The Cincinnati Reds needed a win and they came through in the biggest of ways. They started quick and early, taking a 7-0 lead after just the second inning. They would add innings of seven and five runs later as they hit six home runs and had 11 extra-base hits in the game to blow out the St. Louis Cardinals 19-2 to open up the final series of the regular season.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (82-78)
19 17 1
St. Louis Cardinals (69-91)
2 6 3
W: Williamson (5-5) L: Woodford (2-3) SV: Spiers (1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Cincinnati Reds are running out of time to add wins and they wasted little of it to jump all over Jake Woodford and the St. Louis Cardinals. Two singles preceded a 3-run homer by Nick Martini in the 1st inning that put the Reds on top. The next inning saw them pad their lead some more when Elly De La Cruz walked and scored on a Will Benson triple. Jonathan India then followed up with a 2-run homer. Spencer Steer capped off the inning with a homer of his own, running Woodford from the game, and making it 7-0.

St. Louis got something going in the bottom of the 3rd when Jose Fermin singled to lead off against Brandon Williamson. Richie Palacios followed up with 2-run homer to cut into Cincinnati’s lead.

The Reds wanted those runs back and they got them. Noelvi Marte led off the top of the 4th with a solo homer – extending his hitting streak to 14 games. Will Benson singled and stole second, then Jonathan India was hit by a pitch to put two men on. TJ Friedl followed up with an RBI double that plated a run and made it 9-2. Things weren’t over just yet as Christian Encarnacion-Strand unloaded on a home run that went into the third deck – Big Mac Land – down the left field line. His 3-run shot made it 12-2.

That led to yet another pitching change. It didn’t make a bit of a difference. Nick Martini hit a ground-rule double off of new pitcher Andrew Suarez and then Tyler Stephenson crushed a 428-foot homer to make it 14-2 in the top of the 4th inning. The bottom of the 4th inning ended with Elly De La Cruz jumping into the stands….

The game slowed down from there for a bit. Brandon Williamson allowed just the two runs in six innings before giving way to the bullpen. Carson Spiers, who was called up earlier in the day when Daniel Duarte was placed on the injured list, took over and fired a perfect 7th inning with the help of another outstanding defense play by Elly De La Cruz where he made a leaping grab on a soft liner in shallow left field.

The game picked up back up in the top of the 8th when the Reds had each of the first three batters reach, loading the bases and leading to yet another pitching change for the Cardinals. Jacob Barnes retired the first two batters he faced without allowing a run, but then Tyler Stephenson picked up an infield single and Masyn Winn threw the ball into the dugout in the process, bringing in two runs. Elly De La Cruz followed up with a 2-run triple and then scored on an infield single by Noelvi Marte as Cincinnati extended their lead to 17 runs.

Will Benson was called out on strikes to end the inning, and between innings he was ejected from the game. David Bell was out on the field, too, and he had a prolonged conversation with the umpire, and after more than seven minutes the game finally got back underway with Carson Spiers still on the mound for the Reds. He would keep the Cardinals off the board for the rest of the game and seal a 19-2 win while picking up his first big league save with three shutout innings.

Key Moment of the Game

Nick Martini’s 3-run homer in the 1st inning. It seemed to set a tone for the Reds on the day and they never took their foot off of the gas pedal.

Notes worth noting

Cincinnati just won their 82nd game of the year. That’s a winning record for the season, folks. Not bad for a team that no one predicted and no system projected for even 70 wins this season – even if there have been some hair-pulling moments.

The 14-game hitting streak by Noelvi Marte is the longest by a Cincinnati Reds rookie since 1988.

The 17-run margin was the largest over the Cardinals, ever. Hat tip to Matt Wilkes for pointing that one out.

Every hitter on the Reds who entered the game picked up at least one hit. Six players had two hits.

Miami came from behind as the Pirates blew a 3-0 lead in the 8th inning. The Cubs just lost in extra innings. That brings the Reds and Cubs to a tie, but both teams are 1.5 games behind the Marlins for the final wild card spot. Cincinnati and Chicago have two games remaining. Miami has two full games remaining, but if needed they will have to play on Monday in New York to finish up the suspended game from Thursday that they lead by a run in the top of the 9th inning. Arizona, who must lost out for them to possibly miss the playoffs, currently trails 2-0 to begin the 7th inning.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs St. Louis Cardinals

Saturday September 30th, 7:15pm ET

Connor Phillips (1-0, 5.66 ERA) vs Drew Rom (1-4, 7.98 ERA)

115 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Hope is still alive…somehow. 🙂

  2. Indy Red Man

    Maybe the pressure can get to to the Snakes? Big crowd and only 2 hits through 6. Find out soon enough.

  3. J

    Bell managed well today. It was smart to have a guy who’s not injured hitting fifth. Hope he tries it again soon.

    • LDS

      Only using two pitchers as well. Play the same lineup tomorrow, regardless of handedness, and see what happens. Bell manages best when he manages least. I would rather he hadn’t brought in Senzel and Fairchild but it worked out.

  4. Indy Red Man

    I had this Arizona-Houston series circled for a while, but I was thinking the Cubs had the #5 under control and Miami would fade with all those tough series in early-mid September they ended up winning.
    Houston is battle tested though if they still need to win on Sunday

  5. LT

    Pirates being Pirates and Cubs being Cubs. Nothing new. 3-0 lead and let Miami score 4 runs in top of 8. I don’t know. I never hated the Pirates because they have been so bad, but my feeling changed after tonight game.

  6. Mark A Verticchio

    I just hope the Reds don’t wake up tomorrow and realize they have a slim chance and get nervous. Tonight they were nice and loose because they thought it meant nothing. If the Astros hang on tonight and the Reds win tomorrow with Verlander going tomorrow Sunday could get interesting. Let’s hope the Astros don’t blow it like the Pirates did tonight.

  7. Melvin

    Wow. Astros just made a big play to save two runs.

    • Melvin

      Going to the 9th leading 2-0 for those who aren’t watching.

  8. Mark A Verticchio

    What a play by the Astros short stop to rob Tommy Pham of a game tying base hit, still 2-0.

  9. Indy Red Man

    Nice play by Houston SS. Pham was inches from tying it with a 2 run hit up the middle.
    Houston’s core is so battle tested that Dusty can’t screw it up

    • bryant

      Dusty is a great manager. That is well documented by success. Those who can’t see it are the ones with the problem.

      • J

        I stand by my belief that a manager’s skill should be judged by what he actually does, not by his teams’ win/loss records. Good managers with bad players won’t have good records. Bad managers with great players will have good records. The fact that a manager has had some great seasons (or some terrible seasons) doesn’t prove anything to me.

      • Still a Red

        Does that mean you think Baker was a bad manager?

  10. Melvin

    BIG series for the Astros. They need to win every game.

  11. Melvin

    Almost a game tying HR. 2-1 with a man on second. Two outs.

  12. Melvin

    Astros win! Reds two game back of the Diamondbacks. 🙂

  13. Mark A Verticchio

    Astros hang on 2-1. Reds just need to play loose tomorrow and let the chips fall where they may. Who would have though in late March that this team would be alive on the last Saturday of the season.

  14. TJ

    If the Reds win out and Arizona loses out, both Chicago and Arizona are eliminated. I’m going tomorrow. Hopefully the Reds can break 20 this time.

    • TR

      Let’s hope a pattern, often seen after a blowout, doesn’t occur where the winning team is not able to score more than a couple runs in the following game.

  15. Tom Reeves

    This team has so much heart! Wow!

    • Pete

      True. Heart cannot be measured but talent and age certainly can. This team is extremely talented and extremely young. This is gonna be a fun off-season regardless of what transpires of the next 48 hours.

      • Tom Reeves


        This team definitely has the talent to win but maybe not the experience. Over the last several weeks, they’ve been hit by knock out blows and have somehow got off the mat to keep fighting. Last night was a great example. That, two me, his where heart comes into the mix. Frankly, it’s why I don’t get worked up over David Bell’s tactical decisions – because he has young players playing with not only their talent, but an immense amount of heart.

        That also gets me very excited for the off season!

      • Chris

        Tom, I agree with you. I personally don’t think Bell is a very good manager, tactically-speaking. With that said, the results of this team with all the young players and a complete mess of a rotation with all the injuries as well, and this team continues to fight. Sometimes you can’t measure a manager by just his moves; it’s about results. I can’t explain it, but Bell gets so much out of this team that I’m just shocked. Success like this doesn’t happen by accident. It is said that a manager cannot motivate his employee, but instead can only create an environment in which said employee can be motivated within. That to me is what Bell has achieved.

  16. Andrew Brewer

    Reds beat the Cardinals in St. Louis, 19-2 in the opener of the final 3 game series. That is worth saying again. It’s largest margin of victory over the Cardinals by the Reds, ever. It’s like the way this season has been. Unpredictable, and Awesome, and … What a roller coaster ! At this point, there is no way of predicting what will happen. There are two games left in the Regular season…

  17. Kevin H

    How about that for a manager that some dislike and others despise now has 3 winning seasons. Last manager to have three winning seasons since 00 non other than Dusty Baker. The same baker that people on another site would complain and say he couldn’t manage.

    What a fun year this has been as well as frustrating. Reds with a few offseason moves with in the bullpen and even rotation should be world series contenders. Look no further than what the Baltimore Orioles are doing. Oh, and their manager had two 100 loss season’s.

  18. LuciusRuber

    Whatever the outcome, this year has been a great ride. Who would’ve thought we’d be chasing a playoff spot in the last series?

    • JC

      I completely agree. What a fun season. Tip of the cap to Bell for inserting Martini in 5 hole. A huge 2 out 3 run HR. Go Reds!!!

    • JB WV

      Most exciting season since 2012. There’s still a chance; thought Arizona was way out of reach but here they are. Who knows?

  19. RedBB

    Odds up to 10% now. Must win out though and must have either the D-Backs or Marlins lose out as well.

  20. Doc

    Looks as though Bell’s “head scratcher” choice at DH did ok with a double, HR, 3 rbi.

    Three weeks ago folks were posting that Noelvi Marte wasn’t ready and should be sent down, but the 14 game hitting streak since then might suggest that management, including Bell, had a clue.

    )82 wins and counting. Guaranteed winning season.
    Biggest ever winning margin over the Cardinals.
    Still mathematically alive, although on life support thanks to the Pirates, with two games left.
    Bested expectations/predictions of nearly all on this site, and the professional “experts”.
    Another strong start by a rookie named Williamson, giving us two rookie starters who bettered Greene’s rookie year.
    The future looks bright.

    • RedBB

      Yep and a pretty clear signal from management that Votto won’t be back next year.

  21. Mike Adams

    Want to play what if?
    If only the Reds had won two more games look where they would be with the wild card.
    The game they lost where they were ahead 9-0 comes to mind. You pick another for yourself.
    This is why every game counts.
    What the Reds have accomplished this year is amazingly awesome anyway.

    • Pete

      I’m just hoping the Reds learned a valuable lesson after blowing that nine run lead. A lesson that can only really be learned by experiencing it. Hopefully this will pay off in the not too distant future.

      I also wonder if the team had a long reliever would that have saved enough of the bullpen to have made a two game difference over the long haul? I hope they consider filling that position in 2024.

      • MBS

        I think a long reliver would have been very helpful for the 23 Reds. The bullpen use was exacerbated by the lack of starting pitching. We are ranked 23 in baseball with 782 IP by our starters, the Mariners lead baseball with 892.2 IP by their starters.

        Hopefully in 24 we’ll be better off with our starters, and it won’t be as big of an issue.

      • Pete


        Last night may have provided a perfect scenario where a long reliever saved arms in the bullpen. Regardless of what we think of the starting pitching next year, I hope they consider it.

      • doc4uk

        By the way, old friend Louis Castillo is on the mound for Seattle today against Texas. They are one game behind Houston for the last wildcard. We need them to win so Houston has to play a meaningful game on Sunday against the Snakes. Verlander is on the mound for Houston . Houston wins two and they are in . Seattle wins two and Houston loses one and Seattle is in! In other words Seattle has the tiebreaker over Houston. Lots of motivation for Houston to win two as things stand today unless Seattle and Castillo fall.

  22. Klugo

    If I’m not mistaken any Marlins win or Reds loss eliminates us.

    • Pete

      I don’t believe so. If the Reds win out and Arizona loses their next two games, I believe the Reds are in.

      • Klugo

        Ahh ok. I thought AZ had already clinched . Good to know.

    • Jim Walker

      This is correct where the Marlins are concerned. However, if the Diamondbacks lose their last 2 and the Reds win their last 2, they will be tied; and the Reds would go to the playoffs on the tiebreaker (same scenario if the Cubs win their last 2 making a 3 way tie at 84 wins because the Reds also have the tiebreaker on the Cubs). The Fish would be the #2 WC (overall #5 seed) and the Reds the #3 WC (overall #6 seed).

      If the craziest thing of all happens, a 4 way tie at 84 wins, it would still be the Marlins and Reds going in with Snakes and Cubs going home.

      • Pete

        Jim, I really think this is possible. Arizona looks mighty tight right now and can’t buy a hit.

      • RedBB

        Astro’s are still fighting for a playoff spot too. Which is why we should be rooting hard for Seattle too. Mariners also hold the tiebreak over the Astros.

      • Melvin

        Wouldn’t the craziest scenario be if both the Marlins and Diamondbacks lose out and the Reds win out? The Reds would have the second wild card and therefore avoid playing the Brewers in the first round.

  23. doc4uk

    So as I understand it Miami is almost a lock for the first spot into the playoffs leaving the Reds, Snakes, and Cubs to fight it out for the last spot. The Snakes play a GOOD Houston team fighting with Seattle for the last wildcard in the American league. They must win one of two but Houston most likely needs to win out. The Cubs must win both games against a GOOD Milwaukee team ‘ And of course The REDS must win out.

    So if Houston wins next two and Milwaukee wins one or two and if Reds win two , then the Reds are playoff bound because they own tie breakers over both the Snakes (and the Cubs)? Not a likely scenario but the Astors and Brewers will be favored in both their games as well the Reds/

    So as Yogi would say it is not over until the fat lady (organ player at Yankee stadium) sings!

    • Pete

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Cubs are on the outside looking in even more so than the Reds at this point.

      Perhaps I am missing something but could it could be as simple as the Reds must win out and the Astros must win the next two games in Arizona. I hope that’s the case because I certainly think it’s doable.

      • RedeBB

        Yes their chances are the lowest of the 4 teams in the WC race as they lose the tiebreak against everyone including us. They are at 4.2% and we are at 10.8% per ESPiN

      • Jim Walker

        Pete>>> Yes, on the Cubs situation. When/ if the Marlins reach 84 wins, they are toast because 84 is the Cubs ceiling, the DBacks are already at 84, and the Marlins and DBacks both hold tiebreakers on the Cubs.

        The difference in the Reds and Cubs situation is that the Reds hold the tiebreaker on both them and Arizona while the Cubs hold no tiereakers on any of the other three.

    • Jim Walker

      Not quite correct, see above. Arizona is already sitting at 84 wins. The Reds ceiling is 84 wins. Arizona must lose BOTH of their remaining games for the Reds to tie them.

      Miami is in at 84 wins (currently at 83) because they have the tiebreaker on all three of the other teams with 2 of the 4 going to the playoffs and only Arizona and Miami capable of getting above 84.

      • doc4uk

        Yes but what happens if Cubs and Reds and Snakes all have 84 wins? Reds have tie breaker over both? Miami already looks like a lock with lead over Mets in top of ninth and two runners on base . That could be either win 84 or 85 or even 86 for them

      • Jim Walker

        @Doc>> The Reds would win a 3 way tie at 84 with Cubs and DBacks because they have the tiebreaker on both. The Red would also be the 2nd team in (after Miami) if there was a 4 way tie at 84.

        The Reds cannot get in with 83 wins because the DBacks already have 84 and the Marlins have 83 plus hold the tie breaker on both the Reds and Cubs.

  24. MBS

    Only 2 games to go, and we’re still in it. I wrote them off for dead after the trade deadline, and was reassured several times since then that I was right, but here we are scoreboard watching on 9/30. Lets go Reds!

    • Jim Walker

      I am feeling very bittersweet this morning. The Reds need not be in this situation. I think we overlooked that the rookies on the field were not the only rookies involved in the Reds effort. From the manager and coaching staff right on through to the front office a lack of experience shone through too.

  25. Rednat

    The reds have “shown up” 2 teams this season. The Phillies and Pirates. Both times we scored from second on singles when we are up by more than 10 runs late. In both instances we got beat badly the next game.

    I felt we “ showed up” the cardinals twice last night with Elly going for the triple late then Benson getting tossed late when we were up 17. It will be interesting to see how the cardinals respond.

    • Rednat

      Sorry it wasn’t Pittsburgh it was Tampa bay

    • PTBNL

      After getting beat with a 9 run lead, I hardly call what they did last night as “showing up” anyone. You can never assume anything in baseball. These are men playing for their careers. If the Cardinals took exception to that then they are the “WLB’s” revisited. If you have a chance to score, score, don’t worry about the “feelings” of the opponent. Men are playing for their careers, contracts and competitive pride.
      Benson getting tossed was not so much about the Cardinals as it was, whether right or wrong, protecting his view of the strike zone. It wasn’t exactly smart but that was hardly showing up anyone. Rather, it was a dispute with an umpire.
      If it takes an extra run scored in a lopsided game to motivate professionals to exact revenge, then they aren’t very motivated to begin with.
      I don’t buy that argument.

      • docproc

        I’m with you, PTBNL. I have no use for the “showing up” argument. Score every run you can, take every base you can, no let up. You never know when you’re going to blow a 9-0 lead.

  26. Indy Red Man

    Reds went from 7.6% to 10.8%. I felt like 7.6 was too high and now 10.8 is slightly low. The Cards look like zombies and Arizona seemed to wilt under the pressure of a big crowd. Losing with Gallen pitching is big

    • Indy Red Man

      Pittsburgh starter has a 7.86 era. Glad they’re going all out to finish strong. I actually think Miami could choke if they somehow lost these 2 and had to depend on Monday to get in. Pressure creates doubt

      • Jim Walker

        I would not be shocked if the Fish lost the next two because they came in there last night and won the game they to have knowing they are out away from closing that suspended game if needed.

        But imagine if the Reds sweep the Cards, the ‘Backs get swept and Miami does lose those last two vs the Pirates though. The Reds would be in (on tiebreaker over ‘Backs) but the Fish (and ‘Backs) fate would hang on that suspended game.

  27. doc4uk

    I like our chances to win two with Phillips and Greene . Now it is up to Houston! And they must win to overtake Seattle 🙂

    • RedBB

      This is prol our best hope. I can’t see the Marlins losing 3 straight.

  28. RedBB

    FWIW Marlins are throwing a BP game today. Kinda curious considering their BP went almost 90 pitches yesterday. Guy starting also threw 20 pitches yesterday.

    • VaRedsFan

      Oh the horror…having to pitch the next day after throwing 20 pitches

      • J

        Major leaguers cannot do this. Someone must be pulling our legs.

  29. Redgoggles

    This team is clearly responding to the new president of baseball ops.

  30. Mark Moore

    Have to think this thumping was a morale booster to the boys. They certainly showed their mettle from start to finish. HT to old HDTBell for not too much inserting his own managerial touch into the game and letting Spiers get that 3-inning save. He’s still #100 in my ranking of 30, though.

  31. LT

    Verlander vs Kelly, Phillips vs Rom. Man, I like our chances today. Survival game. Gotta win and hope that Dusty Baker’s team can help us out.

    • RedBB

      Gotta go with Verlander but u never know. Helps that Astros are nowhere near a guarantee yet to make the playoffs with the Mariners playing so well and just a game back. Mariners also own the tiebreak vs the Astros I believe. Line is-130 Astros despite being on the road.

    • RedBB

      Also rooting hard against the Guardians today and tomorrow because they screwed us claiming 3 pitchers we could have used.

      • J

        The Marlins would have taken those pitchers. The Guardians tried to do the Reds a favor.

  32. GJF

    It’s driving me crazy….assuming HTTBell would stand for holier-than-thou Bell, what does HDTBell mean?!

      • Chris

        LOL…That’s classic. I had wondered about this as well.

  33. Redgoggles

    Nick Kirby on Twitter/X; the Reds have had 6 winning seasons in the past 23. Bell has managed 3 of them (in his 5 years.)

    How can this be, with all his handedness and lineup misconstruction?

    I doubt they will make make the playoffs, but considering this team, can we really expect they won’t?

    One of the reasons we are still talking about it with 2 games left is the manager, this year. He’s done a fantastic job this year, all things considered (and by most metrics, with the exception of this message boards comments.). And, now he has more winning seasons than losing ones while managing for our Cincinnati Reds. Maybe Krall didn’t want to wait until the end of the year when there would be more competition to sign him?

    • RedBB

      Never been a big fan of Bell but he’s done the best he could with this starting pitching staff which is the primary way managers can impact games.

    • J

      And yet, if he’d just not made so many bad decisions, the Reds would easily be in the playoffs. It’s too bad he can’t do all the good things he does AND avoid all his bad decisions.

      As an OSU basketball fan, I’m thrilled with Holtmann’s ability to attract good players, he seems to be a really good guy, his players seem to like playing for him, and he’s won a lot more games than he’s lost. And yet, I also think it’s fair to ask if he’s really the right guy for this job, because he makes a lot of mistakes and his players can’t seem to overcome them all.

    • wkuchad

      Great info – thank you!

      I think I’ve just blocked out how bad we’ve been the last 23 years. Either way, the next 5-6 years could be very fun!

    • David

      David Bell has good and bad qualities as a manager. Sometimes he makes really odd decisions, but as a manager, he is trying to put the right guys on the field (in his mind) to win a game.
      If they don’t respond, then is it his fault, or the players? David Bell does not field, pitch or bat in any games.
      At times this season he has really been hampered by his roster, which is largely Krall’s job to fix, not Bell’s.
      I think the single biggest mistake the Reds have made this season was not taking CES East with them from Arizona after Spring Training, or whenever he was ready (had back problems for a while after ST).
      The second mistake was not getting a starter to help them at the interleague trade deadline. And maybe the asking price was too high for the pitchers that Krall wanted…we don’t know.
      I certainly don’t agree with all Bell’s decisions (at all!!!) but he has the job, not me. And again, he is stuck with the roster that was given to him by Nick Krall, and the (bad) luck of injuries to key players, at times. I am sure they discussed a lot of roster spots together, but in the end, they are the team that they are.
      If the Reds had a little better luck with injuries to their pitching staff (especially the starters), maybe this season would have looked a lot different. And maybe that’s next year.

    • J

      Bell has predictably dropped Friedl to 7th today because a lefty is starting. Friedl’s OPS against lefties this season is .956 in over 100 plate appearances. India’s OPS against lefties is .636, but he’ll be hitting leadoff again. The players may very well be able to overcome this mistake and win the game, and Bell will be given lots of credit by certain people on this site if that happens, but we should all be willing to acknowledge this is a strategic error no matter what the outcome is. And we should all be willing to acknowledge a team can win a game even when the manager makes blatant strategical errors like this.

      • Chris

        J I love how you spin everything. It’s quite funny. You bash Bell for his decision, but if it works, he gets no credit, but instead it’s just the team overcoming his mistakes. This is why most in here laugh at your posts.

        Look, I agree Friedl should still be at the top of the order, and I would never put India at the very top. I also noticed that you listed Friedl and India’s OPS against lefties, but there is more than one component. How does the pitcher do against lefties or righties? While Friedl may hit lefties for example, the Lefty pitching might utterly dominate left handed hitters. That would be a key factor to consider. Bell is a computer analytical manager so I would guess he may be considering that issue; I don’t know.

        And just to be clear, baseball is a majority of FAIL factors, so if a strategic method seems wrong and then ends up working, then it was the right strategic option on that given day, period end of story. Often great managers (not saying Bell is anything close to that) manage on hunches and many over the years have been brilliant in doing so. Often those hunches don’t fit today’s analytics. One day you will realize that these players are NOT ROBOTS, so they can’t be managed as such.

      • Kevin H

        Do you ever stop? All you do is bash Bell.

      • J

        Chris, I think “most” here are more likely to laugh at your posts than mine. Whether one likes or dislikes what I have to say, I think “most” would have to acknowledge that I rely on logic, stats, and consistency when I make my case.

        Let me give you an example. You say: “While Friedl may hit lefties for example, the Lefty pitching might utterly dominate left handed hitters. That would be a key factor to consider. Bell is a computer analytical manager so I would guess he may be considering that issue; I don’t know.”

        This makes you look as if you simply aren’t aware of what’s been happening this year. Bell has used this exact same formula — Friedl moves up in the order against righties and down against lefties — so consistently that I would be willing to make enormous bets on what part of the order Frieldl will bat in based simply on the handedness of the opposing starter. The fact that you’re apparently unaware of this pattern makes me think you’re just arguing with me for the sake of arguing.

      • wkuchad

        naivety: having or showing a lack of experience, judgment, or information; credulous

    • Melvin

      I’m glad for your optimism and wouldn’t want to put a damper in anyone’s enjoyment of the Reds. However for me, two games over in a short covid season in which we didn’t score ONE RUN in the playoffs, four games over in 2021 after collapsing down the stretch with the second easiest schedule, and four games over this year while better than expected is not reason to jump up and down with excitement. Not to mention being 12 games under in 2019 and 38 games under in 2022. In my view being satisfied with these results is exactly what arguably the worst owner in baseball wants us to be. Be thankful yes. It’s always a good thing. Satisfied. No way. We’ve been losing so long we don’t know what it’s like to be really be winners anymore. In my view we need to raise our expectations. Being mediocre should not be acceptable.

      • J

        It really is sad the way Reds fans have been demoralized and basically conditioned to believe mediocrity is a reason to celebrate a manager’s achievements because nobody could possibly expect anything more than that.

      • wkuchad

        Melvin, I understand your point, and don’t completely disagree. I just look at it different. I look at how this year turned out compared to what I was expecting. I watch way too many Reds games (my wife calls herself a Reds widow during baseball season). And this year surpassed all expectations. Not only that, I now have hope and excitement about the future.

        I’m not satisfied with with being mediocre. But I see the unfair reality of baseball economics. I feel we may be ready to start competing with the big spenders over these next several years. I’m excited.

        I give Bell a lot of credit for this season. Yes I feel like I’m in the minority, but that’s okay.

    • Kevin H

      Yes he has done a good job with what he has had to work with. This year especially a patchwork starting rotation with no depth, and numerous rookie starting pitchers. A over worked bullpen and injured. Yet through it all they are still in playoff conversation and a winning season.

      Sure some will say this or that, however 3 winning season in 5 years those are the facts.

      • Jim Walker

        Yet his overall record in those 5 seasons is 333-373, a winning percent of .472, an embodiment of just barely mediocre. He is a guy who has been close enough to move past mediocrity in all 3 of those “winning” seasons yet hasn’t found a way to do it. Why should we believe he will do better in the future?

      • Melvin

        Yep Jim. We’ve been losing for so long I, like many, don’t have much patience.

      • Kevin H


        In my opinion while his decisions are at times confusing he has done well. Yes, his winning percentage isn’t good to say the least however 3 years now reds have been in playoffs or playoff conversation.

        So to me glass half full moto tells me this team has good times ahead.

      • Jim Walker

        I looked at how some other managers who worked for the current Reds ownership had fared.

        The Castellini group inherited Jerry Narron when it took over after the end of the 2005 season. Narron had been named interim manager during the 2005 season and finished at an even .500 46-46 in 2005. He was granted a contract for 2006 with an option for 2007 by the new ownership. After being retained for 2007, he was subsequently fired on July 1, 2007 with an overall .467 winning % as Reds manager.

        Dusty Baker was hired after the 2007 season and began with the Reds in 2008. In his first 5 years as Reds manager, he had a .517 winning % and won 2 division titles. Despite winning 90 games and qualifying for the wildcard game (which the Reds lost) in his 6th season, Baker was forced out following the wildcard loss.

        It is amazing how standards and expectations have been dummied down during the last decade of the Castellini ownership.

  34. David

    Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I think the Marlins are in.

    They are fired up, and only have to win one more game to clinch a Wild Card berth….against the Pirates, at home. Tell me how they lose two home, at the end of the season, with the playoffs on the line. The Pirates know they are just going through the motions.
    The D-Backs could definitely lose the next two to the Astros, as the Astros are just as hungry as the D-backs to win, and are the better team.
    I think that’s the Red’s best hope. If the D-backs win tonight against the Astros (at home), tomorrow is sweaty hands/scoreboard watching day….provided the Reds also win tonight.
    The Reds just have to sweep the Cardinals. They absolutely must win both games.

    • RedBB

      That and they hired a GM without even having to buy a vowel

    • Melvin

      I get your point but I believe they’re playing in Pittsburgh.

      • RedAlert

        Fairchild has no business in lineup this game …. Zero … run your best players out there period … Bell’s STUPID handedness rules .

      • Melvin

        If Votto isn’t injured I’d rather ham him in there in a game like this or even Martini. Whatever the lineup I hope it works. There’s no tomorrow.

  35. old-school

    Votto didnt play yesterday in game 160 meaningful game against a RH pitcher? Nor is he starting in game 161 against a lefty in a meaningful game. This is news. IS he injured or is he retiring? Did I miss something? I love CES at first base hitting 4th into Mark McGwire levels.

    • Jim Walker

      @OS>>> I agree something must be going on with Votto. If he was available, it made no sense not to bat him as a PH in the 8th (when Martini PH) or 9th inning (for Fraley) Wednesday night or as the DH Friday.

      • Melvin

        I have a feeling the shoulder of Votto will only let him play for short spurts at a time before it needs strengthening again. He probably won’t be healed until next season.

      • Old-school

        I agree its the shoulder

        Would not be surprised once Reds eliminated votto announces his retirement

        He doesnt want to distract from playoff chase

        This could happen tomorrow

      • Melvin

        Let’s hope if it does happen it’s after we win the World Series. 😉

      • VaRedsFan

        He went 1st to 3rd the other night and had to slide, which wasn’t pretty.
        Maybe something happened then.

      • Jim Walker

        @VA Agree on the 1st to 3rd dash and also noted that on that slide he touched down with his left hand for balance. The left hand touch down looked fairly clean and inconsequential; but given what that shoulder has been through, who knows?

  36. AMDG

    What’s the point of having a comment section, if they just get deleted when they don’t tow the party line?

    Why not let Reds fans have differing opinions on how realistic their playoff chances are?

    • VaRedsFan

      Usually it’s a typo in your email address when you enter it.

  37. Melvin

    Okay Okay We only need NINE. Let’s go. 😉