As I sat along the third base line of Kauffman Stadium last Tuesday night watching the Reds bullpen implode in the final two innings before ultimately giving up a walk-off single to Salvador Perez, I felt discouraged. The Reds have an offense that can carry them to the playoffs, but a bullpen that can just as easily destroy any chances. Then last weekend in Milwaukee the Reds won three of four games and I, along with the rest of Reds country, started feeling a lot better about this team.

It’s been a weird, streaky year for the Reds. They completed a six game winning streak to start the season and followed it up with a seven game losing streak. Both streaks occurred in April. The Reds then hovered around .500 for a long time. They’ve never fallen more than a couple games below that .500 mark though. Because of that, they’ve managed to stay in the postseason hunt. They have continued to fight until the last out, as evidenced by the 24 comeback wins in 2021.

Here’s what I think needs to happen to see the Reds make the playoffs for the second consecutive year:

Eugenio Suárez needs to start playing better. His defense has left a lot to be desired, but his somewhat surprising offensive struggles have left a lot to be desired in the first half of the season. However, Suárez does seem to be turning it around, slowly but surely. The home run off Josh Hader Saturday night could be a catalyst for the rest of his season.

Suárez does have a history of improving as the season goes on, albeit a short history. 2019 was the most noticeable, with a 136 wRC+ in July, a 138 wRC+ in August and a 199 wRC+ in September. Of the 48 home runs he hit in 2019, 32 were hit from July through September. In the 2020 shortened season, his wRC+ in September was at 127, up from 108 in August.

Tyler Stephenson and Jonathan India need to continue to perform at a high level as rookies. Stephenson is hitting .282/.381/.426 with five home runs and 22 RBI in 226 plate appearances. India is hitting .275/.397/.407 with six home runs and 35 RBI in 316 plate appearances. Both players have also shown an incredible amount of plate discipline, with 66 combined walks. They are currently 1-2 among all qualified National League rookies in OPS.

The starting rotation has been as advertised for the most part, but Wade Miley has been especially good. His 2.80 ERA is the lowest it’s been since his 2018 season with the Milwaukee Brewers and his 76 strikeouts means he should be on pace to match any one of his six 140-strikeout seasons. One concern the Reds might have is that he’s already thrown 96.1 innings (he only threw 80.1 innings in his best season with the Brewers), but as recently as 2019, Miley threw 167.1 innings while with the Astros. He is used to pitching a lot of innings. The biggest key for him is to stay healthy, so he can throw at least 150 innings.

As for the bullpen, we all know it’s been terrible and injuries have only compounded that. However, Heath Hembree is one guy that has really impressed. He’s become David Bell’s go-to closer over the last week with five saves, and aside from the Tuesday game in Kansas City, he’s shown up in the big moments. During July, he’s allowed only one run while striking out ten and walking two in 5.1 innings. Hembree may not be the first choice in a healthy bullpen, but he’s looking like a solid third, fourth or fifth option once Tejay Antone and Lucas Sims return, as long as he continues to have success.

Some of these things are obviously contingent on whether the ownership and front office will acquire needed players by the trade deadline, but the core pieces for this team are there or they wouldn’t be six games over .500 at the All-Star break. Fellow Redleg Nation writer Nick Kirby posted on Twitter Sunday afternoon that the Reds are 25-14 in their last 38 games and 33-14 against the NL Central since September 13, 2020. This really is a good team that just needs a few well-chosen to make it a little better.

66 Responses

  1. Klugo

    I dont know how Tyler Stephenson isn’t getting the same pub as India on the national scene for ROY. Is it because he’s not playing every day? He’s playing more than the pitchers out there that are being considered.

    • AllTheHype

      Guessing because India has 90 more PAs and plays better defense at his position, comparatively.

    • RojoB

      The last article on MLB dot com I read about rookies mentioned Stephenson but not India.

      But overall both of them are being ignored by the national media.

      • TR

        It’s not unusual for the NY and LA media to try and ignore Cincy and the Reds. That only lasts until the Reds win consistently.

  2. CFD3000

    Suarez is a huge question mark. He’s had some big hime runs, but even more games where he has contributed no offense and been a rally killer. Best case scenario he finds some plate discipline and starts using more of the field. Next best? I don’t even know….

    I’m still optimistic though, primarily because Lorenzen, Sims and then Antone will all upgrade a shaky bullpen. Also, the Brewers have leaned heavily on their starters and face a tougher second half schedule. With little offense I’m skeptical that they can maintain their first half success for 70 more games. Finally, my big hope for the Reds beyond a division title is an extension for Nick Castellanos. He has energized the team with his production, his attitude, and his hustle. Keep him and add Greene and Lodolo and a healthy Nick Senzel (if that’s not an oxymoron) and this team could be competitive for several more years. Go Reds!

    • Indy Red Man

      Geno had 99 Ks thru June so thats 33 per month. He has 8 Ks in July, so that makes me a little more hopeful. Baby steps with Geno.

      Tyler Naquin really kept them going when they were struggling early, but I think I’d have him on a short leash. If he doesn’t get it going again then I’d go with the Punisher in CF for a while! What are their plans with this guy? Who brings up a guy that blasts 25 HRs in less then 300 at-bats and then leaves him on the bench? He’ll take a walk and he can run and throw! There is alot to like! He’s 27 so its now or never. Or trade him for a quality lefty reliever that we can utilize for a few years.

      • Jim Walker

        Count me on the Punisher train. They haven’t even used him enough to properly build his trade value if that’s what they might be thinking about. My guess is AA is on ice in case they can’t hold onto to Castellanos or find somebody they like better than AA to fill that gap if it happens.

      • Bet on Red

        I think that AA will be your 2022 starting RF in all honesty. They are just keeping him up cause he is out of options and he would be claimed on waivers

      • Melvin

        He’s a guy that could be a difference maker down the stretch if only given enough time to prove it.

  3. Westfester

    What is funny when you look back is that the Reds won the KC series 2-1. The one loss was looked upon as an epic failure. That’s good; expectations have risen.

    As Castellanos said, this teaming only going to get better. Players are settling into their roles and relaxing. With the way the schedule is set up, along with the fact nobody in the national media is paying attention, the Reds are going to sneak attack a lot of teams. Go Reds!

    • RojoB

      I agree that game was so painful it was like the end of days lol. But the pen wasn’t the only reason in that game that Sal got to play hero

      It would have been nice to have that extra game, though. Gotta try for sweeps to regain the lost wins against the weak AZ and CO teams

  4. Tomn

    Still holding my breath about Antone and Sims. And I’m assuming Lorenzen is back tonight?? What’s the latest?

    Go Reds!!!

  5. RojoB

    This is a nice recap and summary of hopes and needs for the teams, Ashley

  6. RojoB

    Related to the first half, one of our astute community commenters (I’ll never remember which) predicted the following immediately after it happened. A prophet he/she is!

    “Castellanos gets suspended for showing emotion, then it’s one of the first clips in the MLB promo video.

    Okay then.”

  7. Matthew Green

    Went over the schedule…51 of 72 remaining games are against teams that are .500 or below. That’s 7 out of every 10 games on average. The Brewers have a somewhat tougher schedule, as they did not have as many series against the NL West in the first half.

    • Doug Gray

      Fangraphs has the Brewers remaining schedule winning percentage at .536. The Reds are at .505. Everyone else in the division is lower than .500. For wild card purposes the Dodgers are at .594, Padres at .569, Giants at .489(!!), Mets at .558, Phillies at .519, Braves at .497.

      • Jim Walker

        Padres play 13 games with Giants (10) and Dodgers (3) from (about) Sept 10 to the end of the season could loom very large, especially put against the Reds playing the Pirates 6 games and another 6 combined with the Cards and Cubs in the same interim and 3 with the Tigers the weekend before.

  8. RcSodak

    Why is it were Lways spoon fed “over the last xx days, their record is” BS.
    It’s stupid and irrelevant and is only more characters to fill a page because the writer can’t make a point saliently

    • Jim Walker

      The Reds have played .632 baseball (24-14) from June 1 forward to the present which comprises nearly 1/4 of the entire season.

      Yes, commentators can play games with streaks and runs of good or poor outcomes. However, a serial run like the Reds have been on since June 1 is significant.

      This doesn’t mean they won’t lose their next 5 or even 10 games. It does mean however that over 7 weeks or so, they have played some of the best baseball (in terms of results) being played in MLB against a variety of teams both at home and on the road.

      Also their record indicates if they play just a tad better than .500 (say 40-32; .556) over the remaining 72 games, they will be right there in the mix for a playoff spot

      • beelicker

        The Reds 48-42 are 7.5 games behind the WC1 Dodgers 56-35

      • Jim Walker

        You are correct I did not add the 4 games distance between the Dodgers and Padres to the total from the Reds to Dodgers. I erroneously copied the 4 games as the split to the Reds.

    • beelicker

      salient = most noticeable or important … i’d say the fact of a jelling hot streak of 25-14 vs say 19 – 2o and looking up at the wildcard pack with nothing but desperate hope IS the most salient and relevant narrative point about this outfit at this point

      so what is, if it isn’t? hitting’s a little off, pitching’s a little up despite some injury setback, some niggling injury returns could maybe help, status quo, make it so …?? What else really stands out?

      • Jim Walker

        The Reds are the 1st team out of the Wildcard chase and are +3 games to the 2nd team out (Phillies)

        The Reds are actually as close to the top wildcard team (Dodgers) as they are to the Brewers (-4 games) and closer to the 2nd wildcard spot (Padres) (-3.5 games -2 in the loss column) than they are to the Brewers.

        Padres have 19 games with Giants (10) and Dodgers (9) between Aug 1 and the end of the season while the Giants and Dodgers have only 3 games vs each other in September, they have 10 total left.

        One way or another either 2 of these West teams are going to be reasonably catchable for the Reds or one is going to be very catchable for the Reds once all the games are played if the Reds win even 3 more than half their remaining 72 games.

        And for a chaser, the Brewers have to play the Giants 7 games between September 2 (the final 4 in Frisco Aug. 30-2Sept).

        The Reds don’t need a Herculean effort. They just need a steady consistent effort.

      • beelicker

        It’s the Padres who are 4 games behind the Dodgers for WC1

      • Jim Walker

        Bee> Correct. Acknowledged above.

  9. Rednat

    the run at the end of the first half was huge for the reds

    i expect big crowds this second half and i still have faith that the reds ownership will get Catellanos for at least another year.

    i hope we can make the playoffs this year but regardless, this is the first time in a long time i actually feel positive about the reds future!

  10. BO

    If Greene and Lodolo can stay healthy for the second half and continue to have success. I would like to see them brought up to stabilize the Reds bullpen. They likely will want to limit innings to an extent and using them for an inning or two in games that matter at the MLB level I think would go a long way not just this year but over the next 1, 2, 3 years as they rotate into the MLB rotation.

    If they spend, I would like to see that be at SS and a one year rental as I do think Jose is the future at that position. Suarez at SS when Moose is back will not cut it if they want to win anything.

    • David

      I think they will be pitch limited by September, but it is a possibility when rosters expand (do they do that still?) in September. Although Lodolo has missed starts in AA because of his finger-blister issue, and has NOT been promoted to AAA. Harder to promote from AA to ML now, with new rules in place.
      I would like to see San Martin get a promotion and see some action. He has been consistently effective at AAA.

      • Doug Gray

        Rosters still expand in September…. by 2 spots. It’s not like it used to be where you could in theory have a full 40 players up. You can get up to 28 now, but that’s it.

  11. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    .221/.275/.360 (.635 OPS) in 44 games since May 19th, Tyler Naquin.

    The Reds can not win consistently with this guy playing every day, Shogo has never gotten a legitimate shot for a reason you would have to ask Bell. Hurry back Nick Senzel.

    • TR

      I hope Nick doesn’t hurry back and again bounces off the outfield fences.

    • Indy Red Man

      Shogo is an ok defensive replacement in the OF, but thats about it. Its impossible to drive the ball when the bat is taking the ball to left, but his hips are on their way up the 1B line? The guy could play every day for 5 years and never hit a HR. Now I would take a flyer on AA vs rhp if Naquin doesn’t get his second wind shortly.

      • LDS

        Too much focus on HRs. I don’t care if he hits HRs if he bats .300+ and puts the ball in play. All Suarez does is hits HRs and he’s costs the Reds more than one game this year. As I said weeks ago, Naquin is this year’s Dietrich. Hope I’m wrong but I’m not betting on it.

      • Indy Red Man

        Naquin’s ops is .750ish. Shogo is .620 plus his arm is terrible. Put him in CF and guys are taking extra bases on him. End of story. Now I’m with you on AA

  12. old-school

    Rough weather week for heavy rain and storms and tonight is looking ugly.
    Brewers wont be back to Cincinnati this year. Could we see a 7 inning DH tomorrow?
    Hoffman also at risk in Dayton of not pitching with the storms so Reds may need all pitching hands on deck this homestand if they play 6 games in 5 days. Santillan and Hoffman need to be ready.

    • Jim Walker

      I was about to say the situation seemed to be improving here around Dayton (OH) because it hadn’t rained for several hours, the sky was higher/ brighter and I actually saw several patches of blue. Then it darkened and I hear thunder rolling

  13. citizen54

    Hopefully, the Reds don’t do anything dumb like become buyers before the trade deadline. This is a .500 team that has gotten lucky in 1-run games. The Reds are doing what .500 teams do: hover around.500. Fangraphs has them projected to be 2 games under in the second half.

    As it stands, the Reds are 4 games behind the Brewers which means they would need to add a Mike Trout to catch the Brewers and it’s doubtful they can catch whoever the WC teams are in the NL West. Best thing the Reds can do is to start building around Mahle, India and Stephenson. Get rid of Castellanos if they can because he is due for some serious regression in the second half. This isn’t a bad team; it just isn’t a team that can realistically compete with the top teams in the west.

    • Bob

      This is a team that can absolutely win the central and our schedule is very favorable as compared to teams in the west. I’m not sure who peed in your cornflakes, but the Reds a getting healthier and will overtake the Brewers and their anemic offense in the 2nd half of the season.

      • citizen54

        The Brewers are currently a better team than the Reds. They aren’t great but nobody in the Central is. You shouldn’t put too much stock into the current streak where the Reds eeked out a bunch of 1 run wins. Those kind of wins just aren’t sustainable. The Brewers are projected to be 4 games over .500 for the rest of the season. The Reds are projected to be 2 under. So the Reds would need to make up 7 games in half a season. Is it possible? Yes. Likely? No.

      • Indy Red Man

        If they’re better then why did the Reds just go 5-1 at their place?

        Also their big 3 starters have already exceeded their career high in innings! That can be a big factor!

      • Indy Red Man

        Reds just went 6-1 in Milwaukee. excuse me

      • citizen54

        Not wise to look at a 6 game sample where most of the games were decided 2 runs or less when you have a half of a season of games to go by as well. Fact is the Reds have a run differential of +8, Brewers +46. Reds vs the West 10-20, Brewers 19-6. Reds projected rest of season 35-37, Brewers 37-33.

        If you think the Reds are going to win the Central that’s fine. Hopefully, you won’t get on Bell when the Reds go on a losing streak, which is what .500 teams tend to do.

      • Indy Red Man

        Projections? How are the Reds going 2 under when they play the Cubs/Pirates 23 times? Cubs will just be playing out the string with a bunch of nobodies. Anything can happen I guess, but you’re ignoring real numbers and focusing on imaginary projections.

        Run differential? Milw just went 3-1 vs the Pirates with +17 in a 4 game series July 1-4. They’re +26 off of Pittsburgh overall, but they’ve played them 10 times. The Reds have only played them 5 times. The Reds got blasted twice for -29 total. That doesn’t mean anything either.

        My only fear is the Brewers pick up Joey Gallo and Brad Hand while the Reds do nothing.

      • Indy Red Man

        If you want to ride projections then I’d say Geno isn’t a .175 hitter. Castillo isn’t the worst pitcher in the NL like he was in April-May. They lost 10 of his first 11 starts. Nick and Miley might be prime for some regression, but if you match them up player for player with the Brewers then we come out on top. Good luck with Peralta and Burnes putting up 170 ip when they’re already past their career high

      • Old-school

        @ Indy makes a really good point.
        The teams in August and September will be very different than they were in April and May. The race to futility and the 2022 draft starts very soon. The Cubs landed the first shot trading Peterson.
        I’m glad the Reds are facing the Mets now. There’s talk of them getting Kris Bryant. White Sox might be benching every starter the last 2 games of the year. Al playoffs are almost already decided.

        Elijah Green is a Ronald Acuna type player in 2022 draft. Pirates will hand over games to the Reds to win that lottery.

      • citizen54

        Problem is you are just comparing the Reds to the Brewers who are a slightly above average team. How abut comparing the Reds to an actual good team like the Padres who will probably be the second WC? Winning the Central does not mean winning the WS. Doesn’t make sense to make moves just to win the Central when all of the other playoff teams are going to be much better than the Reds if they even get that far.

    • Indy Red Man

      Ok Debbie Downer)) 4 games is insurmountable. 9-2 in July means nothing and 33-14 in division since last September means nothing. The real answer is to trade away the heart-n-soul of the team in Nick and then run up the white flag. That will really bring in the crowds!

      Yeah the NL West is better, but the Pirates were supposed to beat the Reds in 1990 and the A’s were supposed to crush them! Nothing is guaranteed

      I bet the Reds to win the division and Over 84.5 (minimum of 37-35 in the 2H)
      They play 23 games against the Pirates and firesale Cubs. I like their chances if they’re still within 3-4 games going into August!

      As far as trading goes, I never understood all the whining over the LA trade? Most of these minor leaguers don’t make an impact if they end up making it at all. This is
      the entertainment business and winning fills seats! Running up the white flag doesn’t. You have to trust their talent evaluators and be willing to spend a little extra money occasionally! Everyone in the division has big holes

      • citizen54

        The thing about Castellanos is that his Home/Away splits are huge. You probably don’t realize how lucky he has been at Great American Ball Park this year. He has a wRC+ of 210 at home and 109 on the road. His BABIP at home is .448. His HR/FB is 35%. His career averages are .339 and 13.5%.

        Simply put, the Reds aren’t as good as their win/loss record. This team isn’t good enough where one or two players is going to put them over the top. The Reds have already made a lot of short sighted gambles in the past. They don’t have a deep enough farm system where they can keep giving away young players for miniscule shots at the World Series.

      • Jim Walker

        I just took the time to create a spreadsheet for the rest of the season. On my 1st pass I had the Reds at 93 wins. I got slightly more conservative and still got them to 90 on the nose.

        No sweeps for or against the Reds (caveat: I gave Cleveland the W in that 1 game make up). Gave the Reds 3 of 4 in 4 games series vs Pirates and Marlins and a split in the 4 game home series vs Nats. Had the Reds losing a road series to the Mets, Brewers and Phils Cubs & Braves. Losing the home sereis to Dodgers but splitting a pair with CHW in Chicago.

        I figure the odds of losing any 3 games series I don’t already have them losing are about the same as getting a sweep versus the Marlins or Pirates in series where I have the Reds dropping 1 game. So a likely offset in the end.

      • Indy Red Man

        When have the Reds made any big moves at the trade deadline? I must’ve forgot? You’re worried about them going overboard when they never even get on the boat.

      • citizen54

        Does Trevor Bauer ring a bell? Also, wasn’t a big trade but they gave up some value when they traded for Goodwin and Bradley last year.

        The problem with .500 teams is when they get lucky everyone thinks they are a contenders and then the fanbase screams for the teams to become buyers at the trade deadline when in fact the team should really be selling. You’d probably be surprised that the Reds as a team have a wRC+ of 101. Their team pitching is 14th in fWAR. The Reds are like that break even poker player who is running hot and having a monster night.

    • beelicker

      Saurez had a brutal .13o/.229/.304 April (1o2 PA)

      .19o+ since, plus some history of finishing stronger … at least that’s somethin’ lol

  14. MindOfMaximus

    Someone made this point in threads before the break and it has stuck with me…

    The Brewers’ big 3 of SP’s have already eclipsed their career highs in IP for a year or within 10 IP (Woodruff threw 121 in ’19 and is at 113 at the break). That is huge considering their pitching has carried them this far. Nobody knows how the shortened season of last year will affect pitchers, but at least all of ours have thrown a full season’s worth prior to it. So it will be interesting to see how the Brewers pitchers respond and how they manage workloads through the 2nd half.

  15. LDS

    So here we are starting the second half and still no action on anything. We can take Krall’s comments with a grain of salt. If the Reds make any moves, it will likely be another mediocre cast off. Hope I’m wrong but history is largely on my side. And I’m skeptical that Senzel or Moustakas will be a factor in anything this year. And if Bell isn’t going to play Lopez, send him down so he gets the experience. As a benchwarmer, he isn’t doing anyone any good.

    • LDS

      Oh, and Barrero is hitting .222 now I think, which makes him a better option than what the Reds are using now. Kyle Farmer is already at his career highest PAs and his lowest OPS+. The Reds will not win the division with him at SS. Trade Suarez for Story or Baez, make them an offer they can’t refuse and move forward. And lock in Castellanos as well. The small market malarkey doesn’t hold water. Baseball contracts are treated as depreciable assets, i.e., a nice tax write off.

    • burtgummer01

      Unfortunately anything the Reds brass say should be taken with a grain of salt.They’ve lied to the fans before they’ll do it again

  16. centerfield

    Did anyone see a specific injury report on Art Warren?

  17. Indy Red Man

    The Reds aren’t going to trade low on Suarez nor should they. Barrero is supposed to be good defensively and he’s having a solid July. I’m impressed that he’s walked 7 times in 11 games this month. Hopefully he’s pretty close to getting another chance?

    What about Escobar with Arizona? He wouldn’t cost that much and he would give them another option at 3B. If Barrero failed then they could bite the bullet and move Escobar/Suarez to SS. Try to slug your way to the lead and then put Farmer in for defensive purposes late.

  18. Jim Walker

    I am going on the record that IMO the biggest danger to the Reds continued success in the remainder of the season other than new injuries is mishandling the return of folks like Lorenzen, Sims, Antone, and in particular Moustakis and Senzel.

    Don’t mess with success unless it is a clear upgrade. Consider where the team was when Moose and Senzel were everyday players then convince me dropping them back into the everyday lineup Just because of their name or supposed reputation is not a huge risk.

    • Indy Red Man

      Starlin Castro suspended for a domestic situation. The Nats should be real close to sell mode. If the Reds could get Brad Hand (19 of 21 saves) for Senzel and a minor league arm or something then I’d be all over it. Senzel is still a young guy with ability, but it just isn’t working out in Cincinnati. India stole away the only position he can really play. He doesn’t have enough power for 3B and Moose and/or Suarez will be there anyway. CF is far too treacherous for him. He slams into the wall on almost every double.

      Its time for baby Nick to leave the nest and fly away somewhere else

  19. Old-school

    Bell said the Reds are considering a 6 man rotation. I like this idea for the next few weeks at least as Gray has had nagging soft tissue injuries and Mahle has tired in years past in August and Miley certainly could use an extra day after his

    The bullpen needs a good lefty arm so Garrett and Osich can drop to 2/3 in the pecking order of lefties. That would be worth giving up a good prospect if the return was someone who would be a mainstay in the pen for 2021/22/23. Trevor Bauer was absolutely worth Taylor Trammell and Yasiel Puig. The Reds got their only Cy Young season ever plus Jay Allen to recycle the young talent pool.

  20. Roger Garrett

    The Reds just won 6 of 7 against the Cubs and Brewers and beat Hader in back to back games yet only scored 20 runs.It is what it is but that is just not going to repeat it self.Reds need to score more runs and Suarez has to help in a big way.Reds need help in the pen,Eugenio to show up and help at short cause Farmer will wear down.Same things as before and the front office isn’t going to help so we play with what we have to play with.Have to go 8 over while the Brewers play 500 the rest of the way and it starts tonight.Reds can play 8 over but you can wager the Brewers go out and get a bat or two cause they know what everybody else knows.Lets play and see what happens.

  21. BZ

    I know it will rile up the passionate Farmer following but the Reds need to move Suarez to SS (even with his putrid defense) and give Lopez a chance at 3B. This gives the Reds the opportunity to see what Lopez can do before Senzel and Moose come back. Then DFA Freeman and call up Rodriguez to be the late-game defensive replacement at SS. This will leave Farmer to be in a role where he can utilize his versatility and give guys like India, Suarez, and Lopez breaks a few times a week but not be an everyday player. Before anyone mentions it, I fully understand that Farmer has a better WAR than Suarez but the Reds are not benching Suarez. It comes down to who will be better between Lopez and Farmer.

    In a few weeks, the Reds could easily be running a starting eight of:
    LF: Winker
    CF: Senzel
    RF: Castellanos
    1B: Votto
    2B: India
    SS: Suarez
    3B: Lopez
    C: Barnhart/Stephenson

    That has the potential to be a really good offense 1-8 with no easy outs. Right now, after pitchers get past Votto in the lineup they know things get pretty easy 5-9.