An error in the 1st inning extended things for a 2-run homer that played a big role in a 1-run loss that saw the Cincinnati Reds hold the Dodgers to just two hits on the day. Max Muncy’s second homer of the day against Luke Weaver, who had one of if not his best starts of the year, was the game winner as the Los Angeles bullpen held on over the final three innings.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (57-49) 2 7 1
Los Angeles Dodgers (59-44)
3 2 0
W: Kelly (2-5) L: Weaver (2-3) SV: Phillips (13)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

An error came back to haunt the Reds in the 1st inning. David Peralta led off the inning by reaching on an error by Spencer Steer. He would score with two outs when Max Muncy crushed a 400-foot 2-run homer to put the Dodgers on the board and give them a 2-0 lead.

In the 2nd inning the Reds got a 2-out walk from Joey Votto and an infield single from Christian Encarnacion-Strand, but the rally came to an end on a fly out as both runners were stranded. In the top of the 3rd Cincinnati got a leadoff double from Luke Maile, but he was stranded, too. That was the story of the first five innings for both starters as they repeatedly allowed runners but kept them from crossing the plate.

Leading 2-0 entering the 6th, the Dodgers went to their bullpen to bring in Caleb Furgeson to replace Emmet Sheehan. Elly De La Cruz led off with a double to the wall in center and then TJ Friedl picked up an infield single to put runners on the corners for Cincinnati with no one out. Kevin Newman came off the bench with one out to pinch hit for Jake Fraley and came through with a sacrifice fly that scored De La Cruz and advanced Friedl to second. Spencer Steer singled in another run two pitches later to tie the game up at 2-2. Back-to-back walks would load the bases and Will Benson came off of the bench to pinch hit for Nick Senzel, but he would strike out to end the inning.

The game didn’t stay tied for long as Max Muncy hit his second homer of the game with two outs in the bottom of the 6th to put the Dodgers back on top, 3-2. Weaver would get J.D. Martinez to fly out to end the inning. It would be the final batter he faced. Fernando Cruz took over in the 7th and threw a perfect frame.

In the top of the 8th inning the Reds would get a leadoff single from Matt McLain. He’d move up to second base on a ground out, but that was as far as he’d advance after a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning. Buck Farmer tossed a perfect bottom of the inning.

Evan Phillips, who recorded the final out of the 8th for the Dodgers, returned for the 9th. Tyler Stephenson picked up a 2-out single to keep the game going for Elly De La Cruz. The rookie would fly out to shallow left to end the game.

Key Moment of the Game

Spencer Steer’s error in the 1st inning. It allowed a runner, and then with two outs a 2-run homer from Max Muncy put the Dodgers up.

Notes Worth Noting

The Brewers lost earlier in the day, so Cincinnati’s loss doesn’t move them further back in the division and they remain a half-game back of Milwaukee.

Both Dodger hits were home runs by Max Muncy.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Sunday July 30th, 4:10pm ET

Graham Ashcraft (5-7, 5.64 ERA) vs Michael Grove (2-2, 6.19 ERA)

99 Responses

  1. BamaRed

    Another frustrating 1 run loss. Great pitching by Weaver but our offense is in a major funk. Only averaging 4 runs per game since the break. Bell, please shake the lineup or something.

  2. J

    Does anyone understand why Senzel was in left instead of third? Didn’t he go through of a stretch of looking like a gold glover at third, or did I just imagine that? I don’t understand why Benson didn’t start, but once the decision to start Senzel was made, was this really the correct defense? (Asking for a friend who’s not sure Bell really deserves three more years.)

    • Melvin

      Bell usually puts Senzel in at 3B late in the game for defensive purposes so I doesn’t know why in answer to your question. 🙂

    • Brian Rutherford

      Weaver is a fly ball pitcher so I believe he wanted the better defensive outfielder in left. That’s my guess.

    • VaRedsFan

      Change the headline of this article to:

      “Pregame managerial error is costly in Cincinnati Reds 3-2 loss to the Dodgers”

      • greenmtred

        So we should assume that Steer shouldn’t play third? Does that same rule apply to any player who makes an error that allows a run to score?

      • J

        None of that was a logical inference from anything anyone said here. Try again.

      • VaRedsFan

        @ GMR – Senzel is elite defensively at 3B.
        When he and Senzel are on the field at the same time, Senzel should be at 3B.
        I’m fine with Steer at 3B when Senzel is not in the game

      • greenmtred

        It was in response to the”pre-game managerial error..”post above. My response was perfectly logical based upon what I inferred the comment’s meaning to be.

      • greenmtred

        Senzel is a good third-baseman, certainly. But there’s no saying that Steer wouldn’t have made a costly error in left. Anybody could have made an error. I assume that the Reds view Steer as a more likely long-term member of the team than Senzel, and his role would likely include some time at third, so having him start there from time to time is logical. This discussion illustrates the limitations of 20/20 hindsight: how many of us, honestly, when we saw the lineup prior to the game, thought that Steer shouldn’t start at third? I don’t question that his error was costly. Nor do I question that Senzel wouldn’t likely have made the error. But neither do I question that Steer, on another day, probably wouldn’t have made the error.

      • J

        GMR, you seem to be missing the point. If player X is better than Player Y at third base, and Bell has player Y starting third base instead of X, and Player Y makes an error that potentially costs the Reds the game, it’s reasonable to suggest Bell made a mistake by not having Player X at third base. This isn’t remotely the same thing as saying Bell should be blamed every time any player makes an error at whatever position they’re playing, nor is it the same as saying it’s impossible for player X to have committed the same error if he’d been playing third, nor is it the same as saying player Y couldn’t possibly have committed an error if he’d been playing a different position. None of these would be logical inferences.

        If Bell has Votto playing third today and Elly at first, and those guys both make several errors that gift the Dodgers several runs, and people say “this was a mistake by Bell,” are you going to come here and point out that it’s *possible* Votto would have made even more errors if he’d been playing first, and it’s *possible* Elly would have made even more errors if he’d been playing third, and ask if it’s now Bell’s fault every time a player makes an error? Are you going to say this is unfair to Bell because it’s the players making the errors and not Bell? I hope not. I hope you’d see that it’s reasonable to blame Bell for those errors because of the decision he made to have those guys playing in positions that aren’t their best positions.

  3. west larry

    Tough loss. I think it would be less painful to lose ten to one. With the brewers losing again, the reds could have retaken first place. Errors happen, but it was costly. Weaver only gave two hits and one earned run. Probably the best game that he ever pitched.

    • J

      Normally I might agree, but tonight I prefer the close loss. The Reds looked like the more talented team, and by a lot. They know they should have won this game. I think that’s probably better for morale than being destroyed.

      • Jim Walker

        It all depends on what lessons this young Reds team can learn on the fly from games like this.

        Certainly don’t waste lead off doubles.

        Don’t take called 3rd strikes in leverage situations on pitches that are close enough to waste.

        Be careful with 3-0 pitches, particularly late in close games.

        And finally, be ready on defense from the 1st pitch on because what happens with the 1st batter may go a long way toward deciding the game (and actually has in both these games)

      • J

        All very true, but I don’t expect anyone to learn any lessons
        like that. They’re major league players and still don’t know these basic concepts, and I don’t think Bell ever demands anything of anyone, so why are they going to suddenly learn? They’re just going to keep doing the same things and expecting better results next time.

      • Earmbrister

        You “don’t think Bell ever demands anything of anyone”?

        C’mon, really?

      • Hanawi

        Agree with J, there’s little evidence to suggest that there is any accountability from Bell.

      • Earmbrister

        H – and there’s a little evidence to suggest that he doesn’t hold his players accountable. Bell has been there long enough to have reports come out via the players if he ran a loose ship.

        The players seem to respect him, and you don’t respect someone who doesn’t demand excellence. And when there is a problem with a player, any good manager resolves the problem behind closed doors, out of public view.

        Have at it if you want to question his managerial decisions with 20/20 hindsight. That’s standard fare (I do get a good laugh though when his bullpen management is questioned after they give up no runs in relief). However, it seems like some are stretching when they criticize accountability or his public speaking.

        No one expected them to be contending this year, the consensus was a last place finish. He’s guided them into playoff contention with a flawed and injured roster, but I’m sure he “should’ve” done better. Smh

      • greenmtred

        What evidence do you suppose we’d see? I doubt that he would read anyone the riot act in public. Few good leaders would. Bench guys to teach them a lesson? Fine pitchers for walking guys? Taking away their teddy bears? Maybe, but a reasonable rejoinder is that players learn through experience. Knowing what to do is far easier than doing it in MLB. I have no doubt, none, that every one of these players wants to excel.

      • J

        Various types of evidence could potentially be visible to us, such as removing a player after he’s done something dumb, or talking to a player in the dugout after he’s done something dumb, or at the very least, looking a little bit looking annoyed after a player has done something dumb. Or we might hear him say something (such as in an interview) about demanding his players make some sort of improvement in an area where they’ve been doing dumb things. But an even better illustration would be seeing players stop doing dumb things. So, for example, when we see Elly repeatedly flailing away at balls out of the strike zone, even when he’s ahead in the count, almost refusing to walk no matter how many balls are pitched, and he keeps hitting leadoff game after game after game and keeps doing the same thing game after game, it doesn’t give me the impression Bell is demanding a different approach from Elly. He’s just hoping Elly figures things out sooner or later. Or when Moose shows up out of shape and unable to perform, but is starting games and hitting in the middle of the order anyway. I could cite countless examples of guys looking like they’re basically free to do whatever they want and Bell just keeps running them out there day after day after day to do the same things.

      • VaRedsFan

        @J – I’ve posted a laundry list of things that Bell does that shows he doesn’t hold the players unaccountable. It’s OK to some though. Sometimes you need to take away their teddy bear. There’s plenty of evidence of the former, but none of the ladder.

      • greenmtred

        We disagree about what constitutes appropriate feedback. The conversation between coach and player is best conducted privately; it’s a lot easier to be less defensive and more open to criticism without witnesses. Though, as an aside, we don’t know that Bell or his coaches don’t do this in the dugout since we aren’t seeing the dugout continuously. Pulling a player after a dumb move? Shaming doesn’t seem constructive to me and, anyway, I’d be beyond surprised if these guys don’t largely know what they should do and don’t wish with all their hearts to excel at it. As for Elly swinging at bad pitches, yes it’s frustrating to watch and I don’t doubt that the hitting coach is working with him. MLB pitches are hard to hit. He’s young and learning. Maybe he successfully corrects it, maybe he doesn’t.

      • Tom Reeves

        “There’s little evidence there is any accountability from Bell?!”

        This is nearly an entire team of rookies or rookies with a makeshift rotation and an exhausted bullpen and the team is 0.5 games out of first place on July 30th. What on earth do you expect – perfection?! Baseball is a game of handling failure but there are so many fans who can’t process the least little bit of adversity.

      • J

        gmr, I’m just putting all the pieces together and giving my best evaluation of what I’m seeing. I don’t see Bell yanking players after a bad play or sitting them the next day, the camera never catches him talking to players after dumb plays or looking the slightest bit annoyed with a player, I don’t hear him in interviews saying things like “we’ve got to clean up all these dumb mistakes we keep making,” and I don’t see players looking like they’re worried about losing playing time even if they keep making the same mistakes again and again and again.

        For example, managers are supposed to be able to order players to take a pitch sometimes. That’s supposedly a power managers have. It’s not considered “crazy” or “too controlling” to give a take sign now and then. It doesn’t even have to be a take sign — it could be discussed privately before the game. “If you get a 3 ball count, I want you to take anything unless it’s right down the middle, because you’ve been swinging at too many ball fours, and you’re not reaching base enough.” If the guy then swings at a 3-0 pitch that would have been ball four, the next time he’s in that situation you issue a “take” sign because you know he can’t be trusted. Maybe this costs the player a chance to hit a home run on that pitch, but it sends a message “I want you to try to walk and not try to hit a home run every time.” These are the sorts of “demands” I don’t see any evidence of. He rarely calls for a hit-and-run or a squeeze, because that would be “demanding” something from the players rather than letting them do whatever they feel like doing. He hardly ever asks anyone to bunt, even when it’s a guy who’s prone to hitting into double plays and the guy *ought* to be a good bunter because he’s got some speed, so it *ought* to be something he works on. (Does India even know how to bunt? Or Fraley? I doubt Fraley has ever been asked to learn how to bunt.) He doesn’t seem to issue any take signs, as far as I can tell. He doesn’t even seem to be mildly suggesting that players stop swinging at balls, because they keep doing it. He’s just assuming they’ll all get it figured out eventually. And maybe they will, but that’s not the same as demanding something of them.

      • J

        “This is nearly an entire team of rookies or rookies with a makeshift rotation and an exhausted bullpen and the team is 0.5 games out of first place on July 30th. What on earth do you expect – perfection?!”

        A) I’m old enough to remember when Moose showed up to camp out of shape and unable to perform, and Bell “punished” him by letting him start most games. And I’m old enough to remember when Suarez refused to stop swinging at balls way out of the strike zone and seemed determined to try to pull everything, and Bell “punished” him by keeping him in the middle of the lineup every single day and seemingly never issuing a single take sign. This isn’t about rookies making “rookie mistakes.” This is about a culture of “do whatever you think works best for you, and I’ll just stay out of your way and hope it works out.”

        B) Nothing I’ve said here in any way whatsoever suggests I’m expecting perfection. What I’ve said, repeatedly, is that I see no evidence that Bell actually demands very much of his players, and is basically willing to let them do whatever they want to do, and see how it works. If you can’t distinguish the difference between that and “I expect perfection,” I don’t know what to tell you.

        Here is a fact: it’s possible for a team to do well even if the manager doesn’t demand anything of his players. If Sparky had basically allowed his players to manage themselves, never demanded much of anything out of anyone, never expressed the tiniest bit of dissatisfaction with anything anyone was doing, and just sat back and watched them play, that 1975 team would still have won a LOT of games. Rose would still have hustled, and Bench would still have been a great catcher. They’d probably have finished in first place. But would they have been as good as they were? Probably not.

        When Sparky died, there were some quotes from players saying, basically, “he was very tough on me as a young player, and I sort of hated playing for him, but in hindsight I know he made me into a great player and I’m thankful for that. I wouldn’t be in the hall of fame today without Sparky’s tough love when I was young and inexperienced.”

        I just don’t believe any player is going to say anything like that about David Bell. I think they’ll say things like “we knew he always had our backs” and “he always had faith in us” and “he gave us a lot of freedom.” They’ll say they loved playing for him for that reason. But I have a hard time believing anyone will say “he was very demanding and that’s what turned me into a good player.” Maybe I’m wrong, but I see no evidence of it.

  4. Andrew Brewer

    Ok, Weaver on the mound ,the Reds give up two runs in the first… no surprise. But the Dodgers only get two hits on the day, two homeruns from Muncy. While the Reds scored two to tie it, Muncy went yard again, and the Reds had no answer. This was not a typical anything. When Weaver is on the mound the Reds score runs. Period. This is one of those games that defies explanation.

    • Jim Walker

      I think one of the beauties of baseball is that just when things seem typical or predictable, they turn out not to be.

  5. Dan

    The Cubs are officially scaring me now. We need to start taking them seriously.

    • DevAJS

      I actually said that to the wife last night. The key is winning the series against them. Don’t look past the game tomorrow, but we play 4 against them next and have a shot to put them back where they belong.

      • Indy Red Man

        Everybody in the NL is inconsistent except Atlanta. The Reds are trending down offensively, but hopefully they can get it going again. Pitching advantage tomorrow w Ashcraft and then Abbott on 5 days rest to open the series in Wrigley. Get tomorrow and 2-3 in Wrigley and we’re where we need to be

      • David

        Left handers in Wrigley….sometimes a bad thing can happen.

        The Cubs AAA team (earlier this season) was an offensive juggernaut. Some of those guys were called up to the Cubs earlier, and now seem to be adjusting to the Majors.
        Yeah, they are hot, have won 7 or 8 in a row. About where the Reds were earlier when they won 12 in a row.
        So yeah, lookout. They have a lot of energy and confidence now, and the Reds could get hammered up in Wrigley this week.

  6. rednat

    I know the trend on RLN is that we need to go out and “get the pitching”. I actually think we have plenty of pitching within the organization to be competitive. I Do think we need a bat though. Dave Parker was a huge free agent signing in the mid 1980’s that help turn the fortune of the reds around and I Think we need a player like him to really take that next step. Our offense is like a song with some good chords but no hook right now.

    • CI3J

      Where would the “bat” play, though?

      EDLC, Steer, McLain, Benson, and CES all need to be playing every day, so you can’t replace them. Friedl, Fraley, and Stephenson are all valuable pieces.

      The only real answer is to upgrade on India, but if you trade him, you might be selling low right now.

      I think the real solution is that the players that are already here need to be aligned in an optized batting order. The Reds’ offensive slump coincided with EDLC being moved to leadoff. That move obviously is not working out, and it’s up to Bell to fix it. Of course, Bell is extremely slow to pick up on these things, so I’ll be surprised if if happens before the middle of August.

      • Jim Walker

        IMO Fraley is only as good as the OPS of his platoon partner vs RH pitching. This was demonstrated tonight. He was gone in the 6th because Bell (correctly) didn’t trust him to get a runner in from 3B vs a LH pitcher. The PH delivered a Sac fly in the 6th but then had to face an RH pitcher in the 8th with the tying run on base despite having a .553 OPS vs RHP.

        A handedness neutral bat whose overall OPS matched or exceeded Fraley’s overall OPS would be an upgrade. And yes, Fraley’s *overall* OPS because it reflects in the real world, his exposure to LH pitching that cannot be avoided.

      • CI3J

        Jim, someone like you described would be Kyle Tucker from the Astros. He bats LH, but actually hits lefties better than he does righties.

        However, I wonder if the Reds sent Fraley and a prospect or two to the Astros for him, if Bell would actually let him hit against lefties. While Fraley’s (extremely small) sample size against lefties looks bad, players like Friedl and Benson have shown some promise, yet Bell still rarely lets them hit against lefties.

        In Bell’s eyes, every LH hitter except Joey Votto is a platoon player.

      • TR

        I think the on-again off-again problem with the Red’s offense is how to honor the great Joey Votto in his, probable, final year with the Reds. As a veteran offensive presence in the lineup, Joey is not getting it done with an average of .184. To stabilize the offense for these final two months of the title run, I would set the infield, barring injury, at EDLC , McLain, India, and alternate Steer and CES at DH and 1st. base. In addition, McLain should leadoff and Benson moved up in the batting order. The remainder of the roster, including Votto, should be used as needed.

      • BK

        Fraley has an OPS of .461 against LHP across Five seasons. He’s actually below his career numbers this season. The small sample size argument is becoming increasingly difficult to make.

      • BK

        @Jim, I agree. Fairchild has several advantages over Senzel (or Newman) as a platoon partner., and the evidence is fairly compelling that Fraley needs a platoon partner.

      • Ted Alfred

        I don’t understand Bells reluctance to move India back to lead off and move Elly down in the order…seems obvious. Move Elly down to 5, Joey down to 7, CES up to 6. Try it for a week and see how it goes. Clearly that’s India’s best spot in the order and if it doesn’t work it’s not set in stone… you can just change it again later. You could also move Benson up to 5 or 6 of you want to get really crazy!!

      • old-school

        @ Jim. Counterpoint.

        “A handedness neutral bat whose overall OPS matched or exceeded Fraley’s would be an upgrade”

        True that. One problem. Where do you find such an outfielder whose OPS meaningfully trumps Fraley’s and also does NOT have their own handedness issues. Thats a really short list.

        There are(4) outfielders in the NL who meet your criteria. Acuna,Tatis,Betts and Soto. Thats it. Soto is literally the only lefty OF that has a higher OPS than Fraley’s AND hits above league average against RH/LH pitching.

        Yellich? Nope. WRC + 73 and OPS .630 against lefties
        Suwinski Pirates? Nope. WRC + 81 and OPS .655
        Phenom Rookie Carroll? Nope. WRC + 82 .668

        A cursory look at the AL and Kyle Tucker is the only Lefty OF with both a higher OPS than Fraley overall and no meaningful handed splits. Hes cheap and controlled for 3 more years and will sign a 9 figure contract soon.

        Newman knocked half the Reds runs in with a SAC fly and advanced McLain to 2b as the tying run in his other bat with Steer and Votto K and GO.

        If you can trade Fraley and a prospect for Soto or Acuna or Mookie Betts…I m all 4 it.

    • Hanawi

      They are definitely in a slump but they have bats at AAA that they could bring up. Or Dunn from AA, who has been destroying the ball this month. But I agree about the lineup. Should drop Friedl to 9th, put McLain at leadoff followed by Benson and Steer. Those have been the 3 best hitters recently. And they need to give Votto more days off. Just don’t think Bell will do it.

      • Reaganspad

        I think that Marte comes up when India is traded and is planted at 3rd. I have been waiting fora Dunn promotion for a while. I realize he is making up for time lost due to injury, but he has 42 steals and is hitting 372 with 1000 ops. While he only has 6 hrs, he gets a lot of extra base hits. That screams lead off hitter. Maybe we have to wait a year to see it but I am sure curious how he will fit

      • Tom Reeves

        “The Reds are definitely in a slump” (as the team goes 7-3 over its last 10 games and is 0.5 game out of first place).

    • SteveAReno

      For pitching, the radio announcer pointed out that Fernando Cruz was simply “unhittable” last night. When Cruz is like that, it would be cool to see him pitch more than one inning.

  7. Indy Red Man

    We better get atleast 2 in Wrigley because their schedule is really favorable for them. August 15-27 they play the White Sox for 2, Royals 3, Tigers 3, and Pirates 4. They also play the Rockies 6x in September. Flip side is 6 with Atlanta, 6 vs Milwaukee, and 8 with the Reds

    • Ted Alfred

      Good thing about the Cubs schedule is their last 6 of the year are at Atlanta are at Milwaukee. To be honest I’m really not that worried about the Cubs. It seems like the Reds hitter’s really like playing at Wrigley and I’m confident we’ll play well against them in the next four starting tomorrow…think we go 3-1. Would be really surprised if it’s worse than 2-2. I think we are in their heads a little bit like the Brewers are in ours.

  8. Ron

    I agree the Reds could use another bat. I think Lane Thomas from the Nationals would be a nice addition. He’s hitting.360 against lefties and could platoon with Fraley.

  9. Mark A Verticchio

    If the Reds were to trade for Lane Thomas he would not be a platoon player. He hits both right and left handed pitchers and would be the teams top offensive outfielder. The question would be how much would they have to give up to get him, the answer is a lot.

  10. Mark A Verticchio

    The fact is since the sweep of the Nationals the Reds have been a below average team 8 and 10 and the problem has not been the starting pitching and for the most not the bull pen. The problem is the offense, several players have been very cold, Votto and Freidl have been the worst. However Bell has continued to bat them both 2nd and 6th no matter what. Don’t get me wrong there are several others who have been average at best.

    • west larry

      I pretty much agree. Votto should play three or four times a week, and if he gets hot like he did that one week, you can increase his usage against righties. I think Freidl needs three or four days off, I like him, but he’s skinny, maybe he gets worn down. Like many have said, Elle needs to bat second or third and India either needs to bat first or seventh or eight imho.

      • Jim Walker

        The problem with Freidl playing less is that the backup CF, be that Fairchild, Barrero, or Siani, is at AAA. This is a roster construction issue that links back to carrying 2 RH bats whose only purpose is to support platoons.

      • west larry

        JW I agree. They should bring up Fairchild or Barrero and dfa Mr Bell;s favorite player.

      • greenmtred

        What? DFA McClain? India? They, and most of the other position players play much more than Newman does.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      You’re absolutely right, all season the roster has lacked a RH outfielder. I still believe that Fairchild would do better than Newman, but there’re also a couple of interesting options in the market in Grichuk and Thomas. They should look for another LH reliever too.

      • Jim Walker

        Fairchild and Barrero have both been hot at AAA, although they’ve both had a tough week this week. Maybe the reason we haven’t seen one of them called up is the looming trade deadline.

        It will be interesting to see who is where come Tuesday afternoon/ evening at 6pm ET.

      • Melvin

        If the only move the Reds make at the trade deadline is extending David Bell then I’m going to be just plum thrilled to death. 😀

      • Melvin

        west larry – Noooooooo. Of course not. 😉

  11. SultanofSwaff

    After the Brewers leave Atlanta they have two straight weeks of sub 500 teams, such as Colorado, Pittsburgh and Washington. Treading water might be the most we can hope for.

  12. Mark Moore

    Good Weaver game squandered. Senzel at 3B saves the one run, but we didn’t convert when opportunities came.

    Still, hung in there with a very good team.

  13. Doc4uk

    Have to wonder if Marte may bring more to team than CES now? CES is clearly struggling. Also Votto should not be batting against lefties and probably need Steer at 1B for most games . EDLC should be batting second with Friedl at lead off.

    Dunn looks like our future CF and needs to be moved to Louisville to see if he can keep up his unbelievable season (see SB numbers and average) . Phillips should already be in rotation with Weaver in long relief (currently no one is in that spot) .

    • AJ from Hamilton

      I hope you guys are right about Dunn but he’s 24 playing in AA. That tempers my enthusiasm.

  14. Chris Mo

    What is the record since Joey Votto returned from the injured list? How many runs per game with vs without him in the starting lineup? I love Votto, but Father Time says younger guys can play ball, older guys can’t. We are playing good teams tough, which is great, but we need that little bit of “something” that turns one run loses into one run wins.

  15. old-school

    Reds lost because they scored 2 runs. The offense has cratered since the first Brewer series before the AS break, minus a couple isolated breakouts. Some brutal numbers from the Reds regulars. The reds team hitting numbers since early July are bottom 5 in every metric.

    7/15/30 game OPS numbers

    Elly- .760/.475/.589
    Steer- .879/.575/.787
    India- .691/.641/.620

    Maile only had 25 PA in July but has been ok.
    Casali only had 6 PA in July

    Hopefully the bats wake up today and get hot at Wrigley followed by 6 at GABP

    • Jim Walker

      @OS>> The better news is that many of them have a better 7 game OPS than 15 or 30 game OPS. Comparing the progression from 30 games down to 7, Fraley, Votto, and Stephenson look like the biggest concerns.

      Benson bears close watching also to see if he has bottomed out and stays flat, starts to climb, or (hopefully not) keeps descending.

      With CES, we need to see where he is in 30 days. Guessing these numbers were run before Saturday posted as CES reached twice in 4 PAs Saturday; and, with his small number of PAs, which bumped his OPS up to .619 per BBRef.

      • old-school

        Im afraid Votto is approaching his own category, and its not a good one. He needs some hits badly and soon. Hope he goes on a little run with the 10 games after today in Wrigley and GABP.

  16. JB

    Key moment of the game- Benson watching strike three with the bases loaded.

    • Jim Walker


      Benson was also caught looking in the 9th and if I recall in game 3 at Milwaukee. He is at a next step in his development, learning he has to defend the plate at 2 strikes on borderline pitches. Get him some video of Votto in his prime.

      • Pete

        With the possible exception of McLain, all the hitters are regressing. What is going on? If Friedl can’t keep the ball on the ground or hit line drives, his value craters. Before the All-Star break these guys showed so much promise. I’m getting concerned because it looks like a team-wide issue.

      • VaRedsFan

        @ Pete – It coincided with them starting to hit HRs. What was it? 19-20 straight games?
        Not sustainable.

  17. Pete

    Who is Alex Paleaz? He might be worth a closer look…..

  18. Mark A Verticchio

    Fact is if you take away that one hot streak the Reds offense is below average if things don’t change quickly this season is going to be over as far as a playoff birth goes.

    • Pete

      A characteristic of a David Bell team is to play tight when the pressure is on. God I hope this isn’t what is happening now. The Cub series will tell us a lot.

  19. Mark Moore

    Also, the little voice in my head keeps reminding me what Joey promised all of us publicly. I love JV, but the version we’re seeing is very hard to watch far more often than not right now.

    • Jim Walker

      FWIW (or not), the opportunity cost of activating JV was optioning Stu Fairchild to AAA. At the time SF was sent back the offense was cooking and his 30 day BA/OPS line was at .257/.381/.543/.924.

      We were told nobody “deserved” to be sent down but SF drew the short straw because Benson was doing even better over a similar stretch.

      Maybe the grass isn’t always greener on the other side when one tries to fix something that didn’t need fixing.

  20. Soto

    In my opinion Steer has looked excellent at first, serviceable in left, and well below average at 3rd. I see no reason to play him at 3rd. I would like to see CES get an extended look at 3rd if India is out for a while. It should not be Newman.

    • David

      Well, it’s going to be Newman. Everything old (well, from last April and May) is new again.
      And David Bell got a three year contract extension. Did you hear about that? (Well, by now, EVERYBODY has heard about that.)
      Must be something in the water.

    • Jim Walker

      Yeah, my 1st thought on the error Saturday was that was a ball EDLC gets to quicker from that spot and most likely steps around versus backhanding then blows the guy away with his arm. My second thought was since they were in as an extreme shift as permitted, why not leave EDLC at the natural SS spot and flip Steer up the middle?

  21. Soto

    The cubs series in Wrigley will be extremely important for Joey Votto. He is one of the all-time great hitters in Wrigley. If he doesn’t hit there, it’s probably time for him to become an occasional DH and pinch hitter. I predict that he will have a productive series. Hit a couple of bombs and get on track. We will soon find out.

  22. Jim Walker

    The AAA Louisville Bats Sunday lineup has been posted. No Barrero; No Fairchild.

    Is it time to fasten our seat belts for final approach to the trade deadline?

    • Mark Moore

      I’m thinking it’s now or never.

      • Jim Walker

        Could well be at least one of them is headed for LA because of the India situation. Bell said postgame India had been sent for an MRI (heel) and results would be known be later Saturday (LA time) or Sunday. It would make sense to pre-position someone with the team and then decide if he was active or taxi/standby based on what they found out about India.

    • David

      Please keep your hands inside the blog for this ride!

      In less than 36 hours we will know about any “krooshal” moves.

      I hear Jacob Pinder is available.

  23. Mark A Verticchio

    If the Reds don’t make some changes there could be trouble. Maybe it’s me but it seems like some of the magic has worn off this team. I believe as others that Bell’s teams tend to tighten up when things get tough look at 2021 and the awful performance against the Braves on 2020. Let’s hope times have changed but right now they look tight and the Votto situation is not helping, players aren’t blind they see how little he is contributing and yet still playing everyday and batting 6th.

    • Mark Moore

      They do “seem to play tight” and, quite frankly, that’s a reflection on HDTBell more than anything IMO. I still think the extension was too early. He remains the #30 manager in all of MLB. I won’t discount the success we’ve seen, but questions still remain, at least from me. That “playing tight” is one of them.

      I suppose I’m still a little too old-school for some as I don’t really care how much the boys “love playing for him”. There are better options on the horizon as I see it. And it’s not just about this LA series (I’m not unhappy about where we stand today). It’s about our future.

      Still in the thick of things. And I don’t get paid to manage our Redlegs regardless. I’m not going anywhere and this is far more exciting than I anticipated headed into August.

    • Pete

      I was trying to think of ways of loosening the club up a little bit. I can’t recall who did it, but I think it was Billy Martin that pulled names out of a hat to generate a lineup. With the way nearly all the guys are struggling right now what would be the downside?

      I also seem to remember when the Big Red Machine had some guy struggling at the plate that Sparky Anderson would call for some hit-and-run’s. I guess he felt that they would focus on making contact more so than knocking the ball out of the park. He was a great manager!

      • Indy Red Man

        In all fairness, everyone is a great manager with a bunch of HOFers and/or top talent. They weren’t particularly young either like this team. They were all vets when they broke thru in 1975-76 except for Danny Driessen from what I remember

      • Jim Walker

        @IRM Re: the BRM guys:
        >Rose was RoY in 1963 (age 22)
        >Perez made the ’65 team (age 23) was All Star 67-70
        >Bench won RoY ’68 (age 21) MVP ’70,’72
        >Concepcion made the team in 1970 (age 22)
        These four were regulars on the 1970 and ’72 NL championship teams

        >Morgan was fulltime MLB in 1966 (age 22) came to Reds for NL Champion team in ’72 season (age 28) won MVP in ’75-’76
        >Geronimo came to Reds in ’72 (age 24) played in 120 games. Regular from ’73
        >Foster came to Reds org and MLB during the ’71 season (age 22) was not a fulltime regular till ’75
        >Griffey Sr home grown, 1st played w/ Reds in August ’73 (age 23), fulltime player in ’75

        If I counted correctly, Bench, Concepcion, and Geronimo had played on 4 NL Champs and 2 World Champs prior to age 30.

        Foster was a fringe player on 1 NL Champ plus a regular on 2 NL and 2 World Champs by age 26

        Griffey Sr was a regular on 2 NL and 2 World Champs at age 26

        Sparky, his staff, and the 3 veteran players(Rose, Perez, and Morgan) had a big role in shaping the other 5 guys.

  24. VaRedsFan

    1 De La Cruz, E SS

    2 Friedl CF

    3 McLain 2B

    4 Fraley RF

    5 Steer 3B

    6 Votto DH

    7 Encarnacion-Strand 1B

    8 Stephenson, T C

    9 Benson LF

  25. old-school

    I Missed any updates on India other than he had an MRI last night and now is out 2 games in a row.That doesnt sound good for heel pain, which is likely plantar fasciitis. My daughter had that and it can be nagging and frustrating and shut things down for weeks. Moose missed a month+ with that last year I think.

    India missing several weeks would shake up the IF a bit and pave the way for Elly to be the every day SS and McLain the every day 2b.
    It also gets Steer and CES more time at CI.

    I love Senzel’s defense at 3b but it appears the Reds have moved on from him as a regular player and 3b in the organizational depth chart.

    Hope everything checks out ok with India.

  26. Old-school

    India to the IL

    Fairchild called up

    • Jim Walker

      As much as I have advocated for Stu, I’m wondering why he ahead of Barrero for India? Maybe we will know by 6pm Tuesday

  27. Mark Moore

    While I would prefer Senzel at 3B over Steer for defensive purposes, I also think Steer will be fine once he settles into that role on a regular basis. Overall, I’d much rather see EDLC at 3rd and MattyMc at SS, but if India is out, what we see today is likely what we’re going to see for a while. Again, if everyone is settled in and playing those positions regularly, then we should be fine. It’s just difficult enough to play at the MLB level and switch positions on the fly day-to-day for some of these guys.

    Hoping we see “Good Graham” today and can get out of LA with a win. One more likely “last appearance for Joey Votto” there today. Too bad it isn’t formally declared and there won’t be any kind of a farewell tour. All my opinion, as usual. But I think the tea leaves say something like that.