Alejo Lopez hit his first big league home run, but the Cincinnati Reds comeback fell just short in the 9th inning as the tying run was stranded at second base in a 7-6 Milwaukee Brewers victory. The Brewers win also gave them the series victory and erased the chances for the Reds to win out and reach the .500 mark on the season.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (56-82) 6 9 0
Milwaukee Brewers (75-66)
7 9 1
W: Woodruff (10-4) L: Dunn (1-3) SV: Williams (12)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati went down in order on strikeouts in the 1st inning, but they got things going in the top of the 2nd when Jake Fraley led off with a double. After the next two hitters were retired, Alejo Lopez was hit by a pitch…. or so it seemed. The Brewers challenged the call and it was overturned as the ball hit the bat. Lopez followed with an RBI double and then he scored two pitches later when Matt Reynolds singled to tie the game up at 2-2.

The Reds didn’t get much done at the plate again until the 7th inning and the Brewers were leading by five runs at that point. Spencer Steer picked up his first hit of the game with a leadoff single and Alejo Lopez came through with his first big league home run that made it a 7-4 ballgame.

In the 9th inning it was still a 7-4 game and the Reds had to try and make a comeback against Devin Williams. Spencer Steer led off with a double and he moved to third when Alejo Lopez legged out an infield single on an excuse-me check swing. Matt Reynolds then grounded one over to third and Jace Peterson charged in and fielded the ball and fired to first and threw it away, leading to Steer scoring, Lopez moving to third, and Reynolds advancing to second base. Kyle Farmer then came off of the bench to hit for catcher Austin Romine, but he struck out for the first out of the inning. Following that at-bat, Nick Senzel entered the game as a pinch runner for Reynolds at second base. TJ Friedl followed with a sacrifice fly on a diving catch in center by Garrett Mitchell, making it 7-6 and bringing Jonathan India to the plate with two outs and the tying run on second. The game ended with India’s 5th strikeout of the game.

The Pitching

Justin Dunn’s afternoon didn’t get out to the start he would have liked. The Brewers began the bottom of the 1st inning with back-to-back singles before a Rowdy Tellez 2-run double put Milwaukee up 2-0. After the Reds tied the game up in the top of the 2nd the Brewers went back to work. A leadoff walk would come around to score on a 2-out single that gave the home team a 3-2 lead. Willy Adames followed up with a 2-run homer that made it 5-2. Rowdy Tellez made it back-to-back homers and in the blink of an eye it was 6-2. Dunn would throw a shutout 3rd inning, but it would be his last inning after throwing 75 pitches.

Luke Farrell made his first appearance since being acquired on waivers earlier in the week and the second batter he faced, Rowdy Tellez, hit another home run to make it 7-2. He settled in after that and pitched three innings with just that lone run being charged against him. Fernando Cruz took over in the 7th and tossed a perfect inning. Hunter Strickland pitched a perfect 8th inning to keep the game within slam range of 7-4, but the offense came up just short in the 9th inning as they stranded the tying run at second base.

Notes Worth Noting

It took Alejo Lopez 58 games and 131 plate appearances in the big leagues before hitting his first home run, but in the 7th inning he connected on a 400-foot blast and got to trot around the bases. The rookie has hit well, particularly of late when given a bit of regular playing time. He raised his line to .323/.385/.424 on the season after going 3-3 with a walk on the day.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Cincinnati Reds

Monday September 12th, 6:40pm ET

Bryse Wilson (2-8, 6.11 ERA) vs Mike Minor (4-10, 5.70 ERA)

52 Responses

  1. RedsGettingBetter

    India have an unlikely day with 5 ks in 5 ABs… Never seen someting like that…
    Despite the loss I note there is something of soul in this team trying to come from behind in many games but miss one clutch hit or the bullpen doesn’t help so fall short…
    The next series against the Pirates could decide who will arrive in last place this season…

    • Greenfield Red

      If 4 strikeouts is the golden sombrero, what is 5? The platinum penguin? It’s a rare bird.

      • RedsGettingBetter

        Platinum sombrero is the award as I can read on Internet

  2. Melvin

    Poor Lopez doesn’t get any respect no matter how good he hits. He’s a good ball player.

  3. William

    No worries on India. We know he is a hitter. I am into the rebuild. I am looking for the other players for a future competive Reds team. I grew up watching the Big Red Machine. I want to see a Reds team win the World Series championship. I figure they will be competive by 2025, and the window will be atleast three or four years.

  4. Mark Moore

    Looks like my Clete was a bit premature, but in the end we couldn’t overcome that early hole we dug. I did watch the dinger by Lopez on the replay. Sweet swing!

    Back at it tomorrow, friends.

    • DaveCT

      Somewhat related in a strange way, my dad was an avid golfer and I his caddy from age 12. . On Sundays, if he had an earlier tee time, we would get to do thee ‘golfer’s communion,’ meaning we’d take communion and walk straight out the front doors rather than return to our pews. I loved those days.

  5. DsveCT

    On his homer, I was very impressed with how long Lopez’ bat stayed in the strike zone.. Gonna get a parking ticket it was there so long.

  6. Mike

    Alejo is such a gamer. Man just loves to hit. Wonder if they’ll move India to 3rd and let the three-way battle for ’23 middle-infield spots begin between Alejo, Steer and Barrero.

    • MBS

      Long term I’d like to see India in LF or 3B, especially because the shift will be gone. I don’t know if Steer or Lopez would be better at 2B, but I’d like to see both get some playing time there.

    • 2020ball

      Only one of those guys is a shortstop

  7. Jim Walker

    The Reds got a couple of good breaks to get the 9th going but their luck went dry with Friedl at the plate. He actually hit the ball just a tad too well and instead of slicing away from the CF it held up just long and true enough for his diving grab.

    Seems to me no matter what grand scheme the Reds may have cooked up that did not include Lopez as any more than a fringe piece, they are going to need to change their plans if he keeps on keeping on.

    It was also a strong bounce back day for Steer.

    • DaveCT

      Friedl can play a little bit. Clutch hits, run a bit, defend pretty well. I’ve seen it stated he would have been a 3rd, maybe 4th round draft pick if he didn’t slip through the cracks as an UDFA. So, getting a solid 4th OF out of that scenario is a reasonable success in scouting and development.

  8. Roger Garrett

    Just let the young guys play and lets see.It will all sort its self out by the end of 2023.Should have some fun along the way next year as well.Bucs and Cubs and Brewers may not be any better next year so with some health and some improvements from the young guys who knows.Young guys just bring hope and right now that maybe all it is but we play on.Reds almost made it all the way back in a game that looked lost early.

  9. 2020ball

    If lopez can find even a little power in his game, hes a starting caliber player. He needs to continue to see regular time moving forward, hes earned it.

    • Rcsodak

      SS isn’t a power position. Getting on base, scoring runs and adding rbi’s is enough. Defense is what’s paramount.

      • Redsvol

        I think Lopez believes he can play shortstop but for some reason the reds don’t believe he is. He has only started 1 game at shortstop in Louisville and only 4 games in his entire minor league career.

        Senzel keeps it up he is going to wind up with an OPS of < .600 for the year. Sheesh, I think I'll take Friedl's weak arm in CF over Senzel's.

      • DaveCT

        While I would never tell Alejo Lopez what he cannot do, I’d say he isn’t a ML shortstop due to range and arm. For instance, if he had a better arm, he’s be slotted to CF or RF on occasions he plays out there.

        He does seem to be cementing his utility job for next year, which is more than he could say a year ago. In particular, his switch hitting provides a LH bat behind India and (if the starter next year) Farmer or Steer, in addition to a late game LH bat in left. That is a lot of value for a 27th round pick.

  10. MK

    I think you should put Elly in those middle infield plans for 2023.

    • AMDG

      2023 seems a bit premature, as he will only be 21, and that’s quite a jump from 2 months of AA all the way up to MLB. Especially with his 31% K rate.

      The last time they moved a low minor league SS up to the majors was Barrero. And so far that has not worked out too well at the plate.

      • Old Big Ed

        But the Barrero move was ridiculous. He had only played at High A in 2019, then was sent to Prasco Park in the Covid year of 2020. Without having had a live at-bat in 10 months, they brought him up and expected him to hit at the MLB level. It was a silly decision.

        De La Cruz is more advanced. Yes, he will have about two months of AA ball, but he was the Southern League Player of the Month in one of those months. I will be surprised if he is NOT up to Cincinnati in 2023 (barring injury), even if it is not to start the season.

        The AA-to-majors move is not that rare. Michael Harris with the Braves came up this year with only 43 games at AA, and he may well be the rookie of the year.

  11. CFD3000

    Good for Alejo Lopez! Great to see him get his first home run. He is certainly making a case for a roster spot in 2023, and you can make a good case that the Reds need to find him a position.

    I’ve been encouraged by progress for Aquino and Barrero, and both Friedl and Fraley have looked solid lately.

    But the big disappointment is Senzel. How much longer is the leash there? Do not be surprised if EDCL gets serious time in CF in the offseason (AFL?) and the first part of next year. Sad to admit it, but Senzel does not look like he’ll ever be the Reds long term answer in CF.

    • AMDG

      EDCL = Elly De Cruz La?

      In Dayton they moved Torres off SS for Elly, and in Chatt they moved McLain off SS for Elly.

      So it would seem they currently have no plans to shift Elly off the SS position.

      • CFD3000

        I guess so AMGD! My bad. When moving him off his position they have to swap his name around, right? But yes, I meant EDLC and AMDG. I don’t know enough about Elly’s defense to be confident that he’s somehow a better choice at SS than Barrero, but at least so far your info suggests I could be wrong (it’s happened before). But I do see a really strong defensive future at SS for Barrero – if he hits of course. And I don’t see Senzel locking down CF – just the opposite. And I’m thinking the Reds will really want EDLC’s bat in the lineup on a long term basis. So my comments were more about Senzel’s lackluster showing and EDLC’s high ceiling. Plus, it’s the Reds so who knows what they’ll do?

      • MBS

        They did not move either off of SS for EDLC, EDLC shared time at SS in both levels with them.

        A+: 19 G at 3B or DH, and 54 SS, for 73% at SS.
        AA: 15 G at 3B or DH, and 27 SS, for 64% at SS.

        Add in days off and it gets a lot closer to even time, with Elly still getting the edge.

    • Jim Walker

      I am also wondering if EDLC will go to the AFL and if so what position(s) he will play there.

      I guess the next step though is with Louisville playing through to the end of the month will EDLC be there when Chattanooga’s season ends this coming weekend?

  12. Bet on Red

    missed today due to the bengals ( who I swear looked better then the score and recap indicate), I see that Lopez got his first homer…. good for him. fully expect him to be missing until he is found in a Bengals uniform next week

  13. RedsFan11

    Suarez with 2 home runs today including walk off in the 9th. 30 HRs and closing in ok 100 RBI. Man what a great salary dump move that was

    • Votto4life

      Suarez needed just a little more time for his shoulder to completely heal. The Reds sold low. They still would make that trade though, because it saved them a few bucks.

      That is way it’s hard for me to take this organization seriously or get to excited about this team’s future. As long as Castellini owns this team, the Reds will always choose the cheapest path.

      • TR

        I’ve been a Reds fan since the late 1940’s and hardly remember the ownership being a big spender except for the Votto contract.

      • Jim Walker

        @TR>> Bench, Concepcion, and Larkin came to my mind as guys who played their entire careers with the Reds (as it appears Votto will). Bench retired after his age 35 season. Concepcion and Larkin both after their age 40 seasons.

        Bench was paid $1m for his final season (1983) on a 1 year deal. Concepcion got $370K in his final season (1988) but had previously been paid at an AAV of $926K on 5 year deal for his age 34-38 seasons. Larkin was paid $9M annually for his age 37-39 seasons but “only” $700K in his final, age 40, season (2004).

        FWIW (or not):
        In today’s $$$ Bench’s $1m was worth north of $3m in 2022 dollars. Concepcion’s $926K is equivalent to $2.3M and Larkins’s $9m is worth just north of $14M today.

        Bench’s $1m was 62.5% of the highest MLB salary that year (Mike Schmidt, $1.653M)

        Concepcion’s $926K was 47.6% of the 1985 highest salary (Schmidt again, $2.1M)

        Larkin’s $9m was $41.4% of the 2004 highest salary (ARod, $21.73m)

        Votto’s 2022 salary of $25m is 57.7% of the current top salary (Max Scherzer $43.33m)

    • Luke J

      Don’t be a prisoner of the moment. Suarez had a similar stat line last season when everyone was clamoring to get rid of him. He had 31 homers and 79 RBI compared to 30 HR and 82 RBI this year. Low average with at least 30 HR is what we all knew he was. The issue was never is that valuable for the Reds, but is it valuable enough for the contract he had. And I still believe he isn’t worth what they would have had to pay him. And it’s hard to say they sold all that low given the nice haul they got in return.

      • Jim Walker

        Suarez is currently at 4.5 bWAR for 2022. Based on the average cost of 1 WAR, this is over $20m, approaching $25m, in value.

        He is being paid $11.3m. The sunken amount remaining on the contract after this year is $22.5m over 2 more seasons. It is a good contract unless he falls flat on his face or is lost to injury.

        The best that can be said for the Reds trading him was they traded current value for hoped future value. Given Winker was also involved in the deal, the chances of the Reds breaking even would appear to not be very good.

  14. SteveAreno

    Nice to see Fernando Cruz’s ERA keeps dropping to below 2.00 after 5 games

  15. Rednat

    tough day for cincy sports fans. at least my beloved Miami Redhawks won this weekend. (although our qb Brett Gabbert may be out for a while). Anyway I have a running bet with a friend. I have the reds winning the world series before the bengals win the super bowl. Last year I was sweating bullets but now with the rule changes I feel the reds have a better chance now. At least it gives an alternative “way to win”. you dont have to hit 250 home runs to be competitive. It may be easier now to “string together a few hits” to generate offense. hopefully the running game will become more of a factor as well with the oversized bases. maybe a team like the 1990 reds or 1985 cardinals could be recreated now

    • Jim Walker

      The men of the Scarlet and Gray did just fine 😉
      CBJ preseason (“fall training”?) camp is less than 2 weeks away. Puck drops for real in less than a month!

  16. Red suffer

    As long as stats drive Arbitration modern days ball players won’t change there swings . You can’t even get them to hit ground ball to right side to advance a runner . Lifelong Reds fan hope we can get a few 270 and above hitters from the recent trades. Go Reds 2025

  17. Doc

    Singles result in base runners.
    Singles force pitching from the stretch.
    Singles extend innings.
    Singles move runners into scoring position.
    Singles can drive in runs.
    Singles increase pitch counts.
    Some of the biggest Reds rallies this year came from a plethora of singles.
    Pete Rose was a singles hitter.

    Give me Lopez hitting over .300 and you can have Barrero hitting under .200 with twice as many HR as Lopez this season.

    • TR

      +1,000. And base hits make for action and excitement in a baseball game.

    • CFD3000

      You’re right about all that Doc, and Lopez is making a case to be in the lineup a lot more. But don’t write off Barrero just yet. I do see improved patience, a better eye, and smarter decisions at the plate as he gets more at bats. And his upside is really high. Wouldn’t you like BOTH guys to be productive hitters? Barrero will either prove he’s earned a starting spot, or he won’t, but the Reds aren’t going anywhere just yet and I for one want him to get enough at bats to know for sure.

  18. gusnwally

    I have a hard time understanding how people keep thinking that Geno S was making a ton of money. And that he was not worth the price. 11,mill for 30m HR’s does not seem all that expensive to me. 41 mill for the sum total of Joey V and Mike M production, Yea that is hard to swallow. I will not go thru every contract in the big leagues. But, I bet 30 HR men cost a lot more than 11mill in most cases.

    • Jim Walker

      The Reds were dumping salary and Suarez was movable. The future will tell if they got reasonable value for him. Consider that at the time Suarez was traded, the remaining sunken cost on him was between $33-33.5m. At that time the remaining sunken cost on Moose was ~$58M. They probably could not have moved Moose for a bucket of balls in return even if they tossed Hunter Greene or Nick Lodolo into the deal.

      • Michael

        Absolutely right, Moose was and is not tradable. They had to trade Geno and Winker to dump some salary, get younger, and give some other guys a chance. We won’t know who won the trade for a few years. Even if none of trades were made, the Reds would not be playoff bound – at best a fringe wildcard team like 2020 and that is not going to make fans happy.

      • Jim Walker

        Personally, I would have preferred the Reds stayed the course in 2022. As they say about the lottery, if you don’t play, you can’t win.

        I would have spent the money saved on Barnhart, MIley and Gray on a bullpen guy or 2 and to be able to keep Suarez and Winker. Both Mahle and Castillo were under team control for 2023 and could have been held and traded in the off season for likely similar or even better return,

      • Redgoggles

        Except of course, if either of them got injured. (See Mahle, Tyler.)

    • Redgoggles

      To be fair to the FO, I think it’s worth looking at how the Reds 3B did this year (and in future) against Suarez, both in production and cost. With Drury’s strong season added to the trade pieces, I’ve got to think it’s still a positive. Suarez was an easy guy to root for, but I’d grown weary of his feast or (mostly) famine game.

    • VaRedsFan

      You’re not considering that maybe the Seattle hitting coach helped Geno to bat .230 instead of .200. You never really know if a guy would do the same thing with a different team. There are so many factors. Playing time. Coaching. Injuries. Maybe they felt Geno was too complacent in his role with the Reds. Got a big contract, so he wasn’t as motivated as before. (Not saying he did, but it is plausible).

      Drury was a much more productive player than Geno was for 4 months.

      • Jim Walker

        This is true but had he been with the Reds and the team composed like the 2021 team, he would have emerged as the super sub for the affordable price of $900K. He would have covered India’s extended injury and played 3B/LF/1B/EF st other times.

        Depth is a good thing not something to be avoided. A few nights ago on the Reds TV feed, someone, I believe it was Welch, said if Aquino had a big September, it would “complicate” things in the off season. I couldn’t believe Chris’s context and connotation seemed to infer he found this to not be a favorable situation. The more complications of this sort, all the better.