A two-run Cincinnati Reds rally in the bottom of the seventh inning led the home team to a come-from-behind 3-2 victory and a three-game sweep of the rival Chicago Cubs before 29,340 at Great American Ball Park.

Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (42-42) 2 11 0
Cincinnati Reds (43-40)
3 7 1
W: Warren (2-0) L: Winkler (1-1)  SV: Garrett (6)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Reds did not reach double digits in hits in any game in this series, but they amazingly swept three one-run games in the process. It was their fourth consecutive win overall. The Cubs lost their ninth straight after being in a tie for first place less than two weeks ago, and dropped a game and a half behind the second-place Reds.

With two on and one out in the top of the ninth, Amir Garrett induced the Cubs’ hottest hitter, Willson Contreras, to ground into a game-ending 5-4-3 double play. It was a quick turnaround for Garrett, whose first six pitches upon entering the game were nowhere near the strike zone.

First-place Milwaukee saw its 11-game winning streak end, as they were shut out by Pittsburgh lefthander Tyler Anderson and relief help, 2-0. The Cincinnati victory pulled them within seven games (six in the loss column).

The Offense

Tucker Barnhart put the Reds on the board in the second inning with an opposite-field double off the left-field wall, scoring Kyle Farmer. In the seventh inning with one out and the bases loaded …

Jesse Winker then grounded into a fielder’s choice which scored the go-ahead runner from third.

Barnhart batted 2-for-3, the only Red with more than one hit.

The Pitching

Wade Miley was again terrific, allowing only two runs in 6 2/3 innings.

As he has been doing with great frequency recently, Manager David Bell made the right move in removing Miley in favor of Art Warren, who retired Kris Bryant to end the seventh.

And, Redleg Nation loyalists, did you ever in your wildest, wildest, wildest dreams (cueing the Moody Blues) believe that the end-of-game bullpen combo of Art Warren, Brad Brach and Garrett would be one we would come to believe in? In April and May, the answer would have been no way. In June and July? Bring ’em on.

Should this group continue performing as they currently are, just imagine the depth that will populate the bullpen when Tejay Antone, Lucas Sims and Michael Lorenzen return from injury.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds at Kansas City Royals

Monday, July 5, 8:10 p.m. ET

Vladimir Gutierrez (3-3, 4.93 ERA) vs Mike Minor (6-6, 5.33 ERA)

84 Responses

  1. JEFF MORRIS

    I don’t know what the Reds will do with the two catchers, Tucker Barnhardt and Tyler S. Not sure how long Tucker B is signed for with the Reds? Tyler is up and coming, but Tucker provides great defense behind the plate, and hits pretty well. Reds have a dilemma??

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Not a dilemma to have too many good players. I think long-term, Stephenson will replace Votto at first base. They have to take advantage of what looks like a terrific bat without letting him get beaten up behind the plate.

      • LDS

        If Stephenson moves to first, who is next up as catcher?

      • RojoB

        @LDS

        Perhaps Mark Kolozsvary if he stays on track with what he seems to be now—too early to tell for sure. He’s come almost out of nowhere recently.

        Doug has a lot of background on him at Reds Minor Leagues.

        My apologies if you already know all this. He’s the guy that came to mind, though

      • RojoB

        @Tom

        Do you have a little birdy that told you Los Rojos are serious about Stephenson converting to 1B permanently?

      • MBS

        Gotta sign Barnhart to an extension, we have an option for 22, but it would be nice to have him through 24. By then maybe Miller will be ready, and in the mean time Kolozvary could be a good back up.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        @Rojo B — personal hunch only. 🙂

      • Jim Walker

        Tom> I agree with you about the long term use of Stephenson. At the least, the Reds will probably get a strong 2nd catcher and use Stephenson after Votto is gone much as the Giants have used Posey . I doubt that Barnhart is that longer term 2nd catcher because of his age, salary and wear/ tear over the years.

        I do not think the Reds are going to pay Barnhart $7.5M next year to be the lesser catcher in a 2 man rotation. That is what he would project to be since Votto is around through 2023; and, there simply are not going to be enough starts for TySteve at 1B till 2024 to justify paying $7.5M to the guy playing 2nd fiddle to him behind the plate.

        I do think the Reds might try to roll Barnhart through 2024 at maybe as much as $5M a year for 2022-24 with the Barnhart’s option payout either rolled in the $15M total or payable as an option on 2025.

      • FCR

        Just asking-
        Am I hare-brained or is former Reds pitcher and present TV post game commentator, Sam LeCure, a clone of deceased actor, Warren Oates (The Wild Bunch, etc.}?

    • J

      Barnhart is signed through next season, but his salary is set to jump to $7.5M, and the Reds have a $500,000 buyout option. I assume they’ll take the buyout option. But I could imagine trying to negotiate a new deal for 2 or 3 years at something less than 7.5 per year. Given Stephenson’s ability to play first, it seems like a win-win situation.

      • MK

        Trade Tucker at the deadline. I would love to get Kim from Padres( they could use a defensive upgrade at catcher. They might be able to send AlfRod as well, to replace Kim to give them their status backup. Maybe they can get a prospect or two as well.

      • Alan Horn

        I like Kim also and have thought about acquiring him. I don’t think I would let Barnhart go however. Too valuable right now.

    • TR

      It’s a good dilemma in a very important position.

    • Tampa Red

      The Reds are a better team with Tucker and Tyler both on the roster. That $7.5M option is peanuts, no reason for the Reds not to pick it up.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Here Here. Agree 100% You cannot have too many good catchers.

  2. Dennis Westrick

    Winker in a bit of a funk lately! Tomorrow’s game against KC lefty starter might be a good time for a day off for Winker! Will be interesting to see who Bell calls on for the DH.

    • Still a Red

      Normally, I’d say leave him in DH, but I agree…its a long slog, something new for Winker

    • MBS

      I might put India in the DH. His body has taken a beating the last few days. Then you could see how does Lopez at 2B. I’d leave Naquin in and put Aquino in for Winker.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree. Get Winker a full day off Monday then use him at DH Tuesday (at the least).

  3. Klugo

    I like my team. They’re not perfect all the time, but they have fun playing hard. There tough, resilient, relentless. They play like kids and I love it.

  4. Old-school

    Get a top Lefty reliever now. Pay the price. Reds have 5 draft picks between #17 and 89 in 2 weeks and can easily backfill.

    Reds have swept every NL central team . Its moving time and time for Krall to get a SS and an elite lefty bullpen arm

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Getting a top lefty reliever would probably require giving up a top prospect. I’m not doing that. I’m not giving up a top-10 prospect for a reliever who would likely be a rental.

      • Old-school

        I didnt say a rental. If Tony Santillan has 6 years as a starter- trade him to a loser who has a controlled left reliever and another major league ready controlled prospect

        Orioles have Fry and Sluser and 5-6 years of control

        Minnesota has Rogers who is tops behind hader as a lefty and controlled thru 2022. Add another player there

      • Tom Mitsoff

        I would think seriously about that. 🙂

      • RedsFaninPitt

        Tom – What about trading Senzel to the Orioles for Paul Fry (LHRP) and Ramon Urias (SS)? Urias has come out of nowhere and is having a very good season and playing mostly SS now. He has not been doing in the big leagues very long and is a little older (27). Both players would be under control for multiple seasons. I might be willing to throw in someone like Lyon Richardson to secure the deal.

    • Jim t

      Old-school I’m really on the fence about trading our draft capital at this time. Especially for a SS with Jose Barrera hopefully less then a year away. If we can strengthen the pen I’m for it but not real keen on a SS. We have a lot of high dollar contracts going off the books in 2 years. What we need more then anything is a healthy second half and the pen to continue the run they are on.

      The one issue I have is if they are not going to seriously pursue Nick C they should move him.

      I love The future pitching prospects and if Stephenson, India, winker, Senzel can continue to grow I like our future position players.

      • Old-school

        I would not trade strong prospect capital except Tony Santillan

        Hes a promising SP and the kind of player the Twins and orioles and Marlins would trade young controlled proven bullpen arms who arent starters but major league proven now …. for potential

        But you trade (1) SP with 6 years potential for (1) proven lefty bullpen arm and another which both add to same 6 years of control

        Rentals are paid for with big bob check book and single A flyer

  5. JEFF MORRIS

    Makes sense. Anybody know when Tucker B will be a free agent? How long is he signed with the Reds?

    • Tom Mitsoff

      He has a $7.5 million team option for 2022, with a $500,000 buyout.

  6. LDS

    Amazing what a week of good pitching will do. If only they had hit better.

    • TR

      Winning teams win the majority of their one run games. Blowouts are fine but usually the winner finds it difficult to score one or two runs the next day.

    • Scott Cleaves

      I agree, LDS. Scoring 8 runs on 16 hits over three games at home against a slumping team is very likely not enough to catch the Brewers, Dodgers, or Padres. We were shut down by starting pitching again today. We need a spark on offense. I thought Lopez was it. Hopefully he’ll be somewhere in the line-up against KC with a DH spot available. Have a good’un!

  7. Tom Mitsoff

    I live in Wisconsin — got my tickets for next weekend at the former Miller Park! 🙂

    • TR

      A nice ballpark. What is it called now?

      • Tom Mitsoff

        American Family Field, I believe. American Family Insurance, which is based 90 minutes west of Milwaukee in Madison (where I live), now has the naming rights.

  8. JEFF MORRIS

    Thanks Tom….so Tucker can stay with the Reds in 2022, or become a free agent. Its up to the Reds, and also up to Tucker what happens with him in 2022?

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Unless there is an extension, his contract is definitely up after 2022.

    • Jim Walker

      It is a team only option. Barnhart does not have the option to walk away if the team wants to keep him at $7.5M.

      As someone commented above. a likely course of action would be that the team would decline the option (and pay him $500K buyout for the privilege of doing so) then try to resign him for less, probably in the $4-5M range he is making now at the very most. However if/once the option is declined, Barnhart would be a free agent.

  9. Mark Moore

    Had to leave to take DD#1 to the airport. Happy to see the win. Watching the bottom of the 7th right now. Sweeping the Stupid Cubs always feels great.

    • TR

      Almost as good as beating the Cardinals.

  10. Mark Moore

    A whole lot of disappointed fans wearing blue leaving GABP today. That final DP was a killer.

  11. RojoB

    @Tom

    I wish the Brewers were on an 11 game losing streak—not to be that guy but you have a mistake in your write up.

    Speaking of write ups—i’m sure it’s a much easier task to write about a sweep when the Reds have the broom in hand!

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Muchas gracias for that catch! Please always let me or anyone here know when there is an error.

  12. Slicc50

    Team baseball! It is a beautiful thing! When the hitting is struggling, the pitching and defense have to pick it up. Same goes the other way. This team is learning how to play good team baseball right before our eyes. 7 games back now. Can’t go into KC and lay an egg. Have to keep grinding out some wins!

  13. Indy Red Man

    Cashed the Under today. These umps weren’t going to let them score any runs. 3-0 pitch to Naquin was a foot outside and they called it a strike. Overall though, the Reds improvised, adapted, and overcame! Thats all that matters!

    Hunter Greene tonite too!

    • Mark Moore

      The Flex-O-Zone was on full display while I was watching. I’m beyond tired of seeing it. MLB umps didn’t used to be this bad. Seems like 50% of the time we see a garbage zone.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        It is definitely frustrating. I wish they would just get on with creating an electronic strike zone. But there are some thorny issues — like players of different sizes, players who may crouch on one pitch and not on the next — that are difficult to solve electronically at the moment.

      • Jim Walker

        I think you are probably correct that we did not always see as much variation with the body of work of individual umps which seems to go now. However there have always been “pitchers'” umps and “hitters'” umps who were known to consistently call loose or tight zones.

        And the strike zone has always been notoriously larger at 3-0 than on any other count which has always irked me for decades.

      • Scott C

        Jim, I don’t mind a consistently tight or loose strike zone. The problem I see today is the inconsistent zone. As Indy pointed out about the strike to Naquin that was outside, a foot may be an exaggeration, but that pitch had been called a ball all night and pitches closer than that had been called balls. Just show some consistency please.

    • RojoB

      You mentioned the under which always makes me wonder hard about what the umps are doing.

      It seems it would be easy enough to insulate oneself from connections with the odds makers yet still receive payoffs for “services rendered”

    • Jim Walker

      I’d overlooked Greene was going tonight. I was thinking he would open the week on Tuesday. Thanks for the mention. BTW, I think this is a big start for him in terms of how quickly he could see given MLB action given that he seemed to really hit a wall last Tuesday in the 5th after cruising through the first 4 innings.

  14. Scott Cleaves

    First half copied from above…

    Scoring 8 runs on 16 hits over three games at home against a slumping team is very likely not enough to catch the Brewers, Dodgers, or Padres. We were shut down by starting pitching again today. We need a spark on offense. I thought Lopez was it. Hopefully he’ll be somewhere in the line-up against KC with a DH spot available.

    Regarding pitching, I’m still not convinced. Yes, we shut down the horribly slumping Cubs. Did you see their batting averages, guys?

    That being said, I’ll stick to my guns regarding making trades soon. The Reds will likely have to win the division rather than make it in as a Wild Card. We’ve already gotten a full taste of what the Padres can do. Am I being pessimistic or realistic? I’ll leave that decision to you. Have a good’un, Reds fans!

    • Jim Walker

      Padres have either 19 or 20 games with the Dodgers and Giants split down the middle in the last 2 months of the season. I like the Reds chances of making up a lot of ground on them given they have 17 with the Pirates and Marlins over the same stretch. The only games the Reds have over that stretch with teams now having a better record than them are 3 each with the Brewers and Dodgers and 2 with the ChiSox.

      • Scott Cleaves

        Thanks for the info, Jim, and excellent point. However, I believe we need to maintain or move up now. The upcoming three games at sub .500 KC loom large. Then, as you likely know, it’s four in Milwaukee, the break, and the Brewers again at home for three more. Better be ready, Reds!
        P.S. Curious to see what’s done to fill the DH spot in KC.

    • RojoB

      Sweeping a three game series is what’s needed to catch the Brewers no matter how many runs are scored.

      I get what you’re saying, though. However I do not see the Brewers as a juggernaut. They are equally capable of losing the next 6 or 7 games in a row.

      • Scott Cleaves

        Precisely regarding the Brewers, Rojo. They are no juggernaut, which is why I think our chances are best there. Jim’s point about the Padres is also good, though.

      • Scott Cleaves

        And yes, the sweep was crucial.

  15. Reddawg2012

    I’m not usually one for hypothetical trade scenarios, but what would it take to rent half a season of Trevor Story? You’d think the Rockies would be open to trying to get something for him before he hits free agency.

    I can’t believe I’m writing this…but with Antone, Sims, and Lorenzen eventually coming back, I think I would be comfortable not upgrading the bullpen if SS could be upgraded so majorly instead. Imagine the lineup with Trevor Story at SS.

    • Melvin

      Probably wouldn’t take much. Just a matter if Big Bob would pay for him the rest of the year.

    • Scott Cleaves

      Currently at .255 (lifetime .275) with 10 dingers and a .773 OPS. I can see where you’re going with this. *Other teams are interested in him as well.

    • Amarillo

      Story is hitting .184/.279/.368/.647 on the Road this year. There is no guarantee that he would be an upgrade over Farmer outside of Coors. We would also owe him 6MM for the last 2 months of the season which would impact his prospect cost. The Rockies are going to want to try to Qualifying offer him, so he would theoretically cost more than a Comp pick, but for a player with those Road splits, I don’t want to offer a top 10 organizational prospect for him. Maybe an Ivan Johnson type?

    • MBS

      I still think a closer or established setup man is the biggest hole we have. The turn around of the pen is great, but if we are really going to make a run, we need to keep up the current success of the pen.

      • Scott Cleaves

        Agree. Priority #1. I say they need another bat, too.

      • Reddawg2012

        But who can the Reds go after that fits the role of “closer or established setup man”? That’s kind of my point. Once they are healthy, there aren’t a lot of relievers (as far as I know) that are available and would be an upgrade.

      • Scott Cleaves

        Reddawg, I casually Googled “available relief pitchers” and was presented with a list of 25. A. Chapman was on the list if you’re looking for a flashback pitcher.

      • Old-school

        We saw Gregory Soto from the Tigers dominate Reds hitters last year throwing 99mph from the left side. He just made the AL All star team. He’s controlled for 3+ more years.

        Trade Santillan to the Tigers for Soto and you have your dominant lefty at the back end of the bullpen this year and 2022 and 2023 and perhaps 2024.

        As for rentals and Trevor Story, the market is very thin for Story although its now reported the White Sox want him to play 2b for nick Madrigal who is out for the year. Nick Castellano was a rental traded to the cubs in 2019 at the deadline for Paul Richan and Alex Lange. Both are injured , 1 is in AA and 1 is in the Tigers Bullpen with an ERA of 7.

        Moose got traded as a rental with his 30+ HR and All star resume to the Brewers in 2018. The 2 players that went to the Royals- Brett Phillips is a career .199 hitter and Jorge Lopez is 2-11 with an ERA 6 for the orioles now.

        The Reds could send a #5 prospect and a #15 prospect and and flyer and get Story. They get 5 picks in the upcoming draft between #17 and #89.

        The Reds franchise would survive if they traded Mike Siani and Bryce Bonnin and a PTBNL for Story.

        Get Soto and Story and this team would take off.

  16. Roger Garrett

    We need to go 14 over the rest of the way while the Brewers play 500 ball.Not impossible but not likely to happen.It would be great to get a really good short stop who can also hit but that will not happen.Suarez must be what he was in 2019 for us to even have a chance.He will play every day as will Framer but Kyle is what he is and has been and will be so to expect him to be more is not going to happen.One guy who plays a defense first position is not going to make or break this team even if he hits 200.Suarez can’t continue to do what he is doing for us to win.Now maybe he sets more when Moose or Senzel returns if they do indeed return but he is the key and has been all year long.Not worried about any other spot in the lineup cause the catching guys are getting it done,as is Joey,as is Wink and Casty,as is India and whomever plays center.Its Suarez that has to come through unless the Reds do get a good hitting legit short stop and I don’t think it will happen.Starting pitching will keep us in most games and if we hit then the starters can be extended for more innings and the pen pitches less.

  17. Rednat

    so far, I am happy with our pitching and it is only going to get better with the return of Lorenzen, Antone and Sims.

    i have been very impressed with the defense on the home stand especially in the infield. it has become a real strength of the team and i expect it to continue to be solid the rest of the year.

    the offense is what it is. i think it will be a while before Senzel or Moose come back so we have to “ride and die ” with Suarez at third. Honestly, i think you are going to see more and more players now with seasonal batting averages less than 200. the pitching now is just that good. it is kind of like the 100 k season for a batter. you used to never see that but once it started happening it became the norm.

    the one place where i think our reds can really improve is on the bases. we are leaving a ton of runs ” on the table ” with terrible baserunning decisions. case in point yesterday. 2nd and third and nobody out. Naquin hits a high chopper to first. votto has to be running on that play and scoring with stephenson advancing to third. After the suarez hit the reds would have been up 4-2 instead of 3-2.

    it may be difficult to improve on the baserunning for the rest of the season just because it takes relentless practice to prepare for all the possible scenarios that may occur, but i think it must be a point of emphasis during the offseason.

    • Indy Red Man

      Since every Reds game seems to be a 1 run game or atleast close late then Lorenzen can help as a pinch-runner. That situation on Saturday that you mentioned would’ve been a good one. Pinch run Lorenzen for Joey as the lead run in the 7th and he scores easily on that chopper and they get the 2 run lead!

  18. Scott Cleaves

    I guess the question is simply this: What will it take to get this team into the post-season, and is brass willing to get us there?

    • Indy Red Man

      I would imagine the front office wants to see where they’re at after the 7 straight vs Milwaukee coming up. They have big money going out to Joey and Moose next year. Shogo, Sonny, Tucker, and Suarez = another $35 mil. Castellanos is the heart of their lineup and they’ll need to almost double his $16 mil/year to keep him. Basically I don’t see any big trades until Nick’s situation gets resolved.

      A rental? It won’t be anyone expensive. Maybe a reliever or a older SS for a prospect or something. They could try to bring back Jose Iglesias? He’s atleast a slight upgrade over Farmer and could provide insurance in case Barrero isn’t ready.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I heard this from Jeff Brantley as he was answering questions during a rain delay last week: If you are five games ahead at this point and you need someone to put you over the top, that’s when you dip into your prospects and make a trade. But you don’t trade prospects for a reliever when you’re as far behind as the Reds (paraphrasing). In other words, don’t count on a BIG trade unless the Reds really whoop up on Milwaukee in the coming two weeks. Lesser moves are always possible. If there is going to be a shortstop upgrade, it’s likely going to come in the person of Barrero — a player with no major league track record to speak of.

  19. Doc

    Reds remain unbeaten in the second half of the season, without the litany of so-called upgrades.

    I don’t trade for rentals. Small market teams cannot compete consistently trading pipeline prospects for short term rentals.

    If Castellanos can’t figure out a way to live his lifetime on $64MM for 4 years, plus what he’s already made before joining the Reds, let him walk.

    • Indy Red Man

      If other people in your profession with your production were making 75% more then you, then you’d want a raise. Thats just the way it is. He’s basically the heart-and-soul of this team.

    • Doug Gray

      If the Reds ownership group can’t figure out how to live their lifetime with roughly $800,000,000 in increased value over what they paid for the team 16 years ago and don’t want to pay for quality employees, let them sell the team.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Absolutely. I grow weary of talk of a team in contention possibly trading a legitimate MVP candidate. Now, if they flatline, lose most of the big upcoming games against the Brewers and drop double-digit games behind, then there is reason to speculate. But I refuse to even consider the notion of trading any key contributor of a team that still has a legitimate shot.

        All of that being said, people who become wealthy through entrepreneurship don’t stay wealthy by giving all of their money away. When I worked in the greater Cincy area over a decade ago, it was for someone extremely wealthy. Balance sheets are the language of their success. There is no doubt that Castellini runs the Reds on a break-even balance sheet basis. If there are profits, as there were when the team received tens of millions for its portion of the sale of BAM, they were used in the big free-agent spree. Good for them — they didn’t hoard that money for personal gain. When the 2020 balance sheet showed a loss, relievers and their salaries were dispatched to reduce the loss. We can yell until we are blue in the face, but this is not going to change. When Castellini says big attendance (revenue) may prompt some spending, he truly means it.

        Frankly, you can probably count on one hand the number of pro sports owners who don’t operate this way. In the large markets, the teams have huge contracts for broadcasting rights which enable much higher spending. But hey, even in Chicago, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts got rid of big contracts of key players before this season. Businesses in any niche don’t operate for long if they ignore what the balance sheets say. Of course, I wish Castellini would be willing to spend. Just understand that he wants to maintain his wealth, apparently without selling the Reds.

      • Scott Cleaves

        I agree with Tom regarding attendance ultimately being the deciding factor. However, and here’s the catch, to get the bigger attendance, don’t you have to field a strong contender? The Reds are not quite yet that contender, IMHO. Small market teams everywhere are facing this dilemma, I suppose. (And Castellano must stay. Big draw for the fans.)

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Scott, it’s definitely a Catch-22 regarding fielding a strong team as a way to attract attendance. I’ve said before on this website that the failure for the front office to do something to help this team essentially renders the entire “rebuild” period meaningless. The whole point of that was to put the team in a position to compete, and to not “complete” the process by doing what is needed to give the team a true chance would be a massive failure. The point of my post immediately above is that ownership probably doesn’t see it the same way.