The Cincinnati Reds (9-10) lost their fifth straight game last night, but they don’t get much time to ruminate on it, as they’ll face the St. Louis Cardinals (9-10) in an afternoon matinee for the second game of this weekend series at Busch Stadium.

Update: First pitch is now set for 4:35pm ET


  • First pitch: 2:15 EDT
  • TV: Bally Sports Ohio and MLB.TV (out-of-network)
  • Radio: 700 WLW, or streaming on the iheartradio app and
  • Weather: 63 degrees with rain tapering off later in the afternoon

Starting Pitchers

Wade Miley 16.0 2.25 3.24 3.53 3.09 0.75 23.7% 5.1%
John Gant 14.0 3.21 7.12 4.74 5.16 1.86 19.7% 16.7%


To many fans, Wade Miley has been an early surprise of the season for the Reds, but not to me. I knew there was a chance he could be better. Most fans were casting him aside based on a lack of innings and an injury in 2020. That’s not fair to him. Is he going to be a #1 or #2 top-of-the-rotation pitcher? No, but he can be a very serviceable #4 or #5 starter. Anyway, Miley pitched five inning shutouts in each of his first two starts against the Pirates and Giants. He struggled his last start against the Indians, giving up four runs over five innings, including two home runs. One factor that might be helping with his success is that he’s currently limiting his walks. His BB% is only at 5.1%. It’s early, but that is down from his career walk rate of 8.9%.

Another contributing factor to Miley’s success is that manager David Bell is not afraid to pull him before he faces the lineup a third time. In 2019 with the Astros, Miley’s ERA went from 2.52 the second time through the lineup to 5.61 the third time through the lineup in 33.2 innings. In 2020, Miley pitched only one inning the third time through the lineup and didn’t allow a hit (albeit in only 14.1 innings), but walked two of the five batters he faced. This season so far, he’s pitched 1.1 innings the third time through the lineup. Given the Reds’ current bullpen issues, it will be interesting to see if Bell takes Miley out early or lets him pitch longer going forward. Most likely it will all depend on the situation at the time.


Right-hander John Gant makes his fourth start of the season for the Cardinals today. He’s coming off a loss to the Phillies in which he pitched five innings and gave up two runs on five hits with five strikeouts. He walked five batters in that game, but that’s indicative of his entire season and to be honest, his entire career. His BB rate is 16.7% in 2021, and for his career, it’s 11.9%.

Gant throws five pitches, but much like Miley, he tends to rely a lot on his off speed and breaking pitches. He throws the sinker most, but mixes in his change up and slider fairly often as well. Those are the pitches he relies on to get batters out, as both pitches had over a 50% whiff rate in 2020. His whiff rate this year is at 43.3% for the change up and 41.7% for the slider so far in 2021. Gant’s velocity has averaged in the low 90s for his fastball and mid 80s for his off speed pitches.


Cincinnati Reds

St. Louis Cardinals

LF Jesse Winker 2B Tommy Edman
RF Nick Castellanos CF Dylan Carlson
1B Joey Votto 1B Paul Goldschmidt
SS Eugenio Suárez 3B Nolan Arenado
CF Tyler Naquin SS Paul DeJong
2B Jonathan India LF Tyler O’Neill
C Tucker Barnhart C Andrew Knizner
3B Kyle Farmer RF Justin Williams
P Wade Miley P John Gant

News and Notes

  • Ryan Hendrix made his MLB debut yesterday for the Reds and Doug Gray wrote about it here at Redleg Nation.
  • ICYMI, Nick Castellanos’ home run last night was his 1,000th career hit. Not many Reds players can say they’ve hit a home run for that milestone (and I’m guessing it’s also pretty rare in all of baseball too).

  • Also, if you missed it yesterday, it looks like Mike Moustakas will be back for the Dodgers series starting Monday and Shogo Akiyama is getting closer to returning as well.


Final Thoughts

If this is a sign as to how the season will go, buckle up. It’s going to be quite the roller coaster ride.

84 Responses

  1. Frankie Tomatoes

    The old Tomato appreciates rain but one of the Cardinals beat writers had a picture of the stadium getting pummeled by rain just now. This one may not get started on time today which will cut into my ability to watch! Come on mother nature help me out here. I guess as long as the team gets the win today it will be fine but it would be better if I could watch the entire game.

    • Wayne Nabors

      After watching these last 5 games and especially the last 4 and you hankering for more?my hats off to you Frankie ?

  2. Doug Gray

    Katie Woo of The Athletic (covers the Cardinals) says that the game will begin in a rain delay. As of now there’s no start time set.

  3. Greenfield Red

    I enjoy reading Ashley’s contributions to RLN. That caused me to read her “About the Author”. Call me the grammar police, but there is a small error in it that I think she would want me to quietly mention.

    In the second line the word “live” should be “lives”.

    I hope nobody but Ashley reads this.

    • earmbrister

      Your invisible ink is visible …

      Came to find out if the game is going to start soon. Hopefully Ashley (or Doug) notes your contribution.

    • Greenfield Red

      Now that it’s fixed, feel free to delete my comment. Thanks.

  4. MK

    To me is was obvious that Gray was experiencing some back tightness last night. It isn’t difficult to have velocity with a sore back but it is difficult to throw it low in the strike zone. It is also tough to pull the ball down to keep a breaking ball from hanging. My bet he goes back on IL

    • RojoBenjy

      I didn’t get to watch but I know you know what you’re talking about. That would be a bummer but at the same time I’d rather have him be fully healed instead of limping onward

    • Doc

      With the club’s recent history of pitchers with prolonged back injuries, bringing Gray back in the middle of winter probably wasn’t a prudent move.

  5. LDS

    SMH. So the 3 guys (Senzel, Blandino, and Stephenson) who had half the team’s hits yesterday are sitting. While the two guys that had half of the team’s strikeouts and NONE of their hits are starting, in the 3/4 slots again. And Blandino is hitting nearly 3X what Farmer is. Bell just never seems to learn. Or more likely plays his favorites frequently as he did his first season with Hernandez, Hughes last year, Romano (leads relievers in IP and tied with DeLeon for HRs allowed) & Farmer this year. Bell’s an enigma. One that doesn’t seem committed to winning.

    • ClevelandRedsFan

      Spot on LDS. We all know that Bell plans his lineups several days in advance. Suarez has two golden sombreros this week alone, hitting 3rd today. Suarez is killing this team right now. He has -0.6 WAR!

      Everyday, he is playing the most important defensive position and hitting in one of (if not the most) important spots in the lineup. Let Blandino get a start at SS. He has 0.3 WAR on the season.

      Suarez needs to sit for a few days and work with Zinter on his hitting approach. He is rapidly turning into a poor man’s Mark Reynolds. Forget about homeruns and just make solid contact. My only concern is that him and Zinter will leave this working session saying now we’re going to hit 55 homeruns!!!

    • earmbrister

      Not that big an enigma. Kim is a left hander and Gant a righty. I’m guessing, just guessing, that he’s playing probabilities, including past success vs the pitcher.

      • RojoBenjy

        The robot managerial style

        Robots lack feeling and intuition

      • earmbrister

        So Rojo, you know why he made these moves? If he used feelin and intuition Bell would be bashed for not using statistics.

      • RojoBenjy

        There is a balance between the two. That’s the art.

        I’ve never been impressed with David Bell as an artist

    • burtgummer01

      People need to learn that offense isn’t the issue the terrible bullpen (and cheap) is the issue
      It’s borderline pathetic that some people are blind to the facts and whine about Bell

      • LDS

        Seriously? The history doesn’t support that. Yes, the bullpen is subpar but Bell decides who and how long. Like pulling Hoffman the other night when he had a reasonable pitch count and seemed to be doing well. So it comes back to him again. As for probabilities, descriptive statistics aren’t necessary predictive. And determining which are predictive seems to be a baseball pandemic at the moment.

      • Daytonnati

        Burt, they are “denied critical, need-to-know, information.” 🙂

      • ClevelandRedsFan

        The bullpen actually performed well last night, and I gave praise to the organization for making roster changes.

        But I’ll criticize Bell’s management of the bullpen. He manages the bullpen like he has a top #5 bullpen. Managers with good bullpens can pull their starters early to avoid the ERA spike 3rd time through. Reds don’t have a good pen, and Bell has been way too quick to pull starters.

        He’s asking the second worst bullpen in the majors to cover 4 innings or more almost everyday. He then cycles through multiple relievers. The Reds seem to have at least one guy pitch every game who has a 6+ ERA. You’re not going to win many close games with 6+ ERA guys pitching. He is an analytical manager, so he should know better.

      • burtgummer01

        Pretty convenient how people ignore pitch counts and the fact that Hoffman hasn’t thrown over 100 innings in a season in his mlb career

      • brian johnson

        the game the other night that AG blew. The announcer said that DB said that AG needs more work. Whose fault is it that he is not getting enough work. It is not like the starters are pitching nine innings….smh

    • RojoBenjy

      Someone forgot to tell Suarez there’s a game to play

  6. Rowdy Red

    I like the outfield today,Suarez needs some pine time, three or four games to ponder his pathetic at bats. I’m sure as good of an athlete Nick is he’s played some short stop. He needs to be in the game, he gets a decent amount of hits and he doesn’t watch strikes go by with the bat on his shoulder.His outs are hard and at somebody.

  7. bug

    Suarez strikes out for the first of four more times. I wonder if he struck out 1000 times in a row if Bell would bench him? Probably not. It is what it is.

  8. Danny

    Suarez literally looks like I would batting right now. Unreal our cleanup hitter looks like this.
    How can you bat him 4th right now?

  9. LDS

    Votto & Suarez both strike out. That’s 9 strikeouts in their last 11 ABs collectively. If you’re looking for an analytics issue to manage to, sure sounds like one.

    • Roger Garrett

      Relax it will get much worse before it gets better.

  10. Jack

    Good article in the Athletic about baseball messing up yet again. They claimed to have deadened the ball to decrease homeruns and get more balls in play. But for some unknown reason at the same time they made the ball lighter which totally counteracted the deadening with the result the homeruns are basically the same as last year. At the same time strikeouts are even higher because pitchers can throw the lighter ball even faster. So to summarize, homeruns are the same, strikeouts are up and balls in play is even lower.

    • RojoBenjy

      I believe Doug mentioned (if not you Doug I apologize) that the curious thing is that MLB made this “change” without any real field testing. Which is mystifyingly, apparently inept (that last part is mine, not Doug’s)

  11. Mark

    In all seriousness Suarez needs sent down to the Alternate site. Garcia can at least hit as good and play a better SS. Suarez needs a shock, a jolt, a move that might wake him up. I mean we are all sick and tired of this right? He played like this last season and in the playoffs this is nothing new!!!!!

    • RojoBenjy

      Well– he doesn’t have any options, does he? Anyway, I’d like Garcia to stay where he is and finish baking until he’s good and ready. But I would LOVE it if Henny would be moved to #7 or at LEAST #6 in the order.

      “Henny” is what Barry Larkin calls Eugenio

    • Dan

      I don’t think we can send him down, but we could bench him and use him as a PH when we just need a bomb and a strikeout wouldn’t kill us.

      I would start blandino and let Suarez work in the cage until he is ready to play again.

      I think blandino has earned a chance, and I am not sure we have a better option right now.

      • 2020ball

        You don’t think he already does work in the cage?

  12. ClevelandRedsFan

    Welsh is on air praising the Cardinals’ approach of taking smaller swings, putting the ball in play, and going the opposite way. He’s also criticizing the Reds’ approach of trying to hit everything 450 feet.

    • Greenfield Red

      This is what led to my 67-95 prediction. After a hot first week against poor competition, it is beginning to look possible. They have yet to play a game against a team that is likely to play .500 ball. It could get ugly.

  13. Indy Red Man

    Miley sucks. An intelligent team is going to hit it where its pitched and he has nothing so its easy to hit.

    In 2017 he was 30 and went 8-15 for the O’s with a 5.61 era and 1.73

    Now 4 years later he’s suddenly good? Best case scenario he has like a 4.80 era which Lorenzen could beat and Antone could crush.

    I have to leave so they’ll probably score 10 and even the series.

    • burtgummer01

      And in 2018 he was 5-2 with an era of 2.5 and in 2019 14-6 with a 3.9 era
      What is it with people here wow

      • Doug Gray

        Wade Miley since meeting Derek Johnson in 2018 in Milwaukee and learning the cut fastball: 3.55 ERA

        Internet weirdos: Wade Miley sucks

      • Doc

        When the facts don’t support the theory, people here do not change their theory, they just ignore the facts.

        I believe it was Bishop Fulton J Sheen who said, “Error is always error even if everybody believes it. Truth is truth even if nobody believes it.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      Miley hasn’t been the problem this year. From the amount you post, I would think you might realize that.

  14. RojoBenjy

    Hey India got a hit? What’s that Senzel kid gonna d–oh, never mind

    • Indy Red Man

      Moose is out and Senzel finally got a few hits. Blandino is a better offensive player then Kyle Farmer too. Blandino will definitely take a walk, but why would the Reds want someone on for Wink and Castellanos.

    • RojoBenjy

      That supposed to be “Hey India got a hit!”

  15. LDS

    The Pirates have won. Tonight’s loser is in last place. From 6-1 to maybe 9-11. That’s an impressive performance.

  16. kevinz

    Got Robbed.
    Keep doing that Suarez.
    Up the middle or towards RF Approach.

  17. kevinz

    Got Robbed.
    Keep doing that Suarez.
    Up the middle or towards RF Approach.

  18. ClevelandRedsFan

    Miley is the #5 starter and has a 2.25 ERA. Any team in the majors would love to have that production from their #5 starter.

    • Roger Garrett

      Sure would and the starters if all remain healthy will be the strength of this team going forward.

  19. Roger Garrett

    One hit in 5 innings against a reliever now a starter looking like Cy Young is our current problem.

  20. Roger Garrett

    Feel for Miley who has pitched really well.Just awful performance by the offense.

  21. Lds

    Votto & Suarez deliver yet again. Maybe they could IL Suarez,

  22. RojoBenjy

    That flexing by Knizer on second base is an instigator

  23. VaRedsFan

    Not an easy play for Winker, but it looks like he could of had that.

    • RojoBenjy

      Yeah wonder what happened there–did he lose it?

  24. RojoBenjy

    “That’s just a lazy throw by Suarez.”

    -Chris Welsh

    “The pick was not a great effort either.”

    Man, this pair is on the struggle bus

    • RojoBenjy

      At least the error didn’t cost a run.

      “I don’t know if you can share an error, but–”
      – Chris Welsh

    • LDS

      Yep, but who keeps starting them? At least he left Miley to finish the inning. Bottom line, if you’re producing, you should play otherwise ride the pines.

  25. VaRedsFan

    E6 – routine variety.
    Votto did him no favors, missing the easy scoop.
    Goldy made a great scoop the previous inning to save a run.

  26. VaRedsFan

    Left on left….but Naquin stays in over Senzel…..K

  27. VaRedsFan

    Nice work by Big Sal to get out of it.

  28. Roger Garrett

    Right guys coming up in the ninth.Go Reds

  29. Old-school

    Luis Castillo, Amir Garrett, Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez aren’t getting the job done.There’s no fix for that other than them looking in the mirror.

    Castillo can return to form. Physically he’s fine as far as we know.
    Garrett might not be as good as folks thought. He’s got a good slider but avg FB 93.7 mph. That’s not an elite closer or high leverage bullpen guy.
    Votto is a poor runner and poor defender and paid to lead the offense. He’s not doing that again. He might just be old.

    Suarez’ problems are at least mental and not physical. Maybe he needs a day or 2 or 3 off.

    But, there’s no internal solution for 4 team leaders who are paid to lead the rotation, bullpen, offense, and infield defense and not getting the job done. Playing more AAAA guys isn’t the solution.

    • Roger Garrett

      I must with respect disagree with you about there’s no fix other then looking in the mirror for Eugenio and Joey.Luis will be fine and Garrett isn’t a closer is spot on for sure.

    • TR

      I like the sentence: ‘He might just be old.’ It happens.

  30. RojoBenjy

    Man! Every time they come back for commercial i SWEAR it’s THom talking until I hear a good two or three sentences from Sadak.

    Don’t like that LOL

  31. Chris

    Idk, maybe it’s a management/culture problem. This team just loses. Other than the bullpen, they’re not specifically bad at anything – and lots of teams have bad bullpens. They lose high-scoring games. They lose low-scoring games. They lose blowouts. They just find a way to lose. It makes you think that winning just isn’t as important to them as it is to other teams. It’s not like they’re not trying – everyone WANTS to win… and they’re all pros.

    It’s not like we have a long window. This is not a particularly young team and it’s not like there’s a ton of high-level minor league talent on the way either. Better try some different management soon, or we may be on the way to another dreaded rebuild.

    • RojoBenjy

      The team has one guy that hates to lose, and MLB made sure to clip his wings for daring to motivate his team at the “expense” of the St. Yadier Cardinals.

      • RojoBenjy

        And what i mean is that sure, EVERYONE wants to win. But the mind of a champion HATES to LOSE.

      • Rex

        I noticed yesterday on the near come back that Joey seemed fine with his strike out for the final out

  32. Yerisdad

    Not saying it’s a game changer, but why Farmer over Blandino today???

    • RojoBenjy

      I feel you but we beat that dead horse already

      • Melvin

        Well I’m with the group that says if Senzel is not your every day CF and Moose is out why not use him in the infield or a utility guy? If he’s healthy he needs consistent ABs if he’s ever going to break out. All that talent wasting away. Also, it would be hard to convince me that he can’t play SS at least as well as Suarez.

  33. Chris

    Suarez is lost. They aren’t helping him by continuing to run him out there. He needs time off – maybe an IL stint – to regroup. If this is the Suarez we’re going to get in 2021, we might as well start unloading veterans. We need him to be an elite offensive contributor.

    • RojoBenjy

      Nah. We who believe that just don’t understand.

    • RojoBenjy


      It’s a familiar situation

  34. Yerisdad

    I’m as big a Joey defender there is, but between he and Suarez hitting 3 & 4 in the lineup every game so far (I believe), what needs to happen for a change to be made?! If David Bell is an “analytics guy,” what do the analytics say about the 3 & 4 spots thru 20 games? How about resting the almost 38 year old Votto once in awhile?! As for Suarez, 3-39 streak with 19k’s and two years of stench in what should be his prime. That’s it for now ?