Tyler Mahle struck out 10 batters and allowed just one run in 6.0 innings and exited with a 3-1 lead. But the Reds bullpen gave up four runs in the 9th inning as the Arizona Diamondbacks completed the comeback and earned a split of the 4-game series with the Cincinnati Reds with a 5-4 win on Thursday afternoon.

Final R H E
Arizona Diamondbacks (28-31)
5 6 1
Cincinnati Reds (20-37) 4 9 2
W: Melancon (2-6) L: Santillan (0-1) SV: Kennedy (4)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati got the ball rolling quickly on Thursday afternoon. Three straight singles by TJ Friedl, Brandon Drury, and Tommy Pham loaded the bases for Joey Votto and the future Hall of Famer doubled in two runs to put the Reds on top 2-0. Kyle Farmer added a sacrifice fly later in the inning to extend the lead to 3-0.

The Reds didn’t score again until the 9th inning. Trailing 5-3, Matt Reynolds hit an opposite field solo homer to bring the team to within a run. But that was all she wrote as TJ Friedl would fly out to end the game.

The Pitching

Tyler Mahle struggled in the first inning as he walked Josh Rojas and allowed a single to Ketel Marte to put two men on with just one out. The righty buckled down from there and picked up back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the inning. Arizona didn’t get another hit until the 4th inning with two outs. The next at-bat saw Jordan Luplow foul a ball off and it caught Tyler Stephenson in his non-glove hand. Stephenson had to exit the game and Aramis Garcia took over behind the plate. Luplow would line out to end the inning.

The next inning saw Pavin Smith lead off with a home run to cut the Reds lead to 3-1. When the 6th inning began Albert Almora Jr. exited the game and Aristides Aquino entered the game in right field with TJ Friedl moving to center. Once again the Arizona offense was threatening as Ketel Marte doubled and Christian Walker followed with his namesake (he walked), but Tyler Mahle once again worked his way out of a jam – this time getting a strikeout, ground out, and a pop up to Kyle Farmer to end the threat and hold onto a 3-1 lead. That would be the end of the day for Mahle as he racked up 10 strikeouts in 6.0 innings of 1-run baseball.

Alexis Diaz took over for Cincinnati in the 7th inning and he walked Alek Thomas to start off the inning. He then fell behind the next batter 3-0 before getting him to pop out to second base. Diaz would get the next two batters out and return for the 8th. After getting Ketel Marte to pop out he hit Christian Walker in the helmet with a pitch. Walker never went down, but he did go directly to the dugout and then back into the clubhouse. Diaz worked around the pinch-runner and got through the inning unscathed.

Tony Santillan came out for the 9th inning to try and lock down the series win. He didn’t get out to a good start as he walked Pavin Smith on five pitches to begin the inning. He then fired a wild pitch to start the at-bat against Alek Thomas and saw Smith take second base on the play. After a visit from pitching coach Derek Johnson, Santillan allowed an RBI single to Thomas that made it a 3-2 game.

Geraldo Perdomo laid down a bunt and Santillan fielded it and came up firing to second, but the throw was high and pulled Kyle Farmer off of the bag. The Reds challenged the play, arguing his foot came back down onto the bag prior to Thomas reaching the base. The review says the call stands, placing the tying run at second and the go-ahead run at first with no outs in the inning. Another bunt followed, this time with Santillan fielding it and going to first base for the out, but moving both runners up a base. Josh Rojas singled up the middle, bringing both runners in to give Arizona a 4-3 lead. An intentional walk followed to set up a potential double play.

Arizona called on Cooper Hummel to come on as a pinch hitter. David Bell then went to the bullpen to bring in Ross Detwiler to turn Hummel around and make the switch hitter step up as a right-handed hitter. Detwiler walked the first batter he faced. A ground out followed that plated another run, making it 5-3 for the Diamondbacks. That final run proved to be pivotal as the Reds scored a run in the bottom half of the 9th, but ultimately fell 5-4 as the Diamondbacks picked up a series split by winning the final two games of the 4-game set.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs St. Louis Cardinals

Friday June 10th, 8:15pm ET

Luis Castillo (2-3, 3.55 ERA) vs Andre Pallante (1-0, 1.23 ERA)

69 Responses

  1. Pete

    Fire Bell ! He has no feel for the game in front of him. The Reds will never be a competitive team, with his lack of managerial skills. He’s proven that time, and time again. Maddon and Girardi, are certainly available…

    • Jim t

      Yes please fire Bell. Pay him his contract and let him move along. I’m actually curious who would take this disaster led by the most inept ownership group in all of baseball. Yes again fire Bell so they can hire our savior. LMAO!!!

      • Brad

        I agree Bell needs to go and no good manager is going to want the job. Maybe we get lucky and hire a great manager in the making. Shame the starting pictures work their ass off only to watch it go down in flames with the bullpen. Again!!

      • LDS

        My guess is Maddon would and the Reds would be better off

      • MBS

        Dusty Baker came into a mess, a lot of managers do, that’s where the vacancy’s are.

      • RedsGettingBetter

        I think Bell is not going to leave the Reds not even if he resigns because the FO surely say no. He would be the manager for a long time…

      • greenmtred

        So many of you guys have faith that a manager can counteract a bad roster. Does this logic come from the corporate world? I find it puzzling, and history suggests that it’s misguided.

      • MuddyCleats

        Both Madden and Girardi were fired bc their teams/BPs were struggling to close out games. Reds have plenty of guys who can throw hard/fast, but struggle to “get hitters out.” IMO, a non-thrower, a successful PITCHER, is a guy who reads hitters swings and make adjustments to get hitters out.
        As I watch other teams successes, I notice Pitchers who command their pitches better, have movement on their pitches and mix and match those things to get hitters out.

    • Daytonnati

      I feel your pain, but if Maddon cannot win with Ohteni and Trout, and Girardi cannot win with Harper, Castellanos, etc, I don’t think they would have much with this crew of scrap heap misfits.

    • Still a Red

      i’m sorry but this is on the bull pen. None of them can consistently avoid walking batters, often the first batters they face. You can come in and walk the first batter. Now you might argue to keep Mahle in, but he had 105 pitches after 6 innings. Maybe you have to get more than 100 pitches from your starters.

      • LDS

        How about the use of the bullpen? It’s a pattern. Sooner or later, fans have to quit blaming the roster, woeful as it may be, and start recognizing the overriding issues.

      • wkuchad

        The overriding issue IS the roster construction.

      • LDS

        Sorry wkuchad, it isn’t. I keep seeing comments by folks about how can they win, they dumped Winker, Barnhart, Suarez, Castellanos, Garrett, Miley, Givens and so on. They were all there last year and the Reds collapsed during the soft stretch of the schedule. It does not matter the roster, Bell and company will fail. Yes, last year was better but the outcome was the same.

      • greenmtred

        Misuse of the pen? Who would you use? Does it matter who walks guys? And, best of all, stop blaming it on the roster?

      • LDS

        Greenmtred, what was the excuse last year in August and September? Glad to see you take up the opposing view. All is right with the universe/

      • greenmtred

        Excuse is not the word. The Reds had a bad stretch at the same time the Cards had a huge winning streak, and losing streaks happen ro many teams for many reasons. The context matters: The Reds began the season as a lightly regarded team that ended up contending for most of the season despite injuries to key players, a terrible bullpen and underperformance by Suarez and Casrillo (early). Despite the losing streak, they righted the ship and finished the season with a better than expected record. Does this prove that Bell is a good manager? No. Does it prove that he’s a poor one? No. The universe is what it is, full of mystery, black holes, asteroids and space junk. And our arguments bouncing through eternity in the frozen ether.

      • LDS

        LOL, Ok, Greenmtred, Bell had nothing to do with the team’s underperformance anytime in his tenure. It’s just the gods of baseball. Hopefully, this weekend series will give us something new to disagree about. Let’s hope it’s not a sweep.

      • greenmtred

        You miss my point, LDS: I know that Bell makes mistakes, and I know this because all managers do. All managers make mistakes that contribute to losses. But I also know that the most important predictor of a team’s performance is the ability of the players and how they execute. All managers pick the wrong guys to pinch hit or pitch the 7th sometimes, if we judge the selection by its success. But the nature of baseball is that failure is built in–no sure bets. The wrong guy today could be–and often is–the right guy tomorrow. But in the end, teams with better players win more games. You could look it up.

  2. Bet on Red

    90 Days until Bengals Steelers…. that is all I am going to say

  3. Mark Moore

    Frustrated beyond belief at the way we squandered another opportunity. I took a break after the game and went inside to hear my wife say “Sorry”.

    A .500 team at best going forward, even with some better resources coming back from the IL. The lone bright spot is the starting pitching coming along for the most part. I have to think Mahle’s trade value has stabilized given an effort like this one. We’ll see what comes of it.

  4. Joe P.

    On the positive side, Mahle competed out there, went 6 and he had what 10 strikeouts and gave up only one run. That was a solid outing.

    The Reds offense needed to play add-on but didn’t get it done. The injuries to Almora and Stephenson had to affect the offense. We probably score before the 9th if they’re still in the game.

    If I was the Reds manager, I’d probably use Kuhnel, Solomon and Diaz, probably in that order and mix Warren in and I’d probably bring up Buck Farmer or Dauri Moreta for Santillan. Got to find a better order to close these games out.

    • Rcsodak

      Farmer? Mureti? Warren? They all suck! Santillan needs sent down to get his groove back. The bullpen is either aces or duds. There is no in between.

      • Joe P.

        Well, unless the Reds make a trade, they have to find a closer among the guys they have on the roster.

        Judging by the comments, most people think Diaz should be the closer, that he has closer-type stuff. So the 9th inning is his. Don’t change that. Start with that and build the order working backwards.

        Establish a setup guy for the 8th inning. You can experiment to find a setup guy for the 8th inning, but not a closer for the 9th. Can’t experiment for a closer. Nail down the roles for those 2 innings and the job of managing the bullpen gets easier.

        Right now, Bell is all over the map with this bullpen, not aligning the closer and setup roles with the guys stuff and their mental makeup. If anything, he has it backwards. Also, it’s one thing to lose a lead in the 7th inning, when you still have time to make a come back, but they can’t lose leads like this in the 9th.

  5. Jim t

    Just seen on post game Tyler Stephenson has a fractured thumb.

    • JB

      Of course he does. That’s the luck we have this year.

    • DataDumpster

      Luck is where preparation meets opportunity. Bad luck means no preparation. I like Tyler a lot but your open hand belongs behind your glove or calf and not exposed above the knee. That’s on the coaching. That backup catcher we will need that we didn’t pick up. Looks like an automated out for the next 6 weeks, that’s on the owner/GM. Side note; Bet on Farmer for the All Star game.

      • VaRedsFan

        Absolutely correct DD about catching technique and coaching of it.

      • JB

        From what I seen it was behind the mitt. He moved the mitt to catch the pitch and foul ball caught him just right.

      • Joe P.

        They asked Stephenson about that (not putting his hand behind his back or putting his hand down) after the game and he played it off by saying he’s never had an issue with it (caused by bad catching technique). He said he’s caught both ways (with his hand in front of him and with his hand behind him), that he’s never been injured before, and he wasn’t going to make a big deal about it. He made it sound like he wasn’t planning to change his hand placement. But I guess we’ll see.

      • Marklovepete

        Drury should be our all star imho.

    • Randy

      If he would have the way that Bench did he wouldn’t be in the situation. Bench, put his throwing hand behind his back.

  6. JB

    Doesn’t matter how many guys we get back in the next two weeks because they aren’t bullpen pieces. This bullpen for at least 3 years has been terrible. I try to be optimistic and say the Reds will win 85-87 games but every year the bullpen kills any momentum this team has. What ever happened to kangaroo court? Relief pitchers should be fined for walking the first batter they see. They could have made millions on those fines. I know people are mad at Bell but who do you call on to pitch besides Diaz? They all have been tried in different spots and they all fail.

    • Marklovepete

      Agreed , the bullpen has been bad for far to long.
      Giving away hard fought wins wat to often.

    • JayTheRed

      Honestly Hoffman has had a pretty decent year.

  7. Votto4life

    A fractured thumb. What is that a month? Two?

    Time to back up the truck. I sure wished they had different GM right now.

    • Moon

      If this wasn’t already a lost year the broken thumb would be a gut punch. But given where we are wish Stephenson a full recovery no matter how long it takes. So all three Reds Relievers walked the first batter they faced. That is a facepalm. Well we are getting a better idea who the Reds need to keep and more importantly who to flush. It should be interesting leading up to the trade deadline. In the meantime I am going to continue to enjoy Greene and Ashcraft pitch and look forward to getting Lodolo back. He may be the best of the three…

  8. Bet on Red

    4-6 weeks for stevenson. Votto will regain some fire and get a see ya tour all star game bid

  9. VaRedsFan

    Copying this from yesterday’s recap…..seems appropriate

    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 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.

    • Bill J

      Tampa Bay had a pitcher go 8 today using 94 pitches with 9 strikeouts.

  10. Steven Ross

    For the life of me, I don’t understand why Diaz isn’t the Closer. I shake my head at Bell’s decision NOT to use him in the 9th. Granted, Santillan or someone else might have blown it in the 7th or 8th but you have to slot Diaz in as your Closer. This is common sense.

    • greenmtred

      A. Maybe Diaz will be the closer. Auditions are in progress. His control is not reliable, but that is subject to change. Same is true of Santillan. B. The “closer”” is not a savior. For a closer to have value, he has to be preceded by good guys in the previous innings. Closers ideally aren’t facing high-leverage situations, but are holding leads in the last inning. Using your best pitcher for that may be traditional, but it also can negate the value of the role when the lead was surrendered in the preceding innings.

  11. Mark A Verticchio

    I think you all are wrong in saying nobody would want this job. Have you seen the future Reds pitching staff? Even if they trade Castillo and Mahle for relief help and a bat or two, they still have Greene, Ashcraft, Lodollo, Williamson, Dunn, Abbott and several others.

    • TR

      The Reds are loaded with young pitching and the word is slowly getting around MLB. Now it’s up to the organization to do something positive with it. Major front office changes must be made or it will be the same old same old.

      • greenmtred

        A little devil’s advocacy: Isn’t this the front office that accumulated the young talent?

  12. Mark A Verticchio

    Meanwhile a big weekend for the pitching staff in St. Louis. I don’t think the Reds will win more than one , if any, due to offensive woes and bull pen issues, However I am very interested to see how the teams 2 future aces do against a solid Cardinal team on the road.

  13. Rick Pearson

    Once again the bullpen absolutely sucks quit hanging on to pitcher’s that are washed up

  14. CFD3000

    I’m very skeptical that the Reds would make a managerial change now. But if they do, I guarantee there are good, experienced managers and promising up and coming guys who would be happy to interview. This team will soon include a rotation of Greene, Ashcraft, Lodolo and Castillo and Mahle, along with strong young players in India, Stephenson and Senzel, and some really strong prospects including Jose Barrero, Matt McLain, and Elly de La Cruz. Sign me up.

    Based just on that rotation alone there will be interest. Do we think Bobby Cox was a managerial genius, or did he just have Glavine, Smoltz and Maddox to run out there over and over?

  15. RedsGettingBetter

    This is a really bad Reds team. It’s a bad team with very bad luck too so that’s a frustrating combination. How is it possible Stephenson broke his thumb right now? one month ago he had a concussion and now this…
    The bullpen is fading and it seems that none of the relievers are reliable maybe except Diaz… Tyler Mahle has seen how the bullpen dropps the lead he left for the 3rd time in a row…

  16. oklared

    Funny now we want a closer and assigned roles. What was it 2 or 3 years ago until now we wanted to use relief pitchers according to leverage value with no assigned roles. It does not matter what style manager is we will have plenty of negative comments. Why would we want one of two managers suggested above that had long losing streaks with “better talent”. It is amusing somedays reading these comments.

  17. Mark A Verticchio

    The answer to your question is that unlike Bell both of these managers have won big at some time in their career and that can’t be said for Bell. Remember Sparky was fired at on time as well.

  18. Andrew Brewer

    Here’s a radical idea. Since we are getting solid results from our Starters, lets start the game with relievers and let the Starter pitch the last six. Before you say that’s crazy, consider the results we are seeing. The Reds seem to scoring early and late. Confuse the opposition. If Starters were going full games like they used to, it wouldn’t even be a consideration, but here we are with Starters pitching 6 maybe 7. We put our best pitching out there to close the game and the last 6 innings…

  19. JayTheRed

    Just want to say why isn’t Diaz pitching the 9th inning only. Two games this week already have had the pitcher in the 9th almost or losing the game for the Reds.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Because Diaz was used in the higher leverage situations, facing the top/heart of their order through 2 innings. The 9th inning was the bottom 3rd hitters in their lineup. I believe yesterday Bell used Diaz in highest leverage spot and did it for two innings maximizing his stint. Because the Reds have no one else to rely on to get the other teams worst three hitters out doesn’t mean Diaz should have been saved. It means the Reds need better options or games will continue to get blown. Saving Diaz for the 9th could have just as likely resulted in losing the game in the 7th or 8th innings and then having no need to bring out a “closer” in the 9th.
      There are a lot of things to question Bell on, but his usage yesterday of Diaz shouldn’t be one of them. Bullpen questions should go to the cheapness of Big Bob and lil Phil and the ineffectiveness of our FO to find viable options.

    • greenmtred

      Diaz walked the first guy he faced. Went tp 3-0 on the next guy. Hit a guy the next inning. He’s a talented work in progress.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Whoops, for the comment under. Phone typing…..ha

  20. Hotto4Votto

    Was there yesterday. It was nice to see Votto and Mahle on their games. Drury and Friedl had nice games as well.
    Moran struggled to play 1B defensively, a bad error and another bobble (in which he might have been able to get the out at 2B or a DP).
    Diaz came off as effectively wild. Was glad to see Bell use him in the higher leverage situations and for 2 innings. As Santillan came out vs the bottom 3rd of the lineup. Unfortunately he was not very good.
    On replay at the stadium it looked pretty obvious on the jumbotron that Farmer had his foot back down as the runner was sliding into his (Farmer’s) foot. Everyone was shocked and booing that didn’t get overturned. Also, no one knew why Votto’s base running was reviewed. No one in my section could figure out what rule was being challenged.
    Fun day, but the bullpen cheapness continues to bite the Reds. Best part, was my boss had diamond club seats brought for him over a year ago, so my day was completely gratis. I got to drink and eat all day without Big Bob getting a dime from me.

  21. old-school

    I dont know that the bullpen blew the game. Tony Santillan blew the game.
    He was a top organizational prospect who this time last year as a starter in the minors was throwing 90-100 pitches. One year later he cant consistently throw 1-2 innings out of the bullpen and get guys out. Very disappointing. Hopefully DJ can identify the issues and get him pitching better. Vlad regressed big time and Santillan is as well.

    Those were 2 important young pitchers a year ago being looked at as big contributors to the pitching staff. It hasnt materialized in 2022.

  22. Grand Salami

    Now that the Reds have leads. The cracks in the bullpen are exposed. They owe Mahle 3Ws alone.

    Perhaps Minor would be better in the pen. Gutierrez probably needs to move there.