Last night was the culmination of a strong couple of days for the Cincinnati Reds when it came to locking up a spot in the playoffs. On Wednesday night they completed a series win over the Milwaukee Brewers and also saw every team they were competing with for the playoffs lose. An off day on Thursday for Cincinnati saw a few more losses among other contenders. That led to a Friday that meant with things going right, the Reds could clinch a playoff spot. They would need to win in Minnesota, who was 23-5 at home on the year, and need a loss from Milwaukee and Philadelphia. The Reds took care of their end, and the Cardinals and Rays handled the Brewers and Phillies.

It was celebration time. The Cincinnati Reds are back in the playoffs for the first time since the 2013 season. After updating all of the odds and scenarios each day for the last week plus, and the odds all of the last month and a half in the game previews, I can finally type that the Cincinnati Reds playoff odds are 100%. They’re in. Guaranteed.

After a stretch of what felt like uninspired, poor luck, sometimes poor played baseball, the Reds have gone on quite a run of late. They are 10-2 in their last 12 games and 11-3 in the last 14. They’ve won four series in a row, and five of the last six series. When September began, the Reds were 15-20. Then on the first day of the month they got flat out embarrassed and run out of the stadium in a 16-2 loss to the Cardinals, falling to 15-21 on the season. Since then they’ve gone 15-7 and wrapped up a postseason spot. Their seed has not yet been determined – they could still get the 2nd spot in the division, or they will be one of the wild card teams. This weekend will determine how that plays out.

Enough with all of that. Let’s listen to what the players were saying after the game.

Joey Votto

“We’re good and we’re better (than the other playoff teams he was on). I like this team much more than I like those teams, and I really like those teams. But I think we’re a (expletive deleted) nightmare. And I think everybody knows that. I can’t wait.”

“We played rough through the first half, first two-thirds of the season and then poured in on the last bit. We’ve got to continue, we’ve got to maintain this momentum. There was some sloppy ball early. Offensively there were some guys carrying to load, but collectively we weren’t doing as well as we expected to. We timed it right, and here we are. We’re in the sort of format that seems really even for everyone. And that’s exactly what we want to be a part of.”

Amir Garrett

“I’m so happy for our guys, I’m happy for myself. We worked so hard, man. We talked about this for years. We talked about it for years. We talked about it at the beginning, and we said we want to get to the playoffs. Now we’re in. We’ve got to just take it from here. This is a big step for us because a lot of people doubted us man – a lot of people doubted us. It was time for us – we were talking the talk – now it’s time for us to walk the walk. Now that we’re in, it’s time to go man. I truly believe that we have a legitimate shot at this because, like I said, our team’s scary. These last few weeks we’ve put it together and I could not be more proud of these guys, I could NOT be more proud of these guys from the players to the coaches to the front office to everybody behind the scenes. It was a collective team effort. I want to cry right now, but I ain’t going to cry though, because we happy right now. But, there’s so much that has gone into this season with a lot of stuff that’s going on outside of baseball – I know for me, a lot of stuff I’ve dealt with, you know, with this racial justice stuff and it’s like I could focus, but I told my teammates at the beginning ‘I’m here with you guys, but I’m focused on other things outside of baseball’ and I’m just glad we were able to put it together and now we’re in the playoffs. Everybody’s got to respect Cincinnati. That’s all I’ve got to say, respect Cincinnati.”

“You know what’s crazy, in the bullpen we were watching the games, watching the games – I told the guys ‘ hey man, look, let’s not focus even focus on that. Losers focus on winners, winners focus on winning. So we’ve got to focus on this game we’ve got right now, so don’t even pay attention to that. If we just win, everything will work out.’ and that’s just what we did. It was a collective team effort today.”

“I am so happy. I am so happy right now. You guys don’t understand, I am so happy. I want to win it all. I want to give a shout out to the fans – to the real fans that were out there, because there’s a lot of fake fans when you’re going, when you’re losing – there’s a lot of iffy people. So all the real fans, for Cincinnati, we’re doing this for you. Let’s do it. We need to hear you guys every single game we play. So let’s get to it. We’re doing this for ya’ll. Let’s bring it back. Let’s do it. Respect Cincinnati, baby.”

Eugenio Suárez

“This is a lot. Not only for me, but I think this is a lot for everybody in the Cincinnati Reds family. We’ve been working so hard for this moment. I think we deserve it so much, and for me especially it’s a lot – it’s a lot. I feel when nobody trusts in you, and you trust in yourself, that a good moment’s coming at some point. Today we did, not only for us, not only for the Cincinnati Reds organization, we did it for all of the city of Cincinnati. We did it, and this is a lot for everybody. For me I’m just so happy. I feel so glad to be a part of this team. Like, we never give up, we fight every game, and today we did it man. We are in the playoffs and I feel like we deserve it. We deserve everything – we did it. We’ve just got to enjoy this because this is just the start. This is just the start and we’ve got to keep going, keep the same energy, keep the same plan, play every game like it’s a playoff, and the goal for us is to bring the championship to Cincinnati. ”

“Never was easy. Like I said, we believe in our team. We know we got a really good team. We got a playoff team, now a playoff team. We’ve got a World Series team. What’s hard is when nobody trusts in you. Nobody thought we could make it, like you said, six games below .500. But like I said, we’ve got a really good team. We’ve worked so hard. We just waited for this moment, to get hot. When you get hot, like I always say – when you get hot, you get hot. And now I feel like we’re in a good spot. We’re good at everything. We put everything together. The goal everyday is winning. We’ve been doing a really good job as a team, as an organization. Today, Cincinnati celebrates this moment. For me, this is my 6th year here in Cincinnati and I feel so good we finally made the playoffs.”

Michael Lorenzen

“We definitely had to earn it, that’s for sure. Since ’15 we’ve been grinding, and grinding, and grinding. There’s so many guys on this team that have been grinding for a really long time, and we continued to grind through this season. It wasn’t an easy season. Nothing’s been handed to us, so it just feels that much better knowing that the adversity that we had to push through and just keep moving forward. This shirt (Respect Cincinnati postseason shirts) here means so much to each and every one of us. Postseason, it means everything to us. We want this to be the norm from here on out. It’s awesome. I can’t explain the feeling, but it’s awesome.”

“It’s unbelievable, to not only be going into the postseason, but to be going into the postseason with the momentum we have. We feel like we’ve built the momentum at the right time, and the teams that build momentum going into the playoffs – they’re a dangerous team. So we have a lot to prove, and a team that has a lot to prove is a dangerous team – so we’re excited about it.”

David Bell

“Just really grateful for all of the work and everything that everyone’s contributed to our team. Just so happy for our players and our staff – everyone throughout the organization. So much work goes into something like this, and even though we continue on this season and have a lot left to accomplish, it’s important to stop and recognize the accomplishment and recognize all of the work that’s been put in and celebrate it a little bit because you don’t get a lot of opportunities like this. You never know, hopefully we have a bunch more of them but you just never know and it’s important to just enjoy every minute of it. I’m just very proud of our team. Like you said, every season every team goes through tests and challenges, and it seemed like we had a lot of them – all teams did – but our team never gave up. It’s easy to say that, but when you live it and watch it happen, it’s pretty special when things aren’t going your way and you just stay after it, after it, after it and continue to believe in it, believe in each other – our players and coaches deserve a ton of credit. Our players, they showed so much toughness. No matter what we would do, we couldn’t get it going, and they just stayed after it. That takes a lot of toughness and they absolutely passed that test. That’s why it’s so much fun to watch the smiles, watch the happiness and celebration. There’s nothing like it in baseball to be able to accomplish something and be able to enjoy it and celebrate.”

“I think the most important thing for us as a team is really continue to stay focused on who we are and playing the way we’re capable of. Really not a lot has changed – you know the results have changed. Obviously we’re playing better and we’re winning more games, but really nothing has changed. Everyone continues to compete and battle and never give up. The results have changed, and with that has come more confidence, and when you’re a confident team and you’re playing today, truly anything is possible. And that’s our focus – yeah, we’re celebrating and enjoying this, but all along, especially the last couple of weeks there’s been that side of it but there’s been a real focus to what we’re doing and that’s not going to change.”

28 Responses

  1. Matt WI

    The other workable headline for this post: This Team is Pumped .

    Hope they (socially distanced) had a good night last night.

  2. Klugo

    I love a good success story. To me, a good success story includes adversity. This team has certainly succeeded over some adversity. I couldn’t be more proud for everyone too to bottom and even us fans. The only sad part is not seeing a packed GABP pouring 6 years of agonizing, penned up emotion into this stretch. But, hey. I’ll take it!

  3. Mark Moore

    Something clicked top to bottom. Even with Bell who many of us viewed as phoning it in. Shogo has advanced in figuring out MLB pitching. Lorenzen is exciting to watch as a starter and I hope that continues in 2021.

    But for now, we play out the weekend know we are in and just need to figure out which direction the plane heads on Tuesday for the Wednesday to Friday series. Hoping we can continue to win through that and end up in Texas for the final showdown.

    • jim walker

      +100 on your first sentence. There had to have been one or more significant CTJ meetings and moments. Maybe over time more will emerge about who, why and what.

      For now, from an outsider’s point of view, I’m saying the benching of Votto is one and putting it at the top of my list until I hear something more convincing. Then Votto publicly manned up instead of disappearing into a private funk over the situation. And things seemed to go from there.

  4. Bred

    The excitement of the Reds victory is explosive. As witnessed by the fact that I couldn’t get on RLN last night after the game. Doug, thank you for keeping us together through the preseason turmoil, the losing, and you got us to the promised land, the playoffs. Simply put you and the commenters make Reds baseball more enjoyable. THANK YOU.

    • Colorado Red

      Think a lot of us were trying to get on.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I also salute Doug Gray, the hardest-working man in sports blogging.

      • CFD3000

        +1 followed by enough zeroes to give me carpal tunnel. Thank you to Doug and the whole RLN team. But especially Doug Gray!

    • TR

      No doubt about it that Doug Gray and his first class Red’s Blog along with the passionate commentators had a little something to do with the Reds making the playoffs after this rollycoaster season. Keep it going next week.

  5. CFD3000

    This has been a really fun couple of weeks of baseball. And there’s more on the way. These guys are clearly excited about what they accomplished and what’s possible moving forward. I’d love to see a bunch of wins in the postseason, but I’m also hoping that Castellanos and Bauer are thinking “man I want to be part of this again next year”. The Reds are pretty good right now – Respect Cincinnati indeed – but they could be pretty good for a few more years too. Think about adding to this squad with development from Tyler Stephenson and Jose Garcia, and more experience and consistency from Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene. Add in a healthy Senzel and a comfortable Akiyama and it looks even better. And If they can keep Bauer and Castellanos too? It could be such a good stretch for this franchise. Stick around Trevor and Nick! It’s going to be so much fun. Go Reds!

  6. SFRedsFan

    So pumped to have the Reds back in the playoffs. Doug thank you for al that you do to keep this community together and poWering through the many, many painful years. GO REDS!

  7. Don

    Great win, Great comeback in the last 2+ weeks of the season to make the playoffs.

    All Reds fans should be very happy today.

    Step 1 of what was expected of this team from last winter after the Free Agent signing has been accomplished.

    Now is the time to make some noise in the playoffs.

  8. Melvin

    100% are pretty good odds. I like our chances of getting in now. 🙂

    • RedsGettingBetter

      Something that is also attractive is the reds have assigned by Fangraphs a 6% odds of winning the world series, something that is a projected value among the highest ,even higher than the Cubs …

  9. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Now, how do they play?

    Right now, we are the #7 seed. As far as I’m concerned, from what I can see, the #5 seed is very realistic. We have the same record as Miami and only percentage points behind the Cards.

    I say we go after it one more game at least. For now that we are in, I’ve always believed in next goals. I say we go after a better seeding.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      If we can pull the #5 seed, we get the Padres. If we can pull the #6 seed, we will probably get the Cubs.

  10. Tom Mitsoff

    Allow me to interject that this improbable turnaround, in which we’ve seen veteran players go from underachievers to performing at their best in clutch moments, is one of the real bright spots for me in an otherwise dismal 2020. Perhaps some of you feel the same. For many of us, few things have gone as we would have hoped. It is nice to have this moment to savor. We’ll all debate how it stacks up contextually, but I’m very thankful to have had the chance to fix myself a whiskey Old Fashioned and raise it to salute a team that did not give up when most others — including admittedly myself — thought all was lost.

    How good could the story get? Maybe you remember the 2007 Colorado Rockies? They started play on September 15 with a record of 76-72, but proceeded to win 14 of their last 15 games, including a 9-8 win over the San Diego Padres in a one-game playoff for the Wild Card berth. The Rockies then swept the National League Division and Championship series, adding seven more wins to their amazing streak of 21 wins in 22 games. But the dream ended when they were swept in the World Series by the Boston Red Sox.

    At this moment, that sort of outcome at least seems possible for this year’s Reds team. Of course, we would hope they would win the World Series, as well. All of us here are Reds diehards, and moments like last night have a very special meaning for people who don’t jump off the bandwagon while the team is getting pummeled during the infamous “rebuild.”

    See you all again this evening. 😉

    • Melvin

      The thing to me is that they’ve made this comeback while still underachieving. Sure their playing better but outside of Bauer, there really is no one that is firing on all cylinders. If we get a bunch of guys living up to their potential all at once there is no telling what this team can do.

  11. Tom Mitsoff

    Does anyone know the answer to this? Are the players at Prasco and other teams’ alternate sites somehow in the new MLB bubble? If someone gets hurt and the Reds would like to recall Tyler Stephenson, for example, can he join the team immediately? Just curious.

    • Don

      This is what I found on CBSSPORTS from via NY Post
      Players’ families will be allowed to quarantine with players on contending teams for seven days leading into the postseason.
      all players on contending teams will move into hotels beginning the final week of the regular season to “create a quarantine-like situation before the playoffs.”
      all contending clubs — even those at home — to move to a hotel in the last week of the regular season. All players on the 40-man roster and IL will be asked to join that quarantine because once it begins, clubs can no longer summon a player from the alternate site to join the 28-man roster — it will only be those who are in the quarantine.
      As teams are eliminated from playoff contention, players on those clubs can leave the hotels if they desire.

      No idea if true but that is what I can find

  12. Tom Mitsoff

    Keep in mind the number 13. That’s the number of games the team that wins the World Series will need to win in the postseason. It will be a very lucky number for some team this year.

  13. Hunt4RedsOct

    Tom, I believe 40 players go into the bubble. That’s why that roster was set a week or so ago.

    • west larry

      i”m sure tht you are correct. Clever handle. Go reds!

  14. Don

    With the WildCard rounds at the home of the #1 to #4 seeds
    #8 @ #1 Dodgers
    #7 @ #2 Braves
    #6 @ #3 Cubs or Cards, Cubs Magic #1
    #5 @ #4 Padres

    Cards play Monday if impact Home Field for WC round or What Teams are in or out of Playoffs.

    To avoid having to travel to California (not being scared of them, logistics and extra travel wear on the body with longer flights, time zone, jet lag,etc.., 3 hours more on the plane wearing masks…) for the WC series which the #5 and #8 teams will be required to do.
    The Reds should want to be #7 and play the WC vs the Braves in Atlanta for logistics and less travel wear and tear on the body.

    So for those whom want the Reds to be #7,
    Scenario where Reds lose
    Cubs, Cards win
    Giants lose
    Phillies lose (stay far enough behind Cards so Cards do not have to play Monday)

    If the Giants are going to win, then the Reds need to win to lock up #7 but there are then many combinations where the Reds can be #5 even with a Sunday lose because Cards maybe having 2 games on Monday to make playoffs vs Giants,Phillies and Brewers as a WC and based on Monday results, the Reds could end up #5 and heading to California late Monday Night for Wednesday game.

    Hope the stars align for the Reds again tonight.

  15. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Miami just lost again.

    From what I can tell, we are gunning with almost everyone for the 5 seed still. In these last two games, we need one more win than the Cards, that’s definite. And, that should be enough to put us above the Marlins, also, for the #5 seed.

    It looks like if we are 7 or 8, we get the Braves or Dodgers. If we are 5, we would get the Padres. If 6, we would get the Cubs. Again, it looks like.

  16. Jonathan Linn

    Anyone know where I can get a Respect Cincinnati shirt?