The Cincinnati Reds had a lead heading into the 7th inning, but the bullpen imploded as they gave up the lead in the 7th and watched the Cubs score seven runs in the 8th and three more in the 9th as Chicago pulled away to earn a win on Sunday and pick up a series split.

Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (73-64)
15 18 0
Cincinnati Reds (71-68)
7 11 1
W: Palencia (5-0) L: Law (4-5)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Carson Spiers took the mound for his big league debut and had a warm welcome from the Cubs who put together three singles in the 1st inning to grab a 1-0 lead. The offense had his back in the bottom of the inning, with TJ Friedl and Spencer Steer hitting back-to-back solo homers to put Cincinnati in front 2-1. Chicago would tie things up in the top of the 2nd after Nick Madrigal hit a 1-out double and scored on a single by Mike Tauchman. Spiers would walk two batters around Tauchman to load the bases and Ian Happ put the Cubs ahead 3-2 with a sacrifice fly.

Their lead didn’t last very long because after Will Benson was hit by a pitch it was Tyler Stephenson’s turn to crush a home run – a 2-run shot that put Cincinnati ahead 4-3. Spiers returned to the mound for 3rd and settled in, striking out four of the next six batters he faced as he tossed two perfect frames to keep the Reds in front 4-3 heading into the 5th inning and close out his big league debut with four innings of 3-run baseball that saw him strike out seven batters.

Chasen Shreve took over in the 5th inning for the Reds and made his debut for the club after being released by Detroit three weeks ago and signing a minor league deal with Cincinnati. He tossed a perfect inning, but when he returned for the 6th the second pitch he threw was belted into the seats by Cody Bellinger to tie the game up. With a right-handed batter due up the Reds called Lucas Sims into the game to take over.

In the bottom of the 6th inning the Reds offense got rolling with a 1-out double from Christian Encarnacion-Strand. He came around to score on a 2-out single from Tyler Stephenson as Cincinnati grabbed a 5-4 lead. Chicago got that run back in the top of the 7th when Ian Gibaut gave up a 2-out double that was followed by an RBI single from Ian Happ, who continues to destroy the Reds in Cincinnati.

Derek Law took the mound to start the 8th inning and gave up back-to-back singles before hitting Jeimer Candelario to load the bases with no outs. That was enough for David Bell, who walked out to the mound and called for Alexis Diaz to enter the game in the toughest of situations. He got ahead of Nick Madrigal 1-2, but a fastball well above the zone was grounded back up the middle to plate two runs as the Cubs took a 7-5 lead.

Things didn’t improve from there. Miles Mastrobuoni laid down a sacrifice bunt, but Diaz fielded it and threw it wide and pulled Christian Encarnacion-Strand and everyone was safe. An RBI single followed to plate two more runs and extend Chicago’s lead to 9-5. That was all for Diaz and the Reds turned to Brett Kennedy. He came in and got a ground out for the first out of the inning, but then walked Ian Happ to load the bases once again. Cody Bellinger then hit a sacrifice fly to make it 10-5. Dansby Swanson capped the inning off with a 2-run double off of the wall in right field to put his team up by seven runs.

The home team wasn’t ready to just roll over despite a huge deficit. Spencer Steer led off the bottom of the 8th with a walk and moved up to third base on a 2-out double by Will Benson. Tyler Stephenson then followed up with a walk of his own to load the bases – his 4th time reaching base on the day. Chicago’s pitching coach made a trip to the mound before Noelvi Marte stepped up to the plate. Whatever he said didn’t work because Marte took an 88 MPH cutter and doubled in two runs to make it 12-7. That was all they’d get, sending the game to the 9th inning.

The Cubs wasted no time getting things started again as Jeimer Candelario led off the inning with a homer, making it 13-7. They would add on two more runs thanks to two doubles and a single as they went ahead 15-7. Cincinnati would get a leadoff single in the bottom of the 9th, but the Reds went in order after that

Key Moment of the Game

Derek Law loading the bases to start the 8th inning. Everything unraveled from there.

Notes worth noting

The Reds allowed 10 runs in the final two innings on nine hits, a walk, and a hit batter.

Tyler Stephenson went 3-3 with a walk, homer, and three runs batted in on the day.

The loss dropped the Reds to 3.0 games behind the Cubs for second place. For the time being it also dropped them a half-game back for the final wild card spot.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Seattle Mariners vs Cincinnati Reds

Monday September 4th, 4:10pm ET

TBA vs Bryan Woo (2-3, 4.15 ERA)

88 Responses

  1. Klugo

    And here I thought for a minute we’d get out of the series without giving up a double digit game.

    Oh.. and go sign Cody Bellinger next year. We’ll have the money, we need a LF and his bat is a difference maker.

    • Rob

      Bellinger is exactly the type we need but he is not a great fit, especially the first base part. But power hitting OF with some speed and Average is exactly a need. I am not big on the Free aAgent route however. I think our strength s prospects who we can deal for a thumper.

    • Jeremiah

      I think Bellinger is a high risk High reward type of player. To me he’s a better fit on the Cubs. They can give him 20 million a year for 4 or 5 years and if he stinks it won’t matter a whole lot whereas that would be a little tougher for the Reds to handle. I think he hot like 190 a few years back. Has certainly been a good fit for the Cubs but I don’t see it for the Reds. I’d like to see the Reds maybe trade some prospects for like Luis Robert, maybe Salvador Perez, though Stepehnson heating up recently.

  2. Jon

    3 years, $65 million to Gray this winter. Will that get it done? Because this team desperately needs to get the pitching.

    • Colorado Red

      I would think the would probably get it done.
      Lots of teams, want to Get the Pitching

  3. Doc4uk

    I mentioned in a previous thread but something is up with Diaz. His fastball today was in the 92-93 range when it was up to 97-98 earlier in the year. That causes him to rely on breaking pitches, but the league knows he has trouble with control of those pitches, so they are sitting on a completely hittable fast ball.

    • JB WV

      Ashcraft, Abbot, and probably others have lost some velocity at this point in the season. Arm fatigue, or just the overall grind wearing them down?

  4. TR

    The Cubbies were upset with the Reds taking two of four in consecutive ninth inning rallies.

  5. J

    Obviously pitching was the problem today, but I just can’t stop complaining about the lineup. Bell apparently believes he can’t move people around in the order because it will cause some sort of mental breakdown or something (except for Steer, who’s apparently made of tougher stuff), but I’m confused about which players he’s actually trying to protect, and from what? Most of the guys are slumping, and have been slumping for a while. Is he concerned that if moves Elly down to 7th, he’ll suddenly start striking out 6 or 7 times in a game like this?

    For the longest time, people kept trying to justify Benson hitting 8th by saying “he’s doing great down there — why mess with it?” Now he’s been slumping somewhat, so, by their logic, isn’t it time to move him to the leadoff spot to see what happens? But no, Bell still can’t do that. He’s still got “reasons.” So, Martini is leading off. Is that to protect Benson’s fragile psyche, because he’d have an emotional breakdown if he spent one day in that spot? Meanwhile, Martini was doing well in the middle of the order, but HE can handle this move, and it won’t mess him up psychologically for the rest of the year? Or we just don’t care about his mental state?

    Bell is just crazy with these theories of his. And he simply can’t admit when they’re wrong. (Or at least I’ve never heard him admit he’s ever done anything wrong.)

    People like to defend his crazy moves by saying he has more information than we do. You can just look at the lineup he puts out there every day and know this is a guy who routinely IGNORES information in favor of his personal theories. He behaves as if he has LESS information than we do.

    • West Larry

      I can tolerate his sometimes goofy line ups and sometimes questionable decisions on defensive changes, but Bell’s overuse of the bullpen at times is nearly criminal. Today was a good example. I understand why he took out the starter after four innings, but he allowed the second picture to pitch one inning. This guy sometimes started in the minors, and could have gone three or four innings, even if he had to be the artificial lamb. Doesn’t Bell know that we don’t have a off day until Thursday? Also, he was well aware of how many injuries this pitching staff is facing. Greene should be back late next week, but Ashcraft, Lodolo and many others won’t be back soon. Three more years! Yuck.

      • Chris

        Absolutely right. Most of Bell’s decisions I disagree with are just disagreements, and I accept that. His bullpen usage though, as you suggested, is downright criminal. You just can have put a new reliever in every inning and expect that they will all be on their game. You have to let guys go an inning or two if they are on. It’s a basic numbers game. Someone ISN’T going to have good stuff, and today it was Law. Diaz can’t seem to pitch worth a darn anymore unless it’s a save situation.

    • RedAlert

      He lives in a bizzaro managerial universe …. Been in there quite a while now too

      Absolutely clueless and continues to
      exemplify it

    • DaveCT

      Bell is exactly who the Reds thought he’d be, a Cardinals type analytics manager. It’s what they wanted and it’s what they’ve received. The issue is not with Bell. The issue is with the organization.

      • J

        I see a lot of people complain about Bell being an analytics guy, but what I’m saying is he’s actually the opposite of an analytics guy. There are no analytics that say you need to keep your highest (or even your second highest) OPS guy at the bottom of the lineup all season. There are no analytics that say it never makes sense to have your hottest hitter move from #8 to #1 and see how he does there. There are no analytics that say Elly should be hitting third or fourth every single day (when he’s not leading off, that is). There are no analytics that say you shouldn’t allow a relief pitcher to throw more than one inning when he’s been cruising along and has only thrown 11 pitches. There are no analytics that say you need to pull a starter after 85 pitches no matter how he’s been pitching or how he says he feels. There are no analytics that say if a lefty hits lefties better than he hits righties, you can’t allow that guy to hit leadoff when a lefty starts, but you can allow him to lead off almost every day against righties. And so on. Bell seems inclined to ignore analytics, logic, stats, and every other scientific or quasi-scientific thing — preferring to rely on his own pet theories, instincts, “stuff he was taught” somewhere, or whatever it is that he relies on to make all these irrational and non-analytical decisions. And he ignores how these things are actually working out, choosing instead to stick with whatever idea he had a long time ago, because he’s just SURE that idea is right, which is the opposite of an analytical approach. That’s an emotional approach.

      • DaveCT

        And I’m sure there are analytics answers to each and every one of these things. So, the post proves nothing, other than frustration. Sorry. Bad day, I get it. If there is a better way to make my point, it’s that management wanted ‘the Cardinal Way.” And they got it. Matchups upon matchups upon matchups. Based upon analytics, among many other factors.

        Yet a nother way of stating this is this. With analytics comes managing the human. They co-exist, right? They have to. There’s another example but I don’t want to get booted off as it’s a political economy comp.

      • J

        Just saying “there are analytics answers to those things” doesn’t make it true. Bell’s explanation for why he leaves guys in the same place in the order is that he thinks it messes them up if they get moved around, but he’s moved Steer all over the place and it hasn’t messed him up, so even on his own team he has evidence to the contrary. He’s never tried moving Benson to the top of the order for a week, so he obviously doesn’t have stats about how this would affect Benson. You’re not being analytical about this; you’re being emotional.

      • Melvin

        “Bell’s explanation for why he leaves guys in the same place in the order is that he thinks it messes them up if they get moved around”

        Pretty hard to mess EDLC up more than he already is.

      • Melvin

        Eleven Ks today and had 36% of them.

      • DaveCT

        J, “Just saying “there are analytics answers to those things” doesn’t make it true.” The same is true otherwise . Not trying to be an arse. Just saying this.

        Bell is who he is and who he was hired to be. He’s a known quantity, especially now. Who hired him and who extended him are responsible. As with many if not most investigations, the responsibility should be seen to fall to ‘lack of supervision.”

        Who is his boss? Start there. If not, move up to ownership.

      • Still a Red

        A lot of complaining about Bell’s use of the bullpen….never mind they have proven to be one of the better bullpens in the league. The collapses are disappointing to be sure, given the race we are currently in, over the long haul it seems to work.

      • DW

        Still A Red – Yeah the bullpen has done well, but we are now seeing exactly what most of us feared and complained about with Bell’s bullpen usage…a worn down bullpen at the end of the year. This is the result of the season-long hair trigger on pulling starters and rarely allowing a reliever to throw more than one inning. It may work well for half a season, but is not sustainable for the long haul.

      • Tom Reeves

        The team went from last place and losing over 100 games to a playoff contender with a team of rookies and second year players – and the problem is with the organization?!

      • J

        Tom, which organization and which manager were running the team when it went 3-22 to start the season with a higher payroll and a bunch of veterans on the roster? And which team was so far out of it by the trade deadline that the organization traded away most of their veterans and the guy who’d been their best hitter?

        Krall made some great trades last year and a few players have really stepped up this year. But it’s the same leadership team that was responsible for previous years’ disasters, so I think it’s understandable that not too many of us are willing to say they deserve great praise for anything other than a few good trades. If the Reds ever win a playoff game I’ll probably start to reassess, but being significantly better than a 100 loss team, and just a hair over .500, just doesn’t impress me too much. The main reason so many people expected this year’s team to be terrible was that last year’s team was terrible.

  6. RedlegScott

    We got some hits and scored some runs. That was certainly good to see. Not sure we can have a guy who gets no hits and strikes out four times in the four hole any more. Not a good day for a bullpen implosion, but that happens, Cubs offense… At least our rookie starter faired well. Agree with the comment above about Diaz losing some of his stuff. Next up – a hot Seattle team.

  7. Mark Moore

    Bullpen implodes says it all.

    Had a chance to stick it to the Stupid Cubs but couldn’t convert. With our pitching roster a mess of scrambled eggs, I wonder what this week will look like.

    • Melvin

      I’m sure you’ll have some good grillin either way. 🙂

      • Mark Moore

        Not for couple of days. I’m in Savannah with DD#1 and don’t get back home until about Noon on Tuesday.

      • Melvin

        May have to borrow somebody else’s grill. 😉

    • RedlegScott

      An omelet, perhaps? (Couldn’t resist.)

  8. Andrew Brewer

    Great to see the Reds score some runs ! And they were in it up until the top of the 8th. We’re going to need our A game against Seattle …

  9. RedsgettingBetter

    I think everybody is wonder who is gonna start tomorrow against the Mariners…. It is unbelievable how the Reds are suffering all of this sh** of COVID, added to the all type of injuries and the series vs Mariners just right now…

    • Rob

      Bigger question may be what relievers are available. Certainly Farmer and Duarte. Probable Scheve, Moll, Antone, and Diaz. Unlikely Law, Gibaut and Sims. Definitely not Kennedy or Spiers. I think Bell went all out to win todays game; reference use of Diaz and Kennedy in a tie game in the 8th. I just dont know that I use Kennedy in that situation and blow up a 5 inning starter for tomorrow. Law and Diaz kind of handcuffed him in a game I will concede was very important. At 9-5, maybe I would have used Duarte for the duration and hope Kennedy could give me 5 tomorrow. Seems obvious to me that we will now have to add a starter for tomorrow ……Louisville or Free Agent. Stoudt is certainly a possibility but that borders on desperation….and not playoff contention. He has been getting lit up every outing. This is a 10 game home stand where I sincerely hope we do better than 5-5. We are running out of games and excuses.

    • LT

      I thought it’s going to to be Phillips? And Richardson 2nd game? Greene 3rd game if he’s off COVID quarantine?

  10. DaveCT

    Carson Spiers did just fine. I’ve watched him at AA several times this year and this is exactly who he is. Ultimately, he end up back in the bullpen, although no. 4/5 starters who can keep you in games through 5-6 innings sometimes surprise.

    • West Larry

      Looked like he was calming down after the first two innings, but he already had thrown about 65 pitches by that time,

    • Optimist

      Agree – the Reds gave Weaver 21 starts and he was usually worse than these stats, often much worse. In the next start if Spiers can get thru 5 with 3 runs or fewer, and under 90 pitches, he’s in the rotation the rest of this season, and stays a SP thru spring training. He can be their missing long reliever if needed next season.

      • DaveCt

        I’d wager he was put back into the starting role given necessity. Earlier, he was relieving and looked the part, as well.

    • RedAlert

      He should have been up here before now too … better stuff than half those gascans in bullpen … my question is why did he stay in AA for so long …. Yet they let a human rocket launcher like Weaver continue to pitch at big league level almost all year long

      • DaveCT

        Spiers was behind some others on the depth chart as a reliever. He’s only been starting again for a short time and he was behind other starters as well. So, it’s really a case of the time being right. That said, he’s a guy that several on RML have been watching for a couple seasons.

  11. Jim Walker

    I am not sure Bell really had a lot of options for the 8th inning. However, if I were manager and was going to commit Diaz in the 8th in any circumstance at all, I would have led with him and gotten him out quickly if things went south as opposed to leading with Law and then burning Diaz in a vain attempt save an extremely long shot mess by the time he came in.

    Alternately, I would have opened the inning with Law and had Kennedy behind him figuring if I lose the game right there so be it, at least I haven’t likely burned Diaz for Monday also. In this scenario, I would only have used Diaz to get a 3rd out if the Cubs were threatening with the game still tied or Cubs were only 1 up. If Diaz got the out with no additional runs, then I would have brought him back in the 9th. If not, he was done for the day.

    • RedlegScott

      I thought Law was a good decision. He just didn’t bring his best and got clobbered. Who could have predicted that?

      • LarkinPhillips

        Anyone who watched him pitch the last week and a half. Law looks worn out right now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the IL tomorrow.

    • LarkinPhillips

      Bell didn’t have a lot of options for the 8th inning because he manged himself to have that option (Law) for the 8th inning. He could have done several things in innings 5-7 to not use law for the 8th. It was clear he planned to use Law in the 8th from moment he went to the pen to start the 5th.

    • Optimist

      You sound like a manager Jim. OTOH, they’re clearly committed to power pitching, which requires 5 or more innings from starters so you can have 1 inning limits for the bullpen power. When you lose starters for reasons beyond your control (some of the injuries) and reasons within your control (FA signings and non-signings), and you start the AAA callup merry go round in June, then by mid-August you’ve littered the rosters with IL and pitch limit issues. Then, the Covid fun starts!

      Still, they’re performing above expectations from where we all sat in April.

    • Roger Garrett

      I really believe Bell was just following what he had already decided to do.Law 8th,Diaz to hold em or save it in the ninth and Kennedy the 10th and beyond.Diaz at one time could have came in and punched out two and maybe got out of it and I understand that but this is not the same Diaz because of his work load and his first time as closer.No way I use Diaz unless it is tied in the ninth or to save the game but once Law got nobody out Bell just stuck to the script and well it is what it is.Did Bell lose the game of course not.Did he burn his closer and long man for Monday?Did he have to do that?

      • RedlegScott

        Agree, Roger. Pretty straightforward decision for Bell. Law just didn’t get it done.

    • Rob

      I like. Here is what I believe happened:
      1) Bell had targeted Law as his 8th inning setup guy.
      2) Law didn’t have it and loaded the bases with no outs. And in not thinking things through, Bell panicked and brought in his stud. Went all in to save and win the game. Just a poor choice in my opinion but I will concede the game was extremely important. But bases loaded and no outs? I suspose he was hoping Diaz would hold the damage to 1-2 runs .
      3) Somewhat in hindsight, I wished a) he would have left Law in or b) replaced Law with Duarte. I think we were doomed to a 7-5 game at that point. Depending on what happens in the top of the 8th and bottom of the 8th, I run Duarte back out there for the 9th, or if we get to a tie game or better, I then go with Diaz. I wouldn’t use Kennedy until later in the 10th. The fatal flaw imo was going with Diaz in a desperate situation. He seemed predetermined that Diaz was his man following Law. I understand it was an important game but Bell should have shown more reserve with his use of Diaz and Kennedy. Now we are in trouble tomorrow. Not that Kennedy is Koufax, but Kennedy probably could have given us 5 innings and saved the bullpen for another day. Now we will have someone lesser than Kennedy going Monday and probably end up asking the bullpen for 5-6 Innings. Ugh. Just didn’t seem thought through to me. And Phillips coming up Tuesday who hasn’t been making it out of the second inning. Doesn’t look very good.

      • RedlegScott

        If you’re going to get out of a jam with guys on base near the end of the game with needed strike outs or a dp, Diaz has been that guy all season, right? Bells decision makes sense to me.

      • AllTheHype

        “Somewhat in hindsight”…….problem is, every manager here is doing so in hindsight.

        Law was the right move, and he got in trouble, Diaz was the right move. He was saving his best for the highest leverage situation, which is almost always the right move to make. If Diaz is effective, he holds the Cubs to 0 or 1 runs and the Reds have both the bottom of 8th and 9th to tie or win. The game was too important to throw away when it was still tied.

        Bell made the right moves with the pen yesterday. They just didn’t work.

      • Rob

        ATH, the use of Kennedy I think was a poorer decision than the use of Diaz. I can go with the flow of using Diaz in a tie game in the 8th but at a 9-5 deficit, I do not use Kennedy. Anyone else. I do not compromise the first couple of games with Seattle by burning up my only remaining 5 inning guy. Now Bell is facing patchwork innings the next 2 gams especially with 1 inning walkathon Phillips going Tuesday. Almost begging for a few guys to have to pitch 3 days in a row. May all work out but as I said, it wouldn’t have been my route.

  12. LT

    Look like we won’t lose ground to SF and AZ, that’s a good thing. But Miami is back in the hunt. The more the merrier I guess. 5 teams fighting for 2 spots. Let’s win a game or two against Mariners and we will be in good shape the rest of the year.

    • Jim Walker

      I am seeing it as 4 teams for 1 spot until the Cubs lead over the last spot is LT 2 games. However the Cubs play 3 with SF (in Chi) and 7 with ‘Zona (4Chi/3’Zona), so chances are they will either get reeled in or alternately clean up in those 7 games and thereby do the Reds a big favor as long as the Reds keep ahead of the Marlins.

      Just keep in mind that as long as the Reds have 1 more win than Giants, Diamondbacks and Marlins, they control their own destiny.

      • Melvin

        If the Reds do get the last spot their first round opponent will be Milwaukee correct? Not good for us. lol It would be much better to get passed the Cubs as the 5th seed but we’re now four games back in the lost column. Either that or start figuring out now new ways to score because when we play the Brewers that usually doesn’t happen especially if they have the lead after six innings.

  13. LDS

    EDLC with 4 more SOs? Back to the #4 slot. He needs to go back to Louisville for a while. And barring that, at least a couple of days off. I think he’s trying too hard to live up to the hype. And no one seems to be moderating that behavior, e.g., bat him lower in the batting order. Too many parallels with Aquino’s trajectory

    • RedAlert

      Zero consequences, zero accountability , zero urgency is standard operating
      procedure for Bell

      • TR

        All managers have their ways and personalities. There was none of the usual offseason anticipation to the extension of a manager when David Bell’s came through well before the end of the season. The natural conclusion is he’s a favorite of the organization.

    • Melvin

      When you’re in a slump and your swinging for the fences every swing you’re playing right into the pitchers hands. Pitchers aren’t stupid.

      • LDS

        No, but can we say the same of the Reds coaching efforts?

    • MBS

      I’m all in for giving EDLC a few days off, and I would have done it a while ago. As far as his spot in the lineup, I’d be fine with putting him in the 6 hole, but our lineup is far less potent today than it was 2 months ago. If we were fully healthy, I’d like this lineup.

      1 India 2 Benson 3 McLain
      4 Fraley 5 Steer 6 EDLC
      7 CES 8 Maile 9 Friedl

      No we have a roster full of Bader’s, Martini’s and who knows who else. Getting India and McLain back would make our team a lot better. Sadly that’s probably a 2024 goal.

  14. RedBB

    Sorry but Alexis Diaz has not been “good” for over 2 months now. Anyone not seeing that is just lying to themselves.

    • Roger Garrett

      I agree 100% and his role in the ninth is to save it or hold it in a tie game period.Closer rules for him because he is burned out.Right now the dude is relying on guts and will to get 3 outs.Earlier in the year at 96/97 with that nasty slider he was unhittable but now he isn’t.Now he will take the ball as he did today because of who he is but that was a mistake today and it will be the next time.

  15. RedBB

    Time to Sit Martini. The experiment was fun but he’s not MLB quality for a playoff team. And before someone mention’s his 2 long fly’s tonight its almost 90 degrees in GABP…if they don’t go out here they aren’t going out in any other ballpark period.

  16. RedJed

    I’m astounded that Bell got a 3 year extension. Is this really just the love of the Bell name that happened again? We’re on the verge and ahead of schedule and a playoff would set us up very nicely for the future. It’s been 33 years. If an owner can’t spend more than the club makes then why own a team? Sign some Arms in the off season and go ahead and trade a few guys you know you don’t need. Elly needs to ride the bench for a few days as well. I wish they all could have Steer’s plate discipline.

  17. J

    If this season ends with the Reds missing the playoffs by a game or two, every one of Bell’s inexplicable lineups, questionable pitching changes, days off for guys who were in the middle of hot streaks, decisions not to call for bunts, hit and runs, etc. will haunt me for the entire offseason. Sadly, I don’t think they’ll bother him a bit.

  18. MBS

    If you look at the top 10 teams in baseball according to their lack of bullpen usage, they are all currently in leading their division or in one of the wild card spots. That is with the exception of the Jays who are 1.5 out of the playoffs.

    The only “playoff” team with more bullpen usage is Tampa, and I think they use bullpen games by design. LAD’s bullpen is just behind us by 8 IP.

    I know I didn’t give you any breaking news with this, but I’m really hoping we invest into our pitching in the offseason. It’s clearly the Achilles heal of the team. 1 Starter of a 1 or 2 caliber, and 1 closer/setup man to join Diaz at the back of the pen is the minimum that needs to be done.

    • RedlegScott

      Pitching may be the Achille’s heal, but someone has to figure out how to get past our hitting slump and strike out rate as well. All in due time, hopefully.
      (If we sneak into the playoffs great, if not, we have a lot of potential, and presumably money, for next season.)

  19. Steven Ross

    Every time Law is brought in to pitch in a tight game, I just cringe. Mop-up duty, I can live with but not when the game is important.

  20. Old-school

    For those with a subscription, C Trent has an uplifting story on Tejay Antone’s return to the big leagues.

    • Redsvol

      Agreed OS! I think we all take for granted what it takes for professional athletes to overcome to get back in the field after an injury to a competive level.

      The human element is often overlooked.

  21. GreatRedLegsFan

    EDLC is now approaching the 40% SO rate territory, that’s above Barrero’s when he was sent down.

  22. GreatRedLegsFan

    The upcoming series against Seattle seems to be a bloodshed with current pitching staff situation, no starting pitchers available and a worn out bullpen.

    • Redsvol

      Really kind of an unrealistic task ahead of us;
      – 3 key starters in the DL for one reason or another.
      – 1 key starter’s comeback scrapped
      – not real starting pitching depth signed during the off-season
      – bullpen absolutely worn out (mostly due to above)
      – 3 key offensive starters on the DL and likely not back in time to provide any help

      They continue to work hard and compete but the recent injuries and covid issues are just hitting at a terrible time.

    • docproc

      Probably going to be a bullpen day of Antone, Duarte, Farmer, and whoever else I’m forgetting that didn’t pitch yesterday.

      • Jim Walker

        Curious and I think the incorrect decision not to use Antone in the 8th Sunday instead of Law (who has started games as an “opener” already this year).

        Note that they required Antone to work consecutive days on two occasions during rehab to prove he was up to it prior to activating him (and he threw just 10 piches Saturday).

      • J

        I would bet a large amount of money they’d decided prior to the game that Antone wouldn’t be available for anything other than an emergency situation because he was going to pitch today. They have very little sense of cost/benefit in deciding when a pitcher is most needed to throw one shutout inning. For all they know, Antone will pitch a good first inning today and the score in the 8th inning will be 8-1, but yesterday they could have used him in a game that they knew was tied in 8th, when one shutout inning had a big chance of affecting the outcome.

  23. west larry

    A bullpen game. I’m a little surprised. I hope that they only use Antone 25-30 pitches today.

  24. Indy Red Man

    Everyone just complains nonstop about Bell. I’m not a Bell fan per se, but he doesn’t have a easy road like Counsell with this pitching staff. Who exactly was an established quality reliever besides Diaz coming into 2023? Sims as a B- pitcher. Farmer was established…as a scrub. Gibaut no. On top of that he got nothing from HG & Lodolo. Weaver was trash. Ashcraft was terrible for 2 months. If your starters can’t go 5 regularly then you get what we’ve got. Yeah you push a reliever 2 innings on Monday, but what about Tuesday & Wednesday? Every game is close because they don’t score a lot.
    Counsell gets 6-7 from the starter regularly and then turns it over to relievers with closer stuff and then Williams. Game over. Not to mention they’re also scoring now.
    Bell doesn’t have any of that. We K 12 times a game and Bell is failing as a leader? It’s not like making contact wasn’t taught to Elly and these guys atleast 14-15 years ago

    • Indy Red Man

      Yesterday for example. Regular starter goes 6 with 3 runs. We’re up 5-3. Gibaut gives up 1 and Sims puts up a zero. We add-on it’s 7-4 in the 9th or Diaz starting off the 9th clean up 5-4

      • Indy Red Man

        Cruz is our hottest reliever and he’s out too. Definitely Bell’s fault

    • Jim Walker

      IRM>> For the most part I agree with you about the situation for Bell being a really tough one and largely beyond his control.

      However, I stand by what I said above about Antone being a better choice for the 8th inning yesterday than Law both from the perspective of immediate game management and looking ahead to Monday when Bell would have had Law or Kennedy to kick off the bullpen parade.

      Another major mistake Suday was burning Daiz by inserting him into an already nearly hopeless situation. If he we was going to use Diaz in the 8th, he should have opened with him or held back only to use for a 3rd out if the game was tied or Reds -1 and the Cubs threatening to score (more). He then could have brought Diaz back in the 9th of a competitive game if he had averted further damage in the 8th.

      Being in a nearly possible situation and not managing it as effectively as could be are in the realm of simultaneous possibilities.

    • VaRedsFan

      You’ve already forgot about the millions of times when a starter was going good and Bell yanked him because 1 guy got an infield dribbler with 2 outs in the inning?

      You’ve forgotten, when Bell would bring in a guy to get 1 out on 5 pitches and remove him?

      You’ve forgotten when a reliever pitches a clean inning with 11 pitches and Bell brings in another guy?

      All of these instances keep adding up. When he uses 6 pitchers instead of 4, or 5 instead of 3.

      So the next game instead of having 3 or 4 fresh guys, you got 1 fresh guy and a bunch of guys that pitched the day before.

      The bullpen guys when rested, have been mostly effective. But multiple guys on back to back or 3 straight is what causes the issues.

      You guys need to have a memory longer than 7 days and look at the major cause of the problem. And that is an accumulation of errors over the course of the season and climaxing at the end of the year. It’s not the first year it has happened either.

  25. TR

    The starters listed for the Seattle series are: Antone, Phillips and Stoudt. The bullpen is waiting offstage.

  26. Old-school

    The path to the playoffs is no longer remotely the NL central. Brewers have played well and ran away with. Kudo to them.

    Its not necessarily the Cubs directly either. Its outlast SF, Arizona and Miami and maybe the cubs. Get the Covid clan back, put the best OBP and Ops guys hitting 1-5 and drop Elly to 6 and hope steer fraley friedl benson hit consistently and ces and elly hit some bombs and hope the old Stephenson Plays like the TS we all know and Love in September. Hes looked much better the last few weeks. Could be my wishful thinking looking through red rose colored glasses tho’

  27. redfanorbust

    It is to my amazement that Reds are still in a playoff hunt given all the injuries, esp with the large quantity of rookies/young/new players we have dominating our lineup. I don’t know where we rank in that category but it can’t be good. Thoughts where we would be if we had just had an average amount of injuries?