The Reds got off to a 4-1 lead in the top of the 5th, but that was short-lived. Albert Pujols hit career home run #698 in the bottom of the 6th inning to tie the game at 4.

The Reds would take the lead back in the top of the 7th on a Kyle Farmer solo home run, but the Cardinals scored two runs right back in the bottom of the 7th on a poorly hit double from Nolan Arenado. That would prove to be the final score in a 6-5 defeat for the Reds.

Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (85-60) 6 8 1
Cincinnati Reds (57-87) 5 8 1
W: Stratton (9-4) L: Gibaut (1-2) S: Helsley (18)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the biggest play of the game was Raynel Espinal allowing a 2-run home run to Albert Pujols with 1 out in the 6th inning, tying the game at 4 . That play decreased the Reds probability of winning by 29.6% (from 75.7% to 46.0%).

Positives

Fernando Cruz made his second start of the week as an opener, and he was very impressive. Cruz struck out the side in the first inning (Donovan, Edman, Goldschmidt). He then retired the first two batters in the second inning. Cruz got ahead of Albert Pujols 0-2, but he barley plunked him with a breaking ball. David Bell pulled Cruz after that hit-by-pitch with 24 pitches on the night.

Kyle Farmer hit his (active) team leading 12th home run in the 7th inning to put the Reds up 5-4.

Aristides Aquino just keeps on his hot streak. He was 2-4 with a double. Aquino now has 11 extra-base hits in 49 at-bats in September. Aquino also had his 12th assist of the season – tying the most among outfielders in MLB. Aquino has only played in 68 games this season.

Nick Senzel had a 2-hit game, with a walk and RBI.

Negatives

Raynel Espinal and Ian Gibaut struggled tonight, but overall the Reds bullpen pitched fairly well covering 8.0 innings.

Not so random thoughts……………

42-year old Albert Pujols having a 141 wRC+ after having five consecutive seasons below 90 is the ultimate #CardinalsDevilMagic.

Up Next check 

Reds at Cardinals
Saturday – 1:15 PM and 7:45 PM
TV: Bally Sports Ohio (both games)
Game 1: Mike Minor (5.78 ERA/4.55 xERA) vs Jose Quintana (3.34 ERA/4.10 xERA)
Game 2: Hunter Greene (5.26 ERA/4.37 xERA) vs Dakota Hudson (4.43 ERA/5.10 xERA)

34 Responses

  1. LDS

    Tinker Bell for manager of the year. This one is his.

    • Kevin H

      I will say he did leave the pitcher in too long. I thought I understood what he was doing until he brought in Kuhnel. Then I laughed and thought oh well.. LOL

      • LDS

        If you ever figure out Bell let me know. But I suspect it’s like someone wrote last night. What does it matter. He knows he’s safe.

  2. OahuRed

    Sad watching a team and organization (Cardinals) that is committed to excellence and winning. With the Reds half hearted approach and commitment to being competitive (ala Paul Brown and the Bengals of the lost decade) they don’t stand a chance.

    It’s an atmosphere of the men vs. the boys!

  3. Melvin

    Aquino tied for the major league lead in outfield assists with 12 after only played in 68 of 144 games. Amazing. I don’t know if it will ever happen but he along with EDLC in the same outfield could be very entertaining. Maybe even awesome.

    • MBS

      I was thinking about an OF with those 2 and Siani. That could be a triple threat for Gold Gloves.

    • 2024WSChamps

      At this point, I see Steer as a Super Utility, and I see McLain as a future OF. I think Marte plays 3B down the line, and EDLC sticks at SS. I just don’t have much faith in Barrero. Siani is the future in CF to me, Reds will either sign a Corner OF or move one of McLain or Steer there, in my opinion

  4. CI3J

    When the Cards signed Pujols, I was like “Ok, whatever, let the old man come in and take his little victory tour, maybe get a few hits here and there, but mostly it’s just for show.”

    Naturally, with the Cards being the Cards, one of the greatest players to ever play the game turns back the clock by 10 years and instead of being a novelty, he turns into one of their most important players driving their playoff run.

    In true Cardinals fashion, I would not be surprised at all if they won the World Series this year with Pujols doing something insane like hitting a homerun in every single game and having a OBP of like .700 or something.

    It’s the Cardinal Way.

    • Grand Salami

      I assume your response was to: “42-year old Albert Pujols having a 141 wRC+ after having five consecutive seasons below 90 is the ultimate #CardinalsDevilMagic.”

      It happens too often to be a coincidence. Every since Larussa, I’m not convinced the organization doesn’t still have a illicit peformance enhancing subculture.

      Yadi has the same youth elixir Pudge did when everyone else their age at that position had long since retired.

      One simply rediscovering .150 slg % after 5 years and well into their 40s is . . . (I hesitate to say it) Bonds-esque

      • Votto4life

        Grand Salami. I share your suspicions.

  5. Kevin H

    Well they lost. Oh well, they battled and some positive’s on long the way..

  6. Doc

    “overall the Reds bullpen pitched fairly well in covering 8 innings”. What?

    Six earned runs in 8 innings. Blew a 4-1 lead. Blew a 5-4 lead in the next half inning after being given a reprieve from blowing the 4-1 lead. An in game ERA of 6.75 and you consider that pitching pretty well? You must think the Reds BP has pitched “pretty well” all season since this game mirrors their season long performance.

    And BTW, Gibaut could hardly be the winner of a game the Reds lost, as your line score shows.

    • Nick Kirby

      They had 4 different relievers not allow a run. Everyone other than Espinal and Gibaut pitched fairly well as the post states. For a bullpen that is full of pitchers who probably don’t belong in the big leagues, I thought it was an overall fairly good effort in a bullpen game. My sincerest apologies for accidentally putting the winning and losing pitcher on the wrong line. I hope that didn’t ruin your day!

  7. SteveAreno

    Cruz has been impressive but when you only let him pitch a little each time, for less than two innings, you wonder about the management. The starter can go for more than 24 pitches every time! It’s like managements says, “he’s too good, we might win, take him out”.

    • Doug Gray

      He’s not a starter, Steve. He hasn’t been a starter for 8 seasons. Just because he started the game doesn’t mean he is a starting pitcher. He’s a reliever who is being forced to pitch before anyone else because the Reds have 78 pitchers on the injured list and someone has to actually throw the first pitch of the game.

      • Reaganspad

        78? I thought it was only 77.

        I must have missed one

      • Steven Ross

        Cruz is not a starter but can’t Bell let him go more than 5 or 6 batters? He had two out when he hit Pujois. His line was fantastic. I get Nootbaar is a lefty but he got out Donavan and Dickerson. Let him finish the inning.

      • J

        They have to strictly limit his pitch count because it will prevent injury. They have this down to a science, which is why Reds pitchers have so few injuries. Nobody should ever doubt this wisdom.

      • greenmtred

        they have a doubleheader today and that probably means six or more innings for the pen to cover. presumably you wouldn’t want to burn up one of your very few effective pitchers in a bullpen game which, by definition, was going to include most of the guys who gave up the runs anyway.

  8. Dennis Westrick

    Another in a long line of games over the last 2 seasons where the Reds bullpen blows a game where the Reds led after 5 innings! It’s almost expected at this point! And, no, I’m not blaming Bell but he does seem to have a knack in leaving a struggling pitcher in batter too long! Call it Buzzard’s Luck if you want! At least we have college football today and the NFL tomorrow!

  9. RogerGarrett

    Bell obviously scripted the pitch count for each man out of the pen tonight.Had nothing to with winning or losing the game.Espinal gave up 2 bullets a long fly for an out and stayed in 2 face Pujols who tied it then stayed in for at least one more batter and maybe it was two more.I said Bell scripted his pen based on pitch count which I do believe but he can also fall asleep at times while other times he becomes a fan.Of course who could win with this pen or this roster.For the most part that is true but there have been many many many games where he could have won.Bell is much smarter then me but as was the case last night and many times this season his ego or his need to prove he has to win his way causes the Reds a win

  10. Roger Garrett

    At first it appeared that Bell had scripted the pen’s pitch count for this game but both Sanmartin and Espinal last pitched on Tuesday.One guy throws 22 pitches and the other guy Espinal throws 44 and is still throwing after 2 hard hits a long fly and a 400ft+homer to tie the game.It is true nobody wins more then they lose with this roster but tonight is just one of many they could have won if not for Bell.Espinal was going through the Cards order for the second time and as I mentioned above was still throwing after the bomb by Albert.Bell did not react to what he was seeing rather choosing to ignore it and leave Espinal in the game.The Reds are little league compared to the Cards but on this night with a chance to steal another game Bell chose to do what he has done countless times since becoming manager.

  11. Steven Ross

    In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter but his was a game the Reds should have won. Up 1 to 0. Up 4 to 1 then up 5 to 4 and you can’t hold it? I know, the Cards have a prolific lineup but Reds bullpen gave this away. Again.

  12. CFD3000

    Why is Jose Barrero not playing? Kyle Farmer is a better hitter than Barrero right now, but Barrero is already a better SS. And we know what peak Kyle Farmer looks like. Peak Barrero could be an impact player. He needs at bats. I’ve seen some progress with him – better patience and more contact. I REALLY hope they are working with him (Eric Davis + Barry Larkin?) to refine his approach. I still think he has huge upside and he definitely hasn’t had a chance yet to adapt to MLB pitching. Free Jose Barrero!

  13. Mark Moore

    Went to bed with a slim hope that we’d mount a comeback, but that wasn’t the case. I guess I missed AA nailing somebody else, but that’s getting to be the norm for him, isn’t it?

    As the late Harry Carey would say, “It’s a beautiful day! Let’s play two!”

    Breakfast done, yard work to come, errands, college football, and the afternoon game on the agenda.

    • Jim Walker

      I think Harry stole it from Ernie Banks?? At least it is Ernie I always associate with, Let’s play 2.

  14. Jim Walker

    Reds pitching is just a hot mess strategically. Too many games and not enough arms, especially given a bullpen philosophy that largely eschews relievers working in more than 1 inning.

    This said, I still would have preferred Bell try to hold the 4-1 lead by getting an obviously done Espinal out of the game sooner. A 3 run lead with 12 outs to go to me is worth protecting versus holding guys back for an unknown situation come Saturday when a win Friday would have left the Reds needing only 1 win in the final 3 games to win the series. If Kuhnel was going to pitch only through the end of the 6th, why not get him earlier, at least soon enough to face Pujols?

    However, they were in their 12th game in 11 days and have 3 more games in 2 days before an off day. Who can say how many innings they get from the starters in the Saturday doubleheader? Greene is a long shot to go more than 3-4 innings at most even if he is OK physically and dialed in. Minor, most likely not more than twice through the lineup regardless of the damage being done. Cessa offers at least some hope of stability on Sunday.

    The primary goal Saturday from my viewpoint is not to let Greene extend himself to the point he suffers long term physical damage, come what may with the game result.

  15. Jim Walker

    Watching this Reds team stand and trade with the Cardinals the last two games and then thinking back to the sleepwalking performance versus the Pirates underscores to me there is a leadership void. The manager, coaches, and players ALL need to stand up and address this for the organizational good it can accomplish in the future.

  16. Pete

    Aristide has 22 DRS (Defensive Runs Saved). This doesn’t just lead OF’ers but all players. Nearly all his competition has 3X the innings played. It’s ridiculous at this point.

    Go to YouTube and watch old Clemente throws and tell me that AA doesn’t have a better arm.

    Love or hate him it is exciting to see what he has in store for us today.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree he is multidimensional; he is exciting, as a hitter, base runner, and fielder.

      If Goldschmidt had throttled back or miss stepped in the slightest coming home from 2B in the 6th inning, Aquino would have rung him at home from deep in the right center gap. That’s a throw not just physically but also conceptually that he might even have a shot.

    • CI3J

      Besides Clemente, the best OF arm I ever saw belonged to Vlad Guerrero.

      AA is definitely in the same class as Clemente and Guerrero. And that’s saying something.

      • Chris

        Don’t forget the “Cobra”. Don’t believe me, pull up his throws in the ’79 All Star game in Seattle. Amazing arm!

  17. RedsGettingBetter

    what horrible is Minor, today came to the mound with no command or scared about Pujols , GoldShmidt and Arenado… The Reds needed he could throw at least 6 innings but he´s pitched 58 times to the plate just in the second…