Robert Stephenson got off to a great start by retiring eight of the first nine batters he faced. His night turned around quickly however in the fourth inning. Stephenson gave up a couple of cheap singles and loaded the bases. That brought up Aledmys Diaz.

Diaz was playing in his first game since his close friend Jose Fernandez tragically passed away on Sunday. Diaz grew up on the same street as Fernandez in Cuba. Diaz came through with a grand slam, and was emotional returning back to the dugout. If a Cardinal is going to hit a grand slam against the Reds, that is one you can live with.


The Reds bullpen was a disaster. Matt Magill and Keyvius Sampson combined to give up seven earned runs and three home runs over 1.2 innings, and the game got out of control in a hurry.

Joey Votto and Scott Schebler each hit home runs, but it wouldn’t be nearly enough as the Reds fell 12-5. The win was a big one for St. Louis, putting them a half game behind the Giants at the moment for the second wild card spot. The Reds will still have a chance over the next two days to possibly spoil the Cardinals postseason. That could be a nice silver lining over the final week of a lost season.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (66-91)
St. Louis Cardinals (82-75) 12 13 0
W: Wainwright (13-9) L: Stephenson (2-3)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game


According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Robert Stephenson allowing a grand slam to Aledmys Diaz with 1 out in the 4th inning, giving the Cardinals a 5-2 lead. That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 13.3% (from 46.8% to 13.5%).

Honorary Player of the Game

Joey Votto: 3 for 5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0.24 WPA

Votto just continues to roll. He hit his second home run in as many days, and now has 28 on the season (the only time Votto reached 30+ HR was in his MVP season in 2010 when he hit 37). Votto also now has 92 RBI on the season, which should calm down a particular cranky broadcaster who is obsessed with rib-eye steaks.


Scott Schebler hit his 9th home run of the year. Schebler did have to leave the game after he came up limping running out a single, but it appeared to just be precautionary.

Eugenio Suarez had a three hit night, and Tucker Barnhart had a two hit night.

The Reds offense has 34 (!) hits through the first two games of this series. 34!


Robert Stephenson started off his night really strong. He retired 8 of the first 9 batters he face, and had 4 strikeouts through three innings. Stephenson however gave up a couple cheap singles, and then left a ball right down the middle of the plate to Aledmys Diaz for a grand slam. There were certainly some positives from Stephenson, and he really showed some good stuff early. You just can’t give up grand slams in the big leagues.

Matt Magill did not pitch very well: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR

Keyvius Sampson was even worse: 0.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 2 HR

Not so random thoughts…………….

The Cardinals clinched a winning season for the 9th consecutive season tonight, and have had a winning season in 16 of the last 17 seasons. Gross.

Adam Wainwright got the win despite allowing 10 hits, 2 home runs, and 5 earned runs. #KillTheWin

I was in Detroit last night to see the Indians clinch the AL Central. My wife is a die-hard Indians fan, and since she went with me to watch the Reds clinch in 2012, I figured that I should return the favor. It made me think about 2012 and how much I took it for granted at the time. Oh well.

It looks like this will be my final recap of 2016. It has been a pleasure doing them again this year, and I appreciate all of the good Reds banter that has come from them.

Up Next:

Reds at Cardinals
Wednesday, 8:15 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Anthony DeSclafani (3.38 ERA) vs Mike Leake (4.72 ERA)

28 Responses

  1. ohiojimw

    The scoring decisions on the two IF hits ahead of the Cards grand slam appeared to be technically correct; but, if Stephenson gets a little help from his friends, especially on the ball DeJesus didn’t come up with, the inning could have turned out much differently.

    Despite the salami, I thought tonight was a step forward for RS. 53 of his 81 pitches were strikes; he walked only 1 while recording 4Ks in and allowing 5 hits in 4 inning.

    This start by RS very much reminded me of some of Homer Bailey’s early days.

  2. ohiojimw

    It was a mixed night on the draft position scramble.
    The Twins have clinched the #1 and are now at 101 losses.

    The Braves came back late versus the Phils to stay at 92 losses. However they were joined at 92 by the DBacks and Rays. The Reds of course go to 91 down. The Pads appear to be on track to stay at 90 losses, leading the Dodgers by 6 with the Dodgers batting in the 9th inning. Possibly slipping into the picture are the A’s who lost to go to 90 losses. Like the Reds, all these teams have 5 games to go.

    Overall, I think the Rays are the team to watch. They’ve lost 8 of 10 and are on a 5 game losing run. They close versus the Rangers in Texas. If the Rangers are still playing for home field advangtage over the weekend, the Rays could easily be swept and end up with at least 95 losses, depending what they do on Weds. and Thursday versus the White Sox.

    Keep in mind that the DBacks and Padres finish with 3 against each other; so one of those teams will pick up at least 2 losses in the final weekend. With 92 down already, if that were to be the Dbacks, they could be all but uncatchable by the Reds unless the Reds lose out.

    • David

      I think we can count on the Reds losing all three this weekend to the Cubs.

      Likely pitchers: Josh Smith – Friday, Tim Adelman- Saturday and Robert Stephenson – Sunday.

      I can see the Reds winning one of the last two against the Cards, with Desclafani pitching tonight and Straily pitching tomorrow. Maybe one of those games, especially against Leake tonight, who has pitched pretty poorly this season for the Cards.

      • ohiojimw

        Given the Reds hold tie breaker advantage on everyone involved, I think 95 is the minimum magic number for them to get the #3 pick because I doubt over one, if any, of the three teams already at a 92 losses go 3-2 to finish.

        The question is likely whether the Rays and/ or DBacks go to 96 or even 97.

        I also believe the Reds are more than likely going to win a game somewhere along the line versus the Cubs because the Cubs figure to be in exhibition game mode. Individuals on their team will be looking to earn or cement spots on the playoff roster; but Maddon will be running the games just to have folks get their work in and stay healthy.

      • WVRedlegs

        I agree with your accounting. I felt the same as you about what the Cubs might do this weekend and play many subs. But I’ve been watching some of the Cubs-Pirates series going on now as I watch the Reds games too. But the Cubs have really poured it on the Pirates the last 2 nights. Beating them like a drum. No letdown whatsoever. So I am not sure what to expect from them now for this weekend and what kind of lineup they put out there.

  3. Earl Nash

    Yikes the Reds are going to put that HR record up where a team is really going to have to work to break it. I’m kinda afraid the Cubs are probably going to lay one more shellacking on them this weekend with Bryant hitting another 2 or 3 against them.

    • jessecuster44

      Someone’s going to break DiMaggio’s streak before they break the Gopherball record of ’16.

    • jim t

      The best thing the reds could do is lose the remaining games and get a top 3 draft pick

  4. VaRedsFan

    “Schebler did have to leave the game after he came up limping running out a single, but it appeared to just be precautionary.”

    If Reds injury history is any indicator, he will miss the rest of the season, and maybe the 1st month of 2017.

  5. Shchi Cossack

    While watching Votto at the plate over the past few games, I realized I don’t recall seeing such a serious, focused, confident approach at the plate, even from Votto himself, as he exhibits right now. He’s always been a serious, focused hitter at the plate, but not to this extent. I can’t imagine how a pitcher feels facing Votto right now, even at this elite level of competition.

    Oh, BTW, Votto has now moved to 2nd in the NL with a .983 OPS, just .004 behind the NL leader Murphy with a .987 OPS and Freeman sitting at .980 OPS. Votto is also now 5th in the NL with a .547 SLG.

    • jim t

      Votto is clearly a under appreciated player. Since his early days he has never given away at bats. He is the toughest out in baseball. If the old man behind the Mic hasn’t figured that out it is time for him to leave the booth.

      • David

        Marty doesn’t like Joey and Joey doesn’t suck up to Marty. Joey, according to Pete Rose, is an elite hitter. He’s said that several times in different venues.

    • cfd3000

      And it was another one of those nights where even the outs Votto made were hit hard. The punch line drive to short was a bit of a defensive swing, but he hit it on the barrel and it goes through if it was two feet higher or if the defensive positioning was a little more shifted as it has been so often lately. And the 9th inning liner to left took a circus catch by Pham who turned the wrong way off the bat and had to spin around and make a nice stabbing catch to rob Votto of extra bases and possibly the cycle. He was locked in again. Chris Welsh didn’t have enough synonyms for amazing to describe Votto’s work lately. He’s been number one on my Chad Dotson “I had fun” list for the Reds this year.

    • per14

      I’ve been watching this for the past few weeks. Votto has been stealthily stalking that #1 OPS spot, just creeping up gradually on it. Man, that would be great, especially after the first two months he had.

    • WVRedlegs

      Votto has just been other-worldly this year since late May. I wonder if he wishes the season would continue since he is so hot at the plate now, or he will be glad that this miserable season is over? It is such a shame that the Reds front office has been so shortsighted over the last several years and have wasted opportunity after opportunity to surround Votto with better hitters.
      Hopefully Dick Williams has enough gumption this winter and go out and obtain at least one player to put in the lineup next to Votto. Either to bat before him or just after him (4th).

  6. ohiojimw

    How about a little silly season talk on a dark dreary autumn day?
    Last night CTrent (@ctrent) joined Marty and the Cowboy for the beat reporter sound byte on the Reds Radio. CTrent was asked what he knew about Bryan Price’s status. He said, nada, that he had been working his sources but nobody was talking or had given any indication either way about Price either on or off the record.

    The conversation eventually ended up focused on the front office. All three parties seemed to believe that once Dick Williams is officially in charge of baseball operations, there will be other and perhaps very significant changes in the FO aside from DW merely moving the the corner office.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Wish I’d been listening to that segment. Wonder what other significant changes are left? A couple of the old GMs (Towers, Bonifay) are still listed as special assistants to the GM. I’d guess they’ll go. I wonder if the turnover could include the Media department. I know that Dick Williams has a much more open attitude toward sites like ours than does current Director of Media Relations, Rob Butcher. But I don’t know if the baseball GM is the supervisor of media relations.

      If I were DW, I’d be taking a hard look at the development aspect of the organization. I’ve heard insiders complain about the lack of organization and plans for specific players that stem from Jocketty’s passivity with regard to the minor leagues.

      • ohiojimw

        You didn’t miss any detail or hints of direction. The talk about Price got around to how bad the bullpen had been. Somebody (CTrent I believe) suggested that was on the FO, not Price. Somebody else said talk about (places where) change coming and the other two both jumped on in obvious agreement and that it could be significant. However there was no hint of who would go or what direction the movement would take.

        I thought all three of them became much more animated talking about this like perhaps they were looking forward to seeing someone get his comeuppance. I wondered what sort of looks or hand expressions or names scribbled in scorecard margins were perhaps being exchanged among them.

  7. Carl Sayre

    I am not just looking at last nights debacle but I haven’t seen anything from Sampson to justify so many chances. I guess that is why they make the big bucks and I am just a puzzled fan.

    • David

      Sampson and Magill should be cut loose after the season, as well as Ohlendorf. I realize that Magill is coming off TJ surgery, but I don’t think he ever had that much to offer.

  8. vegastypo

    It amazes me that Votto has 92 RBIs. Duvall’s ribbies I can understand, because he has Votto on base so often in front of him. But Votto? I didn’t realize he had so many players ahead of him getting on base.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Votto has selfishly driven himself in 28 times.

      • David

        That is so very Old School. I would think Marty would approve (grin).

    • Old-school

      Votto is 1 run shy of 100 runs scored..a great stat. I would disagree somewhat with those who claim he is underappreciated. He was 3 rd in MVP voting a year ago I believe and I think when all is said and done he will finish top 5 this year. Perhaps top 3 again.
      Perusing stats, He, Bryce Harper and Josh Donaldson are the only megastars with BB% near K %.. That’s amazing to be that productive of a hitter with power, yet also preserve plate discipline at the same time….duvall is great at power…but swings and misses a ton 26% k rate….BP doesn’t strike out..but walks at 3%. Votto does everything….at the plate anyway.

      • David

        I will hazard a bit of a guess and say that Bryce Harper will never again come close to his MVP year, until he starts to taking the game more seriously, and work harder at off season conditioning.
        Joey Votto this year may actually be better than Joey’s MVP year of 2010, because he frankly has a rather green team around him. That team had Scott Rolen behind him, as well as Jay Bruce, a younger and better Brandon Phillips, and don’t forget the best year of Drew Stubbs career.
        I have heard a few of the hacks on WLW talking about “The first thing is to trade Joey Votto!!!””

  9. WVRedlegs

    The Reds have a new Outfielder according to MLBTR.
    They made another waiver claim on a SD Padre player. They claimed OF Patrick Kivlehan off of waivers. He will be 27 next year. A RH hitter. A platoon mate for Schebler next year?

    • ohiojimw

      Cozart to 60 day DL to make room for the new guy on the 40 man. Would not be surprised to see him waived rather than returned to the 40 man ahead of the Rule 5 draft.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Kivlehan has played five minor league seasons. Career numbers: .282 average, .344 OBP, .814 OPS. Plays third base, first base and outfield, but primarily third.