The Cincinnati Reds (78-75) late season woes continued last night in a 3-2 loss to the Washington Nationals (64-89) The Reds have gone from 12 games over .500 with 72.9% odds to take the NL’s second wild card spot, to just 3 games over .500 with 0.5% postseason odds. The Reds are 7-16 in their last 23 games. They have scored 2 runs or less in 10 of those games. The Reds will hope to stop the bleeding tonight at 7:10 PM. The Reds need to finish the season at least 4-5 just to finish above .500.

Starting Pitchers

Sonny Gray will try to continue his strong finish to 2021. Gray has been dominant in his last 6 starts with a 2.25 ERA in 36.0 IP. Sonny’s time in Cincinnati over the last 3 years probably isn’t appreciated enough. He ranks 18th in baseball among all pitchers in fWAR since the start of 2019 (8.9), sandwiched between Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw. Gray dominated the Nationals earlier this year in a 7 inning game: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K.

Paolo Espino overall has had a good year for the Nationals, bouncing between starter and reliever (17 starts, 16 relief appearances). The results haven’t been there lately as he has a 5.23 ERA since August 1st, but his 4.25 FIP and 3.98 xFIP say that he should have been better. He has only faced the Reds once in his career, a relief appearance all the way back in 2017 when he was with the Brewers. He allowed homers to both Adam Duvall and Scooter Gennett.

Starting Lineups

Nationals Reds
1. Lane Thomas (CF)
2. Alcides Escobar (SS)
3. Juan Soto (RF)
4. Josh Bell (1B)
5. Luis Garcia (2B)
6. Keibert Ruiz (C)
7. Carter Kieboom (3B)
8. Andrew Stevenson (LF)
9. Paolo Espino (P)
1. Jonathan India (2B)
2. Max Schrock (LF)
3. Nick Castellanos (RF)
4. Joey Votto (1B)
5. Kyle Farmer (SS)
6. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. TJ Friedl (CF)
9. Sonny Gray (P)

Notes and Notes


The Cardinals pretty much sealed any faint hope the Reds had left when they came back from 5-0 down to beat the Brewers. Baseball can be a cruel game. A site similar to ours for the Cardinals wrote at the trade deadline about how insane it was that the Cardinals were not sellers at the deadline and could not understand the direction they were headed in. The Cardinals have now 12 straight games to virtually lock themselves into the postseason. The Reds certainly squandered their chances and you can hardly complain when the team is only 3 games over .500…..but the Cardinals? This Cardinals team? Really? Just brutal.

I guess what I am trying to say is…..Go Reds!

67 Responses

  1. Old Big Ed

    Espino is ordinarily a right-handed pitcher. Is he pitching left-handed tonight?

    • TR

      Barrerro not at shortstop to season end. Puzzling. Youth movement?

      • LDS

        Yeah, I start Stephenson, AA in LF, Barrero at SS, Schrock at 3B. 30-40 ABs through season end. Reds are done anyhow. Let Suarez, Barnhart, Farmer sit except for PH’ing. They need the experience and the Reds need better visibility into what they have for next year. I’d DFA DeShields and Cabrera as well and call up a couple of other young guys. Lose every remaining game if it comes to that but look at the young talent. And hopefully, be prepared to plug holes in the off season. Bench Castellanos as well if they call up someone else for the OF.

      • Bet on Red

        Mathematically, we can be eliminated tomorrow, after that. I am all for that. I think it sends a bad message to the younger players that its ok for an organization to quit prior to there being no way out.

  2. Hanawi

    13 in a row for the Cardinals with another to come today against the Cubs. I both hate and have a grudging respect for that franchise.

  3. Dennis Westrick

    OK guys! Switched it up! At the Louisville Bats game tonight! Mariot is the Bats SP tonight!

    • Bet on Red

      is it AAA playoff baseball or still regular season down there?

      • Dennis Westrick

        It’s an extended regular season. They play tomorrow and Sunday and that’s it!

  4. RedsGettingBetter

    STL won the first game of the DH and reached 13 in a row… What a f***ing incredible…

    • Votto4life

      It’s a shame the Reds have played so poorly the past few weeks. It would have been a crazy finish if the Reds could have maintained their pace of the first five months.

      If they had played well and lost to a team who won 13 straight games you just have to tip your cap to the other team.

      The way the Reds have played though the Cards would have passed us just up playing .500 ball.

      Such a shame. It would have been a fantastic race had the Reds shown up.

  5. Bet on Red

    wow, nick grounds out the first pitch unproductively… I am now actively hoping that he opts out. There is a solution elsewhere

    • VaRedsFan

      Sure, there’s no reason the team should bring back their most productive hitter, because he’s looked bad for a few games. Just a few games ago he was 3-5 and drove in 3 and scored 2. What have you done for me lately I guess?

    • Bet on Red

      Aside from the poor defense (thralls words not mine), He had a significantly superior first half, and has been basically surfing down to earth since his return from injury. He just is not playing with urgency. And he is having more bad days then good lately. I mean if he stays, he stays, but I will have no problem if he goes as well.

  6. Roger Garrett

    Reds may not win another game this year.

    • Votto4life

      They are really going to have to kick it in gear to avoid a losing season.

      I’m not sure that matters much to anyone except to folks like us.

    • Melvin

      The more I think about it the more I think one of the main reasons they extended Bell now was because he still has a “winning record”. It would be harder to explain why they did it when he had a losing record. That could come real soon since the team is “folding up like a cheap umbrella” under his leadership. Just the crazy way they think.

  7. CI3J

    And the Reds joyless slog to the merciful end of the season continues.

    Looking forward to more of the same for the next 2 years.

    • Roger Garrett

      If they bring back the same players you can bet on it.Still not sure whats happened.It may be just a combination of a lot of things such as injuries and guys being tired and running out of gas.

      • DaveCT

        Kralling to the end. Kralling through the offseason. This will continue until there is true and strong leadership brought in.

  8. RedsGettingBetter

    Alcides Escobar blasting a Homer … no no no… no words… I can’t understand what is happening with this team and the worst is the extension to Bell when the team is playing so bad… No leadership absolutely… They are given up when the math has not elimnated them yet…

  9. Grand Salami

    So on paper an inferior team storms into the post season while the Reds begin the slow inevitable slide to an early offseason. What are the differences in the composition that should be recognized?

    I have tickets tomorrow. They are going unused.

  10. Indy Red Man

    There are slumps and then there is checking out. These guys are checked out. Bags are packed. No fire or desire. Thats pretty sad! There needs to be other leaders besides Bell too. Who is the captain? It isn’t Joey’s style. I just don’t see any spark whatsoever.

  11. Indy Red Man

    When I saw last week that the Marlins got 2 good young OFers for 2 mediocre relievers then it made me wonder what we could get for Gray & Miley? Next year is a rebuilding year. Deal them off and plan for 2023-24. Atleast younger guys might have some life in their legs in late Sept

    • Bet on Red

      not necessarily a rebuild, unless the FO has decided to pull the chute and completely unload. I would offload Grey during the OFS though as he seems to be regressing. Spot is going to be soon filled by Greene anyway. Miley, I would hold on too. Fredl seems to be a cheaper, younger version of Naquin and therefore makes him expendable too. Nicks gone. AA probably getting non tendered. I would agree to “selective edits” to the roster over the offseason.

      • Bet on Red

        Schrock is going to fit into the roster too as well… finally some life

      • Doc

        Schrock seems to have hit at each call up. Friedl is still early. Barrero still hasn’t reached the Suarez line, which is about 20 points below the Mendoza line.

        SP was the issue again tonight.

  12. CI3J

    Here’s a sobering thought:

    Exactly 1 month ago (August 24), the Reds had just completed a 4 game sweep of the Marlins at GABP to move to 12 games over .500 with a 69-57 record. The Reds were also 1 game ahead of the Padres for the 2nd WC spot, and 5 games ahead of the Cards.

    Since that time, the Reds have gone 9-18. What happened on August 24th? I think I figured it out:

    They DFA Sean Doolittle.

    Who knew that he was the glue holding the team together? Bring back Doolittle!

    • LDS

      That may be the best laugh I’ve had in a while. Thanks.

      • SteveLV

        I agree. That was so unexpected I laughed out loud.

  13. Roger Garrett

    Nothing to gain by leaving Sonny in the game.Nothing for him or the team.One more inning isn’t important for either and can only hurt score wise or injury wise.Bad decision.

  14. Bet on Red

    Funny thought. Schrock had Fredl doing wind sprints on 5 3-2 count fouls, just to follow it up with a, ” you can just walk around now ” HR

  15. CI3J

    Here comes Gas Can Garrett! I’ll bet some fans are going to be taking home some souvenirs this inning.

  16. Bet on Red

    but we should DFA desheilds….. now has more HRs then you know who

    • DaveCT

      I think DeShields is a perfect 26th man. True CF. Outstanding defense. Great speed. Veteran. Some pop. Knows what is what.

      • DsveCT

        Forgot: And … still lives at home.

        Joke. See sbove

      • Bet on Red

        yea I got the Joke, i would say retain him for next season

  17. Bet on Red

    Finally…. Nick saw Deshields show him up and had to answer. Tie game

  18. CI3J

    It’s pretty scary to think where this Reds team would be without Nick Castellanos.

    Next year, we get to find out.

    • Old-school

      I think we saw that already
      September 2021

      • Old-school

        Nope…September collapse.

        Home runs dont matter now after 8 series losses and 9-17. Day late and a dollar short.

    • Joe P.

      From a personnel standpoint, figuring what to do with the outfield for next season is priority number one.

  19. Joe P.

    All the attempts at Spanish by the announcers is a bit too much.

  20. Joe P.

    It’s clear the Reds are going to have make the best of the Suarez contract. If he cuts down on the strikeouts next year that will help.

  21. DaveCT

    I never, ever, ever, ever expected India to blow by Nick Senzel (for, in all fairness, a variety of sound, valid reasons). Night and day. Sad for Nick. I hope he comes back with a vengeance.

  22. Joe P.

    As bad as the Reds have been down the stretch, I still hold hope that we somehow have a full season of baseball next year.

    • Bet on Red

      well I cant speak for WW3 breaking out, or another pani, but if this is the labor shortage, both sides have the incentive to get something worked out in time to get at least half of Spring training in. It won’t be a labor stoppage.

  23. Doc

    Absolutely uncanny how many times a reliever gets two quick outs, then can’t get anybody out.

  24. Bet on Red

    Wont be upset when he is gone. Served his purpose here but no way I am spending money on Givens. We can trade for a replacement with more service time

  25. LDS

    Looks like another case of one and done bullpen usage. Just about one more week and all of us can rest up for next season’s reruns.


    Need help guys live half way between Chicago and Milwaukee and don’t get every bit of Reds news unless its here, but is Moreta on team?

  27. Joe P.

    14 straight for the Cardinals and 16 out of their last 17. Their last loss was to the Reds (!) on Friday, Sept. 10th. 2 weeks ago!

  28. Bet on Red

    got a win… in 11, that was entirely too long

  29. Brad

    Bell is saved!! No need for the left field fan to pitch….

  30. Melvin

    AA with two hits tonight, winning it in the 11th, after basically losing all confidence lately. We’ll see if he plays tomorrow or if DB gets the cold water bucket out again. 🙂

  31. Doc

    Although the Reds haven’t played well the last three weeks, the Cardinals went out and controlled their destiny. Even had the Reds played .500 ball the Cards would have caught them and the Reds likely could not have played much better than .500 with Winker out, and then Naquin also out. Just have to congratulate the Cardinals and start looking forward to next year.