San Francisco Giants rookie lefty Kyle Harrison struck out 11 batters in 6.1 shutout innings as he dominated the Reds offense. Cincinnati would finally break through against the bullpen but it was too little, too late as the Giants took the first game of the 3-game series.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (68-65)
1 6 0
San Francisco Giants (68-63)
4 8 1
W: Harrison (1-0) L: Abbott (8-4) SV: Davis (35)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The struggles for Andrew Abbott continued on Monday night in San Francisco. After the Reds went down in order, the first three Giants reached base, capped off by an RBI double by Wilmer Flores that put the home team up 1-0. Two innings later they would add to the lead with two singles, a double, and a sacrifice fly that made it 3-0. Abbott would walk the first batter of the 4th inning before picking up a strikeout of Luis Matos. At 85 pitches in just 3.1 innings at that point Cincinnati went to the bullpen and called on Buck Farmer to take over. He’d walk a batter, but work out of the jam.

In the top of the 5th the Reds offense finally got some offense going as TJ Frield singled and Stuart Fairchild followed up with a walk to put two men on, but a fly out and a strikeout would strand both runners.

Derek Law took over for Cincinnati on the mound in the bottom of the 6th. He gave up a single to Joc Pederson to start the inning and he moved up on a sacrifice bunt. That move paid off as Wade Meckler hit an RBI double to extend the Giants lead to 4.0.

Giants rookie Kyle Harrison had been dominant all night, striking out 11 batters in the first six innings of the game and keeping the Reds scoreless. But in the 7th inning he would give up a 1-out double to Christian Encarnacion-Strand and then walk TJ Friedl before he was replaced on the mound by reliever Ryan Walker. The first batter he faced was pinch hitter Nick Martini and he lined a single into right field, but Encarnacion-Strand was thrown out at the plate by a wide margin for the second out of the inning. David Bell went to the bench again and called on Will Benson to hit for Luke Maile, but he struck out to end the inning.

In the top of the 8th inning the Reds would finally get on the board after Nick Senzel singled and came around to score on a double by Elly De La Cruz. Spencer Steer would strike out on a pitch that seemed out of the strikezone to end the inning. Cincinnati went down in order in the 9th inning as the Giants picked up a win in the series opener.

Key Moment of the Game

The two runs that scored in the bottom of the 3rd inning on back-to-back plays that extended the Giants lead from 1-0 to 3-0.

Notes worth noting

Giants starting pitcher Kyle Harrison last pitched 6.0 innings or more in a game on June 26th of 2022. When he was in Double-A. He threw 6.1 innings of shutout baseball against the Reds on Monday night.

Andrew Abbott’s ERA in August is now 6.08 across his five starts.

The Reds reportedly sat on the tarmac in Arizona for eight hours Sunday night/Monday morning before taking off to San Francisco and arriving at 5am.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs San Francisco Giants

Tuesday August 28th, 9:45pm ET

Brandon Williamson (4-3, 4.18 ERA) vs Alex Cobb (6-5, 3.74 ERA)

108 Responses

  1. Jim Walker

    The Cardinals were in deeper doo on Sept 11 in 2021 than the Reds are now on and then won 17 in a row to get into the post season dance (and subsequently fired their manager).

    Hopefully, some karma will come the Reds way and at least one of those two things will happen. And to be honest, I’m not sure which would be better for the franchise over the long run.

    • DW

      I’d sure take both, but you’re right, it’s hard to say which would better.

    • David

      We don’t know much about Harrison, but maybe he will actually be a super pitcher for the Giants, and the Reds were dominated by an actually very good (but young) pitcher.
      Or…they are just lethargic and not playing well.

      They are in a world of hurt now, with really just two functioning starting pitchers; Graham Ashcraft and Brandon Williamson.
      Andrew Abbott has been great, but I think his arm is tired, and he has lost velocity on his fastball. They should sit him down before he injures himself.

      • Doc

        Or maybe sitting on an airplane on the tarmac for 8 hours and arriving in SF at 5 AM had something to do with being sluggish and not playing well.

      • Melvin

        It’s not like they can’t at least sleep some on the plane.

    • J

      If the Reds were to admit their mistake and fire Bell after this season, I would literally be stunned. I would be unable to think straight for a period of time, as my understanding of reality would be fundamentally altered. It would be like winning the lottery without even realizing I’d played the lottery.

      • Roger Garrett

        Don’t see it happening.Reds are down 3 young hitters that have really helped get us where we are record wise and replaced by guys from AAA.Bell is just Bell and he will not change the things he does.Lots of complaints about the all righty lineup last night but he always does that regardless.No India, No McLain,Tylers’ day off,ELDC weak and I mean weak against lefties and Stuey’s first game back after a concussion and defense well we saw it =no way you score any runs or win the game.Tyler should have played,Martini and Benson regardless should have played cause right now you must play your best players at their best defensive positions.Talent wins games but in all righty lineup today is not what it was earlier.Heck Newman was part of the all righty lineup and hit well.Really sad thing is if we saw a lefty today the lineup outside of Tyler playing the lineup and the batting order would be the same.Yep the predictability of our manager keeps us upset but it really is just like beating a dead horse.

      • Doc

        What would be even more stunning is for just one day to have a discussion without a single mention of David Bell, especially by the cut and paste crowd.

    • doofus

      Ah, to dream JW. This pitching staff is exhausted. The Pen is on fumes. Hopefully Greene will get back on track and Lodolo will come back in time to contribute.

      The offense does not scare opposing pitchers. This team needs a “hitting assassin.”

      But as a great philosopher once said: “Did we quit when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!”

  2. RedlegScott

    Well, Farmer and Duarte pitched well. That’s about it.

    • Jim Walker

      And where was Farmer on Sunday when he might have made a difference? Apparently he was being held back for tonight when he was penciled in to follow Abbott.

      And Cruz who might have been the 8th inning pitcher Sunday wasn’t available because he had to be the “starter” on Saturday and threw all of 23 pitches but wasn’t available because he is going to cover somebody tomorrow or Wednesday. This no way to run a pitching staff in a playoff chase. But in Bell’s defense, in this case he is stuck working with what his boss has supplied him.

      • RedlegScott

        Makes no sense to me to hold a guy back and pitch two guys, Gibaut and Sims, who had pitched the previous night. We saw how that ended.

      • Roger Garrett

        I hear you Jim but here is my last shot at Bell.He could have the best pen in baseball such as Counsell has in Milwaukee and he with his predictability and lack of feel for the game along with trying to be friends would mess it up.He just doesn’t know any other way or is unwilling to try another way.He already has things scripted for tonights game.In the bull pen game he brought in his only lefty in the second inning.Nobody would do that.Carroll is there best hitter and he hits lefty.Enough said.

      • doofus

        “…what his boss had supplied him.”

  3. Melvin

    The “hitters” won the battle tonight over the pitchers as to who got the most Ks Vs. BB 14-4.

  4. Larry Tonjes

    I was dumbfounded when Bell sent Benson to pinch hit for Maile, but did not replace Hopkins with Stephenson. Instead he used two players to replace one-an idiotic move he has done before!

    • J

      If I understand the rules… If Stephenson had entered for Hopkins, then he’d be entering the game as the DH. But he would need to catch, which means the DH would be catching, which means, I think, you lose the DH.

      The correct move, I believe, was to have TS hit for Maile, and then if he gets on you can have Benson hit for Hopkins. But that would have violated Bell’s handedness rule, so he wouldn’t dream of it.

      • Still a Red

        I understand the urge to second guess every move Bell makes that don’t work out (rarely do I hear congrats for those that do…I know, some will say they rarely do…don’t know if a hard look would verify that). In any event, many on here (don’t know if J has) clamored for a manager that relied more on the use of situational stats. Handedness being one of them.

      • J

        Still a Red,

        Several people commented before this game started that it made no sense to have Hopkins in the lineup despite the fact that he hit from the “correct” side. We made our comments BEFORE the game, because we’ve seen the stats, and also seen with our eyes, that Hopkins isn’t a legitimate major league hitter. We also noted that Bell had left the two hottest hitters in the lineup on the bench, and had a lefty and righty to choose from.

        The situation that arose in the 7th/8th innings was a difficult one, but it only existed because he’d made the decision to use Hopkins as the DH while Stephenson, Benson, Martini, and Senzel were left out of the lineup. I don’t believe any analytics would have supported that, nor did the eye test. I just don’t believe that anyone other than Bell, other than perhaps Hopkins’s family, would have done that. By making that choice, he created an unnecessarily difficult situation. I don’t agree with the way he chose to handle that situation, and you call this “second-guessing” if you want to, but there is no way that I (or anyone else who commented here) would have allowed that situation to arise in the first place. That isn’t called “second-guessing.” It’s called “not making an incredibly stupid decision in the first place.”

        It would be nice if we could all just agree that Bell created that situation himself, nobody forced him to do it, and there were no analytics to suggest it was the right decision.

      • Tom Diesman

        There is data to back up the decision to bat Hopkins against a LH pitcher. Sounds like either the wrong stats were examined or badly mis-interpreted.

    • LDS

      Or, just thinking out of the box, he could have PH Stephenson and replaced Hopkins with Benson. Oh wait, that wouldn’t work, Stephenson hits from the “wrong” side.

  5. Myles

    They should shut down Abbott for the year. He’s gassed.

    • CI3J

      Most of the team is basically running on fumes at this point.

      Unfortunately, there’s still another full month of baseball to play.

      This could get really ugly.

      • David

        They may win 10 more games this season.

        Really, that is my guess. Yes, the team is “out of gas”, but a lot of players around the league are “tired”, yet they push through.
        The problem is the pitching staff in particular is “out of gas” and does not have much left, and the Reds only have two real starters now, Ashcraft and Williamson. Abbott has lost several mph on his fastball and should be sat down. Greene is a disaster, and Lively and Kennedy are not much better than Weaver.

      • Chris

        Myles you are right, but in today’s game, with young players being so babied, they are even more gassed. None of them is used to playing this many games, and even in AAA they get every Monday off. Brantley even talked about this last night, in reference to the Giant’s starter. They are so babied in the minors, that when they are asked to work harder and longer in the Majors they just aren’t prepared. It’s the modern day culture. Baby kids, baby criminals and baby minor league baseball players.

    • Doc

      Amazing how not too many years ago pitchers went every fourth day and threw 280-320+ innings, pitchers who are still alive today. Now guys are said to be gassed pitching every fifth day and not even reaching half that number of innings. Nice work if you can get it.

      It is less than a decade ago that the Reds went the entire season with the same five starters, plus a double header call up for that one game.

  6. TR

    To take advantage of what they have the Reds must prioritize the hiring of a top-flight hitting coach to make the most of the young players they have.

    • SteveAReno

      Some of the young Triple A players are finding out the MLB pitchers are causing them to strike out a whole lot more. Overmatched now? Brought up to early? We will see. I wish we could get some of our veteran players back that don’t have so high a strike out rate. Putting the ball in play somewhere is critical.

      • Still a Red

        I think I read somewhere that the Reds take a lot of pitches. Be selective. But if you take too many strikes, it puts batters in the hole and vulnerable to the pitchers-pitch. Earlier it seems the Reds were good at getting hits on two strikes.
        Hitting with two strikes requires spoiling those close pitches that may or may not be strikes. The umpire really needs to be consistent if you’re going to take a close pitch with two strikes. Steer seems to get burned a lot that way. Looking at the heat maps of the pitch-by-pitch it seems really hard for the umps to be that fine in their judgement on those close pitches.

      • Chris

        Only Marte was brought up early. No one else was brought up early.

  7. Michael Wilson

    Only bright spot, Duarte two innings, one hit, 29 pitches/21 strikes.

  8. Mark Moore

    Cowboy and Thrall talked about the extended trip from Phoenix to SF. Hard to believe that’s a possibility in this day and age. I’m sure it played a little into the mix, but what we saw (or didn’t see since I went to bed) looked like more of the same. Everybody’s gassed and grasping.

    • SultanofSwaff

      8 hours on the tarmac in Arizona. They didn’t get to their hotel until 4:30AM.

      • Jim Walker

        A high profile charter flight being stuck on the tarmac for 8 hours has to be the result of a juicy backstory. I hope someone digs into it and reveals it to the public.

      • RED THUNDER

        Maybe it was the Reds not paying an airport fee, Parking, Arrival, Use of the facility. Surely Bob has got that pocket change, lol

      • Chris

        Jim, not really. Planes aren’t just sitting around at the last minute. No option to fly commercial at that point with a whole team, and no available plane to charter. Most likely there was some sort of issue with the plane they chartered, and it had to be fixed.

  9. SultanofSwaff

    No doubt the Reds are in the middle of it, but we knew weeks ago this stretch would be the most difficult of the season….and yet they’re in the thick of the hunt. After the Cubs and Mariners next, the final 3 weeks are full of cupcakes. I still put their chances at 50/50.

    If the team fades in September the narrative will be that these youngsters who are not used to the big 162 were gassed. However, I don’t think that’s any reason to shut anyone down. Rather, Bell just needs to be more judicious in his usage of certain guys. Abbott has clearly been on a sub 90 pitch count limit his last few starts, which I think is wise. 5 more 5 inning starts leaves him at less than 170 IP for the season. That’s reasonable imo. I’d also point out that Greene, Lodolo, and Ashcraft all pitched the final month of 2022 when there was nothing at stake.

    It’s just ironic that a front office that values youth more than anything (not willing to part with any prospects at the trade deadline—because ya know they’re all going to pan out), found themselves with no options to protect/support the youth on the ML roster. They literally bet the house on Greene, Antone, Gutierrez, Dunn, and Lodolo. it’s both cheap and irresponsible.

    • David

      Dunn will never be able to start another ML game. After the season, he should be DFA’d to clear a space on the 40 man.
      I have no idea how close to being effective either Gutierrez or Santillan are, but they have not pitched at all well at AAA level.
      Lodolo is a good pitcher….when he is healthy and not hurt. He is injury prone. This will be a tough decision.
      Greene again, has great ability, but is he 100%, or even close? Can we judge him on his appearances since returning from the DL? But I don’t expect him to turn it around this season. More 3,4,5 inning appearances, giving up 3-5 runs each time.
      I don’t think he is physically ok, but ok enough to pitch.

    • Still a Red

      I think Lodolo and Greene (and Ashcraft) were reasonable bets, with Abbott and Williamson in the wings. Not the others. Lively proved effective the first half. Weave was a bust, though the offense held him up in the first half. Not wanting to trade prospects is probably not so much that they expect them all to pan out, but rather you aren’t sure which of the ones you already brought up are going to pan out. While Steer, McLain, EDLC look like the real deal, neither Stephenson or India have matched their rookie year. And CES, Benson, Fairchild are still a work in progress.

    • Jim Walker

      @Sultan +10K. The only thing to add is that it is hard to have confidence in the organization’s skill and ability to sort through the younger prospects in a timely fashion when they couldn’t decide who to trade despite having an all rookie infield (even if Marte was technically still at AAA at the deadline).

      Also, Senzel was probably only going to be a dump at the deadline because of his arbitration and salary situation. However, I find it hard to believe that Barrero and a 2nd tier prospect couldn’t have been packaged for a rental starting arm *if* the Reds had been willing to take on some salary in the deal. So, Krall going public about being a buyer and having resources may well have been part of an inside fight over whether to give him money to spend at the deadline. And we can see how that one turned out.

    • Doug

      Not in the middle of anything at this point. They are sinking to the bottom!

  10. Steven Ross

    Probably wouldn’t have mattered but Fairchild has to make that catch in the 1st inning. Little things add up to bad results. McLain, India and Fraely out is now taking its toll. Abbott’s ERA is going up rapidly from June to August. I would shut him down.

    I still shake my head at giving Bell an extentsion in July. Wait until season is over.

    • Still a Red

      Can’t blame Bell for Fairchilds missed catch or India and Fraley and now McClain, or Abbot. Or CES’s less than expected contribution or double digit strike outs game in and game out.

  11. JB

    NL relief appearances:

    1 Miguel Castro Ari 61
    2t Ian Gibaut Cin 60
    2t Hoby Milner Mil 60
    4t Buck Farmer Cin 59
    4t Tanner Scott Mia 59
    6t Alexis Díaz Cin 58
    6t Camilo Doval SF 58
    6t Craig Kimbrel Phi 58
    6t Joel Payamps Mil 58
    10t Mark Leiter Jr. ChC 57
    10t A.J. Minter Atl 57
    10t Kyle Nelson Ari 57
    10t Tyler Rogers SF 57
    10t Alex Young Cin 57

    The Reds have four relievers on there. Nobody else has more than two. Sims is at 54( was on the IL) and Cruz at 46 and coming on fast. Now we can blame the starters but we also can blame Bell for pulling his starters quickly. Plenty of times this year there was no reason to pull them at a low pitch count or because they gave up a single in the 5th. Even the pitchers like Ashcraft have said don’t pull me. Reds relief pitchers have thrown 485 innings. Next closest is the Dodgers at 451. Not even close. The Reds can’t afford a bullpen day. Why they thought that was a good idea Sunday was rediculous. Just bring up a guy to start. If the Reds aren’t going to play Siani then drop him from the 40 and add a pitcher. Same with Hopkins. I really doubt anybody is going to grab those two guys. If they do then no loss.

    • Steelerfan

      Good (or I guess not so good) information JB. I generally dislike the notion of acquiring an “inning eater,” but if anyone could have used one, it was the Reds.

      I agree with everyone saying shut Abbott down. I realize the Verducci effect has been disproven, but there is no sense taking a chance here.

      • Chris

        No! Do not shut Abbott down. He needs to pitch and build up his ability to pitch longer. No proof that he is injury prone by pitching longer. If he needs to be skipped one start, fine, but don’t shut him down.

    • Still a Red

      I still think total number of pitches pitched is more relevant than innings pitched, especially if Bell uses a reliever for just a few pitches. Of course, given the number of walks the bullpen seems to give up may add to their pitch count.

      • JB

        You also need to understand the abundance of pitches that never get counted warming up in the bullpen. The guy might only throw 9 pitches but threw 30 warming up in the bullpen. Multiply that by appearances and alot of guys have arms dragging.

      • Chris

        I don’t think innings or pitch counts matter at all. Nothing supports that notion. Every pitching coach and most managers can see if a pitcher is tiring. Also, stressful innings are more taxing than just innings or just pitch counts.

    • JB

      Not to mention Derek Law is at 43 and he was out for over a month or he might be leading the pack.

  12. Still a Red

    Anyone notice CES hesitating at 2nd on Martini’s ground ball through the hole. Watch replay. No way he would have been thrown out by so much if he was running on contact. With a runner on first, he had no choice but to run. I think as the season wears on we are seeing a bit more ‘rookie’ play from our rookies…not to take away from the feats they do perform. But someone on here said, its the little things (and also the expectation that the basics are done consistently) are a big part of winning.

    • Jim Walker

      CES held up to make sure the drive was not caught on the fly by the second baseman who was shaded deep into the 1B hole. If he had broken hard and the ball had been picked, folks would be calling it a dumb rookie mistake getting doubled off.

      House (3B coach) blew that play by wildly waving CES around when the Giants RF had the ball in hand.

      • Chris

        100%. Not CES’s fault at all. He shouldn’t have been waived, especially considering the score at the time.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Agree, as soon as House sent him he was a dead duck.

      • Still a Red

        Upon a closer look it was the first baseman that may have had a play, diving for the ball. It hit the ground in front of him, the guy on first was off and running. That said the ball was hit hard and CES probably should not have been waved home in any event.

  13. LDS

    Reading through the comments here, what I see is a bunch of very talented players, who are receiving poor coaching. Several here criticized Aquino as “uncoachable” for repeating some of these same patterns. Now the whole team is “uncoachable”? Recognize too that Votto, one of the best hitters in Reds history, is playing the game the same way. And he told Nightengale, he wants to come back next year. This is a dysfunctional organization that refuses to deal with reality: Votto is done, the coaching staff is poor, including DJ, and Bell isn’t as popular with the players as the Cincinnati media hypes. The Reds have and are wasting a lot of talented players. Siani, Hopkins, Barrero, etc that do the PR or start once every 7-10 days will never develop into ML’ers. They have to play regularly. And kids playing regularly need good leadership and coaching, e.g., EDLC, CES, Marte. Without it, disaster looms.

    • Pete

      Face. It is dysfunctional because of the nepotism. In a lot of the Reds are not run like a professional organization.

      Votto is coming back next year and for the life of me I believe David Bell will be the Reds manager for the rest of the days that I have on this earth. Sad but true. Bell has a job for life but they’re going to dole it out in three year increments. I’m guessing so they can give him a raise every so often. It’s laughable.

      This is our worst nightmare coming to fruition, a total meltdown and no hope of any sanity to correct this issue. Ugh.

      • SultanofSwaff

        +1. As the kids say he’s a nepo baby. There literally is no other franchise in baseball who would hire David Bell to manage their team. Certainly not before he was hired by the Reds and not in the future unless the Reds win a pennant. That said, it doesn’t automatically make him a bad manager (in fact I’d say he’s simply average), but if you value winning then your obligation is to cast the widest net possible in your search and ponying up the money if that’s what it takes to acquire the best talent. The Reds did neither.

      • TR

        The only immediate (2-3 years) hope I see for a change in the Red’s organization is ownership change, and that would probably have to be someone with local/metropolitan ties.

      • Doug

        Obviously being facetious here, but it crossed my my mind after David Bells’ extension was the real reason for Buddy’s resignation from the Reds. No doubt he loves his son, but the baseball side of him must be disgusted the Reds saw fit to extend him another 3 years!

    • Chris

      How is it you know that Bell isn’t as popular as the media says they are. I think he’s very popular. Sounds like the same crap that people suggest when saying Senzel isn’t liked in the clubhouse, when he’s clearly loved in that clubhouse.

      • JB

        How do you know Senzel is liked? You have no better idea than the people that say he isn’t liked. The same with Bell. Unless you work in the clubhouse ,you have no idea. The same as the others.

      • LDS

        Maybe you pay attention to the source and the veiled comments made by former players. Maybe you look at your personal experience with managers. Bell is not respected. He may be liked but that’s it. And that’s not a formula for success.

  14. Pete

    Agree with those that believe Abbott needs to be shut down for the season. If not for his physical well-being, then for his mental. See were Noah Syndergaard is probably available. If the Reds only have to pick up league minimum for him, they probably should. The bullpen is basically fried. Don’t even know where to start with that, but certainly limit Diaz and Sims innings to start with. Since it doesn’t look like we’re going to be very competitive soon, that shouldn’t be much of a reach. Personally, I would start looking forward to 2024: priority should be keep giving the young guys chances to gain experience, and protecting the health of all the players.

    Sidenote. If Nick Krall is responsible for extending David Bell, Bob needs to fire him. One of the worst decisions I’ve seen made in baseball. Totally inexplicable.

    Coming up empty at the trade deadline doesn’t bother me in the least, and I think will prove to be a wise decision. Picking up Sam Moll does look like it’s going to be a help now and down the road.

    • Jim Walker

      @Pete, how can they shut down Abbott and protect bullpen arms when winning or losing aside, they literally do not have the arms to cover the innings remaining in the season. They are gutting the bullpen right now because they do not have more than 1 or 2 starters who can pitch beyond the 4th inning even if they are pitching well.

      They are in this situation exactly because they did not acquire any starting arms at the deadline. No one is saying they needed or should have moved top tier prospects for cream of the crop rentals but certainly, there were other opportunities available.

      • Rob

        Well stated. I don’t where we get this idea that there is a calvary awaiting in Louisville. All of the potential semi ready starters at Louisville have been tried out ….Kennedy, Stoudt, Wynne, etc. Beside the pennant race considerations, none are capable of better than 4-5 innings and 4-5 runs. Gosh, didn’t we just deep six Weaver 2 weeks ago because we had enough of this diet and because 2-3 guys in our bullpen were running on fumes. No, we don’t have any pitchers at Louisville that can come in and perform any better than Weaver. That isn’t acceptable in a pennant race. Jim is 100% correct that Krall bet first place 1) on the return and strong contributions of Greene, Lodolo, Guit., and Antone, 2) that Abbott, Williamson, and Ashcraft would not tire and would capably pitch into October, and 3) signs of bullpen fatigue were no more than temporary and a mirage. So we have lost first place and 7-8 games in the standings to both the Brewers and Cubs in 4 weeks. Causes: 1) We have lost 5 games due to starting pitchers #4 and #5, 2) another 3-4 games due to bullpen blown leads after the 7th inning which never happened in the first half, and 3) loss of another handful games to a totally unexpected offensive meltdown. Any one of the 3 we probably could have tolerated and still be well in front of the Cubs and Dbacks. Bottom line: the same questions with starting pitching and the bullpen that existed on August 1 exist today. Will the IL pitchers return and be long inning upgrades for Weaver, Kennedy, Richardson,etc. ? Will Abbott and Williamson hang on and pitch 6 inning starts thru September and October? You don’t yield first place on August 1 without a plan. The plan is and was there but right now, it is looking like a failure. Maybe September will bring totally different results but it still is the same plan as it was on August 1. Greene, Abbott, Williamson, and the bullpen are being counted on or they would have been backfilled.

    • J

      I don’t understand why the argument is between shutting Abbott down or doing nothing. Another possibility has been switching to a six man rotation. There are six guys in the organization who are capable of starting baseball games every sixth game.

      • Redgoggles

        I would think going to a 6 man rotation (given the options available) would tax the bullpen even more. Alternatively, I’d look into grouping Richardson with Abbott and Kennedy with Greene and hope that those “2” starters along with Lively/Williamson/Ashcraft can consistently give 6-7 innings, which would help our bullpen out tremendously.

        At this point, what do we have to lose?

    • Pete

      @jim I respect you, but we have no idea what the trades might have looked like. If we did, we could have great debates over it. But otherwise it’s a fools errand as far as I’m concerned. I would definitely look at getting guys like Noah Syndergaard to finish out this year, they can call up guys from the minor leagues to provide relief. The call up guys may not be very good, but they cannot let the 26-man roster arms be damaged for the 2024 season. Hopefully it’s not too late.

      • Jim Walker

        Pete>> Yet every day they continue to risk arms being damaged because they don’t have pitchers to bring up.

        You are correct we don’t know what deals were offered (or refused) at the deadline which is why I avoid naming names of folks the Reds might or should go after. However looking at the guys that did move and what they moved for, I believe it is fair to say the Reds had opportunities they did not exploit.

        Krall seemed fixated on avoiding rentals. My guess is that cash and not prospect capital was the issue there despite his declarations to the contrary.

        And at another level, there must have been teams who had been lucky with injuries and/ or out of playoff contention who would have moved their versions of Lively, Kennedy et al and etc. for a song.

      • MBS

        @Pete, “but we have no idea what the trades might have looked like.”

        That’s not exactly true, we saw who was dealt, and what they paid for them. It’s not worth worrying about, they did nothing, and here we are.

        I wouldn’t shut down any of our starters. I would limit their innings and continue burning our bullpen with the exception of Diaz.

    • doug

      I agree. Bring up some fresh blood with the September call-ups and wave the white flag. Ostensibly they already did at the trade deadline anyway.

  15. Mark A Verticchio

    As many are starting to note this season is turning into a nightmare. The team played well enough for awhile and then collapsed, with the decent play allowing somebody to give Bell an extension, which will go down as one of the worst decisions in team history. The fact is David Bell isn’t a good enough manager for a t-ball team.

  16. Mark Moore

    I almost expect to hear the announcement that the entire team has gone on the IL and the AAA roster has been called up.

    • Jim Walker

      And it is just not normal for the same old same old like this to strike year upon year as it seems to with the Reds. I don’t know who is to blame or why but wish they would get to work about it.

  17. J

    Some people are defending Bell with the “it’s not his fault guys got tired and hurt” argument. Well, there probably IS a connection between his use of the bullpen and the fatigue in the bullpen, and there probably IS a connection between all of the strikeouts and Bell’s lack of leadership, but let’s just imagine there isn’t. Let’s just imagine that none of the Reds’ problems is in any way related to anything Bell has done all season.

    Part of a manager’s job is to deal with difficult situations that he didn’t create. Managers can’t always count on everyone staying healthy all year, nobody getting fatigued, nobody slumping, etc. Bell handles these problems about as badly as he possibly can. He removes guys from the lineup when they’re hot, starts guys who are ice cold, keeps the same basic batting order no matter what’s been going on, doesn’t seem to do anything (calling for a hit and run, a squeeze play, a sac bunt, a “take” sign, etc.) that might actually help the team deal with the problems it’s having. He just sits back and watches the same problems night after night after night. Based on body language and what he says during and after games, he doesn’t even seem to be concerned about any of them.

    No, he didn’t create all of the problems, but part of his job is to deal with them. And he’s failed miserably.

    • Mark Moore

      +100,000

      Ultimate responsibility likes with HDTBell and the coaches he hires as part of his staff. Anyone who won’t recognize that, doesn’t understand the dynamics of the situation as you have presented it.

      He’s already been rewarded for less-than-mediocrity. That’s why he’s holding fast to the #90 spot on the current MLB Field Manager ranking and will probably drop below #100 by the time September rolls over to October and we all make offseason plans.

      It’s hard to continue any level of enthusiasm at this point, at least for me. I’ll watch until the end, but the goal for me is for the guys to stay healthy enough to endure for a month without incurring any major injuries. Low expectations to be certain, but that’s where I am at this point.

      • Jim Walker

        I hear where you are coming from Mark. Eight years and counting retired from IT and data networks, I dug a 14 year old laptop that was high end when new out of the junkyard closet and converted it from a draggy Win10 (getting it to W10 had been a previous year angst breaker) to a decent lightweight Linux device. Hoping the promised 1Gb fiber to our door comes through so I can bury September under a home network rebuild. 😉

      • Tom Diesman

        Nice to hear about your Linux rebuild Jim. Working on retiring from my IT gig now and was just thinking yesterday I needed to pull out my linux laptop and fire it back up. It’s been tucked away for a few months after a recent move.

      • Jim Walker

        @Tom>> Don’t know if you are familiar with the Cinnamon desktop; but, that is what I installed, the Mint Cinnamon variety 21.2. You’ll probably love or hate this but in terms of clicks, buttons, gestures etc, it feels intuitively like Windows and the mouse movement has been cleaned up to where it feels the same too.

        One of my gripes with Linux and Mac has always been that they seemed to have junctures where they differed from Windows in key combinations or click sequences just to remind that they weren’t Windows. Cinnamon doesn’t. So, I really like it.

      • Tom Diesman

        I’m not, but I’ll have to check it out. I’m running Fedora, mostly because I’ve supported Redhat for a long time and it’s familiar to me.

    • Chris

      I don’t get all this talk about Bell. Look, I’m not a big Bell fan, but bashing him for what’s going on is just silly. Nobody propped Bell up when the team was in 1st place, but somehow now that they are struggling, it’s all Bell’s fault. The team was supposed to lose 90 to 100 games this year, but it’s not going to come close to that, yet Bell is still being blamed. The fact is, this is a young team that is warn out, and injuries have taken it’s toll. India, Fraley, Votto, and now McLain are injured. That’s 44% of your lineup out. The starting staff has been injured for months now, and the bullpen is pieced together with band-aids. I don’t agree with Bell most of the time, but overall, this isn’t on Bell. This is a team that just might be warn out and injuries have decimated it.

      • J

        I don’t think there’s a single person commenting here who says “it’s all Bell’s fault.” People complain all the time about the players, Krall, ownership, the coaching staff, etc. Bell runs the team on a day to day basis, so he gets blamed on a day to day basis for all his mistakes running the team. Why is this bad? Should we ignore all his mistakes and just say “oh well”?

        Also, the reason the Reds were “supposed” to be terrible this year is that they were terrible last year (under Bell’s supervision) and nobody expected sudden big improvements over the offseason, or from guys in the minors. They were “supposed” to be terrible this year because McLain and Elly and Abbott and Steer and Benson and Friedl and Fraley weren’t “supposed” to be nearly as good as they’ve been. Does Bell deserve credit for their rapid improvements? I don’t think so. But he’s been reaping the benefits.

      • Redgoggles

        Quit using logic when emotional extremes are available and perfection is attainable.

      • Redgoggles

        My comment above was for Chris, if unclear. Cross-posted with J.

        To J, if Bell doesn’t deserve credit for their rapid improvements, does he deserve blame for their collective July/August slump/crash? That seems to be a common sentiment around these parts, and I’m not sure how both can be true.

        Which I think supports the original point Chris was making.

      • Tom Diesman

        If you are surprised by this years performance of De La Cruz, Steer, Benson, Friedl, and Fraley you have not been paying attention.

      • J

        Tom,

        I guess Cleveland must not have been paying attention to their own guy, because they obviously didn’t expect Benson be as good as he’s been.

        And I think you’d be hard pressed to find many people who predicted Steer, Friedl, and Fraley would have the numbers they have. And I don’t think it was obvious to very many people that Elly would play more than half the season for the Reds in 2023 after a few weeks in AAA. If you honestly predicted all these things, you should give yourself a gold star.

      • J

        Chris,

        “If Bell doesn’t deserve credit for their rapid improvements, does he deserve blame for their collective July/August slump/crash? That seems to be a common sentiment around these parts, and I’m not sure how both can be true.”

        No, he doesn’t deserve all the blame for their slump/crash, but I do think he deserves some. For example, it’s been noted by various people that Friedl has changed his approach since the beginning of the year. He’s walking much less often and doesn’t seem very interested in trying to hit the other way with any authority. (It also appears he’s developed more of an upper-cut swing, but I’m not 100% sure his swing has really changed.) Now, we can put all of the blame on Friedl if we want, or just call it bad luck, but in my mind it’s up to the manager to notice these things and try to do something about it. Like, weeks ago. At the very least, if Friedl isn’t going to look for walks, he shouldn’t be leading off. Bell may not have created the problem, but part of his job is to try to minimize the impact of problems that emerge. When you have a guy leading off who won’t take many pitches, you’re not doing your job. When you have a guy slumping terribly and you repeatedly have him hitting 5th and 6th most days, you’re not doing your job. When you have a guy who can’t seem to hit major league pitching at all, and you use him as your DH when you’ve got two guys on the bench who’ve been hitting really well lately, you’re not doing your job.

        If it makes you feel better to give Bell all the credit for the good stuff everyone was doing at the beginning of the year, go for it. I don’t care who gets the credit for that. What I care about is that the team isn’t winning much anymore, and a lot of hitters seem to be having the same problems (swinging at bad pitches, swinging too hard, not trying to walk, not trying to hit the other way, etc.), and I don’t think it’s just an amazing coincidence that they’ve all developed the same bad habits even though the manager is actively trying to make them STOP doing these things. I don’t think the manager is actively doing much of anything.

        If I go to the store and buy a decent-looking apple, and you eat that apple and think it’s really yummy, will your instinct be to say “this apple tastes great” or will it be to say “you did a great job buying this decent-looking apple!” Probably you’ll give more praise to the apple than me, because my job was pretty easy there. But if I go to the store and buy an apple that looks rotten, and it tastes rotten, are you going to blame the apple or blame me? Probably you’re going to focus more on the guy who bought the apple rather than the apple itself. Would that be fair to me even though it’s a “double standard”? Probably so, yes. It’s easy to find an apple that looks fine, and if it happens to be extremely tasty, that’s basically just good luck. It doesn’t deserve a ton of praise. But if I go to the store and bring home an apple that looks bad, and it turns out to be bad, yeah, I think that’s probably my fault.

      • Tom Diesman

        J,

        De La Cruz, Steer, Benson, Friedl, and Fraley are all performing within expectation from their prior performances. Anyone who cared to look into it knows.

      • J

        Tom,

        This strikes me as one of the sillier arguments I’ve had on this site. Benson came to the Reds with 28 games of major league experience, and his career OPS was .450. Cleveland traded him for a couple prospects that most of us can’t even remember by name because they were so far from making the majors. Cleveland traded him because they didn’t think he’d be better than their other outfielders this year. His 2023 OPS is currently higher than anyone who’s played for them all season (with the exception of a guy who’s played in 2 games). He would have been one of the best hitters on their team this season, and by far their best hitting outfielder. But sure, everyone who was paying attention knew this would happen. Even Cleveland knew it would happen, but they wanted to help out the Reds for the next few years.

      • Tom Diesman

        Keep digging, you may find it yet.

  18. Dennis Westrick

    Befuddled? No excuse for a ML team to consistently have 10+ strikeouts in a game!

    Last night? Fourteen (14) strikeouts!

    The “Curse of Bell” continues! Reds are 12-17 since some geniuses in the Reds FO decided to extend Bell for three years!

    Don’t know about the rest of you but this old man is ready for NCAA & NFL football

    • Jim Walker

      Go Bucks! September 23 in South Bend looms large. The Dayton Dragons stadium is throwing a watch party for that one. Admission is free but preregistration/ tickets are required. Guessing that while the event is being marketed in Scarlet and Grey, they want to have an idea of how many Domers may show up and want to set aside an area for them.

      • Mark A Verticchio

        I am ready as well look forward to my Lions coming to Columbus on October 21st, hopefully PSU can fare better than they have lately. Meanwhile I will watch the Reds in anger as Bell continues to goof them up.

      • Daytonnati

        I see Day finally picked a QB today.

  19. Laredo Slider

    Brantley said last night he expects to see Ashcraft hit Abbott’s wall soon so we have that to look forward to.

    Re David Bell….he’s actually Reds Royalty going back to grandfather Gus. He’s not going to be fired. So, why not move him into recently vacated slot left by Buddy? Kick him upstairs as it were, make him some kind of “advisor” then hire another manager. Problem solved.

    • Mark A Verticchio

      We should all be so lucky, it would be nice not to have the worst manager in baseball.

    • TR

      Makes sense to me. David Bell got his first MLB managership with the Reds coming from the S.F. Giants front office as V.P. of Personnel. With that experience D.B. should fit well in the Red’s front office.

  20. Indy Red Man

    Shut Abbott down! Richardson, Lively, maybe stretch out someone else. Heck pencil in Maile for 40 innings. Fight back against shorter games & unders. Maile is Ohtani East. Audition guys and get something from September because McLain was the last straw. Actually their starters wouldn’t stretch if they had all their hitters

  21. MBS

    Lots of talk about shutting down Abbott. Set up some piggy backing, and get these guys through the season by managing their innings.

    1 Abbott/Stoudt
    2 Greene/Kennedy
    3 Ashcraft
    4 Richardson/Lively
    5 Williamson

    We’re about to get 1 more pitcher for sept call ups, so that would give us 5 normal use bullpen arms.

    • David

      Levi Stoudt has been nothing but “turrible” lately for the Bats. I don’t think, at this point, he is Major League material. But sure, bring him up if this is the way to get home to the end of the season. Just don’t expect too much from him. He is on the 40 man, after all.
      The verdict is still out (IMHO) about Lyon Richardson, as he is still recovering from TJ surgery, but I wouldn’t lean on him too hard.

      I worry about Andrew Abbott because his velocity is markedly down, and if he tries to “force it” by trying to throw harder, he could injure himself. The loss of velocity alone won’t likely hurt his arm (fatigue) but if he tries to compensate for it, that just might hurt him.
      Maybe now he can learn to throw a knuckleball? (ok, that’s just sarcasm)

      • MBS

        My thinking is how to get through the rest of the season, not how to win the most games. The time to think about winning was in the offseason, and at the trade deadline. We are past both of those, so now we’re just playing out the schedule.

    • Tom Diesman

      I love the piggy backing idea and to me it seems to be the most logical future of the game given the obsessive adherence to pitch counts and not allowing the starters to see the opposing lineup for a 3rd pass.