Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (10-12)
5 6 0
Los Angeles Dodgers (15-8)
3 6 0
W: Antone (1-0) L: K. Jansen (0-1)
Statcast | Gamecast Play-by-Play | Game Thread


The Dodgers were up late last night attempting to fend off the upstart Franciscans from San Diego. Blowing a 7-1 lead speaks to the reality of what Scott Rolen once referred to as the Big 162. If a team with all that front office excellence and Bel Air bling can play a middling .500 over their last 10 games, perhaps the Reds recent struggles aren’t as much about WHO they are, but WHERE they are right now.

The Game

A strike zone the size of an iPad put Tyler Mahle behind the 8-ball early in the first inning, resulting in a leadoff double for Mookie Betts. Two walks bookended a fly out put the Reds’ hurler in early trouble. An inning-ending double play saved the day as Mahle walked off the mound, a ho-hum countenance on display for the home Los Angelenos.

Tyler Mahle is a cool cat.

In the top of the 4th, the Reds would break through. A Jesse Winker single. A Nick Castellanos double followed by a Eugenio Suarez ground out plated the Reds first run. A sac fly by Nick Senzel would make the score 2-0. Maybe as important, the Reds forced Julio Urias to throw 30 pitches in that inning. Let’s put a pin in that. Last night wore out the Dodger pen.

A bloop and a ball to Max Muncy’s tricep put 2 runners on with no outs for the Dodgers. Just when it looked like Mahle was going to work out of it, Gavin Lux singled to cut the Reds’ lead in half, 2-1.

A 2-out single just past the outstretched Rawlings of Corey Seager by Castellanos plated Farmer, who started off the inning by getting plunked by Urias, then took second on a fine sacrifice bunt by Mahle. Reds 3, Dodgers 1.

David Bell rolled the dice on Mahle in the bottom of the 5th, as he faced Betts and the top of the Dodger lineup for the third time. It worked. Strike outs of Betts and Muncy to end the inning on Mahle’s 97th pitch ended Tyler’s very fine night.

The Arms

Tyler Mahle’s final line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

Maybe Bell was thinking about Mahle’s dominance of left-handed hitters. Going into the inning, left handers were 4-52 against Mahle. Two of the next 3 hitters to face Mahle in the bottom of the 5th were lefties. Muncy—a lefty—would strike out on a 96 mph fastball up.

Lucas Sims entered the game determined not to waste Mahle’s night. He struck out the side in the 6th. He would return in the 7th and get two outs, then give way to Amir Garrett to face left-handed hitter Seager.

Garrett would continue to flounder. Seager golfed a Garrett delivery over the wall to tie the game at 3.

Tejay Antone would come on in the 8th and hold the Dodgers at bay behind a nifty turn of the double-play by the Reds’ defense. Antone would hit his second batter in the 9th, but work around it to send the game in extra innings.

Extra Innings

Yes, Virginia, the Reds lead the league in home runs. Winker swung the stick in the top of the 10th, a 2-run blast, courtesy of Major League Baseball’s idiotic Deux ex Machina rule, lowering Blandino onto 2nd base from the heavens. Reds 5-3.

Antone would be the second Reds relief pitcher to bat in the game. He would strike out 2 in the tenth, walk 1, and hold on to put L.A. away for the win.

What L.A. Said

“The Reds are a team that is definitely down. 0 for their last 7. The Dodgers are disappointed in their loss yesterday and maybe the way they played against San Diego, but, they’re not down. And I think they still believe in themselves. I think the Reds are still looking for ‘who are they.'”

What Did We Learn Today?

If you didn’t know how good Tyler Mahle is, tonight was your wake-up call. He’s been better than most have recognized. But not everybody:

Tyler Stephenson, Castellanos and Winker all had 2 hits. Joey Votto was given the night off and gave his replacement very specific instructions, apparently. Alex Blandino listened and walked 3 times.

What to do about Amir Garret? Well, it’s complicated:

Suarez (0-5) continues to look totally lost at the plate.

Final Thoughts

On Deck for the Redlegs

Cincinnati Reds vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

April 27 at 10:10 pm ET

Jeff Hoffman (2-1, 2.66 ERA) vs. Walker Buehler (1-0, 2.16 ERA)

114 Responses

  1. Sliotar

    That was an awfully memorable game for April.
    Desperation for a win for us fans.

    This is a flawed team at the moment …

    Garrett … in on the “Rootin’ Tootin'” stuff, gives a profanity-laced “Won’t Happen Again” press conference … and it happened again tonight.

    Suarez … 0 for 5 … 7 runners Left on Base … and it could have been the difference.

    Bell … brings in Garrett (why then) … pulls Stephenson, who had 2 of the Reds 5 hits at the time.

    Would the White Sox or Blue Jays (young cores) hire Bell? Not a chance, IMO.

    Some flaws are always easier to fix than others … not sure if any of the above are easy fixes right now.

    • 2020ball

      How is subbing in your better defensive catcher, a gold-glover mind you, in a game you’re barely winning a bad move? I’m literally flabbergasted by this. Stephenson has gotten plenty of ABs so far, so it’s not like he isn’t being given playing time. Very confused why this is such a big deal.

      • Melvin

        We weren’t winning when Bell subbed him in. If we were ahead I can see it but we needed to score and Stephenson was hitting well tonight. One of the few who was.

      • Slicc50

        It’s one of the reasons the Reds are so bad in one run games. Bell pulls one of the guys that can help get the team a run in a game the team still needs to score runs. Luckily lastnight Jesse and Tejay got the job done and the Reds won despite David Bell’s bad decisions

      • Matt O'Neal

        Bell likely wanted to Antone to go multiple innings. If he doesn’t double switch there, Antone bats second in the top of the 9th of either a 3-3 game or a deficit. If you PH for Antone in the T9, and then the Reds score, who would you trust to come in?

      • MuddyCleats

        You make a good pt, but why pull Tyler fm the game? Again, he should be an option at 1B – everyone else is why not Tyler too? Or, if Winker is going to be the next option, & he probably will be, why not start working that now in case of another Votto injury? It’s not like Wink is a great OF; he proved that just a game ago. Wouldn’t it make sense to make a Def subs in LF too? It’s easy to see Stephenson has good hit tools and should be giving MORE ABs especially on a team that has a hard time scoring w/out the dinger. Likewise, the guy is 6’4″ and isn’t the same catcher Tucker is. Not a knock on Tyler; he’s just a taller guy and doesn’t seem to move and frame as well behind the dish. However, he does hit and run well so why not protect and promote those skills long term?

      • RojoBenjy

        “It’s one of the reasons the Reds are so bad in one run games. Bell pulls one of the guys that can help get the team a run in a game the team still needs to score runs.”

        This looks right to me, is there a way to measure it?

      • 2020ball

        So apparently everyone here wants Antone to bat in a big spot in the game instead or simply be lifted for a pinch hitter. Y’all are also conveniently forgetting Barnhart has also been good with the bat, and he hit the ball very hard in that AB.

        I dunno, everyone here is just going to pile on Bell even when he makes moves that are defensible no matter how small a move it is. My suggestion would be to look at these types of moves without all your biases, especially since this is a move most guys would make even whatever manager you’d rather have instead, but I guess I’m crazy to think that might ever happen.

  2. Tim

    No apparent upside to Suarez right now. His trajectory over the past couple of seasons doesn’t suggest that it will turn around soon. Hope I am wrong. There are too many guys batting very well right now to have a high percentage out in the middle of the order. Move him down the order until he fixes it.

    • KDJ

      Remember, he is planning to hit 50 home runs this season.

    • bug

      I’m not sure why moving him down in the line-up, or moving him to 3rd base, or whatever, would change his .133 batting average. His problem is not where he bats,..though I agree having him at clean up and him stranding 7 and 8 baserunners per game is not ideal. But his main problem is, he can’t hit. He should not be moved in the batting order or moved to a different position. He should be moved over to the bench,,,, or better yet, moved on down to the Minor Leagues until he can learn to hit a baseball. He’s the worst hitter in the ML,..and it’s not like this just suddenly happened. He has lead the ML in strike outs for the last 2 1/2 years as far as totals Ks go. He can’t hit. That’s the pink elephant in the room. Jmo.

      • MuddyCleats

        I agree w/ u to a pt,, but remember he did score the 3rd most runs on team, and lead the team in HRs and RBIs last season even w/ the low batting avg. Kinda of like Adam Dunn debate. AD K’d more than most, but also had a tremendous amount of walks, scored a 100 runs and hit 40+ jacks w/ 100+ RBIs for about 4 yrs straight too. Didn’t give him a high BA or make him a great OF, but those R still solid numbers that helps a team win games.

      • bug

        Yes. Walks are very important. That’s why I don’t mind Votto’s weak stick sometimes, because he’s always drawn a lot of walks. But Adam Dunn and Suarez are different. Suarez does NOT walk the same number of times as AD did!!! I repeat, he does NOT walk like Dunn did. They were slightly afraid of Suarez when he hit 49 homers and struck out 189 times. But not anymore. They love it when he comes up to the plate with men on base.The opposing pitchers were afraid of Dunn. They lick their chops when they see Suarez on deck. Often we are talking three pitches to Suarez. He usually takes one right down the middle. The second pitch he swings at one in the dirt. Then on the third pitch, he’ll either take another strike right down the middle, or swing at a slider low, outside and in the dirt. Very often,..3 pitches.

    • MuddyCleats

      And why not move him back to 3B until Moose is back? Clearly the Def requirements/pressure at 3B have affected his hitting

      • VaRedsFan

        He didn’t hit last year either….wasn’t playing SS then

      • MuddyCleats

        Of course, I meant SS. IMO, I would move him back to 3rd at least until Moose gets back. Give Bladino and Farmer a chance to play SS. Agree w/ moving Suarez in the lineup, but who’s hitting behind you is a big part of getting good pitches to hit too. Moose isn’t there to protect him right now.

      • Gene Kehoe

        Suarez IS getting good pitches to hit. In one of his ABs last night the first two pitches were a fastball down the middle and a hanging curveball for a strike. He took both pitches. He is just flatout lost!

      • bug

        Yes, Gene. I concur. That’s Suarez’ normal AB. He regularly takes a couple pitches right down the middle,..then swings at one in the dirt. That’s normal for him. In the meantime, he strands more base runners than the rest of the team put together!!! He’s an automatic out. That’s why he’s hitting .133 and leading the league in Ks. He also wears the Golden Sombrero more than any player I’ve ever seen in the game. And I’ve been watching the Reds since 1958. I can’t understand why he not only is a starter, but bats clean up. Only one explanation for that. Bell!!!

      • MuddyCleats

        Funny Bug, I use to say that was a normal Votto AB and he’s making 13-15 M more than Suarez and producing less, but he & Reds have many fans convinced a walk and a slap single to LF is worth that much. R, HRs and RBIs last season: Suarez 11th n R, 3rd n HRs and 5th in RBIs among ALL 3B. Votto was 11th, 12th and 20 something n RBIs vs all ML 1B. Head 2 Head, Votto scores 3 more Rs, Suarez wins HR Derby by 4 and RBIs by 16. It’s not everything, but worth noting. Like everything, there R ups and downs and in Baseball a lot more failures than successes – just part of the game. Can’t imagine Reds would get much 4 Suarez at this time n trade and fact is they need him producing to have any playoff hopes IMO

    • IndyDoug

      Give him the 3 day Votto benching when Moose comes back

    • 2020ball

      Everyone always says there are plenty of options for the middle of the order without naming one. I too think Suarez needs dropped in the order, but there aren’t any obvious guys to replace him there.

  3. Melvin

    Maybe try India or even Senzel at SS tomorrow and give Suarez a break. Whoever plays SS the other plays 2B. Moose to 3B. I know this is wishful thinking.

    • Doug Gray

      There is no plan to play Nick Senzel on the infield outside of emergency kind of situations.

      • Melvin

        Yeah I know. Plans do change though. The outfield is only getting more crowded with Akiyama and Aquino coming back eventually. Bell is not playing Senzel every day in CF without them so why not use his talents in other places to get him in the lineup more often. I agree. It probably won’t happen….but it should. He does need to play most every day somewhere. If being a utility guy is the only way to do it right now then I say go for it. He’s much more talented than Farmer or Blandino as a utility guy and would help the team more if not right away then in the long run. We’ve been waiting for him to be healthy and now that he is he’s not playing every day. With the way Suarez is playing SS if there ever was a time they were going to try Senzel there it should be now. What have they got to lose?

      • VaRedsFan

        What Senzel talents are you talking about. He isn’t hitting either. This isn’t a video game where you can just move a guy to SS that hasn’t even practiced there or tried in the Spring 3 years ago.

      • MBS

        Senzel was taking reps at 2B and 3B pregame the other day. I think he’s just as capable of playing SS as Suarez is, if not more, but I agree he isn’t going to play SS. That’s Suarez’s spot, and his days off will be filled by Farmer or Blandino.

      • Doug Gray

        Sure, he’s ready for an emergency. But yesterday before the game Bell said there’s no plans of playing him on the infield.

      • 2020ball

        I too would like to see Senzel more on the infield, he’s unfortunately hitting like a utility guy so it might be time to shift him more to that role. It gets him more opportunity to play so it should be an easy sell. I’m not in a rush to see it and wouldnt just sub him in there unless he’s put work in.

  4. TheCoastMan

    Uh, obviously Bell is insane to keep putting Suarez in the 4 hole. Winker 3 and Castallonos in the 4 hole seems a tad more logical. It actually would benefit Suarez by taking some pressure off him by moving him down in the order to say, oh, maybe 8TH! Bell should be canned just for this Suarez insanity.

    As far as Garret is concerned, he needs to go to the alternate site and figure out whatever his problem is.

    • Scott C

      I agree that Suarez needs to move down in the order or even sit a few games, but Winker and Castellanos need to stay at the top of the order, you want your best hitters to get the most AB’s as possible. Put Moose at the four spot, Joey at the 5 and Suarez in the 6 hole.

    • greenmtred

      Suarez is in a terrible slump. Senzel, India and Naquin are settling back to earth after strong starts. The Reds only have a few guys right now who are hitting well, so there will be holes in the batting order. The bullpen is doing better very recently, but has been unreliable for the most part. Blaming Bell is reflexive and fun, but there is only so much he or anybody could do with the cards he’s been dealt.

      • Melvin

        Bell has a lot to do with the “cards” and the atmosphere he has created for them. The players may like him because he has their back with the umpires but that doesn’t necessarily mean they think he’s a good manager. He has not created an atmosphere of success “winning”….and they know it.

      • Jack

        How long does a slump have to go on before it is not a slump and it is who you are? He is having an increasing difficulty making contact that has gone on several years. Hopefully he is not the new Chris Davis.

      • TheCoastMan

        I agree with Jack… Slumps don’t last for years. Suarez is who he is and Votto has become a sub par utility bat. We have to accept that sooner or later.

      • greenmtred

        You know this about the Reds’ clubhouse how? He may not be a good manager, but that’s hard to judge when hitters aren’t hitting and pitchers aren’t pitching.

  5. Charles Mesterharm

    So Garret has turned into JJ Hoover, can you really trust Bell to make the correct move, no evidence that will happen.

  6. rex

    Garret for sure needs to pitch so he “figure it out”

    lets use him as an opener so that way we know early on how many runs we need to score to cover his innings

  7. GreatRedLegsFan

    Not an easy call on Garrett as one of the only two lefty relievers, other being Doolittle. No options and, apparently, no injures. Better off start looking for another lefty in the market. His poor appearance led again to a bullpen high usage just starting the series. Sims and Antone won’t likely be available tomorrow, leaving bullpen shorthanded. Suarez 0-5 w/7 LOB from the 4th spot, shall be enough to put him lower in the line-up. Senzel and India are also struggling at the plate, let’s see how Bell rearrange the decks once Moustakas is back and Blandino showing very good plate discipline.

  8. Reddawg2012

    I’m not sure there is anyone in the bullpen at this point that I have less confidence in than Amir Garrett. Loved the win, but the Reds desperately need AG, Suarez, and Castillo to get it together sooner rather than later.

    • Doug Gray

      Luis Castillo has a 3.86 ERA since opening day ended. He’s been fine.

      • Reddawg2012

        Don’t you think Castillo needs to be better than “fine” if the Reds are really going to compete? They need an ace. Also, his K% is way down, which is probably my biggest concern.

      • Doug Gray

        What I think is that it’s April and he’s been fine for the last 4 starts and his K rate isn’t really an issue in those 4 starts – he’d be at 9k/9IP with 1 extra strikeout every other start in there. He had a terrible opening day. It included no strikeouts. Take that game away, and sure, his strikeout rate is still down, but it’s not like he’s Bronson Arroyo. He’s missing bats, just not at an elite level right now. If we’re still looking at an 8k/9ip guy in the middle of June, let’s start asking some questions about what’s going on. Right now? It’s April 28th.

  9. TR

    As a life-long fan, a nice way to wake up. It’s encouraging how Mahle and Winker are coming into their own. The young core of Senzel, Winker, Garcia (soon), India and Stephenson, plus ?, will soon take over.

  10. Redgoggles

    It’s a long season. I have faith in Castillo, Suarez, and AG……in that order. And having Moose and Shogo back won’t hurt. Mikey Biceps would really help, considering the bullpen of late.

    • Chris Holbert

      The Castillo mystery continues. we constantly hear, “when he does so and so”. He is 28 , and should be in his prime, but yet we still see him not the Cy Young candidate, people, Reds people, think he is.

    • 2020ball

      I keep seeing/hearing things that suggest the Reds plan on biceps returning to the rotation, something that each and every time makes no sense to me.

  11. Steven Ross

    The back of his baseball card says he’ll hit but right now, Suarez is NOT hitting. Slotting him Clean-up isn’t prudent at this time. Drop him and let him figure it out. Is it really that hard?

    • VaRedsFan

      You’re looking at a 2018 baseball card

      • Amarillo

        In 2019 Suarez had a .930 OPS and had the second highest batting average on the team behind Jose Iglesias. Last year he was a league average hitter after starting about as bad as he is currently hitting.

  12. Roger Garrett

    Great win.Team has talent.Wont comment on Bell any more cause he just will not make any adjustments to how when and where he uses his roster.His double switches are just horrible Done with him.Just play the young guys and I will be happy.Losing with the young is much more enjoyable.

  13. Klugo

    The thing about baseball is that mental strength outweighs physical strength. Mahle is mentally strong.

  14. RedsGettingBetter

    Bell on Garret: I know Amir is struggling right now, and we have to continue to go with our best guys, and Amir is not only one of our best guys, he’s an important player, teammate on this team and a big part of our bullpen. He’s going to continue to get opportunities. He’s going to work through this.” Well, hold on to your butts…..

    Maybe Moustakas is coming back today and Tyler Naquin could be included in the lineup, it is a chance to put Suarez in 6th spot in the order… There have been many games with the 3rd ,4th and 5th batting spots showing a below .220 avg

    • jim walker

      I understand Bell not throwing Garrett under the bus; but, in a sense, he is throwing the entire team under the bus by continuing to send Garrett to the mound in high leverage situations. The manager and the front office need to put their minds together to figure out how to handle the situation.

    • RojoBenjy

      At this point, when the Reds’ manager is speaking, all I hear are Charlie Brown’s “muted horn teacher” noises

  15. ScottR

    Regarding Garrett. He struck out something like the first 9 batters he faced in spring training and then only 1 in his last appearance. 1 K in game 1 of the regular season with 1 HR allowed and 2 k’s in game 2 but with another HR and 3 earned runs. I could be wrong but I think he went out there trying to strike out the world and injured himself. Analytics on his current velo, spin, arm slot and command might show something, especially if we could compare it to early spring training or if not, last year. I hope I’m wrong but I’ve been thinking this for a while now. And he’s only managed 1 k in his last 6 appearances.

  16. ChrisMo

    My lineup card would be: Winker (LF), Blandino (SS), Votto (1B), Castellanos (RF), Moose (3B), Stephenson (C), Naquin (CF), India (2B). Let Schrock play 3B a few days till Mouse is back if need be, or rotate Suarez/Farmer. Otherwise sit Suarez a week, along with Senzel and Farmer. Statistically they are all about the same place. Bad. I would take the glove only kid from last year at SS right now over Suarez.

  17. JB

    Mikey Biceps went through the same thing as Garrett did last year. Bell kept putting him out there in crucial spots and he failed. Finally Bell inserted him in non pressure spots like the 5th inning and he got his confidence back. He needs to do that with Garrett and now. Why does it take him so long to figure this out? Watched the Cubs yesterday and Ross pulled Happ from the lead off spot and batted him down in the order because he was struggling and wanted to take the pressure off of him. What a great idea.

    • Indy Red Man

      Its not that hard to understand? Garrett is not some big free agent aquisition like Kimbrel with the Cubs or a veteran closer with a long track record like a Billy Wagner or someone. He’s ok. He’s got decent stuff, but not outstanding. He’s struggling and he’s blowing multiple run leads. Enough is enough? He gets the mop up role for a while and thats the end of it. C’mon? I mean Bell takes his 1st round bonus baby Senzel and gives him the short end of the stick platoon with a guy off the waiver wire in Naquin. He’s not massaging his ego so whats up with Garrett? Suarez too? Baseball is a long season and I get that you can’t make rash decisions, but we’re 15% of the way already and Suarez is taking golf swings and pulling his head like a high school kid. Its ridiculous!

      • RojoBenjy

        Hey don’t insult high school players like that!


      • RojoBenjy

        “I mean Bell takes his 1st round bonus baby Senzel and gives him the short end of the stick platoon with a guy off the waiver wire in Naquin. He’s not massaging his ego so whats up with Garrett? Suarez too?”

        I love this comment

    • Doc

      Two outs, one on, and lefty on lefty with a two run lead in the sixth shouldn’t be a high pressure situation. Get one man out and be done for the night.

  18. SultanofSwaff

    I thought the Reds should’ve explored extensions for Mahle and Winker in the offseason. The price is going up by the week, but hey, it’s not my money.

    Other than bringing in Garrett, I thought Bell managed the bullpen properly. I think he recognized this game, much more than tonight’s game vs. Buehler, was the one they had to have. For too long this organization has worried about the next game and the next game. They should never fret about saving bullpen arms so long as the Louisville Express bus is gassed up and ready to roll.

  19. RojoBenjy

    “Winker to the rescue” lately is feeling like it used to when #19 did those types of things.

    I’m sure that MLB players are over and done with the 10th inning free runner thing. Now that it’s costing the Big Market teams, perhaps the owners of said teams will kill it for next season—can only hope.

    When Senzel made his debut, there was a quote from him saying that Joey Votto told him, “You are the best player on the field right now.” So who is right, Joey Votto, or David Bell? Because Bell sure don’t act like Senzel is much

    • jim walker

      I hope they keep the runner at 2B to start extra innings forever but with 1 alteration. Play the 10th inning straight up by traditional rules then switch to the runner at 2B to start the innings if the game continues beyond the 10th.

      I’ve long felt the home team had too much of an advantage by knowing they had 6 more outs every time they came to bat from the 9th inning on with the game tied. While that is still true, starting the innings with a man on 2B levels the playing field just a bit with the immediate pressure it places on the home team by increasing the likelihood the home team will be in a situation where it must score a run to stay in the game.

      • RojoBenjy

        I would say start it in the 12th, and also that home team advantage is a privilege that every team enjoys when they are at home. Starting a runner at second gives an immediate momentum swing to the visitor, which is what I don’t like. But by the 12th it’s time to get it moving to avoid 16 inning disasters.

        Good discussion as always, jw and I appreciate it

    • Slicc50

      I totally agree about Senzel. It seems like Bell is quick to either sit him or pull him. This is the year for Nick. We have to find out what he is. I have zero proof of this but it feels to me by watching Nick, he is a guy that needs to hit everyday. I believe this 2-3 times a week starting is keeping him from getting locked in at the dish!

  20. Indy Red Man

    Blandino has a .464 obp! He’s a guy that would be exposed if you played him too much, but he’s also a guy you could bat 1st or 9th and get on base for the big boys. Give Suarez, Joey, and India some breathers!

    Joey vs lefties:

    .111 this year
    .178 last year
    .243 in 2019 with 1 hr /152 at-bats

    Thats music to my ears if I’m starting a lefty and the 3 hitter can’t hit lefties and the 4 hitter can’t hit it off a tee. Maybe a golf tee with that swing?

    Castellanos with 2 walks last night! Thats the only way he’s going to get the most out of his talent! A guy mashes and they’re going to nibble so a guy with his talent doesn’t need to bail them out! I think we might have the Cubs version Castellanos who is a top 10-15 hitter in the game!

    • JB

      At some point pitchers are going to just pitch around Castellanos and take their chances with Votto and Suarez. I’m not sure why they arent now.

      • jim walker

        One possibility where Votto is concerned is that having a man (Castellanos) on 1B might take some of the wind out of the sails of their shifts against him.

      • Gene Kehoe

        Totally agree. Why would any team give Winker or Castellanos ANYTHING to hit when Votto, Suarez and even Senzel are the closest thing to automatic outs there can be? I do see Stephenson as our cleanup hitter of the future. He has an excellent approach at the plate.

  21. B-town fan

    What a nice surprise to wake up to, hopefully the worm is turning, hopefully so because tonight they are facing Buehler, Buehler Buehler.

  22. AllTheHype

    It is disrespectful to the rest of the team to allow them to work their tail off for 7-8 innings and then essentially say “we need to put this game at risk now so we can get this guy going”.

    It’s not rocket science. Put Garrett in low leverage situations, games we are losing by 3 or more after six, til he proves he’s back.

    Or maybe it is rocket science for Bell. Seems to be. Same with Suarez in the 4 hole.

    Bell seems to be saying to the team, we don’t care about wins or losses right now til we get our important players some confidence.

    Bell is just dead wrong, and I feel for the team fighting so hard to win a game and have to also cushion your manager’s poor decisions.

    • RojoBenjy

      “It is disrespectful to the rest of the team… Bell is just dead wrong, and I feel for the team fighting so hard to win a game and have to also cushion your manager’s poor decisions.”


  23. centerfield

    There was a wandering strike zone last night. It effected both teams. Why can’t MLB find better umpires? They just need to be consistent.
    With AG, does anyone remember when Raisel Iglesias went 2-10 and Bell kept running him out there. Bell is prepared to lose 10 games all by himself just to prove he is right. This team only needs one thing: a new manager.

    • RojoBenjy

      Oh we remember. I think the total loses for RI ended up being 12 to boot

  24. Cubano

    FWIW, I watched the Dodgers/Padres game run into extra innings the other night, and was honestly blown away to see the Pads sit on their closer (Melancon) until the 11th inning, when they were finally up a run + ready to shut it down. So totally contrary to how the Reds normally work… Bell burns through the bench and has to scramble to find players in high leverage situations late in these games.

    • RojoBenjy

      That’s sad that we Reds fans are blown away when we see a logical managerial decision being made by another manager.

      Speaks volumes…

  25. ClevelandRedsFan

    I really want to know what the Reds’ plan is with Senzel. He was arguably their best prospect since Jay Bruce, and I fear they are destroying his development.

    This feels like Senzel’s prove it year, and he’s only getting about 2-3 starts a week.

    What’s the plan? Is he a platoon player? Utility player? Reds already giving up on him?

    • RojoBenjy

      Count me in with this take, but I’ve said it a bunch already, and others echo it above. Senzel’s detractors are in the moment and haven’t been following the player since he was drafted like many of us have.

      At this point I feel like Senzel’s dad—not having warm fuzzies for the Reds’ treatment of him

      • Chris Holbert

        Amen, mishandled from the beginning….injuries aside, he needs to be in there somewhere everyday. Let him prove one way or another if he can be the player that was “the best hitter in the draft” his year. Cleveland’s FO is a lot more accomplished than the Reds and hey thought it was time to let Naquin go. At 30 he is probably what he is going to be, a day off 4th outfielder, who got hot for a week or so…a la Derek Dietrich

      • Old Big Ed

        Guys, Senzel has started 16 of 22 games for the Reds this season and has played in 21 of them. He missed a start on the second game after hurting his shoulder, and then I think one for being under the weather. He missed two starts against Cleveland, after going 0-20, then another against St. Louis. He has started 6 of the last 7 games.

        He has played plenty. He just hasn’t delivered. He is slashing .207/.299/.259, and his OPS+ is 50. Over 67 PAs, he has 0 homers, which ties him with Jussie Smollett and Tammy Duckworth. When he uses the whole field (“not try to do to much with it,” per Larkin), he is pretty good. When he tries to pull it, which is his usual course, he has warning track power and is essentially Paul Janish.

        It’s put up or shut up time for Senzel.

      • RojoBenjy

        @Old Big Ed

        It is put up time for Senzel—our point is that the management is not giving him a chance to even put up. Plus,he has never run his mouth, so the shut up part is harsh in my view

    • ClevelandRedsFan

      Senzel is the ONLY guy struggling who is not getting extra chances.

  26. Dennis

    Glad to wake up and find out the Reds won! Won this game in spite of Bell’s continued incompetency and utter stubbornness. Earth to Bell: 1) please move Suarez out of the 4 spot, 2) STOP with the double switches and 3), for now, use AG in games the Reds are hopelessly behind or ahead by 5 or more runs!

    • Melvin

      That’s way too logical for Bell. I’m afraid you’re unrealistic. 🙂

      • 2020ball

        Not using double switches and not using your LHPs out of the bullpen is for sure unrealistic.

      • Melvin

        Yeah. He manages often like a computer with some false data entered into him.

      • 2020ball

        I don’t see it, and articles from blogs aren’t going to sway me any. I’m pretty sure that Reds fans will just always overblame the manager, whomever that may be, for what seems to me to be a team composition problem, i.e. a FO issue. Most if not all managers are doing the same things Bell is doing even if he does tend to double switch more.

        Trust me I have my criticisms of Bell too, but I try and reign them in somewhat I guess. I’m not seeing any double switches any other manager wouldn’t consider and I dont see the him not playing younger players enough (especially if theyre struggling). I’d give Stephenson more of a 50/50 split and switch Blandino’s and Farmer’s roles. I’d use AG in clean innings and Doolittle as my LOOGY until AG finds it again. I’d probably drop Suarez in the line-up, but Moustakas coming off the IL makes that a lot easier anyway.

  27. kevinz

    Winker on fire so fun to watch hit.
    Keep showing Patience Blandy, need some good approaches.
    Wish Mahle got the Win, been Pitching Well.
    Stephenson small sample size, but love his Hitting approach so far.

    • RojoBenjy

      Wink had to put the team on his back last night and his manger is a heavy burden

  28. kevinz

    Winker on fire so fun to watch hit.
    Keep showing Patience Blandy, need some good approaches.
    Wish Mahle got the Win, been Pitching Well.
    Stephenson small sample size, but love his Hitting approach so far.

  29. Dennis

    A few more things! Just checked the MLB Central standings and noticed the Reds are tied for last in the Division, tied with the Cubbies but only three (3) games out of first. All is not lost if Castillo gets his act together (hoping for warmer weather soon), Sonny Gray pitches like last year and AG figures it out!

  30. RojoBenjy

    Here is an article from 2018 that is very good reading in hindsight:

    I think it’s an unbiased treatment. Here are some of my favorite excerpts, though:

    On things that are in the “not a good hire” column: “…it’s worth pointing out that not all of these things, or even any of them matter to some people. But, they do matter to others. He’s never managed in the Major Leagues. Bell managed in the minor leagues but his teams were very, very bad – record wise. His father is in the front office. He’s a local Cincinnati guy. Those latter two things are very “Cincinnati Reds way of doing things” and sit wrong with many. Whether that’s fair or not, those optics are hard to shake when the President of Baseball Operations father and uncle own more of the team (combined) than Bob Castellini does.”

    And on how much a manager is directly responsible for W/L:

    “The manager of a baseball team does matter. How much is debated a lot. I fall on the side of “not much”, but when I say that it’s more like saying that a manger is generally a 5-win/loss swing from the true talent level of the team. On the surface that’s not a lot. But if we were to be talking about an individual player being worth 5-wins, we’re talking about a guy that’s a no-doubt All-Star caliber player. So really, it’s not “not much”, if you want to look at it from that perspective.”

    That +/- 5.0 WAR analogy is a great idea: can the WAR of a manger be quantified? If so then we can show the numbers to the Reds manager himself since he likes to go by the book

    • VaRedsFan

      On the bright side, Bell has already used up his 5 for this season

    • 2020ball

      No manager is a 5 win/loss swing, thats insane.

      • Melvin

        I disagree. Managers make a BIG difference. Otherwise we wouldn’t need em.

  31. MK

    I wonder about the contention above that Amir is healthy. He had the arm issues in spring training and since his killer slider seems to be missing there could be a connection between arm stiffness and lack of spin.
    When it comes to arms, is it a coincidence that Suarez has not hit much, especially power after his shoulder surgery prior to Spring Training 2020? He came back especially faster than expected. Did it lead to bad habits or a hitch? Have to wonder.

    • jim walker

      And players seem to have an aversion to reporting injuries that aren’t externally obvious. When the Reds get back to Cincy, maybe they need to just take a day to run Garrett through a full diagnostic suite.

  32. Tom Reeves

    A few things I’d like to see the team do:

    – Stephenson learns 1B so he can platoon with Votto. I love Votto but we’re at a point where he shouldn’t be automatically in the line up.

    – Consider a change at SS and get Geno out of the line-up for a while. Blandino and Farmer can both perform as well as Suarez at the position (if not better) and, frankly, India also looks mobile enough to play SS. Suarez needs to sit for a while.

    – Garrett looks, to me, like there’s a mechanical issue. Maybe that’s something that’s found it’s way into his delivery or maybe there’s an injury. A 10 day stint on the IL makes a lot of sense for him.

  33. MBS

    Why are the announcers calling the runner on 2B in extra innings a “ghost runner”? Ghost runners were the imaginary base runner we used when we were kids and we didn’t have enough player to hit and run the basses. It’s becoming a pet peeve of mine.

  34. old-school

    Per Statcast, Garrett has thrown his slider 64% of the time and his 4 seam FB 36% of the time. He’s also abandoned his 2 seam FB/sinker from 2019 , designed to get ground balls and no longer throws a change-up.

    His 4 seam FB is in decline.

    AVG FB velocity:
    2021: 94.3 mph
    2020: 94.8 mph
    2019: 95.8 mph
    2018: 95.0 mph

    Perhaps Garrett’s problem is he is now a 2 pitch pitcher with a below average second pitch and no sinker or change up to induce weak contact or disrupt timing.

    Sit on the slider because its coming almost 2/3 of the time.

    • jim walker

      A problem I see is that a well placed slider most often has to be swung at to be a strike, i.e. it starts in the zone and moves out of it as the ball approaches and transits the plate.

      Locate a slider where it can get you a called strike and very often it is also going to be very hittable if is isn’t extremely quick and sharp with its break.

      Maybe this is why Garrett is alternately walking hitters and giving up HRs?

  35. Old Big Ed

    India is 6-for-his-last-46, with 15 strikeouts. He started off 10-21; the league got a report on him; and he is now overmatched.

    While there is no reason to give up on him, there is also no reason to keep playing a RH-hitting Senzel (CF), India (2B) and Suarez (SS) who are automatic outs. Castellanos is excellent; every other RH-hitting starter is useless. Blandino is producing, so play him.

    India looks to me like he needs a month or so in Louisville.