The plot continues to thicken, does it not?

The Cincinnati Reds have pulled within six games of first place in the National League Central division following Saturday’s 10-1 thrashing of the Cubs at Great American Ball Park. The important mini-goal of winning the series against division-leading Chicago is achievable in today’s series finale beginning at 1:10 p.m. Eastern time.

Here’s the Wild Card landscape as action begins today:

But the important question today for Redleg Nation: Have any of Aristides Aquino’s record-tying seven home runs in his first 10 games come on anything other than a fastball? The community here can certainly answer that question. After a double and a home run in his first two at-bats in Thursday’s series opener, Cubs pitchers fed Aquino a steady diet of breaking pitches low in the strike zone and just outside the strike zone. Aquino looked like a rookie, striking out three times. After Saturday’s amazing performance, it’s hard to believe that Cubs pitchers would throw him anything in the strike zone that doesn’t break.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Jon Lester 123 4.39 4.13 22.6% 5.4%
Luis Castillo 137 2.63 3.56 29.5% 10.8%

The Reds have won five of Castillo’s last six starts, including the 13-strikeout gem Monday against the Angels. One of Castillo’s bugaboos has been the lack of control at times, but that has improved tremendously in recent weeks. In those afore-mentioned six starts, he walked only eight while striking out 49. As they say, that will get it done. In his last two starts against St. Louis and Oakland, Lester allowed 14 earned runs in nine total innings. It is an extension of what has been a very hittable season by major league hitters against Lester.

Bullpen

Sal Romano earned his second three-inning save of the season Saturday, effectively giving the key late-inning relievers the night off. The Cubs bullpen took another hit with veteran righthander Steve Cishek being placed on the injured list.

Starting Lineups

Cubs Reds
CF Jason Heyward CF Nick Senzel
RF Nicholas Castellanos 1B Joey Votto
3B Kris Bryant 3B Eugenio Suarez
1B Anthony Rizzo RF Aristides Aquino
SS Javier Baez SS Jose Peraza
LF Kyle Schwarber LF Phillip Ervin
2B Ian Happ 2B Kyle Farmer
C Victor Caratini C Tucker Barnhart
P Jon Lester P Luis Castillo

Very, very interesting decision to bat Jose Peraza fifth. He had a three-hit performance Saturday night.

Additional insights into the statistical history of the players in today’s game is available all season long at BaseballSavant.com.

News and Notes

The Reds are wearing 1969 throwback uniforms today …

151 Responses

  1. Great Redlegs Fan

    I’d just like to know the rationale behind batting Peraza 5th instead of, for example, Farmer.

    • Seat101

      Small sample size but in 31 at bats Peraza is batting over .350 against Lester. Farmer has never been it against him. Seems rational to me.

  2. Seat101

    Wow! What a great birthday present from the Red Sox yesterday!

    Thank you all for the kind words, as well. I envy anyone going to the game today.

    Looks like the Reds “got the pitching”, doesn’t it?

    • vegastypo

      Side note: I was gone yesterday, Seat, but hope you had a truly happy birthday. !!

  3. Brad

    So what is the answer to the question of whether any of his homer were off something other than a fastball?

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I truly don’t know, but I know that there are people in this community who can provide the answer.

    • Pete

      I can’t tell you that but I can give you this. Effectiveness against each pitch type. Higher the nuber the better. Per fangraphs:

      Four Seam wFB: 5.0
      Slider wSL: 0.5
      Cutter wCT: 0.1
      Curveball wCB: 0.7
      Change Up: wCH: 2.7
      Split Finger wSF: -0.4

      Very impressive, he can hit anything. When he chases breaking stuff out of the zone he is swing happy, he recognizes the pitch because you can see how often he holds up on it. His last AB was not normal IMO, I believe he was trying to hit #4 and was swinging at anything near the zone. He knows the strike zone.

      All this is opinion so who really knows.

      • Great Redlegs Fan

        Any word on the PTBN after Gennett’s trade to SF?

      • Sliotar

        According to the MLB At-Bat App, the 3 HRs by Aquino last night….

        B2
        86.3 MPH sinker
        (first pitch)

        B3
        86.1 MPH sinker
        (first pitch)

        B4
        96.7 MPH 4-seam fastball
        (fifth pitch…1st four were sliders)

      • Pete

        Very encouraging, per Statcast, xSLG by pitch type:

        Fastball: 840
        Breaking: 595
        Offspeed: 957

        Doesn’t get much better than this. I’m sure pitchers are asking themselves, “what can I throw this guy”?

  4. Shchi Cossack

    Enough already with the 2B platoon lunacy!!!

    JVM is not a platoon option in anyone’s world other than Bell. JVM simply destroyed the AAA International League pitching this season to the tune of .325/.412/.604 with a 1.016 OPS. In 247 PA against RHP, JVM slashed .326/.409/.581 with a .990 OPS. 79 PA against LHP, JVM slashed .323/.423/.677 with a 1.100 OPS. No one in the league came close to matching JVM’s offensive performance in the International League and yes, JVM HIT BETTER AGAINST LHP THAN HE DID AGAINST RHP!

    • docproc

      Keep saying it. Maybe someone will listen.
      Let’s put it this way: JVM’s numbers in AAA this season were even better than Aquino’s (and Aquino’s were terrific).
      I remember Nick Senzel coming up from Louisville and saying, “I’ve never seen a hotter hitter in all my years of playing baseball than JVM is right now.”

    • RojoBenjy

      I feel your pain. Thanks for yelling it for me.

      If Bell just started doing this one thing I could overlook many other things.

    • David

      Yeah, it’s dumb. JVM should be playing 2nd, and Farmer should be catching today.

      Yet, they could still win if Castillo pitches up to his ability.

    • Curt

      Maybe if we all start shouting this at the beat writers on twitter who have access to Bell, might help…it’s something.

  5. Klugo

    Boy, the Young Guns that we have all agonized over during this “rebuild” certainly, surely have benefited from the fierce veteran competitors that the FO have brought in to help win AND mentor. Roarke,Gray,Wood,Bauer. Priceless. I gotta give credit where the credit is due. Kudos to the front office. There’s fire. I can’t wait to see what Castillo brings today.

  6. Pete

    Peraza batting before Ervin, interesting…. I doubt AA sees much to hit with JP hitting behind him. May have to take some walks today.

    • RojoBenjy

      If Aquino is patient he should walk 4 times lol.

      Then Peraza can knock him in since apparently he hits Lester really well.

  7. Streamer88

    Lil Pedro (Pedrito?) going today. Let’s get it!

    • Matt WI

      Luis “The Man in the High” Castillo. Or, Lou Castle if you want a 1930s noir detective vibe.

      • CI3J

        Why not Frank Castle?

        Hey, wait a minute….

      • Streamer88

        This is the long hand Chris Berman-esque winner for sure. I just can’t watch him pitch and see any other pitcher but Pedro Martinez.

  8. CI3J

    Senzel seems to have changed his batting stance to be more like Aquino.

    Interesting.

  9. CI3J

    Aquino grounds out to short. What a bum! Doesn’t he know he’s supposed to hit a homerun every at-bat? Total bust!

  10. earmbrister

    Castillo dealing.

    Large strike zone for both pitchers.

    • Broseph

      Looks like Angel Hernandez is behind the plate today. So far 5+ pitches out the zone called strikes. Including called third against Votto and Happ.

      • Broseph

        Makes me wonder if called third strikes on full counts and their location are tracked.

        I’d imagine Cotto would tank up there in players erroneously ring up on a pitch out of the zone instead of drawing a walk.

  11. earmbrister

    Yeah, at least he’s consistent. Consistently bad.

    • vegastypo

      Umpires are supposed to be evaluated yearly, aren’t they? How Angel keeps his job year after year must be something like tenure for college professors. … I just tuned in, don’t know if Lester is getting better calls than Castillo, but a few pitches I have seen have been obviously wrong.

  12. Chris Holbert

    I do not understand why everytime Thom talks the “youngsters”, he always fails to include Senzel. Yes Ervin Aquino, and JVMR are playing well, and deserve the accolades. Senzel is learning a new position, has practically the highest average of the “regulars” gets bounced from leadoff to 5/6 everyday, and is getting better all the time…..what am I missing?

    • earmbrister

      What are you missing? It’s not what you are missing, it’s what Thom is missing.

      Terrible announcer.

    • RojoBenjy

      And Ervin is about 2 years older than Nick.

      • Chris Holbert

        Yea, actually 3 years older, and Senzel is the youngest of all four

  13. CI3J

    This ump is giving Lester all the calls but is giving nothing to Castillo.

    • RojoBenjy

      But Castillo still has 5K through 3 innings. Pretty good nonetheless.

      I am not in favor of bad umpiring.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Yeah, Castillo is getting nothing at the bottom of the actual strike zone and Lester has multiple gifts well below the actual strike zone.

  14. Reddawg12

    I think I could call a more consistent strike zone than Angel Hernandez.

  15. RojoBenjy

    That Votto RBI there could open up the gates!

    Get ‘im, boys!

  16. Shchi Cossack

    Angel Hernandez has his phantom strike zone working in overdrive today. If the umpires were actually evaluated (which includes being held accountable), there are several MLB umpires who would not be working in MLB games. Angel Hernandez heads that list.

    • cincyborn12

      The combination of Angel Hernandez’s ridiculous strike zone and having to listen to Thom feels like incompetence overload.

  17. vegastypo

    The Reds have won 10 of their last 14. … I think I have this right. On July 26, the Reds were 7 games behind in the wild card race, and needed to climb over 8 teams to get the second wild card.

    Winning 10 of 14 has them 4.5 games behind, and with 6 teams to overtake. Not saying it can’t be done, and this is a fun ride, but that was a big hole to try to escape.

    • Shchi Cossack

      The problem with the wild card race is that the Reds do not play a lot of the teams ahead of them enough to make a run without external help. The Reds can control the race for the NLCD title by beating the teams ahead of them in that race.

      • Chris Holbert

        I would think the division is more realistic than the wildcard. Too many teams to climb to get the wildcard….

      • CI3J

        But the thing is, a lot of the teams ahead of the Reds do play each other. So that means as long as the Reds win, every night they will be making up ground on SOMEONE.

        True, this means they don’t control their ultimate fate, but at least one of the teams ahead of them is guaranteed to lose every single night since they play each other.

      • JB

        What are you talking about? They 3 against the Mets, Nats,Phillies. 7 against the dbacks. Plenty against Cubs, Cards and Brewers.

  18. Indy Red Man

    Really enjoying this pitchers duel and I’m usually a 7-6 type of guy. Angel is calling the top of the letters a strike so Castillo has a great shot to keep mowing them down thru 7 atleast! So far the Reds are just making plays & the Cubs aren’t! Rizzo really should’ve had that Votto smash….pretty weak effort! I think the Reds, as currently constructed, are just better then the Cubs!

  19. Shchi Cossack

    And Joey got wrung up on the worst call of the game…so far.

  20. Slicc50

    Am I crazy? Or is this umpire’s strike zone as bad as I see it today?

    • Indy Red Man

      Angel is the worst in mlb. I just had a free week of mlb and there is nobody half as bad as he is.

    • RedAlert

      Lorenzen awful !! Absolute last reliever in bullpen to put in here – JUST A STUPID MOVE BELL !!! Terrible move !!!

  21. Indy Red Man

    More insurance:) One of the two usual culprits!!!

  22. Pete

    If the Reds can continue to play at this level, I think they are in. These guys are impressive. Keep winning games.

    • Slicc50

      They were just talking about that on the tv broadcast. The Reds have gained 2.5 games on the Cubs, 5 games on the Cards, also a number of games against a couple of the wild card teams ahead of them since July 27. They also have series left against the teams ahead of them in the wildcard. They are out of NOTHING right now. Not with this pitching staff and over 40 games to go. It would be nice to take it to the Nats starting Tomorrow! I still think the division is the way to go for the Reds though!

  23. Slicc50

    Come on Castillo, got to have this one!

  24. Shchi Cossack

    Lester pulled after 6 IP. Now make some hay against the Cubbies bullpen!

  25. Slicc50

    Come on Michael, the team needs you right now!

  26. earmbrister

    You gotta be kidding me.

    ARGGH

  27. CI3J

    Argh.

    After a pretty good game pitched by Castillo, Lorenzen does THAT.

    Bleargh.

  28. Pete

    ML has been really disappointing lately. Not dependable at all.

  29. Slicc50

    I swear, good or bad, I would have let Castillo try to finish this inning

    • earmbrister

      Yeah, I wasn’t happy about pulling him. Heyward’s swing was awful and he got lucky.

    • Hanawi

      Yeah. Think you have to trust your ace in that situation. Especially with how the bullpen has been lately.

  30. Hanawi

    Reds are at least two bullpen arms short, maybe 3. That needs to be a big focus of the offseason.

  31. Pete

    Bullpen may be the death of our playoff hopes.

    • Aaron B.

      Definitely the biggest weakness and they didn’t really address it at all at the deadline. Added Gausman after the deadline, but he looks like a long man at this point. Lorenzen is a headcase right now. I think he prefers to play outfield. I mean look at his biceps. What pitcher looks like that? He has a 99mph heater but he doesn’t know how to throw a slider off the plate when he is ahead in the count? The whole sequence was wack.. then a first pitch hanging slider to their #3 hitter. Awful.

      • Pete

        I’d like to see ML pitch inside, I can’t recall ever seeing this. He pitches like he has 90-mph fastball, throw the dang ball. Hitters have zero fear of reaching across the plate. My take anyway. Pedro Stroup has a <3 ERA for 6 seasons consecutively and yes, he occasionally hits a guy by throwing a bunch of heaters inside. He intimidates.

  32. Pete

    Reds should promote Joel Kuhnel and take the chance the kid can come through. No guarantees but it’s all they have right now.

  33. FreeHouse

    Reds still ganna come back and win. The Cubs pen is trash, the playoff push starts here!

  34. Indy Red Man

    Lorenzen has been one of my favorites from the beginning. Defended him like crazy when he got beat up as a starter when they rushed him up. I won’t be a Seat and argue against reality. ML is not a high quality high leverage guy. Too wild in and out of the strike zone.

    Stupid 0-2 pitch by Castillo to Baez for the 1st run. Stupid 2 strike pitch to Castellanos. Angel calls it a strike when its 4 inches outside so why come in? Ignorant. Then ML, who just hit 99, hangs a cookie for Bryant. You can’t be 6’4 or whatever and go in a crouch and catch a good fastball. Horrible pitch….cost us the game and possibly the season. If ML is on the roster next year….needs to be out of high leverage.

    • da bear

      If we’re assessing blame let’s put a bunch on either Barnhart or the scouting in preparation. The Cubs announcers were perplexed with the fastball to Castenallos (sp?) because he’s such a good fastball hitter. I could be wrong but I didn’t notice Lorenzen shaking off any of Tucker’s calls.

      ML began that rookie year fairly promising. His nosedive as a starter correlated with the trading away of Johnny Cueto, whom ML adopted as his mentor…

  35. Roger Garrett

    We aren’t quite there yet but we have a great nucleus going forward.Big time homer by a big time player in Bryant.It happens and you just have to move on.It isn’t over and if we can hold them we have a chance but boy you would just love to do that inning over again.

    • Slicc50

      Yeah, that is the beautiful part of this thing. I think we are probably just entering the START of a window for the Reds to really compete for possibly a championship. Still…..I really felt they would take 3 of these 4 games and make a run for the division title.

  36. burtgummer

    Unfortunately the awful bullpen that the front office taped together is the downfall this year.The off season will be interesting to see if they have any real interest in winning
    Other than Garrett the pen is just awful

  37. Indy Red Man

    This pen is just too much to overcome. If you go back and look at my posts from March….said they can’t count on H&H at their age. If wasn’t like they were both consistently good 3-4 years ago. Amir will get his 8 game suspension and we’ll have nothing except a B- version of Iggy. Next year could be alot of fun though!

    • Hanawi

      They should have traded both Hughes and Hernandez at the deadline last year.

    • Corky Miller

      You’re seeing the impact of a tired group. David Bell has rode these guys hard all year – thanks to the ineffectiveness of Mahle, Disco, and some short outings by Gray and Roark.

      He’s gone to the bullpen by the 6th way too often.

      Duke, Peralta, Hughes and Hernandez have been awful which put more of Lorenzen and Garrett.

      I think Romano will be another dude in the pen. Stepheson has the stuff but this is his first year. Gausman looks like a project for DJ.

      There’s Will Smith and not much else next year. So they have to develop.

  38. Slicc50

    Man…..BS…..if that was a strike……

  39. Don

    terrible 3rd strike call on Votto. Very high.

    That is one outside, one inside and now one high for Votto today.
    Angel Hernandez looks like he has a grudge

  40. Chris Holbert

    I understand that Hernandez is a terrible umpire, but seriously it is not going to change mid game, so you have to go for what is close, not knowing if it a strike or not….I know that is not JV style, but he has seen it three times now…

  41. Pete

    I’m okay if JV gets kicked out…Angel Hernandez is not fit for the job, just horrible.

    • Pete

      Can Joey hit a 97 – mph fastball above the letters?

    • Indy Red Man

      Which makes Lorenzen’s pitch to Castellanos even dumber. NC swung at one that was way outside and Angel called the next one which was 6 inches outside. Why throw him a strike? Horrible. Tucker was calling for it. I wonder if it was on the bench or Barnhart? Just idiotic

  42. Bruuuuuccceee

    Votto gonna leave a flaming bag of dog poo on Angel Hernandez’ doorstep after today’s game.

    Two K’s that were both off the plate according to K Zone.

  43. Curt

    No matter how bad Angel’s strike zone is, don’t you still have to swing if it’s close? Especially knowing what Angel might do. Kids are taught this in little league…”anything close”…I thought we might be through with this from 25mil. Apparently not. Swing the bat!!

    • Hanawi

      It’s not little league. Joey didn’t get the contract by swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. Swinging and making weak contact is better than trusting the umpire to do his job? Inane.

    • TR

      Yes. You’ve got two strikes on you and your team needs runs, swing the bat. MLB hitters know how to foul off pitches until you get your pitch, then swing! Taking third strikes is a real downer.

      • vegastypo

        Some pitches are just too far out of the strike zone to swing at. I understand the criticism of Joey in that regard at other occasions, but not today.

  44. Don

    Happ is a Hall of Famer vs Reds and a double A player vs all other teams.

  45. Indy Red Man

    Last night was fun. This season is over though. They’re not overcoming this dumpster fire of a pen. I just hope they can clean it up for next year. That and the end of the rotation. They’re going to score runs!

    • Don

      division winner on pace for 87 wins
      WC on pace for 85 wins
      Reds have 56 wins
      47 games including today left
      30 and 17 is what is needed counting today.

      need strong series vs NATS and Cards next weekend.
      6-1 for those 7 games to get to 500.

  46. Daytonnati

    It stings, but it stings so much more when it comes from the Cubs or the Cardinals. I hate them both so much.

  47. Indy Red Man

    Ugggggghhhhh. Castillo is one of the best in the game, but this is like the 5th game they’re going to lose when we were up 3+ run with LC on the mound. Backbreaker for this season….that and the 8-0 with Sonny.

  48. Pete

    Middle of the order, time to get busy. Honestly if the Reds are going to get to the postseason, they’ll have to win a couple of games like this….maybe several with the bullpen wows.

  49. Daytonnati

    Six more outs. It ain’t over.

    • Doc

      The game…no. The season…yes. Not going anywhere with the second worst BP since the ASG.

  50. Pete

    After Votto’s called third strike, it’s hard to blame AA for going after that pitch. Angel Hernandez’s poor umpiring distorts the game – it’s a shame.

    • Pete

      Curt, if you’re speaking of Angel Hernandez, you’re correct. He calls balls and strikes poorly for each team but it does take away from the game and AH plays an out sized role that he shouldn’t.

      • Curt

        Pete, I was meaning Aquino, like what you said. Hard to blame him for swinging.

  51. earmbrister

    Where in the world is Cody Reed? Can’t find ANY information on him.

    What is the ETA on him?

  52. earmbrister

    Frustrating and heartbreaking loss

    • Slicc50

      Very much so, this is one that they had to have. They had it until the seventh inning too. That is what makes it hurt so much!

  53. Roger Garret

    Their pen beat ours twice and that’s why the series is split.It happens but today is a tough one and I think we all knew 3 runs was not going to be enough.Lorenzen was just awful in two straight appearances but he will rebound I am sure.Just would love to see somebody else be the high leverage righty in the pen the next time.Not that I don’t believe in ML its just I feel others need a shot.When you put it all on 3 guys sometimes they don’t have it.Angel is and has been and always will be just awful behind the plate.Not going to change one bit regardless how poorly he grades out.Nobody can or will touch him.His job is safe so I suggest you better swing when he is behind the plate

    • Slicc50

      I wonder why that is? I don’t get it. If he is as bad as he looks behind the plate, why do they keep him around?

      • Pete

        Much like large corporations, they may have to promote him out of the position. Just get him off the field.

      • Roger Garrett

        Hernandez filed a discrimination law suit back in 2017 against MLB and Joe Torre.He stated up until 2011 when Torre took over, his performance reviews were at or above average and also he has been passed over several times for a permanent crew chief position and for playoff games.The suit was dropped in 2018 and he umpired in the All Star game and playoff games since that time.I certainly don’t know how his reviews have gone since but the league back peddled and that’s my reason for saying what I said.You don’t have to be a bad umpire to be discriminated against but performance usually dictates play off games and crew chief appointments.

    • earmbrister

      Bob Steve needs to become a guy they can rely on in high leverage situations. With Lorenzen struggling and Garrett about to take a suspension vacation, is there anyone else that you can “trust” to even possibly pitch in the seventh, eighth, or other key moments?

  54. Pete

    This one hurts, the FO is going to have to promote some guys from AAA. Not optimal and may even make matters worse but since the Atlanta series they’ve been particularly brutal. Very disappointing as both the Brewers and Cards are losing. Also, hate to say I don’t know if the Reds can carry the day with Joey in the two hole.

    • Wayne nabors

      absolutely right pete,and joey knowing Hernandez is behind plate is all tbe more reason to swing,he cannot leave it up to ump

      • Pete

        Wayne, Joey might know he can’t catch up with that pitch and is doing the best he can. A year or two ago, he could waste the pitch. I think those days are probably over.

      • vegastypo

        Well, in fairness to Joey (and about any other batter in this game), Angel wasn’t just erratic on close pitches. He was missing on pitches well out of the strike zone. I’m not sure any batter can believe some of those pitches could possibly be called strikes.

        Not why we lost, but it does shade the game.

      • Pete

        Vegas, especially a precision guy like Votto who knows his limitations. Hernandez was taking JV’s game away and he blew a fuse – hard to blame him.

      • Wayne nabors

        my point being pete is he has limitations that should not permit him to be at top of order,this is not an angel Hernandez issue,been leaving runners all year while taking a called 3rd strike,just did it thursday,dont no the data but i suspect his runners lob is awful high

    • Pete

      Don, I repeat myself:

      “Also, hate to say I don’t know if the Reds can carry the day with Joey in the two hole.”

      I’m with you but Joey bats where Joey wants to bat, he plays when he wants to play – he is bigger than the team. I understand, I don’t like but I understand it. Hopefully when he retires this will never happen again. Cincy loves their favorites many times to the detriment of the team – think Yasiel Puig. If 1/2 the people had their way he would be under a 5 year/$100 million contract. Don’t fall in love with these guys be in love with the team.

  55. MARK MOORE

    It hurts that 1) it’s the Stupid Cubs and 2) we’ve seen our guys do better, even this weekend.

    August is a complete mixed blessing mess this year.

    • Pete

      It was a strange line up today, by wRC+:

      104
      96
      119
      332
      66
      156
      86
      75

      On the bench: 126

      Seems to me Bell might consider dropping the 96 and 66 in the batting order and replacing the 86 or 75 with the 126.

      • Roger Garrett

        Just never have been a fan of the all righty lineup and I am not suggesting it is even wrong.I am all into and believe what the data says but this is evaluation time for the next 45+ games so its ok just to see what this guy could do or that guy could do.Our all righty lineup does not scare anybody in regards to power or on base skills and I would have to go back and check but I feel safe to say we struggle against lefties period.

      • Pete

        We hit lefties better than righties. I don’t know how many mangers would stick a 66 between a 332 & 156. If I’m pitching the 332 isn’t going to see the light of day with a 66 behind him and he didn’t. Especially a 66 without power. Bell is still on a learning curve but I hope he’s not trying to be too smart by half. All the guys mentioned are right-handed hitters by the way. Aquino is going to have a hard enough time seeing hittable pitches and putting the 66 behind him will only make it worse.

  56. ctcwxman

    Never thought this would be a playoff year, but there is so much progress and a good young nucleus coming up. Excellent starting pitching staff, so just have to shore up the bullpen. Looking back, this is the best record the Reds have had at this point since 2014, so the team is trending in the right direction. This was a gut punch of a loss, but still alot of season left. Before the year, I said I’d be happy with a 76-86 record, but now I think this team has a chance to push 80 wins, which I would gladly take right now!

    • burtgummer

      I can’t bring myself to be happy with yet another failure of a season.
      It’ll be an interesting off season with a lot of work that needs to be done.

  57. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Simply put, this has been the entire season. It hasn’t been the pitching, though. Previously, it’s been the offense.

    So, from the beginning of the season, games just like this, good teams find ways to win this game, not lose it. We simply aren’t that good a team. Yet.

    I believe we are a good team, but not as good as many believe. We still need experience. I believe we are young. Hopefully, with games like this, it will inspire the youngsters to step their game up even more for next season. Hopefully, with games like this, the youngsters will say during the off season, “That ain’t happening next season,” all the way up/down the line.

    I will say, this ump at the plate, boy, he was bad today.

    • burtgummer

      It hasn’t been the starting pitching but the bullpen has been a wreck all year.The only mlb free agent signing was Zach Duke and I don’t think he’s even in baseball now and I suspect Hernandez will be out of it too
      The front office has done a fine job on the starting 5 no question.You can’t blame the front office for the offense.But the awful bullpen is where they completely failed,It needs minimum 3 new arms in the off season along with a couple other positions,I have no faith but hopefully I’m wrong

  58. Frank Howard

    Years away guys…get over it. Bet nobody on this team a part of above 500 team. Get bullpen fixed…no Lorenzen or Inglesias may be a positive. If Winker and Peraza in in linup hang it up…getting excited over Aquino not getting it. Need far more than that. Its like T Ball…everybody gets to play…just not work in MLB

  59. Don

    Today was a bummer but not the end of the season.

    Before the 1st Angels game there were 52 games left with 3 long segments of games between off days which basically broke down as stretches of 16,18,18

    I laid out how to get to 87 wins.

    Reds have to win 10 of these 16 (10-6) to get to 2 under 500 (62-64) to start the easier stretch”.
    2 – Angels – H – 2-0
    Off Day
    4 – Cubs – H 2-2
    3 – Nationals – A
    4 – Cards – H
    3 – Padres – H

    They are 4 -2 in the first 6 of these 16 games. They need to go 6-4 the next 10 games which would put them 2 games under 500 with 35 to play.

    That should be doable with 7 of them at home.

    Not giving up based on a couple of bad games and 2 great games against the 2nd best team in the NL and best team in the division.

    • Sliotar

      I appreciate using data to make a case…. I do it a lot myself at RLN.
      But, the math here…. is very (very) optimistic.

      A 25-11 finish to get to 87 wins?

      Especially when the majority of September is on the road… where the cheapie, GABP HRs don’t make it out of the park?

      They need more league average and above hitters in starting 8 and now, for sure, several new bullpen arms.

      I haven’t seen this team capable of a 25-11 run at any point this season.

      • Mason Red

        I agree. This team stays between 4-8 under 500 and to suddenly go 25-11 is wishful thinking to say the least. The big problems all season has been an inconsistent offense and a porous bullpen. I don’t see those things going away especially on the road. Today was a huge opportunity missed. Good teams simply don’t lose games like that especially in August at home.

      • Pete

        Since June 26, Reds are the second best hitting team in MLB. Hitting/scoring isn’t the problem. Those days are behind us. They need to throw a hail Mary at the BP. Switch it around, call up some guys from Louisville, don’t sit there like a bump on a log. Will it help? Probably not but it’s preferable to doing nothing and watch it slip away.

    • Pete

      With you 100% Don. Bad day at Blackrock and the team made it a little harder on themselves. In the first two games in DC we face stiffs. Not must wins, but you better win games.

      • Mason Red

        No they are in must win territory.

      • Don

        Reds need to take 2 of 3 and keep winning series streak going.
        Reds need to keep winning 2 of 3.

        Disco and Wood need to step up on Monday and Tuesday.

        Bauer vs Strausberg on Wednesday is a must watch match-up. Reds have a better chance with this match-up than Roark/Mahle vs Strausberg which is what is would have been a 2-3 weeks ago.

  60. Don

    Reds are 12-7 last three weeks. (0.633 win %)
    If they can
    repeat that win % for next 3 weeks, 21 games that is 13-8 and a 69-68 record
    repeat that win % for 3 more weeks, 19 games that is 12-7 and a 81-75 record
    There is then 1 weeks left in season with 3 games at home vs Brewers and 3 on the road at Pirates.

    Not saying this is probable but look what Mets have done in last month.
    Mets were 40-50 (.444) at the break (below Reds in standings). Now 61-57. That is 21-7 (.750).

    If the Mets can have a win streak why cannot the Reds win at a lesser rate as the Mets have the last 4+ weeks but over 9 weeks.

  61. Eric B

    All those maybe this and maybe that are true Thom.

    Maybe if a frog had wings he wouldn’t bump his ass all day either Thom.