Cincinnati grabbed an early lead on Sunday with a 1st inning homer from Nick Martini, and took a 2-1 lead in the top of the 3rd inning. But the Cardinals stormed back in the bottom of the inning to take a 4-2 lead and held on from there as St. Louis beat the Reds for the second day in a row to bring the season to an end.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (82-80)
3 9 0
St. Louis Cardinals (71-91)
4 9 0
W: Mikolas (9-13) L: Greene (4-7) SV: Helsley (14)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The game began with a bang as Nick Martini crushed a home run to put Cincinnati in front 1-0. Later in the inning Joey Votto would strike out. In between innings he was ejected from the game for yelling at the umpire from the dugout. The call in question, assuming Hawkeye was correct, was the third pitch of the at-bat, which was called a strike.

Not close to a strike.

Complete lack of awareness of the situation that this could very well be the last game of Joey Votto’s career and he ejected him. Votto, following the game said that the umpire was right in the ejection. I won’t pretend to speak for anyone else, but you’ve got to have some awareness there ump. Votto noted that he doesn’t have an answer yet about what’s in his future with regards to playing.

In the bottom of the 2nd inning the Cardinals put together a bit of a rally that began with a double to start the inning from Richie Palacios. He’d come in to score on a sacrifice fly to tie the game up. The Reds didn’t let them keep the lead for long as Stuart Fairchild and Elly De La Cruz smacked doubles in the top of the 3rd, with the latter driving in the go-ahead run.

Cincinnati’s lead didn’t last all that long, either. Tommy Edman led off the bottom of the 3rd with a single, stole second, and then scored on a 1-out double by Jordan Walker to tie the game up. Walker then scored when Luken Baker doubled to put the Cardinals on top. Jose Fermin capped off the inning with an RBI single to make it 4-2.

Neither offense did a whole lot from there until the top of the 7th when Will Benson singled and then came around to score on a 2-out double by Stuart Fairchild. That cut the Cardinals lead to a run. In the bottom of the 8th inning Adam Wainwright came off of the bench to pinch-hit for Jose Fermin and give the home crowd one final opportunity to show their appreciation for Wainright before his retirement. Alan Busenitz would strike him out to end the inning, giving Cincinnati one final opportunity to extend the game.

Noelvi Marte smacked a 1-out double to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. Will Benson followed with a single, but Marte paused on the play and by the time he picked up steam heading to third the stop sign was already up and Cincinnati had runners on the corners. Benson would steal second base, but that’s where he’d be stranded as back-to-back strikeouts ended the game.

Key Moment of the Game

Jose Fermin’s RBI single that capped off a 3-run inning for St. Louis that gave them the lead for good.

Notes worth noting

Noelvi Marte’s season ends while he’s riding a 16-game hitting streak and a 22-game on-base streak.

The two teams combined to walk just once and had 23 strikeouts.

What a turn around for Will Benson. He hit just .063 with no extra-base hits in the first two weeks of the season. He was then optioned to Triple-A. After returning in late May he hit .292/.383/.532 from that point forward in 100 games played.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by this season to hang out in the game threads and the game recaps. While the playing season is over for the Reds, we still plan to write about the club nearly every day between now and spring training.

Also a big thanks to everyone on the writing staff who has contributed throughout the year. It’s a long, long season when you start talking about spring training and very few off days for seven months.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Spring Training 2024. See ya there.

87 Responses

  1. Jeff Morris

    At least the Reds finished with a winning record here in 2023.

  2. Art

    Thanks, Doug. As a very occasional commenter and constant reader, appreciate your insights and info here and on RML. It makes the season tolerable when things don’t go well, and heightens the enjoyment when things do go well. Thanks also to the other writers and commenters. This site provides a community for thoughtful Reds fans and baseball fans in general.

  3. Tim

    Thanks to all who keep this page and load its contents. Much appreciated and enjoyed.

  4. Greenfield Red

    20 games better than last year with about 10 rookies carrying the bulk of the load. India, Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, and Stephenson looking for healthy bouce back years in 24. Add a good starter or outfield bat and a couple of relievers, and the Reds can win the WS next year.

    • LarkinPhillips

      Sadly those 4 were also looking for healthy bounce back years coming into 2023. Maybe 24 will be a different story.

    • Dewey Roberts

      That is almost exactly what I have been thinking. A good veteran starting pitcher, a couple of good relievers, and a good veteran outfielder. This team has a lot of pieces already with a lot of talent still in the minors. What they need is a little balance between young players and veterans.

  5. Indy Red Man

    Yep. It’s a great outlet for diehards like us.
    I can’t wait for trade news and next April most of all!

    Marte is an interesting kid, but I’ve seen many others beat up September pitching.
    I wouldn’t say he’s out of the woods yet, but he’s shown more then talent to take 3b and run with it!

    • Greenfield Red

      I don’t think September pitching is like it used to be. Teams used to call up 8 or 10 guys. Isn’t it limited to 2 now?

    • Doc

      Everybody else was facing the same September pitching.

  6. Moon

    Reds lost 8 of last 12 games coming down the stretch. If they could have won a couple of those games, and they should have, they would be in the playoffs. The good news is they have a decent core to build around. They just do not have a couple of holes to address but they need to build some depth. Injuries killed them this year especially given the lack of depth. We will see how this goes but they should have some money to spend this off season.

    • Colorado Red

      Ifs and buts do not get us anywhere.
      We won games, we should have lost, and vice versa.

      Overall a good year.
      Hope for next year.

  7. JB WV

    Thanks Doug for all your hard work. It’s been a pleasure for another year, and hopefully many to come. The Reds have turned a huge corner this year. Exciting times are straight ahead.

  8. RedsGettingBetter

    The Reds had a pretty good season overall. Let’s see the sophomore season for the most of players how will be going on 2024.
    One of the homeworks to do is to improve the record against the Central division. the 21-31 doesn’t help in the hopes of claiming the NLCD title in 2024. Pitsburgh and St. Louis were bad this season however both beat the Reds in their particular series.
    There are high hopes too on Hunter Greene as a rotation ace but he should develop another pitch, at least, an average pitch really. He can’t do it in 2023 , I exepected him working hard on it during offseason.
    EDLC definetly should work hard on his discipline at the plate, less chasing balls…I pretty sure McLain, CES, Abbott and even Williamson will be good next year. Noelvi Marte finished in a very high note, he’ll be a very intriguing player to see… I expected TJ Friedl could keep the level he played all season as Fraley will be back healthy to hit well again. Benson should work on a better contact so he could be a very dangerous hitter…I can’t wait the return of Lodolo and Ashcraft both healthy next year… GO Reds!

    • Steve

      One thing I’m concerned about is the dreaded “sophomore jinx” next season for this year’s rookies, similar to what beset India last season. Fantastic job as usual Doug! Looking forward to more of the same this off-season into spring training 2024.

  9. Jedi Joey

    Good work Doug and RLN! I’m sad the season is over but the Reds exceeded expectations. It would have been nice to get into the playoffs but still a nice turnaround. On to 2024!

  10. RedsGettingBetter

    Thanks Doug for your work. It is always really appreciated.
    By the way, Do the Padres stay ahead of the Reds in the overall standings?

  11. MrX

    I would venture to guess Reds management will be making some needed moves over the winter. Personally, I dont see Senzel and India here next year. The infield is just too crowded and im probably in the minority, but had enough of Votto and his ridiculous ejection today was embarrassing.

  12. Mark Moore

    Tie a bow on it and send it off. Roller coaster ride to be sure. In the end, it was the most exciting season I’ve experienced in quite some time.

    Onward to 2024!!!

  13. Dayton Ducks

    To quote Monty Python “Always look on the bright side of life.” After the dreadful 2022 season this one was a breath of fresh air. Thanks Doug and everyone else at Redleg Nation…looking forward to 2024!

  14. LDS

    Thanks to Doug and the rest of the RLN writers. Take a break and rest up. Hopefully, the Reds’ FO generates a lot of activity for new columns over the next couple of months. Enjoy the vacation.

  15. CFD3000

    Thank you to Doug, all the writing staff at RLN, and everyone who logs in, comments, and keeps me thinking about all things Reds. The end of this season was disappointing but a look at the bigger picture and longer term is incredibly positive and encouraging. Here’s hoping for some key upgrades this offseason, especially in pitching depth. Here’s hoping for better health for that same pitching staff. And here’s hoping that this year was just the beginning of a great run of exciting and rewarding Reds baseball. When do pitchers and catchers report?!

  16. Redsvol

    Thanks to Doug for covering our Redlegs! Was a very fun season and one to be proud of. I really hope these guys work hard on this this off-season and stay hungry.

    We can be sure the Cardinals and Cubs are going to load up this off-season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Brewers kind of take a step back if they lose early in the playoffs.

    Pivoting to different subject – I still can’t believe the stinking Cardinals drew 3.2M fans this year for that team. That attendance figure is simply a huge advantage – probably an extra $100M in revenue than the Reds this year. Attendance was ok this year. I hope it goes to great next year so we don’t have a $100M revenue disadvantage to the Cardinals.

    • Tom Reeves

      No football team helps. BUT, that 3.2m fans in the seats is a huge strategic advantage over the Reds. Until the Reds draw in the 3M range, they’ll struggle to compete financially.

      • TR

        That’s quite an achievement for St. Louis to draw 3.2 million for this year’s division last place team. The Red’s best attendance was 2.5 million, or so, during the BRM era. St. Louis doesn’t have a football team at present, but they do have the National Hockey League Blues

  17. RedlegScott

    Sure, things could have gone better, but finishing over. 500 when you were predicted to lose 100 games is quite nice.

  18. ChrisInVenice

    Thanks, Doug & everyone who contributed to the coverage.

    Not the ending we wanted, but so much better than expected. More excited for Spring Training than in years.

  19. RedAlert

    Thanks Doug to you and your staff of writers for all the work done this year. Look forward to all the information coming in the
    off-season as well !

  20. MK

    Did Votto need to have an awareness of the circumstances, as you say the umpire needed to have. In the course of this season did that situation make any difference? In 17 years did he ever get a couple bad umpire calls during an at bat? I’m sure he had some emotions working but to blame the umpire when a player goes nuts is wrong. The young umpire is trying to do things correctly as well.

    • Jeremiah

      Kind of a shocking and embarrassing way for Votto to go out if that is the case. I almost thought maybe Votto did it on purpose as some kind of joke! Really kind of a mystery what Votto’s future is or what he is thinking, if he still wants to play for the Reds or someone else.

      I want to echo thank you as well to the writers and those who run this site. The setup of the comment section is very easily set up which I appreciate. Should be an exciting time for the Reds going into 2024.

    • Laredo Slider

      MK/Jeremiah….re Votto: Most veteran players know what umps have rabbit ears or a short fuse. They know how far they can go with these guys. I have no idea the reason but it seemed to me Votto was trying to get ejected. Don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.

      Yes, thanks to Doug and all for providing a forum to comment on Reds baseball. Hope everyone has a great off season!

  21. Tom Reeves

    The MLB has to do something about the umpiring. The first issue is they they’re wrong so often. They’re wrong about plays and the strike zones are a mess. But what’s worse is that the replay system is also consistently wrong. And what’s even worse than all of that is that the umpires are sanctimonious about being wrong. I’m not going to quite watching the Reds because of how the team plays or the coaches coach. But I’m very tempted to stop wasting my time watching the Reds have to play other teams PLUS the MLB umpires.

  22. Doc

    82 wins.
    2MM+ home attendance.
    Youth brought excitement and put seats in the seats.
    So why do people want to go back to spending big bucks on expensive players after having little to no success with that approach? Krall should just flash up a picture of Moose every time someone wants him to spend big in FA.

    • Jon

      The alternative is what: taking gambles on cheaper one-year rebound candidates like Myers, Minor, and Weaver? Or trading multiple top prospects for proven young talent with multiple years of control (like how they acquired Latos)?

      It’s not like the Reds have had much experience signing notable free agents in the past outside of that 2019-2020 class. (And Castellanos and Miley were great signings; it was only Moose that bombed and Akiyama who never made much sense as a signing from the start given the Reds outfield glut at the time.)

      One way or another the Reds need to acquire two proven veteran SPs to lead and stabilize the young and often-injured rotation.

      • greenmtred

        Pitchers are prone to injury. Getting an older starter or two might be a good idea, but it certainly doesn’t guarantee fewer injuries to the rotation and poses the question of which young starters lose their slots.

    • Greenfield Red

      As a young man, I thought about a career as an umpire. I started doing slow pitch softball and was sent to a 1 day school by the league. One of the first things they taught was that when you make a call, it is the correct call. As the umpire, you are never wrong. Other umps on the field are to back you up no matter what.

      That was a big turn off for me, and I appreciate when I see another Official help an Official get a call correct. It goes against their teaching, but is the right thing to do.

    • MBS

      We failed because we were cheap. We got outbid for Wheeler. After that failed Dick pivoted and overspent on 2 3B’s, giving the Reds 5 total 3B’s on a 25 man roster.

      Krall doesn’t seem to panic, in fact he seems insanely patient. Most GM’s would have brought in a SP this trade deadline, but Krall obviously didn’t see a deal that he liked. I’m not a big fan of his inaction, but it does tell me he’s adverse to making bad deals. Just an FYI a $10M deal that doesn’t hit isn’t a bad deal, it’s akin to a lottery ticket, or that player would have been a $20M a year guy.

  23. LT

    Thank you Doug and the entire staff for providing this platform, a great place to discuss baseball. See everyone next year.

  24. J

    Idea for next season’s blog…
    Create two different sections — one section for those of us with high expectations for major league players/managers, and who prefer to express our annoyance or concerns when those expectations aren’t met, and another section for those who just want to enjoy whatever the Reds happen to be doing on the field and can’t tolerate negativity. Would probably make the blog a lot more enjoyable for everyone.

    Something to think about in the off-season!

      • JB

        J- why don’t you start your own blog and quit telling Doug how to run his.

      • Still a Red

        Nah…I think I’ll stay in your section just to keep bugging you with my equally speculative opinions on why Bell may not be as bad as say he is.

      • J

        What if I don’t? What if I’m clinically depressed and haven’t enjoyed life for many years? Ever think about the effect that kind of comment might have on a depressed person? It’s so easy to say things like that anonymously to an anonymous online person, but if you wouldn’t say them to someone in real life (which I hope you wouldn’t unless you knew for sure they’d appreciate it), you probably shouldn’t say them here.

        The good news is that I’m not depressed and I’ve actually enjoyed this season quite a bit. I also enjoy walks in nature with my wife, animals, travel, teaching, and OSU football (although I do sometimes question Day’s play calling in the red zone and wish he’d let someone else handle it). Most people who know me would say my sense of humor is one of my biggest strengths. It’s actually possible to enjoy life while expressing a great deal of annoyance about a baseball manager on a baseball blog even if not everyone on the blog appreciates it. People enjoy life in different ways. That’s why shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and shows like Friends can both be quite popular at the same time.

        Hope this helps clear up any confusion!

      • greenmtred

        I would never doubt your sense of humor, J, or Harry’s. I do think that your characterization of other commenters–that they can’t stand any negativity–is a useful rhetorical device but not accurate. The objections, I believe, are to the relentless drumbeat of negativity. It may smack of obsession to some, but you are certainly not the only one so obsessed.

    • Harry Stoner

      Great idea!

      We could also add a sub section for posters who are relentlessly negative but also incredibly sensitive to any criticism of their negativity.

      • J

        And a section for people who are relentlessly negative about other posters and like to lecture them!

        There could be so many sections!

      • greenmtred

        I should add that, inasmuch as a separate section for negative commenters would likely spell the end of the spirited and very funny exchanges such as the one above, I’d be firmly opposed. I’ll trade a bit of annoyance for a good laugh any time.

  25. CI3J

    Thank you Doug for continuing to provide a space for us hard-core Reds fans to congregate.

    While a lot of sports discussion has moved to places like X (formerly Twitter), Discord, Telegram, and Reddit, I really appreciate the old-school approach of RLN. It also seems to draw the most knowledgeable and informed Reds fans out of the bunch. I appreciate it for that, and it’s what keeps me coming back year after year.

    With (hopefully) exciting days ahead for the ol’ Redlegs, here’s to RLN continuing on for many years to come.

    Again, thanks Doug, and thanks to all your fellow RLN posters who make this site what it is.

  26. wkuchad

    Thanks Doug and all the contributors that make RLN what it is.

    RLN is my main source of Reds news. You all do a fantastic job! Looking forward to this off-season much more than last, and I’ll be checking in frequently.

  27. TR

    Another regular season in the books for the Reds and the ability for myself and others to comment about our favorite team in this very professional Redleg Nation blog. Thank you Doug, and others who make it possible. The offseason should be interesting.

  28. greenmtred

    Thank you, Doug. Thank you everybody.

  29. jon

    Thanks Doug! The first thing i do every morning is read your articles on how the Reds minor league teams performed. Its really neat when the guys i’ve been ready about for years finally make it to the big leagues. Thank you!

  30. RedBB

    First off thanks Doug and everyone for providing a viable alternative for Reds fans to TOS.

    Now let’s go get some Veteran SP. Minimum of 1 but I would prefer 2. Need another late innings reliever too to take the workload and pressure off Diaz. Maybe Hicks? Could also use a power bat in the lineup. Duvall? Bellinger is likely way to expensive for the Reds.

    • Don

      Yeah, I think they need two starters. I like Lodolo…if he is healthy. There is a large gap between expectations and the reality of who Greene is as he heads into his third season. His numbers were worse this year than last. Both of those aforementioned guys were your number one and number two starters heading into the ’23 season. For different reasons, I think it would be very risky and unwise for the Reds to head into the ’24 season with those two penciled in as your number one and number two starters. I’d love to see the Reds head into spring training with the addition of two additional starters with a decent track record of success. I think it would be wise of Krall…err…Meador to make that known to the rotation as a whole that competition for the five starting spots will be wide open come spring so these guys had better bust their tails this offseason.

      I don’t know how much the Castellinis are willing to spend, but if you are stuck between improving the offense or improving pitching, you need to load up on pitching. This past season proves you can never have too much (respectable) pitching.

  31. Rob

    I have a hard time accepting that the Reds are on the verge. Totally agree that that we are improved over the 2022 version but I am not ready to say we are near a top 5 NL team. Post August 1, we were 8 games under 500!! That is equivalent to a 90-95 loss team. Probably the worst record in the NL Central over the last 2 months. And with most of the same exact pieces that we say are going to lead us to glory in 2024. Just sounds too familiar to pre 2023 to me that Greene, Lodolo, and Ashcraft ere going to be studs in their second year. What did they win……about 12 games total. This to me is where the rubber meets the road. Are we going to believe that players like India, DeLaCruz, CES, Benson, Stephenson etc. are going to be better in 2024? And by maintaining present course, we are somehow going to get to a 90 win team in 2024? Or that Greene, Lodolo, and Ashcraft are going to win 40 instead of 12? Sounds to me like Fools Gold. We all pretty well know the Reds weaknesses. Need for a couple 180 inning, injury free, 10-10 starters, improved defense at C, and a non platoon power hitting OF (Bellinger?). Maybe a real closer like Josh Hader. Probably take $50-60M and a few trades. And we have both.

  32. Pablo

    Thanks to Doug and all the writers at RLN. It was certainly unexpected for the Redlegs to be relevant all the way to the end. Looking forward to 2024!

    The Bengals on the other hand…………ugh

  33. MBS

    Thanks RLN, hopefully it will be an exciting offseason. I know this is the most optimistic I’ve been about the Reds outlook in a very long time.

  34. Jimbo44CN

    Thanks Doug, thanks all. Since I record most games and watch them the next day, this site is my morning coffee go to for the season. Can’t wait til April. Hope Krall does his stuff and comes up with a couple more good arms.

  35. FrostGiant

    I had fun watching baseball this summer and that is all that mattered to me this year. Now, next year I think I will be very disappointed if we do not make the playoffs (and win a series? Am I asking too much?). The question I have in my mind is what do we get in the offseason? Let’s pretend the Reds are actually willing to spend money. We Have Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Abbot, and Williamson. Do we get a veteran ace and then kick back one of the kids to long relief until an injury strikes? All of the infield positions seem pretty tied up. More bullpen help for sure. Maybe an outfielder. I though India would be gone come this off season but I am not so sure now. Anyhow, thanks for all the great articles this year Doug.

  36. Jim t

    Thanks to all the writers and commentators. Enjoyable year. Hopefully we can build on this years team and have a better season next year.

  37. Grand Salami

    Way too early 2024 concerns (some mentioned above):
    1. Pitching – it’s just a huge question mark and it needs to not be a liability next season. 4th most runs allowed in the NL behind only the Rockies, Nats and Cards. This is going to take more than a signing and hoping for health next season – fool me once, fool me twice and all that.
    2. Leadership/Chemistry – Votto and India loom large as the ‘vets’. If they go does the club ensure the lockeroom side of things is handled with Stephenson and perhaps Maile/Fraley? It’s a young team. Seems like they really care for each other and the ELDC/McClain/CES trio seems genuinely tight, but there are a lot of new faces together.
    3. Divisional performance – tied with the Cards for dead last. Need to be .500 at worst to be playoff caliber.
    4. ELDC. He gets his own spot bc we are talking about potentially a generational player here. Reds want to be playoff caliber and put butts in the seats to the tune of 2.5 – 3 mill in total attendance? Then get this kid on track and ensure continued growth and development. No single player had an impact on attendance in this entire division more than Elly. Gotta monitor him closely. #16 in jersey sales in basically half a season (tracked since opening day)! Ahead of Lindor and right behind Seager for the most purchased SS jersey in the league. This kid has star power that this team hasn’t seen since Jr came back to town. They can make the playoffs without him reaching full potential but they won’t dramatically change the profile of the team in terms of league-wide recognition without him. He could do what Acuna just did and more.
    5. GABP – Reds were the ONLY team in MLB with a .500+ record and losing home record. They are a good road team. Ownership needs to make changes to ensure that they are good home team too and much of the rest will fall into place. Pittsburgh had a better home record and the Reds tied the Angels and only one game better than the Rockies. Corrective measures need to be taken.

    • David

      Thanks, all good points.

      The starting pitching is where the Reds really need to fix things. More innings out of starters, less worn down the bullpen gets. Adding a really good veteran pitcher will cost a lot, but could be the key to being a real contender next year.
      In many ways, the bullpen’s success ….IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE SEASON….led to the Red’s success with winning…because the starting pitching stunk most of the year. When the bullpen pitchers tired, the losses started to pile up.

      I think Ashcraft is relatively sturdy, but now sure which Graham Ashcraft will show up next year.
      Hunter Greene is starting to remind me of Jim Maloney. Maloney threw pretty hard (Koufax said that Maloney threw harder than he did), but could not really master “pitching”. Some days he was overpowering….some days he lost.
      Nick Lodolo is injury prone. What to do with him? I have this sense that he will find a way to injure himself again next year. I want to be wrong, but this is his history.
      Andrew Abbott is a very talented young guy, but he was worn down the last month or so…never threw this many innings before (minor and majors total). Hope next year he is stronger down the stretch.
      Williamson made progress this year, but like Ashcraft, which guy shows up next Spring?
      Connor Phillips is another young guy with a great arm. Still needs some polish, but he might emerge as a guy in the rotation coming out of Spring Training. Or he goes to AAA and comes back to replace Lodolo when he gets hurt again.
      It would be nice if the Reds also made some qualitative improvements in the bullpen. Some of the guys there have to be judged on what they did prior to just getting worn down.

      But personally, I have no faith that the Reds’ “Top Men” will spend the money and do what is necessary for the Reds to take a step up to be more competitive next season.

      • Tar Heel Red

        >agree with 100% David – Reds starting pitching is a problem, but the even bigger problem is the management of the rotation. Reds finished the season at 5.14 average innings pitched per start (regular starts only, not including “openers”), which ranked 30th and dead last in MLB.

        Since the rotation did not even average 5 1/3 innings per average start that means the bullpen is having to cover 4 2/3 innings on average EVERY game. It’s no wonder they were pitching on fumes at the end of the season!

        David Bell has got to get this “third time through the order” garbage out of his head and let his starters go deeper into the game, when possible. Too many times a starter (or other pitcher) was rolling along and walked a batter or gave up a hit to a batter during the third time through the order and Bell would panic and replace him immediately, further taxing the pen.

        This has got to stop (or at the very least be drastically curbed) or the Red will continue to have the same problem for at least the next three years.

      • Old Big Ed

        Tar Heel, they must teach arithmetic differently in North Carolina. If the starters averaged 5 1/3 IP, then the relievers aren’t asked to pitch 4 2/3 but instead only pitch 3 2/3, except in extra innings. (I know on days like Saturday in St. Louis that 1 bullpen inning seemed like 3 innings.)

        Your general point is correct. They need a reliable starting pitcher. Given that Lodolo (if healthy), Williamson and Abbott are LHs, the Reds will probably target a RH starter. The free-agent options are a bit limited: Yamamoto from Japan, Sonny Gray, Blake Snell (who only got 9 outs past the 6th inning this year), Aaron Nola (probably back to Philly), Lucas Giolito (awful after the trade deadline), Jack Flaherty (injury-prone and not so good), Michael Lorenzen, and maybe a few others with options to be decided upon, such as Seth Lugo.

        Tyler Mahle is a free agent, but will likely be out until maybe mid-August if all goes well. He could be a candidate for a 2-year deal, with a bit role in 2024 and back to normal in 2025.

      • greenmtred

        Tarheel: have you ever checked the stats pertaining to third time through the order? It is not garbage at all and, considering that starting pitchers league-wide average a bit more than five innings per start, it’s not a theory being practiced only by the Reds.

  38. larry baker

    Doug, thanks for all the hard work. Some young talent showed up this season. Talent to build around.

  39. jmb

    Votto’s option needs to be declined.

    Greene needs to be closer next season. Phillips should also be in the pen.

    S. Gray should be signed, if the Twins don’t resign him first.

    • Old Big Ed

      There is a 99.44% chance that Greene will remain in the rotation next season. Phillips has way too good of an arm to relegate to the bullpen at age 22. Phillips likely needs another couple of months in AA, though.

      Sandy Koufax in his age 24 season was 8-13 with a 101 ERA+, with a SO/W ratio of 1.97. He didn’t become “Sandy Koufax” until 1961 at age 25. Hunter Greene in his age 23 season in 2023 had a 95 ERA+ with a SO/W ratio of 3.17.

      Patience is a great virtue with young pitchers.

      • Tar Heel Red

        OBE – thanks for correcting my faulty math. You are indeed correct.

        In the name of tit-for-tat, Blake Snell is a left=hand pitcher, not right hand…let’s allow ourselves to giggle and move on.

        Of the RH list you posted I would say that Sonny Gray is the most qualified starter for the Reds to go after. He is, of course, already familiar with pitching in GABP and would not cost an excessive amount by todays standards. IMO, most starters will not want to come to Cincy because of the things we have stated, just like they don’t want to pitch for the Rockies in Coor’s Field. Acquiring a starter by trade will probably be the way to go, unless they once again decide “that we have enough already.”

  40. LDS

    Kapler is out. Ross is out. The Reds, “look how good we are – 3 more years of David freakin Bell”. Just not a serious orgranization.

    • Pete

      I still don’t get why you follow this organization. I would think it would be a complete waste of time for you. Honestly, some of you guys need new material. I certainly am not happy with the Bell extension but it’s water under the bridge right now and onto 2024.

      If at some point in the future, Nick Krall loses his position, I certainly hope the Reds draw from this great pool of talent here to get the replacement. We have the best undiscovered GM’s in the business right here.

      I have really enjoyed the social interaction here and greatly appreciate Doug Gray for providing this forum. However, some people here give the saying “beating a dead horse” as an understatement.

      • J

        Pete, everything the Reds do is “water under the bridge” from the moment they’ve done it. Should we not discuss Votto’s ejection because it’s water under the bridge and there’s nothing anyone can do to change it?

        In fact, managers with similar records as Bell’s being fired in the last few days is NEW material, and one would think it’s appropriate for people to discuss that NEW material here. Other than the fact that it bores you, what’s the problem with people wanting to talk about it in the context of what is happening right now with other managers?

      • Jim Walker

        @Pete> Here is the hard part. Going into the last 2 weeks of the season the Reds were 78-72. They were tied with Arizona for the #3 final wildcard spot and -0.5 games from the #2 wildcard spot. By virtue of holding the tie breaker over Arizona, they were in the playoffs had the season ended that day; and they also held the tiebreaker over the team in the #2 WC spot at the time (Cubs).

        Then in their last 12 games, the Reds went 4-8, including 3-6 against 3 teams with records below .500 on the season. It turns out even 5-4 in those 6 games versus teams with a losing record would have gotten them into the playoffs. They blew a 9-0 lead in one of those losses. In another, not once. not twice, but three times. they failed to hold a lead. 2 of the 6 losses were by 4 or more runs.

        And one of the 2 losses to the only above .500 team they faced in the final 12 games was a 7-0 shutout. The other featured an 8th and 9th inning meltdown which saw the Reds go from 3-1 lead to 5-3 loss with defensive play which would have embarrassed a Little League coach.

        Clearly, in isolation, this 12 game stretch as Marty Brennaman was wont to say was, “Unacceptable, simply unacceptable”.

        So, my question is what does newly minted PoBO Nick Krall say and more importantly do now?

      • Pete

        @jim. That is excellent fodder for discussion. The lack of trade activity at the 2023 deadline and the Bell extension are long gone now. As you suggest what is the plan going forward is of great interest to all of us and subject #1 I would think.

        Now what it would take, if anything, to relieve David Bell of his services starting the new season is a topic that will be prime starting April 2024….. personally I think he is manager for life given the family connection – so we can like it or hope he gets better so those that don’t like it will eventually.

      • greenmtred

        Unacceptable, perhaps, but it’s very hard to see, given the utter disarray of the rotation, how it could have been averted.

      • greenmtred

        16 teams had worse records than the Reds and several had the same record. A team’s record in isolation is a useless way to judge a manager, even though it’s an easy source of fodder for determined critics. The Reds began the season with very low expectations and, in the event, weren’t eliminated from contention until the 161st game. This despite losing virtually their entire rotation to injury and having a bullpen that was among the league leaders in innings. They tied for the lead in come from behind wins. They didn’t quit and appear to have maintained a supportive and positive team culture. All managers make strategic mistakes and so did Bell, but those mistakes are only the story of this season if you view it through the narrowest possible lens.

      • Jim Walker

        Pete>> About Bell for life….. The change in the organizational tree last week appears to push Bell further down that tree.

        Not only was Brad Meador promoted from Asst. GM to GM, retained his title of VP of Baseball Ops. That’s an official clear message that Meador and not Bell is second in command of Baseball Ops. It also means unless there is a special rule for Bell, the person in charge of the baseball operation is no longer his direct supervisor.

        Having been in a few organizations myself through the years, the thought crossed my mind that these moves seemingly boxed Bell into the position of field manager with no clear path of advancement in the organization.

        And, Bell should not have had direct access to the COO or CEO suites prior anyway.

      • Pete

        @jimSounds like you never worked in a family-run business, I doubtDavid Bell’s access is limited in anyway especially to his father. Hope I’m wrong but my experience tells I’m probably not. Better to expect the worst and hope for the best….

    • Old Big Ed

      I’d rather have Judy Dench than Kapler as manager. Kapler went to Cal State-Fullerton and Moorpark College, and somehow got it in his head that he has a triple Ph.D. from Cal Tech. If you think Bell over-thinks things, you would need sedation to watch Kapler manage.

    • J

      But is Ross actually out? I’m not seeing that.

  41. GreatRedLegsFan

    Heading into the offseason, the Reds need a frontline rotation ace. Greene isn’t, at least for the time being, with a 4.62 ERA in 237 2/3 IP so far. It may come out of the other members of the rotation, but then it’ll be again a wait & see scenario.

  42. Frank

    Man, it was a fun season. Too bad, injuries and lack of pitching caught up with the team. But the spirit fight and resilient character of the team was a breath of fresh air compared to last year.

    During the long win streak I kept on telling everybody (wether they wanted to hear it or not) that we were going to win it all. I was seriouosly wondering why we would ever lose again. The brewers series made that painfully clear though.

    I love seeing a very emotional India talking about the team and how much he loved playing with team. I know there may not be a spot for him next year, but I hope he is coming back, as we need these kind of leaders.

    I love Joey Votto, but I dont think that resigning him is a smart thing to do.

    Cant wait for spring training, because this time, unlike most other years, I have a feeling that next year will be even more exciting with more wins.

    Thanx a lot Doug and other writers for your effort and great stories, day in day out. It is joy to read, with a lot of insight, and even more love for the reds.

  43. West Larry

    Thank you Doug for making and maintaining this great blog. I wish all of the bloggers on this site -even the the ones that I seldom agree with- a happy and prosperous off season. We all love the reds. I can’t wait until the off season trades and signings occur. Go Reds! Acquire a god starter, a couple of fine relievers and a stud outfielder who can hit hit both right handed and lefthanded pitchers.