Luis Castillo allowed one run on two hits in a complete game victory. A Joey Votto 2-run homer in the 1st inning held up for the Cincinnati Reds (20-25) as the St. Louis Cardinals (19-19) could only get a single run in a brilliant start by Castillo.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (20-25)
3 8 0
St. Louis Cardinals (19-19)
1 2 0
W: Castillo (2-5) L: Wainwright (4-1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

It didn’t take long for the Cincinnati Reds offense to get going. Nick Castellanos singled to center with one out in the 1st inning. Joey Votto appeared to walk, but the umpire had different ideas – calling a very high strike in a 3-0 count. The next pitch was low and inside and Votto hit it 442 feet into the night to put the Reds up 2-0.

After the Cardinals got a run back in the bottom of the 2nd, Cincinnati went to work once again. Shogo Akiyama singled with one out and he moved to second when Joey Votto drew a walk. That brought up Eugenio Suárez, who got the run back with a double down the line to bring Akiyama around to score and make it 3-1.

That was about the end of the night for the offense. There were a few singles and walks mixed in the rest of the way for Cincinnati, but they didn’t put a real threat of scoring again in the minds of the Cardinals pitching staff.

The Pitching

After a 1-2-3 inning to start the game, Luis Castillo ran into a little trouble in the 2nd inning against St. Louis. Brad Miller walked on four pitches to start the inning. Paul DeJong followed up with a double to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. After Yadier Molina grounded out to third, with Eugenio Suárez holding the runner at third in the process, a ground ball to the other side of the infield brought in the Cardinals first run of the game to make it 2-1. Castillo struck out Tyler O’Neill to end the inning and strand DeJong at third.

After that, Luis Castillo was locked in. The Cardinals didn’t get a hit in the 3rd inning. Or the 4th. Their bats were quiet in the 5th inning, too. The 6th inning saw St. Louis go 1-2-3. The 7th inning unfolded the same exact way, as Castillo pitched a full seven innings for the first time all season – and he was just at 88 pitches at this point in the game.

David Bell had Raisel Iglesias warming up in the bullpen, but the Reds manager sent Luis Castillo out to start the 9th inning. He would reward his manager’s confidence in him by striking out Kolten Wong to begin the frame. Tommy Edman followed up by grounding out to Eugenio Suárez for the second out of the inning. But on a full count to Paul Goldschmidt, Laz Diaz called ball four on a pitch that appeared to in the strikezone. Brad Miller would ground out two pitches later to seal the complete game victory for Castillo, and the 20th win of the year for the Reds.

Notes worth noting

Joey Votto’s home run in the 1st inning was 113.2 MPH off of the bat. That’s the hardest ball he’s hit since that stat has been tracked (2015).

Luis Castillo lowered his ERA to 3.44 on the season with this start.

Freddy Galvis and Eugenio Suárez both had two hits in the game. Joey Votto and Shogo Akiyama both went 1-3 and drew a walk on the night.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs St. Louis Cardinals

Saturday September 12th, 8:15pm ET

Tejay Antone (0-1, 2.49 ERA) vs Dakota Hudson (2-2, 3.19 ERA)

53 Responses

  1. Don

    Great efficient pitching by Castillo.

    Only 6 strike outs so the defense made plays for 21 outs and no errors.

    Solid pitching and defense.

    8 hits, 2 walks, Reds average just over 6 hits and just under 4 walks a game for the season so the offense was pretty much what it has been all season.

    Happy for the win vs Cards.

    • Don

      Reds not getting any help for the standings.

      Brewers beat Cubs 1-0 with a Sac Fly in bottom of 9th
      Mets crush the Blue Jays
      Phillies take game 1 from Marlin, Marlins up in Game 2.

      Reds just need to keep winning every one of their games and hope.

  2. Charlie Waffles

    Very impressive outing by Castillo tonight. I read where he had a 15/3 ground out/fly out ratio. Castillo needed this type of outing and the Reds needed the win. Good win.
    Ready to see what Tejay has tomorrow against a good offense.

    • Sliotar

      Entering tonight, Votto was 19 for 57 (.333) in his career vs. Wainwright.

      All the simulations … and there are several reputable ones … pointed towards Votto, Castellanos, Castillo having good nights, and the Reds being favored to win.

      Votto is 37, cannot carry this team offensively as he has done … and certainly, has no business being the leadoff hitter, especially with the way MLB is played in 2020.

      The obsession with him … pro-Votto and anti-Votto … at RLN and on Twitter … is something else, IMO.

      I can only guess focusing on him distracts from how messy things look for the club, both in trying to make the playoffs … and this winter, if Bauer and Castellanos don’t return.

      • Rich H.

        Well, Sliotar, he currently has the second best OBP on the team behind Jesse Winker, and he’s arguably the best hitter the Reds have ever had. He makes the most money and is a leader on the team. So I’m not sure where you want him to bat and why you wouldn’t think his success is really important to this team, hence the reporting on him.

  3. CFD3000

    It’s early days in this series but things would look a whole lot more interesting if the Reds could win the next two in St. Louis and leave town just half a game behind the Cardinals. I like the move to lead off Shogo and slot Votto 3rd against a righty given that Senzel, Winker and Moustakas are all out. It certainly paid off tonight. Go Reds!

  4. seadog

    That was an outstanding/outstanding performance by Castillo. Still not much offense to speak of. I HATE to bring up BABIP, but I will. Doug is on multiple platforms, will not let it lie. Just for the record, he brought it up on twitter not me…
    Questions–for Doug or anyone
    1. BABIP for the dirty birds tonight was abysmal. Was that Luck?
    2. Did the Reds make a dent in there historically low BABIP tonight?? Even with a win.
    3. Joey Votto is hitting less than Akiyama, yet we proceed to post stuff like BIBIP THAT, off one HR tonight. Should we admit he is done? Was that HR luck?

    In conclusion–This team continues to hit at historically bad rates. Continues to get outstanding starting pitching. They have to merge at some point

    • Tom Reeves

      BABIP is has statistically been attributed to luck. But, much of that analysis was conducted prior to the mass use of the shift and of the upper cut swing that equates to HR and fly outs.

      I don’t have the data to back this up – so it’s an hypothesis: The Reds approach combines with bad luck to equal a horrible BABIP and batting average. I don’t think this is solely bad luck – approach is creating some of the low BABIP. But, there is also some bad luck in there.

      I hope there’s enough time to still sneak into the playoffs.

      • AP

        I’m not sure what the aversion is to the idea that BABIP indicates the Reds have been unlucky. No one’s saying the offense hasn’t been bad or that if they had an average BABIP (or even above avg), the offense would still be well below average. It’s simply meant to indicate that, in addition to the offense being legitimately bad, they’ve also been legitimately unlucky. Consider this: not only are the Reds dead last in BABIP, but also the average interval between BABIP among teams 1-29 in the standings is about .003 (e.g. 1st is .320, 2nd is .317, 3rd is .314, etc.) and the highest difference in teams 1-29 is .007 (#29 Rangers are .007 below #28). The Reds, meanwhile, at #30 are .022 below the Rangers. That’s basically a statistical anomaly. If you watch every night, this seems to meet the eye test as well. Yes, the Reds approach is bad, yes lots of weak contact, but there are multiple balls hit every night that are going right at people. Castellanos had two tonight. Garcia crushed one that went for an out. Changes here wouldn’t all the sudden turn them into a good offense, it simply means that they are bad, and when they’re not bad, they are unlucky, which has been a deadly combination that we couldn’t afford in a 60 game season.

      • Greenfield Red

        Don’t think luck has anything to do with it. When you make no attempt to hit away from the shift, you are going to hit to ball right at defenders because there are so many of them.

      • greenmtred

        I think the aversion to the idea comes from some of us questioning what the mechanism would be for continuing and nearly unbroken luck of any kind–good or bad. Isn’t luck simply another name for chance? Flip a coin a hundred times, and it will almost always result in fairly close to even numbers of heads and tails.

    • 2020ball

      Shogo has not outhit Votto, I’m not sure why everyone has given Shogo this pass just because Votto is struggling. None of the numbers back you up except BA.

      I’m not a Votto apologist, but all I ever see is flack for him without any suggestion for anything better. The team seems to me to be lacking options to replace their struggling veterans.

      • Rich H.

        Don’t let things like facts get in the way of seadog’s arguments, 2020.

      • seadog

        To this point Shogo has outhit Votto. That is a fact. Who has more hits? Fact I am not a Votto “hater” either.
        As far as BABIP—Luck does not factor in. The #’s are the #’s facts in black and white. It’s kind of like saying the Dodgers record is an “anomaly”. It is not an anomaly. It is not good luck or bad. The record is what it is. They earned it.

      • Indydoug

        Shogo to date makes one long for Billy Hamilton

      • 2020ball

        So outhit is just straight hits now? Did we go back to the dark ages of stats suddenly?

        And you lost me on the comparing hits to the dodgers wins and losses thing…

      • Matt WI

        Seadog, I’m not sure you are taking in BABIP and “luck” the right way.
        Take it to a black jack table. Over a long run at the table, even the person with the best strategy will hit a cold streak. Other times, they’ll be on fire for an hour. No one set of situations is “correct.” This is how numbers play out in the long run. Statistical variability is what we mean by “luck”, not hocus pocus kind of luck.

  5. Sliotar

    Entering tonight, Votto was 19 for 57 (.333) in his career vs. Wainwright.

    All the simulations … and there are several reputable ones … pointed towards Votto, Castellanos, Castillo having good nights, and the Reds favored to win.

    Votto is 37, cannot carry this team offensively as he has done … and certainly, has no business being the leadoff hitter, especially with the way MLB is played in 2020.

    The obsession with him … pro-Votto and anti-Votto … at RLN and on Twitter … is something else, IMO.

    I can only guess focusing on him distracts from how messy things look for the club, both in trying to make the playoffs … and this winter, if Bauer and Castellanos don’t return.

  6. RedNat

    I am glad we won. But these type of wins are not sustainable. Unless the offense gets rolling we will be unable to obtain the winning streak we need to make the playoffs.

    I think if Senzel can come back that may provide a boost. The thought of javing good speed at the top of the lineup with Shogo and the bottom of the lineup with Senzel does give me some hope for the future

    • jim walker

      It almost seems like something new may be going on with Senzel.

      First off he can’t be mixing with the guys at Prasco if he hasn’t tested OK for the issue we all believe originally sidelined him, right?

      Early in the week, Dick Williams said Senzel wasn’t likely to be in Chicago but then seemed to say he would likely be ready for StLouis. Then a day or two later Bell said probably not Friday for Senzel but sometime over the weekend. Now it seems like they have all but officially ruled him out for the entire weekend.

      If things with Senzel were just a matter of get reps at the plate and in the field, it would seem there shouldn’t be all this uncertainty.

      • 2020ball

        Can’t forget the bout with vertigo he went through. Has crossed my mind that there’s something else going on and they aren’t telling us. Waiting for all the facts to come out on this one, he has his right to privacy.

      • earmbrister

        A recovery from any illness or injury is seldom on a straight line …

  7. JayTheRed

    Was really happy Bell let Castillo have the chance for the complete game and it was smart too that he had his closer ready just in case. With the way that Castillo was pitching those last few innings though I would have stuck with him too.

    Also I’ll take the hits and walks tonight it was a lot better than just 4 hits that they seem to get so often.

  8. jim walker

    Friday was a great performance from Castillo. Probably the best I have ever seen him at pitching for an entirre outing without lapsing into periods where he seemed to be trying to just throw the ball by folks.

    But now the Reds have to file and forget this game and come out to try and do same tomorrow and the next day and day after that etc. Such is the hole they have dug for themselves.

  9. GreatRedLegsFan

    Bauer, Castillo, Mahle and Antone have recently had very strong performances. Cannot say the same about Grey and Disco, but I guess Grey is just going through a rough patch. Looking into next season, the rotation should be: Grey, Castillo, Mahle, Antone and Miley; with Iglesias, Bradley, Garrett, Sims, Stephenson, Lorenzen, plus one or two lefties in the bullpen. The outlook is more complicated for position players, I just can foresee the following fixtures: Castellanos (if he choses to stay), Winker, Akiyama, Goodwin (if tendered) and Senzel (if healthy) in the OF. Aquino hasn’t show yet much in very limited opportunities. The IF looks set with Votto, Moustakas, Garcia and Suarez, even though Garcia looks to be overwhelmed at the plate. Farmer and perhaps Blandino could take the bench spots. As for catchers, Stephenson shall take the helm, plus any of Barnhart (if not traded) or Casali (if tendered).

  10. Don

    All the new/modern stats for player/team performance are great to create discussion.
    Baseball like all sports come down to one metric. Did you score more points than you opponent.
    2020 Reds Runs per game 3.82 (29th)
    2020 Reds runs allowed per game 4.38 (11th)

    Here is a stat I found on Baseball reference. Ranking WAR for each position for each Team.

    If anyone stated that the Reds catching position would be the positions which contributes the highest WAR for the 2020 Reds and along with LF ad DH would be the only positions which are in the top 15 rankings, I think that person would be have been told they known nothing about baseball or the Reds. That is the reality of 2020 Reds.

    The Reds position by WAR (per baseball reference) is
    Catcher @ +0.4 (tied 12th overall)
    LF is +0.3 (tied 13th)
    DH +0.3 (tied 13th)
    3B +0.3 (tied 17th)
    RF 0.0 (tied 18th)
    CF -0.3 (27th)
    1B -0.4 (tied 25th)
    2B -0.5 (26th)
    SS -0.8 (30th)

    For the 8 positions + DH, the reality of 2020 if we were told that catching for the Reds will be 13th in WAR and just middle of the league we would have all taken that as expected. The obvious statement is that all other positions are not performing anywhere close to expectations.

    Relief Pitching +0.4 (19th)
    Starting Pitching +4.6 (3rd)

    Starting pitching is top 3, which we all expected.
    Bullpen is below average which some expected and some expected better.

    The Cards have to be getting tired. They have played 33 games in the 26 days since they restarted playing with 9 games since last Saturday. They have 20 games in the next 15 days to play.

    Even with all of this well below expectation play there is still hope for the Reds and the post-season.

    With two more wins this weekend the Reds will be 0.5 games behind the Cards and with some help from the Cubs vs the Brewers, Reds could be 0.5 games up on the Brewers in 3rd.

    Reds then get 4 vs Pirates (Mon to Wed, must sweep) while the Cards and Brewers play 5 games in the same three days.

    If Reds can somehow get on a win streak the next 6 games they most likely will be 2nd in the division come Thursday with 9 games to play in the last 10 days of the season.

    Embrace the weird of 2020.

    • JayTheRed

      I think some are dreaming. The Reds don’t seem to know how to put a string of wins together that is greater than 3 in a row. With the lame duck start with the hitting and the continued Moderate to low amount of hitting on this team I just can’t see them making the playoffs. Only 3 hits again Saturday night. When one player heats up someone who was doing adequately seems to cool down or get injured.

      Reality is, If this team makes it into the playoffs it will be a big shock and we most likely will be playing one of the top 2 teams right off the bat in the playoffs. I honestly don’t think we even have a decent shot at a winning record or .500 for that matter.

      As mentioned above Starting pitching has really be the only thing that has been good this season. The relievers have been better as of late. We knew all of this during the offseason though. We needed hitting. Not guys who swing for the fences like this team seems to do. (yes I know a lot of teams do), but guys who hit for average and with on base skills. I would rather have 4 or 5 guys hitting .280 and higher with on base of around .330 and up then a bunch of guys who hit 30 homers in a normal season hitting .220 or less (a lot of Reds Players) . Those guys hitting .280 might only hit 20 to 25 in a normal year but especially in our park the homers would come enough that it would not be a big deal.

      Overall I’ll be pleased if we make it to the playoffs but I just can’t get my hopes up for this team right now.

  11. ClevelandRedsFan

    Reds really need to sweep Cards to have a chance here. At this point, it seems as if their best chance is the second sport in the NL Central.

    Tonight: Antone Vs. Hudson

    Baker Vs. Lamar…oh wait
    Mahle Vs. Martinez (Martinez is 0-2 with a 12.27 ERA).

    It really makes you think of the Reds can somehow pull out a win tonight, they could beat up on Martinez tomorrow.

    • Don

      Reds are 1-1 vs Hudson.

      Win was the error, walk, HBP, Davidson Slam (only reds hit vs Hudson) game for a 4-2 win with Disco allowing 2 runs in4.1 innings and 4.2 innings of scoreless bullpen pitching

      Loss had Reds with 4 hits and 2 runs in 7 innings and a poor Disco outing 7 runs in 3.2 innings then Lorenzen for 4 scoreless and Jones finishing with 1.1 scoreless

      Antone needs to be on top of his game and the Reds defense must be as good or better than last night.

  12. VaRedsFan

    Doug wrote: “The next pitch was low and inside and Votto hit it 442 feet into the night to put the Reds up 2-0.”

    Joey Votto’s home run in the 1st inning was 113.2 MPH off of the bat. That’s the hardest ball he’s hit since that stat has been tracked (2015).

    I’ve been saying for 2+ years what Votto should be doing to down and in pitches. Lefties absolutely love the down and in fastball. Instead of inside-outting, check swinging, or jack-kniffing taking the pitch, he unleashed one of his most powerful hits ever.

    It was never mostly about his age folks…90% of his decline was about approach.

    More of that turning and lifting the down and in pitches please Mr. Votto

    • jim walker

      Joey is a pretty smart guy. I wouldn’t bet against the reason for all his tinkering being that he knows his eyes, hands and mind aren’t working together as quickly, accurately, and effectively as they used to.

  13. Steven Ross

    In the words of Joe Morgan last year when asked about Votto batting 2nd: well, his best numbers are when he hits 3rd. EOS.

    Not sure why the disparaging remarks towards Shogo. Welsh and Brantely both wax poetic about him. He’s never faced these pitchers but now he’s had two and even three times facing other teams, he’s getting it together. I like him. Fundamentally and defensively, he’s solid.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      I agree with you on Shogo. Brantley had lots of good things to say about his approach and how he can fight off a pitch, which he did multiple times last night.

  14. jim walker

    I like what we have been seeing from Shogo Akiyama. He seems to be getting grounded in how things work in MLB. I think it is also emerging he knows how to grind and has the mentality to do it.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Agreed. He had a huge adjustment to make, and he’s showing signs of having made the needed adjustments in his batting approach.

  15. Tom Mitsoff

    It’s impossible to overstate how important these next two games against St. Louis are. The Reds are 2.5 games behind St. Louis for second place in the division — one of the ways to make the playoffs. Win those two games and they’re only one-half game out of a playoff spot. Split the two games or lose both, and it’s 2.5 or 4.5 behind, and with only 13 games remaining thereafter, best of luck.

    The other way to get in the playoffs is one of two Wild Card berths, and the Reds would currently have to overtake four teams — San Francisco, Colorado, Milwaukee and Mets — in order to achieve that. Milwaukee is the only team of those they play head-to-head, so they will be largely relying on the outcomes of other games, which rarely works well.

    • jim walker

      I’ll not be distraught as long as the Reds win this series with the Cards even if it is 2-1 versus a sweep. But then the Reds really need to go to town on the Pirates and hope the corresponding 5 game run between the Cards and Brewers goes 3-2 whichever way.

      If either the Cards or Brewers were to sweep those 5 or even go 4-1, they’d be sitting really pretty; but, if the Reds get at least 1 more in StLouis and at least 3 of 4 vs the Pirates, they’d be in better shape than the a big loser in the Cards/ Brewers showdown.

      • reaganspad

        I hate the cardinals…. sweep this series for Brandon Phillips

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Jim, if they win the next two, they have the ability to control their own fate to a much, much larger degree than if they merely split.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        They still have to have a substantial hot streak to make it in. They still have three-game series against both the White Sox and Twins, both top AL contenders. If they make it in, they will have earned it.

      • Don

        I agree with Tom,the 6 games vs White Sox and Twins will be tough, Reds never seem to be able to beat AL teams.
        I think they need to be 30-30 for 2nd in the division or be tied for a WC spot.

        6 in a row gets them to 26-25 and could control own destiny. They can then go 2-1 vs Brewers and 2-4 vs the AL teams to get to 30-30.

        5-1 would be 25-26 and need brewers sweep and 2-4 vs AL.

        4-2 probably will not be good enough. that is 24-27, they would then need to sweep the brewers and play 3-3 vs the AL for 30-30 record.

        This is why Fangraphs have the Reds at 9.7% for 2nd in the division. The Reds need to go 10-5 in the last 15 games.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Don, I don’t think 30-30 will get it done. Too many variables at this point.

      • Don

        Tom, are you 31 wins or more will be needed?

        Another reason the Reds have to win the next 2 games is that will put them 5-5 vs the Cards as I thought I read that there are some tie breakers and not games for the playoff spots for tied teams.

        Cards are only scheduled for 58 games so if they are 29-29 and the Reds are 30-39 whom is in 2nd???

  16. Old-school

    Shogo Akiyama stats in September:

    8 games 30 PA

    .364/.533/.409/.942. WRC+ 170

    BB % 23
    K% 6.7

    4 SB

    If Shogo’s first 100 AB’S were simply an adjustment period to MLB, then the Reds have an asset. Too soon to tell on Shogo.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      It may be too soon to tell, but your stats certainly show that what we were hoping for at least has a chance to happen. That is, a guy who can get on base and set the table for big hitters. His defense, other than his weak throwing arm, has been consistently excellent and sometimes fantastic.

    • JayTheRed

      Thank you for posting the numbers. Watching him the past several games since this month started I had noticed he seemed to be putting things together.

      I still think he was a good signing by the team.

  17. Redgoggles

    With all due respect to hope/optimism, what has this team done to show they can go on a 3-4 game winning streak much less 6? Seeing more singles lately (8 hits last night!) – and Galvis bunt – does give me hope that perhaps the offense is getting that the status quo isn’t working. Getting a healthy Winker/Moose/Senzel would be nice too. But arguably getting Castallanos and Suarez to commit to hitting the other way (making them less susceptible to the down/away pitches) would be the most critical to the offense being more consistently productive, which is the key to a longer winning streak. Which is our only hope at this point.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Your point is well-taken. They have shown nothing to elicit hope that they can go on a winning streak. But if you don’t have hope, what’s the point of being a sports fan? 🙂

      • Redgoggles

        I’ll still watch, just in case lol. But, having no expectations at this point makes it more enjoyable. 3 months ago I would have been happy that they were simply playing, but the last month as been somewhat brutal compared to my expectations. Stages of grief I suppose, lol.

  18. Don

    2020 Tie breakers rules from MLB. com

    What if there’s a tie (for a division championship or other postseason spot) at the conclusion of the regular season?

    All ties will be resolved mathematically. No additional games will be played to break any ties. With an expanded postseason field, there is less incentive to play additional games, and this method allows for an expedited schedule that doesn’t push the World Series into November.

    The first tiebreaker is head-to-head record (if applicable). If that’s also a tie, the next tiebreaker is intradivision record. If that’s still a tie, the next is record in the final 20 division games (plus one until the tie is broken).

    Reds have to win both of these games to have a chance with the division record in case of win % tie with the Cards.

    Reds are ahead 4-3 s Brewers so a 2-1 series win vs Brewers will give Reds that Tie Breaker.

    Division Records
    Cards currently 12-11 (2 vs Reds, 5 Pirates, 10 Brewers left)
    Reds 14-17 (3 Cards, 4 Pirates, 3 Brewers left)
    Brewers 13-12 (2 Cubs, 3 Reds, 10 Cards left)

    Reds have to win in the division to be able to have a chance. AL games are not part of tie breakers.


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