The Cincinnati Reds had one hit through seven innings and didn’t score until the top of the 9th as they fell to the Chicago White Sox 6-1 on Wednesday night.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (82-77) 1 4 0
Chicago White Sox (91-68) 6 7 0
W: Rodón (13-5) L: Gray (7-9)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

A Jose Barrero walk represented the only baserunner that Cincinnati had through the first three innings. Tyler Stephenson doubled to lead off the 4th that deflected off of the glove of a sliding Luis Robert on the warning track in center, but the Reds couldn’t do anything with that. That was the only hit of the game until a 1-out infield single by Jonathan India. TJ Friedl had walked prior to that in the inning, so Cincinnati had two men on but Tyler Stephenson grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Kyle Farmer added a broken bat single in the 9th inning and that was enough to get something started. Delino DeShields added an RBI double into the right-center gap as Cincinnati finally got on the scoreboard. That put some fear into Tony La Russa who went to the bullpen with two outs in the 9th inning with a 5-run lead and a man on. The move worked as Aristides Aquino grounded out to end the game.

The Pitching

The first two innings went quite well for Sonny Gray, but the White Sox got revenge in the next few innings. A leadoff single in the bottom of the 3rd was followed by a long Gavin Sheets home run to put Chicago up 2-0. In the next inning Gray didn’t help himself as he hit a batter and walked a batter, with two singles to follow that saw both of those baserunners come in to score and extend the White Sox lead to 4-0. During the 5th inning it was a 1-out Luis Robert single that was followed by a steal, ground out, and a wild pitch that pushed Robert across the plate and made it 5-0. A walk culminated that plate appearance and spelled the end of the day for Gray.

Jeff Hoffman came on to record the final out of the 5th to hold the score to 5-0. He returned for the 6th inning and sat the White Sox down in order. But in the 7th inning he served up an opposite field homer to Tim Anderson, extending the Chicago lead to 6-0. Dauri Moreta came out for the 8th inning and tossed a perfect inning with two strikeouts.

Notes Worth Noting

Nick Castellanos and Joey Votto got the night off and it showed.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Pittsburgh Pirates

Friday October 1st, 6:35pm ET

Luis Castillo (8-16, 4.05 ERA) vs Wil Crowe (4-8, 5.77 ERA)

51 Responses

  1. Joe P.

    “That put some fear into Tony La Russa who went to the bullpen with two outs in the 9th inning with a 5-run lead and a man on.” Hilarious.

    Sonny Gray looked like he was throwing batting practice tonight.

    • Doug Gray

      If we can’t have a laugh every now and again what are we even doing, right?

  2. Jim Walker

    Tonight is the first time since that 7-13 streak back in May that I tried several times to watch the Reds game and couldn’t keep interested for more than a batter or 2.

    I recall when I was a kid asking my dad why they kept playing the games once the Reds were eliminated from the pennant race. He tried to explain that even if the Reds were eliminated, some of the teams they were playing against were not, so the games had to be played. So then I asked why they played if both teams were eliminated. I think that’s when he reached the “just because” point in the discussion.

    But really, why should the Reds and Pirates have to go through the motions 3 final times this weekend? Oh, draft choice position, maybe??? I’ll bet they invented the draft back when I was 10 or so just to save dads from having to answer “just because”.

    • Doug Gray

      Cash. They’ve got TV games sold, tickets sold, hot dogs and beers to sell.

      • RedsGettingBetter

        In my opinion, perhaps with less importance, they should play for the statistics.

      • Jim Walker

        And my best recollection is that in the way back day, there was a descending payout system to players like place and show money at a horse race. I am not sure how many places deep into the standings it went.

        Of course, back then most all the players had off season jobs too. Some were essentially NIL endorsement arrangements; but, many were real work a day jobs. My all time favorite was Richie Hebner, a pretty fair 1B/3B mostly with the Pirates in the1970’s (career OPS+ 119; 33.0 bWAR), whose off season job was being a gravedigger.

        https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hebneri01.shtml

      • Still a Red

        Johnny Edwards worked as an engineer at General Electric Evandale in the off-season…with my Dad.

    • Michael Armstrong

      Jim, I love the story about you and your Dad as well as all the thoughtful comments you make after every game. After reading the game summary each morning the next thing I always do is to scroll down to the comments section to read your take on the game. You are appreciated. From one old Reds fan to another.

  3. Bet on Red

    Right this minute, more effort should be made to retain deshields then barrero. Looking like a straight bust

    • Lefty32

      Saying Barerro looks like a bust without giving him 150-200 ABs at his natural position without looking over his shoulder is asinine. He could be a bust but much too early to tell. You have to throw 2020 stats out the window. He’d never played above A+ and the org knew his bat wasn’t MLB ready. My fear is they think he’s a CF next and it’s Senzel all over. Why DeShields didn’t play CF and Farmer DH with Barrero at SS tonight if all three in lineup day after elimination is beyond me.

    • CI3J

      This post is wrong and you feel ashamed for writing something so wrong.

    • greenmtred

      I assume that you’re playing devil’s advocate–goading the faithful in hopes of getting a bunch of reactions near the end of the season? Much too early to write Barrero off, just as it is much too early to anoint him the next great shortstop and savior of the franchise.

      • Alan Horn

        I agree. I too have hoped he would show more with the bat. However, at both AA and AAA this season he was close to a month into the season before he took off. He didn’t get the same vote of confidence with the Reds. He has been messed with more than any prospect I can remember. Brought up last season from high A(no AA or AAA). Brought up this season to sit the bench. He has allowed to start every week to 10 days and used as a PH . Then when he was finally allowed to start, he was moved to CF( a position he had not played in the minors). That is a terrible way to break in a top prospect. Who knows if he will hit in the majors until he is given a legitimate chance. We should have known that by now. Instead, it will be into next season before we find out. Same for Lopez and Moreta. That hurts our off season planning and preparation for next season.

      • Jim Walker

        @Alan>>+1000. Maybe Senzel has been messed around about the same aside from his injury woes.

        Why is it that when a high ceiling prospect approaches MLB, the Reds seem more interested in how he fits into a black hole rather than just letting him play and grow into his natural position while they accommodate career journeymen whose ceiling is the other guy’s floor?

      • Alan Horn

        Agree Jim on Senzel. They have a problem managing prospects who are fresh up(exception India whom they didn’t much of a choice with after the Moose injury.) Most have to be handled in such a way as to get max playing time without destroying their confidence. It is a fine line. You have to play to get over the bump of being overwhelmed by ML pitching. That is true as you move up at each level in the minors Starting ever week or more, moving them to a position they have never played at the ML level, and pinch hitting is not the way to handle it.

    • Hotto4Votto

      While DeShields has performed better for the Reds than expected, the comment about Barrero is nonsense.
      Kyle Farmer, who most people think has done a decent job this season, was hitting .213 with and OPS of .592 through the first 3 month of the season, which is really bad offensive production. At that point he’d had 242 PA. Barrero has 44 PA this season.
      I don’t understand the impatience of some people or those willing to write off players without giving them ample time to adjust to a new level. Farmer was given time and his July buoyed his entire season line because of that time. Farmer also had parts of 4 seasons under his belt and is 30. Barrero is 23 has put up better numbers in the minors than Farmer ever did.
      None of that is to stay that he’s a sure thing to put it together. It’s just pointing out that he’s not been given an ample sample size to do so, and that there’s plenty of reason to think he will. Give him through June next season and see if he’s struggling then explore alternatives. But to write him off after 44 PA is foolishness.

    • CFD3000

      Respectfully disagree. Barrero started the season in AA and now has a handful of at bats this year in MLB. He’s been playing out of position, with no consistent spot in the lineup and mostly coming off the bench. MLB is hard, but Barrero’s upside is high. He’s shown he can be an impact bat in the minors and will likely do the same when he adjusts to major league pitching – and life – when he gets a chance to play shortstop every day. With this knee jerk reaction no one would remember that kid Barry Larkin who never panned out, and wonder if after all he might not have been a better choice for shortstop than that Kurt Stillwell guy. Maybe Barrero is not a future star – I think he is – but I’m sure it’s way too soon to write him off. I hope he gets a good long look at shortstop in 2022.

      • ryan

        Or Darrell Chaney over Dave Concepion

      • Roger garrett

        This is one reason why the thought that everybody must play is always up for debate.It can work but only if your roster is balanced position wise and handed wise If it’s not and ours hasn’t been you never or rarely get your best players on the field at the same time.We have a bunch of players that are best suited as DH’s and a bunch of left handed hitters. We also lean towards the money plays and vets play.Senzel was blocked in the infield and was asked to move to the outfield and now Barrero appears to be blocked as well and lets not forget Stephenson.Suarez Farmer and Tucker are blocking these guys.Think about it 3 below average major league vets all at or over 3o years old are forcing 3 younger players to learn new positions to see the field.That is how it goes and that’s how it stays.Sad.

  4. TR

    I’m puzzled why rest two of the Reds best hitters, Votto and Castellanos, when there’s an off day today in Pittsburgh.

    • greenmtred

      Maybe they wanted the rest. The Reds are eliminated, so it isn’t a big deal either way. Maybe the plan is to give them the best chance to reach symbolic goals against the Pirates?

      • TR

        Since the Reds WC2 race is over, it is a big deal to me for the Reds to pad their winning record for 2021, and making a real effort by Manager Bell for a split with a good team like the ChWS would have been nice.

      • Luke J

        It’s a bigger deal to get your young guys playing time than to try to add a win or two to this season. And it’s not even close.

      • TR

        Let the young guys replacing Votto and Castellanos prove themselves in spring training.

    • Still a Red

      To get a look at the offense once Castellanos and Votto are gone. Ooops…maybe Winker would have brightened things up a bit more.

  5. Bill J

    I liked it better when they could add several of the minor leaguers and let them play in games like this. But times have changed and so has baseball.

    • Jim Walker

      I think you have a point there from strictly the fans’ view of games meaningless to post season play. It gave us a jump start into the hot stove league.

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    Doug What do you think the Reds should do about Sonny Gray next season?
    a) To Keep him and see whether he rebounds opening the door to club option by 2024 or in case of a below-average season trying trade him for at deadline.
    b) just Try to Trade him in offseason

  7. Hotto4Votto

    Sonny Gray has really struggled to finish off the season well. He’s pitched to a 5.12 ERA (5.12 FIP) giving up 9 BBs and 7 HRs in 31.2 innings in September. Along with Miley and Gutierrez struggling to finish strong it’s been one of the reasons the Reds struggled in September. The offense hasn’t been great, but the starting pitching has often put them in a hole down the stretch.

    • Jim Walker

      There was a lot of talk that because of the pandemic shortened season in 2020, starting pitchers were going to have issues making it to the finish line in 2021. I wonder if like seemingly many things, the Reds had no plan for this possibility or whether maybe in their heart of hearts they thought they’d be springing Hunter Greene and perhaps even Nick Lodolo onto the big stage in late August or September.

      Once Greene got to AAA in mid June, they pretty quickly throttled back his pitch count and innings pitched. However, when push came to shove they decided to shut him down at just over 100 innings which by his personal count he felt was the equivalent number of innings he pitched in the Prasco alternate site camp in 2020.

      I am not quibbling with the decision to shut Greene down. He was doing OK but not dominating at AAA and looked like he was just treading water at the point he was shut down. There was no reason and many risks to continue to use him when like the MLB starters he looked like he was pitching on an uphill incline every time out.

    • Bill J

      A couple of ifs, if after the All-Star brake, if you have the pitchers it would be good to go to a 6 man rotation so pitchers won’t like some seemed to.

    • Still a Red

      Seemed like Bell kept a pretty tight rein on the starters at the front end of the season, perhaps in hopes to stretch them out at the end…didn’t seem to work.

  8. CFD3000

    Douglas! This will likely be my last in season response to a 2021 recap. I’ll be in Boston this weekend where they’ll still be excited about baseball. But I can’t let this year of RLN whimper to a close without a huge THANK YOU for all you do to make RLN the best place to follow, cheer, debate and celebrate Reds baseball. You sir are one of the hardest hitters in the Statcast era, doing a largely thankless job and yet passing the old eye test every day. Once again you’ve led the league in OSW+ – Online Sports Writing+ – about a bejillion percent above league average. Thank you. Go Reds!

    • Alan Horn

      I second that to Doug and all the other writers on RLN. We appreciate all you do. I also appreciate all the knowledgeable posters on this site who share their opinions and are professional when others disagree .

  9. old-school

    Devin Williams punched a wall, broke his hand and is out of the post-season. You cant make this stuff up.

    I would aggressively try and trade Sonny Gray. Angels have the money and need pitching and have some good young OF prospects- Brandon Walsh specifically- for CF since that Trout guy isn’t going anywhere.

    • Jim Walker

      Don’t think they could be induced into selling high on Trout? 😉

    • Old Big Ed

      The Angels are certainly stupid, but nobody is stupid enough to trade the 23-year-old and minimum-wage Brandon Marsh for the 31-year-old Sonny Gray. (You said “Brandon Walsh.” Marsh is the outfielder; Jared Walsh is the first baseman. Easy to confuse, and they would make an excellent amalgamated player.)

      That would be almost as stupid as trading Christian Yelich for Lewis Brinson, as executed by His Brilliancy, Derek Jeter.

      • old-school

        Marsh yes. The big picture is Id like the Reds to get a true CF and Marsh checks all the boxes and is young. If his cost is high, pay it.

        Sonny Gray is a competitor and a proven SP and has value and name recognition. Gray is controlled for 2 more years and at a reasonable price. That said, I would trade him. If it meant throwing in a high ceiling, high draft pick low minors player still years away to get your CF for the next 5 years, Id be ok with that. (Austin Hendrick).

      • Luke J

        Brandon Walsh was a character on Beverly Hills 90210. Don’t ask me how I know that. lol

      • Alan Horn

        Old School, I think that is what it would take(+ Hendrick) . I would do it also. Then we can slide Naquin and whomever we get( or already have) as a compliment against left handers.

  10. SultanofSwaff

    I was at the game and you knew they were phoning it in from the get-go. They didn’t even take batting practice despite trotting out a lineup of guys who get uneven playing time.

    More of the same from Sonny. I can’t speak to what’s in his heart but it’s just a really bad look to waltz off the mound spinning your glove in the air like a little leaguer….. Quite the reversal from his first inning on the mound where you can hear him grunting after each pitch. With starting pitching options of plenty next year and if you don’t trade him I almost think he would be more effective out of the bullpen.

    Best of luck to the White Sox they are a very dangerous team. I just don’t see any holes.

    • Old Big Ed

      Sonny is out of gas, just like Miley and for that matter 85% of the starters in the majors. Gerritt Cole is, too, and Walker Buehler has a September ERA of 5.40, with 18 Ks in 26.2 innings.

      There is certainly merit to the idea that these guys are all paying for the short season last year, through no fault of their own.

      I have wondered myself how Gray would fare in the bullpen, but on balance I think it is way too early to give up on him as a starter. He’s been pitching on courage for about 6 weeks now, and needs an off-season.

      I do think that Derek Johnson has learned something from Miley and Gray this year, and that we will see situations where they skip their rotation spots once every 4-5 turns, or maybe hit the IL for rest every so often. The Reds could also go with a 6-man rotation, using Greene or Cessa or a new guy, or have more planned bullpen days.

      • Randy in Chatt

        I’d rather see Tony Santillan get a shot at starting again before Cessa (who I like)

      • Old Big Ed

        I’m good with Santillan getting a chance to start.

      • Alan Horn

        I see no need to move Santillan or Cessa out of the BP even if we trade one of the starters. We have Greene, Lodolo and Ashcraft fairly close plus we would pick up a 5th starter via free agency if necessary.