Hunter Greene finished off his 2022 season with his fifth consecutive brilliant performance. Greene dominated a hot Cubs team over six innings to end the Reds six-game losing streak. Donovan Solano lead the Reds offense with two hits, and the Reds bullpen allowed just one run over three innings to preserve the victory.

Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (73-87) 1 2 1
Cincinnati Reds (61-99) 3 6 0
W: Greene (5-13) L: Wesneski (3-2) S: Diaz (10)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the biggest play of the game was Hunter Greene getting Seiya Suzuki to line into a double play with runners on 2nd and 3rd base, ending the inning 6th inning with the Reds leading 2-0. That play increased the Reds probability of winning by 18.8% (from 65.0% to 83.8%).

Positives

What an incredible finish to a rookie season for Hunter Greene. He struck out the side in the first inning, and dominated the Cubs over six innings. It didn’t even feel like Green broke a sweat tonight. Greene’s final line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K. Hunter was absolutely dominate over his last 5 starts of the season. It’s pretty easy to be excited about Greene and Lodolo leading the Reds rotation for years to come.

Last 5 starts: 29.0 IP, 0.62 ERA, 45 K, 7 BB, 1 HR

Donovan Solano had a 2-hit night and a walk, raising his season slash line to .288/.343/.387.

Jose Barrero drew a walk and scored a run. The walk was off Cubs rookie starting pitching phenom, Hayden Wesneski, who entered today with just 2.0 BB/9.

Negatives

T.J. Friedl had to leave the after appearing to injure his hamstring on an attempted steal of third base. It seems likely that his season is over with only 2 games left. Friedl opened some eyes this year with a very nice season, hitting .240/.314/.436 with a 101 wRC+.

Not so random thoughts………..

Tonight will be final recap for Redleg Nation for 2022. Thanks to all those who have been following along since I started writing for RN all the way back in 2013. There will be better and brighter days ahead for our Cincinnati Reds. The future is bright with players like Elly De La Cruz, Noelvi Marte, Matt McLain, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Brandon Williamson, Connor Phillips, Andrew Abbott and Chase Petty on their way to Cincinnati in the near future. Go Reds!

Up Next:

Cubs at Reds
Tuesday, 6:40 PM
TV: Bally Sports Ohio
Luis Cessa (4.76 ERA/4.33 xFIP) vs Javier Assad (3.62 ERA/5.10 xFIP)

48 Responses

  1. Ryan

    Nick, thanks but Friedl hitting.240 is a “nice season”?

    • Danny

      He’s injured man, lay off him for a day or two. No need for disrespect

      Plus .240 is a fantastic average for this team

    • BK

      Friedl has finished the last two seasons with wRC+ of 104 and 102, respectively. That’s actually two “nice seasons” in a row. Great teams have good depth!

    • AMDG

      I suppose calling it a “nice” season is less than calling it a “good” season or a “great” season.

      In 1/2 a season he finished out with about 0.4 ~ 0.6 WAR, or 1 WAR projected over the entire season.

    • Nick Kirby

      I don’t put much stock in batting average. Friedl finished with a .747 OPS. His pre-season projection from ZiPS was .716.

      He also hit .263/.353/.534 since he was recalled from Louisville in mid-August.

      • Oldtimer

        I don’t understand most of the analytics but I use OPS+ for position players and ERA+ for pitchers.

        100 for each is average. More than 100 is good. Less than 100 not so good.

  2. BK

    Nick, thanks for the outstanding writing here … I enjoy your writing and appreciate the hard work you bring with each article!

  3. Mark Moore

    +1,000,000 for you, Nick. We’ll miss your game threads and recaps, even those of us who are grumpy old men who don’t fully understand or buy in to advanced stats.

    Great win, even with that cheapo run at the end 😀

    • Nick Kirby

      Thanks Mark….you are still stuck with me for tonight’s game preview though, then’ll I will crawl back into my hole lol

  4. LDS

    Diaz leads the team in wins, saves, WHIP, and WAR. If the Reds could find pitching coach to help him with his control, he could be the best closer the Red have had in a while. Greene, Lodolo, and Diaz give the Reds some bright spots for next year. Maybe Ashcraft regains his early season form. Hitters going into next season? Not much at this point.

    • greenmtred

      if you believe that Diaz’s control is in the hands of the pitching coach, it’s worth noting that the same coach has solved Greene’s control issues. I’m not saying that the coach has no role, but the player has to execute, doesn’t he? The best coaching is only as good as the execution.

      • LDS

        Yes, generally I would agree with you. Until you look at the team stats and see that the Reds led MLB in BBs and are 3rd in HBPs. Then you start wondering about systemic issues. Not to mention the number of injuries. Has DJ helped some pitchers? Absolutely. But, in general, I wouldn’t call his tenure successful, though better than Zinter.

      • greenmtred

        3 young starters, other starters far from the top tier and a generally awful bullpen likely have a lot to do with the walks and hbp’s. i don’t know whether DJ is a good coach or not, but I do know that neither he nor any other coach can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

  5. Andy

    Has zero to do with this game
    Jimmy hergert closing in on 70 IP with a 2.26 era….. Reds DFA’d him 2 years ago..
    The number of bullpen arms we have had control of the last 5 years that we have given away is staggering.
    Joe mantiply
    Anthony Bass
    Hergert
    Ceionel Perez
    Brad Boxberger (round II)
    Matt whisler
    Wandy Peralta
    Jackson Stephen’s

    Now I get it some of these guys really stunk as Reds however I find it impossible to believe all of these guys miraculously figured out how to pitch once they left the Reds.

    Add this to Reds criticism. They have no clue what a good bullpen arm is and what’s a bad arm…

    To think we have had to suffer through Strickland, Kuhnel, Hendrix, ect all year is as damming a case against this team as any…. And nobody talks about it

    • Oldtimer

      Reds gave up on Claude Osteen and Mike Cuellar (60 years ago) and kept Jay Hook and Ken Hunt. Oops. It happens.

      • Jim Walker

        Osteen I recall. Cuellar I must have slept through. Same on the other side of the coin, Hook Yes. Hunt No. 😉

  6. Doc4uk

    Agree. Greene, Lodolo, and Diaz give some promise. Antone, Sims, San Martin, and Santillan add to BP. Ashcraft and Overton are both potential starters. Abbott, toudt, Petty, Phillips, and Boyle lend promise to join the rotation by 2024.

    Some players in the minors who give us definite hope for 2024. Can see a line up of Encarnacion-Strand at 1B, Marte at SS, India at 3B, McClain at 2B, ELDC in CF, FA signee in RF, and a second FA signee in LF with Stephenson at C/DH and a third Free Agent at DH.

    So there is hope not for next year but for 2024.

    • Doc4uk

      Forgot Roa as a potential piece of the rotation in 2024.

    • Tar Heel Red

      I can’t see Marte staying at short. He has committed 60+ error there the last two seasons. He will probably be moved to the OF.
      To me, the more likely ’24 defense would be Stephenson at 1B, India 2B, Arroyo SS, McLain 3B, free agent in LF, Marte CF and EDLC in RF. Steer and Encarnacion-Strand as super subs/DH and a free agent catcher brought in.

  7. DataDumpster

    Congrats to Hunter for a very strong finish. Put 4 pitchers in the bank for a solid performance this year, hopeful additions from the IL plus perhaps 2-3 other possibilities from whomever is left. The pitching staff could approach average with a very good acquisition or a bit of luck. Otherwise the hitting, baserunning, defense, positioning and fundamental skills are still in short supply after 4 years of the current leadership. The players, many of them in the prime 25-29 age range are really that bad? Who is getting better on this team from the position players? Why so many injuries? If a number of managers, coaches or support personnel are not let go and certain players “moved on from”, then the loser culture endures and who wants to be part of that? We need to determine if David Bell is really capable of running this team or just reverts to the Mr. Rogers mentality to perpetuate the sickening status quo.
    Finally, thanks to Nick, Jim, John Ring, Tom Mitsoff, Ashley, etc. for lending their talents to this site and providing some sharp observations and good writing skill to this exemplary site.

  8. Doc

    The finish has not been as desired as a team, but at least some younger players got opportunities, and some decent playing time. I prefer to hope that the extended exposure they got this year will help them next year to be better players, rather than as some seem to prefer to write them off for next year and beyond because they did not set the world on fire.

    Greene was spectacular the last half dozen starts. It will be interesting to see whether he or Lodolo pitch opening day. Can you imagine what it will feel like to mishit a 102 mph fastball on a 37-40 degree overcast day in early April. It hurts just to think about it.

  9. RedsFan11

    Yes thank you Nick for all your great work and thank you to all RLN writers for great work this season. Selfishly I get to just come on here later at night or the next morning to catch the recap and comments. You all have had to sit, watch, and recap entire games throughout the worst Reds season in many of our lifetimes.

    • Nick Kirby

      Honestly for me it wasn’t really all that bad up until the last couple weeks. After the brutal start, the team played pretty well up until the trade deadline and there was a lot of excitement with the deadline itself. After that, I pretty much just viewed the big league club as a minor league development team and didn’t worry about wins and losses. It was cool to see guys like Fraley and Friedl have as much success as they did in the second half, along with some of the pitchers.

  10. Rednat

    thanks Nick. I always enjoy your write ups and respect your optimism immensely. The pitching is there but is the position players i worry about. I hope all the players you mentioned in the minors hit as well as Tyler Stephenson, although i Fear they will struggle like Barrero but time will tell.

    On another note I was kind of hoping the reds would get swept this series to get the monkey off the 1982 club’s back. that 82 club was actually not as bad as the record showed and were in a lot of games Plus at least they were pretty entertaining. this team and some of the teams last decade were far worse. But fear not all of You Duane Walker, Alex Trevino and Brad Lesley fans, I have a feeling next year’s reds may surpass the 101 loss mark.

    • Nick Kirby

      Thank you. Hopefully some of these guys come up and hit the ground running like India and Stephenson do. I think it’s kind of crapshoot. Sometimes you get those guys, sometimes you get Barrero and Senzel. That is why I think it’s important the Reds stockpile as many quality prospects as possible (kind of like what the Guardians are doing). Go Reds!

      • old-school

        The irony is the Guardians have the youngest roster in baseball, turned it on the second half and are lapping the Twins- who went all in and signed Buxton and Correa and traded for Gray and Mahle yet faded badly down the stretch while significantly weakening their farm system trading Steer, Petty, CES, Hajjar. Mahle and Gray both finished the year on the IL with Mahle’s shoulder an uncertainty going in the off-season.

  11. CFD3000

    Thanks Nick! We’ll see you in 2023 when we’ll all be looking forward to more Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Graham Ashcraft and Alexis Diaz, a healthy Tyler Stephenson and Joey Votto, and a resurgent Jonathan India, plus the further development of a bunch of prospects. I’m still optimistic about Jose Barrero but it’s clear he needs time in AAA to work on plate discipline and learn to dominate. But I predict he’ll be back and make the Reds a better team.

    But in the meantime, thank you to you, Tom, Ashley, Jim, John and of course Doug Gray for slogging through this painful year with all the die hard Reds fans at RLN. Muuuuch appreciated!

  12. Redhaze

    Great job Hunter!!!!!

    Interesting that Suarez, Winker, Castellanos, Castillo, and Iglesias will all be playing in the playoffs. I’m sure I am leaving others out.

  13. GreatRedLegsFan

    Unless some unexpected moves happen, the position players opening roster will be the same next season: Stephenson, backup C, Votto, India, Barrero, Steer, Farmer, Lopez, Friedl, Fraley, Fairchild, Senzel & Aquino.

    • Jim Walker

      I don’t know about Senzel, Aquino, and Farmer (age and arb salary hit w/ Farmer).

      The F Troop have all three been league average and better offensive players in the midst of the second half mess of 2022. Put them into a lineup with a healthy Stephenson and India; and, Reds might just be a middle of the road offensive team in 2023 if the Troop can duplicate what they’ve done and all 5 of these guys can stay on the field and get anything at all from Votto.

      Keep in mind, MLB isn’t Lake Woebegone where all the kids (players) are above average. 😉

  14. AMDG

    It seems earlier in the season there were a number of commenters who took to the site every time he had a rough outing, as he went thru his growing pains.

    They made sure to emphasize that Greene had no business in the majors this season.

    But for some strange reason, those comments haven’t been readily apparent over the past couple of months…

    • MBS

      Maybe because he has improved? I was of a mind that Greene, and Lodolo would do better to come up as midseason additions, but when Castillo, Dunn, and Minor went down it changed the dynamic.

      “Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the face” (Mike Tyson) Well the injuries punched the Reds in the face in 22.

      • Jim Walker

        Count me among those that don’t understand burning a year of service time on Greene and Lodolo in what by design was never going to be a decent season for the team.

        Greene had certainly struggled enough at AAA in 2021 to justify starting him there and bringing him up at mid season. The issues he was having at MLB early on were the same issues he had at AAA in 2021. So, it really doesn’t fly to say there was nothing more he could have learned at AAA. A similar case could be made concerning Lodolo,

        Instead of using organizational depth guys in the rotation for a couple of months at the start of the season, the Reds effectively mortgaged a portion of their future by burning a year of service time on Greene and Lodolo.

    • Daytonnati

      I think it was purely marketing, Jim. The Reds knew they laid a PR egg with the trades and needed a shiny object to distract the mob 🙂

  15. RedsGettingBetter

    Great end of season to Hunter Greene, I think the key of his success has been to keep the ball in the field, just few homers surrendered in the 2nd half. Talking about Greene ,I note he has got so stronger from a physical standpoint gaining weight during the season progress….He is looking as a giant on the mound…
    The only way the current Reds can win a game is in this way, just the pitching giving 1 run or shutout …

  16. old-school

    All in all, Reds development last 2 seasons hasn’t been awful at the MLB level.

    Stephenson and India emerged on the scene in 2021 as legit young regulars with good hit tools who are now the face of the franchise.

    Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft and Diaz all emerged in 2022 as building blocks for a starting rotation and bullpen. The challenge in 2023 is other than Steer and Fraley, there’s not really much at the emerging AAA level or MLB roster to expect a breakthrough in 2023 at the MLB level for regular position roles. Just Lots of 4th outfielders and role players and AAAA players. McClain and EDLC and CES and Williamson and some young pitching are probably more 2024 candidates for emerging as difference makers for a full season. Krall’s challenge will be to transition 2023 to a winning 2024 and we’ve heard repeatedly don’t expect any meaningful FA signings over this winter. Sure, there might be some emerging bullpen arms in low leverage situations but there’s just as likely to be more injuries that sap things. Having a hard time seeing any huge leaps forward in 2023 unless you count 72-74 wins a huge leap. It does appear 2023 will be wasting years of control for the players mentioned earlier.

    • Harry Stoner

      Well, after this season 74 wins would be a ‘huge leap’.
      It would suggest:

      Improved bullpen
      Fewer injuries
      Better hitting
      Better situational managing
      Better fundamentals on the basepaths and on defense.

      Better luck.

      Going from 75 wins to 90 or 95 wins rather than from 61 wins might be an easier step.

  17. SellTheTeamBob

    Should trade him now!!
    Get 3 marginal prospects back.
    I’ve been a Reds fan since 1970. This team for the most part has been horrible since 1995. I saw 3 World Series wins and my kids was aged 1 and 3 the last time they won. Last game I have even watched on TV was them losses to the Braves in the playoffs.
    2023 will be as bad or worse than this year. I doubt in 24 they get to .500.
    I see a 100 year World Series drought for this inept management and ownership.

    • Votto4life

      Bob,
      I have been a fan since 1970. Like you I was spoiled by the BRM. Also like you, I have seen some pretty bad baseball the past 40 years.

      Your critic of the current ownership is spot on. People here who believe the Reds have some sort of master plan to make this team competitive are only fooling themselves.

      Nick Krall said plainly the Red’s plan is to “align payroll with resources”. That is all the Castellinis care.

      If the Reds win 65games last year it would be a marked improvement. I do not believe in the “2024 winning season” myth. The team in 2024 will likely be no better than the team they are fielding right now.

      I get a laugh when people say the 2021 team was poorly constructed. Opposed to what? This team??? LOL

      • Jim Walker

        The poor construction in 2021 was they dumped Raisel Iglesias and Archie Bradley and did not replace them.

  18. Steelerfan

    Nick, thanks for all the time and effort this season. It could not have been easy and as an out of market I greatly appreciate it.

    Here is to better times.

  19. old-school

    @ Nick:
    Great write-ups.
    I appreciate the change of pace pregame stats as I like to be reminded of the K rates, BB rates and EV.

  20. wkuchad

    As always, great write up Nick. A big thanks to Doug, Tom, Nick and all the RLN contributors for giving us Reds fans a place to visit during the highs and lows.