Tyler Stephenson’s eighth-inning sacrifice fly completed a Cincinnati Reds comeback for a 6-5 win, their fifth straight over the St. Louis Cardinals, in front of 30,605 fans at Great American Ball Park.

Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (49-49) 5 9 2
Cincinnati Reds (50-47)
6 14 0
W: Brach (1-1) L: Gallegos (5-3) SV: Hembree (7)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The victory put a bit of space between the second-place Reds and third-place St. Louis. Cincinnati is now up by 1 1/2 games over the Cardinals. At last check, first-place Milwaukee led the Chicago White Sox, 7-0. If that holds up, the Reds’ deficit will remain at 6 1/2 games.

This was a big win for the never-say-die Reds, who overcame another bullpen cave-in when St. Louis scored three in the sixth inning to take the lead. But the Cardinals’ bullpen showed why they are as vulnerable as Cincinnati’s, allowing the Reds to score two in the seventh and one in the eighth for the win.

Joey Votto and Kyle Farmer led the offense with three hits apiece.

The Offense

Votto gave Cincinnati the early 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first …

which resulted in a significant statistical milestone as Votto passed up Frank Robinson on the all-time Reds RBI list.

Kyle Farmer gave the home team a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth with a solo homer.

The Reds tied it at 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh on leadoff singles by Stephenson and Votto, an RBI double by Eugenio Suarez.

However, Cincinnati ran themselves out of a potential lead when Suarez tried to score from third on a medium-depth fly to right by Aristides Aquino. Rightfielder Dylan Carlson threw out Suarez from here to Findlay Market.

In the bottom of the eighth with the game tied, Farmer led off with his third hit. Pinch-hitter Tucker Barnhart hit a grounder back to pitcher Giovanny Gallegos that looked like a double-play ball, but Gallegos threw the ball low to second, resulting in both runners being safe. A one-out walk to Jesse Winker loaded the bases, and Stephenson gave his team the lead, 6-5, with a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Farmer from third.

The Pitching

In the top of the fifth, starter Tyler Mahle walked the bases loaded with one out, unable to control his secondary pitches. But he came back to strike out Tyler O’Neill and Paul DeJong to get out of the inning and preserve a 3-2 lead. Mahle right now is a decent starting pitcher, but has to figure out how to consistently control his slider and splitter to take the next step. High pitch counts have been his nemesis all year, and tonight was more of the same. With the bases loaded, O’Neill and DeJong had to know fastballs were coming, but they couldn’t hit it. Mahle’s fastball is an out-pitch, but not as often when opposing hitters know they can wait for it.

He was followed in the sixth by righthander Edgar Garcia — four batters, four hits, no outs, three runs. A 3-2 lead turned into a 5-3 deficit. He’s a two-pitch pitcher with a sinker and a slider. The only pitch he seems able to get over is the sinking fastball, and opposing hitters seem to know it and are waiting on it. Unlike Mahle, Garcia does not have an “out” pitch for the major league level.

Tony Santillan was a bullpen bright spot. Entering the game when R.J. Alaniz left with an injury with two men on and nobody out, Santillan struck out the first two he faced and retired the side with no runs scoring. Based on that appearance, he deserves another shot in a meaningful situation.

Brad Brach pitched a shut-down eighth to qualify for the win, and Heath Hembree pitched a dominant ninth for the save. Redleg Nation faithful, don’t look now, but this guy is legit.

Notes Worth Noting

Amir Garrett’s absence this weekend certainly falls into the excused category …

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds

Saturday, July 24, 7:10 p.m. ET

Jake Woodford (2-1, 4.06 ERA) vs. Luis Castillo (3-10, 4.39 ERA)

59 Responses

  1. Michael B Green

    SEA has Montero available. Wonder if he is a fit?

    • TR

      I wonder if the front office is awake? Hembree takes his time and has a rather quick delivery to the plate. He’s got it done recently.

      • Jim Walker

        I’d rather have the Hembree who has emerged over the last month as my primary backend guy than the Sims we saw this year in that same role. It should go without saying but to be sure, I wish Sims were back and pitching like he did when healthy. There are plenty of slots to fit him into; but, right now Hembree looks better in ninth.

      • JB

        Jim Walker- I would love to see the Reds get a closer. Then they would have Antone, Sims , Hembree,Brach, Warren and Lorenzen to come in the 6th inning on and shut the door. This bullpen would be very good with a closer.

  2. Bet on Red

    Congrats to the reds on the comeback. Congrats to AG for things more important then baseball. After tonight and with the starting pitching depth I am not totally off dealing Mahle at the deadline. He would bring back a haul and would be beneficial to a change of scenery.

    • Indy Red Man

      Mahle is still only 26? Yeah, he’s got some things to sort out, but they’re 13-7 in his 20 starts. He can get better! As for pitching depth, Miley will be 35 this year and Gray will be 32. I doubt either one is pitching in 2024. Gray is not a big guy like Charlie Morton that can hold off Father Time.

      • Jim Walker

        Mahle keeps the team in his starts. However, until he develops better pitch efficiency, he requires a more reliable pen behind him for the team to win. That’s a crucial factor between a solid #3 rotation guy and a true top end rotation guy. It can also be a deciding factor whether a guy is moved ahead of paying him really big bucks.

        Miley looks like a lefthanded version of Bronson Arroyo. Eventually, something in his arm, shoulder, or elbow will wear out; and that will be it for him. Until then he will stay serviceably effective. A year from now? Tomorrow? 3 years from now? Who knows?

        I agree. Gray’s core and foundation may be failing him. He is what he is for this year; but, might he stand up better and for longer out of a bullpen in future years? The guaranteed money left in his current contract will get him north of $50M in career earnings (per BBRef). Would he even be interested in reinventing himself as a reliever versus getting on with life?

      • MBS

        The Reds have Castillo, and Mahle through 23. Gray is signed through 22 with an option on 23. The Reds should move one of those 3 while they can still get a good return. If not this deadline, then in the offseason.

        Greene and Lodolo will be coming up next year, as well as possibly Ashcraft. If they resign Miley (our #1 pitcher this year) there would just be too many starters for too few spots.

        Castillo, Gray, Miley, Mahle, Gutierrez, Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft

    • Bet on Red

      To be clear, a trade involving Mahle would net much more then a RP. Just putting it out there.

  3. Bet on Red

    reds FB site had the picture of the game. Supposedly Votto had to restrain himself after crossing Home to flex on another STL pitcher

  4. Jim Walker

    Old and from another sport but oh so true, Just win baby, just win

  5. LGR

    How would you guys feel if the Reds were to trade Tucker? He’s the one guy I wouldn’t hate that we got rid of and I do love Tucker. But he probably holds the most trade value on the team for a player the Reds could live without.

    • Melvin

      Yeah. I like him but have been thinking for a while now that Big Bob will be too cheap to pay him next year anyway. I can see him being traded. It would be cool to see Tyler Stephenson’s bat in the lineup every day.

      • burtgummer01

        But it would be terrible having his defense out there everyday.It’s borderline awful

      • Melvin

        However good/bad he is he’s committed to improving though and I think it’s working.

    • greenmtred

      If you trade Tucker, who pairs with Stephenson? For that matter, who mentors him? If the Reds actually aren’t going to resign Tucker, that changes things, of course, but catching has been a source of strength for the team this year and has a large impact on the efficacy of the pitching.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        I think the Reds would miss Tucker more than some on here think they would both on and off the field. As noted, mentoring Stephenson, who still has quite a learning curve defensively, and overall leadership. I’m thinking there will be pressure to invoke the option for next year on him.

      • LGR

        I think it would depend on who they traded Tucker to. There’s a few teams that come to mind. Boston, Houston, Toronto, maybe CWS, maybe Seattle. You could involve one of their teams backups in the trade. Or you could just call up whoever we have currently at Louisville. I think the Double A guy is on the Olympic team right? Or the better option would be signing Lucroy to the minimum, imo. Idk. I love Tucker and think he’s the best defensive catcher in the game with a solid bat, but he’s the guy who I think we could still compete without that gives them a good amount of trade value.

      • Jim Walker

        @Jazzman> If they want to keep Barnhart, a smart move would be to buy out the option ($550K) and extend him to a longer term with lower annual salary that puts more money in his pocket by the end of the term. And they would do this before he reached free agency via the buyout at the end of season.

        TB is going to be the #2 option at catcher probably anywhere else he would sign. Would $10M for 3 years + the option amount get it done for the Reds?

        But then with the CBA situation, this is likely a total pipe dream.

      • LGR

        @Jim Walker, I think you’re underestimating the amount of teams he would be starting for. Any of the teams I just mentioned he could start for and those are only teams that I’d say are competing for playoff spots, let alone bad teams.

      • Jim Walker

        LGR> I was thinking in terms of the off season. I don’t think TB is going anywhere at this deadline because the Reds don’t have the organizational depth at C.

        I don’t think anyone pays Barnhart $7.5M in 2022 even as a starter (if there was a team that given the off season opportunities that wanted him as a starter at a price they thought was fair).

      • LGR

        @Jim I don’t think 7.5 is that unrealistic. James McCann got 4 yr/ 40m. They’re both relatively the same age, both are about equal at the plate, McCann will edge him in the homer category, but then TB obviously edges him defensively. Idk. TB could get a bigger contract than some people might think.

      • LGR

        @Jim, I also am not sure why Lucroy got cut from Atlanta, but he could be brought in for cheap if they were to trade away TB. It’s not like any of this is going to happen, but it’s fun to speculate.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I think he has very high value at a team-friendly contract price, and it would be insane to trade him unless you are clearly improving the team by doing so.

      • LGR

        Yeah, I’m not saying trade him for free. But if you could get 2 above average bullpen arms, or 1 very above average arm and a prospect or 2, I’d probably do it.

  6. JayTheRed

    Love seeing Farmer and Votto do well lately. Farmer is batting over .300 the past 2 weeks. For all his short cummings I’ll take that. Plus he has a little injury to boot.

    Team looked a little more focused tonight it was nice to see.

  7. GreatRedLegsFan

    The trade deadline is just one week away. Is the FO going to trade for BP help having four arms currently injured? Is it going to look for a SS upgrade having Barrero almost ready in AAA? Maybe they’ll just do nothing.

  8. Reddawg2012

    This is the kind of win that makes the Reds so lovable and easy to root for, it’s exciting! But winning games like this isn’t sustainable. I keep seeing comments (especially on Twitter) about how “they only need one more reliever”. “Come on Nick and Bob”. People, it’s not going to happen. They are not going to make any moves to help the team. The only shot the Reds have is if they can hang in there for 2-3 more weeks, and then get a healthy and effective Lorenzen, Sims, and Antone back (hopefully Sims is less than 2-3 weeks). My point is, front office and ownership do not care about winning. At least not enough to be aggressive or get creative and get bullpen help. I’d feel a lot better if DW was still around.

    If they prove me wrong, I’ll GLADLY eat crow. But Nick Krall has not done a single thing to give me even a shred of confidence that he is competent or even cares about improving the team. So waiting on him to make a move is kind of laughable in my opinion.

    • RedFuture

      Nick Krall has done a good job considering the constraints that have obviously been placed on him by ownership. He had to have been ordered to let Raisel and Archie go (or cut the payroll). It’s a shame for sure because it turns out that a current 1st place was sacrificed as a result. Nick has to be praised for signing a bunch of arms that allowed Hembree, Brach and Warren to rise from the ashes. Where would Reds be without them. Now the day is comming where it’s going to be difficult to keep all the effective relievers on the roster. Lorenzen, Antone and Sims returns only leave spots for Garrett and Osich or Doolittle.

      • Mark Moore

        Nick Krall’s life right now …

        “I had a dream last night that I went to H*ll and the Devil presented me with two doors. I had to choose which one I would enter for all eternity. One said “Dam**d If You Do”; the other said “Dam**d If You Don’t”.

        It’s a thankless job most days. Exponentially so this year and with this Reds’ ownership.

      • Jim Walker

        I’ll be happy if even 1 of the trio of Lorenzen, Sims, and Antone is back, truly healthy, and regularly contributing to Reds wins by mid August. Or put another way, I just hope they can have any one of them healthy and available on any given day.

        Such is the roulette wheel of relievers injuries and recoveries within a season.

      • Mike

        Agreed .. I think Krall has done a great job of supplying useful pitchers from the scraps heap . With some more financial resources he will do even better. I am comfortable with him in the GM chair

  9. Mark Moore

    I’m not a fan of “has grit” from way back in the Skip S. days. But what Farmer has shown is exactly that. He’s living his dream as our starting SS and he’s filling a gap that, right now, nobody else can step up and fill. He’s obviously sore (he said that post game) but he’s bearing down and doing the job. He knows he’s not the future, but that isn’t deterring him from getting it done on nights like last night.

    Hats off to Kyle Farmer. He made a major contribution to the win last night.

    • Dennis Westrick

      Mark, I’m taking partial credit for last night’s win since I bailed early! My favorite sports teams, namely the Reds and the Fighting Irish, always seem to do better when I don’t watch or listen or follow online! Great win! Let’s do it again today! And to my relatives who live in St. Louis, I hate the Dirty Birds!

      • JB

        Dennis we are taking up a GoFundMe for you to stop watching the Reds. We here on Redleg nation have come to realize you are the reason why the Reds are not in first. You clete last night and poof, the Reds are suddenly winning. You owe the Reds this Dennis.

      • greenmtred

        I’ve noticed the same thing about myself, Dennis. If I ignore the times it hasn’t been true, then it’s always true.

      • Mark Moore

        +1,000 to you, Dennis for taking one for the team. Keep it up 🙂

        Great idea, JB. Let’s send Dennis somewhere he can’t see results until the next day. Kind of like we used to experience when all we had were the box scores in the sports section of the paper.

  10. Ahimsa

    Sorry I gave up on the game when Mahle exited, (watched Joe Dirt) and the RP looked to be tossing BP. Happy they won though.

  11. Beaufort Red

    The more I watch Farmer I believe he kinda of epitomizes this team’s mindset. Grind away, no flash just try and get the job done. Actually he’s been a more reliable commodity than Suarez. I think mow bullpen help is our main need. Farmer can man SS until next year.

  12. docproc

    Kyle Farmer in July:
    I’ve been calling for Barrero, but I’m going to put that on the back burner now.

    • Jim Walker

      I am concerned about Farmer’s shelf life. After last night he has 295 plate appearances in 2021, 98 more than his previous seasonal high (197 in 2019). HOw long can he continue without falling off drastically off in performance or breaking down?

      It is a tough situation for the Reds because they obviously do not want Barrero to sit on the MLB bench several days a week; and, they have no other SS options other than Freeman. Think picking up a legit SS glove to spell Farmer a day or 2 a week might be a cheap and relatively easy deadline deal???

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      You are going to put someone on a back burner because a guy who has been a real bad hitter for his entire career has had 50 good at bats?

      • Jim Walker

        Interesting and perhaps telling is to date in 2021, Farmer is dead on his career OPS .666/.667 and OPS+ 71/71. His 2021 wRC+ is marginally better than his career wRC+ (80/77).

        The Reds must not believe Barrero is a lock to immediately do better.

      • docproc

        Yes. It would make no sense to bring up Barrero while Farmer is playing so well. If/when Farmer cools off, then make the call.

    • MBS

      Farmer’s only strength is his defensive versatility. He is not an everyday player, and when you plug him in at one spot, you lose the benefit of having him on the roster. You’re left with a subpar everyday player, instead of an ok fill in. The Reds would have been better off bringing up Rodriguez. They would have had an excellent defender with a bat that’s probably not too dissimilar to Farmers.

      • Jim Walker

        I agree right down the line with this. What surprises me it that with Barrero’s sustained run at AA and right on up AAA for about a month now, the Reds haven’t pulled the trigger on bringing himup.

      • Jim Walker

        But I did see Barrero get K’d by a so-so breaking ball in consecutive PAs the other night on the MiLB TV feed. They were sort of loopy versus sharp curves, but not hung. He looked to be on them but missed. Maybe they want to see him hitting this sort of pitch at AAA before they commit to bringing him up into a playoff race.

  13. Bet on Red

    Reds Trade alert…. we trade Mark Payton to the mets for Cash…. I wonder if this Cash can pitch

    • musicclown

      Norm Cash? We can use his bat and defensive prowess.

  14. JA

    Key moments of the game:

    Hendrix dismantling the cards rally.

    Santillan rescuing Reds preventing another Cards rally.

    A rare throwing error to second by a well established reliever (Gallegos), from a GIDP to 2 in base.

  15. RedsKoolAidDrinker

    Does Doolittle make it to the end of the season before he’s released?

  16. Old-school

    Absolute must read from C Trent on Nick Senzel.
    Gotta root for this guy. Yes, he’s been injured but the article really digs deep on how he handles that.

    Nonetheless, it doesn’t sound like Barrero is coming up if Senzel is rehabbing some at SS.
    Reds hoped with defensive shifting that Suarez could make up for range questions. It sounds like they are re-visiting the same question but with Senzel. His rehabbing at SS and OF will allow him to prepare for flexibility in positions. Bell and Senzel both embrace him being a multi-positional player.
    Hope he stays healthy. I still think he has a lot of good days ahead of him.

    • MBS

      I read it to, but it didn’t give me any new insight to Senzel. It’s the same story we’ve been reading for the last couple of years about Senzel. I do root for Senzel, but he’s going to have to show something to earn a spot back. Right now SS is open, but Barrero is also just around the corner. If they give SS to Senzel to finish the year, and he does well there, and remains healthy, that would be great. My guess is Barrero is your opening day SS in 22, and Senzel will become a utility player, think Farmer (pre 21), but much better. He’d have the potential to play CF, 3B, 2B, and soon to be added SS. That would be an awesome weapon to have, plus as a utility he could get more rest, to limit that grind that C Trent was talking about.

  17. Old-school

    Braves DFA’d 3 time gold glover Ender Inciarte.
    Could the Reds DFA Shogo and assign him to AAA? No would pick up his contract and he doesn’t have 3 years of service time so he cant reject being assigned to AAA or does that not apply to international players?

    I’d rather have Inciarte on the 26 man roster the last 2 months of the season as a late inning defensive replacement than Shogo.