Joey Votto hit a 3-run home run in the 5th inning and Reiver Sanmartin dominated the Pirates for a second consecutive starts as the Cincinnati Reds won 6-3 in Pittsburgh to wrap up the 2021 season with their 83rd win.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (83-79) 6 11 0
Pittsburgh Pirates (61-101) 3 9 0
W: Sanmartin (2-0) L: Ponce (0-6)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

After not being able to cash in during the 1st or 2nd innings, Cincinnati came through in the 3rd. Jonathan India doubled and scored when Nick Castellanos doubled later in the inning. The RBI for Castellanos gave him 100 on the season and tied the game up at 1-1.

When the Reds took the field for the bottom of the 4th inning Nick Castellanos remained in the dugout and Aristides Aquino took over in right field. If that’s the last we have seen of Castellanos in a Reds uniform this is how this particular writer is choosing to remember him:

In the 5th inning Jonathan India extended his National League lead in hit by pitches when he was hit for the 23rd time on the year. Max Schrock followed with a double to put two on. Aristides Aquino singled in India to give the Reds a 2-1 lead. That brought Joey Votto to the plate and he hammered his 36th homer of the year into the right field stands to make it 5-1.

An inning later the Reds played add on. Aristides Aquino got ahead 3-0 and he got the green light from the dugout and he made it count as he clobbered a 400-foot homer into right-center to extend Cincinnati’s lead to 6-1.

The Pitching

Pittsburgh had the bases loaded before Reiver Sanmartin struck out Colin Moran for the first out of the game. But the lefty making his second big league start walked the next batter to put the Pirates ahead 1-0. Sanmartin buckled down and induced an inning-ending double play to limit the damage.

From there the 25-year-old just kept on rolling. Sanmartin kept the Pirates off the board for another five innings after that. He finished with six strikeouts in a 1-run, 6-inning start. He faced the Pirates in both of his two big league appearances this season and gave up just two runs in 11.2 innings while striking out 11.

Amir Garrett took over for Cincinnati in the 7th, holding onto a 6-1 lead. He needed just eight pitches to retire the Pirates in order. Art Warren replaced Garrett for the 8th inning and he needed fewer pitches than Garrett to get through the frame, throwing just six pitches.

Mychal Givens came out for the 9th inning looking to wrap up the 83rd win of the season for the Reds. After getting Anthony Alford to fly out to center, Givens gave up a single to Ben Gamel. Oneil Cruz followed with a 2-run homer to cut the Cincinnati lead to 6-3, the first of his career (this was only his second career game). Givens struck out Michael Perez for the second out of the inning and then got Bryan Reynolds to fly out to end the game.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

The offseason.

Thank You

Just wanted to extend a big thank you on behalf of the Redleg Nation crew. It was a fun season at times, a miserable season at times, a frustrating and confusing season at times. But Cincinnati put together a winning record, and after the last decade, things could have gone much worse.

We’re not going anywhere, but of course the day-to-day game coverage of the Reds is over until late February. The next few months will be spent looking back and looking forward. There are some big decisions on the horizon for Cincinnati once the playoffs are over. We hope you’ll stick around with us during the offseason.

77 Responses

  1. Roger Garrett

    Thanks so much Doug and crew for doing what you do.Best of luck to all of you.

  2. Bet on Red

    Now the “Nick Castellanos has fired scott boras” watch begins. That will be the identifier that He isnt opting out. See some of you next season, see some of you in the offseason

    • Bet on Red

      And thank you Doug and company for all you have done this season

    • Alan Horn

      There was an interesting article on today on Castellanos. I might be reading too much into his interview, but I believe he wants to stay. It will be up to the Reds to sweeten the pot a little. The number quoted there indicated 20 million a year might do it.

    • indyDoug

      He WILL opt out regardless. NO chance he won’t. But he might stay a Red if they’re competitive in their offer

      • Alan Horn

        I agree. That is basically what the article said. If they can keep it at 20 million or slightly above per season, it should be doable.

  3. CI3J

    Thank YOU, Doug. Also, good call on predicting 83 wins. Who needs FanGraphs when we have Doug Gray? 🙂

    Going to be an interesting offseason. For some reason, I feel a greater sense of dread than I have in offseasons past, because I totally don’t trust this Reds front office to make smart choices. But I guess we’ll know for sure which way this team is heading soon enough.

    I’ll be here in the offseason, I usually check in maybe once or twice a week as opposed to nearly every day during the season. Hope to see all the other great RLN posters here during these coming months too!

    Peace out.

    • Alan Horn

      I have hope that they will hang onto Castellanos if the money is within reason. They will need a LH reliever or 2 as well as a better RH bench bat.

      • Randy in Chatt

        I think San Martin would make an excellent lefty out of the pen. Alejo Lopez is an on-base machine and utility whiz kid. I’d give him one of those jobs.

      • Doc

        If SanMartin is real, he might be a Miley replacement in the rotation.

      • Alan Horn

        I was thinking the same thing about Sanmartin and Lopez. I think Schrock has earned a spot also(they have to resign him).

      • redsfan4040

        For Schrock, they only have to tender him a contract. He’s under Reds control for through 2026.

      • Alan Horn

        Then that would be a easy decision for me on Schrock.

  4. Melvin

    Thanks to all the writers and posters. 🙂

  5. David

    To be totally in echo of others, thanks to all the Redleg Nation contributors (and you know who you are….and….you look marvelous!). And especially Doug Gray, who labors daily to bring us content of all sorts about the Reds. This Bud’s for you!

    Glad the Reds ended on a winning note, and not in flopsweat and desperation.

    Not sure really what the 2022 Cincinnati Reds will look like, but I for one was impressed by Reiver SanMartin, in his two starts this year.
    I think there is a lot of hope for next season, but only time will tell.

    Adios, amigos. Until we meet again. Same Redlegs time, same Redlegs channel.

  6. Jim t

    Enjoyed the season and the interaction on the site. Thanks to the writers and all the people commenting on the articles. Even those I routinely disagree with. Hope we make some nice moves in the off season and come back stronger next year. Everyone be safe and healthy.

  7. Bryant Welch

    Yes, thank you so much for making following the Reds so much more meaningful than it would otherwise be. In coming weeks, I would love to hear what light you can share on the Nick Senzel case. I periodically see comments that the relationship between player and team is almost irreparable, but not sure I have seen your understanding of it. Be a shame to lose him with so little return. Thanks!

  8. RedsGettingBetter

    Reds made a season with less than 80 losses. Despite the ownership cut budget and severely weakened some areas of the team, the Reds finish better than Padres and Mets who did spend a considerable amount of money this season. On the other hand, without including the other teams final scores, the Reds finish about 8 games behind 2nd NLWC spot and 23 games behind 1st NLWC spot. They also were 12 games back from the first-place Milwaukee. There is a lot of work to do in the offseason to improve the team as long as the ownership does want to do it. The spring training will be very interesting because of top quality prospects should be there. Let´s see…
    Thanks Doug for your excellent and appreciated work, I hope this site continues being among the bests about Reds info. I will stay in tune…The next in USA is Instruct league and AFL… Here in Venezuela we’ll be enjoying the LVBP winter league

  9. Mark Moore

    I found a spare +473 under the chair cushions for you, Doug. Spend it wisely.

    Not sure how much playoff ball I’ll watch or who I’ll support. I’ll figure it out.

  10. MBS

    Interesting way to end the year. Sanmartin made a case to be a starter in 22. It’s a long shot for sure, but when was the last time the Reds had 3 left handed starters.

    • greenmtred

      He was impressive getting out of the 1st inning jam of his own creation, and he’s a contrast to the high-velocity guys. I’m hopeful, but he would obviously need to replicate his early success against stronger teams.

      • Alan Horn

        Against stronger teams is the key. I think he can at least be helpful out of the BP. The BP is one area that needs a boost next season. That and the bench. There needs to be new faces in both places. Some can come from AAA but some will need to come from outside the organization.

      • MBS

        Agree completely, bullpen is probably the spot for him n 22. It’s just nice to know we have 3 possible LHP as starters. I’m assuming that one or two of Castillo, Gray, Mahle, or Miley will be traded in the off-season.

      • Alan Horn

        If Castellanos returns we probably won’t need to trade a starter until the deadline or Greene/Lodolo force their way into the rotation. If he doesn’t return, our only options are to sign Marte and/or trade one or two starters for OF help.

  11. Votto4life

    Thank you for a season of great coverage. The Reds disappoint us at times but the writers at RLN never do. I have also enjoyed the reading the comments everyday. Thanks for a fun season of talkin’ baseball everyone.

  12. dhmorgan

    This was my first season on this site and it was an enjoyable one.
    Thanks to Doug, Tom, Ashley, Nick and others who posted the previews and post game analyses.
    And of course the commenters were mostly insightful and occasionally offered a good laugh.
    I’m sure I’ll check in sporadically during the off season.

  13. vared

    Thanks Doug and crew. Much appreciated again this season. My go-to place for the latest on the Reds.

    My simple 2021 “what if” question: What if the Reds don’t give away Iglesias? Are they in the playoffs?

  14. eddiek957

    Thanks to everyone on this site. Kind of hoping the reds keep Nick C and Sonny. San Martin looked nice against a hundred loss team in September. Aside from Grey we had healthy years from our other starters. I hope a reliever or two of substance is acquired. Having Garrett and Sims missing Spring Training didn’t help a shoddy bullpen. Looking forward to this off season and a place to read about and discuss baseball

  15. Kevin Patrick

    Coming to this forum might be as important to me as listening to the games themselves. I sometimes wish everyone was at a buffalo wild wings together. I will not stop checking here with great regularity this offseason. I’ve been lurking here for years now…I know the popularity has “softened” the more overall air of intelligence in the discourse of the comments section…but I still enjoy everyone’s passion. May the more intelligent of us speak the most often. I say this conceding the limits of my own abilities to add insight unclouded by my emotional states.

  16. Jon

    This is certainly going to be an interesting winter. With the CBA expiring in early December, how will teams and free agents be reacting? Will there be a rush of activity in the month or so following the World Series, or will it be mostly quiet until the new CBA is in place, whenever that may be?

    Nick Krall doesn’t give me much confidence running things, but maybe Bob Castellini will sell the team and there will be a shakeup in the front office. We can only hope.

    • Tom Reeves

      Be careful hoping Bob C sells. Cincinnati is t chocked full of billionaire so whoever buys the team may have no connection to the Reds or the city. Someone may buy it as purely an investment. Bob C might not know how to win within the restraints but at least he wants to win.

      • Luke J

        The best owners often have no connection to the city. They are the billionaires who see the team not as an investment, but as a form of entertainment and joy. They want the team to win, regardless of the cost/money. If Bob C wanted to win, as you say, he would pour money into the team regardless of the return on investment. George Steinbrenner is the premier example of this. He wasn’t from NY and didn’t care if the Yankees made money. He just wanted to win. And funny enough, if you build a winner, you also tend to make money.

      • Still a Red

        Please don’t ask Bob C to be a Steinbrenner. Stieinbrenner hurt as much as he contributed, I suspect he had more personal wealth than Bob C, AND he would want to move the team to NY.

      • Luke J

        I want someone with way more personal wealth than Bob C. That’s the point. I don’t want someone who holds the purse strings tight because they have personal risk. I want someone who has very little to lose if the team makes no profit at all. I want them to own the team just because they want to make it win. At. All. Cost. Small market teams with small market owners make for very few championships. You can hate on Steinbrenner all you want, but I’d take the championships his teams won any day.

    • Jim Walker

      I saw Nick Castellanos spoke of the possible impact of the CBA situation on his opt in/out decision. He said he had to talk at length with his agent (Scott Boras) to figure out how it might specifically impact him personally. He closed that part of his remarks with a comment which seemed to imply he thought it could be a bad decision to be under contract ahead of the new deal versus being a free agent after a new CBA came into effect.

      This left me wondering what sort of scuttlebutt might be making the rounds among the players because from most things I’d seen, having $34m guaranteed for 2022-23 (including 2024 buyout but less any lockout loss) and $20M on (mutual) option for 2024 seemed like a good situation to be in. Then again, maybe this was just some savvy public negotiation by NC to get the Reds moving on upping the ante to keep him ahead of the opt out date because everything else he said sounded like a guy who really wanted to stick around business side being equal.

      • Luke J

        I mean, it makes sense, if the players are expecting a bigger piece of the pie in the new CBA, right?

      • Jim Walker

        @Luke, But a larger % of what sized pie? One of the major issues is going to be direct baseball income versus all the side gigs teams have going on with parking, real estate, media partnerships and the like. Which and how much get included in the player’s slice?

      • Luke J

        Obviously that remains to be seen. My point is that if the players think there will be more money available, they will wait. If they don’t, they won’t. It’s only logical.

  17. Mark A Verticchio

    Thanks to everybody on the sight, really enjoyed talking Red’s baseball with everybody. You guys made the good times a lot more fun and the bad times more bearable. Let’s hope for a good off season and go get them next year.

  18. Redsvol

    Thanks Doug, RLN crew, and the posters on RLN. This is by far the best Reds site out there. If you don’t support DOUG and RLN on PATREON you really should. Just like you should support the Reds by buying merch and going to games at GABP.

    I can’t remember a more critical off-season for our Reds. With all the young talent and the division somewhat weak, the Reds could be set up to contend for next 5 years with really some minor adjustments. I’m looking forward to the off-season coverage and really hope neither the players or owners screw things up by failing to compromise on the new CBA.


    Thanks Doug. You do a Great Job here!

  20. TR

    I can’t get through the day without checking RLN at least once and appreciate your work, Doug, and the effort of you and others to keep this first class blog going. It reminds me of the old days at the ballpark and conversations with fans about our love of baseball and the Reds. Thanks for being there.

  21. Indy Red Man

    Thanks Doug!! A very interesting year to say the least

  22. Joe

    A big thank to all the contributors at Redleg Nation! This is my go too site for Reds content.

  23. greenmtred

    Thanks, Doug and everyone else. I’ll continue checking in–probably every day. You never know what will happen when.

  24. doofus

    Sixteen years under Bob Castellini the Reds won .479 of their games, zero world series championships. Five winning seasons.

    Sixteen years under Marge Schott, .490 and one World Series championship. Seven winning seasons and one .500 season.

  25. Andrewman

    Thanks to all of you. I rarely post but have been an avid reader of this website for about 11 or 12 years now. This is the place to get Reds news. It is amazing to me how I would so much rather get my Reds news here than anywhere else. Great analysis and always so knowledgeable about the team. I love it. Thank you all.

  26. Bred

    If the Reds were as good as RLN and RML, they’d win the WS every year. Thanks to all for creating a fun community for Reds’ fans. Support Doug on He works hard for us everyday 24-7. Chip in and buy him a cheese burger!

  27. Hotto4Votto

    Thanks for another season RLN, Doug, and all the commenters. Some good discussion along the way. 83 wins was more than I predicted by about 5. So, maybe a step in the right direction. Slightly better rotation, slightly better offense than I anticipated. Unfortunately the bullpen was about what was expected. Reds baseball was fun at times, which hasn’t been the case much since 2013.

  28. wkuchad

    Many thanks to Doug and the other writers/contributors at RLN. Minus September, this was an overall very enjoyable season to watch. This site adds a lot to that enjoyment. Thank you!

  29. Still a Red

    Let me add my thanks to the long list here to all the contributors. I really enjoy checking in and getting your and the commentors review and critique of the game(s)…even those I don’t agree with. I will continue checking in during the off-season to see what happens. A critical one yes, but one that seems to be more optimistic in some way.

    Let me just add, offer Castellanos his $20 million/ 6 year contract, back load it, if necessary, to kick in when Joey retires, and nail down Wink.

  30. indyDoug

    Ok. Predictions for Reds potential off-season moves– Pick up Miley option. Decline Barnhart option and hope to sign him for about $4-5 M. Release Aquino. Let Lorenzen walk. Offer Shrock a contract. Make non-competitive offer to Casty after he opts out. Offer Garrett arbitration. Try to trade Akiyama back to Japan for a bucket of balls.

    • Jim Walker

      Bite the bullet and get Moose off the books and out of the way at the least loss possible. He is 3 years older and in worse condition than Suárez. He represents $38m in outstanding sunken costs including the buyout against 2024. They might have to send a couple of fair to middling prospects with him and take back a less expensive boat anchor contract in the process but try to get the out of pocket on him down to 50 cents on the dollar.

      • Alan Horn

        I agree. If it takes money, prospects or both, get it done.

      • Jim Walker

        @Alan, IMO this is another type situation where MLB needs to look at other sports for a better way of doing things for both the teams and the players. In the NHL contracts are guaranteed but can be bought out for $0.67 cents on the dollar (2/3 face value).

        Negotiate the buyout percentage. Also maybe on the maximum amount a player can lose and/ or the number of seasons which can be discounted off a contract; but, come up with something.
        It is better for the game. Also, I have to believe there are any number of players who would have gladly called it a career for 2/3 of their remaining contract face value when the time came as opposed to stumble bumming around as a shell of their former selves for another couple of years for the 100% payout.

      • Alan Horn

        But many would try to milk every dollar while they can. Moose is in the driver’s seat on a terrible contract for the Reds. I think our best(and that isn’t that good) option is to try to move his contract to a club needing a DH with money and prospects going the other way.

      • greenmtred

        I’ve lost track of what the likelihood is of a DH in the National League. Moose might look a little better if he were healthy and didn’t have to field a position. Of course, the Reds have other guys who might be dandy DH’s. Alan is probably right that trading him would require sweetening the pot with prospects, and I’m afraid it might take a good one.

      • Jim Walker

        @greenmtred>> “Smart money” seems to be all lined up that when the CBA is done there are going to be expanded playoffs and universal DH but the 7 inning doubleheader games and ghost runners in extra innings will be gone with (hopefully) the pandemic.

      • Old-school

        Didn’t the Reds get taken to the cleaners the last time they wanted to shed dead money, ie., Homer bailey?
        Don’t trade away good prospect capital to clear dead money.

        That said, everyone said the same about Miley this time last year. That’s the nature of the beast when you are paying $10-16 million to 34 year olds and expecting health and performance over a 6 month season. I would not take Miley back simply because I cant see him making 30 starts and 160 innings at age 35. I see injury and regression.

        Stop signing guys over 30 to 10 figure contracts based on what they did 3-5 years ago. Sign 25-28 year olds based on what they can do the next 3-5 years.

        Get younger.

  31. Alan Horn

    I would make a competitive offer to Casty after he opts out and I would try to move Garrett. I agree with most everything else.

    • Jim Walker

      I hope (in a switch for the Reds) they try to be proactive and buy back Castellanos opt out before the date he has to announce his decision.

      Accept at face value NC’s statements which indicate he’d like to stay but is concerned about the impact of the CBA re-negotiation. The CBA situation makes it an even tougher terrain; but, my guess is NC’s agent, Boras, probably has a better lay of the land than many teams at this point. Talk it out with Boras and see if they would be willing to accept a buyback offer and how much more money they’d need to do so. Work from there.

      The Reds should already be budgeted to pay out $34M to NC over the next 2 seasons because with his opt out decision, he, not the Reds, controls whether the Reds have that obligation. Maybe as little as $30m additional over 3 seasons would get the job done? That would put NC at $27M annually in 2022-23. Fold in the other $10m for 2024 at $30m and make it a player only option with a $10m severance payout so he is guaranteed the full $30m additional to his original contract either way. I have no clue if my $30 additional is anywhere being close to accurate; but, it demonstrates how the process could work.

      • DX

        If Castellanos opts out and looking on how the Reds spend money or what their budget is next year, it will be a tough signing. Votto, Moustakas, Shogo, Gray, Suarez, club options and whole lot of arbitration eligible players will push their budget as is.

        I want them to sign Castellanos but not if no one else is there to be competitive. A lot of good Votto years sure were wasted. And Votto still bangs……tied with the second highest bop+ with Winker leading the way. Maybe some of the higher priced players can be moved??

        I only base my opinion on how I think the Reds ownership and management will spend in 2022.

    • indyDoug

      that was my prediction on what they will do not what they should. I agree I hope Reds do all they can to keep Casty

  32. west larry

    Thanks Doug and crew for all you do.

  33. Chris

    Thanks Doug, to you and your peers. This site is a breath of fresh air when it comes to Reds baseball.

  34. RDub14

    Another round of kudo infused back slapping from a longtime lurker. As many have said this a must read for any serious Reds fan. I have described RLN as insightful, informative and timely to others. (Red) Hats off to Doug and all who contribute to RLN!

  35. burtgummer01

    Most people know that Moneybags Bob will not bring back Nick C
    They may try to do something cheaper to keep Barnhardt,otherwise retreads and never will be’s will round out the roster.
    I can hear the front office trying to hype up AA as the starting RF

    • Indy Red Man

      Big Bob has not done what he said he would do without a doubt, but they were #10 or #12 in payroll after getting Nick, Moose, Bauer, Sonny, etc. Thats not exactly cheap? I think they just realize that spending all that got them nowhere close plus the lost covid season of revenue, etc. Just blindly spending 60 mil for somebody with a ring (Moose) is almost as stupid as paying $50 mil each for 2 useless Homer no-no’s

      So my summary would be its not cheapness as much as low baseball IQ and monetary overreactions. I’m surprised Scooter didn’t get a $44 mil deal for 4 hrs because thats how they roll

      • David

        Naquin is this year’s Scooter Gennett. I like Naquin, but I wonder if he EVER has a year like this again. I wonder if they sign him to a multi-year contract? That’s the replacement for Castellanos.

      • Jim Walker

        What Naquin had done prior when he could avoid injury at least suggested he might do what he did this year *if* he could stay on the field.