The Cincinnati Reds dropped a second straight game to the Cardinals after taking an early lead but watching it disappear as St. Louis scored in back-to-back innings to take the lead. Their bullpen held up from there as they secured a series victory with a 4-3 win.

Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (63-79)
4 8 0
Cincinnati Reds (73-71)
3 6 0
W: Thompson (5-5) L: Spiers (0-1) SV: Helsley (8)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

St. Louis struck in the 1st inning after Lars Nootbaar walked and came around to score when the Cardinals put together two singles later in the inning to take a 1-0 lead.

Cincinnati would put together a rally in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Nick Senzel led off with a single and would score on a double from Tyler Stephenson. Alejo Lopez followed up with an RBI double of his own to put the Reds up 2-1. Harrison Bader capped the inning off with a single that brought in Lopez and gave Cincinnati a 3-1 advantage.

The lead for the Reds didn’t last all that long. In the top of the 3rd a 2-out walk kept the inning alive and then Willson Contreras hit a 2-run homer to tie the game up. The Cardinals would take the lead an inning later when Tommy Edman led off with a single. Carson Spiers was replaced after that and Sam Moll took over. He’d get a fly out and then a force out, but Lars Nootbaar came through with a 2-out double to bring around Masyn Wynn and put St. Louis on top 4-3.

In the bottom of the 4th inning the Reds manager David Bell was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. Later in the inning it was second baseman Alejo Lopez who was ejected after he was called out on strikes on a pitch that appeared well above the strikezone and then screaming the magic word a few times as he walked to the Reds dugout.

Cincinnati would only get one hit the rest of the game – a bunt single from TJ Friedl in the 7th inning. The Reds would get a walk from Christian Encarnacion-Strand in the 9th. He was called for interference at second base while trying to break up a double play and it erased himself and Tyler Stephenson from the bases after Stephenson had beaten the relay throw to first base. The game ended one batter later with a strikeout.

Key Moment of the Game

Lars Nootbaar’s go-ahead double in the 4th inning.

Notes worth noting

Just prior to the game Noelvi Marte was hit in the face by a thrown ball. Originally in the lineup he was replaced. He is “day-to-day”.

Nick Senzel was the only Red to have two hits in the game.

The Reds pitchers only had two strikeouts in the first eight innings of the game, but Fernando Cruz picked up three of them in the 9th to even up the walks and strikeouts at five for the pitching staff.

The Reds loss combined with the rest of the scores from the day have dropped them to 2.5 back of the final wild card spot – tied with San Francisco.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

St. Louis Cardinals vs Cincinnati Reds

Sunday September 10th, 1:40pm ET

Miles Mikolas (7-10, 4.63 ERA) vs Hunter Greene (3-6, 4.75 ERA)

76 Responses

  1. CI3J

    The “easy schedule” is not getting off to a great start.

    18 games left where the Reds have to be 3 games better than the other Wild Card chasers.

    • Jim Walker

      Listening to “Take It To The Limit”, This version is Randy Meisner singing it live in his post Eagles days in a more bluesy style than with Glenn, Don, et al but very appropriate for the Reds and followers tonight. And BTW I heard him do sing it on the original Hotel California tour and it was the best live performance I’ve ever heard anyone do anywhere.

      • Greenfield Red

        Off the Reds topic.

        The rumor his RM left the Eagles because he was tired of singing that song. Around the same time, I think it was Bernie Leadon who poured a beer over Glenn Frey’s head as he walked out the door and quit the band.

        I saw or heard somewhere this week someone asked Jimmy Buffett if he ever tired of singing Margaritaville. His answer was something like… it’s no longer my song. It belongs to the fans. Classy answer to be sure.

      • J

        Funnily enough, about a week ago I somewhat randomly watched a video in which a musician analyzed the vocals in a live performance of that song, and he made me really appreciate the song for the first time in my life. (The musician’s last name happens to be Henley, but I don’t think he’s any relation.)

        I won’t post the link, but it’s on youtube and is titled “The Eagles live vocals isolated. Is there anything better?!”

      • Jim Walker

        @J>> I believe I saw that same video on YouTube recently also. My YouTube suggestions list has been dominated by Eagles related stuff since RM’s demise in late July.

    • J

      Despite all my misgivings about the manager, until yesterday I had honestly been expecting the Reds to make the playoffs. I no longer expect it.

      • Greenfield Red

        Agree. I think 24 will be much better. I have thought so for a couple of years.

      • Still a Red

        Probably won’t happen, but a last minute win streak of more than 3 games might get them in. Not being naive but as someone once said it ain’t over til it’s over

      • jon

        I don’t blame Bell at all. When you have no starters and you have to pitch AA pitchers in a playoff race it’s going to be hard. Plus the fact you have young batters that are not clutch hitters and strike out way too much to be a playoff team. I expect Greene to be off his game today also.

      • Rob

        This whole post August 1 needs a post-mortem. Beside the obvious offensive collapse, what needs to be addressed this winter. What needs to be done different for next year is the biggest question. The post August 1 version of this team isa 70-75 win team. I think we may have one of the poorest records in the NL Central post 8/1. A hard look needs to be taken of the Cubs model as they started their rebuild in the same timeframe. I think they are ahead of us.

      • Ted Alfred

        When the Seattle series ended and we had the easiest remaing schedule of the playoff contenders I said here I thought it was more likely we would totally face-plant over the last 3 weeks and be a non-factor in the playoff chase… then play well and at least contend into the final weekend to make the playoffs… hoping I was wrong. Starting to look like another September swoon very similar to 2021.

        I wonder if Stephenson will be sitting today even though he is hotter than he’s been all year, since today is an afternoon game following a night game… even with their playoff chances are diminishing by the day. Be interesting to see of Bell will adjust based on current circumstances or stick to his rigid mantra regardless. And will we face a lefty the rest of the year without totally changing the batting order and sitting most or all 3 of our best overall hitters who are LH just to see what the result might be…hmmm. One would think bashing your head into that wall over and over with the same results might necessitate a change?

    • RedBB

      I said it before the series. This is the Cardinals playoffs to spoil it for us this year and they are. I fully expect to be swept. Also Carson Spiers has no business starting a MLB game at this point. A BP game would have been better….which is what it pretty much was.

  2. Rednat

    what on God’s Green earth was CES supposed to do on the slide in the 9th inning?

    • Doug Gray

      I think the issue was that he used his upperbody to “upend” the fielder.

    • DataDumpster

      Have to trust the replay reviewers, few people know the rules. Seems like it in the 1970s or even later, “taking out” the 2nd baseman was a perfectly legal (and admired) play notwithstanding the Pete Rose Buddy Harrelson incident.
      CES collided with the 2B above his knee with his arm, slid well beyond the base, and with enough force to affect the velocity of the throw to 1st. Whether intentional or not, the rules were broken and a good call was made.

    • RedBB

      Terrible call…what is CES supposed to do? Let Edman concuss him with his leg?That arm is the only thing that prevented it. Refs were god awful all night. Honestly they need to fire them all and go completely to Robotics Umps and AI to call everything now.

      Edited for an attempted to avoid the swear filter

      • greenmtred

        I well remember when taking out the second baseman on a DP pivot was routine and accepted. Ty Cobb (a little before my time) purportedly would sharpen his spikes before the game when he knew the other team was watching. I thought it was a horrible call. As you guys have said, there seemed to be no intent on CES’s part to do anything more than protect his head; he didn’t leave the basepath at all, but slid directly into second. I also doubt that the slide actually disrupted the throw. The rule is either poorly written or was poorly interpreted.

  3. Rednat

    I’m not giving up on Senzel. I think he is starting to come into his own. i Dont think he should play outfield but he is a solid third baseman. of all our younger players he is probably the most known entity. he may not have the highest ceiling but I still think he can be a solid player for the reds. I can kind of see him develop like Adam Duvall who has really found his niche.

    • TR

      I think Senzel will be traded in the offseason to a team that will give him a concentrated start in the infield. It’s just never quite worked out with the Reds.

      • Ted Alfred

        Package him with Berraro for a good mid level SP.

    • DataDumpster

      I’m not giving up on Senzel as a player but I am as a player in a Red’s uniform. Too much monkeying around with him over the years. Needs a steady 3B job and may thrive elsewhere. Would like to see him paired with India and a medium level prospect for an “impact” player or two at the proper position(s) of course.

      • Jon

        That’s what scares me. I have a feeling that Senzel will get traded for practically nothing, then will become an All-Star third baseman for his new team. Similar to what Siri is doing with the Rays or what Moose has done this year (not AS level, but an everyday contributor).

      • Jim Walker


        Senzel is a Johnny come lately on his extreme positive skew versus LH pitching and pretty much dead in the water his entire career after 2021 vs. RH pitching.

    • jon

      Senzel will be 29 yrs old next yr.Hardly one of the young reds.He’s had 5 yrs to do absolutely nothing.I’m ready for him to go. Hope he plays well so somebody would actually want him.

    • RedBB

      He’s an OK 27th man on the roster…nothing more.

  4. Reddawg2012

    If we are being honest, the Reds should probably be 1-8 on this homestand. Game 1 vs the Mariners is the only game that didn’t take some kind of flukey/last minute come back to win. Just overall uninspiring play from a team that had a chance to really make a push, against a team that has nothing left to play for 🙁

    • Still a Red

      Nothing to play for but to screw the Reds. What better way to end their season.

      • Reddawg2012

        I feel like the Reds are screwing themselves.

  5. Redsvol

    No runs scored after the 2nd inning – that’s just not going to get it done. The young bucks need to be more clutch. Hopefully they will learn. I don’t think any of them should feel they have “arrived” yet. They can all be replaced if they don’t produce.

    I’ve seen enough games being started by spiers and Richardson. Let’s get ashcraft, Williamson and lively back in here pronto. Great job by the bullpen.

    • jon

      Like I said.NO clutch hitters and Phillips,Richardson and Spires pitching is not a winning formula.

  6. DataDumpster

    3d ago, I posted that the Reds had a 38% POFF on the Game stats and SOS-adjusted Baseball Reference prediction and only a 22% chance on the “player projection simulations” on Fangraphs. Now, 3 straight losses by the home team and a rally by the DBacks upends those numbers to the current 18% and 11%. Still believe the “Stats” number but obviously the hill got much steeper. So, let’s look a realistic chance of the Reds coming out on top. Let’s say that he DBacks finish out with a 9-10 record for 84-78. The Reds (with the tiebreaker) then need to finish 11-7 to get the 5th spot. The Marlins and Giants need a similar level of play. SOS still strongly in the Red’s favor. Too early to call it quits but I suspect an 8-10 finish for 81-81 would still draw high praise and no regrets or concern from Bell and the organization.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree. And this Reds team is has shown all season it capable of turning to the good or bad on a dime and running off a 5 or 6 same streak in the opposite direction.

      Pardon the loose formatting but here are some working notes for a post about the Reds streakiness that I never got around to writing:

      April 4-23> 4-14; 6 game losing streak.

      24-29 5 game winning

      May 14-25> 3-8; 4 game losing streak
      >26-31 5 game winning streak

      June 1-7> 3-6; including 4 game losing streak.

      10-24> 12 game winning streak

      July 3-6> 5 game winning streak
      9-14> 6 game losing streak

      19-23> 5 game winning

      Aug 1-6> 6 game losing

      The Reds came off the 6 game losing streak which ended on Aug 6 with an 8-6 stretch through Aug 23 but have been 6-10 since then which makes them 14-16 since Aug 7 which is one the more stable “months” (~30 day sequences) of the entire season in terms of not having extended offsetting swings.

    • LDS

      The Reds are now in 6th place, trailing SF by winning pct., Even an 11% chance of making the playoffs looks optimistic. I’m skeptical that the changes necessary to make this Reds team competitive next year will actually happen this off season. Bell & DJ and the rest of the coaches need to go. That’s not happening. Nepotism rules the Reds organization. So I guess we’ll all cheer if the Reds finish with a winning record this season. Yea rah.

  7. Redsgettingbetter

    I think this game was lost in the pitching matchup before it started. Since the injuries and COVID outbreak arose they should send a double-A pitcher against a good hitting lineup and he couldn’t hold it besides the Reds offense doesn’t work again. The problem is to have lost the Friday game with your better pitcher… So, now, just today game left against Mikolas who many times has been tough to the Reds and expecting Greene doesn’t bring the home run ball…

  8. JB

    I think that should just about do it on the 2023 season. A gallant effort by the kids, that’s for sure, but this team is gassed. It’s been a great season in my mind. One that none of us seen coming back in March. Funny how the season seems to be over on the first day of the season for the Bengals. It’s been fun Reds, but
    For you — the blind who once could see
    The bell tolls for thee
    The bell tolls for thee…

  9. ChrisInVenice

    The pre-game Marte incident was indicative of the way this game was going to go.

    • Jim Walker

      Perhaps but it did not have to have been given the spark Lopez was providing on both sides of the ball.

      I watched many of this crew playing together at AAA via MiLBTV. As guys came and went, they just kept doing their jobs; and, that’s not always easy at that level where everyone’s ultimate goal is to get themself out of dodge and up to MLB.

      I suspect what’s missing right now in Cincy is leadership from the coaching staff and players such as that provided by Reynolds, Vosler, Martini (at the time), et al at AAA.

      • greenmtred

        Lopez really was impressive in a tiny sample size. I don’t remember him hitting the ball that hard or making such good plays during his previous time with the Reds.

      • DataDumpster

        Yes. I’ve always liked him as a good contact hitter and pretty reliable glove. After hearing about this year’s AAA stats, I was surprised that he never got called up. He was basically the only spark today and just like other injuries this year, an unexpected setback leads to another player given the chance to step up.

  10. Jon

    My question is how does a young and inexperienced Orioles team (in a significantly more difficult division) already have 90 wins? And more importantly, how do the Reds become that team next year?

    • Jim Walker

      Better leadership. I am not going to debate the X’s and O’s on the field but better all-around leadership, starting with detail orientation and keeping guys prepared and motivated while avoiding highs and lows.

      Making sure pitchers understand that except for special situations where they are pitching around a guy on the manager’s orders, walks are always Public Enemy #1 and enforcing that thought with consequences for guys who forget it.

      I am going to stop before I get onto a full rant.

    • VaRedsFan

      Starting pitching….bullpen…and they don’t have Bell.

    • AllTheHype

      Same way the Orioles went a from a 4 game above .500 team in 2022, to 39 games above .500 this year. hint: not leadership. Just a little more experience, confidence, and a couple more promotions.

      Reds are in line to do that same thing next year, and it doesn’t take a drastic makeover NOR a change in leadership either.

      • Jim Walker

        The Reds pitchers are terrible in walks going back and coming forward under the current regime. The players have consistently struck out too much and shown a lack of understanding situational hitting. They are also TOOTBLAN prone. Those are all leadership issues.

      • AllTheHype

        Reds pitching has been injured and lacking talent in starting pitching all year. Lesser talented pitchers have to nibble the edges more because they don’t have the stuff to challenge the best hitters deeper in the zone. That’s not a coaching issue. It’s simply lack of talent. If they get off the edges, they get lit up all over the field. But pitching the edges results in walks.

        And pretty much all the Reds rookies are up a bit in Ks because they are adjusting to the major leagues. They’ll get there with time. But you’re going to have growing pains., Again, not a leadership issue. The Orioles went thru that last year, too.

      • VaRedsFan

        @Hype – ALL of their pitchers have nibbled since DJ has been here….Even Mahle and Castillo.
        Their bullpen has been in the bottom 5, or close, in walks issued for going on 4 years now.

    • Ted Alfred

      Get someone similar to the Orioles manager!!

      • Kevin H

        “Similar to Orioles manager ”
        2019 54-108
        2020 25-35
        2021 52-110
        2022 83-79.

        I mean looking at those records. Bell is doing well.

    • greenmtred

      Did the Orioles lose all but one of their starting pitchers to injury?

  11. Rob

    Pre August 1 this team gave me hope that we were bound for the playoffs for 2023 and 4-5 years following. We could see the bullpen fatigue coming and the starting pitching needed 1-2 rentals but other than that? Gosh, if the season ended on July 31, think how optimistic we would be about the playoffs and next year. The Cubs were no better than a 500 team fighting for third place. We were 10 games over 500 and roosting in first place. Have things changed and not for the better. We have lost 7-10 games on the Brewers and Cubs in 40 days! And probably a few games on the lowly Pirates and Cardinals. We may have reclaimed our spot as a bottom feeder. Mute it all you want but it is right there in front of us. I dont know what the national and local expectations for this team will be next year. Locally all I read is how good we are going to be. Nationally and realistically, I could see us projected anywhere between 2nd and 4th in the Division. If it is closer to 4th, then I hope that is a wakeup call for certain management folks that things need to be changed. That certain young cats are not as good as we think. Some of thesew young foundational pieces are going on their 3rd and 4th years. Some rookies may be over rated and/or need additional seasoning. If the data was reversed in first half vs second half, that is a different story. But to roll out the same cast of characters we have seen the last 6 weeks and expect winning results vs losing results, I cant see that happening. The results are real. Now if we start banging out 12 hits a game again, and win 8 of the next 10, I will concede I spoke pre maturely.

    • Jon

      This season for the Reds needs to be seen as what 2014 was for the Cubs, albeit with a slightly better record. Management needs to get some veteran leadership this winter to finish the rebuild. Specifically SP and RF. Maybe even 1B if they use CES in a trade package…

      • Ted Alfred

        “Back in 2014, the Cubs hired Maddon as manager on Nov. 15, and a month later they signed free agent lefty Jon Lester to a six-year, $155 million deal — the move that more than any other signaled the end of the Cubs’ rebuild and the beginning of their win-now phase.”

        Something similar to this is how you win with a young talented club.

        Until David Bell is replaced and you are willing to spend real money wisely on a true upgrade to the rotation it ain’t happening.

      • Rob

        I think you are on the right track coming to grips that there are problems to be addressed. Leadership probably is one of them. What pieces to move on from is also coming to grips. And we are not talking Votto, Senzel, and Newman here. I am all for letting the last 2-3 weeks of this season play out and see where we end up. But if the recent failures continue, adult conversations need to be had.

      • Rob

        There are multiple needs on this club. Catching defense being up there. Tired of seeing alms turn into doubles in the late innings s Moll, Diaz, and Co. Power hitting OF is up there also. Bellinger would work. I don’t know what we do with starting pitching. Health is a major unknown. Who do you count on?

  12. Tar Heel Red

    Did anybody else pick up of Spiers’ tipping his pitches last night. He throws his fastball and changeup with a quick and consistent delivery, but when he throws any other breaking ball his delivery is much slower and his stride was longer…causing him to be a lot lower to the ground at release. I noticed it almost immediately and I’m sure the Cardinals did too. If he can clean this up the Reds could have another fine young pitcher for next season (perhaps out the pen).

    • Mark Moore

      Interesting observation. Got to keep in mind he’s VERY young. Here’s hoping the coaches saw that can can work to correct it.

  13. RedAlert

    Those were some short rehab assignment for Votto and India …. Bell in full panick mode now with 18 or so games left . Too bad he waited this late to show any urgency – wouldn’t expect anything less from him though .

    • Ted Alfred

      He obviously isn’t that panicked. He’s still sitting Stephenson today because he won’t play him in a day game after the night game no matter how hot he is at the plate with 18 games left. It’s totally ridiculous, just watching the playoffs slip away and sitting your hottest hitter.

      • Mark Moore


        And with tomorrow off no less. SMH Very Hard!!

  14. Laredo Slider

    Re Senzel, the guy’s “hitting” .175 vs RHP and although many buy into the Sadak narrative he “slaughters” LHP he’s actually lost about 150 points off his BA vs LHP in the last couple of months. And the Reds are well below .500 in games he starts since he whined to the media about PT and talked himself into the lineup. Hopefully he’s moved in the off season.

  15. MBS

    Interesting lineup. I never opt for football over the Reds, but I am today. Disappointing that this team was backed up at the trade deadline, or better yet preseason.

  16. LDS

    What are the odds of a St. Louis sweep today? Votto is in the lineup along with Maile while CES and Stephenson sit. Anyone that thinks Bell is doing a good job and wants to win really hasn’t been paying much attention these last 5 years.

    • Mark Moore

      Wants to win? sure he does …
      Has personnel/roster challenges? … you betcha
      Appears capable of constructing the best possible line-up on a consistent basis, especially given we’re on a bit of a desperation march for a playoff spot? … probably not so much

      I get the reasoning behind starting Joey today. But I really can’t support it. I’ll gladly have a healthy serving of crow if I’m wrong. And I’ll credit HDTBell with being a “mastermind” … for today 😀

      • LDS

        Votto could hit 3 HRs today and it wouldn’t mean much. He’ll just do what he’s done all year – follow it up with a week or two of hitless, multi-SO games.

      • Kevin H

        Honestly I can’t either Mark. Votto fan, however CES needs to play.

        Time will tell, however today is a must win.

    • Kevin H

      Honestly LDS,

      Bell’s lineup configuration is annoying at best. His “right handed ” left handed lineups annoying to me.

      I just choose to have fun at times and sarcasm alot of the time.

      • LDS

        I’m good with sarcasm. As Reds fans, that may be all we can aspire to.

  17. Jim Walker

    Sunday lineup, Saddle up for the last round up and run for the playoffs:

    SP: Hunter Greene
    1. Jake Fraley (DH)
    2. Elly De La Cruz (SS)
    3. T.J. Friedl (CF)
    4. Spencer Steer (3B)
    5. Nick Martini (LF)
    6. Joey Votto (1B)
    7. Jonathan India (2B)
    8. Luke Maile (C)
    9. Will Benson (RF)

    • Jim Walker

      And until it was settled, I wouldn’t make a single change in personnel, health permitting, except to get Stephenson as much PT as possible and platooning Renfroe in for Fraley and CES for Votto (instead of Martini).

    • Ted Alfred

      So Fraley was fine the last 2 games…he was just benched due to Bell’s total aversion to letting LH hitters play vs lefts starters. That worked out well.

      And Stephendon sits because of Bell’s ironclad Catcher rotation that shall not be adjusted…no matter if current circumstances indicate otherwise.

      Not surprised

      • AllTheHype

        Fraley can only DH and Renfroe did get on base 3 times in 8 PAs with a HR as DH. So it work out well, at least for that spot.