St. Louis jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but the Cincinnati Reds battled back and avoided a 3-game sweep on Sunday afternoon with a 7-6 win, but not without drama as the Cardinals scored twice in the bottom of the 9th.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (21-39) 7 11 2
St. Louis Cardinals (34-27) 6 12 0
W: Hoffman (1-0) L: Hudson (4-3) SV: Diaz (2)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati went scoreless in the first three innings and grounded into a double play in each of them. Things started going their way in the 4th. Brandon Drury singled and was followed by walks from Tommy Pham and Joey Votto to load the bases. Kyle Farmer was then hit by a pitch to put the Reds on the board and cut into the Cardinals lead. Another ground ball double play followed, but it brought in the 2nd run of the inning. TJ Frield followed up with an RBI single to tie the game up at 3-3.

Aristides Aquino would lead off the 5th inning with a double and move to third on a sacrifice bunt from Aramis Garcia. Nick Senzel followed up with a sacrifice fly that plated Aquino – but he seemed to get his cleat caught up in the dirt on the slide beyond the plate and when the next half-inning began he was replaced in the field. That was all Cincinnati got in the inning but they held a 4-3 lead.

After the Cardinals tied things up in the bottom of the 5th, both teams went scoreless in the 6th. But Cincinnati got a leadoff single from Matt Reynolds to lead off the 7th and TJ Friedl tripled to give the Reds a 5-4 lead. He would score on a sacrifice fly from Albert Almora Jr. two pitches later and Cincinnati went up 6-4. In the 8th inning Tommy Pham crushed a 1-out, 400-foot solo homer to left field that extended the Reds lead to 7-4. It would turn out to be a very important run.

The Pitching

St. Louis started the bottom of the 1st inning off with back-to-back singles. A wild pitch then moved them each up a base. A ground out that didn’t bring a run in followed, but another wild pitch led to the Cardinals 1st run of the day. Two more ground outs followed to get out of the jam with just the one run allowed.

In the 3rd inning the Cardinals got back to it. Nolan Gorman singled to lead off the inning and he would score when Nolan Arenado hit his 11th homer of the year as St. Louis extended their lead to 3-0. After a scoreless 4th inning, Ashcraft ran into trouble in the 5th. Tyler O’Neill led off with a single that went about 10 feet and he moved up to third base on a 1-out single by Brendon Donovan. With two outs Albert Pujols lined a ground rule double into right-center to tie the game up at 4-4. That would be the last pitch Ashcraft would throw, exiting with runners on 2nd and 3rd with Art Warren entering the game. He walked the first batter to load the bases but he struck out Andrew Knizner to end the inning.

Jeff Hoffman took over for the 6th and made quick and easy work of things. After Cincinnati broke a 4-4 tie and grabbed a 6-4 lead in the top of the 7th inning, Hoffman returned for the bottom half. He retired Nolan Arendao to start the inning, but then gave up back-to-back singles to put runners on 1st and 2nd. David Bell then brought in Tony Santillan to face Albert Pujols. Santillan got the future Hall of Famer to pop up and then got a line out to TJ Friedl in right field to strand both runners and hold onto the 2-run lead.

Luis Cessa entered the game in the bottom of the 8th inning and he needed just 10 pitches to strike out two batters in a perfect inning to send the game to the 9th. Alexis Diaz took over in the bottom of the 9th and he made quick work of the first two hitters, but after getting ahead of Brendan Donovan 0-2 he would walk him. Donovan then took second base on defensive indifference. Juan Yepez took the second pitch of the at-bat and lined it into the seats by the foul pole in left for a 2-run homer to make it a 1-run game. Diaz rebounded by striking out Albert Pujols to end the game.

Key Moment of the Game

It turned out to be Tommy Pham’s solo home run in the 8th inning that gave Cincinnati their 7th run. Unknown at the time – they would need it.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Arizona Diamondbacks

Monday June 13th, 9:40pm ET

Mike Minor (0-2, 8.64 ERA) vs Merrill Kelly (5-3, 3.32 ERA)

48 Responses

  1. Roger Garrett

    I like Diaz in the ninth until he proves he can’t handle it.May need a closer next year and it would be great to find out if he is the guy this year.Lots of holes to fill on this roster but its one less if he can get it done,I also like Hoffman and Tony in the 8th.None of this works if our pitchers don’t stop walking hitters which is death late in games.We play on.Just keep on sorting for next year.Set up guys and closers such as the Brewers have are rare and very expensive.Reds would be wise to develop their own in a year that they don’t really need one

  2. Roger Garrett

    Just also wanted to add that in a year that has not went well at all,Brandon Drury has played really well.Almora and Reynolds have also done much better then expected.It is a long season but right now I have trouble setting Drury and Almora.Reynolds is holding India’s spot of course so we know he sets at some time.Drury and Almora are under 30 and under control I believe which works for me.Reds just need to continue to sort this year and probably most of next.Hopefully they will do that and not get caught up in a few more wins being more important then getting a good look at these young guys.

    • DaveCT

      Drury and Reynolds have certainly grabbed the backup positions, Scheock and Solano are close, and Lopez has come on. So, I think it’s safe to say we have a cadre of guys well suited to reserve roles. It also makes Farmer expendable when Barrero rounds into shape. But that’s baseball.

  3. TR

    Tommy comes through in a get-a-away win in a series with a little more in the first two games and the Red’s could have swept the Cards at home. On to Phoenix in the dry zone.

  4. Redsvol

    Hooray! Reds win a tight game. That got to do something for their confidence after the previous few games.

    Drury looks like a keeper to me. One day I Like friedl and next day I want him dfa’d. oh how I wish senzel would start playing like the prospect I thought he was.

    Another imperfect bullpen day but they got it done and that’s what matters. Ashcraft can learn something from this game too!

  5. Old-school

    21-39 is better than 20-40

    On to 2024

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    It was a weird series. The today game would seem to be lost in an easier way it is they finally won. Thinking this series has resulted into a 2-1 but favouring Reds if the yesterday’s blown out had not happened.
    Two more runs counting on the 9th inning for the bullpen.
    If Friedl hit always like he did today, Bell will make him an everyday player down the stretch

    • RedsGettingBetter

      By the way, today, We saw the Luis Cessa that we all knew, tossing a one strong scoreless inning as he did some weeks ago… Maybe a good sign to help the lately pummeled bullpen

    • Bet on red

      Disagree on 2024 assessment for two reasons. This year and the next. For next year, we already have a rotation, HG, NL, GA, CO, plus someone we pick up or we extend Castillo. We have C, 1B 2B, SS, and CF through Senzel or Almoria locked up. Drury fits third or an outfield position. Mclain and what we pick up through trading Mahle and Castillo can fix the gaps. Same for relief pitching. We also have a closer, Diaz. Bullpen has some holes but not all.
      This year. After today we are only 11.5 out of first if my memory is right. The division is playing horribly. There is a small but not insignificant chance we can still rebound.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Nobody looks for signs of there being a chance of a turnaround with more hope than me. But it just is not there. There are not enough players on this team who can make game-changing plays or pitches at moments when they must happen.

      • Tom Reeves

        The only way for a turnout would be to trade prospects for solid bullpen arms. And that’s not a wise choice. Everything about this year needs be about getting young talent ready for 2023 and beyond.

        I don’t think that means tanking the season. This team can win games with the talent it has. But I wouldn’t empty the minors for bullpen arms to compete this year. I’d help the young talent grown into some of the bullpen arms that are needed in the future and then add more in the off season.

      • Jim Walker

        @Tom> I agree. It was great to see the win yesterday with the likes of Friedl, Aquino, and Senzel coming up big; but there were also telling warts.

        The IF defense up the middle was terrible. The Reds failed to turn a couple of GIDPs that could have changed the complexion of the game even more to their favor. These instances stood out as the Cards kept turning GIDPs to short circuit the Reds. Having India back may help but isn’t going to fix the issues.

        Garcia struggled with receiving behind the plate. How much was his fault and how much was the pitchers’ faults, who can say without knowing what pitches and locations were called versus where the pitches went?

        And the entire outfield situation is not stable now or for the future.

        We need to just enjoy the days fate turns the Reds way and hang on while hoping for a resolution of the longer term picture.

  7. Bet on red

    Shoot, this was meant for old school. Stupid cell phones.

    • Old-school

      Overton I Love- but hes on the IL with stress fracture

      Nick Lodolo i love as well… except hes pitched like 12 innings above AA

      Tyler Stephenson is my 2nd fav player- but how you count in him as a C after 3 concussions and a broken hand .. IDK

      Joey votto will be like 59 next year

      Writing him in for 155 games might be assuming a bit

      Luis Castillo wont be here August 2

      Write it down

      • Tom Mitsoff

        I agree, generally speaking. The only position on the field that can safely be called set for 2023 is second base with Jonathan India. The only way that can change is if a trade of Castillo and-or Mahle brings back someone who is a major-league (or major-league ready) position player. I don’t believe that every prospect in the minors will automatically achieve stardom in the bigs. History for this and every team shows this to be the case.

      • Votto4life

        Old School I agree with your assessment. The Reds on paper seem to have a core to build around. But that it’s only on paper.

        The Starting pitching seems to be promising, but injuries will happen. India and Stephenson are very solid when healthy.

        The Team lacks one or two thumpers in the middle of the line up, a bullpen and starting pitching depth.

        We may be slightly ahead of where we were in 2017 but not by much. The Reds need to turn Luis Castillo into two promising position players who can drive in runs. They will have to buy a closer this winter and hope that one or two of their pitching prospects in the minors emerge to add depth.

        Frankly, I don’t see that happening by next season and probably not by 2024.

        The most concerning part is ownership seems content to stick with Nick Krall and David Bell. That shows me either they are not serious about winning and/or they are completely clueless.

        The Castillo trade is going to go along way in determining whether the rebuild will last two years or five.

        Nick Krall is the absolutely last GM in baseball I would want making this trade and yet that who we are stuck with. He should have been fired after the 8-22 start.

        You know what they say, there is no sense running if you are going in the wrong direction.

      • Redsvol

        I totally agree. I was more optimistic in spring training than I am today. It’s mid June and Lodolo has barely pitched, barerro has zero mlb at bats, India, senzel, Sims and Stephenson keep getting hurt, the bullpen is a mess, none of the top 10 prospects are knocking the door to big leagues down, and the outfield is really a joke.

        Playoff baseball in 2024 is very optimistic. Any prospects we get in trades won’t be contributing until 2024 at earliest and that will be their rookie year – usually takes 2/3 years of experience to be productive even for the best prospects. I’m afraid most of the future active 2024 roster is already on the 40 man and that’s scary.

      • Steven Ross

        Stephenson should be our 1B next year. He’s taking too many shots Catching. Time for Votto to DH only.

        It only took 4 DPs before Bell finally figured out a bunt was in order. Brantley was beside himself. He’s awesome as the color guy. Says things I’m thinking. Like a guy on first with no outs, after 2 DPs, DROP DOWN A BUNT! Bell is always tardy making obvious moves/changes.

      • greenmtred

        I’m an old guy, and I like the game as it was in the 50’s and 60’s. I like small ball; sac bunts, hit and run. The numbers are unequivocal that over time, sac bunts cost you runs because they cost you outs. We don’t need no stinkin’ numbers, right? And a sac bunt might have worked in this game. But there is still another consideration: How many of these guys are good bunters? I don’t see many, either on the Reds or their opponents. It’s not a skill that gets practiced much, probably.

      • votto4life


        I am an old guy too. I love the small ball era. Analytics has changed that aspect of the game. The belief is stealing a base isn’t a good option unless you can be successful 80% of the time. There are not too many base runners who sport that type of success rate.

        Sacrifice bunts represent outs. My understanding of analytics holds that the most important thing an offense can do is to avoid outs. Thus, fewer sacrifice bunts.

        My guess is the reason not too many players can bunt, is because it’s not longer stressed in the minor leagues.

        Analytics is smart baseball I suppose, but it is not very entertaining. I loved baseball for the 1970s and 80s. I feel bad for younger guys who didn’t get to enjoy such exciting play.

      • greenmtred

        Good post, Old-school. It took me awhile to get that analytics is useful for showing tendencies, but is not really predictive in a given situation. Of course few things are. Our in-game predictions often demonstrate this. I’d like to see the information used to cultivate, say, base stealers who succeeded 75-80% of the time. Guys who were great bunters.

  8. Rod Andrews

    Why wouldn’t you bring Cessa, who had his moko going, and threw only 10 pitches, out for the 9th? Cant a reliever go more than 1 inning?

    • greenmtred

      Maybe because he hasn’t been effective lately? Maybe because Bell wanted to give Diaz a crack at it? Maybe because the game used most or all of the pen and they don’t have an off day?

  9. DHud

    Was that close to committing a felony today

  10. Andrew Brewer

    No way did Diaz prove himself as a closer today… gives up a walk after going 0-2 on the batter with two outs. Then a homerun… Wow, second day in row with two outs in the 9th for the Reds. That’s freaky kind of stuff. Lost one and won one. It seems like the last reliever out who has a scoreless inning becomes the new closer prospect. Yes, the Reds gave away the first game of this series on two errors, and couldn’t get one run across. Friedl’s triple today was a gift from a miss-played long ball… As Yogi Berra said, “when it comes to baseball, you don’t know nothin, ” and “it ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

  11. Beaufort Red

    How about packaging Mahle and Moose at the trade deadline?

    • Indy Red Man

      Would be swell except you pay a penalty prospect wise if they agree to take on dead weight with a huge contract like Moose.

      I’d like to deal Mahle for help and try to extend Castillo. I’d keep Castillo either way because they might be rapidly competitive next year if they could stay healthy and get some solid relievers. They can always move Castillo in May or June if they get buried early again

    • Jim Walker

      Don’t sink any more on Moose. Find out how much somebody will take on his contract, eat the rest and get on with life.

      And if the amount anybody will take on him is zilch, then just let him go and eat the entire amount without losing good value for nada but a few million bucks.

  12. Doc

    One relief pitcher threw 8 pitches, another 10 and still another 11. I just don’t understand it.

    • JayTheRed

      Its cause Bell doesn’t understand how to run a pitching staff for crap. He usually pulls starters too soon and then he has to get everyone playing time so he gives someone that hasn’t pitched in a while a chance and they typically blow it.

      • greenmtred

        You should immediately apply for the job. Managers who understand how to run pitching staffs are rarities since, unlike us (who do possess this arcane knowledge), they get distracted by ephemera like upcoming schedules, matchups, bullpen workload, and input from coaches and trainers.

  13. Indy Red Man

    Might be a question for the minor league side, but does anyone know what kind of stuff Ben Lively has now? His lifetime mlb era is 4.80. Thats not that bad. Knock on him when he came up was he didn’t K a bunch of people, but maybe he’s developed?
    He’s still only 30.

    Last 4 starts AAA = 23.1, 12 hits, 2 er (0.77 era), 9 walks, 28 Ks

    Side note: Ian Happ 3-3 today with single, triple, and HR. He’ll be a free agent in 2024. With the way he hits in Gabp I’d be saving up for him. He’ll only be 29

    • VaRedsFan

      Great call on Happ.
      He can’t face Cincy pitching if he plays for us though 😉

    • TR

      Not a good reflection on the Castellini ownership. That goes back to the Depression when the Red’s ownership was bankrupt and Powell Crosley saved the franchise for Cincinnati.

  14. Eddie

    Nick lodolo starts rehab assignment today hope he takes minor spot when healthy bc 2 games minor suck and he pitching tonight against diamondback

  15. Roger Garrett

    Hopefully by end of the month or by the break in July this team will have most of the injured guys back.Then we can see what we have for next year IF OWNERSHIP can swallow some pride and money and SET OLDER players.If Pham is still here he has to set as does Farmer who the way I understand it is due 5mil next if we resign him and the big gulp is Moose.No need for any of these guys to play just to win another game or two.Just my opinion of course

    • Indy Red Man

      Pham is interesting imo. He plays hard and will take a walk. He’s got a .958 ops in June and a lifetime .888 ops in Gabp covering 187 at-bats. He’s really raising his current .761 ops for the season.

      I watched his post game interview yesterday and he talked about the young pitchers. He urged them to trust their stuff and don’t nibble….esp against the bottom part of the opposing lineup. He seems like he has some leadership qualities despite the silly slap and wanting to fight Luke Voit, etc.

      Bottom line is I’d keep a close eye on him and consider extending him a couple of years if the price was right. He’s 34 but he stays in good shape and can still run a little. He’s no star, but could bat 6th/7th on a good team.

      • Votto4life

        Pham is also mentally unstable. They need to cut him lose at the end of the year. The last thing the Reds should do is extend him and he end up in a situation like Trevor Bauer. Cut him lose. They are other outfielders out there who can hit .247.

      • Indy Red Man

        Pham might be a hothead, but I’d take that over indifference. As far as being capable of deviant behavior like Bauer?
        Highly doubt it

  16. ci3j

    What the heck happened here???

    I didn’t check in on the Reds for a week or so, and now I see they’ve almost fallen back to 20 games under .500 after they had clawed their way to a slightly more respectable record.

    Well, guess I didn’t miss much. I’ll check back in another week or so. It’s actually been kind of pleasant how much free time I have since I no longer obsessively follow the Reds.