The Cincinnati Reds are going for the series sweep this afternoon as they take on Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers at 4:10pm ET to conclude their west coast trip.

Starting Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

Los Angeles Dodgers

Nick Senzel – CF Mookie Betts – CF
Jesse Winker – LF Gavin Lux – SS
Nick Castellanos – RF Justin Turner – 3B
Joey Votto – 1B Max Muncy – 1B
Eugenio Suárez – SS Chris Taylor – 2B
Mike Moustakas – 3B AJ Pollock – LF
Tyler Stephenson – C Luke Raley – RF
Kyle Farmer – 2B Austin Barnes – C
Sonny Gray – SP Clayton Kershaw – SP

Starting Pitchers

Sonny Gray

It’s only been two starts this season, but coming off of the back spasms, Sonny Gray’s velocity is down this year  by about a MPH on his fastball. In both of his starts he’s picked up six strikeouts, but he’s also struggled a little bit with keeping his pitch count low as he only recorded one out in the 5th inning of his first start, and then didn’t get out of the 4th inning in his last start against St. Louis.

Pitch usage from 2021

4-Seam 2-Seam Change Slider Curve
Velo 92.1 92.0 85.5 81.7 79.2
Usage 22.3% 22.3% 10.2% 16.6% 28.7%

Clayton Kershaw

The best pitcher of his generation, Clayton Kershaw is still out there dominating on the mound. He’s in his 14th season and only twice has his ERA in a season been higher than 3.00. One of those seasons was his rookie year when he was 20-years-old. The other year was in 2019 when it was 3.03. His ERA this year through five starts is 2.56, just a smidge higher than his career mark of 2.44. Kershaw rarely walks hitters, and he’s going

Pitch Usage in 2021

4-Seam Slider Curve
Velo 91.0 87.6 74.9
Usage 38.8% 45.1% 16.0%

When and Where

  • Game time: 4:10pm ET
  • Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
  • Watch: Bally Sports Ohio (formerly Fox Sports Ohio),, MLB Network
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 79°, Sunny, 0% chance of rain

News and Notes

Jesse Winker, Jesse Winker, Jesse Winker!

We wrote about how good Jesse Winker has been this season before the game on Tuesday. Then he went out and had another big night. Entering the game he’s hitting .397/.443/.740 – leading the National League in both hits and average. He’s second in the league in WAR (Fangraphs). Oh, and he’s also got a league best 12-game hitting streak.

Appreciating the Rowdy Reds

Chad Dotson penned (he probably just typed it, but who is to say?) a piece over at Cincinnati Magazine this week about the Cincinnati Reds being a team that’s fun to watch, how the team plays hard, and how they play with a chip on their shoulder. Go give it a read.

NL Central Standings

Playoff odds via Fangraphs

Team W L GB Playoff %
Brewers 14 9 0 64.8%
Cardinals 12 11 2.0 23.6%
Pirates 12 11 2.0 1.1%
Reds 11 12 3.0 19.7%
Cubs 10 13 4.0 12.7%

101 Responses

  1. jim walker

    Wonder what exactly is going on with India and whether he could be headed south (Louisville) when Shogo returns if they still feel they need 14 pitchers. Or might he be on (not quite official) concussion protocol after the beaning in StLouis.

    • LDS

      I suspect Bell is simply playing one of his favorites. Obviously, he thinks more highly of Farmer than some of the other players. Maybe it is an injury from being beaned. Who knows. It’s Bell.

      • RojoBenjy

        See Old School’s post below. You’re on the right track LDS

  2. Dennis

    Reds starting pitchers continue to struggle with high pitch counts! Why? Too many walks and falling behind in the count far too often. The end result is that all of the starters so far, with the exception of Mahle, struggle to last more than five (5) innings. That in turn puts extra pressure on the bullpen pitcher du jour! And please, Mr. Bell, stop the prolific use of double switches just because you can. Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand the need to substitute for defense but manage the game like your playing chess. Think more than one move ahead!

    • RojoBenjy

      Last outing for Mahle, there was an umpire problem. Same thing used to happen to Mike Leake.

      If the ump decided his strike zone was a postage stamp, Leake had a looooong day. I think it’s the same idea here

  3. Gonzo Reds

    This might have been posted in one of the feeds the last couple of days but just saw that Trevor Bauer is auctioning off his free Nick shoes he wore in support of the horrible decision to suspend Nick C (and not my least favorite player Molina):

    Also, the Dodgers were kind enough to wait until this series to give Commissioner Bauer his NL Cy Young award so that the Reds players could be there, class move.

    • Mark Moore

      I for one still like TB. And nobody can ever change the fact that his Cy Young came in a Reds uniform.

      • Tom Reeves

        I liked TB as well. He was a brain with a chip on his shoulder on the mound. And you can tell he loves to compete and he appreciates, in his own way, those that rise to compete with him.

        Wish he could have remained with the Reds but I understand why he couldn’t. He would have been a very special part of this 2021 Reds team.

      • Rowdy Red

        True. Bauer gives everything he has got on the mound and workouts between games he earned his Cy Young on a non hit or run support from Cincy. Why do we always let our best players go?

  4. Klugo

    Of just about anyone but Kershaw were pitching, I’d say Winker wouldn’t be getting many looks at balls to hit. If it were any of the divisional foes, he’d probably be getting beaned today.

    • Old-school

      He got hit in the head Sunday.
      Went 0-4 with 3 K Monday with an off day tomorrow.

      I m hoping its just an abundance of caution and take advantage of the off day.

      That said, Senzel and India need to play if they are healthy every day.
      Senzel was the #2 pick in 2016 overall. India was the #5 pick in 2018.
      These guys were college hitters of the year. They need to play.

      Dansby Swanson was the #1 overall pick the year before Senzel. He had a horrid sophomore slump with a wRC+ of 64 but the Braves kept believing in him. Swansby has over 2000 at bats and is their starting SS on a team that makes the playoffs every year. You don’t draft elite players and then platoon with them 28-31 yo role players.

      • Klugo

        Leave it to the Cards to scare the run out of our ROY candidate. The Cards are to our Reds what the Steelers are to our Bengals. Beloved and protected bullies. And I’m so sick and tired of it.

      • Indy Red Man

        For one thing Naquin is a #1 draft pick himself and he has a much higher career ops then Senzel. Secondly the best way to predict the future is to look at the past. Chances are that if Senzel got hot and had the best month of his life as a hitter then he’d trip over his dog while running with scissors and end up on the IL. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but Naquin has a chance to be pretty good vs rhp! Why not turn Senzel into another Mark DeRosa and let him play all over.

      • RojoBenjy

        We know who Naquin is. Still trying to learn who Senzel is, and India too

      • MBS

        @Rojo I agree with you on a lot of things, but not on Senzel. Naquin’s only problem has been Senzel’s only problem. Both talented players, good defenders, but neither can stay healthy. If there is someone to blame for this, it would be the front office for signing too many viable outfielders.

        Most people guess that Castellanos will opt out if he continues his good season. Next year I want as many good options as I can have. We’ll be losing 1 (Castellanos) OF, we have 3 more (Winker, Senzel, Naquin) who are injury risks. Then an aging Shogo, and another young unproven Aquino.

      • RojoBenjy

        Yeah Senzel starts 2 for 2 off Kershaw. He’s no good

      • RojoBenjy


        We posted at the same time and I didn’t see your reply. So my last one probably came off as jerky.

        Re: Senzel- from your comments I see that you are basing it on Senzel’s injury history, which I think is a fair enough thing to keep in mind. I would love for the guy to be a star but there’s always the chance for disappointment!

      • MBS

        I didn’t say Senzel wasn’t good, I said Naquin is good to. I really want Senzel to split time between CF, and 2B to get more playing time for our best hitters. India can move over to 3B when Moose needs a day off, and Moose can move to 1B when Votto needs a day off. The more games where Farmer, and Blandino are not used the better off the Reds will be.

      • MBS

        LOL that’s the problem with a message board that needs to be refreshed. The back and forth of baseball ideas is the fun part in message boards. I’ve changed opinions based off of different perspectives I’ve read on these boards.

      • RojoBenjy

        “I’ve changed opinions based off of different perspectives I’ve read on these boards.”

        I have also

  5. west larry

    Suarez is still batting fifth? IMO, he should be batting seventh, behind both Stevenson and Moustakas. Why is Suarez, if playing at all, batting in the fifth spot?

    • J

      Because at some point he is going to get a big RBI hit that helps the Reds win, and perhaps he’ll get hot for a while and his batting average will climb into the .200’s, and Bell will be able to say “see? I told you so. He just needed a manager who had faith in him. It’s a good thing I didn’t listen to all my critics.”

      • RojoBenjy


        LOL I think you’re right. In the meantime how many losses will it cost?

    • indydoug

      actually I would have sat him again which would have given him 3 days off to catch his breath. He’s been simply deplorable at the plate and in the field.

      • RojoBenjy

        I believe most of us would have sat him again also

  6. Old-school

    Charlie goldsmith at the enquirer just posted an article quoting Bell in which he said referring to India -sometimes young players need to take a few days off and work on things and he doesnt like that but he will most likely be back in there on monday

    So nothing injury related.

    • Chris Holbert

      What about veteran guys batting 130?

    • LDS

      Absurd, 4 more games off? India is 24. He’s had more time off than Suarez and Votto combined. And has hit better than either. Suarez doesn’t need more time to work things out? Bell is not the guy to have young players on his team. They don’t develop.

    • RojoBenjy

      I have seen enough of this Reds manager

    • Tom Reeves

      Maybe he’s working on learning to duck at the plate.

      Seriously, he might need some work to adjust to how he’s being pitched. Players aren’t forced to make a lot of mid-year adjustments in the minors compared to how they have to in the majors. It could be he’s working on that.

      It could also be he’s working on short stop. We’re not there so we don’t know.

      • RojoBenjy

        Ok Tom you have to be the voice of reason LOL

  7. JB

    Senzel needs to hit first every game. He will see better pitches and his speed will be an asset with Winker and Castellanos to drive him in.

  8. BK

    Who thought making the last out of the inning at 3B was a good idea? Not the way to show you deserve more playing time.

    • JB

      I like the aggressiveness but taking 3rd wasnt going to make a difference with 2 outs. Give Castellanos a chance to hit.

    • RojoBenjy

      Um—anyone thing DBell called for a hit and run there?

      • 2020ball

        Thats preposterous, criticize all you want but keep it in the realm of sanity

      • RojoBenjy


        So you’re telling me that Senzel has free reign to steal. Ok so say that.

        There’s a way to disagree without irritating folks

      • BK

        It almost has to be that Senzel being overly aggressive. Perhaps he saw something he thought he could take advantage of–LHP on the mound that is slow to the plate at times, RH hitter at the plate that somewhat obscures the catchers view/throwing lane.

        There was really no reason for a hit and run in that situation. These kind of miscalculations, regardless of who made the decision, rarely produce positive outcomes. Saw this a few times in spring training, too. Definitely needs to get corrected.

      • 2020ball

        That was more of an irritating tone than I meant, my apologies.

        But yeah, I think it was just bad baserunning. 1st and 3rd out at third etc.

  9. SoCalRedsFan

    Our staff has to lead the league in walks, right?

  10. JB

    Milwaukee lost. Hopefully Reds can win and pickup a game.

  11. Indy Red Man

    I think we’ve lost every time when the next day is an off day. I hate stewing on a loss. It would be nice if they could scratch it out again today. Gray is hitting 94 quite a bit. Thats a good sign!

  12. Old-school

    Sonny gray earns the walk
    Nick senzel gets another hit

    Those 2 at bats plus Winkers plate Discipline and quality at bat got Kershaw’s pitch count off a CG shutout trajectory.

  13. JB

    Nice inning for Gray except one bad pitch. Good guys need to score some runs.

  14. Melvin

    Gray looking good for the most part.

  15. JB

    10 strikeouts out of a possible 15 outs. Beast mode today for Gray.

    • RojoBenjy

      Super glad, especially because I’ve been holding my breath about his back.

      • 2020ball

        He looked a lot better than his last time out. Nice to see.

    • Amarillo

      Votto has been incredible defensively this year. Unfortunately, a lot of that comes from having a bunch of off target infield throws.

  16. JB

    Garrett has a clean inning. More of that would be great. Got hosed on 2 pitches by the ump.

    • 2020ball

      I like giving him clean innings for a while, holding a 2 run lead vs a tough lineup is still a high leverage situation IMO

  17. LDS

    Well, except for Senzel, no one is hitting today. But, at least Suarez hasn’t struck out yet today. That’s something I guess.

    • LDS

      Oh, and Garrett threw a scoreless inning.

  18. Hanawi

    Nice outing by Gray. Looks like he is coming back into form. Good to see Garrett with a clean inning. Reds are going to struggle with LHP all year and Kershaw’s still among the best. Maybe they can claw back into against the bullpen.

  19. Hanawi

    Ugh. That might do it. Two guys on for Winker and Castellanos and they both go down on strikes.

    • LDS

      Yep, Votto, Suarez, and Moustakas, once upon a time but probably not today. Senzel, Gray, and Garrett seem to be today’s high point. Though I’d bet Senzel doesn’t start next game.

  20. Daytonnati

    Big Sal vs. Turner might end badly.

  21. RojoBenjy

    Breakout game for Lil Senzi?

    Even though he got nailed, I like the aggressiveness he showed in the first.

    • RojoBenjy

      And in a way this game was akin to playing with house money.

      Not horrible like being trounced by the D-backs

    • DeadRed

      I really like him in the leadoff spot. At least against lefties.

  22. JB

    Well that does it. Big Sal isnt fooling anybody.

  23. Melvin

    I guess Casty couldn’t see that ball because if he could that should have been caught.

    • 2020ball

      Very tough play even without the sun, but yes a makeable catch for sure.

  24. 2020ball

    Really glad to see Senzel at 2B. I think they’ve been working him on the IF more, hopefully it continues.

    Gives them the flexibility to rest a struggling India or even send him down if needed.

    • DeadRed

      Yes, I love seeing him there too. Hopefully a regular thing this year.

  25. SoCalRedsFan

    Sal Romano, ladies and gentleman!

  26. DeadRed

    Well, I guess we’ve conceded this loss by leaving ol Sal in there.

    • Roger Garrett

      Sal is the guy when the game is over and it was so it makes sense he comes in to pitch and then Blandino to finish it.Got to love it.

  27. JB

    Dodger hitters running to the bat rack.

  28. Melvin

    Wow. That was a pretty bad throw from CF. LOL

  29. JB

    You think they will pull Romano at 75 pitches?

  30. LDS

    I notice Bell normally leaves Romano in longer than he typically does Sims regardless of the circumstances

  31. DeadRed

    What happens first: Blandino gives up a long ball, or hits a batter?

  32. 2020ball

    Not sure he threw a strike the whole time he was warming up lol

    could get interesting here

  33. TXRedLeg

    Blandino to the mound. Is there anything this guy can’t do?

  34. Daytonnati

    Blandino is throwing harder than Arroyo when he came back. 🙂

  35. Melvin

    When it comes to position players pitching Blandino is not that bad.

    • RojoBenjy

      His knuckle ball made MLB’s “Cut-4” in 2020 or 2019

  36. LDS

    Not exactly how you should mange an inning when your team is trailing by 2. Bell strikes again.

  37. Daytonnati

    It is like they’re satisfied with 2 out of 3 …

      • RojoBenjy

        What I mean is wasn’t this a chance to get a game back from the Arizona weirdness?

        I would have preferred that the manager give it a shot instead of mailing it in

  38. TR

    Four hits for Senzel and the Reds will leave LA with a series win.

    • RojoBenjy

      And that makes today’s loss tolerable. After the Arizona series Doug was asking us all to turn in our belts, neckties and shoelaces so we wouldn’t do anything rash. Not so much today

  39. Dennis

    A follow-up comment on an earlier post! Yes, the Dirty Birds (Cards) are a protected species, especially Neck-Tat (Molina). Plus, the Cards have become the Yankees of the NL. They just steal (buy) players from other teams in the hope of winning a championship! Truly sad because back in the day the Cards had on of the best farm systems.

    • Rowdy Red

      Back in the day the Reds had the best minor league farm team the Indianapolis Indians. Why they dished that alliance is beyond me.