To say that it was a rough April for Cincinnati Reds shortstop Eugenio Suárez would be an understatement. The infielder hit .130/.229/.304 with 40 strikeouts in 105 plate appearances. As the kids say: The struggle is real.

“When you are struggling, nothing is the same,” said Suárez on Sunday. “But I tried to be the same Geno Suárez that everybody knows. I do my best and everybody knows that, too. I got all of the support from my family and my teammates, even when I go 0-4 with 4 strikeouts I feel the support. I just focus on my work. I know that hard work pays off and today was an example of that.”

The tide turned on Sunday, at least for one day, for the Venezuelan slugger. In a big 3rd inning for the Reds, Eugenio Suárez capped off the 4-run inning with a solo home run that landed 426 feet away in the Cincinnati bullpen in center field. Two innings later he picked up a single, giving him two hits on the day and matching his season high for hits in a game. It was his first multi-hit game since April 10th. An inning later he’d pick up another single. Suárez finished the day with three hits and with that he raised his OPS by 62 points for the season.

“Personally I felt very good after I had a 3-hit game,” said Suárez after the game on Sunday. “It was a really good day for me today. Just concentrating and putting the ball in play more than I have been doing and today I got three hits and a big homer, so of course I feel happy. I hope it keeps going like that.”

Nick Castellanos? More like Nick Blastellanos

While Eugenio Suárez may have needed the kind of day he had on Sunday more than Nick Castellanos needed the day he had, the outfielder had the biggest day of anyone on the field on Sunday. Castellanos had five hits on the day, which on it’s own would be a fantastic day. But among those five hits were two home runs and a walk-off single.

When the game was over Nick Castellanos had scored four runs, driven in four runs, and raised his line on the season to .330/.366/.660 with six doubles, a triple, and nine home runs. The nine home runs are tied with Ronald Acuña Jr., J.D. Martinez, and Kris Bryant for the best in all of Major League Baseball. His OPS jumped up to 1.026, which puts him in the top five of the National League along with teammate Jesse Winker (3rd).

Home Run Derby day at Great American Ball Park

There were 10 home runs on Sunday afternoon between the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds. That tied a record for the ballpark. Cincinnati hit five home runs that went a combined 1914 feet. That didn’t match up with the five home runs hit by the Cubs that went 1996 feet.

What we learned this weekend

It’s never easy, is it? On Friday night the Reds won 8-6, but the Cubs scored two runs in the top of the 9th and left the bases loaded. On Saturday the Reds lost 3-2, but had runners on 1st and 3rd with no outs in the bottom of the 9th and came up short. Then on Sunday they had to go into extra-innings before winning in the 10th despite having a 3-run lead in the 6th and a 4-run lead in the 7th.

The bullpen continues to be an adventure. Lucas Sims ran into problems in the first game of the series and needed to be bailed out by Tejay Antone to record the final out of the game. On Sunday it was Antone who needed the help of his teammates after giving up four runs in the 8th inning. He had only allowed one run all season up to this point. After the weekend the bullpen has a 5.51 ERA on the year. The rotation has a 4.34 ERA.

This offense doesn’t quit, and they’re pretty good, too. The Reds lead the league with 43 home runs. They lead the league with 151 runs scored despite playing in fewer games than the other four teams in the top five. Their .780 OPS is 18 points better than the Boston Red Sox and 25 points better than the Los Angeles Dodgers, who rank 2nd and 3rd in baseball.

74 Responses

  1. Klugo

    It’s crazy how one injury can throw the off a group’s mojo. The pitching staff seems to still be searching for their equilibrium without Lorenzen in the mix.

    • Andy

      One injury, and the club’s decision that they liked money more than Raisel Iglesias and Archie Bradley.

      • RojoBenjy

        I don’t blame them for Iglesias. He’s a wild card and unreliable

      • AllTheHype

        Iglesias and Bradley both have a 6.00 ERA. If they were on the roster, not only would they have been worse than what we have, they would also have a guaranteed roster spot. So, Reds made the right decision there, just some fans want to complain about everything they do.

      • Andy

        fair comment. I didn’t check either of their stats before posting. Looks like Bradley has been on DL since 4/10, so he wouldn’t be helping much. Raisel does have a 6.00 ERA, but he also has 13K/1BB over 10 innings. Has given up 2HR. When I look at Reds pitching stats, the only player with fewer walks is Alex Blandino. Every other relief pitcher is walking batters at alarming rates. And that 6.0 ERA is better than that of Cam Bedrosian, Amir Garrett, Cionel Perez, Sal Romano, Lucas Sims, and Jose DeLeon- so even if we only look at ERA, he is not worse than what we have.

      • AllTheHype

        If you are looking for justification to retain two relievers who combine for $15M in salary and each have a 6.00 ERA, a low walk rate for one of them is not it.

      • Doc

        Neither of whom are setting the world on fire in 2021. Nor have Michael Lorenzen or Amir Garrett, both of whom were potential mainstays.

        On the flip side, Heath Hembree has shown some early success. Ryan Hendrix has shown some early success. Carson Fulmer has shown some early success. All these are FO moves.

        It was not the lack of spending for Iglesius and Bradley; it is the lack of performance, and/or presence, of quality pitchers who should have been dependable, and most inopportune meltdowns by some who have been dependable, like Antone and Sims.

      • 2020ball

        lol at people using SSS ERA numbers as justification for anything. If you dont think the Reds bullpen can use Raisel right now youre delusional at best. hes a “wildcard”, good lord…. and somehow guys like De Leon and Romano arent, or are we supposed to prefer predictable bad cards?

      • 2020ball

        but, i digress. What the Reds really need is a trade for a bullpen arm if they have any dreams of postseason ball this year. theyve done what they can with the scrapheap, and hopefully Lorenzen can come back strong.

      • Alex

        While bradley and iglesias aren’t doing great right now, to andys point, the reds got rid of them because of money. They could have spent 15m on two other proven relievers. Ownership made the conscious choice to sign small dollar minor league reclamation projects and we’re willing to live with whatever the result was. Same with SS for that matter.

      • AllTheHype

        Amazing to me that Reds management CORRECTLY assessed that two relievers were not worth $15M, cut ties with them, and fans still want those underperforming, ultra-expensive relievers back. Glad we don’t have those fans in the front office.

      • JB

        Iglesias gives up another 2 run bomb last night.

      • 2020ball

        Bradley I understood, Iglesias made no sense to me. We gave away a flawed reliever, but he was our best reliever. I’m not sure why we’re using the $15M number as an argument, seems cheap to me especially when it was just pocketed.

  2. Gonzo Reds

    Who would’ve thought that after last year’s good pitching and no hitting that this year it would be good hitting (with roughly the same players) and no pitching? Well, maybe it was expected, we couldn’t be that bad again with the bats considering the pedigrees of the players we assembled (and we don’t even have Shogo yet). And the falloff in pitching also could have been predicted considering we lost our anchor in Bauer and the front office’s complete meltdown with trading Iggy / dumping Bradley thus leaving us with no proven closer or set up man.

    On the bright side, Mahle/Miley have been better than expected and Gray/Castillo should improve. We’ve still got Lorenzen who will eventually return to the pen likely as we need him more there. But if we are within sniffing distance of a wild card we’ll have to add pen arms (AND SPEND MONEY TO DO IT!)

    • JayTheRed

      In the owner’s interview just before the season Castellani did say they held back money to do something later on if needed. I heard it with my own ears.

  3. Tomn

    That was a wild game yesterday. Didn’t think the Reds would hang on and win but they proved me wrong. And Garrett also is proving me wrong. Glad to see he seems to be getting his stuff together. I’d written him off days ago. Still not sure he will keep this up but finally one or two nice outings.

  4. Bred

    Bob C. refused to spend money on the pitching this spring and put together a pitching staff of mostly AAA/A arms. They may have moments of success, but over the Big 162 these guys are going to be what they are on the back of their baseball cards, that is if they have one. Now, they keep signing pitchers who can’t make it on other teams. FO/Bob C. They remind me of Marlon Brando in “On The Waterfront” when he said, “ You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it. It was you, Bob.”

    • AllTheHype

      If the Reds had last year’s version of Sims, Garrett, Lorenzen (who is injured), and Castillo, we be having a much different conversation about pitching.

    • Tom Reeves

      Do you think the Reds made a profit in 2020?

      Do you think Bob C is liquid enough to pump millions into the team if it’s not profitable?

      He’s the least wealthy owner in baseball and owns a team in one of the smallest markets.

      Of course, he could sell to a billionaire who has no connection to Cincinnati or the Reds who simply wants to flip it for a huge profit. That would be the simplest way for Bob C to go from having several hundred million in assets to well over a billion. But will only come in a liquidating event – meaning, a sale.

      I recommend being grateful that a team that lost money in 2020 is still playing well and is highly competitive in 2021.

  5. MK

    Tired of the new TV guy already. Not every hit is smoked or some other sensational attempt adjective. Or like the “blood soaked towel” which the tv shot showed had two spots about the size of a silver dollar. Hopefully he settles down and gets better. I do see improvements from Larkin.

    • Tomn

      I agree on both counts. When everything is smoked, nothing is smoked. A few games ago, I had to mute the audio. Too much chatter, too much over the top.

      Larkin’s good. They tend to chat too much – the two of them together.

    • JayDubz

      He really is trying too hard. The nicknames and stilted jokes. has been a godsend because I can overlay WLW onto BSOH.

      Also, while I’m on the topic, the name “Bally Sports” sucks, too.

      • Jimbo44CN

        What bothers me is that he sounds like he swallowed a statistics encyclopedia. I don’t really care what this hitter did against the Reds in 2016. He throws out so many obtuse statistics I think Larkin must be pulling his hair out. Just call the game. Cowboy is soooo much better.

      • Tom Reeves

        The Cowboy is, by far, the best Reds broadcaster. He’s the best analyst and he’s the best play by play person. It’s not even close. Tommy Thrall is pretty solid.

        Sedak is way too excited for baseball. It feels like he’s calling a football game and one of the reasons I don’t watch football is because of the broadcasters. Sedak could be good if he stayed out of the way of the game. Reds fans are smart. They know what’s going on in the game. They don’t need someone overhyping every event on the field.

        And Larkin is interesting. He’s not great but I think he can be.

    • BatsLeftThrowsRight

      Biased announcing gets really annoying at times. Call the game with less emotion and more clarity. The new guy just tries too much, silence is golden at times. How many times this year has this new guy acted surprised when a runner is on the move with two outs and a 3-2 count, rolls eyes.

      • Bob Adams

        He’s sooooo much better than Thom, who every game said wrong stuff or was just guessing. Sadek is a breath of fresh air.

    • RojoBenjy

      He could be better, but I’ve DEFINITELY heard worse for years on end. Finally glad to have that raspberry seed stuck in my molar removed for good.

      I’m so thankful that there seed decided to share on national TV his opinion of the different types of capitols there are

      • Doc

        Gameday, which is the way I follow games, is equally as bad. Seems as though 90% of the balls are sharply or hard hit. They also don’t seem to be able to identify a ball being hit to a position. ‘So and so doubles on a live drive to Jesse Winker” would be a typical example. I very much doubt that every double is a line drive to an outfielder, or every hit is a ball hit to a fielder, but Gameday never says a double was a line drive to left center. Only home runs get a place on the field rather than to a fielder.

    • Chris

      Yeah, I mean I guess he can be a little much sometimes, but I like him literally one billion times better than Thom. I think he probably just needs to settle in a little bit.

      And I love Barry Larkin. He is my favorite Red of all time with no close 2nd. But I would pay real money for a commentator who doesn’t assault my ears with an hour of bunt talk every game. Perhaps a post game show would be more appropriate: Bunt Talk With Barry Larkin. Is there any situation in baseball that a bunt won’t fix? Find out after the game!

      • JayTheRed

        I am with Chris. It’s nice having someone be excited to announce the Reds Game.. Plus he is prepared which I cannot say Thom EVER was. All Thom ever did was annoy me every broadcast. I guess we all have different opinions on what style you like.

        I like the new guy and I love having Larkin talk from a player prospective.

      • Westfester

        I think Sadak’s great. I believe it’s because he sounds like me, a nerdy forty-some year old who just loves baseball. He is way more comfortable discussing modern statistics with Chris that Thom ever was. I also get the feel he appreciates the fact he gets to call MLB games for a living, rather than he’s entitled to it because his daddy called baseball games and he is automatically great.

    • Westfester

      I think Sadak’s great. I believe it’s because he sounds like me, a nerdy forty-some year old who just loves baseball. He is way more comfortable discussing modern statistics with Chris that Thom ever was. I also get the feel he appreciates the fact he gets to call MLB games for a living, rather than he’s entitled to it because his daddy called baseball games and he is automatically great.

  6. Jim Walker

    I don’t understand the Reds pitch selection in the 8th inning Sunday. With a 4 run lead 6 outs from the win shouldn’t they have been featuring Tejay Antone’s 95+MH fastball as opposed to pitching like it was a close game?

    I get it that Antone also has not one but two plus quality breaking pitches; and, he often “pitches backward” leading with the breaking pitches and mixing in the fastball off of them.

    However with a 4 run lead that late in the game, they should have adjusted to the situation and gone heavily to the fastball. Instead, they led with the breaking pitches deep into the count on both guys who eventually walked (2-0/ 3-0).

    • RojoBenjy

      Not wrong. With a four run lead pitch to contact. Wonder why they weren’t?

      Inexperience? But Tucker should certainly know better

      • Jimbo44CN

        I agree and don’t understand that either. As Hawk Harrelson use to say, “and there’s the dreaded leadoff walk”. No need to nibble at that point. Just throw strikes.

    • SultanofSwaff

      To my eye Tucker simply falls in love with the pitcher’s best pitch. Repeating myself, but I’ve lost track of the number of times he calls for the same pitch 4 or more times consecutively…..can’t do that with major league hitters. Can’t wait for the day the playing time at catcher gets flipped. In my opinion Tucker is blocking a future all-star.

      • 2020ball

        meanwhile, tucker is playing like an allstar

      • Doc

        Johnson’s philosophy has been stated as featuring your best pitch. Also, Antone is just recently quoted as saying his goal is to strike everybody out. Contact is not in their vocabulary, and nibbling is how we end up walking guys from an 0-2 count. Make them hit it until they can’t. Averages say the pitcher wins that battle 75% of the time, give or take.


    Semi-totally unrelated topic. For the first time in my 54 years I haven’t been able to watch any Reds games on TV this season, thanks to the lack of streaming platforms carrying Bally Ohio. However, today a friend told me about something called Uzuu TV that allows you to get all games (no blackouts) for about $120/yr. Anyone familiar with this? Anyone tried it? Is it even legal?

    • Jim Walker

      I just Googled Uzuu and there seems to be a high level of concern about its legitimacy and whether it is essentially a bootlegger.


        Yikes! That’s too risky for my blood. Well, now I’m bummed again for STILL not being able to watch the Reds.

    • Doug Gray

      There is no way that it can be legal for them to stream it in the way that they do. I mean come on – no blackouts? Yeah, definitely not legal. I had someone jump into my mentions on twitter one day about it when I was talking about all of the streaming issues and this and that, and he talked another person in the thread into using it. That person said that yes, it worked as they said in terms of the blackouts and all of that, and when it worked the picture quality was good – but that often enough it just wouldn’t work.

      This is not legal advice: I doubt that you, the person buying it, would get in trouble for using the service. But I can’t believe that the service is still up and running because there’s no way it’s legal for them to offer no blackouts. If all it took was a $10 per month fee to avoid that then literally every service in this country would also be offering it. They aren’t and that’s for a reason.

      • Jim Walker

        Some of the links I saw were also expressing concern about what Uuzu might be doing with the payment information they collect from their customers.

        I guess essentially, a pirate is a pirate is a pirate was their concern.

    • 2020ball

      there are a number of sites you can use to stream games no subscription required. i wont mention any since i dont want to violate this site’s rules but they will come up on search engines. i suggest an adblocker for them.

    • JB

      Try it’s the only way I get New York Rangers games here in NY. They do have Bally ohio on there and I watch Reds games on it sometimes. Its 6.99 a week or 14.99 a month. I use paypal. Been using it for 3 years and it’s legit. I wont use anything if it isnt.

  8. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    Bullpen is very scary at this point. Hard to be a consistent winning team, when your pen keeps giving up tons of runs. They need to trade for a couple of arms in the pen. But that won’t happen until this team starts stringing some wins together and proves to management they are in it for long haul this year. These next nine games look like a 7-2 is possible, we shall see.

    • BatsLeftThrowsRight

      Oops I was looking past the Cleveland series. Having said that the Reds need to make hay over their next 12 games, eight or more wins would put this team in a more positive position. Two verse Whites Sox at home and three away against Cleveland missing Bieber, then three away with Bucs and four away with Rockies. Hoping the Reds see the opportunity for a “carpe diem” road trip.

  9. Rednat

    once Shogo and India come back Bell can really have some fun with the lineups. we could have a “speed line up” for games on the road in bigger parks
    1. Shogo- cf
    2. Castellanos- rf
    3. Winker 1b
    4. Moose/Suarez- 3b
    5. Senzel- 2b
    6. Naquin- lf
    7. India- ss
    8. Stephenson-c

    then we could have our standard “power ” line up for gabp games

    should be a fun year if everyone can stay healthy

    • Doc

      Winker and speed in the same sentence? Does not compute!

      It’s funny how all the couch GM’s keep putting players in positions which the word on the street is those players can’t play.

      • Indy Red Man

        Cubs announcers said WInker had good speed yesterday. You think professionals in the industry would know basic info on other teams?

      • Old-school

        Winker is faster than every reds infielder except for the second baseman du jour

        Hes faster than catcher barnhart
        Hes faster than 3b moustakis
        Hes faster than SS suarez
        Hes faster than 1b votto

        Its left field .

        We heard hes slow
        We heard hes got no power
        We heard he couldnt hit lefties
        We heard hes bad defensivelwe heard hes injury prone
        He platooned with Phil Ervin and Then the ultimate david Bell handedness fetish… Jose Peraza

        He was voted by MLB .com as the 4 th best outfielder in the NL in April behind Ronald Acuna Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos.

        The Reds have 2/4 best OF in baseball after a month. But, lets hammer away at Winkers speed.

      • VaRedsFan

        Old School is correct as usual. Winker is not a liability on defense. He makes most every play that is expected of him.
        He is not going to play 1st base. But you can continue to do it in your video games if you want

      • RojoBenjy

        Great post, Old School

        That Winker is pretty good this year. There was only that one play in LF at the wall where he was about 3 feet away from it, but I bet he lost that one in the lights/sun by the look of it. Most of RLN was demanding that Bell stop platooning him in 2019, and they are now justified. Not too many times that Bell has come away looking justified in his actions like that.

        The mighty Jose Peraza is keeping the Mets afloat. Phil Ervin is at the Braves’ alternate training site after having been DFA and clearing waivers

    • Rednat

      my point is that when we play in Kansas city for example, with a huge ball park. not many homeruns will be hit. Do we really need Moose, Votto and Suarez in the lineup at the same time? we need players that can score from second on a single and move from first to third on a single to have a chance to win. No, Winker is not a speed demon but I consider him an above average baserunner who has really improved his base running skills and speed over the offseason. I just think for the first time since 1999 probably this offense will have the ability to score runs in different ways

      • RojoBenjy

        I understand this point, but consider this also in your scenario–if no one is getting on base and/or hitting with RISP, what does scoring from second and going 1st to 3rd matter? I prefer to play the best hitters no matter what.

  10. MBS

    Bring up Gutierrez please. It’s time to DFA another arm that have no option. Big Sally I’m looking at you. I have a feeling Romano will accept his assignment, and no other team will try to pick him up. Then we’d have Gutierrez, Hendrix, and De Leon with options who can go back and forth if needed. Without seeing any stats its hard to guess how well the players have been doing at the Alternative site, but it’s time for Romano to go.

  11. Jimbo44CN

    Romano has proven to be no better or worse than the rest of them. We bring in Antone and he gives up four. I think whoever throws strikes should be out there. Walks kill.

    • Indy Red Man

      Well Antone has potential to be a good pitcher. Sal? No…not now…not before and not in the future. That being said the Reds are far from the only team with innings fillers. Vince Velasquez is still with Philly. He’s never been good.

      Milwaukee 11-6 with Yelich out and 14-2 when they score 4+ runs. Thats pretty scary for the rest of the division imo. I don’t see how the Reds can compete unless the pitching takes a 180 somehow. Of course I’m not giving either Hoffman or Miley credit for being sub 4 era pitchers. Lets see where they are in June?

      • Doc

        Do we also get to see where Milwaukee is in June?

      • Tomn

        I think Antone already IS a good pitcher. He showed it last year and this year, with a hiccup on Sunday. He obviously wasn’t at his best on Sunday. He’s got nasty stuff with outstanding speed.

        Sims recently looks like he’s been pitching afraid of the hitters instead of attacking but we all know he’s better than that.

    • TR

      Especially when the opposition’s first man up in the inning is walked.

  12. Doc

    Anybody notice that one F. Lindor, the SS that was the answer to all the Reds problems, entered the night hitting .171, with a pitiful OBP and OPS? Makes Suarez look like a shrewd move and a bargain!

    • VaRedsFan

      Lindor was never really on the Reds radar, nor should he have been. He was on the last year of his contract. It would have made sense to acquire him 2 years ago however. With that being said, Didi hasn’t been good either. Simien has good numbers though.

    • MBS

      It’s always a bit of a craps shoot when it comes to FA, or trades. You can really on base it on projections. It’s much better if you can develop your own talent. That’s been where the Reds have been lacking for some time now.

      • TR

        A good point. The Reds have had a highly regarded farm system in the not too distant pass, and that goal should be front and center now, but it will take ownership’s willingness to spend money to do that.

  13. Rednat

    my point is that when we play in Kansas city for example, with a huge ball park. not many homeruns will be hit. Do we really need Moose, Votto and Suarez in the lineup at the same time? we need players that can score from second on a single and move from first to third on a single to have a chance to win. No, Winker is not a speed demon but I consider him an above average baserunner who has really improved his base running skills and speed over the offseason. I just think for the first time since 1999 probably this offense will have the ability to score runs in different ways

  14. Ponyboy

    Loyal followers of RN one and all, RELAX. We’re only ONE month in out of 6. LOTS of ball to play. Just win series.

  15. Roger Garrett

    Bull pen pieces can and will have their ups and downs.Biggest need right now for ours is to throw strikes.Sunday’s game with Baez getting a fastball to hit and Happ seeing 3 straight off speed pitches I hope is just one of those days because both were just dumb

    • Jimbo44CN

      Dreaded lead off walk late in the game. Always comes back to bite you in the you know what.

      • Doug Gray

        In the neck. And turns you into a vampire.

  16. Jimbo44CN

    Well I wasn’t thinking of neck but ok.