The Cincinnati Reds will welcome the St. Louis Cardinals to Great American Ball Park this evening to begin a 3-game series. First pitch is set for 6:40pm.

Starting Lineups

St. Louis Cardinals

Cincinnati Reds

Tommy Edman – 2B Jonathan India – 2B
Paul Goldschmidt – 1B Tyler Stephenson – C
Dylan Carlson – RF Nick Castellanos – RF
Nolan Arenado – 3B Joey Votto – 1B
Tyler O’Neill – LF Kyle Farmer – SS
Yadier Molina – C Eugenio Suárez – 3B
Edmundo Sosa – SS Tyler Naquin – CF
Harrison Bader – CF Aristides Aquino – LF
Jon Lester – SP Luis Castillo – SP

Starting Pitchers

Luis Castillo

Outside of that one disastrous start in Cleveland on August 9th, Luis Castillo’s been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the last three months. Even accounting for that 8-run, 3.1 inning outing his ERA since the start of June is 2.74. Castillo has faced the Cardinals four times this season. Opening Day was a disaster. He faced them again in late April and allowed four runs in 5.0 innings. But he’s faced them twice since and has allowed just two earned runs over 13.0 combined innings.

The splits for Luis Castillo are similar, but different. Righties have hit .260/.313/.416 against him this season. Lefties have hit .251/.356/.380 against him this season. The difference in OPS is just 7 points, but righties get there with more power and far fewer walks. Lefties show less power but draw walks more than twice as often. He’s pitched significantly better at home. His OPS against is 76 points lower in Cincinnati and his ERA is 3.50 (5.07 on the road).

Pitch usage from 2021

4-Seam 2-Seam Change Slider
Velo 97.1 97.2 88.1 86.2
Usage 29% 24% 29% 18%

Jon Lester

It’s been a tough two seasons for Jon Lester. In 2020 his ERA was 5.12 in 12 starts. This season it’s 5.27 in 21 starts between Washington and St. Louis. His strikeout rate has fallen off the map in the last two years – he’s currently got the 2nd lowest strikeouts per 9-innings pitched in baseball among the 100 pitchers with at least 100 innings this year. While he’s not walking a ton of guys, he’s not been stingy with walks, either.

He hasn’t faced the Reds this season, and he only saw them once last year when he was with the Cubs. Lefties don’t get many chances to face him, but in 101 plate appearances this year they have hit .244/.283/.356 against him with five walks and 14 strikeouts. Righties have crushed him this season, posting a .327/.395/.535 line with 35 walks and 49 strikeouts in 358 plate appearances. Given that he’s been traded, it’s probably not worth a ton to look at his home and road splits, but if you wanted to – he’s pitched much worse on the road.

Pitch usage from 2021

4-Seam 2-Seam Change Cutter Curve
Velo 88.8 87.7 81.5 86.7 72.7
Usage 33% 15% 17% 26% 9%

When and Where

  • Game time: 6:40pm ET
  • Where: Great American Ball Park
  • Watch: Bally Sports Ohio,
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 76°, cloudy, 20% chance of rain

News and Notes

Mike Moustakas Update

He was doing much better on Sunday. There was no update prior to the game today when David Bell spoke to the media as it was at the time when players were still arriving at the ballpark. Bell said he expects him to be available tonight off of the bench and hopefully in the lineup tomorrow.

NL Central Standings

Playoff odds via Fangraphs

Team W L GB Playoff %
Brewers 79 52 0 99.9%
Reds 71 61 8.5 62.9%
Cardinals 66 63 12.0 5.0%
Cubs 57 75 22.5 0.0%
Pirates 48 83 31.0 0.0%

132 Responses

  1. Doug Gray

    That was fun……

    The post was scheduled for 5:30. I was not home. For some reason it did not publish. Oh well. Can’t win them all. Stupid technology.

    • Mark Moore

      37 years into the “technology field” and I still hate it almost every day due to stuff like that.

      • Alan Horn

        I retired after 37 and see more flaws than ever. Programmers seem to be worse than ever. They leave a lot of holes in their code. Systems analysis is poor due to a lot of it being off shore or language communication problems. We always prided ourselves in 99.99% uptime(I was both a Systems Administrator and Programmer Analyst/Systems Analyst. Web programming is some of he worst.

  2. Dennis Westrick

    You are late Doug! Thanks for all you do for us obsessive Reds fans!

    • Doug Gray

      I was definitely on time. WordPress was late! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it (because it’s true!)

      • Mark Moore

        Regardless, we’ll accept the excuse/reason because of all you and the RLN team do here.

        Show up on the 23rd or 24th and somebody *MIGHT* buy you an adult beverage of your choosing.

      • Joe P.

        I’m thinking WordPress is prescient. We were not supposed to comment on what we’re witnessing tonight.

  3. Joe P.

    I just tuned into the game anyway. I see the Reds trail 2-1 in the 5th.

  4. Frogem

    Cannot understand bumping a guy as hot as Naquin to 7th. Also, Aquino has the following splits

    Days OPS
    7 .000
    15 .353
    30 .490

    So, why is he in this game over Shrock?

    Shrock’s performance in those timespans:

    Days OPS
    7 1.369
    15 1.411
    30 0.942

    • beelicker

      LHP considerations … check out the relevant metrics in the Kryptonian blog

  5. Broseph

    This was a perfect scheduled off day for Votto. He’s been cold, and not hitting lefties. There is still more game to play, but so far Lester is giving them Cy Young fits.

    • beelicker

      Like i was saying yesterday, yesterday was the perfect Votto off day, early game getaway day vet rest day

    • beelicker

      Leaving the lovely Joey all refreshed & refreshing for the home crowd … but alas

  6. stuckonthenorthshore

    Castillo’s batting average is now higher than Saurez’s….

    • Mark Moore

      Almost everybody’s BA is higher

    • Indy Red Man

      .169 o m g thats horrible. I think this is the first time he’s been under .170

      • AllTheHype

        Can anyone let Bell know? He has no idea.

      • Luke J

        It’s the first time in a while. But he spent the first month or two this year hovering around .130. He actually had a good month of May or June that got it up to around .180 before is has settled into the .170s the rest of the year.

  7. Indy Red Man

    Next year they have to go find a OF Jonny Gomes lefty buster somewhere. Maybe 2

  8. Indy Red Man

    Carlson creating a run there by aggressively taking 3B. The Reds just don’t have that mentality with the little speed they do have. They would try that zero % of the time.

    • Mark Moore

      Sadly, that’s all 100% accurate.

    • beelicker

      Now how many times has Winker & company gone full TOOTBLAN trying to derringly doo doo take 2nd or 3rd this season?

  9. LDS

    Two hits last night, one so far tonight. Suarez starting despite hitting .129 against LH’ers. Cabrera, picked up to hit lefties, sits. Bell plays catch with Suarez in the outfield. A couple of articles come out bragging about JV rediscovering hitting and he disappears again. Even with rediscovered hitting, he wasn’t hitting lefties much. Looks like another wasted Castillo effort.

  10. VaRedsFan

    Carlson taking 3rd…that’s a base that Reds runners don’t take. Maybe India or Nick C will try, but I haven’t seen them.

    • Luke J

      Because good defenses look the runner back properly, not just glance at them. That base should never be given up.

  11. JB

    3 runs might be enough. If I was the Reds opponent I would call up lefties from AAA to pitch.

  12. Joe P.

    That’s why O’Neill pumps iron…to hit dribblers.

  13. Indy Red Man

    Wonder if we could trade Senzel to the Yankees for Clint Frazier? Their 1st round bust for ours. He’s got power and a quick bat.

    • JB

      Frazier might not play again. He has serious vision problems that they thought was vertigo but they have no idea.

    • Luke J

      That comment came out of left field. I’m nowhere near considering Senzel a bust yet. He still has promise. Just needs a little luck to stay healthy.

  14. Bet on Red

    Cabrerra finally facing a lefty

  15. Roger Garrett

    Bell tries to squeeze one more out from Castillo at 100 pitches and of course the Cards score.Won’t matter cause we can’t hit a beach ball but Bell is just in over his head.I know Castillo leads off in the 6th but 3-1 might as well be 10-1 right now.

  16. Indy Red Man

    I’ll be 55 in 3 weeks and Cabrera has a worse dad bod then I do)))))) Thats ridiculous for a pro athlete.

    • Indy Red Man

      Of course fatty is out, but those 2 triples at Wendys were good last night

      HATE this pickup

  17. VaRedsFan

    Was Asdrubal running backwards, or did it really just take him 25 seconds to get down the line?

  18. Old-school

    Per fangraphs splits tool, Suarez is already the worst player in MLB in 3 years.. No one can catch Chris Davis -3.1 fWAR in 2018 but the Orioles were trying to lose and went 47-115 and Davis playing helped them get the #1 pick in Adley Rutschman. Davis helped his organization.

    Imagine if the Mets or Phillies were in the playoff lead and their manager had Suarez out there.

    • Moon

      Davis had worst all time batting average at .168. He played in 126 games. Dan Uggla is next on the list at .179. Suarez right now is at .169 so he will probably end up 2nd all time worst batting average. He has been bouncing between .170 and 175 for quite some time. Uggla was with the Braves and they traded him to the Marlins. He played two more years….about 60 games each year. He did not get any better and was finally released. But he had power. He still holds the record for the longest ball hit in a couple stadiums. But that power did not make up for all those outs.

  19. RedsMonk65

    This ineptitude vs. LH pitching is becoming a BIG thing. Reds need to address this ASAP. It cannot continue. We risk losing the WC spot, or any chance of a playoff win in the first game. If Cabrera was claimed (and Barrero sent down, which I still don’t like) to hit LHP, then why is he not starting against LHP? Color me confused (and frustrated). We should be stomping through this part of the schedule.

    Barrero needs to be up and inserted at SS. Votto needs some time off. Cabrera needs to be at 3B against LHP if he is going to be on the team at all . And Schrock looked good in LF the other day. So why Aquino? Geez.

    • Mark Moore

      You saying we’ve done that much better against RHP’s of late? I know we’re sitting in the right spot for Game 163 … but that could slip away just a quickly.

      • RedsMonk65

        Well, we’ve faced LH starters the last (I think) three straight games and we’ve hit/scored how much? We just cannot hit LHP it seems — especially as starters.

    • VaRedsFan

      If there was ever a game to start Geno, this was the one. He is .372/.429/.860 for a 1.289 OPS vs Lester.
      I’m going to give Bell the nod on this one.

      • RedsMonk65

        But what are his numbers vs. Lester the two years? (2020, 2021). He is just not the same since 2019. By late August, that should be obvious.

      • LDS

        When was the last time Suarez faced Lester @nd how did he do?

    • DataDumpster

      Agree with all your comments. Some commenters like the @beel ascertain that Bell cannot start Cabrera and had to send down Barrero to get him, and must play our veterans because of their salary even though they are tired looking and/or not performing. Have no idea why Aquino is in there.
      I shutter to think this is the case but Bell is following the script. This LH pitching issue has got to be a concern. Its not like the aces are mowing them down.

    • Luke J

      The sad part is I recall an article earlier this year about how great Senzel hit lefties before he got hurt. If only he wasn’t injured he would be really helpful about now.

  20. Mark Moore

    TySteve missed the launch be a couple of degrees. That’s 2 from the rookies that were just noisy fly ball outs.

  21. JB

    Lester has a better swing than Suarez. Keeps his head still and on the ball. Suarez should look at that.

    • Mark Moore

      Sir Strandsalot of the Golden Sombrero should look at a LOT of others … but he doesn’t from what we can tell.

  22. Joe P.

    This game reminds me of the time when I was a little boy and our next door neighbor told me to keep an eye on the grass…to watch the grass grow.

    • Mark Moore


      Though at my house you actually can watch it grow – especially over the septic drain field.

  23. Mark Moore

    It would seem that Lester’s contract says he can’t/won’t pitch out of the stretch.

  24. Indy Red Man

    I give up. Check in tomorrow. Even 71-91 and a 32 game losing streak accomplishes all that I asked of this team which is get me to football

    It was only like 2 weeks ago and we were literally going weeks without actually being completely beaten. It was just bullpen meltdowns. Now they don’t hit. They watch people run the bases on them while they stand around. Their personnel decisions make no sense. Idk?

  25. JB

    The Cardinals manager gets it. He brings in a lefty. The word is out on the Reds.

    • RedsMonk65


      I think every MLB manager gets it now….

  26. Old-school

    Any doubt the Reds acquired Lester and and Happ and now bringing in another lefty because they realized only way to make the playoffs was catch the Reds and how do you do that?

    Is moose really available to pinch hit or are the Cards just counting on pitching all lefties so Suarez and Aquino go 0-4? Moose wont admit he’s hurt and out of shape.

  27. Old-school

    Suarez has 3 extra base hits since Aug 5

    It’s now or never

    • Mark Moore

      Would appear “never” is the chosen option. But at least he and Tinker played catch before the game.

  28. Bet on Red

    Farmer trying to carry the team on his back

    • Arthur

      I think we all would love to see him get a hit, but ….. reality will have a vote on this issue.

      • JB

        We’ve only been begging for 2 years. Oh well there is always next year.

  29. Mark Moore

    Pull it on the ground to one of the best 3B guys in the business … don’t try to lift it, don’t wait a bit and go the other way. Just do what you do best, Geno. Make an out.

    • Arthur

      Even a sacrifice fly out a ground ball to the right side would have been acceptable.

      Not only does Geno make ours – he makes unproductive, stupid outs. Like trying to pull a sinker over the outside part of the plate. Over and over and over.

  30. LDS

    Brilliant base running as usual. At least it wasn’t a double play.

  31. JB

    Why run on contact? Hit to the 3rd baseman and it takes you out of 2 guys in scoring position for Naquin to 1and 2nd.

  32. Gpod

    I can’t take Suarez anymore….refuses to go the other way …over & over & over!!

  33. Roger Garrett

    Its a joke to play Suarez and we all know that.

  34. Joe P.

    Of course Suarez pulls the ball into a shift. Only one man on the entire right side of the infield and he can’t hit the ball that way.

    And Votto should have stayed at 3rd base. He had no chance of scoring on that.

  35. Mark Moore

    Just fundamentally NOT sound ball almost all the way around. Farmer is a candle in the darkness tonight.

  36. dhmorgan

    Well, at least Kyle Farmer showed up.
    Anyone else want to join him during the next 2 innings?

  37. Old Big Ed

    Good thing they didn’t have Barrero available there.

    • Arthur

      Goodness Ed – where could we play Barrero??? With so many productive veterans in the lineup, I can’t imagine who we could sit down to play our #3 rated prospect.

  38. Gpod

    Everyone & he has to know….they pitch Suarez on the outer part of the plate…they leave the right side open…GO THE OTHER WAY!!!! Even a high school player can see that

  39. Tomn

    Suarez, Aquino, Cabrera. DFA them all. They’re awful.

  40. Old-school

    This roster is a mess

    No lefties in the bullpen
    No hitters who can hit lefties
    An organization committed to playing time and roster spots based on salary not performance or new player development with 1 month to go.

    They need to lose and thats the only thing that will change Reds behavior. Castellini/Krall/Bell. They need the cards to kick their butt and fail. Only thing that will change this

    The biggest lie is Castellini and Krall and Bell arent on the same page. They absolutely are. Who is Castellini’s Advisor? David bell’s Dad.

    Nepotism and insularity are Reds core values.

    • AllTheHype

      If being in a pennant race doesn’t elevate winning as the priority, losing won’t do it either. Reds are still trying to get value from dead contracts over winning.

      • Old-school

        I hear you but snatching defeat from the jaws of a playoff spot by playing awful players will have consequences. If the Reds dont make the playoffs and this lineup continues, the entire reds brass will have zero credibility for a franchise with some good players and good starting pitching.

      • beelicker

        We still got 2 more LHP this week … little gauntlet action going on … this is also not news, at least to me

    • AllTheHype

      Akiyama probably gets the start tomorrow, over Shrock. Another dead contract they need to get going.

      • Tomn


        Akiyama is a great defensive OF. Ge should be a late inning defensive or PR substitute.

    • Roger Garrett

      I am with you but they have always lost under Bob.They have done what they have done because of guys having good offensive years.Its a miracle they are where they are at but its mostly because they are 15 over in the division.They are old and slow and the roster is a mess as you said and their just dumb lineups again as you said has nothing to do with performance. The entire organization is a joke because they think the Reds record is because of them and its despite them.

    • beelicker

      Bell is an employee. Part of any MLB manager’s job is to take the blame. He shields the players and takes the heat for the owner and front office. “You can’t fire the whole team so you fire the manager” … who else are they gonna blame … themselves? … this is not news lol

      • beelicker

        Bell is not the one ulimately running the show or pulling the strings in the organization … he does what he is told and part of that is being told to front for being to blame when he’s not

  41. Mark Moore

    I don’t like Arenado. I don’t completely despise him like I do the Neck Tattoo. But I don’t like him. Probably because he’s in a Dirty Birds uniform and actually plays a solid third base (including his bat).

  42. Roger Garrett

    Reds have won despite the owner this year.Reds are just worn down physically and mentally right now and lets hope they can snap out of it.It was a bad omen when we lost 2 out of 3 against the Cubs and it really hasn’t stopped even though they won 4 from the Fish.Hats off to Farmer tonight for showing up.Got to love this guy playing more then he has ever played and still hanging in there.

    • Joe P.

      A lot of uncomplimentary things have been said on these pages about Farmer recently. But the guy knows how to play the game.

      • TR

        Farmer does what is needed. He’s certainly done that this year at shortstop. He always seems to be in the game. A very valuable guy on any team.

      • RedsMonk65

        He is the very least of our problems right now.


    Notice how Schildt brought in lefty with 1 out, 2nd and 3rd , Suarez up, he wasn’t worried about him , he was in for Naquin , good managing of the game in front of you

    • Gpod

      Why would anyone worry about Suarez….they could bring in the peanut vendor & get him out

    • RedAlert

      Pathetic effort at the plate again – Farmer only dude showed up to play

      These guys going thru motions … in a
      playoff race to boot; Suarez , Aquino continue to stink it up and play on a regular

    • Roger Garrett

      Great observation and you are right.Sad but true.Won’t change though and that the worst part.

  44. J

    Just to momentarily forget about how horrible Suarez has been, it’s worth noting that Castellanos is now basically refusing to walk no matter how many balls are thrown to him. His last walk was August 16. He’s walked a grand total of four times in August. This is hardly the Reds’ worst problem, but it’s not helping.

      • J

        Oops, I missed the first inning, and missed it in the box score. I humbly apologize. He’s now walked 5 times in August against 24 strikeouts. But I think it would be more like 15 walks if he were more willing to take way out of the strike zone.

  45. JB

    The Reds have 4 right handed hitters. Castellanos,India,Stephenson and Farmer. They will play the Dodgers or Giants if they get to the wildcard. Dodgers will definitely throw their lefty Urias against them. Not sure who the Giants throw but their managers is heavy into analytics and I’ll bet it’s a lefty.

  46. Gpod

    The one thing that has been most consistent with the reds for most of this year is the starting pitching…who would have thought

    • Mark Moore

      Right … with some notable exceptions, they’ve done what needed to be done. But we haven’t backed them up with runs often enough.

  47. Mark Moore

    Just isn’t our night, is it? And Saturday and Sunday weren’t our days. At least August is over on Wednesday so we can leave these “dog days” behind … of course if nothing changes, well …

  48. Gpod

    Some season, it will come together for the Reds (like it did in 1990) good starting pitching, bullpen, offense, managing…I just hope I will still be alive to see it

    • Roger Garrett

      Not until the owner is replaced.They don’t want to win.

      • Mark Moore

        They want to win … but only on their own terms.

      • Mark Moore

        And at least to this fan, it looks a LOT like not wanting to win.

  49. Randy Peterson

    Why does Bell continue to play Suarez and Aquino? All they do is either strikeout or pop up? Put Schrock at 3B, Akiyama in CF (at least he’s great defensively, and has speed), and Naquin in LF.

    • AllTheHype

      No one knows what’s going on in that head. He has daydreams of the ’19 Suarez and one month wonder Aquino. It’s like the girl that got away and still lives in your head. She’s coming back ain’t she?

    • LDS

      Why does Bell still have a job? And amazingly, none of the girls in my head have ever returned. Imagine that.

  50. Mark Moore

    Slow roller to short. 1 down. Only 2 more until I can shut this miserable game off for the night.

  51. Mark Moore

    And we have a Schrock sighting … but it’s in the on-deck circle. So unless Farmer continues to be the hero right here, we won’t see him hit tonight.

  52. Old-school

    Votto and moose cant admit when they need a break or arent ready to play. Votto is 38 and played 41/43 games approaching September. .That’s not rocket science that Votto is worn down

    That’s on Bell.

    • AllTheHype

      Yes, on Bell. The players aren’t going to tell you they need a break, and every starting pitcher wants to go 9.

  53. Bet on Red

    well, get them tomorow then, they cant send a lefty out ecvery night

  54. Mark

    Absolutely pathetic hitting effort except Farmer

  55. RedsMonk65

    Well, this just stinks to high heaven.

    And we’re supposed to be coasting through the “easy part” of the schedule?

    Not making it very difficult for the Padres, Phillies, etc.

  56. LDS

    The only good thing about this series is that it’s only 3 games and the Cards won’t overtake the Reds in the series. But, right now, if I were a betting man, I’d be betting on someone else for the second WC position.

  57. RedAlert

    I’ll say again and again and again … Reds got the absolute most clueless manager in MLB . Not blaming him for loss tonight , but he NEVER PUTS HIS BEST LINEUP IN THE FIELD TO MAXIMIZE HIS CHANCES TO WIN !
    no other manager in MLB would continue to run Suarez and Aquino out there on a daily basis – it doesn’t make any sense at all !!! I am convinced he has ZERO common baseball sense .

    Front office is beyond belief in the moves they make … I will ALWAYS root for Reds to win , but I can’t take another year of Bell’s nonsense ! I know that clown gonna be back though …..

    • bug

      I hear you!!! And you’re right on the money. Any other manager would have this team on top in the central. Bell’s mismanaging has cost us 25 games this year at minimum. Reds will never win with him at the helm. Dumbest manager in the Majors, by far and away. Sad.