The Cincinnati Reds had three more hits on the night than the Philly Phanatic did and that usually doesn’t end well. And on Monday night it didn’t because the Phillies scored more runs than the Reds had hits in the 4-1 victory to open the 4-game series between the two teams.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (48-72)
1 3 0
Philadelphia Phillies (67-55)
4 8 0
W: Syndergaard (8-8) L: Cessa (3-2) SV: Bellatti (2)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati’s offense did next to nothing in the first four innings of the game, but Austin Romine hit a solo homer in the 5th inning – just the Reds second hit of the game – to cut into the Phillies lead and make it 3-1. Jonathan India’s single to lead off the 6th was the only time that Cincinnati had a baserunner until the 9th inning and he was erased on a double play. When the 9th inning began the team was down 4-1 and it was once again India getting on base, drawing a leadoff walk. He remained on first base as the next three batters failed to advance him with the game ending in a 4-1 defeat.

The Pitching

After rain delayed the game by an hour things got going just after 8pm in Philly. Luis Cessa got through the 1st inning by working around a 2-out single. Things didn’t go as smooth in the 2nd when he gave up back-to-back solo homers to Nick Castellanos and Bryson Stott. That put the Phillies up 2-0.

The answer to the question of how many innings would Cessa give the team on the day was two. Joel Kuhnel took over for the 3rd inning. He didn’t get help from his defense, though some of what happened was on him. J.T. Realmuto singled with two outs and Nick Castellanos doubled into the right field corner. Realmuto slowed up at third base, but Jake Fraley overthrew the cutoff man and Realmuto sprinted for the plate as the ball slowed made it’s way to third base. Kuhnel retired the next batter to end the inning. He returned for the 4th and got the Phillies to go down in order.

Art Warren took over for Cincinnati in the 5th inning and back-to-back 2-out hits by Alex Bohm and J.T. Realmuto led to the 4th run for Philadelphia as they extended their lead to 4-1. Ross Detwiler fired 1.2 shutout innings from there and Hunter Strickland followed with 1.1 perfect innings to keep the score at 4-1 heading into the 9th. The Reds offense couldn’t muster a comeback on Monday night.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Philadelphia Phillies

Tuesday August 23rd, 7:05pm ET

Nick Lodolo (3-4, 4.12 ERA) vs Ranger Suarez (8-5, 3.31 ERA)

40 Responses

  1. Old-school

    Reds had 1 pitcher with an ERA under 5.28 pitch-Ross Detwiler.
    Reds had 2 hitters with an OPS over .705- Jake Fraley and Donovan Solano.

    That means reds had one player who is part of the future playing or pitching at above average- Jake Fraley. 2023 ain’t looking good.

    • LDS

      Fraley isn’t an everyday player though. He’s hitting righties well at the moment, but his career BA vs RH is only .237 and only .143 against LH’ers. It’s possible that he taken it to a new level and just as likely that he’ll revert to his past averages. I’m no more optimistic about him than I am Aquino going back to August 2019. As I said earlier in the week, a roster constructed of platoon players and utility players isn’t going to be competitive any time soon. They need every day players who can hit any pitching and I’m not seeing a lot of that on the current roster

      • Melvin

        They’ve got a guy on the bench who’s a good hitter but Bell refuses to use him. His name is Lopez. When he plays, he usually hits. Unfortunately he may never get a real chance.

      • LDS

        I forgot about Lopez. Goes 3-4 and I’m not sure if he’s played since. Thanks Melvin for reminding me that Bell has to go

      • BK

        Fraley has hit righties well for his career, and that’s about 80 percent of the pitchers a team faces. Mashing righties earned Winker an all star appearance. As I said earlier on another post, he’s not a superstar, but is showing the ability to bring a lot of value particularly if he can handle CF or RF defensively. His positive track record spans far more than 1 month.

      • LDS

        Last year, Winker hit .346 against RH’ers. Fraley, this year, is at .288. Easily his best year, and well above his career average of .237. He looks good on the Reds because all the other OF’ers look worse, including Senzel, although Senzel and Almora both have less variation in their L/R batting averages.

      • DaveCT

        Almora is a really good pro outfielder. He is an ideal 4th guy, especially on a rebuilding team. He’s plays the right way, ge will will get his at bats for a couple years. An excellent leader.

      • TR

        I think Lopez will get another chance perhaps on another team. Likely not on the Reds as long as DB is the manager.

      • TR

        Almora is a non-regular building block of a rebuilding team like the Reds.

      • MBS

        Fraley’s career is 2 cups of coffee, and half a season last year. His sample size including this year is too small to judge. He is showing up right now, lets hope that continues.

      • Jim Walker

        @MBS> Agree that it is too soon to be anointing Fraley as the next great thing.

        This said Fraley’s handedness splits to date look like Winker a tad light but still very strong versus RH pitching. As an all around OF player, Fraley could easily make up for this difference with defense and base running given Winker’s low bar in those areas.

        But Fraley needs to pick up his offense versus LH pitching to be an every day player versus the dominant side of a platoon situation.

      • jeffversion1

        Even when Lopez gets to play it’s not in great situations. Pinch hitting for Barrero with two outs and the bases loaded in the late innings? Pitching mop-up duty? Then a couple of hits in a spot start followed by… another week on the bench so Reynolds and Moustakas can play. Whatever he did to David Bell… I can’t even imagine.

      • LDS

        To put Fraley in perspective, his career BA matches Aquino at .209. AA has about 180 more ABs (AA at 565, Fraley at 383). Fraley walks more but has less power. AA’s L/R split is about .018 for his career. Fraley’s is .091 different. Fraley’s career WAR matches AA for this season at .9. Aquino is about a year older than Fraley. Defensively, Fraley’s RTot is NEGATIVE while Aquino’s is positive. So, defensively Fraley isn’t competitive. So again, by the standards folks are applying to anoint Fraley as the answer in the OF, statistically Aquino is a better choice. And we all know that he hasn’t delivered. As I said, Fraley looks decent merely because everyone else looks like doo-doo.

  2. Redsvol

    Payroll of the Reds starters last night – $27 million ($16M of that is moose). Payroll of Phillis’s starters last night – about $90 million. If Bryce Harper had played it would have been $120 million.

    Not gonna win too many nights when there is that disparity. I’m all for the rebuild but krall will have to spend a little $ to give team a chance to be competitive in 2023/2024. A free agent outfielder and a starting pitcher isn’t holding any significant prospects back for 2 years.

  3. AMDG

    Apparently Mike Minor is worse than I realized.

    I decided to compare Minor’s time as a Red vs that of Eric Milton and Ryan Dempster.

    Minor has the WORST ERA of the group
    Minor has the WORST home run rate allowed
    Minor has the WORST hits allowed rate
    Minor has the WORST winning %
    Minor has the WORST innings per game

    I’m not sure who the worst Reds starting pitcher is since they last won the world series, but Minor certainly has to be on that short list.

  4. Mark Moore

    At least the alien invasion was called off

  5. Steven Ross

    Syndergaard owns us. No other way to spin it. Dominant.

    I agree with others who say Lopez should get more PT. Good luck with Bell rolling out the usual lineup.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Lopez shouldn’t play at the expense of Barrero or India, so that puts him in a tough spot. If you bring up Steer like they should, his path to more at-bats becomes even trickier. His best hope is that someone gets hurt, which is a good probability with this organization.

      • Jim Walker

        At least there is starting to be some public chatter about all the injuries in the mainstream media. Hopefully, the guys at the tip of the spear, the on field trainers, don’t just get thrown under the bus because they cannot put together and run a program any better than the budget they have allows them to do.

        For once, start at the top and work down in trying to figure out what needs to be improved.

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    This series is tough for the Reds because of the strong Philly rotation and the weak offense the Reds have… Of course in baseball there are always surprises and who knows in the next few games the hitters erupt but it is unlikely. It seems the only way to win is like the 3rd game of the series vs Philly at GABP , where Lodolo and Díaz tossed a shutout leading to a 1-0 victory. Let’s see if Lodolo or Ashcraft could reapeat something like that… or Could Dunn pitch a gem?

  7. Michael B. Green

    Winker 2021 v RHP – 176 RC+ (367 PA’s; behind only Bryce Harper and Juan Soto).

    Fraley 2022 v RHP – 152 RC+ (98 PA’s; 22nd in MLB).

    Let’s see how this plays out over the rest of the season.

  8. David

    I’m not saying it was Syndergard…..but it was Syndergard.

    He just had it going on last night. It happens. Even the best teams can be overmatched against a pitcher who is on his game.

    One day before, the Reds put up 9 runs against the Pirates. The Pirates pitching is lousy but….there you go.
    Pitching WINS games and wins pennants. A lot of the talk about who should be playing pales beside the question of how good the Reds starters and relievers are.
    There is some great potential among the expected FUTURE starters (both here on the present roster and the ones appearing in a year or two). But who know who will actually show up and be good at the ML level.

    • Rednat

      that is why the trades of mahle and castillo are head scratchers to me. a rotation next year of CASTILLO,Mahle, Greene, Ashcraft and Lidolo at least gives you a chance to make the playoffs, even with an anemic offense.

      i would have like to see them make one more run at the playoffs in Joeys career. now it will at least take 3-4 more years before are starters are good enough to compete for the playoff spot unless they try to get some free agents which seems unlikely

      • Bill

        It’s not really that confusing. Keeping those two gives the 23 team a strong rotation, trading with team control gives a strong farm system. The choice is really between hoping everything goes well in 23 and then lose Mahle and Castillo in free agency vs get some prospects who have a chance of getting the team to the playoffs in 2025-2030. Neither one is a sure thing. Trading Gray, Winker, and Suarez showed they had no intention of competing.

        Right or wrong the strategy was clear, trade away everyone with a pulse, and invest in the future. With as weak as the NL Central is, it is possible the Reds could have made the playoffs. It is probably just as likely they would have come up short.

      • Jim Walker

        @Bill> I agree with most of your analysis but think the plan stinks.

        As to whether they could have made the playoffs this year, that is why the games are played

  9. Votto4life

    As bad as this season has been, 2023 looks to be even worse. My interested has tapered off since the trading deadline. It’s pretty bad when the highlight of the season, is waiting to see, what salaries are being dumped.

    • Rednat

      i agree. Then the question becomes how long will reds fans stay interested?. it is a gutsy move by ownership to go into full breakdown mode and rebuild mode after a long depressing rebuild of 2014-2019 and the a whimper of a recovery in 2020 and 2021.

      will there even be any reds fans around in a few years when and if the new competitive window opens? will the trade acquisitions like Arroryo and Marte develop into hitters like Stephenson and India or long term projects like Barrero and Aquino? I think there will be some drama for fans next year with the hopeful return of Votto, but then what?

    • Jim Walker

      I let myself get to thinking about Reds situation over the last weekend. It is really a cruel hoax for the likes of Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft and Reds fans.

      By the time all the new position player youngsters are rounding into form at MLB, those 3 are going to be arbitration guys and candidates to be moved out the door because of their increasing costs. As Krall says, no valleys and no peaks. As I say, this means perpetual swampland.

    • old-school

      I m going to give Krall the benefit of the doubt. The Braves have locked up their young players before arbitration and have great value in Ozzie Albies, Acuna, Riley ,and now Michael Harris/ Reds could certainly lock up guys like India and Stephenson and Lodolo and Ashcraft through 2028/29 after next season if they stay healthy and stay on their trajectory.

      Reds are never going to be able to spend $200 million but with wise spending and and drafting and developing and acquiring talent, they can have a balanced deep roster. I don’t want all my eggs in the Moose or Bailey or Castillo basket. Mahle has shoulder fatigue again and I dont want castillo at 22 million in 2028/29 at age 35/36. Reds cant risk catastrophic contracts that hamstring the franchise.
      Stay young and pay for the premium years of your home grown prospects and add vets when the time is correct in FA.

      • Jim Walker

        Understand about the big contract risks but the Reds didn’t have that issue with Castillo and Mahle this season. Chances are they would have gotten as good of or even better return over the off season based on historical precedent. It seems like the $3.5m-4m saved by off loading Castillo and Mahle at the deadline might have been a goal too. Like they need a little more cheapness.

      • Rob

        No doubt. I would expect theReds to add 3-4 higher quality players on 1-2 year contracts over the winner. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the post deadline team is much worse than the minus 20 first half team. It is OK to go the cheap route now with Friedl, Aquino, Almora, Dunn, Barerro, Fraley etc. but next year we will need to partially replace in kind the losses of Nick, Suarez, Wink, Drury, Gray, Mahle, etc. Not AAA players. We might have some ready in 2024-2025 that could be very exciting but we have slim pickings for 2023. I would guess 3-5 signings. I don’t foresee Moose or Votto leaving or being productive in 2023.

      • Rob

        Doesn’t make sense to me. How is the Braves signing Acuna, Albies, Olsen, Riley, etc. for 5-10 years different than the Reds signing Castillo? The Braves are taking a risk that these guys are still going to be valuable in 2027-2028. Because the Braves are smarter or have some kind of proprietary crystal ball? That is bs. I totally believe the Reds are going to have to selectively sign some players to 5 year $75M+ deals to be competitive. Trading your best players after 4-5 years doesn’t work imo. Castillo would have been one of those from my perspective.

      • old-school

        I dont see it. They folded down the stretch in 2021 with Castellanos missing some time and Winker and Naquin hurt. Castellanos was the heart and soul of last years team and Winker and India had great years along with a hot 2nd half by Votto.

        Reds were a radically different team in 2021 when India/Winker/Castellanos and Votto 2021 version were hitting 1-4. The offense has been poor all year long. Winker 2021 is gone has been mediocre at best in 2022 for Seattle. Castellanos the same. India has been hurt and meh. Votto has had the worst season in his career and is below replacement and now recovering from major surgery. Joey Votto version 2022- no way Reds can overcome that. Moose has been hurt and ineffective. Stephenson broke his collar bone July 22 after having a concussion and will only play 55 games. . Sonny Gray has been good but only pitched 89 innings. Mahle has shoulder fatigue again and shut down. And the bullpen has 1 effective reliever and 2022 hopefuls Guttierez (Tommy John) and Santillan were both shut down for the season early and didnt contribute That doesnt include Overton and Sims season ending or nearly ending injuries. Also doesnt include all those who wanted MIley back who would have contributed nothing to help the Reds win in 2022. This team had no chance in 2022.

        Move on. MLB pipeline gave the Reds the 4th best farm system in baseball post drat and trade deadline deals. Thats pretty good.

      • old-school

        @ Rob- The braves signed their core young players way before FA to reasonable AAV contracts during their prime years. Acuna is 24, Riley is 25, Albies is 25, Harris is 21. Albies was signed to a 7 year $35 mil deal at age 22. Hes a GG and AS Acuna was 8 years and 100million starting at age 21.

        Reds can do that too with their young core.

        Reds cant pay old players for what they did. They need to pay young players for what they will do.

  10. Rednat

    i agree with the above statement Jim. I also wonder if the league pressured the reds to make these trades as well. i don’t know, it just seems kind of bizarre to me. we were starting to really turn things around. we swept the rays and nearly swept the yankees for gosh sakes. i would have liked to keep the team intact for the rest of the year to see where we have ended up and to see if we could have built momentum for next year

    • Jim walker

      I think the die was cast on the off season. Once they dumped Winker and Suarez, they clearly were not going to compete in 2021,given that they might as well traded them as risk injury because clearly they also were not looking to compete in 2023 either

    • Doug Gray

      There is zero percent chance the league called the Reds and said to make trades.

  11. TR

    To compete or not to compete, that is the question. Last year it looked good until the Cards late season 17 game win streak. This year the obstacle could have been Pujol’s homerun barrage which the Brewers are now facing. I’ll give credit to Nick Krall for doing a real good job in accumulating some outstanding prospects and the Red’s have a good farm system at present. It would have been nice to have a super starting pitching staff with Castillo and Mahle along with the young outstanding starting trio the Reds have. But I hope above .500 baseball and playoff appearances don’t take too long.
    For the next couple years I’ll take young player development to represent the Reds.