The Cincinnati Reds couldn’t come through with a third straight win in Detroit on Thursday afternoon. The Tigers grabbed an early lead on a bullpen day and they didn’t look back, capping things off with a grand slam in the 8th inning that put the game out of reach in an 8-2 win.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (76-72)
2 5 2
Detroit Tigers (67-79)
8 9 1
W: Olson (4-7) L: Law (4-6)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

While walks will haunt, there’s not a cool saying and or 1980’s scoreboard graphic for “hit batters will haunt”, but the result is the same. Derek Law plunked Matt Vierling to start the game and watched him steal second base and then score on a 2-out single from Kerry Carpenter to put Detroit in front 1-0.

Sam Moll tossed a scoreless 2nd inning for the Reds before Ben Lively took over in the 3rd. Lively set the Tigers down in order in the inning, but Detroit got their offense going against him in the bottom of the 4th after a leadoff single was followed up by a 2-run homer from Akil Baddoo that just cleared the wall in right field to put the home team up 3-0.

Cincinnati was hitless heading into the 6th inning, but Jake Fraley led off with a single to break up the no-hitter. Unfortunately for the Reds, Nick Martini grounded into a double play to erase the baserunner. It was doubly unfortunate as Spencer Steer followed up with a home run, making it a 3-1 ballgame.

Lively was cruising along until the bottom of the 7th inning when Parker Meadows led off with a single. After getting a fly out, Lively tried to barehand a comebacker from Zach McKinstry. He knocked it down and picked it up and threw to first, but the throw pulled Joey Votto off of the bag and everyone was safe. Lively then exited the game – though it wasn’t clear if it was due to the barehanded attempt causing an issue or if it was just the move that was going to come if he allowed another runner.

Buck Farmer entered the game and gave up an RBI single to Spencer Torkelson on the first pitch he threw that extended the Tigers lead to 4-1. Farmer responded with a strikeout and a pop up to end the inning, but the damage had been done.

Detroit went to the bullpen in the top of the 8th, bringing in a lefty reliever. David Bell called on Nick Senzel to pinch hit for Elly De La Cruz to lead off the inning and Senzel came through with a single. Noelvi Marte then pinch hit for Will Benson and he lined a single back up the middle. Hunter Renfroe then came on to pinch hit for Jake Fraley, but that one didn’t work out as he struck out. Bell wasn’t finished, though, as Christian Encarnacion-Strand then came off of the bench to hit for Nick Martini. The Tigers countered by calling Jason Foley – a righty – enter the game from the bullpen. Two pitches later the Reds were all heading to the dugout as a double play ended the threat and the inning.

Buck Farmer returned for the bottom of the 8th and things went south, fast. HE hit Tyler Nevin, gave up an infield hit, and then loaded the bases with a 1-out walk. Matt Vierling then hit a ball to Canada (editors note: the ball did not actually make it to Canada) for a grand slam that made it 8-1.

Spencer Steer led off the inning, and replay showed he was hit by a pitch, but the umpire didn’t call it and apparently David Bell didn’t ask for the challenge soon enough. Steer would strike out. TJ Friedl took the second pitch he saw and hit it 15 rows deep in right field to make it 8-2. Back-to-back groundouts would end the game as the Tigers picked up an 8-2 win and avoided being swept.

Key Moment of the Game

Matt Vierling’s 8th inning grand slam. While it was unlikely that a 3-run deficit was going to be overcome in the 9th by the Reds, a 7-run deficit was almost assuredly not going to be overcome.

Notes worth noting

Spencer Steer’s home run game the Reds 55 homers hit by rookies in 2023. That set a new franchise record.

Elly De La Cruz walked in both of his plate appearances today. He’s now walked 19 times since August 1st (169 plate appearances). He had 12 walks prior to that (207 plate appearances). The hits, however, haven’t been coming as he’s hit just .189 since the 1st of August.

Nick Senzel’s pinch hit single against a lefty puts him at .337/.385/.594 on the year against left-handed pitchers (109 plate appearances).

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs New York Mets

Friday September 15th, 7:10pm ET

Hunter Greene (3-6, 4.75 ERA) vs David Peterson (3-8, 5.34 ERA)

164 Responses

  1. Mark A Verticchio

    Considering the circumstances I thought today was one of the worst showings all year for the Reds, just a poor game from start to finish with zero energy. That was inexcusable,

  2. Mark Moore

    Well … that was completely unsatisfying to watch.

    That’s all I got to say about that … 😮

  3. J

    That was certainly a team effort, so I’m certainly not blaming any three guys in particular, but the first inning really gave us a good sense of what to expect. Fraley is leading off (despite the fact that his toe seems to be enough of a problem that he can’t play defense or steal bases, but whatever), and he sees two balls and then swings at the next pitch. It was definitely a strike, and he hit it hard, but that hard hit out is a good example of why you should force the pitcher to throw more than one strike and see if he’s having trouble with command at the outset of the game, just as Law did. No matter what the count is — even if it’s 2-0 — if you swing the bat the most likely outcome is a strike or an out. The most likely outcome isn’t reaching base even if you’re a great hitter. You might be thinking “this could be the best pitch I’ll see,” and possibly that’s true, but if that’s your mindset you shouldn’t be leading off. A leadoff hitter shouldn’t be afraid of getting into a 2-1 count. Fraley’s 2-0 swing accomplished nothing. If you’re up with the bases loaded and your team is down by 3 runs and you’ve got a weak hitter on deck, then, okay, maybe it makes sense to take a rip at a 2-0 pitch. But not leading off the game. That’s just dumb baseball.

    Then the #2 and #3 hitters both looked at fastballs for strike three, and in both cases the pitches were close enough that they had no business taking them. That’s just dumb baseball. Protect the plate with two strikes. Don’t take strike three just because it didn’t look perfect.

    Again, not blaming those three guys in particular. Steer eventually provided half the offense, so the lack of scoring wasn’t his fault. It was just a really bad effort in the top of the first by all three guys, and that seemed to continue for a few innings. When people say this team doesn’t quit, I know what they mean, but it often looks like they don’t bother getting serious until about the 6th or 7th inning.

    • Chris

      You really need to stop with this little league evaluation stuff. Yes, it’s ideal for a leadoff hitter to take a lot of pitches, but it is rare for a leadoff hitter to be able to do that consistently like Rose or Henderson did. Fraley’s AB was excellent in the 1st inning. If you are bashing a guy for tattooing a ball that ends up being an out, then you are just foaming at the mouth for no reason. The fact is Fraley is not a leadoff hitter, and he did what a good hitter does with a 2 and 0 count, PERIOD. If you know anything about hitting, you take advantage of great counts. 2 and 0 is a count you hammer in. Further more, it was clear early on guys weren’t seeing his fastball very well, even Welsh commented on it.

      • J

        You really need to stop with the childish insults. You did a nice job of explaining why you think I’m wrong, and I’ll be happy to explain why you’re wrong, but there was no need for the insult. Do better, Chris.

      • Chris

        J, you are probably right. The insult was not warranted. It just gets old though, when you nag on every little thing, especially when much of the nagging comes across as petty. But yes, that doesn’t give me a legitimate reason to insult you. My apology.

      • J

        Here are some stats to consider if you’re ready to do some of your major league baseball level analysis:

        Fraley has put very few balls in play on 2-0 counts this season. He usually takes those pitches (as he should). He’s 2 for 6 when he puts the 2-0 pitch in play, which is an average and OBP of .333.

        On 2-1 counts, he’s 6 for 17, so his average and OBP increase slightly, to .353.

        If he can get to a 3-1 count, his OBP jumps to .789, and if he goes to a 3-2 count, his OBP is still a very robust .512. Both of those numbers are considerably better than the .333 OBP he has when he puts a 2-0 pitch in play. If he gets to a 3-0 count, he has an OBP of 1.000, having walked all 8 times it’s happened. So, if the goal is to get on base, his priority shouldn’t be getting a good 2-0 pitch to swing at. His priority should be getting to ANY count that begins with a 3.

        He does struggle quite a bit on 2-2 pitches, so he should try to avoid those, but statistically he’s better off letting a 2-0 pitch go by even if it’s a strike. Because if he puts that ball in play, he can’t get to a count that begins with a 3.

        And yet, your argument is that he’s smart to swing at a 2-0 pitch if it looks good to him because he might hit it really hard and guys like to hit 2-0 pitches. Utter nonsense.

        You can talk about how hard he hit that ball all day long, and it’s still going to be an out. A lot of hard hit balls are outs. But walks are never outs. That’s why a guy with a 2-0 count is smart to try to draw a walk and not smart to try to put the 2-0 pitch in play. He’s usually going to be out if he puts that ball in play, which is not the goal. If he can get to 3-1, 3-2, or 3-0, count, he has a WAY better chance of reaching base than if he puts the 2-0 pitch in play, because now a walk is an option.

        You may think this is “little league analysis,” but these are stats from the majors. These are the real-world major league stats of the actual player we’re talking about right now, in this very season. And if the goal is to reach base, he should not be swinging at a 2-0 pitch no matter how great it looks to him. Ever. Period.

        If you’re arguing with this, you’re arguing with math. Have at it if you really want to, but the math is going to win.

      • J

        And I’ll just add: Olson eventually gave up 4 walks (two to Elly, of all people), so walking was a definite possibility for anyone willing to be patient. He threw 94 pitches, and 54 were strikes, but those “strikes” include all the pitches out of the zone that the Reds swung at. So, far fewer than 54 of his 94 pitches were actually in the strike zone. He didn’t have great command, and the Reds were helping him out by swinging too much. (And then by becoming weirdly selective with two strikes, when they should have been protecting the plate.)

      • Chris

        J, your analysis is full of holes. It defies baseball logic on so many levels. Statistically speaking, despite your Fraley reference of 6 AB’s as proof, you are statistically wrong. And by the way, if you look at Fraley’s career, he has a .526 batting average on 2 and 0 counts. A few more samples than just SIX AB’s. 2 and 0, 3 and 1, 3 and 0. These are the counts a hitter wants to be in and these are statistically speaking the best counts to be in for a hitter to have success. Go do some research about the game and hitting/pitching, and you will come to that conclusion very quickly. In your example, when Fraley gets to 2 and 1 his chance of getting on diminish greatly. That is a statistical fact amongst all of baseball. If we used your analogy, it would be advantageous for everyone to get either 3 balls or 2 strikes before swinging. That’s just crazy.

      • Ted Alfred

        As you said Fraley is not a hit-off leader. And as I said before the game, why take India out of the lead off role when things had started to click so well for the team with him leading off, especially when Fraley’s obviously better hitting down the lineup at 3-4-5…. just makes no sense for Bell to change the hitting order. As I said last night, it would be great if Bell would just leave India at lead off for the rest of the year, but I gave it a Max of two games because he just can’t help himself.

      • Chris

        Ted, I agree Fraley isn’t a lead off hitter, but even if it was India, you wouldn’t ask him to take a 2 and 0 pitch fastball down the heart of the plate, which I know isn’t your argument.

    • Kevin H

      LOL @ not blaming anyone three guys in particular. That made me laugh.. and not how you would think based on our back and forth.

      It was a frustrating game for sure. Earlier as we talked I do think India, Freidl, and Steer then a combination of who ever but Fraley, Martini didn’t work

      • Chris

        I’m not a fan of having Fraley lead off but he certainly wasn’t the problem. Lined out, K’d on two balls called strikes and then singled. He should always bat in the middle of the order though.

      • Kevin H

        @Chris, I agree and enjoy your perspective.

        I feel like reds haven’t had a consistent lineup for the last two months. I realize injuries have hampered things, however now you have India, and Friedl, Fraley, CES, Marte, De La Cruz then whom ever.

      • greenmtred

        The Reds had just five hits; five players with one hit apiece. The patchwork pitching staff, after performing well in excess of expectations, didn’t hold up in this game.

    • Old-school

      Fraley got a 2-0 pitch and hit a line drive 103.8 mph.

      Thats a great at bat. Hitting is about getting a good pitch to hit and hitting it hard. Good pitchers don’t throw 3-4 pitches per at bat hitters can drive. You might get 1. Count and situation matter but a leadoff hitter in the first inning that gets a 2-0 pitch he can hit hard… you do that 100x out of a hundred

      • J

        He made an out. The problem with your analysis (as I’ve explained above, but I’ll repeat some of it here) is that hitting the ball hard doesn’t guarantee getting on base. In fact, as the TV crew later noted, Fraley eventually got on base by hitting a ball softly. The Reds hit quite a few balls hard today, with almost nothing to show for it.

        What does get you on base, every time, is ball four. When you put the 2-0 pitch in play, you’re only reaching base on a hit or an error. If you can get to any count that begins with a 3, you can still reach on a hit or an error, but you have a new opportunity to reach base, called a walk. But those can only happen when you don’t put the 2-0 pitch in play. Any time you put that 2-0 pitch in play, you’re reducing your odds of reaching base. Of course you’ll sometimes reach base, and you might even hit a double or something, but if your goal is to get on base, you should be taking that pitch every single time.

        I feel a bit like Billy Beane now, trying to explain to the old school guys that you’re putting the emphasis on the wrong thing. You’re focusing on hitting the ball hard, when the emphasis (especially for a guy leading off an inning) should be reaching base by any means necessary. Statistically, swinging at a 2-0 pitch isn’t the best way to do that.

      • Chris

        J, you aren’t being like Billy Beane at all. Your logic is just WAY off, and Beane would tell you so. Two best counts to hit in are 2 and 0 and 3 and 1. If the count was 3 and 0, you’d be right, because your chance of getting another “grooved” pitch is still good, if indeed you get a strike, so yes take a pitch. On 2 and 0 you should be looking for fastball and looking for it in a zone. If you guess right, then you’d be foolish not to swing, especially if you are a guy like Fraley than can do serious damage.

      • J

        Chris, if you’ve read or seen Moneyball, you should know the whole reason Beane signed Hatteberg even though he had no position for him to play was that he walked a lot. It wasn’t because he hit 2-0 pitches really well. It was because he looked at a lot of pitches drew a lot of walks. The big argument was between the old school guys who were talking about wanting players with the ability to smack the ball really hard, vs. the new guys who were emphasizing OBP as an underappreciated asset, and they understood walking was an important component of OBP.

        You really seem to have missed the whole point of that book/movie.

        You seem to be missing my point as well. Let me try again. If you put a 2-0 pitch in play, you’re basically counting on getting a hit, whereas if you take that pitch, you can still reach base via a hit, but you’ve also got walking as an option, which increases your odds of reaching base in that at-bat. It may not necessarily increase your odds of getting a hit, but it increases your odds of reaching base.

        If your goal is to hit a home run, then that’s a different discussion. But if your goal is to reach base, as the leadoff hitter is usually trying to do, then you take a 2-0 pitch. Beane will back me up on this.

        I’m not sure how to make this any clearer to you, but maybe you should spend a little time thinking about it.

      • Chris

        J, take a look at this link. Go down to the bottom graph if you don’t want to read through it all. A computer program goes through counts and gives the best chances of getting on base. In the end as I mentioned before, your best chances of getting on base are 3 – 0, 3 -1, 2 – 0. Your assumption is that you will get a ball in those counts, but if a strike is thrown your chances of getting on base diminish.

      • Roger Garrett

        I can see both sides of the debate but what concerned me more is how the next 2 guys went down looking with Steer not even swinging.That inning set the tone for the entire game and it never changed.Reds just never showed up on offense and its this inconsistent hitting that will cost them a spot in the play offs.I don’t see it getting any better unless Bell settles on a set lineup of his best players at their best defensive positions from here on out.

      • J

        Fraley is much more likely to reach base when he has a 3-0 or 3-1 count than when he has a 2-0 count. Can we at least agree on that much?

        And if we can agree to that much, can we also agree that he can’t get to either of those counts if he puts the 2-0 pitch in play?

        And if we can agree to that, can we thus agree that if he puts the 2-0 pitch in play, however hard he might hit it, he has eliminated any possibility of getting to a 3-0 count or 3-1 count, which are his best counts for reaching base?

        Can we at least agree to these facts?

      • J

        Agree, Roger. The called third strikes are probably even more annoying than Fraley swinging at a 2-0 pitch. This team just can’t seem to stop doing that.

      • Chris

        Roger if I recall, the Steer AB was the 1st of a few that he was wrung up on a ball called strike. I think like Fraley’s 2nd AB, he actually had 2 balls called strikes on him. That will mess with a guy all day long.

        J, yes, we can agree that 3 – 0 and 3 – 1 counts are better than 2 – 0. The ONLY two counts that are better. With that said, is a 2 – 1 count better than 2 – 0? Of course not. At 2 – 1 his next count may be 2 – 2, then his chance of getting on base drops tremendously. Your assuming that the pitcher will let him get 3 balls, which is ridiculous. You can’t assume that. I attached a link, look at it, and look on line for more if you like. I’m a statistics guy, and statistics with the right sample DO NOT LIE. I would agree with you all day long if your 2 – 0 count guaranteed a 3 – 0 or a 3 – 1 count, but too often it changes to a 2 – 1 or a 2 – 2 count.

      • J

        Chris, let’s see if we agree on something else. A lot walks start out as 2-1 counts, right? So, if you take a 2-0 pitch for a strike, you might still walk, yes? But if you put that pitch in play, you have a 0% chance of walking in that at-bat. Correct?

        Here’s another way of thinking about this. When a Reds reliever enters the game and goes 2-0 to the first hitter, are we hoping that guy puts the next pitch in play, or are we hoping he takes it and tries to draw a walk? I’m hoping he puts it in play. You’re hoping he takes it because you don’t want him to hit a 2-0 pitch? Is that right?

      • greenmtred

        Short of hitting a home run, nothing a batter can do guarantees that he will get on base–well, leaning into a pitch and getting hit might, if he gets away with it.

      • VaRedsFan

        @J…I generally agree with your stances on approach and managerial things. But I disagree with your opinion on this one.

        I, for one, think that if you put a good swing on a hittable pitch in the zone and hit the barrell, then you’ve accomplished your goal.

        I want guys drilling 3-0, 2-0 pitches.

        We all wanted Votto, back in his heydey, to swing at more strikes (not balls), because he could do damage. Sure Votto’s numbers looked better at the end of the year, But instead of knocking in runs on those pitches, he walked.

      • J


        As I said somewhere in one of these comments, there are times when I think it makes sense to swing 2-0. But if the top priority is reaching base, and you’re only getting on base .333 of the time when you put that ball in play, then you’re probably decreasing your odds of reaching base by putting that ball in play no matter how good you’re feeling about the pitch. You’re probably more likely to ultimately reach base if you foul it off.

        There’s also the context to consider. The pitcher hadn’t thrown a strike yet. Maybe he’s a bit wild (which he was), and the leadoff hitter should explore that question to provide more info to the next two hitters. If he walks, the next guy knows the pitcher doesn’t have good control. If the pitcher throws consecutive strikes, that changes the equation. And everyone should be trying to force the starter to throw more than three pitches per at-bat. So, in that context, I want a leadoff pitcher taking a 2-0 pitch instead of hitting a line drive to an outfielder.

      • wkuchad

        I can’t think of a singe situation in which I would want one of the Reds better hitters taking a 2-0 pitch.

        A hitter gets three strikes/chances. Once they have 2 strikes, their changes at success goes way down. I would never ask one of our better hitters to lose out on one of those first two strikes/chances.

        A pitcher, maybe. A terrible offensive player, I don’t know, maybe. Fraley against a righty, never.

      • J

        wkuchad, I’ll ask you basically the same thing I asked Chris earlier. Let’s say it’s the bottom of the 9th in NYC tonight, and the score is tied. The Reds bring in Sims, who throws his first two pitches well outside the strike zone, so the count is now 2-0 to the guy leading off that inning. As a Reds fan, are you seriously telling me you hope that guy takes the next pitch rather than swinging? Because I’m absolutely hoping he swings and puts that next pitch in play, as there’s probably about a 70% chance of an out. I really don’t want to find out what’s going to happen if that guy is patient and forces Sims to throw three strikes. Are you really disagreeing with this? You hope that guy takes the 2-0 pitch?

      • wkuchad

        If it’s a strike, yes I want him to take the pitch.

        If it’s outside the strike zone, I hope he swings.

        I don’t understand the point you’re trying to make.

      • J

        I mean, it’s just counterintuitive to me that we’ve all been complaining all year about Reds pitchers walking guys leading off innings, and how often those leadoff walks come around to score, but at the same time some of you don’t want our own leadoff hitters taking 2-0 pitches if they think they see a pitch they can hit. I just can’t square this. When a Reds pitcher has gone 2-0 to a guy leading off an inning, my biggest fear isn’t the hitter putting the next pitch in play, because the most likely result of that is an out, and the second most likely result is a guy on first. My biggest fear is the hitter forcing the pitcher to three strikes before he’s thrown two more balls. Haven’t we all been saying “you’ve gotta force the guy to hit his way on base” all season? But when it’s an opposing pitcher, we want our guy to try to hit his way on base rather than forcing the pitcher to throw strikes?

      • J

        So, when a Reds pitcher has gone 2-0 to a good hitter, what pitch are you calling for? Are you asking him to try to throw a fastball for a strike, knowing this gives the hitter a great opportunity, or are you asking him to try to throw something off the plate and hoping it doesn’t go to 3-0, or asking him to try to throw a slider or curve for a strike, or what? Assuming you’ve got a generic pitcher on the mound, what’s the best thing for him to try to do with the 2-0 pitch?

      • wkuchad

        2-0 is a great hitter’s count. Of course i’m not taking the bat out of the hitter’s hand. Do i want him to be selective, sure. But you have to trust the hitter.

      • J

        Well, I look forward to the day when your team plays my team, and your leadoff hitter hits a 105 mph line drive to an outfielder on the third pitch, and my leadoff hitter walks on five or six pitches, steals second, and eventually scores.

      • AllTheHype

        I thought he might be bunted to second, then bunted to third, and score on a wild pitch?

  4. SultanofSwaff

    Just keep winning series. Teams with something to play for can stack more wins than normal when your opponents are playing out the string and who value development more than winning. Those kind of teams comprise nearly the entire remaining schedule. The Reds are trying to win each inning, each at-bat–just a whole different approach.

    2 weeks ago I felt that the Reds have a 50/50 shot and I still believe that.

  5. Kevin H


    Curious what your thoughts are with the line up order and changes. Do you feel it can affect the game somewhat?

  6. Chris

    Marlins have lost and The Snakes are now down 7 to 0 in the 5th. Hope the Rockies do their job tonight.

    • Red Lasso

      You just stole my update…..
      So far, so good with the Fish and Dbags!

  7. Mark A Verticchio

    Mets putting it on the D-backs again 7-0, that is good and bad. Helps Reds in standings but the Mets are playing loose and having fun. If the Reds don’t bring their A game to New York it could be a long long weekend.

  8. Kevin H

    Well good news for tomorrow’s game. Greene starts and bullpen will be fresh. I for one would love a complete game from Greene though. Give guys some rest.

    India, 2nd
    Freidl, Cf
    Fraley DH
    CES 1b
    Marte 3rd
    Stephenson C
    De La Cruz ss
    Steer lf
    Benson rf

    Votto as your bench.

    Fairchild, Martini, and Newman back to triple A,

    My starting 9.

    • Roger Garrett

      I agree 100% Kevin cause its our best players playing their best defensive positions and if we go down lest go done each and every game with our best at the plate and in the field but it won’t happen.

      • West Larry

        I like the lineup that you posted, and agree that Fairchild, Martini (or BADer) and Newman should be sent to triple A or dfa’d. I’m really disappointed by Fairchild. I thought he would be better this year.

    • Chris

      That’s not your lineup though, right? If so, I’d swap Marte and Steer and Benson and Cruz. I might swap defensive spots with Marte and Elly as well.

      • Kevin H

        It is the lineup I like Chris, however I do like what your suggesting

      • Jim Walker

        @Chris, What measure of offensive production is better than OPS which measures the batter’s ability to avoid making outs (OBP) and the relative effectiveness of their efforts when they do avoid making an out (SLG%)?

        Fangraphs prefer wRC/ wRC+r instead of OPS/OPS+ but OPS is more direct and easier to grasp and typically OPS+ and wRC+ are nearly identical with just a few hundredths to tenths of a percentage point difference for a given player.

        For example, since we have been talking about Jake Fraley and Nick Martini, here are each’s OPS+/wRC+ for their MLB career. Fraley’s are 107/108; and, Martini’s are 106/108. Peas in a pod as Oliver Hardy liked to say.

        If someone wants to maintain this is a manipulation of stats because Fraley has 2.4 times the PAs as Martini (938/394), I’d counter that we don’t know what Martini would or would not do in his next 544 PAs.

    • Jim Walker

      I don’t get why everyone wants to send Martini down. After Benson, he is the hottest LH hitter on the team right now when it should be about who is producing not who may come around if they get enough PAs.

      As I commented on the backend of the game thread, in his last 5 games prior to today Fraley was hitting .182 in 13 PAs with 6 Ks, no BBs and 2 hits, one of them a double for a .580 OPS.

      Martini over the same period with 1 additional game appearance but the same number of PAs was batting .308 with 3 Ks no BB, 4 hits, 2 of them for extra bases, a 3B, and an HR good for a 1.000 OPS.

      Since Fraley came back and began playing with an injury that admittedly is going to require off season surgery, his OPS is .863 in 26 PA but nearly all that production as inferred above came in the first 13 PAs following his return. His severe downturn in his most recent 13 PAs prior to today certainly could suggest that the injury has worn him down.

      Since Martini has been with the Reds, in 58 PAs across 20 game appearances his OPS is .839, very much in the range of a healthy Fraley’s OPS. He has had a double, the aforementioned triple, and a total of 4 HR. with an OBP of .310 to go with his .539 SLG% What do people want from a guy?

      • Kevin H

        Who would you send down instead or keep on roster? Release Bader and Keep Martini?

      • Ted Alfred

        100%. If there’s any of those who should not be sent down it’s Martini. He’s been a source of big hits and energy for this ballclub since he’s been up.

      • Chris

        Jim, you rely on OPS a bit too much, especially when talking about a small amount of plate appearances. I think half of Bell’s problem right now is that he’s relying on hot streaks that are fleeting. I personally would dump Renfroe before I’d dump Martini. At the very least we can say Martini has been a bit clutch. With that said, over the last 14 days he’s a .207 hitter with a .258 OBP. A .245 hitter since his call up. And yes his OPS is great right now. If he plays for another week or two that will drop like a rock in water. That’s just who he is. He should not be starting unless it’s a RH pitcher he’s just dominated over the years. No way he starts over CES or Marte like he did today. That’s just ridiculous.

      • Rick

        Remember Fraley got hit in the area of his foot too. More reason to not leadoff.

      • AllTheHype

        Jim, ihe suggestion of making a decision on Fraley based on 13 PAs prior to today, while ignoring the season he’s had as well as his 1 for 3 today with one of the outs having exit velo of 104, well, I have no words.

        You disdain for Fraley, for whatever reason, has been evident all year. But this is perhaps your worst attempt at cherry picking some (very) small sample to make him look bad.

      • Jim Walker

        @hype>>> First off I have no disdain for Fraley personally, My disdain is for the platoon system he is a primary poster person for. So, if I am explaining why I think the platoon system is ultimately a dead end moving forward, Fraley’s performance is a topic I am going to write about when I think it shows the faults of the platoon system.

        However, this current matter doesn’t even relate to the platoon system. The Reds are in a 14 game sprint for a postseason spot. Fraley is playing injured. He has acknowledged he will require surgery at the end of the season but said he would play because the docs said playing would not make the injury any worse in the long term.

        This leads to an important distinction I believe gets missed by some, even many folks. Being able to play without making an injury worse does NOT equate to being able to play as well as if a person weren’t injured. In fact, we already know Fraley is being held out of defensive use because of his injury. Is it not fair to presume that he is also not as effective at running the bases because of his foot injury?

        After being injured Fraley sat out nearly a month. No doubt his foot healed to a degree and he was thus able to come back. But in a scene much like what was seen with Joey Votto and with other players coming back from injury prior to being fully healed and back to strength, it appears that after an initial spurt, Fraley has hit a wall.

        Meanwhile, NIck Martini who had an .874 OPS at AAA this year has come up to help fill the gap and had an outstanding month. He shows no signs of seriously tailing off at the plate. He can play both corner outfield spots and 1B in addition to DH. He gets around the bases well, as witnessed by his recent 3B hit.

        Thus, in a 14 game sprint for a playoff spot over the next 2 weeks, which guy do you want on your active roster if one of the two has to be put onto the IL or optioned? It seems like no contest to me.

      • AllTheHype

        Fraley obviously is not compromised at the plate. He’s proven that since he’s been back, both with his actual performance and his hard contact rates. He’s doing this month, with the bat what he’s done all year.

        And even if he’s slightly compromised on the basepaths, he’s still faster than Martini, who has NEVER had a SB in his ML career (150+ games) and is quite possibly the slowest runner on the team not named Votto.

        It certainly does seem like no contest. But my conclusion is not the same as yours.

      • Redsvol

        @ATH& @Jw, you both make lucid, stat-driven points to me. And you did it without the childish insults that some on RLN like to throw around. Kudos to you both!

        I like both players! I think both give a better at bat than some active players – looking at you Nick. Why does 1 have to be sent down at all?

      • Jim Walker

        @Redsvol>>> The Reds as nearly as we can count from the outside looking in through all the COVID and special roster rules currently have 15 position players and 13 pitchers on their active roster. That’s one fewer pitcher than they are permitted to have during September. In the past, the Reds have always carried the maximum number of pitchers permitted by the rules.

        With 6 more games to go ahead of an off day and the bullpen running on fumes (largely from covering an arms shortage on the rotation side), there has been some discussion about why the Reds are not at the full allowed complement of arms. The discussion about the pitching moved on to who would go from the position side to create room for the additional pitcher.

        Someone suggested optioning Martini; and, things went from there. That is how I have seen things. Do the Reds have other choices to open a spot aside from dropping a LH bat? Yes, but that was not how this had been framed.

      • Chris

        @Jim, you continue to manipulate stats to make your point. Over the last 2 weeks, Martini is a .194 hitter, Fraley is a .308 hitter. You love OPS. Marini’s is .716 over that time, and Fraley’s is .841. It’s pretty tough to grade Fraley over the last 7 days considering he’s had literally just 8 plate appearances, but it doesn’t matter since Martini has been horrible in that short time as well.

        Martini is a great guy in the locker room but he’s a bad baseball player. If given more AB’s, and he will be, his numbers will decline. You target your dislike for Fraley (as a baseball player) because he’s basically a platoon guy. The fact is most righties don’t hit lefties well. Votto has been bashed for years, even though he’s been among the best in baseball at hitting lefties through his 2017 season. Consider that Fraley was actually leading this team in a few categories and that was while only hitting against lefties primarily. I can’t believe the continued bashing of Fraley and now propping up Martini. Let’s be honest, you would have rather had Stuart Fairchild or Barrero playing everyday over Fraley earlier in the year.

    • TR

      I miss the complete game. Not nearly as usual as in the past with solid pitchers like Roberts, Maloney, Gibson, Marichal, and others. Today it’s usually 5-6 innings and then the bullpen.

      • greenmtred

        I think the complete game will be a rarity going forward, an artifact of a different game. Some of it undoubtedly has to do with changing pitching style, but some of it certainly has to do with statistical analysis and the stark impact of batters facing a pitcher for the third time in a game. All teams have this information and all of them have shorter leashes for their starters than they did years ago.

  9. TR

    I break today for the Reds? Mets 7 – Arizona 0 in 7th. inning.

  10. Tom Mitsoff

    There’s a lot of disagreement here about a lot of things. The simple truth is that the Reds, Cubs, Giants, Marlins and Diamondbacks are essentially the same team in many ways. One or two of them is going to get hot and win a playoff berth. David Bell is trying everything he can, but if the players don’t produce, then they don’t.

    I keep waiting for another winning streak, but I’m not sure any of these teams have it in them. My feeling is they have to win every series the rest of the way in order to have any chance to control their own destiny. That would be a 10-4 record, including a two-game sweep of Cleveland. To have this team, with its current pitching corps, take 10 of 14 pressure games would be amazing. Somehow the offense has to catch fire and actually take the lead early in a game at some point. That is a rarity these days. Enough from me. Enjoy the final two-plus weeks. Lots of fun and agonizing moments in store.

    • Jim Walker

      I think you may be spot on Tom. I recall in 2006 (without checking the date for sure), the Reds, Astros, and Cards were dancing a similar dance down the stretch. The Reds had a bad road trip and looked to be out of things. In those days of fully expandable to 40 man September active rosters, the Reds started playing prospects and giving traditional the MLB cup of coffee to a loyal 4A guy or 3 who had been brought up for the September ride.

      However the Reds won some games while the Cards and Astros both sputtered a bit and suddenly with a week or so left, the Reds appeared to have a late long but plausible shot. But it wasn’t to be. In the end, the Reds finished in 3rd, at 80-82, 3.5 games behind the Cards (yes now I am looking at BBRef and it was ’06) who at 83-78 were 1.5 games better than the Astros in 2nd (there was a Cardinals rain out never made up).

      And then to the amazement of all the Cards went on to win the World Series.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        For some reason, my memory of that season includes Royce Clayton as the Reds shortstop. But your post brought some memories of that time period back.

    • Mark Moore

      Spot on an +25,000 to you, Tom!!

      And in 2006, I attended 5 games while working on a UC project. Royce Clayton was one of our SS players. And we had one damaged Gary Majewski in the bullpen as well. Did some deals with the Nats.

  11. Klugo

    This pitching situation ain’t gonna work.

    • BuzzKutter

      Everyone was clamoring for relief pitching that year. Goodbye Felipe Lopez and Austin Kearns. In comes Magic man and Bill Bray…… We know how that went.

      • Chris

        That trade just killed me. I was a big Kearns fan as well as Lopez, even though his glove was subpar; he could hit. I chalk that trade up as one of the all time worst Reds trades. Not as bad as the trades of Christy Matthewson, Frank Robinson, or Josh Hamilton trades though.

      • wkuchad

        Yep, and it was made even worse when the headlined reliever ended up being damaged goods.

    • Redsvol

      Exactamundo! We are simply running out of starting pitchers. I’m all for young players getting experience to make the next step. But you can’t rely on them in the final stage of a pennant race.

      We have exactly 2 starting pitchers I would trust during this phase. We need 3 more and we simply don’t have them this year. We should all be amazed we are still fighting for a playoff spot with the starting pitching we’ve had over the last 2 months.

  12. West Larry

    Giants game postponed. Getting crowded in that last wild card spot. Go Reds!!!

  13. RedBB

    Sorry but that was a garbage effort by the offense tonight.

  14. JB

    Didn’t watch the game but confused why Bell didn’t start Lively. Lively is a starting pitcher. Why waste bullpen guys like Moll, when you are bringing Lively in. Lively is use to starting. Kind of dumb and stupid. Weaver gave up a ton of runs in the first inning and basically was a candidate for an opener but Bell refused. Now he basically uses an opener in Law. Bell keeps me guessing though. As for Renfroe, I have no use for him either. The guy said he sees the ball good in GABP . Well of course you did because you were hitting against some crappy Reds pitching at the time. Now you aren’t. Votto still hitting 6th. SMH

    • Chris

      Agree. I have no idea why you wouldn’t start Lively there. Then again, I’m never a proponent for an opener. These newer managers though are much smarter than the ones that came before them over the last 100 years. 🙂

    • RedBB

      Didn’t matter when your offense is hitting like they are back in Little League

    • Rick

      That opener is a new toy for Bell. It has a strategic value like starting with a soft tosser once through the order followed by a flame thrower etc.
      Renfroe can see the ball, but just can’t hit it! it!

    • greenmtred

      What difference did it make? Lively pitched as much as he was going to pitch, whether he started or not. When he entered the game, the Reds were still in it, as they were when he left. No hitting and a bad appearance by Farmer are the story of the game.

      • Rick

        My post wasn’t about this specific pitching personnel, but rather the strategic purpose of throwing their hitters off with a different type of pitcher that follows the opener, whether it be the opener, or the guy that follows him with a different arsenal of pitches.

  15. Dennis Westrick

    Okay! We’re 2/3rds of the way to status quo in the NL Wild Card race! The Snakes just lost 11-1 to the Mets and the Fish lost earlier this afternoon to the Brewers 4-2! Now we need the San Francisco Little People to stumble in their game later tonight against the Colorado Rockies!

    No loss is good but focusing on the positives, the Reds DID win 2 of 3 in Detroit! If the Reds win each of their remaining 5 series, they should secure one of the 3 Wild Card spots!

  16. Dennis Westrick

    Update! San Francisco’s game against Colorado today was rained out forcing a double header on Saturday! Should work in the Reds’ favor assuming they take care of business in New York against the Mets!

    • Jim Walker

      I was thinking the same, that a doubleheader sweep was a more difficult job than winning single games on consecutive days. The twin bill could also cause issues for the Giants pitching moving forward.

      Now the Reds have to step up and play like they really want the postseason spot.

  17. Mark Moore

    Here’s hoping the Metros hot streak is now over and we can take that series.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I hear you. I’m concerned about that.

      • greenmtred

        I’m concerned about the Mets, too, but I’m not going to say it because I said I was worried about the Cardinals and, seemingly, sabotaged the Reds.

    • MBS

      We got our best pitching options lined up for the series, Greene, Abbott, Williamson, and the pen had a light day. I’m feeling optimistic about this series.

      • wkuchad

        I just saw that, which is great for the Mets series, and very worrisome for the Twins series. Need Ashcraft back!

  18. Indy Red Man

    It looked easier on paper to win today then go 2-1 in New York, but it didn’t happen.
    Now it’s time for HG to grow up and be our ace down the stretch. Nothing less then 6-2 is unacceptable. We also need the bats to pick it up? I thought they’d be better today vs a righty

    • Indy Red Man

      Also what’s up with CES? He missed a few games and then only pinch-hit today so I’m guessing he’s dinged up? It’s hard to get hot when half your starters are always hurt.

      • Jim Walker

        Votto being back may be CES’s issue. 😉

      • Roger Garrett

        Its Joey and now Renfroe at DH and neither are helping.

  19. Old-school

    We’ve reached the short sample size of the schedule with a lot of players who havent been here.
    Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

    There’s literally no one who wouldn’t have signed up for this situation in March. See what happens.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Absolutely correct. Five teams within three games of each other fighting for two playoff spots. Don’t let anyone fool you. EVERY game is crucial. If I’m Bell, I play every game as though it is a must-win, because it is for any team that wants to control its own destiny.

      • Roger Garrett

        I agree Tom but thats not what Bell has done or will do.His handedness and his loyalty to Joey and now vets like Bader and Renfroe and soon to be Newman won’t allow it.No problem with these vets against a lefty or as a pinch hitter against a lefty or even a pinch runner or for defense but if we never see a lefty they should not see the field but they will.Must play the best players at their best defensive positions and see what happens.Friedl,Steer and Benson and Fraley as DH,Marte ELDC India and CES with Ty Steve is our best and should play all the time.

      • greenmtred

        Ignoring handedness would not be “going for it.” Few teams have more than a handful of players whose splits justify playing them against both lefties and righties, and all managers pay attention to splits. Starting when McClain and EDLC came up, Bell has played the rookies; the Reds have frequently had an all-rookie infield, a rookie outfielder and, when Abbot or Williamson pitches, a rookie pitcher. Can you think of another contending team that can say the same?

  20. rednat

    didn’t see the game but it looked like the double play hurt us again. do we have the widest difference between offensive double plays and defensive double plays in the league or what?

    Lou Pinella used to say to say the best time to play small ball is when you are up a few runs, to try to lengthen a lead. the second best time is when you are down a few runs to try to get back into the game. would sacrifice bunts in the 6th and 8th innings have made a difference in the game? maybe?. seems like managers are scared to bunt if more than 1 run down.

    • Harry Stoner

      There’s been a lot of anti-bunt talk here lately that speaks of bunts as “giving up an out” rather than advancing a runner.

      The argument may have some cred in the abstract, but with the Reds’ very high K rate
      it is sorely weakened.

      Given the current difficulty in scoring, the Reds should be doing everything to advance runners into preferable scoring positions.

      Yet another grip n rip K is playing some long odds.

      • AllTheHype

        1. There’s no guarantee a bunt advances the runner. It does the majority of the time, but most players not named Friedl are not proficient in bunting, and necessarily due to lack of practice, because it is a skill.
        2. If the bunt fails, it gives up an out with no benefit.
        3. The K issues are still prevalent if the runner is on 3rd with one out. Except now if you K, you’ve already committed to one less out available when you bunted, and a second when you K’d, instead of just one.
        4. Even without a K, there is no guarantee of getting the runner home.
        5. You’re often taking yourself out of the possibility of a big inning, or at a minimum significantly reducing that chance, by giving up an out to bunt.

        These reasons are why the ML game as a whole, all teams, have moved away from bunting. And if a team has a high K rate, it still does not make it a better option.

      • AllTheHype

        “not necessarily” instead of “necessarily”

    • greenmtred

      The Reds have hit into fewer double plays than almost every other team in baseball. They did hurt us i9n this game, though.

      • Kevin H

        Interesting piece of information. Thanks for sharing

    • greenmtred

      Analytics, I believe, demonstrate that, when a team sacrifices, they reduce their run expectancy. This wouldn’t necessarily hold true in every situation, since it’s based on long-term, large sample-size stats, but another problem is the evident lack of bunting prowess of many hitters. A poorly executed bunt presumably reduces run expectancy even further.

  21. Indy Red Man

    We very rarely score a man from 3rd with one out so I don’t see much value in bunting. Freidl gets a pass though. Sometimes a squeeze attempt makes a lot of sense too if the hitters are in a bad spot vs a particular pitcher and we have a man on 3rd. I’m generally much more interested in hit-n-run. Even with our poor contact it opens holes and our speedier guys need to run anyway

    • VaRedsFan

      No need to hit and run, because most of the lineup can just steal the bag.

  22. old-school

    Reds have 14 more games to go. They need a little hot streak, which in a short sample size isnt out of the question. They have a lot of days off plus the expanded roster so they should be able to set up their pitching as they see fit.

    Reds/Cubs/giants/Dbacks/marlins are all 5-5 over their last 10 games. Not exactly the 2021 Cards. Final wildcard spot should go down to the final series of the year. Hopefully the Reds find a way to get across the finish line.

    • Jim Walker

      Reds clearly need to take charge though. There was a depressing article in The Athletic that delved into the 2 team and multi-team tie situations in the NL WC race. The Reds are locked into or seemingly destined to lose all the tiebreakers except a 2 team tie with either the Snakes or Cubs.

      The Giants looked to be in the best tiebreaker situation of everyone. I’d guess that is why they have the greatest chance of the four contenders of making the postseason per the Fangraphs projections.

      • old-school

        Big weekend for the NL WC . Braves could make life difficult on the Marlins and Cubs/Dbacks huge and with the rainout, Giants no play 4 in 3 days with a DH saturday. Maybe Coors field can wear out some Giant arms.

        Reds taking 2/3 would be a step forward

      • Jim Walker

        OS>> Which would be your druthers in Phoenix, Cubs win 2 or sweep vs. Snakes win 2 or sweep? I think the one thing I want least is a Snakes sweep. Much as I hate to say it, I’d take a Cubs sweep or 2 wins and be happy.

      • Old-school

        Id take the cubs burying the DBacks with a sweep. Need to start putting some teams in holes as the calendar gets shorter and shorter

        Same with marlins v braves

  23. Kevin H

    What a fun time to be a Reds fan.

    September 15th and Reds still in playoff chase. Who would of thunk it. LOL

    • wkuchad

      Agreed! But it’s not only this year that’s been so enjoyable. It’s the hope I now have for the next several years.

  24. wkuchad

    We face two more lefty starters this weekend. Where are all these lefties coming from all of a sudden?

    McLain has been our best hitter vs lefties all year. Would be nice to have him back right now. Heck, I’d consider activating Newman to DH against these lefties, then replace him with Fraley once they get to the bullpen.

    • MBS

      Depending on how we set our rotation in 24, it entirely possible that a team will face 2 LHP from us in most series. Maybe 3 if the bunched them together, seems unlikely though.

    • Jim Walker

      I don’t think the problem has been so much the RH batters vs. LH pitching as it has been some of the LH batters seem slow on the uptake when they come in at midgame to face RH pitching. Then of course there is the issue that arises when the opposition switches back to another LH pitcher.

      These have also often been complaints when RH hitters come in midgame to face a LH pitcher.

      The moral of the story is to avoid reliance on platoons.

      • wkuchad

        The Mets only have one left reliever, which is good for us.

        Regarding platooning, the Reds unfortunately don’t have a $200 million payroll. We’re not going to have superstars at every position that hits both righties and lefties well. To succeed, lower payroll teams must make use of platooning. Of our 10(ish) starting positions players, Fraley and Benson are the only ones that are platooned regularly. Why wouldn’t you when you have lefty killers like Senzel and Newman on the bench? I don’t know Benson’s historic splits. I know he’s been terrible against lefties this year. Fraley has been terrible against lefties the majority of his career, including the minors. Not so coincidentally, Fraley and Benson have been two of our best three hitters this year.

        You can’t platoon an entire team, but the only two that are platooned on a regular basis has been a huge success story.

      • Rick

        Especially when a normal starter comes in and only gets one ab to produce a hit or a rbi. In a sport where players make an out approximately 7.5 times out of 10. Start your 9 best players and play them late into a game. I cannot stand seeing a starting position player removed/handedness reason, in the 6th inning knowing that the starters turn will come back up at a later high impact moment. Not a nominal starter platooned out, but a Friedl, CES, Marte, Fraley, to leave in a 6th inning scenario is just to early.

      • Jim Walker

        @chad, but the opportunity cost is burning 2 roster spots for their platoon partners who OPS around or under .600 against righties who comprise 70% of pitching. Typically these RH platoon hitters might not even make the team if there wasn’t a need for them to fill for a LH hitter in the 30% of the time a LH pitcher was on the mound.

      • AllTheHype

        @Jim, let’s say in case #1 you have Benson and Fraley who need RHH platoon partners to hit LHP. And let’s say those platoon partners are Senzel and Bader.

        In case #2 you have two OFs who are even handed and don’t need platoon partners. In that case let’s say those same two OF backup roster spots go to Alejo Lopex and Fairchild, also somewhat even handed.

        Why can’t Lopez and Fairchild be the platoon partners in case #1 also, instead of Senzel and Bader?

        That’s the part I am missing as you always seem to suggest the backup platoon partners must also be a one hand skewed player.

      • wkuchad

        Jim, I guess I don’t consider that an opportunity cost. Bench guys are usually on the bench and not starting for a reason. I honestly prefer at least some of my bench players with heavy splits.

        I like Fairchild as a bench player, but I think the Reds have been much more successful this year with Fraley and a platoon partner vs Fairchild getting all of those at bats.

        And as an added bonus, when there’s a lefty starter, you have Fraley as a huge bullet to come off the bench late in the game when you need a big hit.

      • MBS

        @Jim, I don’t even understand why people are arguing with you. The more complete a player is the better off the team is. Platoons exist to hide deficiencies. That’s not to say that you can’t have a highly effective platoon.

      • wkuchad

        MBS, of course I prefer more complete players. The Reds don’t have that luxury of a full team of complete players.

        Jim has argued that Fairchild would be a better option than burning two players (Fraley plus a platoon partner). To me, you have a bench, platooning a couple guys is great use of that bench (if you’re forced to platoon).

        Fraley plus a platoon makes a complete player, and he’s been one of our best hitters this year.

  25. Andy

    Who wants to play a game?
    On the reds mlb page and the injuries update page summary there is a major error.

    Who can find it? Been there for 2 days now lol

  26. J

    I want to play the Guess the Lineup game. My somewhat random guess:

    India (2nd)
    Senzel (3rd)
    Steer (RF)
    CES (1st)
    Renfroe (DH)
    Stephenson (C)
    Bader (CF)
    Marte (SS)
    Friedl (LF)

    • RedsMonk65

      Close … No CES (again):

      J. India 2B
      N. Senzel 3B
      S. Steer 1B
      H. Renfroe RF
      T. Stephenson DH
      N. Marte SS
      T. Friedl LF
      H. Bader CF
      L. Maile C

      • Jim Walker

        I am glad to see Stephenson starting but not glad for him to be at DH because if Maile gets hurt or is pinch hit for, they lose their DH when Stephenson goes behind the plate, correct?

        Thus, I’d rather see TS at 1B and Steer at DH. Or Steer at 2B and India at DH with TS at 1B.

        Or might we get a 3rd catcher move ahead of game time?

      • Jim Walker

        Also, the lineup suggests that Fraley’s only possible role will be as a 1 time PH unless there has been a change in his status to allow him to play in the field.

      • J

        There’s just no way to anticipate Bell’s thinking on any given day, but I won’t stop trying.

  27. RedsMonk65

    Don’t understand CES’ downturn in playing time the last week. Anybody?

    • AllTheHype

      Bader is taking his starts against LHP (with Steer bumped to infield or DH when Bader and Friedl both play). Votto’s taking any of his remaining intermittent starts against RHP.

      He’s the odd man out in Bell’s world.

      • AllTheHype

        And Renfroe is favored by Bell over CES also.

    • RedsMonk65

      Just don’t understand. The guy’s a hitter — a rookie, yes — but a hitter.

  28. Mark A Verticchio

    In baseball history very few teams are successful using so many different line ups. If Strand has a minor injury Bell should say so, if he doesn’t not playing him against a left handed pitcher while playing Renfroe, Bader and Stephenson at DH is just plain crazy. Stephenson should be catching because with Abbott going Saturday you know he will be behind the plate. Maile has given nothing to the offense lately. I would rather have even Votto at DH or ideally Strand.

  29. Mark Moore

    Rule #1 for the day … no cookies to Alonso. Walk him, hit him, whatever … but NO COOKIES!!!

  30. AllTheHype

    Since waiver claim
    Renfroe 34 PAs .133/.235/.233
    Bader 27 PAs .208/.296/.250
    CES 39 PAs .297/.333/.432

    Since Votto activated
    Votto 15 PAs
    Renfroe 11 PAs (plus starting tonight)
    Bader 7 PAs (plus starting tonight)
    CES 4 PAs

    Makes sense.

    • Mark A Verticchio

      I am not sure anything makes sense right now, but I am still hoping for a miracle.

    • Chris

      This is my biggest problem with Bell. When you give him a few veterans he will play them no matter what. It’s just down right sickening that he will play Renfroe over CES. CES is mashing over the last two weeks at an above .300 clip. Renfroe is sitting about about .100. What a JOKE!!!

      • Mark Moore

        I fear it’s Moose all over again. It will take Krall to force the issue. And I doubt that will happen over the rest of the month.

      • Indy Red Man

        CES has to be dinged up? No way would they play Bader over him. CES was just starting to get hot? That would make no sense whatsoever

      • AllTheHype

        The only way to Bell-proof a roster is to take all his toys (vets) away. It’s really the only way. He tried to make Newman his pet vet all year til he got hurt, and now he’s got new toys.

    • Jeremiah

      Didn’t realize Renfro has been so bad hitting…Bader’s played a little better lately.

  31. Kevin H

    Again no comment on lineup. Baffles me.

    • Mark Moore

      Welcome to the dark side. We’ve got cookies 😀

      • Kevin H


        You already know my thoughts on Bell, however the bullpen use and constant lineup changes is befuddling .


  32. Jeremiah

    I give credit for Bell taking EDC out of the lineup recently. I liked the Bader and Renfro signings but a little too much Bader and Renfro some games recently. I have a feeling the Reds will take at least 2 of 3 in this series. Seemed like the Mets wanted to take it to the Dbacks for some reason. I think they’ll cool off a little.

    • Redgoggles

      Yep. I think sitting Votto against the last 2 LHSP would be an even harder decision for him. And the right one imo.

  33. Kevin H

    I just realized the back up catcher today is the DH!!! Sigh.. Curious if anyone can think of a reason why? I mean the bench is Fraley, De La Cruz, CES, Votto, Martini, and Benson. 1 of those could be used as DH. If Maile gets hurt then what would happen? Reds would lose DH correct?

    • Old-school


    • Redgoggles

      Probably because both TySteve and Maile have hit LH pitching better than the other available options?

      Those 2, plus Steer/Senzel/TJ are the only ones that have done even average against LH pitching, although small sample sizes apply to CES and some others…

      This may have been the one night that carrying 3 catchers would have helped, lol.

      • Jim Walker

        I think the issue is that some of us think the position assignments should have been switched around so the 2nd catcher was playing a position other than DH so the Reds would not lose the DH if Stephenson had to go behind the plate. This could have been done by switching Stephenson and Steer between 1B and DH or having India DH with Steer at 2B and Stephenson at 1B

      • Redgoggles

        Understood, but when is the last time TySteve has played 1B? I think there is a significant gap in defense between Steer and TS at 1B, which has to play into it.