It’s another afternoon game at Wrigley Field, with a rematch of the pitching match-up from the first Saturday in May at Great American Ball Park. The Cincinnati Reds (22-27) meet up with the Chicago Cubs (28-22) for the second game of this three game weekend series. The Cubs have won five in a row, and the Reds will try to get their offense restarted after being shut-out 1-0 yesterday.

First pitch is at 2:20 EDT. The game can be found on Bally Sports Ohio. If you’re outside the Cincinnati market, it is also’s Free Game of the Day. You can also listen on 700 WLW (and you never know what you’ll get on radio broadcasts, like Joey Votto doing play by play).

Starting Pitchers

Luis Castillo 47.1 7.61 4.43 4.75 4.04 1.80 19.9% 8.4%
Zach Davies 45.1 4.96 7.15 5.04 5.72 1.70 12.3% 11.8%


Right-hander Luis Castillo seemed to be turning a corner after his home start against the Giants. Although he  gave up three runs on six hits, he struck out 11 in five innings. It seemed like everything may have been starting to turn around for him. And then he pitched against the Brewers last Sunday and allowed five runs on five hits while walking four.

Castillo has faced the Cubs once this year, at GABP. It was one of his better starts, in which he gave up three runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and one walk in 5.1 innings.

You might think walks are hurting Castillo on the mound, as he’s already walked 19 batters in ten starts this season. Last season, in 12 starts, he walked 24 batters. But his overall walk rate sits at 8.4%, about the same as 2020 and down from the 10.1% walk rate in 2019. What is really hurting him is that his strikeout rate is the lowest of his career at 19.9%, and the lowest since it was 23.3% in 2018. The whiff rate on his change up is down to 28.9% from 40.1% in 2020, and the whiff rate on his four-seamer is at 20.9%, down from 37.2% a year ago. If Castillo’s whiff rates are down, it means his contact rates are up. More batters are making contact against him, and that’s something that he and Derek Johnson have to figure out.


Right-hander Zach Davies is not having the season he would like, and especially not the season he had last year in San Diego when he posted a 2.73 ERA in 69.1 innings. He also had a strikeout rate of 22.8% last year, which was a career high by a lot. Normally his strikeout rate has been in the 15-18 percent range. Most of his issues this year stem from allowing walks. He’s walked almost as many batters as he’s struck out, and his 11.8% walk rate is the highest it’s been in his career.

When Davies faced the Reds May 1 at GABP, he pitched only four innings, giving up four hits on two runs, one earned, while walking three batters and striking out three.

Davies throws four pitches, but mainly relies on his sinker and his change up. He averages about 88 mph with his sinker and 78-79 mph with his change up. That change up is his out pitch, as his whiff rate this year is 30.1% and he has 17 strikeouts with it. Last year, his whiff rate was 35.9% with 41 strikeouts.


Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs

SS Eugenio Suárez LF Joc Pederson
LF Jesse Winker 1B Kris Bryant
RF Nick Castellanos SS Javier Báez
CF Tyler Naquin CF Ian Happ
C Tyler Stephenson C Willson Contreras
3B Max Schrock RF Rafael Ortega
2B Jonathan India 3B David Bote
P Luis Castillo 2B Eric Sogard
1B Alex Blandino P Zach Davies

After a day off, Eugenio Suárez is back in the lineup, back to the leadoff spot, and back at shortstop. Also notable is that manager David Bell is hitting Castillo in the eighth spot, hoping to get some lineup turnover with his best hitters at the top.

News and Notes

If you missed it, Vladimir Gutierrez had a stellar MLB debut yesterday.

If you’re a subscriber to The Athletic, C. Trent Rosecrans posted a great story this morning about how Joey Votto wound up in the radio booth yesterday afternoon.

Final Thoughts

This really is a huge series for the Reds. They came into the series four games under .500. Winning the series would be ideal to keep themselves within striking distance of the Cubs and Cardinals. Meanwhile, the Cubs are on a five-game winning streak and seemingly moving in the opposite direction as the Reds. Losing 1-0 yesterday was not the way to start, but if they can get a win today, Tyler Mahle is pitching tomorrow. The opportunity is still there to finish with a winning road trip.

137 Responses

  1. Bred

    Thanks Ashley. I don’t get not playing Stephenson at first and Tucker behind the plate everyday until Votto returns. IMO that puts the best hitters in the lineup for those 2 positions.

    • Redsfan4life

      The more Stephenson plays the less he is hitting. He hasn’t had a day off for a while. I look for it to be his turn to sit tomorrow.

  2. Redsfan4life

    We have reached the point that I never thought I would see. Kyle Farmer is now getting scheduled days off. First game setting out since Votto went down.

    • Old-school

      I would have liked to have seen the Reds sign jose Iglesias to a (2) year deal after the 2019 season. But like so many, Iglesias is now on the IL with a hamstring and aside from the lone exception of Marcus Semien- $18 mil- the FA/available SS class of 2020 has largely underperformed

      Its Jose Garcia or bust.

      • Rex

        yes it was a big mistake to let him go

  3. Old-school

    Glad to see Naquin Stephenson and India getting regular at bats. India’s wRC+ is 93 which isnt bad for a rookie whose not played above AA and limited at that. Defensively he is solid.

    Stephenson is doing ok as well x for the double plays but thats baseball.

    The Reds control Naquin in 2022 who’s fWAR is already 0.8 and a bargain so gotta find out what these 3 can do with regular at bats with Senzel/Moose/and Votto on the IL.

  4. Klugo

    Groovy Day. I cant help but imagine the Cubs hitters doing all that they could to get included in today’s lineup. Let’s see if Castillo can make them regret it.

  5. Mark Moore

    Weather looking to be cool and dry … dry is good; cool and La Piedra don’t usually mix well.

    • Rex

      we should look at batting La Piedra in the 4 spot so we can lead of the second inning with a pinch hitter on a bullpen day

      hope I am wrong

  6. Melvin

    Suarez at SS never gives me confidence. As mentioned above I too don’t understand why Barnhart is not in there with Stephenson. We’d better find a way to win and do it fast. As usual I don’t understand DB but oh well. We’d just better win. Here’s hoping for a good day.

  7. Old-school

    Geno outstanding play at SS with athletic india at 2b with the stretch.

    • Melvin

      Well it worked. lol It was almost in RF but it worked. Credit India with a pretty good play there to save it.

      • Rex

        India is a keeper, his glove has been awesome

  8. Indy Red Man

    3-0 weak popup with the wind howling in??? C’mon??? Looked like ball 4? This team is so adjective stupid? They swing 3-0 every time now? I’m going to watch them roll over the lineup once more and thats it. Why waste time on another 2-1 3-1 loss

    • J

      Not to mention it’s leading off an inning with decent hitters coming up. The baseball IQ on this team is well below average, and the fact that it’s allowed to continue game after game after game tells me the manager’s baseball IQ is well below average.

  9. Indy Red Man

    Had enough. This season is done

  10. Melvin

    Well…we need a SS gentlemen. How long are we going to hang with Blandino playing and even on the roster? Are we going to wait to make a move until we’re out of it?

  11. Mark Moore

    Great srart. Excellent lineup choices Mr. Bell. Best players possible at each position.

    • Mark Moore

      Start. Love being in a hole and digging harder.

      • RedsMonk65

        Seems to be how we roll. Sloppy play and mental errors are discouraging. You can’t give opponents free passes on the base paths like we do routinely.

  12. Old Big Ed

    Can’t anybody here play this game???

  13. Melvin

    Cubs playing small ball…and winning. Hmmm

    • Melvin

      When we swing at 3-0 pitches that’s a pretty good sing we’re not interested in playing “small ball” don’t you think?

  14. Old-school

    Open tryouts SS at GABP 2 pm tomorrow.

    Thanks Bob

    You havent had a succession plan since Cozart in 2017

    Peraza never was a plan

  15. MK

    That’s what happens when you have a third baseman playin 1st, 2nd, and short with a second baseman at third.

  16. ClevelandRedsFan

    I have a very difficult time believing Suarez is a better SS than Blandino.

    He cost his team 2 runs that inning.

  17. Dennis Westrick

    Once again we make a starting pitcher from the other team with an ERA of nearly 5 look like Cy Young! A sweep by the Cubs will create a situation that will be difficult if not possible to overcome!

  18. Melvin

    I’m convinced we need a real SS. Period. If not Garcia bring up AlfRod. Hit them 9th like Blandino if necessary and let them play “small ball”. Nothing against Farmer. He can still fill in. We just need a regular REAL SS.

    • Melvin

      And never ever play Suarez there again unless an extreme emergency.

      • Melvin

        How are we ever going to “get him right” at the plate messing with his mind “trying” to play SS?

      • Mark Moore


        Never never never except in the case of extremely dire emergency.

        You are correct – it’s beginning to jack with his head now.

  19. Old Big Ed

    This ump, like most of them, is awful on balls and strikes.

    • Mark Moore

      It’s systemic. And it’s well past time to do something about it. And that something has to be distinctly different than just looking at tape and “thinking about what you’ve done”. There has to be a penalty for failing to do your job effectively.

  20. Indy Red Man

    I’m not counting last years nonsense so this season makes 17 out of 20 losing seasons. Thats just too much. To be more then a casual Reds fan is insane in reality.

    Entertainment or an addiction? Losing is not entertaining so hope that clears it up.

    • LDS

      I think we’ve moved past addiction and are flirting with masochism. For the Reds to be good, Bell has to go. It should be obvious to the most casual fan. Hire someone that understands how to play the game and doesn’t rely on spreadsheets to make decisions. Trade Suarez for a SS immediately. I’m crazy, I’m willing to gamble that Senzel can function effectively in the infield. Start playing Akiyama and find out if he can replicate last September or whether he’s a total bust. And knock off the pitcher reject farming. Promote some minor leaguers or make a trade but quit pretending that guys like Goudreau, Doolittle, et. al. can be rehabilitated and become aces. In other words, quit treating the fanbase as sheep and actually produce a product worth following.


    13 innings now and still hasn’t scored a run vs Cubs

  22. Old Big Ed

    Here comes the Castillo meltdown. Leadoff walk, then a HBP.

  23. Dennis Westrick

    This is when the wheels fall off for LC. Leadoff walk followed by a HBP. Get the bullpen up!

  24. J

    The same guy who’s swinging at a 3-0 pitch outside the strike zone when leading off an inning is willing to take a fastball for strike three with two runners on base and one out. And of course there will be no repercussions because the manager doesn’t seem to realize how dumb this is.

    • Dennis Westrick

      I’m convinced that most of the Reds, save Votto, Winker and Nick C. would flunk a baseball IQ test!

      • J

        I’m afraid Winker wouldn’t pass the baserunning section of that test.

      • JB

        I love Votto and Winker but I question their IQ as well.

  25. JB

    You know alot of you question Bell and this team and the definition of insanity. I would have to question myself and why every year I come back and say this is our year. 87-75!!! I must be a complete moron. Please next year I give you all permission to tell me to shut up and go sit down when I say this is our year!!!

    • LDS

      I think there’s enough talent on the team to manage a winning record. I think there’s a lot of bad managing, a lot of poor execution, a lot of bad judgment, poor lineup selection, etc. Guys like Farmer and Blandino aren’t going to carry the team forward. I’m not sold on Naquin for that matter. I have a nagging sense of deja vu all over again (the 2021 version of Dietrich). Oh well, we don’t make the big bucks. But I’ll bet some of the folks on here could manage the team to better results than Bell.

  26. Old-school

    Castillo has thrown 57 pitches in 4 innings and given up 0 earned runs

    India great ball to RF. Probably an error against the ivy but he hit a good ball oppage

    • Dennis Westrick

      On the flip side Davies has pitched 5 innings giving up only 2 hits on 60 pitches!

  27. Old-school

    Jeff brantley did a radio preview on 700 WLW for this series and his main point was limit the big 4 – bryant,baez,Rizzo and contreras and SP isnt good or bullpen

    Rizzo hasn’t t played. The other 3 have been contained

    Theyve limited the offense but bad cubs pitching shutting out bad Reds offense

    Castillo 0 earned runs in 5 innings

  28. Melvin

    Walked Suarez to get to Winker? Okay. Like yesterday. Thank you.

  29. Mark Moore

    And Rex has to pitch to at least 2 more batters.

  30. Melvin

    Well with Casty up and two men on this is NOT a spot to play “small ball” lol.

  31. JB

    2 on and nobody out. What’s the chance Reds get nothing?

  32. Melvin

    Well Heineman looks like a hitter I’ll give him that. I hope so.

  33. RojoB

    Does Heinemann have a lifetime OPS of .950 against Rex Brothers? Otherwise the L-R “matchup” is just for the sake of a matchup

    • Melvin

      At least it was a good AB. I know what you mean though.

    • RojoB

      Everyone but me knew Scott would walk there. Naquin would obviously have not. Good job Reds!

  34. Slicc50

    Time to stop this nonsense and score!

  35. Melvin

    Safety squeeze? Scratch across on run?

    • Melvin

      Never mind. Good hit by a good hitter. 🙂

  36. Mark Moore

    How long has it been since we’ve seen that happen?

    And again, he went WITH the pitch for a double.

    • RojoB

      Amazing what real baseball intelligence gets you

    • Mark Moore

      Nobody knows how to do that anymore. Heck, most of them can’t Sac Bunt effectively. It’s not in DB’s playbook.

  37. Old-school

    Tyler Stephenson gives you a good at bat and hits to all fields

    Pencil him in the next 7-8 years

    • TR

      Stephenson is a natural hitter. A positive result of the ‘rebuild’ either catching or at first base.

  38. Mark Moore

    And we start the give back now …

  39. Dennis Westrick

    Is it just me or does it seem like the majority of WALKS by any Reds pitcher is a leadoff walk?

  40. Dennis Westrick

    Make that 2 walks! Time to relieve LC! Got 5 decent innings at least!

  41. Dennis Westrick

    AG time! Which AG will we get? The good one I hope!

  42. Old-school

    David bell makes a pitching change outside in Wrigley field wearing a mask.
    No one of the 5 others standing at the mound are wearing a mask while manager Bell is.

    Explain the science of that.

    • Ryan

      He drank the kool-aid and was never vaccinated

  43. JB

    Garrett needs to just pitch and not worry about it being the stupid cubs.

    • Rex

      We can can on AG to raise the blood a bit

  44. Melvin

    Cubs trying to bunt. That’s not allowed is it?

  45. Melvin

    I guess the old saying, ” a walk is as good as a hit” is “old school” with our pitchers.

  46. Dennis Westrick

    Bases loaded, all WALKS! We never learn!

  47. Old Big Ed

    This is why Garrett is weak. 1-2 count against a lame hitter, and walks him without getting one close. Fastballs, son.

    Will turn out to be the key AB of the game.

  48. Melvin

    Me thinks TJA should be pitching right now instead of AG.

    • Tomn

      Amir, cough, cough, choke, cough, gar cough, choke, ret

    • Melvin

      Yep. Bring him in AFTER we walk four batters with the game tied. DB just doesn’t understand the definition of “sense of urgency” I guess.

  49. Mark Moore

    UGH!! And now DB gets to over/un-manage it all again.

  50. DataDumpster

    I’m not in the flow of the game but it seems like the Reds are still having some RISP issues and Castillo may be on the mend. Not a bad day thus far (but just looking at the score).
    What came into my mind is how good is the Red’s hitting without Winker and Nick C. As a team the Reds are still a very impressive 6th in AVG (.248) despite the expected cooling off of some players. Without our two early MVP candidates, the AVG drops to .220, which lands the Red’s in 27th. Big difference! Now, guys are probably lining up to talk about walks. Wasted post, perhaps.

    • RojoB

      Interesting and unexpected stat. How is that average holding up with RISP minus Winker and Castellanos?

      • DataDumpster

        Not sure how to get that RISP data easily. Was going to repeat the calculation with extended AVG stats but figured that AVG would show the least variability but the difference was rather a astounding so I stopped there.

  51. JB

    “I became a good pitcher when I stopped trying to make them miss the ball and started trying to make them hit it.” – Sandy Koufax

    • Dennis Westrick

      It’s call pitching to contact! A strategy that is foreign to most of the Reds relief pitchers! Just painful to watch!

  52. Dennis Westrick

    Watching the beginning of the end! For the love of God, throw strikes!

  53. Old Big Ed

    Garrett is irredeemably bad mentally.

    • Old Big Ed

      Wow! See what happens when the pitcher throws strikes???

    • Mark Moore

      I fear you are correct. Suarez will be in the same camp if DB keeps jacking him around the field and nobody gets it through his head that he needs to hit with the pitch, not pull everything every time.

  54. Old-school

    Amir Garrett isnt any good
    Just like robert Stephenson cody Reed and Sal Romano

    Luis Castillo is the last relic of the Reds future filthy 5 per Steve Mancuso 4 years ago.

    • ohiojimwalker

      I am looking forward to a fearsome foursome of Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Tony Santillan and Vladi Gutierrez under the mentoring of Sonny Gray NLT next spring barring injuries. And if one of those guys isn’t ready get Tejay Antone stretched out in the spring to be a starter.

  55. Mark Moore

    OK, I’ll say it. Baez is as much of a punk as the Neck Tattoo. Just my opinion, of course.

  56. Mark Moore

    And we’re done here. I’m thinking it’s time to Clete for me. I just can’t take this garbage anymore (today).

  57. JB

    And that is the ball game. Just another quality day in Red’s country.

  58. Old Big Ed

    Thanks to the thoroughly useless Amir Garrett.

    Start trading.

  59. Dennis Westrick

    And there it goes! You play with fire (4 walks in an inning) you’re gonna get burned, and beat!

    • RojoB

      All 4 walked batters scored that inning

  60. Melvin

    Aaaa. SS doesn’t matter. We can play anyone there. SMH

  61. RedsMonk65

    All those walked in this inning have scored.

  62. Dennis Westrick

    One final comment and I’m off to dinner! For those not paying attention ALL 4 batters who walked in the bottom of the 6th inning scored! 22-28 after 50 games!

    • Mark Moore

      Say goodnight, Dennis … I know I am.

  63. Melvin

    Blandino is NOT helping this team at all…but still he plays.

  64. burtgummer01

    What the heck has happened to AG?

  65. Chris

    The problem is we have 4-5 players that are good, out of 26. And we have some bums that we play and/or pitch all the time.




    India – hopefully can be good
    Suarez- pre 2020 still gets him this category


    Moose – terrible signing retrospect
    Votto – still dumbest contract for small market team ever
    Shogo – terrible signing obviously, can’t even get time with 14 people out
    Naquin – ok start but be realistic Indians didn’t even want, he’s a waiver wire guy
    Farmer/Blandino/shrock/henneiman – deplorables




    Gutierrez- maybe can be good
    Castillo – pre 2021


    All else.

    I say anyone but maybe winker and antone should be shopped. Try and “rebuild” again.

    • burtgummer01

      Not possible to rebuild.No one will take the Votto or Moose contracts.I’d say get used to losing but I’m sure you (and all other Reds fans) already are

      • Melvin

        That’s the problem. We aren’t used to it and never will be. It stinks to put it mildly.

      • burtgummer01

        Unfortunately it won’t change without new ownership


    My mom use to say when the Reds were playing terrible, that the players were doing it on purpose trying to get the manager fired. No evidence! But Sometimes, like today, I have to wonder if she is right, lol. Double Switch with India/Antone was a waste, guess we have to save TJ for tomorrow.

  67. Roger Garrett

    The game is over of course but let me just say this going into this game we had scored 8 runs in 4 games.Thats right 8 runs in 4 games and had won 2 of them and against a pitcher that is just awful we get 2 hits in 5+ innings today.Yes the walks were awful and yes Garrett was awful but this offense if we had any other then Casty and Wink would have won all 4 games going in to today’s game.We can talk about injuries but when you have to play guys that can’t hit to begin with and you have to play guys that should and aren’t then thats what happens.Moose and Joey are aging and will lose more games to injury and maybe Senzel as well so it will not get any better.Bell must play the hand he is dealt but he must put his best team on the field each game and that does not include Farmer or Blandino for starters.This use the whole roster when it isn’t any good to start with is just silly.

    • Melvin

      ….and you can’t play a power game every game. It’s a no brainer and easy to play that way if you don’t mind losing. Have to produce runs through wisdom and execution too.

  68. Jon

    Now that the Marlins and Mets both have new owners, is there an MLB team with worse ownership than the Reds? The Angels might have that “honor”, but the way the Castellinis have destroyed a once-great franchise is shameful.

  69. Roger Garrett

    Bring up a real short stop from the minors and let him play.Eugenio back to third and TySteve plays every game and I mean every game at first.Farmer can spell Tucker when needed.India plays second and I mean every game.Thats our best infield and Naquin,Wink and Casty play in the outfield.Shogo spells Naquin when he needs it.Blandino and the other bench guys can pinch hit and or pinch run or get a spot start once every 8 or 10 games.Put India at lead off and drop Suarez to 6th.Just stop this nonsense.

    • RojoB

      Makes sense

      So it will never happen with the current leadership

  70. LDS

    And we have reached the Bell leaves the lousy pitcher in and let’s the score soar. 7 games out already

  71. Roger Garrett

    Five hits and 2 runs against 5 Cub pitchers that are really bad.Thats 10 runs in 5 games on this trip and can’t wait to see our lineup tomorrow.Note to Reds starter tomorrow.You better shut them out cause thats the only way you will win.No pressure just saying.