3 individuals who'll be blamed for the Reds' gut-wrenching loss, but don't deserve most of it

The Reds lost a heartbreaker to the Pirates on Saturday night.
Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell
Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell / Adam Hunger/GettyImages
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Well, that was easily the worst loss of the entire 2023 season. And it comes on the heels of two other games this week in which the Cincinnati Reds had wins within reach only to give them away.

The Reds are big trouble as it relates to their postseason aspirations. With only six games left in the regular season, Cincinnati is 2.5 games back in chase for the NL Wild Card. The Redlegs need some help, but on Saturday night, they failed to help themselves.

There's a lot of blame that will be thrown around, and probably should be after giving up a 9-0 lead to the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, the amount of blame that some will receive following Saturday's game is unwarranted.

1. Reds manager David Bell will receive a lot of blame following the loss, but doesn't deserve most of it.

Given the way the game of baseball is played in 2023, the manager's job is much less significant when it comes to in-game decision-making. Does that mean that the manager has zero impact on the game? Absolutely not.

But with analytics having run amuck, a manager's job has become more about his relationships with the players than actual in-game decisions. That said, there were two puzzling moves that Bell made on Saturday night that can certainly be called into question.

First is going to Alex Young over Sam Moll in the sixth inning. Moll has been lights out for the Reds since his arrival from Oakland, while Young has been struggling to the tune of of 10.00 ERA and 8.93 FIP since the start of August.

The second odd decision on the part of Bell was sticking with Nick Senzel in the bottom of the sixth inning with a right-handed pitcher on the mound after the Pirates had rallied to within three runs. That was not the time to give Senzel a vote of confidence.

But quite frankly, outside of that, I don't really have much criticism for how David Bell handled last night's game in particular. It was odd that Bell turned to Joey Votto in the bottom of the ninth to hit for Noelvi Marte, but it worked.

Bell is a punching bag for the Cincinnati faithful when things go wrong, but is rarely given credit when things go right. Such is the life of a major league manager, I guess. Bell's not immune to criticism, but he was not the sole reason that Cincinnati lost last night's game.