Final/11 R H E
Washington Nationals (64-90) 7 9 0
Cincinnati Reds (79-75) 8 12 0
W: Warren (3-0) L: Thompson (0-2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score Game Thread

The Cincinnati Reds fell behind 4-0 on Friday evening in a stadium that understandably felt lifeless. The Reds 2021 season is virtually over, but as this team has shown time and time again they never quit. They once again came roaring back.

Max Schrock got the Reds on the board with a 2-run home run. Then Delino DeShields made it a one run ballgame with his first home run as a Red. Nick Castellanos tied the game with his 30th home run of the season.

Eugenio Suarez continued his September resurgence and brought the Reds all the way back with his 28th home run of the season.

The Reds bullpen was really great, with the lone exception of Mychal Givens in the 9th. He gave up three runs to allow the Nationals to tie the game. Some poor execution from both teams got the game to the 11th inning, where Aristides Aquino leadoff with an infield single. TJ Friedl used his speed to score the winning run from second base. The Reds are now two wins away from finishing at least .500. It would be just the 4th time in the last 20 full seasons that the Reds finish at .500 or better.

Biggest Play of the Game

Source: FanGraphs

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the biggest play of the game for the Reds was Eugenio Suarez 2-run home run with 2 outs in the 6th inning, giving the Reds a 6-4 leadThat play increased the Reds probability of winning by 27.5% (from 53.7% to 81.2%).


Max Schrock continued his impressive 2021 season with his third home run of the season. Schrock now has an .859 OPS on the season. Schrock looks like he could be a really nice utility guy for the Reds in 2022. If he keeps mashing RHP, he might find his way into a platoon role somewhere.

Delino DeShields hit his first big league home run since 2019. DeShields has been an easy target for criticism for the Reds September roster, but he has certainly played hard for a Reds team that has been searching for energy down the stretch.

Nick Castellanos hit his 30th home run of the season. He drove in another run with a single later. What a season for Nick.

Eugenio Suarez continued his monster September with his 5th home run of the month to put the Reds ahead in the 6th. Suarez had two hits on the night, and he is now hitting .318/.415/.727 in September.

Amir Garrett pitched a perfect inning against the heart of the Nationals order. Most impressively, he struck out Juan Soto to end his streak of reaching base in 12 straight plate appearances. Garrett has only allowed 2 runs in 8 innings in September (2.25 ERA). Let’s hope he has found something. The slider looked good tonight.

Michael Lorenzen pitched a perfect 7th inning. It was nice to see Lorenzen bounce back after the tough outing on Tuesday night.

Tony Santillan just continues to dominate as a reliever. He pitched a shutout inning to lower his ERA as RP this season to 1.94 in 19 appearances (23.2 IP, 10 BB, 32 K).

Lucas Sims is really looking like the dominant reliever that we thought he was going to be coming into the season. Over his last 13 games: 12.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB (!), 22 K (!), 1.48 ERA.

Aristides Aquino was 2 for 2 off the bench, and drove in the winning run.

TJ Friedl also had 2 hits tonight.


Sonny Gray had been rolling with a 2.25 ERA in his last 6 starts. He had massive control issues and only lasted 4 innings tonight (5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 2 HR) against the tanking Washington Nationals. Baseball is stupid.

Mychael Givens did not have it in the 9th. He almost got out of his jam, but a single beating the shift with a .220 xBA tied the game.

Not so random thoughts……………..

-The Reds got their 79th win of the season tonight, which matches their pre-season projected win total by Fangraphs.

-The Cardinals swept a double-header today. That moves the Reds elimination number down to 3 (any combination of 3 Reds losses or Cardinals wins officially ends the Reds season). The Reds certainly made their own bed this September, but consider this:

*If the Cardinals had gone 8-6 instead of winning 14 straight, the Reds and Cardinals would be tied right now.

*If the Reds had gone 12-12 instead of 8-16 since August 28th, the Reds would still be within 2.0 games of the wild card despite the Cardinals 14 game win streak.

Just brutal that BOTH of those things happened simultaneously. #CardinalsDevilMagic

Up Next:

Nationals at Reds
Saturday, 7:10 PM
TV: Bally Sports Ohio
Vladimir Gutierrez (4.53 ERA) vs Erick Fredde (5.10 ERA)

43 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Thanks Nick. Pretty sad about .500 or better only four times in last 20 years. I guess we ought to be thankful for it. 🙂 Like em or hate em one has to have respect for the Cardinals. Being from Indy they’re starting to be to me like Tom Brady. Arch enemy and don’t like him at all in one sense but starting to find it hard not to root for him. They are just a class act winning organization. Something we could be, have been in the past but, unfortunately, definitely are NOT these days under current ownership.

    • Rednat

      i will say this everyday and twice on sunday. it is a lot easier to run a team (or any business) when you know you will be near full capacity everyday.. this is the sole reason the reds are bad and the cardinals are good. we fans get the team we deserve

      • Melvin

        We could talk about this forever. I will say it’s a lot easier to come support the Reds, especially from surrounding states like the Reds have to draw from (In my case Indy), when you KNOW your ownership will do everything it can to win. History shows Reds fans WILL happily show up under those conditions.

      • Greenfield Red

        My wife offered to buy tickets to a Reds game for my birthday. I said no thanks. We went to an Indy Indians game instead.

      • CI3J

        That’s a real Catch-22 situation. Fans won’t come unless the team is good, but the team won’t be good unless the fans come.

        One of those has to happen first. Ownership needs to make the initial investment to field a good team, then after a few seasons of sustained success, you will have built up some loyalty in the fanbase. But it all starts with that initial smart investment, which Reds ownership seems unable or unwilling to do.

        It also has to do with the front office having a plan on how to sustain that success that is financially viable, which the Cards and a few other teams have shown the way: trade your good vets when they still have value for some young, cheap, can’t-miss talent, wait a few season for said talent to develop, then when they are ready, buy/trade for the missing pieces. You have a few seasons window to contend, then repeat the cycle. This means you will open a window to “contend” roughly every 5 years, and in the seasons in between, you are either building to contender status (and still winning) or are full of young, exciting players (and still winning). I don’t know why the Reds have such a hard time figuring this out when other small market teams (Cards, Braves, Rays) seem to pull it off.

      • Beaufort Red

        We didn’t even sell out playoff and World Series games in the seventies and the BRM. I know because I was there. Empty seats in the upper deck. Sometimes surprised we still have a team>

  2. Greenfield Red

    Suarez up to .185. Anyone think he’s got a shot to get off the interstate?

    People used to get on Dave Kingman with his 35 home runs while only hitting .230. Suarez is 50 points below that and still plays almost every day.

    Only in Cincinnati.

    • TR

      Suarez is apparently a favorite of recently extended Manager Bell so I expect him to be regularly at third base in 2022 regardless of his below .200 average this season. I accept the fact the Reds will never adopt the playoff bound Tampa Rays policy of not getting too enamored with a player.

      • Alan Horn

        Suarez does seem to be rising from the dead with the bat after a full season of awful production. You have to wonder if he hasn’t fully recovered from the shoulder injury or if it is just age has caught up with him. If it is the latter, it doesn’t add up his bat would finally show up in September, the last month of the season. He has had a serious hitting flaw of pulling his head off the ball all season.

      • greenmtred

        Good thoughts, Alan. I don’t know for sure that it was the injury that wrecked his season, but I agree that, given what he’s done this month, it’s a much more likely explanation than that he suddenly fell off the cliff of age. We deride the idea of playing guys to get them going, but it’s not always stupid, particularly when the guy in question has shown productivity in the past.

      • PTBNL

        and when was the last time the Tampa Rays won the World Series?????

      • Bet on Red

        They didnt win it but they were in it last year

  3. Rednat

    this game is what i call a woss or lin, what have you. we won the game but likely will loose the series. we just had to expend to much energy to win. we have had a lot of these this year

  4. Jim Walker

    The mystery which is Aristides Aquino was on display again tonight. He ripped 2 singles off of right handed pitching after looking helpless for a month. Then he ran into a TOOTBLAN after stealing a base.

    At the same time, a person sees both why he cannot be counted on for the future as of now and why on the other hand it would not be a shock if someone somewhere may finally helped him unlock the mystery.

    • Melvin

      My fear is it’s the Pirates and he beats the crap out of us 19 times a year. lol I think Bell has messed with him too much but that’s a discussion we’ve had before.

    • Hanawi

      I’ve had high hopes for Aquino and wanted to see him get more of a chance. But, I think we’ve seen it now. Maybe he will unlock that magical start he had but I don’t think it’ll be with the Reds. Reds have Naquin, Senzel, Akiyama, and Winker as a start for next year (assuming Castellanos opts out). Unless they cut bait with Shogo, probably only a spot for Castellanos’ replacement left.

      • Jim Walker

        Winker and Naquin are clear keepers. Both the other guys are lottery tickets or worse at this point.

    • JB WV

      Willy Mo Pena the second. Has all the tools but can’t hit the ball enough.

      • Jim Walker

        Wily Mo actually cobbled together 3 pretty decent seasons as a 4th OF type. From 2004-06 with Reds and Boston (2006) he had an OPS of .826, good for 110 OPS on 1003 PAs.

        If Aquino could do this he would be a borderline regular because of his defense and speed. And yes, I said “IF” which is the question.

        I suspect part of Aquino’s issue as the year has progressed could be related to the Hamate fracture and surgery he had early in the season (out from mid April to mid June). I have read it often takes power hitters an offseason to fully regain hand strength from those types of hand injuries.

        As late as July 31 Aquino’s wRC+ was still 121. A week later it had dropped to 111 and dropped another 10 points in the next week. That is certainly suggestive of some sort of physical issue.

        Only at this point did Winker go out; but to begin with, Aquino and Akiyama were platooned; so, there was no change in his usage pattern from being essentially a RH hitting platoon guy.

        As I said above, the Reds cannot afford to gamble too much on him, especially if Castellanos is gone; but, on the other hand, I would not be surprised to see Aquino emerge and have a decent career somewhere.

      • Melvin

        I’m very confident if he is let go that some team will (probably several will try) pick him up in no time flat. I’m also confident the Reds, if the shoe were on the other foot and he was on another team now, knowing what he’s capable of, would do the same. I’m also confident, unfortunately, that he most likely will never flourish under David Bell.

  5. David

    Lars Nootbar (who?) hit two home runs for the Cardinals today.
    12 game winning streak for the Cards.
    Exit question: Are there Satanic powers at work here. (that’s a joke).

    Mighty generous that Nick thinks Max Schrock might make a good utility man.
    Maybe he should work in the Reds front office.
    0.850 OPS, batting .320, could be a good utility man.

    • Nick Kirby

      Lol, I mean Schrock does only have 103 plate appearances right now. He also has a super high BABIP (.370) and xwOBA has him only a .292, which is good for 11th out the 14 Reds players with 100+ PA (sandwiched between Aquino and Moustakas). There is plenty to like about him, but it’s also possible over a longer sample that he comes crashing back down.

      • Alan Horn

        It is that longer sample size that Schrock, Lopez and Barreo didn’t get that bothers me. At this point we should have had an idea of what each would bring to the table at the major league level. Instead we will go into the off season not knowing. That limits the preparation for next season. Schrock is getting a chance here at the very end of the season. Starting once ever 10 days and pinch hitting isn’t the way to bring up a top prospect. It is asking too much of them and can destroy their confidence. Instead the Reds chose to run a whole season with multiple hitters hitting .200 and below(in Cabrera’s case .000)

      • Chris Holbert

        Is between Aquino and Moustakas really something to say is good?

      • ChrisInVenice

        Easy with the sound analysis, Nick. David is showing off his baseball “knowledge”.

        Thanks for all you’ve done all season long. Love your recaps.

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    In my opinion Art Warren deserves to be named in this article “positives” section, despite he loaded the bases but worked around to get a prized zero…Mr. Nick
    I wonder about Garret and Suárez september performances are adjustments that really work everyday or just part of the short ups and long downs they have shown this season… Lucas Sims does seem to be more as he is on getting his expected shape although He really has been hurt by some very ugly outings that balooned his stats..

    • Jim Walker

      Re: Sims> Just a personal preference perhaps but for a top leverage reliever, I’ll take my chances with a guy who can spot a good live fastball along the edges of the strike zone over a guy who has to throw breaking pitches in the zone to get the job done.

      Sims K% is otherworldly but his net K per inning against walks per inning is about +1 K per inning worked. His LOB% is in the low 60’s and he allows a HR a little more often than once every 9 innings worked with a groundball rate of only 26%.

      This sounds to me like a guy to be used to start innings in mid leverage situations when his team has outs remaining at bat to recover from runs allowed on days when things don’t go well with him. As a manager I wouldn’t want him pitching if I had 3 or fewer outs left for recovery; and, with that LOB rate not in extra innings at all given the innings start with the free guy already at 2B

    • JB WV

      Reds are playing better now that the pressure is off. Working for their contract now

  7. Doc4uk

    Seems as if Sims will be the likely closer in 2022. Cessa and Santillan will be eighth inning guys. They will let both Givens and Lorenzen walk and try to replace them with two lefties.

    Warren and Garrett and Moreta will round out staff .

    The real issue is what becomes of Moustakis ,Senzel , Aquino, Akiyama and Barnhart. I would guess the Moose remains as the DH , Barnhart will need to take less pay than he is owed , and Aquino is given a chance to make the team in spring training but doubt he does. They will try to get something for Akiyama from Japanese league but he is clearly not even as good as Deshields who also will start in the minors

    • Jim Walker

      I’m not sure they will carry Aquino on the 40 man roster over the winter; and, that means there is a very good chance he is gone from the organization since he has the minor league time to be a free agent if outrighted off the 40 man roster. Recall he was previously outrighted off the 40 man roster at the end of the 2018 season but subsequently signed back with the Reds as a free agent (per BBRef).

      • Old-school


        Do u have general sense of off-season calendar?

        The CBA ends dec 1, so everything shuts down after.

        I assume Castellanos opts out after World Series but all the nontenders and arbitration would be after Dec 1 I would think and be delayed?

        Reds have a habit of scouring teams with high payrolls or roster crunches to fill out their roster.Yankees in particular have a lot of high profile potential arbitration non-tenders plus clearing salary to avoid luxury tax whatever that becomes needing a top FA Shortstop.

      • Jim Walker

        OS> I looked around several weeks ago and could not find anything then about the off season after the end of the World series.

        I suppose that options will have to be exercised or bought out because that typically kicks in at the end of the WS. The QO process and free agency filing by eligible players also trigger from the end of the WS and happen during late October or November.

        A number of teams that have reduced their sunken salary costs for 2022 forward to virtually nil, keeping in mind that team options are not charged as sunken costs until exercised; and, buyouts are charged back to the season just completed. I would not be surprised to see a number of options bought out that based on past actions would have seemed locks to be exercised.

        And with the tender date typically falling at the start of December, maybe a lockout could start with the tender date being suspended which would lock both pre-arbitration and arbitration eligible players in place pending a settlement?

      • Old-school

        So it sounds like the player option for Castellanos and the team options on Miley and Barnhart will be decided before any labor stoppage Dec1?
        Are you saying the Reds can buy out Barnhart and Miley team options and that goes back to 2021 books and goal is clear as much prior to new CBA and 2022?

        It would seem with Shogo/Moose/Votto/and Suarez contracts, plus Sonny Gray, the Reds will most certainly not use options on Miley and Barnhart. Then A2 and A3 years for others would then be determined after the new CBA.

        Winker,Castillo,Mahle long term plans will need to be clarified soon.

      • Jim Walker

        OS> Yeah, unless they make some mutually agreed changes between MLB and MLBPA, options are settled almost immediately after the World Series.

        I think it is within a week to 10 days, certainly less than 2 weeks. Also, the eligible FAs have to file in the same period that they will become FAs then QOs/ acceptance/ refusals are in order. All this happens by the middle or so of November at the latest. The winter 40 man roster is also set ahead of December 1 for the Rule 5 draft which normally happens at the Winter Meetings early in December.

      • Jim Walker

        And it sure looks like many teams, maybe even most, are making an effort to keep sunken costs chargeable to 2022 and later off their books.
        Reds of course are deer in the headlights with about a minimum of $40M already sunk not counting the $17.5M which would add in for Miley and Barnhart if their options are exercised.

        Here is a link to Cot’s. Check the various team payroll spreadsheets off the home page links in the “Projeted 2021 Payroll” table and look in the column under 2022.

    • CI3J

      If Santillan is still in the bullpen next season, I’m going to break something. He’s a starter, he’s only pitched as a starter until this year, and anyone who was on this site during the Chapman debacle already has the mountains of evidence on how much more valuable a starter is than a reliever.

      But given the backwards thinking of the current Reds front office, maybe I should pick out something to break now instead of waiting.

      • Jim Walker

        FWIW or not, Lot of talk from the TV booth that Cessa is in the rotation look at list next spring. Depending on what happens in the off season, they are going to need some guys.

        They can paint it however they like, but: Greene hit a bit of a speed bump at AAA. He almost certainly is going to start at AAA in 2022. It may be a short tenure if he comes out smoking but he is likely to start there nonetheless. Lodolo didn’t appear ready for prime time either then actually end the AAA season with a month or so on the IL with a supposedly mild shoulder issue.

      • greenmtred

        A good starter is probably more valuable than a reliever, but the pen as a whole is utterly critical in today’s max-effort, 5 or 6 innings per start game. We saw what a bad pen can do this season: We’d probably have clinched a playoff spot days ago with a decent one the first half. Maybe Chapman should have started, but maybe not. He was a two-pitch pitcher who didn’t rely on his slider, and might well have had to dial back his velocity to get through 6 innings. Mt recollection is that he didn’t set the world on fire as a starter during his limited minor league experience. And it’s worth noting that the Yankees kept him in the pen.

  8. SultanofSwaff

    Pretty humorous to hear Larkin still talking up the playoffs followed by 30 seconds of dead silence from sadak. I think John was holding down the mute button until he stopped howling with laughter. But in all seriousness this ‘you’re in it until you’re mathematically eliminated’ mindset is why the youngsters are still riding the pine. Barnhart is crashing back to his career ops level and farmer is hot on his heels.

    Free Barrero and Stevenson and let’s give Freidl a long look.

    • Jim Walker

      Sadak had at least one of his own when he referred to Givens’ 9th inning meltdown as a little hiccup. 😉

      Maybe Larkin was like me, busy during the day and lost track that the Cardinals had swept their Friday doubleheader? With 8 games left there is a world of difference between an elimination “magic number” of 5 versus the 3 it is now for the Reds. It was semi-reasonable to fantasize that the Reds might jump off a win last night and go their own run of 9 straight or 8 of 9 and at least force the Cards to close out at 5-3 or 4-4.

      And yes on the crashers.

  9. Votto4life

    Tragic number is likely to be reached tomorrow or Monday.

    It didn’t have to be this way.