Connor Phillips put together the best start of his big league career on a night when the Cincinnati Reds needed it. The offense came through on their end, too, with Will Benson homering and Joey Votto coming through with a big 2-run hit in the 7th to cap off the scoring for the home team as they beat the Minnesota Twins 7-3 on Monday night.

Final R H E
Minnesota Twins (79-72)
3 5 0
Cincinnati Reds (79-73)
7 9 1
W: Phillips (1-0) L: Ryan (10-10)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Cincinnati’s offense got rolling in the bottom of the 2nd inning when Tyler Stephenson led things off with a walk. He moved up to second base when Joey Votto singled, and then he scored when Noelvi Marte came through with a 1-out single. Marte then took second on the throw to third. Will Benson then hit a sacrifice fly that may have been a home run had Michael A. Taylor not jumped and caught it at the wall, but it did extend the Reds lead to 2-0.

Connor Phillips had not given up a hit through the 3rd inning, but Royce Lewis homered to lead off the 4th to cut the lead for Cincinnati to 2-1. A single would follow, but the Reds rookie got the next three batters to ground out and hold the lead.

In the bottom of the 4th inning Cincinnati was able to add to their lead with a 2-out rally. Noelvi Marte kept the inning alive with a walk. Will Benson then followed up with a 408-foot home run and made sure that no one was going to be able to bring this one back into play, giving the Reds a 4-1 lead.

Connor Phillips continued to cruise through the 6th inning. With just 76 pitches, he returned to the mound for the 7th and got Kyle Farmer to fly out to start the inning. But two pitches later it was Alex Kirilloff adding a run to the Twins part of the scoreboard with a solo home run to make it a 4-2 ballgame.

Cincinnati’s offense got the bottom of the inning started with a walk and a single to put runners on the corners. Spencer Streer then came through with his third hit of the night to extend the Reds lead to 5-2. Nick Senzel then followed up with an infield single to load the bases for Tyler Stephenson. He grounded into a double play that began with the out at home, leaving runners on second and third with two outs. Joey Votto then lined a single past a diving first baseman as Steer and Senzel came around to make it 7-2 for the Reds.

After seven strong innings from Connor Phillips, the Reds called on the bullpen to bring in Derek Law. He needed just seven pitches to set the Twins down in order with a perfect inning of work.

Cincinnati went in order in the bottom of the 8th. Holding a 5-run lead entering the 9th, manager David Bell called on Alex Young to try and close out the game. Fresh off of the injured list and making his first appearance in the big leagues in nearly a month, Young had to face the heart of the order for the Twins. The first pitch he threw turned into a groundout. The next pitch he threw was hit into center for a single. Kyle Farmer made Young work, battling for six pitches – but the final one was hit into the left center gap for an RBI double that made it 7-3. Alex Kirilloff followed up with a strikeout on three pitches. It took four pitches, but Matt Wallner struck out to end the game as the Reds began their final homestand with a victory.

Key Moment of the Game

Joey Votto’s 2-run single in the 7th inning. That took the game out of “slam” range and essentially put things out of reach.

Notes worth noting

Connor Phillips set career highs in both innings and strikeouts with seven each. It was only his third start of his big league career, but he came through with a huge outing the night before the Reds have TBA listed as their starting pitcher. He was credited with the first win in Major League Baseball.

Spencer Steer had a 3-hit game against the team that traded him away last year. It was his 5th multi-hit game of the month. The double that he had was his first of the month (and his 32nd of the year).

Joey Votto has gotten on base twice in each of his last three games.

Will Benson only had three runs batted in since August 26th. He had three in tonight’s game. He’s hitting .306/.366/.667 during September (11 for 36).

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Minnesota Twins vs Cincinnati Reds

Tuesday September 19th, 6:40pm ET

Kenta Maeda (5-7, 4.50 ERA) vs TBA

98 Responses

  1. Klugo

    Connor Phillips delivered what Williamson could not.
    One guy that doesn’t look “locked in” is De La Cruz.
    Of all the really good rookies we’ve seen this year on the Reds, I think Marte is my favorite.
    Oh, and Joey. Votto.

    • Harry Stoner

      You know who’s busting up the clubhouse right about now.

    • TR

      For me, Matt McLain can’t return soon enough. What an amazing season. These energetic, young Reds come through when you least expect it.

      • Klugo

        And when McLain gets back, Elly should head to the bench, imo. He should probably go back to AAA to start next season, if everyone returns healthy to start next season.

    • RedBB

      Connor Phillips was great and has done what very few pitcher on the Reds except for Ashcroft has done. Go 7 strong innings and only give up 3 or fewer runs. Ashcraft has done that 5 times this year, Abbott 2, Lodolo 1, Greene 0, Williamson 0. HUGE game from Phillips tonight when we needed it the most.

  2. Tim

    Connor was in command. What a great performance from him. Also nice to see Benson rebound and come through big. Joey is still Joey when he’s healthy and could be huge in the stretch run. Feels great to be in it with less than 2 weeks left.

  3. LarkinPhillips

    Great outing by Phillips tonight. The Reds needed the win and the rest for the pen.

    Marlins just lost to the Mets. Good night for the Reds!

  4. J

    That was fun! I’m in favor of games like this.

  5. Tim

    Looks like Phillips could pitch 2 more times. That would be 2 for him and 2 each for Greene and Abbott. That bodes well if he can do what he did tonight.

    • Doc

      And if Abbott can find his second wind.

    • wkuchad

      I’m counting 3 more times for Greene, all on regular rest (because of the off days).

      The third time would be last game of the regular season. Now it would be extra nice to have wild card locked up by then so he can instead pitch first game of playoffs. But it’s a nice option if that last game is must-win.

  6. Mark Moore

    First one of this series is a good thing. Twinkies still decreased their magic number. Let’s put it to them again tomorrow.

  7. Doc

    79 wins and counting.
    Three above .500 in September, not choking.
    Superb outing by Conner Phillips.
    This entire team is remarkable for how deep they have had to dip into their pitching and position players and yet they are still battling for a playoff spot.

    If RLN commenters, me included, had been told at the beginning of the year what kind of lineup would be playing all year, we would have put the over/under on wins at 60, or lower even.

    • Harry Stoner


      If I were told during ST that the Reds would unload Pinder, Moose, Newman, Myers and would be playing McLain, CES, Marte and Steer, I probably would have been pretty excited.

      79 wins would have been in my realm of possibility.

      Not sure if I could do the same thing with the SP or BP, though.

      • Doc

        SP and BP are part of the lineup, which is what my hypothetical was based on, rather than a cherry picked few players.

    • Colorado Red

      I agree, I was at 60. Was thinking Draft lottery, not playoffs.
      Really good to make it, and give the young guys some confidence.
      Elly, needs to take a break, and come back next year.
      Quit trying to kill the ball every time.

      • CI3J

        I had them somewhere between 75 and 78 wins, on the assumption that Myers and Newman would be getting a lot of playing time.

        Needless to say, the front office really surprised me this year on their willingness to eat sunk cost contracts.

  8. GreatRedLegsFan

    A rotation of three rookies and one sophomore, that’s something. I guess EDLC is the one sitting when McLain returns, not sure who’ll be optioned or DFA to make room in the active roster.

    • Colorado Red

      Would not need to DFA EDLC. Just send him back down to the minors.
      Everyone and there brother would want to pick him up.

      • GreatRedLegsFan

        Of course not, just wondering who’ll be taken out from the active roster to make room for McLain upon his return.

    • Rob

      Martini is seeing less and less action and making fewer contributions. I would guess he or Fairchild would be odd man out. No comment on ELDC. Seeing other rookies on other teams, I can’t understand the total lack of adjustments and improvements. I might have expected a slump but this is looking more permanent than that.

  9. Amarillo

    “He was credited with the first win in Major League Baseball.”

    Old Hoss Radbourn would like a word.

    • Jason Franklin

      haha.. that made me laugh. thanks.

  10. RedlegScott

    Excellent “W”. Wtg Phillips. Wtg offense. (Unfortunately, Williamson has looked more like Weaver his last few outings. We really needed Phillips to step up, and he most certainly did.)

  11. J

    Sorry, I was away from my computer when people were saying silly things about Benson being good hitting #9, so he should stay there. By this logic, the better he becomes as a hitter, the more he needs to stay at #9 because that’s where he’s thriving! We could end up with an MVP type of player hitting 9th for his entire career because Bell has “figured out” that he “can’t handle the pressure” of hitting higher in the order. And Bell has “figured this out” because he just “knows things” about Benson? Meanwhile, this same psychological genius had Elly #4, then when he struggled he moved him to to #1, then to #3, and now FINALLY he’s moved Elly down toward the bottom. Steer, who’s actually still a rookie (unlike Benson), moves all over the lineup and this doesn’t seem to affect him at all. India made the jump from #8 to #1 in his rookie season, and that didn’t seem to affect him at all. Friedl moved from the bottom to the top this year, and it doesn’t seem to have affected him. But Benson, for some reason that only Dr. Bell knows, just “can’t handle the pressure” of hitting any higher than 6, and really needs to be at #8 or #9 to be able to thrive? What on earth?

    • VaRedsFan

      I posted this in the game thread….not any sort of conclusion.
      It’s for informational purposes only.
      Benson should bat 1-4 vs righties IMO

      Batting 1st – 11PA – .500/.546/1.100 (i never would have thought that with early struggles.
      Batting 2nd – 2PA – 000/000/000
      Batting 6th – 15 PA – .231/.333/.308
      Batting 7th – 43 PA – .216/.326/.297
      Batting 8th – 131PA – .250/.282/.472
      Batting 9th – 94PA – .296/.340/.557

    • Harry Stoner

      There’s some logic here in your argument, and also some illogic.

      Benson isn’t India.

      Benson isn’t Steer.

      Benson isn’t Friedl

      Because Steer does something doesn’t project that Benson does the same thing.


      That shouldn’t take much to understand.

      This topic has been beaten to death here over and over and over.

      Benson is batting 9th because Bell values the roll over from the bottom of the order to the top, rather than packing the bottom of the order with your weakest hitters.

      You can argue with that idea until you satisfy yourself in frustration, but it really isn’t any more difficult than that.

      You may not like the idea, or approve of it, or you can find stats to make yourself feel better, but it’s pretty obvious that that is what is going on.

      Benson is performing in that role.

      He drove in 3 runs this evening in that position. Would Maile or a weaker hitter have contributed as much?

      I guess you can turn up some stats that someone somewhere or the average taken from the last 1000 games involving different players in different lineups suggest otherwise.

      It doesn’t have to be that tricky to understand why in this situation with this hitter, it seems to be working.

      But some folks have to make things hard on themselves.

      Don Quixote thought that he’d taking his lance to windmills was a good idea.

      • Tim

        I’ve posted before the math on this subject, but there is very little statistical difference inABs regardless of batting position. Also, most teams are within one hit per game of each other team statistically speaking. In other words, the best teams only average a base runner or 2 more than the worst teams. What matters most is RBIs. That’s the bottom line. You have to have guys in place that’ll clear the ducks off the pond. Benson cleared some ducks today.

      • RedlegScott

        Agree with all of what youcsaid, Harry, especially about the topic being beaten to death.

      • J

        Benson isn’t anyone other than Benson. That is true. Bell has absolutely no way of knowing how he would or wouldn’t respond to being moved up in the order, because he’s never tried it. Smart managers don’t just guess how players are going to respond to changes like that, they actually try things to see how they work. I’m sure you must be aware of that at some level.

        “Benson is batting 9th because Bell values the roll over from the bottom of the order to the top, rather than packing the bottom of the order with your weakest hitters.”

        That’s partly true, but partly false. He’s kept Benson at the bottom when Benson was the hottest hitter on the team, and also when Benson was slumping pretty badly. Also, aside from the occasional Renfroe hitting third experiment, he actually does tend to have stronger hitters at the top. He does seem to be aware that you don’t want Maile hitting third, for example. He allows TS to hit higher than Maile because TS is a better hitter. He’s recently noticed that Elly isn’t a great major league hitter, and now he’s moved him down in the order rather than keeping him at the top. See the trend? Worse hitters generally get moved down, better hitters generally move up.

        Except with Benson. This is the one guy Bell absolutely refuses to move no matter what he’s been doing, no matter who’s pitching, no matter who else is in the lineup, etc. Benson has to stay at the bottom. It’s insanity. Practically everyone else on this team has been given a shot at the top. Elly and McClain went straight to the top, no audition necessary. Marte has already hit leadoff. Steer has been up there. Martini. Fairchild. But not Benson. Because he “can’t handle it” for reasons that only Dr. Bell knows.

        Regardless of his reason for doing it, it’s stupid, which is why Morgan and Rose didn’t hit 8th and 9th. Guys hitting at the bottom get something like 100+ fewer plate appearances than guys at the top over the course of a season. It’s just idiotic to keep one of your best hitters down there.

        The “it seems to be working” theory is equally silly. If Joe Morgan had been stuck hitting 8th, it would have “worked” amazingly well. He’d have been an outstanding hitter at #8. Probably the best #8 hitter in the history of the game. He’d have hit a bunch of home runs, driven in lots of runs, stolen bases, scored runs, etc. But that would not have been a good argument for leaving him there. He belonged at the top because he was a great hitter. That’s what smart managers do.

      • J

        Benson has an OPS of about .850 and 30 RBI in about 300 plate appearances.

        Steer has an OPS of .815 and has 82 RBI in about 600 plate appearances. Steer is getting a lot more RBI per plate appearance despite having a lower OPS.

        Same is true of CES. He gets a lot more RBI per plate appearance despite having an OPS almost a hundred points lower than Benson’s.

        What’s the lesson here? If we want Benson to knock in a lot of runs, he needs to hit where CES and Steer have been hitting, not where Benson has been hitting. His hitting is being wasted at the bottom.

      • RedlegScott

        J, on the surface, your argument looks sound. But that’s just it – you’re on the surface. Do you really know what’s going on below the surface with Bell, Benson, and the team? Perhaps there’s more going on than meets the eye?

      • J


        What kind of thing do you imagine might be going on below the surface? Are you thinking Benson might have pleaded with Bell to never allow him to hit in the top half of the lineup because he’s afraid he can’t handle it? Are you imagining the team has run psychological evaluations on all these guys to determine their ability to handle hitting in the top half of the lineup, and Benson is the only good hitter on the team who failed? Are you thinking Krall has ordered Bell not to allow Benson to crack the top half of the lineup because he’s secretly betting against Benson to reach 50 RBI’s this season?

        Bell has shown us time and time and time and time again that he does things that simply defy any logical explanation. Hitting Renfroe third yesterday, for example, when today the guy isn’t even good enough to be on the team. Holding CES out of the lineup today in favor of Fraley, when CES is hot and Fraley is cold (and apparently still not able to run well enough to play defense or attempt to steal a base). Allowing Elly to remain at the top of the order long after it was clear to EVERYONE that Elly didn’t belong there. Moving Friedl down in the order against lefties and up against righties despite Friedl’s stats saying he should be doing the exact opposite. (His only hit in this game came against a lefty reliever, which is no surprise since his OPS against lefties is more than 150 points higher than against righties. Bell acts as if he doesn’t know anything about this.) And on and on and on.

        One possible explanation for all these seemingly illogical decisions is that there’s always something under the surface that we don’t know about, and if we just knew about all these secret things, Bell’s decisions would all make perfect sense. But I tend to think the explanation is a bit more straightforward, which is that Bell does a lot of things that are based on pet theories of his, and he really doesn’t care if they’re supported by any data, recent events, or logic. If he thinks it’s a good idea, he does it. A long time ago he got it into his head that Benson should hit at the bottom of the order for one reason or another, and the fact that Benson has been hitting well ever since that decision was made, to Bell, is evidence that his theory was correct, and not simply that Benson is a good hitter who’s figured some things out this year (which was plainly evident way back in Spring Training) and is now starting to become the player a lot of people expected him to be.

        My take on Benson is that he’s a good hitter who, at age 25, is starting to figure things out this season. I assume this is what Krall envisioned when he traded for him, and this is what Cleveland envisioned when they drafted him #14 overall and gave him $2.5 million out of high school. And we could all see in spring training the guy could hit, and it didn’t matter where he was hitting in the order. He struggled at the beginning of the year, as many players do, and then eventually got things straightened out, and he’s been hitting well ever since. I don’t believe for one second that he’s hitting well because he’s hitting low in the order.

        A quote from an article that was written about Benson when he was traded to the Reds: “Cleveland selected Benson 14th overall in the 2016 draft as an 18-year-old, but development was not always a smooth process for the 6’5” outfielder. Benson had a clear pattern of reaching a level, struggling, then figuring it out, which kept him in the minors until 2022.”

        So, guess what? He struggled in the majors, then figured it out. It’s been his pattern. It isn’t because Bell waved a magic wand, and it isn’t because he’s hitting 9th. He’s a good hitter who should have been given a chance to hit higher in the order just like all the other young guys who’ve been allowed to hit higher in the order — without ever proving they could consistently hit major league pitching the way Benson has.

    • greenmtred

      Benson, hitting 9th, had men on base when he hit the almost-homer sac fly and again when he hit the homer. I have seen speculation here about Benson hitting low in the order because of pressure, but haven’t heard Bell or anybody else connected to the Reds say this. I can see considerable benefit in having a balanced lineup; run scoring opportunities don’t just appear for the top three or four hitters, and denying the opposing pitcher automatic easy innings is beneficial, as well.

      • wkuchad

        I agree with this. Not only that, I think there’s benefit having our highest OBP guy (besides Marte) hitting right before our 1-4 hitters.

      • J

        Throughout history, managers have had their highest OBP guys hitting in front of their 1-4 guys by having those guys hitting 1-5 instead of 9-4. David Bell has revolutionized baseball by being smarter than all the other people who’ve ever managed. He also knew it was best to have Renfroe hitting third because then the next day Renfroe would be cut and he could use a better #3 hitter and his team would win because his #9 hitter would drive in his #8 hitter. He’s clearly operating on a different level and we shouldn’t question any of it.

      • Chris

        Completely agree. If I had a beef, it’s when Benson is hitting 8th instead of 9th. I love the guy in the 9th spot with a solid lineup. I also like him there because he cannot hit lefties and most of our right-handed pinch hitters are subpar.

      • greenmtred

        I know that, J, and used to spend hours as a kid carefully constructing ideal batting orders. I don’t recall all of the details of the theories, but it seemed as though there were criteria for every slot, 1-9. My understanding is that analysis has not supported the ideas behind this, just as it has cast doubt upon the wisdom of sac bunts and –except for players with a 75%-80% success rate–stolen bases. The things I thought I knew were not easy to give up, and I still have affection for sac bunts. But I am coming to see the value of the balanced batting order: just as you can’t pick the year your team will contend, you can’t dictate when scoring opportunities will arise. The Reds’ batting order usually does feature competent hitters 1-3 (which analysis supports), but Benson batting 8th or 9th is an outlier. I understand your point, but he is clearly getting opportunities to drive in runs and score runs where he is and deprives the other team of automatic easy innings as a bonus.

      • J

        I’m not sure how else to explain this point. No matter where a guy hits in the lineup, he’s going to have RBI opportunities. Even when pitchers were hitting 9th, #8 and #1 guys used to have many RBI opportunities every season because these things happen. The issue isn’t whether Benson can be a weapon at #9, the issue is whether Bell is maximizing his value by keeping him down there, and he’s not. If you’re worried you might have to pinch hit with a weak right-handed hitter when a lefty comes in, then make sure Benson gets three at-bats against the righty starter instead of two by having him lead off. Or force the other team to have to make a pitching change two innings earlier because they don’t want him getting a third crack against a righty. It’s a question of whether you want Benson being the 1St, 10th, and 19th guy to hit for the Reds vs. the 9th, 18th, and 27th. Bell is making it much easier for opposing managers to make sure he never gets that third at-bat, which of course means he also can’t get a fourth or fifth at-bat.

  12. Mark A Verticchio

    Big win, great win by Phillips. Let’s hope to get another win Tuesday.

  13. Indy Red Man

    What a big win! They just can’t be forced to overcome big early deficits almost every night. If Joey is going to hit then play him, but you can’t sit CES? If Bell would play the hitters then maybe the offense can take us home! I’d curtail Fraley’s playing time unless the opponent is throwing a righty with huge anti-righty splits. He’s not healthy.
    Great win though and hopefully they’ll get on a roll and bring out better crowds!

  14. Will the Red

    Way to see the Reds keep controlling their own destiny! Let’s do it for JDV!

  15. Indy Red Man

    SF goes to Arizona for 2. They’re supposed to be throwing Cobb and Webb. They really need both games to stay relevant. Arizona and Miami are both due for a little slide. I especially don’t know how Arizona is doing it with a bunch of nobodies? You ain’t that good if Pham is in the middle of your order

  16. Kevin Patrick

    After a careful look at our starters’ lefty and righty splits and their percentages of success on position batted in the lineup, I’ve decided that I hate the Brewers and the Reds should win the division…and if the Cubs can be eliminated too, that would be fine as well.

  17. Redsvol

    Excellent game by Phillips. I’m sorry I doubted him in a pennant chase.

    Great games by Steer, Votto, and Benson.

    Gotta love Nick Kralll throwing down the gauntlet and saying – “my waiver claim moves didn’t work, now lets get back to where we were and its now on you offensive players to get it done”. I like that – admit your mistakes and move on. I liked the claims at the time but the offense wasn’t clicking with Bader & Renfroe.

  18. Redsvol

    Excellent game by Phillips. I’m sorry I doubted him in a pennant chase.

    Great games by Steer, Votto, and Benson.

    Gotta love Nick Kralll throwing down the gauntlet and saying – “my waiver claim moves didn’t work, now lets get back to where we were and its now on you offensive players to get it done”. I like that – admit your mistakes and move on. I liked the claims at the time but the offense wasn’t clicking with Bader & Renfroe.

  19. Melvin

    Great job by Phillips. I read today that he will not be available for the post season. At least he can help get us there.

    • Colorado Red

      Correct, was not on the 40 man roster as on 1 Sept.
      But if he helps the Reds get there, it is good for next year.

      • Melvin

        Yeah. Probably a mistake not getting him up before September 1st.

      • redfanorbust

        WOW I did not know that. That’s not good news at all.

    • Jim Walker

      Wondering where you read this? I thought anyone in the organization could be on a playoff roster by using a guy on the MLB IL as a cutout to get the guy not on the 40 man onto it.

      For instance, let’s say Bader is still on the IL at the end of the regular season; and, the Reds make the postseason. The Reds could declare Bader out for the postseason then name anyone anywhere in their org on Sept 1 to replace him on the 40 man roster thus making that guy eligible for postseason rosters. The catch is that Bader would be ineligible for the entire post season once he was declared out and his place taken by someone else.

      I know this has been done in recent years. If it cannot be done this year, that is a switch.

  20. Andrew Brewer

    Nothing could be finer than wearing the wish-bone C on your hat today ! We got the pitching from a third start rookie out of AA today, and the hitting from Votto, Benson, and Steer. You just never know where it’s going to come from.
    I heard McLain will be back tomorrow…

  21. Indy Red Man

    Cruz listed as the opener tomorrow. I’d avoid Lively altogether if possible. Bell has 3 days off for 10 games so ride your horses! Rotation should be set like this if possible:

    Cruz – Twins
    HG (4 days rest) – Twins
    AA 5 – Pirates
    BW 5 – Pirates
    Phillips 5 – Pirates
    HG 5 – @ Cleveland
    AA 4 – @ Cleveland
    BW 5 – @ Cards
    Phillips 5 – @ Cards
    HG 4 – @ Cards

    That’s pretty solid imo. You have only 3 starts in the last 9 on 4 days rest and 2 of those are with HG. AA is wearing down but he only has to face 2 weaker lineups in Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Bell can pretty much hook’em right out too with 3 days off

    • Ozzie

      I expect Lively will carry the most innings tomorrow. But a manager needs to hold his book/plan loosely from here on out. If a guy is dealing, let him deal. Even if he normally doesn’t throw that many pitches per outing. At the same time be ready to have a quick hook if he’s not on. Adjust for the playoff push.

    • wkuchad

      Posted this above. It would be extra nice to have wild card locked up by that last game so Greene can instead pitch first game of playoffs. But having option of pitching Greene in last game is a nice option if it is must-win.

  22. Tim

    Pen got some rest in the last 2 games. With the days off let’s hope they stay sharp and finish strong

    • Jim Walker

      Yep, 2 games then Thursday off, and then after 3 more games Monday off. No reason not to go for broke in the next 5 games.

  23. Jim t

    Staying alive!!! Love this team. 10 games left.

    I never thought this team would break 70 win total. The fact that they did with all the injuries to the starting pitchers and playing a lot of rookies is amazing. Bell and staff have done an excellent job. Bottom line is they have overachieved. Hope they finish strong and make the playoffs.

  24. West Larry

    This team is amazing! Playing mostly rookies, and having lost two of the projected three starters and they are still in the wild card race with ten games remaining. I sometime think that this is a beautiful dream, and will awaken with ninety-five losses with ten games to go. Say it ain’t do Sam.

  25. RedsGettingBetter

    Huge win , it was needed so much and the target is to secure the series or even better to make it a sweep.
    I remember Doug Gray writing many times about Connor Phillips still being some inconsistent since him could be unhittable when owns the command over his offerings, and that thing was happening last night. However, Phillips could have some days the lack of that command so one outing could be a really poor performance. He’s very young yet whether he can work on keeping consistent thru a complete season…Hopefully he will be able to have other quality starts down the stretch as he did last night helping the Reds to claim a playoff spot…

  26. Hotto4Votto

    Fantastic start by Phillips. Great to see the fight continue to come through from this team.

  27. old-school

    Incredibly, season is now down to just 10 games. At 6 over .500, a 7-3 finish would get this team to 86 wins. A 7-3 finish is not that unrealistic and the Rays got in last year with 86 and the Phils beat the Brewers by 1 game with 87 wins. I think Reds have a strong shot if they can finish strong and get to 86 wins, with (2) tie breakers over the Cubs and Dbacks. Of course, 8-2 would be better. Huge series between the Giants and Dbacks now and Marlins get the Brewers this weekend. Go REds.

  28. SultanofSwaff

    Phillips will be a nice bullpen weapon in a 3 game wild card series if the Reds can get there. Love that he pitches like the other team kicked his dog.

    Thank goodness the shift is gone. Votto’s 2 run single was an out every time last year because of the second baseman in short right field. Just unfair to left handed hitters for too long.

    • wkuchad

      The link isn’t working for me. Can you give a summary of what it says?

  29. Tom Mitsoff

    I didn’t get to watch or listen to last night’s game, but followed along every 15-20 minutes or so on the MLB app. Phillips — what can you say? Great performance against a first-place team in a very meaningful game. I know some will disagree, but you truly have to give Krall and Bell credit for recreating a team and lineup nearly each day based on who is physically available and who is not. You have Abbott and Williamson basically on fumes at this point. The bullpen, more often than not, performs in lights-out fashion. Of course, we as fans would love to have the 1927 Yankees or 1975-76 Reds to root for each night, but this team has exceeded absolutely all expectations. It does remind me of the 2020 team that rode a late surge into the shortened-season playoffs. In every way imaginable, this is an underdog team outperforming what should be possible. I love the guts and heart they show each game. Ten games left, and really all that is important now is winning as many as possible. Yeah, right, Einstein, you say. One concern I have is just what the Braves are doing. I haven’t checked their box scores, but they are getting mashed on a nightly basis, which doesn’t make much sense. They have games against the Cubs and Phillies (and I haven’t yet given up on catching them) upcoming. Thanks for allowing me to spew. These are fun moments for those like us here who haven’t had many for the past decade or so.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I think 87 wins (8-2 over the final 10) does it for sure, and maybe even 86. Anything less than that, and they are likely in a pool that would come down to odd tie-breakers, etc.

      • Jim Walker

        At least for now, the Reds have the Giants and Marlins in their review mirror and definitely hold the tiebreaker on both the Cubs and DBacks. So, the Reds are good to go in any two way or three way tie involving themselves and just those later two teams.

      • Jim Walker

        The Reds have the fewest games remaining and thus 3 off days in the next 9 days. Those off days are going to be the most nervy time as most or all other WC contenders will be playing while the Reds can only sit and watch. At least as of now, both of the teams who have the tiebreaker over the Reds, Giants and Marlins, also have fewer wins and as many or more loses than the Reds.

      • Amarillo

        I think 85 will ultimately be enough, but it would come down to tiebreaks. This team has kept us nervous until the last pitch all season with their 66 one run and extra inning games, so it would be fitting.

      • MBS

        @amarillo, I agree with you 85 punches the ticket. 87 probably gets them the 2 spot, which would be fantastic.

  30. Amarillo

    @Jim, those off days may be nervy for us fans, but the pitching staff will appreciate it aha

      • David

        I think it then gives the Reds a chance to just go with a 4 man rotation the rest of the way
        Greene, Abbott, Williamson and Phillips.

        And no more bullpen games, like tonight against the Twins, for instance. This will be the last one.
        Abbott, Williamson and Phillips each get two more starts, and Greene gets three (including Wednesday night, Sept 20). Greene would start the last game of the season, unless the Reds have clinched a Wild Card slot, and then they could hold him out to pitch the first playoff game.

  31. Chris

    I don’t understand why Lively isn’t starting. He was solid in that role earlier, and has pitched pretty well since being back. Why not let him start which is what he’s sort of used to. Cruz is more likely to be nervous and that will possibly affect him in that 1st inning.

    • Jim Walker

      Just a guess here but maybe they consider every inning a high leverage inning at this juncture and that Cruz is used to entering in leverage situations and might actually be more acclimated than a true “starter”?

      • Chris

        Maybe, but I’m not sure how one could have that mindset. Lively is much more used to starting a game than coming in to one. And if you wanted it to be high leverage for Cruz, just bring him in with runners on. Far be it for me to read Bell’s mind. 🙂

    • doctorrockett

      I’d prefer to see Marte at SS and sit EDLC. Otherwise I don’t hate tonight’s lineup