The Short Version: Another effective outing by Homer Bailey, and the bullpen was even good. Another anemic performance by the Reds offense. Rinse. Repeat. Reds are 2-13 on the season, and everything is a disaster right now.

Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (9-7) 3 5 3
Cincinnati Reds (2-13) 2 5 0
W: Martinez (2-1) L: Bailey (0-3) S: Norris (3)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Homer Bailey was good again: 7 innings, 3 runs allowed on 4 hits and 2 walks; he struck out four Cardinal hitters. Bailey was also more pitch-efficient than he had been recently, only throwing 90 pitches. (He was noticeably tiring, in my opinion, during his last inning.)

–Amir Garrett gave up one hit in a scoreless inning and two-thirds, striking out two. He was dealing, but current (at press time) Reds manager Bryan Price replaced him to get that valuable righty-righty matchup with none on and two outs in the eighth.

–Adam Duvall doubled and homered. Tucker Barnhart had an infield single and two walks. Billy Hamilton hit a home run. Over the fence, even! Jose Peraza doubled and — are you sitting down? — walked. It was Peraza’s first walk this season, in his 53rd plate appearance.

The Bad
–TOS*

–Cincinnati has scored fewer runs than any team in the National League. There’s a reason why they are 2-13.

–No way to sugarcoat it: Joey Votto is awful right now, and it’s one of the big reasons this offense continues to struggle. He was 0-3 again today (with a walk) and still doesn’t have an extra base hit. Votto’s slash line: .236/.283/.236.

Yes, he’ll get it going eventually, and there is no reason to worry about Joey Votto. But we can’t hammer the performance of the Reds offense without acknowledging Votto’s share of the blame.

–In the bottom of the ninth, the Reds actually showed a pulse. Duvall led off with a home run. Tucker Barnhart then bunted for a hit, the Cardinals threw it into the camera well, and he ended up at second base. No outs, tying run at second, Reds are in business, right?

Well…no. Alex Blandino was up next, and Price — always willing to give away outs for free — ordered him to bunt. Two pitches later, it was 0 and 2 and he hadn’t gotten the bunt down. Blandino ultimately struck out.

Phillip Ervin came to the plate, and he struck out looking in an almost comically terrible at-bat. (Here is where I remind my self that baseball is hard and Ervin is a much better baseball player than yours truly.) Hamilton lined out to left to end the game.

–Two and thirteen. The Reds are already nine games out of first place in the National League Central.

–The worst part? There was a two and a half hour rain delay, and I waited around to watch (and write about) that game.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Your Cincinnati Reds are now 2-13 on this glorious season. Only 147 games to go!

–Pop quiz, hotshot! Of these three players — Hamilton, Peraza, Votto — which has the highest OBP so far this season? Correct: it’s Billy Hamilton.

Of the same three players, who has the highest slugging percentage? Yep, you guessed it: Jose Peraza.

–Hamilton’s home run was his 500th hit. (In his entire career, not just today.)

–Hang on, gotta go check…yep, Price is still manager of the Reds. We’ll keep you updated as news happens.

–I’m exhausted. This Reds team may have already broken me. I’m sick of watching this nonsense day after day after day. Don’t I have something better to do with my time?

–There’s a good new book available that goes into glorious detail about all the times when Reds baseball was fun. You should read that book!

*This Offense Stinks

Today’s Tweets

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

Join the conversation! 46 Comments

  1. Second time in just a few games Price has called for the sac bunt. When the Reds are winning (at least a little), his mistakes stick out less. Right now, they’re a big blinking red light. FO is losing credibility that they understand modern baseball with every day that Price remains manager.

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  2. Dayton Daily News update: The Reds (2-13) lost their eighth straight game. They continue to keep pace with the 1931 Reds, the last team to start 2-12 and 2-13. The Reds would have to start 2-18 to pass the 1931 Reds for the worst start in franchise history.

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    • I’m sure they can easilly get to 2-19. Why not just go 2-160? I just can’t see how they can win another game.After 2-160 Bryan Price will get a 10 year extension LOL!

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    • A new record of 2-19 is not an impossibility with 6 games coming up with the Brewers and Cardinals. The principal owner and the front office certainly know that something has to be done to snap the Reds out of this lethargic style of baseball, translated losing. Mr. Price does not seem to have the personality or baseball smarts to motivate his team.

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  3. What blows me away is how complacent everyone associated with the Reds are with the loosing. The players have no fire. However, Brian Price takes the cake. I believe it was Thursday during the post game when he said something along the lines of “we had the tying run on the bases in the ninth with a chance to tie or win, that is all you can ask for?” Really???

    Then just now, Price is talking about great a battle the game was today. Price literally only discussed how great Bailey was, how great it was to see some Hamilton power, etc… (this is a result of the media not asking real questions of course). Just no fire or motivation from Price. It seriously seems to me that Price is fine loosing (I know not really, but his lack of drive or motivation to win is astonishing).

    It just blows me away that no one with the Reds, beyond Joey, seems to care that we are loosing. It would be nice for Dick to say something, and to see some signs of life from the team.

    I just can’t take this loosing attitude. First year I will not be traveling to Cincinnati for at least one game in as lost as I can remember.

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    • posted exactly what you are saying on steves article about 20 minutes ago.Theyre playing the most unenthusiastice baseball I have ever watched.Thats on the MANAGER.

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    • Why would you exclude Joey Votto?
      He said he is tired of losing but the two base running mistakes he made recently belies his words.
      Also, now is when the team really needs his hitting, especially extra base hits.
      If it is accepted or a given that throughout his career he won’t hit until May or June then this should affect how he is evaluated against the best hitters of all time.

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  4. Chad, you can relate to this. I’m in my car during the rain delay, and they’re playing old radio clips from the ’72 playoffs against Pittsburg. Bench hits the tying HR in the bottom of the 9th and I have tears in my eyes, feeling a little foolish. But then I realized how long it’s been since we’ve cheered for a winner.

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    • I can definitely relate to that. I gotta believe we’re going to get back there at some point.

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    • Never forget that one.
      I remember going to Church with dad to pick up my brother, yelling THEY WON,THEY WON

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  5. Dusty Baker was fired after winning 90 games in 2013. Bryan Price has lost 98, 94 and 94 the last 3 years and now 13 out of 15.
    What in the wide world of sports is going on here?

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  6. There was an awful lot of “Fire Price” sentiment in this post, and from Steve on Twitter. Are there rumblings he’s almost at the end of the line?

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    • The road trip of three in Milwaukee and three in St. Louis should do it for Price unless the Reds win at least four of those six games.

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  7. Milton’s going to set an appearance record this season, better extend him now.

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  8. Gotta shift gears, Go Jackets!!

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    • Win in OT. I thought when Washington scored late in the 3rd period that was it for CBJ.

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    • 🙂 Ahh. Some Jackets love! At this time of the year, the Jackets season is usually over and I’m into baseball. This year, the Reds season is already over, and the Jackets are alive!

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  9. The sky fell on 2018. That’s not the first thing since the focus needs to be on 2019. It’s comforting to think that blandino and Ervin are next guys up. The reality is Ervin has had a mediocre minor league career and at times poor. His obp is good and has rescued other aspects of his game. Blandino projects as a utility guy.

    Amir Garrett is a reason for optimism. I still like Castillo and Mahle and Garrett….a lot.

    I’m going to criticize Joey Votto. He’s had sustained stretches early in seasons of not being the same guy. I saw his interview in ST and he said he didn’t hit at all in the off-season. He sat a ton in ST. At 20+ million a year and approaching 35…perhaps he needs to to start hitting in mid January and playing more in ST.

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  10. Thank you Chad for putting some blame on Votto. I’m a big Joey fan but when the team is this bad and you are making $20 million it’s hard not to be a little upset that he hasn’t had any big hits for us this year.

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    • Votto is making 25 million. Bailey is making 21 million.

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    • April struggles seem be Votto’s MO every season. While I’m not worried about his batting line at game 162, I don’t for the life of me understand how someone who is so skilled at what they do and so disciplined and committed to their craft, suck this bad at the beginning of every season for 10+ years.

      You’d think he would notice this trend of bad April and do something better to prepare for it. Too many years hanging out with Bruce I guess

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    • Can we stop dumping on Joey’s salary. It is simply baseball economics and it is low hanging fruit for criticism. He has earned every penny in the MLB marketplace; in fact as the REDLEG Nation blog team have shown that according to his salary to WAR ratio, JoeyV is a good deal so far. He is in the midst of an early season funk which has contributed to the current W-L record, but he is the last player that I want to complain about. He has plenty of big hits in the past and will have plenty of hits for this ball club. In fact, he must be frustrated like crazy that much of his career has been wasted on this team.

      On another note, I know that the manager in the end is not a direct contributor to overall W-L of the team, but managers should at least do whatever it takes to reverse the losing trend; for example unconventional lineup changes to perhaps create a spark of early offense from a team that has been abysmal in the early innings. What does the team have to lose anymore than it is? This manager does nothing.

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  11. beep, beep….dot,dot,dot…….beep,beep

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  12. Someone call the Brennamans and get them to start talking about how Votto is no longer elite. It did the trick last time.

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  13. It had to be Mr. Chad Dotson who FINALLY put accountability where is due. Yes, Joey Votto is to blame. A lot. It’s not only his patented early slump -when it counts. It’s his lip service about being tired of losing and then – again- he is content with hackling fans on foul balls and laughing with opponents at first base. Enough with the goofy attitude when your team is historically bad and has been for the past 4 years and you are the supposed leader, 25% of the payroll and STILL the much maligned BHam and Jose Peraza are hitting much better.

    That’s the big difference between a Yadier Molina and Votto. Or guys like Rose, Morgan, etc. They knew how to win. And a big lesson for the saber herd who disregard “make up” and “intangibles” when evaluating players. Like it or not obp, WAR and walking are not the panacea. Many people crucified guys like Brenneman for daring criticizing the so called “Perfect”. Well, many of us “casual fans” saw lots of truth in his words and were blasted by the “forward thinkers”. Now, with more bitter than sweet I have to say: I TOLD YOU SO. A dumd runner, so-so defender, laid back attitude and “cold feet” player could never be this team’s leader. And he has not been. Period.

    Is he the only problem?. Of course not. I think the coaching staff as a group has failed miserably. They have drafted talented players (Once again, Buckley has done a great job), but their development has been underwelming to say the least. The FO and of course Price deserved their big share on this mess, but at the end of the day, bunting or not, these guys have to hit when it counts, pitchers cannot allow 28 hrs in 15 games or walk 10 guys per games.

    How sad have been the last 20 years for the Reds fans. (or like some “experts” love to call Casual fans). Especially for those old enough who fell in love for the best team ever assambled filled with players who really played the right way. The only way.

    Rant over. Good night,

    Reply
    • Probably the worst post I’ve ever stopped reading.

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    • You realize that you’re comment that his salary is “25%” of the payroll is completely asinine, right? If he was to hit the open market, he would command every bit of 30-35MM per year based upon his WAR, and what other players are being paid. Stop being pedantic and realize that he was one of the best signings in recent Red’s memory. I agree that Votto has contributed to this team’s lack of effort and winning, but you seem to be coming from the standpoint of someone who does like Votto on a personal level, not the level of a “casual fan.” Come on, man.

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  14. Yes, the bunt was dumb when you have a man in scoring position and no outs. But is anyone else scratching their head at using Winker as the pitch runner there? Our bench is short handed, you are playing for the tie in the 9th, and he is only a step faster than Tucker. Seems like a good time to use a pitcher to run. This isn’t quite as bad as burning a bench player just to bunt, but it shows the same mind set.

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  15. The stat that jumped off the page: RISP (Cards 1-1, Reds 0-9).
    Great to see Bailey getting the job done, even if he doesn’t have the record to show it.
    Anyone wonder if Price and others are excellent at the card game Spades?

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  16. With key players on the DL, the Reds have no chance of winning regualrly right now. The offense is severely handicapped with Suarez, Schebler and Winker on the DL. The pitching is severely handicapped with DeSclafani, Lorenzen, Hernandez and Shackelford on the DL, . Those are temporary impingements to the Reds success.

    With starting players not producing, the Reds have no chance of winning regularly right now.
    .605 OPS Jose Peraza
    .598 OPS Adam Duvall
    .546 OPS Billy Hamilton
    .520 OPS Joey Votto
    5.63 ERA Tyler Mahle
    5.87 ERA Sal Romano
    6.75 ERA Cody Reed
    7.31 ERA Luis Castillo
    10.38 ERA Brandon Finnegan
    Those are temporary impingements to the Reds success.

    The Reds have two rookies playing key roles right now and they are not producing.
    .502 OPS Phillip Ervin
    .133 OPS Alex Blandino
    So what? Now is the time to find out if they are MLB ready to fill these roles or find out if they can fill these roles in the future. Two rookies who are not performing in support roles are not the problem.

    The Reds performance sucks right now. The team is the laughing stock of MLB. Other teams thank the baseball gods if the Reds are on their schedule right now. It is what it is.

    Will the injured players return to the active lineup this season? Yes, some sooner than others.

    Will non-producing starters improve their performances? Some will, some won’t and some we’ll just have to wait and see.

    There’s a lot of blame to go around and a lot of places to direct that blame. The first two months are going to be tough and bumpy for everyone.

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  17. Well said and with the data to back it up.It just is what it is right now so I hope they continue to let the young guys play because it is the right thing to do.Painful yes but still the right thing to do.It will get better because 2-13 is well just about as bad as it can get.Hang in there nation.

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  18. Ah, Bryan Price…again…

    After self-proclaiming his strength of character because he refuses to put his relievers at risk by overusing them out of the bullpen on multiple consecutive days, just to protect his own job, Price relieves Amir Garrett, after just 1.2 solid, dominating innings, with Jared Hughes to get just one out because Hughes pitches RH and Garrett pitches LH. That now potentially removes Hughes from being available due to muliple consecutive days because of Price’s whim, not because of Price’s character.

    No outs in the bottom of the 9th inning, down by 1 run and a man on 2B, Price opts to try and sac bunt the runner to 3B, giving up an out to advance the runner one base. The chance of scoring 0 runs with a runner on 2B and 0 outs is 38.44%. The chance of scoring 0 runs with a runner on 3B and 1 out is 32.95%. Those base out percentages DO NOT take into account the chance of the sac bunt failing in a variety of ways (i.e. the runner out at 3B, the runner not advanced, etc.). The chance of scoring 0 runs with a runner at 2B and 1 out is 55.77%. If Price forgoes the sac bunt and simply allows the hitter to hit normally, the runner on 2B has virtually no chance of being removed on an out; moves to 3B on any ball hit to the right side on the ground; moves to 3B on a fly ball to RF or a deep fly ball to CF or LF; moves to 3B on a WP or PB; or stays at 2B on a walk. All of those options are equally positive results as a sac bunt attempt and do not include an actual hit. In today’s situation, had the sac bunt been successful in moving the runner to 3B, Phillip Ervin was due to hit next with 1 out, sporting a .179 BA and was 0-3 today with 3 SO. By electing the sac bunt, Price is virtually forgoing any chance of scoring more than 1 run and the chance of scoring just 1 run is virtually a wash. Price opts for the sac bunt every time to the detriment of the team.

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    • This team can’t bunt. So why not just have the batter hit it to the right side? Every major leaguer can do that, right? The stupidity of this manager is baffling.

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      • If “every major leaguer” could hit it where they wanted, the conversation about the Reds would be very different. Hitting a baseball at all, much less where you want to, is one of the harder things to do in professional sports.

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      • Holding the bat out to lay down a bunt is far easier than forcing an opposite field grounder. That’s more true than ever in this power or nothing, pull-happy climate.

        If you have the coordination to be a hitter and you can’t bunt, there are two possible reasons – fundamentals (coaching error) or lack of practice (personal and coaching error). Neither is excusable. You come out hours before the game for BP. Lay one or two pitches down to each side, then hit liners the other way, then drive the ball where it’s thrown. That’s good BP. Nope! Everyone gets up and plays home run derby from the first pitch and doesn’t improve, defeating the point of practice.

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    • This is the problem with the hot seat! Mathematically, the bunt is slightly better, but not where the two guys up next are struggling. I agree it’s better to have the guys hitting away for a single (or any of the other results that score the guy on second). I also think the hot seat is why Iglesias is a “closer only” (and was a rare bird for a while) and Garrett finds his innings limited.

      That said, it’s not all Price. Bunting isn’t that hard if you’ve practiced it. Blandino blew it, just like the team is hitting around .220. 3 runs in 4 outings is awful. The players need to pick it up (possible) almost as much as the manager (not happening).

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  19. Nice Speed reference

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  20. Ownership had the opportunity to change direction and look to hire a GM from outside the organization after WJ step down, but they decided to stick with an internal candidate. Last year they had the chance to replace Price, but they decided to excersice their option. Usually, poor decisions lead to poor results.

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    • It does feel like the same with a repackaged face (Williams). The Reds need a complete overhaul in their thinking and what it takes to build a winning baseball team.

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  21. It’s all been said, but my “little picture” observations are:
    The Blandino bunt call was ridiculous.
    Pulling Garrett was completely unnecessary.
    Votto is struggling, but a stat posted during the game showed that he was hitting over .400 with RISP prior to yesterday’s game, a stat I doubt anyone but the also struggling Adam Duvall can match. This slump is not Votto’s fault any more than it is the fault of any one person (though Bryan Price heads the list).
    I want the base running situation flipped – Hamilton pinch running with Winker at the plate for the key at bat.
    2-13 sucks, but better (and healthier) days are coming. Get well soon Suarez, Winker, Schebler, Lorenzen, DeSclafani. See you soon Nick Senzel.
    The Reds will win tonight. I think that every day. It’s what fans do.

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  22. Nice Podcast last friday Chad and Jason. Really enjoy those every week.

    Right now Price or no Price this lineup is just not hitting enough to provide a consistent chance to win (where the decisions by Price would matter more). Only Barnhart and Gennet are hitting well, Winker is getting on base but in the absence of anyone else hitting or getting on-base it doesn’t really matter except from a development pov (which is a positive!).

    But somthing that Jason and Chad said in the Podcast and Tom (Mitsoff I think) highlighted in game thread post about the 76’s seems to resonate.

    While I don’t follow pro hoops alot I live in the philly area and the coach Bret Brown suffered through most of the terrible seasons and there was some talk that he should be replaced before a losing culture took root, etc. and not be retained to see what he could do when the roster began to round into form. (seems like it turned out okay).

    I’m not saying Price should be retained no matter what, but Jason and Chad referenced Votto speaking well of Price and that is something. Williams and Bob C should find a few experienced players (Votto, Mes, Baily, a couple of others) and keep their finger on the pulse of how they view things. If the players are still battling and coming to the park willing to play hard for Price, I would say keep him. If not, then it’s time for a change. But they have to listen to the players on this and not the press or us fans.

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  23. Most of the negative things have been covered very well today and over the last few days, so I’m going to try and add a new thought for discussion. This isn’t a defense of Price, but “food for thought” to suggest maybe everything isn’t so black and white:

    Replacing Garrett wasn’t crazy. There were two outs, in the 9th of a two run game. Garrett had pitched very well, without a doubt. From Price’s perspective, with two outs the most likely way for the Cards to add another run was with a HR. Garrett, because of his handedness, pitch repertoire, and track record, was much more likely to give up a HR to the RH monster Martinez than Hughes was. Hughes is on the team in large measure because he’s expected to not give up homeruns. It wasn’t like Price was bringing in a Gallardo or a Hoover or somebody like that. Hughes has actually been decent, and as much as I like Garrett I think Price was correct that with two outs he had a better chance of preventing another run by putting Hughes in.

    (As a bonus, I think the way things worked out pitch count-wise it increases the likelihood of both Garrett and Hughes being available for similar use the next few days. This may or may not have been in Price’s mind.)

    Garrett should be starting somewhere. He was pitching very well. But I think in this case lifting him was the right call. Anyone agree?

    Reply
    • It’s at least got some rationale as you illustrate.

      Chad said above jokingly “Don’t I have something better to do with my time”. and perhaps that’s part of the negative comments.

      When you spend alot of time on one thing, certain parts begin to get on your nerves and perhaps something isn’t as bad as it seems to you.

      Those of us who watch 70-90 games a year versus people who watch 140-160 games a year may just have not passed an annoyance above replacement (AAR?) threshold with certain in game events.

      Reply

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About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

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2018 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap

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