A pitchers duel broke out at Great American Ball Park, but the Cincinnati Reds came out on top after Nick Lodolo and Alexis Diaz combined for the shutout win that was sealed by a Jose Barrero walk-off single that plated the only run of the game.

Final R H E
Philadelphia Phillies (65-52)
0 5 0
Cincinnati Reds (46-70)
1 6 0
W: Diaz (4-1) L:  Dominguez (6-4)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

After going in order int he 1st inning the Reds got two men on in the second, but they were unable to take advantage of it and a strikeout by Jose Barrero ended the threat. There wasn’t much happening again until the bottom of the 5th inning when Alejo Lopez led off with a double. Like the 2nd inning, he would be stranded on the bases after back-to-back pop ups and a ground out ended the inning.

With the game still scoreless in to begin the bottom of the 8th inning, TJ Friedl came off of the bench to pinch hit for Austin Romine and he singled into right field. He didn’t advance as the next three batters all recorded outs and the game moved onto the 9th without a run on the board for either team. After Alexis Diaz did his job in the top of the inning, Cincinnati had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the frame. After Matt Reynolds struck out to begin the inning, Albert Almora Jr. walked on four pitches to put the winning run on base. Aristides Aquino struck out, but Alejo Lopez came up with two outs and lined a single into left. That brought Jose Barrero up with a chance to be the hero on the day in which he was (for some reason just now) presented with the 2021 Cincinnati Reds Minor League Player of the Year Award. And be the hero he did as he grounded a single up the middle that had Almora Jr. racing around from second base to score the only run of the game.

The Pitching

After retiring the first two batters of the game, Nick Lodolo ran into some trouble as Alec Bohm doubled and then the lefty hit J.T. Realmuto with a pitch to bring Nick Castellanos to the plate. Lodolo came out on top this time around, striking out the Phillies outfielder to end the inning. Much like the 1st inning, the first two batters were retired in the 2nd but then a single and a walk put two men on and Lodolo had to work through a jam once again. Like before, he did just that as he got a pop up to end the inning.

In the 4th inning the defense wasn’t exactly helpful for Lodolo. Aristides Aquino had a ball pop out of his glove on a sliding catch attempt and then misread a fly ball that turned into a single, but Lodolo was able to work around it and keep the game scoreless. In the 5th inning Aquino made it up to his pitcher after a 1-out single by Rhys Hoskins, Alec Bohm hit a scorcher to the warning track in right field that Aquino somehow caught and then fired an absolute laser to first base to double off Hoskins and end the inning.

Lodolo returned to the mound feeling invigorated and retired the next six batters in a row, finishing out his 7-shutout innings with two walks and eight strikeouts.

Alexis Diaz came out of the bullpen for the Reds to take over in the 8th inning and he needed just seven pitches to record three outs and keep the game scoreless. He came back out for the 9th and needed 10 pitches to send the Phillies three batters back to the dugout and give Cincinnati the chance to walk things off in the bottom of the frame.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Pittsburgh Pirates

Friday August 19th, 7:05pm ET

Graham Ashcraft (5-3, 3.96 ERA) vs TBA

63 Responses

  1. Luke J

    What a joy to watch the celebration. 0-the series? Didn’t matter. That was real joy celebrating that hit. I was truly happy for Barrero and his teammates. It’s for those moments I watch baseball, and why you won’t generally hear me complain about the moments in between, no matter how bad they are. That’s what it’s all about.

    • TR

      A right on comment about the great game of baseball.

      • Luke J

        Sometimes we forget these are human beings with real emotions and they want to succeed as much as we want them to. Watching their happiness really brought that reality home today.

    • DaveCT

      Exactly. The best choice at this point is to root hard for Barrero to make his mark. His success is tied to the club’s success.

  2. Melvin

    Votto with shoulder surgery on Friday. Could explain his struggles.

    • Hanawi

      Yeah. Wonder how long he has been playing with a tear. Similar to earlier in the season when he clearly wasn’t healthy for a week or two before going on the DL. If he comes back next year, they need to find more rest for him and also less time in the field. 80-100 games as the DH sounds about right.

    • LDS

      Best of luck to him but I hope it “gets the message”. Big Bob should just pay him off and carry him on the roster next year to give him a respectful send off. But coming back from shoulder surgery at 39 and being productive sounds like an awfully tall hurdle.

  3. Rednat

    You can win with “3 and D” GUYS like Barrero and Aquino but the pitching has to be perfect most nights. it is possible but extremely difficult. i still think if we had kept Mahle and Catillo we may have had a chance to make the playoffs next year. now, like Votto 4 life mentioned the other day this decade may be a loss as far as playoff appearances

    • Indy Red Man

      Mahle was throwing 89 today and got removed from the game. They’re saying shoulder fatigue. That was my biggest problem with him as a Red….he’d have 95-96 one game and 92 the next.

      • Redsvol

        That is a bummer. I want Mahle to succeed – even if he isn’t a Red.

    • JB

      It’s 2022 and writing off the decade already?

    • VaRedsFan

      Who hits the baseball and scores runs on your mythical 2023 team?
      Then you think they are going to pull another 30 wins out of mid air? To squeeze into the 8th seed…and out in the 1st round. That is their absolute ceiling. A million things have to go right to get back to .500
      So after all that, LC and TM are then gone and you got nothing to show for it.
      Keep in mind, they had both pitchers this year and they were 20-25 under .500

  4. TR

    The youngsters come through. Offensively Aquino is frustrating, but he gets it done defensively. And it looks like the Reds have found a closer in Diaz.

  5. Moon

    Nice win Lodolo is the real deal. Saw both Lodolo and Greene play in the Minor Leagues last year. I am going to a double header tomorrow to watch Chattanooga play the Huntsville Trash Pandas. It is fun watching future Reds!

  6. Indy Red Man

    I think Aquino has the best arm I’ve seen since Roberto Clemente highlights. A Expo from my youth named Ellis Valentine had a rocket, but Aquino just unleashes pinpoint lasers. Too bad he couldn’t learn American football as a youth. He would’ve been a better QB then a Mlb hitter.

    • Melvin

      That was one of, if not the best throw I’ve ever seen considering his momentum was going the other way.

      • TR

        I agree. Aquino’s great defensive play reminds me of Paul O’Neil in the Red’s 1990 WS sweep of the Oakland A’s.

    • Hunt4RedsOct

      Make Aquino like a college closer(like Mikey Biceps) play right til the 9th then come in and close. Haha
      Or set up for Diaz

    • Oldtimer

      I saw Clemente in person at Crosley Field (and once at Forbes Field) in 1960s. The best OF arm I ever saw in person.

      Dave Parker had a rocket for a right arm, too. Maybe not by the time he was a Red in his 30s but he did as a Pirate in his 20s.

    • CI3J

      I think besides Clemente, the best outfield arm I ever saw was Vlad Guerrero. The guy could just throw frozen ropes to any base he wanted from anywhere in the outfield.

    • LDS

      I saw Clemente a couple of times, as well as Ellis Valentine and Andre Dawson, Dave Parker (while still at Pittsburgh), and don’t forget Geronimo, these 5 were probably the best OF arms I’ve seen in person. I’ve only seen AA on replays. Haven’t bought a Reds ticket in ages. If only AA could hit as well as even Geronimo.

      • Melvin

        Geronimo was a .300 hitter in 76. 🙂

      • LDS

        I remember. It was a very good year. Maybe someday, while we old guys are still around, we’ll see another decent Reds team. But, sadly, it’s a few years further down the road.

      • Melvin

        I’m sure you’re not old buddy although being a Reds fan can make anyone FEEL old. 🙂

      • LDS

        Melvin, I do wish that were so. But the years click by faster in retirement than before

      • Melvin

        Just stay focused and keep on pluggin away buddy….and try not to let the Reds get to ya. 🙂

      • greenmtred

        Anybody else remember Rocky Colavito? Indians’ right fielder in the late 50s. The two Ohio teams played in-season exhibition games against each other and I saw one at Crosley. Colavito got to a ball in the right field corner and threw a no-hop laser to home to get the runner. They brought him in to pitch one or two innings: All high heat, not much control. He struck out a bunch of guys, but they mostly were just hacking; who wants to get drilled by a fastball in an exhibition game?

    • Jim Walker

      After an Aquino throw last week, I recalled one of the young Expos OF throwing cutting down one a Reds player at the plate with a throw from the edge of the warning track after catching a fly ball in the CF/RF gap. Forget who the Reds player was but recall it wasn’t a slow footed catcher or corner IF. My best recollection after browsing through several seasons on BBRef was it was most likely Valentine but it could have also been Dawson.

    • RedsGettingBetter

      Maybe Aquino would have a future as a reliever given his above-average arm and considering his recurring struggles at bat …

      The only way The Reds could win … Shuting out Philly…the problem is Minor , Dunn and Zeuch are very unlikely can toss a kind of this game so for a while just Lodolo and Ashcraft would be the options to get a win at least during Greene and Overton return

  7. Mark Moore

    Today we focus on the positives. Great game by the pitching and some key defense. Taking it to their closer with the small ball was extra sweet. Extra innings is always a crap shoot, so walking it off in the 9th is preferred by a wide margin.

    Back at it Friday evening. Here’s to kicking some Pie-rat tail.

  8. Bdh

    Reds rookies shined today!

    Lodolo had a great game on the mound, Diaz followed pitching how he has all season, Friedl comes in late and gets a hit off one of the better relievers in the game, Barrero with the game winner of course, but most importantly was Lopez’s overall game

    I’ve seen some people say that he doesn’t belong on a big league roster which I’ve always thought was crazy! He has next to no power but he’s hit at every level (including the MLB), he’s a switch hitter, plays multiple positions, and he’s tough to strikeout! That’s a valuable piece IMO

    • TR

      Lopez is a contact hitter and, to say the least, the Reds need offense. Maybe he’s not a starter but he should be on the team.

    • JB

      Absolutely. It’s early still for Lopez but the kid can’t get a chance to show what he has sitting at the end of the bench every game. I’m sure Bell will have him on the Bench again Tuesday.

    • VaRedsFan

      I hope he has a place. Let’s not forget, Peraza had even better early successes, but then they figured him out. He then needs to adjust to their countermeasures, and that will tell the tale if he will stick or not.
      Isn’t he limited defensively?

      • Bdh

        Solid comp. I’d love for him to be Peraza but I don’t think Lopez has anything close to Peraza’s speed.

        Peraza hit .274 in his 4 seasons with Cincinnati. If he were a multi positional reserve like Lopez will be and had similar numbers to what he put up in those 4 seasons the fanbase would have much fonder memories of him. Unfortunately for him he was the top ranked prospect from the initial rebuild and was expected to be an everyday top of the order bat.

  9. JB

    The Reds by far have the two worst catchers in the league. Let’s get a decent backup next year. Please Krall don’t bring up Moran. It’s about sorting this year and he has no part of the future. Cedrola, Santana anybody can play first. Just not Moran or Reynolds.

    • VaRedsFan

      To be fair, these are catchers #5 and 6. So bad that both had to be plucked from elsewhere. Once #1 and 2 go down, there really isn’t a contingency plan for any team

      • Jim Walker

        I think most teams try to be three deep defensively at catcher, usually by paying an aging veteran (like Romine) enough to be on standby at AAA and also serve as a de facto assistant pitching coach.

        The Reds problem this year was that guy was Garcia at the #2 slot at the MLB level. They did briefly have Sandy Leon at Louisville who also fit the veteran profile but apparently, he had an out in his contract for major league opportunities and Cleveland came calling for him. He has since bounced again; and, as nearly as I can see, is now with the Twins on their MLB active roster at least as of August 16.

        Mark Kolozsvary has certainly acquitted himself well enough behind the plate in his brief MLB appearances but hasn’t hit a lick. I also suspect the Reds may believe he is too small at 5’8″ listed height. Given that Papierski isn’t up to snuff behind the plate and Kolozs appears top be there must be some explanation

    • SteveAreno

      Wrong, no way Austin Romine in that category. He batted .281 in 2019 and served the Yankees well. If he was our starter/regular it would be much better. He can throw out the stolen base runner, too. Actually, he serves as a deterrent with not as many attempts like on Pap. Just can’t get any rhythm the way coach uses this veteran.

  10. Dennis Westrick

    I think we’ve found our Closer! Brother Diaz!

  11. Dennis Westrick

    Does anyone have a video link to Aquino’s latest outfield putout? Was at work today and couldn’t follow the game! Much appreciated!

      • Dennis Westrick

        Thanks Luke J. Was on my computer at work which doesn’t allow access to video feeds such as YouTube and the like! Awesome throw by The Punisher!

  12. LT

    Phillies inexplicably gave Almora Bond treatment today, 3 walks, and the last one came back to haunt them. Good game by Lopez. Barrero came through in clutch. Lodolo gave a marvelous performance. Lost the series but winning last game ins this fashion is great.

    • TR

      A good sendoff for the series in Pitt to stay out of last place.

  13. MBS

    Aquino is so tantalizing. His arm, legs, and power are all plus offerings. If he was an everyday guy I don’t think a .240 BA – .250 BA with 20+ HR’s would be out of the question. He’d probably lead the league in OF assists.

    The Reds have zero excuse not to play Aquino, and Fraley everyday, let Senzel and Almora platoon in CF. If you really want to have fun put Friedl in CF and have Senzel as the 4th OF, and DFA Almora.

    • Jim Walker

      After hearing Eric Davis critique Aquino’s batting style on the telecast Tuesday, maybe they need a (batting) cage match between ED and AA. Just the 2 of them, a bunch of balls and bats and a pitching machine ED can use to dial up whatever he wants to throw at AA.

      • JB

        But why haven’t they done that yet? The organization can’t be that stupid. Or can they?

      • LDS

        Maybe they should just give Eric the batting coach job. I’d like to think he could do a much better job than Zinter or Ward prior.

      • Melvin

        if Larkin was the manager I guarantee you Davis would get the job. haha

      • LDS

        From the comments I’ve read here, I’m not sure Larkin is the guy but who knows.

      • Melvin

        Yeah. I wouldn’t mind trying but I’m becoming more inclined to go outside the organization with no ties to Big Bob and Son like what happened in 1990.

    • Redsvol

      I love it. Senzel is probably going to the IL anyway. He’s been given every chance for playing time this year and will be lucky to break 300 at bats when its all said and done. Almora is an ok 4th outfielder. I’d like to see Fraley, Friedl/Fairchild, and AA (because he is so tantalizing) get the rest of the outfield at bats bats this year. Let them play 40 games and live with the consequences. We aint making the playoffs and they all play good defense.

      • greenmtred

        Isn’t this Friedl love recency bias? He hits in one game and his sub-.300 OBP–season and career–is forgotten? I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve a longer look, but he has done nothing so far to merit the starting centerfield job.

  14. Doc

    Barrero said he was just trying to get the bat on the ball somehow. I hope that message resonates in his brain and he tries to just get the bat on the ball every time he goes to the plate!

    • Old-school

      Or maybe the hitting coaches too!!! Lol

  15. Redsvol

    Little improvements each game, this is what we need to see. Lodolo making it into the 7th inning while still below 100 pitchers. Lopez getting on base and playing nice defense. Barerro playing nice defense and coming up clutch. Aquino making an amazing play after putting his pitcher in a hole. And Diaz being Diaz.

    • TR

      Go with the youngsters as much as possible. it will take awhile, but the Reds will again be competitive. Too much history and tradition for that not to happen.

  16. GreatRedLegsFan

    Too bad Aquino has not been able to figure ML pitching out. He’ll start his age 29 season in 2023 with an .287 OBP in 621 PA.

    • Jim Walker

      Not much if any worse than Adam Duvall who has pieced together a solid to good MLB career post Reds with a lot of the same profile right down the line. Big power, “too many” Ks, outstanding defender who throws well etc. Aquino is probably a little better defender with a bigger arm and also a better base runner.

      Sometimes it is about the players around a guy and the situations when they get to the plate