The New York Mets avoided being swept by the Reds on Sunday afternoon with an 8-4 win at Citi Field. Cincinnati finishes up their road trip 4-2, dropping the final game of each series.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (78-73)
4 9 3
New York Mets (69-80)
8 13 0
W: Quintana (3-5) L: Williamson (4-5)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Reds didn’t take much time to grab a lead on Sunday afternoon. Nick Senzel, Tyler Stephenson, and Noelvi Marte all had singles in the 1st inning with Marte’s driving in a run and putting the Reds up 1-0.

Brandon Williamson had to work around an error in the 1st and a single in the 2nd, but he was able to keep the Mets off of the board. That wasn’t the case in the 3rd inning when New York put together a rally that began with back-to-back singles to open the inning. Williamson retired the next two batters, but then walked Francisco Lindor to load the bases. A wild pitch followed and that tied the game up with Tim Locastro coming in to score. Francisco Alvarez then doubled in two runs to put the Mets up 3-1.

Both clubs would strand two runners in the 4th inning. In the top of the 5th Nick Senzel brought the Reds within a run, crushing a 420-foot homer into the seats in left-center. The bottom of the frame saw the Mets pad their lead against Carson Spiers, who entered the game to begin the inning. Spiers would have been out of the inning cleanly, but a 2-out error extended the inning and New York took advantage of it by picking up an RBI hit from Mark Vientos that made it 4-2.

Carson Spiers was back on the mound for the bottom of the 6th and he had to work some magic to get out of some trouble. He allowed a leadoff double and then a 1-out single that put runners on the corners. Then with two outs he walked Francisco Lindor to load the bases, but he buckled down and struck out Francisco Alvarez to strand all three runners.

Joey Votto led off the 7th inning with a line drive double into the right field corner. Two outs later, though, he was still standing on second base. With Spencer Steer at the plate, a wild pitch moved Votto to third before Steer walked. The Mets called on Drew Smith out of the bullpen to try and shut down the inning. With Nick Senzel due up, but a righty taking over, the Reds called on TJ Friedl to pinch hit. He would fly out to right field to end the inning as New York held onto their 2-run lead.

That would be big because the Mets played add on in the bottom of the 7th. Carson Spiers was back on the mound and gave up a single before he fielding the next ball in play and threw it into center while trying to start a double play.He then walked the next batter to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Daniel Vogelbach then came through with a 3-run double off of the wall in center. Ronny Mauricio would later pick up a 2-out RBI single that made it 8-2.

Hunter Renfroe led off the 8th inning with a walk and he would come around to score on a home run from Christian Encarnacion-Strand. That cut the Mets lead to 8-4. Former Red Brooks Raley took over for the Mets in the 9th and he needed just nine pitches to end the game. The Mets avoided being swept, but the Reds finished their road trip 4-2.

Key Moment of the Game

Daniel Vogelbach’s 3-run double in the 7th inning. It turned a 2-run game into a 5-run game and essentially put things out of reach for the Reds.

Notes worth noting

Miami put up 16 runs against Atlanta, picking up a win. Combined with the Reds loss, the Marlins are now a half-game up on Cincinnati in the wild card standings. Arizona hasn’t yet played, but they are tied with Miami currently.

The two teams combined for just eight strikeouts – Cincinnati’s pitchers had five and the Mets pitchers had three. What year is this?

Cincinnati made three errors in the game.

Joey Votto, Nick Senzel, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand all had two hits in the game.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Minnesota Twins vs Cincinnati Reds

Monday September 18th, 6:40pm ET

Joe Ryan (10-9, 4.20 ERA) vs TBA

100 Responses

  1. Mark A Verticchio

    That is two big series in a row where they took the first 2 and played and managed the 3rd game like an April get away game. That is not how you make the playoffs, time is running out and now down to Miami by a 1/2 game but lose tie breaker. Miami might just be a better more experienced team definitely better managed.

    • Ted Alfred

      “definitely better managed”.


    • JB

      Not sure I would say Skip Schumacher is a better manager. Not saying Bell is a good manager either. What am I saying?

      • Ted Alfred

        Look at the Marlins schedule the last 3 week and then their record….case closed

      • greenmtred

        I didn’t realize that the Marlins and the Reds had the same roster, Ted.

    • Mike

      I don’t know, winning 2 out of 3 seems pretty good overall

  2. Redsgettingbetter

    This game was winnable, I feel the Reds could fight more today but bringing in Spiers trailing just for 1-run it’s a way to give up so early. I’m really think the series against Twins is very tough, hopefully they could win 1 at least but after that they will be some complicated to go back on a WC spot so winning 2 or sweep Twins is the only way to have good chances to keep playoffs hopes alive but it will be very hard

    • MK

      I disagree about it being winnable .The bullpen was dead. Speiers came in gave them his best, but the again he is a AA pitcher. He ate the innings to give the regular bullpen guys the opportunity to rest. Bring in one of the guys who are shot annd the same result happens and they are also unavailable for the Twins. Now they have a bullpen ready for Minnesota. That is exactly what a good manager would do, in these circumstances to win a pennant. Sometimes you have to give a little to give yourself a chance in the long run.

      • Chris

        The bullpen was NOT dead. Where are you getting this from. The top pitchers in this bullpen DID NOT pitch yesterday.

      • MK

        Chris have you not watched them. I bet Gibaut can’t comb his hair with his right hand, Diaz has been hittable all month and pitched 5 outs on Friday, Moll has been effective and used a lot lately and Cruz has been used a lot as well. This bullpen is tired and the team goes from a below .500 team to a first place team tomorrow. Spears was the only fresh arm today and wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t sent down to bring up Busenitz tomorrow to from provide another fresh body.

      • greenmtred

        Spiers did pretty well, really. CES failing, first, to field that grounder and, second, being apparently too mesmerized to cover first in time to get the runner for the third out was where the game came apart for the Reds,

      • greenmtred

        Williamson didn’t make it through the 4th inning; that’s a lot of innings left to cover. Spiers made one of the errors, but the big one was CES’. Spiers was pitching well enough to keep them in the game and was giving them sorely needed innings.

    • Rob

      The game was winnable but Spiers did not perform. The hope was he could hold the Mets at bay for 2-3 innings while the Reds drew closer or tied it up. No doubt Spiers is our worst pitcher but we needed innings and quality innings. Given the options, I can accept using him in this situation. The problem is that Spiers (or Kennedy, Mariot, Richardson, Phillips, etc.)is more likely to fail than succeeed. It is the nature of the beast when you keep getting 3-4 inning starts. Kind of pick your poison. Spiers today or tomorrow? Sims/Gibault/Diaz tomorrow or today? As I didn’t make the decision not to add a couple additional starting pitchers for the last 2 months, I would suggest you have 2 options: (1) leaving Abbott and Williamson out there for 5-6 innings and 130 pitches, or 2) using Spiers, Kennedy, Phillips, or Richardson every 3td or 4th day for 4-5 runs over 3-4 innings. I don’t see this being Bell’s problem or the fault of an overworked bullpen trying to perform miracles. This is clearly at the feet of Krall, Abbott, Lodolo, and Ashcraft. Our GM expected performance here. He didn’t get it but he didn’t have a backup plan in case of fatigue or injury. It still may all workout but it has become a lot harder than it should have been. Just a huge letdown from this viewpoint.

  3. Optimist

    Joe Boyle alert – in his debut – 3ip, 4k, 2BB.

    • MK

      Watched it Optimist. Joe looked good. Struck out Fernando Tatis twice. Handled Soto pretty easily too.

      • Optimist

        The ultimate ceiling/floor separation. Moll may do very well, and is certainly needed, but if Boyle settles in as a multi-inning reliever we’ve lost that trade. If he succeeds in the rotation – oh my.

  4. Klugo

    We have two serviceable starting pitchers right now. That’s it. Feels like we gotta score 8+ runs in at least two out of every five games. That’s a lot of pressure to put on our offense, our young offense at that.

    • Indy Red Man

      Yep. September’s expanded rosters and a deep pen are the only things saving us.
      11 games left with 3 crucial off days. Just keep throwing arms in after the customary start of 3-4 runs in 4+ innings. Give up on Renfroe and Bader and hope the offense hits the gas.

      • MK

        Both are hitting, running and defending better than 19. Why not give up on him too?

      • Indy Red Man

        Votto had 2 hits today. If Bell spots him carefully then he’s ok. Shown more power then Renfroe. Those 2 haven’t hit 5 balls hard put together as Reds

      • Chris

        No both Renfroe and Bader ARE NOT hitting better than Votto. Heck, Votto had two hits off a lefty today, something that those other two are supposed to do, but never do. Votto had half the amount of hits today that either of them has had as a Red.

      • Melvin

        Renfroe and Bader are bench pieces that David Bell seems to want to use as regulars as much as possible. If they WERE bench pieces they would be fine. I especially like the defense of Bader. Friedl is a good centerfielder. Bader is better. He especially should be used as a defensive replacement/pinch runner.

    • Ted Alfred

      Very true, which is why we don’t need to make it even harder on ourselves with these goofy getaway or overtly handicapped ” handedness” lineups while sitting better hitters/players like Friedl and India chasing a playoff spot with 12 games to go. Playing Elly today also made zero sense. Playing Renfroe and Bader today and almost everyday like they are/have been important contributors to this team…why??

      Bell needs to win games right now, not worry about hurting egos. He is too much the players buddy and not enough their “manager”. I think he feels obligated to play veterans like Renfroe and Bader, which is a piss poor way to run the team.

      These are my thoughts as to lineups for the remainder of the season. You have two weeks to make the playoffs and you have three off days over those two weeks which is plenty of rest…so your best players should be playing everyday, period. This team has looked its best offensively with India leading off since he’s been back…he should be hitting leadoff and playing 2nd every game from here to the end of the season. Friedl CF, Steer LF, Marte 3B/SS, and CES 1st/DH should start every game/barring injury or a bad slump at the plate etc. Stephenson C everyday as long as he stays hot at the plate and doesn’t need a break physically, especially with Maile dinged and in a bit of a hitting slump the last few weeks. Senzel/Benson RF platoon…with Senzel at 3rd vs LHP if Elly is sitting, which should be more often unless he starts producing without his ever increasing problems in the field at SS…and he starts only against RHP and hitting towards the bottom of the order like the last 2 games. Votto is still certainly valuable in spots as mostly DH/ a little 1st. The rotation is what it is, so we can’t afford to give away one more game with goofy lineups resting players… or playing guys who haven’t or aren’t producing NOW.

      That’s 7 positions set including the RF platoon that would be starting every game, with leeway for Elly’s playing time based on how he’s playing and the DH, likely mostly Votto/Martini. Then the bench guys are just that…situational mostly in game subs for pr, ph, defense, injury etc.

      I think Bell is doing better with the bullpen the last couple of weeks, less obviously questionable decisions and the results speak for themselves.

      Maybe I’m just old school, but I have very vivid memories of Sparky and Lou and I am pretty sure they would be rolling with their best players a high perecentage of the time at this point in the season chasing the playoffs with 2 weeks to go. It’s 11 games in 14 days, I think the players can handle it.

      • J

        It really doesn’t seem all that complicated. We all might differ slightly, but as far as I can tell, we ALL agree that the Reds ought to be playing their best/hottest players as often as possible, every day, in the positions where they play best, and stop the nonsense of worrying about what hand the starting pitcher throws with and/or who has the most veteran status. As you said, that means six guys play EVERY day unless there’s a really compelling reason to keep someone out: India, Steer, Marte, CES, TS, Friedl. Either Benson or Senzel also plays every day. That leaves the remaining two starting spots to be divided among Votto, Fraley, Elly, Martini, and Bader, which could be a game-by-game decision based on match-ups. I’d probably keep Elly on the bench to use as a pinch runner, especially to run for my slow DH, who’s likely to be Votto, Martini, or Fraley most days, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use him early in the game. For example, it’s the 4th inning, Votto or Martini is DH’ing and reaches first. I’m subbing in Elly to run. Can’t leave the guy standing at first base just hoping someone knocks him in, because it hasn’t been happening. It’s time to take a “risk” by trying to score every possible run, even in the fourth inning. Worst case scenario is Elly is now the DH, and you’ve got other guys who can hit for him if necessary.

        Renfroe and Maile are on the bench for emergencies only.

        It really doesn’t seem that complicated, nor does it feel like it ought to be controversial. But for some reason we can’t count on the manager to do this simple and uncontroversial thing, and every single day we have to wonder “why is so-and-so in this lineup?” or “why is so-and-so playing a new position today?” It’s just mind-boggling that this is even an issue on a professional team fighting for a playoff spot, but here we are.

      • J

        Note: If McLain comes back and seems healthy, then he certainly plays every day. This could mean India DH’ing or on the bench some days. But it’s still not very complicated. Get your six or seven best guys on the field every day.

      • greenmtred

        Who the best players are for a given game, against a given pitcher, is changeable. Prior to this game, a number of us were upset that Votto was starting. As others pointed out, Votto has a history of effectiveness against the pitcher, as he demonstrated in the game. Also, few modern managers are dismissive of left/right splits because few modern managers have hitters at their disposal who are effective against all pitchers. There is also the changeable condition of the players and the need to keep them healthy enough to perform effectively. Yes, the season is almost over, but these guys have played a lot of games.

    • RedlegScott

      That is an accurate statement, Klugo. Two.

  5. Redsvol

    Pretty obvious to me the game was going to be fought for if Williamson showed up or given to spiers if he didn’t. good Williamson didn’t show up so Carson spiers took 1 for the team.

    Thinking we can win every game here on out with this starting staff just isn’t realistic. The pen gets used up every game because the starters can’t make it out of thr 5th.

    • Chris

      So why burn Spiers if it’s just to save the bullpen. Why not let Williamson pitch another inning? Sure he wasn’t on today, but he was battling. Spiers had no reason to go out for a 3rd inning. Why would you give up on this game against a subpar team just 2 runs down? Makes no sense.

  6. Jeff Morris

    its not right….the Braves are basically “tanking” and giving their regular players and/or pitchers a break, getting ready for the postseason. The Marlins are beating them easily!

    • Mark Moore

      Pitching Morton isn’t really tanking. But I get what you are saying. Maybe the Twinkies will take a breather for us?

    • Jimbo44CN

      My thoughts exactly. Braves are tanking. Thanks a lot Atlanta

  7. Mark Moore

    Cue Meatloaf …

    “Don’t be sad. Cuz 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.”

    • JB WV

      Yep. Happy with a 4-2 road trip to stay squarely in the race and head home hopefully to get some energy from the crowd.
      The Mets have some hitters, obviously. Great job holding em down to win the first two. Put this game behind us and go.

  8. Indy Red Man

    Bell not only has to scrape together 4 innings from a starter every night and then hope we’re not down 4-1. He’s also got to decide between CES, Votto, and Fraley vs righties. CES can’t be the odd man out? He’s a guy that could carry us to the playoffs potentially. Those 2 bombs in New York looked like Alonso. CF there isn’t easy.

    I’d use an opener with every one of these newbies. I’d try to get 5-6 outs out of the opener and let the newbie start with the bottom of the lineup. Richardson isn’t ready. He got bombed at AAA. I’d go Phillips, Lively, Kennedy, and Stoudt if need be. It’s not pretty no matter who they chose. Maybe they could 5 ip 3 runs vs Pittsburgh or @ Cleveland if that excites you

  9. Mark A Verticchio

    The Reds are 9 and 7 in September and that would be fine if they were trying to hold on to a playoff spot but they are basically chasing so with 11 to go to have any chance they have to go at least 7 and 4, with these starters that seems a very long shot. They just can’t seem to win more than 2 or 3 in a row. I am thinking 6 and 5 at best to finish 84 and 78 which won’t do it. Another major problem is that Bell refuses to manage with any sense of urgency, you don’t not start India and Freidl today while playing interlopers Bader and Renfroe. There are 14 days left and they have 3 off days no time for days off. Oh well, hoping for the best but not as confident as I would like to be.

    • Indy Red Man

      Well Bader & Renfroe had good #s vs Quintana. However in 2023 they both suck. Renfroe could work in vs lefties, but Bader is more useless then Stuey.

      Pitching wise HG should get 3 more starts. 3-0 there is basically mandatory unless they start scoring a ton more runs. Abbott’s command was off but the heater was back up to 93-94. They have to pray he can rebound. 8 non-HG starts and they’ll need atleast 4 of those.

      • Chris

        NO, Bader is bad, but Renfroe is horrible. At least Renfroe has gold glove ability and speed. Renfroe is literally good for nothing. And to be clear, neither should EVER start.

      • TR

        The Reds will probably miss the playoffs this year due to an inability to acquire starting pitching at the trade deadline. Obviously, offense was not acquired with Baden and Renfroe and it is puzzling why they are in the starting lineup in these critical games. Few, if any of us fans thought the Reds had a chance for the playoffs in April, so here we are fans of a team that needs adjustment in starting pitching in the offseason, but with a lot of potential.

      • greenmtred

        Bader and Renfro aren’t hitting much in a small sample size. But Bader is an outstanding defender and this series and the series in Detroit were played in parks with very large outfields. Renfro has the second most home runs on the team.

  10. Doc

    It seems to me that Refs pitchers make a lot of errors, especially throwing errors.

  11. RedlegScott

    If we don’t make the playoffs, it’s an easy call say it was because starting pitching was bitten by the injury bug throughout the season (again). To get in, the hitting will likely have to make up for the more unreliable starters. Fingers crossed that Greene and Abbott hold up.

  12. Indy Red Man

    Phillips named as the starter tomorrow. No opener. If he’s 95 mph like last time with his control then it’s going to get ugly quick. He needs 97-98 because he’s behind so much.

    Bell has Votto/CES/Fraley decision tomorrow and another with McClain coming back. Interesting

      • Indy Red Man

        I heard he’s taking bp. Sounded like Wednesday or Thursday on the radio

    • Redsvol

      Phillips is not ready to start a game needed in a pennant race. I’d rather see Kennedy or Richardson. Phillips is prone to 1 inning outings. But then again, so is Richardson. A bunch of not so good options.

      • Jim Walker

        Richardson has been struggling at AAA. He got bombed on Sunday for the 2nd straight start. He only lasted 0.2 of an inning. Allowed 4 runs (all earned) with 3 hits and 3 BB and threw 37 pitches in the process.

      • MBS

        All of these kids are gassed. Greene is the only one with a fresh arm on the pitching staff.

  13. Mark Moore

    At least the Snakes are taking care of the Stupid Cubs again tonight. Small favors, I’d say. Keeps us in the thick of things.

    Now if only the Twinkies would roll over like the Bravos did for the Phish 😀

    • Redsvol

      Gotta hand it to the Marlins. They can smell it, and are going for it. I wish we had some of their pitching.

  14. LDS

    Had the Reds won today, they would be tied with AZ for the 2nd playoff spot. You got to want it and go all out. That wasn’t the team on the field today. One would think that, given this is hopefully Votto’s last fling with the Reds, that the team would be psyched to make the playoffs . Meh. In other news, Renfroe is batting .139 as a Red, Bader .179. The Reds would be better off with any number of Louisville players: Fairchild, Barrero, Lopez, Hurtisbee, etc. They were worth a shot but haven’t shown much.

    • RedlegScott

      Are you suggesting the players aren’t psyched to make the playoffs? Seriously?

      • LDS

        Why should they be? Their manager isn’t. Look at the quality of their on-field performance. It’s rather evident that they aren’t focused.

      • Indy Red Man

        They did go 4-2 on this trip. You posted pregame that playing Votto was a big Bell mistake and he got 2 hits. He was only 13 for 24 off the guy coming in. The other guys get paid too. Everything isn’t going to run at 90-100% efficiency.

      • LDS

        So what if Votto got two hits. He does that occasionally. Still well past his prime and wasting a roster slot. The Reds made 3 errors yesterday. That’s not inefficient. That’s sloppy. That’s a lack of focus. I don’t care if they went 4-2. Last night was probably winnable had Bell not let Spiers pitch batting practice. Mediocrity is not a virtue.

      • Chris

        LDS, I’m as frustrated as you or anyone else, but your arguments are weak at best. For starters, if the players aren’t motivated since the manager isn’t, then why are they even in the hunt for the playoffs? For that matter why are fans like you motivated to see them win, if the manager isn’t?

        You also make errors out to be a lack of focus or just not caring. Maybe take a look at the top teams in baseball; they too have errors. It’s part of the game.

      • LDS

        Because the division is weak as are a good number of the teams. When playoffs were expanded, regardless of the sport, teams that shouldn’t be there had a chance to be there. The Reds are one of those teams. And anyone that thinks the Reds are motivated and the manager is great, more power to you. I’ll just disagree.

  15. Jeremiah

    Boy Arizona and Miami really got hot. And actually the Redsnhave played better than expected in September. The Cubbies and their fans have to be a little shocked.

    Cubbies playing Braves and Brewers their last 7 may not hurt them as much though as both those teams probably not playing their best lineups or pitchers possibly.

    Kralls big miss on the year may be not having traded for a starting pitcher at the deadline. It’d be super bog just to have like #5 type of starter even now.
    Phillips and Lyon Richardson don’t look ready for the task right now. I’m still hoping Phillips puts together a few solid outings but not expecting it.

    As much potential starting pitching as the Reds have , it seems trading for or signing a legitimate #2 or 3 starter may be wise with now the example of the injuries from Greene, Lodolo, and Ashcraft this year.

    • Jeremiah

      For next year that is of course trading for a SP.

      • Greenfield Red

        Jeremiah… Which starting pitcher who was traded did you want the Reds to aquire? They’re all bad.

      • Jim Walker

        @greenfield>>> Even a bad veteran starter who would last 5-6 innings would have been a significant acquisition for the Reds because of the strain he would have taken off of the pen. Lorenzen for example.

      • VaRedsFan

        Have to agree with Greenfield. Just about every trade deadline pitcher has puked. I was on board with going after Lorenzen or similar, but it looks like there weren’t any game changers to be had.

        If each start results in an L, then it doesn’t matter how many innings they throw. 5 innings 3 runs, or 6 innings 4 runs is just as bad as as what they’ve been getting. We’ve been using bullpen guys to cover the middle innings with some success.

      • Rob

        I don’t know if it so much the who that was the fatal flaw but the sheer failure to staff this need. He had at least the same data we did on the innings level of Abbott, Williamson, and Ashcraft, and the long term injuries of Lodolo and Greene. His comments were “we have Greene and Lodolo returning” and “the prices were too high”. And we were only trying to upgrade from the ditch (Weaver). Gosh, even #5 starters like Lance LYnn or Quintana would probably have been worth 4-5 additional wins vs Weaver, Richardson, Mariot, Kennedy, or Spiers. I do not share the belief that guys like Stoudt, Hopkins, Richardson, Barrero, etc. play that important of role in the future of this team. I don’t think it is fair to bash Krall for the Covid outbreak or the who in the pitching department. But he gets the full load from me on the no help, no contingency approach. First place on top of that. Braves, Marlins, and Dbacks all got multiple relievers. Phillies and Dodgers got starting pitching help. Most of these teams had lesser needs than we did and that is part of the angst here. But they gave up their Stoudt, Barerro, Richardson, Hopkins, Hines, etc. to improve their chances at getting in. No guarantees David Robertson or Lance Lynn or Michael Lorenzen is going to work out. No guarantees that Lyon Richardsonis not your next 15 game winner. But the point is we probably needed at least 1 if not 2 starters, and we did not get them. 10-12 guys with 4.50 ERAs would be a big step up from 7.50 ERA Weavers or Kennedys. And don’t buy the hogwash that 85 win teams can’t get to the World Series. The third place Phillies got there last year with 87 wins. Anything can happen once you get in.

    • RedlegScott

      Remember, Krall tried, but he was either asked to give too much or was outbid. He let it slide not foreseeing another rash of injuries. No crystal ball for Krall.

    • Chris

      I keep hearing the starting pitcher argument. What starter did Krall miss out on? Virtually every starter who got dealt at the trade deadline has been terrible.

    • redfanorbust

      I humbly disagree that Krall should have traded for a SP. If we had gotten Lodolo and Ashcraft back and Antone did not suffer yet another injury we would probably not be talking about not making a trade. With what was available at the trade deadline and it’s high cost and how those pitchers have performed since the trades, I am sure Reds are happy they did not do the deed. It’s also shame the Guardians sucked up all the pitching with the Angels fire sale. As far as 2024 goes IMHO few if any trades should be necessary. It should be signing free agents. A legit #2 and a power hitting OF (what a waste not to have one at GABP) along with a solid reliable setup RP should be priorities on the shopping list. That is the way to go with all the $ Reds have and had better spend. In 2024 what we mostly need for the year to come together is that roten injury bug to take pity and give us at least a year off. With all the injuries we have suffered this year it is truly amazing we are still playing meaningful baseball right now.

  16. Indy Red Man

    Crazy how hyped we can feel one night and then almost hopeless the next when Miami/Arizona keep pulling upsets. Maybe the Mets can help us and SF is throwing Cobb & Webb at Arizona. SF has to win both to get anywhere and will go all out

    • Indy Red Man

      Arizona also goes to Yankee Stadium and they went 1-3 at the Mets. They finish with Houston and the Stros could be battling for the division/wildcard down to the end…or not? We will probably need Arizona to drop 2 of those

      • Jim Walker

        I understand that Bell may have been staging his pen for the Twins. However, when Farmer had not worked since Thursday in Detroit, Sims last appearance was Friday vs. Mets. and neither Gibaut nor Diaz had worked Saturday, it is difficult to comprehend why they sent Spiers out to work the 7th when he had been in hot water from the get go.

      • Jim Walker

        The Reds just have to play to win every game now. They’ve got 15 position players; so, if they are short an arm, make a roster move on the position side to get the full allowed allotment of 14 pitchers on the MLB staff.

        Louisville used 8 pitchers Sunday; and at first glance without checking, I believe all 8 have logged some time with the Reds this season. Maybe most notably Tony Santillan worked another scoreless inning allowing a hit and walk while also recording a K. That’s 6 straight shutout appearances for him.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree. I saw the Fish had 16 games with no off days starting with the Dodgers for 3 at home then on the road with Phillies (3), Brewers (4), Braves (3), and Mets (3) and figured they would not win over 6 during that run, 7 at the most if they swept the Mets. Now here they sit with 8 wins and the 3 with the Mets remaining to be played.

      And I had the Cubs/ Snakes 7 games head to head at either 4/3 or 5/2 the Cubs way given that 4 were at Wrigley.

  17. Mark A Verticchio

    September records Marlins 11 and 5, Diamondback 10 and 7, Reds 9 and 7, Giants 6 and 10 and the Cubs are 7 and 10. So the Reds have gained ground on the Cubs 21/2 games and the Giants 3 games while losing ground to D-backs 1/2 game and worst of all 2 games to Marlins. This sounds good but with only 2 of the 5 teams making the playoffs they need to do better the next 2 weeks. Giants have 12 left, toughest schedule by far, Cubs have 12 left, easy at home Pirates and Rocks and at Braves and Brewers, but will they care, D-Backs have 11, 2 with Giants and 3 with Astros at home Yanks and White Sox on the road, Marlins have 12, 6 with Mets 3 with Brewers and 3 with Pirates. While the Reds have 11, 3 with Twins and Pirates at home and 2 with Tribe and 3 with Cards on the road. Marlins seem in great shape with Giants in trouble D-backs, Cubs and Reds about the same except Reds pitching in shambles. Truth is who knows what will happen.

    • David

      All very good points, except the last one, which is the most telling.

      “Reds pitching in shambles”… The starting pitching is a mess, and has been for most of the years. Injuries to Lodolo and Greene, who were supposed to be the “aces” of the young staff really hurt. Consider that Luke Cessa was starting at the beginning of the season, and it turned out he was pretty lousy.
      Ashcraft was good, then bad, then better….and now he is done for the season.
      And where would the Reds be without Andrew Abbott (?)…but now his arm is just tired. Never pitched this many innings before (and remember he had some innings at AA and AAA prior to being called up).
      It’s up to the Reds to win a place in the playoffs, and pitching will lead them…or not.

      The Marlins are the hot team now, and I think, if they stay hot, they’re in (well….duh!). Their schedule doesn’t look too bad. The D-backs have to be the second favorite team. And their schedule doesn’t loo too bad.
      Giants are fading fast, I think they are just about out.
      Cubs and Reds have to play better than the D-backs down this last two-week stretch, and I don’t know if it is in either of them.
      Forget bashing David Bell for a minute, and realize that….the Reds starting pitching is in shambles. The failure of Nick Krall to get starting pitching help at the Trade Deadline in July looms larger every day since then.

  18. JB

    Through all the bellyaching and what ifs, the Reds could be the second wildcard tomorrow if they win and others lose. It’s been an awesome year.

    • MBS

      It’s pretty cool that we’re scoreboard watching in mid September. All W’s are really being gutted out, these kids are gassed.

  19. Roger Garrett

    @Jim Walker.Most think Bell was saving his pen for the Twins and as you said guys were available and yet he sends Spiers back out for the 7th.Down 4-2 with the game still winnable he chose to just stick to his script which was to go as long as Spiers could go and it was up to him and him alone to keep it close.Still not sure why Moll in the 8th cause why not let Spiers continue to take one for the team but it may have been pitch count.Bell is just Bell and he is the manager and will do it his way and why not.I for one am tickled to death with this team and am trying to get on the play off train because we do have a chance but when games like this happen it blows me away.Bader and Renfroe still playing ELLY back at short against a lefty after most thought that ship had sailed at least for now and India on the bench and the list goes on and on its obvious we are not playing our best players and trying to win every game.Bell continues to manage as if it were early in the year by trying to get guys going or make sure guys are getting at bats and saving arms in the pen and why are we playing a pitcher short right now.Hard to figure this stuff out.If there is ever a time to not worry about the next game its now.Down 4-2 and we must follow the script.

  20. Rednat

    if the reds don’t make it I will blame it on the under performance of Bader and Renfroe. Also the defense has not been sharp. Is it fatigue, lack of concentration, youth? not sure. but if they turn the double play in the 7th i think they win the game.
    I think improving the defense should be a big emphasis over the offseason

    • Mark Moore

      I’m thinking a combination of all the above plus a few more factors from after the ASG break (like coaching challenges) that contributed as well.

    • Indy Red Man

      Young guys that made it at an early age because of offense. It happens. They knew Marte and CES weren’t great defensively.
      Elly will make a great play then boot one as well.

      I said they were done when we lost HG this last time and they persevered, but losing Ashcraft is probably the final straw. We might still make it, but nobody saw Arizona going 6-1 vs the Cubs and Miami beating all these playoff teams like they are

  21. Oldtimer

    Reds were 69-67 after losing to Cubs on Sept 1. Today they are 78-73 (or 9-6 since then). Not bad.

    I don’t like some of Bell’s lineups but the results are decent this month.

  22. Jim Walker

    It i a new day and time to do what the players need to do, forget yesterday,

    The Reds are a full game behind the Snakes but hold tiebreaker on them. If the Reds win 1 more than them the rest of the way, they’d finish ahead of them on the tie breaker.

    The Reds trail the Cubs by half a game which the Cubs have in hand but the Reds also hold the tiebreaker on them. If the Reds and Cubs win the same number of games of games from here on out, the Reds finish above them on the tiebreaker.

    The Reds also trail the Fish by half a game which the Fish hold in hand. However the Fish are going to have the tiebreaker on the Reds; so, the Reds must win one more game than them from here on to finish cleanly and clearly ahead of them.

    Just win baby, just win,

    • Indy Red Man

      I’d say 7-4 is the Reds ceiling from here til the end. They could easily do worse, but that’s the best we could expect with the rotation, inconsistent offense & defense. That would atleast put pressure on our competition.

      How could they pull off 7-4? Get HG 3 starts including the last game in St Louis.
      AA & BW get 2 more starts each, both on 5 days rest! That’s key because BW had no velocity yesterday. That leaves 4 more to mix and match with the pen. It’s got be a super quick hook for Bell and I’d use openers too. Let the newbie start with the bottom of the lineup and hopefully with a lead. 5-2 with our regular 3 starters and 2-2 with pot luck arms

      • Jim Walker

        Given how little they are getting from some position guys, I do not understand why they don’t cut back to 14 position guys and get a 14th pitcher up. Even if the guy just mops up messes, that’s innings not pitched by the better bullpen guys.

        And they are at a cross roads with Maile. He either has to catch soon or they need another available catcher. If they IL him, as I count it, he’d be back NST 26 Sept

  23. Kevin H

    So how would anyone handle the starting rotation? I mean like or not Bell and his coaches have done a good job. Yes his lineups are confusing at times. His decision making at times is confusing .

    People don’t like this however who knows who’s available and who isn’t. With the injuries and lack of starting pitching at times. It’s a miracle this team is still in playoff contention. Heck he could win manager of the year with the job done.

    Some says reds win inspite of Bell. I disagree as I have said players perform, managers/coaches manage.

    • David

      Kevin, you make some good points with the pitching staff and David Bell. And the other day, some people blasted you for giving a luke-warm defensed of David Bell.

      But a lot of the commenters, people on this blog find only fault with David Bell. I am not a big fan of his, and I think the extension the Reds gave him last year (while losing 100 games) was really mystifying (although that was a pretty lousy team once all the good pitchers were traded). And so was the contract extension this year.
      Having said that, it was up to Nick Krall to get the talent to win, and while the position players have improved with the young guys being promoted to the big club, and the bullpen has actually been pretty good (if over-used), the starting pitching has been pretty bad, overall.
      “If only…” If only Hunter Greene had pitched all season; ditto Nick Lodolo and Graham Ashcraft. If only Nick Krall had gotten ONE decent starter at the end on July. ONE.
      Andy yet, they are still in the hunt for a wild card spot. Kind of boggles the mind.
      And Nick did not get David Bell and the Reds any help at the trade deadline in July, except for Sam Moll. I guess the price was WRONG on getting more pitching help.

    • J

      Kevin, what do you think a manager without Bell’s skill would have done with this pitching situation? In what way would someone else have done a worse job? For the most part, the starters he’s been tossing out there haven’t been doing very well, so then he brings in the relief pitchers who are on the roster for this purpose, and they usually pitch pretty well (or extremely well), which gives the Reds a chance to win. But what aspect of this system does Bell need to get credit for? Is it for being smart enough to yank the starter who’s given up 4 or 5 runs, or is it for using the relief pitchers Krall has given him and Johnson coaches, or is it for not using guys who’ve pitched the last couple games and are obviously fatigued? What do you think he’s doing, specifically, that a lesser manager wouldn’t do correctly?

  24. West Larry

    Off, topic, but Bader to the 15 day injury list, Spier sent down Ashcraft to the 60 day.C PHillips akked up. relieer Young added back to the active list.

  25. BuzzKutter

    Here is a question. Are the Reds playing under their potential? Over their potential? Or right at it?

    Keep in mind the starting rotation has been pieced together all season.

    In a small ballpark they have had no one with 25 home run power, yet no one with even a .275 average.

    On top of all that a manager that everyone thinks is very poor at coaching the team.

    • Rednat

      my opinion is the future really is unknown with these young players.
      the 2 factors i look at are durability and hitting tool.
      the players that i think have both are Benson and Steer. (Marte may be knocking on the door of this group)
      durable players- edlc, ces, (just not convinced of their hit tool yet)
      hit tool players- India, Stephenson, Mclain, Fraley, Friedl. these guys can be really begood hitters but can their bodies hold up to a 162 game season?
      Senzel and Votto to me are the most consistent in a way. you know what you are going to get at this point with these players and I would keep them on the team for next year but most people on this site think they will not be on the team next year

    • J

      I think they’ve been playing under their potential in the sense that they could be scoring more runs, and probably should be playing better defense than they’ve played. They probably shouldn’t have a -42 run differential. And they shouldn’t be worse at home than on the road. I think that reflects a lot of bad decisions on offense, especially at home, where I suspect they’re more likely to swing for the fences.

      But, at the same time, they have a winning record with a -42 run differential, so in that sense they’re clearly playing above their potential. They could so easily be several games under .500 were it not for some late-inning heroics.

      • BuzzKutter

        Right there is the hijinx. Are they playing over or are they playing under? To tell you the truth I don’t really know.

      • J

        My feeling is they play more to their potential in late inning situations. Bell is more likely to use his bench so he gets better match-ups, and I think a lot of the guys make more of an effort to protect the plate, force the pitcher to throw strikes, etc. I think they’re way too easygoing in the first several innings and give too many at-bats away, make bad baserunning mistakes, don’t focus on trying to move runners over, etc.

  26. J

    Certain people really want everyone to give Bell “credit” for how he’s handled the pitching situation. To say Bell deserves credit for how well his relievers have pitched lately seems like quite a stretch. He’s not the pitching coach and he’s never pitched. (His relievers were absolutely terrible last season. Did he suddenly learn how to use them correctly?) I assume he’s getting a lot of advice on how to handle the pitching staff, and I assume he heeds almost all of that advice. Maybe he deserves credit for heeding it, but that seems like a pretty low standard.

    If for some reason he actually does deserve credit for how well the bullpen is pitching, then I guess he also needs to take ownership of how poorly the starters are pitching. If you take Greene’s starts out of the mix, it’s been a while since a starter has pitched five innings. And it’s not just the new guys — it’s also Abbott and Williamson. The norm lately has been three to four innings for everyone not named Greene. I believe the non-Greene starters have given up 24 earned runs in their last 24 innings. When he did a bullpen day the other day, he started with Law for some reason, and Law gave up a run in the one inning he pitched. He later used Lively for a few innings, and Lively gave up a few runs. Do I blame Bell for these pitchers being so bad? No, but he obviously hasn’t helped them pitch above anyone’s expectations, and if he has a magic wand that can make some of the relievers pitch brilliantly, he seems to have forgotten how to use that wand when it comes to the starters.