The Cincinnati Reds rallied from down two runs in the 9th inning to force extra-innings. Then they took a lead in the 10th, only to have Atlanta see one pitch in the bottom of the 10th and that pitch land over the fence in center for a walk-off home run.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (4-5) 4 12 0
Atlanta Braves (7-4)
5 10 0
W: Lee (1-0) L: Law (0-2)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Things were looking good for Cincinnati out of the gate as Jonathan India lined a single into left field and TJ Friedl worked a walk to put two men on with no outs. It wasn’t meant to be here as Jake Fraley grounded into a double play and then Tyler Stephenson struck out as the Reds came up empty. It was nearly an identical story for Atlanta in the bottom half. Ronald Acuna Jr. singled on a ball that deflected off of Graham Ashcraft’s foot and then Matt Olson walked. But it was Austin Riley grounding into a double play before Sean Murphy struck out to end the inning. Game on.

The Reds would threaten in the 2nd on a 2-out double by Spencer Steer, in the 3rd when Jose Barrero and Jake Fraley both singled, but in both innings they came up empty at producing a run. Atlanta got two men on with one out in the 2nd inning, and had a leadoff double in the 4th, but like the Reds they were unable to do much as Graham Ashcraft shut things down.

Atlanta broke through in the 6th inning when Austin Riley singled and then came around to score on a double down the line by Sean Murphy. The Reds got a little something going in the top of the 7th when Wil Myers led off with a single. Bryce Elder got Jason Vosler to pop out to first base, but that would be the last batter he’d face after having thrown 103 pitches and 6.1 shutout innings. Atlanta called on Jesse Chavez to take over out of the bullpen and he shut down the idea of Cincinnati doing any damage, getting Spencer Steer to ground out and Will Benson to fly out to the warning track in center to end the threat.

Graham Ashcraft came back out for the 7th inning, but after walking the first batter he was pulled from the game and replaced by Buck Farmer. He’d strike out the first two hitters he faced, but Ronald Acuna Jr. singled into left field to put runners on the corners with two outs. Cincinnati turned to Reiver Sanmartin to face Matt Olson and try to get out of the jam. He walked him on four pitches to load the bases, bringing up right-handed hitter Austin Riley. On a 2-2 count, Sanmartin threw one in the dirt that got behind Tyler Stephenson and Orlando Arcia scrambled home just ahead of the toss back to a covering Sanmartin to make it 2-0 for Atlanta. Riley would strike out on the next pitch to end the inning.

That run would be charged to Graham Ashcraft, leaving him with two runs in six innings while striking out seven batters. Jonathan India tried to get a rally going in the 8th with a 1-out double and he did just that as Jake Fraley singled him in to make it a 2-1 game. That was all they’d get and it left the run by Atlanta in the previous half-inning looming large.

Atlanta got that run back in the bottom of the 8th when Jose Barrero couldn’t get his glove low enough going to his right and had the ball clank off of his foot and into left field. A ground out moved the runner up to second and then he’d come around to score on a single by Orlando Arcia to make it 3-1.

The Reds weren’t ready to go quietly as Wil Myers led off with a line drive single into right field. With a lefty on the mound the Reds opted to pinch hit Stuart Fairchild for Jason Vosler to gain a platoon advantage. And did it ever work. Fairchild crushed the ball that would have gone for a game-tying home run had Kevin Pillar not kept it in the park. He leapt at the wall and had the ball bounce off of his glove, then bounce off the top of the wall and come back onto the field of play, with Fairchild winding up at third base, Myers scoring, and the game being a 1-run contest with no outs and the tying run 90 feet away. Spencer Steer followed up with a blooper into right-center that tied the game up at 3-3.

That was all that Cincinnati would get in the top half and they would send Alexis Diaz out for the bottom of the inning to try and send the game into extras. Diaz struck out pinch hitter Sam Hilliard to begin the inning. He needed seven pitches to do the same to Ronald Acuna Jr. But then the righty walked Matt Olson walked on four pitches to put the winning run on base. Perhaps it was just a pitch around of the lefty because on the next pitch Austin Riley popped up to end the inning.

With extra-innings in front of us, Jose Barrero began the inning at second base for the Reds and he came in to score on a play at the plate after Jonathan India singled into right field and Ronald Acuna Jr. came up firing the ball to the plate, but Barrero got to the plate before the throw got to the catcher. It was the first lead of the game for Cincinnati.

Atlanta began their half of the 10th with Austin Riley at second base. It wouldn’t have mattered who was there as Sean Murphy took the first pitch from Derek Law and put it over the wall in center for a walk-off home run.

Key Moment of the Game

One may say the walk-off home run, but we’re going with the ball that got by Tyler Stephenson in the 7th inning that led to a run a pitch before a strikeout ended the inning. Without that run the Reds win without extra-innings coming into play.

Notes Worth Noting

Tyler Stephenson’s hitting streak came to an end at eight games.

Jonathan India remains hot and is now hitting .324/.425/.500 on the season with as many walks as strikeouts through nine games.

Jake Fraley has put up nearly identical numbers. He’s hitting .320/.419/.520 with five walks and seven strikeouts in eight games.

Graham Ashcraft struck out six batters in his 2023 debut. He struck out seven on Monday night. Only one time in 2022 did Ashcraft strike out at least five batters in back-to-back starts – July 22nd (eight) and July 28th (six).

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Atlanta Braves

Tuesday April 11th, 7:20pm ET

Luis Cessa (0-0, 3.38 ERA) vs. TBA

102 Responses

  1. LGR

    Is Alex Young dead? Two different spots he should have came in and just didn’t. Unreal.

  2. J

    “Without that run the Reds win without extra-innings coming into play.”

    Are we suddenly living in that world where everything happens exactly the same way no matter what happened previously? If Stephenson blocks that ball, the next one might have been hit out of the park. The Reds often find ways to lose games; if it’s not one thing, it’ll be another.

    • Doug Gray

      Yeah, we are living in that world. Hope I’ve helped.

      • J

        It’s very helpful, thank you. But it makes me feel kinda dumb for all the times I’ve bothered to go to work, because apparently everything else in my life would turn out exactly the same either way.

      • Doug Gray

        Live and learn, J. Live. And. Learn.

      • J

        I guess I know what I’m NOT doing tomorrow…

      • CI3J

        Doug is out here casually invalidating the entire plot of the Back to the Future trilogy like it ain’t no thing.

  3. Melvin

    “One may say the walk-off home run, but we’re going with the ball that got by Tyler Stephenson in the 7th inning that led to a run a pitch before a strikeout ended the inning. Without that run the Reds win without extra-innings coming into play.”

    I understand the point. Technically though anytime some throws a ball in the dirt the error/wild pitch goes to the thrower no matter what the receiver should have done. It certainly did appear that ball should have been blocked. As pointed out the run was charged to Ashcraft.

  4. Joe P.

    Derek Law with his 2nd loss and the Reds have only played 9 games!

    Also, it looks to me like the Reds need left-handed help in the bullpen. I hope that trade where they sent the lefty to Milwaukee doesn’t come back to bite them.

    • LGR

      Young looked great last time out on FRIDAY. He should be the first lefty in. Sdould have been in when they put Sanmartin in OR for the 10th imo. Hasn’t given up a run yet this year, might as well give him the chance.

    • LDS

      The Reds are 4-5. Law 2 losses. Farmer 2 losses. And Diaz the other. There are a number of easy arguments to make that Law shouldn’t have been the choice. For example, he is one of the least likely to SO a batter thus far this season. With the ghost runner, a SO or two is helpful. But, it is what it is. A loss tomorrow, couple with a Cards win and the Reds claim last place.

      • SteveAreno

        I’d prefer Fernando Cruz be the reliever in that situation. He can pitch almost every night like he did in AAA Louisville and had more SAVES than all minor league pitchers.

      • Jim Walker

        It is too early and very optimistic regarding the position player and starting pitching fronts; but, could this be 2021 déjà vu happening all over again?

  5. J

    Whenever I’m not quite sure what the worst strategic decision might be, I can usually count on Bell to show it to me. He had a lot of bad bullpen options to choose from, and any of those guys could have managed to blow this game, but Bell picked out the guy who could blow it the worst. He just has a gift.

  6. Redhaze

    The Reds did nothing this off-season to improve the bullpen and they are paying for it severely. This is on Krall.

    • Greenfield Red

      Why should they have spent money on the bullpen in 2023? They are going to lose a minimum of 90 games this year. Should they have spent $10 mil to cut it down to 85 losses? No, in my opinion.

      They have $43 mil in dead money in 2023. That cuts down to $7 mil next year. If they don’t spend for 2024 then you have a legitimate argument. Not so much this year

      • J

        Based on what we’ve witnessed so far, this bullpen will be responsible for losing a lot more than 5 games. They’ve *already* lost a few very winnable games. With a good bullpen, I don’t see why this team couldn’t be competing for a playoff spot.

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        Because the point of the game is to try and win, not to try and save the owners a little bit of spare money.

        Spending money on the bullpen makes the team better. The bullpen was an obvious weakness and they did nothing at all to address it but bring back players they themselves already cut loose and no one else wanted.

      • Greenfield Red

        Nick Krall was given no money to spend on the bullpen because there is so much dead money and so many holes to fill before the young guys get up here. How was this his fault?

      • Greenfield Red

        If you want to blame a GM, I will give you three to blame: Dick Williams who signed 3M among others to bad free agents contracts. Whoever was the GM who offered JV a contract through age 39. Whoever was the GM who signed Ken Griffey Jr to a contract the Reds would STILL be paying on in 2023.

        Nick Krall had no part of those 3 transactions

      • Tom Reeves

        The point of this year is player development and team development. It’s not total number of wins. There was no reason to spend more money to win a few more games. Not after huge financial losses 2/3 of the previous years. There’s a real real to develop here and save the financial resources to the point they’ll really pay off.

      • Greenfield Red

        +1 Tom. Agree 100%. Others just don’t understand.

      • Votto4life

        Awww, “the old Reds are saving money this year to spend next year” theory. I didn’t think there was still anyone around who believed that non-sense.

      • LDS

        Why not? It’s not about competing this year. It’s about developing for the future. They aren’t going to be competitive on prospect development alone. There were sub-30-year FA that could help them for years to come that they made no attempt to sign. The Reds exist to funnel money to the owners nothing more. Fans who have been conditioned to expect failure and keep spending money are the lifeblood of the Castellini organization.

      • redfanorbust

        Agreed Greenfield Red. Hopefully they spend every penny of that and maybe more on players in 2024.

    • MBS

      @Tom, that’s the 10,000 foot view, but the team, and player moral are also important.

      • Greenfield Red

        There is no evidence to the contrary.

      • Greenfield Red

        MBS, you and have discussed this before. Bad Reds teams in 22 and 23 were baked in.

        It is hard to believe they are still paying Griffey. Add to that the JV contract that was never going to age well, and the 3M disaster. Oh, and let’s not forget the last rebuild which was completely botched.

        The OP is blaming the bad bullpen on Nick Krall, and it’s simply not true. He was given no money to work with starting in 2022. He did what he could with nothing.

        I’ll take this a bit farther… it’s not ownership’s fault either… at least with current decisions. There only fault was listening to the baseball people who signed Griffey, Votto, 3M, and others, as well as gutting the franchise in 2015 for major league ready return.

      • Tom Reeves

        Morale can come in two ways. One is to win as a team. The other is to perform individually. Baseball is a great sport for players to develop internal self-confidence even if their over all team record is poor.

        This Reds team has hope for these young players. It’s pretty easy to how current prospects, 3 power pitchers, and TySteve and India provide a lot of potential for 2024 and beyond. The Reds should have quite a bit of free cash for 2024 and beyond. Assuming the Bally Sports situation pans out with the Reds having a decent TV contract, the Reds should have plenty of money to upgrade the 2024 bullpen and back end of the rotation.

        But, this isn’t going to happen this year. It’s just not.

  7. Josh

    The Reds bullpen stinks. This should not be a surprise to anyone. There are, at most, two relievers that would be on a contending team’s bullpen. Law and Sanmartin have been terrible.

  8. CFD3000

    I was at the game. The good news: Ashcraft looked really good. He’s a keeper. India and Fraley were hitting rockets. Barrero looks like he belongs (missed hit grounder not withstanding). I want him to play every day. And the Reds never gave up. They battled to the end.

    The odd (but positive) news – I’ve been to hundreds of MLB games, and had never caught a foul ball. Until tonight. And since there were no little kids anywhere near us, I got to keep it. Cool souvenir.

    The bad. Will Benson looks lost. He needs time in Louisville to get some confidence back. Spencer Steere does not look very comfortable at third. Maybe Barrero, EDLC or even Senzel or India can man third and let him DH. Kevin Newman doesn’t make this team better he can go whenever Senzel, EDLC, or CES are ready. Pitching was mostly good (except the last pitch) but Sanmartin was… unimpressive. The four pitch walk, the wild pitch / passed ball – definitely the key point in the game and not acceptable for a professional reliever. Oh and Derek Law needs to avoid the get ahead fastball in future outings.

    Overall this is a better team than last year, and they’ll go as far as the pitching takes them. I know, that’s still a question mark but Lodolo and Ashcraft have been really strong so far, and the bullpen isn’t as awful (high praise) as last year’s dumpster fire version. And they are a lot more fun to watch.

  9. Slicc50

    As Derek Law said. “It was just one bad pitch!” This is not a terrible team. It’s a shame if the FO had tried just a little, we could be competing this year! I just wonder how many gut punches like this they can take?

  10. kypodman

    One advantage the visiting team has for going into extra innings is they can hold out for their closer to come in if their team gets the lead. Well, not for Bell and the Reds, they like to toss advantages out the window. It is OK to have Diaz warming up for the 9th (in case they take the lead), but, someone else should have been throwing as well (maybe Law since he came in for the 10th). I did not see the game, so, I am not sure, but, either way Diaz should not have pitched the bottom of the 9th.

    • J

      Bell does a lot of stupid things, but having Diaz pitch the 9th wasn’t one of them. The Reds could theoretically have scored 7 runs in the 10th, and Law would then have been the perfect guy to finish the game. But if they don’t get to the 10th because Law gives up a run in the 9th, they never score those runs, and Diaz never pitches at all. It always makes sense to use your best pitchers in situations where you know they can actually help, rather than saving them for hypothetical situations that may never occur.

      • kypodman

        you just dictated a hypothetical situation that may never occur, “Reds could theoretically have scored 7 runs in the 10th”. Diaz is there to SAVE games not hold the opponent to where they are at.

      • Luke J

        J, the entire premise of the position of closer rests on saving your best reliever for a hypothetical situation at the end of the game where you need him to finish a game. And at the time, it wasn’t hypothetical that there would be a bottom of the 10th. It was already tied going into the bottom of the 9th. Bell KNEW he was using his best pitcher with no chance to close the game out. Every decision a manager makes is based on hypothetical results that will come later and are unknown at the time. Doesn’t mean you throw the whole concept of a closer away. It’s that type of thinking that Bell constantly uses to blow games and you are just eating it up.

      • greenmtred

        When you bring your best reliever in late in the game to deal with a threat from the opponent, it isn’t really a hypothetical situation. I understand the reasoning: when the other team scores the tying or go-ahead runs in the 8th inning, you have another chance to score. But that is also hypothetical. Strategy itself is based upon dealing with hypotheticals. If the Reds had one or two reliable relief pitchers besides Diaz (who isn’t, yet, entirely reliable but is clearly talented) this would all look different. In this era, a strong bullpen is virtually a precondition for success.

      • J

        The theory that your best relief pitcher can only be helpful if he’s credited with a save, and should never be involved in any other situations, is flawed. It’s not the best way to maximize the talent you have. It’s basically the equivalent of deliberately keeping your best hitter on the bench for a theoretical late inning pinch hitting opportunity.

  11. DaveCT

    You cannot really ask journeymen relievers to be more than journeymen.

    Guys may catch a little lightning in a bottle, be lights out for a few weeks. But they almost always revert. The good teams have a stable full of these guys at AAA and in long relief in the ML’s. The NYY used to call it the Columbus Shuttle. Less endowed teams skimp on these costs, as they likely should. I mean, who in AAA would you call up?

    One concern is the impact on the psyche’s of the young starters. Pitch your butt off then watch the bullpen blow it, again and again and again. However … I don’t think these big three are gonna fall into that trap. They seem different. Same with the India’s, Fraley’s, Friedl’s, Stephenson’s, etc.

    And, besides, they’re playing for contracts no matter what the bullpen does. Which isn’t a bad thing.

    • TR

      Another game not put away when there’s only a few outs to go. This is what happens to teams like the Reds who have managing ownership who are not willing or able to spend real money to strengthen weak areas of the team. If there’s not a total dedication to winning by top management, it’s not consistently going to happen.

  12. Jim Walker

    Fairchild just keeps doing Fairchild things……

    Fri>>PH9th inning BB to keep the game alive.
    Sat>>1/2 in a starting role.
    Sun>>9th inning BB and SB to start game winning rally
    Mon>>PH 9th inning RBI triple then scored the tying run

    He now has an even.500 OBP and .900 SLG% in his first 14PAs/10ABs of the season.

    • Melvin

      Wow. He’s been doing an awful lot. Probably needs a rest now. After all it will be the 10th game of the season tomorrow. 😉

      • Jim Walker


        Yeah, must be mentally exhausting to sit around until the 8th or 9th inning for your one chance to do something game changing. 😉

    • wkuchad

      I’m not anti-Fairchild at all, but you’ve got Benson, Fraley, Friedl, and Myers on the team and needs to play. Personally, I would send Benson back to Louisville to start everyday. Then the other four would get plenty of playing time, especially with Myers at 1B some.

      • Jim Walker

        Here is a thought. How about a 4 man outfield rotation (Freidl/ Fairchild/ Fraley/ Benson) with Myers playing mostly at 1B or DH and an occasional OF game? In a full season, a 4 man OF rotation would get each guy around 120 starts (3 OF spots X 162 games=486 man games/4players=121.5).

        Freidl, Fairchild, and Benson are all competent or better in CF; so, there is no reason this shouldn’t work. The biggest issue would be Fraley and Benson versus LH pitching, particularly when both were starting. That could be worked around by adjusting the OF scheduling and/ or the use of Myers in the OF on those days.

    • MBS

      @Jim, What you laid out is a good example that Fairchild is good in his role. A speedy guy who can get on base cold off the bench. Not everyone can do that, and that’s valuable for any team.

      • Jim Walker

        This is true; and, many guys cannot adjust to such a role. However, suppose Fairchild’s 116 OPS+ last season was not a blip; and, he can perform at a 115-120 OPS+ level as a full time player. Wouldn’t it be a waste of resources to hold him back for end game situations? If nothing else, it would build his trade value and he could be flipped for a solid bullpen piece.

      • Pete

        I would guess this is exactly what David fails train of thought is. Personally, I believe it is flawed, as Fairchild certainly seems to be among the best three outfielders on this team.

      • Jim Walker

        @Pete>>> In career handedness splits, Fairchild’s OPS vs RH pitching equals 98% of his overall OPS while his OPS vs LH pitching equals 102% of his overall OPS. Thus, for his total MLB career (141 PAs), he is essentially handedness neutral with a .799 OPS/ 115 OPS+

        Fraley’s figures for the same stats are 120% vs RH pitching and 33% vs LH pitching on a career (463 PAs) OPS of .734/ 102 OPS+. Despite Fraley’s growth last year vs RH pitching in these percentages, his 2022 numbers vs LH pitching virtually match his career numbers.

        Thus at age 28, Fraley is probably going to always need a platoon partner. But why limit a handedness neutral player who is going to match Fraley’s overall OPS to being that platoon guy? This is probably as much of a roster construction question as a field manager issue.

      • old-school

        @ Jim, Today’s lineup is exhibit A in Fairchild’s dilemma.

        Regardless of Fairchild’s’ splits for himself, as a Righty hitter against a Righty pitch he is no match for Fraley against a righty pitcher. Similarly, Friedl against righties has passed him on the depth chart. Vosler is the Bell handedness lefty favorite against a righty, Casali is catching so Stephenson is the dh…ergo.

        Casali punts Stephenson to DH and Fraley back to LF
        Bell loves Vosler as a lefty which punts Myers to RF. When Votto comes, back the same dynamic exists- Myers is not playing much first base.
        Fairchild is never playing over Myers in the OF

        At least Steer and Barrero are in the lineup

      • Jim Walker

        OS> I hear you and do not disagree that is how the team is being managed; but, I think that is not the best way to manage it.

        Get Fraley a 1B mitt and have him start taking reps there pregame. When he is passable, use him there or as DH.

        Worry about JV if/ when that situation actualizes.

      • greenmtred

        Vosler, in a small sample size, appears to be the best defensive first-baseman the Reds have had in a while. Might be a factor in allotting time.

  13. CI3J

    If we were to create a pecking order of the Reds’ bullpen in these early, early days, it would look something like this:

    CL Diaz
    LP Young
    RP Gibaut
    RP Cruz
    RP Herget
    RP Farmer
    LP Sanmartin
    RP Law
    RP Kuhnel

    Some notes (with the caveat being these are all based on small sample sizes):

    1. Herget would be higher, except he has an extremely low K/9 rate. Would like to see him get some more opportunities.

    2. Sanmartin has a high K/9 rate, but also has a high BB/9 rate. If he wants to be successful, he has to cut down on those walks. Cruz also has high rates of both, but Cruz’s BB/9 rate is deceiving because 3 of the 4 walks he’s issued were during the Opening Day meltdown.

    3. Stating the obvious here, but Young really needs to pitch more. He’s been the best reliever in the bullpen, and could maybe be used in a dedicated “setup” role as a bridge to Diaz when the Reds are tied or have a lead late.

    4. Farmer has pitched better than his bloated ERA would indicate. His FIP is 2.93. He’s just had some bad luck.

    5. Law is not striking anyone out. He has 1 (ONE!) strikeout in 3.2 IP. He might be a candidate to get cut when Santillan or Sims are ready.

    6. Kuhnel has no place on an MLB roster. He’s the first to go when Santillan or Sims are ready.

    Again, it’s very early days and we can’t draw many conclusions from where things stand, but this is what I would say the main takeaways are:

    1. Diaz, Sanmartin, and Farmer are better than their stats show and we should see some regression to the mean from them.

    2. Herget is still an unknown and needs more innings. His low K/9 is a little concerning, but I’d still like to see more of what he can do.

    3. Young has been fantastic and should be the go-to late inning, high leverage guy until/unless he shows he can’t do it.

    4. Gibaut (despite a mediocre K/9) and Cruz (despite a bad BB/9, although admittedly inflated by the Opening Day fiasco) have been solid options.

    5. Law and especially Kuhnel should be on thin ice.

    Hopefully when Santillan and Sims are ready, they can help stabilize the bullpen more.

    Now if only Bell could figure out how to manage a bullpen properly…

    • Kevin H

      Great article about Herget and his first win as well as his journey to the big leagues. Spent 9 years in minors and made mlb debut last season. I think that’s what the article said. 1 game sample, however hope he gets a shot to succeed

    • MBS

      That seems to be an accurate breakdown, Santillan and Sims will be huge for the pen if they come back healthy and pitching like they are capable of.

      It will be interesting to see the Weaver’s return will effect the pen. I don’t think they would be stretching him out unless he was joining the rotation, but Cessa might get put back into the pen. I’m doubting they would move Overton to the pen, Overton would probably get demoted to AAA.

      • CI3J

        Honestly, I’d add Weaver, keep Overton as a starter, and move Cessa to the pen.

        The problem is, which three pitchers would Sims, Cessa, and Santillan replace in the pen? Law and Herget seem the obvious choices, but then who?

        Or maybe you’re right, maybe the best move is to keep Cessa in the rotation and send Overton down, with Santillan and Sims replacing Law and Herget.

  14. Kevin H

    Lost in all this the reds came back and had a chance to win all one can ask for. I admit went to bed when it was 3-1.

    4-5 through first nine games isn’t bad. Yes, the 1 in Philly and this game were winnable games they lost. We all knew while bullpen is better they were still gonna struggle. Law and Farmer I think will be fine.

  15. Doc4uk

    Who gets dropped when Santillan and Sims come back next week? Herget gets sent back ? I prefer Farmer and Law be replaced but I doubt this happens?

    • Jim Walker

      I don’t think we see either Santillan or Sims at MLB this quickly. Both of these guys are returning from long term back injuries. The pitching rehab period is 27 days. I think the Reds will take them deep into the 27 days to get them through several iterations of how they would be used at MLB as due diligence that their bodies are up to the task.

  16. Steven Ross

    I see a DFA in Law’s near future. Even his outs get smoked.

    • MLT

      That’s been what I’ve observed. Seems like he’s been hit hard in his last 3 outings.

  17. Old-school

    This could be a brutal year to be a fan as there is talent and they are competing but they lack 3-4 good bullpen arms, a good 4th SP and a thumper bat or 2. That adds up to a lot of 1 run losses. Better by the Costco size mylanta.

  18. Mark Moore

    Anyone else being challenged as a robot when you come to the site? Such is life …

    Still was a good game to watch (especially when I tapped back in). One pitch is all it takes … and that wasn’t a good pitch from our side of the house.

    Back at it today. Got to wipe losses like that off the books, right?

    • CI3J

      I get accused of being a robot fairly often, but I’m using a VPN so it’s to be expected.

      • CI3J

        Some of us when we visit the site get flagged for being bots and land on a CAPTCHA page instead of the site. Punch in the CAPTCHA, then we can access RLN.

        I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, just a mild hassle every few days.

      • Doug Gray


        The hosting service we use recently changed to an internal service instead of one through a larger, well-known company. I’ll look into what all that was and see if they mentioned anything about the “anti-bot” stuff.

      • Tom Reeves

        I do wish this site had a login for comments and a more “threaded” comment section. It’s a great group of commenters but it’s not the easiest site to keep track of new comments.

    • MBS

      Only if I have my VPN on like CI3J said.

    • Mark Moore

      No VPN for me, Doug. And since it challenged me this morning, it hasn’t done it again. Just started happening.

  19. SultanofSwaff

    Ownership being cheapskates by not investing anything in the bullpen……kneecapping what could be a wild card contending team. I still think they’ll hover just below .500, but with even a little foresight, or should I say optimism, ownership would’ve recognized an opportunity to open the competitive window sooner, and in the process not WASTE a controllable year over our core guys. That’s the maddening part.

    I think this team can contend, but they need some support. I cringe a little when I hear this season dismissed as a developmental year. Like, how can you watch our big 3 and think that? In the absence of ownership actually supporting the team, I’d gladly part with a package of Sal Stewart+Austin Hendrick+Senzel for a controllable reliever.

    • old-school

      I wanted the Reds to get AJ Puk. Big lefty controlled reliever from the A’s, former top 5 pick. Marlins got him for JJ Bleday, another former top pick who needed a change of scenery.A’s were just cheap trying to unload arbitration year increases. One can hope maybe this off-season.

    • TR

      A very good comment by The Sultan. I’ve never been able to comprehend the idea of just let the 2023 season pass and wait for 2024 and there after.

      • Jim Walker

        I agree.
        What’s the old axiom? “If you aren’t moving forward, you are falling backward because time never stands still”.

  20. Roger Garrett

    Pen was a weak point to begin with and it will remain that way cause this is not the year to spend money on the pen unless 90 losses is better then 95.IMO losses are secondary to finding out who is part of the future.Hopefully one or two guy step up in the pen that can be counted on next year just as we hope some of the position players do.We have a core of 3 young major league starters and maybe we end up with 3 or 4 core position players to build around going into next year as we wait on more help from the minors.Future can be bright if they extend some guys such as India and Ty Steve and spend money next year to fill in the gaps.We will have to wait and see but for me its really fun to watch hungry players try and make a name for themselves.Did anybody think Barrero would run on Acuna?DId anybody think he would make it?I love that kind of play versus what I have seen in the past from thosewho would just walk to third and stop.Reds are exciting for the first time in years and yes they will lose a bunch but thats ok.

  21. Nicole Cushing

    “Give us a winner!” all the fans beg.
    Their enthusiasm is waning.
    But Bob just takes a piss on our leg
    and sighs , “What a shame that it’s raining!”

  22. redsfan10

    Still think this team has lots and lots of talent. Guessing Santilla is almolst ready as weaver is. Weaver doesn’t look bad in triple a.

    Replace Overton with Weaver or Stoudi
    And Law with Santilla.

    *BAM* we might not blow so many games and have to deal with ever 5 days a pitching duel that has our pitcher giving up 4-5 runs before the 5th inning.

    Can’t complian though our outfield and infield is pretty good, Starters have been good, bullpen has sold 3 games at least. 4-5 or we could be 7-2? I mean bullpen makes a huge difference.

    • David

      I think Law has some talent, but he may not be ready for high leverage situations.

      Underused: Alex Young.

      In the wings: Hunter Strickland (no really!)

      Soon to be back: Tony Santillan

      There are a couple of other guys at AAA that may appear this year as relievers; Legumina and Karcher, to name two. And why did they get rid of Bennet Sousa, is beyond me. Overton gets maybe one more start. Luke Weaver is starting now, as is Chase Anderson. One of them will get called up to replace Overton if he is lousy again. He does seem to get run support when he pitches. And hoping Hunter Greene gets sharper in his next start.

      If only the present Reds had somebody like Ted Abernathy (Dear Abby), Wayne Granger or old rubber arm, Pedro Borbon. Granger was in something like 90 games in the 1969 season.

  23. Jim Walker

    What about the missed Reds opportunities early on? Didn’t they hurt the Reds cause as much (or more) than the misbegotten events which created the 2nd and 3rd Atlanta runs?

    • Mark A Verticchio

      Agree too many double plays.

  24. Protime

    Law, Strickland Version 2.0 ; Benson, defense and speed, no offenseOverwhelmed at the plate. Needs to go AAA to figure it out.

  25. LarkinPhillips

    I am a firm believer that the cheapest way for a team to compete is by investing in the bullpen. The brewers have done that for the past bit, the Royals (when they were good) invested in the bullpen, and several other “small market” teams competed consistently in this manner. I would have much rather seen the Reds sign 2-3 quality relievers than Wil Myers/Curt Casali/Newman ($11 mil.) this year. In fact, I would argue, that Fairchild/Maile/Barrero would have been next to no downgrade from those three. However, 2-3 quality relievers would have been a massive upgrade over the 6-7-8 inning guys Bell has to choose from now. Just take a peak at what 11 million dollars could have gotten you in relief pitchers salaries this year.

    Also, if this year truly is about the development of the big 3 starters, a quality bullpen would have helped tremendously. It eliminates the worry/desire to extend the starters later in games to hopefully get them wins. It also builds confidence to actually get the win when you have a quality start. There is a big difference in Ashcraft going out next time on a “winning streak” rather than thinking he has to be perfect and go 8 innings to win.

    • MBS

      I agree on the importance of a bullpen. The Reds have about $13M guaranteed next year, plus all the arb cases, and league minimums. I don’t feel like researching what that number is, but it’ll definitely be under $40M all in unless the extend Votto or Myers.

      Even as a team that has cried poor, we could easily spend another $40M in pitching. A closer (Hader) $18M, a set up man in the $8M, a starter that’s an innings eater $14M.

      Our offense will take care of itself. Stephenson, India, Fraley, Friedl, Steer plus the guys likely coming this year, and by opening day 24, CES, McLain, EDLC, Siani, and maybe Hopkins.

      • Greenfield Red

        Agree MBS. This team should be very good next year. With all that dead money gone, ownership will reopen the checkbook and trust Nick Krall to make good decisions. If not, the Reds will lose the fan support they still have

      • Tom Reeves

        I really wish the Reds would open their books and be transparent with fans.

  26. LDS

    I see Fairchild didn’t earn another start. Barrero does start again today. Statistically, Vosler, despite the high OPS, is sinking rather precipitously.

    • Kevin H

      Fairchild can’t hit right handed pitching according to Jeff Brantley. He mentioned on the radio broadcast I was listening too a week ago

      • Jim Walker

        Fairchild has a .794 career OPS versus RH pitching in 72PA (4 more PAs than he has vs LH pitching against which he has an .805 OPS).

        MLB career OPB/SLG/OPS numbers for Fairchild (per BBRef):
        Vs RH pitching .333/.460/.794 (72PA)
        Vs LH pitching .348/.458/.805 (68PA)
        Overall: .340/.459 /.799 OPS+=115 (142PA)

        Fairchild gets on base slightly better vs LH pitchers but slugs a small tad better vs RH pitchers. The overall difference in OPS between the two sides is about .011 (1.1%) favoring vs LH. His overall offense is 15% above MLB average.

        Cowboy must have been having less than his usual stellar night and miscommunicated.

      • LDS

        Fairchild illustrates how little attention Bell actually pays to anything other than handedness. Odds are Bell will be here long after Fairchild is gone.

      • Doug Gray

        I know that facts won’t ever get in the way of you bashing David Bell’s decision making, but it was less than a week ago people on here were losing their minds for letting Fernando Cruz pitch to lefties instead of bringing in a lefty when Cruz has reverse splits and obliterated left-handed hitters last year in both AAA and the big leagues.

      • J

        Doug is right. There’s no reason to bash Bell for the good decisions he makes. We shouldn’t even complain about the questionable ones. He makes enough objectively dumb decisions to give us plenty of legitimate reasons to complain. We should try to stay focused on those.

      • LDS

        I don’t remember commenting on Bell using Cruz. In fact, I commented that pulling Ashcraft last night was correct. Whether Law was the right move is open to debate. However, the fact that Bell isn’t much of manager generally should be obvious to all. The frequent refrain that he played, that he has non public insights into the players, etc has nothing to do with the basics of management. There’s no accountability, no development. Nepotism pure and simple.

      • Pete

        I’m willing to wager this will be the first, last and only opportunity for David Bell to be a major league manager. This should say at all.

      • greenmtred

        Or they may explain that managers–Bell included–have access to a great deal more information than you or I do. Advanced and detailed stats, trainers’ and coaches’ reports, in-person observation that isn’t limited to watching the game on TV, conversations with the players.

  27. Joe

    Reds starters inherited the Homer Bailey curse leave the game with a,lead and watch the gas cans come in and blow the game.It’s a reds family tradition.

  28. BigBill

    Bell was hired because of his last name. He was an average ball player and has been an exceptionally bad manager at every level he has managed. Seems like a really nice guy but always seems to be out over his ski tips when it comes to strategic decisions. I said this when he was hired and unfortunately have pretty much been proven correct. This team has some nice pieces but is still a few years away from the front office being serious about winning. First step in that direction is going and getting a manager that has a track record of success