Luis Castillo gave the Reds six very strong innings, but his offense, defense and the home plate umpire let him down on this night. The Cardinals scored both of their runs in the first inning off Castillo, courtesy of a missed call that should have been strike 3 to end the inning, followed by two Reds errors.

The Reds offense could not get much going on this night. They left the bases loaded in the first inning, and then had one big chance in the top of the 8th, but Kyle Farmer hit a 74 ft Pop Out to end the inning. The Reds have now lost three straight games, while the Cardinals snapped a three-game losing streak of their own.

Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (32-26) 2 6 0
Cincinnati Reds (20-37) 0 4 2
W: Pallante (2-0) L: Castillo (2-4) S: Helsely (4)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the biggest play of the game Kyle Farmer striking out with the bases loaded and 2 outs to end the inning (Reds down 2-0)That play increased the Reds probability of winning by 12.9% (from 18.4% to 5.5%).


Luis Castillo was his vintage self tonight. He got some nasty swing-and-misses and a lot of weak contact. He did not have a favorable umpire or good defense behind him. In reality, he should have got through 6 shutout innings, and might have been able to pitch the 7th also if he didn’t have to throw additional pitches because of both the home plate umpire and his defense. His final line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.

Aristides Aquino made an incredible catch in the 7th inning that saved a run. Aquino entered today as the National League leader in defensive runs saved among outfielders, which is remarkable since he has less than half of the innings played as most of the other players close on the leaderboard.

Joel Kuhnel and Jeff Hoffman each pitched scoreless innings of relief. That was encouraging for a bullpen that has really struggled lately.


The Reds defense really let down Luis Castillo in the first inning. Two poor throws from Aristides Aquino and Brandon Drury were magnified by seemingly poor effort from Joey Votto to at least knock the ball down to prevent a run from scoring.

The Reds offense just could not get anything going after the top of their order tonight. Hitters #6 through #9 in the lineup were a combined 1 for 14, which should not come as a surprise with the players on the lineup card. The Reds can not get more reinforcements from Louisville from their rehab assignments soon enough.

Not so random thoughts………….

Robot umpires can not come soon enough. If you ever need an example, watch the inconsistency from tonight’s home plate umpire. Calling balls and strikes is incredibly difficult. Why not take that impossible task away and make the game more fair?

Up Next:

Reds at Cardinals
Saturday, 2:15 PM
TV: Bally Sports Ohio
Hunter Greene (5.40 ERA/3.87 xERA) vs Adam Wainwright (2.11 ERA/4.10 xERA)

37 Responses

  1. Old-school

    Castillo pitched great

    Role/utility players showed why they are role players.

    Friedl,Aquino, Farmer, Reynolds, Lopez, Garcia went 1-21.

    2022 is over.

    Time to focus on the future.

    Votto earns his final year

    Anyone else over 30 isnt part of 2023.

    • Redsvol

      I agree on the position players. A couple could be valuable bench players, all the rest need to go.

      But Got to have at least 1 veteran anchor in the rotation old-school. Who’s it going to be? Greene can’t pitch over 150 innings this year, same for Ashcraft, and Lodolo can’t stay on the field. Overton? – please.

      Got to sign one of Mahle or Castillo to an extension. With all the money off the books they could probably do both. You always have a chance when you can hold the other team to 3 runs or less. Hard to create an offense that averages more than 5 runs a game – which is what you have to do with an inexperienced pitching staff.

      Castillo brings the most return but those are some really good innings that need to be replaced. This could be a top pitching staff in baseball if we keep both of them. Any return for them will be years away from helping so you are writing off 2023 and 2024 as well.

      • Old-school

        Castillo turns 30 in the offseason. Jose berrios signed a 7 year $131 million extension with the blue jays last offseason in very similar situation thru age 35 season
        Kevin Gausman got 5 years 110 mil thru age 35 season

        To sign castillo, it will cost $110 -125 mil plus thru his age 35 season. Thats thru2028 no thanks

        Mahle is 2 years younger and gives you innings and K’s and his nibbling would serve as entertainment and frustration for years to come. Cant think of any FA comps- disco got 3/36 and stroman got 3/70 something

        If they could extend mahle say 4/52 id be ok with that

    • Roger Garrett

      Yes Old school but the Reds don’ see it.True fans see it but I guess the owner thinks a few more wins is more important then finding out about his younger players.Bucs and Cubs get it and their fans live with it in hope for better days ahead.

    • JB

      True to all that you posted. Right now the bench is so depleted that there isn’t anybody to replace those guys. When guys start to come back let’s see what Bell does. When Barrero comes up ,when he is ready, let’s see if he plays. Right now this team is nothing but a bunch of misfits.

  2. Joe P.

    Neither of those runs should have been earned. Hard to believe the official scorer gave O’Neill a hit on that groundball to Drury. Goldschmidt shouldn’t have scored, nor Arenado.

    • Joekr

      Even if they give him a hit, the runner only scored because of the throw. He was stopping at third. He was also only in scoring position due to the first error. Both runs should be unearned.

  3. RedsFan11

    Votto shows again why Stephenson should be this teams 1B

    • Redsvol

      Votto needs to be DH only. The time has come.

    • Still a Red

      I don’t agree that Votto botched either of those throws. Aquino threw to first, but Joey wasn’t at the bag, playing his cut off position. Aquino throw went into Areando. On Drury’s throw, Joey was playing for a short hop, but the ball was to his left side. Now, I’m not saying he’s the best fielding or agile first baseman, but I don’t think he deserves his bad rep on this page.
      I agree that unless you really want to throw in the towel and rebuild the pitching staff from scratch, you extend Castillo.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I agree and was going to post something similar. Seems more fuss is being made about Votto not making the incredible plays while glossing over the fact that neither Drury or Aquino made the routine.
        Aquino should have never made that throw, and Votto never had a shot as he was trying to hustle back after being surprised by a throw that had no chance to get the runner.
        And looking at the Drury throw it’s obvious Votto was preparing to scoop a short hop and the ball took a bad bounce and came up and back across Votto’s body. Maybe he could have knocked either down, but it would have taken incredible reaction time.
        The throws were bad, and Drury’s took a bad hop on top of it. The focus should be there not on Votto.

      • Jim Walker

        Aquino is ultimately responsible because the ball was in his hand and he made the ill advised throw. This said, I immediately wondered who on the infield might have called or pointed for him to throw behind Arenado?

        AA came looking at and aligned to throw to 3B then just turned and threw blindly toward 1B. It just didn’t look or feel right from the get go.

        Typically when AA decided he had no play at 3B he would have thrown softly in to 2B. Instead, he turned and (for him) lobbed the ball in the direction of 1B where Votto was hot footing toward the bag even as the ball was being thrown. The only way the play makes any sense at all is if AA mistook the Cardinals 1B coach for Votto or somebody on the infield did the same and signaled for the ball to go 1B.

      • scotly50

        A good first baseman makes those plays. or at least keeps them in front. But the play before on a foul ball, Votto should have caught the ball by the dugout that he flinched on to avoid nearing the dugout wall, Votto is a very poor first baseman, by major league standards.

      • Melvin

        Votto stopping before hitting the railing was wise. The last thing we need is for him to get injured too falling over or running into the railing.

    • Tar Heel Red

      Amen brother! I have been saying this for years and have been poo-poo’d repeatedly. Votto defense has been and continues to be well below average. His footwork is bad, he tries to backhand every throw, he catches most throws close to his body when a stretch is warranted and his fundamentals are atrocious.

      He probably lost that game last night. It is difficult to say for sure because we have no way of knowing how that inning would have played out otherwise. But it is very hard to backhand a throw from RF close to your body while falling over backward…instead of trying to block the errant throw by getting in front of the ball. Same thing with the throw from 3B

      • KDJ

        Votto’s GG was more than a decade ago. Critiques of how he played those two throws in the last game are legit. Of course, our guys still did not get runs across the plate to back a good outing by Castillo.

      • Jim Walker

        Votto was presented with 3 difficult opportunities and came up empty on all 3. In the process, he looked about as disjointed as Nick Senzel did in the OF at Fenway during the Sox big inning against Hunter Greene.

        Just as there is situational hitting and pitching, there is situational fielding. The throw in from RF, he needs to pull out all stops just to get in front of it and block it. At the least, that saves the base of Arenado moving up to 2B and as the inning played out, the second Cardinals run.

        The throw from Drury is more problematic; but again, if he comes off the base and blocks it, a run is at least temporarily saved.

        From my vantage point, throughout his career, Votto has been very good, perhaps among the best, at picking and digging low throws that are online and bounce truly or stay down. Alternately, he has always struggled at making effective decisions when to come off the base to block offline throws that might be playable from the base.

      • Tar Heel Red

        If you want to see a player who knows how to play a fundamentally sound 1B watch Freddie Freeman. Watch how he places his foot on the bag when taking a throw. Watch how he covers the bag with a runner on. Watch how he stretches for a throw that he knows will be a bang-bang play. Watch how he turns his glove when a throw is coming in to his left. Watch all these things and then compare to how Votto plays 1B and, if you are honest with yourself, you will find Votto lacking

      • Hotto4Votto

        I’ll be another to poo-poo your take. Votto was worth 4 DRS in 2021, has been worth 61 DRS over his first 15 (or roughly 4 per season) seasons with a .993 fielding percentage. He’s also been nominated for multiple GG’s winning one in 2011.
        He’s been a good defender throughout his career, this site rarely wants to give him his due for whatever reason.

      • Still a Red

        I will say this about Joey. On throws over to first from the pitcher, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him place a tag on the runner. He typically catches the ball no where near the runner and throws it right back. That said, I guess the Reds pitchers do catch a runner off first every once in a while, so he obviously puts the tag on in those cases.

  4. GreatRedLegsFan

    Stephenson’s injury is definitely the final blow to an otherwise lost season. Looking forward to FO’s right moves by trade deadline.

  5. RedsGettingBetter

    It would seems this series is going to be swept by STL since this Reds lineup is very harmless depleted in part because injured players. Cardinals are very lucky to face the Reds a this time missing many players like Stephenson, India, Senzel, Naquin, Almora, Sims, Overton ,Lodolo and yet Schrock, Barrero and Solano that could bring some depth… it is sad…

    • Roger garrett

      At some point these players will all be healthy we hope and if they play then that is good enough for me this year.If the sort continues next year then I am also good.I doubt it will happen though because it will be a complete 180 in what always happens.Bell will play the money because he is told to do it and he will play his entire roster cause that’s what he does.He will script his lineup and his pen also at times players set that are hot and others play that should set.All starts and is driven by Bob and the good ole boy network so unless ownership changes then we get what we have always got.

  6. Doc

    Trade both Castillo and Mahle and in 2023 everybody can just cut and paste their same comments except substitute Greene, Ashcraft and/or Lodolo. It will be the same story. Just when pitchers find their footing they are approaching six years and free agency.

    It is tough to put together a team that averages more than 5 runs per game when the league average is under 5 per game.

  7. JB

    When you are the worst team in baseball ,you should be playing younger players. Reds have 8 players 30 and over on the roster. That’s not counting Moran who is terrible and seems to not have a care in the world. These 9 need to be traded or DFA’d. The youth movement is now and teams are dying for bullpen help. Cessa, Strickland, Detwiler, Sims can all go. Tired of watching guys that won’t be here in 2024.

  8. steven ross

    The game was so torpid, even Cards fans were yawning and they won.

    Props to Jeff Brantley. He continues to impress in the booth. Should be the full time road color guy.

    • DataDumpster

      Yep, The Cowboy. I suspect I would have followed many fewer games this season without the opportunity to learn more about pitching and other matters from him. He is also getting a sharper edge on the Reds as they continue to make head scratching mistakes. The other announcers are decent but Brantley remains the only reason I can listen to Sadak when he is in the booth.

      • Jim Walker

        The edge in Cowboy’s commentary vs the Crafty Lefthander’s might be related to the fact that per BBRef’s estimate, Cowboy was paid just short of $18m in MLB salaries while the CLH who came down the road a decade earlier in the dawn of free agency era, has confirmed career salary earnings (BBRef) of 80K for his final year of a 5 year MLB career. So at best the CLH probably did not make even 25% of what Cowboy did on the field. I would guess that could impact how a person chooses their words. 😉

  9. Fanman

    What type of contract will Castillo command? Everyone knows how talented Castillo is but his numbers are skewed last couple of years. Agree with fact of all the young talent in rotation. Including Castillo moving forward would make one of best rotations in MLB. We will see F.O. commitment at trade deadline.

    • Daytonnati

      Whichever direction the FO chooses to go, history demonstrates that it will be a half-measure. “Rebuild-lite”, if you will, just as the last “All-In Lite” with the Shogo, Castellanos, and Moose signings coupled with ignoring the bullpen.

    • Jim Walker

      Castillo is not blameless for the skew in his numbers. RE:2021, how can a .500+ team lose 2/3 of the starts by a guy who made 33 starts? I did some number crunching on that over winter for a possible post then dropped it when I was disillusioned by the lockout mess. Here are some points I came up with folks can chew on,

      >>The 2021 team win to loss ratio in games started by Castillo was the same whether the game decision went to Castillo or to the bullpen.

      >>In games Castillo started which the team lost (24 instances) his average in game ERA was >6. (note this is a derivative average of the 24 in game ERAs, not his cumulative ERA in the 24 games the team lost)

      >>In games Castillo started which the team won (9 instances) his average in game ERA was <2. (this also is a derivative average of the 9 in game ERAs, not his cumulative ERA in the 9 games the team won)

      There are a couple of possible mitigating factors I was having difficulty in running down data for. One is how were his in game ERAs impacted by bequeathed runners charged to Castillo who scored after a reliever came in. Another is was he pitching against higher quality starters than the other Reds starters.

      However, given the very large divergence between Castillo's in game ERAs for team losses when he started versus the same metric for team wins, I think these possible mitigators likely would not change my conclusions. When Castillo is good, he is very good, often brilliant. However, on the other side of the coin, he is somewhat inconsistent and struggles mightily when he doesn't have his best or very close to his best stuff.

      • Jim Walker

        And of course writing off the top of my head without going back to check my spreadsheets, I misstated the precise number of instances of games started by Castillo won and lost by the team. The ratio that 2/3 were losses is correct. The exact numbers are 11 wins, not 9 and 22 losses not 24.

  10. Jim t

    My dream is that prior to the deadline there are many teams still in playoff contention with many of them looking for starting pitching to put them over the top. If that comes true I would trade Mahle and Castillo to the highest bidders.

    I would continue to play Moose at DH with the hope he gets hot and then trade him for a bag of balls. It may also mean eating a portion of what is left on his contract. Without him getting hot he is unmovable. Actually with another year still left on his deal he may be unmovable anyway. Nothing about this ownership convinces me that they will cut him and eat millions.

    Votto will not be moved because of his contract and he has a no trade clause and he has no desire to leave Cincinnati. If he did he would have already asked to be traded.

    This season is literally in the books already. Play the youngsters who have earned the opportunity. I understand why Bell played Farmer last year because they were in a pennant race. Sliding him to third to see what you have in Berrera is a no brainer at this point.

    Aquino should be gone unless he slides through again and you can put him in Louisville.

    Keep holding try outs in bull pen until someone shows that the high leverage situations aren’t to big for them. Actually it’s what Bell is doing now.

    We need lots of pieces. Outfielders, Votto’s replacement if it isn’t TS, and bull pen arms. This team isn’t contending this year or next with Moose and Votto still on the books. They will not invest any money in the team until they are off the books. They will market our young starting pitching but without significantly upgrading our offense it will not have the desired result.