Nick Castellanos’ two-run, two-out single in the top of the ninth inning against Josh Hader was the difference as the Cincinnati Reds defeated the Milwaukee Brewers, 3-1, at American Family Field.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (48-42) 3 12 0
Milwaukee Brewers (53-39)
1 5 0
W: Hendrix (5-1) L: Hader (3-2) SV: Osich (1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

For the second consecutive game, Hader faced Eugenio Suarez to lead off the top of the ninth with the game tied. Hader drilled Suarez with the first pitch, and pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer followed with a fly-ball single that probably should have been caught by right fielder Avasail Garcia. After pinch-hitter Alejo Lopez struck out, Jonathan India had a great at-bat to draw a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Jesse Winker struck out, making him 0-for-his-last-27 against lefties. But Castellanos was next:

Cincinnati won the four-game series, 3-1, and pulled within four games of first-place Milwaukee. Over the four games, the belittled Reds bullpen bettered the Brewers’ hitting which ranks next-to-last in the majors in batting average at .220. If you missed Jim Day’s post-game interview with Castellanos, the All-Star mentioned he had heard someone on Brewers TV before the game “talking s*** about our bullpen,” and there was no bleep overlapping what he said. Castellanos was angry and referred to the karma that resulted from that perceived insult.

A key play in the bottom of the seventh inning stopped the Brewers from bringing their top hitter, Omar Narvaez, to the plate with the go-ahead run on second. Willy Adames attempted to steal second base off Sean Doolittle and Tyler Stephenson …

The throw was initially late, but Reds shortstop Mike Freeman made a very heads-up play when he used his foot to block Adames from direct access to the bag. When Adames popped up in his slide and off the bag for a fraction of a second, Freeman’s tag resulted in an inning-ending out after a replay review.

The Offense

Cincinnati took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Joey Votto plated Jesse Winker with a single, the third of three consecutive hits off Brewers ace right-hander Brandon Woodruff.

After the opening inning, Cincinnati accumulated seven more hits but no more scores — until the fateful ninth. Castellanos, Votto, Freeman and Tyler Stephenson each had two hits in the victory.

The Pitching

Luis Castillo was not at his best. He allowed only three hits, but walked six in 5 1/3 innings. He was charged with a run when Amir Garrett allowed an inherited runner to score on a hit by Jackie Bradley, Jr., his first since Independence Day.

Art Warren pitched one-third of an inning in the bottom of the seventh, but was removed with an undisclosed injury after reaching a 2-2 count on Christian Yelich. If there is any luck at all among Reds relievers, it is bad luck — at least in terms of injuries. Warren had pitched well enough in recent weeks to move himself into a high-leverage, late-inning role.

Doolittle, Ryan Hendrix and Josh Osich finished things up. Osich earned his first major-league save.

Notes Worth Noting

In today’s Futures Game for prime minor league prospects …

It wouldn’t be at all shocking for him to join the big-league roster sometime in the coming weeks.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds

Friday, July 16, 7:10 p.m. ET

TBA vs. TBA

140 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    This was so very sweet. Makes you forget the one loss we suffered up there. And it gives us something to ride on heading back into town to face the Bernies again. The team really doesn’t ever give up. We saw that on full display this weekend.

    • Alan Horn

      I agree. I hope the Reds hang on to Castellanos if there is any way possible. Pay him within reason.

      • Ron

        IF they let him walk after this kind of season it would be a absolute tragedy.

  2. Old-school

    Reds made the playoffs last year with different rules and a dominant top 3 pitching staff but it wasn’t a fun team to watch that couldn’t hit or score. This is the most fun Reds team to watch play baseball in a long time. Love this team. I’m buying tickets against the brewers in right field to support Nick C and this team.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I absolutely agree on all counts. There is something special happening here.

      • RojoB

        Tom I sure hope the ownership sees it too and gets something going to shore up the weak points.

        Castellanos in post game also talked about how much the team all like each other, play for each other–special times

      • TR

        There is something special happening. It reminds me of 1970, when listening to a Reds/Mets game in Cadman Plaza in downtown Brooklyn, I realized ML baseball was going to need to deal with that Reds team.

    • Klugo

      GABP should be absolutely lit this weekend. Jelly.

  3. Klugo

    Get healthy, stay healthy and I like our chances. Maybe the Giants, Dodgers, and Padres can beat up on each other enough to give us a lane into the wildcard, but I think our best chance is winning the division. Every team deals with injuries, many teams use them as an excuse for losing, including the Reds in the not-so-distant past. Not this team, though. Not this year.

    • Jim Walker

      Of course wining the division would be better than a wildcard. However, this said, the Reds are only -2 in the loss column to the Padres (and yep, we know where those 2 games come from) and half a game closer to them than they are to the Brewers who they are -3 to in the loss column.

      From August 1 through the end of the season, the Padres have 19 games with the Giants (10) and Dodgers (9).

      Incredibly, all 10 with the Giants are from Sept 1 through the end of the season while 6 of the games versus the Dodgers are in September. Even if the Padres split these games after Labor Day, the Reds are close enough now they could overtake them if the Reds can maintain relative position to the Padres until Labor day.

      • Klugo

        Nice. I just think the Padres, Dodgers, and Giants are all better than the Padres, Cardinals, and Cubs. But, yeah, they gotta play each other. So, I like our chances in either lane if we can get and stay healthy.

      • Klugo

        Opps insert Brewers. Omit second Padres. You know what I mean. 🙂

    • CFD3000

      And only 2 back in the loss column for the 2nd wild card (3 1/2 overall)

  4. Jim t

    Tom you may want to correct the date on reds next game. It’s Friday the 16 TJ not Thursday

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Corrected. Thanks for the catch!

  5. RojoB

    The Mike Freeman win streak is perfect at 9-0

    • MBS

      I know, the Freeman effect is real! Seriously though, keep running him out against righties, and Farmer against lefties. Give the team a bit more length in the lineup.

  6. RojoB

    Great game, and fun, y’all!

    The Fragile Brewers are showing wear and tear.

    Such sweet victory over Hader, who is so conceited he thinks he can hit the first batter intentionally and still get his job done. He left the mound wearing a big, red nose. Until he hit Suarez i used to just think, “man, give him props, he gets it done.”

    Now i have zero respect. He earned it

    • Klugo

      Yes! My feelings exactly on Hader. Love that Suarez crossed with the game-winning R.

    • VaRedsFan

      It’s my opinion that the HBP wasn’t intentional. Suarez beat Hader on an up and away fastball, so I just think he wanted to establish something inside. The division race is far too tight for him to be doing that in a tie game.

      If the Reds wanted to use that as motivation though, it served a great purpose.

      • RojoB

        The part that has me suspicious is how Hader walked straight toward Suarez afterwards, as if he was daring him

      • Tom Reeves

        Yeah, the catcher was moving to intercept Geno before Geno even got out of the box. And Hader was moving toward him and staring him down.

        Maybe it wasn’t an intention plunking, more of a brush off that might hit him. But it was an intentional attempt to intimidate and it did not work.

        Man, I know Geno has struggled. You have got to admire the guy’s resiliency. If that were me, the emotional wear and tear seems crushing. And this team seems to love him. Hitting Geno was a bad move, for sure.

    • paul olbert

      my feelings exactly, from a Wisconsin reds fan! he never misses by that much and he walked towards Suarez like he was a bad-ass. that was the worst umped series I have seen in a long time!

  7. J

    Some of these guys drive me nuts, but they’re all very easy to root for. It’s fun actually caring about baseball in the second half. (Last year doesn’t really count.) I do wish they’d pull the trigger on a trade for a good relief pitcher or two. It would make the team instantly better, and be good for everyone’s mental health.

    • RojoB

      It’s kind of like how you feel about your kids

      Can drive you crazy

      But then they do something and you love em

      LOL

      • JayTheRed

        That’s actually a perfect analogy. My daughter I love to pieces but sometimes she can make me want to rip my hair out. Just like in real life we always love our children…. We will always love our team.

  8. Bet on Red

    This team is truely starting to pull itself together. Gotta dominate the homestand after the break. Come out there on fire

    • Bet on Red

      Additionally, many improvements will be coming from inside the organization as people get healthy. The brewers are reaching the end of being successful i think

      • Alan Horn

        Improvements from within may be all that is needed.

      • JayTheRed

        Don’t count the Brewers out quite yet. We may have been playing well against them this season but we don’t play them every game. Matter fact I think we only play them for 6 more games in the 2nd half including right after the All Star Break.

        They could make some great moves to improve any of their weaknesses. Hitters are going to be available and the Brewers I am sure know it’s an area they sure could improve on.

  9. Hotto4Votto

    Great to see the Reds get the series win today. Excellent way to head into the break. This team keeps fighting, and that’s really fun to watch. They’ve really set themselves up well for the 2nd half. Especially if the owner is willing to go out and add some help. Very unfortunate if Warren has an injury. He’s been pitching well lately. Hopefully whatever it is, it’s minor.
    I hope Barrero isn’t called up until he’s ready. He’s shown good pop and some flashes of what makes him an exciting prospect at AAA, but he’s got some adjustments to make there as well. Good to see him take advantage of the big stage though.
    Now onto the break and the draft.

  10. Magnum 44

    My hope is Jesse and Nick come back from Colorado with Trevor Story …..The city would explode and literally would be wall to wall fans at Great American for the rest of season. It would be management’s way to say we know we screwed up but we are going for it.

    • Mark Moore

      Personally, I’m not convinced renting Story is the answer given his road splits. But something has to happen, that much is certain.

      • JayTheRed

        I’d take Story over Freeman and Farmer being the starting SS any day.

  11. oklared

    LOVE THIS TEAM! ” But we need to fire Dave Bell and trade Votto and Suarez for a sack of balls let the young guys play these old dudes have no value”

    • west larry

      David Bell gets Zero credit for the teams success this year? I hope Bell gets manager of the year just so that you can have a Hader moment. You should read the blog more often, as countless bloggers and some of the writers have repeatedly correctly stated that Votto has a automatic no trade clause, as he has ten years with the same team. Suarez is at a low point in a pretty good career, you would get nothing for him unless the reds paid most or all of his salary.

    • Slicc50

      I have been as critical of David Bell as anyone has. Don’t you think he has done a nice job navigating through all the problems the team has had? He deserves some credit here. Joey is having a very nice season. Suarez still has some improvement to make but he has come up big in some key spots lately!

      • Alan Horn

        I was leary of Bell also but he and the staff have done a great job(especially with the BP).

    • Mark Moore

      Votto is untradeable, so that won’t happen in any way, shape or form. He’d really have to want to go somewhere else and waive his no-trade clause.

    • RojoB

      @oklared that was sarcasm, was it not?

      • stuckonthenorthshore

        Nah, prettt sure he’s just trolling.

      • 2020ball

        hahaha, I laughed. I liked the use of quotes as an attempt to show the “sarcasm font”

  12. Dennis Westrick

    One word! Sweeeeeeeeeet!!!! Nick for MVP & India for ROY!

  13. Old-school

    Bullpen absolutely needs a lefty addition. Do it Nick Krall

    Barrero is close

    Suarez is the the wild card. Castillo is totally 180 degrees back from April

    Could suarez do that? No idea

    Give him the 2 weeks after the All Star break

    • RojoB

      My only wish for Castillo is increased pitch efficiency.
      But I’ll take what he’s doing lately over his first 10 ish games, which is why i call it a wish and not a beef

      • Alan Horn

        My theory is that Castillo became his old self after the weather warmed up. The latin players have a hard time adjusting to the colder temps.

      • Tom Reeves

        Alan, Lance McAlister ran Castillo’s numbers on warm and cool temp games. There’s no correlation between his performance and game time temp. Our brains are picking that as the simple to understand mental model that’s unsupported by data.

        However, Chris Welch mentioned to the KC broadcasters that Castillo was being coached early in the season to throw up in the zone to increase strikeouts. Castillo eventually told the coaching staff this wasn’t working and he went back to keeping the ball low in the zone. That’s when his turnaround solidified.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        @Tom Reeves. I hadn’t heard that about Castillo but makes some sense. Also, for everyone, we might want to stop making generalizations about players from different cultures or parts of the world. Do players who grew up in Southern California and Florida also only heat up when the weather gets hot? Maybe Joey Votto only plays well in cold weather because he’s from Canada?? Nobody has every said that!!

      • Alan Horn

        Good info Tom. I didn’t realize that. Sometimes you can over coach.

      • Alan Horn

        Nothing racist was implied or intended by my comments. Baseball is a game that wasn’t intended to be played in cold weather. I know in college I hated playing in cold weather. That is why many northern teams came down south on tours in the early season to escape the cold weather. If you are not used to it, it does matter. Votto’s situation makes no sense because the opposite is not true. Cold weather makes the bat sting when you hit the ball and causes muscles to contract which can lead to injury. Just not a fun environment to play baseball in.

    • Alan Horn

      Barreo has only played 10 games at AAA but he is only hitting .171. He will need to pick things up with the bat.

  14. Mark A Verticchio

    Great Weekend for the Reds, can’t wait until Friday. I thought the team played really well with good pitching, clutch hitting and great defense. I also think Bell is more comfortable and is doing a better job. He should probable keep running Freeman out there, 8-0 is no joke, at least against right handers. Pads are losing 3-1 in the 9th and with the Cub – Card rain out neither of them gets a win, great day all around.

    • Dennis Westrick

      Padres lost! Reds 3.5 games out of 2nd wild card spot!

  15. Hanawi

    Great series win going into the break. Looks like Pads are going to lose again as well, so they are creeping closer and closer in the wild card race. And getting some bullpen reinforcements back will help immensely.

  16. Votto4life

    I was really hoping the Reds would go on a run going into the Cubs and they have certainly done that.

    The “Math” doesn’t look as good for the Brewers as it did two weeks ago. Long way to go though.

  17. RedsFanInFL

    This team has really rebounded. Think how bad they were that just a short while back when they lost a 19-4 game to the Giants and then a 17-3 game to the Phillies.

  18. Tim

    Brewers have had one of the easiest schedules to the break. REDS are a better team and the second half will prove it further. Get and stay healthy and we’ll leave the division in the dust. Need BP and SS for the playoffs.

  19. Jimbo44CN

    Gotta love Farmer. That ball was drilled. Garcia missed it but that was one helluva hit.

    • bug

      Yes. Farmer has not been given the accolades he deserves. He plays great defense, and he’s had a lot of big hits and home runs in the clutch. And his batting average keeps inching upwards. I think he gets a bad rap. He’s had a great first half!

      • TR

        Farmer is unsung but he gets it done and fills a very important role.

      • Tomn

        Agree also. His defense, I think, has been excellent. Much better than I expected. His hitting is not as good as I’ve expected but that is on the upswing and his hit yesterday was big-time. I really like Farmer. Plus he’s a 3rd catcher though he hasn’t caught this year, I think.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Farmer is easy to root for because he plays hard and he’s worked his way to the ML level while not being heralded as a big time prospect. That being said, I’m not sure what accolades he deserves and if his bad rap is anything more than the actual numbers being put up are bad. He’s not great defensively. He’s average. Which, granted for this team at the SS position is a vast improvement, but he’s at 0 DRS for the season at SS. He’s posted a 62 OPS+ (or 38% below league average) all combined his contributions amount to a -0.2 WAR on the season. That’s not good folks. SS is still a major weakness on the team.

      • Scott C

        I agree with what you said 0 DRS and a combined contribution of -0.2 is far better than have Suarez there. With the inability (unwillingness to spend) to get a real shortstop I think he is our best option right now. I don’t think bringing Barrero up is a good idea.

  20. Jimbo44CN

    Sorry Tom. Got carried away. My Goodness what a series, what a game!!

  21. JA

    Rockies just won their only 9 game as visitor, two consecutives, and now the wildcard is just 3.5 ahead.
    Great weekend for the Reds

  22. GR

    This point was also made on the TV broadcast today, but this team seems to really reflect Nick Castellanos’ competitive mentality and leadership. I do not know what the Reds’ chances are for resigning him, but I am hoping it is their highest priority.

    While you can never have enough quality bullpen arms, with 3 relievers returning from the IL and pitchers in the minors like Santillan, I do not think I would overpay for another arm at this point.

    • RojoB

      You bring up a good point that reminds me, that at the beginning of the season, against the Cardinals, when the Reds were putting a hurting on them, and the infamous “Let’s *** go!” scream by Castellanos. The team was feeding off of that and really building up confidence.

      Then MLB says, “not so fast” with the stupid, senseless suspension of Nick…I felt some energy drained from the team then and it has taken some time to recover

      • greenmtred

        I agree, too. And recover they have. The rp’s coming back (Antone, Sims and Lorenzen) might fix the bullpen, but there’s reason to worry about durability with all of them. I wouldn’t overpay for another reliever, but I’d sure look into it. As for other adjustments, there seems to be substantial agreement here that the team is functioning as a spirited unit. I think that’s a very important factor in their success–a factor that makes them–possibly–over-achievers–so I hope that’s taken into account if other trades are considered. The chemistry looks real to me, and it’s absence might do more harm than the good of trade could compensate for.

  23. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I’ve said it before and will say it again. . .if I was the front office, I would extend Winker and Mahle now. I would add some seasons to Nick C. I would extend Gray, but for only low base high incentive.

    I was considering, if we trade, I could only think we have minor league pitching to trade with, as shown with Vlad and Tony with the big club and Hunter and Nick L still in the minors. But, if I trade, I still can’t help thinking I don’t trade any one of them for a 2 month rental.

    What the front office may be considering is “something like” seeing how we stand after the Brewers series after the AllStar break. As in, if we can get the Brewer lead cut to 3 or less, we believe the front office pulls the trigger and looks to make a trade.

    Always remember, though, making a trade is easy to say, much harder to do. You have to find a team who’s willing to part with what you want, wants what you have. Then, the two parties have to even out discrepancies, dot the i’s and cross the t’s. It’s not always easy.

    • Mark Moore

      I really don’t want rentals, especially if they deplete our own stronger points.

      And you laid it out well. You don’t really trade players, you trade contracts and futures, just like in any market.

    • JayTheRed

      Here is a question I pose..
      What if we get a pretty good reliever that has a year or two left of team control then what would you offer?

  24. Tim

    Reds are tied with Brewers for wins since June 1. Second only to the Astros

    • RojoB

      And they’re doing it without garbage cans!

      • Grand Salami

        Same difference?

        But too true, the Reds are saving their Pirates games.

      • RojoB

        I meant the Reds are winning without garbage cans

      • Grand Salami

        I know. And I mean it’s the pirates. The are garbage

        And playing them is like cheating too.

    • Rcsodak

      Love how people grab some oblivious date from the calendar to make their point.
      #whateverhelpsyousleep

      Since day 1, this team is 6gms over .500.
      Suarez still is hitting below the Mendoza line and has more strikeouts than Bidens handlers.

      Love when they win, but they’re still a .500+ team. Let’s keep it real.

      • LDS

        Wine July 9th, they are 3-0. I’m seeing a 120 win season as long as they start Freeman every game

      • Jimbo44CN

        When was the last time they were above 500 at the break? It’s ok for people to be happy about that.

      • Tim

        They’re a 600 plus team since June 1 which is a pretty standard measuring point in the season and an indicator that some, certainly not all, of the issues are getting worked out. That’s the point of the observation.

  25. ClevelandRedsFan

    Any idea on how the Brewers will set their rotation next weekend. Burnes, Woodruff, and Peralta will all pitch. They will all likely only pitch 1 inning. I’m not sure what starters’ schedules are in between starts.

    • Bet on Red

      Woodruff pitched today he won’t pitch tuesday, so we will see him. The other two if they pitch i would think that they keep them off for 5 days which means we would see one of the two in the fanale

  26. Dennis Westrick

    Or Rockies or Diamondbacks!

  27. Scott C

    Tom, I hope they don’t bring up Barrero. The Reds have gotten this far without a true SS, let him continue to learn in AAA until September. It is better for him long term and better for the Reds longterm.

    • GR

      What is a realistic ETA for Barrero? How much does he gain playing a half season at AAA vs the Bigs?

      • Grand Salami

        I’d be very curious to hear Doug’s take. Is his approach matured to the point he can handle MLB pitching?

    • Bet on Red

      Maybe, just maybe, he gets a september call up. The Bats ain’t going to whatever passes for a postseason in AAA. But like Hunter greene, you can mash AA Pitching and that does not automatically mean your Big league ready. I think mid 2022 is a safe bet

    • Indy Red Man

      Well if Barrero can give them extra punch at SS then that also allows them to sit Wink vs tough lefties for Farmer. Farmer can hit lhp! Shrock > Freeman or Lopez could also help. Max is really swinging it and can keep Geno & India sharp! If you can’t fix the pen or keep guys healthy then you have to score more runs!

      What a nice push after that horrendous SF series. We cooled off Milw and SD limped to the break too! Lets rest up and get after it again!

    • Tim

      I’m honestly curious about the process. Was Lopez doing better down in Louisville than Barrero? Was cionel Perez outperforming Lodolo and Greene? I wonder what the standard is for calling guys up. All of these are apparently top performer’s in AAA as evidenced in the recent future’s game. When do they continue to develop in the big club? If spring training began today, would they be invited to camp? Would they likely beat out some on the current roster?

  28. Grand Salami

    1st half heroes: (we can be heroes, if just for one half)

    Nick – nothing more need be said. He’s the team leader on the field and in the clubhouse, at least emotionally.

    Winker – without his breakout performance today these team wouldn’t have the offensive punch it’s needed.

    Barnhart – he’s rebounded with his bat in a way that didn’t seem possible.

    The Rookies – India and Stephenson obvi but the starting pitchers called up too.

    Mahle – early season ace

    Miley – mid-season ace and the #1 starter in the first half.

    Antone – hurt but he was the stopper in this pen when no one else could throw a strike.

    • Grand Salami

      ‘break out performance to date’

    • JayTheRed

      Hey Naquin has been a really nice addition that nobody thought would account for anything. Lets give him a shout out to for a nice 1st half. I know he has slowed down but still we essentially got him for nothing.

      • Indy Red Man

        Osich has pitched in 7 games in July. He hasn’t been scored on and they’re 6-1 in games he’s been in.

      • Westfester

        Naquin would be the best trade chip for a reliever. Reds hit on their lottery ticket. Now they should cash it in. Yankees need outfield bats. Maybe a return for Chapman? (assuming Yankees pay some of his salary).

      • Grand Salami

        Totally true. Naquin and Mahle were the surprise stars of the team to open the season. They both sustained it for several weeks and have been just fine
        (serviceable) since.

    • Hanawi

      Votto has a nearly .900 OPS since the beginning of June. He’s been pretty solid for awhile now.

  29. Indy Red Man

    How will I spend my $1500? I got the Reds to win the division at 10-1! Brewers are still -800 (8 to 1). That seems crazy to me!

    • Indy Red Man

      -800 is $80 to win $10 on Milwaukee

    • jazzmanbbfan

      Although I can’t imagine betting on anything, including sports, I hope you win this bet.

      • Indy Red Man

        Thank you! I think we all hope I win the bet!!

  30. Rednat

    i think all the ingredients are there for the reds to win the division. i don’t think any major trades need to be made but there are a few things i would like to see in the second half.

    1. House has got to go or improve his decision making in a hurry. he sends runners home when they have no chance of scoring and holds runners up when they would score easily. I think there will be a ton of 2-1,3-2 type games in the second half so every run has to count. i personally would like to see Bell take over duties as third base coach.

    2. i would like at least like to see SOME small ball in the second half. Case in point today with Lopez against Hader . that was the first time he ever faced him and he had no chance of making contact….zero, zelch, nada. at least try to lay down a bunt in that situation.

    3. I do worry about some of our starters hitting “the wall ” in the second half. particularly Mahle and Gray. Maybe give them some time in the bullpen to help extend their year so they won’t have to be shut down early. i think it would really help stabilize the bull pen as well.

    4. i hope we have big crowds for the second half. that includes weekday games too. if we can stay in the top ten in attendance in the league that would put a ton of Pressure on ownership to resign Castellanos and add pitching depth over the offseason.

    • Indy Red Man

      We can never get a bunt down, but I agree with you in theory. 1st inning… 1 run in and 1st/3rd. Why not push a bunt towards 1st with a righty on the mound? Atleast take a shot at it. Woodruff isn’t going to throw Nick out at the plate left-handed. Worse case scenario,if you get it down, is an rbi and Joey on 2nd base. You won’t get and you don’t need many runs with Woodruff vs Castillo!

    • Optimist

      As for #3, it seems having taken 1 of 2 approaches – 1-6 man rotations or a facsimile thereof with bullpen days and so forth; 2-5 man rotations, but pitch counts on starters and use bullpens more. Reds clearly used the second approach, and with dismal pen production. It may be good for the reds to switch approaches, considering that Vlad and Tony would be the 6th starter if all others return from injuries. They seem to have kept a limit on the starters pitch counts even with the horrid pen, so they could be set for the starters to work deeper in a game knowing they’ll have an extra day between starts.

      There were some interesting comments about Milwaukee already being at the prior limit of some of there starters. I wonder how other teams staffs compare.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      I think Gray will be fine. Not as sure about Mahle. And, if the Reds don’t go out and acquire another relief pitcher, I still think the bullpen willl be stabilized with the return of Antone, Sims, and Lorenzen.

      • Jim Walker

        I think if push comes to shove they may put Greene and/ or Lodolo into the bullpen mix if they think it makes the difference between making post season and not making it.

        Lodolo missed a month with the blister issue; so, if he is healthy and throwing well, he should definitely have some innings left to give.

        Since moving to AAA, Greene’s pitch count appears to have been rolled from ~100 back to 75-80 per start. They must be holding those pitches for some contingency unless there is a developmental issue we don’t know about.

  31. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Some posted about Bell. Myself, I don’t like how he has handled the relievers at all. I believe we all have seen it, how he will get a reliever doing good, then he pulls them. It’s like a reliever is only good for one inning, no more. That’s frustrating, to me anyhow.

    But, the players do seem to like him. Given that, I’m willing to “put up” with him, tolerate him, but with a positive light. I mean, as long as the players think positive of him, and we are winning. . .not unless he starts doing something absolutely stupid like starting Peyton over Castellanos regularly. I mean, what I mentioned about the relievers earlier, I can take that simply as how a manager runs his team. I may not run it like that, but as long as the team is winning, it’s hard to argue against it.

    • 2020ball

      Bell might be MOY.

      I’m for sure trolling saying that, but its a real thing if this team overtakes one of the teams ahead of them.

      • TR

        Trolling will continue even if wins add up.

      • 2020ball

        I was trolling even when they weren’t, so…yup 🙂

    • Indy Red Man

      Bell really doesn’t seem to trust any of these guys to go more then 1 inning. It is a little strange when a guy gets a quick inning with a low pitch count. I think Lorenzen and Hoffman could change that, but who do they replace? Perez and who else?

      • Jim t

        In today’s game of 100 pitch limit on starters not burning your bull pen is essential especially considering it’s beneficial to consider pitching matches as the game unfolds.

      • greenmtred

        I wonder if Bell uses multiple relievers sparingly because he wants as many as possible available for each game: most of those guys have been inconsistent, so he has to be ready to pull them and try someone else.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        The thing with using multiple relievers like Bell does, where they go no more than an inning, if the game goes into extra innings, we could be left with using Farmer or someone as a pitcher. No one wants something like that.

        I can understand the extra inning rule change (with the man starting on second), but it still isn’t outside the realm of possibility that a team could still be involved in a multiple inning extra inning game. Given the rule, I can understand why Bell does what he does. But, if he doesn’t watch it, he’s going to leave the team without a pitcher, period, much less a pitcher to get an ideal matchup.

      • Melvin

        If you have a pitcher who’s going good and you keep replacing them, sooner or later you will come across one that’s having an off night and it could cost you the game. With this pen that’s extremely likely. That’s why you stay with a hot pitcher whenever possible winning one game at a time.

      • Redgoggles

        It’s a catch-22. Reasons I disagree:

        Second innings have been proven to not go as smoothly as the first innings, so there is no guarantee that a “hot” arm will have as easy of a job the next inning. Another thing I’ve noticed is that Bell seems pretty intentional in using certain (lesser) arms for the lower parts of the lineup and his (perceived) stronger arms for the meat of the lineup. (Obviously he – along with practically every manager in the game – considers the handedness of the batters too.) Finally, by limiting the innings per night he doesn’t limit himself from using the same reliever the next night which I think provides the added benefit of keeping more of the bullpen arms sharp rather than multiple innings twice a week.
        Smart managing, considering the very limited quality options that he currently has. Folks want to rage at the manager for many reasons, but Bell’s usage of this particular bullpen shouldn’t be one, IMO. In fact, I’ve very impressed with the mixture of patience, flexibility and strategy throughout this year. (And, he drove me crazy last year.)

    • JB

      I dont think the Reds care how you would run the team but I’m sure someone will let them know that you will “put up” with them for now.

  32. Tom Reeves

    The Starting Pitching fWAR is top in the MLB…

    The Relief Pitching fWAR is right above average
    and the median in MLB. Overall, Reds Pitching fWAR is second in MLB.

    I’m with Minglestat on this. Derek Johnson and his team are fine pitching coaches. They’re getting the the early troubles sorted and this is turning into a solid pitching team. Maybe they will add a relief
    piece at the deadline – I’m not opposed to that.

    On position player fWAR for the season, the team is weaker. RF, LF, and C are all strong. Everything else is average or lower.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/team_compare.cgi

    • Indy Red Man

      I think 2B is in pretty good shape with India! My yahoo leagues have running 30 day stats available and I checked one of my teams. Vlad Guerrero Jr hitting .323 with 22 runs scored. India .317 with 22 runs scored. Thats not bad company for our young rookie!

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Yes, India is doing well, also, especially for a rookie.

        Our pitchers are proving to be pretty good hitters compared to the rest of the pitchers in the league.

        Our weaknesses hitting are at 1st, SS, 3rd, and CF, and pinch hitting if you want to include that.

        Pitching, recently, the relievers have been doing well compared to the rest of the league. Same with the starters. What has hurt there has been the relievers “start of the season”.

        If we keep up this “streak” after the break, I wouldn’t mind pulling the trigger on a reliever. I’m not so sure on trading for a 2 month rental, though. I would like to at least make the trade based on getting the pitcher for an additional season or two.

        Something else here. . .so far, the Brewers schedule is shown to have been easier so far during the season when compared to the Reds. For the remaining games left, the Reds are seen to have a bit easier remaining schedule left.

        Lastly, you could put the “blame” for lack of success on so much:

        – Votto is a shell of himself; imagine if we had the MVP Votto or the 2012 Votto
        – Castillo and his start; I mean, seriously, 10 losses
        – Our relievers
        – Our success against the West teams

        Make one change, just imagine how we would be doing.

      • Indy Red Man

        IDK? I kind of like the Naquin/Aquino platoon with Shogo (and Lorenzen?) in the mix as well. Call up Barrero and give Farmer some at-bats at 1B & LF vs lhp. Hopefully India can get his legs right and run a little more in the 2nd half. I think our offense could be in pretty good shape!

        I’m more concerned with the health of Antone & Gray. Also I always worry when guys like Osich, Hembree, Garrett, etc are pitching in high leverage all the time. AG has always been shaky and the rest were on the scrap heap for a reason. We need 1-2 proven relievers in the worst way! Maybe Lorenzen recaptures his best form?

  33. Jimbo44CN

    I think we are doing pretty darn good right now. You can’t change what has happened in the past. This team is overcoming obstacles. Sweeps, series wins against the division leaders, come from behind wins, a bullpen going from worst to above average and the whole team has an attitude I like. No matter how the rest of the season goes, this has been fun, and this is the best Reds team in a long, long time.

  34. Roger Garrett

    Great first half all things considered.We know as does the front office where the weaknesses are at so we play on,Key will be IMO rests on can we score enough in the second half.Yes the first half was good per the numbers but do we really expect Wink and Casty to continue.What about India and his ability to get on base or even Joey and Naquin to duplicate what they have done along with the catchers.Maybe so but the key will be Suarez.He will play and play and play cause I don’t think Moose will ever return and Senzel will be the super sub.Eugenio has to be more then just a threat to hit it out and if he isn’t the pitcher will find him at crunch time.I didn’t mention the short stop cause we will live with what Farmer does or doesn’t do.Suarez is the key period IMO.He just simply has to get up to 230 or 240 in the second half and put the ball in play more.Right now unless he walks in to one well it is what it is.

  35. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    What’s going on with Art Warren, no injury report yet on him?