The new Joey Votto era began with a bang as the Reds first baseman homered, singled, and walked in his first game back from shoulder and biceps surgery. Votto’s single was a 2-run, go-ahead hit in the 6th inning and it helped lead Cincinnati to a 5-4 win over the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.

Final R H E
Colorado Rockies (29-46)
4 10 1
Cincinnati Reds (38-35)
5 8 0
W: Young (1-0) L: Gomber (4-7) SV: Diaz (19)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Brandon Williamson, who the Reds weren’t even saying was going to for sure start the game less than 24 hours earlier, worked a quick top of the 1st inning. Kevin Newman made sure his counterpart wasn’t going to do the same as he clobbered a home run to lead off the bottom of the inning to put the home team up 1-0.

In the second inning it was time for Joey Votto to step to the plate for the first time in 10 months.

Votto would line out to center, but Nick Senzel had his back and followed up with a solo home run – a 415-foot shot into left center – that put the Reds up 2-0.

Colorado would get on the board in the top of the 4th inning when Elias Diaz hit a homer into the upper deck down the left field line to cut the Rockies deficit to 2-1. Jorge Alfaro followed up with a double, but Brandon Williamson picked up a strikeout of Nolan Jones and got Brenton Doyle to pop up to avoid any further damage in the inning and hold onto a lead.

Joey Votto came back to the plate to lead off the 5th inning and he was ready to hand out a souvenir, hitting the first pitch he saw 10 rows deep into the seats in right field to extend the Cincinnati lead to 3-1.

Cincinnati’s lead didn’t last all that long. The Rockies got back-to-back singles to lead off the 6th against Brandon Williamson. The Reds went to the bullpen and called on Buck Farmer, but he allowed an RBI single and an RBI double to the first two hitters he faced and the game was tied up at 3-3 and there were still no outs in the inning. Farmer then walked Nolan Jones to load the bases. With two men warming in the bullpen, David Bell opted to stick with him to face Brenton Doyle and he picked up a strikeout for the first out of the frame. Farmer then struck out Coco Montes. Colorado then called on Mike Moustakas to come off of the bench to hit for Connor Kaiser. The Reds countered by calling on Alex Young to try and get an advantage in a lefty-lefty showdown. It didn’t work as the former Red worked a bases loaded walk to put the Rockies up 4-3. A ground out would follow to end the inning.

Mike Moustakas helped get the Reds offense moving in the right direction in the bottom of the inning by making an error on a Jonathan India grounder. The next play was another grounder to Moustakas and this time Elly De La Cruz beat the throw for an infield single. That led to a pitching change. It didn’t make a difference because Jake Bird came in and walked Spencer Steer to load the bases. That brought Joey Votto to the plate with the bases loaded and he singled into center to plate India and De La Cruz and gave the Reds a 5-4 lead.

Fernando Cruz took over for Cincinnati in the top of the 7th inning and he needed just 13 pitches to send all three hitters he faced back to the dugout. In the bottom of the inning the Reds tried to get a 2-out rally going after Matt McLain was hit by a pitch and Jonathan India singled into center. That brought Elly De La Cruz to the plate but not before the pitching coach headed out for a chat with Daniel Bard. Whatever he said worked as he got De La Cruz to ground out to second base to end the inning.

When the 8th inning began the Reds called on Lucas Sims to take the mound. He began the inning by hitting Jorge Alfaro to put the tying run on base. That would be the only runner to get on as Sims locked in and retired the next three batters. Spencer Steer singled to lead off the bottom of the 8th inning. Joey Votto then walked, but he was pinch run for by Will Benson after he got down to first base. Jake Fraley grounded into a force out, putting runners on the corners against Brad Hand with one out and Tyler Stephenson coming to the plate.

Fraley stole second base on the first pitch to Stephenson, leading to a mound visit from the catcher. That lasted long enough for the manager to slowly walk out to the mound and make a pitching change mid at-bat. Justin Lawrence came in and threw two strikes to send Stephenson back to the dugout for the second out of the inning. The Rockies intentionally walked TJ Friedl to load the bases and face Kevin Newman. It was a move that paid off as Newman grounded out to strand three and send the game to the 9th.

Alexis Diaz entered the game in the 9th inning and he immediately gave up back-to-back singles to Mike Moustakas and Jurickson Profar, giving the Rockies runners on the corners with no outs. Diaz would rebound and strike out Randal Grichuk and Ryan McMahon. That led to Diaz versus Elias Diaz with the game on the line and Diaz came out on top, getting Diaz to ground out to Elly De La Cruz to end the game. Cincinnati picked up their 9th consecutive win and Diaz remained a perfect 19-for-19 in save opportunities.

Key Moment of the Game

Joey Votto’s 2-run single in the bottom of the 6th inning that put the Reds up for good.

Notes Worth Noting

Joey Votto was the only Red to have two hits in the game. He was the only Red to reach base three times in the game. Welcome back.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Colorado Rockies vs Cincinnati Reds

Tuesday June 20th, 7:10pm ET

Kyle Freeland (4-8, 4.48 ERA) vs Ben Lively (4-4, 4.07 ERA)

192 Responses

  1. Rut

    Joey Votto really is pure class. Love the way he represents the Reds, on field and off.

    Just can’t understand any Reds fan who doesn’t love the guy — watch/listen to his on field post game interview with Jim Day if you somehow not a fan.

    • Capnhook33

      I said exactly the same thing to my friends. All that dude wants to do is win, and you can sense that almost desperation in him to win because he knows father time is undefeated. Fits right in with this ballclub. I’ve defended that guy for years to people in this city and I’m not accepting any more slander of that name. If you don’t like him, just stop paying attention and come back when he’s gone.

      • Rut

        Ernie Banks is lucky he played when he did, Dan Marino too.

        Modern media and hot take obsession with championships as the only arbiter of greatness has left Votto as a truly underrated performer. Glad he was a Red for his career, difficult to imagine dealing with this era of futility without the bright spot he has been.

  2. Moon

    That ties the Reds for the 19th longest winning streak in team history. The longest winning streak sits at 14 and that happened 124 years ago. If the Reds win tomorrow the 10 game winning streak would tie them at the ninth longest winning streak in Reds history. The last 9 game streak happened in the 1975-76 season (end of 75 and start or 76). If just considering one season it would be again 1975. The Reds have had a 10 game winning streak 11 years ago in 2012. Bottom line here is this streak is beginning to get into rarified air.

    • Dayton Ducks

      Just on correction: The 1990 Reds won their first nine games.

  3. JayTheRed

    What a magical night. Did not expect this out of Votto. Guy has class. and is just a really good baseball player.

    • Dennis Westrick

      Pure hitter and master of his craft!

  4. Indy Red Man

    Joey Votto

    Mom and Dad got back together
    Rudy got into Notre Dame
    Spot had puppies

    It was a Hallmark movie alright

    • Mark Moore

      And the family Christmas tree farm didn’t end up in the hands of the corporate raiders.

      • Michael


        Thanks to Lacey Chebert the big city lawyer who came back home for the first time in a decade and fell in love with the widowed dad who owns the farm!!!

    • Dennis Westrick

      Now if I could just win the Florida Lottery!

  5. Melvin

    Votto is a CLASS act. Marty shaved his head after 10 wins. Joey would do that too….except he already has. 😀

  6. kypodman

    and the Brewers are getting TROUNCED by the D-Backs, can you say “first place Reds”!!!!

  7. DW

    Gotta give Votto credit for not rushing back. I was concerned that he would be a stick in the bike spokes. What a strong game from him though! Very exciting!

  8. Tom Reeves

    How can we all not love this for Votto?! Wow!!!!

  9. TR

    Joey leads the Reds to a big win. Pirates lose and Milwaukee behind 8-1 in 8th.inning.

  10. J

    If 10 million people were told the Reds would have a nine game winning streak sometime this season, I would venture to guess zero of those 10 million would guess it would happen during this particular stretch of nine games. It really has been quite astonishing to watch.

  11. Dennis Westrick

    Snakes now up 9-1 over the Bernies in the 9th!

  12. Mark Moore

    To echo my last comment on the game thread … what a night to remember!!

    Night all. Time to shut it down for me.

  13. Kevin

    Love everything about this. Although mostly just thrilled for Joey. Must feel great for him to be back.

    • Mark Moore

      If you didn’t see it, watch his post-game in the locker room. Heavy emotion in his eyes and voice.

  14. Moon

    I am so impressed with Diaz. What a difference he has made. He is something the Reds have not really had over the last few years, a reliable closer. The guy has been amazing

    • greenmtred

      He has been great, but he didn’t make it easy last night: heartburn, probably high blood pressure, a stray word here and there that Doug would delete. Close games aren’t easy to take when there’s actually something on the line.

  15. Indy Red Man

    1st place Cincinnati Reds

    Wow. Even if they got rolled in the playoffs it would be an invaluable aid to a young team to win the division and experience playoff baseball. I really hope Krall can make something happen with the pitching.
    They’re going to need help. I’d call the White Sox first

    • Dennis Westrick

      Yep! Can’t keep using six (6) pitchers every game!

      • MBS

        @Dennis, “Yep! Can’t keep using six (6) pitchers every game!” Somehow that fact gets lost on too many fans. I am sick of hearing the little 3 are “serviceable”. 1 being used as a spot starter, sure, but not as 60% of the rotation.

      • redfanorbust

        Agreed. SP is still a major concern with me. Need them to go 7-8 most outings. First big test is when Ashcraft comes back and if able to have fixed why he was pitching so poorly.

  16. Bdh

    Brandon Williamson looked very good tonight! He’s shown some flashes this year that have me high on him going forward. Gonna need it until we get Lodolo back

    • Moon


      WIlliamson and Lively maybe competing for that 5th rotation spot. Reds could use them as long reliever as well or spot starter. I think both guys have shown something.

    • bug

      He had no walks again. That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

  17. Tampa Red

    “Reds win despite Bell” ™?

    • CI3J

      No, that’s not true today, but it was definitely true yesterday.

      • 2020ball

        So when they do well its the players fault and when they lose its Bells fault? Hm…sounds ridiculous to me that you think it goes both ways so obviously

      • Tom Mitsoff

        If they win the division, there’s a very high probability of that.

  18. Melvin

    I said before the game that I was looking forward to another, “I’m going to prove you wrong” Joey Votto moment. He didn’t disappoint tonight. Looking forward to more in the future. 🙂

    • Redsvol

      Joey Votto is a strong man………and a class act. He will have his ups and downs this year, but I really hope he gets to enjoy this ride because he deserves it!

    • earmbrister

      Yes, those who bet against Joey V tend to lose. Huge fan of the man. JV’s been very loyal to Cincy and I’m glad that David Bell continues to show the proper respect for the man. It’s been a joy to follow his career – hope he finishes it in Cincy with a return next year.

  19. Jimbo44cin

    Joey is the best I have seen in a long long !ong time. And I watched Johnny Bench as a rookie at Crosley. What a great representative for the Reds and Cincinnati. 1st place baby!!!!!

  20. BK

    Perhaps lost in tonight’s magic was a solid start by Williamson. No walks. The improvement is noticeable and another important piece of what is becoming a very good team.

    • 2020ball

      His improvement on his BB% while in the majors is impressive by itself. He doesnt need to pitch like a top 3 to be very valuable to this club, ive been happy with how he’s fone so far.

  21. Tom Mitsoff

    Good teams make the plays they need to make to win. Sounds overly simplistic, but I thought about that yesterday as Gibaut induced the ninth-inning double-play grounder that made the 10-inning win possible. Tonight, Alexis Diaz showed his closer ace status by blanking the Rockies after they had runners on first and third and nobody out. This is one of the many enjoyable aspects of this team.

    • Hotto4Votto

      I was thinking around the time Diaz had back to back strike outs, this is a game previous teams would have found a way to lose. This year’s team is finding ways to win. Making those winning plays.

    • Jim Walker

      @Tom> And the truly outstanding thing is that so often the big plays are coming from different guys. On Monday, Benson and Fairchild were being seen as possible bubble guys for Votto’s return. Yet they both were big contributors on the road trip. Without what they did when they did it, the Reds could have easily lost 3 games they won on that trip.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Very true. It’s one reason this team is very fun to watch, because you never know who is going to be the hero.

  22. Optimist

    Former Red Joe Mantiply (for an interesting stretch) about to close out the Brewers.

  23. Dennis Westrick

    Book it! Bernies lost! Reds are in 1st place in the NL Central!

  24. JVBangarang

    On this 19th Day of June:
    #19 Returns
    19th save for Diaz
    19th longest win streak in team history
    1-9 was the Brewers final score.
    Anything else?

  25. CFD3000

    Welcome back Joey Votto! I’ve posted this several times lately but – never doubt Joey Votto. A magical return for a class act. And of course there will be ups and downs, and he will likely struggle at times. But hard to write a better script for game #1, and a good win to vault into first place.

    On the flip side, rough news that the Reds will lose Hunter Greene for a stretch. Here’s hoping he just needs rest and maybe a little focused rehab. If he misses two or three starts but comes back healthy that will serve everyone well in the longer run. But now all three of the “Big Three” are injured. That speaks well for this team that they’ve been so hot despite the hodge lodge of starting pitching. So they can only get better, right? Soon two wins in one day even when there’s no double header? Get healthy soon Mr. Greene.

    • CFD3000

      Hodge Podge. Spell check did not like that one. You know what I like?

      “The First Place Cincinnati Reds”

    • redfanorbust

      Wow I did not hear that Hunter Greene on IL . Rough news indeed! Who is taking over that spot in the rotation?

  26. Kevin Patrick

    I’m calling it now. Joey will be the comeback player of the year. Honestly, its nights like these that make baseball feel like you are experiencing history. To say I’m enjoying baseball now is about the biggest understatement ever made.

    • Melvin

      At least the Reds are fun to watch again for the first time in a LONG time.

  27. Hotto4Votto

    I truly love that Votto returned and had a great game. I love it for this team. I hope it can continue, it would be awesome to see.

  28. VaRedsFan

    Joey is coming up on ESPN with Scott Van Pelt.
    11:00 PM

  29. RedlegScott

    WTG, Votto!
    (You sure make things interesting of late, Diaz.)

  30. VaRedsFan

    Who could the Reds poach from the Rockies.
    Bard? meh
    Hand? meh
    Lawrence? Oh yes! nasty stuff.

  31. Will the Red

    What a night for Joey Votto. He still bangs! Great win for the Reds and can’t wait to see what they do tomorrow.

  32. LDS

    This working thing after three years in retirement is a bigger drag than I expected. I see Votto exceeded my expectations. Let’s hope he keeps it up. Newman and Senzel also homered. Maybe Krall can swing a quick trade for some pitching prospects soon while Newman and Senzel are productive. And the Reds are in first place. Ain’t that a wonderment. A weak division has its benefits. I think I’d still bet on Milwaukee or St. Louis but it’s fun for the moment.

    • Harry Stoner

      Tough night for cynics, amigo.

      I mean realists. 😉

      Sometimes baseball is just all about the night at hand.

      For Reds fans, kind of a fairy tale evening.

      Even the Joey the Red Viking curtain call.

      • LDS

        Hey @Harry, it’s one game. Reading through the comments and other recaps, there are still issues that could be pointed out. But it’s been so long since the Reds were in 1st place in June, we’ll just let it ride for now and go with the win. But, Krall really needs to try to move Senzel and Newman for prospects while they’re healthy and hitting. First place or not, this isn’t the year to go all in.

      • Melvin

        “we’ll just let it ride for now and go with the win”

        Sometimes that’s the best thing to do buddy. 🙂

      • 2020ball

        Realists? Being pessimistic doesn’t mean youre in reality. Might try balancing it with some optimism if thats your goal.

      • Tom Diesman

        Not just a fairy tale evening, but apparently we are witnessing something greater than a miracle. The Reds are now on pace for a 84-78 season, and we were assured late last year that “Without a lot of luck, 55-65 wins is probably the best Reds’ fans can expect. If they hit 70 wins, then miracles will have happened.”

      • OklaRed

        Maybe this year tide is turned, and the Reds will lift Votto for a change. Hope he and Reds are successful this year and next. I sure hope all those who said lucky to win 70 enjoy this ride.

    • Bdh

      Cardinals have to go 51-38, a .573 winning % that only 6 teams have right now, the rest of the way just to reach .500 for the season. They will need a stretch like what Cincinnati is on just to not be sellers at the deadline. I get that you have an image to uphold here but why would you bet on them?

      • LDS

        They’ve done it before and in reality it won’t take much more than a .500 record to win this division. Unless some team really turns it around.

      • Chris

        Must suck to be such a pessimist. Hope you don’t go through life that way with everything else. Actually, it’s sort of sad.

      • LDS

        @Chris, SMH, I’m not a pessimist. I’m just not a fanboy that thinks the Big Red Machine has been reincarnated in this team. Are they better than they have been in recent years? Maybe. Is it fun to win? Sure. Do I think they’ll win the division? Possible but unlikely. Do I think Bell has a clue on management? Nope. Krall has to spend wisely and stick with the rebuild. Going for it this year would simply be stupid.

    • Kevin H

      In all fairness the Reds are now 31-20 in their last 51 games. They have beaten some good teams and now a 9 game streak.

      This team is fun to watch, and sure lack of starting pitching depth and a tired bullpen is somewhat showing. Bell and company though are managing it well. Sure times when we scratch our heads like wth, however again its working. They are winning. I believe most of us realize this team has weakness, however enjoying the ride and enjoying winning baseball.

  33. MBS

    19 returns on the 19th, 19th save for Diaz! Coincidence? I think not.

    • greenmtred

      The Fates and the firmament are now Reds fans? Well, where else are they gonna go?

  34. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I’m going to be one to hold true to his word.

    I’ve been welcoming Votto back, hope he does good, defending him, stating that he deserves at least an opportunity, that he’s earned it. More than just one game; that’s not even a cup of coffee, much less to prove yourself in the major leagues.

    And, I was one cheering the entire time as Votto was rounding the bases, nailing the baseball, etc.

    But, for me to hold true to my word, again. . .

    One game isn’t even a cup of coffee. Votto could still average 200 for the season or 300 for the season. But, he deserves an opportunity. Let him get it. I think the last thing he wants to do is to cause the team to do worse. But, even Votto would feel that coming on, that if he wasn’t performing well, and probably start talking about retiring.

    But, he deserves an opportunity. I just hope he keeps performing.

    Not unless we see an MVP bat with a huge hometeam discount, this is probably the last season for Joey V.

    • Tim

      We can’t overstate the value of a night like tonight for the fans and for team lore. Votto has been the face of this team for years and his character is nothing but good for the team and for his teammates.

    • 2020ball

      It wouldnt surprise me at all if he stuggles from here forward, the difference is ill never claim a player cant perform without that chance. Theres no reason he cant be successful, but theres also the possibility he doesnt. Thats realism, not just writing a guy off because of some AAA stats.

  35. SultanofSwaff

    Most 1 run wins in baseball.

    Alexis Diaz is the team MVP hands down!!!

    • TR

      A big factor in the Reds recent surge is the strengthened bullpen. Kudos to the pitching coach and the bullpen staff.

  36. Indy Red Man

    Unfortunately there was a Myers sighting in the Reds bench tonight. Just because AAA takes Monday off or is he bumping someone tomorrow? I think he could easily turn it around to some degree, but I have no idea where he would fit in with this team? If WM comes back then just forget about CES until Sept 1 which is insane imo

    • DW

      I sure hope not. Need to just cut bait with Myers.

      • Jason Franklin

        Trade him to the Rockies so he can play with Moose.

    • 2020ball

      Fairchild has an option and i wont fault the Reds for wanting to hold on to all their assets. His spot is vulnerable 100%, but wont bother me if they want to fit him in.

    • MBS

      I’m not a Fairchild fan, but I’d take him over Myers if Krall asks my opinion. As long as he’s serving the same role as Fairchild, then I’m not really bothered. Lets face it Myers is a better player than what he’s shown. He’s bound to go on some kind of run.

      • Chris

        Fairchild does play better defense, but consider that Fairchild still has not put numbers up that even come close to Myers’ numbers from just last season. If Myers is truly healthy, he’s going to put up legitimate numbers but play subpar defense. Not sure I’d dump him so that I could keep Fairchild with his option on the big league club.

  37. JB WV

    Felt like a kid anticipating this game but nervous for Joey at the same time. What a performance! That classic stroke looks as smooth as ever. Go Joey and go Reds!

  38. LT

    First place sounds super sweet. Diaz was just toying with the hitters. Men at corners with no out and he did not let them score. Unreal. Lets go for 10.

  39. Jason Franklin

    If the Reds are still in first place (knock on wood), then do they get at least 2 All-Stars? Isn’t that usually how it goes for top teams? I assume Diaz is a lock no matter what happens here on out. Who do you pick as the other? Or others?

    • greenmtred

      McClain, Friedl and India, but that won’t happen.

    • wkuchad

      Joey Votto of course – he currently leads the team in OPS*

      *it’s possible small sample size could apply

    • Votto4life

      If Alex Diaz doesn’t make the All Star team, then they should stop playing the darn thing.

  40. Doc4uk

    Bring in Chapman to help Diaz and Sims. Will only need low end prospects to get this done. Then bring on Phillips from AA and see what he can do. Has to be better than Weaver.

    • Tampa Red

      Huge sellers market for quality pitching. It will take a helluva lot more than low end prospects to get Chapman.

      • MBS

        I guess it depends on your opinion of a Low level prospect. Rentals are Rentals, they don’t cost as much as you’d think.

      • Chris

        No it won’t, especially if you also take their closer, who has a contract twice as big as Chapman’s. Wouldn’t take much at all.

      • Tampa Red

        Do y’all think other teams don’t have “lower level prospects” also? Or are also willing to take on the other closer? I think you’re seriously underestimating the market for good pitching.

        EVERY legit contender is looking for the same thing. I wish I could link an article in the Athletic talking about this very thing, and how the few teams that are already out of it are going to ask for A TON in return. Unfortunately the article is behind a paywall.

    • SultanofSwaff

      I’d rather have a controllable bullpen piece—check out Jason Foley from the Tigers.

  41. Andrew Brewer

    True this is story book stuff. Votto Returns and makes for the 9 in a row and 1st place in the Central on the same day. (And the no. 19 aligned as mentioned above.) Whatever is happening the Reds have got it going for them in a Big Way. There is no way of knowing what the rest of the season will bring- but as others have said- this is one heck of a year for Reds’ baseball !

  42. Grand Salami

    Despite his hit and BB, Moose reminded me why I couldn’t watch him. Everything he contributed with his bat, he took back with his glove.

    No D value whatsoever and no longer a good enough hitter to be DH

    Absolutely the right call even after tonight.

  43. Tim

    Since April 23 the Reds are winning at clip of 65%. If sustained that would be around 95 wins. I think that’s correct. That would be an awesome season. Even going 500 the rest of the way would be a fantastic turnaround from last year.

  44. CI3J

    An awesome return for Votto. It’s nice to have a true 1B back on the roster. Hopefully we never see Kevin Newman at that position again.

    Reds are in 1st place, but I’d still caution against buying any rentals at the deadline. The team is not quite ready to truly compete. Yes, a 9 game winning streak is amazing, but the Reds are going to fall back to Earth sooner or later. That’s just the nature of a long baseball season.

    Just about the only trades I’d like to see them make are trading away Newman and possibly Senzel. Sell high on both. That will open up a spot for CES to finally make his debut.

    I think the offseason is where the Reds will put the finishing touches on the Next Great Reds Team™. Chapman will be a free agent. Sign him to be the setup man for Diaz. Depending on how the rotation shakes out, sign or trade for a pitcher in the offseason when teams won’t be able to demand a King’s Ransom due to desperate teams trying to make a playoff run.

    The Reds are almost there. But they need to be smart so they don’t stumble so close to the finish line. Take emotions out of it and make the best decisions for the long run, not just the here and now.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      With the 6 playoff spots, it gets harder to buy. More teams looking to buy.

      • CI3J

        Exactly, and the selling teams can play the buying teams off each other to ask for astronomical returns on their players. That pressure isn’t there in the offseason.

        That’s why I think it would be a mistake for the Reds to buy now. Do it in the offseason when emotion won’t be a factor and instead of a few teams trying to get a few players, you have all the teams looking to buy/sell all different kinds of players. The market in the offseason is much calmer and more reasonable than in the middle of a playoff hunt.

    • greenmtred

      I tend to agree. The Reds have a lot of strength and a glaring weakness, but starting pitchers are a scarce and expensive commodity. Trading the prospect capital necessary to land a short-term rental might weaken the Reds for years to come, and the team may have what they need on the IL. On the other hand, it’s true that opportunities like the current one can evaporate unexpectedly–injuries, players no longer performing at their current levels, and so on. Once again, I’m glad I don’t have to make the decisions. Krall has done a terrific job to put this group of players together and I have confidence that he’ll do the right thing. Whatever that is.

    • VaRedsFan

      If Steer plays a better 1st base than Votto has in say…the last 10 years, does that not make Steer a true 1st baseman?

  45. Kevin H

    I wonder if Phillips will be moved up to Triple A for his next start? Not saying rush him, however if reds don’t make a trade for a starting pitcher I wouldn’t mind seeing what Phillips could bring to the table.

    Williamson pitched well, and if not for Farmer allowing the inherited runners to score. Farmer has been solid, and as we know stuff happens.

    What a game lasnight and Votto won the game. Can’t make this stuff up. Again will they make the playoffs, who knows, will they continue to run off wins, again who knows. I do know this team is fun to watch and they never quit. To legit to quit 😛

    • TR

      The word is getting around that change is happening in Cincy, not just at Paycor and the new west side stadium, but also at GABP.

  46. Jim t

    First place who would have thought it. Fun team to follow. It remains to be seen if they can keep it together for a whole season but I have certainly enjoyed it to this point.

    • wkuchad

      Who would have thought it? Not me, especially not 10 days ago with our starting pitching. But wow it’s been fun to watch.

  47. SteveAReno

    Let this sink in…


    Cincinnati 38 35 .521 —
    Milwaukee 37 35 .514 0.5
    Pittsburgh 34 37 .479 3.0
    Chi. Cubs 34 38 .472 3.5
    St. Louis 30 43 .411 8.0

    Courtesy of CBS Sports.

  48. Riverfront Randy

    Kudos to Brandon Williamson for last night’s performance. So nice not to be down early for a change. I know the Rockies aren’t exactly Murderer’s Row but to not walk anyone was quite a step forward for him. Hope he can keep it up and continue to get better.

  49. Doc

    Since MLB has made a bunch of changes that have altered the “tradition” of the hame, I’d like to see another change that involves pitching statistics.

    When a pitcher puts men on base and a pitching change is made, currently all men put on base by the first pitcher are his responsibility. I would like to see that changed such that a runner in scoring position is the responsibility of the pitcher who put the runner in scoring position. Last night, Williamson was pitching well, then gave up two singles in the sixth. Buck Farmer comes in and allows both runners to score. In my system, Williamson would have been charged the earned run for the runner on second but Farmer would have been charged for the runner who scored from first base.

    Baseball developed the ‘Hold’, but that is kind of a stupid statistic. A reliever can come in with a six run lead and give up five runs without recording and out and he gets a Hold. He didn’t hold anything. Perhaps there are limits on how poorly a reliever can perform and still get a Hold. If there are I am not aware of them.

    I also think there should be some changes to who is credited with the win in a blown save situation. Gibaut blew the save in the ninth inning against Houston, then gets credited for the win after being replaced for the 10th inning. I don’t think a pitcher should get both a blown save and a win in the same game.

    I also think that in the modern era of SP having such short outings, perhaps rethinking how many innings an SP needs to pitch to be eligible for a win. Maybe it’s time to drop that number to four innings.

    Tradition is already out the window with DH, ghost runners, bigger bases, pitch clock, instant replay, and (soon) automated ball strike calls, so lets modernize some of the pitching stats to better align with categorize performances in the modern game.

    Kudos to Joey Votto for a great performance in a very small sample size.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      They have “inherited runners”, also. Though I don’t know where to find that one.

      • Amarillo

        Baseball Reference tracks it. When you go to a Pitcher’s page there is a drop down tab that has reliever specific stats. There is IR (Inherited Runners), IS (Inherited Scored), and IS%. Just for fun, Alexis has 13 IR, 3 IS, and a 23% IS%.

    • 2020ball

      The only takeaway i get from this is that stats like pitcher wins and ERA arent that good of stats, which a lot of us have known for a long time.

  50. wolfcycle

    Somebody we do not talk about much and a majority of this 31-20 run ( not all ) is Matt McClain. He has been striking out more than I thought he would, but he is still getting on base and he is a grinder. Once he gets a little more comfortable at this level I think the 4 baggers will come.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      That is a weakness of his. But, with everything else he does with the bat, I will still be playing him.

      • wolfcycle

        my point was, we started playing better when he came up

    • Indy Red Man

      Matty is 9 for last 39. Probably needs a night off. Wait til a lefty and you don’t really lose anything w/Newman or Senzel.

      • wkuchad

        We were supposed to face another lefty tonight, but Rockies replaced him with a righty (due to illness or something).

      • Soto

        I was thinking the same thing last night. He really looked like he wasn’t seeing the ball very well last night. His bat looked slow. He got beat on a couple mediocre fastballs. He just needs a day or two to regroup. I love him. He has been the Reds best position player since being brought up.

    • Mario

      Fans get too hung up on strikeouts. Elly, CES, and McLain are prone to the K but that does not mean they cannot have productive MLB careers.

      I would prefer more emphasis on contact, choke up with 2 strikes, etc.

    • Chris

      My guess is that he sits on Wednesday so that he gets two days rest.

  51. old-school

    20,000 in attendance on a Monday.
    avg home attendance YTD on Monday is 10,000.

    Get the win today to claim another series.

    Could be a packed series this weekend with the #2 team in MLB coming to town.

    • TR

      Many of us said before the surge, play the young guys and attendance will improve. Now, along with pitching, we need CES.

      • Chris

        I think it was the old guy that probably drove the attendance up that high. I’m sure walk-ups per se, were just huge last night. Success is also helping, but Votto was the reason last night. Interesting what attendance will be tonight. They’ll probably delay putting the lineup out without Votto just so they can get more walk-ups before people notice Votto isn’t going to be playing.

  52. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Anyone. . .

    When was the last place we were this much above 500? When was the last time we were in first in the division?

  53. Indy Red Man

    You outhomer people and you usually win. Thats the last thing to go and Joey does have power. As great as the kids have been, Elly has 1 bomb and McLain has 3 (2 over the fence). Stephenson hit cleanup for a long while and has 5 ( 3 GABP specials). They need power to go with this speed.

    Connor Phillips? High velocity and the kids breaking stuff breaks off like crazy. If they can rush Ashcraft up then they can definitely rush this kid up. Even if its for 3-4 innings, we’re not a field goal behind like Weaver. Weaver vs Atlanta? Someone may get hurt in the stands

    • MBS

      “They need power to go with this speed” 100% agree. Votto, and hopefully CES soon might provide that needed power.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I will still take the hits. Let the homers come; don’t force them.

  54. Tom Reeves

    The Castellanis, Nick Krall, David Bell, and the entire front office and coaching staff (including minor league coaches) deserve praise for put this exciting of a team on the field. The fact they did it after financial loss years, gutting the roster, and “aligning payroll to resources” is amazing.

    Obviously, the players on the field do the work and win the games. The players deserve all the credit for that success. But putting the team together is also a tremendous accomplishment.

    • wkuchad

      I appreciate your thoughts and positivity, but I’m withholding my praise of ownership until we see how much they open their wallets next year.

      However, kudos to Krall and Bell. This has been the most fun I’ve had as a Reds fan in a while.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Yes, Kudos to Krall, Bell and the coaching staff. Ownership? We will see.

      • Chris

        Agree. No reason at all to compliment the owners. Krall and Bell, absolutely, especially Krall. GM of the year without a doubt.

      • redfanorbust

        Agreed wkuchad. Spending next year will be critical. I am sure management ment knows this as well I am sure and I feel confidant we will see some spending. How much and if it will be enough remains to be seen.

    • DHud

      Krall absolutely

      Indifferent to Bob

      Phil can go play in traffic

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      No one could have expected this. I doubt the FO expected this success this year.

      And, it only puts them in a position to potentially buy at trade deadline, if not during the off season.

      So, I want to see what goes on with that. What I’m thinking is, at best, we will simply get a “serviceable” starter by trade deadline. During the off season, I’m not expecting much, either. If anything, I’m expecting this FO to unload Diaz, if not make it another firesale.

      Hey, I could be wrong. I hope I’m wrong. But, this has been recent history.

      • Mario

        Firesale?? Maybe you need a refresher about what the payroll is next season. I just looked up Spotrac and the payroll is down to 37 million for next season. That’s dirt cheap once Votto & Moose are off the books. They could pick up Votto’s option and still have 30 million to spend on pitching and have about the same payroll as this season. They’ll have even more money if Newman and Senzel are traded.

    • BK

      Krall and Bell deserve credit. The Castellinis need to demonstrate the ability to stick with the plan for more than a few minutes and speak publicly without embarrassing themselves or the franchise.

    • Tom Reeves

      The team has a war chest set aside for next season.

  55. Jason

    I really don’t think Cincinnati fans deserve or appreciate what we’ve had in Votto for almost 2 decades. Both as a quality human being and as an amazing player. I hope Joey gets to finish his career in style.

  56. VaRedFan

    Concerning stats for Young, not a fan of Bell bringing him in with runners on base.

    High leverage: .344/.382/.719
    Medium leverage: .231/.268/.231
    Low leverage: .186/.286/.326

    My eyes weren’t lying for a change.

  57. Soto

    It seems to me that the only logical reason that the Reds have not brought up CES is that they having been trying to work a trade of some combination of Newman, Senzel, Myers, and are waiting until at least one of Newman or Senzel are gone so that he can pretty much play every day. I laughed out loud when I watched a piece on how the Pirates decided to pull up their number one prospect because his numbers forced their hand. He was hitting like 275 with decent power. CES has done absolutely everything that a player can do, at every level. Yes, he strikes out, but it’s 2023. Power hitters strike out. Who cares. He still hits for an elite average and ridiculous OPS. The man played almost everyday in Spring Training and hit over 500. Bring him up and keep the party rolling through October. Phillips should probably get a shot also. He can’t do any worse than what Weaver has been doing.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      That might be what’s taking so long, and why we haven’t heard anything. Because moving CES up, or anyone, is going to involve a corresponding move. It has to. It’s easy to say “move CES up”. At times, harder to do it.

      Though, the times we are having, it would be harder to do it. I mean, so many players playing well, who do you move? A lot of fans have their favorites. That’s something with fans we need to prepare for. A trade of any kind could mean one of our favorites are gone.

      Like me, I really like Tyler Mahle, was sorry to see him traded. But, he was. So, I had to get over it.

    • Jim Walker

      And at last check, CES had an OPS handedness split of >1.000 against both LH and RH pitching at AAA. Imagine a guy that isn’t going to cost an extra roster spot for a platoon partner! 😉

      • David

        Christian Encarnacion-Strand could have been up with the Reds at any time, if they wanted him up here. He could have logically been with the team since the end of Spring Training (although he did have a disc problem in his lower back).
        The talk of “things to work on” was just management double-speak for not wanting him up here to start his Arb clock. The Reds TOP MEN did not expect the team to be competitive this year.
        Surprise! First place on June 20th, 2023. Very, very few expected this, either. It must have been quite a fracas to get McLain and EDLC up here, at this point.
        CES is a, without at doubt, a very talented hitter. Probably the best hitter to be ready to emerge from the Reds minor leagues since Joey Votto, and that guy worked out pretty good for the Reds. The Twins’ GM must be slapping himself every night about that trade.
        There are some roster moves to be made to open up 40 man and 26 man roster spots, but anything can be done if there is a commitment to DO IT!

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        We all thought that about Aquino. He failed.

        Listen, I’m not one to “take their time”. But, I’m not one to just rush the players through, either.

        But, you are describing all of his numbers at AAA, a level he’s never been at before in his career. And, coming up here can be radically different. All the numbers from Elly, where have they been past his first 2 games? All I’ve seen has been speed. Not much monstrous hitting at all.

        Elly was K-ing 1 out of every 3 times before being called up. CES 1 every 4 times. Two things:

        1) What’s wrong with working on it
        2) As stated, the FO may very well be working a trade. Well, when you work a trade, there is another party involved, someone our club has no control over.

        But, putting CES in there with no AAA experience? Not likely.

      • 2020ball

        @Steve +1

        Im fine with CES being called up, but i dont see the pressing need everyone else is tearing their hair out over.

  58. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I just wish it wasn’t Hunter sent to the IL yesterday. Why? Because there is still a move to be made. Hunter is going to come back. So, who leaves then?

    Also, right now, all 5 starters we had at the beginning of the season are on the IL or gone. All 5! We only have 4 right now, Weaver, Lively, Williamson, and we had to read down to AA to get Abbott. What now? We are going to reach down to AA again to bring up Phillips, or whoever that K-king has been?

    Which, given that, I want to give a shout to the current starting pitching. Sure, I would rather have my big 3 back to 100% instead of any of them. But, who we currently have, they have, at minimum, kept us in games. None of them are aces (well, maybe Abbott. You think he needed more seasoning in the minors? Consider this seasoning under fire). But, I don’t remember any of them giving up 7, 8, 9 runs. And, isn’t that all you ask of your replacement pitchers, anyhow, just keep us in the games?

    Where, also, in turn, our offense has really come to support them. 5th in the NL in runs. Just last year, we were 12th in the NL, 13th in 2020. Averaging over 6 runs a game during this streak. Job Well Done.

    The only thing I believe we can ask for, starting pitching. If not the regulars back, just some starting pitching to get through the 6th, maybe even the 7th and 8th. Give our pen a break.

    • J

      Just as HG needed to go to the IL when Votto returned, so too shall someone need to go to the IL when HG is ready to pitch again. These things always have a way of working out. One thing we never have to worry about is a shortage of injuries.

    • 2020ball

      Abbott was in AAA when they called him up

  59. VaRedsFan

    Concerning stats for Young, not a fan of Bell bringing him in with runners on base.

    High leverage: .344/.382/.719
    Medium leverage: .231/.268/.231
    Low leverage: .186/.286/.326

    My eyes weren’t lying for a change.

    • Jim t

      Being the only LH bull pen arm doesn’t help. Hope we can add a lefty.

  60. Roger Garrett

    Bell just like all managers will play his entire roster.Krall gutted it as was mentioned and put in younger players and they have responded.Right now outside of the vet catchers and Joey the rest of the position players are under 30 which works for me in a big time way.All of us are seeing what young guys can do and its not just one of them or a couple it is several and based on stats we have several above average players.Even the ones that are not are getting to play and helping the team win ball games.Guys like Newman,Fairchild,Benson and others would not have got to play in past years do to the vets on this team but now they do and our helping win games.All of the vets no longer here are still playing.We saw Moose last night,Suarez and Casty still start in the big leagues and Solano and Farmer are getting a lot of playing time with the Twins.Didn’t we get Steer and CES from them?Maybe not but it was time just to move on from some vets who probably had hit their ceiling and replace them and Krall did it.This roster is now built to compete for the long haul and how long that is will depend on ownership and their willingness to spend some money.Time will tell but these kids are just something to watch.Speed and athleticism up and down the lineup and more in the minors.WOW what a time to be a Reds fan.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Careful. We’ve had our share of young guys wreck, also. Aquinas, for example.

  61. old-school

    The new Beat writer for the Enquirer wrote a lengthy piece on the Reds and the parallels with the team and characters on Ted Lasso- a show I have never watched. However, during the piece, Gordon Wittenmyer called out a fellow writer which Ive never seen before. Charlie Goldsmith writes for the Enquirer as well so its not him. He positively noted the show has a beat writer named Trent too. But, he said regarding the Reds culture “it was as clear as Bell’s unwillingness to single out deserving All-Star candidates when asked four days in a row about it by the same annoying writer or to identify a need at the trade deadline when pestered multiple times on the subject by the same writer.”

    Who’s the annoying writer? Mark Sheldon is the only other beat writer I am aware of from Did some of RLN contributors get a press pass?

    • wkuchad

      “Did some of RLN contributors get a press pass?”

      Ha ha ha ha!!!!

    • Jim Walker

      Uh, just maybe Wittenmyer was “calling out” himself to make the point Bell is not very forthcoming. 😉

      • old-school

        You nailed it Jim. I see it clearly now.

      • Jim Walker

        I had not read the article but it just seemed likely to me because I knew Wittenmyer has been around for a while on various beats in various cities covering different orgs.

        I recall some time ago in the past hearing some beat guys talking on radio; and, one of them said if a manager wants me to write what he says then at least sometimes he has to talk about what I feel my readers want to know about. It may have been McCoy or Fay who said this; but, everyone in the conversation quickly agreed.

  62. Mario

    All of the Father Time comments over the last several weeks got so old. Did Reds fans seriously forget that Doggie and Pete had productive seasons well into their 40’s? I hope a lot of crow is getting eaten last night and today. Don’t beat yourself up too bad, I have said Benson won’t be a starting caliber player. He sure is hot but has an odd batting stance and hasn’t hit for average or power in his lengthy minor league career.

    This applies to Votto and Benson. Scouts cannot judge a man’s heart and will to succeed. Both of these guys want it bad. Love to see the camaraderie in the dugout and guys showing the desire to play well and have fun.

    • Mario

      I was a proponent back to around 2019 to limit Votto’s at bats and give him more rest especially vs LHP. If Bell has him in the lineup everyday, Votto might hit less than .240. Less is more. I hope Bell is ready to manage Votto and not just be his buddy.

  63. Soto

    I just finished Ted Lasso. As a former high school varsity Basketball Coach, I absolutely loved it. I have always been a believer in synergy and team chemistry. This Reds team has it, and I for one sure enjoy watching it.

    • Jim Walker

      Synergy is the thing for me. The pieces need to fit and complement each other. Both in terms of ability and ego, everyone doesn’t need to be a big star. Solidly competent players who understand this often turn out to be the difference makers on star laden teams.

      • VaRedsFan

        Very much so Jim.
        And Ted Lasso was great!!

  64. old-school

    Kyle Freeland lefty scratched. Noah davis righty takes his place and Joey should start again.

    Ive never got one of Bell’s lineups correct so Im taking another guess. Only question will be who gets a day off. Im taking Stephenson.

    Friedl CF
    McLain SS
    India 2b
    EDLC 3b
    Fraley LF
    Votto DH
    Steer 1b
    Benson RF
    Maile C

    • Jim Walker

      Bell is a slave to platoon matching. You probably have the guys correct, who knows about the order.

      • wkuchad

        I agree Bell platooned more when he had a ‘lesser’ lineup. But when everyone’s healthy, the only current starters he platoons is Fraley (which he absolutely should) and sometimes Friedl. TDB how Votto is handled, but I actually hope he’s platooned too.

    • Jim t

      I would put Steer in between Frayley and Votto. Stephenson would bat 8th and catch while Benson bats ninth.

      • Jim Walker

        Jim t> Bell is also a slave to the 3 catcher system, so Stephenson can’t catch today 😉

      • old-school

        Babysteps. I looked it up. Stephenson caught Sunday and Monday and thats not allowed. Why I gave him the day off today to only have (1) Catcher in the lineup and that sets up Casali tomorrow and TS as the DH

      • VaRedsFan

        @Jim – He’s also a slave to not altering day off plans. So if Votto was supposed to be off, then he will probably stick with it. Although I hope not. Votto should start against most righties, until he doesn’t produce.

      • old-school

        I meant Benson in LF and Fraley in Rf and Casali not Maile…..

      • wolfcycle

        agree with steer inbetween Fraley and Votto ( although an argument could be made for votto to hit 5 and Fraley 7) and agree with Benson hitting 9th not due to production, just due to speed with the way he has been hitting and the top of order rolling around, but still would give Stephenson night off and have him for a pinch hitting need.

  65. Cincy6464

    some quick notes…
    > Williamson seems to be learning from Abbott – changing speeds & elevation (but still a bit careless)
    > the Reds seem to have adopted the Votto hitting approach up & down the system – better selection, patience, OBP matters (long gone are the Turner Ward 2-outcome approach & station-to-station baserunning)
    > Diaz is awesome – the rising fastball with the effective sinker make him unhittable when he locks in
    > Moose – whew, glad that’s over.
    > EDLC is fast – he gets the first base with effort & the extra base with ease, opposing outfielders aren’t even trying to throw to the base ahead

    • Jim Walker

      Yep especially on Moose, the sight of him chugging into 3rd (from 1st) on that ball deep into RF corner last night had me thanking the lucky stars the runner wasn’t someone like, EDLC or Benson, or McLain or Fairchild or ……… 😉

  66. lost11found

    Good to see Joey V back with the team. Was in the camp of welcoming him back when healthy and hoping for his sake that it was so.

    Enjoyed Brantleys comment last night about the old king looking good in the viking gear (or similar).

    Got me thinking of a new nickname “BeoVulf, King of the Heets!”