Ozzie Albies’ two-out, three-run 11th inning homer off Lucas Sims gave the Atlanta Braves an 8-6 win over the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday at Truist Field in Atlanta.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (61-54) 6 10 0
Atlanta Braves (59-55)
8 7 0
W: Santana (3-0) L: Sims (4-2) 
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

In perhaps the most heartbreaking loss of the year, the Cincinnati Reds were one out away from what appeared to be a huge come-from-behind win. The Reds rallied from a 5-0 deficit after three innings to take a 6-5 lead after 10 and a half innings. But in the bottom of the 10th, Sims walked Joc Pederson with two outs and “ghost runner” Adam Duvall already on second base. It was the fifth walk in 5 2/3 innings for Reds relievers. The Pederson walk gave Albies a chance with two outs, and Albies ripped out the hearts of Reds fans with the game-winning blast.

Joey Votto did everything he could to try to win the game for his team singlehandedly. He batted 4-for-4 with two two-run homers, including a 442-foot two-run shot in the sixth to open the Cincinnati scoring. Then in the ninth, against Braves closer Will Smith with Nick Castellanos at first after being hit by a pitch for the second time in four innings, Votto golfed the first pitch into the right-field stands to tie the game, completing a comeback from a 5-0 deficit.

Statistically speaking, Votto’s night was amazing, with even more impressive statistics below in the “Notes Worth Noting” section. Votto continues to do damage to MLB pitching in a way he hasn’t in years, and it is a joy to watch.

Milwaukee’s 10-0 win over the Cubs, combined with the Cincinnati loss, means the Reds again fall eight games behind in the division race.

San Diego, currently in the second Wild Card berth position, lost 7-0 to the Miami Marlins, meaning the Reds remain 4 1/2 games of that position. And don’t look now, but Atlanta is now within 1 1/2 of the Reds, who lost their third straight.

The Offense

Votto’s 442-foot two-run blast to center field ended the Cincinnati offensive hibernation and brought the visitors within 5-2 in the top of the sixth.

Following the Votto blast, Mike Moustakas and Tyler Naquin both singled with nobody out but moved no further.

Eugenio Suarez blasted a double off the wall in center field in the eighth inning to score Naquin and bring the Reds within two runs. But Suarez was left at second as the next three batters made unproductive outs.

Then in the ninth …

In the top of the 11th with “ghost runner” Aristides Aquino at second, Kyle Farmer singled to right to give the Reds their first lead, 6-5. Braves reliever Edgar Santana then took care of Jesse Winker, Castellanos and Votto to end the half-inning.

Naquin, with two hits, was the only Red other than Votto with more than one hit in the game.

The Pitching

Wade Miley clearly didn’t have it tonight: five runs allowed in five innings on five hits and three walks. But he did pitch scoreless fourth and fifth innings, sparing David Bell from having to reach very deep into his bullpen early in the game.

Luis Cessa, Justin Wilson and Heath Hembree pitched a scoreless inning apiece to keep the game close and give Votto the chance for his heroics. Michael Lorenzen walked two Atlanta batters in the ninth, but struck out pinch-hitter Ehire Adrianza swinging with runners on second and third to end the threat and send the game to extra innings.

Mychal Givens duplicated the feat in the bottom of the 10th with runners on second and third, getting Adam Duvall on a called strike three to end the Atlanta threat.

Sims then suffered the heartbreaking loss.

Notes Worth Noting

So who’s the most lethal slugger in MLB since the All-Star break?

With his third-inning walk, Votto tied Ty Cobb for 53rd place on the all-time walks list with 1,260.

The sixth-inning homer tied Votto for third on the team’s all-time RBI list with Pete Rose at 1,036, and the ninth-inning shot moved his total to 1,038 and into third place by himself.

Votto’s four hits tonight brought him within four of the 2,000-hit mark for his career. His 1,996 hits are fifth all-time on the Reds list.

Jesse Winker walked three times in a game for the fourth time in his career.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds at Atlanta Braves

Thursday, August 12, 5:10 p.m. ET

Vladimir Gutierrez (7-3, 4.15 ERA) vs. Kyle Muller (2-3, 2.88 ERA)

138 Responses

  1. Jon

    This is absolutely pathetic. The Reds are throwing their chance away at getting to the postseason and Bell/Krall/Castellini act like everything’s fine and it’s only May.

    Suarez has been one of, if not the worst players in the game this year. Yet he continues to get start after start after start. Barrero is dominating AAA after nearly winning the All Star Futures’ Game MVP last month. Yet he continues to get ignored for a promotion.

    Garrett gets a seemingly infinite number of chances in high leverage situations and consistently blows it. He has cost the team how many games this year? Yet he (and Doolittle and Hembree) still have Major League jobs. Greene and Lodolo would bring an instant boost to not only the bullpen, but the team as a whole. You think the rest of the team is enjoying watching this bullpen meltdown night after night? Castellanos wants to win and I see no reason why he would want to stay here this winter if a team like the Giants or Padres come calling.

    The clock is ticking away and this mighty offense is being wasted. Votto’s resurgence, Winker’s best season yet, Castellanos’ MVP-caliber season, and the ROY campaigns of India and Stephenson are all going to be for nothing if something doesn’t change rapidly.

    • BatsLeftThrowsRight

      Garrett must be released, Hunter Greene must come up and pitch out of the pen the rest of the year. I wouldn’t mind Santillian as another option out of the pen as well.

      I’ve never seen a team blow so many games as this team’s bullpen in any season. It’s agonizing to watch this kind of BS unfold night after night. 0-3 on this road trip with two horrific bullpen meltdowns.

      Where’s the leadership on this club? Bell is like a robot, a zero energy mushy type guy who sticks to his horrible script every night, does the guy ever get mad and show any kind of real emotion?

      • Jon

        Exactly. If the Reds were still rebuilding, then fine. Waste the games away. But the rebuild is over. The money has been spent. The time is now.

    • Redsvol

      If castellanos wants to win he needs to show up a bit more on this road trip. Joey votto can’t do it all. He, winker and Suarez need to start treating these games like playoff baseball. The bullpen stinks, so we need to hit better- especially on the road.

      • greenmtred

        Add Moose, with his 7 runners left on base, to your list. And Garrett didn’t pitch last night. Sims blew the game. Everybody is in a bad mood and lashing out?

  2. Melvin

    Thanks Tom,

    Well, it was still fun to watch Votto. Win or lose that doesn’t go away.

    • KDJ

      You know the optimism in the team is waning when fans are pointing to individual stats.

  3. J

    Bell’s stupid managing has conditioned me to the point where, during the 9th inning, I instinctively started looking to see who the Reds had left to pitch the 10th — because it didn’t even occur to me that Givens could possibly pitch two innings. Bell has almost literally brainwashed me to forget managers have that option.

    • J

      Of course I meant during the 10th inning…

    • RedAlert

      Bell has learned absolutely nothing on how to manage a bullpen . He has to be the absolute worst tactical manager in MLB –
      simply clueless time and time and time again . His decision- making has cost this team dearly this year regarding games that could have resulted in wins instead of gut wrenching losses .
      Feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day ….

    • J

      The bullpen has been bad, but it’s recently dawned on me that Bell is making it seem worse than it really is. Those ERA’s are artificially high because of his management style. When a relief pitcher is getting people out without throwing a lot of pitches, the smart thing to do is to leave him in until he’s starting to show signs of fatigue, thrown a ton of pitches, or needs to be hit for. Bell doesn’t care how a guy is doing or how many pitches he’s thrown; he’s taking that guy out after one inning, end of story, and he’s bringing in another guy — who might or might not be having a good night. That isn’t maximizing your strengths; it’s minimizing it. He’s essentially making sure that everyone is equally likely to pitch on days when they have their best stuff and days when they have their worst stuff.

      It’s the equivalent of ALWAYS taking starting pitchers out after 5 innings, no matter what, including when a guy has a perfect game going and has only thrown 60 pitches. That would not be maximizing that pitcher’s abilities; it would be minimizing it. We all understand this. Even Bell understands it. But somehow the same logic doesn’t apply to relief pitchers because they’re too delicate to pitch, rest, and pitch again? I don’t know what Bell thinks he’s accomplishing with this nonsense, but the results speak for themselves. He’s not doing any of those pitchers any favors by yanking them when they’re pitching fine and don’t need to come out.

      • Arthur

        For whatever it is worth – your complaint about the “1 inning and done” relief pitcher is absolutely spot-on.

        I am happy to listen to anyone who believes he can justify this practice, but no one ever has. Instead, they just blame the pitcher who was brought in and blew the lead. Which is fair, to a point.

        But it misses the bigger point which is this: if the bullpen is struggling as a whole, and you find a guy who is throwing well tonight, let him finish tonight’s game!! So what if he isn’t available tomorrow?? Win the darned game tonight, and then worry about tomorrow.

      • Melvin

        it’s hard to argue your last point Arthur. I have to admit I’ve said that on more than one occasion. If a pitcher, in this bullpen, is throwing well, and he CAN go longer, let him go. Once way to look at it is that he may not have it tomorrow anyway.

      • MFG

        Bell always plays “match ups” and that is why he does not leave a relief pitcher in very long. It drives me crazy!

    • wkuchad

      Just wow! How anyone can blame tonight’s loss on Bell is beyond amazing.

      • RedAlert

        It’s his idiotic bullpen usage rules !!!!!
        It’s not just tonight either !!!!

      • J

        Should we blame Sims for agreeing to pitch the 11th when he obviously knows Givens is more reliable?

      • wkuchad

        There was nothing idiotic about Bell’s bullpen usage tonight.

        Only thing idiotic I’m seeing tonight is some of the anti-Bell posts.

        I mean, he does plenty things worthy of criticism, but come on. The posts today are next level dumb.

        Multiple posts bashing Bell about giving India the night off. When was the last time he didn’t start a game?

        And what exactly was so dumb about Bell’s bullpen usage tonight?

      • 2020ball

        He used all his top guys in the pen and people will still whine about it anyway. Forget that in order to have your guys available for these tight games means you need to save them and not be using them for 2 innings everyday.

        Dont you worry, its RLN, you can count that its Bells fault and not the player’s performance. Someone even said their ERAs are high because of how theyre used, rofl.

      • RedAlert

        Not gonna point it out again – I have my opinion, you have yours . Bullpen usage been idiotic all year far as I’m concerned

      • J

        “And what exactly was so dumb about Bell’s bullpen usage tonight?”

        I’m not sure how much clearer I can make it. When you find yourself in the 11th inning with the tying runner on 2nd, this is not the right time to replace a good pitcher who’s thrown 13 pitches to record three outs with a guy who’s been injured and shaky all season. That’s dumb. There’s no law that says relief pitchers can only pitch one inning. In fact, several bloggers on this very site have been BEGGING for YEARS to see more multi-inning stints from the best relief pitchers. They’re right. Bell is wrong. Just because a lot of other managers also insist on using relievers for one inning doesn’t make it smart. Managers have historically done lots of dumb things (like asking position players to sacrifice with a runner on first and nobody out) until they finally realized it’s dumb, and then they stopped.

      • Droslovinia

        I’d explain it to you, but let me finish this inning. Apparently, everyone in Cincinnati has to pitch an inning each game or it doesn’t count.

      • greenmtred

        I think, even though they have been pining for Sims since he went on the IL, that they’re blaming Bell for actually having him pitch. I really wish that they would get a chance to manage–or even just take charge of the bullpen.

    • bug

      You are right on the money of course, J. 95% of the fans agree with you. Bell makes non stop dumb moves, but taking out a good reliever when he is retiring the batters in order after one inning, and replacing him with a poor pitcher (heck, with any pitcher, for that matter) is DUMB!!!!! He’s lost 20 games because of that. Games we had won, if he had only let the good reliever stay in for one more inning. But he never has, nor never will learn. He’ll be losing games that way ten years from now if they don’t eventually can him. If they had any sense, they’d fire him today!!!!!!!! He never learns. Einstein’s very definition of insanity was “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” And that’s exactlywhat we have in Tinkerbell.

  4. D Ray White

    Bullpen gonna bullpen. Ownership’s miserly ways have cost this team 5-7 wins at minimum. Uncle Bob has done his best to supplant Mike Brown as the most inept Cincinnati sports team owner.

    • Jon

      Krall went out and acquired bullpen help. Yeah – after dumping two quality relievers for nothing in the off-season. So we wasted how many games in the first four months that Iglesias or Bradley could have saved? Imagine if we had kept those two and THEN acquired Cessa and Givens last month. Look how much better we’d be.

      • Indy Red Man

        Well Bradley barely pitched early on and Iggy had 12 losses in 2019. He wasn’t that good for us at the end and was a whiny about pitching in non-save situations.

        Bell sucks, but nobody could predict Lorenzen and Antone would barely pitch for most of the season

      • Indy Red Man

        Or that Sims and Garrett would completely SUCK

      • Jon

        @Indy That’s why you don’t throw away quality pitchers for nothing in return. You can never have too much pitching. You can’t predict the Lorenzen/Sims/Garrett/Antone issues specifically, but there were plenty of articles before the season even began warning of an expected increase in injuries this year due to last year’s shortened season.

      • 2020ball

        Dumping Iglesias is one of the dumber things I’ve seen a ML team do in a long time. People can talk about how bad he was with the Reds (he wasn’t) or how bad he is this year (he isn’t), but that was a very unfortunate choice by the FO.

      • oklared


      • Michael Spriggs

        Bradley maybe but not Iglesias. He blew so many games ovet the last few years. It is amazing that the minors seem to have so many quality arms but the bullpen is so weak. The starters have been so good recently but still usually only 5/6 innings. It really doesn’t make sense that relievers can’t go farther. I haven’t wanted to blame David Bell because you still have to do your job but maybe it’s just a combination of both. Exciting games and thank goodness Joey’s on fire or they’d be toast.

  5. Klugo

    Why in the WORLD did Shogo not get the PH AB rather than Aquino in the 10th vs a RHP with Moose on 3rd and two outs? I wanna give them the benefit of the doubt because I dont have all the numbers they have; but that’s two nights in a row that some of these substitutions have not made sense to me with the games (and possibly the season) on the line. Driving me crazy.

    • wkuchad

      Wasn’t a pinch hit – Aquino already in the game

    • Jimbo44CN

      Didnt Aquino hit a rocket that almost spun the shortstop completely around? That’s why instead of a strikeout or a weak fly ball to left.

  6. Indy Red Man

    I’ll keep watching for now, but I run up the white flag. I don’t see how any team can survive this many heartbreaking bullpen meltdowns. After a 5 run comeback that might’ve re-energized the team for the finish. Joey is going Barry Bonds and we still can’t gain any ground. I give up.

    Thats like 6 last second meltdowns in the last month? I hate Tony LaDrunka with a passion, but he was cautious with the hitter/pitcher matchups. He’s the reason they made the 3 batter minimum. He’d use 3-4 in 1 inning. But he also would’ve made sure Albies didn’t beat him with nobody left on deck.

    • 2020ball

      lol, most people ran up the white flag months ago. Hard to tell sometimes if this blog is for “fans” or not.

      Panic if you want, I’ll be here rootin for them and not giving up every single time something bad happens. Been an awesome season so far and I’m still stoked to watch them finish it out. Reds are better than they’ve been in a long time and people here still find reasons to hate it. Crazy… but y’all do you I guess.

      • Indy Red Man

        Its not panic, but I’ve seen decades of baseball and late inning collapses take something away from teams mentally. The Reds had a decent team die in Milwaukee midseason after Cordero blew 2 games. Its alot to overcome. They keep fighting, but Votto/Farmer/India have been going nuts and we still can’t gain on anyone?

        Milw is gone and even if SD fades then we’ll struggle to beat the Philly/Atlanta loser. If I’m wrong I’m wrong. I’ve been wrong before

      • 2020ball

        If the team is hurt mentally by a tough loss versus a good team, then they’re soft and hopefully the coaching staff can find a way to prevent that. I really dont think thats the case at all, this teams been fighting from behind all year and have put together an amazing season overall. I have plenty of confidence this doesn’t break them.

        There’s 1 1/2 months left for crissakes, why anyone would give up on a team a spot out for the wildcard is beyond me. Talk to me in late September and maybe I’ll be ready to say theyre done, and even then I’d still tell you they had a great season.

      • Indy Red Man

        Good teams don’t blow 18 games with a lead after 6 or later. Maybe 7-8 in a full season. Not 18 with 30% of the season to go.

        Name a team that made the playoffs with a pen that blew games like this? There isn’t one. Maybe if they had 250 inning studs in the rotation then they could mostly bypass the pen, but not in todays game.

      • greenmtred

        Indy: aren’t the Reds one of the MLB leaders in come-from behind games? Not exactly the same as blowing a lead, but related.

  7. Roger garrett

    It took Bell 6 pen guys to find one to give it up but he was persistent and Reds lose again.Votto was awesome and next year just maybe this team goes somewhere.Albies loved the cookie with the pitcher’s spot up next.Thank you Sims.Somebody wake Bell now.

    • VaRedsFan

      Vogt was available to bat for the pitcher

      • JinCH

        Vogt has been terrible this year! Why pitch to Albies? During the at bat I said to my wife, “he better not give Albies anything to hit here” and the rest is history. Just walk Albies and take your chances with Vogt!

  8. Mark A Verticchio

    Must win 3 of the next 4 on this road trip, could live with 2 but that puts them at 63-56 with time running out. Not a fan of Bell, by any means, but besides Votto the hitters have not shown up this week. Well boys it is now or I am off to college football.

    • oklared

      But half or more of these boards thought Vottto was done and we should force his departure or trade for anything, This thought alone shows collective wisdom of these boards.

      • greenmtred

        You shouldn’t bring that up. Or the preseason near-consensus that the Reds would be lucky to finish at .500. Or that Farmer shouldn’t start. Or that we should get rid of Castillo. Or that Antone and Sims should be used much more (just before they both went on the IL for extended stays.) People are blowing off steam, and we’re all too old and slow to harbor thoughts that we could play shortstop or pitch, so we think we could manage instead.

  9. Indy Red Man

    On a brighter note. I watched Sandy Alcantara cruise for Miami today with 98-101 mph fbs and a 92-93 changeup. Occasional slider. He pitches to contact which is impressive. He’ll be 26 next month. No reason Hunter Greene couldn’t do the same thing by next year or 2023.

    They have a good team, but they need more speed and clean up the pen. I’m afraid Bell will end up as Dusty2 that can ride talent to a certain level until it takes some brains to win the close ones in the playoffs. They’re probably going to go like 87-75 and the front office will resign Bell.

  10. Cyrus

    I have 4 things to introduce:
    1) The Reds are now 10 games under .500 versus teams outside the NL Central which currently have records above .500.

    2) The Reds play 12 more games versus teams currently above .500 (incl Brewers but excluding Cards). 9 of those 12 games are on the road.

    3) The poor performance almost all year by the pen has, in my opinion, led to our starters feeling more pressure to go deeper into games and I think that is now taking a toll on the starters.

    4) I continue to be unimpressed with our head coach and believe we win in spite of him…just like we did when Dusty was here.

  11. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    This team’s pitching staff needs to end the ridiculous amount of walks. They need to stop walking guys willy nilly and turning high leverage situations into impossible situations.

    Where’s the mental toughness? Every time the Reds score, the following inning there is an opposing player leading off the next inning standing on first, mostly via the walk.

  12. CFD3000

    I was at the game, just got home. It’s late so I’ll have a lot more to say in the AM. Votto was amazing, almost everyone else not so much. But this game was lost once by poor base running then later by poor bullpen management, poor strategic management, and of course a terrible pitch to Albies. But the game should never have gone to extras. So frustrating.

    The one redeeming feature of the night was – Joey. Votto. Still. Bangs.
    Goodnight all, more in the AM.

  13. Jim Walker

    Votto was unbelievable, it was also unbelievable there seemed to be so little energy or excitement on the Reds bench as he came back over after the game tying HR and was even urging them on to join in his excitement.

    Kudos to Lorenzen and Givens for standing their ground and throwing the pitches they needed to throw in the 9th & 10th.

    • RojoB

      “ it was also unbelievable there seemed to be so little energy or excitement on the Reds bench as he came back over after the game tying HR and was even urging them on to join in his excitement.”

      What’s going on with that?

    • beelicker

      Coulda been a partial attempt at the ‘silent treatment’? They showed some footage of the dugout erupting when the ball went out there mixed in with Votto interacting with his muse in the stands.

    • beelicker

      And how do you like this Aquino in LF with Shogo in CF Bell ran out there against that last LHP? Winker is splitting .17o vs lefties and Shogo seems to have figured at least something out worthwhile, with 6 hits and 5 walks in 25 PA vs LHP. Definitely a defensive plus factoring Winker’s -1 dWAR rating into it

  14. kevinz

    Tough Loss.
    All about highs and Lows
    Just bad timing for it.
    Looks worse.
    Moving Forward.
    Improve vs outside of Division.
    Go Reds.

    • RedAlert

      Summed up perfect Kevinz !

      We all gotta vent after this kind of loss ….

  15. Bet on Red

    I disagree. Bell managed this game to win it. Down three, with a hero Votto homerun out of the way, Bell goes to Cessa, one of the good pitchers, instead of waiving the white flag, and sending Garrett out there for target practice. Again, Wilson in the eighth. Leaving great pitchers out there to use at the end of the game. this game went to the 11th. This means that the team failed to score a runner that was already at second which would have had Givins pitching in a save situation. Team failed to execute. Our hero stopper, Mr. No-hitter, Failed to execute. Infact outside of the posibly Alien inhabited body of Joey Votto, they failed to execute.

    Absolutely nothing should be done with Nick Lodolo or Hunter Greene except for them to pitch every 5th day in Louisville increasing their ability, so when they do burst on the scene, yes Next Year, They become the dominant head of the Rotation.

    Looked at the schedule for next week, all this whining will be gone when we are murdering the Cubs and the Marlins at home. Oh, ATL is two behind? They are also heading to the west coast. That aint gonna hold

    get them tomorow

    • Indy Red Man

      I agree for the most part, but you have to admit that you’re a glass overflowing guy. They could be 17 out with 20 to go and you’re pulling a Jim Carrey “So you’re saying there’s a chance”))))

      One thing I strongly disagree on though. The Cards have won a bunch of WS and if they can use rookie Adam Wainwright as a closer to win a WS then the Reds could atleast use Greene. Most of these losses could be avoided if they had a guy that could go 2-3 innings in the middle of the game while they’re hanging on or coming back. Lodolo? Give him more time in the minors, but Greene’s 103 plays. He could pitch 2-3 innings every 4-5 days. Its not much different then what hes doing now.

      AG/HH/Hoffman are not winning games for you. They might lose them though.

      • Jim Walker

        Greene was scratched last night because of a “minor” discomfort in the area on his throwing shoulder where the outside of the collar bone attaches to whatever it is it attaches to. The good news is he is expected to make his next start on regular rotation. However, I’d guess this closes the window on any possibility they would bring him up for the bullpen. At best maybe he gets a spot start somewhere along the line in September?

    • JB

      Lol. Bet on Red flip flopping. I said the other night Wilson shouldn’t have been used in the mop up game and Garrett and Hembree should have. You said he should have with his 7.50 ERA. Now he is a great pitcher to you. Lol got to love Redleg Nation.

    • KDJ

      I always get optimistic when the other team takes out an effective pitcher and replaces him with a lesser one. Bell has given the opponents many, many occasions to be optimistic. Instead of putting them away, he let’s them off the hook.

  16. Hanawi

    Might not be hyperbole to say that the salary dump of Iglesias is going to cost this team a playoff trip. They still aren’t out of the wild card, but time is running out on the division. Milwaukee has been solid, so hard to see them going on a losing streak. Still plenty of baseball, but the late inning and walk-off losses seem to hurt more than the blowouts. Feels like more chances missed and opportunity lost.

  17. burtgummer01

    I figured people would be blaming Bell for Sims grooving the gw hr to Albies.I know a lot of people here have this thing for Sims but you need to wake up and realize he’s not very good

    • Indy Red Man

      Sims fault, but Bell is also responsible. Get off your lower region and go to the mound and talk to the kid! The game is in the balance! Or atleast send out Johnson the pitching coach. They had nobody on the bench so it wasn’t rocket science. I’m sure Bell didn’t want to walk the bases loaded with a wild pitcher, but a 2-0 count turns anyone into a beast and Albies is good!

      There are a thousand, but I’ll give you another example. That blown 6-1 lead in KC. 1st base is open and Bell lets AG pitch to All-Star Sal Perez of the 1.200 ops versus lefties. The man is literally Mike Trout level vs lhp and you let him beat AG there?

      • Indy Red Man

        Bottom 9th with 2 outs game tied in KC. We needed to get 1 more out to get to extras

      • burtgummer01

        Sims’ fault and the whole team is responsible.The only pitchers out of the bp that can be counted on right now are Givens and Lorenzen they can’t be used multiple innings.
        I’ve said it before the Reds were predicted to finish 4th this season and here they are in the play off race
        Guys Like Sims,Hembree Doolittle and AG are only usable when the Reds are either way behind or way ahead

      • burtgummer01

        I forgot to comment on the KC game
        Honestly I got nothing on that one except a brain fart by Bell ( I have to be honest)

      • JinCH

        But why pitch to Albies when Vogt is there only option off the bench? Put your players in the best position to succeed, that is the manager’s job.

      • VaRedsFan

        Johnson did go out to visit Sims.
        If Bell went to talk they would of had to remove him

    • Jim Walker

      Perhaps a RH version of Garrett? Sims possesses an eye popping breaking ball but too often can’t get it in the zone or close enough to evoke swings. Ultimately a reliever has to be able to consistently spot a quality fastball for strikes. Neither Sims nor Garrett have shown this skill.

  18. GreatRedLegsFan

    As long as a true closer isn’t part of the picture Reds will continue facing such kind of losses. Bullpen is better now for the most part with Cessa, Givens, Lorenzen and Wilson. Hembree, Sims and Doolittle can also contribute under certain conditions. Antone could fit the closer role bill, he has the stuff, but maybe not the endurance.

    • Indy Red Man

      Personally I believe Givens could be a really good closer, but they don’t provide that late lead often enough. The offense has been good, but they don’t blowout anyone except Pittsburgh so guys are needed every day almost. They could fix the back of the pen with Antone, Tony S., and Greene, but they wont’ do it.

      Its Bell too. I looked it up last week, Cessa had 8 appearances of 2+ innings with a 1.04 era with the Yankees. Lorenzen can go 4-5-6 outs normally. Push these guys out and they win 3 more games just since the trade 2 weeks ago.

  19. TR

    A tough loss indeed, but they happen in a long season. Kudos to the Reds and especially Joey Votto for coming back to take the lead. Givens strike out of Duvall to end the 9th. inning gave me hope that Givens would return the next inning to wrap up the Red’s win, but that was not to be. I don’t know where this idea a late reliever can only work one inning came from. As a long-time fan, that’s not the way it used to be, but as we all know times change. Too much baseball left. Not the time to give up.

  20. scotly50

    I believe most of the angst written about on this blog post is the realization that any hope for the post season has slipped away.

    • Jim Walker

      The division looks to be a bridge too far but the Reds are still less than 5 games behind the Padres and still ahead of the Phillies and Braves for the 2nd wildcard spot.


      These are tough times; but, all is far from lost in the wildcard card race with 7 games at home against the fading Cubs (3) and Marlins (4) next week. And there are still those 9 left with the Pirates down the road and 3 more with the Fish in Miami after next week. Meanwhile, the Padres get to play 19 with the Giants and Dodgers.

    • TR

      Not really. With 47 games to go the Reds are still in the wild card hunt and less than 10 games back in the NLC. A lot can happen in a week or so. The Reds need to put aside the idea of giving everybody playing time and just go with their strong suit period.

  21. Redsvol

    This team just isn’t quite ready for big boy ball. They’re good and they battle but we still rely too much on the long ball and a great outing by the starting pitcher. When we don’t get those 2 things, it exposes fact that we don’t have a good bullpen and we don’t advance runners in scoring position. They are close but not quite ready. Still so much better than previous years.

    • Indy Red Man

      They are better and its amazing how much more fun the offense is compared to last year. I was done last year by the start of cfb in September. 1-0, 2-1 everyday is boring to me.

      2023 they might have India at 3B, Barrero SS, and McClain at 2B. They might actually have a few guys that aren’t station to station. If Joey goes Nelson Cruz then this team could be really scary for the next 3-4 years!

  22. Hotto4Votto

    Joey Votto’s renaissance season continues. It’s been incredibly fun to watch. Votto now leads the Reds in OPS for the season. Impressive feat considering Winker and Castellanos are no slouches in that department. Votto did everything he could to get us back in the game and give us a chance. This team keeps fighting and are fun to watch. The bullpen is a killjoy though.
    Can’t blame Bell for the bullpen choices last night. Sims just didn’t get it done.

  23. Mark Moore

    I pulled a Clete early, but my neighbor (a Braves fan) texted me a couple of times and I ended up firing up the game on my laptop. Switched back to the TV at the end and then went to bed after our failure to launch in the 10th. Didn’t have a great feeling and now I know why.

    An out away and we surrender a home run … this is just gut wrenching to watch. Now all our hopes on a winning road trip lie in today’s game and a sweep of the Phillies. It’s just a lot to ask, that’s all.

  24. Arthur

    I am waiting for someone – anyone – to offer a justification for the “1 inning and done” rule that seems to be Holy Writ for managing relief pitchers. I don’t think Bell is the only person who follows it, be he may be the most devoted. As TR noted – it hasn’t always been this way.

    The fact is Givens has pitched very well for the Reds. Last night was an important game for them. They needed a win – badly. They got an incredible performance from Votto to put them in position to win the game.

    Are you telling me Bell couldn’t go to Givens after we got the lead and say, “This is an important game. You’re the best I have. I need you to nail this down.”

    And Givens would have said, “Sorry skipper – I’m gassed. I just threw 13 pitches.” Or, would he have said “Gimme the ball. I’ll finish this thing.”

    I simply cannot believe the Givens, a professional baseball player

    • Arthur

      Sorry – didn’t finish the sentence.

      I can’t believe Givens, a professional baseball pitcher with years of experience in a pennant race with the game on the line can’t throw more than 13 pitches.

    • Jim Walker

      Givens and Lorenzen were absolute nails, exactly what a team needs to have on the mound when every pitch could be the last pitch of the game. At 28 pitches, Lorenzen clearly wasn’t going to work in the 10th. Only Bell, Givens, and presumably Derek Johnson know why Givens was shut down for the night after 13 pitches in the 10th.

      Part of the issue at the end was the pitch that ended the game was the 4th consecutive fastball Albies had seen in that AB, all within 1 MPH of 95. It was Sims’ 19th pitch of the inning. It was as much of a meatball as a 95MPH fastball could be. A person has wonder if Sims was gassed coming off his long IL tenure.

  25. Roger Garrett

    Bell doesn’t” hit or pitch but he does decide who does and when and for how long and thats the problem.The more moves he makes the more chance he makes the wrong one when the game is to be won or lost.It will not change.

  26. Jeffery Stroupe

    Hand the ball to one guy. Tell him to finish it. The thing is then you will have a bunch of parents complaining that their kid didn’t get to pitch

  27. steven ross

    The most frustrating loss of the season. Even Chris Welsh mentioned how this would be a huge boost to the team mentality to come back and win. We most likely won’t make the playoffs for the single reason the bullpen couldn’t get it done once again. It just never ends.

  28. Indy Red Man

    Givens 344 games 382 total innings. This isn’t a guy that goes multiple innings. Not everybody is wired that way. They get all hyped up and then there is an adrenaline drop after the high leverage inning. Sims was good last year. They like Sims. He just made a stupid pitch. Bell should’v had him walk Albies and face the scrub on deck.

    Now push Cessa out for 2 innings instead of 1 and then you can push everyone else back and Reds win. Its frustrating. A big part of the problem is they never hammer anyone but the Pirates so the back end of the pen has to be used more then anyone would like. Even if they get a 7-1 lead then the scrubs make it 7-5 soon enough

    • Arthur

      Ok – so we all agree that, physically, he could have gone back out there in the 11th. It’s more of a psychological thing? He got all jacked up to pitch one inning, and he did it very well. Kudos to him for doing his job.

      But then we see Farmer give the team the lead. In a game they really need to win. In a game where they trailed the entire game. Against a team who has had our “number” for at least a few years. (Anyone remember the playoffs last year??). We HAVE to win that game.

      Are you suggesting that Givens couldn’t get “amped up” under those circumstances to go out and give us 1 more inning??

      Again – I am really just trying to find out why a relief pitcher can’t throw more than one inning, especially if his first inning is pretty easy and completed with a low pitch count. If he had thrown 25 pitches to get thru the the first inning, I get it. Don’t want these guys throwing 45-50 pitches a night.

      But Givens threw 13 last night. I cannot wrap my mind around the concept that he had to come out of the game.

  29. Chris Holbert

    All the RP changes is compounded because every pitching change is a double switch and then the already short bench has no one left at the end of the game, but, everyone got to play, and that is the most important thing.

  30. BUCK

    HEY JOEY: Proverbs 22:4 By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor AND LIFE.

  31. CFD3000

    So… I’ve read all the comments after watching the game from great seats behind home plate. Here’s my take.

    I’m frustrated with the one inning per pitcher deal, and I’d have let Cessa, Lorenzen, and Givens all go two. But despite that silliness, I don’t put the loss on Sims or even Bell’s admittedly questionable bullpen management. This game was lost by the offense, managerial decisions about hitting, and on the bases.

    In the first, with two outs, Votto singled to center but Winker got a poor secondary lead and a slow jump and didn’t score. One run missed. In the 6th after Votto’s (first) home run, Moustakas hesitated then stumbled on Naquin’s single to the right of the right fielder and did not go first to third. That meant he failed to score on Suarez’ fly to left. He was eventually stranded at 2nd. Two runs missed. In the 8th, Suarez was on 2nd with none out after doubling home Naquin. He never made it to third. Three runs missed. And in the 10th with Naquin as ghost runner on 2nd, Suarez struck out (flailing) instead of bunting him to third or at least putting the ball in play. A fourth run missed. Any one of those could have been the difference in the game. Some of those are “stuff happens” but there’s a coaching issue, a base running mentality issue, a manager’s decisions issue, and a “little ball can win too” issue.

    The bullpen was really good last night, in spite of David Bell’s ridiculous one inning per pitcher rule. Sims (and Barnhart) made a mistake pitch selection and pitch location, but I don’t blame Sims or the bullpen for this loss. Joey Votto was Superman. But base running, the failure to advance runners, and the little details that matter over 27 or in this case 33 outs doomed the Reds last night. They should have won that game, and it would have been a big win. Instead… not. Frustrating. But they play again today and have shown great resilience. Go Reds!

    • Arthur

      Totally agree with your take on “small ball.” I would call it fundamentally-sound baseball. Sadly, hitting behind a runner, or giving yourself up to advance runners, doesn’t show up on the stat page – it just results in winning baseball games.

      You are hinting around a real problem with this team – they are all slow. Moose, Suarez, Votto, Winker, Castellanos, and Barnhart – they are all slow runners. Can’t go first to third on a hit, often don’t score from second on a hit. Add to that poor base running, and you are leaving a lot runs on the field.

      This team was built to hit a lot of HRs. Don’t need speed to jog around the bases. But when they aren’t bashing, they struggle to score.

      • CFD3000

        I agree that this is a slow team. I wasn’t thrilled that it was Moose who started the 10th on 2nd. But Winker and Moose should both have taken two bases in the 1st and 8th respectively. In a way, if you’re slow, you have to be smarter and more situationally aggressive than if you’re fast. It’s a problem to be sure, but in my mind it’s not a valid excuse for last night’s missed opportunities.

      • Jim Walker

        @CFD3000> Moose has to be playing hurt. He staggered around and had trouble keeping his feet/ balance playing 3B vs the Pirates then last night lost his balance trying to turn his body.

        My guess is he took his rehab as far as he could and rather than call it a season is out there playing through pain. Kudos to him for the effort. Now it is up to someone else to step in and tell him if his current best isn’t enough for the team.

        I’ve thought they were holding the 14th pitcher spot for Stenzel. However maybe Moose’s role is to bridge to Senzel then step aside?

      • Jim Walker

        My thought on Winker not scoring in the first was how does a player NOT get a good enough jump with 2 outs. I was counting out on the replay trying to figure how long the ball was in the air and how he wasn’t at 3B by the time it was to ground. The exit velo was 99 but it had a nice topspin hump to it (which is why it fell in safely).

      • CFD3000

        Jim –
        That’s a valid point on Moose that I hadn’t considered. But if he’s not 100% – and he sure doesn’t look it – then they need to shut him down. Between India, Senzel, Schrock and even Blandino they have plenty of options better than an injured Moustakas. You’ll notice I didn’t include Suarez on that list…

    • Jim Walker

      Good points all and what you probably couldn’t see with clarity was Barnhart’s poor tag on the Freeman run (the play reversed on review). The ump had it right Freeman *should* have been out; but, Barnhart lunged at Freeman’s legs instead of just snapping the tag down along the edge of the plate where Freeman would have tagged himself out getting to the plate.

      • beelicker

        I thought the throw was upline and Barnhart took steps away from the plate to glove it, then had to turn, lept and literally flew glove first in a straight line so that the first contact he even made (including with the ground) was with his outstretched mitt about mid shin as the guy’s toe beat the tag to the back corner of the plate by a split second

      • jim wealker

        @bee> We saw this differently. I saw him and as in front of the plate, taking the ball just above shoulder level and diving out into Freeman’s legs when he had a play to bring the ball down open his left side and make a play versus reaching and diving.

      • beelicker

        There were 2 tag plays at he plate and that one where Barnhart flies is at the begining and the second one shows 3 separate angles from about the 1:42 mark where he takes the high throw in front of the plate and slaps it down reaching in about the most direct way he could. He’d have to bend his shoulder backward unnaturally in a sweep to cover the plate and the guy just beats him, the 3rd angle is best and they do the freeze frame


    • VaRedsFan

      Good Synopsis CFD…
      Braves broadcast noted that Winker had been hit in the foot the previous night and had to leave. He had an obvious gimp when he took off for 3rd, so the coach held him up. He would have been toast at the plate

  32. KG

    By my count the Reds have blown 24 saves this year! That’s an enormous number with 30% of the season still left to play. Are there arms in the bullpen who shouldn’t be in the bullpen? Yes. Are there better options in the minors? Yes. Does ownership and management want to make the playoffs this year? Yes?

    • CFD3000

      KG the bullpen HAS been a huge weak spot this year, but last night actually showed me that there’s hope in that regard. Lorenzen, Sims, Cessa, Wilson, Givens, even Hembree, and soon Antone are a huge upgrade from the early season roster of castoffs and wannabes. Bell’s one inning each approach eventually found the guy who would fail last night, but the pen was generally a bright spot. And more importantly I expect that to be the case more often than not for the last 47 games of the year.

      • KG

        I love your positive outlook CDF3000 and I hope you’re correct. Time to turn my frown upside down and see the bright side. These last 3 games have been tough on a Reds fan. Go Reds!

        BTW, is it time to start talking Votto for MVP?

      • CFD3000

        KG –
        See the numbers below. I’d say that between that pure data, the fact that Votto has stepped in when Castellanos went down (and still isn’t back to full Nick), and that the Reds are at least in the playoff hunt, Votto is definitely in the MVP conversation. Top 5 right now for sure. But ask me again in a month… fingers crossed.

  33. CFD3000

    One more comment for this thread before we head to 5:10:

    Votto is once again a “qualified hitter” in the NL, despite missing 30 games (remember that for the counting stats). He ranks:

    12th in NL in OBP .375
    5th in NL in RBI 72
    4th in NL in OPS .958
    3rd in NL in Slugging .583
    2nd in NL in HR 25

    I’m a huge Votto fan, but not even I predicted that kind of success in 2021. With Tatis, Jr. and Acuna, Jr. hurt Votto may end up leading the league among qualified hitters in several of those categories if he keeps hitting anything like the last five weeks. Such a gift to be able to watch the Joey Votto renaissance.

  34. old-school

    Its August and the Reds SP has been mostly good this year-Castillo April/May the exception. I wonder if the grind of the 162 game season now in Mid-August is catching up with the SP.
    Mahle is laboring, Gray is laboring to get 5 innings, Castillo was off, Miley was off. Pitchers in August get dead arms and tired arms and after the shortened season of 2020 the SP might be hitting a wall. That forces the bullpen to cover more outs and more innings and more high leverage situations which collectively they aren’t built to do.

    Reds are a fun team – but to win a championship you have be good in all facets of the game- Offense/SP/bullpen and defense. Last year they were a .500 team with elite SP, no offense and aided by a very friendly , once in a blue moon inclusive playoff system. This year they have good SP, good offense, but a thin bullpen and the bullpen just isn’t good enough or deep enough to step up on those days the SP falters and cover the 12 outs or season needed.

    Reds are like the horse who finished just out of the money but “competed gamely then faltered” and finished 4th by 5 furlongs.

  35. DataDumpster

    This has been a most enjoyable team to watch but it seems like every loss is a combination of RISP enervations and/or the David Bell wet noodle bullpen strategy. I’m tired of everyone (including myself) trying to understand the one and done inning mandate. I wonder if David Bell instructs the booties on the beat report not to ask this most obvious question. It’s hard to believe that not one of the 5 relievers who pitched 5 scoreless innings couldn’t offer up one more inning, especially when Sims is the other option.
    This does remind me that there did seem to be a lot of talk about Santillan filling a long reliever role when he first came up. Really wonder why that didn’t happen and why Tony ain’t even on the roster. God forbid, we put Hembree at risk!
    There’s still a San Diego angle to get in the playoffs and I’ll be the first to praise David Bell if that happens. But, I see about as much evidence of any flexibility in his BP coda as John Sadek making a home run call with his natural voice.

    • beelicker

      Santillan went down because he had options, is a rookie, hasn’t been a reliever before so he went down to do more of it… and Hoffman came off IL and would have been DFA’d if Santillan didn’t do that

  36. burtgummer01

    Go look at boxscores from all major league games the past 2-3 days. Tell me how many relievers went 2 or more innings vs how many just went a inning or less.
    Blaming Bell night after night is ignorance
    Days of multi inning relief outings are rare these days.
    So it is a not a Bell thing.
    Fire Bell and the next manager will do the same thing.

    • Doug Gray

      But what if the Reds hire someone from the comments section? What then?!

      • scotly50

        “But what if the Reds hire someone from the comments section? What then?!”

        They would never lose another game !!!!!

      • Doug Gray

        I do like the sound of that…..

    • DataDumpster

      Just because most other managers are doing it doesn’t make it right. Most teams have a better staff than this team. I suppose all the teams from the past who got by with 10-11 pitchers instead of the 14 that David Bell requires were wrong too by your logic. I don’t profess to have the answer but when something is not working, you have to try something different, that basically all I am saying. When guys are pitching extremely well, what is so magical that they be removed after no more than 100 pitches or one inning?
      David Bell seems to manage by a rigid set of analytical “rules” that don’t seem to account for the dynamics of the game. Miley had problems but steadied and had only 77 pitches when relieved. Givens has done well with only 13 pitches. Sims was the better option with his record and just off IL? Before that, Gray mowed them down but he was getting close to 100, so only 5 innings for him.
      You have to manage the team you got and not the theoretical version of what you want to do.

      • Doug Gray

        Things have changed. Relievers used to train to pitch in longer outings. They no longer do for a multitude of reasons. So “they did it in the past” doesn’t really mean anything with regards to how today’s usage works.

        As for “what’s magical” with the pitch count thing – health. They believe it’s going to keep guys healthier. And it also has a little bit to do with getting them out before the wheels come off, which often is the case when guys see a pitcher for the 3rd and 4th time in a game.

        The problem is not that David Bell makes pitching changes. The problem is that many of the options he has simply aren’t good enough. But he has to actually pitch everyone at his disposal, otherwise the good pitchers you want to pitch will wind up hurt, ineffective, or both, and then things just get even worse from there.

      • Jim t

        Exactly Doug!!! Starting pitchers rarely throw complete games nowadays. It was determined awhile ago that arm injuries were directly related to workload. Pitching limit was established and the hitters work counts to push starters out of the game early.

        Bell’s issues are not how he manages but execution of the opportunities he gives. Also the cheap hand he has been dealt by the owner. Frankly with all he has had to deal with he has overachieved. Anyone who can’t see that is blind.

      • J

        So the theory is that allowing Givens to pitch another inning last night would increase the odds of being injured sometime this season? I’d love to see the data supporting that, but I suspect it doesn’t exist. Rather, what seems to exist is no clear causal relationship whatsoever. Some guys get hurt pitching 20 innings, others can pitch 200 and show no signs of slowing down. Some guys get hurt frequently no matter what they do, others rarely get hurt no matter what they do. Some guys DO pitch multiple innings and survive just fine, others are never given the opportunity because supposedly it might hurt them. Antone and Sims were being carefully limited to avoid injuries, and they got hurt. Other guys who’ve pitched many more innings, including more than one inning in a game, are perfectly healthy. Is there ANY evidence, other than anecdotal, to back up any of these theories? Nobody has ever shown me any.

        I think this is just another one of these managerial theories with no basis in reality, like the leadoff guy needs to be fast (Dusty took it a step further and decided center fielders needed to lead off), it’s a good idea to ask your #2 hitter to bunt a runner to second, catchers need to hit low in the order, RBIs are a very important stat, etc. The “but everyone is doing it this way” argument is about the least compelling argument I can imagine. There are so many examples (not just in baseball, but throughout society) where “everyone is doing it this way” is a terrible reason to keep doing it that way. “Don’t blame Bell, he’s a lemming who can’t figure out when to ignore conventional wisdom” just doesn’t seem like a good argument to me.

      • beelicker

        That the Reds are trying it with retreads, experiments and scrap heap reclamation projects tells you why it’s such a high wire circus act. How many projects have you seen quoted about “reinventing themselves ” on the fly? That Doolitttle now throwing the occasional 98 mph and somewhat fulfilling a modified LOOGY paradigm beiing who they actually went out and spent for last offseasib and that Garrett and Brach practically hurl themselves off the mound with a pitch kinda might explain the collective control issues we see. That they went out and picked up targeted reinforcements from the Yankees’ staff mentioned doing this in the article and Givens who’s been doing it already should be more reinforcing illumination of this as well

    • J

      I wish someone could explain to me the logic of “Bell does the same thing other managers do, so don’t blame him.” Isn’t part of being a good manager figuring out how to make BETTER decisions based on the specifics of your personnel and situation you’re in? If the manager’s job is just to always do exactly what most other managers typically do, then they ought to pay some random smart person $50,000 and stick them into that position and tell them to copy other managers, because almost any smart person could do that job perfectly well. Any one of us could do that job, no problem. Bell could focus on his other duties (managing the personalities and reading injury reports, or whatever it is that he does all day) and not have to worry about game-time strategic decisions, and we’d get results that are just as strategic as most other managers would produce.

      Call me crazy, but I expect MORE from a manager than just copying the dumbest decisions other managers tend to make. You can potentially win titles that way if you have one of the highest payrolls, but managers of smaller market teams can’t get away with it.

      • Indy Red Man

        The problem is they play 1 run games 5 times a week so if you push Cessa or Lorenzen for 40 pitches then they’re out for 2-3 days. Then what do you do? Next day its a 1 run game….or tied in the 7th again? Then same thing the next day. Eventually guys like Sims, who was considered their top setup guy coming in, have to get the job done.

      • Indy Red Man

        Bottom line they have to fix the back end of the pen this winter. If they can’t resign Lorenzen and/or Givens then that just makes things more difficult. They have alot of talent, but they have to make some tough decisions as well.

        Obviously the “grit” of HH, Brach and AG overrides young rookie talent. Its been that way w/the Reds for 25 years now. Never mind that SD has been pitching 21 yr old Ryan Weathers, etc etc.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        @J: the Reds also have a highly regarded pitching coach. I would guess that he is pretty significantly involved in the decision-making around who to bring in and when to bring them in or take them out. If he’s not involved, then I’m not sure why the Reds went after him to begin with. So, Bell is the manager and is (obviously) catching heat on this website but I have trouble believing he’s making these pitching decisions in a vacuum without significant input from his pitching coach.

  37. Jpser05

    Casty not in the lineup????? Is there news that should be shared?

  38. Mark A Verticchio

    Saw today’s line up, my question is where is Senzel? He needs to get back in the line up against this left hander. Don’t know who to blame,so i blame them all, Bell and the front office.

    • Jim Walker

      I guess they think Senzel isn’t ready yet. What other conclusion or what else is there to say? He played the entire game Wednesday night in CF and had a hit (2B) and scored a run.

  39. DataDumpster

    I have seen that article before, a good one. The bottom line I take is that a good pitcher is taught to get out runners by contact except in certain situations when a strikeout is called for. Our pitchers do the opposite. They wander around the plate trying for a K or chase but instead walk batters forcing up the pitch count and face a situation like yesterday when one bad pitch loses the game. Then, all the excess pitches lead to more pitchers needed for a longer and more boring game. Can’t be avoided, its helpless. One or two guys can’t be trained to have 2 inning relief capability….
    So we have to use 4 or 5 relievers each game when at least half of them are not very good. I thought Krall and company did well by getting 3 decent relievers along with IL replenishment.
    You may be surprised to know (according to spotrac) that the Reds now have the 6th highest payroll in MLB of their active 26 man roster and a below average injury load during this season. With the schedule advantage the Reds have, the likely ROY, possible MVP, Monster Joey and other unexpected performers like Farmer, Stephenson, etc. how much better does it get! On the downside, we have a slow and fundamentally unsound team that can’t steal a base, move a runner along, run the bases, and play solid defense in many cases. In addition, the bullpen is still not able to be fixed and can’t be apparently. Craig Counsell schooled this team strategically right after the ASG and seems to be going away with the division. If we are to surpass the Pads, games like yesterday have to be won for they are very important for momentum and confidence. I think a risk of some nebulous injury to Givens for one more inning of work would almost certainly change the result.

    • beelicker

      The lack of a plus defense is also can a big drag on the pitching outcomes, as is the home park and which causes certain obtuse modifications in approach that don’t always translate to places not so extreme bandbox

  40. Mark A Verticchio

    If things continue the Reds will be in third place soon and it pains me to say the Cardinals may pass them. Look at the Cardinals schedule, they are about to sweep the Pirates then they go to Kansas City and they play the Pirates 7 times in the two weeks following. I am glad Bell is giving Castellanos a day off,not. I don’t ever see the Cardinal resting Goldschmit or Aranado.

    • wkuchad

      I don’t think it’s a normal day off. He has swelling from getting hit on the foot. Nothing broke thankfully.

  41. Mark A Verticchio

    Check out the Cubs – Brewers game 3-0 already soon to be worse, the division is gone. Just think Sunday it was only 5 with hope. This week may go down as one of the worst in a long long time, hope things change. Now it’s 5-0.

    • Votto4life

      The Red’s schedule gets a lot easier after this week. They have shown all year long the ability to come back when they looked all but dead.

      Having that said, I don’t think there is a realistic chance at the division. They may have some hope for the WC because SD has a tougher schedule.

      I think the Red’s true window opens in earnest next year. It’s going to be exciting.