The Cincinnati Reds are 27-27 after taking two of three games against the American League’s best team, the Chicago White Sox. It’s crunch time for the Reds with just six games remaining and the Reds are not holding anything back at this point. Following the game on Sunday, it was announced that the upcoming Brewers series would see Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, and Trevor Bauer take the mound for Cincinnati. Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer had the fastest hands in the midwest, tweeting out the information a matter of seconds faster than the other beat writers.That’s important to note on several front.

Sonny Gray has missed some time after spending the last week-and-a-half on the injured list with a back strain. He had dominated for his first seven starts of the season, posting a 1.94 ERA in 41.2 innings. But in his last two starts before hitting the injured list he allowed 11 earned runs in just 4.0 innings pitched with more walks than strikeouts. He’ll be back, and hopefully healthy, to pitch on Tuesday against the Brewers in a pivotal game for both teams.

Luis Castillo will be pitching on normal rest, having last pitched on September 16th in a dominant showing against the Pirates. He struck out 10 batters over 7.0 shutout innings in a 1-0 win for the Reds. Cincinnati will hope to get a similar performance from him on Monday against the Brewers.

For Trevor Bauer, he’s getting his wish. It seemed likely to happen based on what both manager David Bell, and Bauer himself said earlier this week, but the Reds right-handed starter will be going on short rest this time around the rotation. On Saturday he allowed two runs over 7.0 innings against the White Sox. He’ll take the mound on just three days rest and pitch on Wednesday. There’s not much of a track record of pitching on 3-days rest for Bauer – or any other starting pitcher these days. In the regular season he’s only done it twice. He’s allowed six earned runs on 11 hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts in 9.0 innings in those two starts.

In the postseason Trevor Bauer has started twice on three days rest, and the results weren’t great. In 2016 against the Cubs in the World Series he allowed three runs in 4.0 innings on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. The following year he pitched against the Yankees in the divisional series, and while he didn’t get charged with an earned run, he didn’t get out of the second inning and was charged with four unearned runs in the game.

46 Responses

  1. JB

    Biggest games of the year. Start your best and forget the rest. I’ve enjoyed this 60 game season. Seems like 162 goes forever.

    • danny

      we are making playoffs if go 3-3 dont force it use lorenzon or mahle for one day out of 6 and use your best 3 on regular rest for 5 out of 6 save their arms for playoffs.

      • Tomn

        Don’t know about 3-3 getting it done, but I agree about using Mahle to start a game rather than a pitcher who might not be 100%. I’d prefer to see Castillo, Bauer (for 4+ innings), then Mahle. Save Gray for a start against MN, then Castillo, Bauer/Mahle/WHomever as needed. Maybe next Sunday won’t even be important. Or Castillo, Bauer then Gray in MN. A lot would hinge on Gray being REALLY ready to go and healthy, obviously.

  2. Daniel

    you only have to go 3-3 to make it likely and would have your best 5-6 on regular rest why make bauer go on short rest twice instead of mahle or lorenzen just for one game and not wear out your star for playoffs

    • Doug Gray

      Because 3-3 might not get it done.

      • Mark Moore

        Yep, which is why we’re still Schrödinger’s Reds for the moment. Both in and out until we’re one or the other.

      • Andy

        6-0 might not get it done. Reds have more losses than Cards, Brewers, Phillies, Giants. Reds would be ahead of Brewers if they won out, but would still need some losses from at least one of those teams.

      • Rob

        Fair point. But IF we win Monday and Tuesday, I think we should go Plan B on Wednesday and have the 3 studs vs the Twins. Either way, isn’t best case that the 3 studs pitch 5 of the 6 games? I don’t think we can seriously consider pitching everyone on short rest.

      • Don

        3-3 has close to 0% chance of being #2 in division and very low change of WC1 (#7)
        3-3 require all the following to occur to be #8
        1) Giants be no better than 5-4 vs Rockies and Padres (locked in as #4 so have no reason to care about games)
        2) Brewers go 4-4 (1-2 vs Reds and 3-2 or worse vs Cards).

  3. Davect

    Love it. Those three will be pumped.

    • Mark Moore

      Let’s hope so … a sweep would set things up well. I’m really hoping the Twinkies and ChiSOX are all settled by then so maybe they will give some guys rests.

      • Davect

        Think I understand how the Brewers feel

  4. Don

    3-3 unless it is a sweep of the Brewers and a sweep by the Twins will most likely result in the Brewers or Giants being #8.

    Division #2
    Cards won again on Sunday.
    Reds have 3 more losses (plus lose tiebreaker) to Cards. Cards Magic Number is 8 for 2nd place only playing 58 games. Cards have 8 games left and Reds 6.
    Cards need to lose 4 more games then Reds for Reds to take 2nd place.
    Reds have to win 2 of 3 vs Brewers to control own destiny vs Brewers with a sweep of the Twins. Reds really need to sweep the Brewers to have any slight chance for division #2

    WC #7
    Reds are 1/2 game (1 loss) plus tiebreaker behind Phillies
    Phillies magic number is 6 over the Reds.
    Reds need Phillies to lose 2 more games than Reds to overtake for #7.

    WC #8
    Giants and Brewers both have one less loss than the Reds so they both control their destiny vs the Reds.

    Reds do not control their own destiny to reach the playoffs, they still needs help to reach the playoffs.

    Reds have to win as many of the 6 as possible and get the right help to make the playoffs.

    Positioning a rotation for the playoffs is not even an option for the Reds at this time.

    Castillo, Gray, Bauer may need to all go on 3 days rest vs the Twins as well depending what other teams do the next 3 days.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      If the Reds sweep the Brewers, I believe the Brewers are out. For, even if the Brewers would sweep the Cards, and the Twins sweep up, we have the better head to head record.

      Even if the Brewers win our series 2-1, then we have a tied head-to-head record. So, then, they go to divisional record. The Brewers would have a 0.5 game advantage, I believe. So, they would still have to win the Cards series at least 2-1 go get the playoffs.

      Just so many scenarios. But, isn’t this kind of stuff fun, talking like this?

    • Charles Lackey

      What ever it takes REDS do the very best of your ability every minute of the game that’s all the Fans could want. Put up the winning numbers.

    • Westfester

      Cards will play 60. They have to make up the 2 games Monday with a Doubleheader v. the Tigers. They were only supposed to make them up if it mattered. Well, it matters.

  5. Jason Bellinger

    Reds just beat the White Sox behind Mahle and Lorenzen.

  6. Tom Mitsoff

    I share the view of Don and several others above. 3-3 will likely not get it done. Too many other teams on the exact same plane.

    Hats off to David Bell. The series against Milwaukee is essentially a playoff series, so having his three best starting pitchers ready to go is all you can ask.

    • Don

      Brewers games affect both Full record and Intradivision record as tiebreaker with Phillies and Giants, inter league play only impact full record.

      3-0 vs Brewers is more critical to solidify the #8 seed than the Twins games. If one has to choose a loss between the Brewers or the Twins,a Twins loss hurts the playoff chances less.

      Skipping Castillo, Gray or Bauer in the last series vs Twins if they can do that so that one of them is ready for Game 1 vs Dodgers would be the decision point that is needed.

      Having these three start vs Brewers is the right decision based on the win/loss record and where the team is. It is one of the few decision I have agreed with Bell this year.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I have to agree. I can understand the strategy for the Twins. But, we don’t have room to plan for that, I believe. If we can sweep the Brewers, we do it.

  7. Johnnie Sparks

    So if Bauer Castillo an gray go on normal rest they pitch 5 of the 6 gms. Phillies got tough sch giants finish with Padres. Reds go 4-2 there in. Let’s not over think this an screw it up David bell

    • Don

      Padres need 1 win or 1 giants loss to be are locked in at #4. They will not be playing all their front line players or having their starts go long next weekend vs the Giants.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        That could be a good point. However, Chicago and Atlanta are within reaching distance from them. If they want to keep their seed and get an easier home playoff game, I believe they are going to have to work at least one more series. They have the Angels coming up. It should be easy enough for them.

      • Don

        Padres cannot over take the Braves or Cubs for a seed. The division winners are 1 to 3, 2nd place are 4 to 6.

        Dodgers own the tiebreaker and are up 4 with 6 to play so technically the Padres could catch the Dodgers if the Padres win out and the Dodgers lose out. That will be settled before the Padres play the Giants.

        Padres are NL West #2 and have magic numbers of 3 vs Marlins and 4 vs Cards to lock in the #4 seed. There is an outside change they have to still have to win next Saturday or Sunday but most likely it will be settled by then if not sooner.

        The Padres are going to be the home team in the WC with next best record #2 in the division as the opponent, today that is the Marlins.

  8. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I’ve been checking the MLB site. I still believe there are 6 teams in line for 4 spots in the NL. Going through them _

    Miami – I am putting them in there because of their final schedule. They have Braves and Yankees on the road. Not an easy schedule at all. We are currently 1.5 games behind them.

    Cardinals – they have KC on the road (not much of a challenge there) then the Brewers at home. We are 1 game behind them.

    Phillies – We are 0.5 games behind them. They have the Nationals (not much this year) and Tampa (hard this year), both away.

    Then, us. We currently seem to be in the last playoff spot. We have the Brewers at home and the Twins on the road.

    Then the Brewers – we are tied percentage-wise. They have us and the Cards, both on the road.

    Then the Giants – we are tied percentage-wise. They have the Rockies (not much there) and the Padres (not easy), both at home.

    That Brewer series is going to be huge. If we can win the series, the Brewers are out. If the Brewers win, it would depend upon if the sweep us or not. If they win 2-1, we go to division record, and they would have us there. But, also, they have the Cards after that. They would have to still win the Cards series. If they don’t, we still sneak in, I believe. If the Brewers sweep us, I believe we may be done for the year.

    The Giants are going to have to rock and roll. We have a 1.5 game lead on them in the division record race. But, all of their games are against division opponents. They can’t split those, unless we mess up against the Brewers.

    With the Phillies, hopefully, the Nationals can sneak up on them.

    With the Cards, hopefully, KC can sneak up on them.

    I do believe the Marlins may be able to be caught. They don’t have easy series coming up, against the Braves and Yankees on the road, both working for better playoff positions themselves. I could see the Marlins losing both of those series by a total of at least 2 games. That leaves some room left.

    I said at the beginning of the White Sox series, if we win the last 3 series, I believe we are in. 2 of the 3 series, a 50-50 chance, 1 of the 3 series, we are going to need a lot of help, none of the series, bye bye for the year.

    But, one series down, 2 left. And, I believe this Brewers series will be very important.

    • Don

      You need to look at how may losses a team has not games behind.

      Reds have more losses in more games played than the Marlin, Phillies, Cards, Brewers & Giants.

      All of these teams if they win out it does not matter what the Reds do, Reds are not in the playoffs.

      Each Teams Magic numbers vs the Reds (6 to play)
      Marlins – 6 (8 to play)
      Phillies – 7 (8 to play)
      Cards – 8 (8 to play) + 2 if necessary
      Brewers – 8 (8 to play)
      Giants – 8 (8 to play)

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        The thing is, “If” is a very powerful word. It’s not something you can bet on.

        For instance, expecially in this case, “if” the Brewers win out, the Cardinals won’t; they can’t. “If” the Cardinals win out, the Brewers won’t; they can’t. Then, also, “if” the Reds win out, or even if we sweep the Brewers and get swept by the Twins, the Brewers would still need to sweep the Cards, on the road, in a 5 game series, to kick us out of the playoff.

        I doubt seriously the Marlins will win out. They have a 500 record against the Braves and then the have the Yankees on the road.

        In summary, all I’m saying is, “if” you consider teams winning out, you would have to consider the Reds winning out, also. Similar to what I mentioned above, “if” the Reds win out, the Brewers are out, period. “If” the Reds win out, the Brewers can’t win out.

        I entirely understand your idea of “magic number” you are referring to. What you aren’t considering is two things:

        1) What “if” the Reds win out, which means they will definitely beat the Brewers.
        2) Not all of them can win out; that is literally impossible for both us “and” the Brewers, not both the Brewers “and” the Cardinals.

      • JayTheRed

        I feel like the Reds need to just take one day at a time and put forth the best effort they have. Oh and Bell don’t you dare play mary go round with the bench players…. Oh you haven’t played much so we will have you start. Blah…. Play the best we have as much as we can.

    • indyDoug

      “That Brewer series is going to be huge. If we can win the series, the Brewers are out.”

      How do you figure that if Cincy wins 2 of the 3? Milwaukee will be just a game behind Cincy with 5 to play vs. St. Louis.

  9. Johnnie Sparks

    The 6 gms remaining carry the same weight. That 3rd GM vs Milwaukee is just as important as the next 3 vs Minnesota. No need to panic having them on normal rest for 5 of the 6 is the best option

    • Mark Moore

      Not so sure. Against the Brewers we’re competing against their record within the NLC. Against the Twins we’re competing against ourselves as there is no head-to-head metric involving them for a tie breaker.

    • Amarillo

      This isn’t true with the way tiebreakers work this year. We have a much better chance of getting in with 3-0 against the Brewers and 1-2 against the Twins, than 1-2 against the Brewers and 3-0 against the Twins.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I have to agree with Amarillo. If we split the 3-3 (as in 2-1 and 1-2) with the Brewers and Twins, the Brewers could still sweep the Cards in a 5 game series and beat us out. Likely, no, but still possible. But, if we sweep the Brewers and just win one against the Twins, and the Brewers sweep the Cards, and we end up with the same record as the Brewers, I believe we are still in, because we would have the better head-to-head record.

        That’s why I’ve said, if we win these last 2 series, it’s not definite, but I believe we are in. It’s just so hard to tell, because of all the intermingling games.

        But, isn’t this talk fun, talking about the Reds and possible post season playoffs?

      • Amarillo

        Oh yeah Steve, for sure. Before the Cardinals series the guys needed to go 12-4 the rest of the way to really give ourselves a solid shot, and now they are on pace to possibly pull that off. I’m still not expecting it to happen because Cincinnati sports are pain, but it’s been a blast having games at all.

  10. Mark Moore

    This is an interesting year to say the least … the math is beginning to make my brain hurt.

    Our options to get in are NLC#2 or WC#1 or WC#2. Barring a miracle or three, that gives us a 6, 8, or 8 seed.

    Getting to NLC#2 will take a pretty dramatic collapse by the WLB’s and us continuing to win. I’d love to see that for both reasons, but I’m not optimistic it will happen.

    So we turn our focus to the Brewers, looking for at least 2 of 3 if not sweeping them. The Twins are likely settled in at ALC#2 and will set things up to deal with their own first round by the time we come to town. Let’s hope that’s the case and we can continue to push.

    Our first round, should we make it, will be tough no matter what. Let’s hope what we’re seeing is our guys coming together to a peak at the exact right time to make a deep run.

    I’m glad I can share this with all of you. It’s not the 30 years from the magic season I had imagined, but we’re in the final week and we’re talking playoffs … that’s a good thing from where I sit.

  11. RedNat

    The starting pitchers for this series is less important than the position players for this series. This is reds versus Brewers. There are going to be a lot of runs scored. I am wanting the best defense with the best run producers in the lineup for this series. I would ride Aquino and Shogo in the oufield for this series

  12. Amarillo

    I think to be confident we need to go 5-1. 4-2 has a good chance of getting in but definitely not guaranteed in. 3-3 and we are out. If we lose 2 of 3 to the Brewers then we are probably just eliminated.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      That’s what I’ve said. If we win both series, even at 2-1 and 2-1, not definitely, but I believe we are in. If we lose one series, I would say 50-50 shot at best, maybe not even that. If we lost both series, we are out.

  13. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Of course, if your head is hurting from all this “possible scenarios” and “what ifs”, then what we all can do is. . .Just get through the Brewers. Then, a lot of those scenarios and “what ifs” drop out.

  14. Charlie Waffles

    Good way to line them up. It will leave the Reds also lined up well for a post season series if they make it. Castillo, Gray and then Bauer in a game 3 if needed.

  15. Indy Red Man

    If’s and but’s?? Its too much to calculate all the possibilities and you can’t really count on a sweep vs any non-Pirate team. 2 out 3 and 2 out 3 = 4-2 which = 31-29

    31-29 pretty much buries Milwaukee because we’d have the tiebreaker and force them to go 5-0 to get to 32-28. 31-29 also forces the Phillies to go 5-2 to beat us. Not sure who would have the tiebreaker? I’m 95% sure there is no playoff to make the playoffs. RIght?

    That leaves SF. I think they’re a problem. They’ve won 18 of 28 and finish with 4 vs the Rockies and 4 vs SD. I see them going atleast 5-3 (with SD taking it easy) and tying us. So in that possible scenario….Reds, Phils, and SF are all 31-29 with one being left out. Its going to be tough, but to expect anything beyond 4-2 is a little unreasonable imo!