Nick Senzel’s 10th-inning sacrifice fly led the Cincinnati Reds over the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-5, before 9,194 at Great American Ball Park.

Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (21-28) 5 7 0
Cincinnati Reds (20-27)
6 8 1
W: Gibaut (4-1) L: Helsley (2-3) 
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

With the score tied in the bottom of the 10th inning, Spencer Steer started the inning at second as the “free runner.” Cardinals ace reliever Ryan Helsley walked Tyler Stephenson, with the final pitch of the at-bat squirting away from St. Louis catcher Tres Barrera, allowing Steer to take third. Senzel then lofted a fly ball to right, which he called a “check-swing” in the post-game interview with Jim Day. It drove right-fielder Tommy Edman back, which meant any chances to make an accurate throw to the plate were unlikely.

Cincinnati broke a four-game losing streak, and this was a big win. You could sense that if the Cardinals came in after the Yankees series and did big damage, the season could be about over.

But instead, the win brings Cincinnati back within percentage points of St. Louis in the standings. As this wrapup story was posted, both teams stood 5.5 games behind National League Central leader Milwaukee, which was losing big late in their game against Houston. The Reds are 4.5 behind the final Wild Card berth.

The Offense

After the first three pitches from Cardinals lefthander Jordan Montgomery, Cincinnati led 1-0. Jonathan India lined a double off the left-field wall on the first pitch, and two pitches later Matt McLain looped one down the left-field line for a double, scoring India.

On pitch number nine, Stephenson pulled a single to left, scoring McLain for a 2-0 lead.

In the third, McLain hit a one-out opposite-field single to right, then Steer dropped a homer into the glove of a fan in the first row of seats in left field for a 4-3 Reds lead. Stephenson then walked on four pitches, and Senzel sent him to third on an opposite-field single to right. Senzel then stole second to give Cincinnati runners on second and third with one out. But Stuart Fairchild struck out swinging and Wil Myers grounded out to third to short-circuit any more run production in the inning.

Myers drove in a runner from third base with a one-out grounder over the mound in the bottom of the fifth to break a 4-4 tie and put the Reds up by one.

India, McLain and Senzel each had two hits to lead the winning effort.

The Pitching

Brandon Williamson started by retiring the Cardinals in order in the first. But with a 2-0 lead, he allowed a three-run bomb in the second inning by Paul DeJong in the second. St. Louis put two additional batters on base that inning, and it looked like it could be a short night for the rookie lefty. But to his credit, he recovered and lasted 4 1/3 innings total, allowing four hits, four walks and four runs (three earned).

In the top of the fifth, Williamson walked leadoff batter Paul Goldschmidt, who advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw to first. After a hard groundout by Willson Contreras on Williamson’s 88th pitch, Manager David Bell replaced Williamson with Buck Farmer. Farmer struck out Nolan Arenado, but Lars Nootbaar roped a double down the right field line to score Goldschmidt and tie the game at 4-4. Farmer pitched a scoreless sixth, finishing with 1 2/3 innings pitched.

Lucas Sims pitched a scoreless seventh, then lefthander Alex Young opened the eighth by allowing doubles to two of the three batters he faced to tie the game at 5-5. Bell brought on Alexis Diaz with the go-ahead run in scoring position. Diaz struck out Alec Burleson and Brandon Donovan flied out to right to keep the game tied.

Tommy Edman walked to open the ninth and stole second on a close call which the Reds challenged but lost. Diaz responded by striking out Goldschmidt, but then walked Contreras. Arenado then struck out, but Nootbaar walked to load the bases with two out. Nolan Gorman then struck out swinging on Diaz’s 34th pitch of the night.

Ian Gibaut retired St. Louis without the free runner advancing in the top of the 10th, in a nice rebound from his tough weekend against the Yankees, and was credited with the win.

What’s news

T.J. Friedl, on the disabled list with a pulled muscle, reports that he had a pain-free batting practice session today:

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds

Tuesday, May 23, 6:40 p.m. ET

Adam Wainwright (1-0, 5.74 ERA) vs. Graham Ashcraft (2-2, 4.84 ERA)

53 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Good win. Looking forward to having Friedl back.

  2. LDS

    4.5 GB a WC slot? Now that’s optimism. They’re still in last place by % pts. Need 3 out of 4 minimum on this series. I like the Cards in last place. Not as much as I’d like to see the Dodgers in the cellar but close.

    • greenmtred

      They could both be in last place at the same time. Fine with me.

      • LDS

        Works for me. That would be a great year regardless of where the Reds finished.

  3. Melvin

    Good job by the way Tom. If you really want to make me happy tell me that EDLC and CES are being called up for tomorrow’s game. 🙂

  4. Melvin

    Good job by the way Tom. If you really want to make me happy tell me that EDLC and CES are being called up for tomorrow’s game. 🙂

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I can’t confirm or deny that idea. 😉

      • Melvin

        Get to work on that Tom and see what you can do….Just kidding. 🙂

    • TR

      With the Reds current non-communicative ownership, I doubt even GM Krall could confirm or deny bringing up the future in EDLC and CES.

      • Amarillo

        In fairness, non-communicative is a massive upgrade over when they were communicating.

      • Mario

        Dang Amarillo, you hit that right on the head!

  5. Rednat

    You know, right now , all we have as reds fans is our history and these feel good human stories like Nick Senzel and Votto. we may lose 100 games again but this team does play hard.

    I know they have some guys coming up in AAA but I hope the reds Keep Senzel around. He has been through so much and now is finally getting into somewhat of a groove. i think the other players feel it too and rally around him.

    • DaveCT

      I agree completely. When’s the last time we had a full-time defensive 3B like Senzel? Geno was adequate (and has improved quite a bit with the Mariners infield guru). Todd Frazier? I’d suggest Senzel is better defensively than ‘Down Goes” Frazier.

      If this guy can reach the expo actions of a guy spraying line drives all over the field, we will have something. I’ve said many times, he was never going to be Kris Bryant. David Wright or Ryan Zimmerman would do, however.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Very good point. More often than not, they play close games against even very good teams. The aggressive baserunning tactic was emphasized apparently since the opening of spring training with the knowledge that they weren’t going to have much home-run power. They don’t give up.

      I also sense the pattern that when Bell feels he has a chance to win a game, he goes for it. To explain, in this game he used Diaz for 1 2/3 innings and 34 pitches, which may make him unavailable for the next day or two. It would have been easy to take Diaz out for the ninth with the “keep him fresh” mindset. I sense the approach that they will do what is needed to try to win, and let tomorrow take care of itself when it arrives. I love that approach as a fan.

    • John luciap

      This team really plays hard. I’m really like some of the progress we,’ve made

  6. Indy Red Man

    What happened to Stoudt? I must’ve missed something? I’m also thinking Williamson might be a solid lefty out of the pen long term. Weak fastball plus walking guys/nibbling doesn’t = starting pitcher.
    Overall the sorting is going decently imo. Senzel is their top question mark imo. He might end up as their Ben Zobrist super-utility guy. Most of these other vets are playing themselves out of the future. Stephenson is going nowhere, but he’s not a middle of the order hitter.

    • DaveCT

      I suspect Barrero is now one of the lead candidates for super utility guy, given his CF play.

      • CI3J

        I’d like to see Barrero get some reps at 3B. We already know he can play 2B.

      • JB

        I would like to see Barrero traded after tonight’s stupid move by Bell. Obviously he has no future here. Set the kid free

      • Jim Walker

        @JB>> And Fairchild too. Versus RH pitching, he had 1/3 game Sunday plus drew a 2 out walk in the 9th to extend the game. 2 of the 3 batted balls he had in that game had an exit velocity of GT 90Mph.

        If he played every day, say in place of Myers, he would contribute more to the team and have a greater trade value than Myers.

  7. Rednat

    I like Steer a lot. Heads up baserunning in the tenth. Seems like his head is always in the game. I trust him playing first base as well. Just wish he was a little longer to block some of those balls from getting down the line

  8. Bdh

    Good for Williamson. Getting out of your first 2 starts (@ coors, vs cardinals) with an ERA under 4 is very nice to see. I think long term he and Stoudt both are still bullpen long men/ emergency starter types but I’m happy to see him having some success now

  9. JayTheRed

    Sad to see the attendance was under 10,000. Guess the Reds need to win some games before the fans will return. I figured it would be higher though.

    • Rednat

      this is why I don’t blame ownership for not going “all in” with the payroll. we could have Clemente, Mays and Aaron in the outfield tonight and only 10k would show up. the old saying “if you build a winner, they will come” dose not always apply to our fair city.
      Now I will say ownership shoots itself in the foot with the decision making sometimes. these early start times just have to go, I am sorry.
      Nobody is taking the old 43 Metro Bus down Reading road to go to a reds game anymore. Fans are coming from Lexington, columbus, Muncie Indiana. Give us a little more time to get down there Bob!

      • CI3J

        this is why I don’t blame ownership for not going “all in” with the payroll. we could have Clemente, Mays and Aaron in the outfield tonight and only 10k would show up. the old saying “if you build a winner, they will come” dose not always apply to our fair city.

        That’s not true at all, though.

        A decade ago when the Reds were coming off their two recent playoff runs, the Reds were averaging about 30k a game. In fact, they averaged roughly 30k a year from 2013 to 2015, when the afterglow of the playoff years finally started to fade. Compare to now, when they are averaging about 18k over the last 3 years.

        This city desperately wants to love the Reds. If Bob invests in the team, he will get returns on that investment both in gate receipts and merchandise sold. But they aren’t going to support a 100 loss team.

        This isn’t a “chicken or egg” scenario. The fans will come if there is a winning team to support. Recent history is very clear on this.

      • Jim Walker

        @ CI3J>>> +10000, The fresh produce business is a wholesale business. Everything is essentially a commodity. If one restaurant or grocery goes belly up, other ones will replace them and need fresh produce in the same amounts as the sum of the failed businesses. Thus son Phil’s “where else will they go” attitude.

        Truth be told, this current ownership didn’t even exploit the 2010-2013 window to the degree the ownership in the 1960s,1990s, and 1970s did.

      • JB

        “if you build a winner, they will come”
        Still waiting for them to build a winner. You don’t do it with Kevin Newman and Benson. This team has a ways to go to be a winner. I’m not a Bell basher on here because everything has been said enough about him, but tonight’s move batting Benson was a joke. He has no feel for the bullpen and the Reds win despite his head scratching moves.

    • TR

      Bring up the young guys and have a regular place for them to play, and attendance will improve.

      • Redsvol

        Do you mean Spencer steer, Matt McLain, Tj friedl, Jonathan India, jake Fraley and Jose barerro? Oh, and almost the entire starting staff.

        The average Cincinnati fan doesn’t even know who EDLC and Ces are. The city is full of fair weather fans who will no longer support a baseball team. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see the next owner move them.

        9000 fans for a game against the cardinals is a joke. When all a person can do is find the next reason for not supporting a team the competes every night and is in very game it is a shame.

      • MBS

        “When all a person can do is find the next reason for not supporting a team”

        Where else are you going to go? The city is answering that question.

        Just for fun, look at the annual attendance numbers for the last 15 years. You’ll see it raises on the mildest winning seasons, but tanks when the Reds go into rebuild mode.

        People want to see winners, it turns out Phil, that there are many places to go.

      • TR

        The Cincinnati Business Community will never allow an owner of the Red’s franchise to be someone who might move the team. Put a winning team on the field, which could happen in the next couple years, and the Reds might well draw annual attendance of up to two and a half million.

      • Rob

        Unfortunately Cincinnati is no longer a baseball hotbed ….like St. Louis, Cubbies, or Phillies. We were once right there amongst them. The Cards and Cubs typically drew 25,000 plus. We are closer today to being fair weather fans salivating for a winner or something close. As others have said, young stars have been brought up and there has been little crowd growth. Personally, I see the attendance issue as being ownership’s absence of desire to put a competitive team on the field. The young players are promising and exciting but the results continue to show we are a work in progress. We have not spent on any significant talent in the last 2 years and there ain’t enough minor league talent to get to contention ville until we bring in some solid mlb talent. Not $8M guys like Myers or Pham or Minor. How about a$20M OF who will hit 260 and Jack 30 HRs. Not an all star but the next tier. And how about a $13M #3 starter who will win 12-13games and give you 180 innings. I would bet a few hundred dollars that these kinds of moves would move the fan base …along with ELDC and CES. That would probably get us 80+ wins but more importantly, a sense that they really want to win ball games in 2023!! That doesn’t exist today when half the fan base is screaming play the young guys and wait until next year. The team plays hard but doesnt have enough talent to be playoff competitive and we are further disgruntled by the 100 loss debacle last year and a lot of the same old, same old this year. I think there is a virtue to being patient with the team and young guys but I also very much understand the other side when a couple $15-20M pieces would seemingly do so much for the team and the fans.

  10. Mark A Verticchio

    I will argue that the average fan doesn’t know who CES and EDLC are. They are the top 2 hitters in the organization and EDLC is ranked as one of the top prospects in all of baseball.

  11. CFD3000

    Four thoughts.

    First and foremost, great to read a recap after a win, especially after getting swept this weekend.

    Second, it was a Monday night after a weekend of big attendance (with many Yankees fans to be fair). Cut the fans a break. And I can’t speak for the “average” Reds fan but I was at all three games and I can guarantee you plenty of fans know about EDLC. I had conversations about him with random people in Cincy, Dayton and Columbus this weekend.

    Third, Bell is doing better IMO and especially with bullpen use. But he made two more head scratching moves last night. First, sending Benson up to K against a righty even though Barrero had walked twice and hits righties better than lefties was baffling. And then when he pinch hit for Casali, he burned two players – Newman and Maile – instead of just sending Maile up and saving Newman, who hits better than both Casali and Newman. No comprende.

    Fourth and finally, a great inning by Gibaut after a rough weekend. To me, he was the key to the win. Now how about winning the series and climbing back out of the cellar at the Cardinals expense? Go Reds!

    • Chris Holbert

      Everyone has to be in every game, its travel MLB. That is why if there are extras, there typically is no one left, if needed.

    • RedsFanInFL

      Was at the game last night with my family. There was a collective groan that could be heard in my section when Benson was brought in to pinch hit for Barrero

    • Jim Walker

      The timing of Bell’s use of Fraley in the 5th inning sequence was also iffy. Fraley could have been inserted anywhere from Senzel down through Barrero without burning an additional spot by switching defensive positions when the Reds went back to field.

      Yet Bell persisted in making the straight substitution of Fraley for Fairchild with 2 on and no outs despite the fact Fraley was a greater GIDP risk than Fairchild and was followed by Myers who is a greater GIDP and K risk than both Fairchild and Fraley.

      Luck however was with Bell and the Reds as both Fraley then Myers hit seeing eye squibbers that advanced the runners and then scored the lead run.

      Nonetheless given how early in the game this was, Fraley for Myers would seem to have been the better move. Maybe I am missing that the Cards had a LH pitcher ready in the pen and Bell wanted to Fraley before the new Cards pitcher had met the 3 man rule and could be pulled? Otherwise??

  12. Rednat

    do you guys remember when Jay Bruce clinched the NL central with the walkoff home run in 2010. the stands were half empty! would that have been the case in Chicago, Philly or NY?

    • MBS

      That’s just not true.

      Tuesday, September 28, 2010
      Start Time: 7:10 p.m. Local
      Attendance: 30,151
      Venue: Great American Ball Park
      Game Duration: 2:51
      Night Game, on grass

    • Votto4life

      Rednat, sorry that’s simply not true. I was at that game and it was a very good crowd. Not only that but they stayed to the end that night.

      • Votto4life

        Also, it was a weeknight game because I was sleepy at work the next day.

  13. Mark A Verticchio

    CFD3000: I think you are right about both of those strange pinch hitting calls last night, especially burning two people when pinch hitting Newman, Maile was the obvious choice. Gibaut was the key last night, great comeback effort for him.
    Those who haven’t heard of EDLC haven’t been paying attention to baseball the last few years. He is the Reds highest rated prospect in a long long time.

  14. MBS

    The people of Cincinnati are not obligated to patronize GABP. The attendance numbers go up and down based off of putting a good product on the field.

    2010 25,439 per / 2,060,550 total (getting good)
    2011 27,328 per / 2,213,588 total
    2012 28,978 per / 2,347,251 total
    2013 31,151 per / 2,492,059 total
    2014 30,576 per / 2,419,506 total (rebuild begun)
    2015 29,870 per / 2,419,506 total
    2016 23,384 per / 1,894085 total (tank complete)
    2017 22,329 per / 1,836,917 total
    2018 20,115 per / 1,629,356 total
    2019 22, 329 per / 1,808,685 total (reinvesting)
    2020 COVID
    2021 18,581 per / 1,505,024 total (2nd rebuild started)
    2022 17,232 per / 1,395,770 total ( 2nd tank complete)

    • Mario

      Except that the 2nd tank isn’t yet complete

    • Jim Walker

      The same sort of thing went on in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the run up to and from the 1990 team which actually came as something of a surprise

      By 1984, the Reds (70-92) had fallen off to 9th (of then) 12 NL teams.

      In ’85, the team improved to 89-72 and jumped to 6th of 12 in attendance. They dropped back to 8th in ’86 despite an 86-76 record.

      In 1987 and ’88, they jumped to 4th in both years with 84 and 87 wins respectively but then fell off to 7th in 1989 with a losing (75-87) record.

      In 1990-’92 they were 4th, 3rd, and 4th, despite a losing record in 1991.

      Imagine that, the Reds in the top 4 in National League attendance 5 of 6 years!

      • Jim Walker

        The placements above (4 of 12 etc) are all attendance. Either my auto corrector or brain didn’t make that as clear as I intended it to be. 😉

    • Redsvol

      @mbs – we’re not competing against ourselves. You’re showing the attendance figures for the reds. Showing annual attendance doesn’t compare records and average attendance for the competition. Looks at the attendance for NL and AL CENTRAL teams. Our attendance is pitiful.

      There is no salary cap, so we better start getting attendance for a young, competitive team or it’s crazy to think the castellinis are going to spend big $ on free agents.

      We made the playoffs in 2020 and 2021. Yet fans didn’t come in 2021. I can’t even call Reds fans fair weather anymore because they don’t even come out in fair weather.

  15. BhamRedsFan

    good to see this group can always complain about Bell at a greater volume than celebrate a win. Don’t want to complain about using him two innings tonight? He was an idiot a couple of weeks ago for doing that.

    • Chris Holbert

      I am on here a good bit, and I am not sure there would be much complaining about Bell using a reliever for 2 innings. Any person with much baseball strategy knowledge at all, knows that Bell makes lineup and in game decisions that basically no other manager in MLB makes.

    • CFD3000

      I gave him credit for use of the bullpen last night, and have long complained about the seeming one reliever per inning rule so a rip of the cap on pitcher usage. But we can approve of him in general and still question specific decisions. That’s part of what this forum is for.

  16. redfanorbust

    I suppose you can cut Reds fans some slack. We have no had any kind of contender in say 29 of the last 32 years with mediocrity being a high point during that time. This year fresh off a 100 loss year last year, our young three vaunted starters are hurt or not pitching well, just finishing up winning four out of ten and currently in last place again. I think most fans know Reds are at best one year and probably 2-3 years from having a chance at being a serious contending team. I know they can not spend like Yankees/Mets/Padres however IMHO ownership must also step up spending, significantly, to capitalize on the promising young talent coming up. Don’t see Reds fan base (at least one fan) waiting 3-5 years for players to mature only to see them traded because they become too expensive.