Hunter Greene put together another strong start as he struck out seven batters and allowed just one run against St. Louis on Satruday afternoon. But it wasn’t mean to be as the bullpen blew yet another game as Tommy Edman hit a walk-off 2-run home run for the Cardinals as they beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 and earned a win of the series with the final game coming tomorrow afternoon.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (20-39) 4 12 2
St. Louis Cardinals (34-26) 5 7 0
W: Wittgren (1-0) L: Kuhnel (0-1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati wasn’t doing much in the first two innings of the game, but they got rolling in the 3rd inning. Chris Okey, making the first start of his career, led off the inning by reaching first base when he was hit by a pitch. He would move to third base when Brandon Drury doubled with one out and they would both score when Tommy Pham followed up with a double of his own. Kyle Farmer came up with an RBI single to cap the scoring off in the inning, giving Cincinnati a 3-0 lead.

Two innings later the Reds would threaten again with back-to-back singles from Joey Votto and Kyle Farmer with two outs, but Adam Wainwright struck out Matt Reynolds to end that threat.In the 8th inning Drew VerHagen came on to relieve Wainwright and the Reds took advantage with three straight 1-out singles to plate a run and take a 4-1 lead. One of those singles was the 4th hit of the day for Farmer. That would be the last time Cincinnati would score in the game…

The Pitching

Hunter Greene struck out the side in the 1st inning and it was just a sign of things to come, though it wasn’t apparent to begin the next inning when Nolan Arenado doubled to lead off the inning and Brendan Donovan had a 1-out walk. Greene buckled down and got two fly outs to end the inning with no damage. The Cardinals wouldn’t get another hit until the 6th inning off of Greene when Tommy Edman hit one back up the middle that deflected off of Greene’s leg for an infield single. He would then hit Nolan Gorman to put two men on with no outs. At 101 pitches that was enough for David Bell to make a call to the bullpen to bring in Alexis Diaz. He would walk a batter to load the bases and then gave up a sacrifice fly to dead center field on a ball that Nick Senzel caught leaping at the wall, but that would be all the Cardinals would get. Greene’s outing was finished with one run over 5.0 innings and he struck out seven batters with just two hits and two walks.

Luis Cessa took over for the bottom of the 7th inning for the Reds. Dylan Carlson led off with a single to Matt Reynolds. Reynolds made a diving stop but his throw to first was well beyond the bag and pulled Colin Moran into Carlson and Moran went down and was removed from the game. After getting Yadier Molina out, Cessa walked Juan Yepez but rebounded with a double play to end the inning and hold onto a 3-1 lead.

Hunter Strickland would begin the 8th inning for Cincinnati and he hit the first batter he faced. He got Paul Goldschmidt on a soft line out to shortstop, but then gave up a single and a 2-run double before he was replaced by Joel Kuhnel in a 4-3 ballgame. Tyler O’Neill was attempting to steal third base, but he took off before Kuhnel made a move to the plate and he turned and fired to third for an easy pick off. Brendan Donovan lined out to center to end the inning.

Kuhnel returned to start the 9th inning and he walked the first batter he faced. But the next pitch he threw was a double play off of the bat of Yadier Molina. Juan Yepez then lined a single into right field and was pinch run for by Edmundo Sosa. Before a pitch was thrown to Tommy Edman, Kuhnel attempted a pick off throw and air mailed it, sending Sosa to second base. It wouldn’t matter, though because Edman hit a 2-run home run to end the game.

Key Moment of the Game

Tommy Edman’s walk-off 2-run home run. Duh.

Notes Worth Noting

Earlier in the day the Reds picked up outfielder Stuart Fairchild off of waivers from the San Francisco Giants. Fairchild was the Reds 2nd round pick in 2017 and was traded in the Archie Bradley deal in August of 2020. In the corresponding move Cincinnati designated James Marinan for assignment.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs St. Louis Cardinals

Sunday June 12th, 2:15pm ET

Graham Ashcraft (3-0, 1.14 ERA) vs Dakota Hudson (4-2, 2.76 ERA)

104 Responses

  1. Reddawg2012

    It’s almost like you need more than one reliable bullpen arm.

    • VaRedsFan

      Resources don’t align to cover bullpen needs.
      But throwing 17 million to Pham and Minor….DEAL ME IN!

      Whatever money comes off the books this year, pour it into building a top notch bullpen for 2023. Use Votto and Moose money to buy some OF’ers in 2024

    • MBS

      100% Any free money in 23 needs to go into a closer, and setup man. Hopefully Antone can recover from his 2nd TJ, and be a positive factor in 23 as well. The equivalent money spent on Minor and Pham this year, could next year easily fortify the pen.

      The Offense might be a bit behind in 23, but TS, JI, JV, KF, BD, and MS could be 6 solid bats, with JB a realistic solid 7th bat. CF and RF might be tough to fill with a decent bat.

  2. Redsvol

    I don’t hate losing the game but 2 things stand out;
    1) the way we lost – another bullpen meltdown.
    2) we often outhit the other team (12 hits by us, 7 for them) but score fewer runs. We need to do more hit and run, bunt sacrifice or stealing until this team can consistently score more runs.
    Great game by Green, Farmer, and others. Senzel played – which I guess is a plus but sheesh where is the production from that former 1st round pick and can’t miss prospect. And why is Reynolds playing over Lopez – let that kid play!

  3. Oldtimer

    I can’t remember a worse Reds bullpen. There may have been some but this one is as bad as any.

    • SOQ

      I think last year’s 1st half bullpen was worse, but my memory could just be numb

      • Hotto4Votto

        I also think last year’s was worse until the trade deadline. Givens, Cessa, and Wilson helped solidify the pen, as did getting Lorenzen and Sims back.
        Unfortunately Warren, Cessa, and Santillan have taken huge steps backwards.

    • Jim Walker

      Around 15 years ago toward end of the Jr Griffey/ Adam Dunn era, they also had some other bangers and really put runs on the board. However, the pitching both starting and especially the pen was really bad and routinely coughed up early multi run leads.

      My recollection is they may have had a decent closer but the practice then was to hold the closer for the 9th or at least an out or 2 into the 8th inning which allowed many games to get away from them in the 6th and 7th.

      The 2006 team actually was in the NL Central chase till the last couple of weeks. They finished 3rd at 80-82 to the Cardinals division winning 83-78 (Cards had a rainout they avoided making up because it would not change the division or WC standings).

      • DHud

        Sounds around the Todd Coffey era

        Was def a favorite in my fam

  4. LarkinPhillips

    Either Derek Johnson doesn’t talk to the bullpen guys or he isn’t a pitching guru like they claim. This has been years and years of terrible relievers. At some point one of his reclamation projects or rookies is due to be successful in the bullpen.

    • MBS

      Or he has no qualified BP arms. The guys they have are not Closer or Setup material yet. Diaz, Warren, or Santillan could eventually, but 1st and 2nd year guys usually aren’t the Closer or Setup man, they get experience and confidence 1st.

  5. Kurt Frost

    I just sat there and waited for it to happen. And I was not disappointed.

    • Reddawg2012

      Same. I guess the benefit of being so bad is that the losses stop feeling frustrating at a certain point.

      • Indy Red Man

        I have become comfortably numb

    • TR

      Another strong game from Hunter Greene. Reds up 3-0, 3-1, and then walked off at 4-5. I also knew what was coming so at the eighth inning I have a drink on the patio with my wife. This season is what it is.

    • JayTheRed

      I just had a bad feeling starting at the bottom of the 9th. I literally yelled the Reds Suck My god and my wife looked at me and laughed.

      This team finds a way to lose consistently. It’s no wonder we still have the worst record in baseball.

    • MFG

      Agree, another big problem our BP has is free passes by either walking or hitting batters. Our BP has to lead MLB in that category.

  6. Erik the Red

    This organization will need to spend dollars on the bullpen, obviously this bullpen does not even have good set up men or closers. Not aware of much talent end the minors either.

  7. Melvin

    Just tuned in to watch the last two innings. It was like seeing a movie that you’ve seen so many times and knowing what the ending was going to be. On a positive note Hunter Greene is amazing and will only get better. He’s not just a future ace but could very well be a future Cy Young candidate. He may have to fight Ashcraft for it. 🙂

    • William

      The GM deserves credit for the bullpen. It was his creation with the advice of some others.

      • Melvin

        I wasn’t blaming David Bell for the loss. However, although you are correct about the GM, I truly believe David Bell has a lot to do the player moves even more than most managers. He pretty much said that when he was hired.

      • wkuchad

        I’d be willing be bet a large amount of money Bell had little to do with the most recent offseason’s moves.

      • Melvin

        Hope for your sake you don’t lose it. 🙂

    • greenmtred

      Yes. A loss is disappointing, but not unexpected. Greene seems to be learning on the fly, and Ashcraft looks like the real thing, too. And I liked that the patchwork lineup played hard and actually outplayed the first-place cards. Take our encouragement where we can.

  8. Maloney63

    Can’t blame this on Bell because it doesn’t matter which reliever he puts into the game in the 8th or 9th innings with a lead….they all fail miserably. And I think we all knew the bullpen would find a way to lose this game. Sad.

  9. AMDG

    The Reds’ bullpen is 8-16 with an ERA north of 6.00

    Sadly, it’s a shock when they don’t blow a lead.

  10. Jim t

    Is it a rule that all reds relievers walk the lead off hitter?

    • William

      Baseball is still good. I am keeping up with several teams. Quite honestly: I hate to lose. Fire David Bell and the GM. Please sell this team owners to someone who is smarter. Oh, I am a broken record, and they do not listen anyway.

  11. RedsGettingBetter

    This game was similar to the one played on sunday. Arizona down 3-0 later 3-1 and turn around 5-3 at ninth with 4 runs. One day before Arizona scored 5 runs at 8th inning and 3 runs at 9th. Today, STL scored 2 runs back-to-back in the last 2 innings to walk-off, so in the last 3 games out of 4 the bullpen has given up 16 runs between 8th and 9th innings…
    Last season first half the bullpen had just one reliable reliever in Tejay Antone, nowadays it is the same but with the only difference Alexis Díaz would be the only reliable one…

  12. Votto4life

    This year has been lost for some time. The more the lose the faster change will come, at least theoretically. Who knows?

    It’s fun watching Greene, Ashcraft and Castillo pitch. Too bad they didn’t bring Greene up to close last season they may have made the play-offs. Certainly if he didn’t lose a year to Tommy Iohn and he started last year they would have had a shot. Ifs and buts.

    I am no longer crush when they lose. This season was over in April.

    • Maloney63

      True. The only surprise nowadays is when they actually win a game every now and then, usually in spite of the bullpen!

  13. Klugo

    How long have we’ve saying the same thing now: bullpen blew it. Don’t want to hear about all the “analytics” that tell you that spending on a bullpen is a waste of money. Bull.

    • MBS

      Right, how someone can think 3.5 innings a game isn’t worth spending money on is nuts. A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link.

  14. Jim Walker

    An opposition GIDP and TOOTBLAN in the last 2 innings; and, the Reds not only failed to hold a 3 run lead from 6 outs to go and no runners on base but lost in regulation!

    Nothing else to say

  15. Votto4life

    I realize this is immature and petty but I really don’t want Molina, Pujols and Wainwright to go out with a World Series. I will be rooting like crazy for whoever they play.

    Molina doesn’t even run out ground balls anymore. He is just collecting a paycheck.

    Sorry, I try not to be so negative about people.

  16. Joe P.

    Reds relievers according to MLB stats (and their team ranking in the NL):
    Record: 7-8
    5.16 ERA (1st highest)
    10 saves, 17 opportunities (both tied for 14th fewest in NL)
    225 IP (7th most innings pitched)
    212 H (8th most hits allowed)
    137 R (2nd most runs allowed)
    129 ER (1st most earned runs allowed)
    31 HR (2nd most home runs given up)
    22 HPB (1st most hit batters)
    115 BB (1st most walks allowed)
    237 K (tied-3rd most strikeouts)
    1.45 WHIP (1st highest allowed)
    .249 AVG (5th highest allowed)

    It’s bad.

    • Melvin

      It’s hard to argue with those stats isn’t it? 🙂 It’s just too bad our starters can’t go longer. They are the main strength of this team without a doubt.

    • VaRedsFan

      Derek Johnson needs to be held accountable.

      • JohnnyTV

        This is certainly true.
        He’s been getting a pass on the abysmal BP performance for too long.
        As have been previous Reds pitching coaches.
        It seems there is no strategy for developing, organizing or utilizing the bullpen.

      • scotly50

        I would fire Johnson as well as Bell. Throw in Krall as a bonus.

      • doofus

        If Derek Johnson should be fired for the horrid bullpen pitching, should he not be given a raise for the development of Greene and Ashcraft as well as the turn arounds by Castillo and Mahle?

        How does Johnson make an omellete if Krall gives him broken eggs for bullpen pitchers?

      • doofus

        “What makes a good manager?” “Good players.”
        ~ Pete Rose

      • greenmtred

        For what? Bad relief pitchers? He coaches the starters, too, and they’re doing well, despite two of them being early in their MLB learning curves.

  17. Gpod

    i will start paying regular attention to the reds again when they finallly get rid of, hands-down, the worst manager they have ever had.

    • Daytonnati

      Maybe, but as an old-time, Don Heffner, Vern Rapp, Bob Boone, and Dave Miley come to mind.

  18. Jeff Morris

    Hunter Stickland again struggling…..yet Bell keeps putting him in time after time! Again, Bell needs to use Hoffman to close. Whoever is pitching good in the last couple weeks, use him as your closer. Reds are fortunate the starting pitching is doing well, BUT…with B Cast too cheap to get some decent reliable bullpen arms, and too cheap to acquire a solid reliable closer, these kinds of games are going to happen over and over again, just like last year!

    • Bob Adams

      Strickland is this years Heath Hembree. Gets some early saves, then gets beat up as the season moves along

  19. JB

    If I remember right the 2018? Bullpen was worse. Either way it’s rediculous. This season is over. But by all means Bell keep playing the old guys. This team will always be behind everybody else because they don’t play the kids in these type of years. I don’t mind Kuhnel being in there. The young guys have to fail and learn from it. This is a terribly runned team.

  20. LarkinPhillips

    Benches have cleared twice in the Bats game tonight. Former Red/Bat mark Payton was in the middle of it.

    • LarkinPhillips

      Also of note, the broadcast quality of the Bats game is below local high school baseball games.

  21. Eddie

    Wonder if Cincinnati reds fans chant fire bell during a game when he blows our lead like white Sox fans did today game would get bell fired. Don’t like bell hire day 1 and extension was sign we was never gonna win. Him be a number dude and no set roles hurt us in the pen

    • Redsvol

      There have to be fans at the game to get a chant together.

      • Eddie

        True but on TV shows there some fans so enough to make get it going or carry signs ha

      • Daytonnati

        Yeah, more of an echo … “Fire Bell … ell … elll … ell!”

    • wkuchad

      I certainly hope most Reds fans have more class than that.

  22. DHud

    I do not follow the Bats at all, but after tonight did some surface level looking and appears to be a couple relievers in Louisville with decent numbers

    So what’s the deal? The guys they have now obviously aren’t getting the job done, so why not next guy up

    • Hotto4Votto

      Unfortunately the Bats best reliever is Ryan Hendrix, who has struggled for parts to two different seasons to get guys out with the Reds. Moreta is probably their second best reliever who also struggled to get guys out earlier this season as well. Kuhnel has already come up. The only other reliever with an ERA under 4.5 is Pedro Payano. Had a cup of coffee as a starter with Texas in 2019, hasn’t been back to the majors since. He’s had a nice season for Louisville though through 25 innings.
      Ben Lively could be an option as well if they wanted to move him into the pen. Otherwise, not much help on the horizon until guys get healthy.

      • DHud

        I mean that’s 3 names there tho in Hendrix Moreta and Lively

        What the heck do reds have to lose giving them another crack at it?

      • Hotto4Votto

        They have nothing to lose, but more ball games and leads. But that may be a given. I’m not against giving them another shot, but you’re talking about guys that have 4.80 (Lively), 8.31 (Moreta) and a 6.17 (Hendrix) career ERA’s at the ML level. Lively hasn’t pitched in the majors since 1 game in 2019.
        Give them another shot, I’d just caution not to expect much better results.

  23. JohnnyTV

    While Bell didn’t serve up the tater to Edmond, he certaily must own a lot of this.

    The decision to cast off Iglesias and Bradley was no doubt another Castellini salary dump.

    But Bell’s “I don’t need a closer, I’ve got a better idea….” no doubt played a role in this.

    No doubt that his mishandling of of Iglesias that season played a role in Iggy’s scattered performance and desire to leave.

    I can’t imagine Bell speaking any Spanish or being clever enough to learn how.

    How a MLB manager can keep his job and not speak Spanish is beyond me, anyhow.

    We can certainly point a finger at the Castellanis and Krall for the makeup of the bullpen, but I think the bullpen makeup is also a consequence of Bell’s limited inability to adjust his ‘managing’ to the situation at hand.

    True, the Reds have invested in their starting pitching, but tossed off their hitting and relief pitching to pinch pennies.

    We’re seeing the disaster that the front office has created and Bell has enabled.

    Plug the Reds starting rotation (even moreso with a healthy Overton and Lodolo) into any of the frontline teams in MLB.

    Party time.

    But not in Cincinnati.

    • wkuchad

      “ How a MLB manager can keep his job and not speak Spanish is beyond me, anyhow.”

      Just when I thought the Bell criticisms couldn’t possibly be any dumber…

  24. KDJ

    So Strickland gives up two runs while only recording one out, yet gets credit for a hold. Doesn’t that seem ridiculous?

  25. Harold

    No player on this team has a clear role. Diaz should be closing, period. Strickland should have been released in the first month. Kuenel should be given a chance to pitch in the 7 or 8. Art Warren is still a project. AA should have been gone in spring training. He will never hit in the major leagues. He must be released. We gave up on Billy Hamilton who was twice the fielder as AA and could at least make contact sometimes!!!! Let another organization waist time on him.

    Bell continues to use a different lineup daily. He reminds me of Joe Madden who thinks he is smarter than all the other managers. Nice guys can sometimes be horrible managers. Bell will never win anywhere!! Why didn’t we bat for Okey when we had runners on second and third with two out and the score was 4-1. A hit would have made it 6-1. It really wouldn’t have mattered because he would have used the wrong pinch hitter, anyway. I HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN ANYTHING DAVID BELL DOES OR WILL DO. IF I HAVE TO WATCH HIM MANAGE TWO MORE YEARS I MAY GO CRAZY. AT SOME POINT I WILL NOT CARE ANYMORE. GETTING CLOSER TO THAT POINT, BUT NOT THERE YET. SELL THE TEAM BOB. TAKE THE MONEY AND INVEST IT IN SOMETHING YOU KNOW – FRUIT.

    How many days until the NFL season starts? WHO DEY!!!

  26. Roger Garrett

    I believe if it were me,in order to find out more about Diaz,I would name him the closer.I would also use Hoffman to set him up and worry about a long man when I needed one.Tony and Strickland earlier in the game.Could lose the game before we get to Diaz but I would like to see how he handles it.Why not

    • JohnnyTV

      For whatever reason, Bell is obviously opposed to this very strategy.
      This is what drove our last true closer, Iglesias, into the ditch.

      Bell, first and foremost, wants to be seen as “managing” the team.

      So his theory is match the strongest reliever against the strongest part of the opponents lineup.

      I get it.

      But it’s not working.

      Bell’s ego and prerecorded excuse making and Bull Krall’s cluelessness keeps anyone from seeing it.

      Castellini, Krall and Bell are equally culpable for this fiasco of a team.

      • greenmtred

        He’s opposed to this strategy because it’s illogical. Using your best RP when the game is actually on the line makes sense; saving him to protect a lead in the 9th, regardless of who is due up, is logic dictated by closers, their agents, and the nearly meaningless “save” stat. Iglesias was being petulant because pitching in high-leverage situations earlier in the game might have cost him saves and reduce his contract negotiation leverage.

      • Jim Walker

        Using the best reliever to face the best of the other team only makes sense if the bullpen has enough competent arms to have one left for the end of the game.

        Otherwise save the best for last because if the team is to give up a tie or lead, it is better that happens with more time (outs) remaining for its own offense to try and come back.

      • greenmtred

        I take your point, Jim, but surrendering the lead an inning or two earlier renders the closer and the save moot. As I recall, Iglesias was affected by that very phenomenon pretty frequently. You’re absolutely correct about the need for multiple competent bullpen guys: No strategy or assigned roles can negate poor pitching.

  27. Moon

    Looks like Reds have once again claimed the worst record in the majors. That is not easy when you are going up against teams like the Royals, Nats and A’s but our Reds keep finding a way. LIke the way Hunter Greene is performing but would like him to find a way to be more efficient. He is throwing too many pitches. I like the Reds starting pitching. They are keeping the Reds in games. Keep playing the young guys. No reason to have them on the club only to sit them in favor of bargain basement castoffs the Reds seem to like to play. The bullpen is a disaster of course. But there are a couple of decent arms there. The Reds need to find a closer among this group or go find one in the off season. This team has some big holes but with the starters they have, with Stephenson and India, at least there is a core to build around

    • TR

      The Red’s have the core to build around but the organization needs new builders to do the building.

      • greenmtred

        Lots to dislike about ownership, cheapness being the thing that stands out. But the core of talented young players was assembled on their watch. It doesn’t seem likely that it’s an accident.

  28. Rednat

    just looking at the schedule. the rest of June is pretty tough. maybe you can take a game at Arizona and Chicago but we could have less than 25 wins going into July. Don’t know if that has ever happened before.

    you could have multiple teams by the end of the season with win totals in the 50’s. i don’t know if that has happened either.

    I am hoping that this year will be a watershed season for mlb. People may begin to finally realize the league is broken. i really think the major problem is lack of talent. there are just not enough good players anymore for 30 teams right now. and i think the situation is going to get worse with the pandemic. you just have less kids playing baseball now. in all honesty the league should contract to about 20 teams at least for the time being

    I mean we have a starting outfield of Senzel, Pham,Aquino. I f this was 1988 maybe Pham would be a guy off the bench some where ( certainly not a 3 hole hitter). Senzel and Aquino would be either lifelong AAA guys or selling used cars somewhere. So I don’t blame Ownership or Bell much at all. they are just playing the cards they have been dealt.

    • Daytonnati

      That is an interesting observation. I once asked Hal McCoy in his “Ask Hal” column in the Dayton Daily News if baseball would eventually expand to 32 teams, so that you could have either two sets of 8 or 4 sets of 4 divisions in each league. He said, “There isn’t enough pitching.” And that was years ago.

      Maybe the answer is relegation? Let the teams play the same schedules as now, but with say the worst 4 teams having their own playoffs at the end of the season with the winner moving up and the worst “MLB” team relegated?

      • Jim Walker

        MLB is set up in a way that likely precludes absolute relegation world football style. However, there are sanctions that could be used for the same purpose. The sanctions would be imposed for 1 year and then removed unless the team again “earned” relegation.

        Here are a few of many possibilities that have crossed my mind.

        “Relegated” teams could be dropped to the bottom of the draft order. with the amount they are permitted to spend in the draft signing pool being restricted.

        Their share of revenue sharing could be forfeited in part or completely.

        Their schedule the following season could be loaded to make it more difficult to be a contending team (and in a backhand way further award teams that made the effort to win more games).

        Teams relegated in consecutive seasons could face a cascading level of these penalties. For instance, if simple first year relegation resulted in being dropped to the bottom of the draft order, being relegated for a second consecutive year might add completely losing their 1st round choice with no compensation.

  29. SteveO

    WHIP, BAA and ERA of the relievers clearly shows who should be mopping up games and who should be pitching meaningful backend innings.
    21 23.1 1.33 .286 5.40
    22 21.1 1.45 .253 6.33
    23 21.0 1.95. .282 6.00
    19 18.1 1.85 .306 5.89

    7 5.1 1.13 .158 0.00
    12 15.1 1.17 .259 3.52
    21 28.2 1.26 .208 3.14
    25 28.0 0.96 .128 1.93

    The first group are Cessa, Warren, Strickland and Santillan.
    The second group are Detwiler, Kuhnel, Hoffman and Diaz.
    Only Cessa is averaging over an inning of work per appearance, so you can’t count on even getting an inning out of that group basically.
    Only Detwiler is averaging less than an inning as he has the smallest sample size to date. That means the most effective relievers are counted on to get more than an inning of work for each appearance.
    It’s very clear which relievers you want in the 8th and 9th innings trying to close out the game.
    Warren and Santillan, who have been counted on the most in save situations are successful only half the time. Combined they are 7 for 13.
    I’d like to see more of Detwiler and Kuhnel in the 8th and Hoffman and Diaz in the 9th.
    The decisions made by Bell so far have not been very successful. Let’s change it to see if the success rate can be better than just above 50%.

    • JB

      Strickland with a whip of 1.95 I’d the worst but Bell seems to like the guy in tight situations. Maybe Bell is betting on the games.

      • Redsvol

        I do not understand why Strickland is still on the roster – enough already! Nick Krall and Derek Johnson have proven they are terrible evaluators of bullpen arms. They’ve done well with starting pitchers but this is the 4th year DJ has had to put a decent bullpen together. Lots of major league teams don’t spend money on bullpens – but they are all better than the Reds bullpen. DJ has failed in the bullpen department. If he is kept, he needs to be forced to delegate the bullpen to another coach.

    • Indy Red Man

      Yeah why not give Hoffman a shot at the closer role. Some guys really adapt to it. He’s got 95-96 mph in short bursts and a good curveball. Ben Lively has been really strong at Lville lately so make him the long man and get rid of somebody.

  30. GreatRedLegsFan

    At this pace they’re going to need a shutout & complete games from every single starting pitcher in order to get a win.

  31. Kevin H

    Thursday’s game and yesterday’s game really took the wind out of my sails. Look as most do, I realize this team isn’t making the playoffs. I just want to see improvement. I do feel the starting rotation is settling into form. Mahle should have at least 4 wins if not five. Castillo should have 4 wins. Greene should have 5 wins as well. I understand Bell uses who he has and is available. Seems like he rides a pitcher who is hot until he isn’t. Try Hoffman as your closer as he has done a decent job this season. Kuhnel could be 6th and or 7th inning person and Diaz your 8th inning or closer. Not sure if Moreta is ready for a second shot or not. Bullpen has now blown at least 3 games that come to mind. I am sure there are more.

    Its like last season all over again.

    • Jim Walker

      Or as the Yogi famously said, it is like déjà vu all over again. And I agree 😉

      • Daytonnati

        When Bell comes to a fork in the road, he takes it 🙂

  32. Old-school

    It’s about 2024.

    Dodgers just lost Walker Buehler with elbow issues. Having the Mets and Dodgers competing as favorites for the NL and having the Blue jays and Astros wanting to stay with the Yankees isnt a bad thing for pumping up trade deadline demand.

    Dodgers have 4 of the top 55 prospects in baseball per the updated MLB rankings.

    Diego Cartaya at #24 is a 20 yo Salvador Perez clone with a big bat.

    Bobby Miller checks in at #36 as a 6’5 power righty arm who sits 97-98 and developing in AA

    Reds need a future first baseman and a lefty bat? How ‘bout Dodgers prospect #58 overall Michael Busch. He raked at AA and got promoted to AAA. Projects as a Max Muncy type with elite plate discipline but better as a pure hitter per

    Ill take 2 of those 3 for Castillo as the principals in a deal and keep stockpiling talent

    • MBS

      I’d be happy with that return for Castillo. If they kept Mahle, traded Castillo, and didn’t try to resign any of Minor, Pham, Solano, Naquin, Wilson, Cessa, or Strickland the Reds will save around 37M. Mahle arb will go up and so will some others so lets say they end up saving 28M that they could spend on FA.

      I’d go after Edwin Diaz, we need a closer. 3 Years at 15M per for 45M

      I would also go after Josh Bell, we need a 1B,. 3 Years at 12M per for 36M

      Mahle, Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Overton

      E. Diaz, A. Diaz, Warren, Santillan, Moreta, would be the core of the pen.

      India, Bell, Stephenson, Votto, Drury, Schrock, Farmer, Senzel, Barrero (I’ll let you envision where Barrero and Farmer are playing, I just want them both to play)

      Bell is a switch hitter with good pop and OBP. McLain will probably be ready by some point in 23. Abbott, Williamson, and Dunn will also compete with Overton for the 5th spot, just had to give it to someone. DFA Moustakes, and our 23 team will be pretty good.

      • MBS

        Also on the pen I left out Sims, and Antone, because of injury concerns, but if either or both were healthy look out. Considering those were are 2 best proven arms, plus add in a real closer with the young promising arms. I’d say we’d have a very good to dominate pen.

  33. Old-school

    Reds get 6 picks in the upcoming draft in the top 123.


    Burn those top 4 picks on best player available but Reds need bullpen arms and lots of ‘em.

    Ben Joyce TN throws 104 mph and isnt even the best reliever on his team. He’s projected as a #100-130 guy in the draft.

    Take some mature college arms who look like good bullpen pieces with those #96/123 picks and get them ready for 2024. That’s Derek Johnson’s job description- develop arms into MLB talent. That goes for the bullpen too.

  34. Rob

    Here is an idea. Most of us believe we have an arsenal of young upcoming starting pitcher arms including Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Wilhelmson, and Phillips. Some of these may be successful full time starters (180 innings, 12-14 wins) by 2023-2024. But I seriously doubt more than 2-3 will be able to do this by 2024 meaning they will be similar to our starting staffs of 2020-2021. Assuming this is a fair projection, why shouldn’t we resign Luis and Tyler for 3-4 years ….like now? They certainly would accept $60M thru 2026/2027. We would have a solid insurance plan if only 2 of the youngsters make it in the next 2 years. And here is the trump card. Doesn’t their trade value remain strong and probably gets even stronger? Particularly to the big money teams. We are not held hostage by trade deadlines. We move them if and when we are ready.

    • Jim Walker

      I believe a deal breaking issue with your idea is that Reds ownership doesn’t want to sink even the relatively modest amounts suggested into future obligations.

      I also believe neither of those guys is likely to go 4 years at an AAV of $15m. Mahle is ~18 months younger which could be critical. He might go for 3 years at $60m total ($20m AAV) because he would still be in line for FA at the end of his age 30 season. On the other side, 3 years would make Castillo an FA after his age 32 season. Thus, I suspect he wants his big bite ASAP.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Based on recent comparable FA signings and AAV, (Stroman, Gausman, Ray…) Castillo is probably going to demand $22-25 AAV on a deal, likely longer than 3 years (like 5-6). Or a shorter deal (like Scherzer) with a higher AAV, probably closer to $30m+.
      Mahle has a shorter track record and less overall success. He may be more amenable to a 3 yr/$60m deal, or something in that ball park.

      • Jon

        $20 million a year for Mahle? They wouldn’t even pay Gray $10 million to stay. Or Castellanos, an All-Star and arguably the Reds most valuable player in 2021, $20 million a year. The most I’d offer Mahle per year would be around $14 million. Maybe a 4 year, $56 million extension. If he says no, then trade him.

      • Rob

        Interesting. I don’t know what the AAV is, and it sounds like there is a wide range of knowledgeable views. But both have 1.5 years left at probably a $12M AAV (arbitration) for Luis and probably a slightly smaller amount for Tyler. And we don’t think they would sign for an additional 2.5 years at $16-18M AAV? While they may end up getting more, I think you would have to be nuts to walk away from that type of lifetime security in June 2022.

        But the key point here is how could Reds management lose on this deal? Wouldn’t the Dodgers, Yanks, and others love to get Luis or Tyler for 3+ years at $16-18M AAV? IMO, heck yes and you could probably get a top 25 prospect in return. I understand the Reds are tight argument but I think you are talking investment dollars here. Yeah, it is salary $ you pay today but also $ you can unload at anytime. This is not Votto or Moose salary $ that nobody wants. These are starters you would not hesitate to start in playoff games.

    • MBS

      I’m in the camp of deal Castillo, keep Mahle. Mahle killed his trade value, but is still valuable for the Reds in 22 and 23. We’d probably get a 1st round comp pick for him, which isn’t probably much different than the prospect we’d get back for him in trade today. Plus I agree we need some veteran leadership in the rotation. By 24 Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft will be in their 3rd season, young but not rookies anymore.

      • Jim Walker

        Greene and Ashcraft are already emerging as leaders of the rotation. Castillo and Mahle are stepping and fetching like they never have before because of what the 2 “kids” are doing.

  35. Steven Ross

    There was a sliver of hope to possibly get within single digits of .500 but after the Nats series, it’s been a free fall. To be almost 20 games under before mid-June speaks volumes.

    Firing the manager seems to have been the right call for the Phillies & Angels. Why not Bell too? I’ve seen enough to know he s not the answer.

  36. Michael B. Green

    I’ll say it again. CIN is constantly a victim of the fugazi 100-pitch count. Some but not all or even most teams think their bullpens are a strength when in fact it is a weakness. No reason to pull your SP and go to lesser quality chances of preventing runs.

    We have lost countless games because of a made up 100 pitch count limitation. There are more injuries than ever anyway and all it really does is limit SP’s chances at accumulating HOF numbers or at the very least, numbers that impact their arbitration and free agency earnings.

    Greene has now given up 3 hits in 200+ pitches.

    I really don’t know how we’ll measure HOF pitchers in the future. 15 years careers with 160 wins is about all we can expect for HOF candidates unless something changes. Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, et al., would never have materialized today.

    C’mon MLB. Us fans deserve better.