The Cincinnati Reds are in Cleveland for game two of the northern leg of the battle for The Ohio Cup. Good luck trying to make it as fun as game one, fellas. New day, new lineup – Jonathan India is back at second base and Luis Castillo is looking to one up Wade Miley’s performance from last night.

Starting Lineups



Nick Senzel – CF Cesar Hernandez – 2B
Jesse Winker – DH Amed Rosario – CF
Nick Castellanos – RF Jose Ramirez – 3B
Mike Moustakas – 1B Eddie Rosario – LF
Eugenio Suarez – 3B Franmil Reyes – DH
Tyler Naquin – LF Josh Naylor – RF
Tyler Stephenson – C Jake Bauers – 1B
Kyle Farmer – SS Austin Hedges – C
Jonathan India – 2B Andres Gimenez – SS

Starting Pitchers

Luis Castillo

Outside of Opening Day, Luis Castillo has been solid, but unspectacular, posting a 4.10 ERA with six walks and 24 strikeouts in 26.1 innings in the five starts since his first of the season. His ERA is still feeling that Opening Day start, though, and sits at 6.07 on the season.

Castillo has been torched by left-handed hitting so far this season to the tune of .368/.419/.559. That’s come with a BABIP against of .431 so far, which shouldn’t continue, but so far this year it has happened and it’s been tough. Righties are hitting .278/.328/.463 against him.

Pitch usage from 2021

4-Seam 2-Seam Change Slider
Velo 96.1 95.8 86.7 84.5
Usage 27.1% 19.2% 39.4% 14.2%

Aaron Civale

If you look at the pitch usage below you can see that the only pitch Aaron Civale doesn’t throw is the ole “kitchen sink”. He’s a soft tosser by today’s standards, working in the low 90’s with his fastball. Civale doesn’t miss bats, but he doesn’t walk anyone either. This season he’s been a ground ball pitcher, but in 2019 and 2020 he made 22 combined starts and was about league average when it comes to grounders.

In his six starts this season he’s gone 4-0 with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. He’s been successful against both lefties and righties. Lefties have a .627 OPS against him on the season, while righties have a .652 OPS against him on the year. When it comes to his home and road splits there’s been better performance at home, where he has a 3.05 ERA, four walks, and 16 strikeouts in 20.2 innings.

Pitch Usage in 2021

4-Seam 2-Seam Cutter Curve Split Slider
Velo 91.3 91.5 87.5 76.9 85.0 83.0
Usage 24.7% 8.6% 19.8% 16.8% 16.1% 14.2%

When and Where

  • Game time: 6:10pm ET
  • Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland
  • Watch: Bally Sports Ohio (formerly Fox Sports Ohio),
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 50°, sunny, 0% chance of rain

News and Notes

Wade Miley had to earn his spot

Charlie Goldsmith wrote about Wade Miley’s no-hitter over at The Cincinnati Enquirer. Among the other things he noted was that Miley didn’t have a spot in the rotation when camp began and he had to go out and win it. He did just that and he hasn’t looked back, either. The lefty currently has a 2.00 ERA on the season.

Jesse Winker taking grounders at first base

NL Central Standings

Playoff odds via Fangraphs

Team W L GB Playoff %
Cardinals 19 14 0 40.5%
Brewers 17 16 2.0 48.1%
Reds 15 15 2.5 20.8%
Cubs 16 16 2.5 19.3%
Pirates 13 18 5.0 0.4%

87 Responses

  1. Tim

    Despite how we feel about and root for him, the Reds are chasing good money after bad with Suarez right now. This is not a slump, it’s a downward trend that goes back three years. Most of his stats have been tanking for a while now. His whiff percentage has elevated dramatically from 23.4% in 2018 to 37.3 so far in 2021, while his hard-hit percentage is dropping from 45.6% in 2018 to 29.2% so far in 2021, resulting in grounders and pop-ups. His plate discipline isn’t the problem, whiffs are. He is seeing more sliders progressively each year which he is whiffing at 63% of the time. He is also whiffing at fastballs worse than ever at 37.8%, his previous worst was 25%. He is just simply missing balls. Other teams have figured him out and he hasn’t been able to adjust.

    Do we all remember that he had shoulder surgery before the season last year? Could that be affecting him without us knowing? His swing is still solid and he still has power, but something isn’t right. He needs some time to figure this out and the Reds need to stop putting him out there with a .135 average (.168XBA) and a 37.3 strike out rate. The Reds are not helping him nor their season by continuing. If you value him and you value your 2021 season, think long-term and let him get some work done away from the team. Bring up a solid defensive infielder who can do no worse at the plate and let the chips fall where they may. 2018 is four long seasons ago and I repeat, this is NOT a slump, it’s a trend.

    • Bred

      Agreed. This is not a slump and no matter what Mark Grace said years ago on the Jim Rome show a slump buster…., well, I’ll leave the rest story alone as I’m certain it would cause Doug extra duty. However, it was a hilarious story. Bell needs to prescribe the Votto Treatment for him.

      • Cubano

        Suarez hit 49 homers in 2019 so it would be more accurate to say the slump was a shortened 2020 post-surgery, and these past few weeks of 2021.

    • LDS

      Agreed. I still like the idea of trading him. Though if the Reds had a decent manager, he’d bench him and tell him he could play again when he remembers he’s not Babe Ruth.

    • RojoBenjy


      What you say makes sense and i’m glad you acknowledge that we don’t have anything against the man personally. Especially since he’s a really good dude.

      But a ball club that is interested in success cannot keep doing this with Suárez. If they care more about sentimentality than winning, then they are reaping what is sown. It is not mean or cruel to sit the guy down when he stinks—it’s business

      The Reds as an organization have never really acted without sentimentality, have they? At least not since trading Rose and firing Perez

    • Melvin

      He’s HR happy swinging for the fences on every pitch no matter what the count or situation. He has the ability to shorten his swing when needed and go the other way. He needs to use it. He’s not adjusting on his own so guess who’s job it is to help him do that one way or another.

    • MBS

      I disagree. You give him the same benefit of a doubt with 2020 like every other player in baseball is getting.

      2018 BA .283, OBP .366 (#2), 34 HR (#1), OPS .892 (#1)
      2019 BA .271, OBP .357 (#1), 49 HR (#1), OPS .930 (#1)

      Maybe he was having a hard time adjusting to SS? What ever the reason, he’s been the best hitter on the team for the last couple of years prior to the Covid season. Benching him will harm the team big time. By the way you can’t just say we are sending you to Arizona to get some work in.

      • Tim

        It’s kinda hard to see how benching him will harm the team. Defensively? Offensively? Totally agree to his past value, but this is more than a Covid season or shortstop or both. However, I honestly hope you’re right. Would be awesome if he figured it out asap.

      • MBS

        BTW that’s not to say I’m not concerned about Suarez. He has to turn it around, I’m also concerned about Castillo, Sims, and Garrett. These were the most of the guys we assumed would be leading the team.

    • Redlegs1869

      When he stayed prior to season his goal was to hit 50 HRs, I cringed and anticipated a huge slump. He enter d season announcing he was going to try to hit homers. Not the approach he should have had.

  2. Jim Walker

    Castillo’s issues with LH hitters are largely because the pitches he is throwing on the outer half of the plate with the expectation the pitch will move away from the hitter and dip are instead running flat through the middle of the zone.

    Hopefully they are getting things corrected

  3. Old-school

    Carrying on the feel good from last night as who knows how long that lasts.

    1.) The chemistry on this team seems sincere and Tucker Barnhart is at the center of that. This guy is Sean Casey and I believe every team needs 2 quality catchers not 1 . Stephenson and Tucker can share that position for awhile, especially with the DH coming to the NL for Stephenson. It might actually keep both healthier.

    2.) Miley is the best Reds lefty since ???? He wasnt healthy last year.

    In my lifetime, winning Reds teams have good lefties. Fred Norman Tom Browning Danny Jackson Norm Charlton Randall Kirk Meyers Pete Schourek Aroldis Chapman.

    The 2021 Reds need Wade Miley and Amir Garrett to be succeed

    3. Like to see Nick Senzel playing every day and hitting lead-off. Can we see this kid play every day and get 300 at bats in a row?

    Go reds

    • RojoBenjy

      #3 would be magical. I have no confidence that it will happen. We’ve been waiting to see the kid play every day since the day he was drafted. Don’t understand why they don’t

      Nice thoughts about Barnhart

      The most recent memorable LHP I could remember was Danny Jackson. 1996-2009 I didn’t follow the Reds much due to life circumstances—were there any LHP starters worth mentioning from those years?

      • Old-school

        Pete Schourek had an All star year in 1995 or 96 ish but not a lot of special lefties

        Reds 2010-13 had righties – cueto bailey leake latos and arroyo

        Arroyo was like a lefty though

        Miley throws easy

  4. Dennis Westrick

    Who made the 2021 NL schedule? Maybe the same idiot who keeps suspending the Reds players for non-physical displays of emotion? My beef is the Reds are playing one of the top AL teams while the Dirty Birds are playing the woeful Rockies! I realize it all should even out over a 162 game season, just seems odd that the Reds are playing an inter-league series on the road while the Cards are at home playing a team with the second worst record in MLB.

    • LDS

      Reds win tonight and they stay tied with the Cubs, very slightly ahead by winning pct. And the Rockies could still win. The real hope for is the Reds win here, Castillo has a good game, and the Brewers lose. I’d be content with 5hat.

    • VaRedsFan

      You think Cleveland is a top AL team???
      The Reds play the Rockies soon. As does ever team in the NL.

      • Dennis Westrick

        Indians were in second place in AL Central with a record of 17-14 at the start of tonight’s game!

  5. TR

    Jesse Winker working out at 1st. base is a good omen.

    • Melvin

      Yeah well most of us would say it’s about time. lol

      • TR

        So it is, but lets not rush Manager Bell.

  6. Mark Moore

    Let’s hope the combination of adversity (with Joey), underperformance (Geno and the bulk of the bullpen), and demonstrations of excellence (Winker and Miley plus a few others at times) serves to wake our guys up and have them focus on getting on track. I really want to believe this team can be the one we saw in the first week. I’m okay with some of the shuffling, but we can’t allow mediocrity to rule the day. It’s way too early to Clete the entire season from where I sit.

  7. Mark Moore

    Our Chattanooga Lookouts are playing the Rocket City Trash Pandas tonight 🙂

  8. ClevelandRedsFan

    Senzel seems to make solid contact in most of his at bats. He just hits a ton of ground balls.

  9. Mark Moore

    So no back-to-back no-hitters …

  10. VaRedsFan

    Who else gets MLB Extra Innings package? I can’t find the game anywhere. None of the Fox Channels either. Anyone?

  11. VaRedsFan

    Castillo must learn how to pitch inside. All his pitches tail to our right. Lefties have no fear of the inside pitch and just look over the plate. PITCH INSIDE MAN!

  12. Mark Moore

    My wife is not impressed with Castillo’s pitch selection and location so far tonight.

  13. Melvin

    HMM Small ball. Amazing how that still works. 🙂

  14. VaRedsFan

    Naquin….That’s just bad my man. Cost them at least 1 run. Hopefully no more damage.

  15. Roger Garrett

    I am a realist by nature and like it or not as long as Joey can play he will and as long as Eugenio can play he will.Joey is not a home run guy and never has been so he will still produce at or above league average but Eugenio who hit 49 and says he wants to hit 50 is in trouble.He will continue to be just exactly what he is doing because he refuses to make any adjustments and he will hit just enough homers to keep him from doing it.He can do it but he won’t.

    • Tim

      His homerun ambitions lead him to try to pull each swing. This leads to missed swings, weak grounder to the left.. and one in 20 abs, a homerun. I would love to hear him say, my goal is to hit each swing of the bat hard and square…not 50 homers

  16. Roger Garrett

    Somebody take memo to Reds dugout.Walks come back to haunt and please catch the ball.Two runs on 1 hit,two walks and an error.Little league stuff already.

    • Dennis Westrick

      Been preaching that all year! Stop with the WALKS already!

  17. Melvin

    Good solid hit by Senzel. I like that.

    • Melvin

      If he hits line drives like that he will be a good leadoff man for Winker and Casty.

    • RojoBenjy

      Moose makes the lineup better even when he isn’t getting hits because he does real baseball stuff like hitting behind runners to advance them to third, and lifting fly balls with a runner on third with less than 2 outs

    • Mark Moore

      Moose did his job when others could not.

    • Melvin

      He’s a winner. Others need to take notice.

  18. realist

    Suarez needs to go! down in the lineup behind the pitcher.

    • Mark Moore

      Unless my eyes are failing, that was ball 4 by about 4 inches or so. He’s not going to turn on one like that for one of his “fifty” …

    • MBS

      Suarez does need to be moved out of the middle of the lineup. It’s not a good fit for him right now.

      • MBS

        We need Farmer and Blandino starting? If you’re talking about a benching like Votto’s benching last year, then that’s one thing. If you’re talking about removing Suarez from the teams plans for a protracted period of time, for AAAA players that’s another thing.

      • LDS

        Frankly, I’d take a bunch of minor leaguers over this. At least they have an excuse.

      • MBS

        Suarez is signed through 24, with an option for 25. I’d let him work out his issues. He’s not going any where, any time soon.

      • LDS

        Good contract for a trade. Still think there could be a Rockies/Story option. The Rockies aren’t going to pay Story, at last based on the last couple of years. Nor have the Reds but Castellano could pretend he cared about winning.

  19. Mark Moore

    A couple of weak hits by Geno … why does this not surprise me anymore?

  20. Indy Red Man

    Castillo up and out over the plate with 2 strikes? Lets them get their arms extended meanwhile their guy is a grade A nibbler and never puts anything in the middle of the plate. I traded Castillo on my fbb team. I’ve seen enough. His velocity is down and his location is worse. He’s hurting this team.

    • Tomn

      Can the Reds option Castillo to AAA. Bring up lodolo or green? Castillo has lost his control and his confidence. Who’s aaa?

  21. Tom Mitsoff

    Key point in the game right here. Could get real ugly.

  22. Indy Red Man

    Another back breaking hit with 2 strikes. MLB hitters are supposed to be hitting sub .200 with 2 strikes, but not with Luis and his beach balls. I’m out. He’s just as screwed up as Suarez

    • LDS

      Several formally promising and/or successful players have regressed, e.g., Castillo, Suarez, Senzel. Fundamentally, one has to question whether the issue is actually team management not the players. Trailing by 5, it’s time for Bell to throw in the tower. Cleveland will likely wind up with 10+ runs and the Reds probably done.

      • Tomn

        I wouldn’t include Senzel in that assessment. Seems to me he’s coming around.

    • Indy Red Man

      Yeah flawless defense and he’s only been touched up for 4 runs in 3 innings by a team with 2 good hitters.

  23. Chris

    Man, Luis has to stop throwing the ball right down the middle. This is the worst offensive team in the history of professional sports and he’s throwing BP. Welp… let’s get some runs. Civale doesn’t look great either.

    • RojoBenjy

      Yeah the Reds have 5 hits in the guy.

      I’m calling a modified Clete—stepping away for now, will check back because I have half a hope they can rally, so I’ll come back and check. I waited to make sure Cionel held before saying that. But if the pen leaks more runs…

  24. MBS

    This game is looking to ugly to continue watching. Hopefully I will check back in later to a surprise.

    • Dennis Westrick

      To make matters worse the Cubs and Cards have already won and the Brew Crew is winning their game against the Marlins! Thank God for the Pirates!

  25. Melvin

    Well. Castillo was ahead but then lost it.

  26. Jeff Morris

    Reds pitching coach needs to be a miracle worker with L Castillo. He hasn’t been sharp at all the whole year!

    • B-town fan

      Up until this point in the season I haven’t been worried about Castillo, figuring its only a matter of time until he comes around and gets back to his old self, should I be worried now.

      • Roger Garrett

        Nope but its getting close.So far this season he has got very little support from the offense or his defense.He may feel he has to be perfect.Time will tell but if we get him a few runs early and catch the ball maybe it would be different.

  27. Melvin

    India has more infield range than anyone else on the current roster. There is no reason they can’t try him at SS.

  28. Steelerfan

    The infield defense is and will be a huge problem.

  29. Melvin

    Wow. That was a good bunt. Wish the Reds could do that. They could. They just won’t work at it enough.

  30. Melvin

    Romano is warming up. Throwing in the towel? haha

  31. RedsMonk65

    C’mon, score some RUNS!

    For a change.

    Doesn’t matter how many runs our pitchers give up if we plate so few. This has gone on for several consecutive games now. Frustrating.

    • Roger Garrett

      Good point we win 1-0 our last game at home thanks to Wink and Larussa’s mess up in the top of the 10th after being shut out on 2 hits the game before.We get 3 gift runs last and tonight so far is well bad.Defense was and is going to be a challenge and if you move guys around a lot it will be even worse.Bell continues to set guys one day and play them the next while he plays others every day despite poor performance.All adds up to what we see every day and that is a very inconsistent team in all phases that is hovering around 500.

  32. Melvin

    With the shape our bullpen is in it’s hard for me to understand why it’s not feasible to bring up a guy who’s consistently throwing 100+ and let him get his work up here. It would have to help.

    • AllTheHype

      Hope you’re not referring to Greene, who has thrown less than 80 pro innings and has astronomical potential as a starter. He’s needs both secondary pitch development and to build up innings. Putting him in the Reds bullpen would make zero sense.

      • Melvin

        The Reds BP needs a lot of innings. Look at the game tonight. He’s limited on his innings anyway. Lots of pitchers learn in the BP in the majors. He could help now compared to what we have. That’s for sure.

      • AllTheHype

        That would be a short sighted way to delay his development for sure, not to mention speed his path to free agency.

  33. JB

    Umpire going back to the early 90s and the Atlanta Braves strike zone. That wasnt even close to a strike for Senzel.

  34. Old-school

    Eugenio Suarez is hitting .135 with an OPS of .550 with a 37% K rate and a wRC+ 49 and -.3 WAR

    To the crowd that that says drop him 2 spots in the order…, what does that solve? How does hitting 6th instead of 4 th help solve his futility ?

    Cleveland defense created 3 runs yesterday in an inning.

    Otherwise reds offense is a frozen tundra for the week

    • AllTheHype

      It doesn’t solve anything for Suarez, other than less pressure, but it helps the team due to the fact that the 4th position in the order has a 10% greater likelihood of having runners on base than the 6th, plus the fact that the 4th position gets 4.9% more at bats then the 6th position.

    • AllTheHype

      Lately he’s been in the 5 hole but roughly the same percentages apply.

  35. Roger Garrett

    I really feel for Suarez cause he is a likeable guy but right now there are just no words to describe how bad he is at the plate.Mentally he has to be fried.

  36. LDS

    Bummer, really thought Cleveland would get 10+ but beyond that, this game was decided since the 4th. Bell is just that predictable.

  37. 3rdbaseTom

    Henny did get hit with a pitch on his hand earlier in the season. Maybe his hand is not 100%. Let’s put him on at least a 10 day DL and maybe longer, and then rehab at the alternate site until he can find a better approach at the the plate however long that might take.

  38. Tomn

    If the Reds want to win they should replace Castillo in the rotation with Lodolo right away. Consider bringing up Green (don’t really have a feel for if he’s ready though). Bench Suarez – can he be sent to Louisville? Are there options. Bring up either Rodriguez or Garcia to replace him. Leave Winker where he is. Leave Moose where he is, put Senzel at 2b, Akyama in CF. India to AAA to work on his hitting. I’m uneasy about Senzel to 2b. Though he played that in college, it’s been awhile, but he needs to be in the lineup every day.

    • Tomn

      Oh and for 1b, Farmer/Blandino, unless there is help at AAA.