A slow start to the day seemed to turn around when the Cincinnati Reds put up a 4-spot in the 6th inning that was capped off by a long home run by Tyler Naquin that tied the game up. But then a day that began with a public relations nightmare by Phil Castellini ended as the bullpen imploded on itself in the 9th, giving up two home runs and six runs total and the answer to Phil’s question of “where you gonna go?” was to the exits before the game was even over.

Final R H E
Cleveland Guardians (3-2) 10 10 0
Cincinnati Reds (2-3) 5 5 1
W: Stephan (1-0)  L: Strickland (0-1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Shane Bieber kept the Reds hitless through 5.1 innings, but in the 6th inning the Reds started to get things going. Bieber hit Kyle Farmer with one out before serving up back-to-back doubles to Jake Fraley and Jonathan India, with the latter bringing in two runs to cut the Cleveland lead in half. A few pitches later Tyler Naquin hit a game-tying 2-run homer off of the batters eye on a 98 MPH fastball from a fellow lefty. Statcast claimed it at 428 feet, but I’d be a liar if I said I believed that. It went to the moon.

After tying up the game in the 6th, the Reds offense went in order in the 7th inning. Kyle Farmer led off the 8th inning with a single, but he was doubled up on a fly ball by Jake Fraley when he attempted to steal the bag and didn’t pick up the fly out until it was too late and the throw back to first base beat him by five feet.

Cleveland went off in the top of the 9th inning, scoring six runs to grab a 10-4 lead. Tyler Naquin wasn’t willing to call it a day just yet and doubled to lead off the inning. He moved to third and then scored on two different wild pitches to make it 10-5. But that was all she wrote for the Reds on the day as Aristides Aquino struck out, Joey Votto grounded out, and Tyler Stephenson grounded out to end the game.

The Pitching

Tyler Mahle was cruising along until the top of the 3rd inning when the defense – some of it self inflicted – led to some problems. Mahle was charged with an error and then walked Myles Straw after striking out Austin Hedges. Steven Kwan followed up with a sacrifice fly to put Cleveland up 1-0. It was the next play that may have long-last problems for Cincinnati. Jose Ramirez hit a blooper into shallow left-center field and it turned into a 2-run triple as Tommy Pham and Nick Senzel collided.

Both players remained in the game after the trainer checked on them, but Pham would exit the game after his next at-bat and was clearly feeling something in his wrist while in the dugout as he headed to the clubhouse.

In the 4th inning the Guardians picked up a double and a triple to pick up another run off of Mahle, but it was the first earned run he was charged with on the day. Still, that gave Cleveland a 4-0 lead at a point when the Reds hadn’t gotten a single hit on the day. The righty would be finished for the day after the 4th, giving up four hits and two walks while striking out four.

Jeff Hoffman took over for Cincinnati in the 5th and fired two shutout frames with a strikeout. Those innings turned out to be quite important as the Reds offense dropped a 4-run 6th inning to tie things up. David Bell turned to Art Warren for the top of the 7th and while he had to work around a 2-out walk, he held the game at 4-4 while picking up two strikeouts.

Tony Santillan came out for the top of the 8th inning and he made quick work of the Cleveland lineup, needing just 11 pitches to get through a 1-2-3 inning. A fly out by Jonathan India ended the inning quietly as the game moved to the 9th still tied up. Hunter Strickland took over for Santillan to begin the 9th inning and immediately put a runner in scoring position when Owen Miller took a dead-red fastball to right field. A ground out to second base moved the runner to third with one out, placing the go-ahead run just 90-feet away. That didn’t matter as Andres Gimenez hit a towering home run into the seats just beneath the power stacks in right-center to put the Guardians up 6-4. Strickland then hit a batter and gave up a double before Cincinnati went to the bullpen.

It didn’t get better from there as Daniel Duarte came on, walked Steven Kwan to load the bases and then gave up a grand slam to Jose Ramirez. Before you could blink a tie game turned into a 10-4 game.

The Key Moment of the Game

The Andres Gimenez 2-run go-ahead home run in the top of the 9th started it while the grand slam from Jose Ramirez ended it.

Notes Worth Noting

Tommy Pham exited the game shortly after a collision with Nick Senzel in the outfield. He had his wrist examined on the field, but remained in the game for the remainder of the defensive inning and took his at-bat the next inning.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cleveland Guardians vs. Cincinnati Reds

Wednesday April 13th at 12:35pm ET

Triston McKenzie vs Nick Lodolo

68 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    Title says it all … it definitely was a collapse. They will happen, but this one really stung.

  2. Old-school

    This might be a pivot point to this season.
    On a west coast road trip soon.
    Biggest story of this season isnt surprising…bad OF beyond naquin and Senzel. Winker and Castellanos gone.
    Worst 3b and LF in baseball.
    Shallow SP and thin bullpen.
    No left handed hitting beyond Votto and Naquin
    This could get ugly very quickly

    If Moose and Pham arent good…the season is over ……
    Before it starts.

    Today was not a good day for Reds baseball

    • Votto4life

      Not to mention the loss of power. They lost nearly 100 home runs when they lost Castellanos, Suarez and Winker. I’m sure Stephenson and Senzel will hit a few more this season, but they are not going to make up that many. I love Joey but the odds are he isn’t going to hit 36 again this season.

      • DaveCT

        Just look at that Atlanta lineup, with four guys hitting 30- plus hr’s last year, another Acuña, who has done it before, plus 20-plus hr power in Swanson and several others. How can most clubs compete with that, let alone the bargain basement approach of team Castellani?

      • greenmtred

        And yet, the Reds split with them in Atlanta, with their two losses being one-run games. And we were all happy. Bad games happen to every team, and the season is just starting.

    • AllTheHype

      Couple big pieces missing, Schrock and Solano. Both are important to Reds offense. Need some patience with Pham. He got a late start to ST.

      Moose is likely……not good.

    • Earmbrister

      Wow old school, you must be a hoot at parties …

      Seriously though, this seems to be quite the overreaction after one bad game. We’re five games into the season, and have been competitive in four of them. Heck, it was 4-4 thru 8 IP last night.

      As for your laundry list, you say it’s a bad OF beyond Naquin and Senzel. That’s 2/3 of the starting OF. And Senzel hasn’t even started hitting yet. I am willing to give Pham and Farley more than 5 games before casting judgement.

      As for thin starting pitching, THREE of their starters are currently injured. The quality of the remaining rotation points to how deep their starting pitching is, not how thin. And the BP has been great aside from last night’s 9th inning.

      I’m a glass half full guy by nature, but one game doesn’t = a pivot point.

  3. Redsfan4life

    Oh well. A bullpen meltdown by Cincinnati is better than the team Montreal . After all Phil says they could relocate. I mean it does happen about once every 50 years.
    I’m actually surprised the place was as full as it was. Opening day or not.

  4. Bill

    Hey Phil be careful what you asked for. Man you are a spoiled brat. I hope Daddy Bobby sells this team. You have depleted this team from last year, and you expect us to get behind this team who looks like the Pirates. Its going to be a long summer

    • JoshG

      Who are they selling to that is keeping the team in Ohio?

      • Westfester

        Whoever buys the team. Most sports franchises are owned by people who don’t live in the team’s city. That’s a myth pushed by current ownership to scare us into thinking, “oh no, outsiders are going to move the team!” Never say never, but combine the 15 years remaining on the lease, the new laws in Ohio, and the fact there isn’t a viable alternative and call his bluff. Maybe call Mark Cuban. At least he wants to win no matter what.

  5. Joey Red

    Get used to it. More games and losses just like this one will be the norm. But hey at least Phil won’t move the team so be grateful people.

  6. Votto4life

    I really can’t understand why Phil C. would make such comments on opening day. How tone death can you be?

    Why would you blast your customers on the biggest day of the year for your business?

    • DaveCT

      Especially after a true feel good series against the World Champions, with a great debut by Greene.

      My dad would have called him a horse’s a**. Sorry Doug. Bleep it if you feel necessary.

    • LuciusRuber

      Because you haven’t had to earn your reputation through hard and everything has been given to you

      • DaveCT

        Come to think of it, Phil, you’ve never had to earn anything, have you?

        No quarter, Phil. Resign.

    • TR

      The comments of Phil C. are not those of a true Cincinnati Reds fan. They were flippantly made in an attempt to increase the sale price of their share of ownership.

  7. LDS

    The obvious question – why pull Santillian after 11 pitches? And then why let Duarte go 31? The one and done mindset cost the Reds innumerable games last year. Looks like this year will be no different.

    • Doug Gray

      With Santillan I saw someone speculate that without an off day any time soon and the bottom of the order coming up it made sense to let someone else give it a go and it just didn’t work out.

      As for Duarte – you were losing. Just gotta let him eat it at that point – by the time you could get someone else warming up it was too late.

      • LDS

        A reasonable explanation that I’d accept more readily if it weren’t a recurrent pattern. But it is what it is. I have to keep reminding myself that 4th place is likely as good as it gets and not to get caught in the early season twists and turns.

      • J

        Someone should start a blog devoted entirely to theories about Bell’s decisions that no other manager (or even a casual fan) would ever make. It could be a very busy site. People have an incredible knack for coming up with this stuff.

      • wkuchad

        J, I would love for you or anyone to create this site, so a few of you can move the constant, ridiculous anti-Bell posts over there.

        This is a Reds fan site. So many here just don’t seem like fans. Second-guessing the manager is part of the game. But the constant negativity doesn’t have to be.

      • J

        When a team wins, fans become more positive. That’s why all Reds blogs have been so negative for as long as blogs have existed. If you don’t like negative sports blogs, I
        suggest reading about better teams (especially teams with better ownership and management), because that’s the only way you’ll escape negativity. Fans get mad when their favorite team is lousy year after year after year. Welcome to sports.

      • Chris

        Doug, whoever speculated that was probably right, but sadly, that sort of mindset really borders on complete stupidity. These are all MLB hitters, and you don’t pull a guy in that situation so another guy can get a workout. Mind-boggling.

        @wkuchad, Bell gets ridiculed because he makes decisions like yesterday’s way too often, and they almost all backfire. And please, don’t tell us that Bell has forgotten more baseball than we will ever know. That phrase is a joke, and CLEARLY not true, based on his continued foolish decisions.

    • Ted

      Absolutely terrible game bullpenmanagement. Santillon pitched two innings in a Braves game, they were off yesterday and are probably getting rained out tomorrow. The way the game went to come back and tied at 4 vs Bieber you don’t pull a guy throwing that well after 11 pictures versus letting him get through the 9th with you coming to bat in the bottom to win it. It’s just typical David Bell stupidity when it comes to over-managing….just over and over and over into year 4. His Bullpen usage is just subpar and always has been.

    • Ted

      The real problem with how Bell handled the bullpen in the 9th is just not understanding how fragile this team is mentally coming off the 2021 season Sept collapse and the player losses during the off-season. It really elevates the importance to this year’s team of getting off to a good start. It means understanding how big winning a game like this could be when you’re down 4-0 to an ace #1 P in the 6th but you come back to win. It could have been a HUGE confidence/momentum booster… but instead Bell doesn’t get the gravity in the moment….so he pulls Santillan after an 11 pitch 8th. Today was not like every other game…later this year when your record is 33-45 then it’s just another game. He did the same thing last year in big situations where his Bullpen management simply did not match up to the importance of specific games/situations as far as the team’s momentum loss or gain based on that specific games result…whether it was the opponent, how the team was playing, what was coming up in the schedule etc.

      He’s just a very average-at-best manager and that’s all he’s ever going to be… and that’s probably exactly what this owner wants.

      • VegasRed

        Ted, thank you for articulating what seems to be lacking in Bell’s judgement. What you just wrote expresses my reaction so far with Bell better than I’ve been able to illustrate.

        He just seems to not fully appreciate the moment of the game like the great ones do. It is very much like he has no instinct s.

        Doesn’t make him terrible person, rather I think he is a good guy who really tries. He’s not a terrible manager either. But I don’t think he’s a good manager or would be even if he had a roster with top talent.

        And I think he’s the manager only because he won’t rock the management boat for this organization.

      • TR

        David Bell does not have the ‘killer instinct’ to win a game, certainly the home opener, at any cost. He is an average manager with good contacts in the organization.

  8. Dimondfvr

    Go ahead Phil, I dare you, wait, wait, I DOUBLE-DOG dare you to sell the ballclub to someone who wants to put a winner in GABP!!!

  9. J

    When ownership sees Bell use the bullpen as he did today, do they actually believe he’s doing a good job utilizing the players they’ve given him? Can they possibly think today’s “strategic” decision was the right move, given the options he had? They can’t possibly believe it was a smart choice, right? Somebody please assure me that someone in this organization is aware that Bell made a terrible decision today. Please?

    • LDS

      Remember Bell is a made man. The ownership and FO approve of the job he’s doing , hence the extension last August. Winning isn’t an organizational objective.

  10. Old-school

    I’m calling it now

    This team doesnt have a LF or 3b or Sp 5 deep staff or deep bullpen

    This team Will finish April 6-14. The Roster is shallow

    • Redsfan4life

      Why are you giving up on Pham 5 games into the season?

      • Votto4life

        Tommy Pham is 34 years old and hasn’t hit well for three years. I actually think he may be end up being “OK”, but I don’t think it’s surprising some have doubts.

      • Old-school

        I don’t see the 3b or LF position ready to play a 7 game road trip against the dodgers and padres after they had a chance to beat bieber

        I also think the bullpen and SP are vastly overrated

        Lets see what happens

        The Dodgers can pitch
        We cant hit and usually dont in SD or LA

      • Joey Red

        Pham is another retread. Just a stop gap player with no real future here. If he were to somehow play well he would be traded at the deadline. But I shouldn’t complain too strongly because we could have no team at all. “Well where would you go”? Someone needs to put that on t-shirts and bumper stickers.

      • TR

        That could well be the situation but I’m glad, along with others, that Red’s baseball is back.

    • MBS

      I like the early returns from Fraley, He may get the next couple starts if Pham’s wrist is an issue. I am not down on Pham, he got a even later start than most players this year. We will also have Barrero back soon, which should help the starting 9.

  11. JB

    As much as I dislike Moran, he is better than Moose. What a terrible sign.

  12. Dayton Ducks

    I’m old enough to remember the exhilaration of the 1990 WS championship and now I laugh when I remember thinking at the time, “Wow! 14 years!” As if that were some kind of ridiculous drought. Looking back now it’s not the lack of rings that bothers me the most (fans in cities such as Cleveland, Milwaukee, Seattle, and San Diego know the heartbreak of having excellent teams that were unable to nail down a title in the modern era); it’s the frustration of not even getting close. 2010, 2012…great teams that somehow could not get past the NLDS stage. As the years go by you begin to feel like a sucker, yet we come back for more…oh well. I’ll still be coming back here night after night. Hang in there fellow Redleg fans.

    • BatsLeftThrowsRight

      This is the worst team they have fielded since pre-Baker. If it weren’t for Lodolo and Greene, I would have zero interest in this team.

      If Lodolo and Greene don’t make significant strides, this team will easily lose over 100 games this year. The Owner is pathetic and the fans who continue to buy into his BS are more pathetic.

      PS …Stephenson is a very sloppy catcher defensively, Looking like first base is his future position……

      • Greenfield Red

        I don’t know if he’s sloppy or not, but he did gun down 2 baserunners in the same inning. No Reds Catcher has done that since LaRue in 99.

      • Luke J

        I assume you mean sloppy in terms of pitch framing. Because his run game control and game calling seem very good to me. And if you are in fact referring to pitch framing, that will soon be obsolete when automated balls and strikes become a thing.

    • Joey Red

      I’m old enough to remember 1990 too. And also 1975 and 1976. My dad was a HUGE Reds fan. He had memories of going to the 1940 WS at Crosley which the Reds won. He felt the heartbreak of the Reds losing the WS in 1961,1970 and 1972. He was exhilarated when the Reds finally won in 1975. It had been 35 years since a WS title. He enjoyed seeing the Reds win again in 76. He never lost faith in the 14 years before the Reds won in 1990. And he still was watching and listening to Reds games when he passed in 2011. I admit I don’t have his patience. He enjoyed watching,listening and going to Reds games regardless of how the Reds were doing. If the Reds were struggling he always mentioned that 35 year stretch between 1940 and 1975. He always had hope. It’s been 32 years since 1990. Unfortunately I have little hope this long stretch will end anywhere soon. I often wonder what my did would be saying now.

      • Jimbo44CN

        My Dad was also a die hard Reds fan. Every summer evening he had the radio on in the breezeway(yes, that used to be a thing) and while reading a book would all the sudden look up after hearing a play and say” They are not the big Red machine, they’re the little pink wagon” and go back to listening and reading his book. He never gave up on them, even on their worst days.

  13. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    Down five runs in the ninth inning with one out, “Mr. Baseball,” Joey Votto swings at a 2-0 pitch and weakly grounds out, right into the shift.

    Being down multiple runs in the ninth inning used to mean take a strike, especially with nobody on base.

    I just will never understand the game of modern baseball…….You can’t hit a five run homer, even with men on base.

    Sign Conforto or continue to play these retreads and lose over a 100 games.

    • Old Big Ed

      Conforto is a left-handed hitter, and the Reds need a right-handed hitter in the outfield. (Plus, let’s face it, ownership isn’t going to sign him even for a year.)

      Perhaps they will move Farmer to left (or third) when Barrero is ready.

    • DaveCT

      Too little, too late Phil.

      As the poet says, When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

    • MBS

      Wow that seems even worse. I’d rather hear him say would you rather us pack up the team, than take what you get and like it. What a jerk. I’ve joked with Sell the team Bob, but listing to that dude makes me actually mean it. Who want that trash person as the future owner of the team? Also yes, we will stop being fans, people have breaking points.

  14. DaveCT

    Phil Castellini should resign. Period.

    He smeared the fans.


    • Votto4life

      Yeah, only a relative would survive those remarks. His first remarks were bad enough, but then to double down on them just shows how arrogant he is.

  15. Rednat

    i just wish ownership would be more open with fans. I am not talking about opening the books but just tell us what their expectations are of the fans. What attendance numbers are their threshold for spending more? how much do they want us to spend at the game on refreshments and novelty items etc?
    the fans and ownership should have one common goal and that is winning a championship. Right now the relationship is too antagonistic.

    • DaveCT

      More open or more competent? Or both?

      I’m sure Krall is a ‘great guy.’ But his PR skills and by extension, leadership are very lacking.

      Today, in smearing the fans, Phil has also shown he’s inept.

      Last year, Big Bob had the arrogance to take a lap around the park in a golf cart, to celebrate his anniversary. Really?

      The lack of leadership, the lack of competence, is glaring.

      They fired Thom for far less (and thankfully).

      Phil must resign. The Big C family must come clean, yes, but not with books.

      They must come clean that they have failed.

      • DaveCT

        If not apparent, I’m PO’d. And not just a little.

  16. MuddyCleats

    N Atlanta, Olsen went 8-14? in the 4 game set. Tonight, 3 hole hitter, All-Star Ramirez, drives in 6. Measure all the new stats, spin rates and pitching philosophies u want – a team shouldn’t let the 3-4 hole hitters continually beat them!

    Just so the Castellini’s know, Playing/Managing smarter shouldn’t cost u a lot of cash. In other words, common sense can go a long way!

    • DaveCT

      Take the Braves.

      Four guys with 30-plus HR’s last year. A 5th in Acuna, who has a career high of 49 hr’s.

      And several others like Dansby Swanson who are in the 20-plus hr category. How does anyone like us compete?

      Not by being ‘smarter’, tho I think that’s a key.

      By not letting, what, 85-90 home runs depart? And adding Pham (who l like snd please let him get in shape), and Moran, who’s fine in his role?

      This is amateurish. Bob and Phil are rank amateurs. Selling eggplant is not like owning a ML baseball team.

      Bob, Phil, this doesn’t get better. Don’t believe anyone who says it does.

  17. kevinz

    Not a savior or anything.
    But Moran does well vs rhp.
    Think should DH vs them.
    Best have as many LHH, way team is built vs rhp imo.

  18. Alex

    I’m sure baseball-less cities are tripping over themselves to pay for a stadium for you Phil. An ownership group full of trust fund babies who have shown nothing but utter incompetence from PR to scouting, to drafting to free agency.
    Phil, I mean this, I couldn’t think less of you, and you clearly don’t think much of us. You are a trust fund baby clown, born on third who thinks he hit a triple. Go back to daddies tete and stop talking.

  19. Steven Ross

    It’s only April 13th, let’s not over-analyze everything happening on the field so soon. My rule of thumb is just get out of April around .500.

    The bigger story is buffoon Phil Castellini. How in the wide, wide world of Reds baseball can someone make such a crass comment. Unbelievable.

  20. Old Big Ed

    Phil should have ignored the “Sell the team, Bob” campaign. If he did respond, he should have hired a PR firm tp devise the strategy. That he didn’t hire a PR person is yet another example of how cheap and smug he is. He thought he could handle it.


  21. Old Big Ed

    I don’t think I ever saw a more “Reds” inning than the 3rd inning yesterday. Mahle pitched 6 outs, but the Reds actually recorded only 3.

    He struck out Hedges with a slider so good that Stephenson couldn’t block it. Then he flubbed a double-play grounder right back to him. He followed that up by walking one of the fastest guys in MLB. Then he yielded a bloop that turned into a collision and (of all things) a triple to short center field.

    Mahle actually pitched very well, but that inning cost him about 20 pitches — and more specifically, an inning. But for the ridiculous 3rd inning, the Reds would have been comfortably ahead, and the 4 shutout innings from Hoffman, Warren and Santillan would have closed out the game.

    I realize that it is only 5 games, and that he had a short spring, but Pham doesn’t look like he could even hit Division II college pitching right now. They need to put him on the IL, then use the time in rehab at AAA to figure out if he can still even play. And if not, DFA him.

  22. Jim t

    Went to game yesterday saw some good and bad baseball.

    The Good, my son and I sat in club seats right in front of the box where Joey Burrow and group waited for ceremonies. Joey and Chase were nice enough to take a photo with us.

    Once again the reds demonstrated a never say die attitude coming back from a 4-0 deficit. Naquin had a nice game with a couple of big hits. Mahler threw the ball well but a passed ball on strike 3 along with a comebacker that I think should have been handled led to 3 runs.

    The bad, Hunter Strickland. The other pitchers used threw very well. The debate about who should pitch and when is a very complicated matter. Many issues need to be factored in. The bottom line is this, if you are on the team when your number is called you need to do your job. He did not. A manager considers many things when managing a bull pen. Usage, schedule, what part of order and others. Hated to lose the game yesterday but I’m not willing blame the manager for calling a guys number to get bottom of the oppositions line up out.