The St. Louis Cardinals took advantage of things early in the game and jumped out to a 6-0 lead before the Reds got on the board. Cincinnati didn’t have a big enough rally in them to come all of the way back on Friday night as they dropped the first game of a 3-game series at home to the last place Cardinals.

Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (62-79)
9 9 0
Cincinnati Reds (73-70)
4 10 1
W: Liberatore (3-5) L: Abbott (8-5)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Andrew Abbott began the game with a strikeout and a pop up, but then things went south. Paul Goldschmidt walked and then moved to third base when Noelvi Marte made a throwing error. With the inning extended Willson Contreras took advantage of the opportunity presented to him and crushed a 440-foot 3-run homer.

In the bottom of the 2nd the Reds offense got a little something going when Christian Encarnacion-Strand singled and Stuart Fairchild walked to put two men on with one out. Luke Maile would walk with two outs to load the bases, but Cincinnati couldn’t cash in and stranded all three runners.

St. Louis went right back to work in the top of the 3rd inning and it all began with a 2-out walk to Paul Goldschmidt. A single and a walk followed to load the bases for Luken Baker. Andrew Abbott got ahead of him 0-2, but he caught too much of the middle of the zone with a breaking ball and Baker doubled in all three runners to extend the Cardinals lead to 6-0.

Spencer Steer began the bottom of the 3rd with a single. He would come around to score on the next pitch when Hunter Renfroe hit his 20th homer of the year – his first for the Reds – to cut into the St. Louis lead and make it 6-2. Nick Senzel would make it 6-3 when he slugged his 11th homer of the season – a 408-foot shot into the seats into the left field season.

Noelvi Marte got things started for Cincinnati in the bottom of the 4th inning with a single into left. He moved to third base on a 1-out single from Harrison Bader, but Bader was thrown out at second on the play. Spencer Steer was hit by a pitch to keep the inning alive and he would steal second base. The throw to second wasn’t caught cleanly and Marte took home on the play – being credited with a steal of home in the process and made it a 6-4 ballgame.

Buck Farmer took over for Andrew Abbott to begin the 5th inning. He gave up a leadoff double but worked out of the jam by getting a fly out and two pop ups to strand Tyler O’Neill on second base.

Cincinnati would threaten in the bottom of the 6th inning with the help from the Cardinals bullpen. Luke Maile was hit by a pitch to start the inning, but was swapped out on the bases when Will Benson grounded into a dorce out. Hunter Renfroe picked up a 2-out walk before St. Louis made a pitching change to bring in Matthew Liberatore to face Elly De La Cruz, but the Reds shortstop walked to load the bases. David Bell then called on Tyler Stephenson to come off of the bench. He battled with Liberatore, but he would strike out swinging on the 7th pitch of the at-bat as the Cardinals held onto their 2-run lead. It was the first strikeout of the game for the Reds.

That could have been a pivotal point in the game because after Fernando Cruz took over for Chasen Shreve in the top of the 7th with one out, things got away from him and the Reds. Cruz hit Tommy Edman, walked Tyler O’Neill, then threw two wild pitches to move everyone up two bases and bring in a 7th run for the Cardinals. Nolan Arenado then came through with a 2-out single that made it 8-4.

St. Louis would pick up another run in the 8th when Jordan Walker kept the inning alive with a 2-out single into right and scored when Lars Nootbaar doubled off of Tejay Antone to extend the lead to 9-4.

Derek Law would throw a scoreless top of the 9th inning and give his club’s offense one final shot to put together a rally – and in this case, they needed at least five runs. They didn’t reach base, going down in order to drop the opening game of the series.

Key Moment of the Game

Luken Baker’s 3-run double in the top of the 3rd inning that made it a 6-0 game.

Notes worth noting

The Reds had more hits in the game than the Cardinals did. They also walked more. They simply didn’t take advantage of their opportunities as often.

With the loss and an Arizona win, the Reds are now 1.5 games back of the final wild card spot with 19 games to play.

Elly De La Cruz went 0-4 with a walk. He didn’t strike out for the 4th straight game. He has walked in all four of those games for a total of five walks since his last strikeout.

Noelvi Marte stole his 6th base in just his 19th game with the team.

Jonathan India went 1-2 with a walk, double, 2 runs, and 2 RBI in his rehab game in Louisville.

Joey Votto went 1-4 with a double and 2 RBI in his rehab game in Louisville.

Kevin Newman went 3-4 with a run and an RBI in his rehab game in Louisville.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

St. Louis Cardinals vs Cincinnati Reds

Saturday September 9th, 6:40pm ET

Zack Thompson (4-5, 3.91 ERA) vs Carson Spiers (0-0, 6.75 ERA)

88 Responses

  1. LDS

    Easy schedule, Bell is doing a great job – he knows things. As I said last night, all that’s necessary is to wait for reality to rear its ugly head. Tonight it did. At some point, the Reds need to step up. Time is running out – if it hasn’t already.

    • Kevin H

      What do you mean “wait for reality” Not only have the reds exceeded expectations this season. They have done so with rookies and second year players. Not to mention injuries to key players. A covid outbreak and a starting rotation that has become patch work at best.

      So 1.5 games out of the final wildcard is pretty good all things considered.

      Yet, some on here seem to think it’s a failure and it’s Bell’s fault.

      The cynicism of some on here is truly laughable.

      • LDS

        Laughable? That would be the uncritical fan boys on the site, not those of us that recognize that the Reds would be far better off with decent coaches and managers. Tinker Bell didn’t start Friedl, who is batting .317 against LH’ers and .320 lifetime, because he’s does it from the left side. He didn’t start the Reds hottest hitter, Stephenson who is hitting .333 over the last month and .500+ over the last week, because it was Maile’s turn. Not to mention his usual frenetic in-game management when the drained the bench. Every opposing manager knows that starting a LH, switch to a RH, and back to a LH will neutralize Bell’s brilliance and empty his reserves. As for being “only” 1.5 games behind – they are in 5th place in the wild card race. Philly & Chicago have 2 pretty much nailed down. Mia & Arizona won against Philly & Chicago last night while the Reds lost to the last place team in the Central Division. So keep telling us how well the Reds are doing and touting the “genius” of David Bell. And we’ll keep laughing.

      • Justin T

        100 percent agree w LDS. The ones who support Bell and continue with the “we werent supposed to be good so be happy” are not able to see reality or just do not understand whats going on in front of them. Where we could be if we had competence in that dugout is hard to even think about without getting upset.

    • Kevin H

      “Fan boys” oh good grief. Your a real act.

      • LDS

        @KevinH, you’re right, fan boys was too harsh and I apologize. More correctly, I think we Reds fans are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. After being enmeshed in more than a decade of Reds mediocrity, the slightest forward movement, a new or exciting prospect, is totally overly magnified. Many here ignore the fact that with a decent manager and better coaching, the Reds might be challenging for the division lead instead of clinging to 5th place in the WC race. Guys like EDLC don’t come along too ofter and right now he’s on the Aquino trajectory. Greene? Not reaching his potential under DJ. In fact, as I’ve said before DJ has more blown arms to his credit than turnaround/development stories. I suspect many of the Reds current rookies are not going to reach their ceilings and will hover just above the their floors. But, that’s all the cheapskates in the FO and ownership have given. So it goes.

    • Mark Moore

      +50,000 for your string of comments here, LDS.

      Is HDTBell doing an adequate job under the circumstances? Sure. He’s hampered by the roster and the same ownership that extended him before the season ended.

      Is he responsible for every loss or credited with every win? Not hardly. But he does have influence across the board via his own work and his coaching staff.

      Are there better managerial options out there? Absolutely. There’s a reason I rank him where I continually do (currently somewhere between 90-95 out of 30 in MLB). His job is secure because of the ownership structure, the nepotism factor, and the fact that he’s cheap.

      Yes, I’ve been critical. I’ve also given credit when I saw it was due. Bottom line is a manager more like Craig Counsel (still not extended) would have squeezed 5-10 more wins out of the same roster as I see it. That’s the difference between looking up at a WC and sitting in the position of strength.

      • Rick

        A poor Mgr will cost you 9 games over 162 games, a good one will add 9 wins, that’s an 18 game swing. Conservative numbers that I developed about 30 years ago.
        If Mgr’s were irrelevant other than making out a lineup, & calls to the bullpen, why hire and fire them?
        Who wouldn’t prefer Councell, Snitker, Ross, Showalter, Bochy, Service, etc. over Bell?
        Even before our roster was beset by injuries and a team slump, we started loosing our way once we peaked out with the 12 game win streak. The bullpen was tiring in late June. Once we hit the skids we still stayed the course. Bell said that we don’t pay much attention to batting orders.
        Jim Day asked Bell right around the all star break how many hit & runs have you called? Bell; “1 or 2”, probably “one”. Nuff said.

  2. JB

    This team just can’t seem to get any momentum going. Time is running out and they have had a boat load of chances.

  3. Andrew Brewer

    That’s just it, the Reds were just short a couple key hits to make this game close. Given our history with the Cards, no one expected this series to be easy. Don’t count our guys out yet ! This was just one of the 20 games yet to be played in the regular season.

  4. Rick

    I would rather have read about a win like an 8 game winning streak.
    So, I’m happy I missed it by not having Apple+ tv. Preferred a win tho, crap:(
    Need the next 2 in the win column. Times a short being on the outside looking in.

    • Jim Walker

      You didn’t miss seeing much. The Cards got big 2 out hits in the 1st and 3rd with each plating 3 runs and that was about it. I was semi-Cleted from there on with one eye on the big TV fare my wife was watching and the other on my tablet to follow the game. The Reds had chances for a couple of big 2 out hits and couldn’t get the job done.

      Bell in no way cost them this game with his moves; but, wow, I don’t think a team will ever find its highest ceiling bouncing players around like he does.

      Maybe the most ominous thing was that with all the mixing and matching going on Jake Fraley didn’t appear. I didn’t have audio turned on and wasn’t watching closely enough to follow the closed caption; so, maybe if anything was said about Fraley, someone will repeat it here.

      • Rick

        Thanks Jim. Good summary!
        Positional continuity for our young guys , better defense, and prevent getting fragmented on the offensive end, should’ve been a coaching focal point. Sure would be nice to get a healthy India and Mat back contributing for the stretch run.

      • J

        A lot of people seem to take for granted that Bell’s “moves” only start once the game has begun. But the fact is: Friedl had one at-bat in this game, Maile and Fairchild both had two, and Bader had three. Fraley had none. Had Bell simply started Stephenson at catcher and Friedl in the outfield, those guys would both have had at least four at-bats, which would have been better. He also would have had more flexibility to run for Stephenson if necessary, and to use Fairchild as needed. (As a bonus, nobody would have had to play out of position.) He created problems for himself before the game even started. Did they change the outcome of the game? It’s impossible to know, but they would certainly have made more sense in terms of generating more offense.

      • Melvin

        I’ve never been a big fan of “stacking” the lineup but it’s becoming more and more apparent that it’s generally not a good idea if for no other reason than pitchers for the most part only go about five innings. When they’re taken out with the opposite throwing armed pitcher is give you two choices. Either empty your bench fairly early in the game or leave the starters in and possibly be at a complete disadvantage. Of course if you do empty your bench for a new pitcher and then they switch back you’re sunk with no other options. If Bell wanted to be in the limelight tonight on Apple TV he accomplished his purpose by using 19 players total (13 position and 6 pitchers). Fraley, one of our hottest hitters, was the only position player not used at all in the crunch time of a pennant race. Maybe he was sick or something. I don’t know.

      • Moon

        My best friend is a huge Braves fan so I sort of follow them as he follows the Reds because we talk about them during the season. The Braves and Schnitker play the same guys pretty much every day at the same position. The Reds players are all over the place. Every game there guys are at different positions and they even change positions often during the game. I don’t know if if makes a difference in performance but Braves approach is maximize stability where they Reds are more like organized chaos.

      • MFG

        Spot on Jim!
        Walks always seem to kill us with the other team scoring those runners.
        This game was no different. The Stephenson at bat was huge!

  5. J

    Reds can lose every game from here out and still beat a lot of people’s expectations, so losing today, and every day, is fine! Bell didn’t make any difference in this game, just like he never makes any difference in any game the Reds lose. The guys play hard and never quit, which is all that matters! This was never supposed to be the year, so who cares if the Reds have slipped from first place in the division to a game and half out of the playoffs altogether. They’re still over .500, which means it’s a great season! I’m psyched about tomorrow!

    I’m trying to figure out how to make my comments more enjoyable for everyone. I may not have the hang of it yet, but I’ll get there.

    • Redlegs1869

      I get you J. There’s both positives and negatives and it’s such a roller coaster of fandom emotions.

    • Rick

      Major & minor injuries really derailed us. Also would’ve prevented excessive handedness with porous replacements.
      The injuries part should be a concern especially the pitching. Stress reaction injuries I would deem as fluke acute oddities. Maybe 2nd opinions should be recommended by ownership and subsequent treatment plans as it seems that we fail on the first attempt such as rest period for India”s PF was deemed a week of rest was to short by a week, per his 2nd opinion. McLain seeked out a 2nd opinion. Something isn’t right by our team physicans(likely not their fault). Maybe Legacy Bob takes the cheapest option on first review of a soft tissue injury, and steroid injections on arm, muscle and joint injuries. Just some thoughts.

      • Jim Walker

        As Krall pointed out with India’s situation, the CBA allows the player a 2nd opinion and for a Dr of their choice to be involved in the treatment process along the way.

        I am going to hazard a guess that the Reds may be slow to elevate guys from the training staff to the docs with these soft tissue issues. That would certainly fit with the team’s penchant for playing with a short bench for several days versus making an IL move.

    • Redsvol

      Going to a different site would make it more enjoyable. This one is for Reds fans.

  6. Rednat

    Bader seems to be sucking the air out of the room. Similar to Jim Edmonds in 2010 when he joined the reds at the end of the year. Idk, maybe just stay away from the former cardinals

    • JB

      I was thinking the exact same thing earlier. I was expecting the old Edmonds when the Reds got him and we got some old guy that stole Jim Edmonds name.

    • Votto4life

      Bader doesn’t want to play here, he basically has said as much. I hope he is the next one to go.

    • Jim Walker

      I thought Bader thrown out at 2B trying for a double in the 4th inning was the 2nd largest play gone bad for the Reds on offense behind the Stephenson K with the bases loaded mentioned above. It was the 2nd out of the inning and would have set the Reds up with runners at 2nd and 3rd and the 2, 3, and 4 spots in the order coming to bat.

      Bader had beaten the original tag attempt but was ruled out when his fingertips apparently slipped off the base as the Cardinals made a secondary swipe tag on him. The Reds elected not to challenge; and, from the replays shown on the Apple telecast, I’m guessing it was one of those plays which was going to stand as called on the field regardless of which way the ump had called it.

      Bader had previously grounded out with the bases loaded to end the 2nd inning which was also a big play.

    • PTBNL

      Like Scott Rolen and Ryan Ludwick 😉

  7. TR

    One of three down. Reds need the next two to take the series. Cards still have a couple tough hitters.

  8. Redsgettingbetter

    The STL Cardinals have been really bad this season but they keep talented hitters in the luneup, unfortunataley the Reds didn’t face them when they was having a poor time so now should play in a spoiler alert situation

    • RedAlert

      Bingo JB ! There it is ….. will not get it done is absolutely correct

  9. Redsvol

    Abbott is tired and beyond his Innings. He needs a break or start skipped.

    Where is Ben lively and Brandon Williamson? Rotowire says they were both out on the covid list and eligible to return September 8th. There aren’t enough games left to still be piecing these starts together.

    • Rob

      Bingo. I have no clue why Bell is rushing Abbott back with all these off days. Should have skipped him. Given the health info I have, I would have pitched Greene, Williamson, and Lively this weekend with Spiers as the backup plan. No Abbott until next week….
      Tuesday or Saturday.

  10. Ron

    Assuming Votto and India are going to return, this should be the everyday lineup for the rest of the season:

    2B India
    CF Friedl
    LF Steer
    1B Encarnacion-Strand
    DH Fraley
    SS De La Cruz
    RF Benson
    3B Marte
    C Stephenson

    Bench: Votto, Martini, Renfroe, Maile

    Win or lose with your best lineup.

    • Mark Moore

      Ron – who is your #14 position roster spot?

    • Justin T

      Agreed. Seems easy enough. Now getting the manager to do it is another story. He will tinker and tinker until he forgets why he did it in the first place.

  11. Ted Alfred

    Your blindness to Bells deficiencies as a manager are amusing. For instance, why in the world would you ever sit Fraley vs Bader at leadoff? Fraley has been the main engine of the offense since he’s come back, while Bader has hardly a ball hard and looks terrible at the plate. Meanwhile, Stephenson has been in the zone big time at the plate since the AZ series, yet with 20 games to go Bell hasn’t adjusted the catcher rotation at all. Stephenson should not be sitting AT ALL until his bat cools down. On the other hand, starting Renfroe makes sense, he’s hitting it well since he’s come over to the Reds. Why would you ever use Antone in a game that was lost, especially when you know Diaz is not even close to the same guy he was 6 weeks ago so you need to try someone else at closer and Antone is a logical choice. I could go on and on. For some reason every time the Reds lose you say the players need to play better as if the manager’s decisions don’t affect the outcome of the game at all. Talk about laughable… your constant minimizing the impact a good vs bad manager has on the outcome of a game is truly laughable.

    • Jim Walker

      @Ted>>> I do not disagree with most of your thoughts here. However, this game was lost because Abbott allowed 3 runs in the 1st after having 2 outs and no one on base then again in the 3rd allowed 3 runs from 2 outs and nobody on base. Walks figured big in both innings. Thus the Reds were chasing the game before the 1st Reds batter ever got to the plate and were 6 runs behind before their lead off man came up for the 2nd time. A team can only pull the major come from behind rabbit out of the hat a limited number of times. Last night the slope was too steep.

      • J

        Jim, how can you decide a game was lost when it was 6-0 early on? Teams have scored more than 6 runs in one inning against better pitchers than the one the Reds were facing yesterday. But it’s a lot harder to do if two or three of your best offensive weapons are on the bench.

        Baseball isn’t so simple. You can’t ever conclude “the Reds could not possibly have won this game no matter which players had played.” One big hit could have completely swung everything. And it’s possible the guy who would have had that one big hit was sitting on the bench. We can’t know what would have happened; all we can know is whether Bell’s decisions made sense based on all the available information at the time. And, as usual, I don’t think they did.

      • Rob

        Against the early inning Cardinals pitchers of last night, I certainly didn’t see a 6 run deficit as insurmountable. 7 ERA 0-2starter? And I believe a timely hit by Bader or Stephenson would have tied it at 6-6. I get your pint that we can’t do these comebacks every other night, which is correct, but I sure thought last nights game was well within grasp considering a last place team with a poor pitching staff. No way did I think the Reds would be so weak after the 5th inning. This is not the Milwaukee Brewers starters and relievers.

      • Jim Walker

        @J and Rob>> Chasing games from behind takes more energy than leading. Both the Reds recent wins vs Cubs were comeback wins. The 7/6 win vs Mariners was a comeback from a 5/1 deficit. The 6/2 loss in the opening of the Cubs series was a chase game the Reds were in until the Cubs scored twice in the top of the 9th. Those all take a physical (and psychological when lost) toll.

      • Ted Alfred

        I agree we lost because Abbott wasn’t good last night, but it’s the manager’s job to put the team in the best position to win and Bell hardly ever does that. When your team has to overcome your own managers inadequacies when it comes to who’s playing, batting orde4, bullpen use Etc you’re just making it harder to get the results we are hoping for.

    • Kevin H

      And you and other fans constant moaning and groaning about Bell is laughable. As you and others seem to have all the answers. I mean it’s easy to sit on a phone or computer and tell us what you would or wouldn’t do.

      The constant Bell bashing has grown tiresome to me.

      Is Aaron Boone a bad manager? Alex Cora? Terry Francona? As their teams have played poorly this season.

      • Harry Stoner

        It’s entirely possible that Bell brings a range of positive skills to his role as manager while also making a range of poor strategic decisions.

        He has a far better group of motivated young players this year that have been performing generally well with some obvious flaws in their play at times perhaps due to inexperience or perhaps due to a lack of emphasis from manager and coaches.

        Are the Reds winning more because of Bell or in spite of Bell?

        We’re Reds losing 100 games because of Bell or in spite of Bell?

        Bell clearly likes to “manage”…pre DH he obsessively double and triple switched…he likes moving players around a lot in positions and seems to value the Jack of all trade types.

        He changes pitchers often.

        In other words, he makes a lot of decisions each game. A lot.

        By inserting himself into the game as much as he does, his decisions are naturally going to invite scrutiny.

        It should be pretty obvious that on a discussion board those decisions would be grist for the mill.

        What else would you expect from a discussion board?

        More lengthy discussions about the ‘75 Reds?

        If you don’t like the Bell bashing, offer something up of your own as an alternative.

        Your “Bell knows things!” type platitudes may be feel-good sentiments for you, but don’t stir the conversation at all.

        Eg: “You’re right! Bell knows things!”
        “Yessir, think of all those things Bell knows!”
        “So glad the Reds have a manager that knows things!”

        Yeah, some the anti-Bell stuff gets tedious, so I scroll past.

        I don’t think he’s a very good strategic manager. He gets props for keeping his team happy.

        MoY? That’s pretty funny, though.

        But, yeah, three more years of this topic will get pretty dreary.

        I’m sure Bell knows what the capital of Delaware is.
        Props for that, too.

      • J

        Kevin, if you don’t like people complaining about baseball managers, I suggest either starting your own blog where nobody is allowed to complain, or becoming a fan of a team with a better record and/or a better manager. You’re not going to find a Reds blog where people aren’t constantly complaining about Bell. He’s never won a playoff game and he makes a ton of bad decisions, which is a combination that’s going to result in a lot of complaints. If anything, this site is a lot kinder and gentler than it could be, because people aren’t allowed to say some of the words they’d like to say.

      • Justin T

        So you’re saying he is a good manager? Fans cannot vent frustrations about an incompetent manager because it frustrates you? Sounds like you need to log off my friend.

  12. Jim Walker

    For the curious, on Friday night 5 of the 9 StLouis runs reached base on a walk or HBP. 3 of the Cards first 6 runs reached following walks with 2 outs prior to any runs scoring in the inning.

    The Reds offense missed a couple of opportunities to turn the tables before the game got clearly away from them late because of 2 more runs following a walk and HBP. However, the table was set for the Cards early and often on walks.

    • RedAlert

      Your constant defense of Bell is also
      laughable . Have you been paying attention to how he has managed his teams not only this year , but the entire tenure of his time with the Reds ? No, we don’t have all the
      answers as you state . However , we can
      certainly express our perceptions of his
      deficiencies as a manager . Whether it’s
      tiresome to you or not , it is what is is . You can maintain that he doesn’t have any effect on the outcome or not …. A lot of folks on here will disagree with that and will continue to express their frustrations with that . I will never agree that a manager , whether it’s David Bell or not , can’t affect that outcome of a game or season.

  13. West Larry

    The cards are starting another lefty tonight. If the reds go with that same weak line up tonight as they started last night, are chances of winning this game are slim and none. The reds need to start the best lineup, regardless of handiness. I think Bell is too stubborn to change his ways. This game could literally define and determine the reds season. Sorry for being so dramatic, but I really believe that.

    • SteveAReno

      Kevin Newman was one of our top hitters against the southpaw. Too bad we can bring him in for his customary doubles. But, nine runs is very difficult to overcome so the lineup I’m most worried about is pitching.

  14. Mark Moore

    It does look like we’ll see some roster juggling coming up. If those additions are healthy and rested, that’s likely a good thing. It’s also yet to be seen (yes, I’m thinking Joey).

    It would appear Bader is playing for a guaranteed paycheck. I was thinking we might see something positive with that addition, but apparently not. Can’t blame Krall for trying on that front. Attitude does matter. Just look at Renfroe.

    I view today and tomorrow as “must win” games. And I know it will be tough. Somebody had better head down to the big purple bridge, find Jobu, and start sobering him up now. 😛

    • Rob

      You better believe the next 2 are must wins if we have any concerns about the Marlins tie breaker. The Reds only have 8!! Divisional games to play and Miami has a 3.5 game lead on the tiebreaker. Probably have to win 7 of the 8 or bye bye tiebreaker. I don’t know what the deal is here on getting hits with men in scoring position. If it is pressure, then that doesn’t speak well for the future and higher pressure games. And this starting rotation that Bell has rolled out? Why isn’t he giving Abbott a few extra days off with all these off days? Perfect time to do so.Greene is eligible and I believe Williamson and Lively are eligible as of today. And we are pitching Abbott and Spiers. Probably roll out Richardson next week when I might throw a rested Abbott back into the mix. Gosh, we should be pitching our best healthy pitchers with all of these off days. Not minor leaguers as there may be plenty of time for that the last week if our starters continue getting bombed. FromWilliamson and Lively laughs on the bench, they look fine to me.

    • Rick

      Must wins for sure.
      Bader has sucked other than his defense.

  15. West Larry

    Lineups are out. Better than yesterday, although I’m not a Bader fan. IMHO, I would have Renfroe in the outfield and Fraley as the D H. Is something wrong with Fraley? I hope not. At least Friedl and Stevenson are playing. Nothing anyone can do about the pitching at this point Go Reds!

  16. GreatRedLegsFan

    Upon India, Newman and Votto return from IL, Fairchild, Martini and Senzel should be optioned.

    • Jim Walker

      They need to reach a decision on Fraley. If he is only going to be available sporadically and be limited to DH at those times, retaining Martini and putting Fraley on the IL is the route to go. Or alternately just keep Votto on the IL and live with Fraley’s sporadic availabilty

      • Old-school

        Did I miss something?

        Cards starting a lefty again.

        Bell decided Friedl gets to hit 9 th over Fairchild but benson and fraley sit because of the handedness rules

        Those rules dont apply to votto

      • Jim Walker

        OS>> Fairchild is on COVID as of today. No news about Fraley. Alex Young transferred from IL to COVID. Lopez is up in his spot (suggests Newman isn’t close to ready??)

        Got to wonder if they are waiting out COVID results on Fraley.

      • Jim Walker

        oops, clearly Lopez is up for Fairchild’s spot, not young. I’m not sure if they can wiggle another active roster spot on the Young move because he was already on the regular IL.

      • Melvin

        Friedl hitting 9th is kind of comical.

    • Melvin

      Optioning Martini will be hard to do.

  17. JB

    Lol Bader needs to go before all three of these guys.

  18. J

    I understand nothing the manager does can possibly affect the outcome of any games, blah blah blah, but today’s lineup is just another example of how Bell seems to be more interested in his personal theories than what has actually happened in the real world. If the Cardinals started a righty today, Friedl would be hitting first or second. We all know that. But because it’s a lefty, Friedl hits last.

    All the stats indicate this is wrong. In every important category, Friedl has hit lefties better than righties this season. He’s also hit better at home than on the road, and better in night games than day games. And he’s been hitting well for the last 7 games. Every available stat says that if you’re ever going to have him hitting at the top of the order, this is exactly the sort of game to do it.

    There may be a good argument for having Frield hit lower in the lineup every day regardless of the starting pitcher, but there isn’t a good argument — unless you believe the stats are all misleading for some unknown reason — for treating him as if he’s a great hitter against righties and a weak hitter against lefties. We know Elly has been pretty dismal against lefties, but HE remains in his usual spot rather than being moved down. There’s a much stronger argument for moving Elly down a notch or two today than moving Friedl from the top to the bottom.

    How anyone can watch Bell do things like this day after day after day and believe his decisions can’t possibly have cost this team at least a few wins, is beyond me.

    Some people seem to want to compartmentalize these things, arguing that Bell might make some “head-scratcher” decisions about certain things, like lineups, but seems to know what he’s doing overall. I guess that’s possible, because maybe he’s a genius in ways that just aren’t apparent to me, but let me tell you, if I’m aware that a surgeon keeps leaving sponges inside patients, I’m not too convinced he’s a brilliant surgeon even if most of his patients survive and everyone enjoys working with him. I just can’t overlook that “head-scratcher” sponge problem the same way I can’t overlook Bell’s “head-scratcher” lineups. It’s an indication that something is wrong with that person’s decision-making process, and it’s hard for me to trust that it just happens to be one weird isolated glitch — the one that I happen to be able to see every day — and they’re fine in every other way.

    • Mark Moore

      +1,000 for the passion, J.

      I stopped trying to figure this stuff out. It makes my brain hurt.

    • Jeremiah

      I agree on the Friedl decision not being a great one. I’d have Bader hitting 9th and Friedl 1st. Bell is off I think think on that one. But I would also say the last two games have mostly been lost because of Lyon Richardson and Andrew Abbott’s starting pitching performances.

      Even back to the last 3 games Abbott, Richardson, and Phillips have gone 4 innings 4 runs, I think 4 innings 7 runs, and 4.2 innings 5 runs for Phillips.

    • AllTheHype

      Bell’s lineups are certainly less than optimal at times. I think he assumes a handedness bias with some players (Friedl) when one does not exist and ignores handedness deficiency (Votto) when it clearly does exist. It would be even worse if there were more vets on this team, as somehow in his mind vets aren’t subject to a handedness deficiency (Winker, Moustakas previously).

      I do think he has managed the pitching staff well, and better this year than in years past. I don’t have major complaints there. Sure he makes a mistake here and there, all managers do in pitching management.

      In some ways he has improved over years past, in other ways not so much.

      Overall, I’d guess he’s an average ML manager, Not great, not bad either.

    • Jim Walker

      J>>> I think many folks on sites like this just default to believing the person in charge must know things the followers don’t when the person in charge makes decisions followers don’t understand. It is simpler than questioning the skills of the people running things. Then there are the rest of us 😉

      • J

        I think you’re right. I’ve noticed this same phenomenon in other sports with other teams I root for. No matter how obvious it is that a strategy is bad, there will be people insisting the head coach knows a lot more than I do, so who am I to question it?

        These same people probably have no problem questioning all kinds of decisions made by other experienced professionals (“That doctor has no idea what he’s talking about!” “My professor is a terrible teacher!” “The mayor is an idiot!” etc.), but when it comes to sports, they’ll mindlessly assume whoever happens to have the job must be competent, because why else would they have the job? Plus, they have a lot more experience and information than we do! It’s something about being a fan, I guess, that can make it hard for some people to think critically. They just really WANT Bell to be good, so their brains find a way to make sure he IS good, and it doesn’t really matter what he does. This is why last year’s record wasn’t any reflection on him (he was fine but the players were bad), but this year’s record somehow proves he’s good, and can’t possibly reflect the fact that he’s got a better roster to work with even though almost every starter is different.

      • Brian Rutherford

        I just idea the look of “us” versus “them” (I don’t know how to do the super cool smiley faces). I guess I will just have to guess whether I am an “us” or “them” so I know if I am smart or not.

        I hope someone tells me so I can think like them and be smart and coo like everyone else.

  19. Jeremiah

    This just seems like a bad matchup this series, you’d think the Cards were the better team when looking at the lineups. They have hall of famers, power, good young hitters in their lineup. Their pitching has been so bad though I guess most of the year. The Reds have recent waiver signees hitting leadoff and third. Not knocking the Reds but just an observation. Do Votto and India make the team better when coming back? I hope so. It will be really interesting.

    I don’t think it’s a must win tonight. I think they do need to win at least one of two the next two games.

    The Reds at some point are going to have to go on a run, like a 6 game winning streak or something. I’m a little surprised the Dbacks and Marlins are playing so well. Reds odds are not great, but I think as a fan I just want to see them play competitively down the stretch and not completely fall apart. I think I’d feel better about them going into next year if that occurs even if not making the playoffs.

    My current prediction is the Reds finish 83-79, 3 games out of the last spot.

  20. Jim Walker

    Even if things should come to naught for this year (and I am far from accepting that) these supposedly “easy” games for the Reds versus noncontenders are going to teach the Reds players about playing with a target on their back game in and game out.

    I believe that part of what went down with the Reds following the All Star break was that their breakout run in the month plus put a target on their back; and, the guys did not know how to handle that situation.

    If I were grading the Reds manager and coaches on their performances this season, a related issue I would be concerned about is the extreme volatility of the team all year long. In addition to the 12 game winning streak, they have experienced multiple 5 and 6 game streaks to both the good and bad side, several times with a streak in one direction followed immediately or nearly so with a streak in the opposite direction. Especially with a young team, it is up to the manager and coaches to have the skills to help the team promote the good runs and minimize the bad stretches. To date, we have not seen these skills demonstrated.

  21. TJ

    I don’t live in the Ohio area. Does the media ask David Bell lineup questions or strategy questions? I would love to hear his reasoning instead of people complaining about his decision making. He has so much more info than us commoners do.

  22. Ted Alfred

    Comparing Bell to those managers is a joke. All of those guys you mentioned have proven themselves to be good managers based on their past years performances. Is there ONE person on Redleg Nation who wouldn’t love for the Reds to have Terry Francona, Aaron Boone or Alex Cora as our manager instead if David fricking Bell. What has Bell done in 5 years to prove himself to be a good manager?

    • AllTheHype

      Ummm, playing meaningful Sept baseball in a year where most thought we’d lose 100 games?

    • J

      He hasn’t hit Maile leadoff, intentionally walked in any runs, or pulled any starting pitchers with perfect games going in the 4th inning. He’s only had one 3-22 start, only lost 100 games once, and has an overall record above .400. He’s never dressed in the wrong uniform or accidentally tried to use a player who plays for another team. What more does he need to prove? He obviously knows what he’s doing. Oh, and his players never quit! Some of them may have quit in past years, but he figured out a way to make them stop doing that.

  23. Brian Rutherford

    Funny thing is, I actually tried to find middle ground with you yesterday J. I said I understand some of your arguments.

    This is the kind of stuff that is so tired and has zero to do with baseball. It’s baiting people into argument.

    You look so smart nitpicking things in a sport where the best players fail 7 out of 10 times. It must heavy carrying all of that low hanging fruit around with you.

    I guess it’s like Jim said in the other thread. I am just not as smart as “the rest of us”.

    • J

      Brian, I had no idea we were in the middle of some sort of fight. Are we?

      In any event, when was the last time you complained about someone going out of their way to say something nasty about me or other people who criticize Bell? Have you done that recently, or do you only notice when I say mean things that are aimed at nobody in particular?

  24. RedAlert

    Get spiers out the game !!!!! CANNOY WALK PEOPLE SON.