The Cincinnati Reds were swept over the weekend in St. Louis by the Cardinals. That extended the Reds losing streak to seven games as they head further out west to take on the best team in baseball – the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Winning is a lot better than losing. It’s fun to win, and it’s less so to lose. While the Reds didn’t enter the series in first, over the last week they’ve gone from first to worst. That isn’t so much fun, either.

This team simply isn’t putting together complete games right now. When the pitching has been there, the offense hasn’t been. When the offense is there one aspect of the pitching hasn’t been.

The bullpen, which had previously been a big concern for the team, allowed one run in the series. That’s not a realistic expectation for all of the series moving forward, but it was very good to see from a group that had struggled in a big way.

Jesse Winker is seeing the baseball like it’s a beach ball right now. The Reds left fielder has a 10-game hitting streak. That’s the current longest streak in Major League Baseball. He’s hitting .381/.435/.667 on the season through 16 games.

Perhaps it’s time for some people to start penning apology letters to Wade Miley. In 2018 he joined the Milwaukee Brewers and teamed up with their pitching coach at the time – Derek Johnson, perhaps you’ve heard of him. Miley completely changed his arsenal, picking up the cutter and throwing it a majority of the time. In 2018 and 2019 he posted a 3.52 ERA in 248.0 innings for the Brewers and Astros. But then in 2020 he got injured and threw 14.1 bad innings and many in the fanbase decided that that was exactly who he was and that he should be released.

Well, he’s now made four starts this year and thrown 22.0 innings with a 2.45 ERA. If you were one of the people who felt he should have been fired into the sun last season, get out your Pilot G-2 and start writing your apology letter. You can address it to Wade Miley C/O The Cincinnati Reds and send it to Great American Ballpark. For the record, Miley now has a 3.55 ERA in 284.1 innings since he made the move to replace his fastball with a cutter back in 2018.

Raise your hand if you had Tejay Antone as the best reliever on the team on April 26th. A few of you probably have your hand raised right now, and it’s understandable that you would have felt that way coming into the season. We all saw what Antone could do last season. Now raise your hand if you had Carson Fulmer and Sal Romano as the next two best relievers on the team in terms of ERA. I’m not seeing many hands raised right now. You never know just how long things are going to last – I certainly don’t expect Lucas Sims to keep rocking an ERA over 6.00, nor do I expect Amir Garrett’s ERA to be in the double digits much longer – but right now those two guys are getting the job asked of them done. They are also the two guys being asked to provide the most innings, leading the way in the bullpen with 13.0 and 14.2 innings each.

Jonathan India seems to be a magnet for pitches. On Sunday he was hit by a pitch in the helmet. It was the second time this month that he’s been hit in the helmet by a pitch. Earlier in his minor league career he was also hit in the helmet by a pitch and it led to him missing time. As of now he seems to be ok this time around. Well, that is unless the tweet from FantasyPros about his capa being detated from his head is true.

The defense is offensive. Coming into the season there were some questions, big ones, about how the defense would look. So far the answer:

68 Responses

  1. realist

    We learned that the Reds are who we thought they were. Votto and Saurez are hitting terrible in the middle of the order. The bullpen didn’t give up a run cause the Reds never had a lead. 7 games in a row and climbing.

    • Ted Alfred

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen an infielder play consistently worse than Suarez does at shortstop… it’s mind-boggling how bad he is

  2. Rut

    Hey, the Reds gave us 2 or 3 weeks of being in contention before they pooped the bed.

    Given that they usually don’t even give us a week of hope I figure it is an improvement, even if only a minor one.

    Not sure how anyone but the most optimistic could have expected anything better than a .500 club this season, and that would be with the team getting many breaks…. but, as mentioned above, ‘they are who we thought they are’ and that is around a 78 to 80 win team.

    This window has closed, not that it was ever more than a crack. And we can put a fork in the 2021 Reds

    • Moses

      I think the Reds will finish over .500. Baseball can be streaky, and we’re likely to see a 7 game winning streak for each 7 game losing streak. I think that the Reds will be just fine in a second or third place kind of way…

    • TR

      It’s too early for the fork. All teams occasionally have these collapses.

      • Rut

        Disagree. Teams either have fortitude or they do not…. as constructed, this team has shown no toughness.

        Shut out in playoffs. Most recent seasons start so poorly that there is no real pressure, and then actually play decent ball towards the end of the season….

        And then folks get optimism for next season, only to rinse/wash/repeat.

        The Reds carried some of that forward longer than usual this season. But a home sweep to the Snakes followed by that capitulation to actual rivals says a lot about this team’s toughness. Have an unfair penalty to Castellanos and awful umping cost us that first game vs Arizona? Ok, come back and make some one pay. Instead the Reds rolled over like my neutered dog when he gets yelled at the next 6 games and counting.

        Look, we have 3 against the best team in baseball on the road tonight. Would be happy with 1 win out of 3, but losing 3 would not be a surprise. Stranger things have happened, but was clear to me the Reds needed to make some hay in StL before hitting LA.

        Now even more pressure, and so far that has meant no hitting! (Or at least no winning)

  3. Doc

    We learned that maligning Jesse Winker by including him in a foursome for strikeout futility, or should I say proficiency as they do it so well, was unreasonable.

    We learned that the part of the rotation that everybody said was great has not been so, while the part of the rotation everyone maligned has been quite good.

    We learned that to have traded India as so many wanted to do, is evolving into as what would have been a bad mistake, suggesting that Nick Krall and his staff have a much better idea of what he is doing than do many who opine on this site.

    We learned that 2020 might not have been a fluke for one E Suarez and one J Votto, understandable for the latter, incomprehensible for the former.

    We learned that Mikey Biceps couldn’t make it through a few innings in ST; how is he ever going to make it through the load of the starting rotation, if he even toes the rubber again this year.

    We learned that no matter how well TJ Antone pitches, the fans appear to be the only ones who see his potential as a starter.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      If he ever toes the rubber again?

      Step away from that ledge. The guy didn’t have his arm amputated.

    • Ted Alfred

      At this point I think Reds management is terrified to remove him from the bullpen ….and who can blame them????

      • Dewey Roberts

        Maybe we need a bonafide closer.

  4. DataDumpster

    A certainly entertaining start to the season but meeting expectations at this juncture. Some of the potential was shown but this team never seems to be able to sustain anything except Bell’s vacuous post game interviews and the team’s praise of each other. Such a happy bunch, always quick to take the blame and get excused by their teacher. At this point, I just enjoy some of the players who came in well prepared and worked while scoffing at others who were going to be OK because they were good in the past. I think a new manager might be able to light a fire on this team but probably won’t happen. Hey, good chance to have a second winning season in a row!
    We still have the Cowboy on the radio and the love of the game but don’t expect that all the offseason “strategy” and management plan (or lack thereof) to result in anything other than the mediocre results obtained last year.

    • Sliotar

      I am replying to give a thumbs up to the Cowboy, Jeff Brantley.

      He absolutely gets across, in that understated, easygoing, country style … when the performance(s) aren’t good enough. No apologizing for Reds players.

      Yet, he wants the Reds to win …. and that comes across passionately.

      Tommy Thrall is fine … but Brantley is the star of all Reds broacasters, IMO.

      • Don

        Brantley, like others in and around the organization jumped the gun after one series. This team has spunk, they play with an attitude, this team has a chip on the shoulder, good things are in store for this team, they said. One series over the course of an entire season does not a reasonable prediction make. Given how lousy this organization has been the last 10 years or so, one would be best served reserving the lauding until the Reds actually accomplish something worthwhile. Some of these comments we saw three weeks ago retrospectively look silly now.

      • Sliotar


        I don’t know why broadcasters refuse to acknowledge the differences in the Reds, home vs. away. It has been proven over time.

        They don’t have to call GABP “Coors Field East”, like I do … but, when most folks at RLN see there is a difference and there is Omerta from broadcasters … it is a puzzler.

      • RojoBenjy

        What’s the Reds’ record after Castellanos’ suspension was upheld?

        That was MLB putting the lowly Reds in their place and I think the message hit home.

        I wish instead it had lit a fire of defiance but it has not.

      • DataDumpster

        Brantley hit them hard on the downside too in last night’s game. He basically said Castillo was a mess among other things. I really appreciate his insight as a former pitcher. He and Thrall could last a long while, glad most of the other pretenders are gone.

      • greenmtred

        Barry Larkin was a great player, but he is not yet a good broadcaster. Chris Welch is. I like the Cowboy, too, but he has spells of waxing too optimistic.

      • Greenfield Red

        To me, The Cowboy is the Old Lefthander 2.0. Joe is my all time favorite broadcaster in any Sport. Jeff is a close second. Yes, I’m a Homer. I admit it.

      • Ted Alfred

        Yep, Reds hit a HR with the Cowboy

  5. Old Big Ed

    We learned that Jesse Winker is a legitimately elite hitter and that they need to extend him.

    We also learned that we need Minor League Baseball to start yesterday. Rece Hinds was drafted 2 years ago and has 10 professional ABs. None of the guys from last year have any professional ABs. We need to get a feel for where the minor league system really is.

  6. Frankie Tomatoes

    What I learned

    Winning is a lot more fun to watch than losing. This team doesn’t roll over and give up and the lineup is deep even without Moose in it right now.

    This defense is bad overall but there are some bright spots. India has been very good. Senzel has been good in center. Tucker is always strong behind the plate.

    What I am not looking forward to

    Learning about the results of the game the next morning. The old Tomato can’t stay up until 1 am to watch the final inning of games anymore.

  7. Sandman

    We learned that you can’t get rid of a couple good relievers in the off-season and replace them with a bunch of guys who’ve typically struggled throughout their careers.

    • Sandman

      I know our BP did well vs Stl, but they typically haven’t been good so far this year. Is this recently completed Stl series a turn around the corner or just a blip on the radar and will come back full circle to where they were before the recent Stl series? Time will tell.

    • Old Big Ed

      Except that Raisel Iglesias has been equally bad for the Angels, giving up multiple runs in 3 of his 9 appearances, and blowing another save with a Fauci-level throw to 3rd base. Has a 6.75 ERA in 8 IP, with 2 homers allowed. Archie Bradley has been on the DL since about April 10, having pitched 3 innings in which he yielded 2 runs and 4 hits.

      I will grant that Amir Garret has been worse. He would need to pitch 15 consecutive scoreless innings to get his ERA below 4.00.

      • Jimbo44CN

        What exactly is a Fauci level throw. Almost afraid to ask.

      • Sandman

        I’ll give you Iglesias… he started sucking when he was with us and he’s still sucking elsewhere.

  8. MK

    We learned that Bell needs to allow the players to retaliate. Can’t allow your players to continue to be drilled and then allow the opposition to hang over the plate and swing from their heels. Don’t think India was hit on purpose but they were definitely trying to intimidate them pushing them off the plate. Maybe we need to get off the analytics of pitching a little and play a little old fashioned baseball. Don’t want to hit anyone but don’t want the comfortable either.

    • RojoBenjy

      I learned from MK that it seemed that Sonny was pitching as if his back was still tight. Hoping for the best though

  9. RedsFan11

    Got to love the swings of emotion by many Reds fan and RLN readers. A couple weeks ago people were screaming WS here we come. I reminded them it was only 7 games. Today the outlook is a .500 finish is all we can hope for. I again remind you its only 7 games.

    -Castillo and Gray will come around.
    -Suarez will come out of his funk
    -Winker will be an all-star
    -Senzel and India will emerge
    -Bullpen will improve slightly
    -Defense will continue to stink
    -Bell will finally move Votto down in the order

    Keep Faith Alive

    • B-town fan

      Agree with your bullet points except for Suarez, I am officially worried that he might not get back to the player he was, and Votto will not be moved down the order I think he will be fine.

  10. SultanofSwaff

    Here’s what I learned lately—

    1. Kyle Farmer is not long for the team. He got a nice long look all week and didn’t produce on either side of the ball. Blandino’s emergence renders Farmer redundant.
    2. Something has to be done about Barnhart’s pitch calling. I’ve lost count of the number of times he calls for the same pitch 4 or more times in a row only to get burned because major league hitters aren’t dumb. Great defender, poor pitch sequencer, sinking OPS. Point being, he’s not so good he should be blocking a future all-star.
    3. India/Suarez/Senzel. India is a special defender, Suarez is decidedly not, Shogo is returning soon. Rotating Senzel in at 2B/3B while playing India at SS occasionally would more evenly distribute at-bats. Geno is exposed and the team needs a plan B while continuing to give Senzel ABs to see if he’s a long term piece.
    4. The division is winnable and this team has talent. Stay the course!

    • RojoBenjy

      Good points Sultan

      Re #1- I have no faith that the manager will play Blandino over Farmer because he’s never shown that he will do that before, even when the obvious choice was in front of him.

    • MK

      Think Farmer is safe due to his ability to catch and play everywhere else defensively. He is also currently better offensively and defensively than our current shortstop.

      • Doc

        Have you looked at Farmer’s batting line? It is worse than Suarez.

  11. Gonzo Reds

    I think the big question now is how long is Bell’s rope? Lost seven in a row to fall to the cellar while the Pirates who have literally nothing on their roster are at .500. Perhaps cut Bell loose and let Freddy B have a shot to see what he can do. I’ve noticed in games where he’s been forced into the top spot due to the manager getting the heave ho that his management style is a bit different. It’s worth a shot, can’t be any worse than what we have right now and if it doesn’t work out then start over in 2022.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Good point about Bell. Aside from yanking a starting pitcher here and there at less than 85 pitches, I don’t think he’s done anything yet that would warrant his dismissal. That said, there’s no reason this team shouldn’t contend for the division so if the team were to drop more than 7 games under .500 around late May I don’t see how you wouldn’t make a change.

    • TR

      The sweep in St. L. strengthened by belief a shakeup like a managerial change is needed, but not Barry Larkin since famous ballplayers seldom make successful managers. If it happens, which I doubt it will, Freddy Benevides should be given a chance. He’s a good baseball man whose been with the Reds a longtime. But I doubt this ownership and organization will jettison midseason a member of a prominent Cincinnati baseball family. Tradition is big with the Reds in contrast to other teams that make unexpected moves like the Rays or A’s.

  12. Old-school

    We learned Mike Moustakis was sorely missed

    • RojoBenjy


      Great point he really was a key in the first 10 days

  13. LDS

    We learned that the Reds aren’t very good. That Votto is at the end of his career. Suarez, whether it’s his ego from 2019 or thoughts of his injury/surgery isn’t delivering and may not again. And we learned that Bell isn’t an above average MLB manager. Players aren’t developing under his leadership. It’s time for big changes – a new manager, a new first baseman, and maybe a trade or two, like Suarez, Garrett, Lorenzen, maybe Senzel, etc. Oh, and definitely new ownership. Otherwise, the Reds will continue to deliver the mediocre product they delivered for the last 20+ years

    • doofus

      Winker to 1B. Votto fishing guide on Beaver lake, Alberta.

      • RojoBenjy

        Or—Joey for Prime Minister!

        I rocked that t-shirt last week

  14. RojoBenjy

    The Pilot G-2 is a worthy pen.

    A true workhorse and always a delight to use!

  15. Klugo

    We learned that the Cards are still the Cards and the Reds are still the Reds.

  16. TXRedLeg

    So I take back what I’ve said about Miley, until he gets injured again and never returns to his current form.
    I take nothing back about how almost the entire team has players playing out of position and the defense will be atrocious. Let’s face it, if you have a AAA bullpen and a mostly AAAA starting rotation, you’re asking too much for ham handed defense.
    We have seen the true form of the Reds over the weekend – a rebuild is needed, but that won’t happen until quite a few veterans are off the payroll, and the minors are fully functioning.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      Rebuilds are for losers. I think it was Doug who said in the comments over the weekend that the Reds should just go out and spend the money to add the pieces that are needed. He is right. Spend money on a few relievers instead of rehab projects you hope can be fixed by Derek Johnson and sign a real shortstop and the entire team is transformed. That would have cost the team $15-20M this offseason but the owners did not want to do that and now the team is mediocre that needs things to go right for them.

      • SultanofSwaff

        You have to think the Rockies will unload Story at the deadline. I thought for sure we’d be players, but with India emerging and Geno making big bucks and nowhere else to put him, that sort of trade doesn’t seem plausible.

    • BigRedMike

      No reason to take anything back about Miley

      I guess 4 decent starts is enough to make a proclamation about an aging starting pitcher. Interesting comments in the write up

      The Reds can definitely win this division. Pitching will need to improve as the offense will not stay at this level

      • Doug Gray

        Absolutely a reason to take back everything bad someone said about him last year because they said it based on 14 innings, and if that was enough to want to end his career then 22 innings, which is 50% more, then you need to now apologize to him because he’s clearly great now if your logic follows that after 14 innings he wasn’t worth even existing in Major League Baseball anymore.

      • Old-school

        Wade miley is healthy and is that lefty who changes speeds and hits corners and is the perfect complement to the power righty TJ Antone

        The SF giant game with Miley/Antone 3-0 shutout is the blueprint to frustrate opponents.

        Assuming health and Reds Non-contention, Miley will have a long list of suitors at the trade deadline.

      • Indy Red Man

        I might be ready to eat my words on Miley. Maybe? If he goes out there and puts up 4.25 or better in the back of the rotation. Most everyone throws 93-97 so if you can pinpoint the slop then it can throw them off for 5 innings. The Cards hit next to nothing hard off of him.

      • BigRedMike

        Castillo is a bad pitcher based on the 5 starts this season

  17. Rednat

    i think the reds will be pretty awful on the road. they will probably be .500 at home but at least the games will be entertaining.

    just seems like they lack confidence right now away from gabp.

    i think once Shogo comes back Bell can really do some interesting things with the line up. i like 1. Shogo 2. Castellanos 3. Winker. Then you can move Joey and Suarez down the lineup

    • TR

      I like Shogo’s defensive ability but offensively he’s not shown me much since he’s been here.

      • MK

        Shogo’s rookie year was not much different than Senzel who was not learning a new culture. And don’t mention Nick’s second year but he seems to get a pass.

      • Doug Gray

        His second year where he played in 23 games and missed half of the “year” after having COVID?

        Yeah, we probably shouldn’t mention that year at all because it’s entirely useless to discuss.

  18. SultanofSwaff

    I thought Nick Krall made all the correct roster decisions coming out of spring training. The solid play of India/Blandino and (lack of) results from Payton and Schrock speak for themselves.

    With the bullpen he played the hand he was dealt for the most part. What I’m curious to learn is whether he will use all the tools at his disposal, meaning Lodolo and Greene. Starting pitchers who break into the majors via the bullpen is a model with a long and successful track record and we know these two were built up in 2020 to handle 100+innings this year. As for service time, enough time has passed that the Reds will control both for 6 seasons after this one……and that’s IF the new CBA doesn’t shrink that window. I think it will, so it’s in the team’s interest to not waste the majority of their innings against fringe major leaguers in Louisville. The team certainly couldn’t do any worse with them in the bullpen than what we’ve seen.

    • DaveCT

      “I thought Nick Krall made all the correct roster decisions coming out of spring training.”

      Yes. Finally.

  19. Indy Red Man

    I learned 2021 isn’t there year. Again

    1. Hire someone in the offseason that has experience within the Rays organization as asst. GM.

    2. Hope Castillo rights the ship and then deal him somewhere and pray for 25% of the haul that Tampa got (Austin Meadows/Tyler Glasnow) for shipping Chris Archer to Pittsburgh. I still can’t believe Pitt was that dumb?

    3. Start grooming Antone as a starter. Stabilizing the pen doesn’t matter when you score 1.4 runs/game on the road and fall 9 back by Memorial Day. When Lorenzen comes back do the same thing and also force him to watch video of Lance Lynn 2 hours a day. Throw sinking fastballs. When you feel like throwing something else then throw sinking fastballs . Rinse and repeat. He’s Nuke LaLoosh with muscles. “Don’t think. It can only hurt the ballclub”.

    4. All else fails and root for Nick Castellanos and his new team.

  20. SteveO

    Love the shakeup in the lineup today against the lefty Urias. Once Moose gets activated, Bell should go with an all 1st round draft pick lineup of Senzel(2B), Winker, Castellanos, Moose, Naquin, Stephenson, India(SS), Blandino(1B) in a game that Hoffman, Gray or Miley starts. Relievers that day would be Fuller, Doolittle and Sims.

    • Jimbo44CN

      So Suarez finally sits out a game? I wish him the best but he is terrible right now.

      • Melvin

        The lineup I see for tonight has Suarez playing SS batting 4th.

  21. Roger Garrett

    I learned that it has got so bad for a couple of our players that just putting the ball in play is all I hope for when they bat.

  22. JB

    I havent really learned anything yet because the contenders and pretenders will separate themselves after about 40-50 games. Happens every year. Right now the Yankees, Astros, Twins and Braves are close to last in their divisions and some had them winning their divisions. Way to early for ” What I learned”. I’ll let you know on June 1st what I’ve learned but what I do know is that these divisions won’t look like they do now.