The Cincinnati Reds will wrap up their series with the Washington Nationals today with a quasi doubleheader. Last night’s game was suspended in the middle of the 4th inning by rain and will be resumed at 2:05pm ET with the Nationals holding a 3-0 lead. This game will be a full 9-inning affair. At 7:05pm ET the teams will get back out on the field for the regularly scheduled game that will be a 7-inning contest.

Game 1: 5-3 loss

We’ll have a full recap of both games following the doubleheader. For now – the Reds fell to the Nationals 5-3 in the afternoon resumption of Wednesday’s game. You can check out the box score here.

News and Notes

Roster moves aplenty

The Reds placed Jeff Hoffman on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder injury. They called up relievers Cionel Pérez and Art Warren. Pérez is available for either game today. Warren, however, is only available for game two as he is the 27th man for a doubleheader. We wrote a little bit about what Hoffman to the injured list means for the rotation moving forward and how it’s not entirely decided simply by Hoffman not being there.

New Mock Draft Talk

In past years the Major League Baseball Draft would be two weeks away. But the draft has been pushed back to coincide with All-Star weekend moving forward and now will take place in mid-July. Still, the high school and college baseball seasons are in full swing and there’s two new mock drafts from the more reputable sources around – Baseball America and MLB Pipeline – with Cincinnati looking at two very different high school players. Over at we took a look at the two players and their strengths.

Game 2 Starting Lineups (when available)

Cincinnati Reds

Washington Nationals

Eugenio Suárez – 3B Trea Turner – SS
Jesse Winker – LF Juan Soto – RF
Tyler Naquin – RF Josh Bell – 1B
Tyler Stephenson – C Kyle Schwarber – LF
Shogo Akiyama – CF Starlin Castro – 3B
Kyle Farmer – SS Luis Garcia – 2B
Max Schrock – 2B Yan Gomes – C
Sonny Gray – SP Andrew Stevenson – CF
Alex Blandino – 1B Stephen Strasburg – SP

Game 2 Starting Pitchers

Sonny Gray

It’s his 8th start of the year and Sonny Gray is still looking for his first win of the year. He hasn’t pitched poorly – his ERA is 3.96 on the year – but a sputtering Reds offense simply hasn’t scored many runs for him. In the one game in which they scored more than four runs while he was on the mound he was pulled after 4.2 innings and the game was tied at 1-1.

There are some pretty big splits in 2021 for Gray. Righties are hitting .279/.364/.500 against him, while lefties are hitting just .213/.306/.347 against him this year. His home and road splits are big, too. On the road he has a 5.14 ERA and opponents have hit .293/.379/.448 against him – but that’s also come with an almost unsustainable .441 BABIP across 66 plate appearances.

Pitch usage from 2021

4-Seam Sinker Change
Slider Curve
Velo 92.9 93.1 85.6 83.0 80.2
Usage 24.5% 28.4% 2.8% 15.0% 29.2%

Stephen Strasburg

The days of Stephen Strasburg firing mid-to-upper 90’s fastballs are gone. Since he made his debut he’s lost 6 MPH on his fastball. He’s struggled to stay healthy the last two seasons and missed five weeks earlier this year. Tonight will be his 2nd start back from the injured list.

He’s struggled with his control through three starts, walking 11 batters in 15.1 innings. But he’s also allowed just one hit in two of his three starts, with the middle one in St. Louis being one where he was pounded for seven earned runs on eight hits, three homers, and five walks. He went on the injured list for five weeks after that start.

Pitch usage from 2021

4-Seam 2-Seam Change
Velo 92.2 91.8 86.5 79.8
Usage 29.4% 23.3% 19.2% 28.2%

When and Where

  • Game time: 2:05pm ET (resumed game), 7:05pm ET (game 2)
  • Where: Nationals Park, Washington D.C.
  • Watch: Bally Sports Ohio,
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: ­Low 80’s all day, 0% chance of rain.

NL Central Standings

Playoff odds via Fangraphs

Team W L GB Playoff %
Cardinals 27 22 0 35.6%
Cubs 26 22 0.5 34.9%
Brewers 24 25 3.0 42.7%
Reds 21 25 4.5 11.1%
Pirates 18 30 8.5 0.0%

97 Responses

  1. SultanofSwaff

    Gheesh, how does the third base coach not know the CF has a rag arm and thus send Geno?

    • LDS

      Would have been a better play than letting Winker try to stretch it. The last couple of weeks suggest the Reds really need a new baserunning coach.

      • J

        More than a baserunning coach, they need a coach who can teach them basic baseball strategy. They have no understanding of when it makes sense to take chances and when it doesn’t.

      • Jim t

        So we are firing coaches because a player made a bad base running decision. Please tell me we you don’t manage people for a living.

  2. docproc

    Jesse, that was dumb, dumb, dumb. You took the bat right out of Nick C.’s hands.

  3. RojoB

    Hey—is that Middletown’s very own Kyle Schwarber in Left Field?

    It’s games like this where son of Marty must hate himself the most—the lost opportunities!

    • TR

      Regardless, Kyle will always be a Middie.

  4. Roger Garrett

    Six games under 500 after today’s games and falling like a rock.Wink and Casty trying to do to much and the rest are just along for the ride.

    • old-school

      Look at the bright side. The Reds will only have to cover 6 innings in game 2 if they lose and only 8 innings in game 1. TJ Antone will be well rested for his one appearance at Wrigley.

  5. Mark Moore

    Tuned in to Gameday about 5 minutes ago … and just did a Clete after the triple followed by an RBI single. Not sure how I feel about following any of it tonight. Very frustrating to say the least.

    • TR

      Gameday is good since it gives me a chance to do other things and check on the Reds in passing.

  6. LDS

    Down 5-0, I guess we’ll see Doolittle shortly. BTW, the Reds are winning tonight though I can’t envision Bell’s evening lineup. All those ‘tired’ players unable to play two games.

    • TR

      With a four game series coming up at Wrigley.

  7. SultanofSwaff

    Schrock fouled off/flew out on 4 center cut fastballs. This is the difference between a AAAA player and a big leaguer.

      • Roger Garrett

        Bell and his double switches got TySteve out of the game so Payton goes up with the bases loaded and no outs.Who would you rather have up there?

    • RojoB

      In my opinion (which gets you nothing), this is the first time this season that I think we can blame the personnel more than the management of the talent.

      • burtgummer01

        Other than Antone the bullpen doesn’t have any talent thats the issue and won’t be fixed this year

  8. LDS

    Seriously? The Reds with 4 singles and a run in the inning? Ain’t that a wonderment.

  9. Roger Garrett

    Martinez is a smart dude.Rainey out after 3 batters.No sense in giving us any hope at all that we may come back.Reds must get lead early so we don’t see the B team out of the pen.We know Bell will not use his best unless we are ahead or tied.Makes it hard on the starters cause they can’t give up anything.Game after game after game.Same story I am afraid unless offense starts to click.

    • RojoB

      Is he smart, or is he just not dumb? As in he has common sense?

  10. Spro

    I’m so confused. I thought games were only suspended if the score was tied, or if the home team hadn’t batted in the bottom of the inning and were losing. Why was this game not restarted from Inning 1?

  11. Indy Red Man

    11 hits and get beat. Another winnable game down the drain as usual. Its Jesse Winker and not Jesse Owens. If I’m Bell and he does that again then I’m sitting him. Votto has always been a horrible base runner. Are we going to continue to have our best hitter be our dumbest baserunner for 20 years running? Enough is enough

    I also give Hoffman ZERO slack for being injured because he does that anyway? Breaking ball breaks a ton, but he doesn’t throw it over the plate?

    On the bright side. Geno is coming around a little. If you add Votto, Aquino, Lorenzen, and Lodolo in June then maybe this team doesn’t get buried?

  12. Sliotar

    Coming back from 5-0 with only nine outs left is a big ask.

    Win the 7 inning nightcap and it’s a road series win.

    To me, these suspended games always feel wonky and awkward to win for the trailing team.

  13. Grand Salami

    Lineup is out and so is Nick C. Shogo getting a rare start.

      • MBS

        Didn’t Geno get 2 hits with 0 K’s?

    • VaRedsFan

      Because Nick needs a game off 3 days after the off day Monday.

  14. Cubano

    I posted after the game was suspended yesterday- pitching Antone in long relief today would mean keeping things tight while the offense wakes up/we get deep into their bullpen. It would’ve been a very winnable ballgame, and I like the odds of Gray going deep into the game against Strasburg (fresh off the injured list) tonight. That would’ve spared the bullpen for tomorrow, and maybe notch 2 Ws today.

    Now for some reason Castellanos has the night off? Yikes. I like Shogo but why does Bell need to reinvent the wheel if Casty is producing? He’s had time off lately….

    • Melvin

      Unless something is wrong with Casty we all know he hates not playing. He’s probably thinking to himself, to put it nicely, that he doesn’t want to play for his current manager next year.

      • Cubano

        I have to agree. He’s carrying about 40% the offense too. Unless he asked to sit, it’s almost disrespectful to let him cool off.

    • Dennis Westrick

      Insanity squared! The Reds have only 2 hitters hitting .350+. That’s Nick & Winker! What manager in the right man would sit his second best hitter for a 7 inning game?

  15. Old-school

    The IL is 30% higher in 2021 than last normal season of 2019. Lots of soft tissue injuries. Bell isnt sitting Castellanos. The Reds organization is. Injuries are an epidemic in 2021.

    Ken Rosenthal has an Athletic article up detailing the injuries and also record K’s. The minors are worse. Doug knows this better than all but Rosenthal has a chart up of each league with K % and BB% in the minors and its not good for baseball

    More K’s and more walks in the minors than majors.

    One GM said he had no idea how to interpret at the trade deadline an A prospect with 15k’s who he’s never heard of. For this reason- if Reds are soon out of it- they need AA and AAA ready prospects at the deadline. Castellanos could get a great AAA ready prospect. Dont wait for a 2022 comp pick who is ready in 2026. Cash in now for a known entity

    • Melvin

      Does that mean the Reds don’t care if Suarez gets injured or not? He plays more than anyone else.

  16. Roger Garrett

    I have said it and I will again that other managers probably couldn’t win with this roster.Bell and the way he does it is scripted out pretty much and he won’t change.I mean we knew Tucker was going to set tonight and you knew somebody else would too.I kind of thought it would Naquin in center but it turns out its Casty and India as well.I personally believe Casty,Tucker and India give us a better chance to win then Shogo,Blandino and Shrock both on offense and defense but its just my opinion.Bell is going to play his entire roster and he will say he is getting an extra lefty in there to face Strasburg tonight so lets play ball.This is not a 5 inning game tonight but more like a 3 or 4 inning game.Lets hope we can scratch out some runs early and get ahead.

  17. Dennis Westrick

    We need 6 or 7 good (scoreless) innings from Sonny tonight!

  18. LGR

    I’ve been advocating pitcher in the 8 hole on this team for awhile. Although this is definitely not how I’d structure it player wise. I still hate Suarez hitting leadoff. With the players they have playing I’d go..


    It’s actually disgusting what this lineup looks like with all the guys not playing. I only have Suarez at 7 because I think that’s where he should be if all the normal people are playing. Same with Akiyama in the 9.

    • Doc

      This lineup today, much maligned by the cadre of GM wannabees, won. Reds beat Nationals in Scherzer and Strasburg starts. I guess some of our AAAA players have something going for them. Bell must be brilliant to have figured out when to use them.

      Remind me; doesn’t Suarez have 4 hits from the lead off spot in 3 games, including an HR or two?

  19. MBS

    Why is Geno leading off? Oh wait, it’s seems to be working! Nice AB Geno!

    • JB

      Lol. Got to love couch managers, right?

      • LGR

        Because if you bat lead off you will 100% of the time get more plate appearances on average than any other player.

    • LGR

      Who would you rather have a extra AB in the game. Wink or Geno? If your answer is Geno, you’re wrong.

      • MBS

        How many teams have their best players leadoff? Most teams don’t have their best hitter as their leadoff man. This isn’t a right or wrong thing, anyway. It’s a what is working or not working thing.

      • JB

        How do you know they both dont get extra at bats? Not like Winker is hitting 8th.

      • Melvin

        With all due respect how many teams have their worst hitter batting leadoff?

      • JB

        Lindor is hitting .182 and batting 2nd. Villar is hitting 228 and batting lead off today. It’s not like Blandino or Shogo is killing it right now.

      • LGR

        Suarez OBP .235
        Lindor OBP .290
        Villar OBP .315

        I’m not sure why the Mets offense is something we’re comparing the Reds to, but alright.

      • MBS

        @Melvin, it’s a unfair description of Suarez to say he’s our worst hitter. He’s a power hitter, who takes walks. His BA is down, and his K rate is up, but the whole idea of moving him in front of Winker is to help protect him. In 3 games so far he’s got 4 hits with 2 HR which is a .363 BA. I can’t see how you really have a problem with one of our best hitters, getting right again. BTW we have him in 22, 23, 24, and 25, so fixing Geno is better than benching Geno.

      • Melvin

        @ MBS I’m not disputing he still has great potential and I want to “get him right” as much as anyone. However, he has been far and away our worst hitter this year. If the idea is to get him better pitches to hit in front of Winker then instead of leadoff hit him in the 9 hole like Blandino is today. That accomplishes the same thing and it’s less pressure for him plus it keeps our “worst hitter” from potentially getting more ABs than anyone else. For whatever it’s worth I believe his problems are in his head, not in his skills.

    • LGR

      I’d say Wink is the co-best hitter on the team. So it’d make sense for him to hit first in front of the other one. The other happens to not be playing tonight, so it’s w/e. And it’s always wrong to bat the guy with the literal worst OBP on the team by a good amount 1st. It just doesn’t make sense. Wouldn’t you rather have his solo home run potential at the end of the lineup? Hey if we have a 40 home run guy hitting 7th in front of the pitcher, I’d take that any day.

      • MBS

        This isn’t a promotion, its an approach rehab. 2 years ago he was our highest OBP guy. The game still has feel to it, it’s not just math.

  20. Roger Garrett

    Wink gets plunked after the homer by Suarez.Make em pay get him home.

  21. Mark Moore

    At least we turned over the line-up and gave ourselves a chance. And Geno didn’t whiff, so that’s a plus (though I have to think it was a weak roller if Strasburgh fielded it).

    • Mark Moore

      Sorry – missed that it was Blandino batting 9th.

  22. Indy Red Man

    Yankees shut out on 2 hits in the first of a DH today. They’re getting nothing out of their outfield and either Stanton and/or Judge is always hurt. We could deal them Naquin or even Castellanos. Nick C. said he’s sick of losing? If you’re sick of chicken do you want to work at KFC?

    They have a couple of young guys I’ve always liked in P- Jonathan Loaisiga or righty OF Clint Frazier. Frazier is still only 26 and a former 1st rounder like Naquin. He could get it together at some point.

    • Old-school

      If the Reds dont trade Castellanos- its malfeasance. They agreed to give the guy 2 opt outs in 2 years- and hes going to opt out as an MVP candidate

      • Rex

        That is a fact…sign him or trade him. Spoiler alert: the Reds won’t be signing him.

  23. Old-school

    It appears Suarez mentally is now awake. Keep him at 3b. Outstanding barehanded play.

  24. JB

    You want to trade Castellanos for an outfielder that could get it together? Dick William’s is this you?

  25. Dennis Westrick

    Come on guys! Gotta give Sonny some run support! More than one (1) run please!

  26. Old-school

    Pat Sajack is melodramatic.
    Gray strikes out the pitcher.


    Welsh and Sajack clearly trying to buddy up

    • RojoB

      You mean trying to make up after last night’s quarrel?

  27. Mark Moore

    58 pitches through 4. Let’s knuckle down and get Sonny some more run support.

  28. Melvin

    I will say this about Schrock from what I’ve seen so far. I like him better than Blandino. David Bell should too since he’s a lefty. 🙂

    • JB

      Blandino just seems to not have any confidence at the plate. I was hoping when he made the team that he would take off and produce when called upon. Just isnt happening.

    • MBS

      I like Schrock to, I hope he sticks. He’s seems to be everything you want from a bench piece.

  29. Melvin

    Thank you for walking Saurez to get to Winker. 🙂

  30. Melvin

    Catching some breaks. We need em. 🙂

  31. DaveCT

    You can see why the club *loves* Tyler Stephenson. Rookie. Vs. Strasberg. No contrst, right?

    I thought, no, he’s gonna rock Strasberg.


    Put this big, athletic, square jawed, everyday kid on all future team posters.

    An out, yes. Smashed, yes, also. Today.

    Welcome Tyler Stephenson.

    • Indy Red Man

      He’s actually 4 for his last 27, but he’s hit some bullets! That smash just now and that ball where Cain robbed him. Young guys are going to take their lumps, but how else do you get experience?

      • DaveCt

        No other way.

        You look at this guy and then think about what he’d be doing with Jose Garcia in AA.

        There’s s lot to look forward on.

  32. Melvin

    Sonny is really pitching well today. 🙂 Just what the doctor ordered.

  33. Old-school

    Kudos to sonny gray
    This is a 7 inning game. Hes competing his tail off for the Reds.
    If Reds win series by beating Scherzer and Strasburg- thats the real deal.

    • JB

      It’s amazing they beat good pitchers and teams(Dodgers) but make lousy pitchers look like Cy Young or make teams like Arizona look like world beaters .

  34. Melvin

    A complete game would be nice. I love these 7 inning games. 🙂 Our bullpen doesn’t look so bad all of a sudden.

    • Mark Moore

      Completely forgot this was a 7-inning affair. Feeling much better now, especially after chasing Strasburg. A series win would be wonderful!

  35. Melvin

    Sonny dominating this game. Awesome. 🙂

  36. Old-school

    Tyler mahle and sonny gray tied for biggest pitching performances of the year . Both showed up as stoppers against cy young winners

  37. Melvin

    We don’t need most of our infield tonight. Sonny doing it all. 🙂

  38. JB

    I see Reiver Sanmartin got promoted to Louisville. Reds have some talented pitchers in minors.

  39. Indy Red Man

    Josh Bell lifetime .849 ops in gabp and on a 1 yr deal $6 mil. If universal DH is coming back then they could use him, but they have several guys now where their best defensive position is DH)). Didn’t Bell play outfield earlier in his career?

  40. LDS

    I knew Bell wouldn’t leave it alone. Should have stuck with Gray. Pitchers really can go more than 6 innings or 90 pitches.

  41. Mark Moore

    That felt good … actually GREAT!

  42. RedsMonk65

    THAT was a nice win. Perhaps the best the Reds have looked all year overall. If someone had told me we were going to D.C. and would beat both Max Scherzer and Strasburg, I would not have believed it for the world.

    Good job Reds. Keep the fire lit!

    Can’t wait until everyone is healthy. If that happens, and we can continue to fire on all cylinders like tonight (a lot of ifs, I know), then this team can compete into September and possibly beyond.

      • RedsMonk65

        Need to keep the train rolling in Chicago, where the Cubs are now in first (or tied for first). Can make up a lot of ground there, potentially.

  43. TR

    That’s the way to do it. Big win to take series.

  44. Stoney

    Thank goodness for Sonny Gray. Guy competes hard every time he steps on the field. Much needed series win. Keep it going in Chicago. Antone might even get to pitch.

    • Dennis Westrick

      And we might see Nick C. play as well!

  45. Dennis Westrick

    Beat two (2) former Cy Young winners the last three (3) days but struggle against the Dbacks, Pie Rats and others! Frustrating to say the least! Let’s move on and take the series from the Cubby Bears and get closer to first place!