The Cincinnati Reds needed a win to remain in first place and they couldn’t get it done. The Chicago Cubs picked up their third win in a row over Cincinnati, taking the series and sending the Reds to second place in the National League’s Central division.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (59-52) 3 8 0
Chicago Cubs (56-53)
5 7 0
W: Taillon (6-6) L: Weaver (2-4) SV:Alzolay (13)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Elly De La Cruz led off the game with a 424-foot home run on the first pitch of the night. That lead didn’t last long as the Cubs got back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the 1st off of Luke Weaver to tie things up at 1-1.

Cincinnati was threatening to take the lead in the top of the 2nd. Christian Encarnacion-Strand picked up a 1-out single and moved to third on a Will Benson double. Elly De La Cruz walked with two outs to load the bases. That sent the Cubs pitching coach to the mound for a visit with Jameson Taillon and whatever he said seemed to work as he got a ground out to strand the bases loaded.

In the bottom of the 3rd inning the Cubs did their own bit of threatening to take the lead. Nick Madrigal flew out to start the inning and Mike Tauchman struck out to follow. Nico Hoener then struck out, but strike three was a wild pitch and Hoerner raced to first after the ball hit the dirt and then the glove of catcher Luke Maile and bounced over everyone behind the plate. With the inning extended, Chicago took advantage of things. Ian Happ walked on four pitches and then Cody Bellinger singled in the go-ahead run. Dansby Swanson then drew a walk to load the bases. After getting ahead of Christopher Morel 0-2, Weaver threw four straight balls to walk in a run. It took Jeimer Candelario five pitches, but he also walked and it was 4-1 Cubs.

Following the walk, David Bell began to argue balls and strikes with the home plate umpire and was ejected from the game. Weaver rebounded to strike out Yan Gomes to end the inning, but Chicago made him throw 41 pitches in the inning. That put him at 80 on the day. Probably not the best thing for a team with a bullpen that is running on the fumes of the fumes.

Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Will Benson had back-to-back singles to lead off the top of the 4th to put runners on the corners. Encarnacion-Strand scored when Luke Maile grounded into a double play, but that would be the end of runs for Cincinnati in the frame as they cut the lead to 4-2.

Luke Weaver came back out for the bottom of the 4th inning and gave up a leadoff single that probably could have been ruled an error as the ball hit off of Will Benson’s glove. That was the end of the night for Weaver as the Reds went to newcomer Sam Moll. He immediately gave up a double off the wall, but TJ Friedl barehanded the ball and fired to Elly De La Cruz who fired it home to beat Nick Madrigal by 10 feet to record the out. Moll would then get a fly out and a strikeout of Ian Happ to end the inning.

Cincinnati would put some pressure on the Cubs in the top of the 6th when Spencer Steer led off with a ground-rule double. Christian Encarnacion-Strand was hit by a pitch with one out, putting the tying run on base. But both guys would be stranded after a strikeout and a ground out ended the frame.

The offense went quiet for a bit after that, but in the top of the 8th inning Spencer Steer cracked a solo home run to cut the Cubs lead to one run. Chicago got the run back in the bottom of the inning. Fernando Cruz took over for Ian Gibaut to begin the inning and gave up a double to Dansby Swanson to start the inning. He’d move to third on a single and then score on a sacrifice fly from Yan Gomes.

Cincinnati entered the 9th inning needing at least two runs to keep the game alive. Will Benson and Luke Maile both struck out to start things off, leaving the game up to Elly De La Cruz. He lined out to first base to end the game. The loss dropped the Reds to second place after the Brewers picked up a win earlier in the evening.

Key Moment of the Game

Luke Weaver’s strikeout of Nico Hoerner in the 3rd inning that bounced over catcher Luke Maile and kept the inning alive on what should have been the final out. Chicago scored three runs after that to take a 4-1 lead.

Notes Worth Noting

Luke Weaver’s ERA is 6.98 after he allowed four runs in 3.0 innings tonight.

Jake Fraley stole his team leading 20th base in the game.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Washington Nationals vs Cincinnati Reds

Friday August 4th, 6:40pm ET

Graham Ashcraft (6-7, 5.31 ERA) vs Patrick Corbin (7-11, 5.07 ERA)

147 Responses

  1. LarkinPhillips

    Over his last 11 starts weaver has average 3.2 innings per start. They can not run him out there any more! He is draining the pen every 5 days. I don’t care who they replace him with, but doing this over and over is unacceptable! The consequences are much greater than just the one loss each time he pitches.

    • CI3J

      Greene will be back in 2 weeks. Weaver is most likely down to his final 3 starts with the team.

      • LarkinPhillips

        0 reason for him to have 3 more starts. It will be three loses and at least 18-20 innings for the bullpen to cover during those 3 games.

      • Justin T

        In 2 weeks there will be no more playoff aspirations.

    • LarkinPhillips

      Sorry my math was wrong. 4.1 innings. Total of 45.1 IP in 11 games. 43 earned runs during that stretch for an ERA of 8.58. 28 k to 23 BB. There are no good numbers!!!

    • Rob

      The sad thing is that he will probably stay with the team and pitch until 1-2 of the IL guys return. I know he may be the best we currently have but we just had a trade deadline where that could have changed without a lot of pain. Trade of Barerro or Stoudt probably would have got you Flaherty or Lorenzen. Now we probably have 2-3 more starts of Weaver because he is best we have. Isn’t that smart thinking when you are in first place?

      • jon

        Krall said people wanted Phillips,Marte,collier and other top minor leaguers. Stoudt and Barerro drew little interest or they would be gone.

      • Oldtimer

        Barrero or Stoudt would not bring Flaherty or Loresnzen in return. Period.

      • Still a Red

        Why do you think Barreo would have net Flaherty. I also doubt cards would trade him w/I the division.

    • Mario

      He’s been awful. I agree. Bring Phillips and Richardson up and they tag team and pitch 7 innings between them. Stoudt is also an option. People just look at the MLB numbers. I bet that if we put Weaver in AAA, he would get lit up there as well.

      • Don

        Here we are in August and this guy is still starting every fifth day to the tune of being second on the team now in games started. This is something you might expect from a team that is in last place and not battling for a playoff spot.

        What the Reds are essentially saying is that in the midst of an extremely tight NL Central race, Luke Weaver is better than any other available option in their entire system. I just refuse to believe that.

        And it’s not like he came into this season with high expectations. He finished last season with an ERA of 6.56 and a WHIP of 1.822. What we are seeing now is who Luke Weaver is. Here we are in August and after 19 Luke Weaver starts (only two of which were quality), they continue to throw him out there as if they miraculously expect him to get it. He won’t get it. He’s not a MLB caliber pitcher.

    • IndyDoug

      Is there a worse starting pitcher in MLB? Listen, I understand 3 starters are currently on the IL, but surely someone in the minors can do better. He’s horrible.

  2. Jim Delaney

    Bell showed his immaturity again tonight. He made a mockery of the game the previous two nights by have Maile in game throwing batting practice to professional hitters in a live game and then gets tossed tonight for arguing calls that the umpire was correct on .. still cant believe Reds gave him a three year extension.. this is setting up to be the second in the last three years a David Bell managed team folded down the stretch..

    • bug

      Yes,…. dumb move. Most people knows it. Reds management is all about dumb moves. Being determined to play Myers game after game,..strike out after strike out,… while they left the talented rookies in the Minors put us behind the 8 ball in the first part of the season. Being determined to continue to pitch Weaver is now killing us (and the bullpen) in the 2nd half. Then giving Bell an extended contract was the icing on the cake, Reds management are the worst decision makers in all of baseball. They made some great trades (and I give them credit for that),..but everything else they have done is 100% WRONG!!!!! One dumb move after another, game after game. Now we have great young talent on the team, but we are stuck with Bell’s dumb moves. Under any other management this Reds team would be way out in front in the Central. Not jmo,..but truth. Oh well, in the past, we’ll just have to try to win in spite of the management. That will make it extremely hard to compete for the post season. We give away too many games by dumb management. Simple as that.

      • jon

        And they are a half game out of first.Oh well.

    • Eddie Paul

      We needed to pitch Maile then- don’t want to waste more BP innings once game is lost. It was actually the correct move believe it or not!

    • Stock

      I felt Bell going out there and getting ejected was a fantastic move. Weaver obviously needed a break. Bell gave it to him and Weaver retired the first batter he faced after Bell gave him a couple of minutes to gather himself.

  3. old-school

    Reds are 5-4 agaisnt the Cubs this year. Cub exposed some reds weaknesses this series and hopefully some big pitching changes are made but this series doesn’t define the year. The 4 game Labor Day series very well may decide if the Reds or Cubs make the playoffs.

    Reds are a young team which means they ay be better. Benson might be a better defender in a month. HEs a good young outfielder but has some work to do. Elly might be a more consistent player with 30 more games. The electricity and talent was on full display tonight. Steer is really solid. McLain has been good. CES some good at bats. Bullpen did well. Move on from Weaver.

  4. J

    I generally hate comparisons to the Titanic, so I won’t mention any ships by name, but this organization often feels like a very large ship sailing across the Atlantic, and the passengers are all able to see some sort of danger off in the distance, oh, I don’t know, let’s say an iceberg or something like that, and they’re all jumping up and down and yelling “danger! danger! danger!” but the captain doesn’t seem to be paying any attention to anything (and they all turn to each other and say “doesn’t he see that iceberg? Isn’t he concerned about it? Why aren’t we turning?”), and when he finally does notice the danger, he very slowly and quietly asks for the ship to start changing course — as if there’s absolutely nothing to worry about and everything is going to be fine — but by then it’s too late and the ship sinks. And then maybe they make a movie about it many years later, because it SANK.

    • AMDG

      Although the unnamed ship that sailed across the Atlantic sank precisely because it did try to turn. That caused the ship to run along side the iceberg, ripping open too many of the compartments.

      Had this unnamed ship sailed straight ahead into the iceberg, it likely would have not sunk.

      • Jim Walker

        Also, the captain was not on the bridge at the time of the iceberg incident even though on his orders they were plowing through an ice field at a speed that was faster than the nascent automobiles of the day often traveled. This may be the more pertinent analogy.

    • J

      That’s the beauty of NOT talking about a specific real-world event. The details of the analogy don’t have to be perfectly accurate to be effective. I know what I’m doing.

  5. LarkinPhillips

    David Bell post game interview- “nothing is going to change.” He said that numerous times.

    • J

      That probably earns him another 3 years. They like his confidence. And the players like playing for him.

    • greenmtred

      Things obviously are going to change. Players will return from the IL. Pitchers may be promoted from the minors. Young players may make adjustments. My tea leaves give me no insight into what Bell meant when he said that, so I’ll take a wild-ass guess and say that he’s not going to panic and has faith that the players who got them into the play-off conversation will respond to the adversity. Maybe he’s whistling past the graveyard. Maybe he said that because he doesn’t want to say anything else for fear that it would make matters worse. The tea leaves aren’t telling me.

    • Tar Heel Red

      Perhaps he means “nothing is going to change” as far as how I manage.

      Perhaps he means he will continue to manage a game based on the info on a spreadsheet instead of what is happening on the field in front of his eyes.

      Perhaps he means he will continue to empty his bench in the 5th or 6th inning when the other team’s manager puts in an opposite-handed relief pitcher.

      Perhaps he means he will continue to tinker with the lineup by batting a natural leadoff hitter fifth.

      Perhaps he means he will continue to pull his starting pitcher as soon as he reaches the “third time through the order” regardless of how they are performing at the time.

      Perhaps he means he will continue to over tax a bullpen that ranks 28th in the league in innings pitched.

      Perhaps he means all these things.

      • Jim Walker

        +1000 A well stated case for many of us who were disappointed by the extension and most particularly by the length of it.

      • LDS

        Extending Bell was the most obvious mistake that Krall has made during his tenure. Not trading for starting pitching at the deadline, I’m okay with. But, signing Bell shows the organization is more committed to the old boys club than they are to winning.

  6. Moon

    When the Reds did nothing at the trade deadline to bolster the starting pitching staff it was to me sort of waving the white flag on this year. Yes they have some guys coming back but given the injury history of this staff, and the performance of the replacements, particularly Weaver, they needed at least one quality starter. Maybe two. It just seems to me management decided to focus on next year and just let things play out this year If they do not make the playoffs fine, they were not supposed to anyway.

    • Rob

      The folks they would have traded to get an average starter like Flaherty or Lorenzen has very very little impact on 2024. Stoudt or Richardson would have swung the trade. Considering you have both an 8.50 ERA guy and Lively’s history, don’t you have to make that trade? Either probably give you 4-5 more quality starts than Weaver. You are in first place!

      • Stock

        I don’t make a Lorenzen for Richardson trade. Richardson is better than Lorenzen. Why not just bring him up. Richardson would be a very expensive rental.

        Detroit does not trade Lorenzen for Stoudt.

        I don’t want to trade with STL.

  7. Michael B. Green

    What’s worse is that CIN has Alan Mills lined up at AAA to slot in Weaver’s spot.

    There was not a ton of SP talent that turns free agent at the end of the year that was available at the Deadline.

    While not as polished as Andrew Abbott, Connor Phillips has had twice as many GS in AA and AAA (this year) as Abbott did before he was called up. Of course, Phillips is not on the 40MR so CIN can either sit there and save money or call up Phillips a bit early than November.

    At some point, workloads are going to become an issue. That may mean that Abbott and/or Phillips will need to either rest or move to the pen for the rest of the year. Williamson is fight – if he can stay effective.

    Lodolo, Greene, and Ashcraft all fine in terms of workload.

    Call Phillips up to take Lively spot.

    A rotation of Abbott, Ashcraft, Williamson, Weaver and Phillips will have to due until later in August when Greene and Lodolo come back. Greene takes Weaver’s spot and Lodolo takes either Abbott’s, Williamson’s or Phillips’ spot.

    A dark horse is Lyon Richardson. We don’t know how he’ll fare at the MLB level. I’d try him in Weaver’s spot and DL Weaver.

    This showed a glaring need to get someone like Rich Hill at the Deadline. It would have likely cost us Bryce Hubbart. That’s what contending teams do though.

    In the end, we are contending a year early. I don’t think anyone expected us to be where we are this year.

    We go home to host WAS now. We’ll need to win that series for sure.

  8. J

    So many of the Reds’ problems are self-inflicted wounds. Aside from all the strikeouts and lack of walks and lack of situational hitting and whatnot, they’ve constructed a roster in which it apparently seemed to make sense to let Maile hit for himself despite having all of the subs available. That right there should tell you there’s something seriously wrong with your roster construction. (But it’s also crazy that he was actually allowed to hit in that situation. If Newman, Senzel, Fairchild, or Stephenson had been in the game in that spot, would they have pinch hit Maile because he was the better option? If not, then he shouldn’t have hit for himself. Act like the game is on the line when the game is on the line. Act like winning is a priority.)

    And this is on top of the bigger self-inflicted wounds: Weaver continues to pitch for this team for no reason, and yet there is STILL nobody in the bullpen who can EVER pitch three or four innings. If you’re going to insist on hurting yourself, at least have a first aid kit nearby.

    And of course they continue having their highest OPS guy hitting 8th ahead of their lowest OPS guy, which I’m pretty sure nobody is forcing the Reds to do, and which probably no other team has ever done in the history of baseball.

  9. Mark A Verticchio

    Two big mistakes recently, signing Bell to a 3 year contract and doing nothing at the dead line. One will most likely end this year and the other kills the next 3 years.

    • Protime

      Mark, you are right on the money. I would also add an ownership that doesn’t want to win now, not next year or in the future…

      • Mark A Verticchio


        It is so hard being a fan of this team. I really think we fans care more than many in the organization. Oh well, they are just thrilled with this nice little story while it lasted. The truth is they aren’t ready now and may not ever be with Bell in control. Sad thing is I thought Krall had done a decent job but he has lost that cred in the past week. We just have to keep hoping for miracles.

      • Jason Franklin

        Hopefully the miracle to help the team out is called the Nationals.

  10. Melvin

    Have to say the defense left a lot to be desired this series. All is not lost. Only 1/2 game out of first. Move on. At least we’re giving Diaz a lot of rest. haha 🙂

  11. Stock

    CBS Sportsline has Lyon Richardson pitching on August 6 vs. the Nationals.

    • Jason Franklin

      I thought he was typically only good for about 3-4 innings… that is not what the bullpen needs. He could be a nice long man (especially how the team is going lately).

      That doesn’t make sense. Why not Phillips? Or grab a scrub from the pile (Stoudt, Mills, Kennedy, me, whatever). 😉

      • west larry

        I would try Duarte the next time Weavers turn comes up. He recorded 5 outs on 12 pitches last night-and then they took him out of the game! He was brilliant last night, and I think he can go at least 4 or 5 innings.

    • RedFuture

      Makes sense since he did not make his scheduled start last night for the Bats

    • Redsvol

      That’s who it should be. But they need to pair him with someone like Kennedy or stoudt because he won’t go past 4 or 5 innings.

    • Jim Walker

      Richardson was scratched without explanation at Louisville Thursday night. For the record, MLB(.)com still has Sunday as TBD for the Reds starter as of 1130 Friday morning.

      • JB

        I would be shocked to see Richardson as the starter. He has only thrown 3 innings at Louisville.

  12. Andrew Brewer

    Did Elly lead the game off with a first pitch homerun ? Did Senzel show that playing third is not a part time job ? This time we faced a Cubs team that was surging. We are not out of the race by any means, but our weaknesses were exposed. The baseball season is long and is filled with not only the possibility of success but also ignominious defeat. The Reds just need to keep it together and play the kind of baseball they are capable of. We have most of two months left in this season to find out what we can do. If we learn from experience, then defeats will not be our end, but the making of something greater.

    • Jason Franklin

      They need to be aggressive, steal bags, and put pressure on the other team. That is the good part that they should continue. I just hope they start to be more selective at the plate. I think with experience for the youngsters it should help (McLain, Steer, CES) but I am still not sold on EDLC’s approach at the plate. He is fun though. 🙂

    • TR

      On to the homestand with the Nationals and Marlins. The Reds are still in the race with series wins vital to stay there. De La Cruz, at this point in his young career, should not be in the leadoff position. The influence of the hitting coach is needed to stabilize the offense and cut down on strikeouts. A game at a time.

      • Tim

        Strikeouts and groundouts. Way too many.

  13. GreatRedLegsFan

    Those Bell’s ejections are going from ridiculous to embarrassing. And the worst part is Reds fans are gonna have to live with it for at least three more years. Go figure.

    • Redlegs1859

      Agreed. Bell’s show last night screamed of panic and desperation. When he didn’t have any answers for the last three days, he embarrassed himself by arguing what he knew were legitimate walks. Why? I suppose so he could show his player “he had his back,” and I suppose he needed to show Reds fans he has a pulse and cares a whole bunch, plus he wanted to “Clete” lik most of us did.

      • Stock

        As I stated above this was a great move by Bell.

    • greenmtred

      They’d be more palatable if he took acting lessons.

    • Jim Walker

      Even crazier about Bell’s ejection is that after the game he maintained he was *not* arguing about a ball/ strike call. Guessing this might have been in hopes of avoiding a fine or suspension????

  14. Redsvol

    That needs to be Weavers last start. I’d rather see a tandem of Lyon Richardson and Brett Kennedy than that again. He might be ok in the bullpen.

    Bullpen covers 5 innings mostly well – a nice bounce back. Offense continues to struggle and rely on the long ball. We were at our best when everyone was making contact and we were banging out 10-12 singles and stealing bases. Now everyone swinging for the fences and not making contact.

    That also needs to be Cruz’s last inning unless we are desperate. He has been getting progressively worse. It’s rare that he throws a clean inning anymore. He has options. Let’s get Antone or Busenitz up hear for the weekend.

    Friedl slumping badly. He’s either hurt or the league has figured him out.

    • greenmtred

      Weaver shouldn’t start again. It seems as though he gets thrown completely off his game by reversals–last night the third strike/wild pitch. It’s unfortunate, because his stuff is good when he locates it. As for Cruz, wasn’t he the guy the Dodgers called unhittable?

  15. Mike Adams

    I am no fan of Bell, but it was not Bell’s management that lost those 3 games against the Cubs.
    It was all player performance or lack thereof.
    Nothing in Bell’s control could have changed the outcome.
    The Reds got into Chicago late from L.A. and had to play the same day (3:10 Chicago time game in L.A., over around 6 pm?).
    But the Reds can get a little payback first week of September.
    The Cubs play on the road end of August then 3 games against the Brewers at home before coming to Cincinnati.
    Hoping the Cubs/Brewers series wears out the Cubs so the Reds can take 3 out of 4.

  16. Indy Red Man

    Bring up Phillips & Kennedy and maybe Richardson. Swap out Benson & Freidl.
    Concentrate on working the count. They turned the season around earlier by on-base percentage, but now almost everyone is hacking away?

    9-11 in the 2nd half isn’t that bad considering their opponents, but it’s mandatory to make up ground with these weaker opponents. Next 14 includes 11 at home and 3 at Pittsburgh. Go 9-5 and they’re 68-57 and right where they need to be. September schedule is very favorable

  17. GMan88

    It is so demoralizing to even see Weaver’s name on the roster. Opposing hitters probably can’t wait to play when he is slated to pitch against them. I don’t understand why he is still in the rotation. Homer Bailey was run out of town and I would take him over Weaver any day.

  18. Old Big Ed

    I predict that they will surrender on Weaver and DFA him in the next few days. Maybe they try keep him as the mop-up man, but I don’t see the point in that.

    I think the best option is to call up both Connor Phillips and Lyon Richardson (who was a late scratch from Louisville last night) and piggyback them for 3 innings each in Ben Lively’s turn in the rotation. They will have to wing it for Weaver’s turn against the Marlins on Tuesday night. They could use an opener with Stoudt or Kennedy.

    The good news is that they have 3 off days in 8 days, from August 10 through August 17. Weaver’s turns would have been August 9 and 15, and Greene would return thereafter. There ought to be only two more Weaver starts at the worst, but that is still too many. If they keep Weaver for two more starts, at the very least they should use Gibaut or somebody as the opener.

    I do give management credit for not rushing back either Greene or Lodolo, despite the obvious and overwhelming pressure to do so.

    The 3 days off in 8 days is a big benefit. It should give each starting pitcher a 7-day gap between starts, as well as giving the bullpen maybe 20 innings to cover over 8 days, or about 3 innings per man. And the position players could all use the rest, too.

    They are a half-game back with 51 to play, 27 of which are at home.

    • Rob

      Phillips is not on the 40 so I seriously doubt you will see him before roster expansion. Don’t forget we have got 3-4 other guys to add to the 40 in the next few weeks. Who gets waived? Salazar? Bushnez? Lively? Weaver? Sinai? Kennedy? No need to answer that as you get the gist.

      • Old Big Ed

        No, it’s go time, and the Reds will call up Phillips if they think he is the best option, which he is. His not being on the 40-man is pretty much irrelevant. They could/would/should DFA Weaver, and Phillips would fill that spot on the 40-man. Salazar and Busenitz are obvious candidates to DFA when Greene and Lodolo are back.

        The other possible returnees from the 60-man are Antone, Vladimir Gutierrez and Justin Dunn. None are certain, and Dunn is the least certain. But none of these three are expected to be ready until at least another 3-4 weeks, and any number of other injuries could occur.

        And at any rate, the rules don’t recognize the 60-day IL after the season, so the Reds will have to make calls on guys like Duarte, anyway. The return of Antone or Gutierrez would just hasten those decisions by a few weeks.

  19. Luke J

    I’m not sure I fully understand the Weaver hate after last night. He looked really good. He actually got out of that inning on a strikeout, then things fell apart (which often happens when a pitcher does his job and the defense screws him over).

    He was charged with all 4 runs only because of a stupid rule. I will never get behind the idea that a pitcher can be charged with a wild pitch on a strike 3. He executed the pitch he wanted, got a swing and a miss, and relied on the catcher to keep the ball from getting away. I will never consider that a wild pitch. And if it’s considered a passed ball, those 3 runs aren’t earned, he gets out of the inning and continues fresh the next inning with only 1 run given up.

    His stuff looked good and he was rolling until the wheels fell off when he should have been out of the inning. I don’t consider that bad at all. The stat line won’t reflect it, but anyone who knows baseball and watched it knows he looked good out there last night.

    • Indy Red Man

      Yeah he’s great. Walked a run in when he had Morel down 0-2 then walked another guy in just for fun. Told my friend in the 1st inning that as bad as Weaver is, he doesn’t walk many guys. Wrong. First sign of adversity and Weaver shrieks like a 9 year old girl

    • Rob

      I understand the difference between earned and unearned runs and will agree Weaver got jobbed last night. But he didn’t handle the situation or adversity well at all and walked like 4 guys that inning……in a big game. His track record of 3-4 inning starts just doesn’t allow me to cut him any slack. He is done or was done as far as I am concerned. I have no earthly idea why Krall thinks we don’t need a much better pitcher here. He has no assurance Greene and Lodolo are going to be major contributors down the stretch. Even cheap rentals like Lorenzen or Flaherty would be better than this.

    • Old Big Ed

      Luke, we can only assume that you are Weaver’s mother.

      After throwing a pitch that bounced over his catcher, Weaver went walk, single, walk, walk, walk. That is the definition of awful. This isn’t Florence Little League; its what Ted Williams called the MFL.

      Weaver may have some talent — he’s the Sandy Koufax of the 2nd inning, where he yields a .131 batting average — but he sure isn’t showing that talent very well. He’s been unspeakably bad. Let the A’s or Rockies try to rehab him. He doesn’t belong in a pennant race.

      • Luke J

        You mean the pitch that struck a major league batter out? The one that didn’t bounce over his catcher’s head, but hit off his catcher’s glove and bounced high in the air. A ball his catcher should have blocked. Your description shows a bit of bias.

        I acknowledged that he collapsed after that. The same thing happened the night before when the defense was making errors and the inning fell apart. I’m not saying it’s an excuse, but when an inning gets extended like that, as a former pitcher I know, it’s very taxing on a pitcher and with an pitch count rising for the inning, it can be hard to get it back. That’s why Bell got thrown out. He was clearly trying to give his pitcher time to regroup.

        It’s unfortunate, but it was clear that Weaver belonged on a major league mound yesterday. Up until the disastrous strike out that wasn’t, he was impressive. That’s all I’m saying. People here are acting like he has no business on a roster, but I know baseball, and I know pitching, and he is a serviceable starter if you can minimize the big innings.

      • Old Big Ed

        Luke, man, when a pitcher collapses to the point of going walk, single, walk, walk, walk, merely because a ball in the dirt isn’t caught by the catcher, then that pitcher doesn’t have enough between the ears to pitch in the major leagues.

        I have no bias towards Weaver. I’m sure his mother (even if she isn’t you) loves him for who he is as a young man. However, the cold, hard facts show that he is just not good enough right now to pitch at this level. My brothers can’t pitch at that level, either, and I don’t show any bias against them in stating the obvious.

        The Reds’ continuing to play Weaver deprives another pitcher (and another mother’s son) of a chance to prove himself. You can say that this is unfair to Weaver, but in reality, there are few things on the planet that are more fair than Major League Baseball. For baseball purposes, you are what the Fangraphs page says that you are.

      • J

        a) I doubt that pitch was supposed to bounce. Pitchers who are trying to get major league hitters to swing don’t usually try to bounce it, especially when it’s strike three. When you’re able to strike a guy out on that pitch and the catcher is able to keep it in front of him, you’ve probably gotten a bit lucky.

        b) A big part of what separates good starting pitchers from terrible ones is how they handle tough situations. Almost any pitcher can look good for an inning or two now and then, just as guys like Newman and Senzel can sometimes look like superstars. That’s not what makes a starting pitcher an effective starting pitcher. The fact that a guy “unfairly” reached base and the ump wasn’t giving him any of the close pitches shouldn’t have caused a good pitcher to start walking everyone or grooving pitches down the middle. That’s how bad pitchers respond, not good ones. The inning was slightly extended by the umpire’s bad calls and Maile’s lazy play, but HUGELY extended by Weaver’s own inability to cope with those things, which has been a problem for him all season. It’s not that he happens to be experiencing terribly bad luck in 90% of his starts; he simply doesn’t have what it takes to be a a major league starter. He didn’t have it before coming to the Reds, and still doesn’t.

      • J

        OBE – sorry if I stole some of your points. Hadn’t seen your latest comment when I posted mine.

      • J

        I’m willing to accept Weaver’s $2 million salary and be DFA’d today if the Reds want to go that route. I won’t have any hard feelings at all. Baseball is a tough business and I accept that they have better options than me. And I’m much older than Weaver so I have even less time to make a comeback. It’s okay. I’ll take one for the team.

    • Rob

      I may have had too much of Weavers nonsense but while I accept your points on Maile contribution to Weavers demise, I just can’t cut him any slack at this stage. He needs to be gone. His 4 inning starts are blowing up the bullpen every 5th day. There is not one piece of justication that says he deserves another chance. As much as I hate to say it, I would be starting Philips at this point. No he is not the perfect solution but a better solution than continuous 3-4 inning starts. The better solution would have been a cheap rental rental like Lorenzen or Flaherty who were traded for 10th or 12th rated prospects. But for whatever reason Krall chose not to go this way. 4-5 quality starts from Flaherty or Lorenzen probably equates to 3-4 more wins than what Weaver is going to provide over the next 2 months. Krall wouldn’t trade Stoudt for his 2024 potential. I would have. Won’t be hard to see who made the better choice here. Lorenzen instead of Weaver in 2023 or Stoudt in 2024. Will he even be part of our starting five?

  20. Steven Ross

    Long, tough roadtrip. Played well until final three games. I said a month ago, if we have to rely on Weaver and Lively going forward, good luck to us. Not knowing what other teams were asking in return but to not make a trade for a bona fide starting pitcher doesn’t sit well. Gotta do something. Send a message to your team you’re trying. To do nothing sends the wrong message.

    • Pete

      What if it cost a package of: Marte, Phillips and Blake Dunn? Must we still do something/ anything?

      • J

        What if they all asked for the entire Reds roster, plus a pot of gold, plus an infinite number of wishes in exchange for a #4 starter? I’m glad the Reds didn’t make that deal. Dodged a bullet if those were the best offers Krall received.

  21. Hanginwithem

    Bell should never have been hired in the first place. That has never been more evident.

  22. LarkinPhillips

    Alright fellers, starting my 6 hour drive to Cincinnati for tonight and tomorrow nights game. They are 0-3so far this year when I go. Hopefully they break this losing streak tonight!

    • Mike Adams

      Here’s rooting for you, LP. You are due for a win.

      • Old Big Ed

        No. Facts are facts. LP is a jinx, and he needs to turn around and go home.

      • LarkinPhillips

        I agree OBE. They lose both these games and I promise not to go again this year. Even if they make the playoffs.

      • greenmtred

        And here was thinking that I was the jinx.

  23. Roger Garrett

    Bell was not held accountable for the last 3 years and maybe he shouldn’t been but he was given credit for doing a great job this year and for changing the culture and maybe he should have been.Krall gave him a 3 year extension so we play on.IMO it was because he is part of the family.I don’t know if he is any better then he was in his first year but I do know he has more talent to work with so maybe he will be held accountable these next 3 years.IMO these young guys just love playing and love being in the big leagues and would love the manager whoever it was but again its just my opinion.I just want the Reds to win and compete year after year and Bell would not be my choice to lead them but he is and will.It will be interesting because now it is on Bell to make it happen or not happen.Bell has not fared well in the past in meaningful games as in the playoffs in 2020 or the collapse in 2021 and with a team that has never felt any pressure well we shall see.I do believe we make it in this year cause we have been playing in a perfect storm all year long

  24. Jim Delaney

    The issue with not acquiring pitching this year is you don’t know when your next opportunity at playoffs will be. Reds have a lot of young talent YES, but does that guarantee the. Winning next season NO..
    Pre season predictions had Mets, Cards, Yankees, Mariners and Padres as playoff favorites. At this time none of them will make it . That is why you go for it and the prospects you ould have had to give up for a rental player likely was outside of your top 10 prospects. The problem with adding the rentals though was adding salary and as far as we know Ownership may not have signed off on any salary additions. Reds ownership makes a budget annually and they don’t deviate from it. I will continue with that thought process until I hear from Reds ownership this is untrue and they open there books..

  25. Pete

    Not trying to spoil anyone’s pity party, but CES looks like he is getting comfortable at the plate.

    • LarkinPhillips

      I declared myself a CES guy a few days ago when everyone was criticizing him and saying send him down. I am going to double down and say not only is he getting comfortable, but the power is going to start showing up this weekend as well.

      • MBS

        Anyone talking about sending down CES, or EDLC are nuts. They both need to improve, but that’s only going to happen here.

      • greenmtred

        And you will be there to see it. Have a great time!

      • J

        For the record: not all of us were criticizing him or saying he should be sent down. I pointed out that he was one of only two Reds (along with Votto) who reached base twice in one of the games in Milwaukee, and that he had come within a few feet of hitting two home runs in another of those games. (And the response I got was “I want home runs, not fly balls.”)

        If this were my team, he’d be hitting fourth or fifth tonight, and probably every game for the rest of the season unless he asked for a day off.

      • LarkinPhillips

        @J, obviously like many things on here “everyone” was a bit of hyperbole. There were a few others including you who echoed me the other day.

      • JB

        Why would they want them sent down? I mean if they did who would replace them? Sometimes people say the dumbest things on here.

      • TR

        That sometimes happens with opinions. If not, we would have or would now be working in a professional baseball teams front office.

    • Old Big Ed


      The Reds threw in a couple of real clunker games at the end of a 10-day road trip, including a visit to LA. They caught a hot (and good) Cubs team on great hitting days in Wrigley Field. And they are playing a lot of rookies, who have never before had to grind this hard and this long.

      It happens. The Brewers just finished a 1-5 road trip. It’s a long, strange season. The Rays were 29-7 after May 8, but have been below .500 since then, and their pitching injuries are mounting at the wrong time.

      51 games left; 27 at home. No more road trips to Chicago or Milwaukee.

      • H.B.

        Great points. Makes me feel better. The next long road trip out west will be critical.

    • Tar Heel Red

      >Pete…yes CES has been hitting better. But what impresses me even more is he defense. Very good footwork around the base. Much improved since I watched him play 1B back in May I think it was.

  26. TR

    If the Reds offense can put aside the idea of homerun or nothing, usually resulting in a strikeout, and return to playing exciting baseball based on getting on base and using their speed to upset the opposition, they’ll be fine with recovery and help from the pitching staff.

  27. Harold

    Every time that Bell gets thrown out, I feel like it increases our chance to win. Maybe someone will release someone who is better than Weaver. Other organizations will figure out just how good Nick Krall is, and he will move on to a legitimate contending team who wants to win. We have a diamond in the rough with him and other hires in the scouting department.

    • JB

      Disagree. Benavides is terrible too. He yanks pitchers just as fast as Bell. Duarte throws 12 pitches and yanks him. It’s like they are looking for the pitcher who can give up hits.

      • J

        Why in the world are we assuming Bell isn’t still calling the shots even after he’s been thrown out? He’s able to see the game and communicate with the staff even if he’s not sitting in the dugout. Managers were doing this even before everyone was staring at ipads all the time.

      • Votto4life

        Exactly! Bell is obviously still calling the games. I know there are bad calls, but it’s embarrassing to have a manager who gets tossed out so much in the age of instant replay. Other teams get bad calls too, but their managers don’t seem to get tossed nearly as much. Also, using a position player to pitch, two nights in a row, is also embarrassing. I wish that practice was totally banned.

  28. Pete

    A couple of takeaways from the Cub series:

    Reds were lucky to win the game they did. Cubs are hot as a match right now. They play the Barves at 2:30 today and let’s see how they fare against Atlanta. My guess is the Cubbies aren’t going to be shutout – to say the least.

    Cubs are playing their best ball right now – the first week of August – good for them. Reds haven’t played their best ball yet and when they do, they will meet or exceed the Cubs hot streak. CES is going to be a monster and EDLC will only get better from here.

    The best news looks to be the pitching. If the rumors are true Lyon Richardson gets the start on Sunday. We’d be looking at a rotation of Ashcroft, Abbott and Richardson against the bottom of the Nationals rotation. Not predicting a sweep but I’m sure not betting against it. The Reds staff will be at its strongest from here on out as we get arms back healthy, both starters and bullpen. A starting rotation of Ashcroft, Greene, Abbott, Williamson and Richardson going down the stretch should make us giddy with the possibilities.

    As more leaks out about the trade deadline, we are finding out asking prices were outrageous. People assume we were looking at Arroyo, Borrero and India trade packages, I’m betting it was more like Marte, Phillips and Blake Dunn. We probably dodged a bullet and should be thankful NK didn’t make a move.

    Let’s go Reds!!

    • Redgoggles

      After the first 9 went down in order to start the game. Touchdown in the 4th.

      Ironically, both teams have hitters in the 8/9 slots that have higher OPS than their 6/7 (Braves) and 5/6 (Cubs.)

      Apparently, Bell isn’t the only idiot out there.

      • Roger Garrett

        May not work for our team but they play the same 9 guys every day other then when the catcher needs a break.Braves have experience and we don’t but we will.

  29. Mark A Verticchio

    Make it 7-0 Braves, they aren’t playing an all rookie infield today or a pitcher like Weaver or Lively.

  30. Roger Garrett

    Hendricks got the first nine in order with his sinker/change up combo.Braves made the adjustments and hammered him for 8 hits and 7 runs in the 4th.Braves were once a young team but now after 3 years or more for their core and with the addition of Olsen and Marcel Ozuna they just kill soft throwers and everybody else for that matter.Our young team has the talent and is gaining valuable experience.Add a thumper next year for the middle of the lineup,a vet starter and a couple of power arms and off we go.Hendricks is taking one for the team.Fried back and looking good for the Braves.Nobody beats this team if they get their starters back.

    • Old Big Ed

      Yeah, Hendricks isn’t much anymore. A guy like Votto feasts on him. He was annoying as a vegan cross-fitter for about three years, though.

      • Jason Franklin

        Why bring up the fact that he is a vegan? Does it matter? What’s wrong with being a vegan, vegetarian or omnivore? Why is it anyone’s business to care?

  31. Rick

    Senzel rewarded for his stellar play and complaining about PT, batting 2nd.
    Newman 5th.
    DH- Votto

    • Indy Red Man

      I was a little annoyed with Senzel at first, but I understand after reading about it. I don’t know who let it out, but I’m sure that happens with guys on most teams.

      I was just thinking about how Newman has no range and if he going to play vs lefties then 3B makes more sense

      • Jim Walker

        Made perfect sense for Senzel and with Boras his agent having a reputation for facilitating stuff, a person has to wonder why Senzel wasn’t moved.

        Despite today’s lineup, Bell had been leaning toward using Friedl and/ or Benson vs LH pitching which made having both Newman and Senzel about triple redundant. Newman is not quite the hitter vs LH pitching Senzel is this year; but, Newman is clearly the better hitter vs RH pitching and thus seemingly the better choice to keep.

      • Votto4life

        In Charlie Goldsmith article on Senzel, he was sure to emphasize that teams were not interested in Senzel and that he made 3 errors the night before. The article sounded like it was written by Phil Castellini instead of an “non biased” Sports journalist.

    • LarkinPhillips

      My prediction for first inning is 5 pitches with edlc and senzel both swinging at first pitch.

    • Old Big Ed

      Corbin is Luke Weaverishly bad against RH hitters. His slash against them is .313/.354/.495, which is pretty close to what Roberto Clemente did for his career.

      So, in theory at least, Corbin is facing eight Roberto Clementes and one Joey Votto.

  32. Roger Garrett

    Bell being Bell.Newman is a poor man’s Farmer and a vet and is going to play but hitting 5th makes no sense to me at all.I just hope we can catch the ball or even field it on the right side and in the outfield.

    • Redgoggles

      Senzel has .929 OPS against LHP, Newman .899. They have 4 players with higher LHP OPS than Newman, including Senzel. So 5th really isn’t that much of a stretch imo.

      (Benson hasn’t really been given an opportunity, but is at .317, Fraley at .433, Friedl and Fairchild are pretty much the same at .750 against LHP.)

      Senzel and Newman likely won’t see the end of the game, so it’s smart managing to slot them in the lineup where they are guaranteed to hit against a LHP to maximize the opportunities.

      Maile is the exception here, much higher against LHP than Stephenson this year but I suspect Bell manages his catchers around the Reds pitching rather than the opponents.

      So, I think Bell’s reasoning is at least defendable based on the numbers, India being out, and Friedl struggling.

      I appreciate the fact that Newman doesn’t expand the zone, swinging wildly for home runs, etc. like many others have recently. He’s had his fair share of key hits this year, and by all accounts a good guy. Not sure why he gets the Bell-blame that he does around here.

      • J

        I tend to agree with you regarding the Newman hate, but here are the issues with this lineup:

        First, Senzel hasn’t hit well since May. His season’s stats are inflated by a great week or two in April. He’s been mostly awful since then. Not what you want from a guy hitting second. He also seems to swing at a ton of first pitches, and has a lot of very short at-bats. He has a .250 OBA in first innings, and has been dismal with nobody on base — which is especially bad when the guy in front of him doesn’t get on base very often unless he’s hitting a home run. And, for what it’s worth, he hits better on the road than at home.

        Maybe he’ll be the hitting star today, which would be great, but if you’re trying to justify hitting him second because of his 2023 stats, it’s not going to work unless you believe April was real and everything else has been an aberration. The most likely scenario with the first inning, based on stats, is that Elly and Senzel will both make quick outs. Outs are bad enough, but when there are two outs and the starter has thrown five or six pitches, it’s worse.

        Newman hitting 2nd would actually make far more sense based on stats and his approach. He’s more likely to see some pitches and get on base. And his lack of power screams “I AM NOT A #5 HITTER.”

        This is just Bell being Bell. He got an idea into his head some time ago, and nothing that happens on the field is going to change his mind until he’s tried it a million times. Then he’ll get a new idea in his head and try it a million times. When these ideas occasionally work, as they’re obviously bound to do from time to time, he thinks”See! I KNEW I was right!”

      • Jim Walker

        Some OPS vs LH pitching since July 1 the format is Name/OPS/PAs
        Benson .154/13
        Friedl .519/26
        Fairchild .542/8
        Senzel .653/20
        Newman .750/16
        (And drum roll…)
        Fraley .899/11

        Does the way the guys are used make any sense based on these???

      • Redgoggles

        I’m simply saying it’s defendable based on their 2023 production against LHP. Their SLG is comparable, actually. We are in August, I’d say the law of averages apply here. I wonder if Senzel (like Weaver) has let his playing time affect his head, which would explain the recent slide. (It’s not the first time he/team have had their disagreements, but that’s not the point here.) He is batting .329 with a .929 OPS against LHP in 2023 in 73 ABs. I’m not cherry picking a few good weeks, or excluding them like you are.

        The impact of lineup construction – especially considering neither will likely finish the game – is overblown, but I would presume folks who don’t agree would at least be consistent and appreciate that Bell is using data tonight when constructing the opening lineup.

        It’s kind of the same argument you’ve been beating the drum with regarding moving Benson up (I don’t disagree), but in reverse.

      • Jim Walker

        In terms of OBP for the guys above, Benson (.154 0 hits; 2BB in 13 PA) and Friedl (.519) are lowest. Newman and Fraley are both at .333 and Fairchild is at .375 (1 single, 2 BB in 8PA).

      • Jim Walker

        Oops Fat finger issue…..
        Friedls OBP vs LH pitching since July 1 is .269. His full OPS vs LH pitching is .519

    • Rick

      Yeah, I just don’t get the 5th spot. CES should atleast give Steer some protection.

  33. Roger Garrett

    Fried has the Cubs shutout after 6 on 3 hits.Wonder if the Cubs miss the Reds today?

  34. Mark A Verticchio

    What is wrong with Bell? How can he justify batting Newman 5th and Strand 7th? The only thing I can think of is that’s it’s Newman’s birthday, I wonder if Bell had the locker room decorated with balloons. The Bell extension was the worst move the team has made since the Frank Robinson trade. I have lost all respect for Krall. Hoping for a win tonight but regardless, this line up is a joke. Glad to see Senzel back in there batting 2nd after complaining about playing time. That move reminds me of 2nd and 3rd grade basketball coaching by some.

    • Votto4life

      Just looked at the line up. You are correct it is awful.

    • Rick

      I personally believe that Bell didn’t want Newman sent down & CES promoted.
      Friedl is our best CF & hits lefties well enough to play everyday.
      Lineups aren’t static late into games anyway. Bell will empty the bench by the 7th inning except for Maile. Pitiful.

      • Roger Garrett

        Newman is a survivor.He made it through Barrero,the arrival of Little Mac,ELDC,Joey and CES along with a trip to the IL.Called it in the spring when I said he would play and play a lot and he is still here.Just a cheaper version of Kyle Farmer who still hits lefties well and could be hitting 5th when he plays.

      • Redgoggles

        He has 17 plate appearances in the past 30 days. If anything, this shows Bell values CES over him. He’s given them professional ABs since he’s returned from the IL over the free-swinging others. If anything, that deserves more time in the lineup and let the others re-evaluate their plate approach.

        Especially against LHP, where he’s really helped this team.

    • LarkinPhillips

      Happy birthday Newman. Guy has great birthday, same as mine.

  35. Roger Garrett

    Cubs not only have a long man in the pen they have two of them.Would that work for the Reds?Use em when you are way behind or way ahead to save the other guys that go 1 inning.

    • Rick

      Yes. You can always deviate as needed.

    • Old Big Ed

      That might be a role for Weaver, if he isn’t DFA’d. He’d be fine if the Reds were up by about 14-2 at the end of 5, but you would otherwise want to be careful about using him in a long role with only a 2-slam lead.

      • Rick

        Lively would be a good one.
        Weaver starts his own mess after rolling along.
        Psyche issues I guess. He seems awfully high strung and creates his own issues then looses control.

  36. Old Big Ed

    Patrick Corbin went south fast. He had an excellent 2018 at age 28 for Arizona, got paid $125 million by the Nats and was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the 2019 Series.

    Corbin has accumulated -0.1 bWAR since. In 3 of the last 4 seasons, he’s led the NL in hits allowed; in the year that he didn’t, he led the NL in HRs allowed. This year’s strikeout rate is roughly half what it was in his 2018-19 heyday.

    The Nats owe him $35 million next year. The Nats are good at wasting money on pitchers. They’ve paid Stephen Strasburg $70 million in 2022-23 to pitch 4.1 innings, and they owe him $105 million more.

    • Rick

      I remember how tough Corbin was really good for back then.
      That’s alot of money.

  37. Roger Garrett

    Tucker pitches the 9th for the Cubs and gets the Braves on 9 pitches.Ross must have seen where a catcher was used to pitch in a game lately.COPY CAT

    • Rick

      Yes! Lol
      I think Tucker pitched for us once.

  38. Redgoggles

    I see that Tucker Barnhart is the better reliever than Maile, pitches a scoreless ninth today. Cubs get blown-out. Can’t say I shed a tear. Hope Atlanta plunders them the rest of the series.

    • Rick

      Maile just tee’d them up.
      Alex Grammas threw batting practice pitches harder than Luke.