Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (7-4)
6 7 0
San Francisco Giants (7-4)
7 11 0
W: W. Peralta (2-0) L: C. Perez (1-1) S: J. McGee (5)
Statcast | Gamecast Play-by-Play | Game Thread


“A manager uses a relief pitcher like a six shooter. He fires until it’s empty, then takes the gun and throws it at the villain.” —Dan Quisenberry

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Game #11

It became clear in a hurry that it wouldn’t come down to which team could hit early, but which team could KEEP hitting. A first inning Votto bomb following a Castellanos single gave the Reds a quick 2-0 advantage. Moments later, a Mike Moustakas scud missile into McCovey Cove with Eugenio Suaréz aboard with a walk made it a steep 4-0 mountain to climb for the light-hitting Bay Area Boys.


What should have been smooth sailing for Luis Castillo turned into anything but as Mike Yastrzemski and Brandon Crawford homered, each with a man on, to erase the Reds’ lead in one fell swoop. Neither Gausman or Castillo could find their command early and the question quickly became: Which pitcher would settle in?


Castellanos doubled in Jesse Winker all the way from first to reclaim the lead 5-4 in the second inning. And the game would stay that way until the home half of the 6th.

The Arms

Posey struck out swinging.
Wade Jr. struck out swinging.
Gausman struck out swinging.
Dickerson struck out swinging.
Belt struck out swinging.
Crawford struck out swinging.
Posey struck out swinging.

By the end of 4 innings, Castillo—like Stella—had found his groove. But after a Giants single and a bunt single against the shift in the 5th, Castillo had thrown 92 pitches, and the bullpen was waiting in the wings. A timely double play on a ball slapped back up the box to La Piedra got the Reds out of the inning having thrown 98 pitches. His night was done. The line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 7 K.

The Antone-less bullpen would quickly give up the lead. Sean Doolittle waved the white flag, surrendering a home run to Evan Longoria, a single to Buster Posey, while Austin Slater would triple off Carson Fulmer. The Giants would lead 6-5 after 6 innings.

Cincinnati would strike back for a run in the top of the 7th, courtesy of old friend Wandy Peralta. After a single by Jonathan India, a balk and a wild pitch would be followed by a bloop single by Alex Blandino to tie the game at 6.

But the Giants continued to take advantage of the Reds’ suspect bullpen. A couple of walks by Cionel Peréz and a sac fly off Lucas Sims by Wilmer Flores gave the lead right back to Frisco 7-6.

Suaréz would double with 2 outs in the 8th and David Bell would pinch run Kyle Farmer in an attempt to get the run home from second base, but Tyler Rogers, a submariner, would strike out the side.

And that would be the Reds last serious threat.

What Did We Learn Today?

You just can’t slug your way to victory night-after-night. In 5 of the Reds 7 wins this season, pitching has held the opposition to a grand total of 9 runs. Pitching has been a big part of the Reds fast start. Tonight, the lack of it was why they lost.

Final Thoughts

Tejay Antone clearly didn’t have enough time in the spring to build up his innings to the point of being a viable starter. Still, I’m not so sure that when he’s ready, the Reds wouldn’t be best served by keeping him right where he is until the bullpen finds its feet. This pen without Antone could fumble away a lot of games before April gives way to May. Sonny Gray will be back shortly to fortify to the rotation. And Castillo is not going to continue to have these erratic outings. Tyler Mahle is better than many Reds fans think he is. Miley is proven, despite an injury-plagued 2020.

On Deck for the Redlegs

Cincinnati Reds at San Francisco Giants
April 14 at 3:45pm ET
Tyler Mahle (1-0, 2.00 ERA) vs. Johnny Cueto (1-0, 2.51 ERA)

46 Responses


    Aquino and Stephenson struck out. Not sure if the 3rd strike was close or not. I know every umpire is different. Obvisiouly, if a pitch is close to the plate at all, you have to swing. If the pitch is out of the strike zone, and the umpire called the 3rd strike, then, like many umpires doing this, this really irritates the players. Thus, the talk of a robot calling strikes, and not the regular umpires. If I was a player, I would suggest to the players union, that they look for trends from certain umpires, and the trouble umpires, I would file a grievance from the players union. Got to be some way to keep umpires accountable.

  2. GreatRedLegsFan

    Easy game reading: No Antone = No Bullpen

    • Roger Garrett

      Pretty much right for now.Pen has guys who are one inning pitchers and when you have to cover 3 or 4 innings every day then you will find the one that doesn’t have it that day.Other then Sims nobody else showed up tonight.Hoffman/Deleon will help cause they are better and can go multiple innings

  3. Chris

    I think this bullpen might be a problem… Doolittle has had some success this year, but he’s throwing a mediocre 93 mph fastball and little else. Veteran guys like that used to get by on “guile,” or “will,” or whatever – but if you’re bringing that in 2021, you’ll have an ERA north of 7. Pérez seems to have potential, but he has no command at all and will take awhile to develop. Garrett will be fine, but might not be a closer – ditto for Sims. There’s isn’t another major league pitcher on the staff. I’d throw De Leon and Hoffman in there immediately and see what sticks. Hopefully Lorenzen will make an impact at some point

  4. GreatRedLegsFan

    Castillo looks to be still straightening out, after one inning of work he settles and start to deliver his pitches in a comfortable fashion. Perhaps it’s a matter of time/change of weather to become more effective. The bullpen needs to be reshuffled after tomorrow’s game, one day off and then return home.

    • Don

      Sure looks like 1st inning weather,cold for Castillo,
      Game 1 – 37 – 16 MPH wind
      Game 2 – 77 – 8 MPH
      Game 3 – 54 – 20 MPH wind, looked as cold or colder than opening day.

      Castillo will be find with some warmer weather.

  5. BZ

    Perez and Doolittle’s continued use in high-leverage situations will continue to bite the team until Bell decides what he wants to do with Garrett. Arguably your best relief pitcher has thrown a total of 6 innings in the past month while the bullpen gets knocked around time and time again. On a side note, everyone needs to find themselves someone who loves them like Bell does Bedrosian.

    • Reddawg2012

      But then someone will be complaining when we get to the 9th inning with a one run lead, and Garrett has already been used. This isn’t a David Bell problem. The bullpen stinks and outside of AG, Sims, and Antone, is a bunch of AAAA guy. It’s really a matter of would you rather blow the game in the 6th inning or the 9th inning at this point.

      • jim walker

        *This isn’t a David Bell problem.*
        Basically, the reliable pen right now is Antone. Period, stop.

        Sims and Garrett have both given up big HRs in leverage situations too; but, the offense was enough to bail the team out.

        Sims’ job Tuesday was to stop that lead (and eventually winning) run from scoring. He needed a K, a popup on the infield, or ground ball but gave up a fly ball which well might have been a 2 run HR at GABP.

      • BZ

        It is a Bell problem though. His bullpen stinks but he went out of his way to NOT name a closer because pitchers would pitch where they are needed. If it is the 7/8 inning and you consistently turn to Perez and Doolittle as you “go-to” lefties to face LHB, that is a failure on Bell’s part. People are acting like Sims and Garrett are suddenly potential liabilities but they need work. You can’t expect pitchers to barely throw and then come in and be lights out. Bell has been dealt a bad hand but he hasn’t exactly played the hand reasonably.

      • Indy Red Man

        I agree. If Sims is going to go then why does Perez start the inning? L vs L is all fine and dandy, but Sims is superior either way. I just defended Bell the night before when he pulled Miley after 73 pitches because that way Antone can start the inning clean. Bell just can’t make mistakes with this pen.

    • Roger Garrett

      Preach.I think its 5 innings in 3 appearances but we are with you.

  6. Joey Barrett

    That strike zone was the worst I’ve seen so far in this early season. Moose had a terrible strike called on him that changed the course of the at bat. The last at bat 2/3 strikes were balls. Hope they come back and take the series tomorrow.

    • Indy Red Man

      Castillo also threw a strike on 2-1 vs Crawford I think and he called it a ball. The 3-1 was a centered up fb that he hit deep to tie the game. That one pitch factored into those 2 runs and the game.

  7. Reddawg2012

    It’s almost like getting rid of Iglesias and Bradley, and replacing them with AAAA guys wasn’t a good plan. Bullpen stinks and the offense is as inconsistent as ever. Need Mahle to throw a gem to have any shot at the series.

    • Steve

      Lets be very clear, if Raisel and Bradley were still on this team and had their 7.20 and 6.00 ERA everyone would be complaining about them as well, but yes the bullpen definitely needs to improve. Additionally, I cannot possible see how the team that leads the MLB in runs scored by 11 over 2nd place, is 4th in batting average, 4th in OBP, and 1st in slugging is “as inconsistent as ever”

      • Don

        correct, Reds offense is 1 run a game more than the Dodgers for #1 in the NL.
        Reds Defense/pitching is 5th worst in NL.

        The Reds have scored, 6,0,3,6 runs in the 4 losses, both of those 6 run games should have been wins, both 6 run games are Castillo bad 1st inning (1st game was as much Suarez errors as Castillo pitching). Last night was Castillo pitching, cannot give the 4 runs right back in bottom of the 1st.

        7-4 is much better than 4-7, Reds need to win today to have a 3-3 west coast road trip and be 500 on the road.
        .500 on the road and .600 at home is 88 wins. That is what will be needed to have a chance come September

  8. Klugo

    Castillo has elite stuff, but it takes more than elite stuff to be an elite pitcher.

    • Russell Proctor

      Completely agree. He doesn’t mentally focus and lock down like an ace should. It’s what has plagued him his entire career.

    • Tomn

      Everything he threw in the first inning was middle of the plate, belt high. Fat pitches, in other words. He may have “stuff” but in the 1st inning his stuff stunk. And he gave up a 4-run lead that should have been enough against a team that doesn’t score that much against other pitchers with “stuff”.

      • Indy Red Man

        That 2-1 pitch to Crawford was a strike though. That ump cost the Reds the game. Yeah Luis still shouldn’t have centered up the 3-1 for the 2 run HR to tie the game, but that ump failed to do his job. Obviously hitters react differently to a 2-2 pitch as opposed to a 3-1 pitch. Balls off the plate were called strikes both ways too

    • Phil

      Since the start of the 2019 season, amongst starting pitchers with at least 200 innings-pitched Castillo ranks
      21st in ERA
      16th in FIP
      10th in xFIP
      11th in fWAR
      14th in K/9
      10th in innings-pitched
      Does he have room for improvement, of course. For example lowering his BB/9 from the 3.46 it has been at since the start of the 2019 season.
      I’m not sure how we’re defining “elite.” To me though, he’s clearly an all-star caliber starting pitcher, somewhere around 15th-best in the league.

  9. Doug

    The Reds get what they paid for, inexpensive, relief pitchers. Archie Bradley would have helped immensely in some of these gamea.

    • Steve

      His ERA is 6.00 and he is on the IL, so would Archie Bradley really have helped immensely in these games?

      • Chris

        To your point, no, he wouldn’t have helped, but no one knew that he would be hurt. By the way, Garrett has a high era right now too, are you suggesting he’s no help, and we should get rid of him. Letting Bradly walk, was absolutely foolish and was done to save dollars; it wasn’t an astute move, unless you know for a fact the Reds saw in the crystal ball that he’d end up being injured most of this year.

      • Steve

        I am not in any way saying that we should get rid of Garrett (in fact I never mentioned Garrett whatsoever). I do think we should have spent the money to keep Bradley as the team could have afforded it. However, it certainly feels as though people are going to bring up Bradley every single time the bullpen gives up a run and that has gotten old already and we are only 11 games into the season.

    • TR

      I was in favor of jettisoning R. Iglesias but why also A. Bradley? He was used very little the short time he was with the Reds.

  10. MBS

    How much longer do we need to wait until Gutierrez is available? Maybe he could pitch in the same role as Antone is. He looked great in spring, and he was DJ’s pick as break out pitcher. We clearly need at least 2 guys in that role. I think we are going to see a lot of games where the starters don’t go deep.

    • JB

      I believe it was 20 games. And yes he needs to be in the pen although going by spring stats you could argue that Perez was the best pitcher and look at him now?

    • Doug Gray

      I think another week-and-a-half. But he’s also not been pitching in games at the alt site because while he’s suspended he’s not allowed to play in games where fans pay for tickets. Not sure they’ll call him up when he’s just been throwing live BP for over a month without any game competition.

  11. JB

    Maybe it’s time to switch a few out of the bullpen and try Finnegan, Warren,Hembree,Shipley or even Hector Perez. They need more than Garrett,Sims and Antone. I think Fullmer is worth keeping but the other 4 might need to be replaced. Not sure what options they have left but cant see anybody picking them up off waivers though. Seems like we have seen this high wire act before with the pen.

  12. Westfester

    I’m not panicking. It stinks that the offense feeds Castillo 4 runs only for him to puke it back up. Getting Gray back this weekend will help stabilize the pitching. Should cause a cascade effect in the bullpen where Bedrosian and Perez get their bus tickets to Louisville. And I mean bus tickets from San Francisco!

  13. jim walker

    What is there to say that hasn’t already been said? David Bell has no effective and reliable options out of the pen aside from Tejay Antone.

    Even Garrett and Sims have been shaky; but, their failings have been covered because the team eventually won the game in which each allowed a late leverage home run.

    Nick Krall needs to take and make a trade (or2) for relief pitching.

    Or alternately maybe once Hunter Greene is properly prepped, go on and get him up into the MLB pen to augment what they are getting from Antone. Keep Greene on an appearance, innings and pitch count to avoid damaging him for a future MLB starting role just as they would in the minors. However he would be throwing his limited innings at the MLB level and helping the team in the process. Its been done before by other teams. Why not the Reds now?

  14. Still a Red

    Yes, pen needs some work. Can we bring back Pedro Bourbon?! Great to see Joey go fly-ball HR opposite field…like Joey of ‘ole. Sounds like some miscommunication or struggle between Castillo and Barnhart in the first and they straightened it out. SF’s sidearmer in the 8th unbelievable…looks like his pitching hand nearly touches the ground. Yikes. Beware Cueto trying a quadruple hitch to the plate today.

    • jim walker

      Somebody on the Reds seemed determined to plow through the 1st inning with a very minimum of change ups from Castillo.

      This seemed counterintuitive to me given all the LH hitters Giants were sending up the plate. Castillo needed that dive and tail away from the LH bats that his change has. Instead, it looked like the Reds were hoping his fastball would move away late vs the LH hitters but instead, it carried into the zone and sat up almost like it was on a tee.

  15. Roger Garrett

    Reds will be fine in the pen as long as they act quickly.Hoffman takes a spot when Sonny returns and maybe you move Deleon as well and go with 4 starters if off days are there.The games will be won or lost by the pens more then ever because of the short season last year and by the pitch count rule.Luis three 98 in 5 innings and never gave up a run after the first.Starters for the most part will not go 7 innings and Mahle went only 4 his last time out.Its just the way it will be.May need to carry an extra arm and keep the shuttle running.Johnson will figure it out

  16. Earmbrister

    Love the prologue Richard. Gray’s return should be a big help. Pushes another decent pitcher down into the BP (I hope) while hopefully allowing us to get maybe another inning before turning to the pen. Yes, Gray does throw a lot of pitches in racking up Ks. I’m a De Leon fan and I think his stuff might play up in a bullpen role. Needs to throw strikes though.

    Sounds like Lorenzen is still a ways off so this may be all the help we can get for now. If the Reds can stay competitive in the meantime, dare we dream of some BP at the deadline? Would only be paying a third of a season’s salary …

    • Earmbrister

      some BP *help* at the deadline

    • Roger Garrett

      Reds will be fine once healthy and pitchers are fitted in to their roles.I was down on Bell for using Garrett in an 11-0 blowout and got challenged that he needed the work.Since that time he has appeared in 1 of the last 5 games and threw an inning.Is he hurt?Isn’t he one of our best in the pen?Would it have made any difference last night?Lots of questions for me?We just got rid of one guy who decided when he was going to pitch,

      • Wayne Nabors

        Roger I’ve heard reference to pitch count rules a few times now,have rules been changed?

    • VaRedsFan

      Why wait for the trade deadline to make a move? That’s 4 (now 3) months away

  17. west larry

    As bad as this west coast roady seems, if they win this afternoon, the reds will have a .500 road trip. About what you expect your road trips to be this season. The key will be home games. Can the reds win 60 percent of their home games? If so, they should be a playoff team.