A slugfest broke out in Peoria but the Cincinnati Reds held on by a run in a 10-9 win over the San Diego Padres thanks to a late-inning 2-run shot from prospect Austin Hendrick.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (7-5-1) 10 13 2
San Diego Padres (6-7) 9 11 1
W: Strickland L: Lopez SV: Norris
Box Score | Game Thread

The Highlights

After both teams put up zeroes in the 1st inning, it was the Padres that got things going in the 2nd. Former Reds infielder Brandon Dixon singled off of Luke Weaver with one out and then scored when Alfonso Rivas hit one off of the batters eye to make it 2-0. Cincinnati’s offense went to work in the top of the 3rd inning when Christian Encarnacion-Strand tripled into center and scored when Jonathan India doubled him in. Wil Myers would tie the game up with a single that plated India. Jake Fraley would give the Reds a lead on a fielders choice that brought Tyler Stephenson in.

After a leadoff walk to start the bottom of the 4th inning, Luke Weaver exited the game and handed the ball to reliever Brooks Crawford. He got out of the inning unscathed with the help of Tyler Stephenson who threw out David Dahl in a stolen base attempt. Brandon Williamson came out of the bullpen to start the 5th inning and walked the first batter before giving up a single to the next batter. A sacrifice fly followed to tie the game up at 3-3.

The Reds didn’t waste much time getting their lead back. Jake Fraley started a rally with a 1-out single in the top of the 6th. Curt Casali would single and both runners moved up on a passed ball. They came around to score when Spencer Steer doubled to the wall in left and Cincinnati jumped ahead 5-3. Steer would then score on a 2-out single into right field by Will Benson.

San Diego got to Brandon Williamson and the bullpen once again in their half of the 6th inning. The lefty allowed a leadoff single and then a 2-out walk before he was replaced by Bennett Sousa. He gave up a 2-run double to the first batter he saw as the Padres climbed within a run at 6-5. Sousa would strike out Pedro Severino to end the inning and hold onto a 1-run lead.

With Hunter Strickland taking over in the bottom of the 7th inning the Padres tied the game up when Tim Lopes led off with a home run. Jakob Marsee would single into right field with one out, then steal second base before scoring on a 2-out single that gave San Diego a 7-6 lead.

Cincinnati got some help in the top of the 8th inning. Stuart Fairchild was hit by a pitch to begin the inning. Elly De La Cruz then grounded a ball to third base, but a fielders choice to try and start a double play saw the throw trickle into the outfield as Fairchild moved to third and De La Cruz took second. Noelvi Marte then tied the game up with a sacrifice fly to center. Matt McLain followed up with a double to give Cincinnati the lead once again. Austin Hendrick, the Reds 2020 1st round draft pick, then clobbered a long 2-run home run (off of a fellow lefty) to make it 10-7.

Buck Farmer took over the game in the bottom of the 8th and as it was with the rest of the game – things didn’t go well for the pitchers. After retiring the first two batters of the inning he allowed a single, walk, and a 2-run double that made it a 10-9 ballgame. A walk followed to put the go-ahead run on the bases, but Farmer struck out Jantzen Witte to end the inning and keep Cincinnati in front.

Still holding onto a 1-run lead, Daniel Norris came on to try and close the game out in the bottom of the 9th inning. Norris would induce a ground out and a fly out to get two quick outs, but he then walked Rangel Ravelo who was replaced by a pinch runner at first base. That was as far as things would get as Norris struck out Jose Azocar to end the game and seal the win.

Alejo Lopez and Wil Myers each had two hits in the game.

Thursday’s Game

Hunter Greene will take the mound for the Cincinnati Reds tomorrow as they hit the road again, this time to face the Chicago Cubs at 3:05pm ET.

81 Responses

  1. Rcsodak

    Do we really have to lose some of these kids to the minors? Sigh

    • TR

      It appears ‘Veteran Presense’ will be the determining factor.

  2. Old Big Ed

    Nice homer by Hendrick, but he has a Josh Donaldson-level bad haircut.

    EDLC was befuddled by a side-armed lefty pitcher who appeared to be throwing fairly hard for a side-armed pitcher. He likely hasn’t seen those very often. His hustle play on his fielder’s choice was excellent.

  3. Bdh

    For those who watched the game instead of radio were either of Marte’s balls close to getting out?

    • KG

      The camera never zoomed that far in, but I suspect they were tucked neatly into his jock strap.

      • Old Big Ed

        I agree. He did hit the ball past the ladies tee, too.

  4. Dan

    Is Friedl no longer #29? Or do they just have two guys both wearing #29 at the moment?

    • JB

      He was 29 yesterday. I don’t get MLB.TV yet. Have to wait until 5th of April then T-Mobile gives it for free

      • BZ

        It is actually on March 28th this year. They sent out a message yesterday.

  5. Melvin

    Looks like CES had an off game with only one hit. His average for ST is down to .600. I’m just not sure about that guy. 🙂 All kidding aside, I know it’s early ST pitching but…what about the guys who aren’t hitting early ST pitching? I have a feeling CES is basically just a good hitter. We’ll find out.

    • Harry Stoner

      Sure he can hit for average and power.

      But does he have “veteran presence”? 😉

      • greenmtred

        Alternatively, can he hit good MLB pitching? Does he still need to work on stuff in the minors?

    • AMDG

      Seems he was rather abysmal in the field today.

      Throwing error, and botched a couple of ground balls.

  6. GreatRedLegsFan

    As things stand, looks like Reds are good on offense and not so good on pitching.

    • Harry Stoner

      They’ve got Strickland back, though.

      • steveAReno

        They didn’t have to Hunt very far to get him.

  7. VaRedsFan

    Is Weaver on a guaranteed contract, or a tryout?

    • VaRedsFan

      Nevermind. 1 year 2 million.
      Like Strickland last year, promised a spot no matter how bad he is.

    • Redsvol

      I didn’t watch the game but I don’t consider that a bad spring training line for Weaver – 1 walk in 3 innings against a pretty good Padres lineup. He’s battling for the 5th starter’s spot.

      On the other hand, walks haunt bullpen – even in spring training. Williamson and Farmer with too many walks. Its spring training, throw it down the middle and see if they can hit. Williamson probably not ready for MLB hitters yet, which is unfortunate.

      Youngsters keep hitting. Hoping they continue it during the regular season.

      • 2020ball

        I dont think you ever want to throw it down the middle unless youre not trying to make the team.

  8. DHud

    At what point do we seriously start talking about CES breaking camp with the big league club.

    Got it he doesn’t have a lot of upper minors ABs. But he hits and the reds have shown in recent past they aren’t afraid to let players make that jump (India, Greene, Barrero..)

    • Harry Stoner

      CES breaking camp: my guess is 2024.

      As much as I’d enjoy seeing it happen, we’ve got Bell to consider.

      Which of his favorites would have to give way to open a spot for CES on the roster?

      I can’t see Bell giving up on Pinder and maybe not even Kojak.

      I think it’s going to take an injury or TS returning to more regularly catching (and hence not carrying 3 catchers) before it happens unfortunately.

      Despite his torrid Spring, he might wind up languishing for awhile.

      Which would be a real shame after enduring the anemic hitting in 2022.

      • 2020ball

        No idea why everyone is so convinced Bell is in love with Pinder and Solak, there is literally no way any single one of you can know that. Baseless assumptions, and when they get cut from camp it’ll be “oh, Bell is so sad right now” even though he never even wrote an in-season line-up card with their names on it.

        I don’t see Pinder making the team unless Barrero or Newman get hurt, he’s not even on the 40. Hopefully he stays as SS depth, which the organization sorely lacks. Solak is blocked by the many other OF, mainly Senzel. Dont see him making the team either.

      • Stock

        I hope zero chance he is in Cincinnati prior to September. He needs to work on his defense and remember this is ST.

        Everyone is praising CES and rightly so. But McLain has been just as good and appears more ready based upon ST. If anyone goes north with the Reds it should be McLain and not CES. Of course I hope both spend the season in the minors.

      • Stock

        Well said 2020.

        Plus, I always thought the GM makes the roster decisions and the manager determines playing time for whomever the GM gives him.

      • greenmtred

        They’ve got cherished preconceptions to nurture, 2020. They also don’t like to consider that the disposition of various players may not be up to Bell alone.

    • Stock

      I hope zero chance he is in Cincinnati prior to September. He needs to work on his defense and remember this is ST.

      Everyone is praising CES and rightly so. But McLain has been just as good and appears more ready based upon ST. If anyone goes north with the Reds it should be McLain and not CES. Of course I hope both spend the season in the minors.

      • DHud

        Easier path to more ABs for CES than McClain IMO could give him the edge

        CES is an easy plug at 1B/DH while Votto is out. McClain isn’t going to get ABs at 2B over India and Barrero probably gets every chance to prove himself at SS

      • Stock

        I find it hard to believe that CES would be better defensively at 1B than McLain.

        Offensively McLain is much more prepared also. He has walked 7 times. CES has yet to walk. Once the season begins AAAA and lower pitchers will not be on the mound. Once the season begins there will be no more expirements with specific pitches. Once the season begins pitchers will understand CES does not understand the strike zone yet and will not throw it down the middle. CES has done well thus far but he is not ready.

  9. Melvin

    Looks like Lopez got into another game. PIcked up two hits and one was even for extra bases. lol I know I said young guys should play every day but Lopez is the exception. I’d much rather have him as a bench player who can play multiple positions over the older guys. He’s a “hitter” and “hitters” are valuable. He’s also a young SWITCH hitter….and cheap. 😉

    • Harry Stoner

      Given the abysmal hitting by the Reds last year I’m all for keeping a hitter like Lopez.

      But the Reds DFAed him and he cleared waivers.

      I can’t see Bell playing him when he has .150 hitters like Pinder, Kojak and Vosler on the bench. And Reynolds.

      Lopez is trapped in Limbo. His best hope is to be part of a trade of some kind.

      • greenmtred

        I’m certain that Bell could even find some guys who only hit .125 if he’d put in a little more effort. Why do you suppose that he doesn’t?

    • DaveCT

      I agree to the point Lopez is the exception of the younger guys. One, he’s already done quite a bit of utility work in the ML’s, and a lot of his development was spread over the field. A young, controllable utility guy is a plus by me.

    • 2020ball

      For such a supposed “hitter” he shown literally nothing in the time he’s been in the bigs. His defense holds him back the most, a slap hitting average defensive 2B is fine as depth but isn’t very useful on an ML roster unless he can play SS.

      • Melvin

        He can. Remember the video he sent out? 🙂

      • Jimbo44CN

        Nothing, really. a 262 career average is nothing. When the MLB average is what now, 240? Cmon.

      • 2020ball

        Hitting isnt all BA. Whose playing time would you like to see cut so we can *maybe* see a few more singles?

  10. Dennis Westrick

    So, Strickland gets the win in today’s ST game after giving up 2 runs to balloon his ERA to 12.00? Sounds about right!

    • Doc

      It’s a joke to even keep W-L records for pitchers in ST. If they use the same rules as regular season no starter is going to get a win until they’ve built up to 5 innings.

      • Harry Stoner

        Maybe they should just give “demerits” like in elementary school.

        Though they probably don’t do that anymore.

        Serving up a first-pitch tater in relief ought to earn the man a few demerits.

        But we can be sure Bell is extending him a lot of credit.

      • Dennis Westrick

        I agree, Doc! Won-Loss records in ST are meaningless. I focus on the things that should matter to any RP – such as throwing strikes, limiting the hits and walks, and, keeping the ball inside the ballpark! Strickland fails consistently on all these metrics! By that reasoning, he is a shoe-in to make Bell’s opening day roster!

      • AMDG

        Well, one could argue that win-loss records for pitchers during the regular season are meaningless as well.

        Back when pitchers pitched 20+ complete games a season with 350~400 IP, a Win or Loss had more meaning since the pitcher was pitching the entire game vs another pitcher pitching an entire game.

        But these days, when a pitcher is pulled after 5 innings to give way to a parade of relievers, the W or L is not really indicative of anything. It’s just an outdated stat from a bygone era.

  11. MercerRed

    IF CES ends up hitting even .450 this spring, the Reds should definitely take him to Cincy. His triple which started today’s scoring in the 2nd inning was absolutely scalded!!
    Bell (and Krall) need to reassess whether to carry Maile as a 3rd catcher. Dropping back to 2 catchers opens a spot for CES.
    Sometimes plans need change when someone totally steps forward To not bring to Cincy, if he continues to hit, could shatter his optimism about being a RED.

  12. Tom Mitsoff

    Folks, there is no way in you-know-what that Strickland makes this team unless about 10 other pitchers get hurt.

    • Harry Stoner

      Tom, I’m not doubting you, I just wish I had your confidence.

      So what is it then? A temporary gig in Louisville until he gets called up in May.

      We haven’t seen the last of him. Or Reynolds.

      • 2020ball

        Reynolds actually played pretty well last year, 80 OPS+ with good defense. Great as a bench player and injury depth, he’s one of the only SS available on the team.

      • LDS

        So 80+ OPS is considered good now? Talk about grade inflation. There’s no reason for Reynolds, Pinder, Strickland, Solak, or any of several others should be given serious consideration for a roster slot. For that matter, I’m not convinced that I’d keep Newman over McLain.

      • Harry Stoner

        I thought Newman and Barrero are shortstops.

        How many does Bell need for his juggling act?

      • AMDG

        Farmer had a lot of apologists on this site for his 85 OPS+ contributions as a member of the Reds.

        So, yes. It would seem for many fans, an 80 OPS+ is considered good.

      • J. Dennis Westrick

        Or Farmer for that matter!

      • 2020ball

        Paired with good defense and SS capable yes thats great as a bench player. I of course would rather see better and he stays in the minors. I realize you need to complain about every bench player, so that of course clouds your judgement and you’ll simply ignore that the Reds didnt have anyone to replace that production last year. Drop a name if you want.

    • J. Dennis Westrick

      Wouldn’t bet a bowl of Skyline chili on that prediction Tom!

  13. GreatRedLegsFan

    So many utility type guys (Pinder, Vosler, Lopez, Solak, Reynolds). Put all together in a blender and you may get one decent major leaguer.

    • LDS

      That’s what Bell likes and expect Steer and Senzel to move around more this year. And that’s why you want Bell gone before EDLC and company make the team.

      • LDS

        @Green, you are one of those hilarious apologists. What you call flexibility is merely mediocrity. The next time you need a doctor, just find a good plumber. After all, everyone is fungible.

      • greenmtred

        My primary care doctor is, like most primary care doctors, a generalist, and there’s nothing mediocre about him. Flexibility is a skill in itself and while it’s mostly true that star players don’t switch positions frequently, it’s also true that players who can do so have considerable value. I’m glad you’re able to find humor in what I say: What a dreary old world it would be without humor. But it concerns me that you are unable to differentiate pointing out knee-jerk uninformed criticism from apology. You would be hard-put to find a comment of mine that lauds Bell.

  14. Rednat

    i know this is only spring training but I am enjoying this run. we are putting up some good offensive numbers which is exciting. not sure if it is the rule changes or possibly juiced ball this year? but the hitters look good so far.

    Not sure if in this new Red’s era of “Ray’s way baseball”, any of these young guys will ever play at gabp. (My understanding is that many will be traded for even more prospects and so on and so on). but they have been a treat to watch so far.

  15. Kevin H

    I am amazed at how many GM’s are on this blog. Do these “GM” have inside information in regards to who is gonna make the team? Just because a player is hitting over 600 now doesn’t mean he will during the season.

    When Bell had talent the Reds won, and you can slice that anyway you want but its is true. Bell didn’t have a bullpen in 2021 and they still were in contention until mid-september. Like wise in 2020 they made the playoffs with talented players. I know some will dispute this as they seem to want to dispute anything positive.

    Bell does annoy me at times yes, however he know’s his players and knows baseball or he wouldn’t be a MLB manager.

    • AMDG

      It is true that when the Reds gave him great rosters, he did not mismanage them enough to prevent the teams from barely squeaking by with winning seasons.

      But when they did not give him such a roster (see 2022) his managerial ability, or lack thereof, produced only the 2nd 100 loss season in franchise history.

      • greenmtred

        I would blame that record on the lack of talented players. Great mangers have bad records then they have bad players.

      • greenmtred

        Bell’s best year did not feature a “great” roster He had some good players, but an abysmal bullpen, terrible starts by key players and a huge number of injuries.

    • Harry Stoner

      So with this point of view in mind, are we to conclude that over the 150 year history of baseball, there have been no bad managers?

      Or managers who made wrong decisions with personnel, played favorites, ignored certain player’s contributions?

      That puts baseball in a whole other perspective, doesn’t it?

      • greenmtred

        All managers have made bad decisions, Harry, viewed retrospectively. The game is played by the players and the effect of managers is real but limited. Does having a good manager allow a guy who is completely over-matched against, say, Sandy Koufax or Bob Gibson, to hit him? Baseball is, for hitters, fundamentally defined by failure; the best hitters fail to hit 2/3 of the time, so even retrospective judgment is based on opinion, not fact: If you pinch hit for a guy the odds clearly favor the p[inch-hitter failing. And Kevin: The GMs here aren’t GMs because only their families would hire them and they stoutly oppose nepotism.

      • old-school

        @GMR- You are in mid-season form for sure. Strong work.
        I am enjoying watching these young talented players start to make waves as they push toward the big league club. Hope springs eternal and that’s what this spring training and April means for me. I will go back to grumbling if its May 15th and things haven’t changed in Mudville. But, for now, I am giving all the benefit of the doubt and looking for breakout pitchers and players to emerge and younger established players to make that next step to good MLb player.

      • Harry Stoner

        Thanks GreenMountainRed
        Your point is clear but your examples are a bit irrelevant to the conversation at hand.
        Yes, good managers can be stuck with poor talent and good talent can be stuck with poor managers.
        The ability to hit a particular pitcher isn’t controlled by the manager.
        What hitter is sent up to hit against a Koufax or a Strickland is.
        Whether one chooses to pitch a Gibson or a Strickland against a particular batter is decided by a manager.
        Emphasizing proper preparation before entering a game as a reliever is controllable by a manager.
        Often pitch calling is done by the manager as well.
        Grooving a first pitch tater isn’t the manager’s fault.
        But I doubt Koufax or Gibson delivered many of those. I could be wrong.
        By your rationale a Bryan Price or a Sparky Anderson are interchangeable.
        A Vern Rapp or a John McGraw are of equal importance to a team.
        That’s not a very convincing argument.

      • greenmtred

        Are we to conclude, then, that players are interchangeable and that a good manager–a manager who agrees with our opinions–can fashion a winning team regardless of the players at his disposal?

    • LDS

      Bell won? Would that be the year he was shut out in the playoffs? And does continually running out the same failing bullpen pieces count as good management? We Bell critics are certainly somewhat repetitive, but Bell’s apologists are simply hilarious. It’s like they’ve never managed anything or seen good management anywhere.

      • greenmtred

        He ran out the failing bullpen pieces because those were the pieces available; nobody has yet figured out how to mix up the right ingredients to bake a tray of relief pitchers, so he used who he had. You know nothing about my management experience.

  16. LDS

    C. Trent over at The Athletic has his late roster projection out, starring guess who Pinder and Strickland who both make the Opening Day roster. He acknowledges that Strickland has Bell’s respect. So, there you have it. Even guys that make a living following/writing about baseball have Bell’s predilections pegged.

    • Old Big Ed

      If Bell liked Strickland that much, then he would have persuaded Krall not to let him become a free agent. And there are plenty of people who make their living following/writing about baseball who think Strickland won’t make the Reds, because the Reds have better options.

      Virtually all managers prefer veterans. I think it is because, as a general rule, managers are non-stars as players, who eventually lost their spot on the roster to a younger player. They therefore value veteran-ness much more than we do; we prefer guys who can play.

      Krall’s function is to thank Bell for his opinion, and make his own decision about Strickland. Where else is Bell gonna go?

      • J

        I think the real reason managers prefer veterans is that they tend to be risk-averse. If you lose with veterans on the field, you can say “hey, don’t blame me — they’re supposed to know what they’re doing!” When you lose with young guys on the field and veterans on the bench, you’re forced to explain why the young guys didn’t perform and/or why you thought they were your better option. Bell does plenty of things that most managers probably wouldn’t do, but my sense is they’re motivated more by fear than boldness. For example, removing a relief pitcher who’s just thrown a perfect inning (with, say, 13 pitches) and replacing him with a mediocre (but well rested!) relief pitcher is a very risky move, and he does that sort of thing all the time, but I don’t think it’s because he’s bold. I think it’s because he’s afraid of leaving the guy in for a second inning (for reasons I’ll never understand). Fear seems to be a big motivator for Bell, whereas the boldness to say “hey, this young guy is more talented, so I’m playing him every day, against righties AND lefties, no matter how many highly-paid veterans I have on the bench” is not.

      • Harry Stoner

        That’s not a convincing argument either, BOE.

        Krall likely was behind releasing Strickland but we have no idea what Bell’s position on that was.

        If he were smart enough, Bell wouldn’t have wasted his capital on ‘arguing’ with Krall and allow Strickland to be let go, knowing full well he could arrange to invite him back to ST after a Winter where the Reds did little to improve their bullpen.

        Sure, this is as much speculation as any here.

        This type of “sandbagging” goes on in any business I’ve ever been involved with. The analogous examples are too many and too obvious to list here.

  17. old-school

    Lineups out for today and should be some good pitching on both ends with reds hitters getting a look at Jamison Taillon. Greene should get some quality hitters to face as well with Hoerner, Happ, Swanson, Mancini, Gomes.

    Watch Vosler go off today and muddy the waters

  18. redfanorbust

    Just a quick comment about keeping Alejo Lopez. I would keep him on the roster as a bench player. Can play multiple positions OF, 3B, 2B. He runs well. Decent fielder and can get you that ball in play or clutch single when called upon instead of bringing in someone likely to strike out. Looks like he is in the starting lineup today so seems he is still in the running.

  19. greenmtred

    Thanks, Old-School for your kind words, and I certainly agree about guarded hope watching the youngsters. Harry, I certainly did not say that managers have no importance or are interchangeable. But my point about the far greater importance of the players stands, as does my point about retrospective judgments and opinions based upon incomplete information. All that you and LDS and the other people obsessed with David Bell can say with certainty is that you–from your vantage point–disagree with many of his decisions. Fair enough.

  20. Michael

    Enjoy the banter back and forth. It’s a good conversation, hopefully Reds fans don’t get their feathers (or red leg hairs) ruffled easily. I may never forgive Bell for starting Van Meter at DH in back to back games at St Louis in the 2020 season when JVM was hitting less than .100 and he had bench options but played the handedness vs RHP. I thought JVM would amount to a decent major leaguer, was just in an awful slump.

    I believe it was Krall that made the decision to start Barrero last year as many of us believe that Bell would have much rather started Farmer/Reynolds. In a lost season, Barrero deserved a chance. Speaking of Jose, if he couldn’t handle the off speed stuff last year, I don’t see a different stance making a major difference but time will tell. If his OPS is less than .700 in May, it may be time for a turnover to Elly and McClain.