The Cincinnati Reds had the day off on Thursday. The two teams that they are chasing for the final playoff spot in the National League did not. One of those teams lost. The other team did not complete their game and it’s not sitting well with them, either.

Chicago’s loss dropped them to a half-game behind Miami for the final spot. The Marlins have not completed their game. They trailed 1-0 in New York on Thursday night before scoring twice in the top of the 9th inning to take the lead. Then the skies opened up and it rained, heavily, for the next – well, it’s still raining. With them taking the lead and the home team not getting a chance to bat, the game is not eligible to be called official. It’s a suspended game right now and Miami may have to return to New York on Monday to complete the final four outs of the game if the result of that game will determine a playoff spot.

Cincinnati enters today 81-78. That’s a game behind the Cubs and a game-and-a-half behind Miami. The Reds own a tiebreaker over the Cubs. They do not have the tiebreaker over Miami. In the scenario that the three teams all have the same record at the end of the year, Miami would hold the tiebreaker. What that means is that Cincinnati is going to have to finish with a better record than Miami and at least have the same record as the Cubs.

The Reds and the Cubs both have three games remaining. Here’s what needs to happen for the Reds to get into the playoffs:

If the Reds go 3-0….

That would put them at 84-78. They would then need Miami to go 1-3 in their final four games – including their game that would be completed on Monday where they lead the Mets 2-1 and have runners on in the 9th and are still batting. Cincinnati would also need the Cubs to go 2-1, 1-2, or 0-3.

There’s also the scenario here where if Arizona loses out, and the Reds win out, and it results in a 4-way tie, the Reds and Marlins would get in. Cincinnati also holds the tiebreaker against Arizona in a scenario where they would be the only two teams at 84 wins (which Arizona currently has).

If the Reds go 2-1….

That would give Cincinnati an 83-79 record. The Reds would need Miami to lose out, while also needing the Cubs to go 1-2 or 0-3.

Cincinnati must win at least 2 games….

With the tiebreaker going to Miami in all scenarios, and Miami having 82 wins already, the Reds need to finish with at least 83 wins. Going 1-2 makes it impossible to get in. The Reds will be playing three games against the St. Louis Cardinals. They have the second worst record in the National League at 69-90. They are 12 games under .500 at home. And they are 3-7 in their last 10 games. The Reds need to go in there and sweep the birds and hope they get a little help from Milwuakee (who is facing the Cubs) and Pittsburgh (who is facing the Marlins), and then maybe the Mets on Monday depending on how things shake out in Pittsburgh.

This story has been updated to reflect a potential 4-way tie that would involve Arizona, Chicago, Miami, and Cincinnati.

67 Responses

  1. LDS

    I’m not confident of sweeping the Cards. It would be fun, but the Reds don’t pull that off too often. I still like Miami’s chances. Right now, just finishing ahead of the Cubs would be a win on the season.

  2. Laredo Slider

    Right, Reds need to win. We can hope this team loses or that team loses but bottom line is the Reds must win to assure themselves a playoff spot. Can’t piss away games any longer. With the Cardinals essentially down to AA level it will never be a better situation for the Reds.

  3. redsfan4040

    The Reds also have an avenue if they sweep the Cardinals, the cubs win at most 2, and the DBacks get swept, all three teams would have 84 wins and the Reds would get the spot. It wouldn’t matter what Miami does.

    Still, all of the ways to get there are unlikely, but still will be fun to hope. If they miss the playoffs by a game, the last game vs Minnesota and the first 2 against the Pirates last week will sting that much worse. The 9-0 to a 13-12 loss, especially.

    If they miss the playoffs, maybe they can pull off the unlikely and win the draft lottery!

    • Jim Walker

      Thanks! I had overlooked this 3 way possibility for the last spot. True on the Twins and Pirates losses but the Marlins losses late on Consecutive days in August rankle me about as much as blowing the 9-0 lead vs the Pirates last Saturday. The three first pitch HRs by the Marlins on those August days mirror how the Twins were swinging from the heels when the Reds pen replaced Greene in that loss.

  4. Melvin

    After it’s explained like that it’s easy. Simple. 😉

  5. Rednat

    its the last weekend of the season and we are still talking about the reds making the playoffs. who would have thought it? i really thought this was going to be a historically bad season for the reds. we would be competing with the A’s and Royals for the first pick. glad i was wrong.
    we have played well on the road all year so i THINK WE CAN at least get 2/3. Pittsburgh is going to play the marlins tough and Chicago is going to have its hands full so i think there is still a chance

    • Jim Walker

      The difference between the Reds and Marlins is literally the 2 head to head losses the Reds suffered to the Fish on consecutive days, August 8/9.

      Reds relievers gave up an eventual game winning 2 run HR on Aug 8 with the Reds ahead 2-1 and 2 outs in the 7th inning. That was followed on Aug 9 by a 2 out 3 run game tying HR by the Fish in the 8th inning which was capped by a solo HR by the Fish to open the 9th inning, The pitchers, in order, were Sims, Moll, and Diaz. The HR off both Sims and Diaz were first pitch shots. Moll was touched up on an 0-2 pitch. Can’t say the Marlins did not earn their current spot.

  6. Mark Moore

    So you’re saying there’s a chance … 😮 😀 😛

    I’m seeing the Phish at Metros game restarting at 1:10 Monday if needed. Talk about a sudden death kind of thing. And if the Metros get rained out over the weekend, their guys might be looser and more rested, but they also might not be very sharp.

    I’m thinking we pivot to 2024 at this point. Happy to revert if the series of significant miracles takes place. I do hope the Phish unseat the Stupid Cubs if we can’t participate. And I think they’d give the Bernies quite the challenge.

    • MBS

      What’s all this one in a million talk?

  7. Jim Walker

    All Reds followers know 1999 happened in the Mets favor in a long shot situation to what the Reds are in. What else is there to say? Go Reds, Go Pirates, Go Mets, Go Brewers, Go Astros.

    • Dean

      And go Mariners. We need to make sure Houston has something to play for on Sunday.
      Would be a shame if Dusty in the ‘Stros mail it in b/c they can’t catch Texas and have Seattle beat out.
      But that’s what happens when you rely on other teams for help.

  8. Rick

    Put the lineup on the field 3 straight days. Pull starting pitchers as soon as need be, and relievers if they’ve pitched poorly for the 3 batter minimum. Then it’s up to the talent to win or lose. Friedl.& India show leadership too keep the players loose.
    Don’t pull starting position players to soon in games where they may have a crucial favorable matchup in the 8th or 9th inning.
    Go Redlegs!

    • Jim Walker

      In other words without naming name(s), don’t manage the way the Reds have been managed all season. 😉

      • Mark Moore


        Fat chance of happening IMO

      • Rick

        Question, with 2 dinged up lefties that can’t go against a young righty, are we out of replacements at Louisville that are on the 40 man roster regardless of Bell’s handedness? I know Barrero has been banished for some reason apparently, but could they be creative with the 40 man roster to get healty guys to wind down the final 3 games? Like IL Fraley?
        Martini’s hitting 5th(landmine here at some point), Stephenson 6th, followed by Elly, Marte, Benson(highest obp). I would rather have Lopez & Barrero vs Fraley and JV. If you can’t start because your health is that compromised that you can’t wind down a crucial series, get healthy players up. I don’t have confidence that a Kurt Gipson moment happens late with a dude with a bad foot, and the other with a barking shoulder, back or something, or he atleast would be playing DH. Yes I know that Lopez isn’t on the 40 man roster but could be..

      • Doc

        So, you’re saying to not manage the way the team was managed to get them to this point where with three days left they still have a mathematical chance to make the playoffs. Seems a little late to change something that has been successful at exceeding expectations of just about everybody on this site coming out of Spring Training.

    • Rick

      To answer Doc down aways:
      I successfully managed teenager’s for 10 years in KY., and I would never subscribe to the Bell mgmt philosophy, whatever that is.
      But also, the roster was revamped predominantly due to injuries, and red-hot milb kids forced their hands to bring them up and were white hot for a pretty good spell. The spring training outlook was changed except for this; pulling starters early, using up the bullpen earlier than need be, batting order construction, poor fundamental faliures, situational bb, lack of urgency, accountability, waving the white flag early too in games etc.etc.

  9. DataDumpster

    Since the Red’s season-defining 12 game win streak on June 23, they have sported a (-3) losing record. Since the season-defining David Bell 3 year contract extension, they have extended that losing record to (-6). In August and September, they have had 1 sweep (Angels) that also resulted in their longest winning streak for those 2 months at 3.
    According to the Baseball Ref game stat-based POFF, their percentage briefly topped 50% earlier this month with by far the easiest remaining schedule but has dived more in the last 7 days (-24.6%) than any of the 3 other clubs still in contention.
    Sure, they could sweep, but it would take an effort from the club that not been seen in the last 2 months and rarely in the second half after the Counsell treatment (the 3 shutouts that seemed to permanently dial down the Red’s hitting for the rest of the season).

    • Rednat

      if you had said the reds were 3 games below 500 the second half of the season in march, I think you would have taken it. in my opinion they overachieved even during the second half of the year. i had absolutely no expectations for the team at all so it has been a pleasant surprise

    • DataDumpster

      Sure, I agree that the overall result has been very good. They really had the “horses” ready on the farm and they came remarkably well prepared and with exceptional raw talent.

  10. Jim Walker

    I read where the Marlins were carping about the game with the Mets being suspended with them in the on the strength of runs they scored in the top of the 9th. I wonder what the hubbub would have been if the rain came just a tad earlier and the game would have been stopped with the Mets leading in the bottom of the 8th or leading and the stoppage had come before the Marlins had tied or taken the lead during the 9th.

    • JB

      Exactly. Just some more Skip Schumacher crap. I have no desire to see Skip and the Marlins in the playoffs. I’ll take the Cubs over them. It’s not like the Cubs are going anywhere and their draft pick gets worse.

      • therickdelux

        I have zero respect for Skip Schumacher’s shenanigans last night with the field crew. That is uncalled for, unprofessional, and should be reprimanded with a mandatory apology.

    • Tar Heel Red

      Probably none since the game would have been ruled complete. It always amazes me how major league players and coaches don’t know all the rules.

    • Rick

      Poor little cry baby Skippy.
      We’ll pull for the Mets on this wet extended season weekend with different circumstances than 1999 of course. I hope that the Al Leiter curse works in our favor this time.

  11. JB

    Well I was hoping Seattle would get in so I could watch Geno and Castillo. Astros need to lose probably for that to happen. They play Arizona at 9:40 so the Reds and Miami will probably be almost over. I’ll be able to decide who to root for by then. The way the season has gone lately, the Reds will wait until Sunday in the bottom of the 9th inning and Cards will push runs across to knock the Reds out of the playoffs. That’s the Reds way. Lol

  12. Tim

    Houston has every reason to play hard as they are not in yet. Cubs have a challenge ahead. It’s very reasonable to expect that if we win out we will be in. That’s a bbbbiiiiiiggggg IF.

    • Indy Red Man

      It’s reasonable to expect Arizona to get swept and for Miami to fail to win 2 of 4 when they lead one of them in the 9th?
      Atleast if they win they’ll be alive tomorrow. Now that’s reasonable))

    • J

      And no Fraley. Apparently Bell has noticed he’s not hitting well.

    • Jim Walker

      Wonder if this begs the question of whether we will see Votto at all this weekend.

      • Melvin

        Maybe an indication the Reds don’t want Votto next year?

      • Jim Walker

        If Votto doesn’t play at all this weekend I think that will be his choice or because he is physically unable.

        When he did not take the Fraley PA to start the 9th inning Wednesday, but was up at the rail obviously engaged, my thought was whether he had a physical issue. He was really hauling it around 2b to 3b in the 5th inning Tuesday and had to make a slide at 3b. He took 2 subsequent PAs, a K, and then a walk in the 9th and was removed for a PR.

      • Rick

        I’m guessing no, or he likely would be DH’ing tonight vs the right handed high era pitcher.

    • Rick

      Question, with 2 dinged up lefties that can’t go against a young righty, are we out of replacements at Louisville that are on the 40 man roster regardless of Bell’s handedness? I know Barrero has been banished for some reason apparently, but could they be creative with the 40 man roster to get healty guys to wind down the final 3 games? Like IL Fraley?
      Martini’s hitting 5th(landmine here at some point), Stephenson 6th, followed by Elly, Marte, Benson(highest obp). I would rather have Lopez & Barrero vs Fraley and JV. If you can’t start because your health is that compromised that you can’t wind down a crucial series, get healthy players up. I don’t have confidence that a Kurt Gipson moment happens late with a dude with a bad foot, and the other with a barking shoulder, back or something, or he atleast would be playing DH. Yes I know that Lopez isn’t on the 40 man roster but could be..

      • Jim Walker

        As far as I have seen, they haven’t spent the 40 man spot opened by the Newman DFA. So, they could spend that 40 man spot on Lopez (a switch hitter BTW) or Ramos (also a switcher) or Robinson (3rd C who frees up using TS off the bench) or anybody else.

        Note that Spiers came up today for an injured Duarte; but, I believe on his last trip up he was added to the 40 man and sent down on an option.

  13. Tim

    I like having Votto available to ph. Go Reds

  14. Jim Walker

    The Giants just fired manager Gabe Kapler. He is the 1st Giants manager to be “relieved of his duties” since 1985. The Giants finished 81-81 in 2022 under Kapler and are currently 78-81 this season. They are 8-17 in September after being 70-64 for the season.

    By way of comparison, the Reds are 12-12 in September after being 69-66 for the season at the start of September.

    • Jim Walker

      They are 8-17 in September after being 70-64 for the season to begin the month

      • JB

        What? And he didn’t get an extension? Apparently the Giants don’t except mediocrity.

      • Rick

        Twice fired already.
        I wonder if Bull Krall offered them a name from their past?? Joking, and no one knows for sure who I am thinking about. Frank Duffy, Vern Geishert! Lol

    • Tar Heel Red

      “Giants fire Kapler” – Boy I would love to see this as the beginning of a trend throughout baseball where the analytic dependent managers are no longer in vogue and skippers who actually manage according to what is happening in front of them on the field starts to make a comeback.

      • Rick

        The Braves Mgr said that, he mainly goes by what his eyes tells. He said that analytics are an extra tool to use. He watches for fatigue, who needs an off day, effectiveness. Paraphrasing.
        I do like Snitkers style, and his talent as well.

    • Melvin

      Well ya see. If he would have lost 100 games last year he not only would have kept his job but would have had a three year extension. That’s the way it works. Set a low bar one year. Improve the next year and do better than expected. That’s all you need. 😀

      • Melvin

        He may have gotten “manager of the year” this year with this record had he lost 100 games last year. He just played it ALL WRONG. hahaha!!!

  15. Redgoggles

    If the Reds make it in by one game, I’m giving credit to Ricky Karcher.

    • RedBB

      I like it…ppl like to see the negative side of it but there has been plenty of positive comebacks and improbable performances this year. I mean the Cubs just blew a 6 run lead late in the game too…It happens. Get over it ppl…can’t change the past and dwelling on it is a sure recipe for failure.

    • DaveCT

      Post of the Week!

      The legend can only grow …

    • Melvin

      Yeah!! Why is he not up right now? 🙂

  16. RedBB

    Posted this in the other article….still a massive uphill climb but Dbacks and Cubs lost last night and Marlins got postponed in the 9th up 2-1. Still alive tonight but we could be eliminated with a combo of a Reds loss and a Marlins win. If that combo doesn’t happen we will still be alive at least for 1 more day into Saturday’s game. Best to just take it a day at a time…that’s what the Reds should do IMO.

    • Tar Heel Red

      Very interesting! Does Krall still approve all transactions or does it now become Meador’s job?

      • Rick

        Krall would normally have to sign off on any transaction of consequence. Or atleast that’s how Protocols work. Usually parameters are set in place by the GM’s boss.

    • Old-school

      Im not a David Bell fan but Im also not a hater. But Im also not a fan of the revisionist history Reds commenters that attack Krall. Krall is the best GM since krivsky. AS if the Reds were World Series contenders in march with a barren budget and a barren pitching staff.

      Professional scouting elite. Moll, Williamson, Phillips,Steer, Benson, Marte, CES, Petty, Arroyo.

      International scouting good.
      Amateur scouting good….Abbott,Lowder,Floyd,Collier,Stewart.

      Reds are one of the better farm systems and developmental franchises in baseball

      • Pete

        You are correct, sir. The Reds are absolutely loaded and we have to thank someone for this. Whom would this be?

      • Tar Heel Red

        Don’t misunderstand me, I am not doubting Nick Krall’s ability as a GM. I think he has done a very good job, especially when you consider all that he has to put up with from ownership. I’m just wondering what the dynamics of this move will be.

      • Jim Walker

        Yes, but it all means nothing if the job doesn’t get finished at the MLB level within the next 2-3 years. Hopefully, this move means Krall is fully empowered to get the job done which to me means he gets a budget and nobody gets is allowed in his way or to end around him to the top to plead their “special” case.

    • Melvin

      Interesting. Wander if he’ll have more control over Bell?

      • Rick

        That’ll fall to Meador now. Krall has a layer of separation now. Bob likes those legacy connections.
        If Krall has the freedom that Dick Williams had, maybe so. But, Krall’s not a minority owner’s son either.
        I like what Krall has done except for the quick trigger contract extension.

  17. Dean

    Here’s a scenario I have not seen addressed that I find compelling:
    Reds win last 2 games. D’Backs lose last 2 games. Marlins lose their last 2 games.
    That means the Marlins and Reds get the last 2 wild card spots. But would MLB make the Marlins go to NY to finish the 2-1 suspended game simply to determine whether the Marlins or Reds get the No. 2 seed? Seems to me they would, but it also seems that’s a huge disadvantage for the Marlins, and they’d probably just prefer to concede the No. 2-seed to the Reds.
    Keep in mind, if the Marlins have 83 wins after Sunday, and the Reds have 84, completing the Mets game with a win would mean they tie the Reds and own the tiebreaker to become the No. 2 seed based on better record within their respective divisions.

    • Dean

      IGNORE! If the Marlins only have 83 wins, they need to finish the Mets game to see if they indeed tie/beat out the D’Backs for the wild card. With a win, they’d go from out of a wild card spot to jumping the Reds for the No. 2 spot.

  18. Dean

    Call me crazy, but I actually LIKE the Reds chances of making the playoffs entering the final weekend. Why?
    Astros have EVERYTHING to play for and are better than the D’Backs. They are the defending WS champs and have Verlander on the hill tonight. I believe they will beat the Diamondbacks. The Reds should take care of business in St. Louis because the Cards are horrible and are starting some guy named Drew Rom. Frankly, I’d be surprised if the Reds did NOT gain another game on the D’Backs tonight.
    That leaves it all for Sunday … The Reds have Hunter Greene throwing. Though inconsistent, I have faith that he will deliver under pressure and throw a gem and the Reds will scratch out a win. I’m not as confident that the Astros will sweep the Diamondbacks, but if it means missing the playoffs or not winning their division, I like the Astros chances. They aren’t the defending WS champs for nothing.
    Of course, all this amounts to is a quick 2 games in Milwaukee where we probably don’t score a run and is eerily reminiscent of the last abysmal offensive performance in the playoffs against the Braves. Still … It’d be fun to make the playoffs and get some of the young guys experience for down the road.