The Cincinnati Reds ended their 4-game losing streak by exploding for 12 runs in game two of their doubleheader on Wednesday against the St. Louis Cardinals in a game that featured the Cardinals calling for an inspection of the bat of Nick Castellanos after he hit a grand slam.

Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (68-64)
2 3 2
Cincinnati Reds (72-63)
12 12 0
W: Gray (7-6) L: Happ (8-7)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Trailing 1-0 before they had a chance to come to the plate the Reds offense went to work quickly. Jonathan India led off the 1st with a double and scored when Nick Castellanos homered for the 25th time in 2021. Joey Votto walked and at first appeared to score on a 2-run homer by Eugenio Suárez, but the play was reviewed and was ruled a double off of the top of the wall. The umpires placed Votto and third on the play. Both would be stranded.

Things got far more interesting in the 2nd inning. Sonny Gray, Jonathan India, and Tyler Stephenson all singled to load the bases with no outs to begin the inning and bring Nick Castellanos back to the plate. The 4th pitch he saw was obliterated into the Reds bullpen for a grand slam that put Cincinnati up 6-1. But Cardinals manager Mike Shildt came onto the field and wanted the umpires to check his bat for *something*.

The umpires had a conversation with Shildt, then came to the Reds dugout where they had a discussion with Castellanos and manager David Bell, as well as inspected the bat, which appeared to be broken/chipped at the cup end of the barrel. After a minute or two long discussion the umpires then went to the review headset to confer with someone on the other end. After a minute or two there they came back and ruled things were good to go, the grand slam counted, and the show must go on. But the bat, however, could not as it was deemed to be a broken bat and had to be “retired” for safety reasons.

Cincinnati wasn’t finished. Joey Votto would single after the on-field delay, which would wind up being the last batter that J.A. Happ would face. Junior Fernandez came out of the bullpen for the Cardinals and struck out Eugenio Suárez. But Kyle Farmer wasn’t having it and crushed a long 2-run homer into right-center to make it 8-1. Fernandez had to then exit the game mid at-bat with an injury while facing Aristides Aquino. Daniel Ponce De Leon came on and walked Aquino. Delino DeShields then doubled, plating Aquino, and when the throw back to the infield bounced away from Nolan Arenado, DeShields took third. After Sonny Gray struck out for the second out of the inning, Jonathan India walked to put runners on the corners for Tyler Stephenson. He would pop out on an absolutely incredible catch by Tommy Edman who caught the ball as he collided with the tarp, flipped over it and landed on the net and in the first row of the seats. The inning was finally over and the Reds were up 9-1.

Walks will haunt and that proved to be true in the 3rd inning when Nick Castellanos walked to begin the inning and came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Kyle Farmer as Cincinnati extended their lead to 10-1. Another hit by Delino DeShields, a single, would bring in another run to make it 11-1 before the inning was over.

After missing out on a homer on review earlier in the game, Eugenio Suárez left no doubt about it in the bottom of the 5th as he sent one into the upper deck in left field – a 412-foot homer – to extend the lead to 12-2. That would be more than enough for the Reds to pull out the win and put an end to their losing streak.

The Pitching

Tommy Edman is going to be able to pull some highlights from this game and he got things started by leading off the game with a solo home run to put the Cardinals up 1-0. But from there Sonny Gray retired the next eight batters before a breaking ball hit Edman on the foot with two outs in the 3rd inning. Gray worked around it by getting Paul Goldschmidt to ground into a force out and keep his newly minted 9-1 lead intact.

With the Reds extending their lead to 11-1 in the 3rd, it was easy for Sonny Gray to move on past a solo homer allowed to Nolan Arenado in the 4th inning. Gray retired the next five batters to complete his day with five innings of 2-run baseball.

Jeff Hoffman came on for the 6th inning and made quick work of the Cardinals as he fired a perfect inning with two strikeouts to hold onto a 12-2 lead. Amir Garrett entered the game in the 7th and retired the first two batters he faced before Ali Sanchez doubled off of the wall in left. That would be it for the Cardinals, though, as a fly out to center followed and the game was over.

Notes Worth Noting

With the win in game two the Cincinnati Reds took back the second wild card spot from the San Diego Padres.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Detroit Tigers vs Cincinnati Reds

Friday September 3rd, 7:10pm ET

Tyler Alexander (2-2, 4.34 ERA) vs Vladimir Gutierrez (9-5, 4.03 ERA)

28 Responses

  1. Hanawi

    Nice bounce back game. This team has continually surprised me all year when it starts to look grim. Here’s hoping Suarez has found something and can provide a spark down the stretch.

    • JayTheRed

      Hoping for a strong September from him… eye test he actually didn’t look lost at the plate today in both games… 2 doubles and a home run, Nice day Geno. Now build on that.

  2. Indy Red Man

    Not a bad day for Geno with 2 doubles and a HR! He’s easier to move then Moose because he makes alot less, but he’s also got a higher ceiling then Moose when/if he’s right. Plus he’s younger. I happened to catch Sano for the Twins the other day and he kept his hands inside and blooped a single to RF. Geno had a double like that in the first game. Thats the only way 90% of the guys can be effective. You can’t try to golf swing everything into the upper deck. Geno might be fixable but who knows?

  3. Redsvol

    well, there is one left hander we can hit off of.

  4. Old-school

    Dodgers just a 1/2 game back from the Giants

    Gotta think NL wild card game will be in SF

    • Bet on Red

      we do have a playoff history of winning games in SF

      • Melvin

        Yeah. As long as we don’t have to play the Giants in Cincy. 🙂

  5. LT

    This trend, 3-4 terrible offense games followed by an explosion, reminds me of the bad years, very bad Reds style. Silver lining: Padres are as bad.

  6. LGR

    Team to worry about now is the Phillies and it’s not even close. Come on, the Reds need a sweep of the Tigers badly. I think I’ll be there Saturday.

    • LGR

      I definitely think it’s more likely than not that the Phillies will take that division. Maybe it’s Atlanta we need to worry about.

      • Dennis Westrick

        3 game series between the Phillies and Braves should be fun to watch!

  7. Kevin H

    What a fun team this has been to follow. Seeing I don’t have cable, I follow through game day. I follow and read up on the games as well. Don’t mean to ramble, but anyway I was a Bell “hater” and while he still makes me scratch my head at times. He made moves with what he had. I blame front office for that and now with a solid bullpen and starting 5 that goes deep into the game. This team is solid. I posted earlier this week, this team was scoring 5 runs a game and will again. Last two games 4 runs and 12 runs. Tigers are a up and coming team. Lets hope this weekend isn’t good for them against the Reds. lol

    Call me glass half full kind a guy, but remember the 2012 reds were better than the giants and we all know what happened. My point is anything can happen in baseball, I for one am just enjoying some meaningful baseball in September.

    • TR

      I’m hoping for a Reds/Giants wild card game. Payback is due for 2012.

  8. Dennis Westrick

    Need to root for Nationals today to beat the Phillies!

  9. CFD3000

    A key win there in game 2, with maybe a glimmer of hope from Suarez? How big would a surge from 3B be for September?

    This weekend marks the annual CFD pilgrimage from Atlanta to GABP, but this time to see the Reds play meaningful games in September. What a concept! The only concern is two if three starters for the Tigers are the dreaded LHP. Can’t wait. Go Reds!

  10. Hotto4Votto

    Glad to see the bats woke up. Castellanos breaking out of a mini-slump in a big way. Votto had a good day overall after a a little slide of his own. Double-header games and didn’t have to use Lorenzen or Givens which is a good thing. Bring on the Tigers. Let’s string some wins together.

  11. lost11found

    Anyone else think the Cards were just trying to mess with NC as some sort of weak ‘revenge’ for the altercation at the beginning of the season?

    No more games scheduled with them so no chance of any fallout.

    If so, it is so-so pitiful of them, but par for the course recently.

    Hopefully the mini-slump is ebbing. a nice warm stretch for the bats from here on out would be helpful.

    • Indy Red Man

      Actually we have the last 3 vs St. Louis next week

      • lost11found

        Yeah. i looked at the schedule too quickly.

    • Roger Garrett

      Cards skipper was just grandstanding.His team was getting hammered and he wanted to let them know he was in the game.Managers do that all the time.Casty as he said had been using that bat the first 2 games.The umps saw it as did everybody else watching the games but huddled up like well what do we do.They have to check gloves and jerseys of the pitchers so why not bats I guess.Bell should have asked them to check Goldy’s bat after his 2 bombs in the first game.I mean he had 900 feet of homers is rare.

  12. Old Big Ed

    The Reds are facing Tyler Alexander (L), Matt Boyd (L) and Casey Mize (R). Alexander and Boyd are lefties with fairly low strikeout rates (uh, oh), and Boyd will be making his second start coming back from the 60-day DL. Mize was the first guy in the draft out of Auburn in 2018, but he has a surprising low strikeout rate, too. He’s only 24 and has had a good year; he is about 25 innings beyond his 2019 minor league total, for what that is worth.

    The Tigers aren’t as bad as they’ve been. No great offensive stars (Miggy notwithstanding), but a lot of guys with an OPS between .750 and .800. They aren’t going to roll over.

    • Jim Walker

      I was about to post a similar caution about looking past the the Tigers. They played just over .500 each month May- through July and only -2 to .500 in August. The killer for their season was an April (8-19) they have not been able to offset.

    • Old-school

      Lets also not forget lefty closer Gregory Soto with his 99 mph gas

  13. Roger Garrett

    Everybody in the lineup contributed,normally its our 1-5 guys against the other team,and we had ZERO walks as a staff.Rare indeed on both counts.All this insures is we will continue to see everybody play as we have in the past.Reds don’t take the next step until the roster is fixed during the off season and Bell then plays his best players while abandoning the everybody must play rule.For now lets ride it and hope we can beat the other team with our 1-5 guys.Nation when you add Wink to the top there hasn’t been a team in baseball that has done what those 4 guys have done and thats why we are 9 over.They have been awesome with the ROY leading the way and Votto in the 4 spot.Nobody could have imagined what these top 4 has done and may never do again for that matter.Lets enjoy and look to the future.

    • TR

      Without much from the offensive power position of third base, it is amazing.

  14. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    One game means nothing, especially a blow out.

    The Phillies rallied from a 6-0 deficit in the sixth inning in Washington today to win 7-6. Showing urgency and some fight.

    Until the Reds convince me they have the urgency and fight, I assume they will not lock up this second wild card slot. Somebody has to be a strong leader on this team. Nobody currently fits the bill, too worried about walk up music I guess.

    You have to knock out teams like the Cardinals, not lose 2/3 at home against has been retread pitchers.

    • greenmtred

      Being one of MLB’s leaders in come from behind wins doesn’t indicate urgency and fight?

  15. TR

    The Reds need to remain in explode mode for the remaining four weeks of the regular season.