The Cincinnati Reds were led by a rare strong start at home by Tyler Mahle and a big grand slam from Kyle Farmer in a 9-1 win over the Washington Nationals on Sunday afternoon. The win guaranteed a non-losing season for the Reds as they picked up their 81st win of the season with six games remaining.

Final R H E
Washington Nationals (64-92) 1 4 0
Cincinnati Reds (81-75) 9 14 2
W: Mahle (13-6) L: Rogers (2-1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati tried to get the offense going in the 1st inning when Nick Castellanos walked and Eugenio Suárez doubled, but a line out ended the inning and the threat that the Reds had going. In the 4th inning a walk from Delino DeShields and a single from Jose Barrero once again put two men on for the Reds but they failed to cash in once again.

With the Nationals taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the 5th it must have set off the alarm for the Cincinnati hitters who went to work. Jonathan India led off with a double and then Tyler Stephenson and Nick Castellanos hit back-to-back homers to put the Reds up 3-1. The next inning the Reds went back to work. TJ Friedl led off with a pinch-hit single and Tyler Stephenson would later double. With two men on, Washington opted to load the bases by intentionally walking Nick Castellanos with one out. At first the play worked out as Eugenio Suárez struck out, but Ryne Harper hung a breaking ball to Kyle Farmer and he planted a grand slam into the upper deck in left field to make it a 7-1 game.

Cincinnati wasn’t quite done on the day. In the bottom of the 8th inning they went back to work. Delino DeShields had a 1-out single and scored on a double by Jose Barrero. Aristides Aquino came off of the bench to pinch hit for Amir Garrett and walked. Jonathan India followed with a walk of his own to load the bases. Tyler Stephenson hit a sacrifice fly to pad the lead and make it 9-1. That was more than enough for the win.

The Pitching

You know the story – Tyler Mahle can’t pitch in Cincinnati. He entered the day as the only pitching in Major League Baseball history with 30 or more starts in a season and an ERA under 2.00 on the road and over 6.00 (or 5.00) at home. That didn’t matter at all on Sunday as Mahle dominated the Nationals lineup. Washington’s lone run against Mahle came in the top of the 5th inning and it was unearned after a fielding error by Jonathan India. The righty finished his out by giving up just three hits and walking two batters while striking out six. Among those six was his 200th strikeout of the season.

In the 7th inning the Reds turned the game over to rookie Dauri Moreta. After dominating in the minor leagues all season, Cincinnati finally called him up earlier this week from Triple-A. He walked the first batter of the inning, but worked around it and ended the inning with his first big league strikeout. Amir Garrett followed up with a hitless 8th inning to keep the score 7-1 in favor of the Reds.

Jeff Hoffman took over for the 9th inning, holding an 8-run lead. He gave up a leadoff double to Luis García before retiring the next two batters. But then he walked Andrew Stevenson and Lane Thomas to load the bases. A wild pitch would then bring the Nationals second run of the game across the plate, but Hoffman struck out Alcides Escobar to end the game.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Cincinnati Reds

Monday September 27th, 1:10pm ET

TBA vs Reiver Sanmartin (MLB Debut)

44 Responses

  1. JEFF MORRIS

    Great Win for the Reds. Cincy Enquirer says, “Castellanos discusses walk off HR, why he likes Cincy.” Hopefully, he stays here in Cincy!

    • Mark Moore

      I would love to see him stay, but I’m pretty sure Big Bob’s wallet doesn’t open quite that far.

    • TR

      Maybe Castellanos will stay because he likes the Greek-style chili.

    • AMDG

      I would be very surprised if the Reds offer Castellanos enough of a contract.

      First off, they got burned recently by the contracts they offered Suarez, Akiyama, Moose. Those under performing contracts have to leave a bad taste for a team with a limited budget.

      Secondly, he is coming off a career year. He just had has best AVG, OBP, SLG, HR, OPS+, etc. of his career in 2021. What are the odds a player can repeat a career year? Remember, he only hit 0.225 a year ago.

      Third, he will be 30 next season. Most players (at least those who aren’t juicing) begin to lose production in their 30’s. So they will be paying for a player who may be entering a stretch of decline.

  2. Tal Evans

    It really doesn’t matter much but at least it appears as if the Reds haven’t given up. Kudos to Mahle, Stephenson and Farmer, the latter two of which have exceeded expectations. But nothing can remove the bitter sting of a postseason opportunity that was truly blown.

  3. Votto4life

    They have avoided a losing season. I guess that means something.

    • Jim Walker

      It will mean even more when they tack on another one for a legitimate winning season. After 8 years, playoffs or not, that’s a tangible 1st step to respectability.

    • MBS

      I actually think that is. With the lack of support they gave this core of players, 500 + is good. I think I predicted 83 / 79. I didn’t see the Crew doing so well, I was more afraid of the Cards.

      Doug, fun idea. Why not create an article on opening day eve with all of the writers predictions (which I know you do something like that already), then encourage the readers to make their predictions in the comments. Maybe provide a format.

      W/L
      ERA leader
      W leader
      OPS leader
      HR leader
      Etc.

      Then at the end of the year publish the predictions, and rate for accuracy. Just a thought, it could be fun, and people like me who can’t remember their predictions will have an easy way to see them.

  4. Old-school

    Congrats to mahle
    175 Innings
    200 K
    Sub 3.6 ERA

    Improve the GABP issues and you have a home grown 27 yo
    Top 10 NL pitcher in 2022

    • Jim Walker

      The key is to keep him focused on throwing quality strikes, trusting his stuff and avoiding nibbling. He got 18 outs today on 105 pitches. That’s under 6 pitches an out, less than 18 per inning. As a staff today before the 9th inning zoo, they needed only 133 pitches for 24 outs. That’s virtually matching efficiency from the pen, again under 18 pitches per inning.

      • Old-school

        Starting pitchers always need a 7 pitch inning and a 12 pitch inning. That’s pitch to contact. Unfortunately, we are in max effort strike everyone out mode. Cant keep arms healthy or get to the bullpen in the 7th or 8th inning and have SP throw 180 + innings when pitching philosophy is strike every one out. Pitching philosophy should be slow bat speed down and deception,location, mixing speeds…..not miss bats with velocity and spin rates and 8 pitch at bats hoping for chase. Velocity and spin rates destroy arms. Only a handful of guys can miss bats consistently and stay healthy and pitch 200 innings.….Seaver, Ryan, Scherzer,Johnson.

        Also allows a rested successful bullpen that needs 7 outs a game instead of 12.

      • Alan Horn

        Good post Old-School. Condensed down, I always say it can old take one pitch to let a batter hit (hit to contact) out but a minimum of 3 to strike him out. Of course, hit to contact means keeping the good part of the bat off the ball and keeping the center of the bat off the ball if it is in the range of the sweet/good spot. I always taught it doesn’t matter how hard you swing but place the good part of the bat centered for best results.

      • Jim t

        You can also factor in that today’s player is trying to run up pitch counts. The 100 pitch limit enables teams to get into the bullpens sooner.

      • Bill J

        Isn’t it amazing 1997 when Greg Maddux used 76 pitches in a complete game of course only 6 strikeouts and only had a two ball count on two hitters.

  5. Rod

    Why are you using this dumb picture of Farmer with a goof ball number?

  6. Jon

    Castellini must order Krall to act with urgency this winter and allow him to bump payroll back to the $140-150 million range. Attendance was up all summer, so he doesn’t have that excuse anymore. He needs to get payroll back up to where it was entering the 2020 season. With the perennial Cardinals and Brewers already a threat, as well as the Cubs with a near-empty slate of future commitments and higher spending power, the Reds need to go all-in this winter to return to the top of the NL Central. Re-signing Castellanos should be priority number one. The Reds haven’t won a division title since 2012.

    • Alan Horn

      I agree. Find a way to come up with the extra money needed above the 17 million a year he already makes. There has to be a reasonable limit however. I would put it at around 25 million per season or come up with a delayed payment plan.

      • Old-school

        Castellanos already has deferred money

        $2 million 2021 paid out twice in 2022 so his 2021salary only $10 mil not $14 mil and still owed $2 mil deferred from 2020 in 2022

        Reds owe $16 mil in 2022 and 23 plus $2 mil buyout of $20 mil in 2024

        Reds will gladly allow new team to pick castellanos and get QO

        Reds will owe Castellanos $6 million in 2022 even though he plays for another team. Stop these contracts

        They are just paying off Griffey and Arroyo

      • Jon

        Castellanos put up All-Star and almost MVP-type numbers this season. How will the Reds replace that offense in RF next year? Winker already can’t stay healthy an entire season, Suarez is basically a giant question mark at this point, Moustakas and Akiyama have no future with this club, Senzel should be written in as a bench player with any production being considered a bonus, Barrero is unproven, and Votto is 38.

        So basically next year your proven offense would be India and Stephenson, with hopefully healthy and productive seasons from Winker and Votto. That’s not going to get it done.

      • Jim Walker

        Someone outlined on another thread that declining the options on Miley and Barnhart would net about $16M in savings for 2022 which would cover 1 or 2 years of additional money for Castellanos. Then Votto and Moose will come off after 2023 which is a net reduction of ~$32M after their 2024 option buyouts. Suárez can come off after 2024 with a net reduction of $9m after his 2025 option buyout.

        Add in the money the Reds (should) have already factored in for Castellanos on his original deal if he did not opt out; and, the Reds would be in a position to go $120M over 4 years (2022-25) on Castellanos.

        The issue is not whether the Reds can afford him. It is whether they choose to spend their money on him or elsewhere. If they choose to spend it elsewhere, that’s their prerogative as a business decision, just don’t cry small market money poor about it.

    • Redsvol

      Attendance compared to 2019 is way down and it is for most teams. No way is payroll going up when fans won’t go to the games.
      I’ve seen several on here say they wouldn’t go because the tram is disappointing them down the stretch. Well St. Louis stunk until September and their fans kept going. And the Cubs; Rangers, and Colorado Rockies are outdrawing the Reds by a wide margin. You get what you support folks.

      • Jon

        As of this August 10 article, “The Reds are averaging 23,836 fans in their 32 home games since GABP returned to full capacity June 2… Comparing the first 32 home games after June 1 in previous seasons, the Reds averaged from 23,239 fans (2018) to 33,345 fans (2015). They averaged 26,390 fans in the 2019 summer months.” Obviously as the team improves, attendance improves. In 2019 the team went out and got Puig and Gray, as well as a new manager and proven coaching staff. They then acquired Bauer at the deadline. Had there been attendance in 2020, it undoubtedly would have risen even higher as the Reds made four more notable free agent signings.

        https://amp.cincinnati.com/amp/5549849001

      • Redsvol

        @jon – you attached an article that says attendance is down at GABP. 2021 attendance is way down compared to 2019. The why doesn’t matter, it just is – which means much lower revenue. Reds aren’t going to raise payroll when the fans won’t even support a winning team with 3 young players who will probably finish in top 10 in rookie voting.

      • Jon

        “If you build it, they will come.” If ownership and management goes back to showing a commitment to winning that was at least attempted prior to the 2019 and 2020 seasons by Dick Williams, then a rise in attendance will occur. Obviously Covid affected numbers this summer, but those effects should be significantly lower next summer as vaccine mandates are being issued and vaccines will soon be approved for young children. Ownership showed zero commitment to winning this summer, which is why I am not at all shocked that attendance is down. The two issues go hand in hand.

      • Jon

        The Reds had a projected payroll of $147 million for 2020. Obviously Bob could afford that or he wouldn’t have approved it. The team had a higher attendance during this summer even with the pandemic than it did in the 2018 summer when the team was still rebuilding. The number of season ticket holders who didn’t purchase their regular season tickets out of Covid uncertainty likely hurt the team also. Numbers should bounce closer to 2019’s or higher next summer if Bob commits to winning.

    • Reddawg2012

      I’m with you, but surely you don’t actually think Bob is going to increase payroll to $150 million and keep Castellanos? What you say makes a lot of sense, but he does not care about winning.

      • TR

        I think Big Bob does care about winning but he’s not the most affluent of MLB owners so his eye is primarily on the bottom line.

    • MBS

      If you could only pick one of Castillo, Mahle, or Gray, would you pick Mahle? I don’t buy were a small market team, and we can’t keep players, but I do buy thats not the way the Reds operate. I’d extend Castillo, and trade Mahle and Gray. 2 years of control makes them very valuable. We have Greene and Lodolo who won’t stay in AAA much longer, not to mention Ashcraft is getting close.

      The last time the Reds had this dilemma they choose to sign Bailey over Cueto, Leake and Latos. They traded Cueto, and Leake with half a year of control, and got nothing in return. They traded Latos with a full year of control, and got DeSclafani in return.

  7. AMDG

    Wow, Suarez and Cabrera both got a base hit in the same game.

    That’s kind of like flipping a coin and landing ‘heads’ 20 times in a row.

  8. Hotto4Votto

    Nice to get a sweep and reach 81 wins. Seems like the Reds are playing better now that the pressure’s off and they’re all but mathematically eliminated. That’s how it goes some times. Good to see some of the young guys getting some time out there. Mahle’s had a good season.

    • Jim Walker

      Strange isn’t it that they resolved the Bell option, admitted that Moose was not in game condition, brought up an outfielder (Friedl) who is contributing and suddenly started to look like the team they were until late in August. All of this could have been accomplished 3 weeks to a month ago when it might have made a real difference.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Yeah. It does carry the feeling of too little too late. Wish they’d have sorted out some of this a lot earlier, but wait and see is like the most Reds thing ever. Unfortunately what we typically see is missed opportunities.

  9. Bet on Red

    Did I see this right, Cabrerra got 2 hits. That’s what I get for watching the benglas instead

    • Jim Walker

      The best part you missed was Castellanos calling for the ball from Cabrera’s first hit as a Red to be saved like a guy’s 1st MLB hit or pitch.

      • Jim Walker

        He certainly did. it seemed to take forever because nobody was noticing or all thought it was just a quick gag but NC kept motioning (on TV camera by now) and eventually they threw it into the Reds dugout. No sign on TV of how Cabrera was reacting.

      • Bet on Red

        I mean it’s funny, but that’s not exactly how you make friends either lol