The San Francisco Giants came to Great American Ball Park this week like it was October 2012 and crushed the soul of the Cincinnati Reds as they swept the series in embarrassing fashion. Darin Ruf had a walk and four hits, including two doubles and a home run. If this game were a GIF, it would be this one:

Final R H E
San Francisco Giants (28-16) 19 16 1
Cincinnati Reds (19-23) 4 10 1
W: Cueto (3-1) L: Mahle (2-2)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Down 10-0 in the bottom of the 3rd inning the Reds offense got moving when Alex Blandino led off with a double. Nick Castellanos singled him in to put the Reds within three field goals. Tyler Stephenson followed with a double to move Castellanos to third base, but after 9-pitches Johnny Cueto struck out Tyler Naquin to end the inning.

Eugenio Suárez hit a 2-run homer in the 8th inning as the Reds closed the gap to two touchdowns. Frank Reich and the 1993 Buffalo Bills didn’t come out of the dugout for this one.

The Pitching

Tyler Mahle got squeezed on a 2-2 count in the top of the 1st inning against Evan Longoria and the next pitch was lined into center for an RBI single. That felt like an omen. In the third inning the Giants did more damage against Mahle. The inning began like this: Walk, single, single, walk, single, single. It was 4-0, the bases were loaded, and the Reds were going to the bullpen to bring on Michael Feliz to reliever Mahle in the shortest outing of his career.

The first batter that Felix faced, Steven Duggar, hit a grand slam to make it 8-0 before an out had been recorded in the 3rd inning. Feliz also didn’t make it out of the inning. After the grand slam he struck out two batters, but then walked Mike Yastrzemski and was replaced by Ryan Hendrix, who immediately gave up a 2-run homer that made it 10-0.

When was the last time a Major League Baseball team used three pitchers in the 3rd inning of a game that didn’t involve a pitcher being injured?

It got worse from there. We aren’t going to talk about it.

Notes Worth Noting

Max Schrock has retired 5 of the 6 hitters he’s faced in the Major Leagues. The only one he didn’t was in today’s game and that was because Mark Payton was charged with an error on a fly ball.

At least the game was on Youtube and you really had to go out of your way to watch it during work hours?

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds

Friday May 21st, 7:10pm

Adrian Houser (3-4, 3.63 ERA) vs Jeff Hoffman (2-3, 4.67 ERA)

62 Responses

  1. TR

    Where’s that picture of the goat with braces? Needed for today.

    • JB

      The goat said he was to embarrased by the team to show himself.

      • RedsMonk65

        His name is Milton. Let’s be respectful here.

    • Doug Gray

      We don’t have the rights to use that image…..

      • Jim Walker

        What a world we live in. even goats have agents and lawyers! 😉

    • Nelson Coble

      Time for major changes. Manager, Hoffman to the bullpen, trade Castillo and bring up young performing pitchers. Santillian, Greene or Someone else.

      • MuddyCleats

        You do realize Mahle was the SP today? At least it isn’t Suarez’s fault today – only guy who did something!

  2. Sliotar

    The clever headline feels like the only positive thing associated with this game.

    “The Hole” is officially dug … at the end of this game, the Reds are 5.5 games back of the division lead … and the second wild-card.

    That means the Reds are chasing … the Cardinals and the Dodgers. Good times.

  3. JB

    Total team effort today. I’m not sure effort is the right word.

  4. RedsFanInFl

    So Reds best relief pitcher (Antone) was not used at all in the series. Could have used him yesterday in the 9th when the score was 1-0. Could have used him in the 3rd when the score was only 4-0 and still within reach. Today would’ve been a perfect time to have him stretch out his innings. It’s become obvious that Bell and Reds management due not see him as a starter this year.

    • RojoBenjy

      Did Bell get asked why he didn’t bring in Antone after Mahle?

    • RedsMonk65

      Puzzling ….

      perhaps maddening…

  5. RojoBenjy

    That gif made me laugh. Good job Doug.

    This team has enough talent that if it is managed correctly it should be much better than it is currently showing. Injuries aside—although at the moment that is factoring in.

    What I say above may not apply to today’s game—Mahle lays an egg, Cueto took care of business. But it sure can apply to a lot of other games that have been played by this team

    • Sliotar


      As a little kid, I remember a good NFL offensive lineman, Bill Fralic, be asked about the potential of his new OL teammates.

      His response – “Potential is just a French word that means you aren’t worth a {darn} yet.”

      Always stuck with me.

      1/4 of the season in the books … if the Reds add another 5.5 games to deficits in the next 1/4 …. yikes.

      Very few out of players and manager can say we have seen their best for any extended stretch … “It’s getting late early.”

      • RojoBenjy

        Friendly bickering about Jose Peraza seems like the good ole days…

  6. ClevelandRedsFan

    Anyone else catch Blandino coming off the mound after his perfect 8th inning?

    Crowd was cheering and he tipped his cap as if he just pitched 7 scoreless innings.

    That, by itself, made this game worth watching.

    • RedsMonk65

      Blandino rules.

      Marginal bench player from an offensive standpoint. Pretty decent defensively. But he’s got the anthem standoff thing nailed. And he is a flame-thrower!

      • RojoBenjy

        Did his knuckler make it’s 2021 debut?

    • TR

      The guy can sing and he also has stage presence.

    • Matt WI

      Awesome. But Tony LaRussa would like a word about showboating. He must pay for his crime. 🙂

  7. Rednat

    strange thing is that Suarez may just get his 50 homeruns this year. looks like there is going to be plenty of garbage time to collect them late in meaningless games

    • MuddyCleats

      Yeah, can’t blame Suarez for yesterday’s carnage, but many still want to. First thing I looked for was how many errors he made, Ks and runners LOB he had. Box score quickly showed he wasn’t the problem! Almost funny how many games where that’s true

  8. B-town fan

    Wow the Reds got blasted in this series, and at home to boot, things were just barely hanging together going into this series with all the injuries to key players and the below average pitching so for this season. Things could tumble out of control in a hurry here. You can never say never this early in the season, they could go on a run later in the season like last year but they don’t want to dig to big of a hole.

    Doug being on Youtube makes it worse, the game was broadcast to the world.

  9. Bill

    What a joke and complete embarrassment. The Reds are complete embarrassment. They need to fire Bell yesterday. This team is mediocre at best. Their bullpen is the worst I have seen I years.

    • Melvin

      The ONLY way Big Bob will fire Bell would be if Big Bob get’s real embarrassed (which he should be already). That’s been his thing all along. Keep the team JUST competitive enough to keep him from being embarrassed and to keep the fans with enough hope to stay interested…..all while making as much money as he can.

      • Grand Salami

        6 last place finishes in last 8 years – I think. He’s not even doing that well.

    • Still a Red

      If team is mediocre firing Bell isn’t going to help.

  10. TR

    The Brew Crew coming up followed by the Nats and Cubs on the road.

  11. Hanawi

    Four straight to the Giants at home with the last 3 all coming against pitchers the Reds got rid of. Nine games under .500 since the 6-1 start. Just feels like they don’t have the pieces to finish ahead of all of the Cards, Cubs and Brewers, which leaves them chasing the Padres and Dodgers in the wild card. Think it’s time to start thinking of selling and bringing up the young guys.

    • Jon

      Who are they going to sell? Suarez who hasn’t hit for two years? Votto who has a no-trade clause and a massive amount still owed? Moustakas, who spends more time injured than playing and is overpaid? The light-hitting Akiyama? The Reds could always sell low on Senzel, but it would be their luck that he’d become an All-Star with another team.

      • Grand Salami

        Castellanos is the obvious deadline piece to trade. I would even entertain offers on Barnhart as a ‘sell high’ candidate.

        The less obvious pieces will be Castillo, Doolittle, and other candidates out of the pen.

      • CI3J

        It wouldn’t be “luck” if Senzel became an All-Star on another team. It would be because the coaching staff of that team helped him properly develop into an All-Star.

      • MuddyCleats

        Take a breath on the hate Suarez movement pls. Yes, he is not Pete Rose and will most likely never lead MLB in batting avg. Objectively though, he lead the team last season in R (which win games last time I looked) HRs and RBIs which drives in runs. In 2019, he lead the team in ALL 3 categories and ranked in the top 20 MLB wide. News alert: Sluggers strikeout often – u take the good w/ the bad. I agree, like most Reds players, he needs work and should strive to K much less, but let’s try to remain at least a little objective

    • Jon

      And besides Greene and Lodolo, what young prospects do the Reds have that might actually produce at the Major League level? If they had any, they’d already be here in the bullpen or filling in for Votto/Moustakas.

      • Hanawi

        Santillan and Gutierrez in the rotation. Rodriguez at SS. That would be the start.

  12. Jim Walker

    The players like to say one of the best things about MLB is that there is always a game tomorrow to make it easy to put a mess like this behind them. I am going to hope this is true and have nothing more to say about whatever that was which transpired at GABP this afternoon

  13. ClevelandRedsFan

    There is a very alarming trend happening with the Reds and opposing starting pitchers.

    This is now the 10th straight game that the Reds haven’t scored more than 2 runs against opposing starter.

    Going back to the last 17 games, the Reds have only scored more than 2 runs against an opposing starter twice. Two times! Just two!

    For my mental health, I can’t look back any further.

    So what’s the problem? Reds haven’t faced “great pitching” in 17 straight games? Is it game plan? Reds too predictable at the plate? Miley was talking about how he loves to face guys that just try to hit homeruns. Are the Reds too homerun happy?

    That is a big time problem. You aren’t going to win many games that way.

    Will the Reds make any adjustments to try to fix the problem?

    • Grand Salami

      I believe part of the problem is Bell’s moves once Votto was injured. He elected to make Farmer a full-time starter (almost exclusively at SS).

      Effectively swapping Farmer for Votto on a lineup card is going to water it down (instead of perhaps Stevenson at 1st).

      The exacerbating factors: Nanquin cooled down a lot and simultaneously got more PT, Suarez continued to play everyday, once Moose went down it was basically Farmer/Blandino at first (which led to the first factor bc Senzel began moving around the IF), and of course the subsequent injuries.

  14. Old-school

    The NL West will have one, if not both, of the wildcard teams that make the playoffs. The Reds have no chance of making the playoffs as a Wild card by besting the combination of 2 worst teams of Dodgers/Giants/Padres and 2nd best NL East team.

    Don’t sleep on the Cubs. They are 11-6 in May. Kris Bryant is an MVP candidate in a contract year and Javy Baez and Anthony Rizzo are both comfortably over .800 OPS and Ian Happ has more HR in 5 days than his first 5 weeks.

    Reds are going to have to win the NL central to make the playoffs and that means beating the Cubs and Cards who are both playing good baseball but also play each other this weekend.

    Very large 9 games against the Brewers/Nats/ and Cubs. Max Scherzer on the road Tuesday. Jeff Hoffman at GABP as the Reds stopper tomorrow.

  15. Jon

    The problem with the Reds is that David Bell and everyone above him, including Castellini, don’t actually care about winning. They’re still collecting their paychecks, no matter how many games the Reds lose. Yet the value of the team continues to rise every year for the Castellinis.

    If management and ownership cared about winning, there’d be changes made to the organization and money spent. The Giants have Zaidi as President of Baseball Operations. The team hired him away from the Dodgers. The Reds have Krall, who has never overseen a winning Major League team in his career. Likewise, David Bell had no experience managing in the majors. His last name alone is the reason he has his job.

    The bullpen is mostly a dumpster fire, outside of perhaps Antone, Sims, and Garrett. (Fulmer and his 6.66 ERA need to be released tomorrow.) The rotation has yet to perform to its potential. Hoffman in particular needs replaced. The fact that the Reds have no notable position players in AAA to replace Votto, Moustakas, or Senzel is laughable. They’ve lacked a legitimate shortstop since Cozart departed after 2017.

    Unless Antone has some injury the Reds are hiding (which wouldn’t surprise me given how they’ve handled the Moustakas and Senzel injuries), David Bell should be fired for not maximizing him to his potential. Antone has pitched 21.2 innings this year. Fulmer has tossed 25.2.

    • Davy13

      Jon, good post overall.

      Your post reads a lot like what I would have written, including a few overstatements and few understatements. I agree with you wholeheartedly that the problem starts at the top. It is tough to say that the ownership + FO don’t actually care about winning because that is a motivational issue that we cannot read unless they tell us outright. Spending on Votto, Castellanos, Moose, and players like them seem to show that they care about making an effort to win, even if it is insufficient and shortsighted.

      However, I think it can be the possibility of one of two things to which you allude. Either, the upward value of the team regardless of success disincentivizes the effort to spend more on a quality FO and roster, or they put too much stock on the small sample size of other small market teams’ success (e.g. TB Rays) hoping that they will strike it rich in wins as well. They are playing with high odds without much success.

      We can’t excoriate Bell for his MLB inexperience, because every successful manager was inexperienced at first. However, his decisions should be questioned and judged precisely because he now has some MLB experience.

      I agree that their tightfisted ways betray any confidence in their efforts to win, which is so unnecessary. Everyone knew that they needed to fill in a few holes in the roster like signing a SS, CF, and a reliable closer or set-up man. If they had, despite the W-L results, good faith would be there from the fans.

      Finally, as to Senzel, I am not sure that he will be any more than what he has already shown the last 3 seasons: injury-prone and an average hitter. I wish that I am wrong.

  16. Roger Garrett

    Reds will win enough for them to say we have a chance just like always.Just like always we know they don’t and they know we know they don’t but we watch and comment and complain etc etc.Such is the life of a Reds fan.However I am holding out just to see the younger guys play and with our core group,the one that is untradeable because of salary and performance,getting older and missing more time,I get to see more of the younger guys.That is my reason for being on here.We know what we know and that is this team under this ownership is not about fielding a winning team or even building a respectable major league team.I don’t expect the manager to do anything different nor the ownership nor even this core group that has been here for awhile.Losing is acceptable at all levels cause if it wasn’t then changes would be made to fix it.Its easy to appear to be trying while at the same time just moving the same pieces around the diamond.Bell may be here for a long time after I am gone, and I hope for at least 15 more years,cause he is the master of using all of the pieces.Its just smoke and mirrors.

  17. Optimist

    In 2014 the Cubs were a rising team with upcoming talent, new ownership and new front office staff. They hired a new manager, Rick Renteria, a popular hire justifiably expected to move the team into the post season in the next few years. That winter a better manager was available, so the Cubs hired that guy.

    Is there a better manager available now?

  18. RedsMonk65

    Pitching is obviously another issue, but from an offensive standpoint, I think this team misses Votto’s presence in the lineup more than most of us realize.

  19. TheCoastMan

    This team should be reassigned to the AAA league.

  20. Mary Beth Ellis

    this game is why Cleting out exists

    • Jim Walker

      Yep and I am sticking to my pledge above to also Clete out of making or responding to substantive comments about this mess.

      • RojoBenjy

        I think it’s the best way. A good spleen vent is needed by all. As long as we abide by a reasonable decorum, everyone gets a pass for this thread.

    • Allan C

      I watched one batter in the 2nd inning. 5 pitch walk. Cleted out after that.

      ONE batter. Reds are a joke right now.

  21. MBS

    Quick prediction. Fulmer DFA’d, Santillian brought up. Hoffman pitches 2 – 4 innings in his last start as a Red. Next time Hoffman is up Santillian takes his spot in the rotation.

  22. GreatRedLegsFan

    Very sad & heartly sweep, but yet expected. Roster improvisions (SS, bullpen, starters) plus key players in IL led to this outcome. As much potential as Senzel has, he just can’t manage to keep himself in the field, time to start thinking in other options.

  23. CI3J

    For a little bit of perspective, despite how horrible things have been for the last few games, the Reds are still just 4 games under .500. Generally, any team that is hanging around .500 by August is seen as a potential playoff contender, so the Reds can still get back in “contention” if they just play 4 over .500 for a stretch.

    That said, I have seen little that indicates this team is really capable of playing competitive baseball for extended stretches. They haven’t completely fallen off a cliff yet, but they better right the ship soon or people are going to be watching Reds games this summer and looking at the stadium saying “Wow, why is Cincinnati still being so strict about COVID protocols?” only for someone to answer “They aren’t.”

    • Still a Red

      Thanks for that little ray of hope in your first paragraph (which I agree with).

  24. TR

    The title ‘Ruf Day’ says it all. Major change, other than a shuffling of the relief staff and replacement of Hoffman as a starter, will not happen this season. We’ll have to wait for the offseason to see if young players take over and what decisions are made on the manager, if Castellanos stays or goes and how older players fit into the starting eight. There’s no denying the Reds are tradition bound, they don’t operate, so far, like the Tampa Bay Rays.

  25. realist

    Anyone know how many bullpen guys the Reds have used this year? It is like a revolving door, good job Nick Krall. Great starting pitching so far this year, Derek Johnson is a pitching genius. Time is clicking on the great Reds fire sale coming soon. Can’t wait for the next round of great prospects the trades will bring like Rookie Davis, Dilson Herrara, Cody Reed, Brandon Finnegan and John Lamb.

    • MuddyCleats

      Agree, not only did Cueto beat the Reds today, but so did Gausman, Disco and Wood most likely would have if he had pitched. Sans Cueto, all ex Reds who somehow got better leaving Cincy? And, they manhandled us in GABP Ban Box so their success has to be more than just pitching in a big park in SF! In fact, they somehow R one the best teams in MLB. As far as hot seats, yes Bell is uninspiring and over his head IMHO, but so too is Reds Ownership and GM. Reds R same team who couldn’t score a run in playoffs last season. Team has talent w/ upside, but the pieces don’t fit right now. Baseball is a game of cycles – ups and downs – hopefully they’ll crawl out of this pit, play better and make some trades near the deadline

      • TheCoastMan

        You said it in a “nutshell.” Ownership on down bears full responsibility for this mess. Clearly, Big Bob is in over his head financially and should seriously consider selling the team. When you can’t even afford a middling GM, it’s time to get out.

      • Jim Walker

        Not this includes Blandino and Schrock. So, maybe 13 true bullpenners