What a roller coaster of a game that was! The Cincinnati Reds overcame several base running blunders, turned a triple play, rallied in the 9th inning to tie the game, and won in walk-off fashion in the 10th inning to secure a series win against Cleveland on Saturday evening at Great American Ballpark in Sonny Gray’s 2021 season debut.

Final R H E
Cleveland (7-7) 2 8 1
Cincinnati Reds (9-5) 3 10 0
W: Doolittle (2-0) L: Perez (0-1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Tucker Barnhart’s solo home run in the 2nd inning put Cincinnati up 1-0. But the offense didn’t get much going from that point forward. And when they did, they made some base running mistakes to take themselves right out of it.

In the 5th inning Joey Votto walked and when Tyler Naquin singled, Votto went to third. But the relay throw got away on the infield and Votto headed for the plate only to be thrown out by at least 10 feet at the plate to end the inning. Two innings later saw Jesse Winker lead off with a double. But he was thrown out, after replay overturned the call, trying to advance to third on a ball that got away from the catcher.

After going quietly in the 8th inning, the Reds offense had one more shot at things with 8-9-1 due up for the 9th inning while trailing 2-1. Tucker Barnhart worked a 3-0 count before it ran back to a full count that led to a ground out to first base to start the inning. Mark Payton came on to pinch hit for Lucas Sims and he also grounded out to first base. That brought Max Schrock to the plate where he was representing the last chance for the Reds. Schrock also grounded, routinely, to first base, but Josh Naylor had the ball go under his glove and into right field with Schrock racing around to second. Nick Senzel came on to pinch run and Jesse Winker came up to the plate and after falling down 0-2 in the count he singled in Senzel to tie the game up. Nick Castellanos followed up with a single of his own into center field and put the winning run in Winker at second.

Joey Votto strolled to the plate and after falling down 0-2 made the weakest contact he’ll ever make on an excuse-me swing that didn’t make it out of the infield grass, but went for an infield single to load the bases. The ball he struck had an exit velocity of 49.2 MPH for those keeping track at home. Eugenio Suárez came up and on the first pitch he lined out to right field to send the game into extras.

After Sean Doolittle kept the game tied in the top of the 10th the Reds sent Tyler Naquin to the plate to lead off the inning with Suárez at second base to begin their half of the inning. He flew out to center field, but Suárez tagged up and moved over to third base with one out. Cleveland intentionally walked Jonathan India to try and set up a lefty-on-left match up with Tucker Barnhart, but David Bell pinch hit with Tyler Stephenson. The move paid off in spades as Stephenson took a high fastball and crushed it to the warning track in right field for a game-winning RBI single.

The Pitching

The return of Sonny Gray went well, thought it didn’t last quite as long as maybe one would have expected. For the most part, Gray looked strong. But he did make a few mistakes on the day. In the 3rd inning Eddie Rosario tripled in a run that tied the game up. In the next inning Andres Gimenez took an 0-2 fastball up in the zone and put it in the seats to put Cleveland up 2-1. Gray would exit the game with one out in the 5th inning and a runner on first, turning over the game to Tejay Antone, who stranded the runner to leave Gray’s final line at 4.1IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks (1 IBB), and 6 strikeouts. Antone threw a perfect 6th inning when he came back out as he kept his ERA perfect on the season.

José De León took over for the 7th inning in his first outing from the bullpen of the season and he worked a hitless inning with a walk and two strikeouts. Amir Garrett came on for the 8th inning and in his first appearance in eight days ran into some trouble as he allowed back-to-back singles, with a steal mixed in there to put runners on the corners with no outs in a 1-run game. But a line drive to Joey Votto resulted in a triple play after Votto turned to tag the runner and then tossed to third base after Eddie Rosario broke to the plate believing that Votto didn’t catch the ball on the fly.

Lucas Sims entered the game for the top of the 9th inning and hit the first batter of the inning. He followed up with a strikeout. On the final strike to the next hitter, Andres Gimenez stole second base to put an insurance run for Cleveland on second base with two outs. It was nothing but show as Sims induced a weak ground out to third base to end the inning, sending the game to the bottom of the 9th at 2-1.

After the offense tied things up the Reds turned to Nick Senzel to play third base, Nick Castellanos was replaced in the field by Mark Payton, and Sean Doolittle took over on the mound. This series of moves would seem to indicate that Mike Moustakas was not available to play today. With the new extra-innings rules that began last season and carried forward to 2021, a runner begins the inning on second base. Doolittle induced a grounder to shortstop and a weak fly out to shallow center for the first two outs of the inning. David Bell called for an intentional walk of Jose Ramirez to set up a  left-on-left match up against Jake Bauers. Doolittle fired three straight strikes to strand the runner and give the offense a chance to walk it off in the bottom of the inning.

Key Moment of the Game

There were a few plays that felt like the key moment of the game as it was being played out, but when you win with a walk-off hit, that’s the play. Tyler Stephenson’s game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th gets the nod in the win.

Honorable mentions:

With no one on and two outs Josh Naylor allowed a routine ground ball under his glove to extend the bottom of the 9th inning for the Reds, who would put together a game-tying rally to send the game into extra-innings.

Joey Votto turning a triple play with runners on the corners, likely saving at least one run in the 8th inning and keeping the game at a 2-1 score and giving the Reds the chance to tie it up in the next inning and send it into extras.

Notes Worth Noting

Alex Blandino was placed on the injured list prior to the game. Mark Payton joined the team prior to the game.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cleveland vs Cincinnati Reds

Sunday April 17th, 1:10pm ET

Shane Bieber (1-1, 2.11 ERA) vs Wade Miley (2-0, 0.00 ERA)

80 Responses

  1. Sliotar

    According to FanGraphs, Reds had a 5% chance to win with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth. That is definitely taking one of those 60 or losses that every team suffers … and flipping it.

    Senzel filling in at 3rd … for whatever the reason … SMH … guy should have been made into an infielder years ago.

    Winker at leadoff pays off … again .. with 9th inning hit.
    Play him every day he can go … in no. 1 batting position. Set it and forget it when it comes to him. LH or RH … he can handle them all.

    • Mark Moore

      Winker is getting it done. His defense looks better to me as well (so does Nick C’s).

      Your point about stealing one of the 60 expected losses is very salient. I’ll award you +1,000 for calling it out.

      What we saw was what good teams are capable of doing. And we did it against a top-tier closer and a guy throwing nothing but 100+ mph.

    • TR

      Senzel’s natural position is in the infield. Eventually it will happen.

  2. Bubba Woo

    Huge win! With Bieber starting tomorrow for CBT, good to get series win. Stephenson has all the makings of a franchise catcher. I think the Reds should consider giving him some ABs at 1b to get him in the lineup more.

    Also, sign Winker to a 5 yr, 60-70 million deal already. He’s Votto’s inevitable replacement

    • Dougernaught

      Injuries are his only downfall to a huge multi yr deal.

  3. RedsFanInFL

    Wonder if there has ever been an unassisted triple play by a 1st baseman? Votto could have strolled to 3rd base, touch the bag and had one. Still a great play

      • Greenfield Red

        I looked it up today. There have been 15 unassisted triple plays in MLB history. Almost all have been by 2b or SS. One was by an outfielder in the 1800s with slightly different rules that aided him.

        The unassisted triple play is less likely to happen than a perfect game to put it into perspective.

        BTW, many years ago as a 12 year old Little Leaguer, I was the firstbaseman on a traditional 3 person triple play. We got our photo in the paper. Tripled off two friends of mine.

      • Doug Gray

        And those friends never talked to you again, did they?

      • Greenfield Red

        Funny Doug. One was a classmate I hung around with a little. Haven’t seen him in many a year. The other was a next door neighbor. I saw him about 5 years ago at his niece’s wedding. The subject didn’t come up. He is now a super high big wig at GM in Canada, so I guess it didn’t traumatize him too much.

  4. J

    No offense, but Winker’s game-tying hit was THE key moment of the game. It was a do-or-die situation against a pitcher throwing 6000 mph.

  5. Klugo

    Bullpen got it done today. Way to go boys!

    • JB WV

      Garrett got lucky but otherwise yes. Doolittle came through in the clutch.

  6. rex

    beat an elite closer!

    A game for the ages

  7. Indy Red Man

    Wow. Family obligation so I missed it and forgot to record it too((
    What a win though, hope they replay it?
    I have MLB extra innings and it’s crazy to me how 95% of these leadoff hitters have the same approach they always have? You would figure a vet like C Hernandez would be able to easily take Doolittle the other way and at least move the guy to 3rd. Nobody ever bunts and they rarely move them over with an out. I like the rule. Awards small ball which is truly a lost art!

  8. Mark Moore

    Complete team effort. Just watched the triple play (I was out fetching dinner at the time). Complete game saver given us overcoming incredible odds in the 9th to tie it up.

  9. B

    Reds catchers are killing so far this year! Barnhart hitting .387
    Stephenson hitting .364

    Also, Winker is a stud! If he stays healthy he’s an all star

    • TR

      There’s been a lot of negativity regarding Barnhart’s offense over the years but he’s a guy who will surprise you by coming through in the clutch. Winker is a natural hitter who is coming into his own. As Larkin said today, this is a fun team to watch.

  10. Dennis Westrick

    Gotta give props to D. Bell today in managing the relief corps after Gray’s 4.1 inning effort. Still not sold on Bell’s in-game managing (tinkering) but today’s result was a “W” which is always good! And, a weird Triple Play to beat! Let’s defeat one of MLB’s top pitchers tomorrow (Bieber) and get that rare sweep against the Indians!

    • Mark Moore

      Not a terrible first outing by Gray. And the pen did stay tight as you noted. If we can keep doing that 2 of 3 times, we’ll be just fine.

    • bug

      I liked his move to pinch hit for Tucker in the 10th. Normally he does not make that move. Stephenson then got the clutch hit. Nice move by Bell. I also like that he played Naquin. Not only would he have had a double, had not Votto made the dumb move of trying to score on the hit. But Naquin also had a clutch sac fly to get Suarez to third base. That was BIG!!! I would play Naquin in CF against every right hand pitcher. Nick needs to start hitting the ball. I would platoon those two.

      • Greenfield Red

        Not technically a SF. It will go down as an oofer, but yes, it had that effect.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Good point on Bell PH Stephenson for Barnhart. I’m not sure that move would have been made in the past, especially as Barnhart has been hitting well.

  11. Mark Moore

    Good news/bad news … we may have candidates for the HR Derby.

    The “good” part is it can be fun to watch, especially in Coors.

    The “bad” part is it seems to screw up guys swings a little too often from my perspective.

  12. DaveCT

    Stephenson. Ready. India. Ready. Senzel. Ready. Props to the development crew as well as these guys themselves.

  13. Tim

    What’s going on with Blandino? I can’t find anything out about the nature of his injury.

    • Doug Gray

      They haven’t said anything. That usually means something.

      • JB

        They said Covid IL On the Indians channel.

      • Doug Gray

        That’s the assumption, of course, but it is not official.

  14. B-town fan

    Really great come from behind win! They kept grinding and found a way. Really cool triple play, lousy TV camera work to capture it, would have been nice to see a more expanded view after Joey made the tag and started walking and threw to Third, but none the less a really cool play, you don’t see those every day.

    • MrRed

      Same thought on the camera work. For those that missed it, it was the finest defensive play of JV’s career (at least in MLB). Sweet grab of a hard low liner toward the 1st base bag, dives back to first base simultaneously with Reyes (who was leaning a little toward 2nd) and reaches back as both are diving through the air and somehow swipe tags the younger faster runner as he’s grasping toward the 1st base bag. Then has the presence of mind to leap to his feet and realize that Rosario (who was the baserunner at 3rd) didn’t tag up before he ran home and summons his 3rd basemen back to bag and makes the crisp clean throw to complete the unusual triple play.

      You watch this game long enough, you’ll indeed see anything…

      • Greenfield Red

        Nice comment at the end of your post. Shades of the Ole Lefthander.

  15. ClevelandRedsFan

    Apparently the GABP crowd was chanting “Here we go Brownies, here we go.” In the 9th. I have it on good authority that is what brought the ghost of Bill Buckner back.

    Cleveland is a weird town. People here care more about the Browns chant than the complete and utter Indians meltdown.

    • TR

      Cleveland is a football town, regardless.

  16. Indy Red Man

    I think it was the 6th inning when Joey got thrown out at the plate because I was still worked up about Bell’s decision to have Sonny bunt in the 5th. If we lost then that would’ve played a big part imo, but Bell has been pushing the right buttons for the most part.

    Doolittle got out of the 10th today, but I don’t trust him. I don’t know about Garrett either? Maybe he just needs more work, but they hit some rockets off him and it took an actual miracle for him to put up a zero today. He walks the park too, but he does have very good stuff. It could be Sims/Antone for 8th/9th, but I think you have to atleast explore Antone as a starter. I mean if Hader could go 170 innings instead of 70 then they’d be doing that.

    • Indy Red Man

      Never mind it was the 5th when Joey got thrown out. Bell chose to have Sonny bunt in the bottom of the 4th. I know thats very early, but wasn’t our lineup getting ready to roll over for the 3rd time? You have to pinch hit there

    • bug

      I concur. The one bad move Bell made was to bunt Gray. Sabermetrics confirm what I’ve been saying for years,..that you should SELDOM bunt to sacrifice. I’m glad we’ve gradually got away from that since “Bunt” Baker left. But I agree. Bunting Sonny was a mistake.

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        SABR and saber are different things.

        SABR is the Society for American Baseball Research. I’m even a member in my city!

        Saber or sabermetrics does take part of the name from SABR but the goals of the two things are very different. One can be very much into the study of the history of the game and think that sabermetrics are hogwash.

      • RojoBenjy

        Good info Frankie!

        I learned something, thanks!

    • VaRedsFan

      Agree with you on AG. He is Wandy Peralta 2.0. Had a few good months, and has been shakey ever since. Like his energy, but do your job…save the chest beating until you are dominate game after game.

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        He entered 2021 with a 3.03 ERA in his previous 90 games over the last two seasons. He has more than done his job and has dominated game after game for a long time. Wandy Peralta wishes he were that good.

      • RojoBenjy

        Amir Garrett is not Wandy Peralta by any means

  17. Daytonator

    For the first time since 2014, the Reds notch a victory on April 17th. Write that DOWN.

  18. D Ball

    I’m telling you… don’t get worked up about the road trips. What’s their record at GABP? Believe in the magic. Try to shoot 500 off your ranch. They made the right decision about the bullpen. Bell deserves credit for that. That kept it close. And Joey Votto is back! Go Reds! You win games like this you win games in the playoffs. Bookmark it!

  19. JB WV

    Can’t believe no one has mentioned Bill Buckner after the gaff by Naylor. Glad the Reds won, but he’ll be tortured by that play for a long time.

    • Mark Moore

      Several did in the game thread. I thought the same thing.

      • rex

        Buckner was the first thought I had as I saw it and as I replayed it over and over

        the look on the pitchers face is awesome

  20. Indy Red Man

    Clutch hits and a manager meltdown in Miami. SF was up 5-3 going into bottom 9 and SF manager Gabe Kapler ran thru his whole bench. Miami got 2 hits with 2 out to tie it. SF then led off with a single top of the 10th so 1st & 3rd, but the pitchers spot was up and bench is exhausted. They send up Disco and he gets down a decent bunt, but Solano got forced at 2nd anyway. Then with 2/out a guy hammers one to the wall in that huge park, but Disco is no speedster and holds at 3rd and that was all they got. Miami got a 2 out 2 rbi double to win it 7-6. What a bunch of clutch hits! Did Kapler double switch his whole bench? What happened? They were a lock to get atleast 2 if they had any pinch hitters. Really Disco should’ve scored from 1st on that double to the wall. Their park is twice the size of gabp. Tht was a insane game too!

  21. Tom Reeves

    Wife is having surgery on Monday. So we decided last night to get tickets to the game. We live in Columbus. She woke up with a headache and we decided to wait a bit to see if the rain would hold off.

    Got a late start on the road and then his gridlock near the Ronald Reagan due to construction.

    Then I messed up my downtown exits and ended up heading across the Daniel Carter Baird Bridge into Newport.

    Finally got back across the river and to the game. We were entering the ball park during the 7th inning stretch. That is the latest I’ve ever gotten to a game by at least 7 innings.

    We got a hotdog and got to our seats and I was mildly irritated.

    We weren’t there too long before seeing what appeared to be a bonehead play by Votto. The entire crowd signed when he went for the tag on the runner going back to first back and ignored the runner heading home to score… then he tossed the ball over to third and just as it passed over the mound, I realized what I was seeing. That’s my first triple play I’ve ever seen in person and I had a bird’s eye view. It was awesome and the place went nuts.

    Then we got to see it tied in the 9th and won in the 10th.

    1000% worth it!

    • Kentucky Redleg

      Great story. Atta boy for getting to game

    • Up north red

      Great story for those of us who love baseball

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      Great story Tom! Best of luck on Monday to you and your wife.

    • RojoBenjy

      Your persistence rewarded in spades!

  22. Rednat

    i got to tell you , i wasn’t a huge Winker fan when he first came up. i just took him as another “money ball” guy the reds seem to be obsessed with. just gets on base a lot but does very little else. But each year i become more impressed with him. i felt in 2019 he really improved his defensive and this year he really has improved his baserunning. i am not upset at him at all for trying to take 3rd on the ball in the dirt. that was a good decision and an exciting play. that is why people go to watch these games for goodness sake! as a fan i appreciate the work he did in the offseason to improve his speed.

    Also Joey Votto obviously has a lot of supporters and detractors. i guess I am somewhere in the middle. The biggest criticism I have him is that for a guy that predicates his entire game on getting on base he is a terrible base runner. And I am not talking about speed. he just doesn’t seem to have good perception of where he is on the bases relative t o where the ball is and how quickly it will arrive at the base or home plate. seems like every year he gets thrown about by a mile at home or third at least 5-6 times and it drives me crazy. it seems like something he could really get better at with practice! .

    • Jimbo44CN

      Joey had no way to see what was going on as the play was behind him. House should have put up the stop sign but he did not. Coming into third you rely on the third base coach.,

      • Tom Reeves

        On the play with Votto, that was 100% House’s fault. Votto has no clue what’s going on behind him and he’s being waved home. House thought because second wasn’t occupied when the throw was made, Votto would be able to get home. I think House realized his error just as Joey passed him by.

        Fortunately, with this offense, the team doesn’t have to be perfect to win a lot of games. But, this is definitely a mistake House needs to learn from.

        Frankly, when is waving around Votto a good idea? Almost never.

        I love Votto but if he’s ever excluded from Cooperstown, it’ll be for his base-running.

      • Greenfield Red

        Agree with you Tom, but it was just yesterday Tyler Stephenson was criticized by some on here for not scoring on a play when the 3rd base coach was clearly giving the stop sign. Under that scenario, it’s all Votto’s fault.

        As an aside, I think the reason some criticized Stephenson was because Barry Larkin did so on the tv side. Larkin was wrong then and Votto was right today.

    • RojoBenjy

      Re: Winker, he had a wrist injury from a car crash while in the minors which really robbed him of power. I guess we could be seeing the real him now, given what was brought up recently in the Aquino thread about wrist injuries sapping power for longer than one may expect.

  23. Greenfield Red

    We will never know the answer to this, but this could have been the longest duration triple play in MLB history.

  24. GreatRedLegsFan

    Many things played in Reds favor tonight, however the key for the victory was the bullpen performance that kept the Indians at bay until the opportunity came to tie the game in the 9th and going ahead in the 10th. Other than that, I wonder for how long will Suarez be kept hitting in the 4th hole and playing SS, even though I just don’t see anybody else who’d do it better overall.

    • MBS

      I think Suarez and Castellanos need are in each others natural spots in the batting order. Suarez is traditionally a good OBP guy with plus power. Even now with his .188BA Suarez has a .322 OBP. He is typically 100 pts higher with his OBP than his average. Castellanos obviously has the plus power, but not as good as Suarez in the OBP. After saying all of that, I’m not moving Castellanos until he hits a cold spell, then maybe swapping the 2 could help both of them.

  25. oklared

    I really think a lot of people were right we should have gave JV away and paid his salary to clear space he has played so bad this year(sarcasm) and yes very long duration triple play

    • Jimbo44CN

      You remember all those comments too I see. Yes, he’s done, give him away. Make him retire. On and on and on.

      • MBS

        To be fair, JV is playing the game completely differently from the past. His overall hitting philosophy has changed, and so have the results. Most teams want power on the corners, not just an OBP guy. 18 and 19 were rough, 20 was going into the same direction. Then JV stopped crouching and choking up, and he took big boy swings again.

  26. Rob Cheshire

    This is the most fun it has been being a Reds fan for almost a decade!

  27. west larry

    What a game! What a game! I haven’t had as much fun watching this team since the 1990 season. I love the swagger, the hustle and pure desire to win the games! Votto, who I trashed a couple of weeks ago, has made me eat crow. What a team!

    • west larry

      And Bell deserves a lot of credit. He made some gutsy moves ( pinch hitting for Bernhart, putting in Senzel at third, and awesome use of the bullpen-although he got a little lucke. Bold moves-he’s pushing all the right buttons currently.

  28. Chris

    Welp… time to go watch the walkoff homer to clinch the 2010 NL Central about 12 times…

    Congrats to Jay Bruce on a helluva career!

    • RojoBenjy

      Here! Here!

      #32 had some really good moments in Reds gear

  29. Chris Holbert

    I am a little confused on why when Senzel goes into a slump, it is automatic platooning. he was the number 2 pick, so he does know how to play, and has skills..Others seem to get the benefit of the doubt when batting near or under the Medoza line, but with him it is jerk him out of the lineup for something allegedly better…it seems they have mishandled him from the get go and it continues at the major league level…the others get to “hit” their way out of a slump, but Senzel rides his out on the bench and then we complain that he is not living up to expectations…he is healthy and seems to be so far, but now that is not enough….just my opinion

    • MBS

      Naquin has great numbers, and needs to play. Players often get more playing time against their former teams to. I’m sure Senzel will get his unfair share of playing time this year.

      • Chris Holbert

        Other than homers, what numbers?

      • west larry

        I like Senzel, but he is 0 for his last 17 at bats! He needs to get a few hits pinch hitting-playing when his game is out of sinc would be cruel.