After getting the help they needed from the Rays and the Cardinals, the Cincinnati Reds (30-28) beat the Minnesota Twins (35-23) last night and are officially going to the 2020 playoffs. (Wow, that sentence felt really good to type).

If you missed any of the postgame coverage last night, Redleg Nation has you covered.

Game recap from last night:

Quotes from the players during the post-game Zoom interviews:

And now the Reds’ attention turns to improving its seeding in the postseason. The Reds need the Giants to lose at least one game or the Reds need to win one more in Minnesota in order to secure the #7 seed. You can also go back to rooting against the Cardinals now. If the Reds are to have a chance at the second NL Central spot, the Brewers need to win the next two vs. St. Louis. It’s all still complicated, but at least the Reds are definitely in.

The second game of this three game series starts at 7:10 p.m. ET from Target Field in Minneapolis. The game can be found on Fox Sports Ohio for in-market fans and MLB Network for those out-of-market. And as always, the radio broadcast will be on 700 WLW.

Starting Pitchers

Luis Castillo 66.0 2.86 2.72 2.82 1.21 31.00% 8.80%
Michael Pineda 22.2 3.18 1.99 4.20 1.10 22.60% 4.30%


Luis Castillo will try to put a cap on an incredible month of September tonight. In 28.2 innings, Castillo has a 1.26 ERA and a 2.27 FIP. He’s given up only 16 hits while striking out 33 and walking only nine. In a word, he’s been brilliant and one of the keys to this Reds run.

Castillo has only given up five home runs all season, but he’s walked 24 batters. This was a major factor in his early struggles, but in September, not allowing walks has been huge in his turnaround, and his 0.87 WHIP proves that. As long as he is able to locate his pitches well and get batters to chase that nasty change up, he will be just fine through the playoffs.


Since 2017, Michael Pineda has had quite the roller coaster ride. He underwent Tommy John surgery at the end the of the 2017 season when he was with the Yankees. Then he elected free agency and signed with the Twins. However, he didn’t pitch for the Twins until the 2019 season because of the UCL injury. He battled injuries off and on throughout the 2019 season, but still managed to pitch 146 innings and ending his season with a 4.01 ERA and 4.02 FIP. His season ended last year when MLB suspended him for using a banned substance.

Pineda returned to the Twins rotation on September 1st after serving a 60 game suspension (This was reduced from 80 games, hence why he could return in 2020). He’s made four starts since his return and has been good in every one. His most recent start was a five inning performance against the Cubs in which he allowed just one run on four hits.

Pineda throws three pitches: a four seamer, slider and a change up. He will rarely thrown his change up though, choosing instead to mostly use his four seamer and slider. He’s thrown a sinker in previous seasons, but has yet to throw it in 2020.


1. Shogo Akiyama (LF)
2. Jesse Winker (RF)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Mike Moustakas (DH)
6. Freddy Galvis (2B)
7. Brian Goodwin (CF)
8. Kyle Farmer (SS)
9. Curt Casali (C)
1. Max Kepler (RF)
2. Luis Arraez (2B)
3. Eddie Rosario (LF)
4. Nelson Cruz (DH)
5. Jake Cave (CF)
6. Jorge Polanco (SS)
7. Marwin Gonzalez (1B)
8. Ryan Jeffers (C)
9. Ehire Adrianza (3B)

Mike Moustakas, already swinging a hot bat lately, has a .385 batting average against Pineda with a home run in 13 at-bats. Nick Castellanos does not hit Pineda well, which probably explains why he has the night off tonight.

Aside from Alex Avila and Josh Donaldson, no Twins player has faced Castillo more than once.

News and Notes

For those of you wondering why Archie Bradley didn’t pitch last night…

This is the kind of stat that makes me excited. The Reds have the pitching a team needs to carry them through the postseason.

And speaking of the playoff rotation, here’s how the Reds will line it up:

As I watched the Reds celebrate, I couldn’t help but be so incredibly happy for Joey Votto. He’s the last player remaining from the playoff teams in 2010, 2012, and 2013. He’s survived the rebuild years, and now he gets to go back to the playoffs. It’s time for Operation #GetJoeyARing to commence.

Final Thoughts

I tweeted this on September 1st. I like to think of myself as an optimist, but even I have to admit I was starting to have doubts that the Reds would reach the playoffs this year. This didn’t mean I stopped hoping they would turn it around. But the logical part of me didn’t see it happening. I’m happy I was wrong.

I’m just going to leave you with this clip fellow Redleg Nation writer Nick Kirby put together. Shout out to him for being the most optimistic Reds fan on Twitter through this shortened season.