Elly De La Cruz was robbed of a home run, hit a home run out of the stadium, but it wasn’t enough as the Cincinnati Reds fell to the Milwaukee Brewers on a walk-off hit in the 9th inning on Monday night to open the series between the top two teams in the National League Central.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (55-47) 2 6 1
Milwaukee Brewers (56-45) 3 7 0
W: Williams (5-2) L: Diaz (3-2)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Elly De La Cruz hit a ball 405 feet to lead off the game, but Joey Wiemer jumped at the wall and robbed him of a home run. Milwaukee didn’t miss their chance to score in their half of the 1st when Christian Yelich walked, stole second base, then scored on a single from William Contreras to take a 1-0 lead.

Graham Ashcraft ran into trouble again in the bottom of the 2nd inning when he allowed back-to-back singles to start the inning. But he would battle his way out of that jam with a fly out and back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.

Tyler Stephenson led off the 3rd inning with an infield single. After a strikeout, Elly De La Cruz returned to the plate and this time no one was catching the ball he hit. De La Cruz hit a 456-foot, 2-run home run into left-center that appeared to leave the lower level of the stadium and put Cincinnati up 2-1.

Neither team would score again until the 6th inning when Sal Frelick hit a solo home run off of Ashcraft to tie the game up at 2-2. The next batter would walk and it would be the end of the day for Ashcraft and the game was turned over to Buck Farmer. Andruw Monasterio stole second base, and he’d move up to third on a wild pitch, but Farmer picked up back-to-back strikeouts to strand the runner and keep the game tied.

Alex Young took over for Cincinnati in the 7th and walked Blake Perkins to lead off the inning, who would then steal second base. Young got both Joey Wiemer and Christian Yelich to fly out, but with William Contreras coming to the plate the Reds called on Fernando Cruz out of the bullpen. The move worked out as he flew out to Will Benson in left to end the inning and keep the game knotted up at 2-2.

Derek Law took over for Cincinnati in the 8th inning. After striking out Willy Adames to start the inning, he issued back-to-back walks to Sal Frelick and Andruw Monasterio. Then he uncorked a wild pitch to advance both runners up a base. The Reds called the infield in and that move paid off as Owen Miller grounded the ball to third and Spencer Steer fired the ball home to beat Frelick to the plate by 10 feet for an easy second out of the inning. Brice Turang then lined out to Jake Fraley to end the inning and Cincinnati escaped the inning and held onto the tie.

Devin Williams made quick and easy work of Cincinnati’s middle of the order in the top of the 9th, striking out Spencer Steer and Joey Votto to end the inning. The Reds turned their half of the 9th inning over to Alexis Diaz to try and get the game into extras. He walked the leadoff batter Blake Perkins on four pitches. Former Red Jesse Winker then came up as a pinch hitter and singled on the first pitch he saw to move Perkins up to second base. Winker was then pinch run for. Christian Yelich ended the game with an RBI single on the second pitch he saw from Diaz.

Key Moment of the Game

Christian Yelich’s single to end the game.

Notes Worth Noting

The Cincinnati Reds are now 2-9 against the Milwaukee Brewers this season.

Matt Wilkes points out that the Reds are 0-39 this season against Brewers relievers Joel Payamps and Devin Williams this season.

Graham Ashcraft had a season high eight strikeouts in the game.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Milwaukee Brewers

Tuesday July 25th, 8:10pm ET

Andrew Abbott (5-2, 2.10 ERA) vs Corbin Burnes (9-5, 3.49 ERA)

255 Responses

  1. bug

    Choke. Game after game after game after game after game after game. It’s not all on Bell. Mostly,..but not all. Reds can’t beat an average team. Luckily we’re not in the Eastern Division. Chokers. Ashcraft deserved better.

    • Rick

      Right isn’t it also incumbent on the Mgr to exhaust all avenues of resources sometimes unconventionally to stop the multiple years of bleeding to try something, anything, different to turn the tide. Draw your lineup from a hat? Bat your cleanup guy leadoff? Some of these gimmicks work and loosenup a team to break the stress & tension. I did the lottery draw one game & beat a lesser quality team than mine, but they took us to extra innings 3 straight times. My guys giggled & were loose and won on the 10 run rule.

      • greenmtred

        They just won five in a row. Deep breaths.

      • greenmtred

        Well, Fraley is in his fifth year but, yes, it’s a young lineup.

      • Rick

        Sometimes you have to be abit unconventional to beat a nemesis 2-9. We weren’t young the last several years. The Cards use to be that team.
        It’s best to get that monkey off your back while our young core are still young.
        The genesis of my point is to find ways to play loose so that your talent gets unleashed. We’ve need to get our runs in the front 7 innings. It has nothing to do with panic. That was Rea pitching last night not Burnes, strive to get your wins where you can.
        Be aggressive & play loose, and manage the same way and manufactor runs.
        I’m betting that Abbott bares down tonight and gives us a stellar outing.

    • Dewey Roberts

      The only veteran players in the starting lineup are Stephenson and Votto. And Votto is not even hitting above his weight. It is hard for a bunch of rookies or second year players to be world beaters. What we need is a Scott Rolen type player to come in and lead the young players.

    • mac624


      Someday fans will figure this out that youth breeds inconsistency and growing pains. Until then, prepare to be disappointed and frustrated at times until they become vets.

      The Reds may very well win their division, but they will have to do it by winning other games and other teams taking care of the Brewers. You can tell in these games that most of the Reds players are trying so hard to not lose, that they lose. It truly is a mental game more than people realize. The only way to learn how to win, is to go through these situations and make mistakes so you know how to do it differently the next time. In all honesty, the franchise will benefit from games/series/seasons like this as the kids learn how to execute when needed and win ball games. We’ve all seen that over the course of the 5-game winning streak, the ball bounced correctly to allow the win even though the execution wasn’t always present. Tonight, the mental lapses cost us, as did a couple very good plays from the Brewers. Hopefully we can win at least one game and then we are done with Milwaukee and can concentrate on other things.

    • Still a Red

      As frustrating as it is to keep coming up short, the above is a little harsh on these 1 run losses to the Brewers. I wouldn’t call it choking or the mgr not trying everything to win. Could it be the Brewers are just a little bit better, their pitchers just a little bit better keeping in check what other teams have a hard time doing. Also, Reds are not that bad (about the same as the Brewers) against teams over .500.

  2. Beaufort Red

    Interviewing Ashcraft after the game and some idiot reporter asked him what he thought of EDLC’s home run. Unbelievable.

    • bug

      You got that right. UNBELIEVABLE!!!! Embarrassing.

  3. Rut

    Baseball can be maddening, but the Reds are still just 1.5 games back.

    So long as they at least win 1 game thus series, that is how they will end their competition vs the Brewers. So far, they have done better vs the field than the Brew Crew, so even with the downer of the head to head I still think the Reds are looking pretty good.

  4. Indy Red Man

    All these Milw losses tells me they’re not ready for primetime. We can’t even beat up their bottom 2 starters or even get a man to 2nd on their pen. Playoffs would be a great experience, but it would be like that time Philly swept the Reds. Still like to see it. Maybe Benson to the 2 hole and Joey to a nice beach somewhere in retirement and their fate could change

  5. TJ

    Choked? Maybe you can explain. Reds didn’t hit the ball well. Stephenson couldn’t throw anyone out stealing because the pitchers weren’t holding anyone on. Stephenson also let some balls get by him. With all of that, the Brewers were 2-16 with runners in scoring position. I think Ashcraft could’ve gone further in the game, but the umpire was very inconsistent as the game went on and cost Ashcraft some extra pitches. So if the Reds gave up three in the first inning and lose 3-2, is that choking? Because they lost in the 9th it was choking? Or just choking in general? Sometimes a team just has your number.

    • bug

      It’s been choking from Day 1. That’s how you lose 9 out of 11 to an average team. It’s called “choking”. It’s not an unheard of phenomenon. It happens. It’s called “choking”.

      >>>Reds didn’t hit the ball well.

      That’s called choking.

      >>>Because they lost in the 9th it was choking? Or just choking in general?

      Just choking in general.

      >>>Sometimes a team just has your number.

      And sometimes, when you score five total runs in five 9 inning games, it’s because you choke. If all the other teams only score 5 total runs in 5 total games against them, then it might not be choking. It might be because that team (the Brew Crew) are just flat out that good. But when you are the only team that can not score in the clutch inning after inning after inning after inning, some would call that CHOKING!!! I’m one of those.

      • DevAJS

        I don’t really know what I would call it honestly, but even in their wins against the Reds you can tell that the Brewers are really not that good of a team. The Reds just seem to play down to the Brewers’ level every game against them for some reason. They don’t play down to the other bad teams, they beat who they are expected to beat and they seem to rise to the occasion against good teams (the Braves, Astros, Diamondbacks, etc), but for some reason, no matter how bad the Brewers play, the Reds always seem to play worse.

      • Rcsodak

        You kept saying it but it evidently doesn’t register. It’s called a team having your #. That, to me, spells coaching. And how is Mil an ‘avg team’? They’ve been at the top of the division all year long! Personally, I despise Mil, but give them the credit they deserve. They have the pitching that we don’t have, and yellich/Adams, DO have our number.

      • bug

        >>>You kept saying it but it evidently doesn’t register. It’s called a team having your #

        Oh really? Okay, if it makes you feel better. They have our number. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Now you tell me. What’s the difference? Choking, AND being 2 and 9,…..or being 2 and 9, and the other team just having your number?

      • bug


        >>>And how is Mil an ‘avg team’? They’ve been at the top of the division all year long!

        Just because they regularly destroy the Reds,..that does not make them anything special. If they had not played the Reds this year, they would only be 4 games over .500. That’s close to breaking even. Had they not played the Reds this year, 4 games above .500 in the Eastern Division would have put them 13 games behind the Braves. In the Western Division, had they not played the Reds this year they would be 6 games behind the Dodgers. I call that “average”. I call the Braves and Dodgers “above average’. Jmo. You are entitled to yours.

      • bug

        P.S. 2

        I’m happy and proud of the Reds to be where they are with such a young team and such a poor manager. But the Reds continue to “choke” against the Brewers. And thus far some might say they have “choked” against the Braves too. However, the Braves are a great team,..and “choking” might not be the best word for it when it comes losing to the Braves,..or it might be. It is a good word for it with the Brewers though imho. Again,..jmo.

      • bug

        P.S. 3

        But if it makes you feel better,..the Brewers just have our number.

      • TJ

        Bug, I respect your opinion. That’s why I was asking so many questions try to figure out what you meant by choking. In my opinion, losing by a bunch of runs, having many errors(physical and mental) and losing control of ones temper would be considered choking. They’ve played teams in first place close. The Reds team is very young and still learning. I hope the Reds win the next two games and leave town in first place and the Brewers can choke on their dust.

      • Still a Red

        To me choking means the pressure is on and you swing at bad pitches or take balls right down the middle because you’re too nervous. Or as a pitcher you’re so nervous that you can’t throw a strike or in order to throw one you throw it right down the middle with no movement. I don’t really see that as the issue in these games. The Brewer pitching is top notch. Maybe their scouting tells them where and how to pitch each Red AND they execute it. Maybe they position their players better.

      • JB

        Take a chill pill ,dude. Come in off the ledge for a moment. Holy cow it’s just a game.

      • Luke J

        I was at the game. Choke is not what happened. Maybe Diaz’s performance could be categorized that way, but given his track record in high leverage spots, it’s more just a bad outing. The rest of the team battled all game. They hit the ball harder and more often than the Brewers. Ashcraft was better than Rea. The way I saw it, it was obvious to me that Ashcraft hit the wall in the 5th. I told my wife that he was missing armside and that is an indication he’s lost it. It was a miracle he got out of the 5th. Bell shouldn’t have sent him out for the 6th. Anyone who knows Ashcraft’s tendencies should have seen that. But he sent him out for the 6th. I assumed it was to face the righty then have Young ready to face Frelick. Of course, Bell had no one even warming. So he left Ashcraft in to give up the homer. It wasn’t a choke job. It was 2 good teams battling it out. Other than the outcome, it was a great game of baseball.

    • bug

      I respect your opinion too, TJ. Everyone is entitled to their own. I played sports all my life,…. and when you can’t beat a certain team that is really no better than you, I’ve always called that “choking” when they go up against that team. Most of the people I played with called it the same thing,..i.e. “choking”. Now,..some folks may simply say that team has your number. Whatever anyone calls it, it amounts to the same thing. We have problems beating the Brewers. Maybe saying it that way won’t offend. We are 2 and 9 against the Brew Crew. I personally think we have a better team than they do. I think they have better relief pitching and a much superior manager. Burns is also probably the best pitcher on the two teams, though I think Abbott gives him a run for his money when it comes to being the best. Up and down the line-up, we are generally the better team. But we are 2 and 9 against them,..probably soon to be 2 and 10 against them (since we are going up against Burns tonight, and because “they have our number”). In any event,..I do respect your opinion. Sorry I might have been a tad harsh last night.

      • Luke J

        Choking and a team having your number are different. Choking is failure to perform under pressure. A team having your number can just be a bad matchup. Reds are beating other good teams and performing under pressure. That’s an indication of match-up issues over choking. I’ve also played sports at high levels. I know for a fact that some hitters or teams just could hit my stuff, even if they weren’t that good overall. And some hitters who were elite that I could get out every time. That’s not choking. That’s match-up.

      • bug

        >>>”Choking is failure to perform under pressure.”

        I agree with that definition. And it seems to me that is exactly what the Reds are doing when they face the Brewers. They are under pressure to perform against the first place team, and they have failed in that that endeavor. I rest my case. In any event,…you are beating a dead horse, Luke. Call it what you want to, and I’ll do the same. The bottom line is the same. How’s that?

  6. Indy Red Man

    India, Freidl, Stephenson 789. You keep the RLR thing going and Stephenson is good at punching it the other way with Freidl on 1st. If CES warms up then that’s a playoff offense. I want Joey to stop Joey. I believe he’s a man of his word and holds himself to a high standard. Bell & Krall wouldn’t do it if he hit .130

    • Mario

      Joey is in a bad slump and is a platoon player at this point in his career. He was a platoon player 5 years ago but the team refused. No reason to start vs LHP or hit in the late innings vs LHP. That’s on Bell. Joey said it himself a few weeks ago that his swing wasn’t quite there. His OPS is still respectable at this point – better than Senzel and Newman’s. Not DFA time but he sure is killing his chances of getting that option picked up. RLN in general should have some respect.

  7. CI3J

    Milwaukee is just a monkey on the Reds’ back. There’s no reason why the Reds shouldn’t be able to beat them, it’s all mental.

    • TR

      Nothing is permanent in baseball. The Reds and Cardinals are good comparisons for last year and this year.

    • MBS

      The Brewers are to the Reds like the Pistons were to Jordan’s Bulls. We have to learn to beat them, and you’re right “it’s all mental”

    • Still a Red

      You know, if the Brewers blew the Reds out in all these games I’d say it was mental. I think this team is mentally tough enough to be confident enough to beat the Brewers and not just throw their hand up. It’s Bell’s job to keep their confidence up. You would think that winning only 2 of 9 is against the odds, but it does happen.

  8. Jeff Morris

    Reds have to find a way to hit the Brewers pitching. They know how to shut down the Reds hitters. Brewers have the Reds number. One thing to remember, the Reds are young. Many starters are rookies. Also, I wouldn’t trade J India unless you get a superstar young pitcher, which I doubt they will get. Don’t reach for someone, in “hope” that they will be what the Reds need. Try bringing up Connor Philipps, and send Luke Weaver down.

    • Mario

      I picked the Brewers to win the World Series last season. I don’t think that’s going to happen this season without Hader and not enough offense. But their pitching is top notch. Burnes is really on a roll, he will be tough to beat tonight. They should have been able to get to Rea and that’s disappointing.

  9. Melvin

    The old saying “Walks Haunt” comes into to play tonight. I know at least two of the leadoff walks scored.

    • Bob Purkey

      Horrible. Look at the number of walks that the relievers give up game after game. It is a horrific number, especially leadoff hitters. Just can’t keep putting batters on without swinging the bat.

      The Reds were actually lucky tonight that they only gave up 3 runs. They gave up 8 walks and the Brewers just couldn’t knock in runners in scoring position.

      • Melvin

        Someone mentioned that the Reds lead the league in walks the past several seasons. If that’s true something has to change.

      • MFG

        Totally agree Bob! The walks are killing us but especially when they come from our bullpen. A walk is like giving up a single like it always has been.
        Some walks turn into doubles when they steal second, that’s what happened in the first inning. When our bullpen does it late in a game it is frustrating. The Reds are a good team and fun to watch but the Brewers just have better pitching from starters to relief.

      • redfanorbust

        Agreed Bob. Reds were indeed very lucky that they only gave up three runs. Reds had to put max pressure on themselves to survive where they gave up a walk(s). Brewers are not the bronx bombers. Make them hit the ball, throw strikes esp on the first pitch. As for Ashcraft I wonder how many pitches he threw for balls were more than a foot off the plate. Imagine if he could harness his wildness. Instead of throwing over 100 pitches for six innings he could throw say 85 we might get seven plus out of him on many nights.

    • Doc

      Anecdotal evidence, cherry picking a couple of walks after the fact. It doesn’t matter how the guy got on first in the ninth (walk, hit, hbp, catcher’s interference) it was the two hits that followed that resulted in the winning run.

      I guess Diaz is a choker, according to bug, who wrote several of the most illogical screeds, making this thread almost unreadable. As I recall, the Reds had a poor record against Pittsburgh last year so I guess they choked against the Pirates. They have not done well on the west coast so I guess they become chokers when they travel west. They played the Braves toe to toe but lost several close games, I guess that makes them chokers. Ashcraft had runners on base all night and worked out of every jam but one so I guess he managed four innings without choking, but choked in the first. They were beaten in a close game as happens all the time in baseball, they did not go into a collective choke. Ridiculous accusation.

      • Pete

        Thank you for introducing sanity into the conversation.

  10. J

    Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’m really tired of seeing that Viking thing (actually, I was tired of it the first time I saw it) and all the choreographed celebrations of home runs. I’m not opposed to the guys having fun and celebrating — I think that’s fine — but the obsession with home runs is messing some of these guys up, I think. (This isn’t a new complaint for me. I’ve thought the same thing for years, but now it seems to be so over-the-top, it’s as if nothing else matters beyond what you’ll do for your next home run celebration.)

    Those three singles to right field in the 8th inning yesterday were more impressive to me than most of the home runs. I wish they’d celebrate walks and opposite field singles as if they were legitimate accomplishments. Everyone should have been celebrating Benson’s 11 pitch “strikeout,” because that was probably the best at-bat of the game, but all the focus of course to the home run that followed.

    [Side note: I just saw the replay of Brett’s pine tar incident, and something I’d never noticed is that there was almost no celebration whatsoever even though he’d just hit a go-ahead homer late in the game against a future hall-of-fame Yankees pitcher. It was a little eerie, almost, how stoic everyone was.]

    • Brosnan

      The Royals had probably seen Brett get so many big hits in Yankee Stadium that it wasn’t that big a deal any more.

    • Doc

      Can’t run out to first base and put a fur coat and viking helmet on the runner!! I agree with you. The Viking thing was cute when it started, but it got old fast and it looks especially bad when you celebrate an HR but lose the game.

      Base hits wear out an opposing team. Occasional HR don’t.

      • Still a Red

        Agree re: HRs vs singles/double…but every team is doing some goofy celebration for HRs and doing it basically in the dugout…geez, the Brewers put on a cheese wedge on their homer teammate…I’d rather have the viking thing.

    • Mario

      Nah, it’s a game. Let the men have some fun playing it. I don’t think they are swinging for the fences – see oppo hits on Sunday.

    • greenmtred

      That was a great at-bat by Benson. For what it’s worth, I cheered that and cheer singles, good baserunning, good fielding, walks…I love baseball. But that blast by Elly–a titanic thunderclap….well, I cheered that, too.

    • VaRedsFan

      They celebrate doubles with the row the boat.
      I can hear cheers from the dugout when they take a walk.
      If they cheer for walks, they certainly cheer for RBI singles. Just because they don’t show the dugout every time doesn’t mean it isn’t happening

      I’m OK with guys having fun and being enthusiastic. Guys celebrating with their tea mates promotes unity IMO. I don’t think they are trying to only hit HRs, just for a photo-op.

  11. Hanawi

    It’s not just the losses but the number of one run losses. These are the games you need to be able to win in the playoffs. 3-14 against the Braves and Brewers with 9 or 10 being by 1 run. Maddening.

    • wkuchad

      Don’t we have a winning record in one-run games?

  12. Protime

    It’s mostly on Bell. Burning through the bullpen like wildfire. Sets up the closer for a loss. Has no idea how to effectively manage the bullpen. Has become too predictable when it comes to bonehead decisions. Clear signs of a subpar manager.

    • RedlegScott

      I’d say Diaz did a lot to help himself, like a lead-off walk, in losing this one.

      • Doc

        Diaz threw, what, 7 pitches? Four straight balls to put the first man on, first pitch hit by Winker, second pitch hit by Yelich. He just didn’t have it. It happens to the best of them. Even Elroy Face lost a game after 18 straight wins, or whatever it was.

    • greenmtred

      That’s why, of course, the Reds’ bullpen has been good all year. The Brewers pitch well, defend very well, and hit enough. The one run losses aren’t an indictment of the Reds so much as they are evidence that the Brewers are good and the Reds are, too. Diaz, one of the top closers in the game, didn’t get it done last night. It happens. Who should have pitched instead?

    • wkuchad

      Every single loss, every one, you will see some variation of this post: “This loss was on Bell”

      • RedlegScott

        That was my point, W. I wasn’t critical of Diaz – it happens. However, the statement was that Diaz, who came on in the 9th like he usually does, inherited no runners, walked the first guy he faced who turned out to be the winning run, had no responsibility for the loss. It was somehow all on Bell. How is that possible?

  13. RedlegScott

    Brewers pitching prevails once again. The walks finally caught up with us. Try again manana.

  14. Redgoggles

    I had to check it out after tonight, but who would have guessed how these 2 teams rank in chase rate this year?

    You guessed it, Reds are #1 and Brewers are #6. Wut?!? I’m not smart enough to figure out how the Reds total average compares to when they face the Brewers but it feels way worse on nights like this.

    I think our hitters are much more talented than theirs, but they are being too aggressive and expanding their zones instead of laying off borderline pitches and building pressure on their pitching staff to come (deeper) into the zone. I think the pressure is building on the young-uns.

    • Still a Red

      It sure looks like the ump(s) are helping to expand the strike zone.

      • redfanorbust

        Sure does look that way lately SAR.

  15. J

    As long as I’m in a complaining mood: The Braves and Rangers have both made trades for relief pitchers. I hope the various people who were insisting that none of the sellers would be willing to make trades until the very last moment have now adjusted their beliefs. As I’ve said a few times: the Reds should have traded for pitching a while ago. At least one major league baseball team should have been willing to make one reasonable deal for at least one reasonable pitcher before now. The Reds seem to have a “no urgency” policy from top to bottom. And we wonder why Bell allows Votto to lead off the 7th inning of a tie game against a lefty with three pinch hitters available? Because there was no urgency.

    • RedlegScott

      Even I was thinking it was time to see Senzel right there.

    • Greenfield Red

      JV is hurting the team. Anyone who believed he would step away if he didn’t perform, has never read between the lines of what he says.

      • -CP-

        Tell us great seer, what does the between the lines say? We beseech thee, to divine the truth to us mere mortals, who lack the mental acuity to go beyond the words of man. Truly, you must have been touched by the OBP God himself to have been granted access to the inner workings of his mind.

      • wkuchad

        His OPS is above league average, and higher than India, Stephenson, and CES. And basically equal to EDLC.

        Are all those players hurting the team?

        Yes he’s slumping right now, but it’s a long season. You don’t bench every player that goes in a slump.

      • Brian Rutherford

        @-CP- that’s a top quality post. I don’t think I am qualified to hand out the points as others do, but that’s +1,000 in my mind

      • Mario

        wkuchad – amen to that. Winker hasn’t been DFA by the Brewers and he has had a lousy year. Wong is still starting most games for the Mariners and he has had a lousy year. Joey has had a lousy 1-2 weeks.

      • RedlegScott

        Given that he’s slumping, wouldn’t it gave been prudent to replace him with a right-handed hitter, like Senzel, with their ace lefty set-up man out there? I rarely criticize Bell, but that move, or lack of a move, crtainly had me wondering.

      • Mario

        Redleg Scott – agreed. Senzel should’ve been pinch hitting for Votto.

    • Still a Red

      Got to consider what other teams are asking for.

  16. Brian Rutherford

    Fun game to watch. We almost got em’. Tomorrow is another day. Go Redlegs.

  17. Riverfront Randy

    I want to beat Milwaukee as bad as anyone, but we just have to admit that the Brewers have our number. It’s completely in the Reds’ head now and I don’t know how to get them to snap out of it.

    Sure it would make it easier to achieve their goals if they could figure out how to beat them, but let’s not pretend that the Reds are hopeless just because they can’t beat the Brewers. They are 15 games over .500 against the other 28 teams. They went toe-to-toe with the Braves, won series recently against the Orioles, Astros, Padres, Dodgers and others. I’ll be glad when Thursday comes and we are done with them for 2023. I won’t worry about it unless they’re matched up with the brewers in a playoff series.

    • J

      That one game is the difference between first place and being 1.5 games back. It’s not like the Reds are ahead by 12 games and can afford to lose games they probably ought to be winning.

    • Greenfield Red

      I agree Dave as usual. I might also add they are playing with house money. We should be enjoying this and take it as a sign of good things to come.

      • J

        I’m trying to enjoy it. I’d be able to enjoy it a lot more if the team weren’t undermining its own success. As promising as the young players are, if they’re going to develop a lot of bad habits, and if the manager isn’t going to consistently make sensible decisions that maximize the chances of winning, it’s going to be a lot harder for me to enjoy. I guess I’m weird that way. I happen to think professional baseball players should be expected to play sound fundamental baseball, and a professional manager shouldn’t make a lot of stupid decisions. I would feel this way whether my team happens to be quite talented or not very talented.

      • Mario

        I have thoroughly enjoyed this season. Expectations are sky high now. Of course, I want to see ~92 wins and a division title and a playoff series win. Chances are high that this won’t happen according to script. Future is so bright!

    • DHud

      It was one game on June 2nd. It was another just one game on July 7th

      Now it is handily not just one game. It is 11 games, with the reds managing to lose 9 of them in the middle of a division race

      That’s not one game

      • Doc

        It doesn’t matter to whom a team loses, nor how many times they lose to a particular team. It matter only how many total losses they have for the season compared to the other teams. Yes, head to head may figure into a tie breaker, but that is a dead horse at this point. Now it is strictly total wins and losses for the year. Always has been. Always will be.

      • DHud

        Except every game against the brewers directly impacts the division standings

        Only way the reds guarantee they gain a game on the brewers is to beat the brewers

  18. LT

    “Seen the movie before, didn’t like the ending”. I have to say our bullpen was not at their best tonight. But would it make a difference if our offense did not come close to getting hits, not score, just getting hits off of Brewers bullpen? tS had 1 hit and that was it against their bullpen.

    • Doc

      BP in game era was 3.33. Pretty darn good.

  19. Melvin

    MLB Trade Rumors says White Sox interested in India.

    • TR

      How much good young pitching are the Chicago WS willing to give up for India?

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        That’s the thing. If I was the White Sox GM, I’m downplaying India. I’m talking, “For a player as poor as India, maybe a low level AAA reliever.” If the Reds were to want anything more than that, I would press the Reds to offer at least one prospect.

        But, then, once India is on my team, I’m immediately plugging India back at leadoff, where he should still be for us. Then, hope that Bell didn’t burn the mentality of a leadoff hitter out of him and give me that 370 OBP leadoff hitter. Then, I would think it would be a steal for me.

      • Still a Red

        Reds would need Giolito (FA next year) AND good prospect pitcher(s).

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      In doing a quick check, I could see why the White Sox would be interested in getting India. I’m specifically thinking of utilizing him at leadoff, where India has had most his success, where he should still be with us.

  20. Frank

    I think there is another way of looking at this. Brewers are 9-2 vs the reds which means there just about a .500 team against anybody else.

    Reds on the other hand are 2-9 against the brewers, so they are a well over .500 team against all others.

    There are two months of baseball left against all the other teams, so every chance to grab the lead and win the division. Hopefully we wont run into the brewers in post season. We have a good chance against anybody else (maybe except the braves, as they seem to be in a league of their own).

    Just my 2 cents

    • Don

      Excellent point…

      If you win one of three against the Brewers you find yourself just 1 1/2 games out of first and you no longer have to face them in the regular season. Making up 1 1/2 games in the next two months is nothing really.

      Weathering that 10 game west coast stretch at the end of August when the Reds will be facing three teams with above .500 records is going to be critical though.

      • frank

        August is a tough schedule for the reds, but they played well against ..500 teams. I have faith

  21. Jim t

    Worst umpiring I have seen this year. He killed us. His strike zone was incredibly bad guy should never work behind the plate again. The reds hitters were so confused by his strike zone. The pitch to Benson called a strike was horrible.

  22. AMDG

    Votto’s fluky start was nice. But his OPS is only 0.676 OPS since his 6th game back. and is only 0.376 in his last 11 games, which has played a part in the Reds offensive struggles & losses during that span.

    Unfortunately he has picked up where he left off in 2022 as an offensive liability, and with better options (Steer, CES, etc.) there is no need to keep giving an aging 0.178 hitter so many at bats.

    And with Benson arguably the Reds’ top hitter at the moment (highest team OPS) there is really no justification why Votto has 19% more plate appearances than Benson since the end of June.

    If the Reds are serious about trying to win in 2023 they really need to be honest with themselves regarding that 39 year old hole in the middle of their lineup.

    • Don

      He’s chasing a lot now too, more than I recall him doing in the past. He doesn’t look like Votto these days.

      Coming into this season, I think many folks had expectations of Votto that were unrealistic. He was coming off a major surgery after a season in which he hit .205. He turns 40 in six weeks. In over 150 ABs between Louisville and Cincinnati, he has a combined BA of about .175. He’s facing an uphill battle against his body and his age. It is very unlikely he was going to post big numbers upon his return.

      Yeah, it is time to relegate Votto to spot starts.

      • Still a Red

        How does Votto fare vs other aging good hitters – Pujols, Cabrera, Rose, Brett, Carew. I’m afraid he’s below par…now he is coming off shoulder surgery, but still. And I’m Joey fan and hope for nothing more that he contributes before the season (and his career as a Red) is over.

    • Tom Diesman

      I’d agree with this if it weren’t for the facts that Votto is top 3 on the team in AVG Exit Velocity, Hard Hit %, and Brls/PA %. Combine that with his horribly team worst .157 BABIP and it’s very easy to see there is something going on here that needs to be taken into account when evaluating his performance thus far this season.

      • DHud

        Unfortunately he’s also striking out at 30%

        Count me still in the Votto camp because yes, he’s hitting the ball hard, but he’s also not putting it in play enough to keep him afloat through the bad luck

      • Jim Walker

        Tom>> Statcast xBA for Votto is almost right on the money though at .190.

        Also from Statcast>>> His launch angle is -5% to 2021 when he was driving the ball out of parks and up the gap. His average EV is down 2.5mph from 2021. His hard hit % is down just a tad short of 11% from 2021. The 2023 spray chart shows he has just 1 gap double.

        My suspicion is that he has deteriorated from a legitimate power threat to a warning track power guy who can still give the ball a ride when he really squares it but that he doesn’t square it nearly as often as witnessed by the -20% drop in his sweet spot %

        (And it would be interesting to see EV Median vs the average which I am presuming is mean).

    • Doc

      Votto’s BA entering the game was nearly 70 points lower than the next lowest starter. This team went from having no holes in the lineup to having a chasm in the middle of it.

  23. Redsvol

    In reading Doug’s write-up, the pitchers were constantly putting the team in bad positions. Walks, allowing stolen bases to slow players, lead off walks, wild pitches. That type of play won’t do well in the playoffs.

    This team is fun but I’m not sure they are capable of playoff baseball. The brewers are trained to keep runs off the board and win tight games. Craig counsel is worth a bunch. If the brewers let him walk, watch out.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I believe they are capable of “getting there”. But, I don’t believe they are capable of “performing well when there”. I mean, if they can’t handle pressure like the Brewers. . .?

      I mean, it’s common. . .the playoffs are a new season. Everyone brings their best every game. We are bringing Bell?

  24. William

    Clearly, the young Reds need to hit the good pitching better. I think they will do this, but they need to figure it out soon. They can get on base with a walk, steal second, and score with a single. I also hope they get more pitching help soon.

  25. Mike Adams

    Steve Mancuso (formerly RLN) used to say the Reds always wet the bed when they played St. Louis.
    The Reds are getting dangerously close to the same when they play Milwaukee.
    Win the next two and make me eat crow, Reds!

    • TR

      The Cardinals got old by adding on the years as most other teams do. The Reds have gone the way of the Rays by going young and hopefully will acquire a few WS titles in the years ahead.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I’ve said before that’s what I believe the Reds are doing, making Tampa 2.0, (specifying what I mean) as in having winning baseball but one of the lowest payrolls in the league.

        The only thing being, that has only brought 1 WS appearance to Tampa, no title. But, pretty consistent winning baseball.

  26. Mark Moore

    Terrible zone by the HP Chumpire. A truckload of walks. Failure to execute too many times. Overuse of the bullpen. Bernie living rent free in our heads … again.

    I thought about this loss and the frustration during my walk this morning. If we only win one in this series, I’d prefer it be the getaway game tomorrow. That would take us out to the West Coast with a little boost. Of course, winning today AND tomorrow is highly preferable.

    Can’t be done with the Bernies soon enough this season. Just hope this doesn’t put the team on an extended skid and we can shake it off.

    Dangerous Hope lives on … and we’re still miles ahead of where anyone expected us to be.

  27. AllTheHype

    Reds are the better team, just not head to head. But it doesn’t matter in the end. The Beers won’t be in the playoffs and we will. So they can boast about beating a playoff team head to head when they watch us on TV in October.

  28. Pete

    Why didn’t Joey Votto finish the game?

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I didn’t even see that. So, I looked it up.

      Oh, this one’s rich. . .

      So, Bell didn’t bat for Votto in the 7th with a lefty on the mound, even though he had Senzel and Newman on the bench.

      But, in the bottom of the 9th, Bell puts in Senzel to 3rd base and moves Steer to 1st, as defensive switches!

      • Redgoggles

        I think that 7th inning decision was a coin flip as he knew Votto would likely have one more AB and Milwaukee was out of LH relievers after 7th. If Votto would have taken Williams deep in 9th, we would be praising that decision. Well, the objective fans would be.

        It’s a tricky thing, how he handles Votto. But, I do hope he gets “more rest” going the rest of the way. Play the hot hands please.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Good point, Redgoggles. But, the “good move” would still have been to go with what you know you have, pinchhit in the 7th against a reliever not their closer, rather than what may come around, the 9th with a below average hitter against their closer.

      • Doc

        Funny how many want to disrupt the plan and acquire expensive pitching to win now, but accept letting Votto hit against a lefty in the 7th because he might face a righty if he gets another AB in the ninth. No referring to any specific commenter, but to the overall concept.

  29. SlippinJimmy

    David Bell: “Both teams played hard.”

    David Bell: “Practice?”

    David Bell: “PLAYOFFS!?”

    David Bell: “They are who we thought they were! And we let ’em off the hook!”

  30. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I will state this way. . .

    We all saw it last night, why didn’t Bell pinch hit Senzel for Votto in the 7th? Now, that non-move by Bell, did that cause us to lose the game? I will specify “No”. But, it’s non-moves like that which can cause us to lose games. And, that was an obvious one to armchair GM’s like us. He could have even put in Newman or even Maile, but not Votto in that respect.

    The bullpen the last 2 games. Sunday, Bell should have been able to get away with 4 relievers, at most 5. He used 6. Yesterday, Bell should have been able to get away with 3 relievers, at most 4. He used 5. That causes a taxed bullpen. What was one of our problems the last 1+ months of the first half of the season?

    Even Diaz himself, will I say using Diaz was all on Bell? No, not entirely. First, it is Diaz throwing the ball, of course.

    However, including last night, Diaz has thrown 6 of the last 9 games. At that rate, that’s 108 games in a season for a reliever. Just how often has that happened? Diaz couldn’t have been tired last night?

    What manager literally puts their worst batter the last 30+ days at leadoff and the best batter the last 30+ days in the 9 hole?

    Who moves a batter from the 4 hole after slumping for 4 days to the leadoff position but doesn’t move a batter from the 3 hole after slumping for 2 months?

    A manager has 2 responsibilities:
    1) player management, in order to prevent things like slumps and a taxed bullpen
    2) to put the team in the best position to win games, short term and long term (may need to give regulars some rest at times)

    It’s obvious to me that Bell has no clue how to do either. But, then, that’s what Bell is, a bottom of the barrel manager.

    Two moves I would make in the off season:
    1) Krall deserves to have his own manager. I would think we can get a competent manager in here now
    2) Youngsters make mistakes, have little clue about the mentality that it takes to win up here. I’d get rid of Votto and get 2 veterans here, veterans we can put a captain “C” on and show these youngsters the mentality it takes to play everyday, every game, against every team, including the Brewers. If someone like Fraley wants it, find. Then, take it and show it.

    • greenmtred

      That “worst” hitter accounted for all of the Reds’ runs.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        You give me a “highlight reel”? One AB? That’s it?! What about the last 13 games? Has he hit a HR the last 13 games? Give me something like that, then you have an argument. Till then, that is no argument.

        Aquino had a highlight reel, also. Where is he now?

      • greenmtred

        He was robbed of another homer in the first. The Reds didn’t hit much against excellent pitching and defense. EDLC batting leadoff wasn’t the problem. It’s also worth remembering that the Reds just won five games in a row against good teams. The Reds foundation is primarily very young players and very young players are often vulnerable to clever, effective pitching. They will learn from this. The sky is not falling.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        “He was robbed of another homer in the first.”

        That’s it? You can only give me one other AB?! Dude, I’m talking the last the last 30 games, not just last night! Get with the times. Look them up.

      • greenmtred

        That all you got Steve? We’re talking about this game; the Reds won the five previous. Elly just came off of a day of rest. The last time he did that he embarked on his hottest streak of the season. Time for me to stop this; I’m argumentative by nature (my wife will concur) and that’s not good, particularly when the argument is pointless.

      • VaRedsFan

        He’s homered in 2 straight games to go along with the robbery.

    • AllTheHype

      Bell’s Votto leash needs to get shorter, and soon, or this will all be on Bell.

      He’s giving him too much slack, too much time to find his game, playing him too often, too much respect by not PH’g for him in key spots, too much respect by batting him 6th.

      It needs to stop. Bell needs to cut back on Votto’s opportunities AND bat him 8th when he does play until (or if) he finds his game.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I wholeheartedly agree. There was no reason not to pinch Senzel, Newman, or even Maile for Votto last night in the 7th. But, Bell failed to.

        Now, did that non-move cost us the game? No, I can’t say that. But, non-moves like that would be more likely to cost us games, the probability of costing games.

    • Rob

      No question the bullpen continues to be overworked and is showing signs of being tired. Funny how this fatigue always seems to show up around Weaver 3-4 inning starts isn’t it. Yet we have gone through the last month without providing any starting pitching help. We continue to play the 11th hour DFA game amongst Santillan, Duarte, Stoudt, Bresnez, etc. to give us an extra pitcher. I don’t know what Farmer and Diaz ERAs are over the last month but they aren’t pretty. I won’t argue against needing an additional LH in the pen but you are on the wrong page if you think we don’t need a significant improvement over Weaver like yesterday. We can’t stand continuous 3 inning starts. Krall should be at the bargaining table deciding whether he needs a #2 starter or #4 starter and worrying a lot less about Greene and Lodolo “near term” return and what prospects he should trade off. This Division is for the taking with the right pitching add ons rather than the never ending DFA game.

    • Brian Rutherford

      Your oversimplification is maddening at times. Imagine how much Will Benson was struggling before his second call up. Now imagine getting called up a second time and still having the memories of your first go around with the team. Joey Votto talks to Benson and gives him hope and motivation. David Bell puts him in a place in the order where he feels comfortable and experiences the least amount of pressure.

      Under this scenario Benson begins to flourish as a player as he starts to believe in himself. He starts to believe he belongs up here and starts to realize how good he can be.

      To you, the people are just chess pieces and should be moved wherever you think without understanding what it took to get him there in the first place.

      I don’t think David Bell is the best manager and I don’t think he is the worst either. Craig Counsel used the contact play that David Bell uses all the time and his runner got caught just as Reds runners have been caught. This is just 1 example of decisions that he makes that mirror 90% of MLB managers. The 1 inning per game for the late inning BP arms is another.

      He is not the cause for the Reds playing tight in big games. They are young and are still learning to play on a stage this big. Imagine where most of them were playing at this time last year and what is expected of them now. It’s night and day.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        “Your oversimplification is maddening at times. Imagine how much Will Benson was struggling before his second call up.”

        That was April, this is July. Get with the times.

        Given your logic, why was India ever moved off leadoff, which would, again, be another mistake by Bell? After all, India was succeeding at the leadoff position.

        Your argument is, “Why move Benson? He’s succeeding.” Then, why move India? He was succeeding. You can’t have it both ways.

        Only answer, Bell has little clue on 2 things:
        1) player managment
        2) How to put the team in the best position to win games.

        Simply put, we win in spite of him, not because of him.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        “To you, the people are just chess pieces and should be moved wherever you think without understanding what it took to get him there in the first place.”

        Really? When I have specified that Benson is our best hitter over the last 30+ days, fact. When numbers how Elly isn’t, fact.

        It sounds more like you just like to go off on others like checker pieces when you have no substantiation for your position.

      • Brian Rutherford

        Why was India moved and Benson not? They aren’t the same player and are in different places in their careers. India has hit in multiple places in the lineup and is in his third season. Benson isn’t and doesn’t have the same personal make-up. It’s apples to oranges.

        You ignored the rest of my comment and took part of it personally which wasn’t my objective. I voiced an opinion regarding your post. I am frustrated by what I felt was unfair criticism and also gave you reasons I felt it was unfair. Isn’t that what we are here for?

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        “Why was India moved and Benson not? They aren’t the same player and are in different places in their careers.”

        Actually, not so much. Benson is in his second year, India in his 3rd. Different defensive positions wouldn’t justify their position in the batting order.

        “India has hit in multiple places in the lineup ”

        And has experienced pretty most of his success at leadoff, no other position, none since being taken out of this season:
        Before move: .287 .381 .420 .800 (vast majority leadoff)
        After move: .221 .301 .404 .705 (hardly any leadoff)

        If I’m comparing apples to oranges, at least I’m comparing fruits. You are comparing apples to IKEA furniture.

      • Brian Rutherford

        Jonathan India has 1300 MLB at bats. Will Benson has 198. Just not even close to the same amount of experience and India has a much different place on the team. With that much experience it’s fair to ask something like that of India, especially because he is the clubhouse leader. Will Benson has been with the team since a trade before spring training.

        I could have posted these stats before but I assumed you already knew the disparity. I am not attacking you personally so I still don’t understand the aggressive tone in your replies.

  31. SultanofSwaff

    The Brewers are 27th in baseball in OPS. They’re only good on one side of the ball and will need to get creative at the trade deadline if they want to win the division.

    The Cubs are the only team in the division with a positive run differential. Low key it wouldn’t surprise me if they creep into contention.

    I don’t see any way the Reds don’t acquire at least bullpen help. They’ll be right in the thick of things come September.

    Ashcraft stepped up big time last night. If that’s what he can deliver moving forward, the Redlegs will be just fine.

  32. Pete

    To be honest with you, I’m not too worried about losing one game, regardless of who we lost to. I am very concerned with the status of this bullpen. It looks to be on the verge of being totally burned out. Obviously, they are going to have to bring in some reinforcements through trades, but how long before they get burned out?

    • Pete

      Reds have four relievers in the MLB top ten in games pitched: Farmer, Diaz, Gibaut, Young. Anyone believe this is sustainable?

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I’ve seen that before. Not 4 in the top 40 or even top 20, but 4 in the top 10. No rationale whatsoever.

      • greenmtred

        Of course there’s a rationale: those four are effective and that stat explains why Bell usually limits them to one inning. The Reds need some more good relievers, as do most contending teams, but until we get them, Bell has to use what’s available to him. If he consistently used the other guys in tight situations and they got knocked around, you would be tearing him a new one. Or trying to. If Bell had had Senzel pinch hit and he had failed–a statistical probability–you would have lambasted him. Judging decisions after the fact is too easy, and I’ll guarantee that no MLB manager looks good when his individual decisions are judged in retrospect.

      • Pete

        Green I wasn’t blaming Bell, just expressing concern. Replacing Weaver in the rotation and procuring more BP help has gone from an option to a must. Or else the existing relievers are going to have their arms breakdown.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        “Of course there’s a rationale: those four are effective”

        That’s the short-sighted rationale. Long-sighted rationale. . .we are going to have a taxed bullpen.

        Any reason why Cruz threw only 7 pitches last night? Young only 7 pitches last Saturday? Any reason why he didn’t go with DD last night, a fresh arm? I’ve seen Bell pull a reliever after throwing only 3 pitches!

        No reason why Bell shouldn’t have been able to get away with 4 relievers, no more than 5 (he went to 6), on Sunday, 3 relievers last night, no more than 4 (he went to 5).

        It’s more than obvious. Bell has no clue how to utilize his bullpen.

      • greenmtred

        Pete: I was reacting to Steve. I saw the same stat you did and noted it. It would certainly be interesting to chart other teams’ usage of their relief pitchers; I would be surprised if most of them didn’t use some guys much more than others. The issue of the number of innings they have to cover is, of course, directly related to starters not going deeper into games. It’s true that it’s a league-wide phenomenon, but it’s also true that the Reds, with a young, patchwork starting staff, are particularly afflicted.

      • Chris

        My biggest problem with Bell is his use of the bullpen and starters. He has way too quick of a hook, all too often. On the flip side we have one of the worst starting rotations in baseball, so it stands to reason that Bell has to use the bullpen more often, and when you couple that with the fact that this team, for some reason, plays so many close games, Bell doesn’t have too many choices but to use his best relievers over and over. Last night, Ashcraft went as long as he could, and if Bell would let that happen more often, you’d see him handle it better. On the flip side he pulled Williamson after just 80 pitches the other day, forcing unneeded use of his bullpen. That is all too common.

      • greenmtred

        Chris: It seemed pretty clear to me that Williamson was starting to lose it. Ashcraft had a lot of high-leverage pitches, too. It’s a judgment call, of course, but pitchers everywhere are not being conditioned to pitch deep into games, according to Brantley.

    • Brian Rutherford

      Great comment. I don’t know what the answer is though. They have had to use the BP so much due to injury and performance of the rotation. It feels like Bell wants to let them go longer but whenever he does something happens like last night when Ashcraft gives up the HR when he is gassed.

      The fact that hitters can study video of each AB during the game makes it really difficult to go 3 time through the order and still have a good chance to get them out. These guys are elite hitters for a reason.

  33. TyGuy88

    I’ve been a Votto defender for many years as he has declined at the plate. I think it’s well past time he needs to be in a platoon role where he’s playing 2-3 games a week. He simply isn’t producing at the plate and there are superior alternatives.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I have to agree now, myself.

      I’ve said before, the best thing for the team would be for Bell to retire or to waive his no-trade clause so we can trade him someplace like Toronto for a handful of beans.

      But, till then, we should be playing him at least some. He deserves that for his commitment to the organization all of these years.

  34. Jim Walker

    I decided to sleep on things before I made any comments about Monday’s game. Reviewing the thread, I came across two comments which pretty much sum up what I would have said.

    Frank pointed out that despite the Reds being -7 games head to head versus the Brewers, the Reds are +5.5 games to the Brewers versus the rest of MLB with 2+ months yet to be played in the season

    While I hope the Reds can still pull out a win or better yet 2 versus the Brewers in this series, if the Reds stay on course with the rest of the league, they have a very good opportunity of moving past the Brewers by the end of the season.

    Also, do not lose sight of the fact that this very young Reds team is a dynamic work in process. They should continue to grow. If they play as they have since mid-June and win at the rate they have since then, it is inevitable they will continue to meld as a team and should be ready for whoever they might face in the playoffs.

    So, we should not fall into the trap of thinking the Reds would be mere fodder even if they make the playoffs.

    The second comment which caught my eye unfortunately concerns a less happy prognosis but one which needs to be noted nonetheless.

    AMDG noted the downward spiral of Joey Votto’s performance since his triumphant return from the IL.

    I ran the numbers quoted by AMDG and confirmed that in Votto’s most recent 21 games, his OPS his .668 with a .153 batting average. Even more disturbing to me was that Votto’s OBP over this stretch has been a very un-Votto like .265. I then took a more granular look and discovered that Votto’s 2 week OPS is .387 and has been .391 over the last week.

    Simply put the Reds have better alternatives than to continue to use Votto as an everyday player. They need to find a way to deal with this situation if the team is to achieve its potential.

    • Pete

      Unfortunately much like David Bell, Joey Votto is locked in and until the former changes I don’t believe the latter will. Votto could bench himself and I’m still wondering why he left the game in the ninth inning. Curious to see if he is in tonight‘s lineup. Only Joey Votto can put Joey Votto on the bench.

      • wkuchad

        Bell has done a defensive switch with Senzel/Steer/Votto several times in the 8th or 9th inning this year. I wouldn’t read anything into that.

      • Pete

        Bottle has been substituted for defensively? This is news to me and especially in a tie game?

    • wkuchad

      Regarding Votto, I think it’s too early to consider this a “situation” that needs dealing with. I’ll repeat part of my post from above.

      Votto’s OPS is above league average, and higher than India, Stephenson, and CES. And basically equal to EDLC. Yes he’s slumping right now, but it’s a long season. You don’t bench every player that goes in a slump.

      Now, I still don’t think he should start against lefties, but until yesterday our bench was pretty thin. Now that Newman is back up and the 3rd catcher gone, there’s really no excuse to start Votto versus a lefty.

      • Jim Walker

        In 2023 Votto’s OPS vs RH pitching is .827 but his BA is .188 and his OBP is .291. So he is doing it all on slugging, essentially 8HR in 79PAs.

        If his name wasn’t Joey Votto, I don’t think very folks would consider these everyday player numbers. IMO, much like Pujols was in his cameo goodbye with the Cards, JV needs to be a power bat off the bench (vs RHP) and used very sporadically as a starter.

        The rest of the guys on the team deserve this usage of him versus taking away PAs from Steer or CES or whomever Speer bounces by rotating to 3B or LF.

      • Tom Diesman

        Joey Votto’s 42.4 Hard Hit % and .157 BABIP say Hi!

      • Brian Rutherford

        @Tom, question because I don’t know: Is Vottos hard hit % above average or below. The BABIP clearly seems absurdly low.

      • Jim Walker

        @Brian>> if the internal link below works right (it did for me), it will lead to a reply I made to similar comment by Tom elsewhere in this game wrapup post. I compared Votto’s current Statcast numbers to his 2021 numbers when he had a very outstanding season.

        Compared to 2021, Votto’s Hard hit % in 2023 is just short of 11% lower. His sweet spot% is 20% lower. His exit velocity is 2.5MPH lower. Statcast’s predicted 2023 batting average for Votto (xBA) is .190, his real world BA is .188. He is what he is at this point in his career.


      • Tom Diesman

        The 2021 comps to this year need to note that his 2021 numbers for HH% and EV were MLB top 4% and top 7% respectively. Also both the best Votto has recorded since 2015 when these numbers are available. His numbers for this year fir HH% and EV are nearly identical to what he posted in 2015 when he hit .314/.459/.541. So the Sweep Spot %, which involves launch angle) is 20% lower this year from both those seasons, so that seems to be the key factor. That still leaves us with the .156 BABIP this season to consider. If he was lucky enough to have a league average BAPIP of .297 he’d have 7 more hits. Assuming those were all just singles, his slash line would be 0.256/0.368/.556 or a .923 OPS. There is definitely enough here to where I want to see him continue playing to see if they start dropping for him.

      • AMDG

        To say Votto “is slumping right now” isn’t really accurate.
        That implies he has generally played well, but of late has not produced.

        The reality is, in 22 of the 27 games he has played for the Reds this year, his combined numbers are:
        0.060 Batting Average
        0.398 OPS

        The put that 0.060 batting average into perspective, back in 2018 (the last year before the DH) every single Reds starting pitcher had a batting average above 0.060

        Instead of saying “he is slumping right now”, it would be more accurate to say he has horribly struggled all season, outside of a few outlier games.

    • AllTheHype

      I’ve been a Bell supporter, this year, for his use of the bullpen and handedness lineups.

      However, here is where Bell’s weaknesses of the past come back to haunt. For how long did we have to endure Moustakas hitting in the middle of the lineup despite extended underperfomance? How long did we have to endure Winker hitting 2nd against LHP despite dismal splits? How long did we have to endure Votto in the past several years hitting 3rd or 4th against LHP despite dismal splits?

      Bottom line, Bell gives repected veterans their due, and their spot in the lineup, without ANY REGARD to performance, whatsoever.

      • AllTheHype

        It’s happening with both Votto and India, I might add. If those guys must play, then the lineup should be

        8 – Votto
        9 – India

        unless and until the prove they should be higher in the lineup.

      • greenmtred

        India very recently has gone something like 8 for 17.

    • Brian Rutherford

      It stinks (and Fish, and Pot!) that Votto is struggling because it seemed like the perfect story for him to come back as the 2021 version of JDV. I wouldn’t want to be the one to make the decision but at the very least, he should give up his starts against lefties.

      The guy is everything to love about Reds baseball and I hate it but father time is still undefeated.

  35. Bob Purkey

    Putting CES in your argument is a bit laughable as he has played all of what 7 or 8 games. If he had 100 or so plate appearances, your argument might have some validity.

    • Jim Walker

      CES had an OPS >1.000 all season long at AAA ( 316PA; almost equal OPS from both sides of the plate). He has shown in his brief time up (and spring training) he is not just a wild swinger (.405 OBP at AAA). Even if he were to take a 10% drop between AAA and MLB that would land him at ~.900 OPS and ~.360 OBP. It is just a matter of him getting the PAs.

  36. old-school

    Brewers pitching is shutting the Reds down and it doesnt matter who is pitching for the Brewers. Rea threw that sweeping slider against righties which was a tough pitch to McLain, Stephenson, CES, Steer. Hes a mediocre pitcher overall though with big splits. Righties hit .217 against him with a .621 OPS and .9 HR/9 inning. Lefties have an .826 OPS against him with 2.18 HR/9 innings. Rea has an xFIP of 5.35 against lefties.

    Thats a game where the Reds lefty hitters needed to score in bunches and aside from the Elly 2 run bomb, they didnt string together much. Friedl and Votto went 0-8 and Fraley and Benson went 2-7. That wont get it done when the rest of the league hits Rea well.

    If Joey Votto cant hammer mediocre RH pitchers, that’s a problem because he’s not going to hit good lefties. Good thing they get to run it back again today.

    • Brian Rutherford

      I hate to see it but you are right regarding Votto. Facing pitchers like Rea is where he should shine (admittedly he did take him deep the last time he faced him) and shine more frequently than once or twice per week.

      I just believe they are feeling the pressure of a MLB pennant race compared to where they were at the same time last year. They can’t perform so well against other good teams but struggle against the Brewers and it not be a mental issue. They are playing tight.

    • Jim Walker

      I think Friedl is a legitimate cause for concern. His 28 day OPS is.685 with an OBP of .305. The HR versus Arizona helped boost his 7 day OPS to .760. However, his 7-day OBP is .280 and 14 day OBP .195; and, both those numbers match his BA for the same period, i.e. no BBs.

      Maybe he is playing nicked. Maybe even coming off the All Star break, he is just wearing down from a season of playing CF nearly every day except when he was on the IL. Maybe he is regressing toward his career norm. Whatever a ~.300 OPB doesn’t work at the #2 slot in the lineup.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Didn’t he bang into the wall in Cincy on a play? I wouldn’t be surprised he’s still banged up.

      • Chris

        Just curious, what are the numbers for Steer, Elly, India, and Fraley in the same time period? I don’t think he’s nicked at all. I think he has hit a bit of a rough spot as so many others hit while on this 6 game losing streak.

      • VaRedsFan

        @ Jim – The whole team was in a prolonged 5-game slump, so recent numbers for most of them aren’t going to look good.
        Friedl had 2 hits in each of the previous 2 games.

      • Jim Walker

        @VA Fan>>> From a .891 OPS on May 28 through Monday night’s closing OPS of .793, Friedl’s OPS has dropped by .098 (9.8%). During this time, 39 games, 35 of them starts, he has compiled a .719OPS over 166PAs. His OBP has dropped from .384 the current .356.

        His recent flurry bumped his OPS from a low point of .784 back up over .800 (to .804) but the game Monday night dropped him back down to.793. As I noted above, he has not drawn a BB since the All Star break and since the break his BA/OBP/SLG/OPS is .195/.195/.317/.512

    • LT

      Our best chance to get the lead back was when Steer was up with runners on first and second. And Rea came at him with a sinker to induce double play. I feel like the Brewers pitching has a very effective strategic game plan to attack Reds hitters. As with previous series and probably the game today and tomorrow l, there’s only one or 2 chances a game to score and up to this point the Reds have repeatedly failed in those big moments, probably due to a combination of mental problem as well as being out smart. We had 6 hits last night which is all most the same as what we had the entire last series. But could not get a hit when it counts.

      • Brian Rutherford

        This is where the David Bell criticisms may have some juice. You would think the Reds have the same data available to them as the Brewers. Why aren’t the Reds pitchers and hitters doing the same type of things?

        Of course they could be having meetings like this and are just not able to implement the strategies.

      • VaRedsFan

        @ Brian – They have recently only allowing 1, 1, 3, 4, 3 in the last 5.

  37. gusnwally

    It is commendable that some Reds fans still love Joey Votto. I still love him. He is absolutely one of the greatest Reds ever. But facts are facts and here are some. Since the start of the 2020 season, Joey is hitting 209 against lefties.And .243 vs righties. The avg vs righties would hardly seem to make up for the lack of production vs lefties.Not being able to tell an aging superstar, you just can’t do it anymore, is hurting the team terribly. There is absolutely no way Joey should ever hit against a lefty again.It’s great to see him having fun and enjoying his young team mates. But it is time to stop hurting the teams chances to win.

    • J

      This is where it would help to have a manager who actually leads the team instead of being led by the team. Priority #1 should be winning every game. If you can make all the players feel good about themselves, so be it, but that can’t be the top priority. Allowing Votto to hit against a left last night was a perfect example of Bell’s priorities. He really has no business being a major league manager.

    • Redgoggles

      I saw this somewhere else – and don’t really track this regularly – but is +2.12 normal? That seems significant, especially in a 1 run game.

      Certainly explains the frustration I felt watching the game last night.

      • Redgoggles

        I dug into this a bit further…..there have only been 9 games where the umpire calls impacted the game by at least 1 run:

        April 17 – Tampa, 8-1 win (-1.2 unfavorable, Stephenson)
        April 18 – Tampa, 0-10 loss (1.15 favorable, Casali)
        April 19 – Tampa, 0-8 loss (1.22 favorable, Maile)
        April 22 – Pitsburg, 1-2 loss (1.17 favorable, Casali)
        June 21 – Colorado, 5-3 win (-1.61 unfavorable, Maile)
        July 7 – Milwaukee, 3-7 loss (-1.47 unfavorable, Maile)
        July 20 – SF, 5-1 win (-1.06 unfavorable, Maile)
        July 21 – Arizona 9-6 win (1.84 favorable, Stephenson)
        last night – Milwaukee 2-3 loss (-2.12 unfavorable, Stephenson)

        It seems pretty clear that last night was the most (worse) impactful game an umpire has had against the Reds all year. Stinks that it came when first place was on the line!

        It did seem like Stephenson didn’t have a great game last night, but I think the outstanding movement on Ashcraft’s at least is partly to blame. It’s hard to set up/frame pitches when they are darting around 4-6 inches, late.

        Maybe we’ll get a make up game tonight. Or just give us 2 runs to start with.

  38. Ron

    The Reds need to forget about the last 11 games with the Brewers. The only games that matter now are the next two. Burnes (5 losses) and Peralta (8 losses) are good, but they’re not invincible. The Reds are the better team and they have a couple more games to prove it.

    To be the best, you have to beat the best. I know they can. I hope they do.

    • Jim Walker

      Win them and leave town in 1st place with the Brewers knowing the Reds play better vs the rest of the league than they do.

  39. Ted Alfred

    Look at the series with the Braves this year as a comparison. The Reds are 1-5, but I think all five losses are by one run and I think the Reds have actually played pretty well, but Atlanta’s just the better team. In these games with Milwaukee I think the Reds have just not played very well, even though again they have a similarly bad record as they do vs the Braves with lot of one run losses. I just don’t think the Reds played intimidated or tight or anything versus the Braves they just lost to a better team most of the time. With the Brewers games I just think they haven’t played very well and the breaks have kind of gone against them. Last night Elly’s lead off at bat if the ball is 3-4 inches higher it’s a home run. If the Umpire calls the walk with Benson that he should have had it’s a three-run homer instead of two-run homer. Yelich should have been called out on strike three on the 2-2 count to lead off the game, but he wasn’t, then walked and ended up scoring. There is three runs in a game that ended 3 to 2.

  40. Mike McSorley

    Forget bad decision-making by Bell. Disregard Votto’s slump/age. Don’t blame Diaz. The real culprit last night (and all season) was Front Row Amy… yeah, I saw you looking.

  41. Beaufort Red

    I respect the people that believe Votto still is relevant. But face it, if his name wasn’t Votto he probably wouldn’t be on a major league roster. And to everyone who spouts off statistics for support, have you seen him swing. He has what my college coach called heavy arms. He doesn’t have the quickness in his bat to fight off pitches, especially breaking balls. It doesn’t help that he’s a mediocre defensive player and maybe our slowest runner. So other than statistics what does he bring to the table. I understand keeping him out of nostalgia, but we’re in a position to actually make the playoffs.

    • Ted Alfred

      I admit I’m one of the Votto fans that really thought he was going to be a lot better than he is turning out to be. I get that he’s been historically a slow starter but I’ve always attributed that to the colder, rainy weather in April and early May versus anything else, but obviously that’s not a factor since he came back. I think they can keep playing him versus right-handed starters for 2-3 more weeks and hopefully he catches fire again, but it appears the writing is on the wall and father time has just caught up with him.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Agreed, BR. But, the fact is, his name is Votto.

      Most good offices can hide a bad hitter. Yep, the problem wasn’t Votto last night. It was everyone including Votto. 2 runs is going to win very few games.

  42. LT

    I’ve seen a number of comments suggesting that we’re a better team than the Brewers. I’d love to agree but I just can’t find any convincing reason to believe that. They have better record overall, they have a 8-2 again, and they have better pitching categorically. Maybe we can argue that we have better offense in term of stats but in situational baseball I doubt that we’re better than Brewers or any team. So to me, we need to acknowledge that we’re not better than the Brewers and we need to bring our ace game just to compete with them, not necessarily to win. I am still proud of the Reds though and actually pulled out my Reds shirt to wear to work today 🙂

    • Ted Alfred

      Since our disastrous 7-15 start the Reds record vs the rest of MLB is 46-23. Since that same date the Brewers are 32-36 vs the league excepting the Reds….case closed. Sometimes a team just matches up really well with another team for whatever reasons, but I think a much more representative way to measure teams is how they’re doing against all of the other teams, not just one series where they have a specific advantage that essentially maifests itself vs only 1 of 31 teams

      • LT

        Agree Ted. I’ve said it a few times and wanted to trade mark what I said “we don’t play the Brewers everyday”, so we’ll be fine. What I am challenging is the belief that we’re a better team than the Brewers. Offense, defense, pitching, and the “intangibles” such as chemistry, savy, et, are the 4 categories to compare. Brewers are better than us in pitching and intangibles. Defense is a wash? I didn’t check stats but in the 10 games we played them, I don’t recall they made any error. Maybe we’re better in offense. So are we a better team? I don’t think so. We’re a more exciting team, that I agree with wholeheartedly.

    • VaRedsFan

      Thanks Chris also.
      I concurred with your viewpoint on India yesterday.

      As the article stated, if Cease were in ply (which sounds like he isn’t), then the Red interest might have been peeked.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Agree also, I made my feelings known yesterday about this supposed trade. Stupid and short sighted were the words I used to describe it I believe.

  43. Harry Stoner

    What was the last game the Reds lost due to poor starting pitching?

    Must be 2 Weaver starts ago.

    Before that?

    • Rednat

      i agree, i am not worried about the starting pitching at all. we have enough guys in our system that can keep the team in the game for the first 5-6 innings. I don’t think we need a starter.

      the bullpen will be fine

      Our major issue, which is the issue that has plagued us for this entire century is inconsistent offense./ you aren’t going to beat many teams only scoring 1-2 runs. I really think CES,Mclain and then Marte will eventually give us this consistent offensive presence in the lineup we need to really be a great team one day. I would also like to see the reds go out and get a free agent outfielder this off season to bolstar our offense.

  44. MBS

    Game 1 off Steer, next day 2 for 5
    Game 2 off CES pinch hit HR 1B, next day 1 for 4
    Game 3 off India, next day 2 for 4
    Game 4 off McLain, next day 2 for 4, 1 BB, 1 HR ?
    Game 5 off Friedl, next day 2 for 4, 1 HR
    Game 5 off Fraley, next day 1 for 4, 1 HR

    Game 6 off EDLC, next day 1 for 4, 1 HR

    Game 7 off Votto, next day 0 for 4
    Game 7 off Benson, next day 1 for 3

    Votto is the 1st to break the trend by going 0 for following an off day. There’s a lot of Votto talk recently, and it’s true he probably shouldn’t be an everyday player. I would hope that Bell can utilize him in the right matchups, and that probably occurs 2 or 3 games a week.

    • Harry Stoner

      You’d think such a plan would fit smoothly into Bell’s propensity to juggle lineups and positions.

      I can also imagine Bell being pretty intimidated by a player of Votto’s stature and persona.

      Back when JV was going through his on-again-off-again rehab, it was clear from some of Bell’s statements that he wasn’t in regular communication with Votto.

      Maybe that’s normal, but Bell’s detached persona makes even normal things seem paranormal.

      • Jim Walker

        After all the posturing about whether Votto would be ready for opening day and with some roster moves seemingly made to accommodate that possibility, I was amazed later on to read Bell subsequently quoted on the record (online Enquirer) that he had expected all along Votto would NOT be ready for opening day and had been surprised by how far along he was even though clearly he wasn’t ready.

        Bell wasn’t asked his read during spring? He wasn’t made aware of what was going on with Votto’s rehab through the winter? What’s the chain of command and flow of information inside the org?

      • Chris

        I don’t think Bell is really intimidated by Votto’s stature. I’m certainly not a Bell apologist, but it was Bell who benched him for a number of games in 2020 or 21; can’t remember which. Bell also pinch hit for him a couple of times this season when a lefty was in; have no idea why he chose not to last night though.

  45. J

    It would be nice if we could lose games like last night and most of us be in general agreement that the manager did the best he could with the players he had. But instead we’re in general agreement that Bell didn’t do that. Most of us agree that he had the order wrong (especially Benson at #9 and CES at #7, which gave them fewer at-bats than everyone except Stephenson), and that Votto had no business hitting against a lefty in a tie game with three right-handed hitters on the bench, including one who later entered the game for Votto on defense after Votto made his fourth out. I don’t think anyone — even the biggest Bell supporters — would say that this was a sound strategy. The fact that this organization allows this sort of thing to happen, repeatedly, is simply mind-blowing to me. Aside from (I would hope) wanting the Reds to win because they’re (I would hope) Reds fans, this is a multi-million dollar business that seems to be willing to sacrifice potentially huge amounts of money just to make a couple employees happy. I suppose that’s refreshing, in a sense, but most shareholders probably wouldn’t tolerate this behavior the way most Reds fans seem to. And the other employees also might not be so thrilled if their wages are cut because the company is catering to a couple very special employees.

    I’ve been told to “relax” and “just enjoy the season,” but I’m afraid I have an easier time doing that when the Reds are 20 games behind. (I don’t know what it’s like for them to be 20 games ahead. Maybe I’d be able to relax and enjoy that.) When the team is fighting for a playoff spot, I really really really want the manager to make smart strategic decisions every single inning of every single game. Call me crazy, but that’s how I am.

    • Pete

      Blood is thicker than water….

      Short of a total and complete collapse, I can’t see David Bell going anywhere. You’re frustrated, imagine how Nick Krall feels?

      • Jim Walker

        But money also talks and Krall keeps bringing up how nice it is to 40K crowds making his job easier 😉

      • J

        Honestly, I have no idea how he feels. People seem to think he wants to replace Bell but isn’t allowed to. Maybe that’s true, but he’s given me plenty of reasons not to trust his judgment. Is Weaver still pitching for the Reds because Krall isn’t allowed to promote someone else or make a trade? Was he forced to commit $10 million to Mike Minor after waiving Miley to save $10 million? Is he required to keep brining lousy relief pitchers up from AAA just to pitch one bad inning before DFA’ing them? Has he not been allowed to make a trade for relief pitching the way the Braves and Rangers already have? Was CES required to stay in AAA until a few days ago? Maybe so, or maybe he’s just not particularly good at his job (other than trading for prospects — which he’s obviously great at). Maybe he wants to replace Bell, or maybe he thinks Bell is doing a great job. How would any of us really know?

      • Pete

        J- he is the best in MLB, hands down. Period – end of sentence.

        To accomplish what he has in 2 years with a pitiful budget is amazing. Mike Minor? Who else was available for $10M and willing to pitch at GABP? Name some names.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        People complain about Weaver, me, also. But, they rarely if ever consider things like:

        1) What I call “plan B”. If not him, then who?
        2) They need to be on the 40 man roster
        3) They need to be on the active roster

        When one considers everything, the decision is a lot harder to come by. Thus, people would consider simply just go with who you have and just “roll with it”.

        I’m confident Weaver will be “fixed” in the off season. But, before Ashcraft came back we already had one position to worry about. People wanted two positions to worry about?

      • Harry Stoner

        Wait a minute.

        Krall is the best GM in MLB because he made a couple trades selling off pitching to desperate clubs?

        I’m not up for Krall bashing but that’s a pretty extreme sentence with or without a period at the end.

        Eating a few of contracts? Well, he signed Myers and Pham.

        The Naquin and Benson trades are looking good.

        Newman? Meh. Barnhart? Did he even get someone?

        Minor? Well, one pitcher available for $10M was Miley.

        Weaver? Signing him was one thing. Keeping him?

        I’m generally positive about Krall, but agree some of his MLB / MiLB shuffling has been inexplicable.

        I don’t understand the deification of him yet.

        He’s done well with selling. Still a lot to prove as far as buying goes.

      • Pete

        Harry – here is what NK has created in 2 years:
        1 – an exciting young team competing for a division title in late July after one of the most historically awful seasons in over 120 years
        2 – a thriving minor league second to few if any
        3 – next year they have as low as a committed payroll as any other team
        4 – the club is packing the ballpark leading to enhanced revenue beyond anyone’s wildest expectations

        Yes, he is #1 with a bullet. Yes, he is stuck with Bell and at least for the remainder of this season with Joey Votto. Hopefully the Reds will fail just enough that Krall can pick his own manager next season.

        The downer: he will trade anyone to improve the franchise. If winning isn’t your first priority, there will be times you’re not happy. But the price for excellence doesn’t come cheap.

        He’s not Jesus but he is without doubt the most effective GM in Major League Baseball and the Reds better hold on tight to him.

      • J

        Harry – I said something similar not too long ago. Krall has been brilliant in terms of trading veterans for prospects and identifying some undervalued fringe players. He’s been quite bad, though, when it comes to signing or trading for veterans. He was apparently instrumental in signing Moose, then there’s Minor, Pham, Moran, Weaver, Myers, etc. Castellanos was a good signing that worked really well for one year out of the four year contract. I understand why people are happy with his recent trades, but he hasn’t yet proved he’s able to correctly evaluate established major league players. His gift seems to be evaluating minor leaguers and fringe players like Drury and Benson.

      • Redgoggles

        Keep in mind in his trades the players don’t have to choose to come to a Cincy under the Castillini ownership group, the free agents did.

        I’m not sure it’s fair to dock Krall for those completely. With the team of the last couple of years, no quality free agent is going to sign without being overpaid, which the Castillini group is pretty clearly not doing. Maybe that will change now that the quality of youthful talent/farm and culture change, etc. Krall gets the majority of the credit for that in my opinion.

        Myers and Weaver are on him this year. Most of the examples provided are buy-low, C level free agents, such as Casali, Luke Maile, and Lively, Farmer, Cruz, Law, Young. Many of these were minor league deals. Pretty good eye, if you ask me.

        Mike Minor pitched 98 innings last year, Wade Miley 37. Neither were worth 10 million.

        Barhart actually would have helped last year considering the catching situation. But not at the pricetag, opening for Stephenson.

      • Chris

        @J…No one is going to fire a manager when the team is on the cusp of 1st place when it was thought to be a last place team when the season first started. I have my issues with Bell too, but some of this talk in here borders on ridiculous. The Reds organization would be the biggest joke in all of sports if they fired Bell or Krall right now. I think some of you need to realize these teams aren’t managed the way you might manage your video game baseball team.

    • Redgoggles

      1. CES looked just as bad – or worse – than Votto last night, expanded his zone and helped out the pitcher, by making easy/quick outs. It’s hard to expect that another AB against Williams in 9th would have generated any better odds than Votto’s did. I think Bell left Votto in to face the LH pitcher in 7th as he expected Votto to have another high pressure AB later in the game and Milwaukee had no other LHers. If Votto would have taken Williams deep in the 9th, how would that have changed this narrative? I see this as a 50/50 call, neither decision probably impacted the game.

      2. Benson is an emotional player, and one who struggled mightily earlier in the season when batting higher in the order. As an inexperienced major leaguer, who says moving him up into the top/meat of the lineup wouldn’t have a similar – or worse – impact that dropping India (a much more experienced player) did? Meanwhile, he is generating a ton of valuable pressure on opponents pitching staffs at the end of the lineup where pitchers generally “catch their breath.”

      3. The umpire rating was the worst (by far) of any Reds game this year. -2.12 runs. So if you really want someone to blame, I’d start there (and I’m not one to generally whine about officiating.)

      I’m ready to give Votto more regular “rest” as well, but CES is going to have to earn ABs in the major leagues, and frankly he showed his inexperience last night.

      This will likely work out over time, as I expect CES to force his hand over time. I think Bell will respond to it similar to dropping India in order (and out of lineup altogether) recently due to his performance. But to immediately give it to CES because he’s tore up AAA for several months isn’t a reason to bench Votto until he’s earned it in the major leagues.

      So to paint this as super obvious bad managing isn’t valid yet, imo.

      Some smart strategic decisions require patience, and allowing your employees (players) success/failures to dictate future promotion/demotions are character traits that all successful managers (including baseball managers) have. Rushing to judgement/changes often ticks people off, especially long time/valuable employees.

      Drop Weaver, and I don’t even care who you replace him with. The bullpen needs help and having to cover 5-6 innings every 5 days is putting tremendous strain on the current group (and their manager.)

      • J

        Redgoggles, Bell didn’t know CES would look bad last night. He had no reason to think that would happen. I’m not saying these were bad decisions with *hindsight.* I’m saying they were objectively bad decisions based on all the stats and everything we’ve been seeing from these players in the last few weeks. There was no sound reason to leave Votto in to face a lefty, and there is no sound reason to think Benson can’t “handle” hitting higher in the order. Benson has handled some very high pressure situations quite well. (Extra innings triple in Baltimore against a lefty, for just one example.) The guy was fighting for his major league life when he came back up, so every at-bat was important to him, and he handled it like a champion. He’s obviously quite comfortable and confident now. A guy who hasn’t handled things well lately has been Votto, and yet he’s ahead of Benson and remains in the game when he should be lifted. Rationality doesn’t play a role here. It’s all about loyalty and respect and whatever. It’s not about winning the game.

      • Redgoggles

        No, he didn’t. Just like you didn’t know that Votto would hit 8 HR in his first month back, including several key, game-changing ones. Which were the better odds, going into the game? It’s not as obvious as you are trying to make it.

        I too am supportive of trying CES over Votto at this point (based on his AAA performance/hype), but simply suggesting it’s not managerial malpractice to make CES earn it. And, it’s probably a better managerial decision to do so, all things considered.

        I have been very impressed with Benson’s plate discipline and excited with his overall performance and potential, but he has 143 ABs this year. I’m not sure a few key hits are enough proof to drop other, more experienced players in the lineup….yet, which is the other side of this move.

        He’s managing everyone in the clubhouse. Players go through hot/cold stretches, regardless of their age/experience. Yanking them around regularly based on recent performances does more harm than good imo. Over the season, he needs them all so yes, he does need to keep their respect, motivation in mind and being patient isn’t terrible.

        Just win. That’s all that matters.

      • Redgoggles

        I’m not comparing the 2 players, but Aristines Aquino had 205 ABs in his rookie season (19HR!) as a recent, cautionary example of how reacting to small sample sizes does require more patience than most fans have.

        Will Benson is up to 198 career ABs in the major leagues. He is providing excellent value in the lower half of the batting order, and will continue to move up if he keeps it up and others falter.

      • J

        If it’s a bad idea to move Benson up in the order despite his great hitting, including in pressure situations, why has Bell been moving Steer all over the place on offense AND defense? Steer is still a rookie! And why was it okay for EDLC to start his major league career at cleanup and leadoff? And why was McLain instantly good enough to hit at the top, while Benson has to continue proving he can hit major league pitching after being the best hitter on the team for a month? And CES, whose AAA stats were the best of the bunch, apparently needs time before he can hit higher than 7th? And Benson is a #9 hitter because he’s only got 200 ABs? None of this makes any sense whatsoever.

        Here’s another theory: Maybe Bell pays more attention to his own personal theories and hunches and feelings than stats and/or what’s actually been happening on the field. And maybe when he produces a lineup based on those theories and hunches and feelings, it’s possible to come up with arguments that make his decisions seem as if they might be more rational than they actually are. If he has Votto leading off, for example, one could argue that it makes sense because “Votto has a very high career OBP and has hit several home runs this season.”Or if Maile leads off, one could argue it makes sense because “it will lull the pitcher into a false sense of complacency and Maile will probably crush the first pitch he sees.” There are always going to be ways to argue that Bell’s irrational decisions aren’t as irrational as they may seem. But Bell has *never* given me a reason to think he’s got good reasons for the seemingly crazy things he does. When I hear him speak, it just makes me think he’s not a particularly bright guy and his decisions are probably a reflection of that fact as much as they are anything else. It doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that.

      • Redgoggles

        And perhaps he actually knows the personalities and abilities of the players more than us fans do, and integrates them into his decisions?

        Not all 21-25 year olds have the same maturity or capacity levels. It’s not that hard to see.

        Have you listened to a Bruce Bochy interview? Not the most inciteful or exciting one either. Managerial interviews to the media are probably not the best way to judge the quality of a manager. It’s hard to argue with his results. I’m sure there were fans in SF that felt the Giants won 3 World Series despite – not due to his management.

        I’m not directing this at you personally, but it kills me how much crap Bell gets this year, in a year that the Reds were widely expected to lose 90-100 games yet they are in the thick of playoff contention in late July, all the while without Greene/Lodolo for much of the season and the bullpen largely held together with minor league free agents. It seems like he deserves at least a small bit of credit for this?

        I’m convinced that folks would be picking apart his Game 2 lineup order in the World Series too.

        I’m looking forward to reading the comments when he wins manager of the year. When the Reds win the central – not because, but despite him – of course.

        Let’s enjoy this ride. It’s been a special one.

      • Chris

        @Redgoggles, that’s a great post. Many in here think they are managing their MLB The Show Franchise video game teams. I do disagree with hitting Votto in the 7th, but I do and did at the time realize why Bell kept him in. I just disagree, but it was a valid reason. Brantley talked about it at the time as well. Votto is a legend in this town, he’s going to get a longer leash than others; that’s just a reality and not a video game.

      • J

        If Bell has all these insights and knows these personalities so well, it’s rather amazing that his team lost 100 games last year with all the talent they had. People seem to forget the Reds became sellers because they were absolutely awful despite having all the legit major league players they traded away, plus basically the same bullpen they have now, plus Friedl and Fraley and India and Farmer and a Solano and so forth.

        The Reds were also awful to start this year. Bell couldn’t seem to get anything from any of the players he had at that time, including Benson. Myers was cut he was so awful. Where were Bell’s insights on that one?

        MM, Elly, AA and CES joined the team, Fraley and Friedl started hitting, Benson returned and blossomed, and Steer just continued to be Steer. The team started winning because of this infusion of talent and enthusiasm, obviously, but now we’re supposed to think Bell must be a genius for making it all work. I guess his genius must have been taking a holiday for the first month of the season and all of last season and most of the previous two seasons.

      • Redgoggles

        No one is disputing any manager looks better with more talent.

        “Legit major leaguers” – top 7 ABs last year (250 ABs)

        Farmer, India, Senzel, Votto, Solano, Aquino, Moose. (They already have 6 players with 250 ABs this year; India, Steer, Stephenson, Friedl, Fraley, McClain.)

        I’d say maybe 1-2 of the top 6 last year would start regularly for this years club.

        “Same bullpen” – Top 7 bullpen appearances last year:

        Strickland, Diaz, Kuhnel, Cessa, Sanmartin, Farmer, Warren. (This year is Farmer, Diaz, Gibaut, Young, Sims, Cruz, Law.)

        Beyond Diaz and Farmer, you could squint real hard and maybe keep Sanmartin for the handedness.

        “All the talent they had last year”. Really? I’d be curious what record your nominated best manager would have generated with that bunch.

    • Chris

      Outside of the fact that Bell should have hit for Votto, I just disagree with you. I love Benson batting 9th and for now I don’t even mind CES batting 7th. As for Votto I would certainly platoon him, but I wouldn’t be giving up on him this soon. This team isn’t, for the most part, having issues on offense, and when it does; it’s not just Votto that is struggling.

      • J

        “Bell should have hit for Votto…”

        Ok, now that sounds like you’re saying Bell made an objectively wrong choice when he let Votto hit. Not a choice that might have been right somehow, but a choice that was wrong. Maybe not the absolute worst choice he could have made (for example, he could have used a pitcher to pinch hit), but definitely wrong based on all the information available.

        So, Bell made a WRONG decision in that inning. We agree on that. It doesn’t mean we’re both claiming to be great at managing baseball teams; nor is it the same as saying “Bell needs to be fired today.” That’s not what either one of us is claiming. We’re both saying “this guy makes some objectively wrong decisions.”

        My point is that I don’t understand why these kinds of objectively wrong decisions are tolerated. Again and again and again. They’re tolerated by fans, by ownership, and by media. As long as they’re tolerated, they’ll continue to happen. You (and others) apparently don’t care because the Reds are doing pretty well this year. I’ve cared every year Bell has been here, and I still care despite the recent success, and would like to see these kinds of mistakes stop. If Bell absolutely refuses to stop making them because he’s incapable of admitting they’re mistakes, then, yes, I do think he should be fired. (Obviously I thought he should have been fired a long time ago, but I agree it can’t/shouldn’t happen now. And if they win the World Series, I’ll even support a contract extension despite my reservations.)

  46. Jon

    Votto batting ahead of Steer and Benson (again) tonight. If Bell can’t have the tough conversation with Votto that he’s only going to be playing at the bottom of the lineup and part time, then it’s obviously time to replace Bell. That’s what he gets paid for.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I will even take it one more step. . .

      Yep, pretty much the same batting order. We lost 6 of the last 7 to these guys. I’m sure this time, this batting order will work.

      Steer in the OF and Fraley DHing?

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      With some people on here. . .

      Why Maile in the 9 hole? Benson deserves to be in the 9 hole. That’s our “alternate” or “secondary” leadoff guy, to give Elly a chance to drive in runs. But not with Maile down there. What, Maile has a better mentality for the 9 hole than Benson does?

      • Harry Stoner

        See my ‘argument’ below.

        Swapping Maile for Benson undermines my case and is another head scratcher from Bell.

        He’s consistently inconsistent.

        Analytics meet Ouija Board meet Lucky Rabbits Foot.

      • Jim Walker

        @Harry>>> Bell is a classic micromanager who has to make changes to convince himself he is earning his keep. Witness pulling Votto for a defensive switch last night in the Milwaukee 9th after batting him versus a LH pitcher in the 7th presumably because he thought Votto’s spot might come up again in the Reds 9th against a RH pitcher (which it did and Votto K’d vs a the RH pitcher. One can presume, Senzel was actually brought on to be the Reds ghost runner if the game went to the 10th; but why not wait until the 10th? Is Senzel off the bench a better 3B than Steer who was bumped over to 1B by the move).

        And my head is spinning from just trying to write this!! 😉

    • Harry Stoner

      It’s been going on for long enough now, that Bell doesn’t see “the bottom of the lineup” the same way it has traditionally been fashioned.

      It must be pretty obvious that he’s hitting Benson down there so that somebody is potentially on base more often for #1 and #2 hitters.

      Yes, it flies in the face of “set your lineup so your best hitters get more ABs”.

      But it clearly, by now, is a conscious strategy and not made indifferently.

      Benson, himself, seems quite aware of it.

      Why Votto ahead of Steer? Again, to give JV some protection and stretch out the batting order.

      Again, the shibboleth that “you line up all your worst hitters at the bottom of the linep” is being challenged.

      Last year the Reds had a long string of sub-Mendoza hitters arranged just so.
      So did the Giants recently.
      Reds pitching took advantage of that, particularly later in the game.

      You can make arguments against these decisions but they are discrete decisions.

      I’m by no means a Bell supporter, but an argument against them ought to dive a little deeper than “it’s never done this way”.

      Benson could be driving in more runs in a different part of the order, but he’s scoring frequently, and is in the position to do so often.

      The Reds difficulties w RISP confound that.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        “You can make arguments against these decisions but they are discrete decisions.

        I’m by no means a Bell supporter, but an argument against them ought to dive a little deeper than “it’s never done this way”.

        Benson could be driving in more runs in a different part of the order, but he’s scoring frequently, and is in the position to do so often.

        The Reds difficulties w RISP confound that.”

        I don’t deal in discrete. I deal in facts.

        I can understand all your arguments. . .except for the first inning. Who’s going to drive Benson in for the first inning? Who’s Benson going to drive in for the first inning?

        If you have 5 good hitters, and put one of them in the 9 hole, you effectively take the bat out of their hands for 1 AB a game. No one can drive them in for the first inning; they can drive in no one in the first inning. That is fact. That is not giving your team the optimal chance to score runs.

        This isn’t tradition. This is fact. If people don’t understand baseball 101, that’s there problem.

        Your argument holds no substance whatsoever. Provide me, oh, say, 2 other major league teams who have their best hitter in the last 30 days in the 9 hole and their worst hitter then last 30 days leading off, then I will be the first to say your argument holds some substance. Till then, it’s nothing but a lot of words signifying nothing.

        To even consider that this is “bucking tradition”, let’s see. . .the Reds have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to get Bell, and he supposedly comes up with a new revolutionary way of making a batting order. . .or he’s simply no good with it? Hmmm. . .The Reds, who supposedly have been a team to accept all the analytics over the recent years, have found a new revolutionary analytical way to make a batting order? Yeah, right.

        Blowing smoke, Harry, blowing smoke.

      • Indy Red Man

        Steve, you can’t just blame everything on Bell. This is just the Reds way. Freidl has veteran “grit” and Benson doesn’t. Price did the same thing and Dusty before him. I came back to Indiana in 1998 and started devouring Reds baseball again and I think Elly/McLain are the first 2 rookies to jump right in 1-4 in 25 years. I might be wrong, but I doubt it. They wanted Renteria’s “grit” while Cozart tore up AAA.

        CES got held down all year even when they were 29th in HRs. Krall has to be in on it which makes him more responsible then Bell.

      • Harry Stoner

        Back when I was in school they spoke of “reading for comprehension”.

        Big emphasis.

        You clearly missed that, SS.

        “Reading so you can argue some more.” seems your day in and day out modus, bub.

        You’re always so chomping at the bit to pontificate, it’s no wonder you have such difficulty writing, let alone thinking, coherently.

        I’m not advancing Bell’s argument, only suggesting he has one.

        You’re free to twist your knickers up in a wad all over again in refuting it.

        But try a little harder with your counter arguments. Obviously, in the first inning Benson won’t be up.

        But some other good hitters will be.

        That’s your argument?

        Even for your history of lameness, that is extraordinarily lame.

        What about Steer? He won’t be up in the first inning either.

        You try so hard to be the argumentative smart guy, but trip all over yourself at every opportunity.

        You just like to argue.

        A picnic ant.

        I don’t need or want to make Bell’s case for him. The fact that others may not be doing the same is irrelevant.

        Completely irrelevant to a discussion on Benson’s role.

        On the Reds.

        He’s been ultra productive in that role.

        Bell is clearly trying something….it isn’t a matter of bumbling or neglect.

        You may not approve, but you’re a gas-bag, who isn’t very skilled at putting forward very credible or convincing points of view.

        Your only counterpoint is a tired, lame “No one else does it!”

        You just like to argue so you come on to a place where you can satisfy your need.

        Go argue with a rock, Steve, you’ll be on equal terms.

      • Chris

        Actually the Reds took advantage of the Brewers last night with the subpar back half of the lineup. Unfortunately, it didn’t work in the end, because our best reliever gave up a walk and a hit to the last two guys in their subpar lineup, and then the #1 hitter got to him. This is the best lineup the Reds have had in years, and guys are whining about the difference in Benson and Friedl, etc. Some people just want to complain. The funniest thing is, people are actually calling for Bell to be fired. Can you imagine a team like the Reds firing their manager at this point with this success? LOL

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        For Indy. . .

        Baker and Price never did this mess.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        For Harry. . .

        So, your argument is Bell has no argument?

        Blowing smoke, Harry, blowing smoke. Marijuana must be on sale today.

        Passed “Reading for comprehension” just fine. Even specified “I understand your arguments”. Guess you didn’t comprehend what I meant.

        There’s something else called “make an argument”. I see no argument you are making. And, I like to argue?

        What’s Bell’s reason, Harry. State it or sit down, Harry.

      • Redgoggles

        @Steve; Baker did, for sure. I have the haunting memory of his preference to Scott Rolen over Todd Frazier in 2012, culminating with Rolen’s error to ruin Homer Bailey’s game 3 gem in the playoffs, and preventing a Reds sweep. The Votto > CES discussion reminds me of the Rolen > Frazier one from that team.

        It’s been the major league way, for quite some time. In the Reds organization, and many others. The trend towards youth is a pretty recent one.

  47. MBS

    Antone to Arizona today to start his rehab assignment. That could be a big boost if all goes well.

    • Harry Stoner

      I’m sure Bull Krall…and Reds’ fans will be watching closely.

      Antone’s arm health struggles have been heart breaking.

      His arrival was stunning and as out of the blue as Diaz’s.

      All the best wishes for him.

      He’s been working very hard for this.

      • Jim Walker

        Wishing Antone only the best against really long odds. If he can pull it together and be effective for even a short while, it could be a difference maker for the team and give him something as a high point to take into the rest of his life.

      • Brian Rutherford

        If Antone somehow makes it back to the Reds this season it would be as great a story as any on the club this year and that’s saying something in a season of great stories.

      • Redgoggles

        I’m on record mocking his spring training setback announcement that we would return for the playoff push.

        With his foresight, perhaps he should be manager lol.

        How awesome would it be if it ended up happening?

      • Redsvol

        I absolutely am pulling for TJ – not for my selfish Reds wishes but for him personally. Would love to see him get to have some fun with a baseball again before his career ends. 2 TJ’s plus all the other related setbacks has surely been challenging. Some of these guys really put their mind, body and soul into their careers. We need to keep that in mind.

      • Old-school

        During the first few games back during Covid with crowd limits of 12500 or what ever, got 4 tickets and randomly sat with Antone’s family. They are amazing. Mom,dad, wife. I root for that guy. We chatted for several innings.

  48. Jim Walker

    AAA Bats open a series with Indy tonight in Indy. All the usual suspects appear to be in the pregame lineup, i.e. Barrero, Fairchild, Noelvi Hopkins, Robibson, Siani.

    • Jim Walker

      Excuse me: Barrero, Fairchild, Noelvi Marte, Hopkins, Robinson, Siani.

  49. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Alright, alright, David Bell is the all-knowing guru that all baseball managers from the past, current, and future should look up to and idolize. His will should never be questioned. There is no sound argument that can be made against any of his decisions ever. Don’t even attempt. It’s always up to the players.

    Bell pulls AA after 1 no-hit inning, with AA feeling fine, with no trade happening, don’t even question it. It’s just all part of Bell’s overall new strategy. Just because it goes against traditional thinking doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Because Bell does no wrong.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Nope. Just find no need to care about some people when they try to say 2+2=3.

    • Redgoggles

      And yet you did care enough to make a post constructing a straw man argument that would never happen.