When the day began, the outcome of the game mattered. But by the time the 9th inning rolled around, at least for Cincinnati, the outcome didn’t factor into where they would be seeded for the playoffs. That didn’t matter because the game went into extra innings anyways. Before the end of the game, the result didn’t matter for the Twins, either – as the White Sox lost in Chicago and that clinched the division for Minnesota. Cincinnati’s 3-run 10th inning was enough to get the job done, giving them a 31-29 record on the season – their first winning record since 2013, when they also entered the playoffs as a wild card team.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (31-29)
5 8 1
Minnesota Twins (36-24)
3 5 0
W: Iglesias (4-3) L: Romo (1-3)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

The Reds offense was quiet on the day, particularly early on. With two outs in the 6th inning they finally got something going. Joey Votto walked and came around from 1st base on a double by Eugenio Suárez to tie the game up at 1-1. The Twins got that run back in the bottom of the inning, but Cincinnati came storming back to tie things up again. Jesse Winker pinch hit for Kyle Farmer and doubled. Freddy Galvis pinch hit for Jose Garcia to follow and he singled in Winker to tie it up.

Cincinnati’s offense went quiet again after that, going 1-2-3 on strikeouts in the 8th inning Trevor May, and then 1-2-3 with a ground out, strikeout, and fly out against Caleb Thielbar in the 9th as the game remained tied up at 2-2.

After Raisel Igleisas helped send the game into extras, Michael Lorenzen pinch ran for Jesse Winker to begin the 10th inning at second base. Freddy Galvis popped up for the first out, but then Curt Casali singled – but Lorenzen’s hesitation on the play led to him being held up at third base. Casali then took second on defensive indifference before Tucker Barnhart singled in the go-ahead run to make it 3-2. Nick Castellanos followed with a walk to load the bases with one out for Joey Votto. He also walked to make it 4-2. After a pitching change, the Twins saw Eugenio Suárez swing away on a 3-0 count and line one right past the drawn-in infield to make it 5-2. A wild pitch sent Castellanos towards the plate, but he was thrown out by a matter of millimeters. A fly out ended the top half of the inning, but Cincinnati was holding onto a 3-run lead.

The Pitching

Sonny Gray got the nod for the final game of the regular season, and it’s a tune up for a potential start in the playoffs on Friday. He wasn’t at his best, walking four batters in 5.1 innings and allowed two earned runs – but he struck out four and allowed just two hits on 87 pitches while being a groundball machine, getting nine ground outs with just one fly out. He left the game in a 1-1 tie, but runners on 2nd and 3rd. Tejay Antone came in and allowed a sacrifice fly, leading to the second earned run against Gray. He followed up be getting Jake Cave looking to end the inning. Antone returned for the 7th and recorded two strikeouts in a perfect inning to keep the game tied.

Amir Garrett came out for the 8th inning. He allowed a single to lead off the inning. After striking out Max Kepler, Luis Arraez hit back back to Garrett, who turned and fired the ball to 2nd to try and get a double play – but the throw was high and pulled Freddy Galvis off of the bag to put runners on 1st and 2nd. Lucas Sims took over on the mound from there and got out of it quickly with another outstanding double play – this one turned by Mike Moustakas and Galvis at shortstop. Sims returned for the bottom of the 9th with the game still tied. After striking out the first two hitters, Miguel Sano singled and that led to Raisel Iglesias coming in to face Jorge Polanco and he struck him out to send the game into extra innings.

The bottom of the 10th inning began with a single off of Raisel Iglesias that scored a run (this is still a weird thing to type) to make it 5-3. The Reds closer struck out Mitch Garver to follow, recording the first out of the inning. Marwin Gonzalez, who singled to begin the inning, took both second and third base on defensive indifference before Max Kepler popped up for the second out of the inning. A strikeout ended the game and the regular season.

Notes Worth Noting

Cincinnati has their first winning season since 2013, clinching a record above .500 on the final day of the season.

Kyle Farmer and Jose Garcia showed off different kinds of tools while turning an impressive double play in the bottom of the 4th inning, and it saved the go-ahead run. Farmer made the sliding grab and showed athleticism to get the ball to Garcia, who showed off a laser-rocket arm getting the ball to first.

The Reds take on the Braves

The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers this afternoon, clinching 2nd place for themselves and sending Cincinnati to the #7 seed as the top wild card. That will mean that the Reds are traveling to Atlanta to take on the Braves in the wild card round in a best of three series.

Worst batting average in 110 years

The Cincinnati Reds finished the season hitting .212 for the year. That’s the lowest in Major League Baseball since 1910.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds


Cincinnati Reds vs Atlanta Braves

National League Wild Card Round – Wednesday, September 30th

Trevor Bauer vs TBA

30 Responses

  1. Klugo

    Even the defense has really come around.

  2. Kurt Frost

    I’m confused why the Cardinals have the higher seed when the Lions have more wins.

    • Kurt Frost

      Reds. I’m watching the Lions.

    • Colorado Red

      They won the season series.
      The Cards also have fewer loses, so a very small winning pct difference.

  3. Kurt Frost

    We posted our aggravation at the same time!

  4. Michael Smith

    Reds finish 31-29 while playing in a division with 4 playoff teams and alc had 3

  5. Eric Kevin Pritchard

    Don’t the Cards have to win at least one from Detroit to clinch second? If they were swept…they would be 30-30 and not in second place. Can anyone explain?

    • Indy Red Man

      I saw Max Fried a few years ago and thought he had a chance to be special, but he was like an afterthought at that point. He just got a cup of coffee in 2017-18. Blake Snell lite, but only 4.91 era in September. I like our chances with our RH lineup

    • IndyDoug

      see above. Unplayed games that ONLY affect seeding NEED NOT BE PLAYED.

  6. Mark Moore

    It’s just the way MLB decided things when they agreed to this 60 game season. The games only get played if they determine in or out (which they don’t) or home field advantage (which they don’t). The wins vs. losses gap is the same for both teams and the WLB’s have a slightly higher win percentage when you go out 4+ decimal places. So no trip to Detroit to atone for their multitude of sins getting those games deferred.

    Plus, they make the West Coast Swing to Slam Diego (Brewers to LA) and end up in that bracket where we get to go to Atlanta, beat them, then take on the Cubs in Houston … at least that’s my plan.

    #embracetheweird in this year where we’re in and have a winning record. Slight chance we don’t ever face one of the West Coast teams this year at all … which would be rather surreal on top of all this.

  7. Mark Moore

    Twinkies get to play at home vs. Cleveland on Tuesday.

  8. Scott C

    Reminder of the Strike season when Reds had the best record in baseball but was left out of the post season.

    • greenmtred

      Still have the newspaper clipping from that–remember, the Reds gave themselves a pennant?) tacked to the wall.

  9. Charlie Waffles

    So glad the Reds finished with a winning record. It would have been different saying first non-losing season since 2013 finishing with a .500 record.
    Bell said the Farmer-Garcia-Votto double play was the best defensive play of the year. I’d have to agree with that.
    If MLB wants to carry over the extra inning runner on 2nd rule to next year, at least amend it to start with a runner on 1st base. Make a team earn it a little more.
    Now on to Atlanta. Reds pitching vs. Braves offense. Could be a whale of a 3 game series.

  10. Tom Mitsoff

    Sooooo … The Reds batted .212 as a team and made the playoffs. Lowest team batting average in 110 years in all of the major leagues. Reds were the first team in history to draw more walks (239) than singles (221).

    Doug, did the BABIP also finish historically low?

    The game of baseball is changing more than drastically right before our eyes. I still love it, and you folks still love it, but it is not the game we grew up with, that’s for sure.

    My wife and I watched the game last Saturday night on TV against the White Sox. She doesn’t watch much baseball. At 9:30 p.m. Central, she said to me, “Do you realize this game has been four hours long?” (It wasn’t — only 3.5 hours.) 😉 But the point was clear. “I’m not watching any more of these except for the World Series,” she said.

    I like the doubleheader rule (seven innings per game) for this year, because it keeps the total time (including between-games break) you’d spend at the stadium under seven hours.

    There is much more to download mentally about how what happened this year happened, but for now, I’m just enjoying it and getting ready for the playoffs. 🙂

    • Rednat

      i tend to agree with your wife Tom. lol. what i learned this year is something i always had a hunch was true. Baseball is not a made for tv sport anymore. it is much more enjoyable in person and on radio. we can talk about rules all you want. expanded playoffs, 7 inning double headers, base runners to start extra innings, getting rid of the shift.. but the biggest matter on the agenda for the owner and commissioner for 2021 is getting fans back into the stands. it is going to be an expensive challenge (temperature checks, expanded seating, extensive cleaning protocols, possible rapid testing for fans) but it has to be done or the sport will most certainly die.

    • greenmtred

      It’s nice that the Reds have turned around this asterisk of a season, and I wish them well in the playoffs–old habits die hard. But to my eye the game has been reduced to a much less watchable version of itself. It still isn’t truly a 3 outcome-per-at-bat deal, but it’s getting close. I actually don’t care what advanced stats say about best strategies as much as I care about having multiple (more than three) of the neat possibilities. You’ve probably all seen the iconic picture of Jackie Robinson executing a straight steal of home. Billy Hamilton couldn’t hit, but when he got on base, he often did something exciting. Great defensive plays. Well-executed hit-and-runs.

      • Still a Red

        Hah…speaking of Billy Hamilton, he started in CF for the Cubs, went to 2 for 4, including a HR AND stole home!! Didn’t even know the Cubs picked him up. Hope he doesn’t come back to haunt us in Round 2!

  11. MK

    The 1906 White Sox beat the Cubs in the World Series and had a ,230 batting average for the Regular Season. They were nicknamed the “Hitless Wonders.” Other than Champions what might the Reds be called if they go all the way.

    • RojoBenjy

      The BABIP Bombers?
      The TTO Train?
      Bell’s BABIP Babies?
      The Shiftless Wonders?

      • Matt WI

        The TTO Train, for the win! Good one.

    • Colorado Red

      The I do not care what they call them, if they call then World Champs.
      That is fine my me.

  12. ClevelandRedsFan

    I’ll never forget seeing Trevor Bauer on the mound with blood dripping down from his hand, soaking his pants and Trevor acting like it was no big deal.

    He cut his hand on a toy drone days before and tried to superglue it shut.

    There are very few human beings I’m genuinely afraid to meet. Bauer is one of them.

  13. Melvin

    Good win today and great to be in the playoffs but gotta do something about that batting average. Whoa!

  14. TR

    The Reds just need to get runners on base either by walks, hits through or over the shift, opposite field or homeruns. Scoring is needed to go with excellent pitching.

  15. Tom Mitsoff

    Follow-up on the team .212 batting average: Reds pitching allowed opposing teams to hit only .215. That was second-best, to the Dodgers pitchers allowing only a .213 batting average. Cardinals pitching allowed only .216. Fourth-lowest was Cleveland at .223.