Luis Castillo IS BACK – or at least he was on Friday as he allowed just one run in 6.0 innings in St. Louis as the Cincinnati Reds beat up on the Cardinals for a while before the bullpen made it close.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (26-29)
6 2 1
St. Louis Cardinals (31-27)
4 7 0
W: Castillo (2-8) L: Kim (1-4) SV: Feliz (1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Tyler Stephenson got the scoring started with a leadoff home run in the top of the 2nd inning. Kyle Farmer was hit by a pitch later in the inning and Jonathan India followed with a home run of his own, making it 3-0 for the Reds.

Prior to the start of the 4th inning Cardianls starter Kwang Hyun Kim was injured while warming up and had to exit the game. He was replaced by Jake Woodford. He kept the Reds off the board for the next 1.2 innings. But when Seth Elledge took over that’s then when Cincinnati got to work. Jonathan India drew a walk and Luis Castillo crushed a double to the warning track in center to get back the run he had just allowed in the previous inning to extend the lead to 4-1 in the top of the 6th.

The Reds played add on in the 9th when the best hitting duo in the National League got to work. Jesse Winker singled, Nick Castellanos doubled and then Tyler Stephenson singled in Winker to make it 5-1. Shogo Akiyama then grounded into a force out, but Castellanos scored to make it 6-1. They would need those runs.

The Pitching

Luis Castillo was having himself a strong night, tossing up zeroes in the run column through four, but Edumndo Sosa hit a solo homer in the 5th to get the Cardinals on the board and cut the Reds lead to 3-1. After doubling in a run in the top of the 6th Castillo returned to the mound and had to work to get through the inning but shattered Yadier Molina’s bat on a 99.1 MPH fastball that ended the inning in a pop up to Jonathan India. That would be his final pitch of the game as he went to the bench with just one run over 6.0 innings on three hits, a walk, and with five strikeouts.

Brad Brach came out for the bottom of the 7th inning and made quick work of the Cardinals with two strikeouts and a ground out to third base. Ryan Hendrix took over in the 8th but allowed a double and a walk in 0.2 innings before David Bell came out to bring on Heath Hembree to face Nolan Arenado. The Reds and Hembree came out ahead as Arenado struck out swinging to strand two and Cincinnati held their 4-1 lead.

The 9th inning was given to Hembree with a short bullpen on the night as both Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone unavailable after last night. He got Yadier Molina to ground out to start the frame but then walked Tyler O’Neill and then seemingly hit Matt Carpenter to put two men on the bases. After a replay request, though, Carpenter returned to the batters box because he wasn’t actually hit by the pitch. He doubled on the next pitch to make it 6-2.

Cincinnati went to Sean Doolittle to set up a lefty-on-lefty match up, but the Cardinals pinch hit a righty in Andrew Knizner. Doolittle walked him. Tommy Edman followed up with a 2-run double to make it 6-4. The first of those two runs was an inherited runner that scored. Doolittle has now allowed 11 of 13 inherited runners to score this season. Dylan Carlson followed with a single to put runners on the corners and that brought out Bell to bring in Michael Feliz to face Paul Goldschmidt with two outs. Easy peasey for Feliz-ee as he needed just three pitches to strike out Goldschmidt to end the game and pick up the save.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Sunday June 6th, 2:15pm ET

Tyler Mahle vs TBA

64 Responses

  1. LDS

    Maybe Doolittle goes when Lorenzen is activated? Though not a lefty obviously. Wish Bell would have tried to stretch both Castillo & Brach. Maybe it would have made a less “exciting” game – maybe not.

    • JayTheRed

      Giving Castillo 6 innings of only 1 run was quite nice to see. I don’t know much about Brach was he a wavier pick up or someone just called up from the minors? Does he usually pitch 2 innings or typically just 1.

      • LDS

        Don’t know. But Castillo was doing reasonably well. Give him a chance to go longer. If he gets in trouble, pull him. Maybe he said he was done. Don’t know. Just not a fan of the 90-95 pitches and done, or the 15-20 pitches or an inning and the reliever is done. I guess I’m a dinosaur. Pay them more and expect less.

  2. JayTheRed

    Seems like the only time that Dolittle does decently is when he has a clean inning. Loved that first pitch Feliz threw.

    All in all its a win for the good guys… If only we could win the next two… Crosses fingers.

  3. Sliotar

    As seen tonight ….

    Antone and Sims … or the chances of winning dims.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      I’d add Hembree to your list, but that’s it, the other five guys are just for low risk situations, although Feliz came in a big fashion tonight.

    • RedsGettingBetter

      Brad Brach is doing a decent job until now…

    • Hotto4Votto

      You did call it yesterday, that using both Antone and Sims 2 innings could become an issue for the bullpen the next game. Sure enough not having either available led to a nail biter of a 9th.

      • greenmtred

        But they won on Thursday, very possibly because they got 4 innings out of Antone and Sims, and then they won last night, nail biter aside.

    • Grand Salami

      Bell: only mostly dead.

      Now hopefully the Reds aren’t playing for true love or Bell will let them expire!

      (It’s not a great reference but I couldn’t resist.)

  4. Sliotar

    Tonight is one of those “David Bell Overmanaging” deals that the lapdog Cincinnati media, nor Reds Twitter, never calls out …

    End of 7th … Brad Brach gets 3 outs on 12 pitches. He hasn’t pitched since 5/31 (one inning)

    Reds are 94% favorites to win.

    Leave Brach in? Of course not. 4 more pitchers used to get 6 outs.

    The Reds have one SP (Miley) that feels safe in getting through 6 innings … and Bell treated tonight like a Spring Training game.

    • Sliotar

      I wouldn’t even say Miley is a lock to get through 6 IP … he isn’t.

      He just shows more flashes of “when he’s on, he can get through 6.”

      • MFG

        Miley unlike most of our pitchers throws strikes. Does anyone else think our pitching coach might be overrated? Maybe the best pitching coach out there sits in the San Francisco dugout? Most of our starters can only go 5 innings because they cannot throw strikes and they throw close to 100 pitches in 5 innings. Not just walks but constantly pitching from behind. 2-0 or 3-1 to most hitters is asking for trouble.

    • Klugo

      Yeah. It seemed like a little much. Even yanking Hembree with one out left and a pinch-hitter coming up, still up 4 or 5. But what do I know? Maybe he was getting tired.

    • Melvin

      Well In my view if Brach was able to keep going he should have. Cowboy was commenting on how well he was throwing. As bad as our pen has been and we take someone out while he’s throwing so well?? Take him out while we have the lead late in the game?????. smh Speaking of the Cowboy he said, and this is pretty much a quote, “If we fix everything else but don’t fix the bullpen it doesn’t matter”. I agree. For the those who don’t believe our two “aces” in AA shouldn’t be up here at the ML level because they need their innings consider this. The way pitching goes these days with starters rarely going more than five innings, don’t we basically need two starters every game?

    • greenmtred

      But then there was the criticism of Bell for using Antone and Sims for two innings each. Is he over-managing or trying to manipulate wins with a bullpen that has only two reliable pitchers?

    • RojoB

      The game does seem to be one of those Reds “win in spite of” the manager’s decisions, which is better than the more frequent “lose because of” games

      • greenmtred

        The “lose because of..” narrative is a popular outgrowth of our frustration with the team, but it’s not verifiable; we can’t know the outcome of alternate course of action. E.G.: Bell brings in a pinch hitter we think little of and he strikes out to end the game. But, of course, the pinch hitter we preferred might also have struck out to end the game.

  5. Redsfan11

    Doolittle going nowhere soon IMO. about $1mil left on contract and that is hefty salary dump for Bob’s pockets. His numbers are surprisingly “better” than many of our other “relievers”, but seems like he always gives up runs coming in.

    Glad to see India and Stephenson play better. Some guys are going to have to go step it up. Nick and Wink can’t carry this offense forever

    Suarez hasn’t really improved form the lead off spot. Really think it may be time to send him down or at the very least back of lineup.

    • BatsLeftThrowsRight

      Guys like Suarez don’t get sent down, because you don’t pay somebody 11 million dollars a year to play in the minors, except for a rehab assignment.

      The Reds are stuck with him no matter what. I agree the lead off spot is not for him. Maybe hit him seventh for awhile and pray he comes around.

      The guy is rolling over on pitches bouncing out to the left side constantly now. Maybe somebody needs to tell him to attempt tp start hitting the ball the opposite way with some consistency and religion. Staying back gives him a longer look and maybe “stops the bleeding.”

      Sitting him down for a series should be considered.

      • BatsLeftThrowsRight

        *repetition not religion.

      • Grand Salami

        Ironically he came up as an all fields hitter when it felt like Most of the lineup were pull hitters. will he be blaming the dimensions of GABP at the end of career for ruining his approach?

      • GreatRedLegsFan

        Question is what they’ll do once Votto and Moustakas are back, how can he justify his presence in the line-up?

      • Melvin

        The commenters on MLB TV were saying that ever since he said he would get 50 homers his swing basically changed or something to that effect. Even non Reds fans can figure him out.

      • RojoB

        He can’t be sent down—no options. But he sure could be sit down

        But he’s the team leader in games played and at bats. I suspect part of the at bats lead is not just because he has been leading off, but also because he doesn’t walk anymore

    • Grand Salami

      Minors or no, with tonight’s outing Suarez’s lead off sample is virtually identical to his season sample. He needs to be sent a message. He’s 8 until he figures out that the Sammy Sosa approach to hitting is ‘unsound’.

      India made a good case tonight and there is Akiyama who has been making good contact and giving good at bats for the past
      Couple of weeks without the averages or obp to show.

    • Jim t

      I believe Suarez has been on base 8 of the 9 games or 10 games he has led off. Bell’s attempt to get him going by leading him off has shown some improvement in his game. Putting him in front of Winker and Nick C is an attempt to get him better pitches. It is imperative they get Geno going. He is paid good money and even if you wanted to move him in a trade to get value for him he has to be hitting otherwise you get nothing in return. If the reds remain in contention getting him hitting again would be huge. It would also increase his trade value if you tried to trade him.

      If the reds can get ML back and he is effective it will be a huge boost to the pen. The start by Castillo is very encouraging. We are 5 games out and only 4 in the loss column. Senzel,Votto and Moose are getting close to returning. Get Suarez right and a couple of guys revert to playing like the back of their baseball cards and we can win his division. Otherwise you tear it down at the deadline and start over.

      • Doc

        Compare his stat line as a leadoff hitter to his stat line as not a leadoff hitter. Don’t cherry pick one stat.

        Bell tried an experiment; it didn’t work as Suarez has not come out of his funk. At this point Bell is now giving the most at bats to a guy who is one on his least effective hitters. Even Billy Hamilton was a better leadoff hitter than Suarez, and Hamilton was not good.

        Try the next experiment and move Suarez to the bench for a few games, then drop him to the 8 or 9 hole. At least it would markedly reduce his number of plate appearances at a .160 average.

        Also, it is probably more appropriate to compare plate appearances than to compare at bats. Walks, HBP, Sac Fly, Sac Bunt are all plate appearances with positive outcomes but do not count as at bats.

  6. Maloney63

    When you’re down to Doolittle, Feliz and Garrett to get one lousy out, that is one truly SCARY proposition. Whew, we escaped!

  7. Klugo

    I feel a bit of a rhythm developing. Winker and Castellanos have obviously been carrying this team for a while now. Everyone else, including the pitching, seem to be catching up. Great leadership from those two.

    • TR

      The Reds have two all stars in Winker and Castellanos and Stephenson and India are in the making. The starting pitching is coming into shape with Castillo and Gutierrez on the right track. And the returns from the injury list is encouraging. Still a lot of baseball to play.

      • Doc

        I hope they learn from India that people who perform are better for the team than people who have big guaranteed contracts but don’t perform.

      • RojoB


        Totally agree and it’s sad that the club operates as if the latter is the truth rather than the former.

        You’d think politics would be discounted for the sake of wins.

        Your high dollar player is not helping you win games but your rookie is? Then put the non-performer on the bench so the rookie can help the team win, because a winning team helps pay the high dollar contract whether the big guy sits on the bench or not! And playing the big guy isn’t helping you win, so said player isn’t even earning his keep (so to speak).

        So frustrating

  8. Indy Red Man

    Well I didn’t think they’d sniff .500 again after that horrific SF series, but they probably played their best game of the year thru 8 innings tonite. SF is up 8-5 and that would get the Reds within 5 games. You never know?

    They definitely need a LH reliever and maybe two? Its mandatory that the front office go out and get someone. They have nothing from the left side. Doolittle needs to get released and AG isn’t the answer either. Lorenzen is better then most of their guys and should be able to help. Hoffman might help too? He seems to be good thru the lineup once.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      Very poor outing by Doolittle, as most of his outings have been this season. I’d rather have a more reliable righty than a struggling lefty.

  9. Grand Salami

    Doug, this recap is no bueno. It’s either historical revisionism or just erroneous. Kizner was in the on deck circle the entire time.

    Both Thrall and Brantley said Hembree would face Kizner as his final chance to record the save. They were baffled by the move to Dolittle.

    Either Bell made the call without letting the PH enter play or he simply over-managed and pulled Hembree a batter too early.

    There was never a lefty on lefty matchup to which you were referring. Moreover, StL had two switch hitters at the top of the order which made the percentages of the pitcher/hitter at the 9 spot all the more important. (Also the lead off hitter had a higher average against Lefties). At the time I said that percentages and the feel of the game dictated a no to any pitching change but Bell was the the Kool Aid man saying “Oh yeah”.

    You’ve been pulling a lot of punches lately about some mistakes or gassing up guys like Geno so it reads more like propaganda than down the line reporting. I know you may feel compelled to offset the negativity of this fan base but it cannot come at the expense of the truth.

    It ain’t good. Tell me if I misinterpreted what you wrote. Hopefully I’m jumping to conclusions!

    • PTBNL

      and by all means, change the total of Reds hits from 2 to 9 in the line score at the top for crying outside. Sheesh!

  10. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    At the very minimum, this team needs to win the next one of two games in this series. Preferably winning tomorrow, with Mahle pitching against somebody the Cardinals have yet to name.

    Cardinals are “beat up”” like the Reds. It’s time for the Reds to make a small statement, a sweep would go a long way in giving some of the younger guys a big boost of confidence.

    Baseball is a game of momentum. Have to continue to beat these guys while they are down.

    • TR

      Yes, the Cardinals do not have many down periods. This is one of them. Win another takes the series, a sweep equals a real move.

  11. CFD3000

    Nice win, critical outing for Castillo. Now he needs to back it up in five days.

    The Suarez at leadoff experiment has to end. The “he’s reached base nearly every game guys” are missing the point. With a .265 OBP then sure, give him five plate appearances every night and on average he’ll be on base most nights. But that’s still a terrible rate. Move him to 7th or 8th. Bump India or Akiyama or Votto to leadoff. Soon. Please.

    The potential is there. Go Reds!

  12. Reddawg2012

    Bullpen gave me a heart attack, but beating the Cardinals in Busch stadium will never get old.

    On another note, when Moose comes back, he has to play 3B, India stays at 2B, and Geno comes off the bench. At least if things stay as they are now. Right?

      • Reddawg2012

        You’re probably right, but playing him at SS almost makes him even more of a liability than he is now because his defense is even worse there than at 3B. Farmer can’t hit but at least he’s fairly reliable at SS.

    • Melvin

      No matter what we want Suarez is not coming out for a long period. If we want India to stay we HAVE TO TRY HIM AT SS. If we were willing to try Suarez there then there is NO REASON not to try India there. He’s quicker with better range and more than a good enough arm.

  13. Grand Salami

    Per Baseball Reference – Suarez since May 25 (lead off man)

    .205 .262 .436 .698

    India over that same span from the 8 spot.

    .391 .533 .565 1.099

    This is a no brainer.

    • Jim t

      This isn’t a choice between India and Suarez. India plays 2nd and Suarez plays SS.Moose plays 3rd and Votto is at 1st.

    • MBS

      Yes, India is a .391 batter. Come on man, he’s on a hot streak. It actually is a no brained, just you got it mixed up.

      • Grand Salami

        Sorry I wasn’t clear. That was a post about India leading off instead. That’s all.

        And clearly David Bell listened to me! 🙂

  14. ClevelandRedsFan

    India now has a .360 OBP and has speed and works the count and hits right handed to set up right, lefty, right at top of order.

    Reds haven’t had a good lead off hitter in years. We finally have one, but he bats 8.

    I get the Geno leading off experiment, but at least move India up ahead of Farmer and let him hit sixth.

  15. Jim t

    Win today and we are playing with house money on Sunday.

  16. Redgoggles

    Winning beats losing, and winning at St. Louis is extra fun. The bullpen feels a bit like smoke/mirrors and a horror show but 2 of the main cogs (Garrett/Lorenzen) being down really hurts……as does Suarez/Castillo. That keeps me from being too critical of Bell, as I think a few of his core group of players have failed him so far and deserve the blame over the manager……..he has shown willingness to change it up to try and get them going. It’s nice to see Castillo have a great game, hopefully the warm weather will bring him back to “normal”. It seems to me part of the problem with him this year (and in his career) comes when he tries to strike everyone out. This is similar to Geno trying to hit 50 homers. And, Garrett speaking out about being the closer among other things hasn’t aged well with his performance to date. Aspects of all 3 of these players reflect a level of selfishness over team, which is what I look to Bell to address. They are all key cogs to this team and should be held accountable as such. I’m sure it’s a tricky job as a manager giving them rope and balancing accountability with showing confidence. I’m not a huge fan of how he runs the bullpen, but let’s be honest with his options. Beyond Antone/Sims, is there anyone that you can really count on consistently at this point?

    Let’s get to .500, get healthy enough to bench Suarez for a series/week until he shows commitment to using all fields, buy (or trade to improve roster needs) a couple pieces over the summer and make a run for it! Looking forward to getting back to the ballpark next week.

  17. Moon

    Ok, as I previously posted I went to the Rocket City Trash Panda game last night against the Chattanooga Lookouts to watch Hunter Greene pitch. It was a really fun experience. The stadium is in Madison, Alabama. Brand new, very clean and modern. They do a fabulous job with parking tickets, seating etc. It was a really fun experience and I will be back for sure. Anyway, my seats were right behind home plate. I can tell you Greene is already better than some of the pitchers the Reds have on the staff. He is bigger than I thought. He is a big strong looking young man that looks the part. He walked the first guy he faced on what I thought was a questionable call. But that was it. After watching the Reds it was actually refreshing to see the lack of walks. Although he did throw a 100 mph fastball into the ribs of some guy. It looked quite painful. Hunter struck out 10 in 6.2 innings. He fast balls were consistently 100-101 mph. He did not hit that speed occasionally, every fastball he threw hit 100 or 101. His offspeed pitch, probably a slider most of the time, was hitting 90 mph. He only allowed 3 hits through six but I could tell he was tiring and probably should have been pulled after six. In the 7th he was overthrowing the ball and started getting rocked. He allowed a three run HR before he was pulled. I talked to some Chattanooga fans that drove down for the weekend games. Lodolo goes today. They told me they love Greene and he is the more athletic of the two but right now Lodolo is the better pitcher. If that is the case the Reds have a couple of pretty exciting young pitchers that are going to be able to help shore up the staff in the relative near future.

    • Indy Red Man

      Appreciate the report! Thanks!

      The Reds really could use Lodolo right now in a Antone type of role. Yes it starts his service time, etc., but they’re in the race and he’s 23 years old. The lefties they have now can’t pitch so why not? Wainwright started off as a reliever. The Angels won a WS with 20 year old Francisco Rodrigues. Cmon? Lodolo could possibly be a vintage Andrew Miller type. Anything close to that would be a gamechanger for Bell.

      • TR

        Overall, the Reds keep their talented young players in the minors too long so they’re often near their mid-twenties before they reach the Bigs.

  18. Steven Ross

    Have to wonder if Doolittle is long for this team. Comes in the proceeds to issue a four pitch walk. Come on dude. I just don’t see him in our plans going forward.

    Meanwhile, at leadoff: I’ve seen enough of the Suarez experiment. I get it. More fastballs with Winker and Nick coming up but it’s not working. Hey, here’s an idea: why not India? I know, makes too much sense.

    • Indy Red Man

      India has a .435 obp since May 13. Now some of that is being pitched around in the 8 hole, but thats still impressive! Leadoff could be too much for him as a rookie, but why not try it? What other options do we have? When Votto gets back they’ll probably have Naquin lead off vs rhp, but India could leadoff vs lefties.

      • Doc

        There are eight or nine at bats in a game that are lead off at bats and only one of those starts the game. After that, every at bat is in the flow of the game. I’d love to see India lead off, or bat Winker, Castellanos, India, Stephenson 1-2-3-4 until the rookies prove they can’t handle it. So far, it looks to me, they are providing more clutch hits than Suarez.

  19. Indy Red Man

    Shogo would’ve probably caught Carpenter’s flyball in the 9th last night. When Lorenzen gets back then he can play CF when they have a late lead and slide Shogo to LF. When he’s not pitching of course. Improved defense can really help this shaky pen close out games.

  20. Mike

    Moon, that sounds like a fun evening. Glad to hear that Greene is progressing post T-J surgery. I hope the Reds and Reds fans will have some patience with him and Lodolo and let them develop their full arsenal of pitches and strategies for going through the lineup 3-4 times. Look at how long it has taken Mahle to turn into a fully capable starter. Let’s recall Chapman, Cingrani, BobSteve…maybe even Iglesias…who didn’t develop the secondary pitches… or stamina… to be an effective starter. Lorenzen might actually be a similar case. I know it’s tempting to imagine Greene or Lodolo as late call-ups to work out of the bullpen but why risk derailing their development when a trade might be a better option. (But for whom?) MLB hitters can get after 100mph pitches after a few at bats and they’ve seen a pitcher a few times. I’d hate to think Antone is permanently relegated to the bullpen just because Doolittle et al do so little. Hate to see that happen to Greene or Lodolo, too.

    • Moon

      I did not see Lodolo but with Greene I think he would be better off in Chattanooga getting regular starts for the time being. But I would like to see him in a Reds uniform next year.

  21. Roger Garrett

    Pen is a mess but when you have a guy that is getting it done why try to find one that may not and he has several to chose from.Its insane to pull any reliever after a clean inning of only 12 pitches as he did with Brach and it was even more insane to pull Hembree with 2 down in the ninth and a 4 run lead.Not because of how it turned out but because 3 more guys must get on and score to tie the game.What changed in Bell’s mind to pull Hembree?All of a sudden he has no confidence in him?What changed was the match up of lefty on lefty that he just couldn’t resist which didn’t happen anyway.He got suckered in by the guy in the other dugout who wanted to see Doolittle against the pinch hitter who never swung and Edman and Carlson.He also gets Felix against Goldy with the game on the line.Great win despite just the dumbest of moves by our manager.It will happen again you can bet on it