Jayson Heyward blasted a three-run home run off Brad Brach in the bottom of the 10th inning, sending the Cincinnati Reds to their sixth consecutive extra-inning loss (dating back to June), 4-1 to the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (74-67) 1 6 1
Chicago Cubs (65-76)
4 4 0
W: Heuer (7-2) L: Brach (1-2)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

After the Reds were scoreless in the top of the 10th, Brach was brought on to face the home team in the bottom of the inning. Catcher Willson Contreras started as the “ghost runner” at second, and Patrick Wisdom immediately smoked a single to left, sending Contreras to third. Manager David Bell went to a five-man infield with two on and nobody out, but Heyward made any strategic move meaningless.

In dropping the three-game series to the Cubs, two games to one, the Reds lost their fifth consecutive series. It very much feels at the moment that Cincinnati is reverting to the offensive woes of the 2020 season. The pitching, while excellent for nine innings tonight, is not good enough to support an offense that can’t score consistently. What the Reds need is one or two players to go on a very hot streak and “put the team on their backs,” so to speak, as we have seen at times from Nick Castellanos, Joey Votto, Jesse Winker and Tyler Naquin. Without that, it’s hard to see at this point where the offense will come from.

With the Padres blowing out the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim tonight, it does appear the Reds will drop one game behind San Diego in the Wild Card race. This is not a time to give up hope, but things have to turn around in very, very, very short order.

The Offense

With two out and nobody on in the top of the fourth, Votto banged one out to left-center field to tie the game at 1-1 and set another milestone:

Jonathan India was the only Reds batter with two hits on a night when the offense accumulated only six hits total.

The Pitching

Vladimir Gutierrez bounced back from two subpar starts by allowing only two hits over five innings tonight. Unfortunately, one of the two hits was a solo shot off the bat of Reds killer Ian Happ in the bottom of the first.

As all of Redleg Nation knows, Happ’s production against Cincinnati is ridiculous:

Tony Santillan looked like the kind of bullpen stopper the Reds have been looking for all year while mowing down the Cubs in the sixth and seventh innings. I’d like to see him get a shot in the closer role with the way he’s been throwing.

Luis Cessa retired Chicago in order in the eighth on three grounders, and Mychal Givens retired the heart of the Cubs order in the ninth one-two-three to send the game to extras.

As Redleg Nation regular VaRedsFan pointed out late in the game thread, it is a very good question why Brach was brought on in the 10th inning rather than Lucas Sims, who is on an extended scoreless streak. The question was not addressed in the post-game interview with Bell on the Reds’ telecast on Bally Sports Network.

Notes Worth Noting

Some multitasking is going on for the Reds’ shortstop, and it makes you wonder what will happen roster-wise while he is away on paternity leave …

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals

Friday, September 10, 8:15 p.m. ET

Tyler Mahle (11-5, 3.76 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (5-6, 4.89 ERA)

59 Responses


    Reds deserve to lose this game, cannot hit at all! And….David Bell the idiot! Bringing in Brach of all people…he has Lucas Sim, or Justin Wilson, lefty vs lefty matchup. I would even take Amir Garrett over Brach. Why would the Reds even bring Brach back, when he was injured…why not DFA him, just like they did Hembree and Doolittle. Reds deserve to lose this game, and deserve to NOT make the playoffs, the way they are playing baseball right now!

    • Doug Gray

      Going to be the only warning, Jeff – You can question the decisions all you like. You can not call people idiots, or morons or some other like-insult. The decision can be idiotic. Do not refer to the person as such.

  2. LDS

    If not making the playoffs meant no more Bell then it would be worth it to me. I keep seeing people say that Bell is a player’s manager and how the team really likes playing for him. Frankly, I’m skeptical. It reminds me of corporate America where criticizing the boss can get you fired.

  3. Mark A Verticchio

    I just can’t believe how poorly this this team has played the last 6 series. They have won in spite of that idiot Bell all season but I think the dye has been cast. Oh well it was fun while it lasted, thank goodness for college football. Go Penn State, sorry all you Ohio State fans, but PSU was the first athletic team I fell in love with many many years ago.

    • Doug Gray

      Going to be the only warning, Mark – You can question the decisions all you like. You can not call people idiots, or morons or some other like-insult. The decision can be idiotic. Do not refer to the person as such.

      • Mark A Verticchio

        That’s fine and I am sorry, but the decision to bring in Brach was not a good one. I don’t think any one thought he would get out of the inning, turns out he didn’t even get an out, oh well.

    • Jim Walker

      Most of us Buckeye fans, at least of a certain age, are Buckeye fans for the same reason you are a Nittany Lions fan. 😉

      • Mark A Verticchio

        Thanks Jim, good luck Saturday vs Oregon should be a good one. PSU plays Ball State should win on paper but you never know. I think I will enjoy that game more than the upcoming Cardinal series. We live near St. Louis so you can imagine my distaste for the Cardinals. I hope the Reds can win one game but I don’t have much confidence in this team any more. Have a good night.

  4. Rut

    That was brutal. When Bad Brad was brought in I told my wife ‘at least we won’t be up late’…

    • Redlegs1869

      I questioned why he brought Brach in the last game, his first game off the IL. He wasn’t very good prior to being injured! Bell seems, as some on here say, to just like to play with the toys he gets. They trade for better relief, they have Sims, and he for some reason feels “obligated” to be sure to give everyone a chance so he won’t hurt their feelings. Yes, the implosion could happen to anyone, but for goodness sake, go with the hot hands. That being said, scoring once won’t win many games. But Bell MUST do all in his power to put the best possible players into big situations. It’s like he just flips a coin, or says to himself, “Well, Brad hasn’t seen much action so I think I’ll let him have a turn and see what happens.” I could have predicted what would happen and so could most Reds fans who pay attention to the season.

  5. Redsvol

    That was just a terrible effort offensively by the team. Guittierez pitched well enough to win. And I have no idea why brach is pitching in that situation when the bullpen is rested. Is Bell trying to get fired?


    I’m sorry I live half way between Chicago and Milwaukee, and I’m not in the know of why this is , but excuse my ignorance Doug who constructed this roster.What I mean is I’m 62 and looked it up , there has never been a team to carry 14 or more pitchers all year.Excusing injuries is it Krall’s wish or Bell’s, I just think hitters are exhausted and Winker injury is killing them , can you help me out, has it been said who wanted this all year , thx

  7. Bubba Woo

    Just terrible Management, both the FO and Bell. The FO insists on recalling Beach, who should have been DFA’d 2 months ago, just because they are too cheap to eat 5 weeks of a small contract, when Moreta is sitting in AAA with a 0.00 ERA. And Bell, has the option of Sims, Garrett, Wilson, a 2nd inning of Givens (they’re off tomorrow), heck, even putting Gray in for his side day tomorrow, and he puts in Beach.Just a joke.

  8. wanderin

    Why is Brach even on this team?!?
    I have been hesitant to call out the manager for this season’s farcical bullpen….but, Brach in that moment is indefensible.
    I’d rather have Blandino pitch in that situation!!!

  9. Jim Walker

    I am still trying to decide if I am more disappointed or disgusted by the effort in the 10th inning. The top of the inning was as pitiful as the bottom of it. The Cubs looked like the team with something to play for while the Reds looked like a team that couldn’t wait to get on to whatever their post game plans entailed.

    Other folks are doing a fine job of fleshing out the details so for now, I’ll stop with this.

  10. wanderin

    These past couple of weeks have been brutal.
    Not a single fun moment, when it should be the most enjoyable.
    I don’t know where this team goes from here.
    Which is it?
    Not enough talent?
    Or not enough heart?

    • Hotto4Votto

      As in many instances, it may be a combination of both. But if I were to err to one side, I’d say talent. I’ll give the team credit for battling all season. This iteration of the Reds has continued to play until the final out. Multiple times have come back from deficits just to see the bullpen give the lead right back. But the boys come back and fight another day. So, the last few weeks not withstanding, they’ve played with heart all season. Maybe the lack of reinforcements or poor roster decisions has deflated them. Maybe it’s just the toll of playing over their heads for most of the season. Or maybe they just can’t overcome losing one of their big 3 offensive threats (Winker).
      The fact is, the FO did nothing to improve this team over the winter, and in fact actively made it worse off. They let the bullpen become a dumpster fire the first 4 months of the season before finally addressing it. They did nothing to address their one stated goal of finding a SS during the off season and we’ve received 5 poor months of ABs from that spot. They’ve continued to run the same guys out at 3B who haven’t been getting it done all year. They’ve allowed prospects who are playing lights out to sit in AAA while having retreads take a place on their roster and struggle. All of that points to a talent and roster management issue.

  11. Mark A Verticchio

    I think most, if not all, Reds fans feel like they are rooting for a sinking ship, analogy. I was really hoping for game 163, even though they most likely would have lost, but just a chance to play that game kept was exciting. Now with recent events I think the dream is coming to a horrible ending and turning into a nightmare. I am really concerned they won’t play over .500. That will take 8 wins in 21 games. They have only won 5 of their last 15. I guess we can all hope for a miraculous turn around.

  12. LT

    Not sure why a lot of comments in here mostly blame Bell or front office. Players lose or win in these types of games. Offense is struggling and in general reds are not good in generating runs via hit and run or move runner through sac. We lost Winker. Nick is in a bit of a rut, hitting a number of DP. Indian is the only one that provides consistent offense. We made Alec Mills look like Koufax.

    • J

      The manager doesn’t call for any hit-and-runs. Ever. That’s probably why they’re so bad at executing them.

      • LT

        That’s a good point. But to me it’s a playing phylosophy of the organization. Can’t just happen out of the blue. If they don’t work on it in spring training, they are not gonna do it during regular season.

      • Steven Ross

        Larkin has mentioned this and we also saw it play out during the Tigers series. Bell sits back and waits for the big hit. We never utilize speed. Hinch had his team taking the extra base, stealing, and putting pressure on the D. I rarely see that with Bell.

        In the words of George Grande: get ‘um on, get ‘um over, get ‘um in.

    • Bubba Woo

      Putting a pitcher as bad as Brach in that situation during a playoff chase is indefensible. Even having Brach on the team when you have significantly better options in the organization is indefensible. If Givens goes in for another inning, or even Sims, I shrug it off to the ebbs and flows of a season. This was poor decision-making by Bell and the Castellinis cutting corners to save $$$.

    • Rich S

      Because it is Krall who assembled this team and Bell who decides who plays.

  13. J

    It’s hard to single out the most annoying thing about this game, but I’m focused on the decision to remove Cessa after he got three outs on 7 pitches.

    Removing Givens after 14 pitches might be next on the list. The combination of Cessa for two innings and Givens for two innings might have been all the Reds needed.

    If the theory is that Brach gives you a better chance to get through the 10th inning than Givens after he’d thrown 14 pitches in the 9th, I’d like to see the data supporting that theory. And if the theory is that Givens needs to be limited so that he can theoretically pitch in the next game, I would ask why the theoretical next-game situation is more important than today’s real-world situation.

    I’m not allowed to call David Bell any names, so I shall simply say these decisions are inconsistent with what I expect from a good and wise manager.

    • Arthur


      Oh -the guy with a 0.00 ERA at Louisville?? That guy? He threw a shutout inning last night, BTW.

      Can’t fathom why people think we need that kind of talent in Cincinnati.

  14. LT

    The bullpen overall is unreliable, does not matter who Bell picks to pitch at any moment. Probably the most puzzling thing Bell did lately that is a head scratcher for me at least is moving Naquin around the line up. Naquin was raking in the 2nd spot until Bell alternated him between 2nd and 6th depending if Stephenson plays. I thought that is unnecessary. It might or might not affect Naquin. It might just be a coincidence that Naquin is just streaky. But my # 1 thing is when things are working, don’t mess with it. He was smashing the. All in the 2nd slot.

  15. DaveCT

    Story line tomorrow: Reds DFA Brad Brach and activate Art Warren.

    • Doug Gray

      I doubt at least that second part. Prior to the game today Bell said that Warren needed more outings and more time in Triple-A.

      • DaveCT

        It might be somewhat irrelevant who gets activated, right? Brach is cooked. Like Hembree. Bronson might be better

  16. Jon

    Silly me thought we would roll through September, getting multiple four and five-game winning streaks. Boy was I wrong. If Brach is still on this roster and Barrero is still in AAA by Friday’s game, I will have lost any remaining faith in the front office (not that I have much currently). Nick Krall has been absolutely horrible as a GM, both in trades and roster management. I realize some of that comes from Castellini, but Krall still controls the roster.

    • RedAlert

      Agree Jon – Krall has been an absolute disaster- clueless .

  17. Hanawi

    Reds not have Moreta (who pitched another shutout inning), they have Sanmartin still at AAA. He’s a lefty that has had a couple of strong outings recently. Yet they can’t seem to find room for them on the 28 man roster. Same for guys like Lopez, Barrero, and Crook. Any one of them could provide the spark that they aren’t getting from Deshields, Cabrera, Akiyama, or Aquino right now. And Farmer, Moustakas and Suarez, though they would be less likely to go. Just no real urgency to make changes to push for a playoff spot it seems. Recycling guys that couldn’t hack it on other teams instead.

    Having said all of that, they still have time to make a move. I keep hoping one of these losses will be the one that causes them to make some changes.

  18. Votto4life

    My break down for blame
    Bob Castellini and ownership group = 50%
    Nick Krall = 20%
    David Bell = 20%
    Players = 10 %

    Honestly, the players seem to have pretty much checked out. They don’t seem to have any fight left in them. It’s hard to tell if they are choking or simply just don’t care.

    In any event there is plenty of blame to go around.

    Sometimes failure offers opportunities to make needed changes. But, if the Reds fire David Bell only to replace him with Barry Larkin, it will be a long time before this city will host another World Series.

    • TR

      Cincy is at 31 years since the last WS and counting. In my view, Barry Larkin would not be a bad change in the manager’s office but I don’t think it will happen.

    • Gary

      I have a difficult time understanding how many of you assume that Barry Larkin is the magic answer to replace David Bell, if that in fact happens. Yes, we all know Barry’s legacy on the field as a player is exemplary and then some. But that does not automatically translate to managing a winning team. And if this change should occur, just how much patience would be out there before most of you get aggravated and start calling for Barry’s head on a platter? Think about that scenario……a Hall Of Famer and a career Red NOT succeeding as a field manager and being dismissed. Sorry everyone, I guess I’m just too old school for my own good. Sparky Anderson being excluded, once upon a time candidates for big league managing jobs over the years had acquired and added to their knowledge and skill set of handling often times inflated egos and attitudes with lots of game experiences, preferably winning ones.

  19. CI3J

    Well, the Reds start their 16 “easy” games with a 1-2 record. If they don’t win at least 10 of those (meaning they can only lose 6 total, or only 4 of the remaining 13 ), then they will most likely and deservedly not make the playoffs.

    This team just looks beaten down. They could really use a young, energetic spark to inspire them. It’s too bad they don’t have a dynamic, exciting 23 year old player who has been absolutely destroying pitching and plays slick defense buried down in AAA. A player like that could possibly provide just the spark the Reds have been missing.

    Really a shame.

    Well, onto the Cards, for 3 of their remaining “tough” games. At this point, I will consider it a minor victory if the Reds don’t get swept.

  20. Kevin H

    Bell said Simms wasn’t a option, and Brach has been there before in his comments after the game. Hindsight is always 20/20. Why not bring in Hoffman for the 6th inning, then proceed. Why not bring in Garrett, Wilson, and or Hoffman for 10th inning.

    My point is Bell seems to have a excuse for everything and yes we don’t know who is or isn’t available out of the pen. I didn’t watch the game, but looking at box score, then stats Wilson, Garrett, and Hoffman hadn’t pitched for more than 2 days. I dunno, I feel this goes back to he just pitches who he feels like. Instead of “bullpen roles” On flip side, can’t win games scoring only 1 run a game. Been a fun year, but seems like the offense has run out of gas. The Cardinal series to me is a must win series, as in a sweep.

  21. Reddawg2012

    I’m not a fan of the move to bring in Brach, but that isn’t why the Reds lost the game. You have to be able to score more than a single run against the Cubs. The bats are what is holding this team back.

    • Reddawg2012

      If 5 of their last 12 games, the Reds have scored 1 run. That is not going to get it done in the heat of a playoff race.

  22. GreatRedLegsFan

    So many RH hitters in the roster with zero or next to zero offense impact (Aquino, Cabrera, Shogo, Suarez), there’re no alternatives against LH pitchers, only India and Castellanos. Tomorrow J. Lester again, we’ll see.

    • Alan Horn

      Stephenson and Farmer are ok. It is the hole you have at 3B, LF, CF and the pitchers slot against LH pitchers. That is 4 out of 9 batters that are almost an automatic out. Why Barreo and Lopez sit at AAA is beyond me. I guess it is purely about money. If we DFA AA, Moose or Suarez we lose them to another team with the Reds picking up the tab(a large tab) at least in Moose and Suarez’s cases. It goes back to who gave them the outlandish contracts. Why Brach is on the team with Moreta sitting at AAA with a zero ERA is beyond comprehension. Even Castellanous one sided contract is bad. The only way he fulfills his contract is if he plays too poorly to earn it. If he earns it, he is gone. Why would anyone give that type of contract? The Reds need to quit with the nepotism and bring in someone who knows how to run a ML baseball club. The scouting and development seem to be pretty good. The pitching coaches seem to be good. Nobody could do much with the BP given them for much of the season. I think they bought into the notion that Johnson and crew could turn water into wine. It is still only water and it became stagnant over the course of the season.

  23. Steven Ross

    When Sadak said, Brach is warming up in the bullpen, I said to the cats, game over.

    I do my best to defend Bell’s decisions, most of the time, but last night was a head scratcher. You just can’t go with Brach in the 10th in a 1-1 game. I also question why he didn’t walk Heyward.

    Why isn’t Moreta up here?

    • James Dennis Westrick

      Funny! I said the same thing to my cat and my son’s 2 cats! They were indifferent as usual.

  24. Still a Red

    No matter the b and m going on about specific Bell decisions, it is the offense that has gone south. Is it the loss of Winker? Sure seems so. Despite 2 DPs last night, which are costly, Castellanos is back. India has got to get on, which he has, but a bit more erratically of late (a number of 0-4 games). A long power outage from Joey. Even though he gave his little skip and jump around 3rd, there was no cha-cha going back to the dugout. Haven’t had Moose or Suarez all year so not sure they’re the cause (although it should would be great if one of them could get hot…Moose did last year this time, but?). Farmer, Barnhart, Naquin, and now Shrock seem to be hitting their average. We’ve stopped big scoring early. Not adding runs througout the game. What has been our BIBP during and prior to this slump…maybe we were more lucky earlier. Law of averages kicking in? Hit and runs…gotta have people on. Stretching singles to doubles and scoring…gotta have runners.
    Gotta keep the the troops up emotionally. We are still in the hunt for WC2.

  25. RedsGettingBetter

    What are we gonna expect from the coming series against Cards at Busch? Maybe Will they sweep us? or will we take one of two again as much? The Reds team looks to be a sinking ship and his captain (Bell) is not helping either…

  26. Hotto4Votto

    I have faith in literally every other reliever over Brach. Why in the world do you pitch Brach when there are other options. I’m not sure he should be on the roster let alone pitching high leverage innings. Generally, I try to give Bell some benefit of the doubt, but this was absolutely a head scratcher in every way. The Reds need all the wins they can get, and Bell just gave a chance at one away.

  27. Mark Moore

    This was just so painful to watch. Our hope lifted up only to be dashed once again at the hands of the bullpen, questionable Tinkering, and the Stupid Cubs.

    It’s going to take a sweep in St. Louis to really turn this around and get momentum back … at least that’s my perspective.

  28. Doc4uk

    Must cut Akiyama and Brach immediately. Place Garrett on the IL indefinitely and hope he learns a new pitch that he can get batters out with over the winter. Force him to play winter ball somewhere. Cut Cabrera immediately That gives you three spots and four when Farmer goes paternity.

    We are stuck with Moose and Suarez until their contracts run out but save them as DH for next year. Cut Wilson as well since he will not be here next season and it is clear Bell has little confidence in him

    Bring up Moreta and San Martin and Greene or Ashcroft plus Friedl and Barrera and Lopez ( until Farmer returns) They cannot do any worse than what we have currently.

    Time for the youth movement and rebuild to start in earnest The Cubs are doing pretty well after trading off all of their high priced veterans

  29. JB

    Every Reds fan watching last night knew the outcome when Brach came in. Like a bad accident your mom told you not to look at when you drove by but you had to. We could have turned the tv off when Brach was warming up and gone to bed knowing the outcome but Noooo we had to watch. Brad Brach did not disappoint. Not only did he give up the winning run but he did it in a style only Brad Brach could achieve. He gave up a missile launched into space that hasnt come down still this morning to a guy who basically is having the worst year of his career ala Eugenio Suarez. Heyward! Heyward of all people! If it was Happ I could sleep knowing it was a Reds killer. A modern day Billy Hall, Ryan Braun or God help us when I say the immortal ultimate Reds killer ” One who must not be named” LANCE FLIPPIN BERKMAN!!!! This organization is a mess. Thank God its football season.

  30. Bill J

    Talk of signing Castellanos to a huge contract i would say no. I know these have changed no but, the beginning of the year a couple of examples of team salaries: Yankees $197.6 million
    Rays $66.7 million

    Reds $122.2 million
    Brewers $99.3 million

    Currently Yankees are 9.5 games behind the Rays, the Reds are 12 games behind the Brewers. The Reds need people who can identify talent and develop it properly to have a successful team.

    • KDJ

      Good observation. Thanks for the post.

    • Gary

      Your last sentence was completely spot on correct. “The Reds need people who can identify talent AND develop it properly to have a successful team.”

      Prior to the Marge Schott era, the Reds’ scouting and player development departments were top notch and highly thought of throughout Major and Minor League Baseball. But not so much anymore.

      And I might add that “developing it properly” INCLUDES the use of running speed (as in teaching and utilizing the stolen base), INCLUDES the coaching and teaching of hitting the ball the opposite way for the hit and run, INCLUDES the notion of moving the runners over when necessary, INCLUDES the notion of using speed to get the stolen base game back, and INCLUDES what used to be known as “putting down a good drag or sacrifice bunt”. SPEED CREATS ERRORS. How about infusing this team with guys who can pick ’em up and lay ’em down? The long ball or strikeout philosophy is not working for this team, clearly. Get back to how the game was meant to be played.

      • Gary

        sorry, typo in my narrative, I meant “creates” and not “creats”

  31. VegasRed

    It is apparent that almost everyone on this board knows the things that don’t make good baseball sense with the management of this team. Doug certainly has summed up what we all can see in a number of fact filled articles.

    What no one can answer is why the inanity continues.

    This team is screaming out in agony for leadership to no avail.

    I keep seeing no hope in the FO or field level management for any sign of recognition of its own ineptitude.

    Bell is a lightening rod because he has to speak to the media everyday and by opening his mouth thus reveals his cluelessness. Bobby is insulated by Krall and tinker and so we fans never see any accountability from anyone in management.

    The irony is this year has shown the most promise of any reds team in most of the last decade but has also been the most frustrating to us fans by far, again due to the inexplicably woeful management.

    I’m sure glad football season is here. We can stick a fork in this baseball season

    • TR

      My high school didn’t have a football team but I love the game , pro and college. It has a lot of strategy. But baseball is a constant interest with the playoffs, offseason, spring training and opening day.