The Cincinnati Reds bullpen struck again and not in a good way. Luis Castillo exited the game in the 6th inning with two outs and the Reds were up 2-1. Before the inning was over it was 4-2 and the Milwaukee Brewers just kept playing add on from there as they beat the Reds and won the series with their victory on Thursday afternoon.

Final R H E
Milwaukee Brewers ()
Cincinnati Reds ()
W:  L:  SV:
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the 2nd inning it was Joey Votto that tied things up. He took a 3-2 pitch from Freddy Peralta and hit it 400 feet into the right-centerfield seats for his first home run back since returning from the injured list. But Peralta settled back in after that and kept the Reds off of the board through the 4th. But as that inning was taking place the skies opened up and between the 4th and 5th innings the tarp was pulled and the game went into a rain delay.

After the delay the Brewers opted to go to Brent Suter out of the bullpen to start the bottom of the 5th inning. That worked out for the Reds with a little bit of help from the Milwaukee defense. Kyle Farmer grounded a ball to second base that Jace Peterson had go off of his glove on a short-hop and while he recovered to make a quick flip to first base, Farmer beat the throw – worth noting that Farmer was credited with a single here. Two batters later Jesse Winker picked up a 2-out RBI with a single to left to put Cincinnati ahead 2-1.

After a rough top of the 6th that saw the Brewers take a 4-2 lead, Cincinnati’s offense needed to put the lumber to the ball and get things going if they were going to win the game and the series over Milwuakee. Former Red Brad Boxberger, Hoby Milner, and Trevor Richards took care of business as they tossed a shutout inning each as the Brewcrew won 7-2.

The Pitching

Luis Castillo didn’t have a great start to the game. He hit Luis Urias to start the game and then walked Christian Yelich after striking out Daniel Vogelbach. Avisail Garcia singled to drive in a run and put the Brewers up 1-0.

The Reds right-hander clamped down from there as he retired the Brewers in order over the next 5.0 innings before walking Vogelbach with one out in the 6th inning. Castillo followed with a walk to Yelich, too. That led to a visit by Derek Johnson and Tucker Barnhart before Avisail Garcia came to the plate. Whatever was said in the visit eventually worked as he struck out Garcia in 10-pitch at-bat. But that was all for the righty as David Bell came out to make a pitching change and bring in Lucas Sims with two men on and two outs.

That move did not work out at all. Lucas Sims allowed a game tying ground-rule double. A bloop single then brought in two more runs to make it 4-2 and despite allowing just one hit on the day, Luis Castillo wound up being charged with three earned runs and being in line for the loss.

The bullpen didn’t do much better the next inning when Bell turned to Sean Doolittle who hit a batter and then gave up a 2-run home run as Milwaukee padded their lead to 6-2. In the 8th inning it was Art Warren’s turn to give up a run as he allowed back-to-back doubles to Willy Adames and Jace Peterson to bring in another Brewers run to make it 7-2. Ashton Goudeau came in for the 9th and worked around a bases loaded jam to keep the Reds within a touchdown of winning the game in the bottom of the 9th. That touchdown didn’t come.

Notes Worth Noting

The Reds need to go sign the kid who caught Joey Votto’s home run.


This bullpen is still an absolute mess.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Colorado Rockies vs Cincinnati Reds

Friday June 11th, 7:10pm ET

Kyle Freeland (0-1, 6.23 ERA) vs Tyler Mahle (5-2, 3.32 ERA)

78 Responses

  1. gpod

    Reds just lost 2 out of 3 games to a team they need to beat in the central division and their best reliever in the bullpen never pitched in the series….great managing

    • burtgummer01

      In the 2 losses the Reds totaled 3 runs but it was all the pens fault?

      • Magnum 44

        When you have the lead in all 3 games when it is turned over to your bullpen who else gets the blame? Is this offense expected to score 9 runs a game? Isn’t the objective is to get the lead and use your bullpen to preserve that lead?

      • Roger Garrett

        To avoid the pen Reds must score early and extend the starters.That happened in one game of this series.

      • Roger Garrett

        Glad somebody else noticed that.This pen is awful and we know that and we can’t pretend it will just get better any more then we can pretend Suarez will get better.Reds have pitching depth in the minors and they have a short stop down there.Do what’s needed to right the ship for the rest of this year and see what happens.The world doesn’t ‘t come to an end if we use starters out of the pen or bring up a rookie short stop.Shop everybody 30 and over at the deadline and see what happens.Team is 4th at best in a weak division and is going no where again.Reset the roster at the deadline and during the winter and look to 2022 and beyond.May still win 70 games by being proactive vs 75 by hoping the stars align and Hoffa’s body shows up

      • greenmtred

        You miss his point: it’s not the pen’s fault, it’s Bell’s fault. Bell should always, always, use Antone exclusively, since the rest of the pen can’t pitch. Never mind that we have no idea of his physical issues, innings limits, etc.

  2. Old Big Ed

    The antidote to the cruddy bullpen is going to have to be the starters going into the 7th inning. It’s easier to cover 2 innings than 4 innings. Castillo was fine, but inexplicably lost command in the 6th and threw too many pitches. If the starters stop that kind of thing, the bullpen would be under far less stress.

    And DFA Doolittle already. Chester on Gunsmoke would be better than Doolittle.

    • MBS

      I don’t know if DFA ing your 3rd best option out of the pen is a good idea. The sad thing is there are several relievers that need to go 1st. The Reds currently have 1, yes 1 reliable reliever. Sims, Garrett, Doolittle, Hembree, Hendrix, and who ever else is lurking in the 7th or 8th spots are not good enough.

      Antone should have been brought in, I wonder if they didn’t use him because he’s going to start Sunday. Probably not, but I have no other reason to give for Antone not coming in to shut down the threat.

      • burtgummer01

        What is wrong with you people
        Antone was not available !!

      • JB

        Burtgummer01- Not Available? The last time he was in a game was Sunday when he threw 6 pitches. How much rest does he need? The only way he isnt a available is if he pitches for Gray. If not then is this you David Bell?

      • MBS

        @Burt I am open to being wrong about him being unavailable, but why is that? I didn’t read anything about an injury, and as @JB said he hasn’t pitched since the 5th for 1 inning, and the 6th for 1 inning. Which by the way was the same dates, and length of innnings Sims pitched.

      • Doug Gray

        David Bell said he’d “address Antone not being available” tomorrow. So he was unavailable, but we don’t know why. One speculation is he may start on Sunday for Gray, but that’s entirely speculative based on absolutely nothing.

      • Melvin

        If TJA starts he better be able to go all 9. lol That game was crucial. It was very important to use him if possible.

      • Indy Red Man

        I mentioned that Antone must not be available earlier during the game.
        Bell is quirky, but I’m pretty sure he can remember what happened over the weekend. The formula was Antone gets you to the 9th and Sims closes it. Sims in the 6th didn’t make sense. No reason to suddenly switch it up.

      • MBS

        When I made my original comment, it was without hearing Bells post game, and I did say “ I wonder if they didn’t use him because he’s going to start Sunday.”

        @Burthurt could chill out with the What’s wrong with you people. Not everyone listens to the post game, sorry if you were informed earlier than I was. A normal person would say Bell said in the post game that he was unavailable, and not act like a child.

    • Daytonnati

      I think the 37 minute rain delay didn’t help.

    • doofus

      Good ‘ol Chester. But, his gimp would probably construed as a balk by umpires during his wide up.

    • burtgummer01

      Maybe people should learn the facts before you start whining.

      • MBS

        What was whining? Reread my comment, and let me know, I’ll wait… There was no Bell’s an idiot, or the Reds stink, or anything of the like in my comment.

        You act as if this was common knowledge, and people are just ignoring the truth. You didn’t know Antone was unavailable until you heard Bell say so. What, like an hour before me.

        Questioning game time decisions are common topics on boards. Not bringing in your best reliever who’s job is “mid game closer” is a legitimate question.

        Message boards are fun places to argue baseball perspectives, but if all you want to do is troll people, I guess that’s cool to.

  3. Rednat

    we just have to tip our caps to the Brewers. they are the better team. i think the Brewers and Giants are the best teams we have played this year. and they are a few tiers better than us

    • Dennis Westrick

      I disagree that the Brewers are better than the Reds. They were in this 3 game series! The Brewers are last in the NL with a Team BA of ,212 while the Reds currently have the best Team BA. The Brewers have a better manager and a bullpen that puts out fires, not start them! Hoping for better results next time we play them and in the upcoming series against the Rockies!

      • greenmtred

        Interesting stat. It may illustrate the limitations of batting average as a way of evaluating a team.

      • MuddyCleats

        Agree, except for their pitching staff, Brewers have NO All-Stars. No more Braun, Cain and Yelich? 1/2 injured all year and not producing dittos in the infield. Castoff Garcia is their best player to date. To make matters worse, Brew Crew is 3rd overall in Ks while Reds rank 22. I think it really shows just how bad Reds BP is. BA: Brewers rank 29th; Reds 6th. BA w/ Risp: Reds 9th and Brewers R dead last. Our guys throw plenty hard enough, they just do not command their pitches or the scouting report stinks bc the rest of the league is finding a way to get them out. In contrast, their SP has been dominate at times and it makes them 6 games better.

  4. Jon

    Saw a post on Twitter mentioning the average attendance over the past ten years. Imagine if the Reds actually were trying to win and could sell an average of 5,000-10,000 more tickets per game. If the average person ends up spending $80 at GABP (just a guess, combining tickets, parking, food, and merchandise) that would be between $32 and $64 million in extra revenue per season.

    • burtgummer01

      And moneybags Bob would just love that

    • Old Big Ed

      Except that no team is having normal attendance this year. Ticket sales are overwhelmingly done in advance, with only a few walk-ups even in normal times.

      The Reds are going to be at least $30 million below normal in ticket sales. They can cut that a little if the team go hot, but got the most part, gate revenue is doomed this year.

      And it will likely below par for the next two years, too, no matter how good the team becomes.

  5. Old-school

    Didnt get to follow the game.
    Good to see Votto back and 2 walks yesterday and a home run today. Sounds like Castillo pitched well enough to get a win. SP has been solid.
    Offense has 3 players every game with OPS under .600 if you count the pitcher.
    Cant sustain winning streaks without the right kind of hitters 1-8.
    I suspect Moose will help with that.
    With Gray out, I cant see any internal solutions to the bullpen in the next 2 weeks.

    Reds get 3 against the Rockies and 3 more against the Brewers. Give the Brewers and Counsel credit- they find a way and earned the series. Kudos to them.

  6. Mark A Verticchio

    The Bullpen was horrible in this series as was Bell’s managing of it, but the offense was not good at all. This team just doesn’t have the personal to score consistently. The only major league hitters they have position wise are right field, left field, and at times catcher. India and Naquin are to up and down. I don’t think India had a hit in this series, but he is young and will hopefully improve.

    • Roger Garrett

      Your right but others point to our offensive rankings.If not for Wink and Casty having MVP type numbers so far and the young guys doing what they do when they get play it would be all could see it.

  7. Doc

    One quality start in the series. The bullpen is bad; the load the bullpen is being tasked to carry is untenable. Starters have got to step it up.

  8. oklared

    Milwaukee’s offense is crap yet they outscore us we need to help BP to be competitive.

  9. Mark A Verticchio

    I think as fans we are all very frustrated. The losing seasons are making it hard for Reds fans to stay positive, despite that I still watch almost every game and hope they can some how turn it around. I live near St. Louis so the 4 game sweep of the Cardinals was really nice. It is a shame they followed that up by losing 2 of 3 to the Brewers. They really need to sweep the Rockies but I think 2 of 3 is the best we can hope for. I have been a fan since the late 60’s and with all of the Cardinals recent success baseball season has been hard for a long time, minus 2010, 2012, 2013? and maybe last year. My rant is over.

  10. Melvin

    Tough loss. I think Bell needs to realize the best way to make his bullpen better is to not use them as much as possible. Let the starters go as long as they can without hurting them of course.

  11. Tampa Red

    Yeah the bullpen sucks, it has all year. But 2 runs on 6 hits is seriously no bueno. There have been waaaaay to many bullpen losses this season, but today was a team loss.

  12. Old-school

    It does seem RLN is conflicted over who to blame for 4th place and swimming upstream to get to .500. Is it the SP or offense or bullpen or Bell or the FO/ownership? The answer is all of the above.

    The question then becomes what is the solution and where is the hope?

    1.) SP can lead this team to where it needs to go. Mahle and Miley have been anchors. Gray is good but cant stay healthy and has underachieved a bit but there’s still hope for me. Castillo has been disappointing but there is reason to be hopeful. Gutierrez and Santillan are absolutely reasons to be hopeful so I’m optimistic moving forward with the SP.

    2.) Bullpen- Antone has been great but apparently he wasn’t available after not pitching for 4 days and that will be addressed tomorrow. That’s not good at all. Sims has had his moments and there’s legit reasons to think he is part of the solution. Ill say Bell is part of the problem in that he has not closed out winnable games but also severely hamstrung here by talent. We can probably all agree Ownership/FO is the major issue here. Amir Garrett needs to be better as a core player.

    3.) Offense- this is not a solid offense that gives professional at bats 1-8 and this is where I put Bell at the center of the problem. This offense cant find an identity and never has consistency, partially due to injuries and partially due to ownership not getting a SS but also partially due to Bell’s handedness rotations regardless of talent. The Reds offense has been poor for 3 years. Injuries certainly-but Bell wont allow most players to build any momentum or continuity or identity. He treat top draft picks the same as he treat journeyman 30 year olds. This offense hasn’t given deep professional at bats 1-8 since 2017. Dick Williams created some of this mess.

    4.) injuries – yes, but what team hasn’t had any?

    5.) Ownership/FO- 17/20 losing years with a bullpen sell off and now a bullpen that is the worst in baseball. Football is offense/defense and special teams. You cant win if you dont have a punter or kicker or blockers and give up 70 yard touchdowns in the 4 th quarter with regularity to lose games or miss routine 30 yard field goals. This would be problem #1-ownership and the FO.

    • Hotto4Votto

      It’s a little bit of all of them, but mostly the blame lies with the ownership who couldn’t be compelled to make a few upgrades (or even try to replace what we lost) and put a competitive team on the field after finally showing signs of life late last year.

    • greenmtred

      You didn’t address the manager problem in your excellent summary: I’d suggest that the Reds adopt a manager rotation, staffed by commenters on RLN.

      • RojoB

        We have to be sure to get the left/right matchups correct for this or it will never work

      • greenmtred

        I hadn’t thought of that, RojoB, but I bet the guys have enough talent to be ambidextrous.

      • RojoB

        I can type with both hands if it helps

    • VegasRED

      Good analysis Old school. If we can see this why can’t Bob?

  13. Hotto4Votto

    The bullpen has one viable reliever. That’s bad. Even our awful rebuilding teams could come up with more than one guys you could count on to get outs.

  14. Matthew Habel

    Adames tearing it up since the trade is salt in the wound. Wish the Reds had gone after him. MIL is just a better organization right now. Probably have equal if not less the amount of talent as the Reds but the Brewers just seem to get the most out of their team more consistently.

    • centerfield

      Getting the most out of talent is the manager’s job. Enough said.

    • RojoB

      I don’t think Willy A is the answer either. I suppose he was affordable enough, but in another season or two (assuming Barreo is ready) they’ll be another veteran contract saddling the team.

      Just not great either way

  15. Indy Red Man

    RLN loves to pile on Bell, but he’s not the problem. I would even say he’s pretty quick to adapt compared to Dusty/Price. He quickly pulled AG out of the closer role. He’s moved Suarez all over the lineup. He moved Stephenson to 1B. They paid Suarez the money so he’s a starting infielder on this team. Period. If Moose wasn’t hurt then maybe Bell sits him, but it is what it is. We don’t have anyone else anyway? Same with Castillo. For the Reds to go anywhere Bell needs Suarez/Castillo to perform somewhere near the back of their baseball cards. They haven’t. Thats on them. Bell is only playing the guys that the front office provides him.

    Does he pull some weird double switches, etc. or overthink some situations? Certainly, but he doesn’t pitch and he doesn’t bat. As many others have said….this roster is the Island of Misfit Toys. It is not well constructed to say the least.

    • greenmtred

      Great comment, Indy. Ownership signaled during the off-season that the team was not trying to seriously contend this year. The most charitable explanation I can come up with is that they’re looking at another competitive window approaching with arrivals of Greene, Lodolo and Garcia (I can’t remember what his last name is now) and the maturation of India and Stephenson. Patching up the holes in the Misfit Toys roster would be difficult without sacrificing some of the young guys they’re counting on for next year and beyond.

    • ClevelandRedsFan

      I see your point. But also why does Bell let Suarez sell out for homeruns every AB to hit his goal of 50?

      As soon as he said that, Bell should have corrected him. Bell waited until 50 games into the season to force Suarez to make adjustments.

      • greenmtred

        I don’t know. I don’t know Suarez and I don’t know Bell. I don’t know what the hitting coach is saying. I have seen Suarez hit stuff besides homers–a double down the third base line to drive in a couple the other night. I bet Suarez is more focused on trying to get out of this slump than he is on hitting 50 homers, at this point, and I bet that it’s not really a piece of cake to change your swing.

  16. AllTheHype

    Our best pitcher, and perhaps the league’s best reliever, has thrown 16 pitches in the last 7 days. He should have been in to protect the lead today, yet wasn’t. Mismanagement of assets to the nth degree.

    • Indy Red Man

      Not available. Madonna sang I’m a material girl in a material world.

      I’m an ADD guy in an narcissistic ADD world. Nobody reads anything since they’re so fixated on typing and rereading their own groundbreaking rant.

    • Indy Red Man

      I’m expecting that TA needs TJ again. Throws really hard with violent slider. That always seems to ramp up the chances.

    • centerfield

      Let’s hope he is starting in Gray’s spot.

  17. Roger Garrett

    Hopefully nothing is wrong with Antone physically or personally.Can’t imagine any reason not to say it if he is indeed starting on Sunday or waiting until tomorrow to say why he wasn’t available.Was he at the game?Again I hope he is fine.

  18. docproc

    From Mark Sheldon. I have no idea what it means:
    “Tejay was not an option today. Lucas has done that for us and will do it a lot moving forward,” Bell said.
    Bell declined to elaborate on Antone.
    “If we could, I’d prefer to wait and talk about Tejay [Friday],” Bell said.

    • Roger Garrett

      I believe I read that he warmed up Wednesday night.Almost has to be an injury.

    • ohiojimwalker

      I’ve been trying to imagine of all the reasons I can think why Antone was not available today, which ones would provoke such a strange response as Bell gave which was he’d “prefer to wait and talk about Tejay [Friday]”

      We don’t know much about the players’ personal lives. But if Antone was excused for anything not related to baseball wouldn’t a manager simply say it was an excused absence due to a private personal matter instead of giving such a cryptic response?

      The most likely reason Antone was not available today would be a physical issue. How many times has Bell simply said in such situations that a guy wasn’t feeling up to snuff but he would not have any further information till tomorrow (or whenever)? He sort of said that here but without acknowledging there was a physical issue. And I think that is why folks are wondering just what exactly is going on.

      Also as someone else noted above here, there was a time when beat writers would have been all over this situation in a flash. We’d know if Antone seemed to experience an issue while in the bullpen Wednesday or was even at GABP today. If it was a nonbaseball situation, they also would have told us that without violating the player’s privacy by releasing specifics.

      It is ironic that in an era when information can be sent across the globe in literally seconds, there seems to be less effort to actually searching it out as opposed to just passing on what is handed over by official spokespersons.

      • RojoB

        Why don’t Cincinnati sports writers go after things like this? Has sports journalism changed that much everywhere else?

      • Doug Gray

        I guess it’s two-fold Rojo. 1 – right now there’s limited access to people. In the past if a manager said something like that you could just walk over to the players locker and ask them. Can’t do that now. While the BBWAA did get pre-game on-field access to players last week, post-game is still closed off and you get to use zoom with Bell and then whoever the Reds make available among the players – usually just 1 or 2 guys.

        That said, it does seem like there could have been some push back. But really, what’s going to happen in that situation? He’s not going to answer the question and now you’ve just come off looking like a jerk by asking a question someone just said they aren’t going to answer today.

        And really, does it matter if you get the answer after a game that already happened and can’t be changed, or before the game that hasn’t yet been played the next day? I don’t know, I just think there’s this idea that everyone should just be a ruthless prick to get some trivial answer from a player/coach/team for some reason. It’s sports. It’s not really THAT important to know the answer in the immediate.

        I can understand a little bit of both sides here, but I think that sometimes the public just expects a bit too much for absolutely trivial things, too. This feels like one of them. I absolutely want to know what the answer to the question is. I also understand that getting that answer 12 hours later doesn’t change much except that I would know it a little bit sooner.

      • Roger Garrett

        Bell needs to address the Antone situation when he has all the facts.He has a boss and he is told what to comment on and what not to comment on.Remember when he said Senzel would be back maybe in a day or two.Now he may have been told to say that or he may have just said it on his own.Regardless he probably won’t ever go back down that road again.

      • RojoB

        Thanks, Doug. So it’s not so much a paradigm shift as it is reading the situation in this case.

  19. Old-school

    Alfredo rodriguez OPS is now well under.700 as he continues to play 2b and DH
    It would be nice if Reds had any true journalists that werent simply echo chambers for Big Bob

    Doug is the closest thing

    • Melvin

      I’m thinking maybe he’s playing 2B right now because Jose B is coming to play SS soon.

  20. Nick in NKY

    I know that Tyler Naquin has been a pleasant surprise, but there are numerous teams out there needing a lefty outfield bat. He’s not in the plan for the future, and his numbers are probably good enough to fetch a decent reliever.

  21. Art

    TA injured? Starting in place of Gray? Traded?

  22. Matt WI

    Man, you all are bumming me out with Antone injured thoughts. I’m holding out hold for the he’s the starting pitcher for Sonny move.

    • TR

      Antone in relief for this year. Santillan to cover for Gray. Then Santillan to relief if a trade for a good reliever cannot be made.

  23. LGR

    Santillan should make the start for Grey. Definitely not Antone, really hope that’s not the reason he wasn’t available. This pen NEEDS TJ. At least for this year. This year is definitely not over yet. Only 5 games behind with some of the worst pitching in the league. Imagine if they were just able to be average. Get some new guys up here. Maybe Lorenzon has a bounce back year when he comes back.

  24. GreatRedLegsFan

    Just astonished why Sims instead of Antone, I guess there had to be a good reason. Other than that, the offensive could not just do much against the Crew’s solid pitching.

  25. RojoB

    Heading reads “Ouch” in bold red in relation to the bullpen. After all the expounding, still the best summary

    Well done, Doug!

  26. RojoB

    MLB trade rumors has a piece up in which part of it talks about Orioles’ left-handed relief pitcher Paul Fry as a possible trade target?

    Anyone heard of him? I hope the Reds are on the phone with Baltimore if he’s good.

  27. Old Big Ed

    The Angels DFA’d Hunter Strickland on Monday. He is a perfect fit for the Reds. He is 32 years old and has had a mediocre career. He walks a lot of guys and has a so-so fastball, with maybe even some spin on it. He has also given up 10 homers in his last 50 innings.

    I do think that Shogo Akiyama may be a decent fit for the Angels. They are turning the corner; they have Trout out until at least the All-Star game; and they have no LH-hitting outfielders, except when Ohtani occasionally plays RF. The Reds would have to throw some money in the deal.

    I also think that they should take a shot at getting Andrelton Simmons from the Twins. Until they shelled Aroldis Chapman for 4 runs last night, the Twins looked dead in the water, and they are still 10 games out of the wild card. They oughta be looking at selling soon, and Simmons would be a rental because he is free-agent after the season.