The Cincinnati Reds didn’t have a lead in the game until the top of the 9th, but Alejo Lopez and Jonathan India came through with clutch hits when they needed them the most and put Cincinnati up 4-3. Ian Gibaut took over from there in the bottom of the inning and picked up his first career save as the Reds topped the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Thursday afternoon to come out victorious on the day and in the 3-game series.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (55-80) 4 9 0
Chicago Cubs (57-80) 3 7 1
W: Diaz (6-2) L: Leiter Jr. (2-7) SV: Gibaut (1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati didn’t threaten much in the first three innings of the game, but in the 4th inning singles from Jonathan India and Jake Fraley put runners on the corners with one out, but Spencer Steer grounded into a double play to end the inning. The Reds didn’t get another hit until the top of the 7th when Kyle Farmer hit his 10th home run of the year to cut the Cubs lead to 2-1. That led to a pitching change and Brandon Hughes giving up a single and a 1-out walk to put the tying run in scoring position. Nick Senzel would strike out looking on a pitch that appeared to be several inches above the strikezone and then Jose Barrero struck out swinging to end the threat.

Cincinnati got things going in the 8th inning with a 1-out walk from TJ Friedl. He moved to third base on a 2-out single by Kyle Farmer. The Cubs went to the bullpen to bring in Rowan Wick and the Reds went to the bench to pinch run Stuart Fairchild for Kyle Farmer. Wick proceeded to walk Jake Fraley to load the bases and then Spencer Steer to bring in the tying run. Aristides Aquino battled, but ultimately grounded out to end the inning.

With Chicago grabbing a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 8th, the Reds had to try and get to work in the top of the 9th. Nick Senzel led off with a walk. Jose Barrero attempted a sacrifice bunt, but it was in the air and was caught on a dive by first baseman Alfonso Rivas. Alejo Lopez picked Barrero up as he tripled into the right-center gap to tie the game up. Jonathan India would drive in the go-ahead run with a 2-out single to give Cincinnati their first lead of the day. That would be all they’d get, but it got the game into the bottom of the 9th.

The Pitching

Luis Cessa had a no-hitter through four innings, but then his defense began to fail him in spectacular fashion. Nico Hoerner hit the ball hard to center on the first pitch of the 5th inning and TJ Friedl had the ball bounce out of his glove on the run and it went down as a triple. Friedl, though, misread the ball off of the bat, coming in at first before racing to the warning track before having the ball come out of the leather. A sacrifice fly followed to put the Cubs up 1-0. The next inning a 2-out fly ball was lost in the sun by Friedl went down as a double for Seiya Suzuki. That would be the final pitch for Luis Cessa, who was replaced by Buck Farmer. He gave up an RBI single to Franmil Reyes as the Cubs extended their lead to 2-0 before Farmer would strike out Ian Happ to end the inning.

The struggles for Friedl in the field continued in the 7th when he lost another ball in the sun that landed between himself and Jonathan India and went down in the scorebook as a double. P.J. Higgins then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Nico Hoerner over to third base. A walk would follow before David Bell went to the bullpen to bring in Alexis Diaz. He would strike out pinch hitter Rafael Ortega before another pinch hitter came off the bench in the form of Nick Madrigal and Diaz struck him out, too, ending the Cubs threat in the 7th.

Diaz returned for the bottom of the 8th inning and picked up a strikeout to begin things, but Seiya Suzuki followed with a go-ahead solo homer to put the Cubs on top 3-2. After Cincinnati took the lead in the top of the 9th, Ian Gibaut came into the game for the bottom of the frame. Nico Hoerner popped out to Jose Barrero, who made a nice catch as he was falling backwards in shallow left field to begin the inning.

P.J. Higgins singled and was pinch run for. Gibaut then struck out Alfonso Rivas for the second out of the inning. Rafael Ortega was almost hit by the first pitch of the at-bat but the next three pitches were strikes as Gibaut struck him out to pick up his first career save, giving the Reds the win on the day and a series victory.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Milwaukee Brewers

Friday September 9th, 8:10pm ET

Nick Lodolo (3-5, 3.95 ERA) vs Jason Alexander (2-2, 5.03 ERA)

76 Responses

  1. 2020ball

    Que the woe is me why is Bell the manager comments even though he probably managed this one very well. They won in spite of him, he’s the reason they have so many losses, yada yada yada….

      • 2020ball

        I’m looking for a reaction mostly, troll life!

        I’m still confused why you wouldnt use your bench in a game youre losing, thats a ridiculous criticism.

      • LDS

        I would use my bench, just not all of it. For example, unless he was injured, there wasn’t a good reason to PR for Farmer. Fairchild was then replaced by Solano and Steer by Robinson. All of the Cubs pitchers, except Hughes were RH. Had the Reds merely tied, instead of winning, he would have had Almora left. And remember, all these gyrations only led to a tie. Bell went all in and came up short. It was only the surprise triple by Lopez in the 9th, whom many here disparage as “mr. Soft contact” , that the Reds won. It wasn’t Bell’s machinations in the 8th. Bell seems to act in the moment without any analysis of possible future inning requirements. We saw that clearly in the extra game against St L on 8/31. That was also the game where he removed the hitters that actually had hits: Senzel, Aquino, Fairchild, collectively 7-10 at the time. There are innumerable examples during Bell’s tenure. So no I don’t criticize Bell because I don’t like him. I criticize him because he’s a lousy manager. Results should matter. They don’t in the Reds organization.

      • 2020ball

        Hm well I’m not managing to tie, I’m managing to win. I actually laughed when you brought up a specific date lol, I guess no reason other than I dont find anything the Reds are doing right now all that memorable.

        I realize you want a dinosaur in there as manager and things to be old school while not using old school things like platoons, but I really dont think another manager the Reds will hire is going to do much better. I think there are good managers out there but they are extremely rare. I just want to see winning baseball, its fine with me if they blow up the coaching staff to do that but I would be far more focused on the players personally.

      • 2020ball

        and I’m really not sure how much of an impact Fairchild is having in extras, especially with Almora available. Maybe you see something I dont.

      • LDS

        No 2020, not necessarily a dinosaur. The pretense that Bell is an analytics guy is a myth. He routinely manages against the numbers. Until baseball gets over its infatuation with analytics, the game is going to suck and many players will have substandard careers. So, it goes. What will likely hasten the change is some team deviating from the orthodoxy and fielding a team of hitters that beat the h out of all the other teams. And with the new rules the league votes on today, I don’t know why all future games aren’t simply two managers sitting down across the table from each other, pulling out their dice, and playing Stratomatic (or whatever the modern equivalent is) to determine the outcome of each day’s game. That encapsulates all the analytics one thinks matters. As I said earlier this week, “modern baseball” is simply revenge of the nerds, most of whom apparently failed statistics in college.

      • 2020ball

        Lol, that just sounds like fantasy land. Your beat the hell out of everyone team exists already, theyre called the dodgers. Turns out, analytics like them too, as they would your fantasy team youre theorizing on. So i dunno, you can dream of yesteryear i guess, and keep making something very difficult sound very easy.

      • LDS

        2020, it is easy. It’s called baseball and has been played for decades. The Dodgers signed players that fit the “modern” baseball paradigm. It’s costing them nearly $300 million which isn’t a sustainable business model for most teams. The commissioner no longer acts in the interest of the game, eg Kuhn who nixed the Vida Blue trade. Don’t mistake the Dodgers success for the success of analytics.

    • greenmtred

      bell is probably distracted because he’s busy watching all of us do our jobs so he can tell us how bad we are at them. otherwise, he obviously would manage the team exactly as we, in our wisdom, prescribe.

    • burtgummer01

      The Reds could be undefeated and certain people would still be whining

  2. MBS

    Say Alejo to my little friend, Lopez needs more playing time. As much as I like Farmer and Solano, I don’t think either will be on the 23 Roster, so lets go ahead and let the kids play.

      • SOQ

        Farmer deserves to be here and so does Solano

      • MBS

        I’m not arguing against Farmer or Solano, I don’t believe the Reds will resign them in 23. If I wanted to win a game with the current roster, my lineup would be:

        1 Freidl CF
        2 India 2B
        3 Fraley LF
        4 Farmer 3B At the heart of the lineup
        5 Solano DH At the heart of the lineup
        6 Steer 1B
        7 Aquino RF
        8 Barrero SS
        9 Romine C

        If I wanted to develop for the future

        1 Lopez 2B Pesky hitter
        2 Steer 1B Talented hitter
        3 Fraley DH Power from the Left
        4 India 3B Run producer
        5 Friedl CF Change of pace hitter
        6 Fairchild LF Not sure what he is
        7 Aquino RF Can run into one
        8 Barrero SS Needs to continue to develop
        9 Romine C Vet for the Pitchers

      • 2020ball

        I’m happy with having all three personally. Depth seems to be a forgotten thing for those who are pining for a youth movement.

      • MBS

        @PTBNL Stephenson is injured, this is the remainder of the 22 season. Next year’s order would be a lot better with Stephenson, EDLC, and others like CES, McGarry, McLain etc maybe joining the roster.

  3. Dennis Westrick

    Unbelievable! Another game where the Reds pitchers walked only one (1) batter! Good things happen when your pitching staff gives you a chance to win by keeping the bases clear! I do have one question though! How does a baseball player make it all the way to the majors and can’t lay down a sacrifice bunt? Yes, Barrero, I mean you!

    • Melvin

      They don’t bunt in the minors either I guess. I don’t know. It’s hard to tell with his glasses on but he looked like to me he wasn’t watching the ball all the way until it hit the bat.

      • 2020ball

        He was stabbing at it, which is a recipe for a pop-up which he achieved. Did not look comfortable bunting, and with his profile he should probably work on it more. That said if a guy doesn’t know how to do it I don’t have him bunting.

      • Doc

        I’ve spent days at ST in the past 5 years. I’ve never seen true bunting practice. I’ve seen a lot of batting practice with a perfunctory bunt or two at the start. Looks like, ‘get the bunt over with so I can pound balls at the fences’.

        I’d draw a circle on the third base side and another on the first base side and require players to bunt every BP until they stop a ball in each circle. Only then are full swings allowed.

    • JB

      How does Billy Hamilton make it all the way to the big leagues and not be able to drag bunt. Somebody should have taught him that

    • Luke J

      Is that actually a serious question? Because the answer is that virtually no one in the majors can lay down a bunt anymore. Friedl is a unicorn these days. Bunting is a lost art. They just don’t teach it anymore. So it’s not at all uncommon for a player to make it all the way to the majors and not be able to bunt. It’s sad, but true.

    • greenmtred

      i like sac bunts as much as any 75 year-old geezer baseball fan does, but they probably aren’t taught much because, over time, sac bunts reduce the number of runs you score.

  4. RedsFan11

    Another game where Alejo hits. The kid has about 125 ABs now at .300/.350.. yet Bell gives at bats to guys that won’t be here. Just because some analytic boy says he can’t hit for power so Bell don’t play him…

    Alejo could be an awesome lead off hitter if given the chance

    • David

      Interesting that Alejo, who has proven he can hit ML pitching, doesn’t get to play as much, because his position is 2nd and 3rd (maybe left field, too), and that’s India and Farmer (for now), and maybe Steer now, too. So on a “depth chart”, Alejo is behind Farmer, India and now maybe Steer.
      Barrero, who is a good fielding shortstop but hasn’t proven he can hit ML pitching, plays just about every day (and that’s okay with me…..for the moment). Barrero may finally catch up to ML pitching. Maybe.
      Concepcion batted like crap for most of two seasons (71 and 72) before he went to a lighter bat and became a much better hitter.

      Too bad Alejo has not proven he can play short-stop. That would make an interesting problem.
      I can’t see the Reds keeping Solano AND Farmer next year (2023). Not really a huge fan of either of them. Farmer is 32 and Solano is 34.
      Are the Reds rebuilding….or what?

      • MBS

        They have sold off their MLB quality assets already. I agree that Solano and Farmer are probably gone. That doesn’t mean I think the Reds will avoid signing FA’s.

        Infielders and starting pitchers are the Reds strengths with current Reds, and near ready Reds.

        India, Stephenson, Steer, Votto, EDLC, CES, McGarry, Barrero, Marte, and McLain could all factor into the 23, but definitely 24 seasons.

        Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, and even Dunn seem like solid to good or better Starters.

        The outfield and bullpen is where the FA money should be invested, as well as a veteran backup C.

        We have Fraley, and Friedl who seem promising, but each has a week arm, and Fraley is a platoon (strong side). EDLC, Marte, McLain could factor into the OF, but none of them have played any real time that I know in the OF. If I’m the GM I’m signing a FA OF 18M X 2Y – 4Y deal. 3M to 6M X 2Y on a backup C.

        We have Diaz, SanMartin, Antone (maybe), Sims (maybe), and Santillan. That’s 3 to 5 men in the pen, and no one with real closer or setup experience. 25M could pay for both a very good closer and setup man.

        That’s up to 50M in payroll, and the Reds will be shedding just short of that in 23.

        Losing doesn’t get you the # 1 pick, so the incentive to play nothing but the youth is minimized. Also Krall wants to reduce the extremas so I think he’ll spend. He probably won’t spend as much as I want, but I don’t think it’s going to be 0.

  5. TR

    A big series win at Wrigley. The Reds are making their move for third place in the NLC. Off to a big weekend series in Milwaukee against the fading BrewCrew as the Bengals play their hated rival, the Steelers, at home.

  6. Mark Moore

    One more visit to Wrigleyville at the end of the month (with a turnaround series back at GABP against the same Stupid Cubs). That 6-game series ought to be … uh … interesting? Meaningless? Something else?

    • DataDumpster

      It’s more than clear you don’t like the team but “Stupid Cubs” doesn’t make any sense. The Cub’s players cannot be stupid because of the rare achievement each of them has made. The team itself cannot be stupid because they apparently get you to attend their games.

      • JB

        They have been called “Stupid Cubs ” or “loveable Losers” forever. I’m 59 and they have been called that forever. Even John Stewart and writers have called them stupid. Especially the Cub fans . They are called stupid Cub Fans.

      • DataDumpster

        Wasn’t aware of that. Heard of the “loveable losers” which I like but if the “stupid” is a well known local thing, then I stand corrected by thinking that Mark was just making this up and repeating it ad nauseum. Stand corrected.

      • Mark Moore

        It’s all good, DD. The forum archives are full of that moniker for the Northside Chicago Professional Baseball Club.

        Odd fact, the first Spring Training game I ever saw was the Cubs. The first in-season pro game I attended was at Wrigley.

  7. Steven Ross

    Thank goodness we didn’t see Strickland in the 9th. Maybe Bell finally gets it.

    Defensively, Barrero can be spectacular but his offensive continues to be suspect. I hope he figures it out but I see so many missed opportunities.

  8. Old-school

    Wasnt able to watch much but did hear the Cowboy. Didn’t see any of the Friedl CF theatrics but Cowboy was as dismayed with the overthrow as he was with the missed plays. He said point blank Friedl is a far better LF than CF…also said Luis Cessa as a SP is better because as a reliever he was overthrowing. AS a starter, Hes locating his FB and not overthrowing his breaking ball and change up is good. Also said Reds are looking at Lopez as a bench player. Can he still perform after sitting and pinch hit. Not many can do that. He certainly did that today.

    Final thought. Why not sign Jon India this off-season? He turns 26 in December , he’s bounced back strong 2nd half of year when healthy after ROY. HEs the unquestioned best player on the team, at age 25 and hes a gamer. Make him the first signing of the post Joey votto reds era and extend him now and make him a Red till hes 32

    • DataDumpster

      On the last “sun ball” that Friedl missed, he was so far in that the ball fell about 6 feet from India. His short throw back to the infield was way over the head of the cover man and even eluded the pitcher because it was so offline. His throwing is really bad but of course Senzel is not much better. Not clear how anybody thinks of these two as CF.
      Regarding India, I think your posit is the one move ownership needs to regain at least some credibility. Can’t expect fans to wait until the Joey Moose albatross clears without any indication how those proceeds will be used.

  9. Old-school

    Reds approved for a sports betting license. Between the 5th and 6 th inning at GAPB, Ill have a beer, a hot dog, and put me down for $20 bucks this bullpen hits the over. Indy needs to rent a handicapper stand down there like at the horse tracks with his picks of the day.

  10. Klugo

    Man, I know he doesnt hit for much power, but Lopez is an on-base machine and I like him.

    • TR

      A consistent singles hitter is a real offensive threat. Runners on base upsets the opposition.

  11. William

    Maybe the GM brainwashed me, but the Reds are looking good for atleast 2025 with all these young prospects. If Reds fans are lucky, the Reds might be competitive by 2024. I doubt it, but hope is a good thing.

  12. William

    I have no hope they are competitive in 2023. They need to keep the rebuild pedal to the metal.

  13. William

    Extend India and Stephenson while you can afford them. I think this off season might be your only chance. Are you listening GM? Good job so far. You made a good comeback.

  14. William

    I like Lopez, too. If he can hit .300 every year, he will fit in. He can be a DH and utility option with significant playing time. He has to keep hitting. The Reds need depth with all these injury prone players.

  15. Rednat

    good job by the reds this game and series. way to grind out a win and a series on the road against a divisional opponent! this is what i call a “culture” win for the reds. it is a meaningless game but hopefully it will help this young reds team develop that winning culture going forward that the cardinals have.

    I think more important than which player will paly what position next year is what player or players will take the reign and become the team leader of this bunch for 2023? who will be the next Scott Rolen Or Nick Castellanos? who will make sure the reds don’t begin the season 3-22 again next year?

    • Jim Walker

      It has to be somebody with an edginess to them; and, right now, who is that? Can it come from a starting pitcher? If so maybe Greene and/ or Ashcraft? We’ve seen at least the hint of a flash from both of them at times.

      On the position side? Even if Farmer is around, I don’t think he is the guy. He seems to be the good cop at best, the new Barnhart.

      • Rednat

        no position player really sticks out. Stephenson would be the natural choice but he seems a little too laid back. Maybe Friedl or Fraley?

  16. Kevin H

    Interesting stat. Reds are 52-58 since their terrible start. I wonder who they will trade this off season. lol…

    We can all say what we want, however Bell isnt’ as bad as people suggest. I will agree his style of managing drives me crazy at times, however look at the roster’s he has had to deal with especially a suspect bullpen. We will never know if this season would of been different if they hadn’t made all their trades.

    I know when I make that comment some say they wouldn’t of made world series with the roster from last year or only built to win the wild card. That is a projection statement. Oh well

    • Luke J

      You wondering what might have been is more of a projection statement than the rational assumption that they would have been just what they were last year. Which is nothing.

      • Kevin H

        You missed the point, however you always do when it comes to responding to what I write.

    • Rednat

      that is why those first 10 games of the season are so important. the season is in the balance basically in those first couple of weeks. we have had terrible starts every year under Bell’s tenure except last year where we started 5-5 and stayed in the race most of the season

  17. Hunt4RedsOct

    I believe the bottom 6 teams enter the draft lottery, so I’d rather the Reds stay right where they are, maybe catch some luck with the ping pong balls.
    Could have a major impact on draft and international pool monies.

  18. AMDG

    It seems like whenever I watch Barrero bat (which is only a small % of his AB’s), he is given the Greg Maddux treatment, where anything within a foot of the strike zone is called a strike against him.

    And after those bad calls put him in the hole, it seems as if he ends up chasing unhitable pitches outsize the zone.

    He seems like somebody who could benefit from the robo-umps?

  19. Doc4uk

    Lopez and Friedl have demonstrated they deserve a spot for 2023. Barrero has not. He clearly is overmatched at the plate . Demote him to Louisville and bring up Santana and let’s see what he can do . He has nothing else to prove in AAA after two consecutive years of a .300 BA.

    • BK

      Santana hasn’t played an inning of SS since 2015.

  20. Pablo

    I guess they won’t lose 100 games after all?

    • RedsGettingBetter

      To lose 100 they would have to go 7-20 in the remaining games… I think it is unlikely since they have to play a bunch of matches against Cubs and Pirates even the Brewers don’t afraid so much right now… If they play for .400 the rest of the way as have been until now they would be 10 or 11 wins more, just to get 65 or 66 Ws..

      • Jim t

        To not lose 100 games after ownership shredding the roster prior to the season, didn’t address bull pen, traded off Mahle, Castillo ,Drury Pham and Naquin at deadline is a miracle. I won’t even mention injuries. Bell and staff have gotten more out of this group under these conditions then many managing in the game.

  21. burtgummer01

    Since the only thing Barrero has proven is that he can’t hit,they should try lopez at ss

    • BK

      No. Barrero has also proven he is outstanding defensively. He hasn’t hit this year but has hit well every other season.

      • burtgummer01

        he’s had one good season in the minors

      • BK

        His offense was below average in 2018 … his first MiLB experience after missing a year of baseball when he defected from Cuba. The next 3 years he thrived:

        2019 wRC+ 131 @ High A
        2020 COVID season, no MiLB, good enough at the offsite to earn MLB callup
        2021 wRC+ 135 @ AA; 158 @AAA

      • burtgummer01

        Obviously your definition of thriving is a lot different than the one in the dictionary.
        And the main stat that matters is .173 career avg in the majors
        Remember Branden Larson ??

    • Kevin H

      Lopez isn’t a ss though, so in my opinion that move wouldn’t make since. That is like asking someone to be a catcher when they have never played the position.

      • burtgummer01

        I could’ve sworn he’s played shortstop but ok fair enough
        Resign Farmer play him at ss next year then in 2024 DLC is the ss

      • BK

        Lopez started 34 games at SS out of 463 MiLB games. He’s an emergency SS at best.

      • MBS

        Lopez also played SS in fall ball, or what ever offseason league he played in last year. However let Barrero play, time will be a better evaluator than we are. In 23 there will be some top prospects pushing their way onto the scene that could take away his spot if he doesn’t start hitting.

  22. old-school

    Major changes from competition cmte.

    shift is banned next year, 2 players on each side of 2b with mandatory feet on the dirt.
    Pitch clock and limits on pick off and bases 3 inches bigger. That might make stealing easier as well.
    The contact hitter with speed is back as are the lefty singles to RF.

    • Rednat

      oh wow! this is great news. gives the small market teams at least a chance to compete!

    • Jim Walker

      The “2B” can still line up in the 2B/1B hole and drop back on the release of the pitch. The same goes for the “SS” lining as deeply and nearly behind 2B as allowed and moving with the pitch. And the 4th infielder can be lined up anywhere on the 3B side of 2nd.

      I see this rule creating a real premium for middle infielders who are agile and quick afoot enough to get into nearly the same spots as now ahead of batted balls.

  23. BK

    How is generating runs 31%, 35%, and 58% better than your peer group, not an example of thriving?

    His first taste of MLB time came after High A competition–a huge jump. How many examples are there of players succeeding in the majors after jumping directly from High A?

    Frankly, this is the first time he’s even had consistent playing time at the Majors, and his promotion followed a poor performance at AAA. I didn’t expect him to turn things around against better pitching. He clearly must improve at the plate, but he’s far too good of an athlete–projects as MLB average or better in all five tools, to drop because he’s struggling in his first month of consistent playing time.

    • greenmtred

      and he’s coming off of an injury and may still be affected by it. why the rush to give up on him?

  24. Optimist

    He’ll be 24 most of next year – I’m all for giving lots of chances to anyone under 25, another full year at least. If you’re 26 in Spring training, the time to show it shrinks to a few months. Covid messed all this up, but the Reds should be sorting aggressively next spring – can’t go in to 2024 with no outfield and a near empty bullpen.