The Milwaukee Brewers took over first place in the National League Central division on Saturday night as the visiting club held the Cincinnati Reds to one hit in a shutout win. The only hit came on an infield single. Cincinnati hasn’t scored in each of their last three games.

Final R H E
Milwaukee Brewers (51-42) 3 7 0
Cincinnati Reds (50-43) 0 1 1
W: Peralta (6-7) L: Abbott (4-2) SV: Williams (22)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Brewers roughed up Andrew Abbott in his final start before the All-Star break. They didn’t wait very long to get get on the board again on Saturday night. Christian Yelich took the first pitch of the game and hit it into the seats in left field to put Milwaukee on top.

Abbott settled in after that, but Cincinnati’s offense couldn’t get anything going until Will Benson walked in the 3rd inning. He would then steal second base to put himself in scoring position, but the Reds offense couldn’t bring him around. In the top of the 4th inning it was another leadoff home run for the Brewers, this time by William Contreras and it made it 2-0. In the bottom of the inning Cincinnati picked up their first hit on an infield single by Jake Fraley, but he was stranded on the bases.

After six strong innings of 2-run, 3-hit baseball, Andrew Abbott exited the game. Buck Farmer took over for Cincinnati and the Brewers greeted him with a solo homer on the second pitch he threw to make it 3-0. Farmer wouldn’t survive the inning, as Alex Young entered the game with one on and two outs. Young would allow an infield single to put runners on the corners, but he would escape the jam with a fly out to right field to keep Milwaukee from scoring again in the inning.

Alex Young returned to begin the top of the 8th and struck out Christian Yelich to start the inning, but then was replaced by Daniel Duarte. His first pitch of the game was lined into left field for a single and then Willy Adames reached on an error off of the glove of Elly De La Cruz that put men on first and second. Duarte got out of things by inducing an inning-ending double play from Owen Miller to keep the Reds deficit at three runs.

Duarte came back out for the 9th and worked around a leadoff single to pitch a shutout frame. That gave Cincinnati one more shot at erasing a 3-0 Brewers lead with the 2-3-4 hitters due up in the bottom of the 9th. Devin Williams wasn’t having it, striking out the first two batters of the inning before getting a ground out to end the game and take first place from the Reds.

Key Moment of the Game

The first pitch of the game landed in the seats and the Brewers were leading the rest of the way.

Notes Worth Noting

It may feel like the Reds haven’t scored a run since the FDR presidency, but it hasn’t quite been that long. They haven’t scored in a week, though that only covers the last three games – all of which were losses to the Brewers. The Reds scored in the 9th inning last Saturday, so they have now gone 27 innings without a runner touching the plate.

Cincinnati has struck out 44 times in those three shutout losses to Milwaukee.

The Reds can be back in first place by the end of games tomorrow.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Milwaukee Brewers vs Cincinnati Reds

Sunday July 16th, 1:40pm ET

Adrian Houser (3-2, 3.68 ERA) vs Ben Lively (4-5, 3.83 ERA)

132 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Poor Abbott gets the loss. Can’t ask any more out of our pitching the last three games.

    • LT

      Absolutely. The only positive we can take out of the last 3 games.

      • Indy Red Man

        15 Ks every night and exit velocities of T-ballers. The #3 with refried beans produces a higher exit velocity. Can we petition MLB to make them play without gloves? Competitive balance maybe?

  2. LT

    Win tomorrow and everyone will be back on the bandwagon and casts their vote for Bell being manager of the year again. That’s the beauty of 162 twists roller coaster known as the baseball season. It tests our loyalty and faith more than any other sports.

    • Friedl Green Tomatoes

      They could win every game the rest of the way and I’d still be in favor of firing him. He does nothing but submit the lineup card and play matchups like a robot, irrespective of any other context; when he *does* do something that defies convention, it’s something that anyone with even a modicum of baseball knowledge can see is wrong (e.g. leaving India in the 3-hole for months, leaving Benson at the bottom of the order, placing Casali in the lineup). He doesn’t deserve all the blame for the losses, but he contributes nothing to the wins.

  3. Rut

    Baseball can be as bad as golf… Reds hitters generally not the problem.

    Last 3 games, yeah, THE problem.

    Just gotta hope we get a natural reversion to the offense we know the Reds have and put up a football score of runs tomorrow

  4. Jon

    Why does Bell refuse to give India a day off? Why is Benson batting ninth? Most importantly, why is CES still wasting away in Louisville while we carry three catchers, including two that can’t hit?

      • Friedl Green Tomatoes

        He batted 8th last night because maile was in the lineup. On a typical night he’s batting 9th, even though he’s been by far the most consistent and productive hitter on the team since his recall.

    • Melvin

      I think a very telling part of the game tonight was in the eighth, three runs down, everyone available on our bench, and Maile hit for himself. That tells me our bench is WEAK. If you bring up CES, and even if he’s in the lineup, the person he replaces in the starting lineup makes a better option for pinch hitting than Maile.

    • RedBB

      Reds are dumb? It’s either that or he’s gonna be traded. I’d take CEaSe for CES

    • Eddiek957

      He just had a week off for the all star break. I did feel he could have used a couple days off before the break

  5. Moon

    3 games. 27 innings. 7 hits. 5 singles. 2 doubles. 0 runs. That is not good.

    • MFG

      The Reds have faced very good pitching in the last 3 games. I am not worried about that. We will get back to winning starting today.

      • Votto4life

        The guy they faced yesterday has a ERA of nearly 5.00

      • Votto4life

        The guy they faced yesterday has a ERA of nearly 5.00

      • Friedl Green Tomatoes

        Burnes is still solid, but none of the guys we’ve faced have been Cy Young caliber. We just made them look that way. That was Freddy Peralta, not Pedro Martinez.

  6. VaRedsFan

    This is where Bell being liked by the players is backfiring. Bell needs to take initiative and sit India for a couple of games or more. Not that India is the only one slumping, but guys are getting too comfortable at not being held accountable for poor performances. Sometimes you have to hurt people’s feelings.

    It is one of Bell’s biggest faults as a manager. He’s always stuck with struggling guys. I could make a list, but we know all the names.

    It’s not giving up on India, but he and others need a wakeup call. And the Reds need a manager that can recognize these situations.

  7. Roger Garrett

    I would prefer Bell do something to help our team turn things around.He played 12 years or more and has managed what now 5 years so he must have some idea of what could help.He will say all the right things and say he believes in his team and so do I but at least change the batting order or give a guy or two a day off such as India but do something to attempt to halt this mess right now.No need to make major changes but lets try Senzel and Newman tomorrow

    • SteveAReno

      Would like to have seen a veteran good hitter like Newman who’s handled Brewers pitching before with these circumstances. These veteran pitchers are having their way with the rookies.

    • LDS

      Where’s Votto in this mix? He’s certainly experienced enough to not be intimidated/fooled. Maybe he really is done, at least against serious teams.

  8. Melvin

    Just read Doug’s MiLB game review. Very informative. Personally I signed up on Patreon not just for that but because if I’m going to use this site on a regular basis I figure $4.00 a month is more than worth it. It’s just fair to me.

  9. RedlegScott

    Is it Brewers’ pitching, the Brewers just somehow have our number, is our offense suddenly in a horrific slump, or is it all of the above? I’ll go primarily with the former – it’s Brewers pitching. I’ve watched our guys struggle, regardless of the line-up, for a season and a half with their starters, all of whom are capable on any given day of one-hit performances. (Yes, they seem especially capable against us.) To me, the Brewers starting pitching IS that good. It’s why they can afford to put a rather shaky offense on the field and be right back in first place in our division. Kudos to our starters of late, but they’re being outmatched.

    • RedlegScott

      P.S. And I may be mistaken, but I do not buy that this is somehow on Bell.

      • jessecuster44

        Bell has done the same thing all season. It’s led to a winning record.

        Really wish he’d try to shake things up instead of being so passive though.

    • Redsvol

      Just left the game. I think it’s a combination of the brewers are very good at scouting their opponent and they coach the players to the scouting report.

      You could tell the plan was to lay off anything low that Abbott threw. And their pitcher person just was masterful at getting ahead in the count and changing speeds. I’m not sure I saw a fastball as the first pitch all night.

      Pretty hard to complain about our pitching. They hit the ball hard but we kept them off the bases for most part. The offense has to get going. I’m sure they will but might not be against the brewers.

      • LT

        I like your insight on Brewers laying off Abbot low pitch. Great point.

  10. Jessecuster44

    Why did the Brewers reliever try to hit Votto his last time up? And why didn’t Bell go ballistic when Benson got a phantom strike 3 call?

    The team looks flat.

    • Tomn

      He sue did seem to be going after votto. Why? And why didnt bell go out and defend votto?

      That was really weird.

    • Jim Walker

      Larkin noted on the TV coverage the strike 3 pitch to Benson looked clearly in the strike box on their coverage and like a pretty decent pitch to hit. He really had no explanation for why Bell and Benson were borderline ballistic over that particular pitch.

      • MFG

        Agree Jim, I think the problem was the pitch missed where the catcher had his glove by so much it threw everyone off. It looked like a strike though.

  11. Jessecuster44

    I was at the game tonight for the first time since 2019.

    16 bucks for a beer? 9 bucks for a non souvenir soda? The lines took forever and the experience as a whole just wasn’t that great.

    Sat in the moon deck and had to put up with a constant expletive filled discussion from 4 bozos behind us the whole game.

    I went to a Braves game in April. Food and beer much cheaper and experience much more pleasant.

    Fairly disappointing that I couldn’t enjoy myself at the home ballpark of my favorite team.

    • Jon

      No vendors in the stands either…which also contributes to the long concession lines. Bob Castellini has gotten cheaper and cheaper…

      • CI3J

        What, really?? They got rid of the vendors in the stands?

        I haven’t been to a game in years, but they were still there last time I went.

      • Jon

        Haven’t had vendors in stands since Covid.

      • TR

        Many workers left jobs during the pandemic. And since then, many businesses are having a tough time getting employees including concessions at GABP.

      • Doc

        Credit card only, which is the way it was last month at Louisville Bats games, makes roving vendors more challenging. The woman who has the cooking stand in Slugger stadium sold her cookies late in the game by wandering the stands and did a good business.

      • GMan88

        The foot traffic in the aisles caused by people getting their own concessions throughout a game is very, very annoying.

      • Votto4life


        What a great point. I have been complaining to my wife all season about fans who get up during an inning because they can’t wait three minutes for their beer or whatever.

        I didn’t think about how the lack of vendors may contribute to that. Bottom line though, fans are not considerate of other fans anymore. It’s all about their needs and if it interfere with your view they just don’t care

    • JB

      $16 Beers? I wouldn’t pay that if I was dying of thirst.

      post edited: don’t avoid the swear filter.

  12. Steve Schoenbaechler

    What did you people expect with a young team? It’s going to be a roller coaster ride! That’s what a young team is. I noticed that last year from them. After a losing streak, they go on a winning streak. Losing streak, winning streak, losing streak, winning streak. Quite common. It happens.

    I have no problem with losing. I have problems with mistakes. For example, with Elly, people just look at his 450 foot HR or his cycle or his stealing 3 bases on 2 pitches. They look at nothing more. I look at that, also. I’ve seen Elly flailing away at pitches like a 3 year old in tee ball. It’s quite obvious he has a lot to learn about baseball. It’s quite obvious a young team has a lot to learn about baseball.

    How have teams gotten out of slumps before? Hardly ever will teams make a major move and call up a minor leaguer, thinking they will be the answer to the problems of a major league team. How about simply trying changing the batting order around? How about sitting some players for a couple of games? If they are pressing too hard, don’t press so hard; have more fun. If they are concentrating on having too much fun, don’t have so much fun; work a little harder. You break out of slumps by changing your routine, not calling up a minor leaguer.

    Yep, I have no problem with losing. I have a problem with mistakes. Well, I really don’t have a problem with mistakes, either, as long as people learn from them, so that they don’t make them again. And, at times, it can be hard for people to learn from those mistakes. They will never learn from those mistakes by calling up a minor leaguer to take time from other players who have done nothing to deserve having their time cut.

    But, oh yes, Chicken Little, the sky is falling. We must warn the world. Sit down. Tell me a mistake that was made. It’s not a mistake to lose; that’s a result. It’s not a mistake to make an out; that’s a result. Tell me a mistake that was made.

  13. Hanawi

    Bit of a dangerous stretch coming up for the Reds. The three top NL West teams and another series with the Brewers over the next two weeks. Need to tread water and keep some momentum while waiting for Greene and Lodolo.

    Seems like the perfect time to ditch Newman/Casali and bring up Fairchild and CES. Would make them much stronger hitting-wise and less platoon-prone.

    • Lojo

      Newman maybe, but Casali calls the best game of the three. The young pitchers benefit from him behind the plate.

    • Joe P.

      100% spot on, they need to bring up CES and Fairchild.

  14. Love the Reds

    Three things I have not seen anyone post and it surprises me:
    1) Technology and film allow good teams, especially those within the division, to do autopsies on our young hitters to find weak spots and good pitchers exploit them. The last month, this team has gone from under the radar to front and center and the young guys have played enough to produce enough footage to learn how to pitch them. Now we are seeing the results.

    2) The All-Star break allowed this young team to read all the accolades…very dangerous. It’s a big difference being the front runner versus the unknown. The honeymoon is over.

    3) There was no realistic way this group was going to maintain the offensive output they had maintained for the past month+. Regression to the mean was inevitable. And Craig Counsel is one of the best coaches in the game today.

  15. Jim Walker

    Times like these will reveal what kind of manager and leader of men David Bell is. I wish him and the Reds nothing but the best.

    However, now is the time to step up and stem the bleeding and just not hope it clots on its own. Bell has to make it clear in uncertain terms that the performance in
    these shutouts is not acceptable and must improve.

    Hopefully, the staff is burning the midnight oil at GABP reviewing video and will have the players in early Sunday to go over the selected video including instructive corrective criticism. That would be a start.

    For his part, it might be time for Nick Krall to give Bell a hand by calling up Christain Encarnacion-Strand. CES had 2 more hits Saturday, both doubles, to drive in 3 runs. He also walked twice and did not strike out. His seasonal OPS is 1.042. He is virtually handedness neutral.

    Krall should make this move in time for Sunday’s game. He should instruct Bell that he wants CES in the lineup; and, that as manager, it is Bell’s job to figure out the best way to make that so.

    • CI3J

      It was mentioned on the TV broadcast that, apparently, the scouting report on the Reds is that the team as a whole (minus Will Benson) will chase low, breaking pitches out of the zone.

      Now that the Reds know this, what are they going to do with this information? It would seem such a glaring weakness is something that could be fixed with proper coaching. Bell and the coaches’ jobs are to put these players in the best position to succeed. Let’s see if they do it.

      • CI3J

        I want to add, the fact that Benson doesn’t chase those pitches is part of the reason why he walks so often, while the rest of the team gets themselves out.

        I wonder if Benson could explain the rest of the team what he sees coming out of the pitcher’s hand that tells him the pitch is likely to be a low ball? It should be the coaches’ jobs to help the players in this situation, but maybe hearing it from a fellow hitter could help.

        Either way, the Reds need to admit they have problem, and they need to get to work on fixing it, whatever it takes.

  16. Jon

    Just a thought regarding India…Is it possible that his struggles at the plate are more psychological than physical? I’m not a psychologist, nor a baseball player, but having the constant thought in your mind that you could end up getting traded to an unknown team at any time can’t help matters at the plate. India’s best friend/mentor during his rookie season was allowed to walk without the Reds making a serious offer. Then of course he saw everyone else get dumped last year and suffered a down year himself as he battled injuries.
    Then this year he started healthy and hit well. Yet as the season has progressed and more infielders get called up, his numbers have steadily declined.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      It most definitely is psychological. He has stated he prefers to leadoff over the 3 hole, because he tries different things. But, he wants to play for Bell so much, he will do anything Bell asks.

      Bell spent over 2 months trying to make India a 3 hole hitter. It didn’t work. Now, Bell has a weakness.

  17. KLM

    I read this and Doug’s minor league site every day but haven’t commented in years. My comments come from reading other’s. This also isn’t intended towards Jim negatively but after reading the comments you got the short straw. The same complaints start Bring up CES. No problem except he is a 1B. After having Bell blamed for PLAYERS striking out as if the ball was invisible – His fault. Telling the players they need to score to win and he needs to get fired up. Maybe a crawling around or an actual base theft. The players have to execute. This team Has surprised all. Close to half the team is in first two seasons and that means growing pains at times. 3 shutouts in a row is a fluke. Maybe Mil is better but what are the odds of this. Finally I would be fine if we did zero trading. In any sport when losing a lot all agree to rebuild but most of the time people get impatient (combined with a decade of losing) and let it finish. Just think at the end of last season the number of fans (me too) that saw McClain as a utility guy,Steer just a guy,Abbott back end rotation.Sorry for the length of this and I know ramble but whenever there are problems: CES and Bell is a moron.I will close with Think about your thoughts on this team at the start of last season. It looked a couple of years away if ever.Now we have a lot of good players and a strong farm system. At 3-24 raise your hand if saw any good. Also they fit into baseball today. Also will state that I am in sw Va as well.Lee co. as I noticed someone from tri-cities. The sun will come up again and All of us eventually score again. As stated by many continued great content by Doug and I have used voodoo doll on Bell so 6 runs tommorrow.Thanks for a place to vent.

  18. Erik the Red

    I think India could be the odd man out. Not sure he is the Reds future unless he picks it up in the next 2 months. Especially now that the shift is banned his defense creates some issues.

    • jon

      I hope he gets hot so they can trade him. And don’t give me the BS “he’s a leader “excuse. Move Elly to SS,Mclain to 2b and the team is better off at the plate and defensively.

  19. bug

    >>>>>According to ESPN Stats and Info, Cincinnati is the first MLB team in at least 130 years to record less than eight hits with zero runs across a three-game span.

    • TR

      It’s not surprising that a team built on youth and rookies would break this three consecutive game scoreless record. There’s a lot of regular baseball season left. Better days are ahead.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Exactly. It’s like people expected to get 72 wins, score 10 runs a game, etc., from this young team.

        No team works like that. A young team is a roller coaster ride. This team itselt had a 6 game losing streak in April followed by a 5 game winning streak.

        This team is in a slump, that’s all. They will come out of it. Just hope sooner than later.

        I’m not concerned with losing. I’m concerned with mistakes. It was an absolute mistake for Bell to take out his experiment with India for over 2 months, and it seems like Bell still hasn’t stopped it.

        I won’t put only Bell on the spot. It is India standing in the batters box, swinging the bat, not making contact. So, India takes a lot of blame on this, also. But, managers are suppose to put players in positions to succeed. How much success has India had in the past 2.5 months? When is Bell going to stop this experiment?

    • Ted Alfred

      Thats okay…just leavr CES down in AAA until wexare out of the rsce, thrn bribg him up. Good strategy….if you’re trying to simultaneously not win and to really irritate CES, a guy who absolutely serserves to be here. Keeping Casali on the roster and India in the lineup shows a sad nonchalance towards winnjng the division when you have a guy in your system who might ignite a turn around. We’ll never know if you don’t try…and if not now under these circumstances then when? CES has earned it, India has earned a reduced role. Casali is invisible.

  20. Mark A Verticchio

    I think Bell needs to shake things up today, benching India and Mclain for Senzel and Newman. It would help if Krall would wake up and bring up Strand. Keeping Caselli on the roster makes no sense.

    • bug

      Yes to everything you say. Some of these rookies need to understand it is not okay to simply strike out time after time after time. You earn a spot in the line-up by at least putting your bat on the ball. Sometimes fame comes too fast. Sometimes you need to sit down and think about it for a game or two. Jmo.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Not negative to you at all, but no kidding. Part of a manager’s job is to put players in positions to have the most success. Bell has been trying to make India a 3 hole hitter all season. For the last 2.5 months, India has royally failed at it. How long does Bell’s experiment need to continue?

  21. scotly50

    The Reds need to learn to hit off-speed low in the zone. The Brewers are wearing them out with these pitches.

    • VaRedsFan

      Most of them aren’t strikes. So what they need to learn is pitch recognition, and be able to take those. I also notice the 1st pitch of many at bats is a “get me over” curve for a strike. They need to start ambushing such pitches.

  22. JB

    I’ve never understood the theory of throwing a first pitch fastball right down the pipe and hitters taking it? I would be swinging out of my spikes at that pitch. It’s basically the only pitch that you know what’s coming. The Brewers are a well coached team and have great scouting. Their starting Eight is not great. They get the best out of them every game. The Brewers have shown the league how to beat the Reds hitters. Now its the Reds turn to adjust.

    • Jim Walker

      +1000. Every team will be analyzing the video and trying the same tactics until the Reds adjust,

    • bug

      Yes. The first pitch is usually the only pitch that’s a fastball right down the heart of the plate, and the Reds batters (especially McLain) always takes it and gets behind in the count. Then they’ll swing at balls way out of the zone after that,..over and over and over. You’d think someone (batting coach) would point that out.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Your last statement, making adjustments. That’s the key up here, making adjustments. Young players come up, may need to make adjustments to play up here. Then, the other teams learn how to play them. Do the young players make the adjustments again?

      That’s what scares me about Bell. For example, he’s been trying to make a 3 hole hitter all season with India. For the past 2.5 month, that experiment has royally failed. When will Bell make the adjustment?

    • AllTheHype

      Went thru gameday and there were only 5 FBs that were first pitch strikes all night, and Votto swung at one. NONE of them were grooved. They were all edge or close to edge of the zone.

      About 70-80% of first pitches were offspeed.

      So I don’t think your point was factual, at least last night.

      • AllTheHype

        Correction: the one Votto swung at in the 5th was the only first pitch FB that was “grooved” all night. So there was one.

    • TR

      JB, you make a good point about the first pitch. Pitchers usually want to get that pitch over the plate and it’s usually a fast ball to get a strike and then they can use the breaking stuff to get the other two strikes. A hitter doesn’t want to set a pattern to always swing at the first pitch, but often that is the best pitch he’ll get.

    • JB

      Let me correct myself guys. It should say “First pitch of the game is a fastball.” Sorry it was early and my brain was not working.

  23. Reddawg2012

    Definitely agree that Bell needs to shake up the lineup. At what point will it stop mattering that Jonathan India won Rookie of the Year two seasons ago? He has been legitimately bad. Just saw that he has a BA of .157 in the last 23 games, but his poor play goes back much further than that. At the very least he needs to move to the very bottom of the order.

    • VaRedsFan

      His poor hitting started when Bell took him out of the leadoff spot. He then turned into Eugenio Suarez. Who knows if he can even go back to his old approach again.

      • Reddawg2012

        If moving India out of the leadoff spot completely ruined him as a hitter, he was probably not built to last as a MLB player.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        For Dawg,

        Not at all. Mark McGuire would not have made a good leadoff hitter. Rod Carew would not have made a good cleanup hitter. Batters have their own characteristics as well as how they like to play. India has said he believes he tries too much in the 3 hole, that he prefers to leadoff, probably given his success at hitting leadoff.

        Bell has been trying to make India into a 3 hole for over 2 months now. When does Bell’s experiment stop? One thing managers are suppose to do is to put players in positions of success. Bell royally failed with India. Don’t get me wrong, India is the one in the batters box, swinging the bat, etc. But, that doesn’t preclude the manager’s responsibility to put players in positions to succeed.

      • VaRedsFan

        @RD…I didn’t say ruined, just that his approached changed, and he started swinging for power approach instead of get on base approach.

    • Rob

      India has had 4 days off. Rest or focus can’t possibly be the issue. But a change has to be made. Can’t continue to roll this out hoping for the turnaround. Guess I would go with Senzel at third.

  24. old-school

    Reds need to win the game today. The young players now have some data other teams scouts can review against them and now 3rd time thru the Brewers pitching rotations and Brewers seem to have made the adjustments. Credit to their scouts for identifying Reds areas to attack and credit to their pitchers for executing.

    The other issue may be Reds aren’t used to playing with expectation and pressure and 40000 in the seats and national and local media constantly present . Six weeks ago Reds could show up at the ballpark and just play. Good problems. See if they can adjust.

    As an aside, SP has been fabulous last 3 games with Lively, Ashcraft, and Abbott. The narrative a week ago was get more pitching. Well, if you dont score, you cant win. Buck Farmer? I dont know. Seems like he gives up a home run every outing the last month. A good bullpen rental might be an easy cheap add very soon.

    • Jim Walker

      @OS>> What has happened vs the Brewers underscores the problems with the Reds bench. The entire bench allocation of 4 position players is consumed by the 3 catcher and strict platoon schemes. Something has to give on one or both fronts.

      When only ~30% of pitchers are LH, a team simply cannot have 2 RH bench bats that are so extremely skewed to face LH pitching when the other two bench bats are also specialty players, i.e. catchers, one of whom is clearly at a career stage where he presents no offensive upside.

      Thus the Reds had Luke Maile with a 68 overall OPS+ and 37 OPS+ vs RH pitching leading off the 8th inning. Of course, this also begs the question of where was Stephenson? Was he being held back as a RH hitting power ace in the hole should the Reds get a man or 2 on base and a LH pitcher be brought on to face Fraley later in the inning? But ultimately the issue comes down to what is the purpose of having 3 catchers when the manager isn’t even able to use 2 of them in a 3-0 game?

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Well, the 3 C deal came from the beginning of the season. The FO went with it, planning on our best returning bat, Tyler, to play a lot of 1st base and DH, only be a C part-time. That warranted have 2 additional C’s they felt. That plan was going to happen only if Bell played the players as such.

        Well, after a month, Bell dropped that idea altogether.

      • Jim Walker

        Steer outcompeted Stephenson for the DH spot once Votto came back to cover 1B and EDLC came up and covered 3B. As things are now, Stephenson has to catch or sit. That’s what we’ve seen in the last 2-3 weeks.

  25. William

    The young Reds are not hitting the off speed pitching very well. This is the scouting report across the major leagues. We can see it with our eyes as well. They will adjust to this, hopefully sooner rather than later. Too bad we do not have Trout. He kills this type of pitching. You are almost better off throwing him a fastball. No reason to panic. However, it is important to get some more pitching in. Otherwise, the Brewers are going to win the division.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      We haven’t hit off-speed pitching for years. That’s how the Cards were able to own us for years.

  26. Mark Moore

    This is a team in a deep, purple, hazy funk. Went into the break that way. Came out that way. Bernies are good and well coached. I’m still decidedly old school on certain fronts and put the funk on the players but getting out of the funk has to start with HTDBell shaking things up. Seems like this is the time when the team would have had a “closed door meeting” and somebody (like Votto) would have raked guys over the coals.

    But that’s not what we’re seeing, or at least not what I’m seeing. I realize we’re somewhat “ahead of schedule” and have a young team. But I still say we’re better than what we’re seeing. Much better. This is on its way to being a case study about “how not to play in October”.

    Back at it this afternoon. Somebody make sure Jobu is in the house waking up the bats. I still think he got lost in DC.

  27. Mike Caldwell

    Watched Miley’s start against the Reds before the All Star game on TV in Wisconsin. A graphic showing the locations of the ball for his 13 strikeouts, only 6 were on pitches in the strike zone. All the others except one were low. The Reds were chasing the low breaking ball that night.

  28. Indy Red Man

    Steer is also 0-22 or something. Freidl and McLain, Elly. It’s everyone. Elly steals every base and we win and I wonder if they celebrated too much? We beat Atlanta 11-10 and I thought they were too high and the winning streak ended, but they still battled. Broken record, but I’d try CES and Fairchild. Senzel too. Freidl and McLain are little guys and they can wear down. Maybe 1 sub a game + CES

    • Jim Walker

      Bell did not make a single position/offensive substitution in the Friday/ Saturday games per the box scores I have seen. Stu didn’t play Saturday at AAA after a huge night Friday.

      Are Farchild, Newman, and Senzel being held out because of serious trade talks involving them? Stu was HBP Friday but per the box completed the game; so, that would not seem to be why he was held out Saturday.

  29. William

    If De La Cruz just hits the off speed stuff slowly on the ground, he has a good chance to get a single with his speed. Then, he can steal second and third. He just needs to place the bat on the ball. The HR’s off this pitching will come. See the ball, hit the ball (Pete Rose saying).

    • TR

      I believe ‘see the ball, hit the ball’ was a hitting tip from Tony Perez.

  30. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Yep, lineups just out. Same as it ever was. Bell is now trying to make India into a 5 hole hitter. If the 3 hole didn’t work, why does Bell think the 5 hole will work?

    • Mark Moore

      The slim hope of even a minor shake-up faded rather quickly, eh? But we keep hearing that none of this is on HTDBell at all.

      • Jim Walker

        Bell is painted into a corner because his bench is based on the 3 catcher scheme and support of strong LH hitting platoon hitters with 2 RH-hitting guys strongly skewed to face LH pitchers.

        Thanks to this he doesn’t have a handedness neutral league average OPS OF (Fairchild) or a handedness neutral power bat who projects at ~.900 OPS from both sides of the plate (CES) to stir the kettle with

        We aren’t privy to the Reds inner strategic planning circle; so, we don’t know to what degree Bell helped paint himself into this situation and to what degree he is just stuck in it.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        A 3 C platoon system that Bell did away with. A 3 C platoon system that did make sense at the beginning of the season. Now, I’ve been told on here that they are sure Bell and the FO stay in constant communication on things. Well, if they do, why do you think we still have a 3 C system? Bottom line, if the front office was to hear from Bell that he didn’t need it, the front office would get rid of it.

        What they need to do is go over Bell’s head, because Bell doesn’t know what to do anyhow, and get rid of it themselves.

        And, with our bullpen already straining, whose fault was it to again put a reliever out there just for 3-5 pitches, just to get the last out, only to put out a new reliever the next inning?

        A big part of a manager’s job is to put players in positions for success.
        Where has India succeeded the most? At leadoff, including this season. Bell spent 2 months making Bell into a 3 hole hitter, something that India has said he doesn’t prefer to do over leading off. Bell’s little experiment failed royally. For 2 months!!! How long does it take for a manager much less someone who is suppose to know something about baseball to consider, “It’s not working”?

        Nope, Bell will not be the manager of this team the next time the Reds win any kind of pennant. Or, if he is, it will be because the FO will give him a lineup that will make it impossible for him to screw it up, a lineup that would make the BRM of the 70’s look like a minor league team. We were scraping the bottom of the barrel when we brought him in because no manager worth their competence wanted to have anything to do with the Reds. Now that the reds have a better team, better personnel, I’m confident we can get some better candidates for manager.

  31. GMan88

    Per ESPN, no other team in the last 130 years of MLB has gotten 8 or fewer hits and 0 runs in a three-game span. Wow.

    • Nelson coble

      30 strikeouts in 2 games as well. Wow.

  32. Steve Schoenbaechler

    What really leaves me in a quandry is. . .so many people on here ready to blame the players (so many K’s) and the FO (we need CES), no one is saying anything about Bell!

    Part of a manager’s responsibility is to put players in positions of success. India’s success, and any team success, came from India leading off. Bell has tried to make India into a 3 hole hitter for 2 months. And, India royally failed at it. India has even said how he prefers to leadoff over 3 hole hitting. But, Bell kept rolling India out in the 3 hole. No success ever.

    So, after 2 months, Bell does make a change, puts India in the 5 hole. Wow, some big change. Still asking India to do what he isn’t built mentally for.

    And, people just now are saying that maybe a change in the batting order is necessary. You think?!

    Someone said that our hitters have problems against breaking balls. I’ve seen that for the last several years! Well, when do our coaches and manager ever develop plans for that, to help our players with that?

    Nope, no minor is going to help this. Why would one think so? Elly and McLain were hitting just as good as CES was at AAA. They are declining.

    And, even at that, I could still possibly see CES having an effect. But, to say that Bell is doing just fine is simply wrong.

  33. Ted Alfred

    “Exactly. It’s like people expected to get 72 wins, score 10 runs a game, etc., from this young team.”

    This is a ridiculously simplistic statement that literally nobody agrees with. The constant diatribe against bringing CES up doesn’t hold water any longer, if it ever did. The next 2 weeks likely determine whether this team is in the race or not. If the Reds front office is not reacting to what their team is doing on the field and making changes based on the teams play to help then they’re not doing their job. The Reds have a guy in Triple A who’s literally been tearing the cover off the ball, hitting for a .320+ average with a lot of power, high OPS etc over the entire year and could really help this offense and this team. But just like any other move that any other front office makes, whether it’s bringing guys up, sending them down, or trading for guys there are no guarantees any move will improve the team. However, to be this adamantly ignorant to the possibility that he could help his offense is just nonsesical. How bad does India have to play, how little does Casali need to do…how much more does CES have to accomplish in AAA to make the move?

    • Jim Walker

      I guess CES stays in AAA until Bell says today is the day or today is the time or however exactly he said it was not the time yet back in March 😉

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      “This is a ridiculously simplistic statement that literally nobody agrees with. The constant diatribe against bringing CES up doesn’t hold water any longer,”

      Only to you, Sunshine, only to you.

      I mean, anyone who thinks bringing up a minor leaguer is going to cure this team right now is simply out of their mind.

      • steve d

        I for one am tired of CES being referred to as a ‘minor leaguer”. He is playing there through no fault of his own. A bench of Newman, Senzel, and 2 backup catchers is weak. Also your constant, long-winded diatribe expounding on your opinions is tiring. We all have our opinions and yours seems to be in the minority. Get a new horse to beat for a while.

      • Harry Stoner

        Yet another example of why your fatuous posts continue to provide nothing of value to the ongoing conversations.

        So McLain and EDLC’s recent slumps are proof that no “minor leaguer”
        deserves to be brought up?

        But Abbott is okay, right? And Benson?

        Your reliance on straw man arguments is a sign of limited ability to participate in a dialog without totally confusing yourself.

        So now CES has to “cure” the team in your sadly warped perspective.

        How about just “improve” the team?

        It’s clear that sensible arguments make no impact on your consistently insensible way of thinking and writing.

        You keep proving that, day after day.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Stoner, and your non-existent argument of bringing up another minor leaguer thinking it’s going to cure this club’s ills is illogical at best.

        But, oh, yes, let’s all get the chant straight now:

        The players make mistakes
        The FO makes mistakes
        But, Bell does no wrong. Yep, Bell has been sent down by God above, from His Right Hand, telling Bell, “Do your job.” So, Bell can do no wrong, can he?
        Oh, yes, he can I guess. He wiped his nose with a handkerchief and not a tissue. But, he would never do anything wrong with his players, with his team. Nope, it was perfectly correct to send India out there for 2 months trying to make him into a 3 hole hitter when he was doing fine as the leadoff hitter. Nope, Bell had nothing to do with that. That was all on Bell. Nope, managers aren’t suppose to put players in positions to succeed.

        Darn it, I keep forgetting that.

      • Melvin

        In the three game losing streak to our arch rival we’ve given up a total of five runs. Instead of being one game back we should be five games ahead. Considering we are in a pennant race I DO BELIEVE that’s legitimate cause for concern. What can I say? Call me ” Chicken Little “. 😀

  34. LarkinPhillips

    One or two things is true, maybe both. Either AAA pitching is very very weak this year or our AAA hitting coach deserves a promotion. Benson went down, came back very good. Barrero is down now and hitting suddenly. Several other people crushing at AAA including Matt Reynolds.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I could possibly see that.

    • Jim Walker

      And every one of them has hit well when he first came up. That puts the onus on the MLB staff to guide them through the continuing adjustment process necessary at MLB.

      Some might say they should have learned this at AAA, but when they hit whatever was thrown to them there, nothing else can be accomplished at that level. Also, notably CES has severely reduced his K rate and increased his BB rate this year at AAA which demonstrates growth does happen at AAA.

      To a degree of which I am not certain, I think the use of the Automatic Ball/Strike system (ABS) at AAA has helped hitters learn their personal strike zones. In particular, McLain and EDLC seemed to have that system dialed in. I believe some of the frustration we see them expressing now is a result of calls at MLB being different. And once they lose confidence that low pitch is going to be called a ball, they tend to expand their zone in that direction.

      • LarkinPhillips

        I was a little disappointed the MLB didn’t discuss adding in the ball/strike challenge system over the all-star break. I have watched quite a few games this year in the minors and really like the way the challenge system has been implemented. Missing a ball/strike call isn’t always a big deal, but sometimes it is critical to the outcome of an AB or and inning, and I like the players being able to challenge that.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        “And every one of them has hit well when he first came up.”

        Barrero hit well when first called up? Hoskins? Fairchild? Oh, for how long? Their first game? First games? If I recall correctly, we even sent Benson back down because of his lack of hitting, Jim.

        Nope, your premise is wrong here.

        And, what’s left to see, what we may be seeing now, is what’s it going to be like when the rest of the league learns how to pitch to the younger ones who have been hitting well. Will they be able to make the adjustments? Well, will they?

        Oh, but I know, sending up another minor leaguer will be the exact thing that will cause them to make the adjustments they need to make, right?

      • Optimist

        These are all small sample sizes, though Steer is close to showing what his MLB profile looks like. Haven’t looked at any of the secondary analytics, but Benson is showing the excellent K zone discipline he had through MiLB, and CES is moving that way in AAA.

        McLain and EDLC look to need fairly minor adjustments. Doubt any of them have Benson’s April funk.

  35. Ted Alfred

    Not only to me.

    Not 1 person on this forum expects us to score 10 runs a game and win a stupidly high percentage of them. However, you’re insistence that it is essentially 100% IMPOSSIBLE that CES could provide this offense any help (unless you have a crystal ball the rest of us don’t) to get things moving again in a positive direction seems a bit illogical considering the 130 year old record the Reds just set for offensive ineptness over the past 3 pretty important games. Since you’re so adamantly opposed to CES coming up let me ask you this… when do you think the right time would be? What events are you waiting to see to allow for this holiest of grails to happen? I anxiously await the answer from on high…since there is zero chance you could be wrong, zero chance he could have helped to avoid this 29 inning scoreless streak at a particularly critical spot in the schedule. We who think CES could have helped thirst for this knowledge.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Teddy, what these players, young players, need to learn is to make adjustments, pure and simple. That’s the name of the game up here, making adjustments. If you can’t do it, you don’t belong up here.

      Like I said with Aquino, he was hot for the first couple of weeks, I believe even the first month. People comparing him to Ruth. Was he able to make the adjustments?

      But, people’s thinking, and I will include you in on this, that bringing up a minor leaguer will cause these players to make the adjustment necessary is simply ridiculous. Anyone who thinks that is out of their mind.

      And, what if that doesn’t work? Bring up the next prospect simply because they are batting well? Hey, let’s bring up Hurtubise. He’s hitting better than CES is at AAA. Maybe he’s the answer. Fairchild is hitting better than Elly did at AAA. Maybe he’s the answer, but he wasn’t the answer when he was up here.

      Yeah, let’s don’t even try to change the batting order. Let’s don’t even try sitting some players for a while. Let’s just run through the entire minor league system until we bring up the next player who’s going to energize this club.

      Simply ridiculous.

      Not to leave out that FA’s will be less likely to want to sign with us because they will see, “Oh, I just get into a little slump, so they are simply going to replace me with a minor leaguer? I don’t want any part of that.”

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        What I will say, someone mentioned it, maybe promote the AAA hitting coach. I mean, not only did he coach Elly, McLain, and CES to great heights. But, he has several guys raking down there.

      • Ted Alfred

        Final point. The guy is a really good offensive player in AAA who could provide a spark to this offense… regardless of how well the young players are capable of making adjustments or not. He’s dominating the highest level of minor league ball which is currently all he can do. To summarily dismiss the possibility that he could?? provide a lift to the offense is ridiculous as it is unknown to this point. He could prove to be the best offensive player currently in the Reds organization including the big club, or he could flame out and end up a career minor leaguer. Neither you nor I, nor anybody else knows what he might or might not do if given the chance to play on this Reds team. What I do know is their offense is historically inept lately and there is very little time to figure it out before this season is lost. And with that I am done arguing with you about CES, you’re entrenched in your position and no amount of arguing or indisputable facts as to who he is offensively in AAA this season is going to change that. I am of the opinion that he might be able to help this Reds ballclub now but time could be running out…and at this point there is no way for you to factually disprove that theory. And if they do bring him up at some point and he is good enough offensively to help this team you’ll likely explain it away and attribute it to something else… so there’s really no point in discussing it any further.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        “The guy is a really good offensive player in AAA who could provide a spark to this offense… regardless of how well the young players are capable of making adjustments or not”

        That statement amounts up to pretty much lunacy, Teddy. So, let’s call up CES and, if the major league players on this team never make their adjustments, this minor leaguer will give them the spark to make those adjustment that they will never make?

        And, the next slump this team comes up on, with CES on here? What next minor leaguer? Then the next? And the next? Oh, for heaven’s sake, let’s don’t put any responsibility on the manager and coaches. They shouldn’t be doing anything like changing batting orders, sitting players, identifying batters’ weaknesses and having the batters work on said weaknesses. No, they shouldn’t be doing anything like that. Because the managers and coaches are all doing a fine job already. So, they have no skin in the game.

        Go out to lunch, Teddy. Your mind already has.

  36. Jon

    The only reason I can fathom at this point why CES is being left in Louisville is that Krall wants to use him as the primary trade chip to acquire a controllable starting pitcher by the deadline. Perhaps Krall fears that if CES gets called up and happens to struggle offensively or defensively at the Major League level (even in a small sample size) that it would hurt his trade value.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Now, that is a very realistic possibility. Why risk an injury or low stats moving up a level for tradebait?

    • Ted Alfred

      I would ask Steve Schoenbaechler as he clearly has inside knowledge we lowly pigeons don’t possess. Maybe he and Krall are buddies and discuss the Reds in depth over a couple of beers…who knows.

    • Optimist

      Doubtful about that – MLB GMs see beyond the small sample sizes, and CES has enough MiLB sample size for suitable evaluation.

      Seems much more likely that they’re waiting for the deadline moves to clear up the roster issues – though if no moves are made, and the 3C persists, that would be disappointing. Still think they need all the rookies to have 200-300 PAs by season end to set the team up for spring. Also want to see Marte and Phillips as the Sept. additions to get them ready for spring as well.

    • Indy Red Man

      All I know is if CES comes up and hammers the ball then I’m going to fillet old Stevie like a fish. I’ll probably get banned, but this big mouth has it coming. blah blah blah blah blah. The kid has outdone everything the kids with the Reds have done….against the exact same pitching. I don’t know the answers either but I don’t blab on endlessly like I do

  37. Indy Red Man

    Lorenzen 6.2 shutout on 2 hits at Seattle last night. There’s your 4th starter, pinch-runner, extra inning OFer/pinch-hitter. And he wouldn’t cost all that much. No, we like the challenge Weaver presents by giving up a nickel by the 4th every start

    • Ted Alfred

      The Weaver challenge…sounds like a game show. Another one of the Reds really inexplicable non-moves this year. ERA of 7, usually gone by the 4th, destroys the bullpen and there are clearly better options in AAA. Yet, here we are coming out of the break and he is still starting every 5th day…yuck.

  38. Melvin

    I’m I the only one not seeing a game thread for today’s game?

  39. JB

    Somebody didn’t get the message for the game thread. Maybe it’s a good thing and no game thread will break the streak.

  40. old-school

    HP ump has dinner reservations at Jeff Rubys at 5 pm.

    • JB

      Lol the way he is calling it OS, it might be 4.