An outstanding pitchers duel between All-Stars Luis Castillo and Nestor Cortes through seven innings turned into a contest to see which bullpen could pitch worse in the final three innings. Cincinnati’s bullpen only gave up five runs while the Yankees bullpen allowed six as the Reds held on in extra innings for a 7-6 victory and a series win.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (34-55)
7 11 0
New York Yankees (62-27)
6 6 0
W: Sanmartin (3-4) L: Luetge (2-3) SV: Moreta (1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Facing All-Star in Nestor Cortes wasn’t going to be an easy task for the Reds, but they got around to threatening early on. Jonathan India singled and moved up a bag when Tommy Pham lined a 1-out single into right. They would be stranded there. The offense didn’t get much else going until the 5th inning when they loaded the bases with one out and a sacrifice fly from Brandon Drury plated Nick Senzel, who had started the rally with a 1-out single. That was all Cincinnati would get against Cortes, who exited the game after the 7th inning of a 1-1 tie.

The Yankees brought in Jonathan Loaisiga for the 8th inning and his 7.27 ERA on the season is exactly what the Reds needed. Jonathan India and Brandon Drury began the inning with singles, and after a ground out, Joey Votto singled in the go-ahead run. Tyler Stephenson grounded out, but both runners moved up a base, putting two men in scoring position for Kyle Farmer. He took care of things from there, lining a 2-run single into right field to extend the lead to 4-1.

After the bullpen fell apart in the bottom of the 8th, the offense came back to the plate in the 9th of a tie game. The first pitch of the inning hit Nick Senzel to put the go-ahead run on first. Tyler Naquin came off of the bench to pinch hit for Stuart Fairchild but he would strike out on seven pitches. Senzel moved up to second base on a wild pitch with Jonathan India at the plate. He’d eventually strike out and then Brandon Drury grounded out to end the threat.

The game made it to the 10th inning and Joey Votto came through once again, lining a 1-out go-ahead double into right field. He was pinch run for by Matt Reynolds and scored when Tyler Stephenson lined a double down the left field line to make it 6-4. Donovan Solano would single in Stephenson later to make it 7-4. They would need every last one of those runs.

The Pitching

In a match up of All-Stars, Luis Castillo matched Nestor Cortes all night long. The first hit that Castillo allowed was in the 6th inning, but it was a big one. He had walked Aaron Judge prior to the double from Anthony Rizzo, putting two men in scoring position with just one out in a 1-0 game. Giancarlo Stanton followed up with a ground out that brought in the tying run. Matt Carpenter would strike out to end the inning. The next inning saw Jose Trevino single and Marwin Gonzalez walk on 12 pitches after fouling off six straight pitches, but Castillo locked in and struck out DJ LeMahieu to strand the runners and keep the game tied up.

After Cincinnati scored three runs in the top of the 8th to take a 4-1 lead, and with Castillo’s pitch count at 114, David Bell made the call to send Jeff Hoffman to the mound for the 8th. Aaron Judge welcomed him to the game by swatting his 31st homer of the season to lead off the inning and cut the lead to 4-2. Joffman would retire the next two hitters before talking Matt Carpenter on four pitches. Gleyber Torres followed with a game tying 2-run homer as the Benny Hill music played in the background, seemingly out of nowhere. Hoffman followed up by walking Gleyber Torres before he was replaced by Hunter Strickland. That didn’t change anything as Strickland then came on to walk the first batter he faced. He then hit pinch hitter Josh Donaldson with a pitch to load the bases. A strikeout of DJ LeMahieu mercifully ended the inning, sending the game to the 9th all tied up.

Hunter Strickland came back out for the bottom of the 9th to face Aaron Judge. Strickland got him swinging on three straight sliders to record the first out. That led to a pitching change as Reiver Sanmartin was called upon to face lefty Anthony Rizzo and he got him to fly out for the second out. That brought Giancarlo Stanton to the plate, who got ahead 3-0 before taking a strike. The next pitch led to a weak chopper to shortstop to end the inning and send the game into extras.

After the Reds scored three runs in the top of the inning to grab a lead, Reiver Sanmartin returned to start the bottom of the 10th inning to face fellow lefty Matt Carpenter who performed some lefty-on-lefty crime as Carpenter sent one into the seats in right field to make it a 7-6 ball game. Gleyber Torres popped up for the first out of the inning, but then Sanmartin walked Joey Gallo after getting ahead of him 0-2. That was it for the lefty and the Reds called on Dauri Moreta to come in and try to pick up his first big league save. He got Jose Trevino to ground into a force out. Isiah Kiner-Falefa then singled up the middle to put the tying run at second base with two outs. A fly out would end it and the Reds picked up the series win.

Notes Worth Noting

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs St. Louis Cardinals

Friday July 15th, 8:15pm ET

Hunter Greene (3-10, 5.70 ERA) vs Andre Pallante (2-4, 3.18 ERA)

48 Responses

  1. Jeff Morris

    When Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over till its over”, he must have primarily been talking about the Reds, and specifically the Reds Bullpen!

  2. Moon

    Reds take 5 of 6 from the top two teams in the AL East. Props to Joey Votto today who had some timely hits. Thanks Luis from your time in Cincy. I am guessing this may be the last time we see you in a Reds uniform and if so you went out with a bang. Well done and thanks for all the fantastic baseball you gave us over the years.

  3. Old-school

    Great series win.
    Reds were really the better team and deserved a sweep.
    Luis Castillo was brilliant and a walk or 2 was on the home plate ump.
    But, Reds pitchers and bullpen walked 8 guys!!!! Where is the pitching Maestro Derek Johnson? Walking Matt Carpenter on 4 pitches with bases empty needing only 4 outs up 4-2 is unacceptable.

    Tip of the cap to Castillo …he was amazing.

    • JohnnyTV

      “Walking Matt Carpenter on 4 pitches with bases empty needing only 4 outs up 4-2 is unacceptable.”

      So true, but I’m afraid that this will never be acknowledged let alone expressed by anyone in the organization, let alone the manager or pitching couch.

      Bell’s rote “Timmy always spills his milk but he’s a good boy…” blather will suffice.

    • Doc

      I can’t say they deserved a sweep. They trailed 3-0 in the ninth in game 1, and the best reliever in the league this year melted down. The tables were reversed in game 2. The Reds ‘deserved’ to lose game 1, and deserved to win game 2, and game 3 was a tossup.

  4. Votto4life

    Guess what team is now tied for 4th in the NL Central??

    • LDS

      Keep that quiet. Remember what happened the last time the Cubs sank to the Reds level. On Thursday June 16th, the Reds and Cubs were tied at 23-40. The Reds then proceeded to lose the next 6 and 11 of 14. Let’s hope this time is different.

  5. Kevin H

    Question since you bring up pitching coach. While I agree with your post. So a question.

    Does Derek Johnson throw the ball? He can only do so much. Players need to perform.

    • JohnnyTV

      Certainly that is true, but there are systemic problems with how Reds relievers approach their job, and it is the manager and pitching coach’s job to attend to that.

      To build a culture of better strategic thinking on the mound which can lead to better performance.

      Hoffman just got outs from two big sluggers and then let down with Carpenter.

      Manager and coaches can reinforce that mental toughness through better pitch selection and location.

      Look how Castillo responded after the double. He bore down and got out of the inning with minor damage.

      Hoffman doesn’t have it, and it’s very rare in the Reds bullpen.

      That’s Johnson and Bell’s job to cultivate, not make excuses.

      • Kevin H

        I agree with most of what you said. Players though have to pitch, hit, field, etc etc…

        I remember earlier in season when people were calling Castillo average at best.

        As I mentioned a pitching coach looks great when they have the pitchers to execute. When they don’t then somehow it is a coaches fault.

      • JohnnyTV

        Calling Castillo ‘an average pitcher at best’ is a no-nothing thing to say.

        When Castillo is on, he’s as good as any pitcher in MLB.

        Why has he been a slow starter some years? Good question.

        But he’s as good a pitcher that the Reds have had in a long time.

        “As I mentioned a pitching coach looks great when they have the pitchers to execute. When they don’t then somehow it is a coaches fault.”

        This is a oft repeated maxim that doesn’t hold water.

        A pitching coach looks great when he can work with under achievers and help them reach their potential.

        The Reds bullpen has a systemic problem of walking too many batters and a huge problem of walking the first batter they face.

        It’s been going on a long time.

        This is something that you look to a pitching coach and a manager to address.

        That’s their job.

      • greenmtred

        Managers and coaches can’t overcome a lack of physical talent. If they were really that important, the good ones would still have winning records when they have bad teams, They don’t.

      • JB

        There is only so much lipstick you can put on a turd before people realize it’s still a turd. Nobody here is in that pen everyday working with these pitchers Like Johnson. This bullpen is terrible and there is a reason they are on the Reds. Nobody wanted half of them. Johnson can’t throw the ball over the plate for them. We all can’t figure out why they can’t throw strikes. It boggles the mind. At some point in time it’s on the player. See the catchers mitt hit the catchers mitt.

      • Earmbrister

        Yeah, I have to disagree Johnny. Derek Johnson is working with a Reds bullpen that currently has NINE relievers on the IL. How many MLB teams go 17 relievers deep organizationally? Probably none. And most of the team’s better relievers are on IL.

        Would the Reds’ bullpen have been above average or excellent if healthy? Heck no. However, in a rebuild the last place you put your resources is in the bullpen.

        The bullpen is currently being held together by Band-Aids and bubblegum. When Bell has to go to his bullpen it’s a matter of picking your poison all too often. It’s not a coaching problem it’s a personnel problem that was precipitated by a plethora of injuries.

    • BK

      Several here question DJ’s acumen as a pitching coach. Ken Rosenthal published an article today at The Athletic outlining how DJ has helped Castillo reach a new level this year. Bauer went from good to great under DJ. Gray rebounded under DJ. Miley thrived under DJ. This team has a talent deficit. Talented pitchers have thrived under DJ.

      • David

        I think also, TJ Antone appreciated coaching from Derek Johnson. Unfortunately, TJ was rushed back last year, and tore his ulnar collateral ligament (surgery …again).
        TJ talked a lot about what he was trying to do, and how Derek Johnson was trying to help him get there. Greater spin rate on the ball, better location (not always with strikes, but with pitches that LOOK like strikes to the batter).
        I just don’t know (because I am not a ML pitcher) if DJ’s coaching FITS every pitcher. He is smart and knows how to teach a receptive athlete, but maybe it’s both talent and the skills of pitchers. Some pitchers may not be able to do the things that DJ emphasizes, and need a different approach to be successful.
        Mario Soto taught Luis Castillo a lot about throwing his change up. Not to second guess anyone, but maybe Mario still has things to teach, that may NOT be in agreement with Derek Johnson.

    • greenmtred

      Good question, Kevin. None of the pitchers need to be told that walks are to be avoided, but I expect that it’s very difficult to achieve good control with high velocity and spin. Since I’m the only one who can stand Sadak, I heard Brantley credit Johnson for altering Castillo’s approach to fastball-first instead of change-first. The Cowboy said that the new approach accounts for much of Castillo’s success this season.

  6. Old-school

    Maybe miss bats isnt the goal.
    Maybe throw strikes and get outs is.

    8 walks is unacceptable. find pitchers who throw strikes.

      • JohnnyTV

        Any MLB pitcher can throw strikes.

        The issue is locating strikes where they aren’t being clobbered.
        (Witness Hunter Greene.)

        ‘Trusting your stuff’ is the mantra heard over and over.

        Reds relievers walk a lot of batters because they can’t throw strikes that aren’t over the heart of the plate or are afraid to do so.

        That’s where the culture of pitching for the K is failing a bullpen that doesn’t have those skills.

        There’s a huge problem here and writing it off solely to ‘poor performance’. Ignores a key part of the crisis.

        Was anyone saying “Keep the ball down, Hoff….”?

        I strongly doubt it.

      • JB

        It’s still the pitchers fault for grooving one in the heart of the plate. I get what your saying JohnnyTV but the fact of the matter is these guys in the pen stink. That’s why nobody wanted Strickland, Gibault and others. Reds have had so many injuries they have to call on these has beens. I don’t care who the coach is , in the end crap is crap.

    • Jim Walker

      Maybe throw strikes and get outs is. (the goal).

      The late Mr. Tom Seaver never missed a chance to say that he thought the most important pitch for any (and every) pitcher was a well located fastball.

      That is doubly true for a leverage reliever even if the guy has a killer curve or slider in his arsenal. There are going to be nights when the breaking ball doesn’t behave or the ump isn’t on the same strike zone page as the breaking pitches.

      Lead with the well located fastball then drop the hammer at the appropriate time. Who knows, in the process a guy might even add length to his career by stressing his arm less.

  7. Rednat

    I feel Tyler Naquin started this recent run the reds are on. i was at the second game of the double header versus the Pirates. The Pirates were up 1-0 in the 6th inning and had already one the first game of the double header. the reds had threatened to score all game but were unable to dent the plate. it looked like it was going to be a shut out and then Naquin crushed a homer to right which opened up the flood gates as the reds won 5-1. Seems like the reds have been playing looser since that game

  8. Andrew Brewer

    We’ll see how real the Reds are against the Cardinals… I loved this series with New York, because we were in it all the way !

    • Andrew Brewer

      The last series with the Cardinals saw them hitting homeruns with men on with two outs in the 9th, in back to back games. One for the walk-off and one not. The Cardinals are a sound defensive team as far back as I can remember. We’ll see if the Reds have got it or not…

    • Jim Walker

      Agree. Establishing your own high standard of play and playing to it consistently versus playing to the level of the opposition is the sign of a good team or at the least, a team moving in that direction.

  9. Rednat

    this yankees team may match the start of the 1970 reds which went 70-30 but i wasn’t too impressed with them this week. just a lot of homeruns and strikeouts but nothing in between. Just shows how much the game has changed in the last 50 plus years. that 1970 reds team really had it all with good pitching ,defense , speed and power. even the best teams now are just so one dimensional

    • Jim Walker

      But the starting pitching crashed down the stretch and by the World Series was running on fumes

      • Rednat

        i know. so disappointing. in my opinion that 70 team was the best team in the brm era. the pitching collapsed and then Brooks Robinson really killed us in the series

      • Daytonnati

        That would mean taking Tommy Helms and Darrell Chaney (or was it Woody Woodward?) over Morgan and Concepcion.

      • Jim Walker

        BBRef says in 1970, Davey and Woody split the time at SS almost evenly (296/289 PAs) with Chaney still around in a utility role (101 PAs).

        But I look at the ages and none of the major position players were in their age 30 or older seasons!

        Starters/ platoon guys
        Rose & Helms (Age) 29
        Tony Perez 28
        Lee May 27
        WoodyW 27
        Bobby Tolan & Hal McRae 24
        JB, Davey, Bernie Carbo, 22
        Main bench players
        Jimmy Stewart (super sub) 31
        Pat Corrales (Bench’s backup) 29
        Darrell Chaney 22

        That’s it for the guys getting at least 100 PAs in 1970.

      • Rednat

        i always felt Bobby Tolan was one of the most underappreciated reds. he was a heck of a hitter. but not the defender that geronimo was

  10. ChrisInVenice

    Castillo has officially entered Cueto territory. Really wish we could keep him a bit longer.

    • Rednat

      we can for another year and a half. hope we go “all in in 2023”

    • Steven Ross

      We can keep him a bit longer. We have team control for another year. So unless someone knocks our socks off an offer, I’d say keep him for another year.

  11. PTBNL

    How about offering Luis a contract that is $8-$10 million the next two seasons then $30 million a season for 2-3 years after we get rid of the Votto-Moose money????

    That puts him at 33-34 yo at the end of the contract, still in his prime.

    • BK

      I’m convinced, I just haven’t seen a pitcher of Castillo’s caliber sign a similar contract.

  12. Mark Moore

    Nail biting end, but we pulled through. So close to a sweep were it not for that wretched inning where we gave them 5+ outs and as many runs.

    Onward to the Arch!

  13. Roger Garrett

    I said this during the game that maybe we need to take a look at the pitching coach.Now if we believe last year and again this year that the pen is just awful and just don’t belong that’s fine.I personally think it’s more then that.All pen guys including ours have the fastball for the most part at 95 or better.For the most part all have a second and some like Hoffman and Sanmartin a third pitch.What I see is not throwing strikes and pitch selection as the problems and both are or should be correctable.Sanmartin threw not one,not 2 but 3 straight sliders all down and inside to Carpenter.He is looking to do one thing and that’s pull one out to right.He hit a slider at 79 mph out to right center so he had to be looking for it otherwise he hits it foul and way foul.Bad pitch selection for sure.Throwing strikes is also correctable unless you are just out there letting it rip as hard as you can.The coaching either doesn’t work with these guys or we need 8 or 9 new relievers that it does work with.

    • JohnnyTV

      This is well put.

      I recall Mahle enthusing after a recent excellent start about the game that (apparently) Garcia called.
      Mahle had hitters off balance all game long.
      He was raving about how Garcia was strategically calling for pitches down and away, then up and away then down and in, etc. etc.
      Could be my interpretation, but Mahle sounded as if he’d never experienced something like this before.
      I was pretty shocked to hear him.
      Isn’t that what a pitching coach / manager should always be working on with his battery whether that are SP or RP?
      And learn Spanish….
      A pitching coach or a manager who can’t speak Spanish in today’s game is working at a huge disadvantage.
      I remember Tommy Lasorda going out to the mound to talk to chill out Valenzuela in fluent Spanish.
      There’s some metrics for you.

      • Daytonnati

        Didn’t Barry Larkin act as a translator sometimes during mound meetings during his tenure??

      • Jim Walker

        Yeah, the story on Larkin as I recall it was that he hung with some of the Spanish speakers during a season or 2 then spent a month or so in the following offseason living with Mario Duncan and speaking Spanish as his primary language to finish the job of building his working knowledge/ fluency.

        Obviously just listening to Barry on TV, there was no way he wanted to sound like a reverse image Chico Escuela when he spoke Spanish. 😉

    • Earmbrister

      Roger, we already have eight or nine new relievers because we have nine relievers on the IL. Are you suggesting that we go 20+ deep into our reliever pool? Don’t see it happening.

      We have already been pitching guys picked up off the waiver wire. Unfortunately, Derek Johnson is gonna have to work with the horses (or nags) that he has.

  14. Reddawg2012

    Is this just the normal ebb and flow of a 162 game season, or are we seeing what the Reds could have been capable of had they not been decimated by injuries the first half of the season? The way they’ve played as a team (other than the horrific base running and infield defense) these last 6 games has honestly been impressive.

  15. Indy Red Man

    That was a fun series and really proud of the guys!

    Only negative to me was yesterday with India. His fielding has been spotty, but what bugged me was low baseball IQ on the bases. First inning Pham bloops one into RF thats a obvious hit and going to die on the grass. Matt Carpenter is not a RFer and can’t throw so how is India not on 3B with 1 out? Didn’t look like he was hobbling from the HBP the other day? That was a breaking ball that hit him. 25+ leadoff men make it to 3B on that and zero chance Carpenter was going to throw him out. Also looked like India should’ve made 3B on that Drury hit that bounced away.

    The Reds have had extremely low baseball IQ on the bases ever since the Rolen BP era. They have to clean that up. Senzel is clueless too

    • JB

      Nobody is taking an extra base on Gallo, Judge or Stanton. Carpenter? All day every day. India must of had no clue who was in RF. Wasn’t it Akiyama who every hitter was taking the extra base on?

    • PTBNL

      The look on Tony Pham’s face said it all when he saw India still at 2nd base after Pham got to first base.