Connor Overton continued to baffle opponents and left the game in the 8th inning with a lead, but the bullpen blew the lead and the Reds and Guardians would head to extra-innings. After getting a run in the top of the 10th to take the lead, things got dicey in the bottom half before Alexis Diaz stranded the bases loaded to pick up his first big league save.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (10-26) 5 9 0
Cleveland Guardians (16-18)
4 5 1
W: Warren (2-1) L: Sandlin (3-2) SV: Diaz (1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati didn’t do much early on, but Tyler Naquin led off the 3rd inning with a solo home run to put the Reds up 1-0. The next inning saw the team threaten after a 2-out single by Tyler Stephenson was followed by a walk from Colin Moran, but a fly out ended the inning. Two inning later the offense was back to it as Brandon Drury led off with a walk and went came around to score after back-to-back 1-out singles by Mike Moustakas and Tyler Stephenson to break a 1-1 tie. TJ Friedl walked and stole second base to lead off the 8th inning and he scored on a 1-out Tommy Pham single that made it a 3-1 ballgame.

After Cleveland got a run back in the 8th inning, Tyler Naquin laid down a 2-out bunt single, stole second, and then scored when Kyle Farmer came through with a clutch RBI hit to make it 4-2. The Guardians tied the game up in the bottom of the 9th and that meant extra-innings. And that meant the “ghost runner”, which for Cincinnati was Matt Reynolds. He would come around to score thanks to three consecutive 1-out walks. With the bases loaded, both Tyler Stephenson and Colin Moran would strike out to strand everyone and send things to the bottom of the 10th.

The Pitching

Connor Overton has turned into the Cincinnati Reds ace, or something like it. He cruised through the first two innings in order, but did allow a run in the 3rd inning on a sacrifice fly that tied the game up. Overton then didn’t allow another baserunner until a leadoff infield single in the 8th inning. He would retire the next two batters, but walked Franmil Reyes on a full count and that was all for him on the night. David Bell turned the game over to Tony Santillan. He allowed a single to Myles Straw, bringing in a run for Cleveland who cut into the Reds lead and made it 3-2. Santillan got Steven Kwan to pop out to third base a few pitches later to end the inning and send the game to the 9th.

Cincinnati’s offense padded their lead in the top of the 9th, giving the bullpen a 2-run lead. It would turn out that they needed those runs as Art Warren walked Jose Ramirez to lead off the inning and then served up a game-tying 2-run homer to Owen Miller. Warren got out without giving up any more damage and the game went to the 10th.

The Reds plated a run in their half of the 10th inning to grab a 5-4 lead. Cincinnati then turned things over to Alexis Diaz with Richie Palacios starting on second base for Cleveland. Diaz struck out the first two hitters he faced, but a wild pitch with Myles Straw at the plate moved Palacios up to third base, and he may have scored had the pitch not been so wild that it ricocheted off of the backstop and rolled into the Reds dugout, sending Palacios back to third base by rule. Straw would walk, placing runners on the corners with two outs.  Diaz then walked Steven Kwan on four pitches to bring Jose Ramirez to the plate. After falling behind 1-0, the Reds rookie reliever fired three straight strikes to strike Ramirez out and pick up his first career save.

Key Moment of the Game

Bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning with Jose Ramirez at the plate and Alexis Diaz struck him out to end the game.

Notes Worth Noting

Kyle Farmer, who hadn’t played since May 13th, returned to the lineup and went 3-3.

Alexis Diaz is now 180 big league saves behind his brother Edwin.

Joey Votto went 1-4 with a run scored on his rehab assignment with the Dayton Dragons.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Cleveland Guardians

Tuesday May 18th, 6:10pm ET

Tyler Mahle (2-4, 5.89 ERA) vs Cal Quantrill (1-2, 3.93 ERA)

52 Responses

  1. Jon

    Am I crazy for thinking that the Reds should keep both Castillo and Mahle at the deadline? If both are kept, the 2023 Opening Day rotation could be Castillo, Mahle, Greene, Lodolo, and Overton, with Ashcroft ready to step in. The Reds could pull a sort of repeat of the 2019-2020 offseason where the goal is to “get the hitting” (and hope for better luck/timing this time around). Aquire three big bats via trade or free agency to supplement India, Stephenson, Barrero, and the final seasons of Votto and Moustakas. With the way De La Cruz has been hitting, it’s possible he could make the team out of spring training next year as well.

    • Dewey Roberts

      I like your idea much better than constantly tearing the club down.

  2. LarkinPhillips

    Just throwing this out there from my post during the game. Reynolds is now hitting .194 in May with 12 Ks in 36 ABs. Those numbers are basically in line with his career totals in over 250 Abs.

    • David

      Jon India will be back soon, I hope.

  3. Old Big Ed

    Well, but for that one little stretch that the Reds had, they are playing .600 ball.

    • Pinson343

      Exactly. And all they have to do is maintain that .600 pace.

      • Old Big Ed

        That could be a bit of a challenge.

  4. Old Big Ed

    The plate umpire was awful. Missed calls on both teams.

    • Jim Walker

      Was watching the 10th with no audio and slow cc. Thought Moose was out on strikes at least twice including the pitch he walked on. Then Moran couldn’t catch a break following him. Going to have to make a point of checking @umpscorecards tomorrow.

      • Mark Moore

        The core problem, from what I’ve seen, is that they “review” their scorecards and then go right on with their poor practices and inconsistent zones. I realize calling the zone at that level is challenging. But the overall lack of consistency and leaving things to a wide-spread interpretation still doesn’t sit well with me. I’m in favor of a highly consistent, automated zone. I think we can get there with at least the same or higher level of accuracy. But that’s just me.

  5. Old-school

    Entertaining baseball game

    I liked the offense manufacturing runs
    I liked efficient old-school pitching throwing strikes. I also believe in bullpen roles and we dont have any . Hoping for a string of unproven guys to string together multiple innings to win… not a plan

    connern overton pitches but doesnt have a great arm. Were watching too many guys with good arms and velocity who cant execute pitches under pressure to get outs. Thats what AAA is for.

    At some point, Reds are going to have to spend money on SP and bullpen and a few bats. Im fine with clearing payroll and sorting in 2022 but need a plan for SPENDING in 2023/24

    • Indy Red Man

      Say what you want but Bell will give guys an extended look. Warren looks nervous and unready every time he goes out there and yet stays in high leverage. 1-0 or 2-1 on everyone almost. Same story with Santillan. Of course Sims is out again. Whats wrong with Cessa in the 8th?

      • Jim t

        Indy it is a challenge for Bell to find that bull pen piece he can use in high leverage situations. If every Time a pitcher fails you replace him you kill his confidence. If you never give him a chance he never advances. This year is about finding those pieces. There will be successes and failures. Hopefully in the end it will make us a better team.

    • Doc

      Scientifically speaking, velocity is a vector with two components: speed and direction. If someone can throw it fast but doesn’t know where it is going, he has great speed but very poor velocity.

      With Castillo, Mahle, Greene, Lodolo, basically all but Overton, everybody drools over the number of K’s. Only Overton, though, has had the Reds in every game he has pitched. He went 1/3 of an inning longer than did Greene Sunday, but threw 20 fewer pitches. Not taking anything away from Greene’s fabulous outing, but sure would be nice to see him with Overton’s pitch counts.

      Overton did not throw his fourth called ball until the eighth batter of the game. By the eighth batter the speedball merchants already have a couple of walks on their tabs. I would say an arm that can put the ball where the pitcher is trying to throw is a great arm.

      • David

        Overton has been a “journeyman” starter in AAA for years, and has had limited major league pitching.
        He is 28 or something like that.

        He may just be a late bloomer, as a starting pitcher. He has control, location and movement. He does not throw particularly hard. I think his fastball tops out about 91 mph.
        Curve ball, sinker, slider, changeup. Location and change of speed.

        Greene threw a lot of sliders on Sunday, and that day his slider was a really wicked pitch. Broke hard and down. He froze more than a few hitters with it. They were expecting the “heat”.

      • Old-school

        Thats called command and Overton has it. I like velocity and spin rate and certainly the pitching lab of Boddy and others can help a pitcher create a tough pitch to add to his arsenal.

        But if you cant command it or locate it or throw it for strikes- you arent a major league pitcher

        Reds are 10-27 so im all for bullpen sorting- Moreta. vlad,warren.diaz santillan . But the Reds havent really committed to a good bullpen since chapman left and every good team needs one . Hopefully Antone comes back healthy but Sims looks like Scott Williamson 1 week and a AAAA+ guy the next week who cant command anything and then on the IL 2 other weeks

      • Daytonnati

        Overton might be the Kevin Glausman we keep?

      • Tom Reeves

        I’m not convinced the Boddy wasn’t mastering the use of sticky stuff to improve spin rate. The timing of the league ban and his demise with the Reds is odd to me.

      • Jim Walker

        OldSchool> To my eye, Sims is a failed starter with 1 killer pitch which by its nature is hard to command. On a given night it can affected by air temperature, humidity and the like.

        But the Reds were so taken by his success when the killer pitch is working right, they chose to see him as a high leverage reliever. This reflects a systemic problem for the Reds as much or more as it reflects a problem or shortcoming in Sims work.

        The issue is that the Reds have a bullpen largely comprised of guys with plus sliders or curves who don’t have a clue about spotting a fastball for a strike. If they can’t consistently spot a fastball for a quality strike, the hitters can just sit on the breaking pitch. Complications of breaking balls being what they are, batters are going to be walked or a pitch is going to be hung and jumped on often enough that the sad results we see from the Reds pen just keep playing out over and over like an old stuck vinyl record.


    I said this Sunday, what is Bell’s obsession with putting Warren in high leverage situations!!! Please, no more!!!

  7. Roger Garrett

    Tom Mitsoff said he would like to see if Diaz could close.Great idea and why not?Right now he has given up 1 run in 17 innings.Yes the 10th was entertaining but did anybody think he would strike out their best hitter and one of the best in the game to end it?Play the young guys please.

    • greenmtred

      It was entertaining. The 9th would have been, too. Warren and Diaz both had command issues, and both have good “stuff.” Warren gave up a bomb, and that happens to every pitcher. It happens to Chapman. Warren may not prove to be a reliable relief pitcher, and Diaz might not, either. Or one or both of them might prove to be good. It seems likely that the Reds are in the process of figuring this out.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I wasn’t advocating for Diaz because he’s a young guy. It’s because he’s actually the most effective reliever they have so far. I loved John Sadak’s call of the final pitch, and I’m paraphrasing:

      “Jose Ramirez is literally the most difficult player in the major leagues to strike out … And he struck him out!”

      Mark Sheldon’s post-game wrapup article quoted Tyler Stephenson on Diaz’s repertoire:

      “His stuff is unbelievable,” Stephenson said. “It’s attacking the zone and forcing guys to hit it. It’s almost like he got better against Ramírez when the moment was bigger for him.”

      If this season is going to be completely in the dumper, the only benefit of playing the next 120-plus games is to find players who can help in the future. It seemed like we spent most of the mid to late 2010s doing that, and that’s not why I became a Reds fan. I want to see this team win, and I want players who hit and pitch effectively on a consistent basis to get the chance to do so when it counts. Like Diaz, I pumped my fist after he struck out the dangerous Ramirez. We haven’t had too many moments like that this year when Reds players came through in game-changing situations. If Diaz can give us those moments, he belongs in that closer role, no matter his level of experience/inexperience.

      I have this lingering fear that because Overton is not one of those guys who hits 100 on his fastball or has a 12-6 curve, he will eventually lose his spot in the rotation to someone in the minors who has great “stuff.” All I care about at this point is finding pitchers who can get people out consistently. Overton has pitched effectively in every start, so until he proves he can’t do that, he deserves to stay.

      • greenmtred

        No quibbles, Tom. I haven’t seen Diaz yet, so I was really reacting to the walks and WP. It ended well, but of course he’d put himself in a bad position–as young pitchers often do. As Warren did. As fans we often seem ready to dismiss a player on the basis of a few bad performances: Not a luxury the Reds can afford. As you say, the goal of this season should be winnowing. Overton is really impressive and enjoyable to watch.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        @greenmtred — no quibbles here either. 🙂 I sometimes feel as though we’re watching the player development process take place at the big-league level. I saw Tommy Pham’s comments about when he was younger in the Cardinals organization and didn’t play well, he got sent to the minors. The Reds have numerous players in the boat that should float down the river to Louisville. I think Warren and Santillan have potential, but right now they’re not getting it done. Why is Gutierrez sitting in the bullpen in Cleveland? He should be getting starts in Louisville to try to fix his issues.

        I sure like what I’ve seen of Jared Solomon. I hope he starts to get opportunities in higher-leverage situations.

  8. RedsGettingBetter

    Doug, where is Luis Cessa? Is he in paternity list or something family related? He’s been out for a long time

    • Doc

      Warren saddled Greene with a loss Sunday, then pitched Overton out of a win. What is screwed up about baseball is that Warren can pitch the worst of any of the four Reds pitchers yet he gets the win after blowing the lead.

      Nice work if you can get it.

      • Oldtimer

        That shows the negligible value of W-L records for relievers.

      • Jim Walker

        Maybe I was just looking in the wrong places; but, last week I had to dig deep to find the inherited runner data for pitchers. Yet, it seems to me that analysis of relievers needs to start with those stats.

  9. Michael B. Green

    No reason to pull Overton at all. The 100-pitch mark is a fugazi. There are more injuries to pitchers now than any other time. Let pitchers show their fatigue. Overton was efficient all night and deserved the chance to get out of his own jam. Same thing goes for Greene the other day too.

    If MLB really wants to examine the excitement of the game, they should look at less relief changes, less replays, and perhaps a limited number of times people can step out of the box. They also need to bring back the element of speed and the stolen base.

    Watching managers micro-manage probability is not exciting and it does not work for every team – particularly this one.

    This game was played well when CIN got a runner on 1st, stole 2nd, moved to third on a ball hit to the right side and then an RBI 1B. That is the formula for winning – particularly when you cannot afford to buy a softball team that can homer 1-9.

    Closing with a guy that walks 6+ guys per 9 and a HR/9 1.5 is NOT an analytical decision.

    We continue to lead the league in BB/9 as a staff at 4.74. The next closest is 4.06. Our FB% is the highest in the league too. In the words of Crash Davis, “… Don’t try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring. Besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some ground balls. It’s more democratic.”

    Overton has the highest CT% in the league and a 1.59 ERA.

    CIN needs to adopt a style that allows them to compete. Doing what everyone else does is not it. Walking more than others is not it either.

    I remain loyal to CIN. I encourage them to think outside of the box.

    • J

      “There are more injuries to pitchers now than any other time.”

      Yes! I’ve been thinking exactly the same thing. I keep saying this whole notion of limiting pitches/innings to avoid injury is probably based on nothing more than a few anecdotal cases (I think it was Kerry Wood that got this ball rolling), and has no statistical or scientific evidence backing it up. And I’d be willing to bet pitchers are suffering more serious injuries today than they were before teams started obsessing over their workloads. The Reds were SUPER conservative about using Antone and Sims last year, and they both ended up with significant injuries. The limits obviously didn’t make any difference whatsoever. All the guys getting TJ surgery in the past few years were guys who (I’m sure) were being very closely monitored and limited throughout their pitching careers — probably dating back to at least high school — but certainly by the time they reached the minor leagues.

      I think the teams are basically afraid of the fallout if they let a guy pitch a lot and he gets hurt, so they’re erring on the side of limiting everyone to avoid any culpability. When a bunch of those guys eventually get hurt, the teams can say “not our fault!”

      Nobody seems to be thinking about the possibility that limiting these guys may actually be causing more problems than it solves. When someone goes for a run when they’re training for a marathon, they usually don’t decide in advance that they’ll absolutely stop after X miles no matter how strong they feel. Nor do they decide in advance that they’ll only allow themselves to run X miles in a given 3 month period. They’ll run until they’re fatigued, which helps them prepare to run farther the next time. Football QBs aren’t taken out of games after a certain number of passes for fear that a few extra passes might “hurt their careers.” Star basketball players don’t sit out of overtimes because the extra minutes may “shorten their careers.” But pitchers aren’t allowed to throw over X pitches because somehow the extra pitches are going to cause long-term harm?

      Maybe pitchers are actually being damaged by having their pitches/innings limited. I don’t think anyone actually knows, and nobody seems very interested in figuring it out. They’re all more concerned about following conventional wisdom even it’s based on no hard evidence.

      • Still a Red

        In 1965, Jim Maloney pitched a 10 inning no-hitter, walked 10, struck out 12 and threw 187 pitches!! That’s right, 187 pitches. That was his second 10 inning no-hitter that year (striking out 18)…his first was not considered a no-hitter because he gave up an 11th inning home run (losing 1-0 to the Mets). He pitched for the Reds 11 years, 8 of which he started in over 30 games/season. 60’s saw lots of pitchers like that. Unless pitchers now-a-days put alot more stress on their arms (maybe they do), I don’t see why they have a limit. Of course, at careers end, these guys had to have their arms surgically removed??

    • Jim Walker

      “If MLB really wants to examine the excitement of the game, they should look at less relief changes, less replays, and perhaps a limited number of times people can step out of the box”

      MLB is trying on 2 out of 3 here. The 3 batter rule and ceiling of 13 pitchers on active rosters is an attempt to stop the parade of relievers, In the minors, the pitch clock is in place which addresses batters stepping out. There is little to no reason it won’t be arriving at MLB sooner rather than later.

      As for replays…. The only penalty is the team loses its right to challenge again if a challenge goes against them. Compare this to the NHL where a blown challenge cost a 2 minute delay of game penalty. Not sure what baseball could do that would equate to this.

      As for the umpire initiated replays, basically fair/ foul or is a ball into the stands a homer/ ground rule double, I don’t think they can be tampered with short of ending replays which isn’t going to happen.

  10. GreatRedLegsFan

    Still kind of confused with current bullpen roles. Even with Sims and Wilson out, Warren has no business in high leverage situations. Great game by Overton, Reds hit for 5 DPs and yet managed to grab a win.

  11. Old Big Ed

    Overton is a command-and-control pitcher in the mold of Kyle Hendricks. There are a lot of lefties who’ve succeeded pitching like that, with Wade Miley being a good example.

    It is the lost art of pitching, which has become overwhelmed by the science of spin rates and raw velocity. It takes a good, solid arm, plus intelligence and creativity, which (like speed to a hitter) doesn’t slump.

    Hitters are so geared up for power pitchers now, that they are befuddled by a command-and-control pitcher, especially a right-handed one.

    The league will have to adjust, but Overton is an excellent find.

    • Old Big Ed

      For the same reasons, I think a good knuckle-baller would be unhittable now. I am not sure that such a creature exists anymore.

      The independent leagues could be a place to develop one – perhaps a guy like Alex Blandino.

  12. TR

    Overton, so far, is this season’s positive surprise. It’s taken him awhile, but he ‘knows how to pitch’ and get the ball in the strike zone. A pitcher who keeps walks to a minimum is on the right track.

  13. Steven Ross

    Witnessed some beautiful baseball by the Reds in the Top of the 9th. With 2-out, Naquin drops down a bunt. Steals 2nd then scores on Farmer’s single. Screw analytics. That’s what I want to see. Get ‘um on, get ‘um over, get ‘um in. Loved it!

    As for the bottom of the 9th? Diaz is the obvious answer, not Warren. Come on.

    • greenmtred

      As it happened, though, Diaz got himself into a terrible jam and almost blew the game. He may prove to be the obvious answer, but striking out Ramirez doesn’t eliminate the wild pitch and the walks if you choose to evaluate his fitness as a high-leverage pitcher. But it’s a small sample size for Diaz and for Warren. Patience, Grasshoppers.

      • TR

        We grasshoppers, who are Red’s fans, are not known for having patience.

    • Melvin

      Yeah. “Small ball” won the game. Last time I checked winning is what really matters. That’s why we’re all here. 🙂

  14. JB

    Overton pitches a beautiful game and gets another no decision. Warren stinks the place up and gets the win. Only in baseball can something be this rediculous.

    • Scott C

      That is two games in a row where Warren has come into a high pressure situation and blown either the game (Sunday) or the lead (last night). He is not a end of game reliever. He is a middle reliever, that needs to start an inning clean. After Sunday why do you go back to the same plan. Insanity is doing the same thing , expecting different results.

      • Mark Moore

        Yep. Two is a problem. Three starts a pattern.

  15. Tom Mitsoff

    In the small-sample-size department. Connor Overton’s ERA+ is 253. ERA+ takes a player’s ERA and normalizes it across the entire league. It accounts for external factors like ballparks and opponents. It then adjusts, so a score of 100 is league average, and 150 is 50 percent better than the league average.

    According to this metric, he is 153 percent better than league average. That will do. 🙂

    • Indy Red Man

      As of 5/20/2016 Dan Straily’s era as a Reds starter was 2.85

      • VegasRed

        I would argue Reds fans have historically had too much patience and certainly been to accepting of the Owners two decades of lies.

        But maybe that’s just me.