Brandon Drury got his Cincinnati Reds career started off right, crushing a 3-run homer to put the game out of reach for Atlanta as the Reds pitching was mostly dominant on Opening Day.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (1-0) 6 10 1
Atlanta Braves (0-1) 3 4 0
W: Mahle (1-0) L: Fried (0-1) SV: Santillan (1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

After a quick 1st inning the Reds offense got things going in the 2nd. Tyler Stephenson was hit by a pitch and moved to second base on a Nick Senzel line drive single up the middle. With two outs Kyle Farmer came to the plate and lined an RBI single into right field to put Cincinnati up 1-0. The next inning would see the Reds add to their lead on a Joey Votto bases loaded single and a Tyler Stephenson sacrifice fly that made it 3-0.

After taking a few innings off, Cincinnati’s offense got back at it with a 2-out rally. Mike Moustakas singled and moved up to second base on yet another base hit by Kyle Farmer. That set up a pitching change as the Braves brought in Collin McHugh to replace Max Fried and maybe they should have gone in a different direction because Brandon Drury hit one 378-feet into the stands to make it a 6-1 game.

The Pitching

Tyler Mahle was cruising….. until he wasn’t. After needing just 11 pitches in each of the first two innings, Mahle walked back-to-back hitters with two outs in the third inning before getting to a full count with Austin Riley. He would hit a grounder to third base and Brandon Drury made a nice play to field it, but his throw to first base hit Riley and while the ball only got a few feet away from the bag it was far enough for Eddie Rosario to race home and score to make it a 3-1 game and extend the inning. Marcell Ozuna tried to bring another run in but his 105 MPH line drive back up the middle found Mahle’s glove almost on accident to end the inning. The righty would have only the one unearned run on his line, exiting after five innings with two walks and seven strikeouts and a 6-1 lead.

Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson each threw a hitless inning to hold the lead, but things didn’t go well for Dauri Moreta in the 8th. He walked Matt Olson to lead off the inning then gave up a 2-run homer to Austin Riley on a full count fastball that made it a 6-3 game. Moreta would get a pop up and then strike out Ozzie Albies and Adam Duvall to end the inning and send the game to the 9th. Tony Santillan took over in the 9th and went 1-2-3 with two strikeouts to end the game and ruin Atlanta’s home opener.

The Key Moment of the Game

Top of the 6th inning with two outs, Brandon Drury’s 3-run homer put the game out of reach, giving Cincinnati a 5-run lead at the time.

Notes Worth Noting

Tony Santillan picked up his first career save in the big leagues.

Both teams struck out 13 times and featured a player who had four strikeouts – Aristides Aquino for Cincinnati and Dansby Swanson for Atlanta.

Cincinnati put up 5 earned runs against Max Fried. That was the most he’d allowed in his last 16 starts dating back to July 5th of last season.

Joey Votto should be mic’d up for every single game.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Atlanta Braves

Friday April 8th, 7:20pm ET

Reiver Sanmartin vs Charlie Morton

87 Responses

  1. Rednat

    what i like most about this game was perfection on the bases. no mistakes but good aggressive baserunning. could be a big difference maker from last year.

    • S

      I don’t like players being mic’ed up for the game at all. It distracts the player and it might lead to an error. Yeah, Votto kept it light and funny but he could have done the same thing while he’s in the dugout.

      Tyler Mahle pitched a great game .Luis Cessa seemed to be putting the ball onto the dirt a lot and it was a miracle that no runs were scored. I hope this is just a one time thing for him. Justin Wilson was good but Maureta gave up that homer by Riley. Then Santillan finished it strong.

      So happy Reds won the opening game.

    • Eddie

      The mistake base running was Moose though he should knew how many outs he almost caused that inning to be over though so that was close play at second base.

      • Tom Reeves

        Agree – it didn’t turn out badly but it was a moose-take…

        I’ll show myself out

      • Bigbill

        Coach should have a little talk with Moose and sit him for the next game. Stupid mental mistakes like that often lose games. Bell needs the team to understand that will no longer be tolerated.

      • Tom Reeves

        I’m guessing Moose is the sort of player who would immediately own his mistake before Bell ever had the chance to bring it up. He’s not a little kid who needs to learn accountability and he’s never struck me as entitled. He messed up and the Reds got a bit lucky the mistake didn’t cause more issues. Learn from it and move on.

  2. J

    I just can’t stop thinking about how much better Bell is going to be without all the insane double-switching. As an added bonus, he won’t have to think about pinch-hitting for pitchers at all. The DH is going to benefit the Reds a lot more than people realize.

    • Brayan O'Malley

      That’s all well and good. But baseball with a DH isn’t real baseball.

    • TR

      Agree on the DH. It evens up the NL and AL on offense.

    • CI3J

      So in other words, the DH is saving Bell from himself???

      • J

        Unfortunately, that’s exactly what I mean. I don’t have any reason to believe he would have voluntarily given up his precious double-switches.

    • Dewey Roberts

      Lol! I love it. The less Bell manages, the better for the Reds. He just needs to fill out the scorecard (with a lot of help).

  3. Grand Salami

    Huge! Fried is a top 3 NL pitcher and the lineup handled his fire just fine. Got to the Bullpen and Drury capitalized.

    The reds cashed in on a lot of seeing eye grounders but this team took on a better team at home with a ton of energy and beat them.

    I watched it with my 8 year old son (who catches) and it was as good a baseball moment to be had outside Riverfront/GABP!

  4. wkuchad

    That was awesome! Kept yelling why not pinch hit Naquin for Drury (once the lefty was out of the game)? That’s why I guess lol. Great game – go Redlefs!

  5. ChrisInVenice

    Well, Moose was very lucky when he didn’t know there were 2 outs.

    • Brayan O'Malley

      He looked like a Moose with a hunter’s scope sighted in on his chest. Crazy that he was safe at second. Should’ve been at third.

  6. GreatRedLegsFan

    Aquino looked really bad against breaking balls, he may not make the next cuts, the line-up was fine otherwise.

    • Allan Chandler

      Straight ball, he hit very much.

      • TR#1

        I saw a movie once where a character had same problem. I think rum was the solution.

  7. Hanawi

    Nice win! Reds need to win a vast majority of Mahle’s road starts if they want to challenge for a playoff birth. He’s a true ace outside of GABP and showed it again today.

  8. Eddie

    Moose almost caused the one inning to be over always got caught middle second and first base bc didn’t know how many outs. New sign player came hero last night. Also mahle scares me in the 3rd inning a bit. Aquino 1 hit not gonna cut it why I wish he was cut as well he terrible I think he needs new home to rebuild confidence but outfield defense was good tho its hitting hurts.

  9. Jim t

    Nice outing for Mahle. Some good timely hitting. Would love to be at least 4-3 after first 7 games of season.

    Happy to see Farmer start the year with a couple of hits.

  10. Earmbrister

    Went out after forgetting to record the game. I got back just before the Votto miked up portion of the game. Joey is a treasure. For anyone who didn’t see it, it’s well worth looking for on the web.

  11. TR

    It was obviously a celebration for the Braves WS win which was upset by the Red’s win, but what a dull trio of ESPN announcers. Joey did very well with the mic.

  12. Big Boy

    Although I enjoyed the entertainment value of Joey being mic’d up, I’m not a fan of the practice. Shouldn’t he (or any other player) be 100% focused on what’s happening on the field? A loss of concentration at a key moment could’ve been deleterious. . . .

  13. Mark Moore

    Fun to watch without a lot of nail biting in the mix. Seems rare if I remember last season.

  14. Doc4uk

    Santillan looked dominate and may well have earned the closer role on this team if he can hold up. That was a big bright spot. Moreta throwing a pedestrian 94 mph may not hold up as a late inning reliever . Anyone else who can fill that role?

    • Doc

      DB was criticized all year for having a quick hook. Moreta, a rookie experiencing his first opening day, has a bad start to an inning and already you want him replaced in late innings despite his dominant record at AAA. Talk about a quick hook. If you’re not perfect, you’re out of here.

      • Chris

        Correct. Once the jitters were gone, he looked amazing, getting 2 K’s to the last two batters.

  15. Hotto4Votto

    Off to a good start. Mahle looked good. Offense put some runs on the board off a tough pitcher. Bullpen looked good outside of giving up the homerun to Riley.
    Loved listening to every minute of Votto mic’d up. High entertainment value.

    • Melvin

      How they can expect a guy to do that and play I don’t know but Votto is a natural. I went back and watched/listened. JV might be one of the smartest to have ever played which he doesn’t get enough credit for. I also saw a good defensive play by AA at the end of that inning too. His defense is underrated. Interesting quote by Votto, “I just don’t want to DH”.

  16. Steven Ross

    We all know Aquino can’t hit the breaking pitch so why put him 2nd in the order? Natural spot for Senzel. Come on Bell. It’s not that hard. Ummm…Moose…there were 2 out. Run on contact.

    Otherwise, nice win. Wilson was dealin’. Votto mic’d up was fun.

    • Jim t

      I think Bell’s thinking may be hit him 2nd and try to convince him to take a few more pitches. Trying to tweak his approach a bit. Senzel batting down in the order may be about giving him more chances to drive in runs.

      Bottom line is the line up produced a win.

    • Tom Reeves

      Perhaps Bell is trying to get Senzel very comfortable lower in the line up while also creating some pressure on Aquino to figure out if he remains with the team.

    • MBS

      I think today you see Naquin in that spot, which will make a lot more sense. It would be new thinking for Bell, but maybe he wants to keep hitters in spots in the lineup.

  17. CFD3000

    Good start by Mahle, including surviving what could have been an ugly third inning. Nice defense, especially India and Aquino. Pesky hitting despite 13 K’s. Good to see Votto smash a key hit off a very tough lefty. And a clutch bomb from the new guy. I had expected to see a Braves win behind Fried so this was a great start. I’ll be at the game tonight – Sanmartin will have his hands full facing Riley, Duvall, Ozuna and the right handed side of Albies. But – baseball is back. Go Reds!

    • MBS

      I am excited for this matchup. I want to see how he performs against a dangerous lineup. He handled the minors, and the Pirates as well as you could reasonably ask. I don’t want my enthusiasm to be misinterpreted as delusion, I’m not expecting Sanmartin to be an Ace, but a 4 or 5 pitcher is a valuable pitcher, and I feel like he could be that.

      • The Duke

        If you can get a guy to go 180-200 IP with a 4.25-4.5 ERA, that’s incredibly valuable

    • Jim Walker

      If anybody else in the division won then it is still 162 to win and 161 to tie?!? Or that’s my math and I am sticking to it until proven wrong 😉

      • Amarillo

        We play the other Central teams 19 times each, and therefore the magic number is 152, because if we lose nine times to a division opponent, we also would have beaten them ten times.

  18. Dennis Westrick

    Taking a trip down Memory Lane! The last time the Reds opened their season on the road was 1990 I believe! Seem to recall that edition of the Reds went on to win the World Series! I know it’s early and only one (1) game into the 2022 season! That Reds team started the season 9-0. Just wishful thinking! Go Reds!

    • Votto4life

      Yeah, if there was any year to benefit from a strong bullpen it was 1990. The Reds just happened to have the best bullpen in baseball that season. The Reds opened in Houston that year if I recall correctly.

      • Dayton Ducks

        It’s gonna be another “Wire to wire” year for the Reds! You heard it here first!

  19. old-school

    What a great win and team effort across the board.
    Like a great pitcher where you need to get to him early, maybe the same thing applies to some of these great teams. Get them early in the season before they hit their strides and find a rhythm.

    I missed badly predicting bell’s lineup against the lefty. Ill give it a shot against Morton

    India 4
    Naquin 9
    Votto 3
    Moose 5
    Stephenson 2
    Moran DH
    Farmer 6
    Fraley 7
    Senzel 8

    • Jim Walker

      It is going to be interesting to see if Fraley gets the nod over Pham. Long run I don’t think they are paying Pham $7.5m in sunken cost to be a platoon guy and I don’t think that is what he thinks either. On the hand with Dunn on the 60 day IL and Williamson apparently buried at AA instead of poised at AAA, they Fraley is carrying the flag for the Winker/ Suarez deal. I was surprised Thursday that Bell stuck with Aquino over Fraley (or Naquin) when the Braves were into their pen

      • Jim t

        Jim when your leading 6-1 why make changes and burn your bench?

      • old-school

        I think Pham will play the majority of time in LF but with 3 more games in Atlanta against righties, I went with Fraley today as Bell showed he wanted to get role guys in Aquino and Drury in the mix early from Opening Day against the lefty. I would expect Pham to start 3/4 games in Atlanta but with 3 righties in 3 days, Fraley will get some time. Perhaps Senzel gets a day off in Atlanta as well to get Fraley time in CF with Pham in LF.

        Bell plans these things ahead of time.

      • LDS

        I saw that as a good thing. And a rare thing where Bell is concerned. And for all the criticism of Aquino, he was 1-5 with 4 SOs and played decent defense. Last year, many here considered that a nice game for Saurez. Bottom line, let’s hope Bell stays less active in his management this year and let the players play.

      • JB WB

        Aquino provides quality defense, made a nice grab off a rocket that squelched a Braves rally. Up late in games he has value.

      • Optimist

        Jim – how much difference is there in pitching between AA and AAA? Williamson and Phillips are the headliners in the deal and if each performs they’ll move quickly. I think Williamson is up for the cup of coffee late this year after splitting the season between levels. He’s not needed for a random spot start which is what the Bats staff provides.

    • MBS

      I’m going with plugging in and out players as opposed to reshuffling the lineup.

      India
      Naquin
      Pham
      Votto
      Stephenson
      Fraley
      Moustakes
      Farmer
      Moran

      • Chris

        I agree that will be the lineup, with the exception of Fraley. Senzel is NOT going to be platooned. He is getting a full shot to be an everyday player, and he doesn’t stick, then the Reds are doomed. He’s that important.

      • SultanofSwaff

        Agree. Getting a few unexpected guys to put up 2-3 WAR each is the key to making the playoffs. Senzel is one, Greene/Pham/Santillan/Lodolo are the others.

      • MBS

        If not today, Fraley is likely tomorrow. As far as platooning, I don’t think Senzel is a L/R platoon, but I do think he’s behind Pham in appearances. Partly because the team will want to keep Senzel healthy, and Pham has a much better track record as a mlb player.

  20. SultanofSwaff

    Miley shut down by the Cubs with elbow inflammation. Maybe he was untradeable because of the medicals??

    • J

      If the Cubs are willing to pay him $10 million, then someone would presumably have been willing to pay $5 million and send someone to the Reds in return. The Reds simply wanted to be rid of his salary and probably weren’t interested in any trades that didn’t take the whole salary off the books.

  21. Rednat

    i like the 7:20 times for the braves games. i wish the reds would follow suit. reds fans are not taking the 43 metro bus down reading road to catch the game. they are coming from Richmond ,Indiana, Lexington , Kentucky, Springfield , Ohio. 6:40 is just too early.

    • Votto4life

      I live in Northern Kentucky about 10 miles from GABP. When I was working, I attended mostly weekend games and an occasional business day special. I couldn’t wait to retire so I could attend more night games. Now that I am retired, I don’t see well enough to drive at night. So I still only attend day games. Man plans, God laughs.

    • Jim Walker

      I agree. When the Reds drew big crowds in the 1970s, it was not only because they won but because folks were willing to drive 60-90 minutes each way to see them. They were a regional team.

      If ownership persists in believing their primary market ends at I-275 then it will; and, they will have succeeded in a self fulfilling prophecy that they are a “small market” operation by being small minded. I think the ownership doesn’t realize that whether by private car, public transit or some mix of the two, most folks going to games in “big markets” probably invest 60 minutes each way coming and going to games also.

      • Melvin

        If I’m not mistaken start times were around 8 00 pm then too.

  22. Eric the Red

    1) If Joey is miked up while we clinch the World Series, will we say that this year we went Wired-to-Wired?

    2) The Braves got that Strider guy in the 4th round in 2020? Somebody deserves a raise for that pick.

    3) That ESPN broadcast was a horror show. That’s how MLB wants its game presented in the National spotlight? They were split-screen on a guy eating a hamburger in the late innings on Opening Day with the defending WS champions. Boring, inarticulate, poorly directed, amateurish graphics…just awful.

    4) Nice win. Go Reds!

    • TR

      Yes, Edwardo Perez, the son of Tony Perez, eating a sandwich with the camera on him. And David Cone, in the middle of the broadcast trio, hardly saying anything except nodding. He could well have been wearing a conehead like some Mets fans used to do when he was pitching at Shea Stadium.

      • Votto4life

        Considering his history there are worst things David Cone could have been doing. For those who want to know google “David Cone antics in bullpen”. It’s not pretty.

  23. old-school

    India 4
    Naquin DH
    Pham 7
    Votto 3
    Stephenson 2
    Senzel 8
    Moose 5
    Farmer 6
    Fraley 9

    I like the lineup. No Moran

    • Jim Walker

      Yes, and Fraley at #9 underscores he is right there with AA as last OF. Barring further injuries and allowing for on time recoveries, things are going to get very interesting by mid to late May when the likes of Solano, Barrero and Schrock could all be available. The last OF slot could come down to who they are most comfortable with behind Senzel in CF and if they are willing to use Barrero in the OF. Fraley has the advantage of batting of the opposite side of the plate from Senzel but the disadvantage of having an option which makes it easy to shuffle him off to Louisville. And what if Friedl is really cooking at AAA?

      • SultanofSwaff

        Yeah, good lineup–I like that it signals Pham and Senzel are everyday guys…..or maybe now that Bell can’t double switch all night he’s less inclined to play the matchup game.

        I don’t see Drury blocking Solano simply because Solano is making real money. You would think after a month Aquino and Drury will have played themselves out of the equation. If they play well, then good problems to have. Barrero could stand a few weeks at Louisville to find his swing.

      • Jim Walker

        Agree on Barrero getting up to speed at AAA assuming there are not other injuries or performance problems which force him back quicker. But if his rehab time expires and he is raking, he needs to be up and not parked at AAA (like last year) just because it is a convenient alternative. And when he is up, he needs to be playing at least 4-5 days a week.

      • Jim Walker

        @Sultan> If the Reds are comfortable with Solano and/ or Drury playing LF and Pham in RF when they do, that could be the way that breaks. But they’d still need a spot for Barrero. Fraley optioned and Schrock on the outside looking in (also option fodder).

        Maybe this is an indirect way of saying somewhere between Moose and Moran, a person needs to be gone for Schrock.

      • Chris

        @Sultan, I don’t think Aquino is going anywhere, especially before Fraley. Aquino is a right handed power bat, of which the Reds don’t have. Fraley has some tools, but he’s another left handed bat that also cannot hit, and quite frankly, the two of them are pretty even defensively with some slightly different tools.

    • MBS

      I do like Naquin in the DH over Moran, but that makes me ask is Pham a better fielder than Naquin?

  24. Scott C

    Agreed. Joey should be mic’d up every game.

  25. Jim Walker

    Don’t see where this fits best so I will stick it here.,,

    Aristides Aquino is still so tantalizing. Probably only 1 of the 4Ks Thursday was really a poor PA. He ran 3x 5 pitch counts (2x 2-2; 1x 3-2) and also had a 7 pitch PA which resulted in a K off a 1-2 count. In two of the 4Ks he did not go down swinging at a ball that was not a strike. And when he does make contact his exit velocities are right there around or better than the 100MPH range. He is also a decent outfielder with an outstanding arm and runs bases well.

    He’s had his shots with the Reds; and, it may be time for him to move on. However, I will not bet the 1st penny out of my pocket that he won’t emerge somewhere as the “next” Edwin Encarnacion. Or alternately, he may find his way to Asia where the fastballs are a little less lively and breaking stuff not as sharp and become a big star there like Wladimir Balentien who also had a cameo in the Reds organization (2009-10) prior to becoming a big star in Japan.

    • Rednat

      agreed. He does just enough to keep me interested. He scored easily from third on the Stephenson SAC FLY. Winker would not have even attempted to go and Castellanos would have probably been thrown out at the plate. he is a player that every time he makes contact he has a chance to get a hit. Just needs to make contact more.

      • David

        The only way that Aquino gets better is to get at bats.
        2020 was kind of a lost year for him. I think it really showed up in 2021.
        He was on the team in 2021, and really never got started, and then broke his hamate bone and was out for +2 months.
        When he came back, I wonder if his hand-strength was diminished.

        He did play winter ball, and did not do much there. But it was “at bats” and seeing a lot of live pitching. I think he has a ton of potential, but he is also 28 years old now, and maybe that boat has sailed. Still, I would like it if the Reds would put him out there, every day, for a month or so and see what he does.
        I am much less enthused about them acquiring Tommy Pham, a 34 year old guy who is likely “over the hill”, for $7.5 million.

      • Chris

        Completely agree with @Dave. As for the sac fly, I disagree. Both Winker and Castellanos would have scored on that ball. “what’s his name” in RF misjudged the liner and caught the ball flat-footed. He wasn’t throwing out Bartolo Colon on that play. 🙂

    • Old-school

      Aquino is likely going to get some reps in April in bunches, just not many in the next week with 3 righties with the braves and 2 righties with the Guardians scheduled to start. But 4 games @ LA with Kershaw,Heaney and Urias followed by SD with Snell and Manaea. Cards have Steven Matz followed by the Padres again. Aquino will have to do damage against lefties in those games but he’s team controlled forever and cheap so the Reds wont DFA him with options on other players, including Colin Moran, who’s $1 million salary doesnt seem so much with the minimum at 700k now.

      Solano takes Drury spot when that becomes available. Drury is potentially a huge utility player the next few years.
      Barrero will need 150 at bats in AAA to be ready and the Reds will slow play that well into June.

      Schrock and Moran and Friedl and Fraley are in competition with each other- not Aquino. Cutting Shogo was the right move and injuries and performance will dictate which 2 have spots on the 26 man. Aquino is going nowhere. Hes in RF against lefties and the power bat off the bench trailing late in a 1 run game and occasional DH. The Pirates/ Orioles/Rockies/ Tigers/Royals would swipe him up in a heart beat and give him 600 at bats. Hes more than a lottery ticket. Hes got multiple skills that play at the MLB level and the Reds have no pressing need to DFA him. If hes hitting .168 in late May with 35% K’s….ok.

      • Melvin

        I hope you’re right and the Reds do keep him. If they’ve planned all along to keep him this long however then they’ve misused him big time in his development. Hope that changes. He’s 28. That’s not old. That’s prime. I do agree other teams taking him in a heartbeat. I’ve always said I can see in my mind the Pirates picking him up and AA killing us 19 games a year although the amount of games will evidently change next year.

      • Jim walker

        @oldschool, If you were Aquino’s agent would you not care if he ended up in a situation where he could walk away and head to Asia? It seems to me his biggest overall monetary return could well be there in both the short and long run.

  26. Indy Red Man

    How come the Reds are never in the loop when somebody is dealing a young guy like Austin Meadows? He hit 33 HRs in 2019 with a .922 ops and 27/106 with a .822 ops last year. He’s not even 27 yet and makes 4/mil with arbitration. Thats the kind of guy you can build around.

    • Indy Red Man

      Make that .772 ops last year and .822 career

  27. bug

    Annie Sabo is amazing!!! Though they have screwed up locking in big deals for multiple years, the Reds should lock in her contract!!! Sabo, LeCure, Jim Day, the Cowboy, Giesenschlag, etc. are A Plus. However, I could definitely do without Welsh, and especially Sadak.