We’re approaching the final week of the season and YOUR Cincinnati Reds are in a playoff race! Nate and I talk about crunch time for the 2023 Reds, predict how the season will finish, and discuss some mixed feelings about manager David Bell.

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29 Responses

  1. LarkinPhillips

    The Reds have 8 games left, all against teams with losing records. We have green, Williamson, Abbott, and phillips lined up for these next 8 starts all on normal rest giving bell a 10 man bullpen with 2 off days in the next 10 days. The cards are laid out for us to play with urgency and make the playoffs. Bell has every tool at his disposal so no excuses from anyone if we don’t make the playoffs in the next 10 days. It will be the players and the management failure if we fail. We need at least 6 wins from my viewpoint.

    • MFG

      Bell and the players! We need to score some runs to take some pressure off our pitchers.

    • greenmtred

      Phillips has had one good start and Abbott and Williamson have been gassed and largely ineffective for awhile. I obviously hope that they revisit the best versions of themselves but will be completely unsurprised if they fall short of that. If the moribund bats can come alive, it might work out anyway.

      • LarkinPhillips

        Those guys being gassed is not excuse either. We have 10 bullpen arms and 2 days off. Bell should be able to manage around tired arms. Stephenson should probably catch 7 of 8 if not all 8 as well. There has to be an urgency for these next 8 games!

      • greenmtred

        Hopefully the pen will be well enough rested to take up any slack, but multiple starters leaving, say, in the 4th could certainly tax them. My point was only that the rotation is still a big question and may be the Achilles heel.

    • RedBB

      One positive is that the Reds have had more off days down the stretch than any other WC team. We still have 1 more day off from this point forward than any other team. Cubs Bullpen has had to throw around 160 pitches for instance over the last 2 days and they still have to play today.

    • LDS

      Yes, they have losing records but not against the Reds. The Reds are tied in two of the series and losing on the other. The Reds are going to have to be hungry and focused. I don’t really expect it. And Maile over Stephenson in the crunch is a perfect example. Stephenson is now hitting better than Maile from both sides of the plate.

  2. Mark Moore

    Strong likelihood is that one or both us and the Stupid Cubs will be eliminated by the end of play this weekend. That’s just simple math given the elimination numbers.

    Final WC slot is down to us, Stupid Cubs, and the Phish. I’m assuming the Giants can’t climb back into the mix at this point.

    • Jim Walker

      Unless the Brewers get swept by the Fish in Miami or the Cubs sweep the Rockies while the Reds are losing 2 or getting swept, I don’t see the numbers falling that way over the weekend. If the Reds win 2 this weekend, they can’t lose more than a game in the standings and those Thursday games of the Fish and Cubs whiles while the Reds sit and watch could be the defining games.

      • BamaRed

        To finish 6-2 we have to sweep the Pirates at home. We will most certainly split with Cleveland and lose at least one to the Cards as they have our number. No easy task for this team.

    • RedBB

      Pecota predicts that we need to end up with 84 wins to get in. That’s 5-3. Better to go 6-2.

  3. Rednat

    we stink at home (which by the way really needs to be explored over the offseason). i think if we can get 2/3 from the pirates we have a legitimate chance of winning the last 5 road games. the hardest challenge will be the next 3 games.

    i hope Bell really opens up the playbook this weekend. we aren’t scoring at home so lets see some bunts, double steals etc.(may as well go for broke). the key i think is to get runners off first base by hook or crook to avoid the double plays!

    • Doc

      Double steals require having two men on base. Doesn’t happen very often if you are pounding out 4-6 hits per game!

    • Ted Alfred

      Gool luck. Maybe if Bell quit putting out goofy lineups with incoherent batting orders we would have more of a chance. Elly should be a bench player from here on out, Stephenson catching everyday. Would like to see Martini DH instead of Fraley who is obviously way below 100% physically. India, Friedl, Steer hitting 1-2-3 every game, Marte bumped up from hitting 8th to 6th or 7th

      • doofus

        Who is capable of replacing Elly on the field and at bat? In other words, who is so much better than him?

        I am not criticizing your statement, just curious. If Mac was not hurt, I would have Elly sitting and watching and learning from the bench.

      • doofus

        I would not mind seeing Noelvi hitting 2, 3 or 4th. Perhaps playing SS (Elly on the pine), but that weakens 3b?

        The options at third would be: Steer or CES, correct?

  4. RedBB

    Despite losing a in the 9th a couple of days ago its been pretty much a best case scenario of other teams losing in the WC race since then. Last night Pirates beat the Cubs in over 3 hours using much of their bullpen and should be pretty tired for todays game. Guessing they didn’t go to bed until early this morning 3-4 am.

  5. Amarillo

    We’re still in this. Yeah, we likely need to go 6-2 or maybe even 7-1, but we have chances. Regardless of what happens, this season has been amazing.

    • Jim Walker

      Right now, the Reds, Cubs, and Marlins have the same number of wins. At the end of season, the Red are in if they have at least the same number of wins as the Cubs and 1 more win than the Marlins (because of how the tiebreakers fall and presuming no miracle run by the Giants or Padres).

      Things are that simple yet that complex.

  6. Rednat

    i don’t follow post season baseball much because the reds are rarely contenders. Let’s say we get in. Then what? what would the road to the WS look like as the third wild card? who would we play? would we be guaranteed a home game or is it 1 and done?

    • Jim Walker

      It is similar to the NFL setup. The top 2 division winners get 1st round byes.

      In round 1, the #3 Division Winner plays the #6 (Wildcard #3) and the #4 and #5 seeds (Wildcards #1 and #2) play each other. Both of these series are best of 3 played exclusively at the home venue of the best seed. winners advance to round 2.

      In round 2, the top Division Winner plays the winner of the #4/#5 series. The #2 Division Winner plays the winner of the #3/#6 series. These series are best of 5. The higher seed gets home field advantage in 3 games if it goes to the full 5. Winners advance to League Championship series which is best of 7.

      Winners of LCS advance to the World Series which is still best of 7.


    • BamaRed

      If we get in the playoffs, we would have to be the highest WC seed to host the 3 game playoff. All 3 games are played at the home of the higher seed. If we are the lowest WC seed, we would play 3 games against the lowest division winner which would be the Brewers.

    • Optimist

      Reds, if they make it, almost certainly a visiting team . . . which oddly may work greatly to their advantage – look at the Mariners/Blue Jays series last season. The Reds are in a very similar spot.

  7. Roger Garrett

    Lineup out and EDLC is starting as is Maile.Just no hope that Bell will ever put his best players on the field at the same time.No Fraley nor Ty Steve against the right handed starter.CES should be at third with Marte at short,Fraley at DH and Ty Steve catching.Benson and Marte way down in the order.

    • old-school

      Fraley may not be as effective with his toe injury that needs surgery and they are all likely realizing that. Id like to see CES at 1b and JV as the DH and Marte at 3b. Im ok with elly at SS hitting 7th as a lefty

      • Rick

        Yeah, Fraley is not hitting and that toe is likely hampering him, plus he took another hpb on it a couple of games ago.
        My issue tonight is no Stephenson and we need our best healthy hitters playing.

      • Old-school

        Maile has been Abbotts personal catcher all year pretty much

        Thats probably it

    • Jim Walker

      Stephenson’s 14 day and 7 day OPS numbers are brutal after he seemed to have rediscovered himself. His 14 day OPS is .299 in 34PAs; and, 7 day OPS is .255 in 20 PAs.

      A person has to wonder if he is dinged up but played the last week because Maile was dinged even worse.

      • Rick

        That may well be, Jim.
        Those numbers are brutal. Stephenson, had seemed to have found his groove(minus all of his double plays) for a spell.