The Reds came from behind to tie things up, but a defensive misplay by Max Schrock in the bottom of the 9th led the Pirates to walk things off and beat Cincinnati 5-4 on Wednesday night.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (75-71)
4 7 1
Pittsburgh Pirates (54-91)
5 10 0
W: Stratton (6-1) L: Givens (3-3)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Jonathan India got the game started right with a single into center. Max Schrock followed up with a walk to put two men on. After India moved up on a fly out to deep center by Nick Castellanos, he scored on a ground out by Joey Votto. Mike Moustakas followed up with an RBI single to bring in Schrock to give the Reds a 2-0 lead.

In the top of the 3rd inning the Reds tried to get something going again. With two outs Nick Castellanos singled. Joey Votto followed up with a double to a sliding Ben Gamel, who grabbed the ball while sitting on his butt in foul territory and fired it to the infield, where the relay then easily beat Castellanos to the plate to end the threat and the inning.

It wasn’t until the 7th inning that the Reds offense got things going again. Tucker Barnhart was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. That brought Shogo Akiyama to the plate and he singled on a ground ball between 1st and 2nd. It was Akiyama’s first hit in a literal month, snapping an 0-18 streak. With runners on the corners Jonathan India came through with a sacrifice fly to bring the Reds within a run, trailing 4-3. Max Schrock singled to keep things going, but Nick Castellanos grounded out to end the inning.

Things weren’t looking great in the 8th inning as Joey Votto and Mike Moustakas both failed to reach base against a lefty. That brought Kyle Farmer to the plate with another lefty on deck. The Pirates chose to pitch to Farmer instead of pitch around him and they paid dearly for that mistake as he hit a laser into the left field stands to tie the game up at 4-4.

Cincinnati’s offense went quietly in the top of the 9th, giving the Pirates an opportunity to walk things off with just one run in the bottom half….. and that’s exactly what happened. In the most painful way possible.

The Pitching

Vladimir Gutierrez worked around a walk in the 1st inning. The next inning wasn’t quite as easy as Jacob Stallings doubled to lead off the 2nd. But three straight ground outs allowed the Reds to escape and hold onto a 2-0 lead.

The 3rd inning, however, didn’t go the way Gutierrez and the Reds. Mitch Keller, the opposing pitcher, led off with a single. Ke’Bryan Hayes grounded into a force out and then stole second base. The Pirates then went double, triple, and sacrifice fly to make it a 3-2 game. In the 4th inning he would walk Hoy Park to lead off the inning before getting the next two outs, though Park moved up a base with each out. With lefty Yoshi Tsutsugo coming up, manager David Bell went to the bullpen and called on Justin Wilson. The first pitch he threw was lined into center and the Pirates padded their lead to make it 4-2. The next pitch was grounded to shortstop to end the inning, but the damage had been done.

Tony Santillan pitched scoreless 5th and 6th innings and picked up two strikeouts along the way. Michael Lorenzen then took over for the 7th inning and worked around a leadoff bloop single to keep the score 4-3 with the Pirates still in front.

After Kyle Farmer’s game-tying homer in the top of the 8th the Reds turned things over to Lucas Sims to keep things tied up. He did just that, striking out two in a perfect frame.

Mychael Givens came on for the bottom of the 9th inning. Ke’Bryan Hayes grounded out to Jonathan India to start the inning, but a blooper down the line in left field by Wilmer Difo was over ran by Max Schrock who whiffed on the catch, saw it land fair, then bounce into the stands for a ground-rule double to put the winning run on second base. An intentional walk to Bryan Reynolds brought Colin Moran to the plate. He grounded the ball hard to Joey Votto, who made a sliding stop and fired to first to a covering Givens to get the out, but Difo never stopped running from second, rounded third and beat the throw home from Givens with a head first slide to win the game.

Notes Worth Noting

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Pittsburgh Pirates

Thursday September 14th, 12:35pm ET

Tyler Mahle (11-5, 3.73 ERA) vs TBA

123 Responses

  1. Brian M

    Not to be overly dramatic, but the season effectively ended tonight. 7 straight series losses and now to Pittsburgh. Even a good manager couldn’t overcome poor roster composition, injuries, lack of depth, and the bullpen. And those factors sure aren’t enough to overcome a bad manager.

  2. Richard Kramer

    It’s plain and simple. The Reds don’t play smart baseball. They have a problem maintaining a winning attitude. They make the same mistakes over and over. It starts at the top and meanders its way onto the field. The Reds need to establish an identity or their brand of baseball. Look at the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Braves. Learn from the teams that have consistent success.

  3. Bet on Red

    Nick C. Crashing to earth. Keeps this up we won’t need to worry about him opting out.
    They need to Revamp Vlads starts into BP days. He is gassed and everyone can see it. He does get the first time through effectively but then its like watching someone jump off a cliff.
    Miley is over three now. If a lefty is on the mount TS starts, no if and or buts.
    Barrero can change his name as many times as he wants. Does not change the fact that the bust wall is rapidly approaching with him taking out his own players
    where is nick senzel? seriously, did he die?
    Got it Schrock was playing in a semi unfamiliar position, but he played it enough in the minors that he needed to get that ball.
    Clutch homer by farmer wasted.
    Series with the Pirates wasted.
    Bengals won last sunday and are going to cremate “Da Bears” this sunday. Cinci based crowd is saving their money for the Bengals not this set of Choke artists. The other Nick C will feel the cost of failure soon enough.
    David Bell has 16? games to prove he deserves another year.

    • Joe P.

      They need to shut Gutierrez down. For awhile there, I didn’t think he was going to be able to throw a fastball. He looks like he has a weary arm.

      • JayTheRed

        Love the guy and he is a good starter I just think he is worn out… That’s how he looks the last few games.

    • JB

      “Barrero can change his name as many times as he wants. Does not change the fact that the bust wall is rapidly approaching with him taking out his own players”
      Literally has to be the Dumbest comment ever.

      • greenmtred

        Yes. Just as it’s too early to proclaim Barrero a star, it’s much too early to call him a bust.

      • RojoB

        Not to mention that everyone knows that Senzel has a bad knee and is rehabbing in AZ.

        Ah emotions…

      • Hotto4Votto

        Not sure which part was dumber. The bust part or continuing to propagate the false narrative that Barrero took out his own player.

      • PTBNL

        Are you kidding about “took out his own player” comment? Have you literally never payed the sport before? Have you no concept that when an infielder is hustling back on a popup he is focused on the ball, its trajectory and depth in a night sky, knowing that it will be an out when it is caught and an embarrassment when it is not. His back is turned to the outfield with no idea where the outfielder is. If the outfielder is not yelling extremely loud to call him off it is the infielder’s ball till that point.

        Quite possibly the dumbest and rudest comment I’ve ever seen on here ever. It ruined all the rest of your other decent points and we will be ignoring your posts unless you take back that inane comment.

      • AMDG

        Just because David Ross would rather play washed up, mediocre infielders over Barrero, does not mean Barrero is a “bust”.

        It just means he’s not being given a chance to play. Geesh.

        That would be like calling Jonathan India a bust because he was only hitting 0.208 after his first 26 games this year.

        But India was given a chance to keep playing, and bounce out of it.

        Barrero, meanwhile has received nothing but contempt from Ross, and has not been given a chance.

      • doofus

        This guy has been hating on Barrero all week. Posting inane comments that he cannot defend seems to be the norm.

      • RojoB

        I wish David Ross was the Reds’ manager

  4. LeRoy

    It’s been a good season but too much was missing when they needed it. The Cardinals grind it out when necessary and have the organization to be there every year. One playoff game wouldn’t have been much anyway so gear up to next year and hang in there with the Reds again. Have a happy winter.

  5. Ron

    The Cardinals are on a mission. The Reds are the most lifeless contending team I have ever seen.

    • Jim Walker


      Playing like a bunch of guys that can’t wait to get the season behind them. What really happened internally over the last 6 weeks or so?

      • Frostgiant80

        Right?! I thought they were some bat flippin’ son of a guns. This team managed to be exciting almost the whole year just to lose their gusto in the playoff race? It’s actually quite perplexing.

  6. J

    At this point I’m starting to think the best case scenario is the Reds lose enough of their remaining games that it becomes at least slightly plausible that Bell won’t return next year. I’d like to imagine they’ll suddenly turn it around and find themselves in the playoffs, but everything about the body language, lack of consistent hustle, lousy strategic decisions, etc. suggests otherwise. The silver lining could be that maybe, just maybe, the organization decides they can do a little better than David Bell. That might be worth missing out on a playoff game.

    • greenmtred

      Remarkable that you guys can’t talk about anything but how bad Bell is. Last night, Castellanos stranded five–count ’em–five runners! He did the same thing in another loss recently. Would a “good’ manager bench him? The best hitters on the team aren’t hitting, and the starting pitchers are crashing to earth. Who are the stars on the bench who could have transformed this team? Managers aren’t alchemists. Bell has the players he has.

      • RojoB

        So using the same logic, when they win you can’t tell us that Bell is a good manager either. Be consistent is all in asking.

        Whether Castellanos goes 0 for 6 or 7 for 7, Bell is not a good MLB manager.

      • greenmtred

        I’m being consistent. I don’t believe that managers have much influence on wins and losses in individual games. Specific decisions can always be questioned in hindsight: why didn’t he pinch-hit player X for player Y? It might have made a difference, and it might not have. At the end of the day, great hitters fail 60% of the time. A manager’s main job is to manage the humans on his team; the game is still played by people, and people are complex. I suspect that many decisions that fans find vexing are made because of this, and not just stats.

  7. RedsMonk65

    This team, the way it has played these last two-plus weeks, doesn’t deserve to be in the playoffs. The postseason is for winning teams.

  8. Old-school

    Reds could very well be an 82-80 team when all is said and done

    They just arent very good.

    • Jim Walker

      82-80 might actually be optimistic. They have 7 with the Buccos, 4 with the Nats, and 5 combined with LAD and ChiSox. They need 7 wins out of that just for .500

    • JayTheRed

      The way they are playing… They are going to be under.500 by the end of the season.

    • doofus

      The Reds are 19-21 since we had a discussion about them winning 90 games. That was a dream.

  9. Mark A Verticchio

    There really isn’t much to say 6 and 14, what a joke. I think they have quit and that speaks poorly for Bell. I see know way he can survive what has happened, even though he is not the only one to blame. Votto and Castellanos lately Suarez, Moose, the entire season. If they don’t win tomorrow good chance they go 0 and 6 this week and go into next week 75 and 75, what an embarrassment for both the team and their fans.

    • Tim

      If they fire Bell, who are they going to hire that wants to come to Cincinnati? FO doesn’t bring in players because they are cheap. Fans bark for Barry Larkin, but if I were him I wouldn’t want to be mgr. I say keep Bell around until FO is ready to spend again. Bell will just become the next Price. I heard Dusty Baker is going to get fired in Houston. Maybe he can come back to Cincinnati. But everyone hated his pitching management. At least he won.

      • J

        Getting someone to manage a major league team isn’t actually that difficult. The Reds would have their choice of thousands of people with managerial and/or coaching and/or other relevant experience. Could they lure a superstar manager who’s won multiple playoff series? Probably not. But there are SO MANY people who could do a better job than Bell, it wouldn’t be hard to hire one if they were actually willing to do a serious national search that doesn’t consist of the usual handful of people with ties to the organization.

      • Votto4life

        I think Barry Larkin as manager would be a disaster.

        It would be a typical Reds type of move though. Make the casual fan happy. Never mind the fact that Larkin has never managed a baseball team at any level. I am really hope they won’t hire Larkin.

        I could never understand all the hate for Dusty Baker. Baker wins everywhere he goes.

        I would be excited to see the Reds hire Dusty again.

      • Randy in Chatt

        Being a manager on the major league level has many perks and competitive challenges. Lots of baseball guys would love to have that chance.

        Barry Larkin would at least stress a lot of fundamentals that the Reds sorely lack and would have the moxy to back it up (Greg Vaughn as asst. coach???). As a Hall of Famer, he would have a strong voice and respect. You can sense that he is holding back being critical of some plays/decisions as a “diplomatic” announcer. He also speaks Spanish and, BTW, he has managed the Brazil national team, while not being the 27 Yankees, at least it is some experience. Is Larkin the answer, IDK. He has witnessed this team all season as a broadcaster. I bet he has an idea of what he would do.

        If Bell goes, so does, more than likely, Derek Johnson…that would suck.

      • Randy in Chatt

        “FO is cheap” means they don’t spend money for free agents ala Pittsburgh Pirates:
        Moustakas: 4 years $64 million
        Castellanos: 4 years $64 million with two options years (of NC’s choosing)
        Miley: 2 years at $15 million and next year team option for $10 mill

        not to mention Sonny Gray’s deal, Votto’s massive deal, Suarez’ reasonable deal (that he hasn’t live up to in the last 2 years).

        They made a run on free agents and, mostly, they have panned out, I’d say. Calling the FO cheap is lazy. What free agents would you have signed and for how much, especially during a COVID year???

    • Jim Walker

      IMO, Fans should never feel embarrassed by the on the field play of teams they support. If they do, they should find a different team to support. Angry, disappointed, happy, joyful, sad yes; but embarrassed no.

      Now if players or team personnel have off the field behavior issues that are tolerated by the organization that might be different. But still any time a person is truly embarrassed by a team they support, it is time to not support that team anymore.

    • JayTheRed

      I never had issue with Dusty Baker. He managed the starting staff a lot better than Bell ever has.

      • greenmtred

        The starting staff has actually been a strength until the last few games. And this despite Castillo’s horrendous start and the loss of Bauer over the off-season. I liked Dusty, too, but this sounds like reflexive and meritless criticism.

  10. B-town fan

    I’ve remained positive this was the Reds year and that at some point over the last couple weeks the Reds would get hot down the stretch but things aren’t looking so hot with the Dodgers coming to town this weekend. What ever “it” was that the Reds had most of this season that caused them to bounce back and fight and battle, and win, they have lost “it”. As they say it’s never over till it’s over but it’s getting close.

  11. bug

    FIRE BELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He’s the worst manager in the history of the game. If enough fans demand it,..well, probably not. The more I think about it, that’s too much to ask for I guess. Too much to ask for that the Reds management would have enough brains and courage to ax him. Sad part is,..I think it’s mostly a lack of common sense. They think he’s done a great job, if I know them.

  12. Joe P.

    Go back to the 3rd inning, when the Pirates scored 3 runs.

    Instead of just conceding the 2nd run (the Pirates had a runner at 3rd with one out), the Reds play their defense in and Bryan Reynolds hits the ball down the first base line past that drawn in Reds defense. That might have been an out (the 2nd out) if your defense plays at normal depth and you play Reynolds to pull against Gutierrez. Instead it ends up a triple, then Reynolds scores on a sac fly.

    By not conceding one run to make it 2-2, we gave the Pirates a chance to get an extra run right there to take a 3-2 lead.

    Now, the Reds kept a run off the board earlier by playing in, but that was not against a hitter as good as Reynolds, that has the speed that Reynolds has. In my opinion, you just cannot play defense that aggressively against their best hitter early in the game.

    I thought that was the first key moment in the loss tonight.

    • RojoB

      I guess the players made that defensive call?

      Oh wait, it was the coaches and managers that have that decision

      • greenmtred

        Yeah, and if they’d instead done what Joe P. suggests, it might have gone south in a different way. And we’d be mad and saying that they made a dumb call. As it turned out, it was a one run game, so saving a run could have made a difference.

    • Jim Walker

      That a team is playing to protect a 1 run lead in the 3rd inning says a lot about the mindset in the dugout. Now if the man was on 3B and the #8 hitter was at the plate, that’s one thing but with one of the leading OBP guys (top 5 in NL. Batting Ave ~.300) in the league at the plate, that’s another.

      • greenmtred

        It does, Jim. But the output of the team’s best hitters for the past two weeks would put me in that mindset, too.

  13. Old-school

    David Bell is now 181-189 in his tenure as Reds manager. Its actually worse than that if u factor in his suspensions where he actually wasnt the manager in 2019

    Its nearly impossible for Bell to finish his contract with a winning record

    Hes had winning players

    The story of this seSon is rapidly becoming a managerial change-which I thought was impossible 2weeks ago

  14. Joe P.

    Right now this Reds team is not good enough to win consistently without taking a gamble or two, and they’re not good enough to afford to take a gamble.

  15. dhmorgan

    About that post game David Bell interview:
    You could see that he was straining to not be critical of the plays by Schrock and Givens. Schrock, to his credit, owned the miscue.
    I heard something today on a podcast which, with a change of name, seems to apply to a David Bell interview:
    “A David Bell interview is like a Bill Belichick interview, without the wins.”

    • Jim Walker

      There wasn’t a misplay by Givens. That entire last sequence belongs on the ledger to Votto.
      The play was in front of him. The out at 1st was NOT the last out of the inning. The guy going to 3B and rounding was the winning run. Votto has to hold the ball, get the man at 1B himself if he can but at all costs deny the winning run from scoring.

      • DataDumpster

        It was a hard hit ball and Votto did not muff the play as Givens wasn’t there to receive the relay anyway. But, you are absolutely right, Joey should have checked the runner before getting the out at first. He did not do so.

      • Still a Red

        Hard to say the play at home was in front of him, when Joey had to knock the ball down and scramble for it…barely got the guy at first, and as it was, Givens throw to the plate was on target and not grossly late. …just head’s up base running by a very fast runner, who’s probably was thinking the ball might get through…and had to head first it into home.

      • Jim Walker

        The issue is that Votto has to know and behave foremost that if run scores the game is over. The out at 1st is meaningless because it isn’t the last out of the inning. And he did not behave properly given those circumstances.

        As soon as he failed to play the ball cleanly but recovered, his focus has to shift to the management of the situation of the runner that was coming to 3B at the start of the play. Nothing else matters. That’s the basic baseball involved.

  16. LDS

    Fire Bell tomorrow. Tell JV to manage. He can’t be worse and he’s being paid enough to do both jobs. When a team is this lifeless, this dispirited, it’s hard to see it as Anything other than a management issue. Yes, I’ve beat that drum into the ground but reality keeps proving my point.

    • bug

      And you are correct in your assessment. Anybody but Bell.

  17. Bet on Red

    Padres with a mission, if the Giants dont comeback. They will overtake us as well

    • JayTheRed

      Don’t worry by next week they way this team is playing we will be way down the Wildcard list.

  18. GreatRedLegsFan

    The Reds have a good core of young players in Stephenson, India, Barrero, Senzel, Winker, Lodolo, Green, Mahle & Gutierrez, I just hope they’ll do the right management changes for next season.

    • Jon

      That core of position players is not good enough this year, with India and Stephenson playing at ROY levels. With Castellanos gone next year, that’s another massive hole. Then you have Votto, who almost certainly won’t put up this year’s numbers again. The Reds need more than management changes; they need more bats.

      • Votto4life

        Jon, I posted basically the same thing earlier in a different thread. I think there is very good chance that the 2022 Reds will be absolutely miserable.

        As you point out, the offense is not very good as things stand right now. Remove the MVP bat from the middle of the line up and this team will likely finish closer to last place than first in 2022.

    • JayTheRed

      Quit including Senzel and Barrero, Neither player has proved anything at the major league level… Well unless your basing it on hope and potential based on minor league numbers and very limited time for Senzel in the majors.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Yeah, until they prove themselves like Greene and Lodolo at the ML level they have no right to be on any list getting excited about a young core.

      • Jim Walker

        I think Barrero has done about as much MiLB proving at the AAA level as a guy can do. Yet with the season falling apart around them, the Reds cannot (won’t) even risk using him in a meaningful way at MLB. This said, correct he cannot be counted as a core guy simply because he hasn’t gotten a shot at MLB.

      • Jim Walker

        Senzel is going to present a very interesting situation this off season. If the arbitration system survives the CBA negotiations in anything remotely resembling its current format, he is a lock to be arb eligible as a Super2.

        This is despite spending literally over half of his earned MLB service time on IL. And when he has been on the field, he has only produced at an OPS/OPS+ level of .704/78 (100 is league average OPS+). And his numbers for this season (.638/65) before falling to injury were worse than his career totals.

        These career numbers are actually in the range that got Kyle Farmer nontendered as a Super2 the last offseason and resulted in him accepting a low salary two way deal for 2021.

    • Doc

      Is this the same Senzel who hasn’t played much at the MLB level, and when he has he has been less than highly impressive?

  19. Jon

    So when does Bob Castellini sell the team? It’s beyond obvious that the Reds won’t be a competitive franchise like the Cardinals, Brewers, or Rays as long as he’s the owner. The front office needs a complete overhaul, from David Bell all the way up.

  20. DataDumpster

    Don’t forget about the Phillies. They are now in position for a blocking action on the Reds after their hard fought win tonight. Forced to comeback twice in the late innings, they got their 8 hole hitter to single in the 9th. The PH for the pitcher’s spot laid down a bunt to advance the runner! The next guy grounded out to the opposite side to advance the runner to third, leaving an avenue for a score. Then, an odd pitch was delivered and it wasn’t even clear what the ball hit but it got away and the runner just trotted home with a laugh while everyone tried to figure out what happened. (Watch the replay if possible). The Phillies, Cards and in early play the Padres seem to have gotten a little bit of momentum tonight courtesy of the hometown team.

  21. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    Take solace Red’s fans, baring a miracle against Dodger’s pitching this weekend, Bell’s fate will be sealed by late Sunday afternoon, and I say good riddance to this low IQ manager. He can take his favorite player Aquino with him, the guy he played into oblivion, especially down this last ugly stretch.

    • Jon

      What’s the point if Castellini is still the owner and Krall the GM? Yes, Bell’s made plenty of questionable lineups and in-game moves. But he can only play what he is given, and half his roster wouldn’t be playing on another team trying to reach the postseason.

      • RojoB

        “ What’s the point if Castellini is still the owner ”

        This is the source most every problem I believe

  22. Jim Walker

    Something happened to this Reds team on that Milwaukee/ Miami trip (on or about Aug 24-29). They have not been the same team since. Their demeanor and play are that of a group of guys playing out the string, not guys trying to win a playoff spot.

    We may never know and maybe it isn’t our business to know but something fundamentally changed the group makeup on that trip.

    • Jon

      They picked up Cabrera? Doubt that’s it, but he’s had zero positive effect on this club.

    • Votto4life

      When did the story leak that Castellanos was going to opt out? Was it in that time frame?

      I mean it shouldn’t have been a surprised to anyone, but maybe some of the players didn’t appreciate it in the middle of a pennant race.

    • B-town fan

      Yes I agree something happened, would have loved to have been a fly in the room that week.

    • Don

      That should be an easy one, they realized as a team that winning the central division was done after the Brewers series (Aug 26th). In reality any reasonably chance was done after the Brewers swept the Reds at GABP 1st series after all-star break.

      As team they publicly tried to talk themselves into that it was not over yet (Votto said so on multiple MLB TV interviews).
      I would assume that they have tried to talk themselves into caring about the Wild Card and going to the West Coast for the one game (which as bad as the Reds vs the NL West, they realize is a one in five chance for a win at the best of times).

      Pick whatever analogy you want. Right no they are in quicksand and cannot get out, they harder they try the deeper the problem.

      • Jim Walker

        So, the players agree with the folks here that say a Wild Card spot isn’t even worth busting their tails for?

        Not saying for sure you are wrong but wow.

      • Don

        reading my comment again, it was incomplete.
        I think they are trying but it is human nature that when the realization that a top goal which was desired cannot achieved there will me a letdown that effects the human.
        This letdown will occur, and if a 2nd goal which is not as rewarding is available it is never sought after as much as the original primary goal, this occurs consciously or subconsciously to humans.

        An example, how many bronze metal Olympic games does anyone watch or desire to watch? Does every team play full out for the Bronze metal. The games are usually one sided as one team will be ecstatic with the bronze and the team which was a top favorite and was upset in the semi’s usually goes through the motions.

        The intention of the comment is that the Reds have been going through the motions and playing tense/over anxious since the reality the division is out of grasp.

        It is a comment on human nature when a goal is not achieved.

  23. Mark A Verticchio

    I agree 100%, the only thing that I can think of is the Cabrerra pick up. He has not helped at all, but I wouldn’t think that would change team chemistry but something did. As you say we will never know.

    • JayTheRed

      I hate to say it but losing Winker hurt a ton. He was a spark like India is but without them together the offense has just fizzled.

      • bug

        Winker is a competitor!!! He gets his bat on the ball when he needs to. He’s the best player on this team, by far and away. He cares. Shame he has to play with some of these others wimps, and with Tinker as his manager.

      • bug

        And that is surely not to say Winker is the only competitor or good player on this team either. I’m impressed with our youth. It’s some of these toothless oldsters that have lost their fight. (Course Miley is an oldster, and he still can play on my team all day long. He’s a man’s man!!!) And Bell is the worst manager of all time. Have I said that before? Maybe I have.

    • Jim Walker

      My vote from what is publicly known is that it was the message sent by shipping Barrero back to AAA to make room for Cabrera. At the time Moose was walking with a noticeable limp, could hardly move laterally, and wasn’t making any sort of solid contact at the plate on a consistent basis. He looked like a candidate to be returned to the IL.

      The very game following Barrero being optioned was that game where Moose failed to play any of 3 balls all of which looked very playable in the Marlins 5 run first inning with all three of the men who reached on those balls scoring. The TV team went so far as to say a healthy 3B would be expected to have made those plays. The next day newbie Tommy Thrall pulled a MartyB on the radio by saying where were some of the good defensive plays he was seeing that day the previous night when the Reds were beaten by a bunch of “bleeders” through the infield.

      If the media folks were so rankled and putting it on the air, there had to have been frustration in the clubhouse.

      • B-town fan

        Jim I think your on to something with Barrero I don’t think there is a consistent policy about how players are treated in respect to performance and what is expected of them, players don’t like being jerked around or seeing other players jerked around.
        A week ago I was looking at the standings and was staring at the Rays record and were they stood in relation to the 2 big money teams Yanks and Red Sox. It’s kind of amazing really. So I looked at there MLB site and read all the latest teams goings on. Noticed a lot of stories about young players on the cusp in the minors. Thought that was odd with a team that is leading the AL East handily by a lot of games. One story stuck out to me, they had a starting outfielder injured and they were going to bring up an outfield prospect from AAA that had been knocking on the door for a while and start him in his place until the starter came back. This is from a first place team with the season on the line. The Rays seem to have a real commitment to development and they stick with it, no matter what.

      • Still a Red

        Picking up Cabrera and sending Barreo down was a mistake, even considering the possible motivation, a veteran who’s played in the playoffs and a switch hitter. But to me the most obvious toggle switch is losing Winker… and some gassing out of India, Stephenson, and pitching. When Joey was out, Castellano and Wink held us together. When Castellanos was out, Joey pretty much by himself held us together. But no one’s picked us up with Wink out. If we can take at least one from the Dodgers, I feel there’s still a chance of getting the WC. Won’t be pretty, and maybe one and out, but to get there will redeem the season in my mind.

      • Doc

        Cabrera and DeShields were both questionable decisions, especially since Barrero and Lopez were producing in AAA.

        Obviously, in hindsight, these two were bad pickups.

  24. JayTheRed

    Just want to say it was fun before September hit. Thanks for some good memories Reds… At this rate the Reds won’t even be a .500 team.

    Castellani needs to sell the team
    Krall needs to be fired for poor team management skills. He has done nothing that shows me he is a good GM. Nothing.
    If David Bell is resigned I’m done with this team. I know he doesn’t play the games but so many of his bone head decisions have hurt the team over the course of the season. I just can’t take it.

    Oh while I’m ranting I love Vlad as a starter but honestly the guy has hit an innings wall I think he is fatigued. Watching him pitch he is not the same guy I enjoyed watching earlier in the season. You can see it in the way he pitches.

  25. Mark A Verticchio

    I think the Castellanos news along with the Cabrera signing have upset the teams chemistry. Heard a lot about Nick C going back to the Cubs, he is a good player but not sure he is a team guy. I say good riddance to him, use the money to find a younger more athletic out fielder. His play as of late has been very poor it looks like he has mailed it in. With 16 games left to have any chance at all they will need at least 11 wins. I have gone over and over the remaining games and I just can,t find 11 wins. I think it will be hard enough to find 7 to play over .500, what a disaster.

    • CI3J

      There are no good FA outfielders available next off-season. If the Reds want a young, athletic outfielder, they will need to do a blockbuster trade.

      Do you trust this front office to pull that off?

      • RichS

        Who would you trade that would be considered a “blockbuster” return? There is little value on this team.

      • RojoB

        I don’t trust the front office period

    • Reddawg2012

      I am obviously a huge Castellanos fan, but is it possible that playing so many games at GABP has inflated his numbers a bit? Take a look at his home and away splits. He’s been pretty underwhelming on the road this season.

  26. TR

    The offensive duo of Castellanos/Winker led the Reds during much of this surprising season. Then the reality of Castellanos moving on along with the injury to Winker precipitated the offensive September collapse. There’s a possibility a positive may be a managerial change.

  27. GreatRedLegsFan

    The team was not conceived to win anything from the very beginning. When considering all the roster improvisations (bullpen, SS, one starter spot), it’s clear that there wasn’t much interest by FO. I believe Bell did his best with what was given.

  28. Reddawg2012

    I know it sounds dramatic, but these last few weeks have been pretty painful. The Reds are rarely in contention and I spent all summer thinking this was the season they could finally grab a playoff spot (I have a hard time counting last season as a legit “playoff” season). Watching them completely fall apart, when they were in such a great position due to their relatively easy September schedule, has really sucked. I know it’s just sports, but man. It seems like we deserve better than this.

    • B-town fan

      Reddawg yes they had it all lined up after playing so well this summer and coming all the way back on the Padres after being down so many games to them and being in the playoffs with a commanding position and to throw it away, it’s hard to take. The Reds haven’t been in this position to take a playoff spot very often over the last 20 years and since 2013 it’s been especially brutal for the fans.

  29. BZ

    Would the Bell defenders stop pretending like Bell is some helpless damsel in distress? This collapse is on him and his inability to trust young players. The Reds needed help with their lineup, and when Winker went down, it only magnified this. Bell chose to keep the lineup status quo and fill every spot with veterans. Winker has been out a month, and Bell only managed to get Stephenson, Barrero, Lopez (when up), and Schrock in the starting lineup a combined 23 times. Once again, this was Bell’s decision. The veterans he chose to play so far during this span has hit .192:

    (Since Aug 16)
    Aquino: .112, 2 HRs, 6 RBI
    Suarez: .243, 3 HR, 5 RBI
    DeShields: .210, 0 HR, 3 RBI
    Barnhart: .272, 1 HR, 8 RBI
    Moustakas: .196, 2 HR, 7 RBI
    Cabrera: .000, 0 HR, 0 RBI

    David Bell had four young players he should have worked in somehow when he had the chance. At the very least, he should have immediately injected Barrero and Stephenson into the daily lineup. He chose for them to combine for 16 starts over 31 days. This offensive lull is on him and no one else. Even if they failed, you have to turn to two of your best offensive prospects and not simply sit on your hands.

    • RojoB

      BZ I love this whole post! The stats are gold and reinforce your point

      “ The Reds needed help with their lineup, and when Winker went down, it only magnified this. Bell chose to keep the lineup status quo and fill every spot with veterans.”

      This is a significant part of why Winker being out has hurt. The skipper hasn’t the wherewithal to mitigate the loss of his bat in the best way

    • greenmtred

      Your conclusion doesn’t follow logically from your facts: It MAY be that the young players would have pulled the Reds out of these doldrums, but you can’t assume–as many here do–that that would have been the case. Barrero had a very good game and really hasn’t hit since. It’s a very small sample size, but he certainly didn’t bust the doors down, particularly for a team still in contention. The offensive slide is easily explained by looking at what the top hitters have been doing lately–Castellanos, Votto, and India (to some extent). Would things have been better if Bell had played the young guys? Maybe, maybe not. We can’t know. What we can know is that the roster has lots of weaknesses.

  30. Roger Garrett

    Reds have pretty much mailed it in.Roster wasn’t’ good to start with and reality has set in now as the season winds down.Ninth inning showed a team on offense that did not compete with 3 awful at bats and defense misses a fly ball and allows the winning run to score from second on a grounder to first.Embarassing to be a fan of this team.Players are a direct reflection of leadership.

  31. Don

    The Reds are their record:

    Baseball Reference NL TEAM WAR
    Dodgers 50.3 (pitching 24.9)
    Giants 49.1 (pitching 22.9)
    Brewers 39.7 (pitching 21.4)
    Braves 35.6 (pitching 18.4)
    Padres 34.0 (pitching 10.4)
    Reds 31.8 (pitching 21.7)
    Cards 31.3 (pitching 3.5)
    Phillies 30.9 (pitching 15.9)
    Mets 29.8 (Pitching 12.7)

    By the stats the Reds have the worst cumulative position players contributions to WAR for all of the NL playoff contenders.
    I know summing WAR is not the way the stat was intended to be used, but it does seem to be a close predictor or a teams record relative to the other teams in the same league.

    The Reds peaked at 12 games over 500 after Game 1 in Miami after August 27th.

    The contending team with the worst cumulative position players contributions to WAR will not be an 87 win team. The baseball season marathon is having its way with the Reds as it does with almost all teams.

    This could all change with a great last 16 games (which I am hoping occurs) but if the hope is not realized.

    My conclusion would be that the Reds have not learned how to win when under extra pressure exists, this manager and group of players would appear to be crumbling under the pressure and becoming coal dust vs hardened into diamonds.

    If the Owner and Front Office really have winning as a goal, they will need to figure out what needs to be changed so that instead of becoming coal dust the 2022/23/etc.. Reds become diamonds.

  32. Votto4life

    David Bell seems like a good guy. The Players like him and he is loyal to a fault. To his own detriment. I would love to work for someone like David Bell.

    It has as been a difficult year for him losing his brother to cancer and all. When I lost my brother I was a wreck for a year.

    David Bell deserves a job in baseball. He just isn’t cut out to be a manager. It’s not a good fit for him. It’s not an easy job and that’s why there are so few who do it well.

    The Reds should cut ties with him, as soon as, the season ends so he can land a job for next season.

    Normally, I would be in favor of kicking David Bell upstairs, but the Reds really need to get away from this nepotism thing with their players, coaches, managers, front office and ownership. It’s very incestuous and is not healthy for any organization.

    • DataDumpster

      My sentiments exactly, well said. Many have brought good stats to show objectivity what most serious fans think about David Bell by observation. He is a poor manager but certainly not the worst of all time. He needs to be fired regardless of his little fan club, player loyalty (if that is a thing now), legacy or whatever else earns his keep. The bleacher report voted for the worst manager of all time and this is what it looks like:
      “(Mr. X) wasn’t just bad with one organization; he stunk up the joint with three different franchises in his managerial career. He posted identical .399 winning percentages in two-and-a-half years with Detroit (184-277) and in two-and-a-half seasons with Kansas City (174-262). His lone winning season was a 82-80 year in 2000 with Colorado. In parts of nine major league campaigns, (Mr. X) finished in last place in his division six times, and never finished above third place.”
      When you realize who (Mr. X) is, maybe that can partially explain how David Bell operates. That’s what legacy looks like, Buddy.

    • Daytonnati

      Welcome to Cincinnati. I mean the culture of the city, not just the Reds.

  33. Pat Conrad

    Why didn’t Votto throw home instead of focusing on getting the man at 1st base to end the game? Do they think everyone runs as slow as they do? The Pirates were playing to win and it showed.Reds players should be embarrassed!

  34. realist

    R.I.P. reds playoff chances. The most frustrating thing for me is having to listen to Sadak on the telecast. He has to be the most ingratiating announcer out there. It is like he is being fed lines from big Bob, trying to spin a positive on the season and the Reds. This is an epic collapse against very poor competition someone needs to answer for this mess.

  35. Mark A Verticchio

    As for Bell, they fired Dusty after making the playoffs in 10,12 and 13, after the 13 collapse and this collapse is much worse, in my opinion. Baker did have some credibility built up for keeping his job while Bell has none, last year was not much, 31 and 31.

  36. Hotto4Votto

    This stopped being any sort of fun in a hurry.

    Trying to find some humor, here’s a side note for any “Community” fans. If anyone recalls the “Remedial Chaos Theory” episode, I totally see Winker as the one who went to get the pizza and comes back to total chaos unfolding. I’m pretty sure we’re living in the darkest timeline as Reds fans.

    • Mark A Verticchio

      I have to agree about the darkest times. It’s bad when you have an awful year and the Reds have had their fair share, but to have hope all summer and then see the team you root for collapse like this is beyond reproach.

      • B-town fan

        Yes after the way the Reds played all summer and the hope that built up and then to see what is happening now, it definitely feels like a Charlie Brown and Lucy moment for us fans.

  37. Bill J

    Clinched postseason berth: Dodgers, Giants
    Almost there (90% postseason odds or better, per FanGraphs):
    Brewers, Rays, White Sox, Astros
    In good shape (50-89% postseason odds):
    Braves, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees
    In the mix (10-49% postseason odds):
    Cardinals, Padres, Reds, Phillies
    Still alive (postseason odds above 1%):
    Athletics, Mets

  38. Chris Mo

    We all love the Reds, and passionately want to see them succeed. I was that 6yr old listening to the transistor radio in bed each night as the 1975-76 Big Red Machine made me believe Cincy was supposed to win the World Series every year! Reality hit in the 1980’s.
    Starting this year out, we all knew the team had holes. Every team does, even the $250M payroll teams have issues. Readers on this site prognosticated how many wins the Reds would have, ranging from 62-95. We all had our opinions. If my memory is right, most of us thought this team would be at or around a .500 ball club. And, unsurprisingly, that is what we have. A lot of comments here have been bashing the front office or manager. I pulled some data to see if I could prove/disprove that theory. Here is what I found.

    Using WAR as a measure (not perfect, but fair measure)
    Catcher – Barnhart/Stevenson 4.0 WAR – 4th in the league
    1B – Votto 3.0 WAR – 4th in the league
    2B – India 3.8 WAR – 4th in the league
    3B – Moose/Suarez -0.5 WAR – bad
    SS – Farmer – 1.4 WAR – 11th in the league
    LF – Winker – 3.4 WAR – 2nd in the league
    CF – Naquin – 1.5 WAR – 12th in the league (Senzel -0.1 WAR)
    RF – Castellanos – 4.2 WAR – 3rd in the league

    For the year, CIN is 5th in batting, 7th in pitching, 11th in defense.
    When Winker got hurt the Reds were 3rd in batting, 10th in pitching.
    Hitting has suffered without him, pitching has been better. Makes since, lost a good player to injury, picked up some good relievers through trades.
    Those team numbers show a fairly average team, only 1 position has been bad.

    So, can we blame the pitching/bullpen?
    The Reds have 24 blown saves (6th). Mil (23) and STL (19) have been better, but the mean is 24.
    The Reds have given up 186 home runs, 42 more than MIL, 50 more than STL, but the mean is 179.
    Walks have been a problem. STL is worst at 554, CIN is next at 553. SFG is best at 384. Mean is 471.
    The Reds have given up 683 runs, the mean is 618. Walks and home runs were a problem.
    CIN ERA is 4.38, the mean is 4.05.
    Raisel Iglesias ($9.125M) a WAR of 1.8. Yes, he could have helped.
    Archie Bradley ($6.0M) a WAR of 0.1. Average.

    My guess is ownership said cut costs. Raisel was traded, Bradley wasn’t re-signed. GM did what he was told to do. Manager played the players he had, best way he could. A decent team, not great, good players did their best, and ended up where the back of the baseball card said they would, maybe a little better in some cases. As a fan I have enjoyed not losing 90+ games.

  39. Michael B. Green

    Need to re-sign Castellanos or a big bat RF. Need to sign a proven closer. Need to make a few trades to adjust roster and payroll.

    Need Winker back healthy. We flopped when he went down.

    Not sure Bell stays but I am fine if he does. He needs to emphasize base running, defense and not giving up walks though.

    If their is a manager replacement, the only guy I want to see is Larkin. He is everything great about the Reds and has been the good face of the franchise for decades. Would love to see him win a World Series as both a player and a manager.

    Rotation of Castillo, Mahle, Gray, Miley and Gutierrez with Greene and Lodolo ready is excellent.

    • Votto4life

      I am not sure what it is about Barry Larkin that makes people think he would be a successful manager. It is a completely different skill set from being a player. He has no record to go on. He was a great player, but I would prefer they hire a manager with a history of success.

      If Barry is interested in being a manager, let him start in the minors and work his way up or at least serve on a major league coaching staff before just handing him the top job.

  40. RedsMonk65

    Not sure it matters anymore (sigh), but here is the lineup for this afternoon’s game:

    Jonathan India (R) 2B
    Max Schrock (L) LF
    Nick Castellanos (R) RF
    Joey Votto (L) 1B
    Mike Moustakas (L) 3B
    Tyler Stephenson (R) C
    Kyle Farmer (R) SS
    Shogo Akiyama (L) CF
    Tyler Mahle (R) P

    • Pat Conrad

      Seriously, are we even still trying to win? If Winker can play in Louisville, he can play in Cincinnati!

      • greenmtred

        Shows you the state of the roster. Schrock and Stephenson are playing, so who exactly should Bell start to make you think he was trying to win? Barrero? Would that have been enough? He’s attained mythical status as a savior here at RLN, but I suspect you would have made that comment anyway. Pure reflex. Oh. They did win.

    • Jim Walker

      Bell said he was looking for ways to get Barrero into the lineup. Guess he is still looking. Reminds me of football coaches who say (after getting their butts kicked), “Oh we intended to get Billie Bob more carries but it just didn’t work out that way.” And I’ve yet to hear a media person really push them and say, don’t you control the play calling? Specifically, why didn’t you call more plays for Billie Bob to carry the ball?