Final R H E
Los Angeles Dodgers (94-54) 1 6 0
Cincinnati Reds (77-71) 3 6 0
W: Castillo (8-15) L: Buehler (14-4) S: Lorenzen (4)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Reds came home after a brutal road trip running out of time to get their season turned around. The Reds played in a nearly flawless game in front of the home crowd against the might Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.

Luis Castillo set the tone early and often with a dominant performance. He gave the Reds 6.1 innings of shutout baseball in arguably his biggest start of the season.

The man the Dodgers deemed unfit to play a big league shortstop came back to haunt them again. Kyle Farmer had two doubles, which ended up being part of all three runs scored on the evening.

Luis Cessa and Michael Lorenzen finished the job for a big Reds victory. The win just happened to be the Reds 77th win of the season, which is their most in as a season since 2013. The Reds will hope to get one more win this weekend to end their streak of seven consecutive series losses. The Reds will either pass the Padres and remain 1.0 game behind the Cardinals, or pass the Cardinals and be 0.5 behind the Padres for the final NL wild card spot.

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the biggest play of the game was Kyle Farmer’s 2-RBI double in the 6th inning, giving the Reds a 3-0 leadThat play increased the Reds probability of winning by 17.3% (from 73.0% to 90.3%).

Source: FanGraphs

Player of the Game

Luis Castillo: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K

Castillo was simply incredible tonight. Over 6.1 innings, the most talented offense in baseball had a .190 xBA against him. The Reds went offensive heavy in their outfield, and quite frankly, it didn’t matter since the Dodgers rarely got the ball out there.


Kyle Farmer had another big night against his former team. Farmer doubled twice. He scored the first run of the game, and drove in two more.

Luis Cessa pitched 1.2 perfect innings. His ERA with the Reds is now down to 1.42. What a pickup he has been.

Joey Votto reached base three times off Walker Buehler. He walked in the first two plate appearances and singled in the last one.

Walker Buehler vs the Reds in 2021: 5.95 ERA. Walker Buehler vs the rest of baseball in 2021: 2.16 ERA.


One of the Cardinals or Padres will win because they played each other.

Not so random thoughts…………

Jesse Winker did leave his first game back in the 8th inning. Winker winced on a swing, and then was hit by the next pitch on his elbow pad. Hopefully it was just a precautionary move as he didn’t even play a full rehab game in Louisville.

Up Next:

Dodgers at Reds
Saturday, 2:10 PM
TV: Bally Sports Ohio
Sonny Gray (3.55 xFIP) vs Max Scherzer (3.13 xFIP)

52 Responses

  1. Hanawi

    Have been thinking Mahle or Miley against the Dodgers in the WC game, but after that performance, maybe we want Castillo.

  2. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    Biggest play of game could be the Winker HBP AB, this team can never catch a break.

    No idea if that ball that drilled Winker or his swing before just ended his season. With Naquin out and Shogo with hammy, that was the worse break Reds could be subjected to after a big win. They will be forced to run DeShields out there the last 14 games….And that would be a disaster.

    • Doc

      Could put Barrero in outfield. Cabrera should be history and bring up an outfielder. Maybe Aquiño will get hot. It does seem as if this team is under a black cloud.

      • Indy Red Man

        Farmer would be the OFer in that scenario or should be. He’s played some LF I think

    • Alex Reds

      T.J. Friedl has been swinging a hot bat in Louisville lately, and he is suberp on defense. Reminds me of Ryan Freel and he would bring a lot of energy to this team.

    • greenmtred

      It sounded as though the concern was that he re-aggravated his injury. Bad news either way.

  3. Doc

    If Winker is out again it might not matter.

  4. Indy Red Man

    After the Cards play SD then its all Milw/Cubs for them. Its a real shame Luis couldn’t bring this stuff to St. Louis when we were up 4-0. That and the game where Bell let Miley give up 5 in a 7 inning game when we had 10+ pitchers in the pen? Better late then never. Atleast they woke up a little bit!

    Something tells me we might tie St. Louis so would that put the playoff to the playoff in Cincinnati since we won the season series?

    • Nick Kirby

      Yes, a Cardinals-Reds tie would mean a Game 163 in Cincinnati the day after the season ends

  5. Bet on Red

    THinking of the Negatives, Tomorrow we wake up: Here we go STL fans welcome to inning 41 of this game that started last night….. that would be the best outcome for the reds. lol. Great game really though. Hope Winker is alright

  6. LDS

    An opening series win against the Dodgers! Maybe the Reds really will sweep the series. That would be something. More importantly, the Reds have won 3 of 4 against the Dodgers this year and that’s got to make LA a bit jittery if they and the Reds are the WC game. And as an old timer, who remembers the annual battle for the Western Division, beating LA is always a good thing.

    • JayTheRed

      I have a friend who is a huge Dodgers fan but because of me her second favorite team is the Reds… lol… We had a great time watching the game online together and chatting away about the players and the game. She even said she was happy the Reds won since they are fighting for the wild card.

      We have played well against the Dodgers… Would be cool to beat them, especially since they spent way more money on their team than the Reds did.

    • TR

      There’s still some vibes around of those great Dodger series of the 1970’s when the Reds were in the NL western division.

  7. MBS

    I rarely give Farmer props, but tonight in honor of today’s RLN podcast I dub Kyle Farmer as the “Fantastic Mr. Farmer”

    • TR

      What a valuable player. Farmer answers the call where ever he’s needed.

  8. LT

    I cringe every time I read Barrero name. I thought that trendy discussion had died out. This team is finished if Winker is out again. Not matter Winker hits or not, having him in the line up makes a difference.

    • Luke J

      LOL Barrero is no trend. He the SS of the future for the Reds and a star in the making. Like it or not, you’ll be hearing his name for years to come.

  9. RedsMonk65

    THAT is the way it is done. And THAT is why this team is dangerous iF it makes the playoffs.

  10. David

    It was a Farmer’s Night Special!

    Kyle Farmer plowed the road!

    Reds win. They aren’t dead quite yet.

  11. Indy Red Man

    Hate to see Johnny Bench’s catcher HR record get broken, but Sal Perez earned it if he gets it. KC is the biggest park in mlb

    • LDS

      Difference between by a catcher and as a catcher. Bench is still ahead of him in HRs while catching just not on the season total. And RF wasn’t the chip shot that GABP apparently is.

  12. SultanofSwaff

    Remember when management said they wouldn’t bring Winker back unless he was 100% because they didn’t want to risk losing him for the stretch run? Then he seemingly forced his way back onto the active roster. Boy you can’t take anything this organization says at face value.

    • Votto4life

      Yeah, I was panned on here the other day when I said the Reds have a history of lying about injuries.

      Perhaps, lying was too strong of a word. But they always seem to downplay injuries. Either they say things that are untrue or the medical staff is incompetent.

      We saw it with Senzel, Moose, Castellanos and now Winker all this season

      • JayTheRed

        If there isn’t hope of your favorite players coming back they are probably afraid that fans won’t come see games.

      • RedsMonk65

        Maybe Naquin now, too? And don’t forget Antone….

        Not confident with anything this organization says these days…

    • greenmtred

      In some cases, it may be that the only way to know whether a player is back 100% is to ask the player. Players want to play. People are often good at self-deception.

  13. Jim t

    Is this site a reds fan site? We just beat arguably one of the best teams in the league in a must win game, have surpassed our highest win total since 2013, played one of our best games of the season and the majority of the comments are negative. So called reds fans on this site trash the players, the manager and the organization after every game win or lose. Every recap is littered with second guessers and frustrated people who think they can do a better job running the team then those actually doing the job.

    People you may want to consider enjoying the season. We are in a pennant race, have a winning record and are genuinely a fun team to follow. They have battled through much adversity to remain competitive. Give your negativity a break please and cheer for the home team.

      • Jim t

        Not trying to judge anyone Jim. I enjoy the site and reading the comments but it seems many use it to promote their agenda. Most times it’s apparent that many posting haven’t even read the article. I find that horribly insulting to the authors who spend a lot of time putting together some very good articles. I’m 68 and have been a reds fan since 1960. We have not always been a team that is battling for a playoff spot. I cherish the years we play lots of meaningful baseball games. This is one of those years and it doesn’t seem so at times while reading the comments.

        Thanks to all the moderates and posters who also add to the excitement of the season. Let’s hope it doesn’t end at game 162.

    • Luke J

      Amen. I throroughly enjoyed that game. It truly felt like 2 very good teams going to war against each other. The Reds acted like they belong. And that was fun.

    • CFD3000

      I’m with you Jim. The Reds are playing meaningful games in the second half of September. That’s great fun. And they just played a fundamentally solid game against a very good, WC favorite quality team. Castillo and Cessa pitching like Cy Young, Votto refusing to make an out, and Farmer and Barnhart with clutch hits. It was the first game I’ve watched start to finish (and not in person) in a couple weeks and I loved it.

      This has been a pretty good year to be a Reds fan. The bullpen has been heartbreaking at times, and every hitter has slumped. But Castillo’s resurgence, India and Stephenson’s emergence (plus Santillan and Gutierrez), Winker, Castellanos, Naquin and Votto all “doing damage”, and Barrero, Lopez, Greene and Lodolo knocking on the Cincinnati door have been a delight. And the Reds are in a playoff chase in September. I for one have enjoyed 2021. Go Reds!

    • Rednat

      We haven’t won a home playoff game this whole century. Pardon the negativity though

  14. RedsGettingBetter

    Tonight we saw Luis Castillo as the ace he is and we expected to be all season. Castillo has had bad luck and lack of run support which worsens his record but his ERA is solid as the FIP and xFIP are goods.. The season is still alive and Castillo should have two more starts before it comes to the end and hopefully will be like the last night one….

    • Dennis Westrick

      Best 8-15 pitcher in the majors! Seriously, LC’s won loss record should be much better and would have been had he not started so slow in April/May! When he’s hot, he’s hot! Outstanding job by Castillo and Farmer last night!

      • Doc

        I like Castillo as well as the next guy, and even in his year of the 1.12 ERA Bob Gibson had 8 losses. However, 15 losses means that the Reds trailed when Castillo left the game, or he put the go ahead run on base and that runner scored before the end of the half inning, in all 15 of those losses.

        Castillo’s ERA a month or two into the season was north of 6.00, so his 8-15 record is representative of his season. Hopefully next year he will figure out how to start the season as a dominant ace, not finally get it going in June.

  15. Hotto4Votto

    Glad Castillo showed up and shut the Dodgers down. Happy to see Farmer exact some payback on his former team. Cessa has been a very good pick up (in fact all three relievers have been welcome additions to the dumpster fire that was the bullpen most of the season). Hoping Winker is ok and just precautionary. Nice to string some wins together, keep it up.

  16. Jim t

    Excited for a great sports weekend as a Cincinnati fan. Reds win the series from the Dodgers, bearcats whip Indiana and the Bengals beat Da Bears

  17. Jim Walker

    Good to see the payback from Farmer to the Dodgers. especially versus a RH pitcher which has been his nemesis (.683 OPS in 2021 vs .857 vs LH pitching).

    Also good to see Castillo step up and truly compete. The difference Friday versus last weekend in StLouis was that when the Dodgers came after him in response to the Reds first run, he dug in and got the 2 outs to escape the inning with no damage.

    • Jim

      Don’t be surprised if the team struggles against 2 of the games best pitchers today and tomorrow, let’s keep our heads up down the stretch.

      • greenmtred

        Exactly. That was an exciting win, but excitement–like most everything else–is wisest in moderation. It will be disappointing if they don’t win another game this weekend, but it’s certainly possible and it wouldn’t negate this win.

  18. Mark A Verticchio

    Winker not starting today, I hope he isn’t gone for the season. However it would not surprise me if we don’t see Winker or Naquin again.

  19. Roger Garrett

    Starters have been really good all year and that was never a concern for me.Scoring runs was and still is and will be the rest of the year.Just have to put the best lineup out on the field each day based on who can play.Wink’s out,Naquins’s out and with it mandated that certain players must play and lets play everybody cry then its up to 3 or 4 guys to out score the other team.Last night Farmer and Tucker stepped up but they are way better hitters,neither are league average I believe,then others that will be playing.If AA,Suarez,Moose,Deshields and Cabrera play they must hit cause we have no chance if they don’t.Would have to go back and look but we haven’t scored any more then 4 runs in any game in what seems like 8 or 10 games.

    • greenmtred

      Your source for there being a mandate? It’s along season and a limited roster, particularly with the need to have so many spots taken by pitchers. You pretty much have to play everybody.

      • Roger Garrett

        I was being kind when I used the word mandate regarding certain players having to play.I just feel that Bell has to play certain guys and doesn’t have a choice regardless of how they perform because he is told to do so.If thats not true then well I must defer to the definition for insanity and I don’t believe he is insane nor do I believe you have to have so many spots taken by pitchers nor do you have to play everybody.Not now with so few games to be played.

      • greenmtred

        It’s an explanation that fits the circumstances, certainly. But it’s also true that there have been few viable alternatives for third (note that I didn’t say “none,” but the alternatives have been untried rookies, so reluctance to use them in a meaningful season is, at least, understandable) or the bullpen.

  20. Tom Mitsoff

    If the Reds are to regroup and claim the Wild Card position, it will have to be based on games like this: great pitching from start to finish. The offense has reverted to 2020 non-production, and with Winker and Naquin out for who knows how long, the pitching will have to carry the load.