Two runs in the top of the 10th inning proved to be the difference in a 4-2 Cincinnati Reds win over the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field in Milwaukee.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (44-63) 4 7 0
Milwaukee Brewers (58-50)
2 5 1
W: Strickland (3-3) L: Williams (2-2) Sv: Detwiler (1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Donovan Solano drove in two of the Reds’ four runs, including the team’s second run in the 10th inning. Cincinnati bounced back from the disappointment of blowing a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth to take the lead and then blank Milwaukee in the bottom of the inning.

Milwaukee lost its sixth in its past seven, falling possibly two games behind first-place St. Louis if the Cardinals hold on to a slim late-inning lead against the Yankees. Cincinnati moved into sole possession of third place, one-half game ahead of fourth-place Chicago.

The win gave Cincinnati the series, two games to one.

The Offense

With the Reds trailing 1-0 in the fifth inning, Michael Papierski (with a .136 batting average at that moment, and facing an ace-level major-league pitcher) proved one of Joe Nuxhall’s famous sayings: If you swing the bat, you’re dangerous:

With lefty Taylor Rogers on in the eighth, Jonathan India pinch-hit for Papierski with one out and delivered a single. An out later, with India on second thanks to a Rogers wild pitch, Donovan Solano delivered in his ideal role — hitting against lefthanded pitching:

That gave Cincinnati a 2-1 lead which unfortunately did not last and the game headed to extra innings.

With Austin Romine as the “ghost runner” at second, Aristides Aquino tapped a slow roller to third base, where Mike Brosseau had just been inserted as a defensive replacement:

Aquino busted it down the line to first, and not only was Brosseau’s throw late, but also off-target. Romine scored and Aquino ended up at third on what was scored as an infield hit and a two-base throwing error.

With Aquino at third and nobody out, Solano launched a deep fly to left against Milwaukee righty Devin Williams that was tracked down by Yelich but served as a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2 Reds, which ended up the final score.

The Pitching

Starter Graham Ashcraft was stellar. In 5 2/3 innings, he allowed only two walks and four hits, one of which was a solo homer to Willy Adames in the third inning. When he reached 100 pitches in the sixth inning, Manager David Bell removed him in favor of Buck Farmer, who is settling into a middle-inning reliever role. Farmer ended the sixth by blowing away Keston Hiura swinging.

Joel Kuhnel started the bottom of the seventh by drilling Luis Urias with the first pitch he threw. After recording two outs on well-hit balls by Milwaukee batters, Kuhnel was replaced by Reiver Sanmartin to face Christian Yelich. Bell made the identical move to create a lefty-on-lefty matchup last night, and Yelich responded with a base hit. However, the tables were turned today:

Sanmartin struck out Yelich swinging on three pitches with Urias on second base to end the inning and preserve the 1-1 tie.

Alexis Diaz came on in the bottom of the eighth to face the heart of the Brewers order. He responded by striking out Adames, Rowdy Tellez and Kolten Wong, all swinging:

But in the ninth, Bell went to his chosen closer, Hunter Strickland, who promptly surrendered a leadoff solo blast to Hiura to tie the game at 2-2. That was followed by a walk to Luis Urias, but Victor Caratini then hit a screaming grounder to second which Solano and shortstop Jose Barrero turned into an easy twin-killing. Trent Taylor skied a fly-ball out to center, but the damage had been done.

After the Reds scored two in the top of the 10th, lefty Ross Detwiler came on because two of the three scheduled Milwaukee batters were lefties. Yelich grounded out to second for the first out, moving ghost runner Taylor to third. Adames then struck out swinging for the second out. Andrew McCutchen then pinch-hit for Tellez, and also struck out swinging for the final out.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds at New York Mets

Monday, August 8, 7:10 p.m. ET

Justin Dunn (0-3, 6.92 ERA at Louisville) vs. Chris Bassitt (8-7, 3.61 ERA)

127 Responses

  1. LuciusRuber

    Great recap Tom-thanks for the clips

    • SteveAreno

      Hats off to Ross Detwiler to get his first save and lower his ERA to 3.50 which is second best on the team!

  2. Moon

    Reds move back into 3rd place in the Central. Winning pct up to .411.

    • Oldtimer

      Since 3-22 start, Reds are 41-41 (not bad) despite many injuries to key players.

      • Private Gripweed

        Right where Bob wants them

  3. Melvin

    Thanks Tom. I have to say knowing that Barrero and Aquino are going to play mostly the rest of the season makes it more fun for me to watch. It’s a big deal knowing the kind of season it’s been so far. If we can win this year with those two playing every day then next year may not be as bad as we think.

    • Roger Garrett

      Barrero yesterday and AA yesterday and today helped get both wins.Speed range and arm strength can’t be taught.If both hit 230 or so Reds are in business.Young players even when they fail at the plate are just exciting to watch.Aquino had the dribbler beat anyway or so it appeared but the hurried throw got him to third cause he knew Tellez was chasing it.Big Big second run for sure.

      • Redsvol

        incredible hustle by Aquino to get to 3rd base on that error on his dribbler in 10th. Almost Elly De La Cruz-like!

        Just simple contact and speed can change the complection of a game and the opposing defense. Its going to be so nice to have a team with speed that can also play elite defense. I’m having trouble remember last time we had an excellent defensive team. Probably that 2012 team with Phillips, Cozart and Rolen.

  4. CI3J

    Barrero earned the Golden Sombrero tonight. Not exactly a strong encore after his 2-homer night.

    That said, I look forward to seeing him at SS for the majority of remaining games. Hope he can rise to the challenge, offensively.

    • AMDG

      The Reds had 15 K’s, so it wasn’t just Barrero.

      It’s crazy that in 2 of his first 4 games, Barrero had to face last year’s Cy Young winner (Burnes) and this year’s likely winner (Alcantara).

      He’s hitting 0.000 against them, and 0.286 vs everybody else.

      • Roger Garrett

        Most players don’t hit either pitcher.Barrero is not the sole answer he maybe part of the answer going forward or he may not be.He just has to play to find out.We saw what Moose and Joey did against him for example and they have faced him a bunch and PAP was 1-3 with a homer.Its baseball and is what it is.Barrero has some very rare talent.

    • Luke J

      The ump rang him up twice on obvious balls. I’m actually glad he’s starting to take those pitches.

      • JB

        The only thing I don’t like is when it’s 3-2 you have to protect and swing at anything close. He has way more range at short and a stronger arm than Farmer. Farmer is perfect for 3rd.

      • BK

        Exactly, I liked that he took those pitches. I’m ready for robo-umps for balls/strikes. I know the umps are doing their best, but the miss way too many calls and now we have the systems in place to know it.

      • AMDG

        I wonder if there are stats somewhere which compare what robo umps would call balls & strikes vs what MLB umps are calling balls & strikes.

        Such as % balls and % strikes of one vs the other, and if the discrepancy is high/low/etc.

      • Mutton Lettuce Tomato

        That was absolutely the case… those takes will even out eventually but he was robbed both times, clearly frustrated and rightly so.

  5. Daytonnati

    I bailed after the Strickland choke. Maybe if I had done that all year, we’d be closer to .500??

    • SteveAreno

      Strickland continues to choke so you wonder how many chances does one get in important situations?

      • KYPODMAN

        hopefully, NO MORE, Diaz for closer!!!!

      • burtgummer01

        People just don’t understand smh

    • CCTeam

      When do you start letting Diaz pitch 2 innings and end it himself?

  6. James K

    The rules for a pitcher’s won loss record were devised in the early days of baseball when complete games were common. Today they are close to nonsensical. Of all the pitchers the Reds used today, Strickland was the least deserving of a W.

    • Melvin

      Yeah. Blowing a save and then getting the win just doesn’t seem right especially when others pitched better than you.

    • AMDG

      The sad thing is some voters for the Cy Young and HOF (still) use Wins and Losses to determine how good a pitcher is.

      Speaking of Complete Games, certainly agree. Noodles Hahn pitched a complete game in 95% of his 237 starts as a Reds pitcher.

      Such a different era. Over the past 4 seasons you only needed 2 or 3 complete games to lead the league. But in the days of Hahn, he averaged 34 complete games from 1899~1904 but only led the league in that category 1 time.

      • JB

        I’m not sure the HOF will be using the 300 wins and your in criteria in the future. I think getting 300 wins will be a thing of the past with most starters can barely pitch 5-6 innings and getting the quick hook and pitch counts now a days.

      • Oldtimer

        Unless something changes, I doubt there will ever be another 300 W pitcher.

    • SteveAreno

      He knows it and wishes he could give it someone else

  7. Roger Garrett

    They never quit but I must say as I often did with Dusty,we won despite Bell.Aquino with the wheels and Solano in the 8th and again in the 10th does what he does.Williams has a lethal change but Solano got it in the air and it almost went out.Detwiller punches out 2 righties and Reds win.Strange game for sure.Reds fanned a zillion times and still win.Diaz is just nasty period.Closer in the making.

    • Jim New

      It is hard to watch the moves Bell makes having witnessed the genius of one Sparky Anderson. Obviously not the same talent but I would venture to say we would at least be in the hunt for a wild card.

      • greenmtred

        I’d bet we wouldn’t be. Sparky, when managing weak teams, had losing records. 103 losses one year with Detroit.

  8. SteveO

    Man, looking at the box score and seeing so many Reds hitters below the Mendoza line is disappointing. In any other year, I’d feel much more upset about it, but accept that this is part of the evaluation period and crucial to the rebuild. They won, not ideally, but won. What will it take for DBell to remove Strickland from the role of closer? Just keeps on giving up 9th inning runs. Is Bell trying to find out how much of a 9th inning lead the Reds need when Strickland pitches? 4 runs ok. 1 run, not ok. I’d feel much more comfortable at this point with Farmer, Kuhnel, Sanmartin and of course Diaz in that spot. Imo, hope Bell is not making those decisions in ‘23.

    • Jimbo44CN

      I agree, watching Strickland is painful.
      I actually like Kuhnel, big strong guy that does not look intimidated by anyone or anything. Hit a guy on the first pitch? Big deal, oops sorry. Now on to the next guy. He may not have the best stuff, but he and Diaz look the role. Tough guys out there that do not like hitters. You could throw Santillian in that mold too, too bad he’s hurt.

  9. Old-school

    Brewers arent going to make the playoffs. They quit.

    Trading the most dominant lefty reliever while in first place is stupidity.
    Kudos to Ashcraft and Diaz and Solano.

    Solano can hit.

    Moose and Votto 0-10 with 5 K’s so lets not think 2023 is a winning year. Both still below replacement level making 50mil in 2023 in exit fees.
    Bell isnt the guy for the next window. Hes not the sole problem but hes part of the problem and he’s had 4 years and is a losing manager with Cy Young talent and elite SP talent and AS Position players.

    #benavides2023

    • Roger Garrett

      I agree but I believe he is still here next year.He isn’t the only problem for sure but he isn’t the man I would want leading a young team of position players.His everybody plays thought process won’t work cause young guys have never set in the minors.Vets can set and learn to do it because it prolongs their career.

  10. Andy

    Someone give me a reason why Strickland is still on this team at this point let alone our closer

    He’s Heath Hembree with a quicker delivery

    • SteveAreno

      I’d send him down to Louisville to work on his placement and confidence. It worked wonders for Rever Sanmartin who has looked really strong.

  11. Optimist

    Another thanks for the clips. A bit surprising how fast Aquino is when he gets up to speed. His 2nd to 3rd on the overthrow was really flying.

    • MBS

      If you look at statcast his sprint speed is very good. He leads the team in 2022, but using 2021 and 2022 combined Senzel has a 28.8 avg sprint speed, Aquino has a 28.6, and India has a 28.4 sprint speed.

      • Optimist

        It shows up when he’s taking two bases. The classic “big guy once he gets going” speed. Don’t notice as much on defense.

  12. DHud

    Hunter Strickland getting credit for a win makes me so irrationally angry I don’t even know how to react

    • Ryan

      Almost as bad as that ridiculous stat “hold.”

  13. Roger Garrett

    Cards sweep Yanks.Yanks will hate it before its over that they didn’t get Castillo.Guess the asking price was too much.Guy they did pick up from A’s got hammered and they traded Montgomery for Bader which made no sense at all.Rumblings in the Bronx which I love to be honest.No doubt they can still hit but can they pitch when it counts in a 7 game series.Astros and even Dusty are smiling minus the tooth pick.Could be their year.

      • Roger Garrett

        Hope he gets a ring this year.Don’t think he has one.

      • Reaganspad

        Dusty is a good manager. A great manager would have led one World Series winner out of the Cubs, the Giants, the Reds and the Senators. The Giants had a great manager following Dusty who did it 4 times.

        I do not see another World Series for the Astronauts while he is at the helm. Good enough, not great

  14. Kevin H

    Diaz your closer and Sanmartin your 8th inning guy. Detwiller in 7th. Then any other combination. Farmer has been pitching well of late so he can be 7th or 8th inning guy.

    See what happens.

    • Roger Garrett

      Why not? Hunter ain’t here next year anyway.

      • Kevin H

        Let’s hope not!!! Dude is terrible. Bell frustrates me with his bullpen management.

    • MBS

      I think Bell is protecting Diaz a bit, and probably for good reason. That’s a lot of pressure on a rookie. I am confident if the Reds don’t get a closer in 23, he will be ready to step in. If they do bring in a closer he can remain in setup, and that will lengthen our pen a bit.

      • LT

        Agree 100%. Pitching 8 and pitching are totally different (hence 2 different roles :)). I sound like Al Michaelis in saying the obvious, but a lot of folks in here seem to think having success as a set up man translates to success as a closer. It might but no guarantee. Don’t underestimate the pressure of closing out a game.

      • Optimist

        Perhaps, but strongly doubt they’ll “bring in a closer” next year, unless it’s another Strickland/Doolittle/Hembree FA signing. I’ll be shocked if they repeat the Coco move from a decade ago. It will be Diaz, and perhaps a bit of a committee effort.

      • greenmtred

        You may be right, MBS and it also looks to be the case that he’s using him in high-leverage situations–later innings, not necessarily the 9th. The traditional closer doesn’t automatically deal with the most critical threat, often starting with nobody on base. According to Chris Welch, one of the reasons Hader was traded was because he would only pitch in save situations.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Agree MBS, this season just build his confidence.

  15. Kevin H

    Reds are 41-41 since their start. What could of been. LOL

    Amazing in that span of games they are ahead of Brewers and 3 games behind Cardinals in the 82 game span. Just amazing to me

    • JB

      They won this 2-1. If they win every series here on out they will have about 82 wins. Now I know they won’t but they play the Cubs and Bucs 22 more times. It would be crazy if they ended up .500

  16. Mark Moore

    Had to go pick up dinner, so I listened to the very end in the car. My wife texted me before I heard the final out so I knew what was coming.

    There is chatter about how to wrangle 40-man spots to protect some of the new prospects. I do believe Hunter Strickland raised his hand yet again. Then again, he’s a Free Agent, so that should go without saying.

    Off to NYC and the Metros then onward to Iowa to wrestle the Stupid Cubs in a corn field.

  17. Jim t

    Guys I think what people need to understand about Bell’s bull pen management is he doesn’t subscribe to the traditional closer role. He fully understands Diaz is his best reliever and will use him in the highest leverage situations not exclusively in the ninth inning. I don’t know if I disagree with his thinking. What I do know is Hunter Strickland isn’t pitching well no matter if it’s the 7,8,or 9th.

    Another problem Bell has is after trading Castillo and Mahle his bull pen will need to throw a bunch more innings.

    • Optimist

      Yes to all of the above. They’re actually using the pen quite well in the middle innings, even Diaz against the heart of the order in some of the recent 8th innings. Understood that Kuhnel and Hendrix have blown 9th inning chances before, but looking ahead – the remainder of this year is when they must get their final chances to do so. Neither may be on the 40-man next year, and certainly Strickland is gone. Keep using Diaz against the other 3-4-5 men, and if that’s not the 9th, give others the ball.

      I guess they just aren’t ready to pull the plug on Moose or Hunter during the season.

    • VaRedsFan

      Jim…Most people aren’t mad because Diaz pitches the 8th. They are mad because Bell constantly uses Strickland in the 9th. He was terrible in Spring. I don’t know how he even made the team. Terrible in April…DFA material. Had a brief bounceback in May….only to go back to awful June, July, and now August.

      You can’t possibly rationalize him being used in these situations. We don’t care who…as long as it’s not HIM.

      • Jim t

        @ VA thanks for the reply. Like you I was looking for that reasoning as well. The only thing I can come up with is, the other candidates not named Diaz are either injured or are not good either. I also looked at his Stats historically and he has had some success on occasion during his career. Even this year he was 6 of 7 at one point.

      • greenmtred

        Up until this year, Strickland has usually been decent to good. He hit 98mph a game or so ago. He’s having a miserable year, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable to see if he can get untracked and match the back of his baseball card going forward; the Reds will need all of the BP help they can get next year, and this year, when wins don’t really matter, is a good time for auditions.

    • DHud

      Hunter Strickland has no business pitching the ninth inning with a one run lead

      That’s the problem. Not who the “closer” is

    • BK

      Very much agree Jim … Diaz is being deployed optimally. Need to find another solution after him. I don’t blame Bell for using Strickland as he has to this point. Strickland has experience as a closer that others lack. Also, do we have a reliable relief pitcher aside from Diaz? At any rate … time for an adjustment. The current plan is not working. I suspect Buck Farmer will get the next opportunity.

    • Redsvol

      Thank you for stating this Jim T. more clear than I could have. Understand the disappointment in seeing Strickland in the 9th. He is someone that should be used in the 5th or 6 th inning or during blowouts to cover a couple innings. I think up until July 1, Bell didn’t have any other options. Since July 1, I think SanMartin is pitching very well and recently Detwiler back from the injured list is a good option. Gibaut and Cessa might be better options too. I’m sorry but Kuhnel just needs to be DFA’ed and we need to claim someone off waivers.

      • Reaganspad

        We miss Tony Santillan a bunch.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      It was a few weeks back that Bell said, and I am paraphrasing, that Strickland is his pitcher for the ninth inning. The only times I can remember that Strickland didn’t pitch the ninth inning were when he had been in a few days in a row, or recently when he was on the bereavement list. It just puzzles the heck out of me. There is no future benefit to this line of thinking, unless there is benefit in “protecting” Diaz from the pressure of save situations.

      • Melvin

        Yeah. TRY SOMEBODY else. Maybe like the guy who finished yesterday. Just a thought. Right? Detwiler.

  18. Steven Ross

    There is not one single reason Bell should use Strickland in the 9th to close games anymore. Diaz is the better pitcher and future. Strickland won’t be here next season and I’m beginning to think Bell won’t be either.

    Both Larkin and Brantley have said: why not Diaz? If they mention it on the air, you know it’s being discussed at higher levels. It’s unbelievable he still uses him.

    • Jim t

      @steven using Diaz exclusively in the 9th inning may not be the right move either. You have to. Get to the 9th inning with a lead to make it a save situation. The reds bull pen can blow the game long before it gets to the 9th inning.

      • Kevin H

        And that is the frustrating part about Reds bullpen. Has been last two years.

        2020 he had a closer and set up man when Bradley came over. Yet he didn’t use them traditionally.

      • greenmtred

        Exactly, Jim T. There’s nothing magic about the 9th inning except that the rules make that when pitchers can most easily get saves. Saves don’t mean much except when contracts are being negotiated.

  19. SteveAreno

    If you are a baseball analyst or writer, shouldn’t you be asking about Strickland’s performance and being counted on to get all the saves?

  20. Willdcat

    Good enuff for the bell ringing brew crew. 1 win since they dealt Hader…love it

  21. Steve Schoenbaechler

    The only thing I see positive about Bell is the players seem to like playing for him.

    But the guy simply doesn’t understand how to use his bench. I know twice I’ve seen him burn 3 players on the same play this season, one time putting the team in a position later in the game that he definitely wanted to stay away from. But, because he was so concerned with the matchups then, he put the team in even a worst matchup later in the game.

    Then, with the relievers, Good Freakin’ Lord! I mean, if we had the best bullpen in the league, I could understand playing matchups for every hitter on the other team.

    But, we don’t have that. It would be like. . .We have a great Calculus book, but we need to make sure we get the elementary math correct.

    We have one of if not the worst bullpen in the league. When you get one pitcher to pitch a clean inning, you put them back out there for a 2nd inning. You don’t reach back into the worst bullpen in the league and think you’re going to get another clean inning simply because of matchups.

    SanMartin should definitely have at minimum started the 8th inning.

    As much as I didn’t like Baker, that’s one thing I always liked about him. He might have been 1-2 batters off when looking to bring in a reliever. But, when he did bring one in, many if not most of the time, he brought them in on a double switch, seeing to it that the pitcher would be able to pitch 2 innings. If they didn’t do well, he pulled them early.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      This is where I specify, like we did with Baker many times, we won this game despite Bell, not because of Bell.

      • Jim t

        Steve are you familiar with the rule changes concerning RP’s? Also bull pens are now used every night. Most of the time for 3 innings. Looking at our bull pen how many of the active players haven’t done time on the IL?

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Well aware of the rules. And, it wouldn’t change one thing with what I’ve said Bell should be doing.

    • BK

      I understand the frustration, but our bullpen is bad … like worst in the league bad. So, why is Bell wrong to try to find the best matchups … especially knowing he’s not blessed with a lot of talent in the pen? Presumably, he’s trying to put them in the best position to be successful.

      Also, you’re assuming that because a pitcher finished an inning well that they will do well the next inning. That approach ignores data that may indicate a higher probability of a bad result in the future.

      Here’s my assessment … not many managers will look “smart” with this bullpen.

      • Melvin

        To me, considering how bad our bullpen is as you point out, there is a better chance of a pitcher continuing his success the next inning and “staying on a roll” than trying a new pitcher. Of course there are no guarantees.

      • BK

        Bell actually did what you are suggesting yesterday with Buck Farmer. So, it’s in the repertoire.

    • Still a Red

      I also sometimes think why take a reliever out, it they’ve just pitched a perfect inning. Then I think, well, he probably wouldn’t be available tomorrow. Or, maybe the match-ups the next inning do not favor him. OR, perhaps most likely this year, good one inning doesn’t mean good the next, plus you’ve blown him for tomorrow.

  22. RedsGettingBetter

    Strickland should be removed from the closer role, so many blown saves and he surrenders runs in the most of his outings, he is not reliable.
    The next series is very tough vs NYM. But maybe the Reds could achieve the same feat that they did against the Yankees….Go Reds!

  23. Mark Moore

    For the record, I like using Diaz as the high-leverage guy in whatever inning makes the most sense. Using Strickland as a high-leverage guy (albeit below Diaz) is insanity. We’ve seen that yesterday and today, even though we managed to win the games.

    The 1-batter use of pitchers who were doing very well to finish an inning also baffles me. Why not stretch them to another batter or two? I get the resources at DTBell’s disposal are very limited. But doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the classic definition of insanity.

    • greenmtred

      Well, they’re playing pretty well. There seems to be a lot of faith here in players being on “rolls;” as in, ” the guy hit a home run last time up and he got pulled for a pinch hitter? Insanity.” I was hoping somebody would say this about yesterday’s game when India pinch-hit for Papierski, but I guess that was a bridge too far. Aside from that, since Bell has a bullpen with one reliable pitcher, and it isn’t the last game of the season, he actually does have to be concerned about keeping as many of his options available as he can.

  24. GreatRedLegsFan

    Great win against all odds. Having made all those moves at trade deadline and so many prospects coming, it’s really hard to see playing (and struggling) Moustakas and Strickland, just release them.

    • Jim t

      I’d be stunned if Krall and the Reds eat what’s left on Moose’s contest. They will do everything possible to trade him but they will not be releasing him. Strickland on the other hand will remain but I think you may see someone else pitching the 9th going forward.

  25. Mark B

    How much longer do we have to watch Strickland close. Hitters know he can’t get his breaking stuff over so they sit on his fastball. Someone needs to tell Bell.

  26. Jeff Morris

    Great sentence in the Cincy Enquirer after todays game, “Cincinnati Reds rally after Hunter Strickland blown save to take series from Brewers”. Bell says, “We are going to need Strickland the rest of the season” Yes Bell….put him in like last night, when you have a 4 run lead. Put him in when you are leading by 4-5 runs or behind by 4-5 runs. NOT when you are leading by a run going in the 9th inning and need a save! Use A Diaz as your closer….Hello Bell! Hello Bell! Think Bell! Think!

    • BK

      Bell is never going to through a player under the bus in the press. Would you want to play for a manager that did?

  27. Rednat

    Aquino kind of grows on you. if you are a righty and have speed you can get a lot of infield hits by just hitting weak ground balls to the left side now days with infielders playing so far back these days.

    Barrero and Aquino are very similar players. they can both survive long in this league just by occasionally hitting some long balls, running the bases well, playing excellent defense and legging out infield hits.

    • Optimist

      Barrero at SS surely, but more doubt on AA, though I’m a big fan. But his defense really is superior, and that should keep him around a while.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      As much as Aquino shows such outstanding arm, defense and speed, I just don’t foresee him as part of the 2023 roster, he’d have to improve his OBP by at least 100 points in order to be able to compete for a spot.

      • Jim Walker

        Aquino’s career MLB OPB is .290. +.100 to that is approaching Votto at near his prime. Aquino profiles similar to Adam Duvall whose career OBP is .289.

        IMO, Aquino needs to get his slugging into the .475-.500 range (current career level is .445) if he does that, the OPB will take care of itself to around .300 and make him no worse than a league average offensive player. With his defensive/ throwing skills, that level will keep him around MLB whether with the Reds or elsewhere.

        Here is an interesting statistic I ran across. For 2022, Aquino is 1.2 bWAR better than Nick Senzel despite Senzel playing in nearly twice as many games and having 3 times the PAs Aquino has. The raw numbers are Aquino +0.9 bWAR; Senzel -0.7 bWAR. Such is the impact of Aquino’s defense.

      • Melvin

        Pretty cool Jim. In my view Aquino is undervalued/underestimated. With regular playing time, not looking over his shoulder if he makes a mistake and going to the bench playing time, he will only get better and show his value.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Oh come on. Stats or not, he basically won both games against the Brewers. 2 run single, cut down a run at the plate with his arm, then his legged out hustle last night. Not every thing boils down to stats.

      • BK

        At Fangraphs Aquino is only 0.1 fWAR better than Senzel–a narrow margin … just something to keep in mind.

        I agree that Aquino’s slugging percentage is the number to watch. If he produces like Adam Duvall, he will stick around MLB for several years and Duvall has produced a few years where he was a “solid ML starter” with his combination of high defense/slugging and low OBP/BA. There’s definitely a path for him if he can discover better consistency. Another key for Aquino is to avoid what he did in March/April–that really deep slump is unplayable on a recurring basis.

        Senzel, on the other hand, is really not bringing a lot of value defensively (trending poor) or with his bat (trending average). Although his hitting has improved a good bit this year, it will have to get better to cover his defense in CF. He’s now in his 4th season as a CF–hard to see his defense improving at this point, so it’s going to have to be his bat.

      • Pete Blowers

        Great data Jim and I’m with you Jimbo. Aquino has a way to go but he can be a difference maker with any of the three: power, arm and speed. Would love to see him reach his potential and have Elly join him in the Reds outfied next year. Could be very, very special. Exciting time to be a Reds fan – the future looks so bright!

      • Jim Walker

        I believe neither Senzel nor Aquino are a lock to be with the Reds next season.

        Senzel may actually be at greater peril than Aquino because he would be in the 2nd of 4 possible arbitration years (he was a Super2) and is already making $1.25m in 2022.

        Aquino is shown as 2 years and 5 days of service time at the start of 2022. His ~3 weeks in exile at AAA might be just enough to keep him from making first year arbitration eligibility for 2023. Aquino is making $720K this year. Even if he makes arbitration, it is unlikely he would go as high for 2023 as Senzel is this year.

        Albert Almora Jr also figures in this mix if the Reds might be looking to hold onto 1 “veteran” to anchor the OF in CF. Almora will also be under team control in 2023. His current salary is more difficult to determine because he signed a minor league deal and was subsequently added to the Reds 40 man roster. Cot’s says he made $1.25m with the Mets in 2021. It is hard to think he is making even that much this year given the circumstances of his signing after being nontendered by the Mets.

        While the team doesn’t have anything to be playing for in the final 7 weeks or so of the season, these guys and others certainly do individually which hopefully will make the games enjoyable to watch while giving us possible insights into 2023 with the Reds.

      • greenmtred

        It would depend upon their other options. Aquino provides considerable value. He’ only got two fewer assists than the league leader, and he’s missed a lot of games. I don’t know whether he can become a more consistent hitter, but they don’ have anybody behind him who is a good hitter.

  28. Kevin H

    Alot of great conversation about the bullpen and usages. While I understand using Diaz in high level situation’s I just feel you use your best pitcher as your closer. I do think Detwiller and Sanmartin have pitched alot better and can be used in those high level situations. Farmer as well and Cesa if he can regain his form from last season.

    I mean 41-41 with all the crazy and horrible start. Bell for all his quirks must be doing something right.

    • Bill

      Do you prefer to save your best pitcher in case you are leading in the 9th or in a one run game in the 7th against the three best hitters? I’m putting the best guy out there in the 7th and hopefully I still have the lead in the 9th against the 7/8/9 hitters.

      Saving the best for the 9th won’t help much when you are down 3 runs by the time you get there. To me that is the equivalent of batting the fast guy who can’t hit lead off because he is fast and won’t clog up the bases.

    • Jim t

      @Kevin, Bell is doing quite a bit right. As you pointed out Bell pushes enough of the right buttons to be playing 500 ball 41 and 41 with a very weak roster, it’s best hitter sidelined and 2/3’s of our rotation injured or traded. Also Drury a huge piece of our offense was traded. This team has been killed with injuries as well. The bull pen has been substandard since the beginning of the year and injuries to current members have hampered its performance. It’s 2 highest paid veterans are well below their norm. This team has won all its series since the All star break. With all that, I read here daily how he should be fired. I really think we may want to dig a bit deeper into what we may be wishing for. This team needs a lot of help to get where we want to be. In my mind firing the manager is way down the list of priorities. This team fights to the last out. It has all year. His relationship with the players is a huge reason why after starting the year 3-22 we didn’t just fade away.

  29. Mark A Verticchio

    If you are giving Bell any credit for the 41 and 41 you must also put the blame on him for the 3 and 22, which most managers would not have survived. Bell did and he should not have. I think the 41 and 41 is good but remember there is no pressure on this team, unlike the Brewers, because they know they are going no where.

    • Mark Moore

      +1,000,000

      Ain’t complete job security something?

      • greenmtred

        Did Krall or somebody else in upper management actually say that Bell has total job security, or are you guys just inferring it? It’s possible that the Reds understand that a patched-together, hugely injured roster isn’t going to win a lot of games regardless of who is managing.

    • Jim t

      @Mark, I understand your point. The first 25 games of the season were a mess. Injuries to our rotation and position players as well as a horrible bull pen played a big part in our slide. Bell righted the ship when it could have gone down hill historically. The team could head that way again after the trades but they do play hard and battle. I am willing to stick with Bell. The players seem to respond to him. He is in a very tough spot considering Votto and Moose two guys making all the money are not nearly earning their salary. Trying to balance young and vets on their way out can’t be easy.

      • Mark Moore

        @Jim t – thanks for the response. And I’m pretty sure the majority of us see that “symbiotic” situation between the FO and the Bell family. Baseball is a pretty small world in the end.

        I’m with you on the 3M/Votto situation. He’s told to play them and he has to do just that. This Mets series will show us if the last couple were a fluke or not. Of course, the SP core will make things challenging.

        I’m not sure I’d give him as much credit for righting the ship as others do. But you can’t deny how hard these guys are playing right now. They’ve made it fun to watch again. No small accomplishment given they know they are well out of the race and they lost some great teammates.

  30. Bill

    Do you prefer to save your best pitcher in case you are leading in the 9th or in a one run game in the 7th against the three best hitters? I’m putting the best guy out there in the 7th and hopefully I still have the lead in the 9th against the 7/8/9 hitters.

    Saving the best for the 9th won’t help much when you are down 3 runs by the time you get there. To me that is the equivalent of batting the fast guy who can’t hit lead off because he is fast and won’t clog up the bases.

  31. Roger Garrett

    Bell’s job is safe this year and next regardless of what he does.There are only so many managers jobs and he has one despite 3-22 start.Reds may be better next year and I think they can play 500 ball in 2024 but my biggest fear is Bell will be here.He just isn’t the man to handle a bunch of young position players and a bull pen.

    • Jim t

      @Roger couldn’t disagree with you more. Votto and Moose will be gone after next year also some of our injured bull pen arms will be back.

      I think the young players enjoy playing for him. Bell knows the game. It has been his life starting with his father. Like all of you I want a winner and I think with some help from the front office I think he can deliver. Time will tell

    • BK

      Roger, this is not necessarily directed to you … you are sharing common sentiments–this team needs another manager. Specifically, you mention Bell’s “not the man to handle a bunch of position players.”

      Who do you see managing differently than Bell and what is it you would like to see Bell do?

    • Jim t

      @Roger do you think the teams start had anything to do with 8 guys starting the year on the DL?

  32. Still a Red

    I also sometimes think why take a reliever out, it they’ve just pitched a perfect inning. Then I think, well, he probably wouldn’t be available tomorrow. Or, maybe the match-ups the next inning do not favor him. OR, perhaps most likely this year, good one inning doesn’t mean good the next, plus you’ve blown him for tomorrow.

  33. Still a Red

    I watched Joey yesterday and he just doesn’t look right. Early in the season he seemed to have his hands close to his body, a change from the second half of last year. I thought that led to a mincy swing. Then when that wasn’t working he raised his hands a bit higher, and did better, seemed to get off a full power swing. Yesterday I noticed he was just laying his bat on the back of his shoulder until the last moment and looked completely baffled at the plate. I was hoping he’d pull another fantastic second half out of the hat, but he’s running out of time. I’m afraid his last few years, rallies notwithstanding could jeapordize his HoF.

  34. Hotto4Votto

    No idea why Strickland is still being run out there. He’s not helping this season, and won’t be here next season. Give someone else his innings. Maybe this will finally be over once Warren is ready to return.

  35. Roger Garrett

    I have no inside scoop but here is what I have always believed.Bell was a player for 12 years that played for several teams.His career stats were below average to average with some good years offsetting the bad years.Just by nature he loves those kind of players and will when given a choice plays those kind of players.I believe he has always been told to play the guys that make the most money and they are vets of course so that works for him.Rookies don’t have the time nor are paid the big bucks so why play them.Recently he was told to play Barrero and Aquino although he backed off from saying AA would play every day.No way he does that on his own unless he is told to do so by Krall.He is not the man to handle young position players because they will or are pushing vets out.He has no patience with them yet will run out vets regardless.Bell played and was always looking over his shoulder so he can relate to guys just like him.I am not blaming him for feeling that way cause its natural and he tries to make up for it by playing everybody to some extent but its just his way to try to keep everybody happy.Reds need a manager that isn’t connected as Bell is to the organization.He needs to be an outsider that brings in his coaches and isn’t afraid to set a vet and play a younger player.I am referring to young position players and not young starting pitching or a young pen because the starters were by design and the pen by injury.Of course Hunter is a vet and well he is just trying to hang on and Bell said we need him yesterday.Do we really?Bell just needs to play the younger players and if he has a choice he will not.Krall has made the decision to go young and I don’t think Bell could do it even if he wanted to.

    • BK

      This logic is a classic example of the self-fulfilling prophecy fallacy. First, start with a thesis (Bell was a below average player, therefore he favors that type of player), then look for evidence supporting the thesis (plays aging vets over younger players) and exclude evidence contradicting the thesis (don’t include rookie starting pitchers or conclude Krall is the reason Bell is playing Aquino). Again, many others share your sentiment.

      Krall extended Bell’s contract in the offseason. My conclusion, the front office and field manager are in general agreement on Bell’s philosophy for game management and lineup construction. I think you are correct that Krall wants Aquino and Barrero played almost every day–that does not mean that Bell disagrees.

      Our top prospects have thrived under Bell:
      – Stephenson is the team’s best hitter. If he stays healthy, he’s an all-star.
      – India won Rookie of the Year in 2021
      – All three prized starters are thriving under Bell. He’s managed their ups-and-downs in a manner that has led to improved performance as the season progressed.
      – Diaz is our best relief pitcher
      – Senzel continues to get daily opportunities
      – Barrero and Aquino are playing daily

      Examples of when he has not favored younger players:
      – Barrero last summer; I would have preferred Barrero over Suarez last season, but I could understand in a pennant race why they might be reluctant to bench Suarez (or Farmer) for a rookie.
      – Aquino has been benched before. He was also DFA earlier this year (29 teams passed on claiming him). Of note, it was the second time he’s been DFA and gone unclaimed. He’s approaching 600 PAs with the Reds–lots of opportunity to this point.
      – Friedl, Fairchild, and Lopez come to mind. However, they are not close to the same level of prospects mentioned above. Their ceiling is 4th/5th outfielder, or bench IF.
      – Okey and Kolozsvary; again, not top prospects. The Reds front office has now brought in three catchers (Garcia in the offseason, Papierski and Romine during the season). That said, the rookie (and younger than Okey or Kolozsvary) is getting the bulk of the playing time.

      The Reds farm system is loaded with talent. Assimilating them at the Major League level will be key to any hopes we have of fielding a competitive team in the next few years. If there is a manager doing a better job, I want them, but from what I’ve seen, developing our young talent has been a strength of Bell.

      Most importantly, thank you for responding to my question. I appreciate your perspective.

      • Roger garrett

        We will just have to agree to disagree.Like you shot holes in my reply I could do the same with yours and we could go back and forth forever.We may disagree on Bell but we both want to win I am sure

      • Jim Walker

        @BK, Just a couple of contrarian thoughts……

        Stephenson was held back by Bell not moving him ahead of Barnhart in the pecking order. Offensively, it was clearly the call to elevate TS. On the other side of the ball, Castillo and Gray both seemed to have a better working relationship with TS. Was it really a coincidence that after 4-5 years both Castillo and Mahle seemed to elevate their games this season?

        Stuart Fairchild by way of credentials was a #38 overall draft choice in a year when the comp system made that a 2nd round choice versus a 1st rounder such as when Jesse Winker was a “1st round choice” at #49 overall. The Reds sent Fairchild to the Arizona Fall League where he had a breakout performance.

        When the Reds called Fairchild up in July he had a career AAA OPS of ~.950 in about 350PAs spread across 2 seasons, one in the AAA West (Dbacks system), the other back with Reds at Louisville. At the time he was called up, in 79PAs at Louisville he had an OPS>1.000

        In his 1st appearance with the Reds, Fairchild had an HR and a single. He scuffled in the next 2 games then was essentially benched. Bell used 4A guy Matt Reynolds ahead of him. Reynolds had ~20 MLB career OF all but a few prior to 2018. Maybe Bell had orders to play Reynolds in the OF to try and build a trade market for him. Maybe Fairchild had a nagging injury they did not want to publicize. Otherwise what the hey was going on?

  36. Rednat

    I think Bell is ok. Like people have said above, players like to play for him. my main problem with him is the lack of aggressive play calling. It seems like this team doesn’t start running and bunting until July. Not sure if he is trying to avoid injuries or what? i think the question is can he transition from a sabermetric mentality which is fine with a line up of Votto, Winker, SUAREZ, Castellanos to a more 1980’s mentality with a lot of speed guys in the line up. We are not a team that is going to be able to string a lot of hits together so we will have to use some creativity to generate runs. Just not sure Bell is the guy.

    • greenmtred

      The Reds don’t have a ton of speed, and earlier in the season when India was out, they had even less. I agree that, despite GABP, small ball makes sense for this team, since they have nobody who is a consistently productive power hitter.

  37. Michael B. Green

    Very interested to see how Antone recovers from surgery. Heard he was throwing already. Hope he is ready for a somewhat normal Spring Training. If we have Antone, Sims, Santillan, Diaz and Sanmartin, we have the remnants of a good bullpen. Would be even better if we signed a legitimate closer (that we could trade at the Deadline) and a legitimate LHRP (that we could trade at the Deadline).

    From there, I think you can piece together a bullpen with guys that have options. Probably need about 12-13 RP’s in total with 3-4 minor league contract Dudes with invites to S/T.

    As I type many of these names, most are/were injured. I really hope CIN (and MLB in general) revisits why there are so many injuries to pitchers. Something is not right in terms of strengthening and conditioning.