The Cincinnati Reds offense set a playoff record in futility by being shut out for a second consecutive game, breaking the record for the longest streak to begin a playoff series without scoring a run at 22 innings. Luis Castillo allowed one run in 5.1 innings, and Lucas Sims dominated his former organization – but the Braves crushed two different 2-run homers off of Raisel Iglesias in the 8th inning to put the game, and the series, out of reach. Cincinnati’s playoff showing was much like their regular season showing – one full of outstanding starting pitching and one full of an offensive performance that could accurately be describes as soul crushing.
|Cincinnati Reds (0-2)
|Atlanta Braves (2-0)
|W: Anderson L: Castillo
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
The first big situation of the game came for the Reds offense in the bottom of the 2nd inning. They loaded the bases against Ian Anderson after a single by Eugenio Suárez and walks to both Jesse Winker and Freddy Galvis. With two outs it brought up Tucker Barnhart, but in what felt like a continuance from game one, Cincinnati couldn’t come through with a hit when they needed it as Barnhart grounded into a force out to end the inning and strand the bases loaded.
Luis Castillo matched Ian Anderson inning-for-shutout-inning…. until the bottom of the 5th. Nick Markakis singled with one out, but was erased on a force out at second. Austin Riley was standing at first with two outs with Ronald Acuña Jr. coming to the plate. The young Braves superstar came through with his third hit of the day, and none were bigger as he doubled to the wall in left-center and put Atlanta ahead 1-0. That would be all that Castillo would give up in his 5.1 innings that included seven strikeouts. With one out in the 6th inning manager David Bell turned the game over the Lucas Sims and the bullpen. Sims got through the final two outs of the inning, holding the score at 1-0. Sims returned for the 7th inning and struck out the side.
Raisel Iglesias came in for the 8th inning and walked Freddie Freeman to start the inning. Marcell Ozuna, who led the National League in homers and RBI this season, did what he does – he homered and drove in runs, extending the Atlanta lead to 3-0. It was only the second homer of the year given up by Iglesias. It wouldn’t be the last as three batters later he gave up another 2-run homer, this time to former teammate Adam Duvall as the Braves took a 5-0 lead. He was pulled at that point for Michael Lorenzen. He would put two men on base, but also struck out two batters to end the inning and send the game into the 9th.
With the heart of the order coming up, the Reds needed them to do damage and do it quickly as they trailed 5-0 with just three outs remaining if they couldn’t get the game tied up. Nick Castellanos struck out looking on four pitches. Joey Votto hit a ground ball 45 feet for the second out. And in what feels fitting for the season, Eugenio Suárez got into one and lined out to the left fielder to end the game and the season.
Notes Worth Noting
The previous record for consecutive scoreless innings to begin a playoff series was 20 innings, set by the 1921 New York Giants. Cincinnati surpassed them in the 8th inning with their 21st straight inning without plating a run. They pushed the record to 22 in the 9th.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
The Winter Meetings, where they will try to address the needs for the 2021 team.
Wow. That must have been some REALLY bad luck.
Pathetic performance. Fire Bell today. Give us something. Good luck to Bauer, DeSclafani, and Castellanos. I hope they find a better home in free agency. And if Votto has any remaining dignity, he lives up to his promise and retires, foregoing the remaining money and lets the team go in a new direction.
You seem angry.
More disgusted than angry. It was obvious last year that Bell didn’t have what it takes. Spending $160+ million last off season and sticking with the same manager and hitting strategy is the very definition of insanity.
They did change hitting coaches for this season. Third one in three years,
Keeping Bauer or not will be huge
They should try to keep him
Bauer watched the second ( and first) games. I can’t imagine him staying after watching that offense in the wild car games. Pathetic! I hope he resigns with the reds, but he stated he wanted to be in the playoffs as much as possible. Sadly, I think the reds eliminated themselves as teams Bauer would sign with. We need him desperately, but I don’t think he will sign on with the reds.
I can’t wait to hear what Bauer has to say about Votto and the Reds when he leaves.
Votto has lead with lazy and uninspired play and the team merrily followed along.
Bell won’t be going anywhere.
Next year will be another disaster after Bauer Castellanos and Disco leave
Back to 90 + losses
Castleanos didn’t really do anything to enhance his resume and its nit like any team has much money to spend after this year so I imagine we are stuck with him.
What literally destroyed the Reds was yesterday’s loss. A base running error and loading the bases in the 13th with one out and not scoring. I knew hit then that Atlanta would score in the bottom of the 13th. That is how those scenarios usually play out. If they could have scored in th 13th yesterday and win the game it would of been the Reds sweeping instead of getting swept. That was the series right there. Only good thing that will come out is the Reds will finally have a Cy Young award winner. I truly hope they sign all 3 of them because if Votto would restructure his contract maybe they could get a player that has a high on base percentage. I never thought that Moustakaus (spelling) really one had a couple of good seasons in K.C. and was not an OBP. type of player the Reds truly needed. JMO
Votto and the offense were really offensive.
Just wondering…who on this current roster would be a prime trade bait…on offense?senzel? Winker? Suarez? Galvis? Votto? Barnhart? ?????
Nightmare sums it up.
Is there a single everyday player that you can build around? They all have the same HR or nothing approach. Senzel is a bust. Votto is done. Suarez only hits HRs. Shogo never hits balls hard. Winker sometimes gets into a groove. Castellanos had a good month. Catching situation is not good. Garcia doesn’t seem poised to be able to take over at SS yet. Moose was decent. The team has a chance with the pitching but something will have to give as far as the lineup.
This idea of an everyday player is foreign to the Reds’ manager. They were on a merry-go-round.
I’m reminded that this year has been filled with spoiled expectations, especially in the real world. With that being said, rooting for a team that got shut out in the playoff doesn’t seem as bad anymore…
There went the theory that what the Reds needed was some Scott Rolen-like leadership and postseason experience. The Reds added Moustakas and Castellanos. That didn’t work. What’s next?
Mike trout is stuck in a losing Dante inferno worse than the Reds. ‘We’ spend half what they (angels) spend for even worse results and fewer prospects of winning. And that salary Mike takes from a stupid front office decision to allocate enormous economic resources to one player (….well, there’s Albert, too) is part of the self serving reinforcement Losing circle.
Let’s be smarter and try the route of the A’s and Rays especially since the reds share similar low revenue circumstances
anyone listening to the end when the ESPN announce said the team with the highest starting pitching runs allowed per game of the 16 to enter the playoffs just pitched two shutouts.
Nothing more needs to be said.
To bad for the Reds and us fans but having the 28th offense in the league @ 4.05 runs per game and the worst batting average .211 not much should have been expected.
We were fooled again.
Great pitching (1 run allowed in 20 innings) cannot overcome poor defense and no offense cannot, the flood gates were going to open at some time and that occurred in the 8th.
Fitting ending to the season for the Reds, a Suarez hard hit ball caught for an out.
Good exit velo but no hit. The theme of the 2020 reds
The MARLINS of all teams won a postseason game this year. While the Reds were scoreless in 22 innings.
To be fair on that point, Fried was a top 5 pitcher, and Anderson had a 1.8 era. The Braves pitchers that sucked didn’t pitch.
Failure promise hope
Errors strikeouts collapse lose
God bless you!
The Reds mistakes aren’t going to magically disappear next year. They are already committed to Moustakas and Castellanos for the next several years, thereby blocking someone like India at those positions. They already gutted their farm system for a 6% shot to win the WS this year. You can’t just replenish talent just like that.
This is why guys like me were criticizing Williams for all of his short sighted moves. Yes the Reds were better this year but was it worth the cost? And stop blaming Bell. The Reds simply don’t have as much talent as Atlanta. Hard to win when you don’t score any runs.
We can hope Castellanos opts out of his deal to try to get more money with a winning team. Despite his disastrous outing today, Iglesias only allowed one home run throughout the regular season, so he may have trade value. That saves around eight million dollars. Barnhart should net a decent prospect in return and save the Reds four million dollars. That’s a start.
Unfortunately, Reds are probably stuck with Castellanos. He is an averagish RF being paid what he is worth for this year but in the future years he is going to be making more than his value. Doubtful that another team would be willing to pay 16/mil a year for him in 2022 and 2023.
I agree with the Iggy idea. The Reds are no where close to being a legitimate WS contender and should be building for the future. Sometime tells me though that Williams and co are going to make another dumb FA signing this winter.
“Sometime tells me though that Williams and co are going to make another dumb FA signing this winter.”
A FA signing isn’t the thing to worry about. I worry more about another type of LA trade 2019 coming this winter. The team still hasn’t recovered from that debacle. That was the stupidest Reds trade since the Frank Robinson trade.
Don’t get me started on that Dodgers trade. I live in OC and I remember when I heard rumors about the trade I was thinking, “There is no way the Reds would be that dumb.” Boy was I wrong.
Speaking of India-he raked at Prasco with about 16 bombs. Hit two off Bauer in a five inning sim game! He would of been the spark maybe the reds needed in the middle of the season. Management chose Garcia and Stephenson instead! When he was going to be called up he came down with an oblique strain! The youngsters hardly played anyhow making it a moot point!
How do you know this about India?
India STINKS!!! You are living in a dream world if you think that kid will ever start over a full regular season on a average team or better. There is lots to be upset about, but some of you want change for the sake of change, just because the current change didn’t quite work out. Remember, this team did make the post season.
Chris, remember more teams made the playoffs than didn’t.
Why would Castellanos want to be part of a dumpster fire ? He’s gone
$$$$, it is already his for staying. Talk is the market is going to be very depressed except for very top tier talent (like Bauer).
Agree. I’ve definitely been called pessimistic on this board, but the results speak for themselves. Historically bad batting average. Team that finished 3rd in their division and only made the playoffs due to the expansion of this year. They just aren’t that good and really don’t have a lot of young talent coming up to change that fact.
It’s just depressing thinking where the Reds would be right now without all of the those dumb trades and signings by Williams. You would have a 55 FV SS coming up in 2022, a top 100 prospect SP, a 50 FV RF that you could have traded for other prospects if you didn’t think he was going to pan out, India at 2B and a bunch of money to sign some free agents to put you over the top. Instead, we have a team that couldn’t score any runs in the worst division in baseball.
Hey, at least we made the payoffs in a year where more half the league did as well.
Dude stop. Bell is an awful leader and by default, an awful manager. Could not lead the proverbial *bleep* to bed.
Where do you suppose he could have led a bunch of bad hitters?
To quote Rusty Griswold, “That was rank!”
I disagree with the naysayers. The Reds did (almost) everything that they could to compete in 2020. I do wish that they would’ve dealt Senzel, though.
– The Good: Suarez can rake. Moose good. Castellanos good. Shogo hit +.300 with a +.450 OBP in the last 30 days.
– The Bad: Votto (makes me sad). Catcher. Shortstop.
– The Inconsistent: Senzel (injuries) and Winker are way too inconsistent though.
I’d love for Garcia and Stephenson to come into their own over the off-season, but you can’t rely on that. If it were me, I’d target a smasher in the outfield and a pitcher, and let them take a run at it in a longer season next year. Deal Senzel if there are any takers, and make Winker compete.
Oh well. It was a bright light in an otherwise dark September.
I don’t know if Senzel has any trade value at this point. He can’t stay healthy and hits like a granny. He’s hasn’t shown me anything when he’s actually healthy enough to play.
I’ve seen a lot to like from Senzel, but I know how Reds fans like to doom and gloom. Obviously it would be good to see him string together a good stretch.
Winker was clearly their best hitter this “year”, albeit inconsistently.
Sorry to disagree, but we don’t need another “smasher.” Joey needs to retire and move either Moose or Castellanos to 1B(no way Castellanos goes FA after his last 40 games’ production!).
Either find a 2B who can put a bat on a ball(maybe Senzel if he doesn’t break something else) or a FA OF who can do the same.
Investigate what you can get for Suarez as this team also needs someone in the IF that can make a play. One of my biggest worries coming into this year was their fielding and it continued to raise it’s ugly head game after game. Eugenio and Joey are detriments in the field and Moose was average with limited range.
Doubt that the Reds will be a player for Bauer, as the market will go big for him, which the Reds just can’t afford. Mahle was a revelation, so I think he is ready to join Gray and Castillo in the rotation, and Lorenzen probably makes the 4th and MIley @ #5. I doubt Disco is going to make big bucks and could be signable. Not sure what Bradley have left on his contract, but look at trading either he or Iggy for additional help.
Lastly, get a hitting coach that can “lecture” this team about situational hitting. They got rid of Turner Ward for his approach and replaced him with Zinter who made the same approach. I hate the Cardinals, but they sure seem to find guys who can put the ball in play. . .
To clarify, I didn’t necessarily mean a home run hitter by smasher. I meant a high OPS guy. I’d love to have a lot more doubles.
I completely disagree with dealing Suarez. Let the emotions settle down. He’s a good player, and not that much of a defensive liability.
Otherwise, I think that we’re pretty much saying the same thing.
Please try to unload Suarez. Please!!! And pray Votto will have enough pride to retire. If those two things would happen, the Reds would have a chance to win next year (with all the pitching they have).
Visual on the telecast showed that Suarez has 41 errors in the past several years, second worst among MLB third basemen.
What concerns me is that the Reds consistently come out of spring training as an awful team. Whether Bell or Price, they suck. Can’t blame Covid because they have not been ready for the season for a number of years. I go to a handful of ST games, usually around the middle third of ST, and I don’t see people playing past about the fourth inning if they have any prospect of being on the roster.
If Votto is not true to his word and the Reds are going to be paying him any way, pay him to ride the pine and pinch hit now and then. Moose to first. India or another youngster to second. Let Garcia play SS since offensively he can’t be much worse over a full season than we got this year.
Bauer – QO, and try to sign, but at least get a high draft pick.
Castillo, Gray, Mahle give good core rotation for next year. Bauer would make it formidable. Multiple options for fifth spot, but I would lean toward Antone, Lorenzen, or another youngster. I don’t think Miley will be the answer, and we shouldn’t need a bridge starter to get us to 2022. Lodolo and/or Greene shouldn’t be that far away.
Oh well, it is what it was.
PS – I don’t like the way Bell manages and it concerns me that Girardi didn’t want the job. Why not?
Yes they do
Jaydubz…Garcia/India up the middle. Stephenson at catcher with Senzel in cf. Young solid, above average talent guys up the middle to form a solid nucleus ie…tor blue jays. I’ve seen a lot of the above kids to know that they would form a formidable group for years to come!
NO they are not! Why do people in here continue to think that our prospects are so amazing, when ALL of baseball see’s that they are not. Stephenson should get the opportunity to start, but India and Garcia aren’t even close to being ready, and India never will be. He was a horrible 1st round pick. We need to sign one of the two very good free agent SS’s in the winter, or deal for one.
@chris Nick Senzel, 2nd overall pick; Hunter Greene 2nd overall pick, Jonathan India 5th overall pick. Tyler Stephenson 11th overall pick.
If every one of these guys isn’t a top drawer prospect, somebody or maybe several somebodies in the Reds organization should probably be out a job.
Sorry to disagree but…
Suarez CANNOT rake – .200 is not raking – the guy is a windmill. Moose is OK but out of place at 2B. Castellanos VERY disappointing. He’s the worse defensive OF in baseball and has a hole in his swing the size of GABP. PLEASE opt out! I have never seen a MLB player as fragile as Senzel. If Winker was as good as he thinks he is, we’d be alot better – hole in swing? Fastballs, inner half and sit down.
Votto – is sad. It’s sad when great players get old and he got old. He has no business batting in the top 6 of a decent MLB team. Garcia? overmatched at plate. Galvis was a waste. Shogo – overmatched and weak defensively especially the arm. Barnhart may be a great person, but he is an awful player. When you are well-below average as a hitter AND have no strike zone recognition, you bat .200. Unfortunately, he had plenty of company in that department. Aquino, Galvis, Castellanos, Barnhart, Suarez – all never met a pitch that they didn’t swing at, regardless of count. Want to know why the Reds hit .211 this year? That’s a big reason. The Reds swung at too many balls. Let’s hope the announcement of a new manager and new hitting coach happens shortly. And by the way David Bell, you’re not the smartest guy in the room.
You’re going to let 60 games impugn multiple years of productivity from Suarez. Give me a break.
Also, it’s a stretch to judge Castellanos after 60 games, too. It’s a moot point anyhow because he’s not going anywhere.
I agree with Shogo’s arm strenth.
Agree with JayDubz. Using BA and a small sample size to judge a player is so 2010. In fact, Suarez even with his .202 BA he was the second best player on the Reds this year. He wasn’t great but he was definitely above average.
You may think that using BA is so 2010, but yesterday when you have runners on 2nd & 3rd with no outs, it would be nice to get just a single. Alex Rodriguez talked about it for the last 2 days, you have to have different approaches for every situation. It has shown all year, this team needs some players that are going to hit for a higher average. Their approach at hitting is ridiculous. A soft hit or fly ball in the 1st inning yesterday changes everything.
BA is 2010 because people have realized since then that BA is largely based upon luck. And contrary to popular belief, it is not that easy to adjust your swing and choose where you hit a 96 MPH fastball where you have about 1/10 of a second to decide whether to swing or not.
As for your example a soft hit fly ball would still have been an out.
And waiting for the home runs is not based on luck. There have been hard throwers for decades. There may be more than ever before, but you’re wrong about the the ability to change your approach. The reason they can’t is because they go up there with one thing in mind, pull the ball as hard as you can every time. There’s a reason why no one thought to use the drastic shift before now, go back and watch games from different decades. The batters did not stand on top of the plate and look to pull every pitch. Just like ARod said yesterday, even Hank Aaron had 20 plus sacrifice bunts in his career. Swanson didn’t have a single attempt all year. BA is not all luck, it’s the ability to do more than swing for the fences every time. It’s great to have guys to drive the ball, but you need to have a few guys that can get a timely base hit.
Yes, Rod Carew, Bill Madlock, Tony Gywnn, and even Pete Rose, it was all luck. Thanks Guys! I needed a good laugh- BA means nothing now, lol. Just like never bunt again! Maybe some of these folks can be the new Reds hitting coach.
How do you know what each hitter is thinking? I think it’s a but presumptuous to assume that a player is looking to pull the ball and hit a home run with the bases loaded in a tie game with no outs in the bottom of the ninth. The reason teams started to shift is because teams are now able to chart where individual players tend hit the ball whereas that type of data wasn’t available in the past. It’s not because “the batters did not stand on top of the plate and look to pull every pitch.”
A sac bunt has no effect on BA so not even sure what you are trying to argue at this point. If you want to use BA to evaluate a hitter go ahead. Most people have moved on.
I’m not going to answer for everyone else, but the reason I know is because I played the game. I didn’t have a tremendous amount of success, but I did play into my 30’s and we were taught to approach each at bat as a separate at bat. Different situations call for different approaches.
Thanks Doug and the other writers for a great season of articles.
Yes!! Thank you sir. Its good to have a place to vent when they do what they do.
yes thank you. Until next time
Yep, thanks Doug and everyone for all the hard work that goes into this site!
Same here. Thanks Doug, you made this season much more fun for me, even though it was very painful at times.
I’m late to the comments but I will add my thanks to Doug for keeping the fires ignited during the bizarroworld 60-game marathon.
I’m for giving the hitting coach his walking papers-overdue-but don’t think the field manager necessarily gets axed after a 60-game season with many anomalies to manage. Not a fair measuring stick for Mr. Bell, I would posit, but I’d have a short leash if we see MOTS going into the early part of 2021 season.
I’ll be checking in regularly during the long off-season, hoping for a normal 2021 for baseball and society at large.
Yes, Doug. Thanks for what you do.
Its not just the Reds failure to me. Its the death of the game I grew up with.
Galvis hits a ball down the RF line and there is the RF? Why was he so close to the line? Must be a great spray chart. Between everyone throwing 97+ and the shifts and the spray charts. There’s only a few teams that can hit and nearly all of them are just because teams like the Yankees just throw around huge stacks of money….batting Gary Sanchez 9th last night. Also most of the teams that score quite a bit do it thru building bandboxs and cheap HRs.
Bottom line. The Reds are not fun to watch and overall the game is much less enjoyable then it used to be. Look at the ratings if you don’t believe me.
Agree 100%. Baseball is ultimately looking down the barrel of a 155mm howitzer. Young fans don’t like to watch and old timers(like me) are bored to death with standing around and watching batters feebly swing
They could outlaw the shift. That has single-handedly really killed offensive numbers.
You don’t need to outlaw it. You just need to spray around it. I don’t remember guys like Carew, Gwynn, Brett, and Rose being defeated by shifts. I’d blame the feast or famine strategy of HR or SO.
I believe that is six straight playoff losses for the Reds going back to the SF series. Per the shift, on one broadcast this year, Welsh suggested that the shift be allowed, but all infielders must be on the dirt, short short left or right field. Some of the rockets would at least get through.
That’s right penalize a team that “knows” where a guy is going to hit a ball every time! If teams were actually putting their bats on the ball, I could almost see your logic. I habe been going back and looking at some stats and it is amazing in MLB that most series totals have 40-45% of total outs being K’s. I don’t believe the shift is impacting that.
I agree that outlawing the shift is penalizing smart baseball, but I will say that it has made the game less enjoyable to watch for me. Not only does it take away hits, it has taken away some of the great defensive plays. I haven’t watched Sports Center in years, but I always remember watching the Web Gems. Doesn’t seem like we have as many exciting defensive plays anymore.
My change would be that any ball hit over the fence in innings 1-8 is a ground rule double. Only becomes an HR ninth inning and after.
Everything you wrote is true. Watching since the 60s and I’ve become so disinterested in the games now. I couldnt watch any other games yesterday because they were all boring. And I was looking forward to them all too. A team like Herzogs 80s Cardinals with McGee, Coleman and a bunch of singles hitters would cruise right through this crap that is being played today. They would be bunting for singles and stealing bases. Chicks like the long ball. Unfortunately I dont in this day and age of baseball.
Exit Velo, BABIP, WAR … all of these modern statistics are just red herrings that exaggerate the talents of mediocre players. I’d be happier if we could just field a team with a bunch of old school .300 hitters and speed on the base paths and see what happens. Reds haven’t had that in 30 years.
Agree 100%. These stats are good tools for evaluating players, but you still need players that can do different things.
250 was a bench player in the BRM era, and I know cause I was a kid then and listened to every game. No matter how you slice it the game is slow and boring most of the time nowadays, and I love Baseball. Sad.
1999 reds were the last fun reds team to watch. They stole 170 bases and placed 35 triples that year. This team.had 2 triples all year
OMG so true. All these new stats really don’t mean as much as BA, RBIS and on base percentage. Like I have said before, a 250 hitter in the BRM era is on the bench or in Triple A.
I think ARod made a good point about the Reds offense being all or nothing and needing to change their hitting approach. They made no adjustments during this series based on their lack of success or the game situation. If you aren’t going to shorten up your swing with a runner in scoring position to win a playoff game you’ve got a problem. They can’t trade their position players based on their current performance levels and depleting their pitching to get more position players won’t work. They need to optimize what they have including a few of their minor league players and maybe a couple cheep free agents and create a competitive environment internally and award playing time based on a new hitting philosophy. They need to start on that during the off-season and get the word out now in terms of expectations. Anyone that doesn’t like it can sit or be released. If during this process they end up with a few new players that are better defensively or on the bases even better.
Change starts at the top. Perhaps ARod and Jennifer Lopez could buy a controlling interest in the Reds with Jennifer as the president of baseball operations and ARod as GM.
I knew the Reds were in trouble when Bell had Davidson on the roster of anybody else at Prasco. Here is a guy that was DFA’d and nobody wanted him. Bell thought he was good enough to be on the roster. Incredible.
Yep – went from not being deemed good enough to be on the team when they were in must win regular season games to the first guy up in a playoff pinch hitting spot. How does that make any sense? Who else does stuff like that?
My only thought on that was why did Bell waste a pinch hitter on the botched double steal? What was the sense in PH for Casalli, another right handed hitter. Casalli could have done the same thing.
Yep, that was a head scratcher. I thought the same thing. SMH
They had two guys on the playoff roster that had been DFA’d and were not on the team during their winning streak at the end: Davidson and Jankowski. Completely mind-boggingly.
It was a constant stream of has beens and wannabees taking playing time away from core guys that should have been playing all year. As someone else said, Bell does not know the meaning of every day player.
Aquino should have been on the team from the outset, and who knows what he could have done with more playing time this year. But he used Davidson, brought in Goodwin and that other left handed outfielder, Payton and they got more time. Made no sense.
Is it me, or does this seem like the Wizard of Oz, the Reds offense (and R. Iglesias) playing like the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Lion?
Thank God! This season is finally over. This Reds team may go down as the worst hitting team of all time, in the history of Major League Baseball.
I was listening to the Brave’s announcers. They made the statement, “We’ve seen some very funny swings” from the Red’s. They had previously mentioned Winker’s going down to one knee as an all-or-nothing homerun swing and that Votto was swinging to “avoid a strikeout instead of getting a hit.” This tells me either the hitting coach is incompetent or that he refuses to suggest any adjustments to the hitters. I mean, how can every batter on the team be this bad in the same year?
Braves announcers? You mean the national broadcast announcers?
Yes, Jeff. They are the worst hitting team in the history of the game!!!!! I’ve been saying that for a long time, and the final stats proved me right. They are awful! No pride. None! I’ve been watching some of these same players strike out time and time again these last few years, and walk back to the dugout and are laughing when the camera pans back to them. In the old days, it was the ultimate humiliation to strike out 4 times in one game,..i.e. “wear the Golden Sombrero”. I’ve seen Suarez do that very thing many many many times over the last 3 or 4 years. Someone needs to show him how to put a bat on a baseball. I know he’s an incredibly nice guy, but facts are facts. Sad that it has come to this in the Reds organization. I can’t imagine what Pete Rose thinks when he sees this futility. Or Morgan, or Bench, or Griffey. Back then, you strike out four times in a game, you’re sent back to the Minors. Oh well. It is what it is.
NO FIRE in the gut. Here we are in the playoffs and you see them chumming it up with the other team. Back in the old days, they were the enemy. Did anyone get mad, or just ho hum back to the bench. Like I said, no fire.
I think some rule changes may need to be made for the sake of the game and offense. I don’t think it’s very enjoyable to see guys strikeout and try for homeruns all game. Maybe lower the mound or something? Nothing too crazy, but the home run or all, shifting, is really making the game kind of boring most likely I think.
The Reds bad offense seems to be a bad mindset. They seemed to have enough talent to not score one run in a playoff series. That is pretty embarrassing, and I’d say you have to look at the hitting coach, Reds approach as a system, and David Bell. Give credit though to the Braves. They are Major Leaguers and completely shut the Reds down and made huge defensive plays in the two games.
I think most concerning is the lack of development of the Reds prospects, such as Senzel and Winker. I think they are both going to be at least average Major Leaguers, but you needed them to be stars to have a really good team. Maybe Aquino turns into that?
Offense was bad across the league this year though, so maybe this year was hard to judge the future of this team.
Other concerns…Votto and Suarez started things off on an ominous note in the first inning Game 1 not coming through. The Reds best players failed them in key moments and set the tone. Suarez is really good, but I’m not sure Votto or he are the foundation for a Championship. Well definitely not Votto of course. He’s had a great career, but man for the Reds sake it would be great if he retired. Either that or he’s batting 8th or 9th for the next few years.
I think there is still hope for Akiyama. I’d like to see a full season out of him, maybe starting 4-5 games weekly. Aquino I think could still be a sleeper above average guy.
I fear that Senzel may be turning into a player that isn’t going to live up to expectations either. I wonder if the injuries are really affecting him. Plus he is playing out of position I think as well.
One final concern is that if Trever Bauer isn’t on this team, they could take a nosedive next year. He really propelled them to the playoffs with his pitching and competitiveness I think.
This is a a Major League Roster/Team with talent, but very fragile, and an organization that can’t seem to develop it’s Minor League players into stardom like the Cardinals, Braves, Cubs in the last 5-7 years for whatever reason. I could see 77 wins next year, or 89 wins. They’ll be interesting, but who knows how good they will be!
My only thought on that was why did Bell waste a pinch hitter on the botched double steal? What was the sense in PH for Casalli, another right handed hitter. Casalli could have done the same thing.
Casali didn’t play today because his wrist is sore. Perhaps that is why he was pinch hit for yesterday.
I believe Casali did not start today, but he did play. His wrist was not bad enough, apparently, to have Farmer catch late.
If you were surprised by this you haven’t been watching all year. Both Braves starters are excellent but you have to do better than this. The Reds next move depends on whether they can convince Trevor to stay in Cincinnati. Besides money he will probably want assurances the Reds will be active in free agency trying to get a couple hitters who can make contact. No matter what the hitting coach needs to go.
I said on here if the Reds could scratch together 2 or 3 runs a game with this pitching staff we might be flying flags…..Unfortunately this team had no idea how to manufacture runs…….They will fire the hitting coach(Lord knows it won’t be Bell because he is in Cincy baseball aristocracy) Unfortunately we will never have the top 3 starters that we had……pitching will be worse, and on offense we will marginally better…..
Whether Trevor Bauer moves on or not. Thanks Trevor for an exciting year. You deserve the Cy Young. Your comments prior to the start of play were instrumental in helping to give us a baseball season during the summer of this troubled year.
Yes. Trevor is the man! I’m going to miss him. Watching him pitch this year has been a real pleasure. Whereas, watching the Reds offense has been shear torture.
Agree. Wish he would come back but I doubt it.
One doubts that Trevor ever finds us opining here, but if I’m wrong on that, I’d fervently wish he’d give it another year here and get a better feeling for the avidness of the Cincinnati baseball fan base when they have a chance to actually engage. He got a bad taste in Cleveland, with the local press there doing its best to pile up on him and drive a wedge between him and fans. An engaged Cincinnati region with a good team to support is a special place unlike any other. Without the hype and constant harassments of the big city/big money markets. He was fun to watch this year, and his attention to details in evaluating himself made him an even more interesting player to watch perform. If you’re leaving, TB, thanks for a great year here, it was appreciated. (And understand if we don’t root for the same level of success for you should you land in NY, BOS, LA, SF.)
I just want to puke.
Use your finger.
Anybody else thinking this is the year Braves cheating pays off? At least a better quality of cheating than the Astros.
As for the Reds, very disappointing but not despairing. They are close, and the pitching is unprecedented. May just take one big move on offense (trade or FA) but no more prospect trades.
The Reds, with their outstanding pitching and pitching coach, are on the cuspis of success. The FO needs to go out this offseason and do the same for the offense, first, by getting an outstanding hitting coach and go from there.
Bell pinch hit Davidson for Casilli because he was injured. Wasn’t able to start today and team up with Castillo. Announcers confirmed this during the game.
In this 2 game playoff series vs. the Braves, the Reds offense went 8 for 73 for a team Batting Average of, get this, .110. They had 5 BB’s and 1 HBP, for an astounding OBP of .177.
That will definitely get Zinter and Mather fired immediately. But the Reds have to fire David Bell too. Zinter should not be scapegoated alone as Bell should be held accountable too for this hot mess of an offense.
Votto retire? I would probably be the last one to say yes, but. Yes, it is time. I hate to type those words, but it is more than obvious the decline has hit him hard both offensively and defensively. If he won’t retire then release him.
Although sentiment is strong to fire David Bell, I doubt it will happen this offseason since Bell got the Reds to the playoffs and is under contract for the 2021 season. Bell’s status will be front and center a year from now.
Great performance by the pitching staff in the playoffs. That was the positive and was a pleasure to watch. The offense was completely pathetic and overmatched. Stephenson should be the starting catcher next year and that’s a no brainer. Something needs to be done with Votto next year. At a minimum DH him batting no higher than 6. This is getting old. Hitting coach needs to be fired yesterday. Never seen a poorer Reds team offensively and on the basepaths. Complete lack of fundamentals in every way which reflects on the manager. Would like to see Bell fired but doubt he will after making the playoffs. This team showed absolutely no life except the pitching staff. Disappointing!!
That the team got into the playoffs – surprising!
That the team got swept and shutout – predictable!
This REDS playoff team was made of paper mache with the pitching as the only thing keeping it together. The pitchers did their job. Now the FO needs to do theirs this offseason. I cannot comment on managers because I don’t know what it takes to be a good manager like most of us. But I do know what I see and have been seeing. The team needs reliable, impactful, scary, middle-of-the-lineup hitters. Castellanos and Moustakas are not those. Votto is no longer that. Suarez is not as consistent, but very impactful. This FO has had opportunities to get those, like Yelich, Ozuna (who killed the Reds today), and Realmuto (best hitting catcher), or Manny Machado but passed on each of them. Front office offseason agenda:
– Retain the SP rotation. It is rock-solid with Bauer (he needs to be signed), Castillo, Gray, Mahle,…
– Acquire a powerfully, consistent, middle-of-the-lineup (#3 or #4) batter. Votto cannot be counted on for that position (he’s #6 at best); Suarez = #5
– Don’t be cheap. The cheap stuff ends up costing more money in the end. Middle-market team budget is no longer a valid excuse. With new TV and social media deals, the team can afford to more and wiser.
– The Marlins have had a better season. Credit to them, shame on this team.
Agree on almost all of your comment. But did the Reds pass on the players you named, or make offers that were not accepted?
By the way, I join in the thanks do Doug and the other writers, and to the commenters who inform and, sometimes provoke. It’s a Reds community, which is hard to find out here in Cubs-Cards country. And it’s a refuge in a Reds season like this.
I believe they offered Osuna a better contract than either Moose or Castellanos, $50MM for three years, which he declined.
Very few were upset with the off season acquisitions, at least until they started playing games.
Art, Good observation. You may be right on their efforts. So I stand corrected on that point. Yet, I still contend, since I live in Miami and follow the Marlins news, that at least one of them could have been had if the team was more aggressive early and willing to let go some of their “top” prospects.
On a different note, Yes, much appreciation is in order Doug and the RLN writers for all that they bring with this blog for quenching our baseball and Reds fan cravings to talk baseball. What a beautiful sport! I am Cuban so it is in my blood. Thank you RLN!!!
Davy just for fun Votto, Suarez, Moustakas & Winker to the 2 playoff games. Together they were 5 for 32 with 4 walks & 11 strikeouts.
It is time for Rebuild #2. Not the type of rebuild by letting every veteran go and tearing it all down. But a rebuild that aligns with the needs of the team. An offensive / LH bullpen rebuild The Reds should do something similar to what Milwaukee did last year by parting ways with half of their roster. Milwaukee still made the playoffs this year. There needs to be some heavy turnover of the 26 man and 40 man rosters this winter.
Free Agents: Bauer, DeSclafani, Galvis, possibly Castellanos.
Non-tender: Goodwin and R. Stephenson.
Release: Jankowski, Davidson, and possibly Votto.
Trade: Iglesias, Barnhart, and possibly Votto.
Other 40 man roster spots: Release Robel Garcia, Jose De Leon, Jesse Biddle, and RJ Alaniz.
That would mean 15 spots on the 40 man roster to fill. Bauer and Castellanos are the only 2 to bring back if possible. I would be more than good with turning over 13-15 of the 40 man roster spots. As long as 7 or 8 spots to turn over would be on the 26 man roster.
The situation with Votto could depend on whether the NL has DH next year. If so, he might work at DH thus freeing up Winker to dangle as trade bait.
Well, it was a fun two weeks.
DB did not go through all the lefty righty motions today, I guess he figured out it isn’t always by the numbers you have to let the best you have see what they can do..
I think he sees some of his LH batters as 2 way players more than he does his RH batters.
It’s worth nothing that the two-week run that got them to the playoffs was almost entirely played at GABP. I feel like that’s gone mostly unnoticed.
I think that people are being hard on some of the offense. But improvements are clearly necessary.
That is interesting to note. Perhaps another reason why Tom Mitsoff’s article on how it was the pitching that got them in makes sense–they suppressed the opponent in the hitter-friendly park, thereby further masking the abysmal offensive approach.
Yes. Trevor is the man! I’m going to miss him. Watching him pitch this year has been a real pleasure. Whereas, watching the Reds offense has been shear torture.
If they could somehow keep Bauer (unlikely, I know) they would once again have a serious core pitching staff which would keep them in games. I would have to think that after watching guys like Votto hit endlessly into the shift this year that they would want to change their hitting coach/approach. I know that’s easier said than done but what they are doing is clearly not working. If they can hit next year, they might be a pretty good ball club. That’s what I’m hoping for.
I think we see a glaring hole in the new thinking that has taken baseball by storm. It is fine to hit home runs and walk a lot, however if your team batting average is .212 and your entire team is focused on walks and launch angle, you’re not going to get on base against playoff caliber pitching.
They are going to throw high strikes and not walk batters. Hitters going for high launch angle can not hit a four seam fastball up in the zone. Especially not when they have to protect against good breaking pitches.
It was nice to have the Reds winning again, and this season was a step forward. But our last playoff series win was 25 years ago.
I think that’s worthy of a lot discussion. “What goes around, comes around.” Teams are getting caught up in the trend, and forgetting that there are other aspects to baseball. There are ideas that work perfectly in theory (e.g. the three true outcomes), but when they are applied in real life, they must also interact with so many variables that the “pure” theory breaks down.
I really think that the first team to realize this (before the pendulum swings back) and return to some of the traditional approaches such as “get em on, get em over, get em in” can enjoy a burst of success in the league–especially with great pitching like the Reds have.
Unless the starting eight include T Stephenson, J Garcia, and maybe a couple others who have not had more than a token chance thus far.
To Randy in chatt—seen them in minors and at Prasco. Don’t ask me how I saw them at Prasco!
How did you see them at Prasco? 🙂
Not surprised….disappointed but not surprised….spring training have same bunch.. ghb o Reds
At David Bell’s house this Halloween, the Bells will only be giving out Zero brand candy bars. Since David Bell is so fond of the zeroes.
I’m sure he isn’t happy about losing.
Bases loaded, Anderson has just walked two batters (the last one on four pitches), and Tucker swings at the first pitch in the dirt . . . so deflating.
Exactly. Couldn’t believe it! He shouldn’t have swung at the first pitch. . .PERIOD, even if it was right down the middle.
Even if Bauer leaves, that pitching staff will be above-average. The Reds organization has got that part figured out. What they don’t have figured out is an effective team-wide and organization-wide hitting approach. Yes, the team had one of the all-time low team batting averages. No, that team with the players who are on it, should not have been that pathetic.
The decisions that need to be made:
1) Can the hitting be turned around team-wide by a change in direction and approach? (A new hitting instructor?)
2) Are these regular players really this bad at hitting? I think not, but the front office has to make sure they are not looking through rose-colored glasses at this issue.
3) Is the focus on exit velo and launch angle really the way to go? It was started here last year by Turner Ward, and judging by the results, Alan Zinter took them down a similar path.
4) Are Tyler Stephenson and Jose Garcia ready to be everyday players?
I highly doubt the front office will spend generously on free agents in this offseason following zero ticket sales.
Finding the Kyle Boddy and Derek Johnson of hitting instructors would be probably the best move they could make.
I just checked the Wikipedia write up for Alan Zinter and it says he was fired as the hitting coach of the Cincinnati Reds in October 2020 which must be today since it’s the first day of the month.
Is Francisco Lindor in play if we lose Bauer? Frees up the cash. Ss has been a weak spot offensively. Bat him third. Agree pitching is a strength
You make good points Tom. I personally don’t think the hitters are the problem but the philosophy. The hitting instructor is a big part of that but the manager has the ultimate responsibility about the approach. They made the point on the broadcast today that the .280 hitter isn’t as valuable as he once was. That kind of thinking is the biggest reason our hitting stinks. The current trend in hitting philosophy is utterly ridiculous. If this new way of emphasizing exit velocity would mean more wins I’d be all for it. The only problem is…….IT’S NOT WORKING. Of course it has some merit but it’s a part not the whole. The key to hitting and ultimately winning hasn’t changed. It’s called balance. The one point you left out Tom, being the nice guy that you are, IMO is the manager. David Bell, the way he manages, is very easy. Just look at the numbers and go with it. If that’s the correct way to manage then a computer would do much better. This has been talked about in great length on here so there is no need to go into much detail. The bottom line is the position players just don’t play well under his leadership to put it mildly. They may even like him. Dusty Baker was very likable too. He used to drive me crazy and I was happy he was let go but compared to Bell I’d take him in a heartbeat. That’s how far we’ve sunk. To all of the die hard Reds fans on here I feel for you all. I know the feeling. It’s the same for me. However we will continue, no matter how disgusted and frustrated we are with this season, whether we want to admit it or not, to continue to follow our Reds. I’m already looking forward to next year. However, unless Bell is replaced, there will be a dark cloud hanging over the team no matter what players are here. I personally like the moves that have been made the last two years. it’s just that the front office comes “close” but doesn’t follow through to truly make this a winning team. Last year they had everyone excited, players, fans, everyone, and then right before the season started they took the air out of everyone by playing with Senzel and his service time. This year they made more good moves but didn’t go all the way to make this a winning team by replacing the manager. No matter who the players are the manager DOES MATTER. No matter how much money players make you can’t just throw them out there and expect them to perform up to their potential without a good manager. Yes, this has been a hard season to watch.
As a side note I feel the same way at the end of the season as I did once things got started. I have no problem with the runner at 2nd base in extra innings, or the seven inning doubleheaders, or the DH. The only thing about the DH is I wish it were for only the starting pitcher and then would be taken away when the starter was replaced. In a situation like that it would actually mean more strategy involved and make the game more interested which is very much needed.
For me the good news is that 2020 could be to the Reds near term future what 2010 was to 2012 and 2013 (Reds won 90 or more games both years).
But the organization has some very important things they have to get right. Even without Bauer, the pitching staff can be very close to where it needs to be, especially with the like of Hunter Greene healthy and looming in the wings. Don’t mess with it too much.
And there is a lot of the same work to be done on the offensive side of the ball whether or not Castellanos is on the team.
Hopefully the National League keeps the DH because, the Reds very much need DH or 1B for Moustakis. The other side of that coin is they also need a 2B/ SS defensive combination to maximize the pitching.
Acquiring and/ or picking the right people is in the hands of the org. All we can do is watch.
Jim, I’m wondering if Greene is another Senzel.
Thanks Doug!!! To lose two pitchers duel is not unusual,in the playoffs.Fried was a Cy Young finalist and the rookie a below 2 era. Yes modern baseball sucks,but outlawing the shift won’t teach how to hit to opposite field,bunt,or how to steal. Quit being crybabies and remember our September run. Next year will be better
Here is your “all in” move this winter ….
-OF Mike Siani
-Lindor (1 year left)
Indians would probably want to add a lottery ticket player or two, to make return look like a haul.
I would prefer the Reds keep Winker for the longer term, but if you pulls this off early enough … maybe Bauer re-signs, if only on a 1-year deal.
Jim’s point on Moustakas goes to a bigger issue … this team is getting old quickly.
Maybe the play is to go for it in 2021, knowing the last couple years of Votto/Moustakas/Suarez running down their contracts is going to be awful.
If the play is to go for it in 2021, the first move is to get a manager that is capable. If that doesn’t happen, the Reds should not delude themselves into thinking that 2021 is a “go for it” year.
The most optimistic idea I can come up with is this: if 2021 can go forward as close to usual as possible, and the players get a usual routine for preparation, Spring Training, etc, perhaps they’ll get a mulligan and the team will do what we hoped they would have done in 2020. (Most likely minus Bauer this time around).
The caveat to that idea is that if the hitting philosophy that they displayed in 2020 is what they would do in 2021, I don’t foresee improvement.
Re: Hitting philosophy> exactly why I said the offensive issues to be addressed for 2021 were largely the same/ independent of whether Castellanos is on the team.
-Need a change on offense, finally for now figured out the Pitching.
-Already on second Hitting coach in 2 years.
-Time to put the blame on the players themselves.
-Offense is stale that starts with Suarez etc.
-Have to show you will not settle for the worse offense, in History basically.
-The all or nothing approach and flailing at pitches is not working.
-Shame wasted this pitching for this season.
-Offense just had to be not Horrible could have went Far.
I’m in on Senzel, IF he can stay healthy. Yes, a big if. But he was solid last year batting leadoff every day. Want to say he was batting around .280-.290 until that clown tried to change his swing.
Regarding Senzel for those who think his problem in staying healthy is that he has no heart I firmly disagree. Jim Day did a segment on him a few months ago about his life and what he’s gone through. He is a true overcomer. Heart is not his problem. If anything he tries too hard. I don’t know for sure about him but I do know that sometimes a player tries so hard, and is always wound up so tight inside, that he pushes himself into injuries. Maybe his injury problems can be fixed simply by relaxing “inside”. I like him and pull for him. I want him to succeed. However, from strictly a standpoint of what might be best for the team, it could very well be better to trade him before his value sinks greatly with all his injuries. It may even be too late already. If we can somehow get a pretty big haul for him I say take it.
As many have said the Reds wait to long to trade players, I wondered after the series when the Braves were looking for a closer and thinking about 3rd base what Suarez and Iglesias would have brought back.
If the Reds can stay out of Senzel’s way, and let him play baseball the way he knows how (in other words, do the things that got him here in the first place), then he will be very good.
If he gets inked in as the everyday starter at whichever position he lands at, and left alone, I think he’ll develop. The constant switching of lineup has got to be mentally exhausting for everyone.
Yes. By my math the Reds had only 3 qualifying position players (requires 3.1 PAs per team game played) this season. They were Suarez, Votto, and Castellanos.
Their cumulative bWAR worked out to exactly 0. Suarez was +0.4 but Castellanos and Voto were each -0.2.
Winker and Akiyama were both within 10 PAs of qualifying and would have added 1.6 bWAR to that total.
In a normal 162 game season, Baseball Reference pegs a starter at > 2.0 bWAR in a season. Lower is sub or replacement level. This breaks down to .74 bWAR as a minimum figure for an acceptable starter in a 60 game season. Thus the Reds top 5 qualifying and nearly qualifying position players come out to <3 standard starting players; and this is only by including the 2 near misses.
I am NOT in on Zinter. You know who could care less about launch angle and exit velocity? That would be me. I care about making contact with the ball, about how to bunt, about how to steal a base, about how to move a runner over, about manufacturing runs, about good fundamental baseball. A .212 batting average? This display was pure garbage.
Do you think that on average baseball players aren’t as good now as they used to be? Seems batting average is lower around the league than in the old days. Or maybe pitchers are just better now than in the old days.
I believe a lot has to do with the hitting philosophy now.
Hitting coach, Turner Ward, who came over with Puig from the Dodgers last year and Alan Zinter this year, IMO, had the same hitting ideas: GABP_is a bandbox so swing hard and go for the homerun. The .212 team batting average is proof of the pudding.
I’m really looking forward to this offseason about which way is FO going to address the shortcomings or if, by contrary, no moves will be done at all. Big question mark is what to do with Votto and his remaining $82MM salary.
Swinging like Willie Mcovey in 71 all star game against Vida Blue is not a very good hitting approach.
This is a very witty statement!
The real problem for the Reds are the players some what but the major of the blame falls on the hands of the manager and coaches. I for one has never been a fan of David Bell he has cost the Reds about 6 games this short scheduled season. If I were the Reds brass I would go after Rays manager Kevin Cash he seem to get the most out of the players who play for him and second get rid of Inglasias he’s terrible he took yesterdays game from being within reach to out of reach.