The Cincinnati Reds hit the road this afternoon as they take on the Chicago Cubs for the start of a 3-game series at Wrigley Field. Today’s first pitch is set for 2:20pm ET.

Starting Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs

Jonathan India – 2B Rafael Ortega – CF
Tyler Stephenson – C Frank Schwindel – 1B
Nick Castellanos – RF Ian Happ – LF
Eugenio Suárez – 3B Willson Contreras – C
Asdrúbal Cabrera – 1B Patrick Wisdom – 3B
Kyle Farmer – SS Jason Heyward – RF
Aristides Aquino – LF Matt Duffy – 2B
Delino DeShields – CF Sergio Alcántara – SS
Sonny Gray – SP Justin Steele – SP

Starting Pitchers

Sonny Gray

Over the last three starts Sonny Gray has allowed just two earned runs in 18.0 innings while giving up just six hits, walking four, and he’s struck out 14 batters. Both of his runs did come on solo home runs in his most recent outing.

Gray has dominated left-handed hitters this season, holding them to a .195/.287/.328 line this season. Righties have found more success, hitting .264/.332/.426 against him. Gray has pitched better on the road. His ERA away from Cincinnati is 2.96 (4.65 at home) and his OPS against is .629 (.737 at home).

Pitch usage from 2021

4-Seam 2-Seam Cutter Slider Change Curve
Velo 92.4 92.5 84.5 82.1 88.0 79.5
Usage 25% 29% 3% 16% 4% 24%

Justin Steele

The 26-year-old rookie left-hander has made four starts and 11 relief appearances this season for Chicago. He’s only thrown 31.0 innings on the year in the big leagues and has 16 walks, 35 strikeouts, and a 3.48 ERA. He has started his last four games, and two weeks ago one of those came against the Reds when he allowed two runs in 4.0 innings at Great American Ball Park.

Righties have hit .224/.313/.424 against him this season in 96 plate appearances. Lefties have only faced him 37 times in the big leagues this year and are hitting just .138/.324/.276 against him. Small sample sizes are problematic here, but his ERA at home is 4.30 (2.76 on the road).

Pitch usage from 2021

4-Seam 2-Seam Change Slider Curve
Velo 93.7 93.4 87.5 82.7 78.6
Usage 42% 21% 3% 25% 9%

When and Where

  • Game time: 2:20pm ET
  • Where: Wrigley Field
  • Watch: Bally Sports Ohio,
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 75°, sunny, 0% chance of rain

News and Notes

Joey Votto gets a day off

It’s been a while since Joey Votto had a day off. Manager David Bell noted that it was hard to give him a day when he was hitting well, even though he had thought about it. But today just felt like the right time. With a lefty on the mound for Chicago it certainly seems like it could be a good spot to give him a little rest before the final three weeks of the season.

Jose Barrero is in Chicago

The infielder is on the taxi squad with the Cincinnati Reds as they hit the road. He is not activated right now, but Kyle Farmer is on “daddy watch” as his wife is expecting very soon and could be called away at any point in time to be with his family.

NL Central Standings

Playoff odds via Fangraphs

Team W L GB Playoff %
Brewers 84 54 0 100.0%
Reds 73 65 11.0 44.9%
Cardinals 69 66 13.5 4.7%
Cubs 63 75 21.0 0.0%
Pirates 48 89 35.5 0.0%

149 Responses

  1. RedAlert

    Worst lineup of the year (with what 24 games to go) and fighting for the final wild card spot . Just pitiful lineup construction – however , not surprising considering who has the pencil ! Why is this guy simply
    incapable or unwilling of putting his best 9 players available in the field at 1 time !!!!!!!! No words ………….

  2. dhmorgan

    I don’t know what to make of this lineup. It’s, uh, “interesting.”
    We’ll find out in a few hours whether it is productive or not.
    Meanwhile, Sonny Gray will be asked to be back to a usual position: being the one to reverse the Reds’ bad fortunes.
    I hope we see the “good Sonny” today.
    (BTW I thought Sonny was a sobriquet, but I recently discovered it is his given name).

  3. Hanawi

    Guess we see what Bell thinks of Shogo as he runs Deshields out there repeatedly to start. Wonder if the Reds will eat his salary after the year and cut him. Can’t imagine anyone would give much of value.

    • LDS

      DeShields is connected. Shogo isn’t. It’s what we have come to expect. After all, Bell still has a job.

  4. Mark Moore

    Good to see Nick’s double … but not so great to watch Sir Strandsalot whiff at another ugly one for the 3rd out.

    At least the no-no is out of scope for Steele 🙂

  5. Wayne Nabors

    Apparently bell has to never answer for his lineups, this is by far the worst hitting lineup I’ve seen all year and maybe ever

  6. RedAlert

    Waste of time watching this today

  7. Randy Peterson

    Oh good…Reds face another lefty. Dave Kingman batting cleanup, and 1st AB with runner in scoring position, he takes the first 2 pitches right down the middle, then strikes out on a very weak swing. I’d rather see Deshields bat 2nd (speed), and Stephenson 4th in this lineup. If Bell must play Aquino and Suarez, put them 7th and 8th. The righty/lefty and lefty/righty matchups are so overrated. I guess when Bell played, if he only faced lefties, he wouldn’t have been in the lineup much. Bullpen has probably blown 20 games this year, and Bell attributed ar least 10. There’s your season right there.

    • LDS

      I do wish folks would look up Kingman’s stats. Comparing Suarez to Kingman is an insult to Kingman. Kingman hit below .200 for a season once if I remember. And never as low as Suarez who is just pathetic, especially against lefties. Bell should not have started him.

      • Randy Peterson

        Kingman was a .236 lifetime hitter, Suarez 250. My point is Suarez is turning into Kingman. HR or K.

    • Randy Peterson

      Can someone please explain to me when Castellanos scored on the wild pitch why Suarez stayed at 2B and Cabrera at 1B? Mr. Clutch, Max Schrock, comes up with yet another base hit. Had Suarez and Cabrera moved up on the wild pitch, the Reds would be in front.

  8. Mark Moore

    It’s a beautiful day at the Friendly Confines … unless you are Sonny Gray and our Reds. Going to be very hard to watch for very long today.

  9. Bet on Red

    So the only good thing here is that the Bengals start the upcomming sunday

  10. VaRedsFan

    A tale of 2 approaches:
    Happ stayed back an hit the low and away breaking pitch out of the park.

    Geno meanwhile, was in strict pull mode and was baffled by a similar pitch….whiff.

  11. RedAlert

    Reds most likely won’t sniff 3 runs with this joke of a lineup

    • Reds Fan

      We have watched “Dumb Bell” make the same moves for 3 years now but it really hurts this year when they are actually competing for a playoff spot. Coupled with a front office who apparently doesn’t have a clue, it is hard to believe the Reds even have a chance. This lineup today is unbelievable. Day in, day out, Suarez (35% strikeout rate) and Aquino (43% rate) are in the lineup. Now, we have DeShields playing and he has spent the whole year in the minors. I realize Shogo has been horrible this year but I think Bell ruined him. He played every day in Japan, against lefties and righties. Same with Moustakas. Play him every day. Can’t be as bad as Suarez. The Brach reinstatement is completely head scratching. No way he should ever be on a ML roster. Playing 1 short with position players again. Any time you bring him into a game with only a 2 run deficit, you have given up. Felt like Bell didn’t care of we won or lost yesterday. And today, first 2 batters on, I said to myself with Happ coming up, this is going to be a 3-0 game. No way the Reds can score 3 runs with this lineup. Rant over….for now.

  12. dhmorgan

    It’s little wonder that some people think the Reds just look tired.
    It gets exhausting always trying to climb out of holes after the first two innings.

    • Dimondfvr

      I agree dhMorgan. A disgusting lineup! Reds batters hacking away at everything. A guy who is not a first baseman opening the door for three runs! Maybe the Reds are invited to Labor Day cookouts and want to make sure there’s still plenty of food.

  13. Mark Moore

    And Cabrera is STILL looking for his first hit as a Red

    • Bet on Red

      yea, I am fine with holding him through Farmers paternity leave and if he hasnt produced by then, DFAing him

      • Bet on Red

        Barrero is coming up for Farmer’s paternity. The move would be needed when the paternity is up

  14. CI3J

    I have to say, in all my years watching the Reds, I can’t recall there ever being so many non-pitchers on the roster hitting below the Mendoza line in September. Heck, it used to be rare to even have ONE hitter below the line.

  15. RedAlert

    Getting carved up by Cy Steele – might not score at all

    Wild card Collapse in full effect ….glad Bell put his best available 9 in the field for this one

  16. RedsGettingBetter

    Right now the Reds look like the worst team in baseball.

  17. Kevin H

    No Naquin, No Schrock, No Votto (rest day I know) No Barnhart. Suggest to me Bell will do his left handed/right handed lineup No matter September or April. It was fun this year, but I am focusing on football.

    Until Reds get a manager, and stop using small market as a excuse they will not win.

  18. Gpod

    the reason we see all these terrible batting av. is mostly the shift, leaving one side of the field open, and batters not willing to adjust & go the other way…for Votto, a man that claims to have great bat control, just wants to mash everything & pull the ball….right into the shift…..and he’s not alone in this regard

  19. Jeffery Stroupe

    As long as Buddy in in the front office David’s job is safe no matter what.

  20. RedsGettingBetter

    This Reds team defeated the Cubs 9 games to 4 before the trade deadline when played Rizzo, Bryant, Báez, Kimbrel for them but the Reds are being stunned now without that star players … Really nothing is working proprely…

  21. Bet on Red

    Gray has calmed down, starting to mow them down, Reds need a big inning

  22. Bet on Red

    SO Cabrerra is not a 1st Baseman

  23. Doc4uk

    Cabrera again! What are they thinking? He is not even making an effort. DFA immediately!

  24. Beaufort Red

    I said I wanted Cabrera and Moustakis on my church slow pitch team. Not so sure now, still gotta catch the ball! Little humor for another crappy beginning.

    • JB

      By looks of Moose and Cabrera they would be inside the church at the baked goods sale.

  25. Mark Moore

    At this pace, it will be a mercifully fast game. It’s just very hard to watch this weak grind day after day.

  26. Jim

    At least we can stop beating a dead horse. ( strength of schedule).

  27. Indy Red Man

    This is a serious choke job. We were 12 games over and playing pretty well then they remembered that the Reds are now losers & chokers. They look like the team just playing out the string instead of the other guys? Maybe Barrero wouldn’t have done anything either but don’t they have to find out? Pathetic

    • LDS

      IRM, you know the answer. The fish rots from the head.

      • Indy Red Man

        Thats your answer for everything. Afghanistan? Bell. Delta variant reemerging? Bell

        He’s not the one hitting and pitching, but Cabrera? Fat lazy 35 year old that looks 55? He plays while Barrero gets sent down? Maybe thats on Bell. I’m sure they ask his input, but they have holes all over? Zero team speed. They started the season with half the pen consisting of retread scrubs. $29 mil on a worthless 3B platoon? IDK, but I’m pretty sure its not all on Bell

      • LDS

        In this case I was starting with castellini. But yes the entire management organization. They are mediocre at best

    • Arthur

      Who’s pitching today?? Fernando Valenzuela?? Randy Johnson?? Ron Guidry??? In their prime, they could scarcely do better against this team than any AAA left-hander a mediocre system runs out there. It’s kind of sad, really.

  28. Mark Moore

    Could it be that Jobu’s flight into Chicago got delayed? let’s see if we can put some Crooked Numbers up here in the 6th.

  29. TR

    Down 3 with 3 hits and 4 innings to go. Time for gameday to keep track and use the time for other things with a nice day in Tampa Bay.

  30. Bet on Red

    Got bases loaded no outs…. time to strike

  31. Indy Red Man

    Fat daddy Cab 5-4-3. Hope I’m wrong

  32. Mark Moore

    OUCH!!! Rough spot to take a hit. That’s gonna leave a bruise.

  33. Mark Moore

    Would now be the opportune time for Cabrera to get his first hit as a Red … maybe … please … or at least a productive Sac Fly?

    • Bet on Red

      Take a HBP RBI non plate appearance…. gets the better hitter farmer up, still no outs….and now the lefty is gone

  34. Bet on Red

    Cabrerra takes one for the team…. got a RBI ouchie

  35. Mark Moore

    I don’t like that it hit him, but given his current streak, at least we score a run and nobody out.

    And we just chased Steele.

  36. Votto4life

    Best thing Cabrera has done so far…please tell me he is a free agent after this year?

    • Mark Moore

      He was picked up as a waiver, so I believe they’d have to offer him a contract for 2022. It was a cheap experiment that isn’t paying off.

  37. Mark Moore

    How many ways can you score from 3rd base?

    • Reds Fan

      And Suarez doesn’t go to 3rd on a wild pitch!! That cost us the lead because Cabrera would have been on 2nd and would have scored on the hit by Schrock!

  38. Mark Moore

    So Farmer gets the RBI anyway … but why didn’t the other guys advance to 3rd and 2nd?

    • Joe P.

      Suarez was at 2nd, Cabrera at 1st. Suarez never moved at 2nd. He stood there, and obviously, the runner at 1st can’t break for 2nd until the runner at 2nd goes to 3rd. Looked like Cabrera wanted to go to 2nd, but couldn’t because Suarez wasn’t moving.

  39. Arthur

    Why in the world is Suarez still standing on second?? Are freaking serious???

    Wild pitch and a play at the plate – it’s all right in front of him!! What an idiot. That could cost us a run.

    • Indy Red Man

      This is a seriously flawed team. Farmer the other day….ball is going home and the 3rd base coach is waving him to 3rd but he stayed at 2nd? Slow doesn’t have mean low baseball IQ. Slow doesn’t have to mean inactive on the bases

      Cost us 1 run so far

    • Daytonnati

      His head is just not in the game. His batting slump has consumed him.

  40. RedAlert

    Suarez should have been on third ! Stupid baserunning just stupid

    • RedAlert

      Too busy worrying about blowing bubbles

    • RedAlert

      Great point Kevin … cause Bell thinks he’s smarter than everybody else

      Can’t stand him as manager of Reds

      • Chris Holbert

        +1000… I do believe he thinks he is smarter than most

  41. Mark Moore

    So this has to mean Schrock to LF and Naquin to CF for the next half.

    • Bet on Red

      one would assume perhaps moose for suarez as well

  42. Mark Moore

    Cowboy continues to call our Geno for not advancing, saying it makes it more difficult for Naquin.

    • RedAlert

      As well he should … glad he did

  43. Bet on Red

    Schrock negates the baserunning error….. New ballgame

    • Indy Red Man

      Not really even Cab scores from 2nd on a double.

    • Reds Fan

      Hate to disagree with you but the hit by Schrock would have scored Suarez and Cabrera (because he would have been on 2nd) so Suarez cost us the lead by not going to 3rd so Cabrera could take 2nd.

  44. JB

    Why wasnt Shogo pinch running for Cabrera?

    • Mark Moore

      I’m not sure Shogo is still playing for the Reds. We’ve not seen him in forever, so …

      • JB

        Lol but Shogo’s intrepreter is still in the dugout, so he must be there. Unless Bell doesnt have the heart to fire him.

  45. Mark Moore

    That was “clutch” if ever I saw it

  46. Gpod

    All moose ever does is try to hit HR’s…tired of watching it

  47. Kevin H

    Grays had thrown 66 pitches, while I understand trying to get the lead. Gray could of did what Moose did.

    • dhmorgan

      He couldn’t have done any worse.

    • Mark Moore

      Cannot argue with that logic. Gray might have actually blooped one that allowed Schrock to score.

  48. Arthur

    I know I make a lot of negative comments. So, I’m not gonna talk about Moose or Suarez again, because there is literally nothing good to say about them.

    But – that Max Schrock can flat-out put the bat on the ball. If he can play 3rd base, there is no good reason why he shouldn’t play there, and save us from the dumpster fire we have endured from our third basemen all season.

    • Votto4life

      I will be upset if we lose the Wild Card to the Phillies. We are a better team.

      • Indy Red Man

        Maybe with Hoskins out for the year. They have alot of talent! Picked up Kyle Gibson who was on the AS team.

  49. Mark Moore

    Don’t like that Phillies vs. Bernies score … need the Bernies to win, win, win so they get the absolute top spot. Need the Phillies to lose so they aren’t chasing us as closely.

  50. Votto4life

    I am not always a fan of Jeff Brantley but at least he calls out dumb mistakes. I mean I used to be annoyed at Marty and Thom with all of their negativity, but sometimes it warranted I guess.

    All of the other current Red’s broadcasters seem to turn a blind eye to it. Afraid to upset the players or owner.

  51. RedsGettingBetter

    The offense woke up now the bullpen is coming… Good luck folks!

  52. Reddawg2012

    Watching Suarez play is hard enough without the boneheaded base running mistakes. Good grief.

  53. Indy Red Man

    Sims has been nasty lately!!

    They have to find a way to blow this thing up over the offseason. Maybe sign Starling Marte? They need speed and they need to subtract these slugs from the roster. I’ve made 110% effort to give Geno a chance, but not making 3rd there on the wild pitch is insanely lazy/cowardly?? They’re not even focusing on 3rd base?

    • JB

      Personally I dont think they need to blow it up. Find some way to get rid of Suarez and Moose. Put Schrock at third ,Barrero at short. I like Winker , Naquin and Senzel in outfield. Signing Marte would be a good sign as well. Sign Givens back and Lorenzen. Farmer is utility with Senzel and you have Greene and Lodolo as guys ready for rotation.

      • Mark Moore

        Good thoughts … will take some hard decisions to make it happen. If the CBA includes that $100M floor we keep hearing about, moving some big contracts out might be a little easier to do (and cost us less to unload).

      • Indy Red Man

        No way they can get rid of both. Be hard enough to get rid of one.

      • burtgummer01

        Moose and Suarez are untradeable.Senzel can’t stay healthy and when he is he hasn’t come close to living up to his hype.
        Barrero is a huge question mark but it needs to be answered
        It all comes down to ownership,will it be another off season of doing nothing ?

      • Alan Horn

        Adam Duvall wouldn’t be a bad sign either if he is a FA after the season.

  54. Mark Moore

    Nice, stabilizing inning by Sims.

  55. Mark Moore

    Shades of Kent Tekulve on the mound

    • Mark Moore

      And a couple of ground balls as a result … if I recall Tekulve induced a bunch of those.

    • dhmorgan

      No kidding. If the Reds have difficulty hitting left handers, a right handed submariner will be a killer. They better find a way to get him out of the game.

    • Mark Moore

      The H&R page was permanently torn out of Tinker’s playbook … or so I imagine given we don’t ever seem to see it attempted.

      • Kevin H

        I didn’t know that. LOL

        Lately Bell’s decision making has hit a nerve. As I really consider myself a calm person. LOL

  56. Indy Red Man

    Bell should’ve sent Shogo in to run for Suarez and remove him from the game over that with Schrock to 3B. Baserunning on this team has been the worst in mlb for 3-4 seasons atleast from what I can tell. Slow with horrible baseball IQ. Bad leads even with 2 outs, etc etc with ZERO PROOF that Bell is holding anyone accountable?

    Pull him out of the game. That cost us a run in a playoff chase. Accountability matters

    • Arthur

      I agree with that.

      But seriously – the guy’s hitting .174, he plays poor defense, and he’s leading the world in stranding runners on base. If that won’t get him pulled, a base running mistake isn’t gonna do it.

  57. Bet on Red

    Does Miami Valley gaming have advertising right for the entire year?

    • Mark Moore

      Yes they do … and it’s AWESOME!!!

      Bring you lucky buckeye

      • Bet on Red

        no, really no….. if they purchase space for next season they need a new advertisement

  58. Indy Red Man

    Cessa may not have the greatest stuff, but the dude doesn’t hang sliders. I’ve never seen a guy throw so many and hang so few. I’m betting less then 5 since he’s been with the Reds. Antone hung them all the time. Most pitchers do

  59. JB

    You know what I like about Cowboy? He has so much to say about baseball and how its played that Sadak cant talk all the time.

  60. Reddawg2012

    Walked the leadoff hitter and he came around to score the go ahead run. I’m so shocked.

    • Arthur

      Dear Reds:

      Pay attention. Schwindel just showed you how to win baseball games. The guy was absolutely trying to hit the ball on the ground to the right side. Against the shift, and with a first baseman who hasn’t played there very much. And it works. A bunch. He gave up a chance to hit a HR to help the team win.

      Go thou and do likewise.

  61. Joe P.

    Suarez didn’t move. Rivas with a 10 pitch at bat followed by a single. Lorenzen threw a wild pitch that wasn’t handled. Signs of a loss.

    • Joe P.

      “Hit it where it’s pitched” is a foreign concept to most of these guys. Wind blowing in and they just don’t or can’t adjust.

      • A

        Agree. Very few can do it on our and on other teams..

  62. J

    Once again…. the theory that a pitcher can’t possibly go more than one inning and you’re always better off bringing in a fresh arm no matter how quickly and easily the previous guy sailed through his inning… is supported by WHAT data, exactly?

    • Arthur

      J – It is blasphemy to even suggest that a reliever pitch 2 innings!!!

      How else can we justify carrying 9 or 10 relief pitchers??

      • J

        Sorry. Sometimes I just don’t think before I type.

  63. Mark

    Such a terrible pitch and it was good go with the pitch hitting something Suarez has no clue of the concept. This years team is done and defense shifts kill this team.

  64. VaRedsFan

    Lorenzen reverting back to his previous form after a good start. Sad thing is, is that’s he’s top 3 in this Reds pen.

  65. Joe P.

    Well, at least this season’s coming to a close soon.

  66. Bet on Red

    REds have to get this turned around now. Full game under the padres needing help from the angels

  67. LGR

    Bell should be fired after not using Votto with the bases loaded in the 6th vs. a guaranteed righty on the mound. Inexcusable.

  68. Mark Moore

    And that failure to score the 4th run by Geno (and possibly 5th run by Cabrera as a result) bite us in the hiney … the run for #163 keeps looking more like a straight uphill climb and we’re almost completely out of gas.

    At least it won’t be a late night. Time to go cook some chicken and veggies.

  69. Doc

    Easiest schedule? That’s why they play the games.

    • VaRedsFan

      Exactly Doc…the schedule watchers fell in love with the easy schedule. Some guys on here think you just get show up and collect your W.

  70. Gpod

    After that 4 game sweep of the Marlins….I let myself think that this team is good & going somewhere….as a reds fan over the years, what was I thinking?

  71. Erik the Red

    So much for the easier schedule. A lot different playing under pressure than playing games in July.

  72. Brian M

    For a manager who is always playing the lefty/righty splits, tinker ends up with 3 LH hitters against a LH reliever to close the game. His awful game management has hurt this team all year

    • RedAlert

      For sure ! Reap what you sew Bell !!! SORRY STARTING LINEUP = SORRY OUTCOME

      He doesn’t get it and NEVER will , NEVER

  73. LDS

    SMH. Bad lineup, bad substitutions, bad outcome. Predictable as sunrise

  74. Indy Red Man

    Suarez staying on 2nd on a wild pitch play at the plate? That’s enough. I’m done

    Sports is supposed to provide entertainment and not frustration. Low baseball IQ might be something Bell tolerates, but I don’t have to. See you next year!

    • scotly50

      I am not yet fully to commit to being done. But I am going to only watch with one eye open from now on.

  75. J

    I’m so glad Warren will be ready soon, because it’s important to have yet another guy who can get three easy outs with 13 pitches and then get removed for no apparent reason.

  76. dhmorgan

    Phillies up 12-0 on the Brewers.
    Wonder who wants the wild card slot more?