The Cincinnati Reds (40-40) will host the Chicago Cubs (42-39) tonight at 7:10 PM to kick off a big three game series at Great America Ballpark. The Reds are coming off a much needed comeback win last night. The Cubs threw a combined no-hitter last Thursday against the Dodgers, but since then have lost six straight games. The Cubs were humiliated in Milwaukee, getting outscored 31-11 in the three game sweep.

The Cubs pitching is really struggling of late. The Cubs starting pitchers had a 5.19 ERA/5.11 FIP in the month of June. Even the strength of the Cubs in 2021, their bullpen came back down to Earth in June posting a 3.83 ERA/4.40 FIP. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo have also missed the last couple games for the Cubs with injuries.

Starting Pitchers

Sonny Gray will make his first start since June 8th. He left the game despite dominating the Brewers (3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K). Gray did not allow a run in his lone rehab start (3.0 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 4 K). Gray has a 3.20 ERA in 8 career starts against the Cubs (54 K, 12 BB).

Alec Mills has split time between the rotation and the bullpen. He has only made it through five innings once this season. He allowed 3 runs in 1 inning of relief this season against the Reds. He does however have a 3.74 career ERA in 33.2 innings against the Reds.

Starting Lineups

Chicago Cubs

Cincinnati Reds

Joc Pederson – LF Jonathan India – 2B
Willson Contreras – C Jesse Winker – LF
Javier Baez – SS Nick Castellanos – RF
Anthony Rizzo – 1B Joey Votto – 1B
Kris Bryant – CF Tyler Naquin – CF
Patrick Wisdom – 3B Eugenio Suárez – 3B
Jason Heyward – RF Kyle Farmer – SS
Ian Happ – 2B Tucker Barnhart – C
Alec Mills – SP Sonny Gray – SP

News and Notes

Michael Lorenzen began his rehab last night

Reliever Michael Lorenzen began his rehab assignment last night out in Goodyear when he threw a perfect inning for the rookie-level Arizona Complex League Reds.

Reds Prospect Mark Kolozsvary heading to the Olympics

After being the best hitter on Team USA during the qualifying round five weeks ago, catching prospect Mark Kolozsvary was officially named as a part of the team that Team USA will be sending to Tokyo to represent the United States later this month in the Olympics. He is currently playing with the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts and has an .848 OPS.

Ashton Goudeau optioned back to Triple-A

In order for Sonny Gray to make the start tonight the Reds needed to make a roster move. That move turned out to be the optioning of reliever Ashton Goudeau back to Triple-A, just like we all expected.


They say that momentum in baseball is only as good as the next night’s starting pitcher.  It’s a good thing for the Reds that they have Sonny Gray back on the mound tonight. The Brewers look unstoppable right now, but just like the Cardinals came crashing back down to Earth after their hot start earlier in the season, the Brewers time is coming. The Reds just need to win series and things will sort themselves out over time. Go Reds!

157 Responses

  1. RojoB

    Play the players that help you win games.

    The lineup is missing one of those players—or rather, a player that hasn’t helped them win is getting the start.

    This game’s performances will tell a lot

      • RedAlert

        Total joke … but look what you got as a manager.

        Exact reason by he needs to go.

    • TR

      Tonight’s game is missing a player who had four hits last night.

      • Melvin

        Bell doing his cold water pour on a hot hitter again.

  2. LGR

    Guy sits after a 4 hit day? Sick dude.

    • Alan Horn

      Good way to make a hot player go cold.

    • RedsGettingBetter

      And another guy with walk-off hit gonna be sat too

      • TR

        In my view, winning teams play their hot hand.

  3. Scott Benhase

    The wisdom of Bull Durham always rings true: Don’t mess with a hot streak. Lopez is hot. Suarez is not. With all due respect to Geno (a great human being) Lopez should be starting tonight.

    • Alan Horn

      Agree 100%. Don’t ever bench a hot player in any sport.

  4. Bred

    Lopez reminds me of Moonlight Graham from Field of Dreams. I wonder if Lopez ever winked at a pitcher.

  5. steve d

    just when I want to give Tinker a bit of credit…. I guess since he made an out on the last ab….. probably a scheduled day off……

  6. LDS

    So bench a guy that went 4-5 in favor of a guy that no longer hits his own weight. Bell shooting for manager of the year.

  7. JB

    I said last night Lopez wont play today. The error he had doomed him. Always reminds me of Chris Heisey years ago. The guy hit 3 Homer’s in a game and Dusty sits him the next night. Reds need to sweep and hope the Pirates take 1 from the Brewers.

    • RojoB

      The error is a lame, yet plausible excuse for Bell.

      As if Suárez hasn’t had a nice stack of errors himself. What’s more, Alejo scored two runs—I doubt that Henny would have scored in that game had he played.

      Just another reason to throw up the hands in frustration

      • TR

        Just when we thought the tinkering was on the decrease.

    • MBS

      Bell said he’d find a couple of starts early for Lopez. I think this was the plan on the day he was called up, and the 4 for 5 had nothing to do with the plan. The real question is how Suarez responds over the next week. If he turns it around, then great, message sent. If he continues to flounder, Lopez will start to eat into Suarez’s playing time.

      • RojoB

        That’s the beef—no feel for the personnel. I mean sure if López has a hit or two only, or otherwise struggles, the anticipated plan to sit him after two starts makes sense. But when a player catches fire—there’s no sense in a plan to then sit him down

        In my opinion

  8. Bet on Red

    Cant go from third to first directly, got to get to second first. Good opportunity to do that this weekend. Not happy Lopez sitting, would at least put him in for india as an abundance of caution from last night noninjury. Suarez is on his final notice I would think, if he doesn’t produce, and the home crowd lets his displeasure be known, this could quickly become an expensive bench bat.

  9. Old-school

    Bell did the right thing playing Lopez the last 2 games. I would have started him again. But, Suarez is about to turn 30- not 33 or 34.
    He’s owed ~$40 million and is the only player who is under contract through 2024 guaranteed. He has zero trade value.

    If you look at Suarez years 2017/18/19- you see a player peaking.
    What happened in 2020? Shoulder surgery first. Then a complete shutdown of society. No access to team facilities or coaches or hitting coaches. An abbreviated interrupted season after a shoulder injury. Then, an unnatural off-season/spring training and a position change to the hardest on the diamond. His walk rates and strike out rates suggest Suarez isn’t seeing the ball and has no rhythm. If a shoulder surgery and Covid hitting at exactly the wrong time blew up his 2020 season and remnants are in play in 2021, then it’s up to the Reds to find a way to get him back in rhythm.

    It would be foolish to assume his career is over.

  10. JA

    Bell is taking an unnecessary risk on assistants of booing Geno if he continues struggling at bat, specially after his replacement was 4-5 last night.
    Votto was 0-5 last night, almost two innings given to SD pitchers, when it’s clear his not hitting lefties.
    Both, Geno and JV need to have some pressure relief to rebound.

    Mr. Gray explained us that somehow the professional baseball does not allow to bench players with high salaries. But for me is a no brainer. Put the guys that can make you win the game of the day.

    JV vs a righty sounds a great decision. Geno mmmm, as a red fan just wish him a great game. Let’s see , nothing is written

    • RojoB

      Winning makes the team money, regardless of how much salary the players that win are being paid.

      Which gets the Reds more money? Winning the division with league minimum López, or losing it with expensively paid Suárez?

      Substitute any similar names and the equation is the same. That’s why the “highly paid guys MUST play” isn’t always the wisest action

  11. Old-school

    There are social media clips that suggest a packed GABP tonight and finally normal 4th of july baseball series

    Hit the reset button , cheer on Suarez and beat the stupid cubs

    Go Reds

  12. Dennis Westrick

    Wishing Geno, Sonny & the rest of the Reds much success tonight! Need to start this series off with an emphatic win!

    • TR

      A Red’s emphatic win to welcome the Cubby fans back to GABP.

  13. Mark Moore

    I read the Metropolitans are looking for a 3B’er … how much would we have to send for them to take Geno? Asking for a friend …

    • Bet on Red

      They are already sniffing around MIN and Donaldson

      • Mark Moore

        Yeah … but a guy can dream, right?

  14. Old-school

    Kudos to the Reds for adding a 3 man booth with Larkin and Welsh

    Welcome back Sonny.

    • Bet on Red

      I know, right. Bally sports reading this blog?

      • Mark Moore

        Only if Welsh can shut Sadak up …

  15. Mark Moore

    Stupid Cubs will miss Kris Bryant like we’ll miss Nick C.

  16. Mark Moore

    Sit down, Mr. Wisdom and think about what you did …

  17. Bet on Red

    well, obviously 2 days didn’t do anything. Strike 3 was maybe High but strike 2 and 1 were hittable

  18. Mark Moore

    Step one to a Golden Sombrero complete …

    MAN!! I get tired of seeing the bat on his shoulder or the wild swings. Sorry, but I’m about over my Geno fandom.

  19. LGR

    Who needs 4-5 when you can strike out on 3 pitches to speed up the game. I see you Bell. I get it.

    • MBS

      I don’t disagree, and I’m frustrated with Suarez. I’d still rather have him in the lineup than Farmer. Time for Farmer to move back to the bench.

      • LGR

        I also agree with that. Hey, if Suarez hits 8th and hit’s… 45 Homers, I’ll take that from my 8 spot. I’d take Geno’s 1 for 5 with a homer over Farmers 1 for 5 with a single once a week.

      • RojoB


        I’ve never seen Farmer fail to hustle though…

  20. Indy Red Man

    I don’t beat up on Bell that much, but lefty hitters are hitting .355 off this guy and he has to get Suarez back in there tonite? He goes down on 3 pitches as usual. I don’t get it? I would’ve rode that stat and put Freeman > Farmer. You can see how that breaking ball works on righties. Its not brain surgery?

    • LGR

      If he really wanted Suarez to start, could have at least let Lopez get a crack at short.

  21. Bet on Red

    Yea i am not saying Freeman should supplant farmer but his use is so infrequent I sometimes forget he is even on the team

  22. Mark Moore

    Yes, Joc, it did cut back in. And you’re a .231 hitter, so don’t complain too much.

    • Bet on Red

      lucky too, he should have got the thumb

    • LGR

      Dude was somehow top 5 in All Star voting too. Blows my mind. Hell, Naquin has better stats lol.

  23. Mark Moore

    Nibble, nibble, walk … nibble, nibble, walk …

  24. LDS

    So another mediocre pitcher looking like a Cy Young candidate against the Reds?

    • Bet on Red

      the “mediocre” Pitcher that authored a no hitter last year?

    • Dennis Westrick

      Happens nearly every game! One measly hit! Reds seem to do better against former Cy Young pitchers!

  25. Indy Red Man

    Wink is slumping. Not shooting anything the other way right now. Happens to everyone I guess.

    • Indy Red Man

      Wink is 7 for last 41 (.171) with 2 hrs. Maybe too hr happy? Thats what it looks like to me….like he’s trying to uppercut and launch!

  26. Dennis Westrick

    If tonight is a test for Geno he’s working on a grade of F. Or maybe in baseball it’s pass/fail.

  27. Mark Moore

    The kid did everything he could do. Just a hair too late.

  28. Scott Cleaves

    Didn’t Lopez have some minor injury last night? Is that what’s keeping him out? Makes no sense at all, otherwise to me. After a 4/5 night? No way (I hope.)

  29. JB

    Castellini is loving all these Cub fans. He is going to make alot of money this series from them. He will cry poor.

    • earmbrister

      If you’re talking about the Votto strike 3, ah Yeah!

  30. Indy Red Man

    Mills has a 7.40 road era and he’s just mowing us down. I hate when a team is struggling like the Cubs and then they get a day off before they play you. They’re usually ready to go.

    This ump sucks too. Need a telephone pole to reach the ball that he calls a strike?

  31. Roger garrett

    I know nothing but we set tonight 3 guys who got 7 of our 15 hits last night.How does that help?I know about the match up stuff and the data stuff but other things matter don’t they.I think maybe you give somebody else a night off that may need some rest or may be slumping a tad just to keep one or two of those guys in the lineup.

  32. CFD3000

    I don’t usually watch the games live, so rarely comment on the game thread. But I happened to check in on Sonny Gray Returns night, and am pleased to see Sonny pitching well – 1 run on 4 hits in 4 innings with only 1 walk and 7 strikeouts. Nice! But speaking of strikeouts, if there was ever an argument for the robo-umps, that strike 3 call on Votto was it. Ridiculous! Mills is the kind of pitcher that often gives the Reds trouble, but they don’t need to be fighting the Cubs AND the umps. Ouch. Go Reds!

    • Indy Red Man

      He is calling a wide zone both ways atleast.

    • Scott Cleaves

      The robo umps are an inevitability, in my humble opinion. And so be it if it takes human error out of the game.

  33. VaRedsFan

    The pull happy Reds always seem to struggle the change of pace, junkballers.
    I give Mills credit. He is pitching instead of throwing…hitting spots, changing speeds.

  34. Old-school

    Sonny gray and Luis castillo look like they are back to elite starters.

    Gray/castillo/mahle and Miley can line up with anyone when healthy.

  35. earmbrister

    Totally agree.

    Mr. Castellini, GET US SOME BULLPEN HELP!!!

  36. Dennis Westrick

    Sonny is doing his job! Eight (8) strikeouts thru 5 innings! Time for the offense to kick it in gear!

  37. earmbrister

    How about we all start calling Mr. Castellini for bullpen help?

    Who are you going to call?

    • earmbrister

      This ump’s strikezone is atrocious. His seeing eye dog could call a better game.

  38. LDS

    Suarez struck out again. Who could have predicted that?

    • MBS

      He received a strike out, but didn’t commit one.

  39. Mark Moore

    Geno got robbed on that one, but he did put himself in that position as well.

  40. JB

    Strike 3 to Geno wasn’t even close. This guy is a joke.

  41. Bet on Red

    Agree. Suarez should have made it to 1st on a BB, going to give him the benifit of the doubt here. HP umpire is going to get reamed in his after game review

    • Mark Moore

      But the reviews don’t matter. There is zero accountability as evidenced by the Flex-O-Zone still so prevalent.

  42. Scott Cleaves

    These Reds against quality starting pitching… Gotta wonder.

    • earmbrister

      These Cubs against quality starting pitching… Gotta wonder.

      • Scott Cleaves

        Right, earm. Neither team likely going into the playoffs, unfortunately. Gotta be rectified, somehow.

  43. Indy Red Man

    This game sucks. The ump ruined it with his idiotic strike zone. People pay money to see something. Hitting is hard enough as it is.

    Baseball without offense is the most boring sport on the planet. More then soccer or golf or anything else. I didn’t watch one Reds game in Sept last year. Got tired of no offense.

  44. Frankie Tomatoes

    Great job Sonny! Very nice to see him back out there. Brewers have a big lead on the Reds but there is a bunch of games left against them to make ground.

    Let’s put together some hit and score some runs tonight and come back again!

  45. Dennis Westrick

    Rizzo getting hit by a pitch is a joke! He leans into every inside pitch and is consistently one of the leaders in the HBP category!

    • RojoB

      One of the things about him that irritates me too

  46. VaRedsFan

    Farmer turns in quality defense night after night. What a play!

  47. Old-school

    Milwaukee up 5-1 on pirates and last I checked cubs ahead of the reds in standings.
    Reds offense better wake up or this season could be 95% over by monday.

  48. Bet on Red

    wow, even Akiyama is pissed about the zone

  49. J

    It’s nice to know the guys in the TV booth are aware that bunting for a hit is a legal strategy. Too bad they can’t somehow communicate this information to the dugout.

  50. LGR

    Lets go Joey! That’s what I like to see!

  51. Bet on Red

    but but but…. votto cant hit leftys…..

    • Bet on Red

      yea, I before the at bat I was like, just get something into the outfield and let India use his speed, but he saw that ball and hit it exactly where it needed to be. 9 outs left

    • Old-school

      Kyle farmer homered last night
      Does that make him a great hitter? No.. hes still a .217 hitter. Not a .000 hitter.
      Votto had a clutch hut. That one at bat doesnt mean he can hit lefties. He doesnt hit .000 against lefties. He hits .180 so he does get a hit 18% of the time . Geno suarez is hitting .180 or so and has 15 home runs. He will hit another in the next few games

      • Old-school

        Suarez singles!!!
        Way to go
        Some say hes in a slump

        Hes a far better hitter -OPS than joey Votto is against lefties OPS

  52. VaRedsFan

    Huge hit by Votto…off a lefty too!

  53. LDS

    Chicago can’t be happy about that – Votto hitting a lefty

    • RojoB

      Some Votto haters won’t be happy either—it ruins their narrative

      Glad to see Votto putting some luster back into this game—for the time being, anyway

      • LDS

        Not a JV hater but the guy can’t hit lefties anymore. Chicago was bitten by the analytics monster.

  54. Mark A Verticchio

    Bell is over managing, it is only the 7th inning he is burning the bull pen.

  55. Mark Moore

    Dropping into no-man’s land … good thing it was foul.

  56. VaRedsFan

    Man…India went a long way…got there, then dropped it.
    No damage as Geno guns down Contreras

  57. dhmorgan

    Say what you will about Suarez’s hitting.
    Would Lopez (or someone else) have made that play?

  58. LGR

    A solid defensive play and a single. Should give him another 7 days of 3 K ball before he gets benched again.

  59. Bet on Red

    If barnhart can get on this Double switch may have paid off

  60. Mark Moore

    My wife just yelled “Strike!” on that up and in.

  61. Mark A Verticchio

    The time has come for Stephenson to be the primary catcher.

    • Bet on Red

      bhart was robbed on yet another strike three that was CLEARLY outside the zone. Not his fault if the Ump is incompitent

  62. Dennis Westrick

    How do we keep leaving runners in scoring position with less than 2 outs? Answer: strikeouts!

    • Mark Moore

      Near complete lack of plate discipline.

  63. Mark A Verticchio

    I think he should leave Brock in, his other choice are very questionable.

  64. Old-school

    Brewers up 7-2
    Reds have to win this game
    Dependent upon bullpen of warren osich garret brach and presumably Hembree/ doolittle to win this

    This is an elimination series . Loser isnt gaining 9-10 games on Brewers

  65. VaRedsFan

    Well the bullpen had Hembre and Dolittle warming.
    Please let Brach go another inning. I’ll live with whatever results happen.


    Who pitches the 9th? Bell might go with Doolittle? Fun just starting!


      Just me but I would have had Brach vs Wisdom then Doolittle vs Heyward and Happ. But lets get them Heath Hembree!

  67. Bet on Red

    Reds may face MIL this next week but they will not face Kolton Wong. 10 day IL, left calf

  68. J

    When almost every hitter on both teams is arguing half your strike calls, maybe umpiring isn’t really your calling.

  69. Mark Moore

    Our hope lies in Heath … for we live in dread fear of Doolittle.

  70. Indy Red Man

    If we hang on then the Cubs will be 7.5 back. They were tied last week with Milw

  71. VaRedsFan

    Reds have their own front row Amy back there

  72. Mark Moore

    That was plate discipline and handling the nasty pitches.

    Let’s close it down here. I really don’t want to see chicken-wing Kimbrel tonight.

    • Mark Moore

      If we’re putting nails in coffins, I’d prefer it to be the Stupid Cubs.

    • Scott Cleaves

      Yep. And a mile out of first or any Wild Card. Just a reminder. We got problems to solve…


      Yes, that was some great pitching tonight, the whole nine innings. Great Win!

  73. Dennis Westrick

    I can breathe again! Now if the Bolts can hang on and beat the Canadiens!

    • dhmorgan

      And it’s rare to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.

      • TR

        Also not usual to repeat as World Series champ. Tampa Bay needs the Rays to take it all to win a recent trifecta with the Bucs and Bolts.

  74. J

    As we’ve always said: you can always count on the Reds’ bullpen to throw four shutout innings when you really need them to. (We’ve always said that, haven’t we?)

  75. LGR

    Good win. Hope to see Lopez in for Farmer tomorrow. Let him have a crack at SS.