A 9-0 Cincinnati Reds lead after three innings was overcome by the Pittsburgh Pirates, who won 13-12, before 29,680 at Great American Ball Park.

Final R H E
Pittsburgh Pirates (74-81) 13 16 0
Cincinnati Reds (79-77)
12 16 0
W: J. Hernandez (1-1) L: Diaz (9-6) SV: Mlodzinski (1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

It was the unquestioned dagger to the heart of Cincinnati Reds fans who continue to hope that their team could somehow earn a 2023 playoff berth. But the pitching staff’s inability to hold a nine-run lead over the final six innings was the story on an evening that the Reds offense scored 12 runs on 16 hits.

Unfortunately, none of the teams the Reds needed to lose for them to gain ground in the wild-card race did so. That’s why there’s no replacement for winning when you’re in a situation like the Reds are in. I’m absolutely not giving up until the fat lady sings, as they say, but this now-four-game losing streak will ultimately be what people look back on as the ultimate reason the Reds could not make a legitimate push for the 2023 playoffs.

After tonight’s game, the National League wild-card race standings are:

Philadelphia Phillies 86 69 +5.0
Arizona Diamondbacks
81 73 +0.5
Chicago Cubs
81 74
Miami Marlins
80 75 1.0
Cincinnati Reds
79 77 2.5

This grid shows Miami and Cincinnati in the fourth- and fifth-place positions in a race in which only three teams will make it.  With now six games remaining, Cincinnati must gain at least three games on Arizona to tie them, and-or 2.5 games on the Cubs to at least tie them. As much as we all would like to think the Reds can win the remainder of the schedule, the more realistic expectation is that they can go 5-1. If that happens, Arizona would have to lose at least five of their remaining eight, and the Cubs would need to lose at least four of their remaining seven. That doesn’t even account for Miami, which of course has every bit as much of a chance as Cincinnati as long as they play well in their final seven games.

Tyler Stephenson’s disappointment after the game was hard to disguise:

The Offense

The team hitting line for the game: 16-for-41, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts. Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand both had three hits, and CES added four runs batted in to lead the team in that category. Stephenson and T.J. Friedl both also reached base three times on two hits and a walk.

Encarnacion-Strand and Stephenson got the Reds off to a quick first-inning lead, a welcome change from the trend of recent days and weeks. With two out and Nick Senzel on base after a single, Encarnacion-Strand blasted a hanging breaking pitch out of the zone from Bailey Falter into the right-field stands 385 feet away.

Stephenson followed immediately with a 395-foot shot to put his club ahead by three early.

In the second inning, leadoff hitter Friedl laced a liner down the rightfield line which evaded right fielder Joshua Palacios and became an inside-the-park solo homer.

An out later, Elly De La Cruz hit an opposite-field single to right then stole second and third. After a Jonathan India walk, Senzel hit a grounder that resulted in a force-out at second and De La Cruz scoring from third to make it 5-0. An infield hit by Steer moved Senzel to second, and he then scored on a looping single to right by Encarnacion-Strand to make it 6-0. Stephenson then lined a gapper to right-center, scoring both Steer and Encarnacion-Strand for an 8-0 lead after just two innings. One can only assume that Falter was going to “take one for the team,” because he surrendered six hits of more than 100 mph in just two innings against a team that has been struggling offensively.

Facing righthander Kyle Nicolas in the third, Steer doubled with two outs to score Stuart Fairchild to make it 9-0.

But after the fourth inning, the Reds didn’t have another base reach base safely until Friedl walked with two out in the seventh — by which point the visiting team had made up their nine-run deficit. Friedl stole second to get into scoring position, but Fairchild struck out to keep the score tied.

Trailing 13-9 entering the bottom of the eighth, the Reds rallied against Pittsburgh righty Colin Selby. De La Cruz reached on a leadoff walk, followed by a flare to right by India which sent De La Cruz to third. Pinch-hitter Nick Martini bounced into a force-out which scored De La Cruz, making the score 13-10. Steer reached on an infield hit, bringing Encarnacion-Strand to the plate as the tying run. He lined a single to center, scoring Martini and making it 13-11. Stephenson then smoked one up the middle, but Pirates second baseman Ji Hwan Bae made a diving stop, righted himself and completed an impressive 4-3 double play to end the inning and rally.

The home team came out fighting in the bottom of the ninth against Pirates righty Carmen Mlodzinski. Joey Votto led off with a pinch-hit single, with Friedl following with a double to put the tying runs in scoring position with none out. Pinch-hitter Jake Fraley grounded out to score Votto and send Friedl to third, making it 13-12. De La Cruz then battled in his at-bat, hanging in for more than 10 pitches, but unfortunately struck out swinging on what would have been ball four. India then popped out to center to end the game with the tying run on third.

The Pitching

The sad but true team pitching line: 9 innings, 16 hits, 4 walks and 11 strikeouts.

Rookie righthander Connor Phillips pitched his second consecutive attention-grabbing game. Over the first four innings, he allowed only two very soft Pittsburgh singles, which — combined with two walks in the fourth inning — gave the Pirates their first run of the game. Eight of his nine strikeouts came during the first four frames, during which he dominated for the most part. He looks like a pitcher whom Manager David Bell can count on for what meaningful games remain in this season, and certainly as a top candidate for a spot in the 2024 rotation.

Phillips surrendered back-to-back sixth-inning singles, the second hit on his 99th and final pitch. With nobody out, Bell replaced him with lefthander Alex Young, who surrendered hits that allowed the two inherited runners to score. Pittsburgh treated him like a batting practice pitcher, plating five runs while he was on the mound.

It didn’t stop with Young, however. Fernando Cruz entered in the top of the seventh, and did his best impression of Friday-night Daniel Duarte. The first three batters Cruz faced reached on two hits and a walk. Bell came and got Cruz and replaced him with Lucas Sims with the bases loaded and none out. Immediately Alfonso Rivas laced a double to right field, clearing the bases and tying the game at 9-9. Sims retired the side without further damage, but without question, the damage had been done.

The carnage continued in the eighth, as Alexis Diaz allowed the first four batters he faced to reach, and four runs to give Pittsburgh the very improbable 13-9 lead.

Ian Gibaut pitched a scoreless ninth inning.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds

Sunday, September 24, 1:40 p.m. ET

TBD vs. Brandon Williamson (4-5, 4.56 ERA)

108 Responses

  1. Jon

    Is Diaz injured? How else can you explain his post-All-Star break struggles? And is he traded this winter?

    • Tom Mitsoff

      The Reds haven’t disabled him at any point. He’s only in his second year, so we’re learning about him. For next year, the team might have to consider co-closers because it doesn’t appear Diaz is able to handle high-pressure roles over a full season, with fatigue as the likely reason. But that’s just my speculation, nothing official.

      • MuddyCleats

        “because it doesn’t appear Diaz is able to handle high-pressure roles over a full season”

        Sounds like most of the Reds! The 64 thousand $ question is, “what do they (Reds) do about it in the off season??”
        No one wants to break up this young nucleus, but the team doesn’t appear to have enough playoff ready talent to b a serious contender without adding some pieces this Winter??

    • Hanawi

      He’s never really been the same since he was overused in the Houston series for no good reason.

    • jmb

      He’s just tired and has been since the ASB. He’s a 7th inning guy, not a closer. Greene or Philips should be the closer, and they need to get a hard-throwing lefty to stick between them in the 8th. No reason to trade him, though.

  2. Daytonnati

    Thanks for taking a hit for the team tonight, Tom. I bailed. I can’t imagine watching all the gory details.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      When you’re diehard sports fans like we all are for our team, you just keep hoping and hoping. When the pitching staff can’t hold a nine-run lead, there’s not much you can say. I was already thinking ahead to tomorrow and what might happen with the other contending teams. But Young, Sims and Diaz — all stalwarts for the team this year — were getting crushed. When we love a sports team as we all do, the wins are ultra-sweet, and the games like tonight are daggers to the heart.

      • TR

        Your comment, Tom, hits the target as another long season draws to an end with the inevitable ups and downs that go with it. Sorting is needed in the offseason.

    • Jim Walker

      Daytonnati> I presume you were along with me saying no, no, YES! Way to go. 🙂

      • Daytonnati

        I couldn’t get to sleep I was so jacked. Had to watch that drive a couple more times.

      • Jim Walker

        That finish certainly took the edge off the Reds blundering to the cusp of elimination for me.

        But Hey, 72 hours ago most projections said 6-2 in their final 8 would get the Reds; and, they can still get to 6-2 if they run the table. Tall task but they have had 2x 5 game winners and also a 4 gamer I believe this season; so, why not? (probably because their organization has very little in common with how OSU football operates). 😉

  3. SP

    Vintage Bell. Rely on an overworked dead bullpen when you could try and get another inning or more from a starter up by six. How much proof does he need that he has destroyed the bullpen and needs to let starters goes as long as they can? Same story every year. Start horrible, overusing the bullpen. Have a decent win streak that gives hope and then stink hard the last month or two, with a decimated bullpen. Rinse and repeat, at least for three more years.

  4. RedsMonk65

    Ohio State beats Notre Dame with TD on last play of game! Some good news for Ohioans/Ohio natives.

    • LDS

      Excellent- best sports news of the day. Grew in Indiana and never liked Notre Dame.

  5. Jim Walker

    Send David Bell and his entire coaching staff to Columbus to shadow Coach Day and his staff for a couple of weeks. If Bell and company make it through the two weeks, they should come back understanding how to lead and not just cook up schemes and follow them to sad dead end disasters. And maybe Gene Smith could teach Nick Krall a thing or 3 about running an organization while they are at it.

    • VaRedsFan

      It seems that when guys get sent down they seemingly get fixed. (Jake and TJ last year) …perhaps Barrero now. Who is the batting instructor at AAA that has the magic potion that gets guys going down on the farm?

      I’m, of course, ignoring the fact that AAA pitching isn’t as good as MLB…by a MILE.
      But why ruin a good narrative.

      • Melvin

        Well the “studs” that are playing now with the big boys went through that hitting instructor. There’s no denying some who were sent down came back better. I’ll say it right now. If they give up on Barrero they are stupid or will be acting that way. It would be foolish.

      • Jim Walker

        And coach Day might just confide to Bell that too much blind loyalty probably cost him a spot in the National Championship game last year because he sent his regular kicker out to try that game ending would be winning field goal at the extreme limit of his range when his backup guy (this year’s kicker) had been drilling 55-60 yarders in practice all week was warmed up and ready for the call.

      • Daytonnati

        Lets not forget some of the woeful “chumpiring” in that game as well.

  6. Klugo

    I just hope Krall realizes how tough the NL Central will be for the next several years.

    • Jim Walker

      This year was Krall’s chance to put down his marker and tell people to beat him if they could. Instead, he lost his nerve at the deadline; and, the team never recovered.

      • Greenfield Red

        Again, many of us said no at the time, and stick to it. Please tell us, what starting pitcher who was traded at the deadline would have helped the Reds? Don’t say Michael Lorenzen. His ERA with his new team is over 6. The Reds have guys who can do that.

      • JB

        Not to mention Lorenzen has been so terrible that he is back in the bullpen.

      • jmb

        Krall could have claimed Clevinger off the waver-wire. No trade, all they had to do was be willing to pay him! Obviously Krall was told not to take on that contract, take Bader and Renfroe instead. Clevinger’s got an ERA of 2.70 in August!

  7. Indy Red Man

    Would some of you please quit acting like Diaz has been getting lit up for weeks?
    Sept 15 his era was 2.10 with 37 of 39 saves

    Reds blow 9-0. Akron beats Indiana.
    Sometimes you’re the bug & sometimes you’re the windshield. IU football and Reds baseball….full time bugs for the new millennium

    • Indy Red Man

      Akron missed from like 30. OT….lol

      • Jim Walker

        Because they are Akron and it is in their genes to be eternal bugs! 😉

    • Tom Mitsoff

      What Diaz has been doing for weeks is putting the first man he faces on base by walk or HBP. Not every time, of course, but it’s an undeniable pattern. It will need to be addressed somehow.

      • MFG

        Agree Tom but our entire bullpen seems to do that on a fairly regular basis for some reason? Simms seems to do that almost every time.

  8. Melvin

    Thanks for doing the very unpleasant job of writing this up Tom.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      We’re all in this together. We all have the same feelings. Thanks for the kind words.

      • Melvin

        Take some alka seltzer and sleep well tonight. 🙂 We still live in America. 🙂

      • Jim Walker

        Yes thanks, Tom. I knew there was a reason why I stuck to previews and tonight reminded me why. 🙂

      • West Larry

        Thanks Tom. I bleed the same reds blood, but I think it would not stop bleeding if I wrote this column.

  9. Jon

    Would be nice if the GM or owner would ever make a public appearance/comments to the media. Would love to hear Krall pledge to acquire at least one proven starter, a veteran outfielder, and multiple proven bullpen arms this winter. The Cardinals have already said they want to get three starting pitchers.

  10. bug

    I blame Krall for giving him the extension. Some blame Castellini. Probably they both share the blame. In any event, it’s sad to say,..but we are stuck with DumBell. And it does not matter how much young talent we have, we’ll never win in the postseason (or probably even mae the postseason) with him at the helm. Worst manager I’ve ever seen,..and I’ve seen a lot of bad managers. I actually thought we could make the postseason in spite of his idiotic moves. I was wrong. Oh well.

    • Mark Moore

      Krall presented the contract Bob/Phil authorized. Zero blame on Nick for that one. His only other option was to resign.

      Speculation, of course, but all signs I read say that’s the case. A meddling, incompetent ownership group that doesn’t get it at all.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        You are correct Mark. Krall can’t offer a contract to, or pay anyone more than ownership authorizes. It’s been pretty clear for the past couple of years that ownership isn’t about to sink $$ into this roster.

  11. Jeremiah

    Boy a tough loss…I imagine the players feel pretty bad about this one. Pirates seem to have quite a bit of talent too…NL Central is going to be a battle next year, maybe one of the better divisons in baseball.

    • Jon

      Yep… Pirates have money to spend. Cubs always have money to spend. Cardinals will improve one way or another. Brewers haven’t had a down year in over a half decade.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Yeah, this is overlooked by some, but Pittsburgh’s rebuild is showing good signs. Give them some pitching and they’re at least a .500 team.

      • TR

        The Pirates lost their star rookie (I’ve forgotten his name_) to the IL after a great start. They’ll be a tough team in the years ahead.

  12. Mark A Verticchio

    Please tell me why that fool Bell pulled Greene the other day after 90 pitches when he looked good but left Phillips in to start the 6th after 90 pitches when he was getting hit fairly hard. See you all next year, I am done with this bunch.

    • Ted Alfred

      Because he makes it up as he goes…no rhyme or reason to many of the decisions he makes as he watches them blow up in his face over and over.

  13. Optimist

    Anyone else recall the Bengals-49er game as the strike loomed in 1987? At least it took Montana to Rice to get past that SNAFU – the Pirates have which future HOFers?

  14. Charlie Evan

    All the following relief pitchers have has career high appearances, and innings pitched:
    Then we have: Farmer most innings pitched in season, and Law most appearances and innings pitched since 2019.
    Since All-Star break, from what I found, Reds have won exactly 0 “bullpen games.” When you pull out your starter in the 5th inning regularly, because don’t want to have to go through line for the third time, that destroys the bullpen over the long season, and this is the result. Not to mention burning players as pitch runners at the wrong time, bizarre obsession with leading off guys who can’t get on base, sitting lefties against lefties, in favor of right hand hitters, who actually have worse splits against lefties, and on and on.

    • Hanawi

      I’d suggest the Reds need a true long man for next year to eat some of the middle innings, but I don’t think Bell would use anyone that way. They should have plenty of options if some of the guys that didn’t make it back this year return, though.

    • Tar Heel Red

      >Thank you Charlie. I have been harping on DumBell’s over taxing of the bullpen by pulling his starters too soon for months now, but every time I bring it up I get roasted. It is about time someone else sees the problem and speaks out about it.

      I will say it one more time (and then wait for the inevitable ridicule)…Bell has got to learn to manage the game that is happening on the field in front of him instead of blindly relying on a spreadsheet. Analytics are a useful tool, but not the gospel!

      • LDS

        Quit assuming Bell is analytics driven. He isn’t. His lineup selection proves that unequivocally.

    • jmb

      Good work on the research! The bull-pen games have killed them! The pen was tired at the ASB, they don’t go get a starter or two, and start doing regular bull-pen games! It was not going to be a recipe for success. I don’t see how it could even have been hoped to be one. Most of the starters that moved at the trade deadline have been duds (except Montgomery), but the Reds could have picked up Clevinger without sending a player the other way, and Clevinger has been better than ANY of the staters that were traded!

  15. LT

    It’s a heart breaker, back breaker, season ending loss. Bullpen and consistent offense are the two areas to be addressed next year.

    • Jon

      As well as a veteran SP. Can’t rely on a rotation of guys in their sophomore seasons (and the three third-year guys all missed significant chunks of time their first two seasons on the IL). If that means potentially having too many starters and having to send Williamson and Phillips to AAA until needed, so be it. The Reds can’t have a repeat of this year again.

  16. Mark A Verticchio

    To play over .500 this team needs to win 3 of the last 6, I think the chances of that are slim and none and slim left town tonight. However, no worries 3 more years of our man David Bell.

    • Tar Heel Red

      I agree Mark. Right now I don’t think this team is capable of winning three of the remaining six games…either on the field or in the dugout.

  17. rednat

    IT IS WEIRD, when the season began i felt the story of the 2023 Reds was going to be Joey Votto with a sub plot of Nick Senzel. could they overcome major surgical/medical issues to have one more season with the team ? Then June happened and we had some hope this year could be special for our home team and we kind of stopped paying attention to these guys.

    Now that we are basically out of the playoffs (if not mathematically, at least emotionally) for the last week I think the focus again is on these 2 players. i Think it is an accomplishment that both guys were able to fight through injury/surgeries and are still producing at the end of the season. I hope they are reds next year.

  18. Mike Adams

    The fat lady has walked out to the mic and is standing there, but not singing yet

    • TR

      I miss hearing Kate Smith singing ‘God Bless America’ during the great days of radio.

  19. AMDG

    Diaz gonna Diaz.

    I still stand by my scoffed-at statement from the trade deadline that the Reds’ biggest need was a closer to upgrade Diaz (who has a 5.50 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP since the deadline).

  20. Reddawg2012

    It’s weird because it really feels like the Reds had to overachieve this season to still be in contention. They do not have the depth of a real playoff team. I do think David Bell should get praise for that. Similar to Zac Taylor, it seems like a strength of David’s is building a strong clubhouse culture and making his players feel supported.

    But at the same time, DB has made so many decisions the last couple of weeks that leave me shaking my head. I think he’s done a nice job overall of managing the pitching staff. They’ve been held together by duct tape all season, lots of AAAA guys pitching important innings. Only so much the manager can do about that. But I just don’t understand some of the decisions he makes in regard to playing time for the position players. Sitting his hottest hitters when the games have never been more important (CES and Noelvi), keeping Senzel in games long after a LHP has been removed, the love affair with Nick Martini, Will Benson being stuck in the 8 or 9 hole for months despite outperforming almost everyone else in the lineup…I just don’t get it. It’s like he is trying to win with one hand tied behind his back.

    All of this is to say that I don’t know how to feel. Seems like David should get a lot of credit for how close the Reds came this season. But I also don’t know if he’s a guy who will ever get the Reds over the hump. This is the second September collapse under his watch, and let’s not forget about the historically bad April last season.

    I’m just sad.

  21. JB

    Everybody is calling for a veteran outfielder next year but I don’t see it. Steer is your everyday left fielder and Friedl your everyday centerfielder. The infield is Marte,EDLC,McLain and CES. That’s set. Right field is the only open spot. You still have Benson and Fraley. If you get a outfielder then right field is the only place for them and Benson or Fraley are gone. I don’t see the Reds getting an outfielder when they have plenty on the team unless they trade Benson or Fraley. The Reds need a thumper. Go get J.D. Martinez to be your everyday DH. The guy will explode in GABP. Now Relief Pitchers? Get about 3or4 top notch relievers. Especially ones that can be your 7,8,9 inning guys.

    • Old-school

      @ JB, after last night’s bullpen meltdown, I am more than willing to focus on something else Reds related and roster construction in the outfield is a fun exercise. I do believe Reds need (4) full-time outfielders with handedness realities and injuries over a 6 months season. I love Steer as a versatile CI and/or LF but not an everyday LF. You need (5) everyday infielders as well over a season to cover handedness, rest, and injuries and Steer is the one guy who can flex to areas of need and still produce.

      Handedness is real and Jim loves to say Reds need a fulltime OF over Fraley( or Benson) that hits lefties and righties equally. Im all for it, except the reality is lefty hitters who hit lefty pitching well and are athletic enough to play OF are unicorns. Most righties dont hit righties near as well either so you are stuck with constructing a roster that is rooted in that reality. ( India actually does). Benson and Fraley are elite on the strong side of a platoon but awful hitting lefties.

      The top players in baseball who hit LH and also crush LH pitching?
      They are Freddy Freeman, Cody Bellinger, Kyle Tucker,Yordan Alvarez, Shoei Ohtani, Bryce Harper, and Corey Seager and Juan Soto. I dont see the Reds paying Cody Bellinger $150 million in FA and the others make a gazillion dollars or soon will. The good news?????

      REds have them a unicorn of their and his name is TJ Friedl and he is controlled and he is cheap. Friedl is third in MLB in OPS as a LH hitter against lefties -trailing only Freeman and Bellinger. Reds have their every day center fielder.

      So if Friedl is your everyday CF and hits lefties great and righties ok, the problem then becomes Benson and Fraley dont hit lefties at all and so you need a platoon partner for both and I like Steer playing OF against lefties and CI/DH against righties. That still leaves a need in the OF and for a big righty bat who can lefties.

      1.) Jorge Soler- 35 homers, will exercise an out on his contract and destroys lefties. Hes tied with Mookie Betts as the best hitter in baseball against LH pitching. He will cost $15 mil + AAV at age 31 though. He could play OF and DH.

      2.) Lane Thomas- would need to trade with the Nats but he and TJ friedl made the Athletic list of top breakout players in MLB this year. He is 28, controlled 2 more years and destroys lefty pitching. He fits the Reds athletic profile as a do everything type hitter with speed pop and defense in RF. HE would be more the everyday RF type however. He and India straight up would make sense with some peripherals attached.

      3.) Nick Senzel- Ive long thought Senzel was gone, but if the Reds want a righty bat on the weak side of a platoon with some versatility who is $5 mil+ for 1 more year in arbitration instead of big $$$$- Senzel is still amazingly 11th in MLB against lefty pitching with a .999 OPS and wRC+ 163.

      4.) long shot would be Jose barrero. He’s still only 25 and could play CF against lefties with Friedl flexing to CO and has defensive versatility if injury hit the IF. Jose Siri was a late bloomer with power ,speed, and elite defense, who couldnt hit for avg or obp and K’s a ton. SIri has 25 HR for the Rays at age 28 making $750 K a year and delivered 2.5 fWAR this year.

      It will be interesting to see the domino effects of what the Reds do with India and Votto but if they want to get younger and better defensively and more athletic and allocate resources to areas of bigger need( pitching), they have internal replacements and better options at 2b/1b.

      • Jim Walker

        OS>> Good stuff. What I would say from my corner is that a team can only afford to have 1 guy, if any, from each side of the plate who is truly weak from one side regardless of how strong he is from his “strong” side.

        With the DH requiring 9 position players in the lineup and teams carrying 13 pitchers, the math doesn’t work to have 2 guys, especially OF, on the bench at the start of every game who are 30% or more below league average from one side or the other. This is because the bench is only 4 guys and a middle IF sub and 2nd catcher take half the spots; and those two spots are going to be chosen for their defensive skills, ahead of offense.

        If I were choosing my LH platoon hitter from the current group, it would be Benson, no contest. He is more athletic, younger, and for the next 2 years, cheaper. Actually, I’d like to see him in winter ball getting a lot of PAs vs. LH pitching this offseason just to see if maybe the light suddenly goes on for him as it did versus RH pitching this year.

        Senzel is a pass for me. The Reds seem to have soured on him as an OF. His OPS+/ wRC+ ranking vs. RH pitching is below the 50th percentile. That’s just too low since RH pitching comprises 70% of pitchers; and, eventually, he is going to end up getting a higher % of PAs vs. his weak side pitchers than the LH hitting side. Additionally if his LH hitting partner goes down, he is a wasted roster spot.

      • JB

        I agree with a lot of this. I believe they keep it in house and keep Senzel to hit against lefties and platoon with a Fraley or Benson. I don’t see the Reds going after another outfielder but the off season will tell.

      • TR

        I’ve always liked Senzel, but he’s had a tough time with the Reds trying to stay away from walls. Include him in a pitching trade and he’ll have a chance as a regular with another team.

      • Old-school


        If the Reds traded India to the Nats + peripherals for Lane Thomas- that addresses those concerns

        Thomas is having a breakout year and dovetails nicely in RF with Friedl in CF . He has 1 less year of control than india but would give the Reds decent production against righties and over the top production against lefties with a nice combo of pop speed defense. Benson could play LF with Steer flexing to LF against lefties.

        Maybe Fraley could be a strong platoon side DH and learn a little 1b as a backup to CES when he needs a day off and be a 5th OF if/when injuries happen or its the 11 th inning and Bell has backed himself into a corner

      • Melvin

        Have to remember Arroyo came up recently hitting pretty well in AA. If that continues next year in AAA you know what that means. For me some time next year it could be a no platoon situation at all. I like Fraley and Benson but if I have to trade someone I prefer a platoon guy.

        1B – CES
        2B – McLain
        3B – Marte
        SS – Arroyo
        LF – Friedl
        CF – EDLC
        RF – Steer
        C – Stephenson
        DH – ???

  22. Mark A Verticchio

    Looking back on the disaster Bell made many poor decisions but the worst was pinch running your best bat off the bench, Benson. He could have batted instead of Fraley or for EDLC. We will see today what these players are made of. Will they roll over and quit, feeling sorry for themselves or go down fighting. I wouldn’t bet either way, we will see.

    • TR

      It’s Sunday and family day. Will try a recently discovered Mexican restaurant. Check the box score tonight. Then hope the Bengals get in the win column tomorrow night.

  23. GreatRedLegsFan

    I think Reds took a big step forward this season. Moving forward 2024, bullpen needs reinforcements, as well as outfield corners. Another manager would be great, but not for at least the next three seasons.

  24. Indy Red Man

    Didn’t watch 1 pitch, but I see the key blow was a 350 ft 3 run oppo by Reynolds to make it 9-6. If Baltimore can push the fences back then so can the Reds. It’s a disadvantage.

    Young has been garbage so why was he in for more then the 3 hitter minimum?

    Overall though if Bell haters looked at it fairly, it’s a miracle nearly all these no-names in the pen had 3 something eras all year. Cruz & Sims coming in and everyone else was a question mark. The fact they made it 150+ games is amazing. The pen just won the Tiger & Met series. To not give Bell any credit for that is a little ridiculous imo. You can’t make filet mignon out of hamburger. “He pulls the starters too soon which kills the pen”. Ok. Have you seen our starters? HG barely pitched. Lodolo no show. Rookies, etc. Brain injuries sometimes require them to take your skull off. It’s normally bad to have your skull removed, but staying alive is the goal. Not that I agree with Bell all the time

    • Jim Walker

      Probably Young was still in because Bell and Johnson had convinced themselves the worst that could happen in the inning was Young would allow the 2 inherited runners and at most 1 of his own to score getting the Reds out of the inning with a 5 or 6 run lead. And thus they had nobody else ready in time.

  25. William

    The Reds need to spend all of the 40 million this off season on pitching. The position players are fine. They do not have the pitching to win a World Series. The GM has done well with the position player talent. The young position prospects will get better. I disagree on bringing in an outfielder. It will just mean less money for pitchers, and Steer needs to play LF more if the Reds keep India. Bring back Sonny Gray to Cincjnnati. Pay him well. Sign two of the better free agent relievers.

    • Saul Erlich

      What makes you believe the “young position prospects will get better”. Did Drew Stubbs, Billy Hamilton, Nick Senzel, Jose Barrero, and really even India and Stepehenson “get better”? Will De La Cruz ever hit higher than .235? Like it or not, Red’s “young talent” does not seem to get better with age.

  26. Indy Red Man

    We need a righty OF much better then Fairchild to platoon. Senzel is fine, but then they go righty and he can’t hit them.
    Elly might have to do a AAA stint so Steer would be back at 3B. They also need a backup C that can throw guys out. No huge pressing needs offensively.

    Starters HG, Ashcraft, Abbott, Phillips, Lodolo, Lowder, and Williamson. Bring in a Sonny or somebody solid and 2 could work out of the pen. 2-3 innings at a time and save everyone. Big need is a co-closer and 1-2 more quality guys

    • Indy Red Man

      Steer 2B actually with Marte 3B. I see nothing available for India

  27. GJF

    The heartbreak for me was when Bell was given a three year extension.

  28. LDS

    David Bell was a below average journeyman (career OPS+ 85) who played for 6 teams and played every position except catcher for at least 1 game. He played primarily at 3B/2B. He was a lousy defender with a career .955 fielding average at 3B. He hit into a lot of DPs, made a bunch of errors. Though he had a few decent seasons, he was never a game changer. Milwaukee granted him free agency at age 33 and he was done. His baseball experience informs his coaching. As a manager, he’s actually been “better” at the ML level than in the minors. In 9 total years of managing, his teams have only had winning records three times and that’s assuming the Reds hold on this year and includes the COVID short season. He coached only one year at AAA and compiled a .354 record. He spent the next few seasons as a 3B coach for Chicago, and eventually an assistant hitting coach and bench coach for St. Louis before heading to SF as VP of Player Development. In 2019, he became the Reds manager and the rest is history. He’s not Kevin Cash, Craig Counsel, or even David Ross. Expecting him to be the Reds next Davy Johnson, Lou Pinella, or Sparky Anderson is a pipe dream. He is who he is – a connected guy that doesn’t have to be successful.

  29. Votto4life

    Coming into this home stand I thought the reds had a decent shot. The loss against the Twins on Wednesday was a back breaker.

    This team played well for six weeks. Since summer started, they have been average to terrible.

    I love it when people say this will be a great experience for team. Great experience at what, losing?

    The truth is this is still a very flawed baseballteam, coached by a very flawed manager and ran by a very flawed owner.

    Someone mentioned how the Reds should spend the extra $40 million dollars this winter. Is there anyone here who seriously think that Bob Castellini is going to allow Nick Krall to spend that kind of money this winter? It’s laughable on its face.

    The Reds will spend $10-12 million at the end of Spring Training on anotherMike Minor or Will Myer type.

    Even if the Reds are willing to spend money this winter, pitching is going to be at a premium with the Mets, Yankees and even the Dodgers looking to improve their rotation.

    Beyond the money why would any top tier pitcher ever want to sign here? Cincinnati will continue to be the last resort for pitching free agents. The last paycheck before retirement.

    But hey, maybe this is finally the year the Reds sign Johnny Cueto!.

    • Melvin

      “Even if the Reds are willing to spend money this winter, pitching is going to be at a premium with the Mets, Yankees and even the Dodgers looking to improve their rotation.”

      Don’t forget about the Cardinals wanting three.

  30. DHud

    I think we all probably should’ve expected the clock to strike midnight on this season at some point and we can still walk away feeling good about the future – but does this team really have to kick us in the groin first??

  31. Indy Red Man

    If Brandon Woodruff was a Red then Bell could watch him pitch just like Counsel does? The horses win the race. No little 5’3 dude ever won anything. Counsel has a lock down pen. Yelich is back and the front office got him help. Bell has to fall on the grenade by comparison. If the Reds get a better roster then Bell will suddenly get smarter. Phil Jackson and Jimmy Johnson, loved to watch them fail without HOF talent because they’re both so smug and arrogant, but with great talent they’re considered “great”

  32. Mark Moore

    Barfing up 13 unanswered runs and the clawing back only to come up short because nobody could put a ball in play to at least give us a chance at extra innings (let alone a win) is just how I summarize my disappointment.

    I’ll watch today and this week, but I’m far less “invested” than I would have been. Mathematical gymnastics aside, I’m shifting focus to 2024 and beyond. Hoping the offseason brings some improvements and changes.

    My money is on the Bravos to go on a tear and beat everybody walking away.

  33. Indy Red Man

    I am convinced this Lowder kid from Wake will be good. I’m just afraid they’ll pull a CES on him and say he’s not ready til July or August. If CES was getting Newman’s at-bats all along then we might not be getting eliminated.

    Next year’s rotation= Ashcraft, HG, mid level all they could afford free agent, Lowder, and Abbott. That leaves Phillips and Williamson in the pen for longer outings and starter depth. Lodolo? 85 pitches through 4 almost every time. I think his future is Andrew Miller high leverage type but the jury is out on him. Health and ability

  34. Jon

    This needs to be the winter for the Reds comparable to the Cubs’ winter after 2014. Sign a proven SP, a veteran outfielder, and of course multiple proven relievers. In theory, the Reds need less now than the Cubs did at that point. Unfortunately, costs to acquire anything notable will be through the roof due to low supply and high demand.

    • Indy Red Man

      Just looked up Williamson vs lefties. Held them to .617 ops with no Hrs in 73 at-bats. There’s your 2nd lefty in the pen with Moll.
      They have some answers in house if the starters could ever stay healthy all season

      • Jim Walker

        I was wondering where Moll was last night when Young got the call to fritter away the lead. 😉

      • RedsMonk65

        @Jim. Yes, I was wondering about Moll as well. Sigh.

      • Jim Walker

        @RM65>>> It seems like things are always just business as usual and if they don’t work out the excuse is “We gave it our best shot but it wasn’t quite enough.”

  35. JB

    Just seen a stat of Pirates 0-819 when trailing by 9+ runs. Leave it to the Reds to give them their first win.

  36. Mark Moore

    Wondering if this is “Joey Votto Day” …

    What it is not, is Noelvi Marte day per the posted line-up. Hobbled Fraley at DH instead, risking further injury with little to really play for. At least that’s how I see it.

    • Jon

      Nothing like the crippled Fraley at the cleanup spot and slumping/possibly injured India leading off. Absolutely brilliant…

      • Melvin

        ….and Marte on the bench. hahaha!!!

        Last 15 games – .372/.413/.465

    • Jim Walker

      India in the overnight lineup; and, I’ve seen a Louisville Sunday lineup with McLain in it.

      As the sheriff always said after a shooting in old western movies, “Get along folks. Nothing to see here.”

    • GJF

      Not a chance. He’ll be back to clog the roster in 2024.

  37. Mark A Verticchio

    Bell is the definition of insanity again, after last night he still leads off a slumping India and bats a crippled Fraley 4th while not playing Marte. How does this man sleep at night knowing what horrible decisions he makes. I also must act how some, even though few, Reds fans can continue to support the worst manager in baseball?

    • LDS

      Because he still gets paid and isn’t held accountable. If Krall fires him at season’s end, I’ll take that back. But I’m confident that I won’t be eating crow on this.

      • Mark A Verticchio

        He should be moved to the front office that would solve the problem.

      • Melvin

        If Krall fires him it will somehow have to be behind the back of Big Bob & Son. Of course if that DOES happen Krall will get fired too for doing it. haha In other words…..ain’t gonna happen. 🙂

    • Pete

      He has a job for life. I don’t think he consciously bungles these situations but subconsciously he has to know that he is in no danger of losing his job.

      If Nick Krall is responsible for the extension, he needs to be shown the door immediately. On the other hand if this is Big Bob’s doing, he needs to eat that contract and let Krall pick his
      own man.

      This is a nightmare coming true.

  38. Michael Robinson

    Very good points! You do your homework. Tonight was hugely disappointing but this has still been an exciting year for the Reds. Starting pitching seems to be the obvious key to improvement in my estimation.

  39. Pete

    Extending David Bell for three seasons, was one of the greatest blunders in Reds history. It was totally unnecessary. If indeed Nick Krall made this call, he should be terminated immediately. Just awful. Horrible, horrible decision. Almost of an unspeakable nature.

      • GJF

        The parallels to 1969 are uncanny for me. Consecutive winning seasons, generational young talent. Except in that instance Howsam recognized Bristol wasn’t the man for the job.