The Cincinnati Reds 9th inning rally fell short on Thursday night in a 3-2 loss to the Washington Nationals.

Final R H E
Washington Nationals (64-89) 3 8 1
Cincinnati Reds (78-75) 2 6 0
W: Corbin (9-15) L: Castillo (8-16) SV: Finnegan (11)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati had a runner on in the 1st inning thanks to a Tyler Stephenson single, but he was stranded on first. Delino DeShields walked in the 2nd and stole a base, but he was also caught stealing third to end the inning.

In the 3rd inning the Reds got a little help from the Nationals to start things as Luis Garcia couldn’t handle a grounder from Jose Barrero to begin the inning. After a sacrifice bunt, both Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson walked without seeing a single strike to load the bases for Nick Castellanos. But Patrick Corbin was able to strike both Castellanos and Joey Votto out to leave the bases loaded and hold onto the Washington 1-0 lead.

In the next inning the Reds got a walk from Kyle Farmer and a single from Jose Barrero to put runners on the corners, but that brought Luis Castillo to the plate and he grounded out to end the inning. Joey Votto singled in the 6th, but he was erased on a double play. Delino DeShields doubled to lead off the 7th inning but the Reds came up empty on cashing in a baserunner once again.

After not scoring in the 8th inning the Cincinnati offense had one last opportunity to avoid being shutout. Eugenio Suárez led off the bottom of the 9th with a single. Max Schrock came off of the bench to pinch hit for Delino DeShields and the move paid off as he lined a triple down the right field line to put the Reds on the board and make it a 3-1 game. Tucker Barnhart then came off of the bench to pinch hit for Jose Barrero. He grounded out to bring in Schrock and make it 3-2. TJ Friedl then pinch hit for reliever Art Warren, but he flew out to center for the 2nd out of the inning. Jonathan India worked a full count before being hit by a pitch on the hand. After being checked out by the trainer he stayed on to run the bases. Tyler Stephenson battled, but he struck out to end the game as the Reds fell to 78-75 on the season.

The Pitching

Luis Castillo didn’t get out to the best start. He allowed a 1-out double to Alcides Escobar and walked Juan Soto, but he got out of the jam with back-to-back fly outs. He would get the Nationals in order in the 2nd inning, but the 3rd inning didn’t go as planned. Washington put together three singles in the inning to take a 1-0 lead.

Luis Castillo was cruising over the next few innings, but in the top of the 6th inning Juan Soto led off the inning with a solo homer to extend the Nationals lead to 2-0. Castillo then walked Josh Bell and gave up a 1-out double to Keibert Ruiz as Washington put two runners in scoring position. Carter Kieboom struck out and then the Reds intentionally walked Andrew Stevenson to get to Patrick Corbin and it worked out as he struck out to end the inning.

Luis Cessa came on for the 7th inning. After retiring the first two batters of the inning Juan Soto added a second homer of the game to make it 3-0. Amir Garrett took over in the 8th and went 1-2-3 to hold the score at 3-0. Art Warren pitched a perfect 9th with two strikeouts to give the Reds a chance to win it with a slam. The Reds rallied, but they couldn’t quite claw the entire way back as they fell a run short in the bottom of the 9th.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Washington Nationals vs Cincinnati Reds

Friday September 24th, 7:10pm ET

Paolo Espino (5-5, 3.94 ERA) vs Sonny Gray (7-8, 3.84 ERA)

73 Responses

  1. Bet on Red

    So we beat the Nationals, but lost to Juan Soto? J/k

    • Indy Red Man

      Best hitter in the game. I don’t even think Trout was up and mashing at 19. Thats crazy!

      What do they do with Schrock? I went all Van Meter on him immediately with a man crush, but I’m sure the Reds will just see him as a bench piece. 5 for 5 off Stroman convinced me he can make it! It probably convinced him!

  2. Rut

    Good grief, even the worst lefties just stymie the Reds.

    If I were in charge of any team playing the Reds I would stack LH SP, even happily get any AAA lefty in system and pretty guarantee a series win if not a sweep.

    Shoot, I would even kick Jamie Moyer’s tires and sign him if we had availability

    • Redsvol

      Another left handed pitcher, another mediocre hitting performance. It’s almost like nick has given up. This lack of being able to hit lefties has to addressed this off season. And also the inability to get a runner on 2nd with no outs home. Man, put the ball in play to the opposite side or hit a sacrifice fly please. It’s like we’ve never seen a left handed pitcher before. Right handlers ought to feast on the likes of Patrick Corbin.

      • Still a Red

        Or bunt them over!!! Something!

      • RedsGettingBetter

        I remembered Bell saying a month ago when the fading began that the poor performance against lefties was because of they had faced a few of them at that moment but they went to see a lot in the next games so it went figured out as long as the matches were played… So absurd considering they are major league players… By the way , the problem could has not figured out either as it is on his way to the 2022 season

  3. Votto4life

    Luis Castillo now with 16 losses just wow.

    • Randy Peterson

      The Reds’ supposed top 2 pitchers, Luis Castillo 8-16 4.05 & Sonny Gray 7-8 3.94.

  4. Old-school

    5.5 games out with 9 to play

    Cards have DH tomorrow

    What do the reds do today at SS?
    Are they really going to play Farmer to the finish in a lost season ?

    Its one thing to say were in a pennant race and dont want to break mojo…. But mojo and pennant fever left weeks ago

  5. Old-school

    5.5 games out with 9 to play

    Cards have DH tomorrow

    What do the reds do today at SS?
    Are they really going to play Farmer to the finish in a lost season ?

    Its one thing to say were in a pennant race and dont want to break mojo…. But mojo and pennant fever left weeks ago

    • DaceCT

      Farmer is a pro. He’ll get it. He’s proven himself for the year, though I suspect he’ll always have to do that. Farmer bow get a head start in hernia surgery

      Unless Barrero is the 3022 CF, just play him.

      • Austin Price

        I think you´re on to something with Berrero in CF. The team has a massive hole there worse than SS. The also don´t have other CF prospects coming anytime soon. At SS there is more organizational depth and free agent options.

    • greenmtred

      I wonder whether they view Barrero as a possible centerfielder of the future? They’re thin at the position, and if Senzel doesn’t come back, they’d want, I would think, a young, athletic option. It’s not really sacrilege to change a player’s position: ask Pete Rose or Tony Perez.

  6. RedsFaninVA

    It’s a good thing our hitting coach is returning, because we need someone to make sure that our big hitters continue to strike out with the bases loaded and less than two outs.

    • Greenfield Red

      I’ll go out on a limb and say the disappointing news regarding, Bell, Boddy, et al this week comes down to money. The ones they retained probably work cheap. The real difference makers who left wa tex more. Just a guess.

    • Votto4life

      I don’t think hitting coaches have much of an impact of a player’s performance. I think pitching coaches have some impact, but even they are overrated.

  7. JayTheRed

    3 more losses and we are a .500 team. Shakes head….. Sad just sad.

  8. Votto4life

    After a terrible off season, I was convinced the Reds would win no more than 76 games.

    In August, the Reds were 12 games over .500 and my prediction looked pretty foolish.

    Now, the Reds are just 3 games over .500 and although the Reds will win more than 76 games, it won’t be much more.

    The Reds are now in danger of finishing under .500. This is one of the worst collapses I can recall for a Reds team.

    I really hope someone (Doug) will perform an autopsy on this team and explain what happen the final month of the season.

    I’m not sure how to feel about next year. I don’t know if I should be excited because of how well this team played for the first five months of this season or if I should be depressed that this happened and next year will be more of same.

    I guess the good news is there will likely be expanded play-offs next season.

    Maybe the Reds will be able to sneak into the post season next year as the 8th best team in the National League.

    This has been the strangest baseball season in my lifetime.

    • Ryan

      Expanded playoffs? Yay just like hockey! Why not let everyone in (1 plays 32) and we can have baseball into December?

      • Jim Walker

        Hockey lets half the teams in (16). A couple of years back the team I follow was last in from their conference. In the opening #1 vs #16 series, they won in 4 straight. In the next round, they faced the conference #2 and lost in 6 games. That team went on to win Stanley Cup.

        Afterwards, the Cup winners said that the 2nd round series (vs their conference #8) was the toughest series of the 4 they played in and that it easily might have gone against them even though they won it 4-2.

        More teams are let in because it is more exciting for more fans. And it balances the body of work across a season versus teams that come together later but over the last third to half of the season are playing as good or better hockey as anyone in the league.

        I’d like to see MLB go to 6 teams from each “league”. The top 2 divisional winners get byes to the 2nd round. The lowest divisional winner and the 3 wildcards play in best of three with all 3 games on the home field of the higher seeded team. Once they are down to 4 (from each league) it plays out just like now after the single game WC play in.

  9. B-town fan

    The collapse continues……..but it wouldn’t have mattered, St Louis beat the Brewers again. The playoffs were lost a couple weeks ago but I was too naive and hopeful to accept it. I thought they would get hot at some point, but nope!

    • Greenfield Red

      I don’t understand wa ting WC2. It would have increased the Reds scoreless playoff streak by 9 innings. At least now they will more up a couple of draft choices… not that it matters much since the minor league difference makers moved on.

      Sad, how to gut a franchise in 3 days.

      • Jim Walker

        See what I wrote above about playoff expansion. If you are in anything can happen. If you are out you are out. The early success of Wild Cards in MLB (off the top of my head, I believe at least 2 WC teams have gone on to win the World Series) is why they have tried to stack things against the WC teams.

        As one of the state lotteries used to advertise if your don’t play, you can’t win.

  10. KDJ

    Just looking for a positive here . . . If our guys had held onto the second wildcard and lost, I could see the management just staying with what we have and not making any significant off-season improvements. This year showed that the playoffs are within reach with a couple substantial improvements. I just hope they make those improvements.

  11. Mark A Verticchio

    After this collapse the Reds are going to have a hard time winning back their fans, myself included, for several reasons.
    1. After this collapse you bring back a very poor manager.
    2. You lose Castellanos , it won’t bother me.
    3. Votto a year older.
    4. The 3rd base situation.
    5. Who is going to play short
    6. The bull pen and the way Bell handles it
    7. Most important of all after an epic collapse like this even a good star won’t convince fans it might not happen again
    8. Many more including a horrible front office.

    • LDS

      I’m willing to bet that Castellanos simply dislikes Bell. They didn’t get off to a good start. Castellanos wants to win and the Reds apparently don’t. That’s why the opt out rumor surfaced. Just guessing but typical behaviors in corporate America. I doubt ball players are much different.

      • Indy Red Man

        You’re assuming there…..who knows how Castellanos feels? I know he hasn’t been the same since Milw hit him in the wrist. Plus he was always going to opt out once he blew up and made the AS team.

      • Jim t

        Now we are going to create the rumor that Nick C doesn’t like Bell? Your agenda has know boundaries. If he leaves it will be about money and what he gets on open market.

      • LDS

        I said I was willing to bet. Not the same as a rumor or a fact. We know from their early season run in that they have had significant disagreements.

      • greenmtred

        That must be the explanation: the Reds don’t want to win. None of them. Why they are playing is mysterious, since winning is the goal of games, but there’s something evil and twisted afoot: the team, top to bottom, is populated by imposters who are, for some reason, trying (and succeeding) to make their fans unhappy.

      • Jim t

        You are suggesting he does not like Bell. Give me some facts. Reference the run ins. The only thing I can remember is Nick C not wanting to be taken out for defensive purposes. He was taking extra fielding to eliminate that issue and I don’t think it’s been a issue. Perhaps you can provide some evidence of him not liking Bell. Everything I have read is the players get along very well with him.

      • LDS

        We’ll close this thread on wanting to win by stating you don’t go all in every time you’re holding a pair of deuces.

    • TR

      As a lifetime Reds fan of almost 80 years, I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs. These things happen to all teams, although maybe they happen to the Reds somewhat more than to others. The young core and the overall pitching have the Reds going in the right direction. A lot will happen, I believe, this offseason with trades, changes in the front office and maybe a new GM. A good start next year or a long winning streak will bring the crowds back.

      • Chris Holbert

        The young core has to be allowed to play

  12. Frankie Tomatoes

    This collapse has taken so much fun away from the season that had been happening.

    • Jim Walker

      Hey, something 99.9% of can all agree with. 😉

  13. Mark A Verticchio

    I agree that he may dislike Bell, but that should not effect his performance. A lot of players don’t like their managers, but since the All Star break Nick’s performance has not been anything special and during the last 28 games, the collapse, it has been down right awful and you can tell his attitude has not been good. Let’s just say he has checked out and if Bell had any guts he would sit him, lately he is doing more harm than good. Never been a big fan of Nick, when he is going bad he doesn’t know how to even make productive outs. He will be gone in 9 games and I say good riddance.

    • LDS

      But Bell hasn’t shown he’s capable of those kinds of decisions. Maybe ownership and the FO will surprise us all and make some decent off season moves. I saw a pig fly by not that long ago.

      • greenmtred

        Sit Castellanos and play whom in his place? They’re no longer loaded with serviceable outfielders. It’s much easier to sit a player when you have strong options.

    • Randy Peterson

      He has been pulling off of the ball horribly at the plate.

    • Indy Red Man

      He’s just worn down. I quit watching, but he always hustles. His whole career with Detroit was in garbage time so its nothing new. Breaking his wrist has more to do with it then anything else.

      Also if you want guys that can make productive outs then you better find a new team because this whole teams sucks at it. Worst I’ve ever seen with situational hitting. Even the guys like Nick that go the other way can’t put the bat on the ball when decent contact scores a run.

  14. Joe P.

    GABP giveth, GABP taketh away. Those 2 HRs by Soto have to be the cheapest HRs I’ve ever seen one player hit in one game.

    • Jim Walker

      True but on the other hand not so cheap that the Reds could hit even 1.

  15. Slicc50

    Man guys, this may be it for me. This month has been just unbelievably bad. I don’t know what has happened, but this team sucks now! David Bell should not have been brought back! Period! Someone has to take the fall when this happens.

    To make matters worse, we could have been finding out what we have in a couple of young guys in this stretch. We couldn’t even do that! UN- BELIEVABLE.

    P.s. if Nick C. leaves, he leaves. This is two years in a row he has collapsed down the stretch. Don’t need a guy like that around anyway.

  16. Allan

    Although there are a combination of factors ie their bullpen, I still say that after Winker got hurt the team was never the same.

  17. Alan Horn

    Another option for RF to replace Castellanos just became potentially available. Avisail Garcia of the Brewers can opt out(his choice). His numbers are almost identical to Castellanous’s numbers. The Brewers can offer him a QO. He is a right handed bat which we desperately need. His numbers would likely be even better in Great American Ball Park.

    • CI3J

      Why would he want to leave the Brewers to come to the Reds? If you say “money”, I can guarantee you that’s not the only thing unless the Reds pay him way, way more than what the Brewers offer, and with this FO, do you see that happening?

      • Alan Horn

        He is a bit of a gamble as this season is the only one that he has put up the kind of numbers he has. He is making 10 million a year. The Reds are paying Castellanos 17 million, so there is some wiggle room. But like you said, it is the Reds FO, so who knows.

  18. GR

    Losing Kyle Boddy, signing David Bell to a 2 year extension and a listless offense pretty much sums up the last month of the season.

    Good times await next season. Hope I am wrong.

  19. Hotto4Votto

    Stick a fork in them. There’s just no spark left. This team gave up weeks ago. I don’t know if losing Winker/Naquin was too much to overcome, they regressed to their mean, or Bell/FO lost the clubhouse. Probably a bit of all of the above. Just a real disheartening way to end a season that had some pretty moments along the way. It’ll leave a bad taste over the offseason.

  20. realist

    Hats off to the Cardinals and the Brewers. Heck even the Cubs are a better run organization. The Reds will take their natural place under the Pirates next year for dead last. Big Bob doesn’t know what he is doing and you can’t win when the top guy is incompetent at running a winning baseball organization. We need to find Chad Dotson some bill boards and get the message out that Bob needs to sell the team.

  21. Austin

    I lover how everyone assumes Castillanos going to get a raise in free agency. There are a few reasons he might not.
    1. Uncertainty with CBA this offseason. Teams aren´t sure what the landscape is going to look like moving forward.
    2. He has had a drop off in the 2nd half.
    3. His stats away from BABP aren´t nearly as good and and teams will take that into consideration when they make him offers.

  22. SOQ

    I know most here don’t like Farmer as our starting SS, but I was looking at his game logs and noticed this. In the last 50 games, he has gone hitless in only 10 of them (dating back to July 23). He is also batting a solid .289 for September. Like Larkin says (often) He’s a ball player. Hats off to Kyle for making the most of this opportunity

      • Bob Purkey

        Ditto. I just don’t get the dislike of Farmer. Is he a star? No, but he sure makes the most of what he has.

    • VaRedsFan

      agree. Everybody saying he’s a 1 month wonder. They aren’t watching the games.

  23. Still a Red

    If the Reds could have played .500 ball over these last 23 games, they’d be 1/2 game behind the Cards (assuming the Cards still ran off 12 straight). While the Reds made it easy on the Cards, you have to hand it to the Cards, in Sept. split with the Dodgers and swept the Padres AND the Brewers, including being down 5-0 in the first inning last night to win 8-5. Its really been an unbelievable collapse and perhaps, as usual, there is more than one cause…loss of Winker, Miley probably tired arm, rookies probably tired too. Can’t really blame collapse on Moose and Suarez because they weren’t around all year. Weight too heavy for Castellanos and Votto to carry to the finish line.

  24. Doc4uk

    Farmer is not the problem! The bullpen has given away way too many games. The Reds cannot hit lefties. Have not for years! Losing key players at crunch time has been another annual problem. Medical staff? Training ? Conditioning? What keeps players breaking down down every year ? Winker, Senzel,Antone, Naquin, and all the relievers who have spent time 8n the IL. No coincidence and not just bad luck. Just look at Moustakis before he joined the Reds and look at him now. How did they let him get in such poor shape. Our team leader in steals has 12 and is a rookie.

    How about our minor leagues and drafting. Where is our Soto or Tatis or Guerrero ,or Acuna .We have no one even close to this bunch in the pipeline.

    Baserunning has also been atrocious as has team speed? We have potential arms in the minors but our top 25 is devoid of any real power bats Instead we have a lot of 5’7” slashers who hit for average in the minors send the become utility bench players in the majors .

    And we put four sub .200 hitters in A line ip and expect to score runs because they hit from the right or left side of the plate!

    It looks to me like a system wide failure beginning with talent evaluation, development, conditioning, medical and training staff inadequacies, coaching , and ownership. Unfortunately it does not seem as if there is an awareness of the issues so I am pessimistic that we will ever overtake any team in our division except the Pirates who suffer similar issues.

    • Jim Walker

      Farmer is not the problem per se, how he has been used is a problem. All indications from AAA were that Barrero had the potential to step in at the AS break do at SS what India has done at 2B. Meanwhile, Farmer had previously demonstrated he could fill in at literally any position save pitching (and possibly CF).

      The 2 biggest sinkholes have been 3B and since Winker went down, LF. Farmer could have filled there. The way Nick C. and Joey V have struggled of late, they could have used additional days off when the team was cruising at a near .600 clip late in July and August. Again, Farmer could have filled that role.

      What the Reds mismanaged to do was take a guy who could have been their supersub and anchored him to a position where they had a top prospect ready to break out at mid season.

    • Jim Walker

      Other than my comment above about the use of Farmer I agree for the most part with everything said.

      If they don’t have an offseason conditioning and it doesn’t target known weak areas of the individual player’s body, they need to get one.

      The protocols (if there are any) for how a player gets final evaluation and clearance to come off the IL need to be modified or created.

      I took a look at the 2016 draft (Senzel’s year) which was much ballyhooed at the time. The Reds had 3 picks in the top 45, Senzel at #2 overall, Taylor Trammell at #32 overall and Chris Okey at #43 overall. We all know the sad story of Senzel.

      Trammell was traded away in the Bauer deal and has yet to set the world ablaze; though, at still just 23 years old he did post respectable numbers at AAA for Seattle in 2021. Further recall he was drafted as something of an athletic high ceiling project having been primary an all world D1 NCAA football prospect.
      Chris Okey has whiled away this year at AAA sharing time with AAAA guy Beau Taylor behind the plate and appears to have been bypassed in the prospect hierarchy by Mark Kolozsvary who was drafted at #197 overall a year later than Okey.

    • greenmtred

      I don’t know if this still holds true, but a few years ago, after a particularly vexing bunch of injuries, there was ongoing discussion here to the effect that the Reds’ medical and training staffs must be incompetent. Somebody finally did a little research and found that the Reds were middle of the pack for injuries in MLB. Lots of players get injured, and the “cures” for many injuries are neither magically certain nor absolute.

  25. Steven Ross

    Bases loaded and Castellanos swings at four pitches in the dirt. Even Larkin mentioned he didn’t see a strike the entire AB. Reds must lead majors in having bases juiced with one out or less and not pushing across a single run.

  26. doofus

    Na, na, na, na…na, na, na, na, hey, hey, hey goodbye.

  27. SteveLV

    Prior to the season starting, I wrote that my real frustration with the Reds was that they were set up to be mediocre and I don’t have much interest in mediocre. Either do what it takes to be really competitive – which I didn’t think they’d do – or trade Castillo, Grey, and Suarez, ride out the big Votto, Moose, Castellanos contracts, and get set up to really compete in 2024.

    I didn’t think the Reds will really be in a pennant race until they internally develop some inexpensive real home-grown talent. Now I’m pretty excited that is happening. I have my fingers and toes crossed for Senzel, but Stephenson, India, and Barrero, along with Winker, is a good young, inexpensive core to build from. Add Greene, Lodolo, soon, and hopefully McClain by 23 or 24 and I see a path to some very good years. I hope they are prioritizing making that happen and any moves they make between now and then don’t screw up that opportunity.

    • Jim Walker

      I’m feeling like we were sold the same bill of goods for a window opening in 2022 or thereabouts. Then a lot of those pieces were traded to set up a 2020-21 window. Now they did not follow through to continue support this window in 2021. Yes, the pandemic wreaked havoc on the 2020 season but that impacted everyone; and, the Reds seem to have responded less effectively on the rebound.

      • SteveLV

        Yeah – seems like a very inconsistent set of decisions. I think they have a real opportunity right now. Hope they capitalize on it.

  28. Michael B. Green

    I love his personality, but I would consider trading Castillo if we got the right deal. Mahle, Gray, Miley and Gutierrez are a strong core and you need a window for Greene and Lodolo.

  29. Bob Purkey

    Ditto. I just don’t get the dislike of Farmer. Is he a star? No, but he sure makes the most of what he has.

    • Jim Walker

      Not dislike of Farmer personally here. Just don’t like the way he has been misused which hasn’t served the team as well as if he had been used differently.