The Reds (74-67) and the Cardinals (71-68) meet for a crucial series this weekend at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The Cardinals are just two games behind the Reds in the wild card race. The Reds are just one game behind the Padres for that second wild card spot. Buckle up, it’s about to get crazy. The Cardinals are 5-5 in their last 10 games, which isn’t anything special down the stretch, but it is better than the Reds’ 3-7 record in their last 10 games.

First pitch is at 8:15 ET. You can watch on Bally Sports Ohio or listen on 700 WLW.

Starting Pitchers

Tyler Mahle 153.1 3.76 3.85 3.91 3.75 1.21 28.2% 8.4%
Jon Lester 112.1 4.89 5.04 5.26 5.13 1.58 13.9% 8.7%


Right-hander Tyler Mahle didn’t get a quality start on Saturday against the Tigers, giving up four runs in five innings and striking out eight, but he earned the win as the offense gave him ample run support. The last time Mahle faced the Cardinals, it was at GABP in July. Mahle pitched five innings, giving up two runs on five hits with four walks and five strikeouts in a Reds victory.

Mahle continues to be dominate on the road with a 1.90 ERA in 85.1 innings. Combine that with his 3.18 ERA in 17.0 innings against St. Louis this year, and the Redlegs might be looking good tonight. However, despite Mahle’s road dominance, individual Cardinals’ batters have hit Mahle well. He’s given up four home runs to St. Louis batters in 2021, second-most among all teams he’s faced. Three players have two home runs each against him. Paul Goldschmidt only has one home run off Mahle, but owns a .400 average against him in 20 at-bats.


Can the Reds figure out Jon Lester this time around? On August 30, he pitched 6.1 innings of one hit, one run baseball with two walks and five strikeouts at GABP. The lone run was courtesy of a Kyle Farmer solo home run. This start was rather unusual for Lester in 2021, as he has an ERA close to 5.00 with the Nationals and the Cardinals, but he figured something out with his pitches that day. Either that, or as we all know, the Reds just struggle to hit left-handed pitching.

In 2021, Lester ranks among the bottom three percent of the league in K%, with just 51 strikeouts in 75.1 innings. He has struggled to strike batters out this season; however, in the last couple of weeks, Lester has since found new life. He’s still not striking out a lot of batters, but he has only given up a total of three runs in each of his last three starts.


Cincinnati Reds

St. Louis Cardinals

2B Jonathan India 2B Tommy Edman
C Tyler Stephenson 1B Paul Goldschmidt
RF Nick Castellanos LF Tyler O’Neill
1B Joey Votto 3B Nolan Arenado
3B Eugenio Suárez C Yadier Molina
LF Aristides Aquino RF Dylan Carlson
SS Jose Barrero SS Paul DeJong
CF Delino Deshields CF Harrison Bader
P Tyler Mahle P Jon Lester

Eugenio Suárez hits .405 against Lester with five home runs and 11 RBI in 37 at-bats.

News and Notes

Kyle Farmer can’t hit a home run off Lester tonight, as he goes on the paternity list presumably for the entire weekend series. Jose Barrero gets the start tonight (and hopefully all weekend).

Jesse Winker hit today, but he’s not ready yet. My guess is that he’s still at least a week away.

A very happy birthday goes out to everyone’s favorite Canadian. He should hit a home run as a birthday gift to himself.

Final Thoughts

I tweeted this on August 30th. Obviously, the Reds have continued to slide a little over the last two weeks, but they are in a much better position this season as compared to a year ago.

Coincidentally, it was a series against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium a year ago on this same weekend that started the Reds’ playoff push in 2020.  Hopefully in two weeks, we will be talking about a similar type of winning streak for our favorite baseball team.

165 Responses

  1. Old-school

    Suarez and Aquino have to hit this game and against Happ Sunday. That’s why they are in the lineup.

    Mahle is 8-0 against the NL central and 5-0 on the road against the NL central having beaten each team with a sub 2 ERA. Reds get this one if they score 4 runs and the bullpen holds.

    • LDS

      Sadly, I’m more optimistic about AA than Suarez. Regardless Suarez should not be batting 5th. He & Votto both batting back to back against LH’ers is denying what the numbers actually say.

      • greenmtred

        And yet, baseball is a funny game, isn’t it? Family dinner tonight, so I just checked in: Two hits by the Reds: homer by Suarez, homer by Votto. Barrero 0 for two, 2 runners left on base. It’s a funny game…

  2. Bet on Red

    As predicted, Farmer’s wife came through and forced the Barrero situation. Hoping that the previous lester start was a fluke. Reds have destroyed happ, and nothing says that they wont do it on Sunday. Therefore we need to take today or tomorow. Barrero needs to take advantage and produce.

  3. Slicc50

    Ok Jose Barrera, here is your chance! Make the most if it!

    • Arthur

      Let’s be honest – it doesn’t matter what Barrero does. Farmer will be back at SS Monday. He could collect 8 hits and hit 2 bombs – he’ll be sitting Monday evening.

      That’s how Bell runs his shop.

      • Danny

        To leave Farmer out of the lineup,unless he is too injured to play, would be a huge mistake. He is our best infielder, and a clutch hitter. He is all star and gold glove calabre, in my openion.

  4. Old-school

    Lester is soft tossing mix speeds lefty. Aggression and early swings is what he wants. Where is the Reds hitting approach? Go deep in counts and be comfortable hitting with 2 strikes and take pitches and what he gives you. This is like watching a QB force throws downfield into double coverage instead of taking the check down and getting 6 yards.

  5. Dennis Westrick

    With Maalox Mahle, aka “The Nibbler” on the mound tonight I predict 4 walks of which 3 of those turning into runs! If I am proven wrong I will be accepting recipes for oven-roasted crow at the end of this game! Hoping beyond hope for a win in this first of 3 games against the Dirty Birds! Key to this game is for the offense to show up & show up BIG! Time is a wastin’ boys with only 21 games left! Again, not terribly concerned about the Padres but am worried about the Phillies and, of course, the Cards!

    • Mark Moore

      Agreed. The Friars will take care of their own situation by virtue of who they play the most. We need to keep our chasers at bay and this is a good night to start that.

    • Doc

      Pluck crow.
      Place in roster oven.
      Roast until done.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      Doesn’t it ever get tiring for you to post this same stuff about Mahle and every other pitcher not being exactly what you think they should be every night? All I ever see you post about is how they are choosing to not just throw strikes as if they were actually trying to fail. Give it a rest Dennis.

  6. Mark Moore

    Time for Joey Votto to Bang on his birthday!!

    I meant his second AB tonight … obviously.

  7. Old-school

    Suarez was patient and rewarded

  8. Bet on Red

    garbage call by the ump throwing open the zone. BUT SUAREZ DOESNT CARE!!!!! Really got the Trash talk shutdown going early

  9. RedsMonk65


    Wish we faced Lester more often…..?

    Important to score first.

  10. LT

    Suarez first time up: sacala. Rain is coming tonight, just as it did when Aquinonhad 2 singles in a game.

  11. Arthur

    Incredible stat there about Mahle’s doninance on the road.

    When the only 2 names ahead of you on a pitching list are Bob Gibson, and Dwight Gooden -you are flat-out good.

    There shouldn’t even be a question as to who starts the Wild Card game – assuming we get there.

    • Old-school

      I think there’s a question. Castillo and Miley have their merits. But Mahle is a Cy young candidate on the road. He’s been outstanding and especially against the NL central. Never pitch efficient and wont be anytime soon. He could certainly pitch a few innings in SF or LA.

      Reds need to score 4 runs.

      • Danny

        Luis and Mahle have both been baffling this season, Luis was terrible his first 10 starts,but finally regained the dominance we watched for a few years. As for Mahle, just impossible to figure the home/ away performances, can’t remember anyone with that problem, playing for the Rockies might be an excuse, but can’t think of any other.

    • RedsMonk65

      Yes, although I would be torn between Mahle or Miley.

  12. LDS

    Suarez homers? I guess that place “down below” has truly frozen over.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      That’s his 26th HR this year. It’s the one positive thing he still does with some regularity.

    • Luke J

      Must be a chilly place down there after freezing over 26 times this year.

  13. RedAlert

    46 pitches in 2 innings – gonna only go 5 again tonight . Ridiculous – this guy drives me crazy the way he pitches . I just think he throws more than pitches . He has a great arm but he doesn’t use his head out there on the mound . This happens almost every single game …..

    • Old-school

      He’s 8-0 against the NL Central.
      He’s 11-5 overall

      Reds SP
      Mahle 2nd in wins, 2nd in innings, tied for first in starts, first in K’s and 2nd in ERA.

    • Arthur

      Let’s see – big game on the road. Mahle has thrown 3 shut-out innings with 5 strikeouts. Team has a 1-0 lead.

      And you are whining about his pitch count??? Seriously????

      Like some famous old guy says, “Come on, man.”

      • jazzmanbbfan

        Thank you Arthur. Some comments on here would lead people to believe Mahle must have already given up 5 runs tonight.

    • RedsMonk65

      29 other MLB teams would love to have Mahle in their rotation.

    • oklared

      Wow maybe wait until more game information in and think longer before posting. He had a great outing and has had many this year.

  14. RedAlert

    Deshields has no business starting on this team – absolutely none !!!!

    Again Bell doesn’t know how to construct a lineup with his best available 9 players . NEVER ……

    • Bet on Red

      Desheild Robbed on strike one, forced to swing on strike two. Not enough info yet Naquin can not hit lefties either

      • wkuchad

        Correct, I never want to see DeShields start another game either, but who’s your replacement? The answer is NOT Naquin vs lefties.

    • Old-school

      Deshields has no business playing on this team- let alone starting.

      • Doc

        Um, who has the two home runs tonight? Couldn’t possibly be the two guys you just said shouldn’t be playing tonight could it?

        Bell 1
        Greenmtred 0

  15. Mark Moore

    My wife just realized I switched audio feed over to WLW and we can see what’s happening before we hear it. But it beats Sadak (who was already beginning to get on my nerves … again).

  16. Mark A Verticchio

    It is sad to watch Lester carve up this line up so far, on second thought lately any pitcher with a pulse has been carving up this line up.

  17. Bet on Red

    SO did anyone see about Mike Montgomery thowing the Rosin bag at the UMP in a KBO game lol how the mighty have fallen

  18. Bet on Red

    But BUT BUT….Birthday present achievement gained

  19. Old-school

    Joey votto with the fence scraper.
    He literally tried to homer.

    If 4 solo homers does it…ok

  20. Old-school

    Suarez is contributing big time. Patient at the plate. Lester wanted no part of him and walked

  21. Mark Moore

    But … but … but …

    Joey says “Happy Birthday to me!!”

  22. Old-school

    Aquino patient and works the walk.

    India, Suarez and Aquino have walked 2nd time thru.

  23. Mark Moore

    Make Lester work … were you paying attention Jose? I know the hotel time got tedious. Time to take it out on Lester and the Dirty Birds.

  24. Bet on Red

    yes that is a great way to show that you belong here, with the two on, one out straight to short GBDP.

  25. Old-school

    Barrero crushes it
    109.1 mph

    Second hardest ball hit. Unfortunately right at SS for 6-4-3

    109 MPH!
    xBA .640. The kid will be ok.

  26. LT

    Votto still bangs! Dig deep veterans, this team needs you. Indian can only do so much.

  27. RedAlert

    And here is the exact problem for Mahle – got another run for 2-0 lead and leadoff walk – !!!!!

  28. RedAlert

    Head case all day long – HEAD CASE !!!!!

    • Old-school

      I’d be real careful labeling Mahle and using terms like head cases. Site guidelines.
      But if the shoe fits….

  29. Bet on Red

    and mahle struggles again….. so off of this guy…. Barrerros garbage DP coming back to haunt.

    • Old-school

      4 hardest hit balls in the this game per baseball savant

      Suarez 111.0 mph Home run
      Barrero 109.1 mph double play
      Votto 106.5 mph home run
      Molina 106.1 mph home run

      What exactly did Barrero do wrong? Hitting is about hitting the ball hard and swinging at the right pitches.. after that…you can t control it.
      Are you saying Barrero needs to go find Turner Ward and work on launch angle?

      • Bet on Red

        he hit directly into a ground ball double play. His batting average is lower then suarez and is roughly 20 AB away from getting stuck low. He needs to produce. Not hit the ball hard, not look good at the plate while making an out… he needs to produce. Now

      • Old-school

        Don’t hit the ball hard at 109 mph…produce.
        Ok- you win. Cant argue with dont hit the ball 109 mph with expected batting avg of .640 …do something else outcome related.

        You do realize Votto and Molina hit home runs with softer lofty balls. Turner Ward would be proud.

        You also realize Delino Deshields is 0-2 with an 83 mph ball and a 76 mph ball and no venom directed at him.
        Deshields is hitting .154 and done nothing to earn a starting MLB opportunity compared to one of the top prospects in baseball.

      • Bet on Red

        Disheilds will be corrected when Winker returns. Everyone realizes this. That’s why they are putting up with him. He is not being heralded as the next franchise position player. Barrero is. Therefore he needs to produce like he is

    • Doc

      Six innings, two runs. A quality start. A rarity among Refs starters.

  30. RedsMonk65

    Crap. Tie game. I hate Yadier. HOF player, for sure. Still hate him.

  31. Mark Moore

    Of all the players I don’t like, the Neck Tattoo is at the top of my list.

  32. RedAlert

    Same old Mahle – can’t stand prosperity and gives up dingers at the absolute worst time

    • RedAlert

      80 plus pitches in 4 innings – unbelievable .
      Dude has got to be the most inefficient pitcher in MLB .

      • jazzmanbbfan

        As I write this, 6 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs and all you can do is complain.

  33. SOQ

    He’s given up two runs. Worst pitcher ever. Give me a break

    • RedAlert

      He’s inefficient is my point – I don’t deny his stuff is really good .

      Didn’t say one word about him being the worst pitcher .

      • Old-school

        Adam Dunn struck out 200 times a year and was bad defensively and pretty lazy. He also hit 40 home runs and walked 100 times and scored 100 runs every year and was extremely valuable

        Some players are very effective yet very frustrating.

        Mahle is very effective and very valuable and very frustrating. It’s possible to be all of those.

      • Doc

        How many pitches did Nolan Ryan use to throw per game. I guess he would be similarly chastised for being pitch inefficient while throwing another no hitter.

    • Mark Moore

      It’s the 80 pitches through 4 AGAIN that has people griping. He’s just way to inefficient and he sometimes seems “afraid” of the zone. Then he grooves it and we see the results.

    • Bet on Red

      yea, noone is saying that he is a bad pitcher, he would be a great relief pitcher ala Andrew Miller, but he does not produce effectively as a starter. As the reds have at least two more options at SP, a trade or a move should be explored

      • oklared

        He is our best starter on the road and probably top 3 starter for the year. Yet you want to move him for potential players. Wow great idea.

  34. J

    Despite the expanded roster, Mahle just hit for himself in a tie game, when the best case scenario is that MAYBE he can pitch one more inning. That’s not what I would have done.

  35. vared

    Really starting to beef me when the TV broadcast continues to talk about and show graphics for the Reds’ favorable schedule down the stretch. That rosy theory has been pretty well debunked over the last few weeks.

  36. RedAlert

    Much better – there ya go Mahle !

    • RedAlert

      2 hits against Lester – brutal

      Geno stood up there like aa statue and took 2 strikes before he even decided to swing …

  37. SOQ

    He’s our #4 pitcher, and he’s come a long way since he first came up. He’s still feeling his way. He’s got poise. He’s going to be a good one in the long run.

  38. Mark A Verticchio

    No recent game has been easy for this team, can’t hit and there is no nice way to say it. Something better give soon or it is over.

  39. dhmorgan

    I see the Reds are still in a hitting slump. I wonder why.
    Pitching has not been a major problem during this dry spell.
    How many teams this year have submitted a batting order with the bottom 5 in the lineup all hitting below .200?
    Obviously the depth of this team should be a major concern during the off-season.

    • RedsMonk65

      Yes, this is much more of a concern than the pitching, at least as far as the starters go. We need hits — and runs. The starters, for the most part, have been lights out. That includes Mahle.

  40. Mark A Verticchio

    I really don’t know what else to expect from this offense. Look at the 5 – 8 hitters and the top of the order hasn’t been doing much lately thus losing 10 of 15.

  41. RedsMonk65

    Nice hit by Barrero and sac. bunt by DeShields….

  42. LT

    What did I just see? A sac to move runner to scoring position? Am I watching the Reds?

  43. Bet on Red

    All alright, gotta think that that is it for Lester as well as Mahle…. garbage hitting….but Top of the order for the next inning

  44. JB

    Cabrera brings nothing to this team. Just a waste of a roster spot.

  45. RedAlert

    And now 0-12 … geeze man

    Just awful !!!

  46. Old-school

    Mahle 6 innings

    2 runs 4 hits 2 bb 6 k
    Era 3

    Very winnable game

    Whats wrong with that ?

    Maybe direct some questions at the offense

    Jose barrero 102.9 mph single

    Memo to RLN

    Barrero and Mahle arent the problems
    Deshields and Cabrera are

  47. Mark A Verticchio

    Cabrera has been a disaster, I expected a little more than 0 for 13.

  48. Bet on Red

    Cabrera may be removed by WInkers return…. Are we allowed another Pitcher roster spot….could be used for that too…. if that is allowed. As predicted, lester out.

  49. RedsGettingBetter

    This game follows the same way as the previous one. Good pitching but totally unproductive offense. Aside the 2 home runs nothing else.

  50. Old-school

    Deshields sac bunted with 1 out

    Who does that?

    Thats definition of desperation.

    Give up a second out to get a guy to 2nd base to pass the torch to Asdrubal Cabrera with 2 outs? This roster is broken

    • bug

      The Reds team and announcers get giddy (like we’ve won the World Series) when we merely sacrifice someone to 2nd base. That’s what we’ve been reduced to. And like you say, to do it with one out is embarrassing.

      >>>Who does that?

      The Reds and Tinkerbell. That’s the only team and manager that would do that. Sparky is rolling over in his grave.

  51. Daytonnati

    Long-term, they should be, hopefully, looking at Sims as a starter.

    • Mark Moore

      I’m thinking our track record of converting RP’s to SP’s (or even having them revert to that if they did it earlier in their MiLB career) isn’t that great.

    • wkuchad

      We have 8 or more decent to great starting pitcher options for next year. Need Sims in the bullpen.

  52. DaveCT

    Lucas Sims. Yikes! Is that the pick-up this club needs? We shall see.

    Barrero singles off Lester, too.

  53. Old-school

    Pretty clear Deshields sac bunted with a .154 batting average so it wouldnt drop to .130 with another regular out

  54. SOQ

    Cards fans hate Castellanos as much as we hate Molina. I love that

    • Mark Moore

      I don’t know … I mean Molina ranks higher (or lower you might say) than even Baez for me.

  55. Old-school

    I hate to say it but this is a big game

    Reds lost 5 series in a row
    Its the cardinals . Joey votto said in may its getting late early


    Its getting late … late

    Gotta win 2/3 against cards. Period .
    It starts tonight. Gotta win now

  56. Bet on Red

    Truth time for Lorenzen, get a clean inning and it was just a blip. Mess up here….. well

  57. Indy Red Man

    2-0 then I fixed a drink and it was 2-2. I think we’re getting walked off again.
    I can’t watch this 2020 version of this team. Solo hr or two and nada. I mean nada. nothing. zero. Deshields desucks. Cabrera got bodysnatched and left with a 55 yr old fat guys body. Literally nothing…2020 all over again. If we do backdoor WC2 then we’ll get shutout. It was a fun team til Wink got hurt. Farmer was insane for a while and they played well. The future could be bright if they fix some things, but this team doesn’t have it

    • Daytonnati

      Welcome back, IRM, I can’t speak for everybody, but I, for one, have missed you! Admit it, you can’t quit them :-)D

    • Old-school

      Pretty much sums it up

      Hope is what Reds fans need

      55 yo cabrera and Deshields and 275 pound moustakis and .173 hitting suarez dont solve the offense. I quit for 4 days

      Id give it another week

      If they cant beat the cards and dominate the Pirates…ok then

      Im staying till the end of dodgers series or Winker isnt coming back . Beats 2015-19

    • Kywhi

      Benching Farmer for Barrero, like some on this site wish for, isn’t such a simple thing.

  58. LT

    Set up to a gut wrenching finish. Reds have not done well in these types of games. Hope luck strikes.

  59. Bet on Red

    Clean inning by Lorenzen…. not you Barrero

  60. GreatRedLegsFan

    Suarez is quietly approaching the 200 HR mark (188).

  61. DaveCT

    That is a pair of relievers who, on this given night, are pretty unhittable. Great to these these guys itching to compete. Good stuff.

    Sims. Lorenzen, coming out hard. Serm motivated to me.

  62. Bet on Red

    Suarez with a two-hit day? what is happening here

  63. DaveCT

    And that, right now, why we are watching first ballot Hall of Famer. He’s relentless. He’s like the Terminator, he will not stop. Ever. Every single once of us, save one or two, would take 15 years of Molina over most everybody on the club.

    • DaveCT

      He will not stop until he rips your … heart out.

      And oh yeah, Jose Barreto

    • LT

      Dig deep veterans. Sacala got 2 hits? Pitch to the back end of the order will be different with men on than base empty. Good hit Barrero!

  64. RedsMonk65

    Barrero with RBI triple! Way to go, rook!

    • Mark Moore

      Double and took 3rd is the official ruling. But the result is just as good.

    • RedAlert

      Reds front office look idiotic for sending this kid back to AAAA – should have NEVER sent him back .

      Kid can play !!!! Heck of an AB
      He better be playing SS when Farmer
      returns too

  65. Mark Moore

    Went on contact and safe!!

    Take that Neck Tattoo!

  66. DaveCT

    Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce Joses Barrero!

  67. RedsMonk65

    Barrero scoots in. Nice. Most other Reds baserunners, I daresay, would not make that play. 4-2.

  68. RedsMonk65

    Barrero erases his error with his offensive play that inning….

  69. Old-school

    Barrero head first slide into home ….,SAFE

    All you guys who said india and Stephenson in May werent proven..,, now saying Barrero hasnt proven..,

    Its like library books amnesty day… just bring the overdue books back and all is forgiven . Admit india Stephenson and Barrero are the future . Its all good . Winker was a pretty good hitter too right?

    Reds win with youth and Mahle

  70. Mark Moore

    OK … go right after HAIR-ison and send him home crying.

  71. Mark Moore

    Will we see young Barrero with Jim Day?

  72. RedsMonk65


    • Arthur

      Where’s Bet on Red’s apology for being so completely wrong about Barrero??

      You been dogging him all night – and now he sparks the win. And you go silent as the Sphinx.

      • Bet on Red

        explanation below… i was away from computer

  73. Mark Moore

    Long range weather is looking good for the 23rd and 24th. Great ticket prices either from Senior Day promo or the Bally Sports Ohio promo. I’m about ready to pull the trigger on both for me.

    Dennis is supposed to be there … anybody else?

    • Dennis Westrick

      Mark, I will be there! Gotta run! Need to check on that crow in the oven!

  74. RedAlert

    This kid better stick at SS – play Kyle at
    3rd when he gets back

    • Arthur

      I really hope he does, but that is not the Bell way.

      Next week will see Farmer back at SS. The best we might hope for is a DFA for Cabrera, and Jose as a “utility infielder.”

  75. GreatRedLegsFan

    Finally Barrera showing what he’s capable of, an outlook for next season lineup.

  76. Old-school

    Outstanding baseball game

    Barrero !!!!

    • Arthur

      Two hits, and a third rope that left the bat at 109 right at a fielder. The error was a little disappointing, though. But I bet he’s sky-high right now after sparking a win.

      And Tyler “trade him or make him a reliever” Mahle did what he has done all season long – pitch very well on the road. I believe he is now tied with Bob Gibson for consecutive road starts allowing 2 runs or less.

  77. Bet on Red

    Stepped out to take my roommate to work. SMH…. putting some crow in the microwave. Good work….now make it consistent

  78. Dennis Westrick

    That’s the way a ML bullpen is supposed to perform! One (1) down, 2 to go!

  79. Frankie Tomatoes

    The old tomato can’t sleep tonight but at least the Reds got the win and I am feeling great about that. Mahle with a good start and the offense came through when they needed to. Good relief pitching! And how about Jose!