1869: In the first game ever played by a professional baseball team (all paid players, no amateurs), the Cincinnati Red Stockings beat the Mansfield Independents, 48-14 on June 1st. The Cincinnati Base Ball Club played the entire season with all of its players under contract. The total salary outlay was approximately $11,000, with the salary of star shortstop George Wright at nearly $2,000. Thus began the era of professional baseball and professional team sports.
1870: After 130 consecutive games without a loss, Cincinnati falls for the first time: Brooklyn Atlantics 8, Red Stockings 7 in extra innings. The 1869 Red Stockings made history the first professional club, but they also ran off the longest winning streak in baseball history. Although there was no league yet established, there were some 15 teams in the upper tier of clubs. The Red Stockings defeated all of these teams, many of them twice, while they also walloped many lesser clubs. Their final official record was 57-0. (The Red Stockings played and won many more games than this, but these games would be considered exhibition games today. Harry Wright counted only those games against other sanctioned clubs as official. Thus, some record books list a much higher number of games won by the Red Stockings.) The club retained all of its players for 1870, and the Red Stockings ran its unbeaten streak to 81 games, before the Brooklyn Atlantics finally defeated them, 8-7 in 11 innings, before 10,000 spectators in New York.
1871-1875: As professional leagues were starting up the Red Stockings ironically returned to amateur status, only briefly emerging in 1875 to play in the National Association, as the ragged early days of professional baseball saw a mixture of games against professional and amateur clubs before the founding of the National League in 1876.
1876: The Cincinnati Red Stockings are among eight teams that begin play in the newly formed National League. However, this team is a far cry from the original Red Stockings that introduced professional baseball in 1869. The team is, without a doubt, the worst in the new league as they only win nine times in 65 tries.
1877: The Red Stockings continue to struggle as they finish in last place again with an awful record of 15-42.
1878: Shortening their name to Reds, the club shows marked improvement after two last-place seasons. The Reds would even challenge for the National League Championship, before falling four games short with a 37-23 record.
1879: The Reds would post another winnings season, finishing in fifth place with a record of 43-37.
1880: After a last-place 21-59 season the Cincinnati Reds are expelled from the National League, due in part to their selling beer in their ballpark, and desiring to play games on Sunday.
1882: After a one-year hiatus, the Reds would end up playing in the rival American Association, which was formed by Reds Owner Justus Thorner and sports writer O.P. Caylor, and several local businessmen. The reconstituted Reds would dominate the new AA posting a 55-25 record to win the pennant by 11.5 games. Following the season, the Reds faced the National League Champion Chicago White Stockings in an exhibition series. The Reds would win the first game, and the White Stockings would take Game 2. However, the series was never continued as both teams had other exhibitions scheduled.
1883: The following year, the competition in the American Association was vastly improved as they competed with the National League for players. The result saw the Reds slip to third place with a 61-37 record.
1884: The Reds will slip further in their third year in the American Association, finishing fifth but just eight games out for first with a respectable 68-41 record.
1885: The Reds continue to put a competitive team on the field but finish a distant second to the St. Louis Browns with a 63-49 record.
1886: After an ownership change, the Reds go through a rough season posting a disappointing 65-73 record while finishing in fifth place.
1887: The Reds would rebound and would once again finish above .500, but again finish far behind the St. Louis Browns in second place with an 81-54 record.
1888: The Reds get off to a strong start and spend the first two months atop the American Association. However, a leg injury would put Bid McPhee on the bench, and the Reds would tumble down the standings finishing in fourth place with and 80-54 record.
1889: Despite hope and optimism around the return of Bid McPhee from injury and one time Reds star from the National League John Reilly, the Reds would struggle and finish 4th with a 71-63 record. After the season, the Reds would follow the path of several other American Association teams by jumping the National League. The return of the NL game just nine years after they were banned from selling alcohol during games, the AA would manage to play only two more seasons before folding after the 1891 season.
1890: By the time the Reds returned to the National League in 1890 alcohol sales had become a staple of the game while Sunday games would not be allowed until 1892, the Reds were still happy to be back home even though they only managed to finish in fourth place with a 77-55 record.
1891: The Reds second season back in the National League would not be as successful as they finished in seventh place with a record of 56-81.
1892: On September 22nd, Reds pitcher Charles “Bumpus” Jones fires a no-hitter in his very first big-league game. Becoming the first pitcher to throw a no-no in his Major League Debut, as the Reds posted a combined 82-68 record in a split season.
1893: The Reds would hover around .500 all season as they finished in fifth place with a record of 65-63.
1894: The Reds would struggle all season as they finished in tenth place with a terrible 55-77 record.
1895: The Reds rebound off a terrible tenth place season by finishing in eighth place with a 66-64 record.
1896: The Reds put together a solid season finishing just 12 games out of first while posting a 77-50 record while placing third.
1897: The Reds post another solid record at 76-56, but finish 17 games out first in fourth place.
1898: The Reds put together one of their strongest seasons ever, finishing in third place with a solid 92-60 record.
1899: Despite a solid 83-67 record, the Reds are forced to settle for sixth place in a competitive National League.
1900: In the early morning hours of May 28th, the main grandstand of Redland Field the Reds home at Findlay and Western burned. The club would move home plate to where the right-field corner was and built temporary stands to finish the season. The Reds would go on to finish the season with a 62-77 record.
1901: Amid a last-place 52-87 season, no performance typified the season like pitcher Harley “Doc” Parker’s June 21st start. Parker is pummeled for 26 hits and 21 runs (both National League records) in what would be his only Reds outing.
1902: A fabulous new iron and concrete grandstand opened, replacing the charred ruins from the 1900 fire. The grandstand, nicknamed the “Palace of the Fans,” was unique, a blend of Roman and Greek styling that had never been used before in a grandstand, and has never been seen since. The 3,000-seat grandstand featured 19 “fashion boxes” along the front railing that could hold 15 or more well to do fans. Beneath the grandstand, at field level, was standing room for 640 more spectators in a rowdy section known as “Rooter’s Row.” On Opening Day, some 10,000 spectators crowded into the park and watched the Reds lose to the Chicago Cubs, 6-1. With the new stadium, the Reds would go on to finish with a 70-70 record.
1903: The Reds finish in fourth place with a respectable 74-65 record.
1904: Despite finishing a distant third place, the Reds put together a solid 88-65 season.
1905: The Reds take a step backward, falling to fifth place with a mediocre 79-74 record.
1906: The Reds finish an incredible 51 and a half games out of first with 64-87 record that landed them in sixth place.
1907: The Reds continue to struggle to finish in sixth place again with a record of 66-87.
1908: The Reds show only slight improvement climbing to fifth place with a record of 73-81.
1909: The Reds end a string of three straight losing seasons by finishing in fourth place with a record of 77-76.
1910: The Reds battle trough a mediocre season finishing in fifth place with a record of 75-79.
1911: Despite another poor 70-83 season interest in baseball in Cincinnati continues to grow to force the Reds to demolish the beautiful grandstand after the season in favor of one to accommodate more fans.
1912: On April 11th Redland Field (later known as Crosley Field) is officially dedicated, as the Reds beat Chicago Cubs in the first game 10-6. This was an era of new ballparks – Forbes Field, Comiskey Park, Ebbets Field, and Wrigley Field all opened about the same time. Most were named after the club’s owner, but Herrmann declined the honor, opting for “Redland Field,” a nickname that had often been applied to the old park. The new brick stands, with the bleachers beyond the right-field fence, and a steep terrace in left field seated 20,000 spectators. Despite the new ballpark, the Reds still struggle to finish with a 76-78 record.
1913: The Reds struggle all season and finish in seventh place with a poor record of 64-89.
1914: The Reds land in last place with a terrible record of 60-94 record.
1915:The Reds struggle all season and finish in seventh place with a poor record of 64-89.
1916: Legendary Pitcher Christy Matthewson takes over in the middle of another terrible season as the Reds finish in seventh place with a record of 59-92.
1917: On May 2nd, baseball’s greatest ever pitching duel, features the Reds Fred Toney and Jim “Hippo” Vaughn of the Chicago Cubs both hurl no-hitters through 9 innings. The Reds would break up Vaughn’s no-hitter to win in extra frames, 1-0. The Reds would end a string of losing seasons with a 78 -76 record to finish in fourth place.
1918: The Reds show improvements as they climb to third place with a 68-60 record in a season that ends on Labor Day because or Wartime consideration. Reds Manager Christy Matthewson would be one of several people involved in baseball to go over for fighting. Matthewson would not escape the war unscathed as he breathes in mustard gas. For the remainder of his life, Matthewson would be constantly sick and would have to stop his active career, managing the Reds.
1919: Under new Manager Pat Moran the Reds claim their first-ever National League Championship with a record of 96-44 to earn a spot in the World Series against the Chicago White Sox. That year it was decided to change the World Series format to a best of nine format. The Reds would go to take the World Series in eight games to claim their first-ever World Championship. After the World Series, it was leaned at least six White Sox players conspired with gamblers to throw the World Series, propelling baseball into an ugly scandal. The scandal forever tarnished the Reds championship, which is an unfortunate side effect, as the Reds were a solid team that season.
1920: The Reds follow up their World Championship by finishing in third place with a solid 82-71 record, as a dark cloud surrounds the team while the White Sox are investigated.
1921: The Reds slide to sixth place finishing with a disappointing record of 70-83.
1922: The Reds put together a solid 86-68 season, falling just seven games short of the National League Pennant.
1923: The Reds challenge the New York Giants all season for the National League Championship. In the end, the Reds with a 91-63 record would fall four and a half games short of their goal.
1924: Under new Manager Jack Hendricks the Reds finish in fourth place with a record of 83-70.
1925: The Reds put together another solid season with a record of 80-73, but finished 15 games out of first in third place.
1926: The Reds are among four teams that battle down to the wire for the National League Championship. In the end, the Reds would fall two games short with an 87-67 record good enough for second place.
1927: After coming close to the pennant, the Reds suffer disappointment as they slide down to fifth place with a record of 75-78.
1928: The Reds put together another mediocre season as they finish in fourth place with a record of 78-74.
1929: The Reds slide down to seventh place, posting a terrible record of 66-88.
1930: The Reds start the decade out on the wrong foot by finishing in seventh place with a terrible 59-95 record.
1931: The Reds would follow up their miserable season with an even worse season, finishing in last place with a terrible 58-96 record.
1932: The Reds finish in last place for the second straight year posting a record of 60-94.
1933: The Reds finish in last place for the fourth year in a row finishing with a 58-94 record that kept them 33 games out of first place.
1934: After losing most of his money in the stock market crash of 1929, Reds’ owner, Sidney Weil is finally forced to sell the club to broadcasting magnate Powel Crosley. One of the first moves the entrepreneurial Crosley made was to put his name on the ballpark. The ownership change did not help the Reds on the field who finished in last again with a 52-99 record.
1935: The first night game in Major League history is played at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field on May 24th, as the Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1, before 20,422 fans. General Manager Larry MacPhail and Powel Crosley persuaded the commissioner and other owners to allow the Reds to stage seven night games that year. The Reds had averaged only 2,700 fans a game in 1934, and MacPhail thought night baseball would provide desperately needed revenue. Fans marveled at the 632 bright lights on eight tall towers as the Reds defeated the Phillies. The players found the illumination satisfactory, although there were some dark shadows in the outfield. But MacPhail’s experiment worked the Reds averaged 18,000 fans in their seven night-games while averaging just 4,600 in their day games. The Reds would also climb out of the cellar, finishing in sixth place with a 68-85 record.
1936: The Reds struggles continue as they finish in fifth place with a record of 74-80.
1937: In January, Crosley Field’s playing surface is under 21 feet of water due to local creek flooding. Remarkably, the ballpark is made game-ready in time for Opening Day in April. The worst flood in Cincinnati history inundated Crosley Field when water flowed over the outfield walls. In the most famous stunt in Reds history, pitchers Gene Schott and Lee Grissom rowed a boat down Western Avenue and over the wall. By the time the season started, the Reds looked like they were still waterlogged, finishing dead last with a 56-98 record.
1938: On June 15th, Johnny Vander Meer becomes the first Major League pitcher ever to throw back-to-back no-hitters as he blanks the Dodgers, 6-0, in the first night game ever played at Brooklyn’s Ebbetts Field. Just four days earlier, Vander Meer dazzled the Boston Braves with the first of his gems. The Reds would also show marked improvement finishing only six games out of first with a solid 82-68 record, as catcher Ernie Lombardi wins the National League MVP.
1939: On August 26th, the Reds play in the first televised Major League Baseball game, as WNBC in New York televises the Reds game vs. the Brooklyn Dodgers from Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn. With the superb pitching of National League MVP Bucky Walters, the Reds win their first pennant in 20 years with a 97-57 record. In the World Series, the Reds would face a New York Yankees team seeking to become the first-ever to win four straight World Series. The Reds would end up being swept in four games. The series is best remembered for a play at home in Game 4 in Cincinnati, which featured a tenth inning collision at home plate between the Yanks Charlie Keller and Reds catcher Ernie Lombardi. Lombardi was knocked unconscious and lay prone at the plate while Joe DiMaggio scored the go-ahead run. Sportswriters would label it “Lombardi’s snooze,” an image that haunted the big catcher until his death.
1940: The Reds win 100 games for the first time in franchise history, while winning their second straight National League pennant by 12 games over the second-place Brooklyn Dodgers, as 1B Frank McCormick becomes the third straight Red to win the National League MVP. However, the season is not without tragedy as the team is forced to endure the shocking suicide by backup catcher Willard Hershberger on August 3td in a Boston hotel. The World Series matched the Reds’ pitching and defense against the sheer power of the Detroit Tigers. The Reds chances looked dim when injuries put catcher Ernie Lombardi and second baseman, Lonnie Frey, on the bench. However, pitchers Bucky Walters and Paul Derringer pitched four complete-game victories, as 40-year-old coach Jimmy Wilson hit .353 subbing for Lombardi. The series would go the full seven, with the Reds winning the finale 2-1 with seventh inning Doubles by Frank McCormick, and Jimmy Ripple, which was followed by a long sac-fly by Billy Myers.
1941: The Reds Championship reign ends with a third-place 88-66 season that sees them finish 12 games behind the first-place St. Louis Cardinals.
1942: The Reds play mediocre baseball, finishing in fourth place with a .500, 76-76 record.
1943: Despite an 87-67 record, the Reds finish a distant second place behind the St. Louis Cardinals.
1944: On June 10th Joe Nuxhall takes the mound against the St. Louis, Cardinals at the age of 15, becoming the youngest player ever to appear in a Major League game. Enlistment forced many teams to scramble to find players during World War II. The Reds recruited Nuxhall, a high school pitcher from Hamilton, Ohio. He pitched two-thirds of an inning against St. Louis, giving up five runs on two hits and five walks. It was Nuxhall’s only appearance in 1944, but he would return to the Reds in 1952 and wound up with 130 wins, 9th on the Reds all-time list.
1945: The Reds plummet to seventh place posting a horrible record of 67-87.
1946: With the war finally over, many of baseball’s top stars returned to the game. However, the Reds were not helped finishing in sixth place with a 67-87 record.
1947: On June 22nd, Ewell “The Whip” Blackwell, who is en route to 16 straight victories, falls two outs shy of back-to-back no-hitters, as he settles for one no-hitter. In his next start, Blackwell was just as sharp pitching a two-hit shutout. However, the Reds would still struggle, finishing in fifth place with a 73-81 record.
1948: The Reds continue to struggle as they finish in seventh place with a record of 64-89.
1949: The Reds finish in seventh place again with another terrible record of 63-94.
1950: The Reds continue to struggle as they finish in sixth place with a record of 66-87.
1951: The Reds post their 7th straight losing season, finishing in sixth place with a record of 68-86.
1952: The Reds continue to wallow in the second division as they finish in sixth place with a record of 66-83.
1953: The Reds continue to struggle to finish in sixth place with a record of 68-86.
1954: Against the backdrop of the McCarthy hearings and the rising threat of Communism, the Reds changed their name to Redlegs to not be linked with the Soviets, who were generally referred to as Reds. That year the Redlegs would become integrated with the appearance of Chuck Harmon. The Redlegs would go on to finish in fifth place with a 74-80 record.
1955: The Redlegs continue to suffer losing seasons as they finish in fifth place with a record of 75-79.
1956: On August 18th, the Redlegs set a team record by blasting eight homers in one game, against the Milwaukee Braves. For the season, Cincinnati clouted 221 dingers, tying the National League record. The power-hitting Redlegs would finish third place with a 91-63 record, only two games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers for the pennant.
1957: The fans of Cincinnati are caught stuffing the All-Star ballot box, and vote eight starters onto the All-Star Team. The National League would intervene, pulling three Redlegs out of the starting lineup, as Willie Mays, Henry Aaron, and Stan Musial replace George Crowe, Wally Post, and Gus Bell as starters. The scandal would cause the commissioner to remove the fan vote for 12 years. The “star-studded” Redlegs would go on to finish in fourth place with an 80-74 record.
1958: The Redlegs suffer a setback falling to fourth place with a disappointing record of 76-78.
1959: The Redlegs disappoint again, finishing in fifth place with a record of 74-80.
1960: After six years known as the Redlegs, the team goes back to the traditional Reds name. However, the luck on the field does not change as the Reds finish in sixth place with an awful 67-87 record.
1961: New owner Bill DeWitt took over the team and made several moves, which all proved successful. The result was a surprise pennant for the “Ragamuffin Reds.” Led by National League MVP Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson, and the pitching of Joey Jay and Bob Purkey, Cincinnati beats out the Los Angeles Dodgers for the pennant by games with a 93-61 record. In the World Series, the Reds are overmatched by one of the greatest New York Yankees teams of all-time. However, the Reds would put up a fight splitting the first two games at Yankee Stadium, and led 2-1 in the eighth inning of Game 3 at Crosley Field. However, a pinch-hit Homer by Johnny Blanchard and a leadoff Homer by Roger Maris in the 9th would doom the Reds. The Yankees would go on to take the final two games by a combined score of 20-5.
1962: The Reds are even stronger, finishing with a 98-64 record. However, the Reds finish three games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, who finish in a tie for first place.
1963: Hard-nosed Cincinnati native Pete Rose makes his Major League debut and earns the National League Rookie of the Year. The Reds would go on to finish the season with an 86-76 record.
1964: Trailing the Philadelphia Phillies all season long, the Reds are suddenly thrust into a three-team pennant race in the final week of the season. The Phillies suffered a historic collapse. The Reds would wind up falling one game short with a 92-70 record in a second-place tie with the Phillies.
1965: Despite a strong record of 89-73, the Reds can only manage to finish in fourth place, finishing a distant 18 games out of first.
1966: The Reds stun their team and fans by dealing away star OF Frank Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles. The Reds, who thought Robinson was beyond his prime, would finish in seventh place with a 76-84 record. Meanwhile, Robinson would win the American League Triple Crown while leading the Orioles to a World Championship.
1967: The Reds post another string season with a record of 87-75. However, they would have to settle for fourth place, finishing 15 games out of first.
1968: In a year dominated by pitching Catcher Johnny Bench caps a spectacular first season by taking home the Rookie of the Year honors. The Reds would finish the season in fourth place with an 83-79 record.
1969: On April 30th, the Reds Jim Maloney no-hits the Houston Astros the following day Astros Don Wilson turns the tables by no-hitting the Reds. Maloney threw two no-hitters in the 1960s while becoming the Reds all-time strikeout leader. The Reds would finish in third place in the National League Western Division with an 89-73 record.
1970: Riverfront Stadium opens on June 30th as the Reds lose to the Atlanta Braves 8-2. In the mid-’60s, debate intensified over a new Reds’ ballpark. For the first time in club history, a Reds’ ballpark would be built with public funding, rapidly sweeping the sports world. DeWitt favored a suburban location and a baseball-only field. When the Cincinnati Bengals were awarded a National League Football franchise in 1968, civic leaders wanted a multi-purpose stadium on the riverfront. A few weeks after the opening of Riverfront Stadium, the stadium hosted the All-Star Game. Pete Rose would play a key roll in the mid-summer classic that year as he scored the winning run in the 12th inning while barreling over Cleveland catcher Ray Fosse for the deciding 12th inning run in one of the first games played at Riverfront Stadium. The Reds would win a team-record 102 games that year while taking their first-ever Western Division Championship. In the NLCS, the Reds make quick work of the Pittsburgh Pirates, dominating them in three straight games to advance to the World Series. In the World Series, the Reds would take on the Baltimore Orioles. In the fall Classic, the Reds are victimized by the stellar play of 3B Brooks Robinson, who leads the Orioles, with his glove, and bat to a five-game series victory.
1971: After a disappointing 79-83 season that landed them in fifth place. The Reds deal 1B Lee May, 2B Tommy Helms and infielder Jim Stewart to the Houston Astros for 2B Joe Morgan, RHP Jack Billingham, infielder Denis Menke and outfielders Cesar Geronimo and Ed Armbrister.
1972: With the deal, the Reds now have one of the most potent offenses in the history of baseball. With the lineup and Johnny Bench winning the National League MVP for the second time in three years, the Reds reclaim the West with a 95-59 record. In the NLCS, the Reds are matched up once again with Pittsburgh Pirates. This time it is not as easy, and the series goes the full five games. The Reds would enter the ninth inning of the deciding fifth game trailing 3-2, before staging a dramatic rally to win the National League championship. First, Johnny Bench homers to tie the game at 3-3, then Pittsburgh’s Bob Moose uncorks a wild pitch to allow George Foster home with the pennant-winning run. In the World Series, the Reds would face the Oakland Athletics, who were missing star slugger Reggie Jackson. However, the A’s pitching would get the best of the Reds in the first two games at Riverfront Stadium. The Reds would respond with a must-win victory in Game 3, but the A’s pitching would slow down the Big Red Machine in Game 4 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. However, the Reds would not go down without a fight winning Game 5 to send the series back to Cincy, and Game 6 to force a decisive seventh game, but in the end, the A’s were too strong winning Game 7 by a 3-2 score.
1973: With a 99-63 record, the Reds beat out the Los Angeles Dodgers for their third Western Division Championship in four years. In the NLCS, the Reds are huge favorites against a New York Mets team that snuck into the playoffs with an 82-79. However, Mets pitching would frustrate the Reds to take the series in five games. The Series highlight would come in Game 3 when a brawl erupts between Pete Rose and Mets shortstop Buddy Harrelson.
1974: The Big Red Machine continues to roll along winning 98 games, but their two-year reign as Western Division Champions ends as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat them out by four games in a tightly contested divisional race.
1975: The Reds are more dominant than ever winning a franchise-record 108 games en-route to a fourth National League Western Division title in six years, as 2B Joe Morgan takes home the National League MVP honors. Once again, the Reds face the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NLCS. The Pirates would prove no match for the Big Red Machine, who sweeps them on the way to their third World Series appearance of the decade. In what some call the greatest World Series ever, the Reds face the Boston Red Sox in a classic seven-game series. After losing Game 1, the Reds would rally for two runs in the ninth inning to win Game 2 and send the series to Cincinnati knotted at a game apiece. The Reds would win Game 3 on a controversial non-catcher’s interference call in the tenth inning. After losing Game 4 to Luis Tiant, the Reds bounce back to win Game 5 and head to Boston leading the Series 3-2. Rain would postpone the sixth game for three days, which meant the Reds would have to face Luis Tiant, who shut them down twice in the series again. The Reds were in a quick 3-0 hole but came back and took a 6-3 lead heading to the bottom of the eighth inning. The Reds were stunned that inning by Bernie Carbo’s dramatic game-tying home run. The game would become an instant classic, as each team would squander scoring opportunities until the 12th inning when Boston Catcher Carlton Fisk hit a ball off the foul pole to force a seventh game. Game 7 would end up be the most-watched baseball game in television history. The Reds would fall behind early 3-0 but would come back with the help of a Ton Perez home run. The Reds would win the game and their first World Series since 1940 on Joe Morgan’s two-out single in the ninth inning.
1976: The Reds win 102 games on the way to a second straight National League West Championship. On the way to the Division Title Cincinnati would lead the Major Leagues in ten offensive, defensive and pitching categories (runs scored, doubles, triples, home runs, batting average, slugging average, stolen bases, fewest errors, fielding percentage and saves), domination that has never been matched. The Reds domination would continue into the postseason, as the Reds won its second straight World Championship. The Reds would take both postseason series with sweeps. A three-game sweep in the NLCS over the Philadelphia Phillies was highlighted by a dramatic ninth-inning comeback in Game 3. In the World Series, the Reds victim would be the New York Yankees who could not match the power of World Series MVP Johnny Bench in a four-game whitewashing.
1977: Despite a 50 Home Run, MVP season from George Foster, and the acquisition of star pitcher Tom Seaver the Reds fail to repeat as Division Champions falling to second place with an 88-74 record.
1978: Pete Rose’s bat is the story of the year. First, he collects his 3,000th career base hit, and then he would make a summer stab at history. Pete Rose would enjoy a 44 game hitting streak tying the NL mark set by Wee Willie Keeler in 1896. Rose’s 44 game streak is only topped by Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game streak in 1941. The Reds would also fall short in their attempt to win back the Western Division, finishing two and a half games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 92-69 record. However, the biggest shock would come following the season as the Reds lose Pete Rose to Free Agency.
1979: With most of the Big Red Machine gone, the Reds still prove strong enough to win a sixth National League Western Division title of the decade with a 90-71 record. In the NLCS, the Reds lose the first two games of the NLCS at home in extra innings and are eventually swept by eventual World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates.
1980: The Reds fight tooth and nail, but fall short in a three-team race for the National League West title, finishing in third place with an 89-73 record.
1981: The Reds finish with the best record (66-42) in the Major Leagues, but don’t make the playoffs. Due to an unusual “split-season” format forced by a mid-season 50-day Player’s Strike, the Reds do not qualify for postseason play, finishing the first half a half-game out of first, and following it with a game and half deficit in the second half.
1982: With many of their stars either gone or past their prime, the Reds fall from one of the League’s elite teams to last place losing with a National League worst 101 games.
1983: The Reds continue to struggle finishing last place for the second straight season with a record of 74-88, as Johnny Bench ends an elite 15-year career.
1984: Amid a fifth Place 70-92 season the Reds bring back a hometown hero and Reds legend Pete Rose, in an August 16th trade with the Montreal Expos. Rose, who is made player-manager, is closing in on history, as he needs only a little more than 100 hits to break Ty Cobb’s all-time hit record.
1985: On September 11th, Pete Rose breaks Ty Cobb’s all-time career hits record by ripping a single off the San Diego Padres Pitcher Eric Show in the first inning at a sold-out Riverfront Stadium for career hit number 4,192. As Rose achieved his record, the Reds fell short of the playoffs finishing with a solid 89-72 record.
1986: Following a second Place 86-76 season, Pete Rose would end his 24-year playing career, Rose would wind up with a record 4,256 career base hits. Rose would stay on as manager; however, future trouble lay in the weeds for the highly competitive Rose seeking another outlet for his competitive desire.
1987: The Reds finish in second place for the third year in a row, while compiling an 84-78 record.
1988: Pete Rose is suspended a month for shoving umpire Dave Pallone during an April 30th game against the New York Mets. Despite the Rose troubles, the Reds finish in second place again with an 87-74 record. The highlight of the season comes on September 16th, when lefty Tom Browning throws the first perfect game in Reds history, stifling the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0, at Riverfront Stadium.
1989: On August 24th, after a season marred by an investigation, Cincinnati hero Pete Rose is given a lifetime ban from baseball for conduct related to gambling. The terms of his suspension would permit Rose to apply for reinstatement after one year. In an unfortunate side note, Baseball Commissioner Bart Giamatti would die suddenly of a heart attack a little over a week later. Rose has since applied for reinstatement and has yet to receive it. This suspension has also barred Pete Rose from his deserved entrance into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. With the dark cloud of the investigation and suspension hanging over the team all season, the Reds would land in fifth place with a 75-87 record.
1990: The Reds would get off to a flying start, led by a bullpen core known of Randy Myers, Norm Charlton, and Rob Dibble, who were known as the Nasty Boys. The Reds would enter first place on the first day of the season and pull out to a big lead in the first half. Despite struggling for most of the second half, the Reds would never fall out, becoming the first team to lead wire to wire with a 91-71 record. In the NLCS, the Reds would face their old rivals Pittsburgh Pirates and with the Nasty Boys dominating all the way would win in six games, as Dibble, and Myers split the NLCS MVP. In the World Series, the Reds would face the powerful Oakland Athletics who were seeking their second straight World Championship. The Reds would get off to a fast start as Jose Rijo led the way in a Game 1 shutout. In Game 2, the Reds would rally to win in ten innings and headed to Oakland with a 2-0 series lead. After an 8-3 win in Game 3, the Reds would complete the sweep as Jose Rijo shut down the A’s again to earn World Series MVP honors. However, Eric Davis, who made a game-saving catch in Game 4, would suffer kidney injuries that would affect the rest of his career.
1991: The Reds followed up their improbable Championship with an injury-plagued 74-88 season that lands them back in fifth place.
1992: The Reds would rebound nicely putting together a solid 90-72 season, which is good enough for second place. However, troubles arise when a brawl erupts between Manager Lou Piniella and Rob Dibble. The fight would be caught by television cameras and lead to Pinella’s departure after just three seasons.
1993: For several years, the fans and press in Cincinnati had viewed Owner Marge Schott favorably. Often Schott would sign autographs during games, as her dog Schotzie became the club’s mascot. There was an ugly side to Marge, and that would be uncovered for the first time when she is suspended for the season after referring to her black employees as trained monkeys. To try and mend fences, the Reds hire Tony Perez as their manager, but after he gets the team off to a slow start, he is fired and replaced by Davey Johnson. The Reds would go on to finish the season with a fifth-place 73-89 record.
1994: In a trend that has seemed to develop, the Reds followed up a poor season by making a run at the postseason. The pattern would continue in 1994 as the Reds and baseball celebrated the 125th Anniversary of the first professional baseball club. However, the season would end prematurely on August 12th as the players went on strike. When the strike takes effect, the Reds are in first place in the newly formed National League Central Division with a 66-49 record.
1995: When the players return to the field, the Reds remain a contender and take the National League Central Division Championship by nine games with an 85-59 record, while Shortstop Barry Larkin takes home MVP honors. The Reds would sweep the Los Angeles Dodgers in three games in the first-ever NLDS, but in the NLCS, the tables were turned as the Reds were swept in four straight by the Atlanta Braves. Despite a successful season manager Davey Johnson is let go after the season, after not agreeing on a new contract.
1996: Opening Day is postponed, and a sellout crowd is stunned when home plate umpire John McSherry collapses and dies on the playing field just seven pitches into the season. Owner Marge Schott would outrage everyone with insensitive remarks, and would even sink as low as giving flowers given to her to McSherry’s family as an apology. Schott would end up in even more hot water when she made comments that “Hitler was good” during an ESPN interview. This would earn Schott another suspension and lead to her business partners, forcing her to have a less prominent position with the team and eventually lead to her selling the team. The fiasco and the loss of Jose Rijo to an arm injury would lead to a slow start, which the Reds would take a full season to recover from ending the year at the break-even 81-81 mark.
1997: Pete Rose is allowed to returns to Riverfront Stadium, which has been renamed CINergy Field on a one-game basis to watch his son Pete Rose Jr made his MLB debut on Labor Day. Rose seated next to fellow exile Marge Schott would watch Pete Jr. get in a hit in his first at-bat. The Junior Rose would only get one more run in 14 At Bats, and would not return to the majors again. The Reds would also struggle to finish in third place with a 76-86 record.
1998: The Reds continue to sit in the middle of the pack as they finish in fourth place with a record of 75-87.
1999: On September 4th in a 22-3 win at Philadelphia against the Phillies, the Reds become the first team in National League history to hit nine home runs in a game. The Reds would also find themselves in a tight race for the playoff. In the Reds entered the final weekend of the season tied for the National League Central Divison, and had a two-game lead over the New York Mets for the Wild Card. However, the Reds would lose two of three games to the Brewer in Milwaukee as they watched the division slip away. The Reds grip on the Wild Card would also slip, and they would lose a one-game playoff to the Mets at CINgery Field for the Wild Card.
2000: The Reds acquire Ken Griffey Jr. from the Seattle Mariners. Griffey would join his father, who was a member of the Big Red Machine, and was currently a coach on the Reds. Junior would end up hitting his 400th HR in his first season with Reds, becoming the youngest to reach this milestone. However, the Reds only manage an 85-77 season that lands them in second place.
2001: The Reds begin the season in a hole as Ken Griffey Jr. misses much of the first half with a torn hamstring. The Reds would suffer most at home, compiling the worst home record in baseball as CINergy Field’s Outfield bleachers are torn down to make room for the construction of the Reds new ballpark set to open in 2003. Even Griffey’s return could not help the Reds who were in the cellar for most of the season before finishing in fifth place with a terrible 66-96 record. There was some good news in the bad season as Jose Rijo made an improbable comeback after sitting out five years with an arm injury.
2002: In the final season of baseball at CINergy Field, the Reds get off to a strong start despite losing Ken Griffey Jr. early to a knee injury. Sitting in first place when Griffey returned, most thought the Reds would take off. However, Griffey would be more of an anchor then a catalyst as he hit just eight home runs and 23 RBI while playing 70 games. Along the way, a poll was taken in which fans stated that they rather had Griffey traded. With Griffey struggling and grumbling, the Reds would have a terrible second half finishing in third place with a record of 78-84.
2003: Opening Day in Cincinnati was extra special as they were opening a brand new ballpark on the banks of the Ohio River. However, the Reds debut at the Great American Ballpark was hardly great as they lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-1. The loss on opening day would be a harbinger of things to come as the Reds lost 14 of their first 20 games, as Ken Griffey Jr. was injured again. As April rolled into May, the Reds would play much better as they won 15 of their next 21 to climb above .500. However, ownership seeing the team was not going to be a factor in any pennant race began to trade off players, as the Reds began plummeting in the standings at the end of June. In July, Griffey returned and was driving the ball well with five homers in five games. However, fate would play a cruel hoax on Junior again as he was lost for the rest of the season due to an ankle injury, he ended up playing in just 55 games total for the season. The depleted Reds, who replaced Manager Bob Boone at the end of July with Dave Miley, would continue to struggle the rest of the season as the ended up finishing in fifth place with a terrible record of 69-93.
2004: Led by a resurgent Ken Griffey Jr., the Reds got off to a surprisingly good start as they were in first place on June 6th with a 34-22 record. However, the Reds began to struggle with the arrival of interleague play as they were swept in back to back series against American League Opponents. On Father’s day, Junior Griffey would make his papa proud by belting his 500th career home run, as he was well on his way to return to his all-star form with 20 homers in the first half. However, a few days before the mid-summer classic, Junior suffered another setback, as a torn hamstring would lead to him playing just three more games the rest of the season. Without Griffey, the Reds would stumble the rest of the way as they posted a horrible 29-45 record after the All-Star Break on the way to finishing in fourth place with a record of 76-86.
2005: The Reds started the season with a bang as they entered the ninth inning trailing the New York Mets 6-4 before Adam Dunn blasted a two-run homer his second homer of the game to tie the game 6-6, the very next batter Joe Randa would then win the game with a homer, as the Reds swept the Mets to start 3-0. However, the good feelings of opening day would not last long as the Reds showed many holes while splitting their first 20 games. It was all downhill as they lost their next eight games and never came close to .500 again, fading to the bottom of the National League Central Divison, where they would land in fifth place with a less than stellar 73-89 record. Among the few bright spots was Ken Griffey Jr, who stayed relatively healthy all year and hit 35 homers while Adam Dunn led the team with 40. While Felipe Lopez had a bust-out season hitting 23 homers equaling his career total entering the season. The mound was a hill of horrors for the Reds as Eric Milton the Reds big offseason free-agent acquisition was horrendous posting an 8-15 record with a nightmarish 6.47 ERA, as the Reds pitching staff was the worst in the National League with a 5.15 ERA. Manager Dave Miley was fired and replaced by Jerry Narron in the middle of the season.
2006: Following a season in which Reds pitching was lit up on a seemingly nightly basis, not much was expected. However, with the spring acquisition of Bronson Arroyo, the Reds got off to a strong start with a 17-8 record at the end of April, with Arroyo winning his first five starts. In May, the Reds would come back to earth a bit as they slid out of first place, but with a strong June, the Reds showed the potential of staying in the race all season. After a rough start to July, the Reds returned from the All-Star Break reenergized as they swept the Colorado Rockies in a four-game series, as they neared the All-Star Break in the thick of the Wild Card race and the battle for the National League Central Division Title. Viewing the bullpen as a weak spot, the Reds traded Austin Kearns, Felipe Lopez, and Ryan Wagner to the Washington Nationals for relievers Gary Majewski, Bill Bray, SS Royce Clayton, while acquiring Eddie Guardado. However, both deals would be beset by injuries as Majewski had an existing shoulder injury that was not disclosed. At the same time, Guardado, who pitched strong with the Reds would be lost to an elbow injury in early September, as a late August skid all but wiped out the Reds hopes of the playoffs as they fell below .500, and out of the Wild Card Race. The Reds would finish in third place with a record of 80-82, while their team ERA improved more then a half run a game at 4.51.
2007: The Reds entered the season with a new look, bring out a more traditional look that honored the club’s past. Unfortunately for the Reds, they could not bring back that great teams of the past as the Reds again struggled and took a step backward, as they were in last place on July 1st when they Manager Jerry Narron and named advance scout Pete Mackanin interim manager. Under Mackanin, the Reds would show slight improvement, posting winning records in July and August. However, the year would see the Reds finish in fifth place with a record of 72-90. The positives for the Reds came with their offense as they had three players hit more than 30 home runs, but pitching wins championships, and the Reds pitching struggled all season pitching in the hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark.
2008: Under new manager Dusty Baker the Reds became a team in transition as they began to focus on youth. Jay Bruce was called up at the end of May, hit 21 home runs and drove in 52 RBI in 108 games, while on the mound Edinson Volquez acquired from the Texas Rangers in the off-season for Josh Hamilton, became the Reds new ace, with a solid 17-6 record with 206 strikeouts while posting a 3.21 ERA. Meanwhile, the Reds were able to trade off some aging talent as Ken Griffey Jr. was traded to the Chicago White Sox at the trade deadline for Nick Masset and infielder Danny Richar. However, before leaving Cincinnati, Junior made history, becoming the sixth player in baseball history to reach the 600 home run plateau, belting the milestone homer on June 9th against Mark Hendrikson of the Florida Marlins in Miami. The Reds would also deal pending free agent Adam Dunn to the Arizona Diamondbacks for two minor leaguers and pitcher Micah Owings. The Reds would go on to finish the season in fifth place with a record of 74-88.
2009: A talented, but young team the Reds began the season not knowing what to expect as they posted an 11-10 record in April. The Reds continued to play winning baseball in May before struggles in June saw them slip below .500 and into the middle of the pack again. The dog days of July saw the Reds struggle, as they slipped into sixth place while posting an 8-19 record. After a mediocre August, the Reds would close the season on a strong note posting an 18-9 record in September, as they finished in fourth place with a 78-84 record. Edinson Volquez, who established himself as an ace in 2008, struggled with injuries in 2009, posting a 4-2 record before being forced to have Tommy John surgery on his elbow. Also, having a disappointing season was Jay Bruce, who posted a .223 average, while hitting 22 home runs, with 58 RBI.
2010: Entering the season, the Reds were seen as a dark horse in the National League Central by several experts. Predictions of the like were made before, with the result being the same as the Reds had not posted a winning record since 2000. Despite some bumps in the road in the early part of the season, including three straight losses to the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates, the Reds ended April with a winning record of 12-11. Things would take an even rosier turn in May as the Reds took over first place after winning a mid-month series against the St. Louis Cardinals. They would finish the month with a first-place tie and a 30-22 record. The Reds and Cardinals would battle for first in the Central up into the All-Star Break. The Reds would enter the break with a one-game lead, despite a four-game sweep at the Philadelphia Phillies’ hands. In the All-Star Game, the Reds would send four players Brandon Phillips, Scott Rolen, Arthur Rhodes, and Joey Votto, who got in with the final spot via an internet vote. Votto would have an even stronger second half as he went on to win the Hank Aaron Award and NL MVP Award, while the league with a 1.024 OPS. Votto would also hit .324 with 37 home runs and 113 RBI. On August 10th, the battle between the Reds and Cardinals would boil over as an ugly bench-clearing brawl marred the start of a three-game series at Great American Ballpark. The Cardinals would sweep the series outscoring the Reds 21-8 to take over first place in the NL Central. However, instead of being disheartened by the sweep, the Reds caught fire and won eight of their next nine games. Meanwhile, the Cardinals struggled after the sweep six of their next seven games to give the Reds control of the division. The Reds would enter September with a 77-55 record, holding a seven-game lead. It would be a lead the Reds would not relinquish as they not only posted their first winning season in ten years. They won their first division title in 15 years. The clincher would come dramatically on September 28th, as Jay Bruce hit a dramatic walk-off home run off Houston Astros left-handed pitcher Tim Byrdak leading off the ninth inning to win the game 3-2. The Reds would end the season with a solid 91-71 record. In the NLDS, the Reds would face the Philadelphia Phillies and found themselves on the wrong side of history in Game 1. Phillies ace Roy Halladay pitched just the second postseason no-hitter in baseball history, blanking the Reds 4-0. The Reds would need only one batter to get their first run and hit as Brandon Phillips led off Game 2 with a home run, as the Reds took a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning. However, the Reds defense would falter as the Phillies clawed their way back helped out by five Cincinnati errors would win 7-4. As the series shifted to Cincy, the Phillies continued to confound the Reds, winning 2-0 behind Cole Hammels to complete the three-game sweep.
2011: After their first division title in 15 years, the Reds looked to return to the NLDS as they kept most of their team intact. On Opening Day, the fans at Great American Ballpark were treated to a thrilling 7-6 comeback win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Ramon Hernandez won the game with a walk-off three-run home in the ninth inning off Brewers Close John Axford. The win would help launch the Reds off to a 5-0 start. However, the strong start would not last, as they ended April with a record of 14-13, which had them two games out of first place, after leading the division for more than half the month. In May, the Reds would get off to a strong start again, as they won 11 of 13 games against their Central Division rivals. However, they would end the month in another slump, losing 11 of 14, as they suffered a sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Indians. This inconsistent play continued up to the All-Star Break as they held a 45-47 record and were in fourth place, along the way they lost two out of three games against the Tribe at home in the return series against their Buckeye neighbors. Injuries were a big reason for the Reds’ struggles, as they lost several players, including Scott Rolen, who was lost for the year after a shoulder injury in May. The Reds made one last run at the end of July, sweeping a series at home against the San Francisco Giants. However, after losing two of their next three games to the woeful Houston Astros, the Reds chances of returning to the playoffs began to fade away. Up and down play would become the hallmark of their season, as the Reds went on to finish the season in third place with a disappointing record of 79-83. Among the Reds posting disappointing numbers was Bronson Arroyo, who posted a record of 8-12 with an awful 5.07 ERA, while Joey Votto, while having a strong season, could not come close to matching his MVP stats from 2010.
2012: After a disappointing 2011 season, the Reds made improvements to the pitching staff by picking up Mar Latos in a trade with the San Diego Padres for Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger. The Reds would start the season, with a shutout win for the first time since 1980 as Johnny Cueto blanked the Miami Marlins 4-0. However, the Reds struggled at the start of the season, posting a record 4-8 in their first dozen games. As April came to an end, the Reds began to warm up with the weather, with Cueto leading the way, winning his first four decisions. After finishing April at .500 with a record of 11-11, the Reds remained hot in May, posting a record of 17-11 as they took over first place in the National League Central. One big win came on May 13th, as Joey Votto hit three home runs, including a walk-off Grand Slam as the Reds beat the Washington Nationals 9-5, while the power remained on display a week later as the team hit ten home runs during a four-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves. The Reds continued to stay atop the Central division despite a topsy turvy June that saw them trade sweeps with the Cleveland Indians in the battle for Ohio. The Reds pitching and hitting were both solid. Latos gave them the second reliable starter they needed, posting a record of 14-4, with an ERA of 3.48, while Johnny Cueto as among the National League’s best hurlers posting a record of 19-9, with an ERA of 2.78. The Reds also boasted one of the strongest bullpens in the NL, with flame-throwing Aroldis Chapman, recording 38 saves in 43 opportunities after taking over the closer role in late May. Chapman was also named to his first All-Star Team, and posted an ERA of 1.51, as he struck out 15.3 batters per nine innings. The Reds went into the All-Star Break on fire as they swept the St. Louis Cardinals to finish the first half at 50-38. However, when Joey Votto was sidelined after arthroscopic knee surgery on July 16th, the Reds some began to wonder if they could stay in front. After missing parts of 2011, Votto was back in MVP form. Despite missing 51 games, Votto would finish the season with 14 homers, 56 RBI, and a .337 average. In the first game without Joey Votto, the Reds rallied from a 6-0 deficit to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6, as Brandon Phillips had five RBI and scored the winning run on a single by Todd Frazier. Frazier was another critical hitter for the Reds, with 19 home runs and 67 RBI as he was the Player’s Choice for NL Rookie of the Year. The Reds would rally behind Phillips and Frazier to win ten straight after Votto went on the Disabled List, ending July with a record of 62-4, as Jay Bruce supplied the team’s power leading the Reds with 34 homers and 98 RBI. The Reds would win their second division title in three seasons, with a record of 97-65.
2012 NLDS: Facing the San Francisco Giants in the playoffs, the Reds would get some bad news immediately as ace Johnny Cueto was forced to exit early with back spasms. Sam LeCure came on a work out of a bases-loaded jam in the second inning. The Reds would grab the lead with home runs from Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce, as they won the opener 5-2. With Bronson Arroyo on the mound in Game 2, the Reds pounded the Giants 9-0, taking a 2-0 lead in the next three games in Cincinnati. In Game 3, the Reds had their first chance to close the series as Homer Bailey and Ryan Vogelsong hooked up in a pitcher’s duel. With the score knotted 1-1 in the 10th inning, the Reds made their first mistake as Scott Rolen bobbled a groundball at third, allowing the Giants to win the game 2-1. With Cueto unable to go in Game 4, Mike Leake got the start and was roughed up as the Giants evened the series with an 8-3 win. Now facing elimination, with Mat Latos on the hill, the Reds who’s pitching was knocked out of whack from the start, see their season unravel as Latos allowed six runs, capped by Buster Posey Grand Slam in the fifth inning. The Reds would chip away led by a homer from Ryan Ludwick, but it would not be enough as the Giants won the game 6-4 and went on to win the World Series.
2013: After a stunning collapse in the NLDS, the Reds looked to get off to a fast start as they hosted the Los Angeles Angels in the first-ever opening day interleague game. Johnny Cueto would get the start and pitch well but was not around for the decision as the Angels won 3-1 in 13 innings. The Reds would have much better luck the rest of the homestand, as they won five of their first seven games as they posted a 15-13 record in April. They would have a much stronger May, as they won 19 games as the Central Division quickly developed into a three-team race with the Reds battling the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates. The Reds would struggle against both the Pirates and Cardinals, posting an 8-11 record each team. Against the San Francisco Giants, who upended them in the postseason, the Reds did much better, winning six of seven games, including a July 2nd No-Hitter by Homer Bailey. Bailey was part of a strong Reds pitching staff posting a record of 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA; his role was even more significant as Johnny Cueto spent most of the season on the Disabled List, posting a 5-2 record with an ERA of 3.02. However, with Mat Latos and Mike Leake each posting records of 14-6 with low ERAs, the Reds were in good hands. Helping to back up the starters was a solid pen led by Arodolis Chapman, who saved 38 games while striking out 107 batters in 61.2 innings. The Reds also had a well-balanced lineup with Shin-Soo Choo hitting .283, with 21 homers and 105 runs scored in the leadoff spot. In the middle of the lineup, Brandon Phillips had a career year with 18 homers and a team-high 108 RBI, while Jay Bruce had a team-best 30 home runs while driving in 107 RBI. Joey Votto also had a strong season, with a .308 average, 24 homers and 72 RBI. The Reds, Cardinals, and Pirates battle for the division title continued into September. However, there was little drama as all three were in a position to make the postseason, with the two runner-ups playing each other in the Wild Card Game. The Cardinals would eventually win the division as the Reds hosted the Pirates in the last three games of the season to determine who would host the Wild Card game. The Reds would fall flat in those games, losing all three at the Great American Ballpark as they ended the season with five straight losses at home, posting a record of 90-72.
2013 Wild Card Game: After being swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates at home, the Reds hoped a change of venue would bring a change of fortunes as they played the National League’s Wild Card Game at PNC Park. Johnny Cueto, who spent all season dealing with various injuries, made the start for the Reds against Francisco Liriano. After a scoreless first inning, Cueto had trouble in the second giving up home runs to Marlon Byrd and Russell Martin. The Pirates would add another run in the third inning before an RBI single from Jay Bruce put the Reds on the fourth board. The Pirates answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning and went on to win the game 6-2. Following another late-season swoon, the Reds would fire Manager Dusty Baker and replace him with Bryan Price.
2014: Bryan Price took over the Cincinnati Reds’ managerial reigns after the dismissal of Dusty Baker following their loss in the 2013 Wild Card Game. Hoping to get back to the postseason and solve their October woes, the Reds began the season against the St. Louis Cardinals. The opener would feature a pitcher’s duel between Johnny Cueto and Adam Wainwright. The Cardinals would emerge with a 1-0 win, but the game was the start of a spectacular season for Johnny Cueto, who became the first Cincinnati hurler in 26 years to win 20 games. Cueto would finish second in Cy Young voting with a record of 20-9, with an ERA of 2.25 and 242 strikeouts. Despite Johnny Cueto’s success, the Reds had difficulties early in the season, losing four of their first five games on the way to posting a 12-15 record in April. Several key players in the Reds lineup had disappointing seasons, including Jay Bruce, who had a paltry average of .217 with 18 home runs and 66 RBI. Joey Votto struggled all year a distal strain of his left quadriceps, and played just 62 games and had only six homers and 23 RBI. Meanwhile, Todd Frazier made his first All-Star team with a team-high 29 home runs and 80 RBI. Catcher Devin Mesoraco also had a breakout season, making it to the All-Star Game, as he hit 25 home runs and matched Frazier’s team-leading 80 RBI. Despite their slow start, the Reds would be in the thick of the playoff chase, holding a record of 51-44. However, the Reds would go in a complete tailspin following the All-Star Game, losing their first seven games in the second half. August would see the Reds suffer a second seven-game losing streak, as they won just nine-game and faded out of Wild Card hunt. The Reds second-half fade would continue through September, as they finished in fourth place with a disappointing record of 76-86.
2015: Coming off a poor season, the Cincinnati Reds were at an uncomfortable crossroads. The team with contracts expiring seemed to be satisfied with a decision to rebuild, but they were unable to rebuild in the off-season or when the season began due to Great American Ballpark hosting the All-Star Game. The Reds started the season strong, sweeping the Pittsburgh Pirates. Though any chance they could be thought of as a serious contender ended quickly as they lost five of six games to the St. Louis Cardinals as they posted a record of 11-11 in April. The Reds we just that mediocre through the first half of the season as they went into the All-Star Break with a record of 39-47. Todd Frazier was selected to start at third base for the National League, while Closer Aroldis Chapman was chosen as a reliever. On the night before the All-Star Game Todd Frazier became the first player from the host team to win the Home Run Derby in 25 years, equaling the achievement of Ryne Sandberg of the Chicago Cubs in 1990, while Aroldis Chapman lit up the radar gun with a scoreless ninth inning as 12 of his 14 pitches were clocked over 100 miles per hour. Though as the second half arrived, the question of how much longer would the two Reds All-Stars be on the team. Both would play the entire season with the Reds before being traded in the off-season. Todd Frazier would lead the team with 35 home runs and 80 RBI, batting .255 while Aroldis Chapman finished the year with a record of 4-4 with a 1.63 ERA, with 116 strikeouts in 66 innings, as he became the fastest pitcher in MLB history to reach 500 career strikeouts. Todd Frazier would be traded following the season to the Chicago White Sox as part of a three-team deal involving the Los Angeles Dodgers with the Reds receiving Scott Schebler, José Peraza Brandon Dixon in return. The deal would was initially supposed to include Aroldis Chapman being sent to the Dodgers. After a domestic violence charge, the Dodgers backed away from getting the fireball throwing closer. Instead, Chapman was sent to the New York Yankees for four minor leaguers. While Frazier and Chapman were around for the entire season, the Reds would trade away Johnny Cueto at the trade deadline to the Kansas City Royals for Brandon Finnegan and minor leaguers John Lamb and Cody Reed. Cueto would help the Royals win the World Series for the first time in 30 years. Without Cueto, the Reds pitching would struggle in the second half as wins became rare over the last two months posting a record of 25-51. The Reds suffering a 13 game losing streak in September had their worst season in 33 years, finishing in last place with a record of 64-98.
2016: After finishing in last place, the Cincinnati Reds looked to begin the road back to respectability. The Reds played well in the early part of the season, sweeping the Philadelphia Phillies to start the season, as they won five of their first six games. Once the Reds hit the road, reality hit as they lost 10 of 11 away from Great American Ballpark in April and finished the month with a record of 9-15. Things would only get worse in May, as the Reds again found themselves in last place as they endured an 11-game losing streak. The Reds again would spend much of the season in last place, posting a record of 68-94. Despite the struggles, the Reds had a solid offense; Jay Bruce was ranked among the league leaders with 25 home runs and 80 RBI before being sent to the New York Mets at the trade deadline. Joey Votto had a strong season, batting .326 with 29 homers and 97 RBI, while Adam Duvall led Cincinnati in power numbers, with 33 home runs and 103 RBI. Pitching was problematic for the Reds, as Dan Straily was their only reliable starter, posting a record of 14-8 with an ERA of 3.76.
2017: Coming off three straight losing seasons, the Cincinnati Reds were just looking for hope as they were a team in a rebuilding mode. The Reds started the season strong, winning seven of their first nine, but soon found themselves falling back to earth as they ended April with a record of 11-13. May had a similar theme as the Reds started strong but slid at the end. At home, the Reds played well early in the season, while on the road, wins were scarce. The Reds again played well as June began, sweeping a four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ballpark to approach .500. This was highlighted by a four-home run game by Scooter Gennett in a 13-1 win over the Cardinals on June 6th. Gennett, who had just 35 home runs in his first four seasons, was perhaps the least likely player to have a four-homer game in MLB history. However, it would serve notice of a breakout season from Scooter Gennett as he finished the year with a .295 average with 27 home runs and 97 RBI. Upon a West Coast trip, the bottom fell out as the Reds dropped nine in a row and 13 of 14. After hitting the All-Star Break with a record of 39-49, the Reds completely unraveled losing 14 of 16 games. The Reds went on to post a 68-94 record for the second straight year finishing in last place. Despite the Reds poor season, Joey Votto made a serious run at MVP, finishing second as he posted a .320 average with 36 home runs and 100 RBI. Adam Duvall put similar power numbers with 37 home runs and 99 RBI. Pitching, though, was a disaster as their 5.17 ERA was the worst in the National League.
2018: The season did not start according to plan for the Cincinnati Reds. Coming out of the gate at 3-15, the Reds fired manager Brian Price halfway through April. The next day, bench coach Jim Riggleman was promoted to interim manager in hopes of saving the already damaged season. It proved to be too-little-too-late as the Reds finished the month of April at 7-22. The next few months demonstrated much of the same with a few bright spots. Catcher, Devin Mesoraco, who had shown star potential at times but ended up injury-prone, was traded to the New York Mets for a troubled pitcher, Matt Harvey. Harvey started the season 0-2 in eight appearances before the trade. He finished the season 7-7 with a 4.50 ERA after 24 starts with the Reds. Scooter Gennett became a sight for sore eyes after he won Player of the Month in May. The Reds finished the month of June at 35-48, making up a little ground in the NL Central. More excitement came as the RHP, Michael Lorenzen, hit three home runs in one week and finished with a grand slam against the Milwaukee Brewers. Joey Votto, Eugenio Suárez, and Gennett were all selected as part of the NL All-Star team as reserves. Votto and Gennett both held their own, each with a home run in the midsummer classic. Out of the race, the Reds began focusing on the future as a former all-star slugger, Adam Duvall was traded to the Atlanta Braves at the end of July for pitching prospects. Duvall hit 30+ home runs in each previous season before struggling the majority of the 2018 season. Finishing the season at 67-95, the Reds once again came in last place in the Central Division. Second-year player, Eugenio Suárez, led the club with 34 home runs and 104 RBI while Gennett batted .310. Votto had somewhat of an off-year as he finished the season batting .284 with only 12 home runs. Jose Peraza proved to be an asset as the shortstop. He ended the season batting .288 while swiping 23 bases. Billy Hamilton showed he was not ready for the big leagues offensively after finishing the season batting .236 and striking out 132 times. Pitching proved to be the problem in 2018 as the Reds finished in the bottom half of almost every pitching category. Former star-pitcher Homer Bailey, who has two no-hitters on his resume, finished the season at 1-14 with a 6.09 ERA. Interim manager Riggleman was released from his managerial duties as the Reds hired David Bell, whose family history runs deep in Cincinnati, as both Grandfather Gus and Father Buddy played for the Reds.
Written by Cole Edrington
2019: After having another terrible year, the Cincinnati Reds looked to become contenders. Starting in late October, the Reds began to make moves. Cincinnati native and former third baseman, David Bell, was hired to be the new manager. Over the coming weeks and months, the Reds would add many key players to the roster. Starting pitcher, Tanner Roark got the ball rolling as he was acquired from the Washington Nationals. After that, the Reds were able to add Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, and Kyle Farmer to the roster in a blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kemp would only play a handful of games with the Reds before being released, while Wood spent much of the 2019 season on the Injured List before departing the team at the end of the season. The moves kept coming as the Reds signed former All-Star pitcher, Sonny Gray, to a three-year deal. It seemed that the Reds were ready to go all-in with the new roster and coaching staff. Unfortunately, this new and improved roster seemed to be quite the opposite of the 2018 team. Adding Gray and Roark seemed to be just what the pitching staff needed to complement ace, Luis Castillo, who won NL Pitcher of the Month in April. While the pitching rotation was dominating, the offense could not get things to click. By the end of April, the team batting average was .212 as the Reds record quickly fell to 12-17. An unexpected bright spot came into Cincinnati as a utility player, Derek Dietrich exploded onto the scene. Once May ended, Dietrich had 17 home runs on the year. Unfortunately, his productivity plummeted and only hit two home runs for the rest of the season. Castillo was named to the All-Star team as well as Gray. Castillo represented the city well as he pitched a scoreless inning while recording two strikeouts. With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, it became clear that the Reds needed to make a move now if they wanted to contend. While 41-46 at the All-Star break, they traded Puig in exchange for Trevor Bauer to further strengthen the rotation. Bauer did not adjust well to Cincinnati going 2-5 with a 6.39 ERA in ten starts with the ball club. While it was clear that the Reds were officially out of contention in August, there was must-see baseball occurring almost nightly on the riverbank of the Ohio River. Rookie outfielder, Aristides Aquino, was called up from AAA Louisville on August 1st and seemingly only hit home runs the rest of the month. Aquino broke or tied multiple rookie records throughout the month as he finished August with an astounding 14 home runs while also batting .320. He would be named not only the Rookie of the Month but also the Month’s Player in August. As the season winded down, Eugenio Suárez made history. He hit 49 home runs on the year, which was the most ever by a Venezuelan born player and most ever by an NL third baseman. He would be named the Player of the Month for September while hitting ten home runs and batting .337. On September 26th, Hall of Fame announcer Marty Brennaman called his final game for the Reds. After 46 seasons in Cincinnati, Marty decided to retire. The season proved to be a major disappointment as the Reds finished 75-87 and in fourth place in the Central Division.
Written by Cole Edrington
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Page created on March 9, 2001. Last updated on June 24, 2020 at 10:30 am ET.