Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel are back! It’s been a rough start to the season for the Cincinnati Reds (1-4), but the news of those two guys returning to the lineup certainly had to put a jolt through the locker room. The Reds don’t have time to mess around as they are already three games behind the Chicago Cubs (4-1) in the NL Central. Game 3 of 4 is tonight at 6:40 PM at GABP.

Starting Pitchers

Sonny Gray picked up right where he left off last season on opening day. Gray has a 2.83 career ERA in 6 starts against the Cubs (5 of those 6 starts came last year). There is no one else you’d want on the mound to try to stop the bleeding.

The bad news: Kyle Hendricks absolutely dominated in his first start of 2020, pitching an unfathomable complete game shutout under the current circumstances. The good news: the Reds absolutely killed Hendricks in his last start against them: 2.2 IP, 12 H, 7 ER, 3 HR.

Starting Lineup

Cubs Reds
1. Kris Bryant (3B)
2. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
3. Javier Baez (SS)
4. Kyle Schwarber (LF)
5. Willson Contreras (C)
6. Jason Heyward (RF)
7. Ian Happ (CF)
8. Victor Caratini (DH)
9. Nico Hoerner (2B)
1. Shogo Akiyama (LF)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Mike Moustakas (2B)
5. Nick Castellanos (RF)
6. Jesse Winker (DH)
7. Nick Senzel (CF)
8. Freddy Galvis (SS)
9. Tucker Barnhart (C)

Tucker Barnhart is also in the Reds lineup for the first time this season after returning from the paternity list. I am assuming under normal circumstances that David Bell would have liked to get Aquino in the lineup, since he hit 2 HR in a game off Hendricks last season. Obviously he wanted to get Senzel back in the lineup after three games off, and you can’t take Winker or Shogo out of the lineup against a RHP. Aquino could be a guy to keep an eye on to possibly pinch-hit for Galvis or Barnhart if a big spot presents itself.

Conclusion 

4-game losing streak is really bad in a 60 game season. It is the equivalent of 10.8 losses.

The good news is a 4-game win streak would also be the equivalent of 10.8 wins. The Reds have 11 games over the next 3 weeks against the Tigers, Royals and Pirates. The Reds have Gray, Castillo and Bauer going the next three days. Take a deep breath. Go Reds!

142 Responses

    • Doug Gray

      As long as you are 6-feet from someone else, anytime you would like.

      • Doug Gray

        How many more points do I need for a brownie party, Mark? I’m craving some brownies.

      • Mark Moore

        Doug,

        It’s kind of like Chuckie Cheese tickets … you NEVER have enough for the good prizes.

        But a quick bonus +100 for the thought. Don’t spend it all at the ballpark.

  1. Sean Keely

    You know I am the biggest fan of AA as anyone. However I like this lineup decision by bell. It has the lefty’s and gets Senzel back in but still allows Aquino to be available for a big spot. I wonder what happens if the reds find themselves with bases loaded and Galvis or Barnhart up next in the second inning. Do you put Aquino in based on his past success of Hendricks or hold off.

  2. DocProc

    Feels like a fresh start to the season–albeit three games in the hole.
    Let’s keep this lineup intact through the weekend and see how it works.
    p.s. Grateful that Bell didn’t put Jankowski or Aquino in the lineup based on their small samples against Hendricks.

  3. GR

    Important game tonight. Let’s say Reds will need 32 games to win division or a wildcard, they will have to win 31 of the next 55 (564 winning percentage). While this team is certainly capable of playing at that level for the rest of the season, they are digging a deep hole (again).

    • ClevelandRedsFan

      I bet 30 games takes the last remaining wild card. Last year, the 8th spot and final Wild Card would have gone to the stupid Cubs with a .519 winning percentage. That would be 31 games in a 60 game season. Allow for some flukes and I bet we will see a .500 team make the playoffs this year.

  4. Old-school

    Reds are 1-4. Covid craziness. Senzel and Moose out 3 games in a row with CF/2b positions going 0-20.

    I will hit the pause button and give this team 5 more games. This lineup tonight is exciting.

    That said. Bullpen needs a review and long term roles for some players need review. Gregory Soto tigers was nasty. Ask any reds hitter. He’s controlled forever and paired with Amir Garrett would give a good lefty bullpen presence.

    Reds should trade for him now. Aquino. Mahle. Van meter, Cody Reed , All are on the table.

    Fix the the lefty side of the bullpen now.

    • Sean Keely

      I have been saying since this season began that they should trade Aquino for either a decent prospect or a good reliever. You’re telling me there isn’t at least ten to fifteen teams that would give up something decent but not huge and take a shot with Aquino. He’s either going to figure it out or not but there are teams that would be willing to give him a shot. Clearly he’s not that valuable to the reds at this point so why not cash in on him while there is a chance of getting something somewhat decent preferably a lefty arm like you said.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I would do this. Tigers wouldn’t. I think they know what they have.

      • jim walker

        I wouldn’t trade Aquino for just about any reliever until I knew for sure that Castellanos was staying around for a while beyond this season. Relievers are too fickle and AA’s ceiling is too high.

      • Sean Keely

        I totally agree jim. AA has a super high ceiling BUT he’s not getting the opportunity to show that or develop at the moment. Unless castellanos leaves next year there is no room for AA unless the managment gives it to him. You can’t wait a round forever waiting to see what happens. I also know baseball is a business but it think the reds owe it to him to let him move on and find time elsewhere.

      • Melvin

        I would think long and hard before trading Aquino. Could come back to haunt for many years.

      • Sean Keely

        Melvin. My argument isn’t based on wether he is going to be a good player or not. I think he will but the reds clearly don’t think very highly of him based on their offseason moves and sending him to prasco. Therefore based on the reds opinion of him he should be traded.

      • Melvin

        I understand what you mean but I think his value will surface eventually whether the Reds like it or not and we’ll will be very glad we didn’t trade him. He’s not injury prone like Winker and Senzel either. That’s probably when he’ll get his chance. I think mostly George Foster when I think about Aquino.

  5. seadog

    I like this lineup. Let’s start a roll…

    • Tom Mitsoff

      This is the best lineup they can field at the moment, IMO.

      • Sean Keely

        I agree.Against a righty pitcher this is the best lineup possible. however with AA’s success against hendricks albeit a small sample size if we go into the second inning with multiple guys on base he should let him pinch hit for either galvis or barnhart.

  6. Wonderboy

    Nice idea and agree with Old School. Soto was aces!!! Definitely would offer Cody Reed and someone with him…. but still like keeping other 3 mentioned.

    • Sean Keely

      The bottoms line is that the reds need to trade an outfielder and get something. Why have two to three outfielders riding the bench at all times. You could even get a return for jankowski in this season with the new rules.

      • Melvin

        Trade Winker/Ervin out of Senzel, Ervin, Winker, Aquino.

  7. Bred

    The Braves need OF help. They activated Schebler today and are playing Duval.

  8. Ben Rubin

    This is EXACTLY the lineup I’ve wanted to see since opening day (players, positions, and order). Wouldn’t change a single thing.

  9. daytonnati

    Chris Welsh really needs a haircut. I understand now why they called him “The Creeper” 🙂

  10. JB

    With 60 game schedule the Reds need to look at it in 6 , 10 game segments. 1-4 with 5 to play. If they can play at least 500 ball in all 6 segments that would be 30 wins and in the hunt.

  11. Eric the Red

    That HBP was such BS. If you’re ever going to call a guy for intentionally leaning in, that would have been a good one. Nice job by Grey to shake it off.

  12. Eric the Red

    I wish I understood enough about baseball to understand how Hendricks manages to dominate with the stuff he has.

  13. Eric the Red

    The first time Castellanos tried a poorly-timed steal, he seemed to be trying to make a point like “I can steal a base just like Jankowski.” This time, I don’t know. But it wasn’t smart aggressive, it was either a missed sign or dumb aggressive.

  14. Wayne Nabors

    I wish reds would get hitting coach that would ban half swing,it doesn’t work

  15. Eric the Red

    Yowza! Gray is making the Cubs look silly so far. He looks to be in complete command. We’ll see in the next half inning what he decides to do about Rizzo, if anything.

  16. Roger Garrett

    I agree but it is so sad this this team has nothing at the plate.How can you get beat by 86 mph junk and even as slow as 69?Sonny will have to shut them out and hope the Cubs give us a couple by throwing the ball away.

  17. Eric the Red

    Suarez will break out soon. Hopefully real soon. He’s looking better. Nice takes for balls 4 & 5.

    • JB

      Fouled off a lot of pitches in first at bat. He is looking better.

  18. Sliotar

    2 runs looks like a mountain to climb for Cubs tonight … bullpen has to hold up its end down the road.

    • earmbrister

      Cubs have been hitting Gray hard this inning. Hopefully it’s just a fluke.

      Of course, like you said, the BP looms large.

  19. Eric the Red

    I wonder if THOM! will have an easier time judging fly balls when the Reds are on the road and he’s doing the game from a studio.

  20. Billy

    Stay hot Eric….. adds to the thread

    • Eric the Red

      Thanks, but I’m about to have to move on. Have a great night, everyone. Go Reds!

  21. Billy

    It was a joke…… sarcasm. Bitterness resides here

  22. Tom Mitsoff

    Suarez comes through! Would be nice to pound this reliever and put this one away.

    • earmbrister

      Hopefully a little bit of success for Suarez the last 2 games will get him untracked. He was pressing.

  23. Mark Moore

    Hey all – late getting started (out to dinner with DD#2 and SIL).

    Just watched B4 and now watching B5. I’m assuming from the brief commentary that Sonny is dealing again, even if there were some challenges during T5.

    This is what we asked for. The Moose shot was sweet!

  24. Mark Moore

    And great in-game controls on my Roku app! Makes it easy to navigate once you figure out a couple things.

  25. VaRedsFan

    I told you guys when he went oppo last night he might be on the start of a heater.
    Salami on rye!!!

  26. RedAlerr

    Keep pouring I on the stupid Cubs !!!! Boys letting some frustration out tonight !!!

  27. earmbrister

    Winker probably plays a mean game of lawn darts

  28. VaRedsFan

    It’s more fun when the Reds go.

  29. Old-school

    Sonny Gray sending a message to the Cubs.

  30. Mark Moore

    And I’m up to Nick’s Grand Salami … knowing there is more to come.

  31. Mark Moore

    This is more fun than the first game. Sorry for chattering on as I caught up. That was something to watch.

    • VaRedsFan

      But you missed all of those Cincinnati USA commercials…
      I’ll send you a recap

      • Mark Moore

        Thanks … the e-mail is doofus at bigfatsissy dot com

        Or just drive it on down to Raleigh.

  32. Mark Moore

    Just flipped on the box score … Gray is pitching out of his mind!!! Hope he comes back out for the 7th.

  33. Old-school

    Gray + moose + Senzel + a good lineup destroys the Cubs. Castellanos is becoming a leader in this team . Go reds

  34. Old-school

    What is wrong with Suarez. That was a pitiful throw

    • Mark Moore

      Thom actually called it right … he was surprise at how quickly the runner was moving up the line and he didn’t get jack on the throw.

  35. Mark Moore

    Too close to let that one go sitting oh and two

  36. Mark Moore

    The shame here is not the loss of the shut out … it’s the run charged against Gray (unearned, sure). I’m thinking Sonny could have walked a guy on 4 and hit the next one in the foot.

  37. VaRedsFan

    Anybody else scared yet…it’s 9-1

    • VaRedsFan

      9-5 just like that.
      Sonny was 1 out away at 92 pitches…and Bell yanks him

  38. Mark Moore

    This is why we can’t have nice things …

    C’mon guys, buckle down and finish this!

  39. RedAlert

    Why is Raley on this roster !!!!!?????

    • Gonzo Reds

      Raley don’t even sit on the bench, go straight to Prasco! We want Kuhnel!

      Loved Gray giving Rizzo the business earlier altho we had Dietrich doing the same hit by pitch bs last year.

  40. JB

    Reds need to find another lefty to go with Garrett. This guy isnt it.

    • Old-school

      I said this 4 hours ago. Tigers lefty is dominant . Trade for him now. Give them Aquino or mahle +

  41. DocProc

    Brooks Raley punching his ticket to Prasco Park.

    • RedAlert

      And Colon can ride the same bus there too …

  42. Tom Mitsoff

    This is part of the bullpen sorting process. Raley doesn’t belong. Bell cannot let this one get away. He needs to go to his horses, which I currently define as Garrett, Strop and Iglesias.

  43. RedsMonk65

    Captain Obvious here: The bullpen is this team’s biggest weakness right now — and desperately needs addressed.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      There are several guys at Mason with major league experience who will get a chance real soon if these guys don’t turn things around very quickly.

      • JB

        It doesnt even need to be a lefty now that the 3 hitter minimum is in place. I like Bowman but anybody will do over this guy.

    • Steve

      Yes. Trade, and Soon. Plenty of outfielders. Terrible bullpen. Make a deal .

  44. Matt

    5 runs later, someone please tell me why Bell took Sonny Gray out of the game when he’s been dealing all night?

  45. Mark

    Bell is rediculous I’m guessing here but I think Sonny could have finished that inning . Time to bring up Greene for Raley

  46. Hanawi

    Why was Raley allowed to face 5 batters? Yank him after he couldn’t get the first 3 out.

    • Jack

      Yeah, 3 batters and out. Given how bad the Reds need this win, and how crushing blowing a 9 run lead would be, you have to be ready. I don’t know what Sonny said obviously but at 92 pitches surprised he was allowed to finish the inning.

  47. Mark Moore

    9 pitches, 2 walks … let’s see if that sets the table for us getting a couple back.

  48. VaRedsFan

    Did this Maples kid come out of the Reds bullpen by mistake?

    • DocProc

      I was going to say that he went to the Brooks Raley School of Pitching, but I like your line better.

  49. Mark Moore

    A gifted strike there … ump felt sorry for Maples.

  50. Mark Moore

    Wow … whatever Moose and Senz at on their off days needs to be a staple at the training table.

    • JB

      And we thought Raley was bad. Maples says “Hold my Beer “

      • RedAlerr

        Reed ain’t gonna cut it either – geeze – Michael Lorenzen 2.0

  51. RedsMonk65

    On the bright side: Our bats are hopping tonight. Put up as many runs as you can!

    • Mark Moore

      Yep … smoke it if you’ve got it.

  52. Mark Moore

    If Maples and Raley had a little catch … how many balls would roll to the fences behind each of them?

    • VaRedsFan

      Let Sims pitch the 9th too?
      Save situation I think.

  53. Tom Mitsoff

    No matter what happens the rest of this game, there is no way in you know what that the Cubs will contend this season with that bullpen as it is. It’s almost like an expansion team’s bullpen. Bet they wish they still had Strop.

    Reds are not too far removed from the Cubs in that regard. They have to find pitchers who will throw strikes and get outs.

    • Mark Moore

      Correct, sir. Blowing up this way (and we did it as well with Raley) won’t cut it. This is not the company we want to hang with. Our BP has to figure it out and “want” it more than anything.

    • Melvin

      Yep. Hope you’re right about the Cubs too.

  54. Melvin

    Feeling better now…. a little. 🙂

  55. Mark Moore

    Ball definitely hit the dirt. C’mon umps do the right thing.

    Robbed by the rule book?

  56. renbutler

    What kind if idiotic rule makes that unreviewable?

    What possible reason could they have for such a stupid rule?

    • Mark Moore

      Yes. Terrible angle for the ump. And the crew could have chosen to review it. Bell just couldn’t ask for it.

  57. DocProc

    Tainted triple play. Ball hit the dirt.

    • earmbrister

      Having problems with my rewind and FF. Never saw the triple play.

    • Colorado Red

      It was not a bad time for it to happen.
      At least it was not a close game.

  58. Melvin

    Hit the ground. Either way Aki is hitting and should play.

    • Mark Moore

      Absolutely and a +100 for Shogo playing.

  59. Beroader

    For those of us following in Game day, what was the reasoning for that being unreviewable?

    • renbutler

      Because it happened in the infield, not the outfield.

      *cough*

    • Mark Moore

      It’s unreviewable by rule. If it were an OF trapping it, then it can be reviewed.

      As it was being explained, the ump crew could have at least asked each other. But Bell couldn’t ask.

      It needs to be changed.

  60. Mark Moore

    That one definitely hit the ground!

    Nice turn and throw, Geno.

  61. renbutler

    Then again, what would the review result in? Bryant would have gotten the force out at third, but would he have gotten the potential second out of Shogo at first? Would the Cubs have been granted any outs at all?

    • Mark Moore

      I have to think 2 outs, 1 run it, runner on 2nd. Only the out via catch didn’t happen.

      • Colorado Red

        That is what I think. But 1 more run scores.
        At least it did not matter.

  62. Mark Moore

    Can we play just a little add on in the B8? Please, guys?

  63. Mark Moore

    That’s assuming the throw beat Shogo. If not, runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out and 1 in.

  64. earmbrister

    “Extremely” confident with Reed. His name is not spelled

    L – O – R – E – N – Z – E – N

  65. DocProc

    Reed is hitting 96 and 97 on the radar gun. Sure wish he could figure it out.

    • Mark Moore

      And it’s not that Rick Vaughn needs glasses either …

  66. Mark Moore

    This is painful to watch even with the lead we have.

  67. Mark Moore

    And Iggy is warming up … with no save opportunity, so he’ll pout all the way to the mound if he comes in.

  68. Mark Moore

    OK … good night all. Quite the roller coaster ride to this W.

    • Doug Gray

      Mark – I noticed tonight that you had about 5 comments get pushed into the moderation queue for no apparent reason at all. Still can’t figure out why it’s happening, but thanks for being patient with those.

      • Wayne Nabors

        I had one of them yesterday to,didnt know what it meant,definitely didn’t use bad language

      • Doug Gray

        Yeah – there’s something weird going on with the comment filter and I have absolutely no idea what. It’s flagging comments at random, or so it seems.