The Cincinnati Reds never got going and the Minnesota Twins scored in five different innings. Those two things made for an easy Twins victory on Tuesday night as Minnesota evened up the series. The two will play on Wednesday afternoon in the final game of a 3-game set.

Final R H E
Minnesota Twins (80-72)
7 11 0
Cincinnati Reds (79-74)
0 4 1
W: Maeda (6-7) L: Cruz (1-2)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Fernando Cruz struck out two batters in a perfect 1st inning. He walked Max Kepler to lead off the 2nd, and Kepler would steal second base as Willi Castro struck out for the first out. Cruz followed up with a strikeout of Alex Kirilloff for the second out of the inning, but it was the final batter he faced on the day. Buck Farmer came out of the bullpen to face Ryan Jeffers and then walked him on six pitches. Matt Wallner came through with a 2-out single that brought in a run to put the Twins in front 1-0. In a match up of Farmer’s, it was Buck who came out on top of Kyle, with the latter flying out to center to end the inning.

Daniel Duarte took over for Cincinnati to start the 3rd inning with his team trailing 1-0. He had to work around a leadoff walk and a 1-out infield hit, but he kept Minnesota off the board. Alex Young couldn’t say the same in the top of the 4th as he gave up a 1-out, solo home run to Ryan Jeffers that extended the Twins lead to 2-0. Young walked Matt Wallner to follow, and that ended his day as Ben Lively entered the game and struck out both hitters he faced to end the inning.

The Reds tried to get a rally going in the bottom of the 4th with two outs. Spencer Steer picked up Cincinnati’s first hit – a double – and Jake Fraley followed up with a walk. That led to a mound visit. On the first pitch to Tyler Stephenson, which he swung through, the Reds pulled off a double steal. Four pitches later Stephenson hit a blooper into shallow center, but Willi Castro caught it on a slide to end the inning and keep the home team with a zero on the board.

Ben Lively walked the tightrope in the 5th, working around a walk and a single to keep the Twins lead at 2-0. He couldn’t quite work his way out of a jam in the next inning. He gave up four straight 1-out singles that led to two runs as Minnesota extended their lead to 4-0. A similar scenario played out in the 7th as he walked the leadoff batter before giving up a 2-run homer to Willi Castro.

Cincinnati looked primed to get on the board in the bottom of the 7th inning when Tyler Stephenson crushed a ball to dead center, only to see Willi Castro leap at the wall, reach over it and bring the ball back in to rob him of a 2-run homer. With Joey Votto due up and a righty on the mound, he was pinch hit for by Nick Martini, who struck out. Christian Encarnacion-Strand followed with a strikeout of his own to end the inning.

Down 6-0, the Reds sent Ben Lively out to the mound to begin the 8th inning. He’s give up a leadoff single and a 1-out walk before he was replaced by Derek Law. He’d give up a single to load the bases and then throw a wild pitch to bring in a run and make it 7-0.

TJ Friedl led off the bottom of the 9th inning with a single. After a fielder’s choice, Jake Fraley came through with a single to put runners on the corners. The game would end without the Reds cashing in once again, as a ground ball double play wrapped things up as the Twins evened up the series at one game each.

Key Moment of the Game

Willi Castro’s entire 7th inning. He hit a 2-run homer in the top of the 7th to make it 6-0, but in the bottom of the inning he also robbed a 2-run homer from Tyler Stephenson – seemingly giving a sign that a comeback was not in the works on this night.

Notes worth noting

The Reds managed just four hits in the game and walked just twice. The pitching staff combined to walk eight batters and they gave up 11 hits.

Miami walked off the Mets, which puts them a half-game up on the Reds in the wild card standings. Chicago, Arizona, and San Francisco are all still playing their games (Arizona and San Francisco are playing each other).

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Minnesota Twins vs Cincinnati Reds

Wednesday September 20th, 12:35pm ET

Bailey Ober (7-6, 3.67 ERA) vs Hunter Greene (4-6, 4.45 ERA)

73 Responses

  1. LDS

    9 games to go – 4 at home. They need them all to avoid a losing record in Cincinnati. They are the only playoff contender with a losing home record. 4 of the 6 competitors for the playoffs have negative run differentials , the Reds being the worst. Only Philly would have a decent chance at a playoff position if all of these teams were in the AL. That’s the problem with expanded playoffs – mediocre teams get a shot.

    • jon

      The Reds lost 100 games last year and now in late sept. we are talking playoffs. NO MANGER is going to win with zero starting pitching and batters that strike out as much as the Reds.Bell should get mgr. of the year keeping this team in playoff contention.

      • LDS

        Thanks @Jon, I need a good laugh to start my morning.

    • jmb

      They need to add two expansion teams and reorganize the divisions: 2 leagues, each with 2 divisions of 8 teams. Before expansion began in the early 60s, there were two leagues of 8 teams each. (Actually, there’s no need for two leagues, even. The 4 divisions could be NE, SE, NW, and SW and the W and E play in the WS. This would cut down on travel time and costs.) And maybe the top 2 teams in each division make the playoffs, so 8 teams total, not 12. Milwaukee needs to go back to the AL and Houston needs to return to the NL.

  2. Mark A Verticchio

    Remember this night as the beginning of the end, just a poor performance all the way around. Bell was at his usual worst tonight, continues to save pitchers for no reason, sit players that might help and play people who don’t belong on the field. I am sorry but he is the worst manager in MLB and the Reds are stuck with him for 3 more years.

    • Ted Alfred

      All true….gonna be a long 3 years.

    • RedAlert

      Agree 100% Mark … he’s the absolute worst

    • Jim Walker

      It is most often said in football that big time players make big plays in big games; but, the Twins CF embodied that tonight. He personally robbed the Reds of 4 runs with two outstanding catches and put 2 runs on the Twins side of the ledger with a home run.

      And imagine how it must feel to be Tyler Stephenson about now. He was the Reds hitter robbed on those two run saving catches only to suffer the final ignoble fate of grounding into a game ending double play on a check swing roller.

      Go get tomorrow TS!

    • RedBB

      Having zero consistently reliable starting pitchers at this stage of the season was always going to be hard to overcome.

  3. JB WV

    Greene pitching tomorrow with a good chance to win the series against a first place team and keep the drive alive. Go Reds!

    • jmb

      Greene is a completely mediocre #1 starter.
      Yet another bullpen game for the Reds–Krall or ownership let the fans down by not picking up a starter or two at the trade deadline or on the waver-wire. When I saw they didn’t pick up Clevinger that was it–made me think Winker was right when he implied the Reds don’t want to win. I largely stopped paying attention.

      • Old Big Ed

        Give me a bunch of mediocre starters like Greene. In his last three starts, he’s pitched 17 innings, giving up 8 hits and striking out 22, with the Reds winning all three games.

      • Jim Walker

        @OBE>>> Did my preview of today’s game drop early!!!! 😉

  4. Votto4life

    Everyone is back on the ledge I see. The Reds are more likely than not to win a WC spot. At the same time, they are also more likely than not to get booted after 2 games.

    The Reds waved the white flag last winter when they failed to improve the rotation. They compounded that mistake, when they failed to get some help at the trading deadline.

    Like I said, the Reds will make it to the post season, but winning in the playoffs isn’t very likely.

  5. Melvin

    De La Cruz the last seven games. – .158/.304/.158

    fifteen games – .184/.322/.204

    thirty games – .167/.274/.269

    Marte last seven games. – .500/.529/.500

    fifteen games – .390/.432/.512

    thirty games – .304/.368/.405

    Both play SS.

    Marte sits in crucial games like this with the season on the line.

    What is this manager thinking?

    • SultanofSwaff

      Hard to disagree. More to the point, Maeda is the kind of pitcher that gives EDLC fits because of his lack of plate discipline, but Marte has that discipline. Puzzling.

      You do have to wonder if the Reds will pull the plug on starting EDLC when McClain returns.

    • Ted Alfred

      C’mon…. you know exactly what he was thinking. The Twins were throwing a RHP and Elly hitting left-handed is his better side… so it doesn’t matter how terrible he has been at the plate since the all star break….or how great Marte has been the last 2 weeks…. the only thing that matters is handedness… when are you going to learn? Not to mention Elly’s good for about an error per game the last few weeks, whether they’re officially called errors or not he’s messing up a lot of plays defensively.

      • J

        What makes it even more maddening is that Elly’s greatest asset right now is obviously his speed, and if he starts on the bench he could be strategically entered into the game as a runner, and could remain in the game if Bell actually believes his bat is going to be useful. But Bell can’t think beyond which hand the starting pitcher throws with.

    • DataDumpster

      Decent rookie players get a small window at the beginning of their careers due to unfamiliarity. Then, after a time and film study, some exposed weaknesses get exposed (Aquino, Delacruz) while others adjust quickly and plow ahead (McLain, Steer). Marte is still in the “small window” timeframe and Delacruz is still sinking. David Bell can’t grasp this simple concept?

      • RedBB

        EDLC is also suffering from the pressure that the massive hype machine brings. Pressure burst pipes. Stupid media…

    • greenmtred

      He probably didn’t realize that Marte would hit two grand-slam home runs and win the game. It occurs to me, though, that the Reds didn’t have enough baserunners to allow him to do that, so maybe one would have been for the Twins? A baseball version of Wrong-way Corrigan? The Twins are a good team and have, statistically, one of the the very best pitching staffs in the game. A sweep was going to be difficult. Marte is a promising player and EDLC is not producing, but that substitution was unlikely to change the outcome much. The Reds weren’t hitting.

      • Melvin

        You’re discounting the momentum those potential hits could have caused. It’s a BID DEAL. No excuse for it.

  6. Hanawi

    Didn’t really enjoy that game. Need a win tomorrow.

  7. Redsvsol

    well, that was uneventful. We might make the playoffs but we certainly won’t go very far in them. Still, it would be nice for these young players to gain the experience. The offense simply has to play better these next few games.

  8. Redsvol

    well, that was uneventful. We might make the playoffs but we certainly won’t go very far in them. Still, it would be nice for these young players to gain the experience. The offense simply has to play better these next few games.

  9. bug

    Elly needs to be sent down until he learns how to put a bat on a baseball. He is the quintessential Strike Out King. Add to that, he can’t field either.

    • Redlegs1869

      Who would have ever thought that when he was called up. But here we are.

      • TR

        Sorting is what the majority of fans predicted for the 2023 season. Although the season overall has been a surprise, this what has happened to Elly De La Cruz since he was called up in June. ML pitching has been able to deal with Elly’s hitting technic. He needs counseling regarding his hitting approach in the majors. Hopefully he will get it this offseason. Needless to say, Elly is a tremendous baseball talent and the Red’s organization should be patient.

      • RedBB

        I did….it’s extremely common even expected for even the most talented players to struggle early on. Not sure why everyone thought EDLC would be different.

    • J

      He needs to be used as a pinch runner. They can afford to have a guy on the bench right now whose main job is stealing bases and distracting pitchers. He could be a difference-maker if used correctly. It’s not like anyone in the minors would be starting, so either way we’re talking about a bench player, and he offers something that nobody else does.

    • DataDumpster

      Not sent down but I don’t see how David Bell’s use of Elly benefits the team or him. His confidence is shot and/or he is a little worn out with his extended nonproductive phase. He can be used (obviously) as a pinch runner and maybe some pinch hitting matchups. Let the Marte story play out. Bell batted Elly 4th to start then leadoff when he got into a slump now demoted to the last third of the order. His best position is obviously 3rd but Bell usually places him at SS. No wonder he is struggling. Get a grip and field your best lineup. You are only missing one starter and you have 130 or so games with the rest. Somehow these critical few weeks seem just scripted based upon the pitch counts and handedness dogmas and is not in any way connected to the play on the field. I guess I’m losing it here but congrats to David Bell, etc. the season results have exceeded expectations.

    • greenmtred

      Until recently I didn’t think that going back to AAA would help because he had seemingly mastered that level. I’m not so sure about that now. He might play his way through this in MLB–he evidently did that in AAA after initially struggling–but he appears to be regressing at this point. It seems possible–likely–that the organization views the importance of his development as being on par with the importance of making the playoffs this season, or nearly so, and I would never claim to have any expertise in the development of baseball prospects, but I do wonder if EDLC is being served at all by nearly constant failure.

  10. Jim Walker

    Nothing good is happening for the Reds overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.

    Fish and Cubs have both won. Snakes are rolling the Giants 8-4 in the 7th inning.

    A Reds win Wednesday seems imperative if they hope to stay in contact with the pack.

  11. Rick

    I had recorded the game to watch it late, no need for that now. Plenty to gripe about, Marte sitting out again being #1,
    Lively for 4 innings(make that one #1).
    Why did Bell ph Martini for Votto?

    Elly does need sent down for his own sake.
    What’s the word on McLain. If he’s healthy we need him badly.

    Anyone would answer my questions would be appreciated.

    • Jon

      Regarding the Martini/Votto question, we can only hope that it’s not his shoulder again…

    • Jim Walker

      I was half Cleted myself when the Martini for Votto went down; but it seemed to confuse Sadak and whoever was working with him tonight (audio was muted, closed caption was on).

      The Twinks had opened the inning with a left handed pitcher carried over from the 6th. He walked Fraley, yes Fraley taking a PA vs a LH pitcher, to start the inning. Then a right hander was brought on to face Stephenson, and he hit the ball the Twins CF pulled back from over the wall for out #1.

      And then the confusion started. Apparently Fairchild had been in the on deck circle instead of Votto but then he walked back to the dugout and Martini took Votto’s turn to bat. If there was a later explanation, I missed it. Maybe at down 7-0 in the 7th Bell pinch hit for Votto to get him some rest for Wednesday’s early game?

      • Jim Walker

        @Rick>> But here is another one for you. After India made the last out of the 8th, Marte came on to play 2B and Fairchild came on to play LF in the 9th for the Reds. Whoever reported them into the game with the umps did it as a 2 straight 1 for 1 substitutions and Fairchild ended up in Steer’s lineup spot and Marte in India’s. This meant that Fairchikd, not Marte, batted in the 9th after Friedl had singled to open the inning.

  12. West Larry

    It’s really a tough day when your team loses and the other three combatants for two wild cards all win. The reds lost by such a large score today, it doesn’t seem that there was anything that can be done in a game your team is blown out of.
    There isn’t anything to do except to start another winning streak. Go Reds!

  13. Rednat

    the inability to score runs at home I think will be the main downfall for the reds this year. we are averaging about 1 less run per game at home than on the road and this second half and I really think this needs to be explored. if i had my wish i would blow up gabp and build a new stadium.( just so many crap teams that have played at gabp I think it is time to move on). but that won’ t happen anytime soon. at least raise the walls and make the surface a little faster over the offseason

  14. VegasRed

    Toast is what I see. Burnt toast, at that.

    But the Reds were exciting for the most part and did much better than I even dreamed they would. I like the future potential, especially if the team spends some $$ in the offseason.

    I’m still bummed about the Bell extension. He just seems so inept and stubbornly obtuse about so many things. But I get that many others like him and think he is doing a good job, so what do I know.

    I think the off-season will be critical for a lot of these rookies but especially for EDLC. He has just got to come up with a major league hit tool. I think he will because he has shown the ability to adapt to new levels at each step and he is still really young but he has some bad habits he has to break and I think it is mostly mental.

    I wonder what he plan will be for him and others this off-season?

  15. Brennan

    Elly’s defense looks so much worse than what the numbers show. (And of course those are already bad)

    By my count he dropped an attempt to throw out a runner stealing second, threw a ball in the dirt and spoiled a double play, and he even failed to glove a short-hop cut off throw that was luckily being backed up by Steer.

    I hate to say it but if you’re not hitting and you’re not fielding, why are you starting?

    On the flip side, India made a few tough plays tonight.

    • RedBB

      I said it at the time…the disproportionate amount of hype he got would not good for this inevitable dip that was bound to come. Going to be hard to come out of it this year IMO. May need to start sitting him and bringing him in for non-hitting roles. ie pinch running etc. Saw the same thing with Aquino who is now getting blown away in Japan BTW (below Mendoza line there) and he may have been let go there even.

    • MBS

      Elly looks so much better at 3B, and that arm is deadly there. EDLC is just too big for SS, and the sooner we put him in his best position, the better off the he, and the team will be. He will never be as smooth of a SS as McLain is.

  16. RedBB

    Pretty much a must win today as everyone else won. Need the offense and Greene to step up today like Phillips did.

  17. Mike Adams

    It ain’t over until it’s over.
    The fat lady isn’t even out to sing, yet.
    Everybody gotta play 162 to see how it turns out.
    Don’t give up on the team.
    They have been fighting all year through thick and thin.

    • jon

      No, let’s just blame Bell for everything! lol.

      • J

        I’ve see a lot of people complaining about a lot of individual players, Krall, ownership, and umpires. Do you ignore all those comments just so you can say people blame everything on Bell?

      • RedBB

        Krall is much more to blame than Bell. We needed veteran pitchers with length at the deadline and he got none of them. We also knew what the price was because of what other teams gave up so he can’t use that as an excuse either. At the end of the day I firmly believe Krall underestimated this team’s ability to contend this year and that led him to not pull the gun.

      • RedBB

        When Krall let Chase Anderson go I thought that was a dumb decision too. Chase just went 7 scoreless against the SF Giants although that technically helped us lol.

      • greenmtred

        People do indeed complain about lots of things. Maybe the knee-jerk screaming about Bell has become a weird soporific and put us into a sort of twilight zone of half sleep and we don’t fully register how much general complaining is going on. We have some virtuoso complainers here. I doff my cap in sleepy admiration.

      • J

        I doff my cap for the phrase “doff my cap.”

      • AllTheHype

        @RedBB, man, the stuff you read here!

        “When Krall let Chase Anderson go I thought that was a dumb decision too.”

        Anderson has a 6.43 ERA and was let go by the Rays after us! What you just said is the equivalent of Luke Weaver having ONE GOOD START and saying the same thing about Luke.

        SMH several times.

      • J

        I blame Bell for things that I think he can control. When a player swings at the first pitch and grounds into a double play after seeing a couple guys walk in front of him, I put that on Bell because ultimately he’s the one who’s supposed to decide if his players should or shouldn’t do things like that. I wish players had a better grasp of the game than most of them seem to, but ultimately it’s the manager who’s responsible for making sure they’re doing the right things as often as possible, and sometimes that means you have to actually tell them exactly what to do and not do. Bell’s attitude seems to be to let the players do pretty much whatever they want to do in almost every situation, which is a choice he’s making, and he should be held accountable when they make bad decisions. Managers in every profession are held accountable for their employees’ behavior at work, and if their attitude is “I’ll let my employees decide how to do their jobs because they’re all professionals,” then they’re going to get blamed for bad decisions, as they should be.

      • greenmtred

        Why, thank you. I’m modestly pleased with “sleepy admiration,” too.

      • wkuchad

        “I blame Bell for things that I think he can control.”


      • Jim Walker

        @BB or despite Krall’s public posturing and talk about increased attendance getting him more money, he didn’t have the money from the bigger bosses to take contracts that were lower in prospect costs but higher in $$$ costs. Of course in typical Reds fashion, a month later they take on Bader and Renfroe then eat ~$1m of the ~$2m they took on with Renfroe two weeks later.

      • RedBB

        @AllTheHype You realize Chase Anderson pitches in Colorado don’t you? His bWAR is 0.2 and Weaver was -1.0. Do you understand how that works? Guess not…

      • AllTheHype

        @RedBB, 8.16 road ERA away from Coors, what was Krall thinking letting this guy get away?

        Must be really tough to critcize Krall when you read stuff like this as “criticism”

        Really I am LOL

  18. old-school

    Well, todays game is very important. A win and the Reds take the series and stay in the mix. They’ve only lost 1 series in September( to the Cards), tied the 4 gamer with cubs and won the others- Mariners/Mets/Tigers. A win today and they go 4-1-1 for the month. But, need Hunter to pitch like an Ace.

    • RedBB

      I’ll take a solid 3rd Starter lol. Give me 6 innings and 2 ER’s and I’ll take it!

  19. Mark Moore

    Cue Taylor Swift …

    Shake it off!!

    Makes the contest today into a “must win”. Stupid Cubs winning added that to the mix.

    • Jim Walker

      Oops too early for me. Second take

      India, 4
      Friedl, 8
      STEER, 7
      Fraley, DH
      CES, 5
      Votto, 3
      Marte, 6
      Benson, 9
      Maile, 2

    • Rednat

      have we seen the last start of the year for edlc?

      • Jim Walker

        would they dare option him for Barrero who at least is slugging extremely well at AAA when he isn’t striking out? Or what about if McLain is ready for the final week?

      • wkuchad

        Even a week ago, I would have said no way to optioning EDLC. But I’m starting to change my mind.

      • David

        EDLC is an immensely talented young man.

        But hitting, which was so natural for him, has now gotten into his head. He is now hesitant, and not getting good swings.
        Strikeouts you can live with, if he also makes good contact. But now he is just striking out and not getting any good contact.
        It’s a mental thing, not a physical thing.
        The AAA season is over this weekend. Not much use in sending him “down” to play 3 more games at AAA Louisville.
        He can sit today, and maybe workout on Thursday, off day, with the hitting coach, and just get relaxed and be his natural self.
        And these are now all “must win” games for Cincinnati. They have to win today, and probably SWEEP the Pirates this weekend.
        Tall orders.

  20. Mark Moore

    Good to see Maile is well enough to start. Even tough guys need days off. Sitting Elly is probably the right move. Question is for how long.

    One more shot at Kicking the Filling out of the Twinkies and winning another series. Yesterday no longer matters. It’s all about today and win, baby, win!!