Graham Ashcraft was dominant, but Alexis Diaz blew his first save opportunity of the year. Then both the Reds and Padres scored two runs in the 10th inning to keep the game going. Cincinnati needed a run to keep the game alive in the 11th after San Diego scored in their half, and they got three of them, capping things off with a Spencer Steer walk-off home run.

Final R H E
San Diego Padres (37-45)
5 9 2
Cincinnati Reds (44-38)
7 10 0
W: Duarte (1-0) L: Carlton (2-1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Graham Ashcraft worked around two singles in the first four innings as he kept the Padres off of the board. Cincinnati didn’t have a hit yet, though. That changed in the bottom of the 4th when Jonathan India singled with one out. He moved to third on a single from Elly De La Cruz, but De La Cruz was thrown out at second as he tried to turn it into a double. The Reds couldn’t take advantage of their scoring opportunity as Jake Fraley struck out to end the inning.

Ashcraft picked up where he left off in the 5th with a 1-2-3 inning. Cincinnati picked up two 1-out singles in their half of the frame but once again couldn’t come through the a hit to bring in a run and the game headed to the 6th scoreless. The game didn’t remain scoreless for long after that as Trent Grisham hit the first pitch of the inning into the bullpen in left center to put the Padres up 1-0. Ashcraft rebounded with a pop up and strikeouts of Juan Soto and Manny Machado to end the top of the inning.

Cincinnati got a little bit of help in the bottom of the 6th inning when Elly De La Cruz hit a fairly deep fly ball into left center, but it was catchable by either the left fielder or center fielder, but they nearly ran into each other and the ball clanked off of the glove of center fielder Trent Grisham and De La Cruz cruised into second base with two outs. That error meant an extended inning and Jake Fraley came through with a soft line drive into the outfield to bring in the tying run.

Graham Ashcraft returned to the mound for the top of the 7th inning and got two ground outs, but he walked Gary Sanchez and Matt Carpenter with two outs. That led to a mound visit from manager David Bell, who called on Lucas Sims to try and escape the jam. He’d do just that, striking out Rougned Odor, and it closed the book on Ashcraft’s outing at 6.2 innings of 3-hit, 1-run baseball that included seven strikeouts.

Spencer Steer began the bottom of the 7th inning with a walk, but he was picked off. That turned out to be a painful out because Tyler Stephenson homered a few pitches later – the 10th pitch of the at-bat – to give Cincinnati a 2-1 lead. After getting ahead 3-0, Will Benson got the green light and he got a 95 MPH fastball and he singled into center. That led to a pitching change as the lineup turned over for the Reds. After TJ Friedl struck out swinging, Nick Martinez executed the second pick off of the inning for the Padres, getting Will Benson at first to end the inning.

Lucas Sims returned for the top of the 8th inning and retired Trent Grisham and Fernando Tatis Jr. to begin the frame, but Juan Soto singled into right field with two outs to keep the inning alive for Manny Machado. Sims came out on top, getting a soft liner to left field to end the Padres half of the inning and hold onto a 2-1 lead.

After the Reds went in order in the bottom of the 8th inning it was time for Alexis Diaz to come in and try to record the final three outs of the game. Xander Bogaerts singled to start the inning. Jake Cronenworth laid down a bunt and turned it into a base hit, putting the tying run on second and the go-ahead run at first. Gary Sanchez followed up with a fly out to the warning track in left field with both runners tagging up and advancing. That set up Matt Carpenter for a sacrifice fly to right field that tied the game up and moved Cronenworth to third base. Diaz got a pop out to end the inning, but the damage was down as he blew his first save of the year and the game headed to the bottom of the 9th knotted up at 2-2.

Josh Hader came out of the bullpen for San Diego to try and get the game into extras. Kevin Newman came off of the bench to pinch hit for Jake Fraley, but he struck out to begin the inning. With Joey Votto due up, David Bell once again went to the bench and called on Nick Senzel to pinch hit against the lefty Hader. The result was the same as the previous one – a strikeout. Spencer Steer came through with a 2-out walk to bring Tyler Stephenson to the plate. He struck out to end the inning and the game headed to the 10th.

Ian Gibaut entered the game for Cincinnati to start the 10th with Rougned Odor started at second base for San Diego. A sacrifice bunt moved Odor over to third base, which made it easy for him to score when Fernando Tatis Jr. singled into left field and put the Padres up 3-2. Juan Soto then followed up with  a double that plated Tatis Jr. and gave the road team a 4-2 lead. Manny Machado popped out in foul territory to Jonathan India, who made a sliding catch and he got up and fired to third as Juan Soto tagged up and advanced, just beating the throw. Xander Bogaerts would ground out to end the inning.

Cincinnati began their half of the 10th inning with Tyler Stephenson as their free runner. They also pinch hit Luke Maile for Will Benson with Ray Kerr, a lefty reliever, entering the game. Maile grounded out to third to begin the inning, turning the lineup over. TJ Friedl followed up by popping out to second base. That left the game up to Matt McLain and he did his part. He took a 97 MPH fastball and lined a game-tying 2-run homer over the wall in center. Jonathan India flew out to the warning track in left to end the inning.

Alex Young was tasked with the 11th inning for Cincinnati. San Diego began their half of the frame with Xander Bogaerts at second as the free runner. Jake Cronenworth popped up to start the inning, but Gary Sanchez singled up the middle on a ball that went off of the glove of Jonathan India and into center, bringing Bogaerts in to score the go-ahead run. Nelson Cruz grounded out, but the runner moved up to second base. San Diego called on Ha-Seong Kim to pinch hit and the Reds countered by calling on Daniel Duarte from the bullpen. Kim worked a walk to extend the inning, but Trent Grisham lined out to end the inning.

Cincinnati began the inning with Jonathan India on second base and Elly De La Cruz at the plate. He came through with an RBI double to tie the game up. Kevin Newman laid down a sacrifice bunt and moved De La Cruz to third base. Nick Senzel then grounded to shortstop and Xander Bogaerts fired home. De La Cruz slid head first but Sanchez’s foot blocked the plate and De La Cruz never touched the plate before he was tagged out. The Reds challenged the play that Sanchez illegally blocked the plate. Apparently you can block the plate on “hard hit balls”, so the play was confirmed and De La Cruz was out. It felt like a huge blow to the Reds, but Spencer Steer was not ready to have it and he crushed a walk-off home run into the seats in left-center bleachers.

Key Moment of the Game

Spencer Steer’s 434-foot walk-off home run.

Notes Worth Noting

Matt McLain’s home run in the 10th inning kept his on-base streak alive, moving it to 21 games. He’s now hitting .313/.366/.545 on the year in 41 games.

Spencer Steer, perhaps overlooked at times, continued his fantastic rookie season. He’s hitting .283/.374/.497 on the season with 34 extra-base hits.

Graham Ashcraft had his longest outing of the season since his 7-inning start to begin the year. Friday night was his first quality start since May 2nd. His seven strikeouts matched a season high.

Alexis Diaz blew a save for the first time since August 23rd of 2022.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

San Diego Padres vs Cincinnati Reds

Saturday July 1st, 1:40pm ET

TBA vs Brandon Williamson (1-1, 5.82 ERA)

225 Responses

  1. LDS

    Got caught up with a neighbor and missed the extras. Sounds like a good one. Padres have lost 6 in row and are 11 out. A Reds sweep would about close the door on their season. That would be fun.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      Perhaps biggest deception of the season, along with Mets.

      • LDS

        Big spending doesn’t always buy victories, though Texas is doing well. If the Reds can sneak into the offseason, even if they lose in the first series, it would be a nice poke in the eye to the rich teams, like Cleveland last year. Realistically I think Castellini has to spend to pull that off, but stranger things have happened.

      • jmb

        And Cardinals. Just because you load the team with high-priced vets does not mean they’ll gel, play well together. Most likely all three of these teams will have “fire sales soon.”

    • Tom Reeves

      Remember when all the negative folks were complaining that if a small market team like San Diego could spent ridiculous money on players, so could the Reds? Pepperidge Farms remembers.

    • MK

      LDS, is the bigger question what does the neighbor look like?

  2. Melvin

    Where would this team be without these rookies? McLain, De La Cruz, and Steer all three with big hits late. There’s another one down in AAA that wants to help too. Just saying. 🙂 Big WIN!!

    • Mike Adams

      Difference between the last few years and this year? Young talent

    • jmb

      Yeah, Hopkins has found his swing again. Or were you referring to Reynolds? Or…?

    • Doc4uk

      Actually two in AAA . Marte is the Reds number 2 prospect but is sort of the forgotten guy. He is the Reds future at 3B. Marte, EDLC, McClain, and CES. Steer/Benson in LF/DH, Friedl in CF, and Fraley in RF. Along with Stephenson and Maille at Catcher , that becomes a very strong line up for next season. Fairchild might end up platooning with Fraley and Friedl . Senzel and Newman likely traded and Reynolds assumes the Newman role.

  3. Mike Adams

    Called it. I said in the game string the Padres didn’t know the no quit Reds were coming for them.

    • CI3J

      I’m reminded of when the Reds were playing the Braves, Snitker said he was “tired” of playing the Reds.

      The team is relentless. I like to call them “mentality monsters”.

      • CI3J

        Actually, here’s Snitker’s quote:

        “Two really cool games to be a part of. Hope we can get a win tomorrow and bid them farewell. I’m exhausted.”

        – Brian Snitker, on playing the Reds

      • Mike Adams

        Reply to both your comments, CI3J: I hope every team on the Reds’ schedule gets tired–sick and tired–of playing the Reds!

  4. Kevin H

    What a great win, this team never quits. They don’t seem to get rattled either, and just keep playing.

    Glad to See Ashcraft have a quality start and hopefully that helps him turn the corner.
    Bullpen gonna have games like this evening, but again Reds win.

    • jmb

      Yeah, this team absolutely needs Ashcroft to be steady and reliable.

  5. Doc

    Maybe one piece of the rotation is back.

    • MBS

      It would be great if we do. This GA, and AA are a solid 1,2.

  6. RedlegScott

    WTG, guys! Absolute clutch hitting, a great start from Ashcraft, an interesting call at home plate on Elly, Diaz proves he’s human after all. Another game that had it all, including the “W.”

    • Doc

      I don’t see the games, only can read the summaries, but it seems to me this is at least the third time that the Reds have challenged an out call at the plate claiming illegal blocking. They have been rebuffed each time.

      Does it appear to those seeing the games that the blocking the plate rule is being softened? Do the Reds need to start pulling a Pete Rose and generating some contact?

      • Melvin

        I was wandering on that play if De La Cruz was allowed to take the catcher’s legs right out from under him since the plate was blocked.

      • J

        We all learned today that the normal blocking rules don’t apply if the infield is drawn in and the ball is hit sharply at an infielder, per the Reds TV. If true, then this was certainly a case of that and there was no illegal blocking.

      • Harry Stoner

        How does anyone know this is in effect?

        What constitutes “hit sharply” vs “hit sort of sharply” vs “hit regularly”?

        Catcher likely to block the plate just to be sure.

        Bell is going to get tossed arguing “That wasn’t sharp!”

        Bizarre twist on the new rule.

      • Chris

        This whole catcher blocking rule is just ridiculous, and needs to be done away with. Rule should be like it used to be accept that a runner cannot go after the catcher if he is receiving the ball, and or go after the catcher at any time outside the baseline.

      • MK

        According to the rule that play was an exception to the rule. So, it was not blocking.

      • Frostgiant

        I mean if the catcher is allowed to block the plate then there is only one way to get to the plate and that is through the catcher. MLB is going to have figure out what they want there.

      • greenmtred

        My understanding of that is the same as J’s, though I don’t know all of the nuances of the rule.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        This is why, for me, as a player, I just start sliding for home as I always did. None of this hand to the side like Elly did. I’m sliding straight through. If I catch the C’s leg, so be it. If the C gets injured, don’t block the plate. But I’m not going to be denied tagging home plate.

      • jmb

        As EDLC is so thin, I don’t think he should think about trying to run over catchers–don’t want to see that guy on the IL for extended periods of time. Baker used to tell Reds players not to slide head-first, because guys injure their shoulders doing that, as Ludlow did, which ruined the Reds one season. Yet EDLC does it all the time, almost getting his hand stepped on yesterday. Would he have been safe had he slid feet first?

    • Mike

      What was going on with David Bell and all the pinch hitters today?

      • greenmtred

        ? Trying to win the game? It worked.

      • Tar Heel Red

        He’s been doing that for the entire time he has been manager. It didn’t take opposing teams long to figure out to replace a pitcher with the opposite handed pitcher and Bell will start sending up his pinch hitters. He does it nearly every single time.

      • Melvin

        Other managers catching on you say? 🙂

  7. Mark Moore

    Ashcraft was NAILS up until he started “throwing at the Bull”. Good move by HDTBell to yank him. If this is a return to form, I’ll take plenty more of it from him. If he stays on a regular 5-day rotation I’ll get to see him pitch on Tuesday (from way far away in LF).

    Tonight makes me glad I booked the trip to DC.

    • JB WV

      I’m thinking about going there as well. But wouldn’t Ashcraft pitch on Wednesday? I’d like to see him or Abbot when I go.

  8. Kevin Patrick

    Ho hum…another amazing Reds win. C’mon Reds, I want to see you come from 5 runs down. Oh wait…they already did that this past week. This team is spoiling me rotten. What is even happening?

    • jmb

      They’ve got that intangible thing, whatever it is. And they play as a team, not a bunch of stars, egos, prima-donnas.

  9. Melvin

    Funny how Ashcraft can go from needing to go to AAA or bullpen to being part of the Big Three again in just one game. 😀

    • Mario

      Nice to face SD. Let’s see him do again. A step in the right direction, encouraging to see some swings and misses. He hasn’t been fooling anyone in over a month.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        He just got back from the IL! Has only pitched once since June 8th? Just getting over his grandmother passing away and an injury. He probably didn’t want to leave the team and take time off to grieve nor to treat his injury. When, at times, those are the exact things that need to be done.

        The only thing I would say against Ashcraft would be that he should have probably taken some rehab starts in the minors and have taken the time off to grieve and rehab. But, I can definitely understand what he was going through.

  10. J

    I wonder if there’s some way we can use the legal system to get the Reds to stop carrying three catchers and start carrying a guy who could potentially be useful almost every day. A class-action lawsuit, maybe? Since they seem dead set on leaving CES in the minors as long as Votto is drawing breath, how about a compromise? Ramos and Reynolds have been crushing the ball for a while now; I’d settle for either of those guys.

    • Harry Stoner

      😉 Let’s not get carried away…. Reynolds?

      He comes up again, Bell will never let him go.

      • Melvin

        Clear a roster spot for Reynolds instead of CES? Let’s hope not. haha

      • J

        As of this moment, Reynolds has a higher OPS than CES. (That’s not a typo.). I would rather Bell cling to that than to a third catcher who hits like a relief pitcher.

      • Tampa Red

        Yet he was up earlier and was sent back down so…..

      • Harry Stoner

        So that’s a good reason to do it again, right?

    • Indy Red Man

      Coming around on Ramos. Switch-hitter that always gives a competitive at-bat. Didn’t show power w/the Reds earlier, but he has a little. Big arm in RF too. If I was the Orioles or someone like that, I’d look for some rotational/bench pieces like him to fill in some holes.

      • Jim Walker

        Just checking in here after spending some time watching the Bats. Right now, Reynolds’s Ramos, Fairchild and CES all have OPS> 1.000.

        Somebody must have told Fairchild to swing for the fences. He hit his 3rd HR tonight since being optioned and also has a 3b to go along with 2 or 3 singles in 5 games counting tonight.

      • jmb

        Cleveland needs outfielders. Twins may too. Yanks too.

    • LDS

      Votto storybook return is starting to look over. He’s down to .167 with an SO rate between 30-40%. Got to figure CES, and others can out perform those numbers. If he don’t start hitting, he needs to honor his statements and hang it up.

      • Chris

        Just like Ashcraft will prove some of you naysayers wrong, so will Votto.

      • LDS

        Ashcraft? Read the game thread. I was not a naysayer. As for Votto, coming back from major surgery at 39 is tall order, no matter how hard he works. He is never going to be the JV of old. That’s unrealistic. There are people here wanting to dump Stephenson, whose surgery was less serious and who is much younger. Time always wins. Always.

      • Oldtimer

        Votto is HOF-er and if healthy, deserves to be on the roster and in the lineup. He starts slowly in most seasons.

      • LDS

        Sorry @Chris, he may be a HoF’er down the road, but whether one is on the roster or in the lineup should be based on performance not veteran privilege. If he starts hitting that’s one thing. However, if he continues to not hit, it’s time for a change.

      • BK

        @LDS, I certainly hope you are wrong, but Votto and the Reds need to keep a short leash on his playing time. Nothing would tarnish his image more than the perception that he cost his team a playoff birth in his last season. I would love to see him stave off “father time” and the effects of major surgery, but the odds are not in his favor. Regardless of how it turns out, it is a major subplot on the team right now and well worth discussing.

      • Melvin

        Votto has played in 9 games.

        In all fairness India is hitting:

        Last 7 games – .148

        Last 15 games – .158

        Last 30 games – .197

        Point being hitters go through streaks like everyone here knows. Votto is just starting out his season and most every time starts slow. I see him doing some good things and going in the right direction. I don’t expect him to be in mid season form. I believe we will be glad we have him down the stretch. With the extra time off this year he may very well be stronger than usual at the end. In my view he is NOT keeping CES off the big league roster. That’s a whole other matter.

      • Greenfield Red

        Melvin, he wasn’t hitting at AAA either, so there is a longer track record than your statement.

      • Melvin

        Never hits in spring training either.

    • Ted Alfred

      Speaking of Votto I think he’s hitting .167 now. He has hit a couple line drives pretty hard down the first base line last couple games that were outs, but I would guess he’s pretty bummed out about how things have gone since the first four games when he was hitting the ball much better. I’m also starting to think they should dump the 3rd catcher Casali to bring up CES, so CES can be the main DH and maybe play some first base because unless Joey turns it around he can’t keep getting most of the starts at 1st/DH.

    • MK

      Votto hitting a robust .167 is a black hole in the middle of the young lineup and had the indignity of being pinch hit for late in the game. I remember when Mike Schmidt announced his retirement the week before the All-Star game even though he was elected to start the game. He was hitting .203 and said he wasn’t Mike Schmidt anymore. Joe, you aren’t Joey Votto anymore.

      • Mario

        I think he’s played 9 games. I see we have another negative Nancy. He smoked one down the line, Cronenworth made a very nice play on it. Nice defensive play by Joey on that foul ball by the netting.

      • Melvin

        Thanks Mario for helping me pull out some of the nails that guys want to pound in Votto’s coffin. 😉 Father time ALWAYS wins. Who’s to say when that time is? 🙂 Different for everyone.

      • BK

        I’m sure everyone is pulling for Votto. Having him produce on this team would be a wonderful story.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Legal system? Oh, please. . .

  11. Indy Red Man

    This team is crazy. So many wild back-n-forth games in such a short time frame. Biggest takeaway tonight of course is Ashcraft. He actually looked like he changed speeds tonight and was getting the breaking ball over when he was down in the count. Makes me think we can take this division. Law & Lively will be back shortly and they can probably cut Weaver loose.

    Down at Lville, Fairchild has homered again but Connor Phillips walked the park and didn’t make it out of the 2nd. Who knows where Stoudt will end up, but I’m thinking he’ll probably end up in the rotation til they get HG or Lodolo back.

    Finally if SD ever cuts bait and tries to start over then I’d be interested in Nick Martinez. He knows how to pitch and could be a swing man/long man type that could help out!

    • MBS

      I was thinking Snell, he’d be a nice addition to the rotation. Let’s get 2 more W’s and force their hand into becoming sellers.

      • Indy Red Man

        Hmm? 8 mil for half a season, but it could be worse and he is a FA next year. They’d want top 10 prospects though? They’ll be several bidders

      • jmb

        Snell and Hader? Yes, both are rentals, but you could get a compensation draft pick for each when they sign with big market clubs. As Snell is a Dodger-killer, he could prove very useful in the playoffs.

    • Red Lasso

      Not sure if this makes 30 or 31 “come from behind wins” but this team is amazing.
      Does anyone know what the team record is for “come from behind wins” in a season?

      Public Service Announcement: Do not take your blood pressure late in a Reds game this year!

    • Jim Walker

      At the rate our guy Stu is cooking, he is going to be back in MLB somewhere no later than the AS break. They have him batting lead off most nights and playing both corners and I believe a game in CF so far.

      I really think his best personal opportunity is elsewhere because the Reds simply are not by philosophy into a pure “4th OF” posture where the 4th guy gets probably as many PAs as a typical “full time” LH hitting platoon guy. And Fairchild needs that to thrive as we saw in the month before he was optioned.

      So hopefully, the Reds send him somewhere he gets that chance and get somebody useful to them now in return.

      • BK

        He’s a good trade chip. He could start on several teams. Hard to say “no” if he brought back some pitching.

        On the other hand, while Fairchild doesn’t have the big split against LHP that Senzel has, he’s a more well-rounded player (speed, defense, more balanced splits). Thus, long-term, I’d prefer Fairchild as our fourth OF, but for now, Senzel is a better platoon partner with Fraley. It speaks well of the Red’s depth that he’s down at AAA right now.

      • MK

        Disappointed he was DFAed for a guy who didn’t get in a game and now is back in the minors. Stupid kneejerk move.

    • Redsvol

      I really like Nick Martinez from the Padres too @Indy. A professional pitcher.

      the 2 promoted pitchers – Roa & Phillips were terrible in first AAA starts. Blame the different ball, the strike zone or whatever but Abbott did not have much trouble adjusting to AAA from AA. We will have to see if they are pitchers or just throwers.

      I remember reading a stat that Reds were worst in the league in 1 run games in mid-May. That all changed when McLain, then Abbott, EDLC and the 2nd gen Will Benson got called up. Young and fearless players, all of them.

  12. MBS

    Steer is kinda a steady Eddie, but if he could go on a bit of a run he could surpass Corbin Carroll in the ROY race. He’s nipping at his heals already.

    • Rick

      He’s got an unassuming demeanor but possesses a clutch gene too. I’d love to see him surpass Carroll.
      I’m glad that our scouting dept gathered good Intel for Krall to get him & all of the other acquired guys down in the farm system.

      • Tar Heel Red

        Now that Carroll is hurt, maybe Steer can gain some momentum. In reality, though, it is his award to lose. Voters rarely give small market teams (or players on them) their due. And they particularly snub players for the Reds for some reason. Isn’t it interesting thought that the Reds could very well have 3/4 rookies finish in the top ten in the Rookie of the Year voting.

    • MK

      Unfortunately, Steer might be like the college football Heisman candidate who has another candidate on his own team and they split the votes in their area which gives the award to neither of them.

    • jmb

      He absolutely is a “Steady Eddie.” That comes to mind all the time. In a way, reminds me of Garvey.

  13. JB

    For all the couch GMs that wanted Ashcraft to be sent down and for Phillips to be brought up, today is why you are a couch GM. Lorenzen update – can’t get it done against Colorado. 5 runs in 5 innings. Chapman traded. I’ll take the Suter kid over either of them. Reds need a good lefty.

    • Indy Red Man

      Lorenzen update….Coors Field. Are you telling me Weaver is better then him?

    • J

      What about the couch GMs who wanted Phillips (or almost anyone) to take Weaver’s place? Are we dumb for thinking weaver shouldn’t have made that start? And what about us couch GMs who said the Reds should have made a trade to get someone to replace Weaver, and were told it’s just crazy to think teams like KC would trade any useful pitchers this far ahead of the trade deadline because they know they can do so much better if they wait? Can we get off the couch and become real GMs now?

      • Melvin

        I wish you would have traded for Chapman, J, before the Rangers did. I really do.

      • J

        I got too focused on finding a starter. Took my eye off the ball.

      • MK

        Not sure the Reds had the lefty pitcher, major league ready the Royals got back to make the trade. Especially for a 3-month rental.

      • Brad

        I’m so glad the Reds didn’t trade for Chapman. The guy had no heart.

      • Redsvol

        It would be like trading Brandon Williamson and one of our better DSL players for 3 months of Chapman. @J – I think you made a wise move to not pull the trigger on that one.

      • Rob

        Chapman went for a young 6.00 ERA guy and a A player. His salary is like 2.5M. As these deals continue to go down, I remain unconvinced that Krall is in the mix. Here is an early data point of what it takes to acquire a pretty strong and cheap LH relief pitcher. Wha is the comp here? Stoudt or Guiterez and a A prospect? Please don’t tell me that isn’t a trade that wouldn’t have helped this team. It just proves to me that we can make a trade or two for pitching without compromising our future. Stoudt or Guiterez are probably future major leaguers but no way do I put them in the category of integral to our future. Now whether we need pitching for youth is a whole different question. I am just pointing out that you can get solid pitching without mortgaging the future or taking on significant salary.

      • jmb

        Phillips had a second start in a row which lasted under 2 innings. Are they managing his innings, or are they planning to use him in the Reds bull-pen later this season…and thereafter?

    • Chris

      Lorenzen is, or was under 4.00 era going into this game; he’s at Coors field. Would not take hardly anything to get him.

      • MK

        Not sure the Reds had the lefty pitcher, major league ready the Royals got back to make the trade. Especially for a 3-month rental.

    • CI3J

      I don’t remember any couch GMs calling for Phillips to replace Ashcraft.

      I do remember many calling for Phillips to replace Weaver, which is probably the right move.

    • Capnhook33

      Suter is hurt right now I think. I’d also gladly take him as another lefty.

  14. Grand Salami

    Worth mentioning this was one of the worst called games I’ve seen this season. 5 walks between the two teams in 11 innings. The ump called at least a dozen strikes that were thrown obviously outside the zone.

    • JayTheRed

      Beginning to wonder if maybe Umpires should take a vision test a few times a year.

      • Doc

        Umpires should be graded against the automated system and the bottom 10% should be sent down to AAA. Ditto for each level of baseball.

    • ChrisInVenice

      I don’t know if it’s because I’m paying more attention or if they’re somehow getting worse but I feel like the past month is the worst umpiring I’ve ever seen … especially balls & strikes.

      • Tar Heel Red

        Doc, umpires ARE graded by MLB (using Statcast, or whatever they call that electronic device attached to the top of each stadium). Unfortunately the results are kept private…probably due to agreement between the league and the umpire’s union. I don’t recall Jeff Nelson having such difficulties with the strike zone before, but that could just be my memory acting up. Let’s face it, if umpires like Angel Hernandez and CB Buckner can keep their jobs accountability is a pipe dream at best.

    • DHud

      Someone posted a link on here last week or so to a sight that gave stats for each game for the ump. Anyone got that for last night? I bet it’s ugggggly

  15. JayTheRed

    Chapman is off the table to coming back to the Reds. Royals just traded him to the Rangers for what looks to be almost nothing major.

    • CI3J

      Guess we’ll get him in the offseason, then.

  16. Indy Red Man

    One play easily lost in the shuffle. Senzel hits the grounder and Elly is blocked out at the plate. Sanchez has to go 10 ft behind the plate to tag him out, but Senzel doesn’t go to 2B to get into scoring position. He’s very hesitant to run lately. Someone else mentioned he’s the least instinctual player they’re ever seen. I agree, especially because my boy Stewie deserves his roster spot

    • Still a Red

      Agreed…he seems to go blank sometimes.

    • Old Big Ed

      I wondered that, too. Senzel didn’t run the last game, either. I think his last injury was a knee injury, although I am not completely sure. It may be that he is just playing it safe on a knee that is still a bit balky.

      Scored easy enough on that homer, though.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree but see my comment about Stu in reply to one of your previous comments. Reds are doing Stu a favor by not putting him back into tkhav strict platoon straight jacket. He will be back in MLB soon somewhere.

  17. Still a Red

    OK. Some have said here that when a team loses 1 run games or extra inning games it’s the managers fault. Does that mean when the team does win close games it’s good managing? Naaaahhh. THE REds win in spite of Bell. In other words, when the team is bad it’s up to the manager to win. If the team is good, all the manager can do is #$%^ it up.

    • Tampa Red

      Man, you’re gonna destroy Doug’s traffic with takes like that, “Bell sucks” IS Red Leg Nation, win or lose lol

    • CI3J

      Some have said here that when a team loses 1 run games or extra inning games it’s the managers fault.

      No one here has said that. That’s called a strawman argument.

    • J

      Just curious: can you find an example of someone saying “when a team loses 1 run games or extra inning games it’s the manager’s fault”? I kinda doubt you can. I think what a lot of people have said is that the Reds have lost a LOT of one run game during Bell’s tenure, and it’s probably not a coincidence that the manager seems to make a LOT of bad strategic decisions in those games.

      One thing I’ve seen a lot of people say on this website is that the Bell critics will criticize Bell “no matter what he does,” and he “gets blamed for everything that goes wrong.” Today is a great example of how false that is. Not one person blamed him for Diaz pitching the ninth and blowing the save. And when he decided to bring Sims back for a second inning, the general response from the Bell-critics was “good decision! Hooray! We approve! More of that, please!” And those comments were made before Sims got through a scoreless inning; people weren’t waiting to see if it went badly just to blame Bell for it. There were, in fact, many things that went very wrong today, and Bell got blamed for almost none of them.

      • CI3J


        I had typed up a response in the game thread saying “I’m no Bell supporter, but this loss is not Bell’s fault.”

        Then McClain happened, so I never got to post it.

        In fact, no one even mentioned Bell at all until Bell Fan Club came out of the woodwork in the post-game thread. I wonder why the Bell Fan Club members don’t post in the actual game threads?

      • J

        Well, to be fair, I did suggest *someone* ought to have a chat with the players and discuss finding a balance between being aggressive on the bases and playing smart fundamental baseball. And I did actually mean it as a criticism of Bell, truth be told. I made that comment after Elly got thrown out by 10 feet at second base, but *before* two guys were picked off later in the game. I stand by that statement, because I think it’s an ongoing problem with this team. But, as you point out, nobody argued about it in the game thread. Nobody said it’s great to take those risks and they’re so glad to see Reds players behaving that way, and they hope to see more of it in the future. Nobody said Bell has got them taking exactly the right risks in exactly the right situations. They don’t often come to his defense *during* the games. It’s usually after wins, and then they’re very proud to defend him.

      • Tampa Red

        Man, y’all’s echo chamber is something else, maybe google confirmation bias??

      • J

        Tampa, what does Google call it when people want to give Bell credit every time the team wins or has a good stretch of games, but refuse to blame him for losses or terrible seasons — choosing instead to blame ownership, the players, bad luck, etc. Does Google have a name for that?

      • MK

        Bell is probably Top Candidate for NL Manager of the Year on July 1.

      • RedlegScott

        How could Bell possibly get blamed for the blown save by Diaz in the 9th? That’s Diaz’s job, and he had a perfect record going into the inning. Regarding leaving in Sims, why not? He pitched to one batter in the previous inning and mowed him down. One batter, not three. What went “wrong” that Bell might have gotten blamed for?

      • CI3J



        The Bell Fan Club is strangely silent during the game threads.

        Then they show up with their flame-baiting, troll-ish comments only after the games.

        It’s very peculiar.

        I actually half suspect that if you were to check the IP address of the Bell Fan Club members, you’d find they are all coming from the same place. It’d make sense, because trolls tend to use multiple accounts to make their opinions seem more valid as they continue to stir the pot.

      • Kevin H

        1 game of not blaming Bell doesn’t make up for the other games of blaming Bell. No need to go back and give examples as I have seen you and others constantly blame Bell’s managing style. Or Blame bell for not pitching hitting in the 4th inning. Or blame bell for not taking out a pitcher . Etc etc

      • Alex

        There is no Bell Fan Club. There are a group of ppl who think the posters here are ridiculous in their criticism of a manger who’s been given very little to work with in his tenure. And even now, was down his “Big Three” starters, and is still down two, and the team is still playing this well. David Bell is NL Manager of the Year at this point and that is amazingly ironic given the attitude of this comment thread.

  18. Indy Red Man

    Braves with only 16 on 6 HRs so far. Playing them 6 times and covering +1.5 every game should tell you how good the Reds can be!

  19. old-school

    Reds 18-9 June after 15-14 May.
    Wow, what a month. Good to see
    Padres are loaded with talent.
    Hopefully the pitching can survive till the AS break, catch a breather and get some reinforcements.

    Fun year for sure.

    • Indy Red Man

      Did you notice Machado at 3B though when Elly got there in the 11th? Here he is having a terrible year while his team stinks and he’s got a huge smile and joking around while they’re on the edge of losing again. Never like MMs effort. That stuff rubs off too

      • Kurt Frost

        What a butthole. How dare him smile while playing baseball.

      • Chris

        Joe DiMaggio and his brother Dom used to ride to the game together when the Yankees and Red Sox played, without saying a word to one another until after the game. Nothing wrong with smiling while playing baseball, but cackling with a guy on the other team in a game like that and with the losing streak the Padres are on, certainly doesn’t have a good look. I noticed it as well.

      • jmb

        Players try to keep it light, playful, regardless whether they are or their team is doing well or not.

  20. Cincinnatus Rex

    Love that silky-smooth swing from Steer! A beauty to watch.

    • TR

      Steer has a Griffey, Jr. type swing from the right side.

  21. Andrew Brewer

    With two outs in the tenth, Reds (Matt Mcclain) homer to tie it.
    With two outs in the 11th, Reds (Spencer Steer) homer to win.
    Ashcraft was indeed dominant in this one, the score being tied at 2-2 after nine.
    That’s dbl cardiac for the win… The amazing Reds are just over the top.
    What can you say ? The Reds have still got it going on… You can never count them out…

  22. Optimist

    Oh my, just saw the replay of EDLC out at home. Not good MLB, not good.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      EDLC definitely did not touch the plate.

      • Optimist

        No he didn’t – that’s not the issue. I thought they learned a lesson with Buster’s broken leg – they’re asking for a repeat. Unless the ball crosses the basepath there’s no reason for that. Still amazed Rick Dempsey survived – thought they would have learned then.

    • Rick

      With that crazy rule about a drawn in infield sharpley hit ball rule – JR House needs to teach the runners to go in feet first with high cleats to the shingard. Reverse Norm Charlton tactic to score.

      • Indy Red Man

        I’m thinking if we have a guy that could punish a big catcher? Fraley would def try, but would get hurt

        I think Benson has the size/speed to do damage. He’d get my vote. Weaver has my ok to practice at home. Just slam your right shoulder into your apartment wall over and over

    • Melvin

      Wow. just saw that. They pulled it out. We’re in first all by ourselves. 🙂

      • Melvin

        That’s where I want to be at the all star break. In first all by ourselves. 🙂

  23. Moon

    WOW walkoff for Pirates in 9th to beat the Brewers. Reds back in first by themselves.

    • Red Lasso

      Pirates score 3 in bottom of the ninth for an 8-7 win. Go Pirates!

  24. Ghostrunner_onthird

    Pirates walkoff the Crew!

    • Indy Red Man

      Wow…..can’t believe that. Milw was up 4 in the 7th and Pitt can’t hit normally. Thats awesome

      • Rick

        That is awesome Indy! I’m loving this 1st place fun heading into July 1st! And this run, it’s just so exciting. Not comparing the 2 squads but it’s reminiscent of the 90 team in that things just starting fitting in place except for the 90 team’s superior pitching.
        I had to drop down some spots for a reply button re: the catcher blocking home.
        The optics of Weaver practicing hitting a door trim/wall is hilarious.
        I thought about Benson, Maile, barreling thru a C to tag home crossed my mind until I thought of thier shoulder potentially getting damaged.
        I took out a catcher in a Sr. Babe Ruth city league game back in 1973 & I wasn’t trying to injury him, but I went legally cleats high into his tibia area and with a little mustard in my slide and needless to say he didn’t get the tag down & was in some noticeable discomfort as he rolled away from from the plate. Me being the good sport I walked over to check on Peanut & he said I’ll be fine.
        When I coached the Sr. League 2 years later I taught feet first slides & pop up slides except for dive backs. I didn’t want hand, wrist & shoulder injuries for my 16-18 year old kids.

  25. Klugo

    Ok. I love this team. Hope this is the start of something for Ashcraft, but go ahead at get this team just a little SP help. Just a little.

    • Rick

      I agree. Like when we snared Gausman a few years ago.
      Even a 5 inning 3 run type.
      Diaz arm slot release is concerning to me. Hope that I’m wrong.

      • DHud

        I want a Latos type deal now

        Help this year and next 3 years. Will have to give up something to get something, but we do have a deep farm system AND young talent already producing in the bigs. That’s the perfect place to be in in order to swing a deal

  26. J

    Lost in all of today’s excitement was the fact that Alec Mills manages to survive another day on the roster by virtue of not pitching. (I wonder if he’s buying Steer’s dinner right now?) He’s brought some much-needed stability to that musical chair.

  27. Rednat

    If this were the 70’s the summary would read Bench homers in the 7th to take the lead. Morgan ties it in the 10th with a 2 run homer. Perez wins it the 11th with a walk off homer. The new BRM has arrived!

  28. CFD3000

    Quick thoughts:
    Ashcraft looked sooo much better. Hope he can sustain it.
    Terrible strike zone – maybe the worst all year.
    Key play of the game: 2 out, 2 strike, 2 run home run by Matt McLain in the bottom of the 10th to extend the game. Awesome!
    3 outs on the base paths = no bueno: EDLC out by a mile at second, and Steer and Benson picked off first by two different righties. SMH
    Votto on the struggle bus but looking a little more comfortable. Which comes first – breakout or benching?
    Diaz has looked mortal lately and was due for a blown save, but the Rally Reds picked him up. Great stuff.
    The youngsters, and especially the rookies, have turned this squad around. McLain, Steer, EDLC and Abbott would all be rookie of the year candidates in any normal year. Exciting stuff.
    The first place Reds go for a series win tomorrow. I like the sound of that!

    • redfanorbust

      Yep Votto looks lost lately. Not sure why after such a hot start back. Tomorrow? Wacha vs Williamson. Sounds ominous for the Reds.

  29. Tom Reeves

    With 4K TVs, it’s plain as day that the strike zone was a blob of inconsistency. The Reds and Padres occasionally benefited and were also punished from it. As a reds fan, I thought it benefited San Diego but I’m probably biased. In any case, the lack of consistency undermines the integrity of the game. I’d actually get a system where the Ump gets a buzzer on his right and left hand. One is for strike and one for ball. Now, the Ump can overrule it but each team can also have some challenges.

    I used to Fence in college and a long time ago, Fencing was judged by officials who watched the match. That was replaced by electronic scoring and the main reason for the change is that almost no one can see an actual touch in fencing anymore. It’s way too fast. I think it’s becoming the same for baseball.

    • Doc

      You make a good point, Tom.

      When I umpired Kory league ball in the late 60s near St Louis I couldn’t see them! I retired after one season, and they were just kids, too young to even have developed breaking stuff.

      Do the calculation sometime for the elapsed time it takes a baseball thrown at 95-100 mph to go from its release point to home plate, maybe 55-58 feet. It’s a fraction of a second.

      The Louisville Slugger Museum has/had a display of a ball being pitched at 90 mph and visitors could stand close enough to get a feel. I couldn’t see half of those thrown balls, and they were all thrown on the same path.

      • Capnhook33

        At 95 mph and average release point of 55 ft from home plate you have .394 seconds before the ball gets there. Elite athlete reaction time is somewhere around .18 seconds. Major league swings take between .15 seconds and .2 seconds. That means that maximum you are looking at .055 seconds to process of the pitch is a ball or strike. I’m using simplified math because you don’t use max speed on the fastball you’d use average speed over the distance and of course the total distance is shorter due to contact happening before the end of the plate. The difference winds up being negligible so calculating it this way is just easier.

        The processing speed of the brain is roughly .04-.05 seconds, meaning to process and hit a fastball 95 mph is almost the maximum speed you can say is feasible for a hitter to react to. Any mph over that means the hitter has to be elite visually or very good at guessing to hit the pitch.

    • Jim Walker

      At class AAA they beta testing an automated ball/ strike system this year. Half the games are called by the robot system (with no appeals or challenges). The other half are called by the human ump but there is a challenge system with the robot system having the final “say” on challenges.

      Each team starts with 3 challenges. They only forfeit a challenge when the robot system rules against them. The challenges can only be made by the pitcher, catcher, or batter.

  30. Reddawg2012

    I’m sure it’s already been said, but Ashcraft looking like himself again was so refreshing and is the most important part of this game IMO. FWIW, Spencer Steer can get picked off anytime he wants if he’s going to follow it up with a walk off homer.

    On another note, what to do about India? I was listening to the Jim Day podcast with him and Fraley, and India is the heartbeat of the team. He is their leader and it sounds like they all come to him for everything. He is clearly a great guy and teammate. With that in mind, I’m not sure trading him is smart, at least not mid season. But I also don’t think it makes sense to keep hitting him third. I’m sure Bell is trying to let him work through it, but I don’t think it’s best for the team and it seems like he could benefit from hitting lower in the order, taking some pressure off. His defense is a whole other story. I’m not sure what the answer is.

    • MK

      Analytic has changed things to the point that the 3-hole hitter of 10 years ago and back is now the 2-Hole hitter and an India type hitter(contact runner mover) is the guy for third.

      • Reddawg2012

        There are several hitters who are more productive than India right now that should be hitting ahead of him. Whether he’s a “contact runner mover” or not.

      • Ted Alfred

        That may be. I think India should be back at leadoff, Friedl 2nd, McClain 3rd…Steer 5th. India is not the same hitter at 3. Don’t understand Steer hitting 7th at all. I like Benson at 9.

      • TR

        EDLC should be in the top three of the batting order to maximize his game batting appearances.

  31. redfanorbust

    We won the game, great. Ashcraft’s start was HUGE for the Reds. Adjustments made, learning from previous bad outings is a very, very good sign. Go Reds!

    • TR

      For now, the Reds have a Big Two in Abbott and Ashcraft backed up by Williamson and Weaver with surprising support from a rejuvenated bullpen.

  32. J

    I’m going to comment on this pro-Bell/anti-Bell feud. It seems to me there’s a pattern that’s been going on for quite some time, and if Doug wants to see less fighting here, this pattern might need to be addressed.

    The pattern I see, again and again and again, starts with the fact that some of us criticize Bell quite a lot. There’s no denying that fact. But we don’t just call him names or insult his physical appearance or make fun of his family; we complain about various things he’s doing with this baseball team. Lineups, pitching changes, strategic decisions, etc. While it may be annoying to see the same complaints again and again and again, it seems to me that these are the sorts of things that ought to be considered fair game for a blog about this baseball team. (And the reason they get posted again and again is that Bell keeps doing them again and again. When he stops doing something, we usually stop complaining about it.)

    Some people debate these criticisms directly, which seems like the appropriate response if you like what Bell has done. If you like the fact that he uses Sims to throw 6 pitches and then yanks him out of the game, you should say so. If you like the fact that he’s not using an opener when Weaver pitches, say so. If you like his obsession with lefty/righty matchups, say so. There’s no reason why that debate has to devolve into name-calling and childish insults. It seems to me that this should be *exactly* the kind of thing that get discussed and debated here.

    Unfortunately, the pattern I see is that far too many people don’t engage in that sort of debate, and instead just attack Bell’s critics with a set of standard lines. (We “complain about Bell no matter what” or we “can’t even give it a rest when the team is winning” or we “can’t ever find anything else to talk about” or “ya’ll need to stop whining about everything,” or “here come the Bell haters to explain why everything is his fault…” and so on.) Most of these comments seem to pop up after victories, and, in my opinion, tend to cause the nastiest and longest fights.

    I don’t see it going in the other direction very often. I don’t see too many of the Bell supporters making pro-Bell statements during the games. I don’t see a lot of people posting, for example, “Bell was brilliant to get Sims out of this game with just 6 pitches” or “that was so smart of Bell not to let Senzel attempt to steal second in that situation” or “I’m so glad Bell is using Newman at first base today.” It seems like a lot of these folks really aren’t interested in supporting the actual strategic decisions Bell makes; they just want to complain about Bell’s critics without ever directly addressing any of their specific complaints.

    There are of course exceptions to this. There are people who do directly address the criticisms, people who point out things they like about Bell during games, etc. But those really do seem to be the exceptions from what I can tell.

    So, it seems to me that the way to reduce the fighting on this site (if that’s really a goal anyone has) is to make it clear that comments about the Reds’ manager’s decisions are *appropriate* for a blog about the Reds — even if they’re redundant, annoying, unfair, etc. What should NOT be tolerated are comments that serve no purpose other than to antagonize or belittle the people commenting here. We should be able to say whatever we want (within reason) about Bell, the Reds organization, players, etc., but not say whatever we want about other people who post here. That’s where the line should be drawn. Debates about baseball are good; debates about other participants’ motives, IQ, personality, etc. are bad. Telling people that you’re “sick of seeing the same comments over and over” shouldn’t be tolerated. Those kinds of comments start fights and aren’t about baseball.

    I admit I’ve been dragged into some of these personal fights lately, so I’m not claiming to be completely innocent here, but I don’t think “my side” goes out of the way to antagonize the “other side” very often. I think we bother them simply by criticizing Bell, and their typical response is to complain about us. I have, in fact, had various debates about Bell that did NOT devolve into silliness and hostility, and I’m always happy to do so. It is, in fact, possible to have debates about David Bell’s decisions that don’t involve insulting each other.

    • RedlegScott

      Thanks for the post, J. Here’s the way I see it: The anti-Bell gang doesn’t seem to know when enough is enough regarding the criticism. It gets old. Nor do they seem to ever give the guy credit. But mostly, and this is just coming from me, I find it incredible that guys who have never managed or coached a game in their lives can insist they know how to do it better than the manager of the Reds. To me, that’s pure arrogance, and no one likes arrogance, do they? So complain away, guys, but be prepared to reap what you have sewn. I’ll not make it personal, but this is where I’m coming from on this matter. Thanks for bringing it up, J. I think you’re right about doing that. And you’re also right about not becoming uncivilized in the forum. That’s never justifiable. Thanks again.

      • RedlegScott

        P.S. We, or perhaps only I, obviously think Bell is doing a good enough job that it isn’t necessary to highlight his successes. “My compliments to the chef” is all that need be said, not a treatise on every bite of the meal. Again, that’s my perspective.

      • ChrisInVenice

        Well said, Redleg Scott.

        Also, quite frankly this drama that J & CI3J are bringing to the board when it it should be at its most enjoyable is quite tiresome.

        I suggest a bit of looking at the mirror when talking of trolls.

    • CI3J

      Well said, J.

      I also got drawn into a debate with one of the Bell Fan Club trolls in another thread, where I took umbrage with them saying “If you’ve never managed a baseball team before, shut up about Bell!”.

      It’s like you said, this is a baseball discussion site, and Bell is the manager of the Cincinnati Reds. Discussing the manager’s moves, strategies, tactics, etc. is fair game is a discussion about the Reds. That means criticizing him when he makes moves that go against the common sense of baseball tactics.

      For example, when Bell batted Newman leadoff for a stretch of games against a RH pitchers, that is objectively a dumb move, and Bell should have rightly been criticized for it. Earlier in the season when he seemed to come up with a new lineup daily, that was also something worthy of criticism. Refusing to let Friedl hit against lefties until fairly recently, yep, Bell deserved criticism for that.

      I will say, Bell does seem to be learning and improving. He’s slow, but he does seem to learn. All the criticisms I mentioned above have since been rectified.

      Right now, the main complaint against Bell revolves around his pulling pitchers too quickly. I was impressed he let Ashcraft keep going until he actually showed he was losing his command. There have been times in some of Abbott’s starts, for example, where Abbott was cruising along at about 80 pitches and Bell pulled him for no reason. Bell also needs to learn that if you get a bullpen pitcher warmed up and into the game, they should be allowed to throw more than just a single-digit number of pitches, even if it means spanning two innings.

      I would still like to see Bell do a lineup refresh where the hitters are arranged based on their actual production, but that’s a fairly minor criticism. I would also like to see Bell allow Benson and Fraley more chances against LHP, just to see what they can do. I know the stats for both say they can’t hit lefties, but what if that’s no longer the case? Both players have taken huge steps forward in their development, so I think it’s worth giving them another look.

      Nothing I said above is a personal attack on Bell. It’s criticizing his moves, and saying what I’d like to see from him going forward. But for the Bell Fan Club, I have committed a cardinal sin of daring to question anything about the Great and Mighty David Bell. That’s not the way a baseball discussion site should be.

      I will say, in passing, it’s pretty hilarious seeing the Bell Fan Club members try to use debate terms like “strawman” and “gaslighting”, when they clearly don’t know what those terms mean. It reminds me a little of a high school student who joined a debate team for the first time and just learned those words, but doesn’t know enough about them to use them properly. It’s very curious that several of the Bell Fan Club Members (not naming names) in particular all seem to use these terms, when no one else on this site does. They also all seem to use a similar line of flamebaiting attacks.

      I commented above that I wonder if you were to check the IP address of some of the Bell Fan Club members, you might find several of the accounts all coming from the same place. In my own experience in webhosting, I’ve found that trolls tend to use multiple accounts to attempt to make their voices stronger.

      That’s all I have to say about that.

    • Rednat

      CAN WE ALL agree that Bell at least has improved from his first year as manager. I remeMber the first game I WENT to see the reds under his leadership and he had ss Jose Peraza standing on the right field line playing defense. He was almost embarrassed to call for a steal or bunt. This year he has been one of the most dynamic offensive play callers in the league

    • VaRedsFan

      100% on board with what J. and CIJ3 posted. It’s exactly how I feel too. I don’t agree with everything that Bell does, just like there are some things he does that I do agree with. It’s something that can and should at least be able to be discussed in a civil manner on this wonderful website.

      • Redsvol

        I think what is dragging this site down lately is the constant back and forth among a few. IMO, say your opinion, make your case and move on. If someone challenges you, don’t go back to make your case “better”. It is just like trying to have the last word.

        Personally, I don’t see how anyone has time to do this back and forth business about Bell. There are a lot of businesses that need workers. Seems like if we have so much time to spend on the back and forth business there might be more productive ways to spend your energy.

        Enjoy the season. No owner, player, manager or human is perfect!

    • MBS

      Reds talk should be fun, but we all have different views on how the team should be ran. I usually try to only debate ideas, but it’s easy to go too far. We’re all fans, or we wouldn’t be here. I don’t hold grudges, except for you, you know who you are! JK…

  33. Rednat

    I am excited about the second half of the season for sure. My thoughts are this;

    1. if Stephenson and India get back into the groove I think we run away with the division. I expect McClain, Steer and Friedl to cool off a little bit in the second half but India and Stephenson could definitely more than make up for it.

    2. De la Cruz and Benson are the wild cards of this team. Both have a ton of talent. I could imagine both of them hitting for the cycle a few times this year or both really falling off this second half.

    3. I was one of those pessimistic guys who thought the reds would be like the A’s and Royals and win 40 games this year. (glad I was wrong). I thought Senzel and Votto would be the sentimental stories of the year that would at least keep me a little interested in reds baseball this summer. At this point they just seem like afterthoughts though. They seem to be moving in slow motion compared to the rest of the team. I Would rather have Fairchild at this point than Senzel. I think Steer has to be your everyday first baseman at this point with Votto getting some spot starts at first and DH.

    • CI3J

      I am personally not optimistic about the 2nd half. I could see the bullpen begin to really fall apart. We’ve already seen Diaz has become shaky over his last several outings, and honestly he was long overdue to blow a save. If the bullpen begins to crumble, that puts a lot of pressure on the offense to out-slug the other team every night and, as good as this offense is, that’s not a recipe for success.

      They have 9 games left in the 1st half. I can see them finishing the 1st half 49-42. But in the second half, if the bullpen really falls apart, I could see them going about 30-41 to finish the season just a smidge under .500. On the over/under for 81 wins, I still take the under on this team.

      A lot hinges on Lodolo and Greene coming back and pitching like they are capable of. If they can, then the Reds might exceed my expectations.

      We’ll see.

      • GreatRedLegsFan

        Help is on its way, Lively, Santillan and Law are all coming back from IL by the ASG. Also expecting a trade or two after the ASG.

  34. old-school

    I think Krall and Bell work together far closer than many think. The plan has been to use the DH as a chemistry builder and rest center where each game a core infielder or Stephenson rotates thru DH and once a week each player rests another game. That allows India to stay at 2b, which is the plan in 2023 as the emotional leader of this team. It also allows McLain and EDLC to get regular reps at 2b/SS and SS/3b respectively. Steer is the key as he plays LF/1b/3b/ and gets reps at DH too. Steer may be the silent MVP for his versatility. The DH gives Votto and Stephenson reps as well while allowing 2 other players to backfill at C and 1b. Finally, the Handedness focus allows Senzel, Newman, and the third catcher to get more reps with some in-game substitutions to use the entire 26 man roster and keep everyone fresh as the roster is constructed at present.

    I do think the Reds will review this approach and roster construction at the AS break but not before. I dont see much happening pre-AS break except for more bullpen shuttle bus trips. Draft prep is increasingly consuming bandwidth in the FO over the next week as well.

    Would be great if the Reds could win this series , play well against the Nats and Brewers and hit the AS break in first place and send a message to the Cubs and Cards they need to sell. Us amateur GM’s will have lots of suggestions for team Krall over the AS break. Fun year indeed.

    • Jim Walker

      I agree about the collaboration between Krall and Bell. I also agree that Steer could be the MVP at least in the sense his positional versatility makes many of the varying lineup combinations possible.

      This said, I am not big on the mix and match stuff. Things have gone the Reds way twice this week with Newman and Senzel facing right handed pitchers with the game on the line. However, neither of them did anything that directly or that eventually helped lead to a run in an inning they batted. The Reds for the first time in a long, long while have the depth that they do not need to play this way.

      Hopefully, the Reds All Star break (or sooner) adjustments will include getting CES up and into the lineup to add one more piece to their growing group of players that are NOT handedness limited at the plate. We can debate how that might work some other time when we don’t have another glorious win to celebrate 😉

  35. GreatRedLegsFan

    As time goes by, the Mahle for Steer, CES + 1 trade with the Twins may become one of the most lopsided trades of history. Mahle pitched a great total of 42 innings for the Twins, won’t return this season and will be a free agent this winter. Meanwhile, Steer and CES have destroyed the ball so far.

    • Redgoggles

      And this is an example of why I’m not super pumped about trading for pitching ourselves. Unless we buy contracts not using prospects.

  36. VaRedsFan

    Notes from attending the game last night, and reading the entire game thread.

    1. The Swifties were everywhere on the streets before the stadium opened at 3:10. It was quite the spectacle. All the garages however were charging $50-$60 to park? Gouging at it’s best. Kudos for the Reds for moving the game up 2 hrs.

    2. I read about the air quality, but I could not see it or smell it the whole night.

    3. Front Row Club level just to the 1B side under the press box, seats are great. A full menu of eats, soft drinks (no alcohol – except for purchase), pregame and throughout the rest of the game.

    4. Ashcraft dealing again was a beautiful site.

    5. I didn’t have the greatest angle for balls and strikes, but from the game thread, there seemed to be a lot of misses.

    6. Elly goes for a double. He was barely at first, when Tatis got the ball. He could just stay put and steal the bag on the next pitch. Make it a teaching/learning moment.

    7. Two pickoffs in the same inning. UGHH. Both were leaning, and appeared to be stealing.

    8. Huge 10-pitch AB by Ty that resulted in a homer…just after pickoff #1. Butterfly effect after the pickoff, so who knows what would have happened next.

    9. Diaz spiking the throw on the bunt was trouble. How was that not an error? Moments later, streak over.

    10. 2 run 10th by the Padres, and all was lost, but with 2 outs Mclain sent the house into a frenzy. Clutch!!

    11. Another score in the Padre 11th…tough play for India, but could he at least knock that down?? Elly fixed that quickly with a wringing double. House on Fire. My first impression is that he never tagged the plate. I don’t think they were ever going to win that replay. Steer said….”I got this” !!! Lost my voice…such a great moment!!!

    12. Going back today!!! Tough act to follow. I will settle for a boring W.

    • Mark Moore

      +5,000 for that recap. What a night to be in the house!

  37. RedBB

    Ump last night was absolutely horrendous. How does he keep his job? Tenure? Union??

    • Soto

      The days of human umpires calling strikes without at least the possibility of a challenge are numbered. Like it or not, it’s just the way the world is trending. The technology exists where the robo ump can definitely do better than a human. Last night was not a good night for those who want humans to continue to call balls and strikes. No one playing in that game had any idea what the parameters of the strike zone were. That guy was all over the place… made it tough for the hitters and the pitchers.
      As someone that used to ump for spare change as a teenager and college kid, most people don’t realize how difficult of a job it is. The only real key to being a good ump is consistency throughout the game. Not easy

      • Mark Moore


        I did umpire and you are right. Consistency is key. And it was sorely lacking. Sadak turned me on to a whole new phrase … Bizzarro Zone!

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I believe union. And, I am normally a union guy. But, that guy was simply a bad example.

        (let’s don’t get this into a political fight)

      • Tyler Hawk

        The umpire union is stronger than the players union and is more akin to the MOB. Prime example is Angel Hernandez

      • Jim Walker

        Agree. I umped Little League for a number of years after being a catcher through high school.

        Surprisingly I became known as a hitters’ ump versus being a pitchers’ ump because of my zone. I would not give a strike on a pitch that flirted with the front corner and was several inches outside by the time it reached the mid part of the plate from front to back. I called them like this because I believed the kids did not have the skills to be intentionally hitting a tangent at the front corner. I needed to see most of the ball over at a front corner or a pitch run along the edge just touching the plate for several inches.

        Except for the dad of the biggest front corner flirter, the coaches seemed to like this because I was consistent. And even that dad would tell his son to just move the ball in an inch or two and he’d get the calls; but, of course, he struggled to do this because he really had no idea where the ball was going other than it was going to be middle plate to off the edge opposite his arm side. 😉

  38. Soto

    VaRed, great summary. Sounds like a night to remember. I can’t remember a team this exciting to watch since I was 8 or 9 and the BRM was finishing off a sweep of the Yanks or possibly the sweeping of the A’s when I was watching with my college buddies uptown at the C.I. in Athens. Hope this ride continues. Of all the great things that happened last night, Ashcraft’s dominance was probably the best.You add CES, and an effective Abbott, and healthy big 3 for a stretch run and who knows… There is definitely something special about this team. Years of coaching high school basketball taught me that, number one, talent is the most important factor in winning, but team synergy matters. When players start expecting to win and play for each other, great things can happen. I believe!

  39. Mark Moore

    Still basking in the glow of that walk-off win (while I process the breakfast scramble I made).

    I’ll be out and about during today’s game, so I won’t be able to watch or provide much commentary. Hope we can push the Friars early and often.

    Anyone who reads my posts should know where I stand on the majority of our core topics. I’m decidedly not in the HDTBell fan club (I have coached LL ball and played in HS). On the broader scale, I don’t think he’d manage for any of the other clubs. However, he’s doing a solid job with a young team and a patchwork pitching staff. We’ve seen it over and over again. We may grumble about how puzzling some choices are, but we really can’t argue with the record give the PhilBobMonster left us for dead before the season began.

    I could almost see that Steer bomb coming down right about where I’ll be sitting Monday or Tuesday up in DC 😀 … how would that be, friends, if I came back with a souvenir ball from our own young studs?

    Keep the pressure on and keep the dialogue flowing. Keep the trolls under the bridges and major kudos to Doug Gray and team for this forum and having the stones to cut off commentary when it’s getting out of hand.

    +150,000 all around. Y’all decide how to split it up 😛

    • Soto

      Plus 10,000. Great post MM! Let’s all enjoy the ride. Kudos to Doug and the boys. I really enjoy both the healthy and unhealthy banter on this site. My wife also likes the fact that since I discovered RLN, she doesn’t have to listen to all of my Reds critiquing and arm-chair managing rants. I can now just ramble to you people. Thanks for the outlet and stress-relief opportunities!

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      With Bell, people need to remember. . .

      Just before Bell came here, the Reds had 4 straight seasons finishing at the bottom of the division, preceeded by a 3rd and 4th place finish. The Reds were one club no competent manager wanted to be associated with. So, the Reds were scraping the bottom of the barrel and came up with someone who had never managed in the majors before, Bell.

      Now, given that, I don’t know what the Reds will do after this year (Bell has no extension yet). I would think the Reds could go better than Bell, though, now. But, these players do seem to enjoy playing for Bell. I’ve been more of a critic for Bell then most on here, probably. But I’ve always said that about Bell, the players seem to enjoy playing for him (which could say something for the players as much as for the manager).

      But, I would think now, with the kind of club that the FO has made now, that more competent managers would be interested in coming to the Reds.

      • Jim t

        Bell isn’t going anywhere and he shouldn’t. He has helped build this team and based on their improvement should be given the opportunity to continue.

      • GJF

        Not a Bell apologist, but don’t underestimate the “hunger” factor. Bell is understated and droll, but I sense a fire within akin to his players. Why soon replace that with a burned out legacy manager a la Maddon, Gerardi, Showalter just collecting a paycheck….MLB versions of Tuberville.

  40. Steve Schoenbaechler

    The purpose of prospects is to: 1) Replace major leaguers, and 2) tradebait.

    We have plenty of pieces to trade with, plenty of pieces to replace the major leaguers with. The only question is “Who”. Who is the other team going to want? Who are we willing to lose? Who are we going to claim is “untouchable”? So, when some say, “I don’t want to trade away our future”, I just don’t see how that’s a problem. Oh, you may not want a specific piece to be traded away, and calling that specific piece our future. But, when you look at all the pieces we have, I just don’t see our “future” being a problem.

    So, if we proclaim some to be untouchable, which I can understand, so then potentially denying a trade, then we end up getting no value from those pieces. Because, bottom line, they are going to be blocked by someone. “Keep them in the minors, just in case someone gets injured.” I was never a fan of that philosophy, “just in case”. For, that prospect could also have an injury as well. Where, then, we lose value for the piece. Nope; 1) Replacement or 2) Tradebait.

    So, again, I can understand denying a trade because we proclaim someone is untouchable. But then, we have to change the prospect’s position, or the major leaguer and/or other prospects who’s blocking him. For, without that, we essentially have no value in that prospect besides making us look good on some prospectus, “See, we have 5 prospects in the top 100 of MLB.” So what about #3 if he is being blocked by #1 and the major leaguer in front of them.

    Nope, trade the players or change their position. That’s how you get value. And, personally, I would rather see the prospects change positions, while they are still in the minors, rather than change positions once they are in the majors. It gives them a slower acclimation period, to get use to the new position easier.

    • Cincinnatus Rex

      Great points. It’s easily to salivate over prospects, but you have to remember a player like Nick Senzel. Once upon a time, the mere mention of his name conjured up visions of a World Series trophy; today, he’s an underwhelming-if-reliable player. Among prospects, I feel like CES is the only one you have to deem untouchable — nothing is certain, but a bright future is simply too probable.

      I don’t know how much in the minority I am, but (among players on the current roster) I would consider India untouchable. Maybe it’s overly sentimental to credit “intangibles,” but I just feel like that guy IS the spirit and energy that has turned this team around. Still, the front office will do what the front office will do — my armchair GM’ing be hanged!

    • Old Big Ed

      Ask the Twins how trading prospects for pitching can work out. They can’t hit, and Tyler Mahle is hurt. Meanwhile, they traded Spencer Steer and CES.

      I don’t see that any hitter is being blocked for now or probably even next year. CES is pretty much expected to replace Votto next season. Noelvi Marte is the only other top hitter who may be ready for MLB sometime next year, although it’s possible some other hitter may force the issue. If Marte develops as expected, he will take some time in 2024 from Newman and Senzel and maybe even India.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        One of our star prospects is going to be a bench player?

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Marte only has professional experience at SS and 3rd. So, it would look like to me he’s blocked by Elly and McLain. “Move Elly to CF”. Elly has never played OF before. “Move McLain to 2nd.” Then, what to do with India? “Move India to the OF.” India has never played OF.

        This is what I mean. Someone like Marte has value. If we are only going to make him a bench player, then we have committed little value to him.

        I would think other teams would consider Marte much more value than that. Maybe enough value to give us back a serviceable major league starter or pitching prospect. Imagine how it would be to have that right now. Or, if no teams are there, then change Marte’s position now, while he’s in the minor, so he can ease into the new position.

  41. Indy Red Man

    Surely Bell can’t keep Steer down at 7th? And don’t call me Shirley

    • Tomn

      I thought the line was, “Stop calling me Shirley”. But good one!

      Yes, Steer need to be elevated in the batting order.

    • Jim Walker

      Maybe the worm has turned and Votto is just keeping that #6 seat warm for CES??? 😉

  42. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I just checked the weather for Saturday’s game. It will probably start late. But, we will probably be able to get something in.

  43. Indy Red Man

    When exactly did Votto become a strict pull hitter? Where are the Pete Rose style liners over SS into left-center or the Gabp specials to left? He hit .300+ by shooting the ball from gap to gap with an occasional shot down the line. I guess thats Father Time too? I’m not going to harp on every out because power is good. We weren’t taking off with Ramos and his 0 hrs at cleanup, but Votto still can’t hit .170

    • Tomn

      I was wondering the same thing. Votto seems intent on pulling the ball trying to hit one into the stands. Where’s the line drives to L and LC? Singles, doubles…

    • Jim Walker

      I was feeling empathy/ sympathy for Votto Friday. Just looking at him in uniform, he is clearly in as good as or even better overall physical condition as he has been at any time in his career.

      And I don’t recall ever seeing him bust his butt so hard to beat out a possible GIDP as he did in one of the games in Baltimore this week.

      However, it looks increasingly like something is gone from his eye/ hand coordination and quickness of action with the bat.

      If there is a role for JV on this Reds team perhaps it would be similar to the one of Pujols with the Cardinals last year. But how does that work when the team is already supporting two LH hitting platoon outfielders?

      • Rick

        I’ve told my wife the same thing about the hand to eye coordination and slow reaction time. That part is father time. Hopefully he can regain enough of his timing to at least find a sweet spot in a quadrant. They are pitching him in the zone now and the walks are no longer a premium to him. Adrenaline rush carried him on his 1st game back.

      • Jim Walker

        Rick>> Pujols was never the BB guy Joey was and neither did he strike out at anything near Joey’s career rate even at his slow down and final bow phases.

        As Tony Perez used to say, “See the ball. Hit the ball”. Appears to have been Albert’s style all along. On the other hand, JV’s natural inclination and the trained response have been to also judge pitches relative to the strike zone. Ironically that could be working against him now that he doesn’t have that extra micro tad of a second to analyze and react.

    • Randy in Chatt

      The Reds could have easily beat that combo and the Royals stayed with an in-division trade so that tells me the Reds weren’t serious about Chapman, probably because big Bob didn’t want to deal with him again.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        It’s apparent the Royals wanted a left handed pitcher. We didn’t have one to spare.

  44. Tim

    Joey wasn’t ready to come up. He typically starts slow each spring , let alone the fact he hasn’t been able to swing a bat much throughout his recovery. Needs to be batting ninth until he starts to fire. We’ve had too many guys in recent years with high strikeout rates. We need to keep a lineup that doesn’t let up.

  45. Tomn

    The Reds are being resiliencer and resiliencer every game. They might be the resiliensest team of all time.

  46. Tar Heel Red

    As an interesting aside…has a team ever found a more bazaar way to record 3 outs than the Reds did last night? Two runners picked off first base and a fouled bunt with two strikes. I’m all for aggressive play but that inning was lacking in attention to detail, don’t you think?

    • west larry

      I think the two pick offs were the players trying to get a jump and try to steal second. I like the aggressive style, practically on a team with the team possesses. Not every aggressive move works, but I admire the effort. The bunt foul bunt for the third strike was by someone who is usually a good bunter. I have no problem taking that risk. I hope no one who has contact with the players critiques it. I don’t want that aggressiveness. taken away from the players. GO REDS!

  47. William

    I have gone back and forth on Bell. Currently, I am for keeping him. The Reds are winning. Do you fire a manager that is winning? Explain that one to me. I listen. More importantly, the Reds need to bring in a few pitchers: two good starters and a reluever. I wanted to see the Reds trade for Chapman, but the Texas Rangers already got him. Look at the trade they made. They gave players that they did not need to win a championship for a good reliever that was very needed. The Reds can get the pitchers they need. Hope thr owners allow it…

  48. Soto

    I think we all know who is getting sent down tomorrow. Mills looks like a BP pitcher.