Four Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers shut out the Cincinnati Reds on four hits, 7-0, before 11,957 at Great American Ball Park.

Final R H E
Arizona Diamondbacks (27-31) 7 11 0
Cincinnati Reds (20-36)
0 5 1
W: Kelly (5-3) L: Minor (0-2)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

At the outset, the game pitted two teams with lineups that looked largely like their managers were preparing for a Class AAA game. In Cincinnati’s case, it was because two of the team’s hottest hitters — Nick Senzel and Brandon Drury — were scratched due to lower back pain and Achilles pain, respectively. Tyler Stephenson was given a night off by Manager David Bell.

The Diamondbacks won because their pitching and defense were stellar, and the Reds pitchers couldn’t take advantage of the fact that they were facing a batting order with six players entering the game batting .211 or less.

Arizona starter Merrill Kelly was dominant, limiting Cincinnati to a first-inning single by Alejo Lopez in his six innings.

The loss leaves Cincinnati with a 3-4 record on an eight-game homestand against Washington and Arizona — two teams that Reds fans hoped their team would be able to play well against and gain some ground in the standings. But Cincinnati faces the homestand finale Thursday afternoon with an even split being the best they can do.

The Offense

In the first inning with Alejo Lopez on second base, Joey Votto launched a drive to left-center field which looked promising from a Reds standpoint, but …

Arizona centerfielder Alek Thomas reached over the wall to rob Votto and the Reds of a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, Thomas robbed Votto again with a diving catch on a sinking line drive. Tommy Pham was on first after drawing a walk, and Thomas’ second thievery in four innings short-circuited what could have been an offensive uprising.

Votto hit it hard a third time, leading off the seventh against reliever Sean Poppen with a double to right-center. Thomas had no chance on this one. But alas, none of Votto’s teammates could drive him in.

Votto, Lopez, Aramis Garcia, Albert Almora and Matt Reynolds each recorded one hit for the Reds.

The Pitching

Starting pitcher Mike Minor went the first 4 1/3 innings and looked quite good through the first three. But in the fourth, he hit Ketel Marte with a pitch, then served up a fat one high in the strike zone that Christian Walker blasted into the left-field lower deck. In the fifth, Minor again mislocated a changeup high in the strike zone that Josh Rojas deposited over the fence in right. That was it for Minor, with the Reds facing a 3-0 deficit.

It’s clear that for Minor to be effective, he has almost zero margin for error.

Luis Cessa served up a solo homer to Jordan Luplow in his 1 1/3 innings of work, as well as another run.

The Diamondbacks’ beat rolled on against Art Warren, who allowed a run on two hits in his 1 1/3.

Ross Detwiler continued his scoreless streak for this major-league season in the eighth. His second strikeout in the inning brought the team’s total to 11, meaning free LaRosa’s for ticketholders. Hunter Strickland allowed a run in the ninth on a bases-loaded walk.

For the evening, Reds pitchers struck out 12 and walked five — thereby maintaining their slim lead over Washington and the White Sox as the pitching staff issuing the most walks in the majors this year.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Arizona Diamondbacks at Cincinnati Reds

Thursday, June 9, 12:35 p.m. ET

Zach Davies (2-3, 4.18 ERA) vs. Tyler Mahle (2-5, 5.43 ERA)

43 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Well at least Votto is hitting the ball hard. It’s always fun to watch him.

    • MK

      Kind of funny announcer making fun of Jolene .

  2. Rednat

    i still have a small amount of hope the reds can get back into playoff contention this season but after night like these, I am NOT SURE. WE just don’t seem to have enough consistent offense that would spark a 10 game win streak which we would need to make things interesting. the injuries are not helping either

    • Melvin

      …and we won’t let our best hitter DH (swing a bat and possibly run around the bases) when he’s not catching. Not likely to contend.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      That’s very unlikely to happen until the key players in IL return, the roster is very thin. At the very least India, Lodolo, Sims and Naquin should get back ASAP, Shrock and Solano could also make some impact.

      • Jim Walker

        About the walks>> They need relief pitchers who pitch like relief pitchers and not like starters coming in to throw just one inning.

        Spot fastballs. Move them up, down, in, and out. Use the breaking ball to catch them off balance in situations where it doesn’t need to be perfect or even always in the strike zone. Avoid situations where they have to throw fastballs in the hitting zone to be sure of getting a strike.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I’m sure there are many like me who sit there watching these games and imagining, well, if they can just go on a streak, or if they can just win several series in a row. I will always hope for that, but objectively, there’s just not enough talent on this team to win consistently. The unbelievable injury rate has magnified that issue.

      The pitching staff leads the majors in walks allowed. If you want to know where the pitching problems start, that’s it right there. It doesn’t matter how good someone’s “stuff” is if they can’t throw it for strikes.

      I was really hoping that this homestand would result in at least six wins in eight games against struggling teams. But when your team also fits into that category, 3-4 so far is probably a more realistic expectation.

      • DataDumpster

        Got that right. Going .500 over the rest of the season would be a reasonable result IF they determine who on this team is going to be part of the “core” for next year and jettison all remaining chaff. The stat I like to follow is P/IP. The Reds were worst last year and so far this year in that category. It reflects the excessive number of walks but also hard to measure efficiency factors. In this game, the pitchers got a little beat up (11 hits and 5 walks) but worse that that ended up with an astounding 189 pitches in doing so.

  3. D Ray White

    The Mike Minor signing off a easily the biggest head scratcher of the offseason. Didn’t make sense then, doesn’t make sense now.


      Mike Minor was acquired via a trade with KC (for Amir Garrett)

  4. AMDG

    I’m trying to figure out why the Reds best defensive outfielder in their lineup was playing DH, while Frield (who is struggling with the bat so badly that he should just be focused on hitting) was thrown out into CF.

    But on the plus side, Minor pitched better than I expected.

  5. RedsGettingBetter

    I don’t kniw but I think Minor is close to come back to the IL, although , let’s see him how will perform in the next two outings giving chance to Lodolo rehab…

  6. Redsvol

    Sheesh, what is so special about Merrill Kelly. I know that wasn’t our best lineup but how do we only manage 1 hit in 6 innings against that guy. The younger guys like friedl, Lopez, and Aquino are not seizing their opportunity. I’ve been a big proponent for playing the young guys but if they aren’t going to do any better than that then they should soon be dfa’ed to bring in some new blood. I’d rather see Dawson, Gilliam and tenerowicz get their chance if this is all those 3 are going to do. Move ‘‘em in and move ‘‘em out like Former GM wayne krivsky used to do.

    • Doc

      I think you under rate Lopez by including him with Friedl and Aquino. Lopex had one of the five hits last night and is hitting roughly 50-100 points higher than either Friedl or Aquino.

      With Senzel and Drury out, options last night were limited. Great defense thwarted the Reds, and in the end it didn’t matter that the relief pitching was again ineffective with three of four relievers giving up runs. No team can push for the playoffs with such ineffective relief work. Eight runs in two innings Tuesday night and four more in five innings last night is not the stuff playoff teams are made of. Reds relievers ERAs are climbing faster than gas prices.

      • AMDG

        Agreed. Lopez is a step above Aquino & Friedl.

        I think Lopez can probably stick in the majors and build a career as an infield journeyman and pinch hitter.

        While Aquino & Friedl are destined to be AAA or AAAA level guys who get occasional call ups to the majors when a team is depleted with injuries and needs a warm body in the outfield.

  7. Redsvol

    I think the hunter Strickland experiment is over too. 32 pitches (only 17 strikes) to get thru the 9th inning of against the diamondbacks when the game was already decided. Whip up to 1.85 over 23 innings. I don’t see any bullpen arms in the upper minors necessarily ready but arent there some pitchers behind designated by other clubs worth trying?

    • Still a Red

      agreed re: Strickland. Reliever has to pitch strikes.

  8. Mark A Verticchio

    This team will never have a big winning streak as long as Bell is the manager, he has no clue how to construct a line up. Last night was a great example, not putting Stephenson at DH and Almora in CF made no sense what so ever. Giving Stephenson a night off from behind the plate is fine, but batting 4 or 5 times isn’t going to wear out a 26 year old. Bell needs to go period, he frustrates the fans something awful.

    • greenmtred

      Mark, this team will not be a playoff contender with the roster that ownership built on the cheap. In the meantime, I’ll suggest a couple of possibilities as to why Almora dh’d and Stephenson didn’t play, prefaced by the observation that the day to day physical condition of individual players is just the sort of information to which we fans are not privy. Maybe Almora has a ding? Knee, hamstring, etc. We don’t know. Friedl was going to play because the outfield is shorthanded right now, and defense is not his weakness, so what difference did it make? As for Stephenson, you surely recall that he’s had a verified concussion this season and another ding since then. Concussions don’t heal quickly and are dangerous. So that’s certainly a possibility. The Reds’ season is not about contending, as Castellini made clear.

      • Mark A Verticchio

        You are right in some ways, however Bell has to be blamed as much as management for this season. Besides as poor as management has been we must give then credit for the Drury and Almora pick ups. We also still have no idea about the future of Williamson and Dunn. I will admit some moves made no sense, such as the Minor pick up. But the truth be told which player that they gave away is having a great year? I know Winker, Suarez, Miley , Gray and even Castillanos haven’t set the world on fire.

      • greenmtred

        Well, we differ. I don’t believe we have enough information to evaluate Bell. No manager would have this roster seriously contending. The Reds’ improved record since May and watching them play hard could certainly support the idea that Bell has been doing a good job. The bullpen, if nothing else, guarantees that that they’ll have games like last night’s. He may have a much stronger roster next year and beyond, and the results then would be a more reliable gauge.

  9. Doc4uk

    Santana has been consistent at AAA. Senzel hurt again? Drury as well? Why are the Reds leading the majors in players going on the IL?

  10. Klugo

    I’m setting the over/under on Senzel’s return at 10 games. Whatcha got?

    • Melvin

      haha Poor guy. I wouldn’t be surprised.

    • Luke J

      I predict he’ll be in the lineup today.

    • Doc

      Can’t play with a bit of lower back stiffness? My lower back is stiff all the time but I managed to get 18 holes of golf in yesterday and I’m 73.

      Drury is different. Achilles tendons are not something to mess with. Rupture that baby and it’s a long road back.

      • ryan

        A ruptured Achilles did in Bobby Tolan (playing basketball of all things)

      • SOQ

        I believe it did in Jim Maloney as well

  11. Roger garrett

    Bell scripts his lineup in advance.Players plan to be off but what I don’t know is does Bell stick to it or not.As fans all we see is what we see and for us a lot of times it makes no sense.With the DH the double switch is gone but Bell uses his entire roster and in doing so at times a hot hitter doesn’t play because of his scripting or match ups or history.Bell can justify every move he makes or doesn’t make.For me without knowing why he does what he does it tells me he doesn’t have a feel for the game or his players but they seem to love him so we play on.It will not change

    • MK

      Do you think if a player knows he has an off day he might spend his day at home and game preparation a little differently than a playing day?

    • Jim Walker

      I’m wondering if these scheduled days off also cut the other way. Aquino has been doing better at avoiding K’s and had hits in 3 consecutive games going into last night when he was not in the starting lineup.

      As a late insertion, he looked a lot like the Aquino from earlier in the season with 3 Ks. And more interesting to me, He didn’t really chase pitches out the zone Wednesday night. He flat out missed pitches in the zone or too close to be taking with 2 strikes.

    • Jim t

      @Roger you are aware that Bell was also a player. His resting of players is based on his actual experience as a player and how the vigors of everyday playing affected him. Now I don’t profess to knowing the background of each person posting but my sense is they may lack a bit experience that he may profess.

  12. Mark Moore

    It’s hard to endure a loss especially after the last two bigger wins, seeing more nicks and dings in our line-up, and a performance like Minor turned in starting in the 4th.

    Hoping we don’t see a major absence from Drury and/or Senzel. We’ll see what today has to offer up, especially from Mahle.

    • Jim Walker

      I did not think Minor was particularly bad for a 5th starter, the business side of his acquisition and cost aside. A team would hope to get another inning out of him; but, it was what it was.

      The next man up, Cessa, is the guy who let the game slip side away from them. His recent performances in roles like Wednesday is concerning. He is still under control for next season; given the job he did in the same role last year, the Reds had to hope he would repeat this season even if for no reason other than being a hot deadline commodity.

  13. VaRedsFan

    No bullpen help from the Bats incoming.
    They led 12-3
    Gave up 6 in the 9th to make it 12-12
    Then gave up 3 more in the 10th.

    Eerily similar to what the Reds bullpens has looked like lately.
    Same thing last year when they were actually trying to win games. Stop being cheap when it comes to relief pitchers.

    The #1 thing to make happen when 2023-2024 (hopefully by then) competing window opens again is to build a super strong bullpen.

    If the team is is constantly expecting the bullpen to cover 4+ inning every night, then why not make it your biggest strength?

    Either that or throw away the silly 80-100 pitch count, and build your starters to go 115-120 pitches.

  14. JB

    No Senzel today. Are any of us surprised.

    • Indy Red Man

      In fact Moran is back up so my guess is little Nicky is IL once more

      • Mark Moore

        I just saw that … I’m guessing Moran was the only one “ready” that came anything close to fitting the bill. Somebody had to come off the 26 for this to happen.

        At least we’re not playing with a short bench again.

      • Mark Moore

        Soloman was sent down. So perhaps Senzel is still day-to-day at this point.

    • old-school

      This is the deciding year for Both David Bell and Nick Senzel in my opinion.
      I dont have an issue keeping Bell through the end of the season and reserving judgment after a 4 year evaluation of his performance then. It wont change things anyway now.

      Senzel will be a game or a few per Bell, but he already has more plate appearances in early June than any season since his rookie year in 2019. Every player misses a few days with a tweak of something. Hes playing a good OF and had a 7 game hitting streak. See how it plays out in 2022. Covid absence for 3 weeks is easy to pile on , but in no way should be admissable evidence in 2022 as an argument to beat the injury prone drum. See how June – September goes. If this turns outs to be a 3-4 week issue, then thats a big deal If he only plays in 70 games and only gets 280 at bats because of more IL stints, then I will be the first one in September to call for Elly De La Cruz to make a position change to CF.( Actually, I already have.)

      • Mark Moore


        Especially with your COVID IL comment.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        My opinion only — What Senzel has shown us over the course of four seasons is reasonable to assume is what we can expect moving forward. Same for Aquino. If I’m the front office, I’m not counting on either as a member of the future core of the team. If either can prove otherwise, great. But they have to prove it, just as everyone else would need to.

  15. west larry

    It looks like Aquino couldn’t hit a slider to save his life, or his career.