Chicago in Cincinnati week resumes tonight with the south side White Sox meeting the Reds at GABP. Game time is 6:40pm. The Reds (13-14) are 4-6 in their last 10 games. The better news is they’ve won consecutive series by posting those 4 wins in their most recent 6 games. The Sox (15-12) are 7-3 over their last 10 games and have also taken their last two series by defeating both Detroit and Cleveland in 4 of their last six games. The Sox may be reeling tonight from the news which broke Monday that their young star centerfielder Luis Robert will be out (at least) 12-16 weeks with a hip flexor tear suffered on Sunday.

Starting Pitchers

Right hander Jeff Hoffman makes the start for the Reds night. He will be opposed by Dylan Cease who is also right hander.

PITCHER ERA FIP WHIP HR/9 BB% K%
Jeff Hoffman 3.33 4.63 1.36 1.11 11.8% 18.6%
Dylan Cease 2.96 3.28 1.36 0.74 11.7% 28.2

Remember 5 weeks ago when Reds fans thought Jeff Hoffman was just keeping a rotation seat warm for the likes of Sonny Gray, Wade Miley or Michael Lorenzen? Thankfully the former 2 are now safely ensconced in the Reds rotation; but, Lorenzen has found his way to the 60 day IL leaving Hoffman in the rotation for the foreseeable future. Through 5 starts Hoffman’s been no worse than a league average starter and perhaps better depending where a person stands in the ERA (3.33 for Hoffman) vs. FIP (4.63) debate. The biggest knocks on Hoffman’s performance to date are his low K/BB ratio of 1.58 and his BB/9 rate 4.4.

 

At age 25 Dylan Cease is making the 6th start of what he hopes will be his full second season in the White Sox rotation after breaking into it in July of 2019. However due to the pandemic situation this will be just his 34th ever MLB appearance, all of them as a starter. Cease sports the very same 4.4 BB/9 rate as Reds starter Hoffman but has done a better job of offsetting the walks with strikeouts, compiling a 2.42 K/BB ratio with an elite 28.2% K rate. Cease’s ERA/FIP comparison is 2.96/3.28, a tight range suggesting to date his results have been somewhat luck neutral.

BullPens

Both teams had Monday off and should have pens ready to go for tonight.

Starting Lineups

WHITE SOX REDS
1. Tim Anderson (SS)
2. Nick Madrigal (2B)
3. Yoan Moncada (3B)
4. Jose Abreu (1B)
5. Adam Eaton (RF)
6. Andrew Vaughn (LF)
7. Yasmani Grandal (C)
8. Leury Garcia (CF)
9. Dylan Cease (P)
1. Jesse Winker (LF)
2. Nick Castellanos (RF)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Mike Moustakas (3B)
5. Eugenio Suárez (SS)
6. Tyler Naquin (CF)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Jonathan India (2B)
9. Jeff Hoffman (P)

I’ll be the first to admit, I had forgotten where Yasmani Grandal signed. On the Reds side, these next few  days may be very telling in terms Jonathan India’s short term future. Shogo Akiyama is expected back with the Reds very soon. If the team persists in keeping 9 relievers, India could be the man on the bubble to go to AAA Louisville what with the minor league season now underway to provide an every day playing assignment for India.

News and Notes

Nick Senzel scratched from the lineup

Nick Senzel was a late scratch from the starting lineup with a sore left shoulder. He was replaced in center by Tyler Naquin who also was slotted into the same #6 spot in the lineup.

No Luis Robert

It look like a short time former Reds player may figure in how White Sox try to cover the huge loss of Luis Robert

It’s minor league baseball season, officially

We mentioned above the  opening of the minor league season. Doug Gray and RLN’s companion site, Reds Minor Leagues, have all that action covered too

Reds Talk

Just a week from now the Reds will be at the 20% point of the 2021 season. What do you think of their performance so far? From where I sit, the Reds bottom line is in a range I expected. However they have looked good enough at times to leave me frustrated that their record isn’t better.

Why is the Reds bullpen struggling so mightily? Could it be the problem is more about their approach than the physical stuff they throw? I’m leaning in that direction. I don’t understand why guys like Sims, Antone and Garrett come in and lead with breaking stuff versus spotting their very good fastballs then working their breaking pitches off of them.

But actually I have a nagging bigger worry than the pen. With Michael Lorenzen out of the picture, what would the Reds do if one of the 5 current rotation starters went down? There certainly doesn’t seem to be much if any nearly ready depth in the farm system. Moving Tejay Antone to the rotation would make a sorry bullpen even worse; and, just maybe, as it appears with Lorenzen, his body is more attuned to 2 or 3 inning relief stints than starting anyway.

Here’s hoping the Reds get the win tonight to get back to .500. GO REDS!


Data Courtesy of Baseball Reference and Fangraphs

WHERE: GABP Cincinnati, OH
WEATHER:  67 degrees/ chance of early thunder storm
GAME TIME 6:40pm EDT

WATCH ON: Bally Sports Ohio, MLB.tv

Listen ON: 700 WLW AM

108 Responses

  1. Klugo

    Lorenzen is definitely a reliever when he comes back now, imo, if all things are equal then. Try again next year.

    Reply
    • Jim Walker

      Next year for Lorenzen is a huge question mark, especially if he cannot come back work effectively out of the pen for a couple of months in 2021 because he is free agent eligible at the end of this year.

      Depending how his recovery and rehab go, I do not think is all that crazy to believe he could be in some team’s camp next spring looking to make a team as a 4th outfielder/ DH.

      Reply
      • Klugo

        Interesting. I didn’t realize he was already a FA.

      • RojoBenjy

        Then the Reds will realize their egregious error of not making him their heir to CF from day one

      • CI3J

        I really don’t think Lorenzen will hit enough to be an everyday outfielder. He hits well for a pitcher, but part of that is because the other teams do minimal scouting on him as a hitter, because let’s face it, who is going to scout a relief pitcher as a hitter??

        If Lorenzen becomes an everyday player, they will figure him out quickly. For his sake, I really hope he sticks to being a reliever. I know starters are more valuable, but not everyone can do it, for whatever reason. Lorenzen was successful as a reliever, and his body seems to break down quickly whenever he tries to get “stretched out” to start.

        Stick with what works. We don’t need another Danny Graves type experiment here.

      • TR

        A lot of discussion over the years as to where Lorenzen would fit in. The guy seems to have the ability to hit and certainly a strong enough arm for centerfield. He was never given a real chance to play that position.

      • RojoBenjy

        CI3J

        While i think that today your comment is valid, my thoughts are back in the past, wondering what could have been if Lorenzen had been allowed to work his tail off as a hitter and an CF.

        Adam Eaton? Trea Turner?

  2. Rednat

    i agree with your last statements Jim. way too many off speed pitches by this staff. i know the philosophy is to lead with your best pitch. But if you make a mistake with a 99 mph fast ball you still may get an out. if you make a mistake with a curve ball or change up the ball will for sure find the stands. I wonder too, how much not having Bauer as the leader of the pitching staff is affecting the rest of the staff?

    Reply
    • Jim Walker

      Exactly on what which mistakes are more likely to hurt a pitcher. And the biggest mistake in many games isn’t even giving up a home run or extra base alley shot. It is trying to be too fine and do too much and walking guys.

      Another issue I see with the Reds pen and also at times their starters is that they simply don’t seem to know how to finish plate appearances. How many times do we see 1-2 and even 0-2 counts go full?

      Reply
      • Doc

        AMEN, brother. That’s how pitch counts get into the 90s by the fifth, and I’m not talking Jack Daniels!

  3. RedsFaninPitt

    Vlad Gutierrez and Tony Santillan would be fairly obvious options for bullpen (if Antone is moved to starting rotation) or for the rotation if they keep Antone in the bullpen.

    Reply
    • Jim Walker

      If the bad situation happens let’s hope one of these two is ready to step into the lurch as opposed to Tim Adleman who the Reds recently signed to a minor league deal and will open the season at AAA Louisville.

      Reply
      • Redsfan4life

        I think they should look into Shane Greene still a free agent. Maybe they are.

  4. Old-school

    Jason stark has a great article up at the Athletic basically stating April was a historic month for offense-worse than 1968 and its not the baseball.

    Strikeouts up more
    Singles and doubles all time lows

    Reds may have a chance if they can crush offense as they are doing at home and find a way to grind out some series wins on the road against bad teams. Pittsburgh and Colorado coming up

    Its gotta start with SP and Derek Johnson needs to earn his money this year with the bullpen

    Go Reds

    Reply
  5. Rex

    You said you had forgotten where Yasmani Grandal signed

    I was surprised to see they have Liam Hendriks as their closer

    Reply
  6. Redsfan4life

    Senzel has been scratched. Naquin in. Shoulder soreness,

    Reply
  7. jazzmanbbfan

    Personally I think it is too early to be speculating that Tejay Antone is more suited to the bullpen than starting. He needs the opportunity, whether this year or next, to show what he can do as a starter.

    Reply
    • Doc

      He was a starter in minors without his body type being an issue. I agree with you.

      Reply
    • Redsfan4life

      I agree. But it is going to have to be next year. They have to have better relievers in order to move him to the rotation. Now if for some reason they get buried in the standing in Aug. Then I say let him start. I don’t think any team if going to run away this season though.

      Reply
  8. Roger Garrett

    I understand the thoughts regarding India.India set some.Bell said he needed to work on some things as young players sometimes do I recall were his comments and that alone kind of set the table.He was out after being hit in the head also so you know he will be sent down.Even Bell won’t set Wink or Big Nick so we now have 3 outfielders for 1 spot but wait Senzel can play the infield some.Thats the guy that was blocked in the infield in 2019 so they made him an outfielder.If Senzel or India can’t play every day in the big leagues at age 25 and 24 while they watch guys in their 30’s play ahead of them then send them both down.For some reason or other Shogo(32) and Naquin(30) along with Farmer are better it appears so let them play.

    Reply
  9. RojoBenjy

    Ok- Garrett just got 7 game suspension

    Guess how many games Baez was suspended?

    MLB is backwards and illogical

    Reply
    • RojoBenjy

      If Báez stays on his side of the rail, there is no incident.

      How did Garrett incite it?

      MLB is officially broken

      Reply
      • Matt WI

        Dang it, mistyped in my first response, got sent to moderation. What deserves more thought in that both cases it has been someone other than the guy being taunted that responded… so that really is weak sauce. Suspend Baez for 3 for equally being out of line.

      • Doc

        Garrett is a repeat offender. Perhaps his sentence should be stiffer since he apparently didn’t learn his lesson last brawl he started.

    • Doc

      Not giving Bell the option to use him could be a plus! You can’t have too many 10+ era relievers.

      Reply
      • 2020ball

        Well he sure ain’t gonna be a 10- reliever if ya dont pitch him is ‘e

    • Larry

      I think a two day suspension would have been fair, Garret needs anger management.

      Reply
    • 2020ball

      lol, good lord. He was suspended 8 games for charging a dugout, and now its 7 when he stayed on the pitcher’s mound. MLB is just doing a “He started it!” thing right now with the Reds I’m assuming using the pandemic as reasoning. What an awful precedent.

      Reply
    • MBS

      There are so many words I want to use, but I realize I can’t here. Baseball has essentially neutered the Reds.

      Reply
  10. Sliotar

    @2020ball

    The Reds themselves are setting “awful precedents” …

    -Castellanos taunting an opponent on the ground
    -Sims … showing up an umpire by throwing balls away in the rain
    -Garrett … multiple points on/off field where he comes across as immature

    Folks here already commenting on Sims getting squeezed lately. That might go on for a while.

    It would be nice if a Castellini, or Krall or Bell would come out and say, “We get it. We need to clean up our act.”

    It would likely wash away some of the on-going punishments.

    I won’t hold my breath waiting for this organization to acknowledge its faults.

    Reply
    • Matt WI

      Well reasoned. Reds are not blameless. Many would oddly point to such behavior as “caring more” which kills me. But I would like to see some equity on the other teams. They have choices they made too that made it worse.

      Reply
    • Matt WI

      Although I hold Sims blameless and out of that grouping. That was sheer lunacy that they were out there. Bring me the robot umps if they are so hurt that they collectively will punish him in solidarity.

      Reply
      • RojoBenjy

        Sims did nothing wrong

        Castellanos just didn’t wait to celebrate until the stupid pitcher was out of his face

        Garrett was being a dummy—he deserves something. But to give NOTHING to fingers Báez is as blatantly biased as giving nothing to St Yadier when he bumped the ump and grabbed Nick’s neck from behind

        MLB hate the Reds? What gives?

      • 2020ball

        If the Reds show any emotion on the field, the other team just has to clear their benches and they can get the Reds players suspended.

    • 2020ball

      mmm, I dunno. If Sims is getting pinched because of the ump not doing his job then they’re a pettier group than I thought. Its their job to call the game correctly no matter what. Im sure theres a delay of game thing they could’ve used there if they thought they were being “disrespected”.

      The NC thing and AG yelling on the mound dont bother me, I think the game needs more of that kinda stuff anyway. Really sick of the old ways and unwritten rules. Clearly the MLB doesnt agree and will use the pandemic as a scapegoat to suspend players who show too much emotion as long as the other team thinks its “disrespectful” and retaliates.

      Reply
    • Jon

      Castellanos and Garrett were showing emotion, something MLB allegedly wants more of. As for Sims, he can’t pitch baseballs that are soaking wet. It was absurd that that game was still being played at that point.

      It’s comical that MLB suspended Castellanos and now Garrett. When suspending Castellanos, Covid protocols were mentioned as an issue, seeing as how all the players gathered on the field. Yet Covid protocols are constantly being ignored by every team, including the Reds. Just look at how they celebrate on the field after wins, sitting in the dugout, etc.

      Reply
      • Matt WI

        The issue is that they were doing it directly at an opponent. It’s not that hard to save it for your team. NBA and NFL have penalties for the same behavior, it just feels different to suspend b/c there aren’t other penalties besides fines… which they must assume is not a strong deterrent

  11. MBS

    I’d say the next time the Reds play the Cubs, or Cardinals for that matter, it might get physical. This team has got to be frustrated. The Reds will definitely be throwing inside a bit.

    Reply
    • RojoBenjy

      MLB has made it clear that retaliation is ok. It’s “instigating” that gets punished.

      Except I bet if the Reds retaliate they would be punished because they aren’t a protected franchise

      So disenchanted with MLB

      Reply
      • MBS

        Laugh if you want, but it all started with mandatory bike helmets. It’s really not baseball, but society in general. We have demonized masculinity referring to it as “toxic”. We went from “sticks and stones” to “safe places”. Maybe it’s better for society, I don’t know.

      • LDS

        MBS, you’re right. It’s not better for society. Everyone is offended daily by some triviality. These are grown up men playing a game, in most cases for more money yearly than most of us will make in a lifetime. If they feel disrespected, who gives a rat’s rear end. The current commissioner is bad for the game. It’s the fans that are being disrespected. We pay the salaries, in some cases directly. It’s time for sports to get away from the SJW/BLM mindset and get back to providing entertainment. Otherwise, they will slay the golden goose as the NBA is well on the way to doing.

  12. VaRedsFan

    Hoffman’s breaking ball is very sharp tonight. Abreu hit a fastball on the inner edge for the HR. Not the worst location, just a good job of hitting.

    Reply
  13. Redsfan4life

    Hoffman will probably end up with a ERA over 6 by seasons end. Sadly.

    Reply
  14. Mark Moore

    Getting ugly fast tonight. May just have to Clete, if only for a little bit.

    Reply
    • Redsfan4life

      It was just a matter of time till he got hammered.

      Reply
  15. Sliotar

    Hoffman may not get an at-bat tonight.

    With off-day Thursday … and Sonny Gray going Wednesday …. pinch-hit early, work bullpen and try and get back into this.

    Cease is a young pitcher … maybe some base traffic in GABP will get to him.

    Reply
    • VaRedsFan

      DeLeon will have to step up. He’s been good for 1 inning, but beyond that, he starts leaking oil

      Reply
    • Roger Garrett

      Maybe but 3 punch outs of the first 4 hitters is a good start.

      Reply
  16. Roger Garrett

    First pitch swinging after 4 straight bad ones to Suarez.Got to love our patience.Hack and Hack some more.

    Reply
  17. Roger Garrett

    Maybe Tuck should have hacked but instead takes strike 3.Reds still enjoying their off day it appears.

    Reply
    • Indy Red Man

      Well the guy is throwing 97 so its hard to look offspeed. Thats why I’m a velocity junkie.

      Hoffman looked decent early, but the Dodgers and White Sox can hit. He’s a swingman at best I think. I think his career road era was 4.66 and thats about the best we’re gonna get from him.

      Reply
  18. RedAlert

    Hoffman stinking it up – dude pitches from behind WAY TOO MUCH !

    Reply
    • Indy Red Man

      They could’ve skipped Hoffman and went with Gray who’s had 5 days rest, but they keep running everyone out there instead of trying to give their top guys more work to stay sharp. Now Gray will have 6 days off and could be rusty tomorrow?

      Reply
      • Doug Gray

        I think this kind of thing is a part of the Reds plan to try and do all that they can to keep guys healthy all season long.

      • Redsfan4life

        That would have been nice to skip DeLeon but with 60 games last year they can’t rack up a bunch of innings on the pitchers.
        They should have got a better option than Hoffman from the start. Lost Disco as well as Bauer. Can’t expect to replace them with a guy like Hoffman.

      • Redsfan4life

        And that is not a knock on Hoffman. He has pitched better than expected. He would be best suited as a long man or AAA depth.

      • Indy Red Man

        I get what you’re saying, but they’d had a ton of days off. Less Sonny and more of fillers like Hoffman mean you’ll most likely be buried by August so whatever you do won’t matter

      • Doug Gray

        It’ll matter in August if you are the only team with a pitching staff still standing.

  19. Roger Garrett

    Right guy up there.Lets see if Big Nick can do it and keep the line moving.

    Reply
  20. Indy Red Man

    DeLeon sucks. Can someone explain to me why he was 94-95 in Arizona on his first start and 89-91 tonight? He’s worse then Sal. Its time to go. Where’s the big guy Kuhnel? He’s better then these scrubs.

    Reply
    • Dennis Westrick

      I agree 100%. Time to DFA him and try one of the other young pitchers recently added to the roster!

      Reply
  21. JB

    That might be enough for tonight unless the Reds hitters can figure out Cease.

    Reply
  22. Redsfan4life

    Terrible footwork by India. He always seems to have trouble with it.

    Reply
      • LDS

        It’s the Bell way. Then too, the Reds just haven’t looked particularly good since the first week. Like 2017, the Reds opened 7-2 and finished 68-94. I hope history isn’t repeating itself.

      • Dennis Westrick

        Big Sal will bring the gas! Unfortunately he will be pouring it on the fire!

    • VaRedsFan

      They just don’t have that middle guy that can hold them where they are at to allow a comeback

      Reply
  23. Dennis Westrick

    Reds pitcher never learn! Hoffman walks a batter after giving up the home run and then getting two (2) outs. Walks extend the inning, increase the almighty pitch count and often lead to multi-run innings. Please get ahead in the count by throwing strikes and have some faith in the defense behind you! So far no hits against a young pitcher and now down 6-0. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow!

    Reply
    • Frankie Tomatoes

      Walks do not happen because someone wants them to happen. They happen because of mechanical issues. No one is out there attempting to fall behind hitters and walk them.

      Reply
  24. Dennis Westrick

    At least the Fightin’ Phils are pounding the Brew Crew!

    Reply
  25. RojoBenjy

    No chance given to their team by the pitchers tonight.

    Reply
  26. Indy Red Man

    Well I bet Over 8.5 so atleast Sal = pay day tonight!

    Reply
  27. Indy Red Man

    Hmmmm Mesoraco or Grandal? Of course the Reds chose Mesoraco. Of course Grandal will probably have to play another 3 years to catch up with Devin’s career “earnings”

    Reply
    • BatsLeftThrowsRight

      Larkin or Stillwell ?

      Gregorious or Cozart?

      One out of three ain’t bad. 🙂

      Reply
  28. Jon

    Deleon and Romano have to go…ugh…tired of them coming into games.

    Reply
    • Doc

      Probably need to add Hoffman to your list.

      Barnhart’s early showing makes one wonder how the Billy Hamilton era would have been different had the Reds not insisted on making him a switch hitter.

      Reply
  29. Sliotar

    The AL starting pitcher tonight is 3-3 at the plate … that sums up how it is all going.

    Reply
  30. Roger Garrett

    Never thought this team wouldn’t show up after such a big win Sunday and an off day yesterday.Hard to figure that their pitcher is beating us all by himself.

    Reply
    • Indy Red Man

      Hoffman isn’t that good and Cease is pretty talented. It happens. The problem is Bell really can’t count on anyone out of the pen and doesn’t seem to have a feel for who to use anyway. Of course the DeLeon/Romano daily double is going to put the game out of reach. Romano is supposed to have a sinker, but their guys are hitting fastballs the other way at the letters? Go call Detroit and get Jose Urena and he’ll show them how to throw some power sinkers.

      Reply
      • Dennis Westrick

        Romano is incapable of a relief appearance without giving up at least one (1) run!

  31. Roger Garrett

    A couple of years ago I heard a well know college coach comment on losing in regards to his team.He said they play so much travel ball that there is always a game the next day so losing doesn’t effect them as it should.I just wonder after this beat down tonight what effect it has on pros that have 130 or so left to play.Go get em tomorrow I guess.

    Reply
  32. Roger Garrett

    Bell gives up and so do the hitters.Three more strikeouts in the 5th.Two looking in a 8-0 game.Guys are already in the parking lot so it s time for me to go also.

    Reply
    • Redsfan4life

      How did Bell give up? What is he supposed to do? He needs better relievers. When he went down 4-0 early he can’t bring in his better relievers. It was up to DeLeon to hold it at 4 or 5-0. The bats are doing nothing. I mean I don’t know what Bell is supposed to do. He needs better pitchers.

      Reply
      • LDS

        Maybe he needs to use the pitchers he has differently. The team, IMO, is underperforming, both pitchers and hitters. In such cases, I see a management problem, e.g. keep playing Suarez until he “works it out”. How is that working out, beyond his one good game this year?

  33. LDS

    Castellanos out in favor of Blandino? Injury? Or Bell giving up? Trailing 8-0, yeah you’re probably going to lose. But giving up is absolutely never acceptable.

    Reply
  34. Dennis Westrick

    I can now go to bed and sleep well knowing that it will not be a No-Hitter thrown by a journeyman pitcher! One (1) hit! Woo! Hoo!

    Reply
      • Dennis Westrick

        Well, he sure as hell is not Cy Young or Trevor Bauer! Look at his stats prior to this season! I stand by my comment Sir!

  35. RedAlert

    Hey Blandino, pigeons are gonna start landing on you – all I ever see this guy do is strike out taking pitches ! SWING THE BAT DUDE , SWING THE BAT !!!!!

    Reply
  36. Old-school

    Just not competitive on every level.
    White Sox are down 2 elite young players and Reds dont show up to compete .

    3rd place teams below .500 cant not show up at home after an off day

    Bell has had enough time and digging deep holes in year 3 after a month with more talent than 2015-2018 is what it is.

    At some point david Bell becomes the problem that needs to be replaced

    I would say 10 game road trip against Cleveland and 2 bad teams is final straw for Bell . If Reds go 3-7 or 4-6 on that trip he needs to be fired

    Reply
    • Jon

      But you know Castellini won’t do that…David’s last name is “Bell” after all…

      Reply
    • BatsLeftThrowsRight

      As constructed right now, if everything goes right the Reds are an 82 win team at best, if everything goes wrong and craters, this team could bottom out at around 65 wins. They are a mediocre team at best. You can’t be a playoff team without a reliable number one starter or a legitimate closer in the bullpen. The Reds have neither.

      As for the big positive so far this year, the offense, the team is a bully against mediocre pitching and on the flip side becomes lifeless against any pitcher who has remotely good stuff. The team is streaky, its offense doesn’t manufacture runs with any consistency.

      Considering Suerez poor hitting, they are lucky to be only two games under .500 at this point. Like you say, time to make hay on the road trip. I don’t think changing managers at this point results in any more wins in the long run. The Reds are what they are at this point, a mediocre team in search of wins.

      Not signing Bauer or anybody else of quality in the off-season has hurt them tremendously. The Votto contract continues to be a huge financial burden. This team, the Reds, the team I love to root for, are a team not constructed right now to be in the playoffs.

      Maybe the two young pitching studs in Chattanooga can change things around next year? Maybe Shogo to center and Senzel to second can bring more consistent offense in the short run?

      Reply
  37. Sliotar

    Congrats to Indy Red Man for hitting the 8.5 over on total runs.

    At least something good came out of this for RLN.

    What a beat down.

    Reply

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