Hunter Greene struck out 14 batters and allowed one run through seven innings. Then the bullpen struck and not in a good way as three relievers combined to give up four runs in the final two innings as the Minnesota Twins came from behind to hand Cincinnati one of it’s biggest, and toughest losses of the year.

Final R H E
Minnesota Twins (81-72)
5 9 0
Cincinnati Reds (79-75)
3 6 1
W: Duran (3-6) L: Diaz (9-5) SV: Jax (3)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Hunter Greene struck out the first two batters of the game before picking up a groundout of former teammate Donovan Solano. That was a sign of things to come for Greene on Wednesday afternoon. He would do the same thing in the 2nd inning.

It was the third inning that Minnesota began to put some pressure on Greene. Andrew Stevenson led off with a double and moved up to third on a single by Christian Vazquez. A sacrifice bunt moved Vazquez up to second base to put two runners in scoring position with one out, but then Greene did what he had done in the previous two frames and struck out two batters and that got him out of the jam.

In the bottom of the 3rd inning the Reds got some help from the Twins when Will Benson walked to lead off the inning and then Jonathan India was hit by a pitch to put two men on with one out. TJ Friedl then came through with an RBI single to put the home team up 1-0. The next inning saw the Reds add to their lead when Christian Encarnacion-Strand hit his 9th homer of the year to lead things off.

Hunter Greene had nine strikeouts entering the 6th inning and then proceeded to strike out the side, giving him a career high 12 of them. He’d pick up a 13th strikeout to begin the 7th, but then Willi Castro broke up his shutout with a solo home run. Another strikeout followed to give the right-handed starter 14 of them on the day.

With the Twins having cut the lead to 2-1, Cincinnati got to it on offense in the bottom of the inning. Will Benson tripled to lead off the inning, and then something weird happened. Luke Maile squared up to bunt, and he got the ball down, but he was thrown out at first and Benson had to stay put. But then David Bell called for a challenge, citing the ball actually hit Maile in the hand as he attempted to bunt. He was correct and the call was overturned. Since Maile did attempt the bunt, though, and the ball went fair, it was ruled as a dead ball strike. He lined the next pitch into center for an RBI single and the Reds went back up by two runs.

Ian Gibaut took over for Greene in the top of the 8th inning, ending Greene’s day with 14 strikeouts and just one walk in his 1-run, 7.0 innings pitched. Christian Vazquez doubled to lead off the inning. After a fly out, Edouard Julien singled in a run to make it 3-2. Donovan Solano would loop a 2-out single into center to keep the inning alive and move Julien up to second, where he was then pinch run for. Gibaut was able to avoid any further damage, getting  aground out to end the inning.

Alexis Diaz entered the game for the 9th to try and close out the game and the series. He couldn’t do it. Willi Castro laid down a bunt single to start the inning. Then he stole second base and the throw short-hopped India and ricocheted into center, allowing Castro to take third. Kyle Farmer then lined a single into right field to tie the game up. After a pop up, Diaz walked Christian Vazquez, and that led to a call to the bullpen to bring in Sam Moll. He’d give up a double steal before a strikeout for the second out of the inning. The Reds then intentionally walked Ryan Jeffers to face Jorge Polanco and he came through with a 2-run double to put the Twins up 5-3.

The bottom of the 9th inning began with a pinch-hit walk from Nick Martini that brought the tying run to the plate. Jonathan India struck out on three pitches before TJ Friedl flew out and then Spencer Steer grounded into a force out to end the game.

Key Moment of the Game

Jorge Polanco’s go-ahead 2-run single in the top of the 9th inning.

Notes worth noting

Hunter Greene’s 14 strikeouts are the most by a Red since Ron Villone struck out 16 in a complete game to end the 2000 season. Fun fact: Villone’s season high before that game was five. He had split time between the bullpen and rotation that season.

The loss drops the Reds to 1.5 games back of the Cubs for the final wild card spot, 2.0 games behind Arizona for the second wild card spot, and a game back of Miami who is in the 4th spot. All three of those teams play later today.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Cincinnati Reds

Friday September 22nd, 6:40pm ET

TBA vs. Andrew Abbott (8-5, 3.68 ERA)

221 Responses

  1. LDS

    3 GB in the loss column with 8 to go seems insurmountable.

    • David

      Game, set, match.

      They kind of had to win today. Hunter Greene pitched great, couldn’t ask for much more.
      The bullpen (Diaz and Moll) lost the game. Really, Diaz set the table for the Twins.

      I think this pretty much ends the season for the Reds. Hope they still hustle the last 8 games, but this was a heartbreaker.

      • RedBB

        I wouldn’t lump Moll in with Diaz, Gibault maybe. Bell should have let Greene go out to start the 8th IMO. He still looked plenty dominant and fresh. Yank him if anyone gets on base.

        On the other side of the coin this offense has really sputtered down the stretch. The loss of McLain was gigantic. When he comes back it very well maybe to late.

        On the positive side 3/4 competitors for the WC lost. That was the best case scenario as 2 of them were playing each other.

  2. Rut

    That game was an absolute kick in the nads. Good grief Charlie Brown…

  3. Mark Moore

    Cue Europe …

    This is the final countdown …

    • Daytonnati

      I’m thinking Skynyrd:

      “Ooh that smell
      The smell of death surrounds you”

  4. Don

    Brutal loss…

    Gonna take one or two of the other wild card chasing teams hitting a solid losing streak and/or the Reds winning six or seven of the last eight. Time is running out.

  5. RedsMonk65

    Whatever happens from here on out, this team simply does not deserve a playoff spot. They are not good enough yet. For a variety of reasons — many of them hit upon in the comments above. Except for a (wonderful) six weeks in late May/June/and early July, they have been so-so and often quite frustrating. One thing confounds me: For much of the year, they played really well against top teams — sweeping the Rangers and Astros (both in Texas), winning series against teams like the Orioles and Dodgers — and then went into tailspins against seemingly lesser opponents. Late in the year, it seems they have consistently wilted against the better teams. Mark of a young squad, I suppose. One thing is clear: despite the promise this young team has, there is MUCH to work on for 2024. They cannot stand pat.

    • RedsMonk65

      Excuse me, I meant to refer to the “comments above” in the game thread.

    • Earmbrister

      “Late in the year, it seems they have consistently wilted against the better teams. Mark of a young squad, I suppose.”

      I’d say that it was the mark of decimating injuries, particularly to the starting rotation (but hardly limited thereto). The rotation was held together with bandaids and bubblegum for the second half of the year. Losing key position players like McLain, India, and Fraley didn’t help.

      The Reds are similar to the Orioles from a year ago. Coming on fast.

  6. docproc

    Was at the game and left at the end of 8, certain that our closer could protect a one-run lead. Glad we didn’t stick around to watch that crap. Cryin’ shame.

  7. LT

    As tough a loss as any. Bullpen has gotten us here and it’s the bullpen that led us down today. But the offense is just not clicking, scoring a few more runs to give bullpen bigger margin for error

  8. Doc4uk

    Why take Greene out? He was still throwing 99.

    Diaz is no longer a sure thing. Was throwing 96 or 97 Now sits at 92 . Has trouble throwing breaking pitches for strikes . Not a good combination.

    • David

      Looking at the box score, Greene was at 92 pitches after 7 innings.

      Pitch count and all that, but he was sharp and throwing strikes. Don’t know what he looked like to the coaching staff after 7 innings, but he is a big, strong guy, and probably could have worked the 8th, maybe finished.
      With the rotation and off days, Greene’s next start would have likely been next Tuesday in Cleveland. He would have pitched on the 6th day, so plenty of time to recover and be strong next week.
      This was kind of a must win, and they didn’t.

  9. Ray ridenour

    Bring Greene out for 8th- he is our big dog- he hadn’t had tough innings- Bell strikes again,

  10. Lid

    Bell thinking was .. Hunter, I left you to face Alonso last week, so today let the bullpen take over for you .. Hunter should’ve started the 8th. It’s tough to manage sometimes or let your gut take over.

  11. Roger Garrett

    Diaz has been money all year long and I lose with him on the mound.Pen rescued this offense many many times in the second half of the season but not today.Losing record at home and only scoring 3 runs over the last 2 games just isn’t good enough.Great season though and a bright future ahead but they need leadership on the field and I think it will come next year as these guys get a little older and this experience will only help.Ain’t over till its over but going 7-1 or even 6-2 when you just aren’t hitting and in some cases not even pitting the ball in play seems like only a dream.

    • Ted Alfred

      Diaz has been anything but money for the last 2 months….not sure what you’ve been watching. HG was pitching the best I’ve ever seen him throw as a Major leaguer and he had plenty of gas left in the tank. 8 games left with the season on the line in a must win…terrible decision to pull him.

      • Roger Garrett

        Sure he has been shaky but 37 saves and only his 3rd blown save is money to me in his first year of closing.I will take him on the mound late anytime over anybody else we have until he doesn’t get it done The decision to pull Greene of course is questionable with the way he was throwing and the fact he probably is off until Tuesday.Reds lost because they could not hit a starter throwing 91 mph.

      • MK

        Just think Diaz is tired. He has never spent this long a season under these high stress situations. He started a while ago in the WBC. His fatigue has showed this last few weeks.

    • Ted Alfred

      Do you think the Twins were happy to see Greene leave the game after 7 thexway he was pitching or do you think they wanted to face him again in the 8th/9th? There is your answer it’s plain as day to see

  12. Jon

    Reds need to add some power bats this winter. A shame that they play half their games in GASP, but don’t have a lineup that can hit home runs.

    • VaRedsFan

      They were cooking earlier in the year without hitting homers. Then the 12 game win streak happened, and it coincided with like a 20 game HR streak, and that was the beginning of the end for our offense, as everyone thought they should be cranking home runs every game, and you wind up with empty AB’s (strikeouts)

      It’s up to the manager to instill what the team needs in a plate approach. If they don’t subscribe to that approach then they should be held accountable.

      It’s obvious to me that Bell doesn’t have a plan, and you are allowed to go up there and do what you please. Or maybe it is his plan for them to swing for the fences.

      All I know is that the offense stopped clicking when they went for the Home run approach.

      • MK

        A full year of CES, allowing Benson to play full time, Marte for a full year and Stephenson back to Stephenson and they have a bit of power already.

      • Tomn

        Mclain, marte, steer and ces make a very good inf. Definitely need a rh power bat in the OF who can hit for decent OPS. Renfro isnt that guy. Neither is senzel (though he’s a good utility inf/of).

  13. NorMichRed

    Simply awful, disgusting, frustrating, heartbreaking. Time to clete the rest of the season for me. This is on the BP performers who placed the outcome on a silver platter for the Twinks, but also on Bell for yet another example of horrendous decision making when an outcome hung in the balance. Makes one wonder if it’s too late to arrive at a negotiated settlement of that poorly reasoned 3-year extension and find someone with baseball sense to take this talented core forward and give them a chance to achieve. From all accounts, DB is a good human being who would make a great neighbor or friend–but he’s not the guy for this high profile pressure-cooker job. Far, far examples to the contrary, unfortunately.

    • greenmtred

      Yes, it’s just unfathomable. What other manager would have brought in his closer to hold a one run lead in the 9th? Do you think Sparky would have done that? The problem with leaving Greene in after the 7th–aside from the fact that you don’t know how he was feeling, especially considering a recent injury and a TJ surgery–is that he would have had to get through the 8th and the 9th. Diaz was well-rested and had pitched well recently after a prolonged rough patch. It was certainly the right decision but it didn’t work out. It’s much easier to judge in retrospect, isn’t it?

    • greenmtred

      Diaz, prior to this game, had last pitched on Friday against the Mets, in which game he went 1.2 innings allowing no hits, no runs, walked no one, struck oy 2 and got the save. He was throwing at 95, 96 and 97mph. It’s unlikely that any manager in baseball would not have brought him in in those circumstances.

  14. SP

    Bell costs them another one. Greene was still throwing 99-100 and aside from one mistake pitch, was masterful. He struck out 6 of the last 7 outs. Give him a chance to win his game instead of relying on Bell’s yearly over used bullpen. With his long injury, Greene was clearly stronger than Gibaut and Diaz at this point of the season. Rinse and repeat, Bell has done this every season. He will waste this young talent as long as they keep him. His analytics and decisions are crap!

  15. Mike Adams

    Fat lady is walking out to the center of the stage

  16. Roger Garrett

    Reds need a right handed power bat and at least 2 power arms for the pen and a couple of veteran starters at a minimum.Stats don’t lie and I seem to remember they score almost 1 run less per game at home and it appears they wait for the 3 run homer at home.More balls in play help and never ever stop running.Twins ran and put the ball in play in the 9th and won.Great year though regardless.Green by the way was just filthy today and deserved better.

  17. Jim Delaney

    Greene stepping up and pitching well in September could be a huge development for reaching his potential.
    Reds need to really look closely at there current roster and decide what they need to contend in 2024.
    Starting pitching go with youth or add a veteran innings eater. I would add an innings eater and veteran to provide leadership. Bringing back Sonny Gray or a Marcus Stroman would be a great veteran add.
    Bullpen- have to add an 8th inning or closer to pen. Preferably pitcher is a LH. Moll continues to prove he is at best a serviceabke 4th-7th inning spot reliever. Moll was a steep cost that I think Reds will be kicking themselves for years over that deal as I think Boyle will make it in MLB as a legit starter.
    Lineup- which young players have clearly won spots for 2024- Steer, Benson, Friedl, McClain, Encarnacion-Strand and maybe Marte. Stephenson will be back.
    Have to add at least two LH bats or switch hitters with power.
    I would be willing to trade Fraley and India.
    Don’t bring Votto back.
    Start ELDC back at AAA…
    Give a strong look at Blake Dunn in Spring training. Dunn could be leadoff hitter Reds desperately need…
    A lot of questions we shall see what Reds do….

    • Tar Heel Red

      Agreed Jim. If they bring in another starting pitcher it will most likely have to be through trade rather than free agency. Sonny Gray could be the exception, but most starters don’t want to come to Cincy due to the ballpark and David Bell’s inability to manage a pitching staff. The Reds rank 30th and last in the majors in average innings pitched by regular starting pitchers (not counting openers) at 5.19. When the other team gets to the third time through the order Bell begins to panic, and because of this the bullpen is grossly overworked.

      I would not be surprised to see Fraley and India on the block for a controllable starter (although I would prefer they keep India, but…). I also think others will be let go too, such as Senzel (played and whined himself out of Cincy), Casali (option declined), Fairchild (traded or non-tendered) and Votto (option declined).

      • greenmtred

        All those starters confided that to you, did they? Considering how the bullpen ranks and how well the decimated rotation held together, I find your comment puzzling.

      • JB WV

        It’s always Bell at fault for every move. He has input from his pitching coach and bullpen coach who are in close contact with the players and how they’re feeling/performing every day. By far more astute baseball minds than what appear on this blog, Bell will be a finalist for Manager of the Year and well deserved. Bitter loss today but it doesn’t dissuade me me from feeling extremely optimistic about the next several years. Also, it ain’t over yet.

      • DaveCT

        Is DJ even around? I don’t think Ive seen him for some time. Covid?

  18. Dennis Westrick

    What the heck happened? I went into a late meeting here at work with the Reds up 3-1, needing 6 outs for the win!

    Needless to say, a playoff crushing loss! Now we need a LOT of help! Need Giants to beat the Snakes and the lowly Pie-Rats to beat the Stupid Cubbies! Also need the high-priced, under-perfroming Mets to beat the Fish!

    Just checked the box score and it appears to this old Reds fan that HG may have had enough gas in the tank to pitch the 8th? Just sayin’!

    With only 8 games remaining I’m afraid the Reds now need to go 7-1 or 6-2 the rest of the way!

    Post edited.

    • Doug Gray

      Do not avoid the swear filter, Dennis.

      • Dennis Westrick

        Sorry, Doug! I will use “heck” next time!

  19. DataDumpster

    David Bell said in the post presser: “Might have been Hunter’s best start ever…” I would agree with him on that. Greene at this time has booked 21 less innings that he did in all of last year with quite a bit of rest lately because of the injury. He has lately been dominant all around. However, at 92 pitches, he is not even allowed to start the 8th inning. Instead, it’s Gibault Time! (who has almost exactly doubled his appearances and innings from last year). Then, Diaz who has not been very effective for 2 months and Young, whose 60 bullpen appearances far exceed his previous high of 38 in 2021.
    Sorry, David Bell blew this one with some “help” from the defense. The magic numbers haven’t been brought into play yet so there is still time but this one stings badly. The team who had nothing to gain from a win (the Twins) outmanaged and outplayed us badly down the stretch. What a lift for them to see Hunter Greene exist the stage with 2 chances left. That is just giving it away but I guess the bullpen needed the work with the off day tomorrow or something like that. Jim Day never asked.

  20. Rednat

    i don’t blame the bullpen. we are averaging 3 runs at home a game on offense this second half. that is not enough to win.
    not sure how to fix this problem over the offseason. we just need more hitting. it is painfully obvious at this point

    • JB WV

      With rookies dominating the lineup we need more experience/ maturity. The talent is there.

  21. Reddawg2012

    It’s ironic that the team’s most consistent strength, and the reason they are in this position to begin with (the bullpen) is what ultimately led to a loss in an almost must-win game.

    At this point, the Cubs and Marlins need to lose tonight, and then the Reds have to sweep the Pirates this weekend. Anything less and it’s probably over.

    What a terrible, horrible loss this was today.

  22. Jeremiah

    Boy that’s a tough loss there. I’d say a team loss overall. Offense missed opportunities to add a run or two, and just not good hitting the last 2 days in general. And the bullpen surprisingly bad. In hindsight Bell probably should have kept Greene in for the 8th. Hunter Greene awesome though has really stepped up!

    India hitting I think .118 since returning I saw. I respect his desire to play and comeback, but he’s really struggled hitting, I don’t know if it’s injuries, overall hitting approach, but him at the top of the lineup not helping. I don’t blame Bell for putting him there though. But maybe have to move him back down for the last 8 games.

    Every time I think the Reds are done they hang in there, so I’m not giving up, but obviously it’s getting down to the wire. I think the Reds are still in it going into St. Louis, but we’ll see.

  23. Jeremiah

    That Willi Castro, who I’ve never heard of before this series, really hurt the Reds this series. Got to give him a lot of credit. Sometimes one player can win a game, we’ve seen that with De La Cruz when hot.

  24. Old-school

    Tough loss for sure. Good to see Greene look like a #1 starter. He was outstanding.

    Diaz isnt the same shut down nasty closer he was through the ASbreak, but hes giving his all. Bullpen has been good this year, but they dont have elite guys that throw 101 like the Twins or Phillies. Farmer and Young and Gibault and Moll and Cruz have all competed but they are grinders. Sims has the elite stuff but cant throw strikes consistently or put together consistent outings. They need 1-2 elite high leverage guys to pair with Diaz.

    It would have been nice to have Chapman or similar to take the 8th. Maybe Diaz is just tired and another back of the bullpen arm to share the load would keep him fresh. It was a great baseball game till the 9th.

    For all the JV discussion, Id rather free up $13 million targeting a new elite arm somewhere on the pitching staff….whether it be $20 mil to Sonny Gray on a high AAV shorter deal or a dominant back end high leverage guy. CES and Marte can handle corner infield next year and Steer is a plug and play guy anywhere.

    • Ted Alfred

      Yep….love Joey but all he’s doing is getting in the way of CES playing first base on a full-time basis and money that can be used to get a good full-time starter…the end

      • JB WV

        Don’t forget about his 2 run hit last night to ice the game.

  25. AllTheHype

    Tough loss, but we were due to cough one up late. The bullpen has held so many such games this year and lately they been very good.

    Just one of those games. Nothing to say but that.

    Now we need some help.

  26. GPod

    This where I have to question Bell’s decision making….If you have been paying attention since the all-star break, Diaz has been very shaky …..when the Reds got that run in the bottom of the 7th, it gave Bell the opportunity to send Greene back out and see how it would go….he had all that rest when he was on the IL, so 90 pitches is not a big problem….it’s a case of over-managing as Bell is well know for. Diaz is not the same pitcher as he was earlier in the season….if you can’t see that, then you’re not paying attention

    • VaRedsFan

      True…Diaz has not been elite for a while, but he has still been very good and generally gets the job done, even when he’s been shakey.

      So, I’m using the guy that’s been one of the MVPs of the staff all year over anybody else in that pen you can name. Bringing in Moll was the losing play.

      Name a closer with fewer blown saves (3) than Diaz

      Clase 11
      Finnegan 9
      Doval 8

      All great closers but they blow more games then our guy.

      • Roger Garrett

        Thank you cause Moll was the losing play.I ride with Diaz until.Twins ran at will and just put the ball in play in the ninth inning.Error didn’t help nor did the missed tag at third by Senzel.Twins came to play late after Hunter left.Reds never showed up at the plate the last 2 games and thats why they lost.Diaz is now 37 out of 40 in saves and no he isn’t the same nasty almost unhittable dude from earlier in the season but I still ride with him cause without him Bell looks a lot worse and so do the Reds.

    • Ted Alfred

      That’s the thing that irritates me the most about it. That is the best Greene has ever pitched as a major league pitcher. His stuff was Electricifying, dazzling, amazing and he was throwing all of his pitches for strikes…14k’s with 1 walk through 7. You could tell by watching his body language he was in total command…100% confident in how how was pitching and his last fastball was 100mph for his 14th K. He would have gone to the mound in the 8th with a two run lead and I really think he could have finished this thing out and pitched a complete game around 110-115 pitches in the biggest game of the year. Diaz has been average at best since the allstar break. And if you’re not going to let your #1 SP go out in the eighth inning there with today’s stuff at 92 pitches when he was fresh due to his 6 week IL stint and 8 games left and the playoffs on the line….then when are you ever going to let him go out there and watch him grow into that dominant #1P that wins you a WS. Bell just flat out blew it and he knows it. He will never be the guy because he always manages scared.

    • greenmtred

      My comment above details Diaz’s last appearance–on Friday–in which he dominated the Mets.

  27. J

    Nothing is ever Bell’s fault, but:

    1) Benson hitting 8th meant Friedl and India had more chances to hit than Benson. If anyone thinks that’s maximizing the team’s potential, they’re wrong. Your highest OPS guy doesn’t hit 8th, just ahead of your lowest OPS guy, unless you’re trying not to score. (Maile did manage to knock Benson in from third, but only because he was lucky enough to get hit by a pitch when he was in the process of bunting for an out.)

    2) Fraley continuing to hit cleanup is Bell sticking his head in the sand. Felt like an automatic out every time, and he had a couple chances to blow the game open. I really can’t believe anyone who’s been watching games for the last few days would think “that’s my cleanup hitter,” but Bell does.

    3) In the 7th inning, you had a PERFECT opportunity to use Elly the way he SHOULD be used. Maile is on first with nobody out. But because the Reds are ahead by two runs at that time, Dr. Bell assumes there’s no urgency to score again, and allows Maile to sit at first instead of inserting Elly to steal second with nobody out and the top of the order up next. Then Stephenson catches two innings, probably with a three run lead instead of two run lead.

    4) And of course there’s the decision to take Greene out for no apparent reason other than he’d reached some arbitrary number of pitches. Just as Cruz needed to come out yesterday because he’d reached an arbitrary number. Gotta keep these guys rested for the off-season!

    But of course nothing is his fault. It’s all the players’ fault. Strategy never matters in baseball.

    • Jeremiah

      Benson is an interesting argument. You wonder if he had been placed at 1st or 2nd in previous weeks if he’d still get on base at such a high clip. The top of lineup’s lack of ability to get on base has been one of the keys of the offense slumping in the second half so it would have been interesting to see.

      • J

        I would have been interested a few months ago to see what Benson could (or couldn’t) do at the top. We have no way of knowing, but no reason to believe he’d be unable to continue doing what he’s been doing. Instead we’ve had to suffer through Elly, Bader, Martini, Fraley, and a few other guys Bell trusts to hit at the top of the order for reasons I can’t imagine. Friedl hits a very pedestrian .255/.325/.425 against righties, but Bell has him hitting 1st or 2nd (or cleanup) against righties, whereas he hits at the bottom against lefties despite much more impressive numbers (.344/.404/.511). Bell gets so many things wrong on a consistent basis, it’s hard to keep track of them all.

    • AllTheHype

      I don’t agree with #4, but agree with the other points for sure. On #4, we’ve had many games where Bell has squeezed the lemon on starting pitching and it’s come back to bite us. One I remember vividly was the Aug 4 game against Nats, almost identical to this. Ashcraft 89 pitches, 1 ER thru 7, cruising, Bell sends him out for the 8th…..2 quick outs, then 6 pitches later, single then HR and game is tied 3-3 and we eventually lose in the 10th.

      The bullpen has been solid, can’t fault the decision to go to pen with Greene at 92.

      • J

        I agree that one wasn’t AS obvious, but I would have let him remain in the game with someone ready to replace him with any indications of fatigue.

        It’s easy to imagine various ways that things could go badly no matter what you do in that situation. It’s not that hard to recall games where the starter has been cruising along, been removed while he still looks strong, and the bullpen immediately blows the lead. It feels like that was almost a daily routine last year, and it’s happened this year as well. So, things can go badly either way. The one thing you actually know for sure is that Greene was looking really good, and it’s not like he’s been pitching so much this season that his arm must be about to fall off. If anyone ought to be able to throw more than 92 pitches right now, it’s him. I would have left him in the game to see what he could do. Worst case scenario is you take him out after a couple batters and it’s tied.

    • Seattle77

      I live for these comments. Almost as fun as the Reds’ surprisingly strong season this year. I truly wish there were a parallel universe in which we’d have the actual Reds to stack up against a Bizarro-Reds managed by the whims of the discussion board. That would be entertaining!!

      • J

        I love this idea that not having your highest OPS guy hitting 8th in front of your lowest OPS guy is just some “whim” that would only exist in a Bizarro world. It’s literally the opposite of what virtually every other manager in the history of baseball has done. The Twins, for example, had their top five OPS guys hitting 1-5. They had their lowest OPS guys hitting 6-9. Their worst OPS guy was hitting 8th, exactly where the Reds had their highest OPS guy.

        I just glanced at the Arizona lineup, and guess where the top OPS guys are hitting? If you guessed 1-4, that’s correct. Guess where the lowest OPS guy is hitting? You probably already know it’s 8.

        The Bizarro-Reds are the ones that actually exist. And people who continue defending these dumb lineups are part of that Bizarro world. The rest of us are living in the real world where major league managers put together lineups that make sense because they want to win games instead of trying to prove their dumb theories are right.

    • Ted Alfred

      The Fraley hitting #4 thing is very reminiscent of India hitting 3rd for two months when it was obvious to everybody except the manager that he was not out of his comfort zone in that spot and all he all he was doing was crushing rallies and killing innings left and right. Bell was completely oblivious to what was happening right in front if him because he was sure it would eventually work. I guarantee you the other teams fans in our division are absolutely THRILLED the Reds just rxtended Bell for another three years .. because they know that with this talent if ownrrship actually brought in a really good manager we would be a dominant force in the division for the next 5 years.

      • Ted Alfred

        Typo…was out of his comfort zone

    • greenmtred

      Greene recently returned from the IL. Prior to his covid , he spent considerable time rehabbing a recurring hip injury. Isn’t it just possible that his pitch limit–if there is one–is not arbitrary at all, but is based upon sound medical reasoning?

      • VaRedsFan

        Greene threw 109 pitches 2 starts ago vs St Louis on Sept 10.
        He followed that up with 98 on 9/15.

      • greenmtred

        So he could have pitched a complete game yesterday? Maybe, but the back end of the pen was rested and Diaz, though people have apparently forgotten this–was absolutely dominant in his last appearance, which was 4 days prior to this. This situation was an example of what you have a closer for. Had Diaz pitched the way he did against the Mets, we would have won the game.

      • old-school

        radio team was discussing this and said Reds half inning in the bottom of 7th was very long and Greene sat awhile. With 2 more important starts, not unreasonable to hand the game over to a rested pen with the back end guys available needing only 6 outs. They didnt do the job. It happens.

  28. Jeremiah

    It’s not that the Reds couldn’t make a run to get a spot, but the amount of games left is the big issue. 15-20 games left and I think the Reds could do it. But the numbers, law of averages are catching up. I think my thought in recent weeks was 86 wins to get the last spot and I’m still kind of sticking to that prediction. That’d mean 7-1 the rest of the way which seems very unlikely.

    Today’s win stings, but the Reds have had games they won that were stingers too such as the 2 walk offs against the Cubs a few weeks back. Ultimately it looks like they are just not going to be good enough to win a spot. It’s still been a good year.

    I think they’d most likely get crushed by Milwaukee or Philly if they got in. Unless Elly De La Cruz potentially got very hot. Which leads me to think whatever happens this season I’m a little concerned with EDC going into next year. I think he’ll be good, but he may need a different approach or a different voice guiding him with his hitting.

    Are the Reds the Orioles of last year on the cusp of a dominating season, or are they the Twins or Guardians/Indians of previous years who had a really good year and then disappointed the very next year?

    • J

      It’s just hard for me to see this team being any sort of dominant team if the guy with the best OPS is going to consistently hit 8th or 9th, a guy who’s barely hitting at all is going to hit cleanup, a guy who’s been one of the hottest hitters on the team might be on the bench so that one of the coldest guys can play, a pitcher who’s rolling along is going to be taken out of the game because he’s reached some arbitrary number, etc. The Reds have to a lot better than the competition to overcome these kinds of hurdles day after day after day. I think they’ll be good — especially if they manage to add a couple key players — but I’m not convinced they’ll be THAT good.

      • Ted Alfred

        You shouldn’t have to overcome the deficiencies of your own manager to reach your potential….and that is truly the crux of the issue.

      • greenmtred

        Benson, batting 8th, scored 2/3 of the team’s runs yesterday. His OPS is actually the same as McClain’s and McClain usually batted near the top of the order, so what do you suppose the difference is? I don’t know and any guesses I make would be purely speculative, but the evidence suggests that this is in some way a special situation. You could fall back on denigrating Bell’s intelligence, his motivation, his judgment, but that too is purely speculative. I think there’s an interesting story here.

    • JB WV

      A 21 year old with phenomenal talent but still shaky on the fundamentals needs, and will get, a spring training to hone his skills. The national publicity seemed to jade Elly a bit after his spectacular appearance. Judging him at this point is unfair. I’m excited to see him make adjustments and because a better player.

  29. Mark A Verticchio

    As long as David Bell and his staff are in charge this team will never reach its potential. I have been saying all year that Bell has no feel for the game and when the Reds scored to go up 3-1 in the 7th he had every reason in the world to let Greene pitch the 8th but because of a decision he had already made he took him out. The man is not a big league manager, the worst in MLB, and the Reds and their fans are sadly stuck with this way below average manager. The season ended today. On to college football for me. D-Backs lead 6-1 and the hits just keep on coming.

    • Jim Walker

      If the Reds can get around the Marlins, they probably have a better chance catching the Cubs anyway because of owning the tiebreaker over the Cubs; and, at least a DBacks sweep of the Giants keeps the Giants cleanly behind the Reds.

    • Ted Alfred

      Yep…me too. Time to switch gears to football, today was the last gasp. Big Buckeye fan and this weekend’s game in South Bend vs a really good ND team should be fun.

      • Jim Walker

        That game on Saturday is going to be really interesting. Are the Irish really improved? Can McCord deliver in a big game for the Buckeyes? Will the Knowles defense get Wolverined?

        And add in that there is at least a bit of an undercurrent on the Buckeyes side of a score to settle because some feel the hit which cost JSN his season last year and with it quite possibly the National Championship for the Buckeyes was at the least unnecessary and at the worst down right dirty.

    • TR

      As the lyrics of the song goes, ‘Que Sera, Sera,’ what will be, will be. I was looking forward to a managerial change after five years of Bell at the end of this season, but an extension was given, unnecessarily, during the season. David Bell is a well-qualified front office person, not a dugout guy.

  30. Jim Walker

    I Cleted after the two run single in the 9th because for the 1st time in years I did not trust myself not to go on an absolute rant.

    Short, sad, and simple, this Reds team fell apart when Greene left the mound.

    Check out Gibaut’s pitch sequences in the 8th. He was throwing virtually nothing but 4 seamers or cutter and the Twins were sitting on them, swinging from the heels. He continued throwing as many cutters as 4 seamers and virtually no full sliders or change ups.

    Then in the 9th, it was failed team defense which did as much damage as the pitching. As per normal Castro seemingly had a running jump on Diaz to steal 2nd. Maile’s forced throw was bad. With no chance at the out, India failed to block the throw. Marte was late backing up from SS and even Friedl seemed slow to respond on the backup from CF, allowing Castro to cruise into 3B

    But this was just the warmup act. Somehow the Reds let Farmer slip far enough off 2B to make a break for 3b. The throw was good and in time but Senzel missed the tag. This is MLB, not Little League, Senzel needed to just put his body between Farmer and the bag and let Farmer tag himself.

    And thus somehow, Sam Moll ended up pitching the most important batter of the season and the two run single happened on a 94 MPH 4 seamer 1st pitch, in the middle of the zone, game lost.

    It seems to me when all the wheels fall off at the same time, the guys simply weren’t prepared to do what they needed to do while the Twins were.

  31. Jedi Joey

    Today’s loss just hurts more. It’s a shame to see the game slip away after Hunter pitched his rear end off. The playoffs are unlikely. I hope they can somehow get hot and sneak in but I just don’t feel confident in it. They did exceed expectations this season at least.

  32. Jon

    Fraley is 5 for his last 25 with a 66 wRC+

    India is 4 for his last 31 with a 52 wRC+

    Stephenson is for 5 for his last 37 with a -24 wRC+

    But sure, let’s celebrate when Elly is out of the lineup!

    • Jim Walker

      Fraley hurt but playing
      India hurt but playing
      Stephenson still limited by injury last year.

      One of Marte or CES has sat virtually every day until today.

      Barrero striking out too much yes, but slugging very well at AAA for several months

      Martini probably a better option than a hurt Fraley.

      Chuckie Robinson has had a strong offensive year at AAA and could have given Stephson time off on IL to rest from time to time.

      • LDS

        I said at the time that it was irresponsible to let Fraley come back. I’ll not be surprised to see him hit the IL as soon as the Reds are officially out of it. As for Barrero, they should have swapped him and EDLC several weeks ago. Once EDLC was back in the groove, if Barrero is hitting, send someone else down. If not, send him down. Alas, that ship has sailed.

      • Harry Stoner

        The decision on Fraley’s return has to be as much on Bull as it is on Bell.

        Despite all the hard work here to somehow try to make a convincing argument that Fairchild is a better OF option than Fraley…he has been a far more productive hitter, OPs mining be daxxed.

        However…Fairchild only hit his head against the wall and caught Covid. Fraley broke his toe or his foot.

        Based on his previous production, of course Bull and Bell are going to hope he can get back in condition to play.

        Naturally, they would ask him how he feels and if he can play and naturally Fraley would say “I’m fine, I can play.”

        What else does anyone think would actually happen?

        As opposed to some fantasy conversation based on a fantasy memory of some “management” meeting pre-retirement?

        So the decision to TRY and see if Fraley can play is an obvious one.

        Now that we’re seeing that it isn’t working it is time to make a decision otherwise.

        Or we were seeing it a week ago and the corrective move should have been made then.

        But the “I said at the time that it was irresponsible to let Fraley come back….” is just a bunch of noise.

        More lazy complaining. Gaslighting at worst.

        I’m all for Bell bashing, the more the better.

        But it’s time to bring a better game to it.

        Inactivity in the face of EDLC’s steadily declining performance is a much softer target.

        Marte isn’t the answer at SS, but since he’s started to figure out MLB pitching he certainly has been the short term improvement, particularly in the face of EDLC’s rapidly increasing level of on-field blunders.

        Fraley at leadoff? Come on.

        Martini over Fraley? Come on. A minor upgrade at best. Again, OPs will only confuse the issue.

        Votto’s OPs and productivity have been remarkably high, but, of course RLN wonks want him gone.

        I prefer CES at 1st base over Votto just about any day, but I’m not going to base it on selective assessment of statistics. JV’s productivity has been substantive, BA aside.

        It’s hard to swallow all the tortured Fairchild stats harvesting while giving cred to the Fraley bashing.

        Sure, Fraley requires platooning. His productivity while playing is high.
        Fairchild can’t hit RHs. He’s not the solution, but has been pitched as such for a long time.

        The Reds have serious OF issues to reconcile. Moving Benson out of the 8 or 9 hole isn’t going to do it alone.

        Fraley needs to go on the IL. Fairchild is an improvement, a slight improvement, over Renfro, and most of that is in the OF and possible PR situations.

        Somehow Friedl has come into the Fairchild-loving crosshairs. That simply doesn’t make any sense given the guy’s performance.

        I get all the “I was in management for 40 years!” stuff.

        Bring your game, or expect to be called on it.

      • JB WV

        Doesn’t Barrero slug well at AAA then get to the bigs and struggle? With all the shortstops ahead of him, that can actually hit….

      • Jim Walker

        @Harry>>> My best recollection is that I said at the time Fraley announced he was going to play hurt, I said it was a slippery slope because being able to play without making an injury worse in the long term did not mean being able to play as well as if a person was not hurt.

        I know you do not cotton to OPS but Fraley and Martini have virtually identical career MLB OPS marks. Does this mean Martini would be better than Fraley Long term? No, but it does mean in a short run if Martini is healthy and dialed in while Fraley isn’t, Martini might be the better call.

        We disagree on Fairchild’s ceiling. However, I have consistently said he is a traditional 4th outfielder who plays best when he gets at least 3 starts a week and isn’t pulled out mid game in platoon switching. I have also said he is not a good choice for a strict platoon system like the Reds use. And yes, when push comes to shove this is also Friedl’s ceiling to me.

      • LDS

        @Harry, when an organization brings back a player with an injury and already facing off season surgery, with the likelihood of making it worse by playing, that’s irresponsible. It brings to mind the Portland Trailblazers of the late 70s/early 80s. As for Votto’s OPS, once again, the components of OPS and the distribution of hits matters more than the components. Votto is a .200 hitter now. He’s not what he was. And keeping him around for who he was is to discredit him further. He’s already lost 6-7 points from career BA average of the last couple of years. As for Bell bashing, it’s rather easy – no accountability, no material corrections, poor in game management/situational awareness, etc. That should be obvious to all.

      • wkuchad

        “Fraley and Martini have virtually identical career MLB OPS marks”

        Jim, that’s a little misleading though. The Reds have gotten much more out of Fraley by mainly playing him against righties. Fraley’s OPS as a Red is much better than his career OPS.

      • Jim Walker

        @Chad, Please be seated before reading any further. 😉

        Fraley’s career OPS vs RH pitching is .754/ wRC+ 106 (PAs 952)
        Martini’s is .804/ wRC+ 121 (PAs 352)

        I believe I am limited to 1 link in a comment so here Fraley’s. I’ll put Martini’s below.,1

      • Jim Walker

        and of course I fat fingered the label on Martini’s OPS vs RH pitching. here is the corrected version

        Nick Martini’s career OPS vs RH pitching (.804/ wRC+121/ 352PA)

      • Jim Walker

        Chad>>> Actually I was checking later and saw that the filter cleared on Fraley’s and his career RH OPS was a tad higher than Martni’s but their wRC+ was identical at 121.

        I’d just add for anyone using that advanced split tool in Fangraphs, it is really nice for getting granular data but it has a way of messing with chosen filters and entered dates.

        Check, again check, and then if something seems not quite right later, check again. As the matching or virtually so wRC+ ranking is what I was expecting to see based on some stuff I had run a few days ago on the same pair 😉

  33. Indy Red Man

    Probably take 7-1 now and they’re not good enough to do that.

    Atleast HG was dominant and might be ready to lead the staff next year. CES got overlooked & jerked around for 100+ games, but I think he’s made his mark now. Ashcraft really took off too and Phillips on Monday. If they can figure out Elly then we should take off. Marte is already blossoming too

    • Ted Alfred

      This group of rookies led by McClain, Steer, CES, Marte and then adding in the rookie SP Abbott, Williamson, and Phillips looks really strong….even without Elly. And if Elly makes a jump next year from his troubles this year all the better.

  34. Melvin

    Key moment of the game for me was taking Greene out. As for Diaz, it’s too bad we couldn’t get Chapman to help him. He seems to be out of gas.

    • Rob

      Diaz may be better suited for another role. The walks and stolen bases work against you in tight games. A pinch runner has turned into a regular occurrence here since the Cubs ran amuck on him. I don’t know that a better catcher solves the problem either. That prolonged windup probably needs to go if he continues in this role.

  35. Mark A Verticchio

    In the end its been the hitting that did this team in see stats above about India, Stephenson and Fraley throw in Votto, Maile, EDLC, Senzel and that basically leaves Marte, Strand, Freidl and Benson and just for fun besides today check how many recent games those four have all started. Another truth is that for the most part this team has struggled since the Brewers series before the All Star break. The Brewers showed the league how to pitch to this team, off speed, and there have been few if any adjustments = poor coaching.

    • Roger Garrett

      No doubt and this team as a whole did not adjust.Double digit strikeouts were common.Team has speed but you just have to put the ball in play.

    • JB WV

      With all the injuries losing McClain may have been the worst.

  36. RedsGettingBetter

    Virtually the chance off making the playoff comes to an end but mathematically doesn’t, they still are alive and me as a long-time Reds fan will be rooting and hyping them while the math says yes they still can over the remaining 8 games..

  37. Jim Walker

    So what’s the over/under that now since the playoff chances seem nil, we’ll get a sudden Votto send off Sunday or alternately a big announcement they have at least agreed in principle on an arrangement to bring him back for 2024?

    • Mark Moore

      Really wouldn’t bet against one or the other. Probably leaning toward it being the big send off.

      And I do think we’ll se a huge drop in our playoff chances regardless of what the Stupid Cubs and the Phish do tonight. This loss was a real dagger.

      • TR

        With HG’s great performance and momentum, the best of his young career, and the playoffs on the line, I question the managerial decision to turn to an exhausted bullpen for the last six outs. The book is not always the answer in must-win games.

      • greenmtred

        Diaz had 4 days of rest prior to this game and was throwing 97 last time he pitched. He was exhausted, but has been used lightly for a while.

      • VaRedsFan

        @TR – Of course you bring in Diaz, though he’s not perfect, he’s had only blown 2 saves all year. You can’t possibly second guess that decision.

    • Old-school

      Not happening

      Votto wants to play again and make $20 mil

      Krall isnt doing that.

      This will be a late October off the radar announcement. The Reds arent picking up his $20 million option.

      • TR

        The Reds leadership has to make a decision whether to cross the bridge or not, which means going full speed with talent and youth which they have a lot of, or hanging on to the past.

  38. Hanawi

    McLain was probably the engine that made this team go when it was at its best. They have been missing his bat. Interesting to see where they go in the offseason with the roster. Seems to be more set than usual, but I’d probably mix up some of the outfield a bit to try to get more every day consistency over the platoon guys.

  39. J

    For anyone who cares about such things: if the Reds lineup were based on how the guys have been hitting against right-handed pitching in September, I’m pretty sure the top four hitters would have been some combination of Benson, Marte, Steer, and CES. Maybe Fraley squeaks in there because he’s walked a couple times and had a few soft hits lately, but I’m pretty sure those are the Reds’ top four OPS guys against right-handed pitching in September. Those four guys would certainly have been at the top of my lineup without any question.

    Bell, of course, saw fit to have those guys hitting 3, 5, 7 and 8.

    That foursome collectively went 4 for 14 (.286) with a home run and a triple. Their OBP was .375. The other five starters had a collective total of two singles, one walk, and one HBP. (And one of those singles came after Maile tried his hardest to make an out, but failed to do it.) I’m not even going to bother figuring out how low the batting average and OBP were for those five guys, but they were obviously quite a bit lower than .286/.375.

    People may say it’s easy to complain about this stuff in hindsight, but everyone who’s been paying attention knows I’ve been saying again and again that Bell’s lineups are wrong because the guys with the highest OPS’s are scattered around instead of bunched at the top, meaning they’ll get fewer at-bats and have less of an opportunity to do damage by hitting with guys on base and/or being followed by good hitters. Today’s hitting results were predictable for anyone who cared to do the slightest bit of research — or for anyone who’s simply been watching the games lately. All you needed was one guy on base when CES hit a home run, and it doubles his production. But Bell minimized the chances of that happening by not having his three best hitters ahead of CES.

  40. Redsvol

    @Doug – who do you think will pitch Sunday. Thinking of going up for what is likely joeys last game at home.

  41. Jim Walker

    Holy Cow! Cubs lose! Cubs lose! And the Fish also lost. Nothing really changes for the last spot except it a day closer to being resolved, whenever that day is.

    • Melvin

      Still two back in the lost column with eight to go. Three back of the second spot.

      In terms of games played Miami and Arizona one behind us? San Fransicso and Chicago two behind us?

      • Jim Walker

        Yes, the Cubs have 2 in hand to the Reds but because the Reds hold the tiebreaker, the Cubs need to win 1 more the rest of the way than the Reds to be assured of finishing ahead of the Reds.

        For example, if the Reds win out, they would finish at 87 wins and the Cubs would have to get to 88 to top them. That would require 9 more wins for the Cubs, i.e. a 9-1 record in their remaining 10.

        It looks to me like the Snakes are all but free and clear as far as getting in unless they totally tank since they are +2 games to the Fish and 2.5 to the Reds.

    • RedAlert

      Now we can see the true value of even
      winning one or 2 more of the numerous games that have been given away by this team this year ; so many one run games and the inability to even have a winning record at home; truth be known, if you can’t have a winning record in your own yard you really don’t deserve to make playoffs … I will hold out hope until Reds are officially eliminated …. Should have NEVER been in this position

      • Jim t

        Considering all the injuries to the starting rotation and the fact we are playing almost 5 rookies a night this has been a very good season. Like many reds fans I was hoping for a playoff berth but that unfortunately seems to be slipping away. We are young and talented, my hope is that ownership sees what we see and invests some of the salary coming off the books to improve the roster.

      • greenmtred

        They have won more one run games than any other team in baseball.

    • RedsMonk65

      +1000 for the Harry Caray allusion.

  42. DaveCT

    Is it true they’ve closed all bridges in the city to foot traffic?

    • Jim Walker

      Where, in Chicago? The Reds were already walking dead; and, the results tonight are a reprieve. 😉

      • DaveCT

        Boston more likely. Fans there are ready to fling themselves over the side of a pitcher gives up a run. But, yeah, too.

  43. Jeremiah

    Reds at most will be 1.5 games out of the last spot going into Friday. I don’t feel good against the Pirates , I feel like the Pirates play them tough, and the Indians too, rarely do the Reds dominate Cleveland. But Reds are still in it. I think it might be a bit of a wild finish the last two games of the season between Arizona, Chicago, Miami, Cincy, etc. Should be kind of fun. Arizona looks unstoppable but they have 3 at Yankees stadium and 3 vs Houston who will be fighting for a spot so I think there’s still time for Arizona to falter a bit.

    A couple interesting statistics, Nick Senzel batting .400 in September. I’m not a fan of Senzel but he’s played well. Also, Stephenson playing in 135 games, it seems the strategy to not have him Catch as much possibly did help him stay more healthy this year.

    • RedBB

      Our chances are 15%-30% depending on who you look at which is still surprisingly high IMO. That being said we definitely have the weakest schedule left .458 WP. Cardinals FWIW are decimated too. Contreras went out last night and Carlson, Gorman, Burleson, Gallagos and O’Neil all likely done for the season.

  44. Rick

    Post game today if I heard Greene correctly he said something like, I could’ve gone back out in the 8th and maybe could’ve completed the game, but it was probably the right decision(protecting his Mgr, I suppose, maybe not).

    We’ve really missed a healthy McLain really bad. And remember, he was playing and slumping before he went on the IL. That hurt our production.

    Another point, you can’t start wearing the pen down right out of the gate starting every new season. There have been a Bell ball pattern under his reign. An extra inning here and there along the way from early April really accumulates over a long season. I’d rather take a few more starter lumps early season and make up ground later with a less exhausted bullpen.

    Diaz arm action and release point has gotten more sidewinding, lower release angle with his frontside left should opening up with his arm lower and whipping it to home on a higher % of his deliveries. Harder to snap one off from that angle. Might be tipping off that slider delivery. Less stress on the shoulder with that motion, but only if that front shoulder isn’t flying open. Sign of shoulder fatigue, but it shifts the torque to the elbow and forearm.
    With the amount of bullpen usage by Bell’s history I’d prefer offseason $$ invested into more quality of bullpen arms. We need 2 sets of A team arms so that we’re not stuck rotating B team arms the game after the better set of arms was used the previous game. We need a Hader power type arm for 8th or 9th inning duties.

  45. Jim t

    100 pitch limits for starting pitchers is used by all teams. It is used to protect the starters. In some instances staters throwing no hitters have been pulled. Pulling Greene wasn’t the issue our pen gave this one away. It’s a shame because they have been performing so well.

    • Ted Alfred

      100 Pitch limits is an arbitrary guideline…it’s not used by every manager for every pitcher in every situation. Again, these decisions shouldn’t be made in a vacuum, you have to consider other relevant factors. It’s no wonder you’re defending Bell because you think just like him…where decisions are made “just because” regardless of what is actually happening in the game. The kind of decision making that will never win anything.

      • greenmtred

        Why do you think the decisions are made in a vacuum? Is it because you don’t understand the basis for them?

      • Jim t

        @Ted Alfred, first off I’m not defending anyone.

        100 pitch limits for starters is used throughout baseball to reduce arm injuries. Go look at last nights results and see how many starting pitchers threw more then 100 pitches. That is not thinking in a vacuum. These are facts. Arm injuries were the driving force in setting pitch limits.

      • Rick

        And Greene has already had 2 TJ surgeries with a limitation of pitches per outing since being a pro. How do they defend that?
        Ask Jim Maloney what he thinks:)

    • Ted Alfred

      Says the biggest Bell supporter on planet Earth. You’re knowledge of all things baseball is eye opening.

      • wkuchad

        Ted, let’s try to not be a turd. Jim T usually takes a positive outlook in a comment section full of whining. To me, that’s very appreciated.

  46. Pablo

    Feels like we need to run the table now which is a very tall order. Start by sweeping the stinkin’ Pirates.

    It’s been fun/maddening to follow this team but who would’ve thought there would be meaningful games beyond July 4?

  47. Ted Alfred

    He was throwing the ball as good as I’ve ever seen him. These decisions shouldn’t be made in a vacuum, which unfortunately is how Bell decides everything. You have to actually consider what you’re watching with your own eyes and you were watching the most dominant HG we have ever seen… combined with a Diaz who is been very shaky for two months. At 92 pitches with the season on the line there are plenty of good managers who would have sent that dominant HG out for at least the 8th and very possibly the 9th depending on how the 8th went. He was the guy we have been waiting to see and he certainly capable of pitching 110 to 115 pitches to win a huge game at the end of this season, especially when his season innings count is low due to his 6 week layoff for his hip a few weeks back. You act like you know it was the right decision.. how exactly do you know this? What I know is that the Reds lost a game they probably would have won had they left him in with their playoff chances on the line… that’s what I know.

    • AllTheHype

      So the 3 runs in the 9th would not have happened if Bell had allowed Greene to pitch the 8th?

      The stuff you read here…..

    • AllTheHype

      Same scenario, different game, different decision by Bell..

      Aug 4 game against Nats, almost identical to this. Ashcraft 89 pitches, 1 ER thru 7, cruising, Bell sends him out for the 8th…..2 quick outs, then a 1 pitch single, and 5 pitches later a HR to tie the game at 3. Eventually we lose in the 10th.

      Guess you think that one was Bell’s fault too.

      He should have used the bullpen that day LOL.

      • greenmtred

        In HG’s previous start, Bell went to the mound but left him in and he gave up a homer. LDS commented that the loss was “on Bell.” So, yes, we have arrived in a brave new world in which games are lost by managers and wins are in spite of managers and player performance is a secondary factor. There appears to be no recognition that hitters usually fail and pitchers don’t always have their best stuff. Actually, it’s not such a new world because virtually the same narrative has been a feature here dating back at least as far as Dusty Baker.

      • Jim Walker

        I think the starter should have been on a batter to batter basis in that situation. As soon as a man reaches, the starter is pulled. Same for yesterday with Greene.

        At least through the years, this has been a classic managers’ strategy in the late innings of close games with a dominant guy approaching his limits. A related old axiom is don’t have the tiring guy face the potential lead run.

      • greenmtred

        Fair enough, Jim, but the Reds were still leading at the end of the 8th, so the likelihood is that Diaz still pitches the 9th. Maybe, since the rotation of the wheels of the universe was altered by skipping Gibault (who has generally been good), Diaz pitches the way he did in his last appearance. Or maybe Greene completes the game successfully, but Greene is not that far removed from being on the IL with a hip injury–a recurrence, I believe–and the all-star closer had pitched like his early-season dominant self 4 days previously. so bringing him in seems a given and something I believe nearly every MLB manager would have done.

      • AllTheHype

        @Jim, it’s easy to say, but in the Ashcraft scenario, 2 outs in 8th, no one on, then a first pitch single. You gonna pull him after a first pitch single with 2 outs? Not many would, just saying.

        And if Bell went to bullpen there, and bullpen gave up the HR instead of Ashcraft, then that’s on Bell too according to those here.

        Every bad result is on Bell. Every good result is in spite of Bell, as green says here.

        Sometimes players just fail. Sometimes opposing players hit good pitches.

  48. RedBB

    OK need to root for the Pirates today to beat the Cubs 16-15 in like 20 innings!!

    • RedBB

      Interesting that game starts at 7:40EST tonight. LOL Cubs get away with murder the way MLB allows them to schedule their games. Means the Pirates won’t get into Cincy sometime past 1am or 2am so.

  49. Jim Walker

    There is no way of projecting the runs would or would not have happened in the 9th if Greene had pitched a clean 8th.

    Yes, presumably Bell would have led with Diaz; but, from there on who knows? Who would have been the Twins lead off man in the inning? Would Diaz’s pitch sequences have been the same with a 2 run lead? How would the tactical decisions by both managers differed within the inning?

    • greenmtred

      All true, Jim, though Diaz’s pitch sequence, to start the inning, started with two pitches so far outside that nobody would swing at them, something that seems to signal that his evil twin is pitching.

      • Jim Walker

        The way the 9th inning played out was essentially as a ghost runner inning for the Twins but with no ghost runner for the Reds.

        When Castro reached 3rd on the stolen base and error, my mindset changed to feeling the goal of the inning needed to be to forget about him and play to get out of the inning with the score tied. As home team, that would have assured the Reds of 6 outs to win the game.

        Naturally, as the inning progressed (in my thought process), if they got an out without the run scoring, I’d still play to get through even with the most important thing being to keep the lead run off base. If they got the 2nd out, then all bets are off.

    • RedBB

      Exactly. 2 run lead is vastly different than a 1 run lead in the 9th. Pitchers approach completely changes as a solo HR still keeps you in the lead. You are likely much more aggressive in the strike zone. Really apples and oranges.

    • Rick

      The opposition strategy would’ve almost certainly have changed had we been up by 2 runs vs 1. They needed atleast 2 runners on, and would’ve played safer to get atleast the 2nd runner on. Srategy bt the Mgr is always based on your disadvantage late in a game.

  50. GreatRedLegsFan

    Cannot demand more from the bullpen, it’s been bailing out the rotation the whole season which looks promising for 2024, health forbids.

  51. BuzzKutter

    Being realistic this team probably won’t make any noise in the playoffs even if they do get in. But anything can happen if a few guys got hot.

    Right now too many guys are slumping, starting pitching is being pieced together and the bullpen is pretty gassed. EDLC has become a non factor (possibly a hindrance) and he needs to be a major contributor.

    I do think it’s extremely important to make the playoffs this year to build into next year. Get the young guys a taste and feel like they belong so that next year they aren’t just trying to get in.

    • Jim Walker

      They are getting a good but somewhat sour taste of playoff baseball right now. But the deeper they can get this year, the better the learning experience will be.

      • Votto4life

        With all due respect Jim, I think the “experience” angle is overblown. The 1999 Reds made it to a one game showdown with the Met’s and then went 11 years without making the postseason.

      • Rick

        Yeah, having managed for a decade the progression step for a young core is huge. It will make the next time less daunting. Helps remove the stage fright aspect.

  52. gusnwally

    OK one last time for all the Joey is still getting it done crowd. last 2 years BA 205,202 OBP 319,301 OPS 745, 689 Hits total for 2yrs 106, and K’s 155 I have loved Joey and appreciated his greatness as much as anyone. But, when it’s time it’s time. I remember watching Big Klu struggle through the last years. Also another interesting fact Joey has struck out 300 more times that Babe Ruth. Don’t believe me, look it up.

    • DataDumpster

      Anything other than the buyout with Joey subsequently announcing his retirement would be detrimental to the team, Joey’s reputation, and any good baseball sense. I would think that is what’s going to happen but there are some pretty unpredictable people around that decision table so who knows. I’m sure the the team is capable of throwing a good “Joey Votto Day” promotion with the man himself giving a long speech or the opportunity to announce from the booth (again).

    • RedBB

      Why would that surprise anyone? Is it a bad thing to strike out more than one of the greatest hitters of all time? Willie Mays and Barry Bonds both struck out 200 more times than babe Ruth too….and?

  53. Votto4life

    My biggest gripe with Diaz is when the lead off hitter got on to start the 9th, Diaz didn’t even glance over to first base. That is inexcusable in a one run ballgame.

    • DataDumpster

      Holding runners on is not a core skill for many of the pitching staff as well as throwing the ball on a lost cause, not keeping an errant throw in front of oneself, not getting over to cover 3B in time and whatever else happened in that 9th inning. That’s just fundamental baseball and it just seems not to be a priority for management.
      I suppose David Bell thinks that changing the pitcher again will do the trick. As Chris Welsch said in the booth last night, “at this point it just seems David Bell is going with one of his hunches, its hard to otherwise explain why he is making these moves.” You got that right.

      • Jim Walker

        And when the Crafty LH says that on the public record, it is the equivalent of Brantley saying somebody is out of their depth.

    • Chris

      In fairness, you aren’t going to find many closers past and present that held runners on worth a darn. I expect India to no matter what block that ball. Too often I’m seeing Elly or India trying to pick balls to make a tag and then miss the ball. That ball cannot go into CF allowing the baserunner to go to 3rd. Just can’t happen.

      • Jim Walker

        And Marte was a step late on backup. Also, Castro, notably a CF himself, at first glance looked like he was going to stay at 2B until he picked up it was taking Friedl a long time to get to the ball. Maybe Castro actually deked Friedl with his delay???

  54. J

    Above, Jim defended Bell’s decision to remove Greene by asking how many pitchers yesterday were permitted to throw more than 100 pitches. I can find at least five:

    Giolito 105
    Webb 102
    Kelly 104
    Gausman 104
    King 101

    Bradish and Senga both threw exactly 100.

    Several others threw somewhere between 93 and 100. (For example, Ober threw 97 against the Reds.)

    I didn’t check, but I have a feeling that none of the pitchers who were removed before they’d thrown their 93rd pitch had pitched 7 innings, given up one run on three hits and a walk, struck out 14, and were pitching for teams fighting for playoff spots. I think there’s only one pitcher who was removed in a situation like that before he’d thrown his 93rd pitch. I suspect there are no other major league managers who would have made that move, and no other managers who’d have their highest OPS guy hitting 8th or consider an injured Fraley to be a good choice to hit cleanup the way he’d been hitting lately.

    When Bell does the same dumb things other managers do, people defend it by saying other managers do the same dumb things. When he does dumb things that no other managers would ever do, people speculate that Bell probably knows things nobody else knows, and his unorthodox style would probably make perfect sense if we knew all the things he knows.

    I don’t understand why it’s so hard for some people to accept the fact that not everybody who manages the Reds is necessarily good at making strategic decisions, Bell is one such person, and his inability to make good strategic decisions has almost certainly cost this team some games. He may be fun to work for, and maybe his personality and leadership style have somehow benefited the players in ways that are impossible to prove (or even explain), but he’s just not good at making rational decisions. Yesterday this on full display with his goofy lineup, his failure to use Elly as a pinch runner for Maile in the 7th, and his refusal to let Greene get even one out in the 8th when he’d thrown 92 pitches. These decisions could potentially have changed the outcome of the game, and a better manager would have made better decisions. When you multiply these kinds of things by 162, it’s really hard to imagine he hasn’t cost this team at least a few games, which might be enough to keep them out of the playoffs this year and perhaps other years. They probably don’t have enough talent to overcome so many bad decisions.

    • Rednat

      i grant you the fact that Bell may not be the best strategic manager in the world (although i do think he has improved through the years). But i think this is a minor problem as far as the reds are concerned.
      I rank Bell as the #10 problem on list of problems of the reds. the first 9 problems are our 8 position players and dh just don’t hit enough to win consistently. Bell may have a small part to play in this but if you can’t hit big league pitching you just can’t hit big league pitching no matter who the manager is. if we had better hitters Bell’s mistakes would not be nearly as costly.

      • J

        The thing is, the Reds actually do have a lot of guys who can hit major league pitching. CES, Marte, McLain, and Steer have all shown they can hit major league pitching. Benson and Fraley are great against righties, Senzel and Friedl are great against lefties (and Friedl isn’t too bad against righties), India won ROY two years ago because of his ability to hit major league pitching, and has been great for stretches this year, and Stephenson was expected to be the team’s best hitter this year! Elly obviously has great potential, and there are a few guys in the minors who are probably capable of hitting major league pitching right now — but should certainly be able to do it soon. This is potentially a much stronger lineup than the one that won a championship in 1990, but they’ve got to be used correctly.

        Hal Morris was a rookie in 1990, and he, like Benson, led the team in OPS. And, like Benson, he was WAY better against righties than lefties. (OPS of 1.002 vs. .504). Our of 336 plate appearances (which is similar to what Benson will have), he had a grand total of 5 plate appearances in the #8 spot and 24 in the #7 spot. He mostly hit #5, #3, or #2, just as one would expect for one of the team’s best hitters.

        That’s how you use a player correctly. What Bell has been doing with Benson has gone beyond “quirky” and become lunacy.

        If you were starting a team just based on hitting potential, who would you rather have?

        O’Neill/Benson and Senzel

        I think Davis is the only guy I’d take right now for sure, and it’s quite possible Elly will turn out to be better. Larkin/Marte is a really tough choice, but I guess I’d take the Hall of Famer even though I think Marte’s ceiling is even higher. But at every other spot I’d take the current Red over the champion Red.

      • J

        Oops, I meant Duncan/McLain. Didn’t mean to imply McLain played for the 1990 team.

      • greenmtred

        Again, my question is why do you actually think that Bell bats Benson at or near the bottom of the order? I agree that it’s unusual, though it has also been productive. I don’t recall that he has done this with any of the other better hitters, and certainly not on a regular basis. I tend to place less importance on batting order than you and others here do; if many of your players are hitting well, you will win lots of games, barring, of course, having most of your starting rotation on the IL.

    • Jim t

      @j the use of a pitch count is done to reduce arm injuries. It is a standard used all across baseball. If you listen to the red’s broadcast nightly it is mentioned regularly.

      • Chris

        True Jim, but that pitch count is nothing more than a made up fallacy. There is NO information that suggests that a specific number of pitches is related to injury issues. For starters, if you talk to ex pitchers they will tell you stressful innings are much more of a factor than are actual pitch counts.

      • Jim t

        @Chris I can’t provide it but I think there was a study that suggested otherwise.

      • J

        As far as I can tell, this whole “pitch counts reduce injuries” thing is based mainly on anecdotal evidence and perhaps one study many years ago that sorta-kinda-maybe supported this idea in some roundabout way. I don’t think there’s overwhelming scientific evidence to support it (I’ve asked people to show me all this hard evidence, and all they can do is produce that one sorta-kinda study), just as it turns out there wasn’t any real scientific evidence to support the 8-to-12-glasses-of-water-per-day advice doctors used to routinely give their patients because they’d heard it many times themselves and had come to believe it. And now most of them have admitted there was no real basis for telling people do to that. Not all medical advice is really based on sound scientific evidence. Eventually people just assume all this data exists because they’ve heard about it.

        It seems pretty clear that Reds pitchers who’ve had their pitch counts limited are actually VERY likely to get hurt. Need evidence? Look at the Reds starting rotation right now. I mean, if these guys are actually being protected from injury by all these strict pitch limits in the minors and majors, the effect is VERY subtle. It’s hard to imagine how a starting rotation could have more injuries than this one.

      • Doug Gray

        There’s scientific evidence, and plenty of it. The more pitches you throw, the more “tired” your arm gets, which can then lead to more stress being put on everything, less than perfect mechanics, etc. Now, at what point you start to cross over into the “danger zone”, so to speak, depends on a whole lot of factors. Who is the pitcher? What’s their pitch count situation look like on that day? Throwing 85 pitches in 7 innings is a lot different and likely less stressful than throwing 85 pitches in 4 innings.

        As for the evidence of it – I don’t have links to it and I’m not going to go out and search for them – but the data is out there showing the stress levels on arms and such as pitch counts rise in games. Players have worn (elbow) sleeves that track such things in the last half-decade at high level competition.

      • wkuchad

        So Bell is making our pitchers drink too much water or not enough?

      • J

        Several times I’ve asked to be shown all this evidence that supposedly exists, and the response is always the same: “Oh, it’s out there, believe me. But I’m not going to find it for you.” Well, I’ve searched, multiple times, and the results always come back the same. Seems to be one study from a long time ago that sorta-kinda supports the theory, and lots of articles saying “nobody really knows for sure whether pitch counts are helping anyone avoid injury.” I’ve seen literally zero stories saying “there’s absolutely no doubt, this is a scientific fact, pitch limits reduce injuries.” If anything, I see more stories saying things like “pitch limits don’t seem to have any significant effect.”

        The one exception to this rule seems to be when we’re talking about kids. In that case, there does seem to be some general agreement that throwing a lot of pitches can cause injuries. But I see nothing to indicate this is true of major league pitchers.

        If there really is strong evidence in support of pitch limits, then so be it, but it’s weird that I can’t seem to find all of this research that supposedly exists. And it’s curious that the only answer I ever get is “oh, it’s out there. Believe me. But it’s up to you to find it.”

        I mean, technically, of COURSE pitch limits can reduce injuries in one sense, which is that the less a person plays baseball, the less likely it is that they’ll be injured playing baseball. If a guy barely throws any pitches, he probably won’t hurt his arm pitching. If a guy rarely hits, odds are pretty good that he won’t get injured while hitting. But I wouldn’t use this fact to say it’s a good idea to strictly limit the number of at-bats your best hitters have per game.

      • J

        Now I’m suddenly picturing 10 or 15 years from now, when position players will be routinely removed from games after their third at-bats because there’s a study showing a correlation between having a lot of at-bats and being injured. And people will be saying “hey, this is just what smart teams do. They protect their best hitters from injury. You’ve got a problem with that?”

      • greenmtred

        How about simple logic, J? The more you do something physically difficult, the more tired you will be and the more wear and tear you will put on your joints. You’re possibly as much of a contrarian as I am.

      • J

        I have a bad back. My doctor and physical therapist have both urged me to be as active as I can possibly be. They both claim that resting my back is not the best thing I can do for it, long term, even if it might feel a little better when I’m resting it. I would LOVE to think they’re both lying, but, alas, I think they’re probably right.

        When marathon runners prepare for a race, they don’t just run a mile or two. They build up their endurance by running more and more and more over time. They seem to be convinced this actually helps them avoid injuries and allows them to run longer distances.

        I don’t claim to know all the physics of bodies, but I do know there are lots of instances in which the experts will say “as long as it’s not hurting you, there’s no limit to how much you can do.” Sometimes they even say “the more you do, the better.”

        Maybe pitching is one instance when less activity is better, but I just don’t see any scientific evidence for it. And anecdotally, it’s obvious that pitchers are getting hurt these days at an alarming rate, whereas back in the day when pitchers were allowed to throw a lot more pitches, I don’t think they were getting hurt at an even more alarming rate. With all these pitch limits, we ought to be seeing some sort of obvious decrease in pitcher injuries, and we’re just not.

      • Doug Gray

        There are a lot of reasons pitchers “back then” didn’t seem to get hurt as much.

        First – they weren’t going 100% every pitch. That matters. A lot. Back in 1977 or whatever year you are envisioning there were three guys in every lineup who couldn’t hit a BP fastball 400 feet. A bunch of guys didn’t try to punish the ball, they simply tried to hit it on the ground and run. Pitchers had “breaks” when they faced those dudes instead of the Joe Morgan or George Foster types who had the ability to truly do damage (granted in different ways between my two examples).

        Second – the fields were larger, which likely led to easier outs. The fences were not always farther from the plate, but foul territory has a whole heck of a lot more room. Fly balls and pop ups that used to be caught by players are now caught by fans.

        Third – guys would pitch through stuff because they had to. Love it or hate it – players today make a lot more money than they did back then. You got hurt and released back then and the fall back on the past salary you had made was not the same.

        Fourth – medical advancement/survivor bias. Guys who blew out elbows in high school, college, and the minors never showed back up. It was the guys who didn’t who got to the big leagues. Shoulders can still be real tricky, but some guys come back from shoulder injuries today, too. That simply didn’t happen back in the day.

        Fifth – year round usage as amateurs. Used to be that baseball players played baseball from like March through July. Then they played football or basketball, and they’d do track in the spring. Now? If you’re a guy who looks like they’ve got a future in pro baseball you are playing baseball year round by the time you are in high school, and in the fall and winter you’re at some facility doing baseball stuff. By the time you’re 20-years-old today you’ve thrown a whole heck of a lot more than someone who was 20 did in 1955.

        Sixth – breaking balls. Kids throw them way earlier than ever before. Pros also throw them way more than ever before. There used to be guys who would thrown 65-75% fastballs and mix in secondary stuff. Most starters today throw the fastball sub 50% of the time.

        That’s what’s going on with pitchers getting injured today.

      • greenmtred

        J: I have a lot of physical wear and tear issues and bad joints: 55 years of hard labor. Absolutely, staying in motion helps, as I know from experience and as my doctors and physical therapists have said. But staying active and exercising is one thing, and hard, high-stress activity is quite another. I doubt that you, your doctor or your therapist would consider dead -lifting heavy weights to be appropriate activity. Pitching is very high-stress repetitive motion activity, not therapeutic at all. I hope that your back heals.

      • J

        Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver would like a word with you.

        Another possibility is simply that teams started becoming obsessed with protecting their zillion dollar investments, overcompensated due to some anecdotal cases like Kerry Wood, and now people just accept that they’re being very smart to limit pitches because everyone does it and nobody questions it. And there was one paper written many years ago that sorta kinda supports this theory.

        When I was a kid I was told I couldn’t go swimming after a meal because I’d drown. That was my parents being very protective, and I accepted it without questioning the science. Their hearts were in the right place, but it turns out scientists now say I would actually have survived, and probably benefited from the exercise after eating.

      • Melvin

        To Doug’s point playing “year round” could very well be the biggest factor in my view for more injuries. Still though I don’t know where the 100 pitch theory came from scientifically as the “magic” number cut off.

    • greenmtred

      105 pitches? Okay. Wow. That is certainly more than 100. Not much, though. Pitchers throughout MLB average fewer than 6 innings per start. Pitchers throw harder with more spin and more injuries than pitchers did a few decades ago. Greene has, recently, exceeded 100 pitches in a start, but this was the 8th inning, not the 6th, and the back end of the pen was rested. Bringing in Gibault for the 8th and Diaz for the 9th were both reasonable decisions, but they didn’t work out, as many reasonable decisions made by managers don’t. Had Bell left Greene in, and had he given up runs or even put men on base, he (Bell) would certainly have been excoriated for that decision, too. We’re all disappointed; I turned the game off and went for a walk when Senzel missed the tag at third.

      • J

        Greene averaged 13 pitches per inning. If he’d continued that trend, he’d have thrown 105 through 8. Perfectly doable. That would mean Gibaut wouldn’t have pitched at all. Maybe things still wouldn’t have worked out, but we’ll never know.

      • Melvin

        He was our best pitcher throwing the best game of his career in the biggest game of the year. He wanted to stay in and should have.

      • wkuchad

        He just came off injury list, was over 90 pitches, we need him for two more big starts, best bullpen arms were fresh, and we had the next day off. Multiple reasons to pull Greene.

        I would have been fine if he came out for the 8th, but it didn’t bother me a bit that he didn’t.

      • J

        This was his sixth start since being on the injured list. He’d been averaging 95.4 pitches in the five starts since being on the injured list, and had averaged 103.5 pitches in his previous two starts. This was not the day to decide he suddenly couldn’t handle more than 92 pitches.

      • greenmtred

        See Old-school’s comment above about the stressful inning. And anyway, the decision to use two rested back end bullpen guys for the eighth and ninth is not controversial anywhere but here: it’s SOP. You’ve noticed the way teams structure their bullpens? It’s for situations like this. You bring in fresh arms.

      • J

        It’s rare for a starting pitcher to go 7 innings, allow 3 hits and a walk, give up one run, strike out 14. That isn’t a “standard” start for any pitcher. And when you add that he’s still only thrown 92 pitches, it’s even more rare. This is exactly the kind of start where SOP doesn’t apply.

        If Greene is throwing a perfect game after 7 innings, has struck out 14 (including the last hitter he faced) has thrown 92 pitches, and the Reds are up by 2, should Bell take him out because that’s SOP? Would anyone seriously defend that move, because the bullpen was well rested and we need to protect Greene’s arm? No. Nobody would defend that move. At least I hope not.

        But somehow because he’s given up a three hits and one solo homer, this completely changes everything. Now it makes perfect sense to remove him at the same pitch count?

        There’s no logic to any of this.

      • greenmtred

        J: forgotten in this discussion–or ignored for rhetorical reasons–is that Greene, strong young guy that he is, has already had TJ surgery and two episodes of a hip ailment. Others have pointed out that he has exceeded 100 pitches from time to time and I think it’s clear that pitch counts aren’t hard and fast rules in most cases. Decisions about taking a starter out of a game would probably be guided by input from the pitching coach, the pitcher and the catcher and the game situation. 3rd time through the order, which is a real thing. A note on velocity: I’ve heard both Brantley and Welch say that a pitcher can signal tiredness by a decrease in command rather than a de crease in velocity.

      • old-school

        Greene had just given up a solo HR in the top of the 7th inning and the Reds had a long at bat in the bottom of the 7th with Greene sitting a while. Hed thrown over 90 pitches with a well-rested bullpen. He gave up a 3 run homer to Pete Alonso the game before in his final inning. Im not a Bell defender but it was reasonable to hand 6 outs to the Gibault and Diaz, who were rested and ready. They didn’t get it done. It happens.

        Blake Snell was pulled last week after 7 IP with 10K’s and a no-hitter and said after the game he told the manager after 7 I probably cant finish this.

  55. Jim t

    @J one more thing. You want to paint me as a Bell apologist but that is far from the truth. I’m a reds fan and have been since the late 50’s. Ownership is who I have an issue with. They have done very little to provide winning baseball in this town. Yes Bell is their manager but I hope you understand that unless they sell the team the person brought in after Bell will be their manager as well. Bell has far exceeded my expectations for this season. The next move is on ownership to continue the upward trend by investing more capital into the team to push it over the top. If they refuse to do that it means little who is the manager.

    • Hanawi

      Ownership went all in for 2020 and were rewarded with a playoff trip they would not have gotten in a normal year and an embarrassing performance. Bell is a losing manager overall, both in MLB and in his stints in the minors. There is no evidence for him being good.

      • Jim t

        @Hanawi, They may get a playoff trip this year as well but I would guess they will not be in the World Series. Bell has done very well this year. Far exceeded my expectations. Looking at the big picture he has done a good job. With that said I think I would have waited until after next year to extend him beyond 1 year.

      • Chris

        Jim, you are picking and choosing who it is you want to say did well. Did Bell actually do well this year, or was it Krall who did well? Krall has literally built this team, and it’s unbelievably talented. As pointed out above, Bell has a HORRIBLE track record at every level he has managed. Bell is NOT a good manager. This is an excellent young team that in my view is managed badly.

      • Jim t

        “Chris I guess will have to agree to disagree. I will add this I stand to win quite a few bucks this year for taking the over 63.5 win total.

        I think both did well.

      • greenmtred

        Krall did well, certainly, but he isn’t managing a team with so many injured starting pitchers and so many rookie starting position players essentially in the middle of OJT. And managing to still be in contention. It’s easy to overstate a manager’s influence on a team’s record–most of you guys do it habitually–but if your case against Bell is that he doesn’t do things the way you think they should be done–and I’ve seen nothing to dissuade me that this is what it boils down to–then this is simply opinion, nothing more. And, of course, you’re certainly entitled to your opinions. I’m willing to stipulate that any number of you guys think Bell is a terrible manager. I learn nothing from reading it again and again.

      • greenmtred

        Chris: a manager’s won/lost record is meaningless without information about the quality of his rosters. Sparky lost more games (103) in 1989 than any of Bell’s teams. A manager simply can’t win without enough good players available to him.

    • J

      Jim, I didn’t paint you as anything. I said you made a comment in defense of Bell. You may not have meant your comment as a defense of Bell, but I’m not sure how else to take it, since you were responding to attacks on Bell’s decision by saying he did something perfectly rational. To me, that’s a defense of Bell.

  56. Jim t

    Pitch counts also play a bigger part in how the game is played now. It’s why bull pens are now so much more important. Question for the older fans, who remembers when rosters were 10 pitchers and 15 position players?

    Players are now taught to work the count. They understand that getting a pitcher to the 100 pitch limit means we will see a bull pen arm sooner rather than later. The days of Jim Maloney throwing a 150 pitch no hitter are over.

    It also has to do with how the pitcher is conditioned. They are trained to maximize their efforts to a pitch count.

    While like many I wish HG could have finished the game yesterday its unfortunately that is not how baseball is played these days.

  57. Chris

    I made the track from Nashville to watch the game. You could almost hear and feel the air leave the stadium when Greene was pulled from the game. Fans all around us were griping when Greene didn’t come back out for the 8th. Sure he was at 92 pitches, whatever that even means, in that nothing supports that’s too many pitches. Green had not even had a challenging inning except for a couple base runners in the 3rd I believe. Bell complains about his overworked bullpen, but goes out of his way to continue to overwork them, and yesterday it bit him and all Reds fans.

    In the end though, this team just doesn’t hit anymore. People say that McLain going down killed them. Sure, that hurt them a lot, but I think the truth is, Elly disappearing as a Superstar and becoming a worse than replacement player type, is what has killed this team. Elly’s amazing talent in June propelled this team more than anyone, and now he’s hardly even a shell of that guy.

    Lot’s of very bad decisions by Bell in the game though, but not much different than any of the modern day analytical managers would have made. We are getting to a point in the game of baseball where a GM and a computer is all that is needed, since managers don’t manage on gut anymore. They just look at the numbers.

    • Jim t

      @Chris sorry you didn’t get to see a winner.

    • J

      Chris, I specifically pointed to the fact that no other manager (at least that I’m aware of) puts together the kind of lineups Bell does. Most other managers bunch their top OPS guys at the top of the lineup and their low OPS guys at the bottom, which maximizes the amount of damage the high OPS guys can do and minimizes the number at-bats for low OPS guys. No other manager routinely has his highest OPS guy hitting 8th. No computer would support what Bell has done with his lineups this year.

      • Chris

        J, with all due respect, I don’t care what you pointed out. You gripe over the least of the Bell issues. For that matter, you gripe over everything related to Bell and the Reds. You can’t back up your assertion that no other manager sets his lineup in such a way because lineups change, age of player changes, lots of things come into play. Could Bell do more with his lineup in my opinion? Sure, but his personnel and his in game handling of the lineup and the pitchers is a much larger issue. One reason you wouldn’t bat Benson in the top of the order is due to his inability to hit lefties, which would then force him to pinch hit at the peak of his order with a player of lesser value. That alone would preclude me from hitting Benson at the bottom of the order, among other things. By the way, I wouldn’t have Fraley hitting where he’s hitting these days either. I’d play Strand everyday. We could go all day with things we probably agree on, but you just harp on the minor stuff the most.

      • J

        Chris, with all due respect, you have not given me all due respect. “You gripe over the least of the Bell issues. For that matter, you gripe over everything related to Bell and the Reds.” These are not nice things to say about me — especially given the fact that they’re false. Maybe you haven’t actually read all of my comments very carefully. To give me all due respect, you should be honest about what I’ve said. I do complain a lot about Bell, as do a lot of people on this board. But 99.99% of what he does, I say nothing about. And I occasionally support what he’s done when others are attacking it. And many of my comments have nothing whatsoever to do with Bell. Some of my comments are happy support for something a player has done.

        Second, yes, I can back up my assertion that no other manager does what Bell does with the lineup. For example, I cited two lineups from yesterday, chosen somewhat at random, and noted they don’t look like Bell’s. I’ve also cited the case of 1990 Hal Morris, who was a lefty rookie extremely similar to Benson in so many ways (and who couldn’t hit left handed pitching), playing on a team loaded with veterans, and noted how Lou had him hitting high in the lineup almost every day, and almost never at the bottom. I can go on and on and on citing lineup after lineup after lineup, and I’m confident they’d back me up, but then people like you would complain that I’m saying too much, that I’m obsessed with it, that I’m “whining,” that you’ve become bored by my comments, blah blah blah. If you think I’m wrong, prove it. Let’s see the evidence that I’m wrong. Show me all the managers who regularly have their highest OPS guy at the bottom and scatter their best hitters somewhat randomly throughout the lineup rather than bunching them at the top. I’d love to see that, and try to figure out what they were thinking, but I believe it exists.

        Fear of having to pinch hit for Benson is a bad argument. If you’re afraid you’ll have to remove him for a weaker hitter when they bring in a lefty reliever, then you want to make sure he actually gets to hit against the starter more than once or twice. Putting him at the bottom of the order doesn’t accomplish that. It’s the opposite of accomplishing that.

        Try to imagine, if you can, a scenario where Benson is leading off, but at some point you feel you HAVE to hit for him because they’ve brought in a lefty reliever and you desperately need runs, so you bring in Senzel. This creates a great matchup because he crushes lefties, so this at-bat is another win for you. But now you’ve got Senzel leading off, and the next time he hits, he’ll probably be facing a righty. That sounds like a terrible thing, indeed, but if you actually need a better match-up, you’ve probably got Martini or Elly or someone on the bench. But, more to the point, what has Bell actually been doing when he’s got Benson hitting 8th? He’s had India hitting first, who is NOT a very good hitter right now. And he’s been followed by Friedl, who is NOT hitting righties very well. So, to avoid this hypothetical scenario where you’ve had to replace Benson with Senzel and you’re stuck with Senzel at the top for one at-bat when you’d rather have someone else, you’re going to put two weaker hitters at the top and give them four or five at-bats per game, while reducing Benson’s at-bats against the righty starter and/or righty relievers. It’s just insanity.

        You’ve got a guy who crushes right handed pitching better than anyone on the team, and you’ve got him hitting 8th or 9th against right handed starters every single day, for fear of some hypothetical situation where you might be stuck with Senzel in the 9th inning hitting at the top of the order instead of India? There’s just no good explanation for Bell’s behavior no matter how hard people search.

      • J

        Just glanced at a few starting lineups for teams that have something to play for. Brewers had their top four OPS guys hitting 1-4. Worst OPS guy hitting 8th.

        Rays had their top five OPS guys hitting 1-5. Worst OPS guy hit 8th.

        Baltimore has their top four OPS guys hitting 1-4. Worst OPS guy hits 8th.

        Now, the Phillies have a ton of hitters with OPS’s that are very close to each other, so their lineup is basically irrelevant, but, interestingly enough, they do have a guy with the second highest OPS hitting 9th today. That seems very Bell-like, but upon further review it turns out it’s a guy who’s had very few at-bats, and he’s been quite a bad hitter in previous years, so I think they probably don’t believe his current OPS means anything.

        The Braves have their top five OPS guys hitting 1-5. But in a little bit of a twist, they have their lowest OPS guy hitting 7th rather than 8th.

        Bell, by contrast, had his top OPS guy hitting 8th, and the guy with the second lowest OPS was leading off. No other manager seems to come anywhere close to doing anything like this. Other managers have their best hitters bunched at the top and their worst hitters bunched at the bottom almost every day. Nobody has their best hitter 8th.

  58. GreatRedLegsFan

    I think Philly and Arizona are in and SF is out, so what remains to be seen is who scalp the last ticket between Cincy and Miami.

  59. Ted Alfred

    “Bell has done very well this year. Far exceeded my expectations. Looking at the big picture he has done a good job.”

    Hahahahahahaha….he’s literally the worst manager in MLB.

    • Jim t

      @Ted with all the injuries to our starting rotation also considering the people we had to have start games for us I have to say I’m stunned we are still in the hunt.

    • greenmtred

      In your opinion, Ted. In your opinion.

  60. Jim t

    @J , I was in the military for 20 years I defended my country.

    I offered a opinion on Bell’s decision yesterday. I’m not defending Bell.

    • J

      I think we may be using the word “defend” differently….

      • Jim t

        @j I think I owe you a explanation. I read this board everyday. I enjoy the comments. We all have our opinions but at the end of the day it should all be lighthearted and fun. When I see the word defend it takes the discussion to another level for me. Sports are supposed to be fun yet we had someone killed in New England and another head butted in Cincinnati this weekend and I’m sure there were many more incidents that didn’t get reported.

        Hope this explains my comment a bit.we all have are opinions we don’t need to defend them.

      • J

        Ok, fair enough. I try to choose my words really carefully, and when I say someone wrote a comment in defense of Bell, all I mean is that it’s a comment that appears to support what Bell did. I don’t recognize you as one of the people who’s on here almost every day arguing with almost everything I say and/or defending almost everything Bell does, so I wasn’t intending to characterize you one way or another. Just trying to characterize that one specific comment, and all I meant was that it seemed to be in support Bell’s decision.

        I suppose I do tend to view this site as largely divided into pro-Bell and anti-Bell camps, and that may cause a few knee-jerk reactions sometimes when I see a comment that seems to be supporting something he’s done, but I try to make sure I don’t unfairly characterize any specific person.

        As I’m fond of pointing out, I occasionally defend Bell myself, and that’s exactly the word I’d use to describe it. He’s sometimes attacked unfairly, and now and then I’ll try to defend him when I see it.

  61. Roger Garrett

    If the Reds hit these last 8 games they can certainly go 6-2.However since being what 10 over at one time the offense has been very inconsistent.Sure with all the injuries to the starting pitching one would say its a miracle they have a chance at all.Reds on most night just struggle to hit and at times just struggle to put it in play.Only chance I see is they just have to play their best hitters right now and at their best defensive positions.Can’t worry at all about guys having to set such as ELDC or players ego or where they hit in the lineup.Just have to give the best a chance to get it done.

  62. VegasRed

    It would have been interesting to see how the Reds would have done in their last 50 games or so if Bell didn’t have his tidy 3 year extension in hand. We will never know but it looks like this will be another year where the team fades down the stretch under Bell.

    Which begs the question: what was the big hurry in extending Bell when they did with so many games yet to play out?

    I think that is a very fair question, and I think more fans are asking themselves the same thing than there are fans loving every move Bell makes.

    I wish I was a fan of Bell but I just don’t see it.