference

  12. Jefferson Green

    And a good start for Trevor.

  13. seadog

    Serious questions for everyone

    1.How much does Trevor Bauer make next year?? I say $25 mil
    2. Does he sign a 1 year contract? I say yes
    3. Does he sign with the Reds? NO. It will be NY/Slam City

    • Mark Moore

      I’ve said $25+ all along. And it will be a 1-year.

      As for the destination, who knows? It depends on which club buys into the 1-year idea, because I think Trevor is set on it.

    • Jefferson Green

      I’ll bite. If he keeps up current performance (Cy Young discussion and gets real votes, but doesn’t win), he will get the highest AAV of any FA pitcher by several million $. The real question is the financial reality of most franchises after few games, no fans (and corresponding sponsorships), and the prospect of revenue reductions in 2021 if conditions persist. If things are back close to usual, I’ll predict a 30-33 million $ contract. One year gets him a big premium, mitigated a bit by the comp a team has to give up. I give the Reds a 50-60% chance of being the winning bidder.

    • earmbrister

      What didn’t you see? Lmao

      No video for me tonight

  14. earmbrister

    So, is it a sign of the times when you log in late, see a 3-0 score, and immediately jump to the conclusion that the Reds are losing?

    • seadog

      Maybe you did. Mark/I did not. We will continue to watch. Have fun/banter. You are welcome to join

    • Mark Moore

      Debbie doesn’t blame you … just smile and be happy for now, especially after we needed 4 outs in that last inning.

  15. Woodrow

    Reds defensive routes are junior varsityesque.

    Last night, couldn’t decide if Castellanos was more Billy from Family Circus or early Shakira video. But. Hips don’t lie and his never turned the right way.

    Tonight – it happens to everyone, but tonight it’s Galvis.

  16. Mark Moore

    OK, let’s get the 4th out and finish the inning.

  17. Johnnie Sparks

    Reds on their way to 4-6 hits again. WOW. Bauer has to make the 3 runs stand. Playoffs were talking bout playoffs lol.

  18. Mark Moore

    Trevor looked more than a little intense and focused walking off the mound that inning. Nice work by him. Conserving his pitch count despite 4 outs in one inning.

  19. seadog

    Just step back and realize How bad this defense is. Step back and realize how good Bauer is
    He came into this game with “Un-Godly” whip of I think .087.
    Three more innings (with an error). And he has lowered his WHIP.
    Dude deserves $25 mil plus

    • Mark Moore

      He’ll get it … may even creep up to $30M if he keeps this up. Got to figure it’s less risk for a team than a 5+ year contract.

      • Jefferson Green

        See above. For top pitchers, I think the one year commitment premium is large.

  20. earmbrister

    Yu is pounding the zone vs Akiyama, and he can’t get good wood on it.

    • Mark Moore

      He did bust it down the line … very close, but it was the correct call to change it.

      • earmbrister

        I got excited that Shogo got an infield hit. Thought (on very limited info?knowledge) that Akiyama was a 4th outfielder/backup CFr. This small sample size hasn’t dissuaded me.

        Senzel is a quality hitter, though he’s yet to show it consistently. Can’t wait to have him back.

  21. Jefferson Green

    Fun to see Goodwin get a big jump and steal second. I enjoy the running game and hope MLB tweaks some things to encourage it.

  22. seadog

    Just glad to see life/-want too.
    Bauer has a no/no to this point.
    How many pitches does he get. 100+. Mahle got 100+ in his last start.

    • earmbrister

      Seadog, you NEVER talk about a no/no this early.


      • Mark Moore

        Debbie agrees … do not speak of it!

        Meanwhile, Trevor racking up the K’s through 4.

      • seadog

        Kind of like “luck”. It is what it is. The point is his WHIP.
        There is no “luck” or talk about a no/no before any inning.
        The Dude rules. Respect that. Not some archaic rule about saying nothing. Does not work that way.
        Like saying Tatis should not swing at 3-0.

      • VaRedsFan

        Never talk about it. Mark needs to take some of your points away.

  23. Jefferson Green

    Bauer deserves that DP luck.

  24. VaRedsFan

    Suarez swung at both pitches out of the zone and took the one in the zone.

  25. RedAlert

    Suárez Is totally lost at the plate – but dude continues to hit in top 4 – ridiculous ! Bell should have moved him down long time ago – Another example of his stubbornness .

    • VaRedsFan

      Not disagreeing, but put who there?

      • RedAlert

        Guess good time to move him down will be when Senzel comes back – who knows what genius Bell will do

      • earmbrister

        Yeah, look at that lineup. Winker is the only one with a decent BA, and that has come down dramatically. NO ONE is hitting for the Reds, not even Winker lately. If I’m the hitting coach, I wouldn’t be renewing my apartment lease.

    • PTBNL

      especially the night he hit 3 homeruns.

    • Jefferson Green

      Which four hitters on the team are better to put in his spot in the lineup?

    • bug

      Suarez wears the Golden Sombrero, and he’s over there laughing in the dugout. You think he’s over there laughing in the dugout after striking out 4 times in one game if Sparky or Sweet Lou is manager??? I think not. Sad part is Suarez fairly often strikes out 4 times in a game. It’s not that unusual for him to do that. He would not do that years ago. You do it one time back then, and you’re sent back to the minors to learn how to put a bat on a ball. It used to be embarrassing when that would happen. Now you go back laughing. That’s why I love Trevor Bauer. You’ll not see him laughing in the dugout. The man is competitive, players used to be. Bauer gives up a few hits or runs, and he throws the baseball over the center field wall. That’s my kind of player. How baseball has changed!!!

  26. seadog

    There is no “Luck” in baseball. They played him well/pitched him well
    Tired Of hearing the word “luck” with this Reds team.
    From Doug to Dick Williams. There is no “Luck”
    BABIP is a stat that “assumes” luck. WHIP is not. There is a huge difference
    Deal with it. Nobody wants too.

    • Don

      Doug’s last statement I have read is:
      The Reds have been incredibly unlucky and they also probably aren’t all that good. Both things can be true.
      BABIP is a measure of luck and avg is a measure of how good is one at hitting the ball. Runs per Game is a measure of a teams offense.
      Reds are last in MLB for BABIP and AVG. So the numbers back up that they are both unlucky and not that good in 2020.
      Reds Runs per game is 3.83 (29th) so this is also not good.

      • Don

        Unless the Reds hit some and score some more in the last 3 innings, all of the numbers will be going down and getting worse.

    • Mark Moore

      I think there is some luck in the hitting of a round ball rotating at an obnoxious spin rate with a round bat. Sometimes you hit it more “square” than others, though the better hitters put themselves in the best position to do that.

      But in general, there is very little “luck” to be had.

  27. Don

    Assuming Bauer cruises through 7, whom does Bell have pitches 8th and 9th?

    • RedAlert

      Anybody but Iglesias in 8th or 9th – don’t want to see Lorenzen in the 8th either – time to give Bradley shot at closing

      • Tom Mitsoff

        I definitely want to see Bradley get a shot.

  28. seadog

    This game is the epitome of MLB in 2020. What this game is becoming
    1. Two awesome starts by two very/very good pitchers
    2 Combined/both teams thru 6. 3 runs/ 3 hits and 2 errors.
    Just sayin.

    • Don

      Braves ahead 22 to 8 over Marlins through 5 1/2.
      Brewers won 18 to 0 today.

      Not all teams are being dominated by pitchers every game like we see every night with these Reds.

      • Don

        Sorry, Brewers won 19 to 0 over TIgers.

    • seadog

      All “Runs” by a deep fly.
      Comes down to how deep is your pen?
      Sorry, but Reds season in a “nut shell” is this game

  29. RedAlert

    Wow – Barnhart is Brutal at the plate -and Stephenson can’t get a sniff – Inexcusable

    • bug

      I heard that. 3 Ks for Barnhart tonight. Good defense just goes so far. He’s about an automatic strike out. You can count on it. Reds have too many of that kind of player. Whiffers.

  30. Mark Moore

    Good to see Rizzo and Baez struggling tonight. Plus Trevor is totally ON, so there’s that.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Bauer is right at 101 pitches after 7 innings. He’ll get a shot to go at least 8.

    • Don

      Bauer has been pitching great all season, to bad he has had no run support like all the pitchers this season.

  31. Don

    Bauer should start the 8th and have Garrett ready to go

  32. docproc

    Don’t even THINK about taking out Bauer.

    • Don

      If Caratini gets on somehow, I think Garrett needs to be ready to come in vs Hayward, Bote, Vargas

      If Caratini does not get on stay with Bauer.

  33. earmbrister

    Who’s voting for a complete game by Bauer?

    If Bauer votes, how does he vote?

    • Mark Moore

      Bauer votes to throw 9 innings every game and rack up 240+ like Seaver used to.

      • earmbrister

        I had a Tom Seaver autographed ball. In a pinch, I used it and turned it green. One of a long list of life’s regrets.

        RIP Tom Terrific. You got robbed in the Cy Young voting vs Fernando. Absolutely robbed.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Just my guess — he gets no more than 120 pitches.

      • Don

        I would think that is right.

        Bauer has said that is about his limit based on this training in his you tube videos.

        He said, if he was asked to throw more pitches, he would train and prepare differently.

  34. seadog

    Bauer should see 8th. Could we maybe see an “actual” complete game by a starter?
    If my math is correct. 1 hit no walks right at 100 pitches.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      He’ll have to have a very low-pitch-count eighth to get a shot to go nine.

  35. Mark Moore

    Was that Bauer heading for the showers? Don’t play with us this way Mr. Bell! You know we don’t trust you.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      There was a quick shot of the bullpen and nobody was throwing.

    • seadog

      Bauer was going down to TWEET. Lol. He will be in the 8th

  36. Woodrow

    Why Sims up in the pen? I know he’s been good, but this seems a time for Garrett and Bradley.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Might be about that time to see if Sims can step into that closer role.

      • Woodrow

        Better to be lucky and good sometimes!

      • Charlie Waffles

        Yes sir. A 4 out save tonight for Sims would be so un-Bell like though. Fingers crossed he gets the chance.

    • Don

      Sims turned out to be the right choice. Now whom starts the 9th
      Upcoming Cubs
      Contreras, Rizzo, Baez

      • Woodrow

        Sims gets Contreras; Garrett then next 3, then Bradley. If there’s trouble, Garrett might see Bryant over Schwarber, but still …

  37. Don

    Happ is 0-2 with 1K vs Sims in 2020

    Now 0-3

  38. Don

    I am chuckling watching this game as we discuss whom pitches to keep the shutout while the Reds are at the plate.

    I get the feeling we all know the Reds are most likely done scoring and getting hits tonight

  39. Mark Moore

    Really love to hear about Kimbrell imploding. Never thought he was all that and a bag of chips. He’s in to mop up. Relatively easy K on Geno and his Golden Sombrero kind of night.

    • VaRedsFan

      He has a large assortment of Sombreros in his closet.

      • Mark Moore

        I think he has an entire room for them … lot’s of Golden and a couple Platinum as well.

  40. Charlie Waffles

    Raisel Iglesias warming up in the pen?
    Nooooooooooo. Say it ain’t so Jim Day.

    • TR

      Let’s not forget that Iggy seems to be entitled as the Red’s closer.

  41. VaRedsFan

    Iggy is warming….hold on to you Sombreros folk.

    • Don

      glad the front office traded for Bradley at the deadline.

      He has pitched 2.2 innings in the 3rd inning of a 9-0 game and the 9th in a 6-2 win

  42. seadog

    Bauer gave his heart for this team tonight. What an outstanding performance
    WHIP is much better evaluator than BABIP. Does not matter OF/D. Tom has it right.
    Doug, it is what it is. There is no “luck” in baseball. You Dick Williams can talk about it all you want. Wish
    NO LUCK in baseball.

    • Mark Moore

      So are you saying there is no luck at all in baseball? Just trying to make sure we understand your position … 🙂

      • Mark Moore

        A gork, a flair, a ground ball with eyes.

  43. Tom Mitsoff

    Let me just say with Iglesias warming up, I hope it is as backup for Sims. I would love to see Sims get a shot. I don’t know what else we need to learn about Iglesias.

    • Mark Moore

      We need to learn if we can get 1 or 2 boxes of baseballs for him during the off season

  44. Tom Mitsoff

    Folks, we’re starting to see Shogo get it together. I’d like to see him back in leadoff tomorrow.

    • Mark Moore

      We knew it would take him a while to adjust, but I’m thinking that’s exactly what we’re seeing.

    • Mark Moore

      I’m with the guys in the booth … I think the dugout chatter did distract him just a bit. Plus Rizzo made a really quick tag.

      • RedAlert

        And there ya go – joking around , laughing , dude gets picked . That’s a David Bell managed team for you right there

    • seadog

      I agree with Sims.
      Shogo not so much. He belongs in AA at best. Shogo is old, yet needs seasoning at MLB level.
      Play the kids.

    • earmbrister

      2 hit games by Reds’ hitters have been tough to come by. I hope you’re right, cause it would be nice if ANY Reds’ hitter got it together.

  45. Woodrow

    Early season, I think Bell subbed too early at times, and he had some bad reactions to early poor performances from the VanMeters and Ervins of the world by going to Colon and Jankowski – but again, he had some limited choices too.

    But if Bradley doesn’t start warming up the moment Rasiel leaves the pen, it’s malpractice. Will he implode … probably not … but every game where the Reds are ahead, in, or close is must win. If it isn’t too late already. All hands.

    • Don

      total agreement, Bradley has to be ready to face the 4th batter of the inning.

      Iglesias will need to face 3 batters.

  46. earmbrister

    This was not the first Golden Sombrero for Suarez.

    It’s all about consistency

    • Don

      He is consistent, he had one the last game vs Darvish as well. 7 Inning game 1 of the double header where the Votto errors cost Bauer and Reds the win.

  47. Indy Red Man

    My boy Adam Duvall with 3/9 tonite! The Reds just had to run him out of town. Most of RLN said he was a bum when he was putting up 30/100 so of course they had to run him out after a cold spell. Now the whole team is on a 2 month cold spell. He was also the best defensive LFer we’ve had in years.

    • Woodrow

      Duvall is useful. Started the day with a OBP under 300. Decent bat off the bench, great defensive replacement. Got Sims for him.

  48. seadog

    Adam Duvall with another 3 HR game. Iglesias lighting it up.

  49. VaRedsFan

    Atlanta up 29-9
    Braves…not Falcons

  50. Mark Moore

    Were I Freddy G I’m pretty sure I’d have use both hands on that last one.

    Good night for us. Catch you all tomorrow.

    • Don

      he drops it when uses two hands, better to just use the glove

  51. Jefferson Green

    And this one belongs to the Reds!

  52. earmbrister

    Great game by Bauer.

    The Reds bats exploded for 4 hits. Big Red Wagon. That said, a win is a win, even moreso vs the division leading Cubs. Next 4 games are critical: find a way, any way, to win. Need to stop relying solely on the starting pitching. Go Reds.