The Cincinnati Reds built up a big lead, but the bullpen made it a game late as the Giants scored four runs in the 8th inning to make it a 1-run deficit before giving away the lead and the game in the bottom of the 9th.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (1-1)
6 11 1
San Francisco Giants (1-1)
7 14 0
W: Guzman (1-0) L: Lively (0-1)
Box Score | Game Thread

The Highlights

It didn’t take the Reds long to get on the board. Spencer Steer singled in the top of the 1st with two outs and then scored on a TJ Friedl triple. Cincinnati didn’t score again until the 6th and it was Friedl getting things done once more. Curt Casali singled to start the 6th, moved to second when Steer walked, and then the Reds took a 2-1 lead on a double by Friedl. A force out off the bat of Elly De La Cruz brought in another run to extend the lead to 3-1. Richie Martin grounded out but drove in another run later in the inning to push the Reds lead to 4-1.

The next inning saw the offense get right back to work. Allan Cerda and Jhonny Pereda reached on infield hits before a 1-out RBI single by Michael Siani made it a 5-2 ballgame. In the top of the 8th it was Saturday’s hero Matt McLain getting things started. He walked with one out, stole second base, then scored on a single by Henry Ramos to extend the lead.

There were quite a few strong performances from the Cincinnati pitchers. Luke Weaver picked up a strikeout in a perfect inning to start the game. Levi Stoudt struck out two batters in the next inning while also being perfect. Two innings later it was Ian Gibaut with a perfect inning and he recorded all three of his outs on his own via the strikeout. Silvino Bracho came out for the 7th inning and tossed a perfect frame with a strikeout to hold onto the lead.

After that things got tough for the bullpen as Alan Busenitz gave up a 3-run homer in the 8th inning that cut the Reds lead to a run. In the bottom of the 9th it was Ben Lively giving up two runs on four hits that put the Giants ahead for the first time of the day, but it was the only time that truly mattered because it was the winning run.

Henry Ramos went 2-2 on the day. Spencer Steer went 1-2 with a walk and he scored two runs.

Monday’s Game

The Reds will host the Texas Rangers on Monday afternoon at 3:05pm ET. Hunter Greene will take the mound for his first start of the spring. The game will be on Bally Sports Ohio and If you would prefer to listen to the radio broadcast you can tune into 1360 WSAI AM.

53 Responses

  1. Doc

    Mid season form for the BP. Busenitz and Lively were Deadly.

    • Kevin H

      And they won’t be around this season. 2nd game of spring training relax

  2. Bdh

    Buy stock in TJ Friedl now. Needs to be an everyday player. I think he’s similar to Brett Gardner if he gets the at bats

    Gardners 162 game averages
    24 doubles
    7 triples
    13 home runs
    26 stolen bases
    Slashing .256/.342/.398 (.740)

    Friedl has only played 86 career games so far but here is his current 162 game pace

    21 doubles
    9 triples
    17 Home runs
    13 stolen bases
    Slashing .246/.320/.434 (.754)

    • Redsvol

      I agree, I think Frield is a catalyst. The team played better when he was recalled last year and I don’t think it was a coincidence. I don’t think Senzel should displace him when he gets healthy.

      3 pitchers in the late innings kind of ruined what was looking to be a good game – Guerrero, Busenitz, and Lively. Took a miracle for Kuhnel to avoid earned runs.

      On the flip side, Gibault and Stoudt pitched well.

      On the offensive side, Steer, Friedl, and Ramos appeared to have good days. Good for them. Solak and Robinson had forgettable games.

      • JB

        I agree with Friedl. Definitely put his name in the hat today. I hope they just take the best 26 north. If Senzel doesn’t do well or Mclain out plays Barrero then bring the guys north who earned it.

      • LDS

        It’s early, but excepting McLain, they are 0 for SS. Couple of guys looking good out of the gate. Several not so much. Pitchers? Lots of question marks.

      • MK

        Though ok offensively it sounded like Steer had a less than sterling day defensively. Kind of worried about the defense who has not really had a set position on the way up. That’s OK for a bench player but worries me day to day.

    • MBS

      Friedl, Fraley, Benson as my starting OF with Myers as the 1B. Lots of candidates for the 4th/5th OF depending on how you classify Myers in Fairchild, Solak, and Pinder. Siani could also be in the mix, but I’m guessing he’s up by midseason. Senzel and Votto will open some playing time for 2 guys, but I’d love to see the team at full strength as soon as possible.

      • PTBNL

        Who would your starting outfield be with an opposing lefty starter?

      • 2020ball

        Fairchild, senzel, and myers if all are healthy

      • MBS

        It depends on who the 4th is but lets assume it’s Pinder.

        1B Stephenson, RF Myers, CF Friedl, LF Pinder would be a good way to go. You could also go Barrero in CF, with Newman at SS in that game. There are only 3 Lefty bats on the 26 man if Votto is hurt. It’s easy enough to hide them.

      • Redsvol

        Both friedl’s extra base bits were off lefties (manea and sapucki). Not everyone is a platoon player.

      • 2020ball

        I’m not in favor of platooning guys forcefully, like moving guys out of position to do it, but if you can I dont see why not. Sitting a guy against a lefty doesnt mean I’d be up in arms if he faces a same-handed pitcher sometimes.

  3. Mark Moore

    I’m afraid you’ll need to save that headline for later use, Doug.

    Battled hard and well for 7 innings. Too bad we played 9.

    • JayTheRed

      When I read the headline I was like.
      And are we shocked one bit.

      • Harry Stoner

        Bullpen already in mid-season form.

        And late season form.

        Early season form, too.

      • 2020ball

        Why even be shocked if the guys that failed arent even favored for a job? Who cares, im just happy they scored some runs.

  4. Melvin

    Well, we almost won two in a row. These kind of ST games are perfectly fine to schedule lineups and rotations and let the chips fall where they may. There’s not too much in game managing that needs to be done. Regular season?….not so much. lol

  5. David

    Lively was in the Reds farm system last year (pitched at AAA) and was no great shakes there. No real surprise there.

    I think Busenitz was an acquisition from Japanese baseball, and was supposed to be pretty good.
    I think we can wait a few more outings to finally judge, but not seeing the game, don’t know if this was a question of location or velocity or what.

    I hope that the Reds management follows what “JB” said above. Bring the best 26 players east (well, north east) from Arizona to Cincinnati. Still a lot of Spring Training to go. The last 10 days are usually shake down time for the roster.
    But if somebody stinks now (everybody has a bad day in Spring Training) and stinks later (a pattern!!!), they should either be let go (older guys) or positioned in the minors (younger guys).

  6. Votto4life

    There are a lot of reasons to be concerned about this team, a Spring Training game loss in February is not one of them. This part of Spring is just about them getting their work in.

    • Harry Stoner

      Does that mean we can’t feel good about them winning, either?

    • TR

      Sorting is primary for the bullpen at this time to see who can get therir relief role done successfully most of the time. A decent bullpen is essential to keep 2023 from becoming another ‘meh’ Red’s season.

  7. docproc

    Was at the game today in chilly Scottsdale. A few observations:
    –Saw three of EDLC’s tools on display today: speed to avoid being doubled up, power on deep oppo fly balls, and a gun of an arm on a slow grounder to him at SS.
    –Steer didn’t look good at 3rd. Two throws to first were in the dirt (one leading to an error), and he mishandled a hard grounder (ruled a hit–a bad ruling).
    –Alex McGarry got strike three called on him because he didn’t get into the batter’s box fast enough. It was maddening that a guy who played minor league ball last year didn’t seem aware of the rules.
    –BTW, LOVE all the new rules and the pace of play.

    • CFD3000

      Great that you’re out there and appreciate the in-person report Doc. Keep them coming as long as you’re in AZ.

    • Doug Gray

      McGarry’s miscue was laughable for nothing else beyond the fact that three days ago he was quoted in The Athletic about how much he liked the rules in the minors. It’s not a big deal in spring training.

  8. BK

    To follow up on Doug’s assertion that “The Padres continue to embarrass ‘small market’ owners,” … it’s a little early to call the Padres’ strategy a success. Let’s see how well their plan ages. Also, this spending spree follows about a decade of well-below-average payrolls. Further, Manfred recently said the Padres are close to becoming a revenue-sharing payer. So, the Padres are the biggest of the small-market teams.

    As for the Pirates owner … did he say anything factually inaccurate? The Rockies owner basically said the same thing. I think anyone with a basic understanding of economics would agree that the latest CBA will increase payroll disparity between large and small market teams.

    • David

      It sounds a little bit more reasonable coming from someone other than Phil Castellini, that’s all.
      Phil has little credibility with anyone outside of his Dad.

      But the latest CBA did nothing to redress the balance between big market and small market teams, and as you and others know, it probably made things worse.
      I have no access to the Padres accounting records and revenue projections, but they might be in a world of hurt in a couple of years, or will just trade people away they can’t afford.
      And what happens to the Padres if their finances really go sideways? A big payroll and NOT a winning team? What if attendance would drop and TV revenue drops and they still have the big payroll?
      They are doing what one group of Reds’ fans want the Reds to do. It will be interesting to see this all play out.

    • Doug Gray

      Paying into revenue sharing is not because the Padres are “the biggest of the small market teams” it’s because they are bringing in so much money (because they are making so much money via selling tickets and merchandise). They are still among the smallest markets in all of baseball (only 4 teams are in what MLB considers smaller markets).

      And yeah, the Pirates owner and the Rockies owner are both a bunch of whiny cry babies who want checks just written to them for existing rather than trying to actual create additional revenue by producing a good product.

      • BK

        San Diego is the fourth small TV market, but their metro area is 50 percent larger than Cincinnati. Forbes estimates the value of their “market” at $550M, roughly equal to the White sox and 60 percent more than Cincinnati. Larger metro markets drive higher season-ticket sales and attendance in general than regional markets like Cincinnati.

        The Padres also lost over $100M in the 2020 and 2021 seasons. They likely lost money in 2022, too (we’ll know in about one month). They are also tied to Sinclair (DSG) for their RSN–more potential losses are coming. Their debt ratio is 50 percent higher than the Reds. As I said, it is too early to declare their model a success. I will assert they are on an unsustainable trajectory. But I get why sports journalists love the Padres’ spending.

        Rather than resorting to name-calling, just explain how the Rockies and Pirates owners are wrong. What exactly did the last CBA do to reduce the resource disparity among teams?

      • Doug Gray

        They are wrong because they don’t want to operate a business, they want to operate a system wherein they are given overwhelming charity simply for existing. The CBA they agreed to allows them to get revenue sharing checks simply because they exist and that isn’t enough for them.

      • BK

        They are complaining because the revenue sharing that they receive allows them to remain solvent but not competitive. You have repeatedly stated that a pro sports franchise should do its best to put a competitive product on the field every year. I totally agree with you.

        However, MLB is structured so that only a handful of teams have the resources to compete on the open market for every free agent. Some teams have to pick and choose. Your hometown team and the team you cover for a living is in the “pick and choose” category, as are the Pirates and Rockies. Why are you opposed to Owners stating that fact?

        Every pro league has revenue sharing. Without it, the Reds and others would be insolvent. Why should we accept the Mets, Yankees, and Dodgers using their larger revenue streams to drive up the prices of free agents at the expense of other teams while posting an operating profit? Why shouldn’t Reds fans (and similar) demand a larger share of the revenues so our team can operate with parity?

    • AMDG

      It’s more than simply “market size”.

      For example, the Padres are only 1 hour or so away from the massive LA metro, which they can draw from. Even if you add Indy, Dayton, and L’ville to the Cincy market it’s still less than 1/3 of San Diego + LA.

      Also, there is a factor of revenue. The Padres drew 2x as many fans as the Reds and charge 25% more per ticket, on average.

      Over the course of 81 home games, that’s a difference of the Padres bringing in $140M in revenue vs $53M for the Reds.

      Just basing payroll on gate revenues, the Padres would be able to spend 163% more than the Reds.

      • MBS

        Look at the attendance comp

        Reds 2012 2.34M Pads 2.12M
        Reds 2013 2.49M Pads 2.16M
        Reds 2014 2.47M Pads 2.19M
        Reds 2015 2.41M Pads 2.45M
        Reds 2016 1.94M Pads 2.35M
        Reds 2017 1.89M Pads 2.13M
        Reds 2018 1.62M Pads 2.16M
        Reds 2019 1.80M Pads 2.39M
        *********2020 **********
        Reds 2021 1.50M Pads 2.19M
        Reds 2022 1.39M Pads 2.98M

        When the Reds had a competitive team their attendance was solid, but when they went into rebuild 2014 / 2015 it died off. It might have made a comeback in 2020, but COVID, and then they kicked off rebuild 2021 / 2022. The Padres went the other way. They saw an opportunity to sign FA’s when everyone else came out of 2020 afraid to spend money. It’s also not clear if it will be a huge mistake or a huge payoff, but they went all in.

      • BK

        Improved attendance would help, but it won’t close the revenue gap with the top teams.

      • MBS

        @BK, I don’t know, San Diego’s TV deal isn’t much different than our, and their payroll is at 219M, which is the 4th highest in baseball. The owner could be digging into his pockets. I doubt it, but who knows?

      • BK

        @MBS, the Padres can fund their payroll in one of 3 ways: team revenue, debt, or owner investment (reverse dividend). Two of those methods are unsustainable.

        I agree their TV package is similar to the Reds. I haven’t been to San Diego in ions. So perhaps they have a “ballpark village” op similar to what St. Louis has that generates bushels of revenue. Forbes does not include those in their analyses.

        Let me offer a quick comparison. Do you think Sinclair celebrated their purchase of RSNs from Disney three years ago? I bet there were big parties. However, they bought the venture just as cord-cutting accelerated and paid for the purchase almost entirely with debt. Now, they are on the brink of bankruptcy. This deal was high-risk from the start … just like the Padres’ spending.

        The CBA limits the amount of debt a franchise can take on. Forbes shows the Padres losing money. So, the question is, how long will the Padres owners continue to subsidize the team?

      • MBS

        “It’s also not clear if it will be a huge mistake or a huge payoff, but they went all in.”

        I agree it was a big risk, that’s what I said when I made my comments above.

        The point was that the rebuilds (yes that’s the plural of rebuild) have destroyed the fan base, and revenue of the team. Cutting expenses is one way of balancing a budget, finding way to increase revenue is another. We see the way Bob decided to do it, and how the Padres have done it. Which way will payoff better for the 2 owners, I don’t know. I do know the way the Reds went is worse for the fans.

      • Andy

        “Charge 25% more per ticket”. Admittedly, 25% is not horrible, but I’m guessing that will go up to afford the big Padres payroll. For these labor disputes, I don’t root for players or owners, I root for myself (just like the players and owners do). On one hand, significant salary increases will lead to significant ticket price increases, and increases to prices of TV deals and streaming subscriptions. On the other hand, low payrolls lead to lots of losing, which is not in my best interest either. I don’t want owners pocketing revenue sharing $, but I’m OK if they are saving it for the year they go all in.

        I will not follow the current fashionable opinion to always side with players. Ultimately, fans are paying the players with owners being a middle man. Owners that pocket too much should be called out. But players like Freddie Freeman that leave a loyal fanbase for a contract ~5% more than what his team was offering should be called out as greedy as well.

        Pro franchises and star players profit greatly from fan loyalty. They rarely ever return the favor. They may find they miss the fan loyalty when it’s gone. The current cable TV mess has already lead for me to stop watching televised Reds games for last 2 years. Given that all these RSN’s are going bankrupt, I’m not the only one that stopped.

      • Melvin

        @MBS – “Which way will payoff better for the 2 owners, I don’t know. I do know the way the Reds went is worse for the fans.”

        If you’re an MLB owner you better care about the fans or sell the team and get into different business.

    • Votto4life

      It’s a false choice.

      The Reds don’t have to spend like Padres to be competitive in the NL Central.

      It’s not simple a choice between a $400 Million dollar payroll or a $80 million dollar payroll.

      The Reds could be competitive with a $140 million dollar payroll.

      The Reds don’t need to spend as much as the Padres to win, but they refuse to even try.

      I refuse to believe the Reds lose money or merely break even. If that is the case then Bob Castellini is a miserable business man.

      The answer is simple, if you are losing money then sell the team.

      • Votto4life

        I realize the padres don’t really have a $400 million payroll, I was just trying to make a point that the Reds should at least have an average payroll

        On the other hand, if the Padres sign Ohtani maybe they will have a $400 million dollar payroll.

      • BK

        The reality is we don’t have to rely on any of our “opinions” on whether or not a team loses or makes money. A reputable company provides realistic estimates for us to refer to.

        That said, the Reds and other small market teams are orders of magnitude away from the resources of the best-funded teams. We really don’t need accountants or financial analysts to agree on the disparity.

        I will restate my question … why should we or other small market teams be labeled as “whiny cry babies” for complaining about a rigged league? Why is ignoring the root cause of the problem helpful?

      • David

        Precisely, I don’t think it’s “orders of magnitude”, which is typically a power of 10 (1 magnitude). The revenues of the richest clubs (ie, Dodgers and Yankees) probably are on the order of 3 times the Reds revenue (maybe 4 times).
        But…..I take your point. Really, not trying be contrarian.
        I think the Padres’ “owners” are financing out of their own pockets, taking a loss with expectations of winning. I don’t know this for a fact, just guessing.
        And yes, the Reds attendance has suffered because of putting a lousy team on the field. Real die-hard fans in the Greater Cincy area will still go to games, but good luck getting people from Dayton, Columbus, Indianapolis, Lexington, Louisville, etc to casually come to games and boost attendance to > 2.5 million for the season.
        Chicago fans and St. Louis fans will “go the distance” to come to GABP to watch their teams, and GABP is pretty affordable compared to most other ML ball parks.
        What would it really take for the Reds to be competitive? A lot of it would be a matter of who they sign. Getting a better bullpen would not cost 50 mil, and would add more wins. Getting a couple of solid outfielders/infielders would add more wins. Barrero has promise, but if we had a decent SS hitter (league average) would help. Stephenson at catcher being healthy for the season will help.
        The Reds are on the verge of being better, but the parsimonios spending by the Reds probably means that they will “just” be competitive and not really challenge to win the division.

      • MBS

        @Votto, being the voice of reason. I agree going as deep as San Diego seems like a mistake, 150M is more of a moderate, but strong payroll for our market size.

        I also completely agree with anyone who says that the disparity in revenue needs to be evened out. I think baseball has found itself in a unique position to do so with 14 of 30 teams about to lose their contracts, and 3 more likely to join them. National deals evenly split between all the teams will be the key. In stadium revenues will still favor larger markets, but at least it’s a fair competition again.

      • Votto4life

        I am by no way saying the disparity between the haves and have nots is not a problem. In fact, I think it’s the biggest problem facing the game.

        I just think the Reds would have a stronger argument is they had at least a league average payroll.

        I don’t think the Reds are going to win over the big market teams by claiming there is a disparity problem, when the Reds greedily take the revenue sharing hand out (which is exactly what it is) and not invest that money into the team.

        Teach a man to fish and he eats a life time. Give a man money to buy a boat, fishing gear and bait and the man instead pockets that money and fishes with a stick and cheap fishing line, then the man is the problem.

      • BK

        V4L, all good points. However, the last two years do not represent Red’s spending patterns from 2006-2020. They have historically been closer to the middle of the pack. There are also obvious reasons that the Reds have cut spending over the last two years: they entered COVID with a record payroll resulting in substantial losses, their RSN contract is teetering, and they elected to rebuild. It’s too early to assume the payroll cuts will continue when the prospects on the farm mature. In fact, I will argue it would be wise for them to end this season in as strong of a financial position as possible.

        That doesn’t mean I’m excusing them for mismanaging the team into a position where another rebuild was needed. Nor am I excusing any of Phil C.’s PR blunders.

        A few teams have maintained payrolls that have resulted in MLBPA grievances for not using revenue-sharing money to improve their team, a stipulation of the CBA. None of those grievances have been adjudicated. One of those teams, Tampa, has had a lot of success. Cleveland has had a lot of success with modest payrolls, too. The Reds haven’t been one of those teams historically.

      • Melvin

        @ Votto4life – “Teach a man to fish and he eats a life time. Give a man money to buy a boat, fishing gear and bait and the man instead pockets that money and fishes with a stick and cheap fishing line, then the man is the problem.”

        Interesting way of looking at it.

      • BK

        @ Melvin, I agree with you. The question does the analogy accurately describe the Reds?

      • Melvin

        @ BK – “It’s too early to assume the payroll cuts will continue when the prospects on the farm mature.”

        Maybe. My gut feeling though is that Big Bob & Son are fed up spending enough money to be competitive. They just don’t care. We’ll see. If they cared they would at least give some information to Reds fans about their intentions in the future just to encourage them. Right now most Reds fans have zero confidence and trust in ownership. In my view Big Bob & Son are mad at MLB in general, mad about the fans wanting them to sell the team, mad about etc. They’re having an extreme pity party and just enjoy irritating as many people as possible. lol

  9. Private Gripweed

    Glad to see Doug’s already in midseason form with the headline on this one.