The Reds (68-79) saw the Diamondbacks (75-72) just a week ago at Great American Ball Park, where they proceeded to beat the Reds in two out of three games. Since then, Arizona went to New York and proceeded to lose four straight games to the Mets. They are returning to Chase Field a desperate team, 3.5 games out of the NL wild card race and in danger of falling completely out of the playoff race.

It’s the last West Coast late start time of the season. First pitch is at 9:40 ET.

Starting Pitchers

Luis Castillo 173.2 3.21 3.63 3.40 29.3% 9.7%
Mike Leake 178.1 4.64 5.10 4.69 15.2% 3.2%


Luis Castillo makes his 30th start of the season tonight. He’ll face Arizona in back-to-back starts, and will try to replicate his performance from last Saturday, when he pitched into the eighth inning and gave up only two runs on three hits while striking out ten. He ended up taking the loss in that game, but only because his offense gave him zero run support.

With 173.2 innings pitched already in 2019, assuming he gets three more starts this season, he would have to pitch three complete games to reach 200 innings. It’s not likely he’ll reach that mark, but Castillo is already over the 200 strikeout mark with 208. He’s nowhere near Mario Soto’s single season strikeout record of 274, but he needs only 20 to be in the top 10 in Reds history. It might be a stretch to reach the top five, but not out of the realm of possibility. He needs 35 strikeouts to surpass Johnny Cueto’s 242 strikeouts from the 2014 season.


Like Castillo, Mike Leake is also making back-to-back starts against the Reds. He got a no-decision Sunday at GABP, allowing two runs on seven hits in 6.1 innings. Compared to previous seasons, 2019 has been a disappointment for the former Red. His FIP is over five, and his xFIP is pointing that way as well. His struggles have stemmed from allowing home runs. Leake’s given up 36 home runs this season, ten more than his previous career high in 2012 with the Reds. As a result, his HR/9 skyrocketed to 1.82. His career rate is 1.16, so he’s never been one to allow a lot of home runs in the past.


1. Josh VanMeter (LF)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Aristides Aquino (RF)
5. Tucker Barnhart (C)
6. Freddy Galvis (2B)
7. Jose Iglesias (SS)
8. Brian O’Grady (CF)
9. Luis Castillo (P)
1. Ketel Marte (CF)
2. Josh Rojas (LF)
3. Eduardo Escobar (3B)
4. Christian Walker (1B)
5. Wilmer Flores (2B)
6. Adam Jones (RF)
7. Nick Ahmed (SS)
8. Alex Avila (C)
9. Mike Leake (P)

-Ketel Marte went 5-for-11 with two home runs and six RBI against the Reds last weekend en route to being named NL Player of the Week.

News and Notes

-Nick Senzel will get a second opinion on his partially torn labrum. I don’t blame him for wanting to do this. Anyone would want to try and avoid surgery if possible.

-Anytime you’re tied with Mike Trout in a certain stat category, you know you’re good. Here’s hoping Eugenio Suarez hits a couple of home runs this weekend.

-Mary Beth wrote an entertaining column today about the differences between Reds games and FC Cincinnati matches.

Wrapping up the final “of the year” series, Doug Gray handed out his 2019 Cincinnati Reds Minor League Reliever of the Year Award to Alex Powers, who posted a 1.64 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A this season.

2019 Reds Minor League Reliever of the Year: Alex Powers

Final Thought

With yesterday’s win, the Reds have surpassed their win total from a season ago and have tied their win totals from 2016 and 2017. The next step: avoiding 90 losses. The Reds would have to finish with at least a 5-10 record to avoid that mark for the fifth straight season. It probably doesn’t mean much in the long run, but here’s hoping for a strong finish in the last 15 games of 2019.

52 Responses

  1. Sliotar

    5 series left in Reds season, starting tonight….

    5 wins needed for “Misson Accomplished”

    We got this, RLN Fam.

    One win per series, and Dick Williams/Eric Krall/David Bell/Walt Jocketty/Rosie Red can all take a victory lap at Reds Fest for breaking the string of 90-loss seasons.

    • TR

      Let’s not forget the principal owner, Bob Castellini. And I’m sure avoiding a 90 loss season will mean a lot to Rosie Red.

      • vegastypo

        Pretty sad that at this point in a ‘rebuild,’ which I’ve been told is not really a rebuild but supposedly a team that was supposed to contend, that anybody uses the phrases ‘victory lap’ and ‘avoiding 90 losses’ in the same comment.

  2. Old-school

    Jesse Winker is hurt. Nick Senzel, a transplanted infielder, is hurt. Scott Schebler is hurt. Adam Duvall is traded. Billy Hamilton is traded. Yet, no Phil Ervin. Clearly the Reds feel he is a platoon player at 27 and not part of an everyday OF rotation.

    • Sliotar

      Chris Welsh made a comment last night about never liking facing a former catcher as a hitter.

      Well…. Tucker Barnhart is 7 for 15 lifetime vs,. Leake,

      Votto, who should know Leake well….11 for 26 lifetime.

      With DBacks returning from NYC, it feels like it’s a good setup for Castillo (not that he needs that much help.)

      Go Redlegs.

    • Lockersocks79

      I love Ervin! My opinion from the games I’ve watched (especially when he batted behind Puig) he was clutch!

      I don’t buy platooning him so much though, give him a chance to see both left and right handers!

      I’d like to see Ervin/Aquino/Winker as the primary outfielder next year with with Senzel taking some ABs from the outfield and giving some of his 2b ABs to Van Meter

  3. Lockersocks79

    Anyone have thoughts on the following:

    1. Trading Bauer for the best player that we can get to fill a need (BP, SS)

    2. Using the cash reserve to go after Gerrit Cole. Cole does not like Bauer so move #1 would solve this. We might overpay but that gives us Castillo, Gray, Cole as our big three!

    3. Fire Bell and talk Larkin into coming on board. We’d eat Bells contract but his choices have cost numerous games this season. Larkin’s a brilliant thinker with great experience and potentially would rally Reds fans and draw them in to pump up a team that could use a confidence boost.

    Thats my moves…pretty simple. The hardest part is landing Cole, but money talks.

    • Sliotar

      A few challenges, IMO….

      -Cole is getting $200+ million. Even if Reds offer that (unrealistic, IMO) … he is a California kid, married Brandon Crawford’s sister (CA girl, I think) and there have been rumors that he built new house in So Cal with Angels making him an offer in mind.

      -Bauer was obtained by trading $50 million in future value (Trammell). Reds aren’t getting $50 million of value back for one year of Bauer. Also, optics are horrible if he is dealt this winter.

      -Bell is going to be with the Reds for a long, long time, IMO. His best work might be the “Jocketty” to Dick Williams, way down the road, aligning the whole organization.

      Some of what Bell does makes my head hurt…but he is a rookie MLB manager. He isn’t getting fired anytime soon…not how the Reds do things (sadly).

      Let’s all hope he actually looks at his work in 2019 and sees that things can be cleaned up and he improves.

  4. Doc

    Larkin has as much managerial experience as Bell at the start of this season.

    • IndyRedsFan

      Correction…..Larkin has as much managerial experience as I have.

      Being a good player does not necessarily equate to being a good manager. I don’t understand why people don’t get that.

      • Eric B

        The only experience Larkin has at any level was a coach in the 2009 World Classic as a coach on the U.S. squad and he managed the Brazilian team in 2013. This doesn’t count for much and besides he was quoted as saying he would rather remain in a supporting role for the reds in player development. Which could be translated as; Your not a candidate for the job. He needs to manage in the minor league for a long stint if he has aspirations for a big league team. You don’t just jump from nothing to having it all.

        Wait. Or do you?

  5. Seat101

    Galvez has a strong advantage over Iglesias in tonight’s double play derby. Since he is battling a head of Iglesias he gets the first chance to make a double play

  6. Chris Holbert

    Every game some announcer says JV has been hitting the ball a lot harder of late…..all the way up to .265 and all of 44 RBIs….

    • Seat101

      What’s your point? That the announcers are stating the obvious? Or are they wrong?? Or they don’t know what herder means?

      Or is it just a gratuitous shot at the lousy season Joey Votto has had so far?

      Anyway thanks for writing

      • Seat101

        Personally, I’m happy that Joey has re-found his swing.

      • vegastypo

        Ya know, it seems to me that Joey Votto might well be a big hinge in whether the Reds can contend in the next couple years.

        Most teams get so much of their offense from first basemen, and the Reds are going to be giving away a sizeable advantage that has to be made up for elsewhere if he doesn’t pick up his game.

  7. Don

    barnhart , galvis, iglesias – not really murders row.

    Iglesias at career 273 average is best by 20+ points. both Iglesais and Galvis are finishing 8th year in MLB and are known commodities.

    No clue why Ogrady is not starting in LF, JVM and 2nd and site one of them. Makes no sense.

  8. Seat101

    Is it just me or is Joey Votto hitting the ball harder these days?

    • Chris Holbert

      Yep, still the fifth ranked 1B in the Central….

      • Eric B

        Out of 5 teams. So he’s the least productive 1st baseman in the NLCD? And the highest paid? I’d have to research the latter. Don’t know just an assumption.

  9. Seat101

    Galvis takes advantage of his batting order position to get the first double play

  10. Seat101

    I can’t keep my eyes open. Last night, my 17-year-old (ear infection and vomiting). Kept me up. Night before that my six-year-old (hacking cough mild fever) did the honors. They’re at their moms tonight so I have a good chance of getting a good nights sleep.

    I’ll keep an eye on Castillo’s possible significant pitching event but I got to go to bed.

    You guys are in charge of bringing home a winner tonight

    • Don

      been up since 4 am so not sure how long will stay up. 4th inning has been bad inning for Castillo, he has gotten the 1st two outs so this could be a great night for him

    • Eric B

      Iggy gets it done. We actually won a 1 run game on the road. Shocker.

      Go RedLegs!

      • Eric B

        I got really behind with the posts. Just now refreshed my browser.

  11. Don

    spoke to soon, 4th inning kryptonite for Castillo again.

    • Seat101

      I was blaming myself but I’ll be more than happy to blame you

      • Don

        probably me, at least he only gave up 1 run.

  12. Seat101

    Have y’all noticed the Joey Votto seems to be hitting the ball a lot harder these days? I for one am happy that he’s improving.

    • Seat101

      Although sometimes the softball is it is pretty good too

  13. Don

    O Grady busting it down the 1st base line and forced a bad rushed throw for a hit. Great hustle.

  14. VaRedsFan

    JVM…long gone!
    Leake doing his best Mahle impression.

  15. Curt

    Great for JVM with O’G on base. Kid is not a quitter.

  16. Don

    great defense by Aquino in RF. great speed.

    • Curt

      You’d think there would be interest in seeing him in CF.

    • Eric B

      I don’t get why Aquino doesn’t get a crack at CF. I mean they gotta sleek long legged Aquino Antelope in RF and a slow fat Ogrady Walrus in CF. Is that not kind of back asswards? Not to diss Ogrady just SPEED references.

  17. Don

    Iglesias glove saves big 5th inning against reds

    If team is going to keep Iglesias or Galvis (@ 5.5 mil). watching them side by side, Iglesias is better than Galvis. Team only should have one on 2020 roster and that one should bat 8th every game for a shot at a successful team

    • Eric B

      That’s why they need an upgrade offensively from behind the plate. A catcher who could hit for power and consistently drive in runs who could hold down the 5 hole. Barnhart is a career 8 hole hitter and I don’t see that changing in the timeline we need it to. I consider Iglaseus your prototypical 8 hole hitter. He’s not what I consider to be a weak link in the batting order either. His defensive prowess justifies him staying on this team even if he were the weak link. I’m good with that. If he’s our worst hitter and it only improves up into the lineup then we would have a solid team. Unfortunately that isn’t the case with what is now in place. They have to start somewhere and although I like alot of Barnharts overall game and he’s a great guy, he ain’t no JT Realmuto.

  18. vegastypo

    Makes me sad to see that Luis Castillo seems to struggle when he gets leads of at least three runs. Seems like when he’s in a one-run game, we’re aching for the Reds to get him some runs to work with, but geez. He barely made it through five tonight, and it took his defense to really bail him out.

  19. Sliotar

    Never easy, especially with only 5 hits….but job done.

    Back to back wins.

  20. Eric B

    That was a spectacular play Iglaseus made in the 5th. Arstedis made a great catch that same inning to save what would have been a run.Turns out to be the difference in a win or extra innings which we hardly ever survive on the road. Tha Galvis play was great defense too but the Iglaseus play was mind boggling. You could probably count on one hand the number of shortstops in the NL who make that play so effortlessly.