Cincinnati needed a win to pick up the sweep. The Reds didn’t get it, though the final score doesn’t reflect how much of the game took place as a 6-run 8th inning put things away as the Los Angeles Dodgers avoided the sweep.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (11-13)
0 7 1
Los Angeles Dodgers (16-9)
8 8 0
W: Kershaw (4-2) L: Gray (0-2)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Nick Senzel led off the game with a single and a steal, but he was thrown out stealing third base on a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play to end the threat and the inning. In the third a Sonny Gray walk and another single by Senzel had the Reds threatening Clayton Kershaw again, but a ground out ended the inning as the Dodgers held onto their lead.

The Reds went quietly in the 4th and 5th before Nick Senzel picked up his third hit of the day against Kershaw, but he was stranded on the bases as the lefty buckled down and went 1-2-3 to follow. Cincinnati’s offense was quiet in the 6th and 7th, but got things going a bit in the 8th against Blake Treinen when Tyler Naquin was hit by a pitch with one out and moved up to third on Senzel’s fourth hit of the day. But Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos struck out to strand the runners and keep the Reds with a zero on the board.

Mike Moustakas would add an excuse-me check swing single in the 9th with two outs. Tyler Stephenson lined the ball off of pitcher Garrett Cleavinger at 106 MPH that caught him in the arm and he beat out the throw by a matter of inches to keep the game going, but not until the plate was challenged by the Reds. Pitcher Alex Blandino hit for himself, but struck out in a 6-pitch at-bat to end the game.

The Pitching

Sonny Gray worked around a leadoff double in the 1st inning. He didn’t work around a leadoff walk in the second inning as Chris Taylor came around to score to put the Dodgers up 1-0. In the 3rd inning Justin Turner hit a 2-out solo home run that to extend the Los Angeles lead to 2-0.

The Reds right-hander got into a groove in the 4th inning, striking out the side. Gray then picked up two more strikeouts in a hitless 5th inning as his strikeout total reached 10. He returned to the mound for the 6th inning and picked up a free small pizza from LaRosa’s by striking out Justin Turner to begin the inning. Max Muncy followed up with a ground out, but Chris Taylor drew a walk and that was the end of the day for Gray (5.2IP, 4H, 2ER, 3BB, 11K).

Ryan Hendrix came on needing one out. He walked the first batter he saw on four pitched. A grounder to Mike Moustakas at third almost went awry when he made a poor throw to first base, but Joey Votto dove for the ball while somehow keeping his toe on the bag just long enough for the ball to hit his glove before coming off to end the inning and strand the runners.

Amir Garrett ended the game for the bottom of the 7th inning. The lefty has struggled this season, but on Wednesday he came through with a 1-2-3 inning. Sal Romano came into the game for the 8th – a move that also saw some defensive movement as Tyler Naquin moved to center and Nick Senzel took over at second base. A 1-out walk would come back to bite Romano as Justin Turner scored on a 2-out triple by Chris Taylor. He would score on the next pitch as AJ Pollock lined a single into left to make it 4-0. An intentional walk to Luke Raley was followed by a regular walk of Austin Barnes to load the bases. Matt Beaty then lined a 2-run single to extend the Dodgers lead to 6-0 and put the game entirely out of reach. Mookie Betts came through with another 2-run single to make it 8-0. A walk to Gavin Lux followed and that was it for Romano on the day.

This is where things got fun if you were still watching the game because Alex Blandino came on to pitch. After falling behind to Justin Turner he got a lazy fly to shallow right field to end the suffering.

Notes Worth Noting

Since April 11th Nick Senzel has started 11 games. He’s gone hitless in eight of them. In the other three games he’s had multiple hits, including today.

Sonny Gray missed all kinds of bats on the day. He threw 95 pitches and got 15 swings and misses. His fastball, which averaged 92.1 MPH in his first two starts of the year jumped up on the day to a 93.4 MPH average today.

Alex Blandino’s career ERA remains 0.00.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds

Friday April 30th, 7:10pm ET

Jake Arrieta (3-2, 2.57 ERA) vs Wade Miley (2-2, 2.45 ERA)

55 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Good to see Senzel hit well and play the infield some. Super utility guy in the making? 🙂 I would have liked to see him pitch today some. See if he can do that too. lol Let’s take it to the Cubs and get back over .500.

    • VaRedsFan

      I think Doug reported that Bell indicated that he had no intentions on using Senzel in the infield, except for a token appearance here or there.

      • 2020ball

        Could just be lip-service for the media. I’d love to see him get a start there but I don’t think it’ll happen anytime soon.

      • Melvin

        Yeah I know. What Bell says and does doesn’t always match. We can hope. With the current make up of this team it just makes sense.

  2. Indy Red Man

    Most positive beatdown the Reds ever took))) Gray looked fantastic and Senzel went 4-4. I could be wrong, but I think the play might be Senzel>India for the short term. Naquin is a solid hitter and Shogo is coming back soon. Actually Everyone>Suarez right now, but he’s not going anywhere.

    Only negative and I’ve been saying it for 3+ years. Sal isn’t/wasn’t/not going to be a mlb pitcher. Move him along already! There is a reason someone wanted BobSteve and Reed and not Big Sal or they would’ve shipped him already. Make Sal Romadrosian disappear pronto!!

    • Dennis Westrick

      Been saying it all along! Big Sal is an accident waiting to happen! Four walks (one intentional) was all the Dodgers needed to put the game away! Glad to see AQ with a decent outing! Hopefully he has exorcised the demons! I have much more faith in AG than Big Sal

      • Indy Red Man

        Forgot about AG. That was a good spot for him. Bell needs to nurse him along til he gets in the flow and quit trying to force into high leverage.

  3. RojoBenjy


    I still don’t care for the way the manager does his job. And I complain a lot about it.

    However, considering how low we felt after Arizona left town, can we really say many negative things about taking 2 of 3 in Chavez Ravine?

    And Lil Senzi 4 for 4 was very nice. Not to mention Jesse “Hitting Clinic” Winker

    • 2020ball

      That ninth inning was woeful bullpen management, but I always try to give credit where its due. Today the coaching staff I think did well with usage of Garrett and Senzel. Not sure why they let the game get away from them in the ninth, but I wonder if its to rest guys with the off-day upcoming. Not much of an excuse to not at least get a guy warm there.

      • 2020ball

        We’ve seen worse from Bell, and they were losing. Typically you have guys like Romano as your hold-em-n-hope guys. The bullpen is bad remember. I’m not making much of it personally.

  4. AllTheHype

    Suarez’ slash post-2019 in 328 PAs: .181/.290/.415

    That is not a small sample size and Bell needs to wake up and figure out this is who the player is, at least for now. Stop killing the lineup and putting him in the middle.

    Suarez may figure it out, eventually. It starts with NOT trying to club 50 HRs. If he gets hot, consider putting him back there.

  5. Klugo

    Big Sal is gonna mess around and get himself DFA’d, if he ain’t careful.

    • RojoBenjy

      Vlad Gutierrez just on the horizon

  6. Old-school

    Sonny Gray competed his tail off out there and said in his post game presser he knew he was going to pitch well and he was focused on competing and giving his best. The outcome fell short but that’s leadership from Gray.

    Gray/Castillo/Mahle and Miley are going to give this team a chance.
    Winker and Castellanos are outfielders in their prime
    The catching core is good.
    Nick Senzel isn’t going away and showed that today and might have some positional flexibility that needs to be used with Shogo coming back.
    Joey Votto competed when the chips were down despite being 37.
    Antone and Sims are good. The Reds FO made some good bullpen changes.

    Suarez and Garret have passion and care.

    The schedule is as unique as I can remember. Off day tomorrow.
    3 game series against the Cubs. Off day. 2 game series against the White Sox. Another off day.

    This would be an opportunity to do a lot of things in the next week.

    1.) Give Suarez a mental break and just hit and field for the next 5 days at home with coaches. Take the Cubs series off. But, stay at SS.
    2.) Get Senzel ready to play 2b/3b 30-40% of the time. The corner OF in Winker and Castellanos are All Stars and in the top 5 of the NL in offense. Shogo is coming back. Naquin is a good back up
    3.) The Brewers have 2 elite starters and are suddenly very credible in the NL Central. Reds just have to compete with 4 good starters and see how the infield performs in May and June. Worst case scenario the Reds have a ton of tradeable assets in July. I don’t think that happens with 4 good SP though.

  7. Sliotar

    Over his limited career, Senzel’s numbers are best at leadoff than any other spot in batting order.

    If it doesn’t throw Winker off… and flip Moustakas and Suarez …


    It’s 2 LH at 4-5, but that’s a subtle way to get Suarez lower in the lineup.

    Still tough, IMO, to envision Reds winning division if Suarez bats like this most of season. Probably need to run him out there as he can go and hope he fights out of the funk.

    • 2020ball

      I like Senzel as a lead-off hitter versus LHP, not so much RHP. Could even be why his leadoff numbers are good since he’s probably only been there vs lefties.

    • Ghostrunner_onthird

      You nailed it lineup-wise – was the essence of my very thoughts today (though I mentally flirted with India at two – pushing Winker to 3, Cas to 4, etc,. etc.).

  8. Sliotar


    Winning 2 of 3 at Chavez Ravine always has felt like a rare and meaningful accomplishment … whatever the Dodgers record at the time.

  9. Redsfan4life

    Maybe once Shogo returns he will platoon with India. With Senzel getting regular at bats. In CF vs. LHP and at 2nd base vs. RHP.

  10. TR

    The road trip ended on a downer, but it could have been a lot worse which was predicted by many. The Reds, back home in the friendly confines of GABP, need at least 3 of 5 from the Chicago teams.

  11. steven p dunaway

    kinda seems like a “scheduled loss night tonight”. Down only 2 with 1 more at bat. Seemed to just let it go….Happy with 2 of 3, not the manager…

    • jim walker

      The Dodgers reliever Treinen came through big time in the top of the 8th by striking out Winker and Castellanos back to back after pitching himself into trouble.

      We will never know if Romano would have been the Reds pitcher in the bottom of the inning if the Reds had tied the game, taken the lead or even score a single run to make it a 1 run game in the top of the inning.

      I was particularly disappointed for Sal yesterday because in his last 2 outings, both in similar situations as yesterday, he had held the line and kept the Reds in a competitive position.

  12. Redsvol

    Looks like India may not be quite ready. I agree with several on here that the team would look better with Shogo in center and Senzel at 2nd base the majority of games. India can come off the bench and Senzel can still get reps in outfield when they give Winker and Castellanos days off.
    It looks like starting pitching is going to be ok. The relief pitching is atrocious and I’m not sure its going to get better without bringing in some different blood from the outside.

    • jim walker

      I suspect India could be the guy to be optioned to AAA or the alternate site when Shogo is activated since India needs to play every day to develop more.

      I don’t think Akiyama is anything approaching an everyday CF at this point of his career. If Senzel moves to 2B, Naquin may get the lion’s share of the time at CF with Senzel going back to CF vs LH pitching to get another RH bat into the lineup at 2B in the person of Farmer or Blandino.

      However there seems to be some organizational reluctance to move Senzel out of CF. If that holds, maybe Blandino finally gets his shot there. In this case, a trade involving Akiyama or Naquin could be in short order.

      • jim walker

        What the Reds are really missing is a RH hitting power bat off the bench, with Aquino’s return pushed back to late June (60 day IL) at the earliest.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Couldn’t disagree more. India is an elite defender and gives you a competitive at-bat every time. I like Senzel, but his track record is longer and unremarkable. Despite a 4 hit day, his OPS is still 40 points lower and he can’t stay on the field to boot.

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        Since being called up in 2019 Nick Senzel has missed 3 weeks of games due to injury. Yes he did miss about a month with COVID last year but I find that very difficult to hold against him.

        What is needed is some more consistency at the plate. Hopefully we start to see that this year.

      • jim walker

        Neither guy is currently what a team would expect from a top 5 overall draft choice.

        India is the younger by 18 months and getting his first taste of MLB action. It is a tough call but I think the best move for him and the team is to get him back to AAA where he can work on specific things, hopefully progress as quickly as he did at the alternate site last year and be back at MLB before the end of the season prepared to reach his projected ceiling.

  13. jessecuster44

    Anyone notice that position players are pitching when the scores are a little less lopsided? I mean 8-0 is a rout, but you used to see it only when the score was 13 – 2 or worse

    • RojoBenjy

      Gotta showcase Blandino’s knuckler!

      I only followed on Gameday- did he throw it last night?


      • jim walker

        I did not see Blandino pitch but saw numerous comments that he kept his knuckler under wraps.

      • JB

        He threw it warming up at least once but he didnt even throw a strike in his warmup pitches lol. I think he threw just straight cheese( 87 mph) to Turner.

    • greenmtred

      Hi, Jesse! Maybe they’re pitching in less extreme routs because much of the bullpen is so bad.

  14. Matt WI

    Tip your cap to Kershaw, thank them kindly for 2 out of 3, and go rest up to beat up some very, very struggling Cubs. They cannot let the Cubs go all Diamondbacks on them!

  15. JB

    Poor India. You all couldn’t wait for him to get here and now you want to run him out of town. What a fickle bunch.

    • LDS

      I agree. India and Senzel need to play everyday. If they prove themselves unready, send them down. But don’t bench them. The Reds do a really poor job of developing and promoting young players and rely too often on over the hill veterans, e.g. Jared Hughes.

      • Doug Gray

        Jared Hughes, who had a 1.94 ERA in his first year with the Reds and a 4.10 ERA (117 ERA+) the second year with the Reds? That’s the guy you chose to say was someone who was over the hill and relied on too much?

      • Optimist

        If anything, they should be on the phones calling Hughes out of retirement. Hughes seems like a much better version of Cotham, namely he could transition to coaching pretty quickly – a student of the game.

        That, and keep calling the Rays for Adames – now that Franco is going to AAA, seems he’ll be in MLB by mid-June.

      • LDS

        Yep, that’s the guy. There’s no question that Bell overused him when he was clearly not performing. And as far as I can tell, he hasn’t caught on with any other team. ERA+ means far less to me that it does “modern” fans. I’m not a fan of the analytics game. It’s like the myth of “best practices” – it promotes mediocrity, i.e., average performance is enough.

      • Doug Gray

        Clearly not performing despite being better than league average at preventing runs from scoring. Alright, we’ll just end the conversation here.

    • Melvin

      I really don’t see why India would be sent down. He’s pretty good already.

      • Old-school

        Its very puzzling that Bell minimizes Senzel taking infield in pregame and playing infield 3 separate times in 10 days in games – yet he characterizes Senzel playing the infield as an “emergency”

        What emergency was there Wednesday in a 2-0 game with Blandino and India available to play 2b when naquin pinch hit? Perhaps Krall is realizing he’s paying Shogo $15 more million or so and the Reds “paid” a #2 overall pick for Senzel who turns 26 in june and both need to play.

        Bell talks about India needing a few days off to work on his struggles.

        Fair enough but arent Farmer and Suarez far more in need of workthan India?

        Perhaps Bell as a former 7th round pick and role player for ~ 6 teams in 10 years doesnt like young highly drafted position players who get fast forwarded above the grinders who live month to month as the last 2 roster spots.

        David bell platooned Jose Peraza in LF with Jesse winker in 2019. That actually happened.

      • RojoBenjy

        @Old School

        Have you been reading my mind?


  16. MK

    India is a rookie. Rookies have ups and downs but you have to allow them to grow. The game is about adjustments. The league has adjusted and now it is India’s turn. He won’t make the adjustments in AAA or on the bench. Suarez, Castillo, and Garrett are bigger concerns than India right now.

    • Doug Gray

      Luis Castillo has a 3.86 ERA in the four starts since Opening Day. There is zero reason at all to be concerned about him.

      • MBS

        That’s a little optimistic view on Castillo. I agree he will come around, but to say there is zero concern over him is crazy. My man has been hit hard.

        If your going to slice up his performances, which is fine, I’m more about the trending performance. So lets take out his first 2 games, since those seem to be the anomalies, (3.1 IN, 8 ER / 7 IN 0 ER)

        Last 3 games (5 IN, 4 ER / 4 IN 1 ER / 5 IN, 4 ER) that gives him a 5.79 ERA over his last 3 games, with 4 HR’s, 8 ER, and 11 R.

      • Doug Gray

        I think it’s crazy to have a pessimistic view over one actual bad start, and a few so-so starts for a guy who has a track record of being very good over four seasons. He hasn’t really been hit hard. He’s been plagued by a bunch of dinks and dunks and terrible defense. His exit velo against is up from the past few years, but it’s due to opening day. His exit velo against in the 4 starts since is 86.9 MPH (league average is 89, Castillo has been between 86-89 in the past four seasons).

        He’s fine. He had a terrible opening day. He’s been fine since then, just not dominant. There’s no reason to worry.

      • MBS

        I’m not pessimistic about Castillo, but I do think there needs to be concern. Not long term, but clearly he needs to figure some things out. I have every confidence that will happen. Also I’d classify those starts as bad start, not so so. They were short gave up a ton of hits an HR and runs both earned and unearned. If Castillo’s stat line was attached to De Leon, or Hoffman, they would be DFA’d already. Not advocating for something like that for Castillo obviously, just pointing out those were bad starts.

    • Jim Walker

      We agree India won’t make adjustments from the bench. We disagree about the probable value of AAA time for him.

      To date India has zero AAA time. He has had only 145 plate appearances at AA (in 2019). His higher level experience is limited to the Reds alternate site last season.

      With a full AAA experience on tap this season there would be plenty of pitchers on their way up or down and 4A career guys who would provide him with opportunities to learn the skill of adjustment.

      • Jimbo44CN

        The guy just got hit in the head last week. He’s a rookie. Give him a chance already. His defense is great. He has already proven he can hit, just need to work thru this stretch.