The Cincinnati Reds exploded for six runs in the bottom of the 1st inning and held on by the thinnest of threads to pull out a 6-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night to secure a split of their two games played on the day.

Final R H E
Arizona Diamondbacks (5-9-1_ 5 8 0
Cincinnati Reds (8-7-1) 6 8 0
W: Lodolo L: Pfaadt SV: Guerrero
Box Score | Game Thread

The Highlights

The baseball was flying early on in Goodyear. Kyle Lewis kicked off the game with a double off of Nick Lodolo and Seth Beer came through with a 2-out, 2-run homer to put Arizona on top in the 1st.

Cincinnati’s offense wasted little time getting things going in the bottom half of the inning. Wil Myers and Spencer Steer both drew 1-out walks. Jose Barrero followed up with an RBI single to cut the Diamondbacks lead in half. Elly De La Cruz tripled off of the wall in center with two outs to plate two runs and give the Reds a 3-2 lead.

That led to a pitching change, but Cincinnati wasn’t finished. Brent Teller entered the game from the bullpen and walked Luke Maile. That brought Christian Encarnacion-Strand to the plate and all he did was hit his team leading 4th homer of the spring to make it 6-2. The 3-run homer for Encarnacion-Strand gave him 13 (!) RBI on the spring and it raised his average to .609.

With a 6-2 lead, Nick Lodolo returned to the mound in the 2nd inning and worked around a leadoff single by Geraldo Perdomo to fire a shutout inning. The lefty would return for the 3rd inning with same score, but ran into trouble when Spencer Steer made a throwing error with two outs that put runners on the corners. Lodolo buckled down and struck out Dominic Canzone to get out of the jam and end the inning.

Nick Lodolo returned to start the 4th inning, but he would walk Geraldo Perdomo and then he left the game after having reached his pitch count. Zack Brown entered the game and gave up an RBI double to Jake Hager to make it a 6-3 ballgame. He wouldn’t make it easy on himself, walking two more batters in the inning to load the bases, but got out of the inning with a strikeout and kept the lead a three runs.

Connor Phillips, the Reds top rated pitching prospect, took over in the top of the 5th inning. He had to work around a 2-out walk, but he did just that. In the next inning the right-hander worked around a leadoff walk with a strikeout and a double play. Cincinnati got 1-out doubles from Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Matt McLain, but on McLain’s double Encarnacion-Strand was thrown out at the plate.

When then 7th inning began the Reds sent Daniel Norris to the mound to take over for Phillips. After he retired the first batter on a ground out he would walk P.J. Higgins, give up a single to Diego Castillo, and then walk Phillip Evans to load the bases. An infield single would follow and bring in a run to cut the lead to 6-4. Norris then hit Brett Johnson to bring in another run and see the Reds lead drop to just one run. A strikeout of Jose Herrera followed, but Cincinnati went to the bullpen to bring in Spencer Stockton with the bases still loaded and the minor leaguer came through with an inning-ending strikeout.

The Reds tried to play add on in the bottom of the 7th inning. Richie Martin led off with a single and Jason Vosler was hit by a pitch to put two men on. Both men then stole a base and put two men on base, but back-to-back strikeouts followed up. A ball in the dirt got away from the catcher and Martin drifted too far off of the bag and was thrown out at third base to end the inning and keep the score at 6-5.

Kevin Herget took over for the Reds in the top of the 8th and he fired a 1-2-3 inning that included a strikeout. Chuckie Robinson would double in the bottom of the inning with two outs but was stranded. Tayron Guerrero came out to pitch in the top of the 9th and he picked up the save by bookending a pop up to third with a pair of strikeouts.

Christian Encarnacion-Strand went 3-3 with a double and a home run, raising his line on the spring to .625/.600/1.292. That’s an 1.892 OPS for those keeping track back at home. Richie Martin picked up his 5th stolen base of the spring. Nick Lodolo is now 3-0 on the spring and has 11 strikeouts in his 8.0 innings pitched.

Saturday’s Game

The Cincinnati Reds hit the road to face off against the Texas Rangers in a 3:05pm ET game. Chase Anderson will be getting the start for Cincinnati.

39 Responses

  1. Melvin

    CES hitting performance so far is a big WOW! I’d get an outfield glove and start working out in LF if I was him to make myself more versatile/valuable.

    • Harry Stoner

      I thought Pinder was Bell’s man for LF?

      All those hits, hrs, rbis and energy pale in the face of ‘veteran presence’ and ‘multi-positional mediocrity’

      • greenmtred

        Relax, Harry. This is your anxiety talking. The season hasn’t started yet; it’s spring training and everybody plays in spring training.

      • MuddyCleats

        Agree Greenfield. CES works fine at 1st for me. Reds certainly don’t need anymore twinkies playing 1B.

  2. Rut

    Love the offense, hating the defense so far this Spring.

    Also loving the results of the games not on TV, have been hating that we keep missing so many of the games when the Reds play well (today perfect example)

  3. Bdh

    I don’t mean to look ahead to 2024 because I’m going to have a lot of fun watching this years teams. The lineup could be very good though

    Before any free agent additions

    De la Cruz

    Other position players technically under team control still


    Other Prospects who could factor in by next opening day

    Cerda (would love him to claim an OF spot)
    Ivan Johnson (where’s he been this spring)

    And the Farm system would still be loaded with hitters

    Including the small group of 7 above

    Marte (guessing he’s mid 24 to early 25 arrival)
    + 3 top 50 picks depending who they draft to add to this

    I know the late 2000s farm system has the star power at the top but I don’t remember (too young) if it was this deep

  4. Willie

    If Votto and Senzel are still broken my first of season. CES should be in the line up. Who knows, it could possibly help us avoid another 3-22 start or whatever it was.

  5. MBS

    Man Phillips is looking good, especially when most of the world is expecting a 2024 arrival. Just for fun, if CES and McLain get the call to go east with the team. I’m still leaning toward a later call up for the would be rookies, but if they keep this up Krall may not have a choice.

    C Stephenson / Casali / Maile
    DH India / Stephenson
    1B CES / Stephenson
    2B McLain / Newman
    3B Steer / Newman
    SS Barrero / Newman
    RF Myers / Friedl
    CF Benson / Friedl
    LF Fraley / India

    • jay johnson

      I think you have it right,though Bell will try to keep Pinder,obviously ,with Mclain going down.
      A big thing your are omitting is the most important factor. PITCHING.
      #4/5 shaky
      pen top to bottom shaky.
      Potentially a repeat of last years garbage.Though things could be quite good if this and that and the other things happen.
      One thing I am pretty sure of is that they will be a lot more fun to watch than 2022.
      Good luck

      • MuddyCleats

        Agree, currently Reds have so many good INF prospects playing well, they don’t have places go them to play. At what pt do they trade a few 4 more pitching?

  6. old-school

    Bobby Nightengale has video of Joey Votto taking live at bats in practice games and he looks really good. I think with the DH, Joey Votto comes East and is in the starting lineup Opening Day but the first few weeks doesnt play every day and is used liberally at the DH and rest. I cant see Votto going to AAA in early april. He will want to be in Cincinnati for his potential final Opening Day and Bell already has Stephenson scripted out, so he will do the same with Votto.

    The 2nd day of the season is already a planned off-day. I could see a 1/1/1 rotation with Votto the first few weeks. 1b/DH/rest.

    OD lineup assuming a righty.( Mitch Keller has publicly stated he wants the ball in Cincinnati Opening Day)

    India 2b
    Fraley DH
    Stephenson C
    Votto 1b
    Myers RF
    Friedl LF
    Steer 3b
    Barrero SS
    Benson CF.

    • Bdh

      Votto will be around next year. If he has another down year I’d guess the 13 million option gets negotiated down but there’s no way they are just cutting a hall of fame player who spent his entire career on your team. They will (and should) market the crap out of his last year on contract next year.

      And maybe we shouldn’t assume he’s done just yet either. Getting shifted on over 80% he’s going to benefit greatly from the new rules. He also hit 11 HR (less than 10 feet from 15 (2 robbed + 2 reviewed and ruled 2B)) with a shoulder hurting him to the point he couldn’t lift things above his head.

      When healthy, and he’s already playing in minor league spring training games now, I think he could easily be a .250+/.350+/.450+ player with 25ish home runs. More than enough production to pick up the option on one of your franchises best all time players and give him a proper send off the following year

      • Jim t

        My guess is Votto will join the broadcast staff when his contract expires.

      • Old Big Ed

        Nah. Joey has $100+ million in the bank and doesn’t want or need a job in broadcasting or anything else. His mind is active enough where he won’t find it hard to move on from baseball.

        I could see where he would come down to spring training every year and work with young hitters, just to keep touch and contribute, but I don’t see his being a coach, announcer or manager. Maybe as a minority owner somewhere.

    • MBS

      That’s good new about Votto. I hadn’t heard any positive news before this. A healthy JV will be fun to watch. I also don’t hate your opening day lineup.

  7. Jim t

    Lots of big decisions looming with many of the youngsters putting together nice spring numbers.

    Service time issues

    Rushing the player based on a good ST

    Just a couple to consider. Hope the front offices makes the right call. It my suspicion that most of the decisions will be economically driven.

    All the comments about Bell preferring veterans is laughable considering the state of this franchise. While he may value a veteran to help mentor the youngsters he fully understands he is managing a team in a full rebuild in a small market. Examples are the unloading of many veterans through trades or falling to resign. A reality is that Bell is not the incompetent field manager some want to make him out to be. He is responsible for managing the entire team. veterans and rookies. He also is tasked with fielding a team that is competitive and an easy sell to its fans. Keep in mind he is doing this with an ownership that views its fan base and product as hostages. Remember,” where are they going to go”.

    When criticizing him consider this, who would want to take this job while this ownership is in place. Again ownership is not interested in investing in building a winner for this fan base. Until this ownership is gone it makes little difference who is managing this team. The proof will be in if the ownership is willing to invest funds as the prospects they have acquired mature and progress to build a winner. My fear is they will not. In which case it matters very little who is managing this team.

    The problem with this team is not Bell’s management style. IT IS OWNERSHIP!!

    • Tampa Red

      Couldn’t possibly like your entire post more!

    • VaRedsFan

      It’s funny how people forget all of the bonehead moves that Bell makes in games. It’s like they didn’t even watch. They forget about all of the Strickland and Doolittle types that he stuck into high leverage situations….Not once….twice….or three times….but COUNTLESS times. It takes him countless times to make adjustments. He can’t adjust on the fly. If a guy is hammering the ball, you don’t take him out because you scheduled a day off 10 days ago. Hot streaks don’t last forever, so you don’t interrupt one with a day of rest. These are just the tip of the iceberg of the things I could list. I could write dozens of more poor managing in game decisions, but this post might turn into a War and Peace length novel.

      The one thing you are right about is nobody could have won with this team. But I’m quite comfortable saying that just about everybody else wouldn’t have done worse.

      • greenmtred

        LDS evidently doesn’t want the job, VaRedsFan, so I’ll encourage you to apply for it. You might want more information about who makes which decisions in the Reds’ organization and what sort of directives the manager must work with. Once installed in the job, you’ll acquire more information about the players’ physical condition on a day-to-day basis and, with luck, develop a skin thick enough to repel criticism from fans who have the luxury of hindsight and none of the encumbrances of managing real live human beings.

      • VaRedsFan

        If you support his use of Strickland, Dolittle then there’s no help for you. Please provide your explanation for such usage.
        I’m not talking about failure #1-4 of these guys. I’m talking about continually using them on tries 5 – 99.
        I chose those 2 examples because they are recent. I can give more examples if you need more evidence.
        If there are 8 guys in the bullpen, then literally 7 other guys who’s name you call on to pitch….All 7 of those other guys haven’t pitched 3 straight days. All 7 aren’t nicked up, as you like to say, because they end up coming in later that game (after the horse is out of the barn) or the pitch the very next day.

        I’ve already said that nobody could make that team a winner. But 99% of MLB managers would get better results than Bell.

      • greenmtred

        See my comment above about who makes which decisions. I don’t know and I very much doubt that any of us do. Nor do we know much about the condition of the pitchers. Beyond that, there were only a very few capable pitchers in the pen and, in a lost season, it makes no sense to overuse somebody like Diaz. There is also this: Strickland has, in the not so distant past, been a very capable pitcher. With nothing on the line it seems possible that the organization wanted to see if he could be resurrected; they are spending-averse and Strickland is cheap.

    • David

      There are only 30 Major League field manager positions in baseball.

      There are a LOT of guys (competent baseball professionals) that would love to manage the Reds. Bell and the Ownership Team are of one mind on this, so don’t discount criticism of Bell as actually being separate from Ownership.
      And again, Nick Krall is one of 30. Whether you think he is doing a good job, bad job, or is a lackey for the Ownership Group, just means he is working for them, and ultimately has to do what they expect.
      Which is why Dick Williams (the younger) was banished by the Reds after the 2020 season. He spent too much, over-obligated them with contracts, and then the result was the Reds likely losing a LOT of money in 2020 (the short season, with no fans), and probably 2021 (or just barely breaking even).

  8. Doc

    “All the comments about Bell preferring veterans is laughable”.

    Also laughable are repeating mantras about “service time issues”, especially when Doug has repeatedly given hard examples that this has not been the Reds’ m.o., and none of the service time issue commenters have ever given comparable, or more, examples of when the Reds have manipulated service time issues.

    • Jim t

      @Doc I understand you’re rational about service time certainly Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo are example of ownership not playing those games. But if you’re not going to resign them or continue the team building by resigning them or adding some free agents to put you over the top my question is does it matter? When that occurs I will know them that we are just a AAAA team supply the bigger markets.

      • Melvin

        One could argue that they did manipulate the service time of Senzel but it was in a time when they actually were thinking of signing players and therefore it did matter. As you said, it may not matter now anyway in their eyes.

  9. Jim t

    Just another thought!

    It matters very little who is on this roster if ownership doesn’t invest in developing them and after the developmental process is complete, resigning them while adding some proven veterans to put the team over the top. Continuing in a state of permanent rebuild is the business strategy this ownership has committed to. As long as we blame Bell for this it will always exist.

    For those of us in business Bell represents a good employee. He does what he’s told, keeps his mouth shut and diverts the failures of the product away from the owners. Debating his competence is exactly what ownership wants us to do. It sells the product.

    • VaRedsFan

      Though it appears they are in a permanent rebuild, this is the first one they actually did the correct way. You have to deal players of value in order to acquire young talent who might be the ones that push you higher than where you were.

      Time will tell, but at least they are trying to do it the right way. I’m excited about all of the young talent they acquired. Losing Castillo and Mahle was tough, but they weren’t winning with those guys before (especially Geno and Winker). Unless you call a ceiling of .500 and squeaking into the 8th seed successful.
      I’d prefer to aim higher than a ceiling of being the 8th seed.

    • Melvin

      I agree with you that Bell just does what he’s told for the most part. That’s why I’ve said, with his dad in the position that he’s in, that David Bell is basically just an extension of the ownership and therefore part of it. I guess some like that. Some don’t. In my view I can say with confidence that David Bell would not be manager of the Reds under different ownership.

  10. CFD3000

    CES has an OBP lower than his batting average. That’s hard to do. It means he has more sacrifices than walks, and I’m guessing the walk count is zero. No plate discipline is unacceptable. Cut that bum!

    Honestly he’s been such a surprise it’s going to be a hard sell not to bring him to Cincinnati for Opening Day. Obviously those numbers are unsustainable, but for a team in need of more thunder from the right side of the plate he’s making a really strong case to make the team. So far Spring Training has been fun. If the offense is fun after 03/30 I’ll be delighted. We all know how much stock to put in Cactus League results, but I’m excited for Opening Day. Go Reds!

    • Optimist

      Among the unusual stats (sure, it’s a minuscule sample size) the OBP/BA is fun, but also may be revealing. Looking at his entire MiLB line he shows a 1:3 BB/K ratio. He clearly seems a very good hitter/excellent “hit tool” to date, and he’ll obviously have to make adjustments as he moves up levels. I wonder if one of the adjustments will be to become more Votto-like – namely shedding a little power in favor of increasing the walk rate?

      If he can keep a .250-.260 MLB BA and a .800+ OPS he could have a long career.

      We may not know for sure until next season, but we should see a lot in MLB and AAA this year.

  11. GreatRedLegsFan

    The last two starting rotation spots continue wide open for anyone: Overton 14.85 in 6.2, Weaver 11.12 in 5.2, Williamson 7.71 in 4.2. Today is Anderson’s chance to show something. With Dunn sidelined and Cessa in WBC it’s still hard to tell who’ll make it.

  12. Hotto4Votto

    Obviously loving the spring CES is having. McClain and Steer showing some good things too. It’s fun seeing the young guys get after it. I really like Benson, that was a low-key great addition. I think he’s got loads of untapped potential. I also like the way that Barrero is quietly getting the job done so far. I almost hesitate to say anything because I don’t want to be a jinx, but I’m hoping he found some confidence this winter and it continues to carry over.

  13. Mark Moore

    That fluid swing and seemingly easy lope around the bases for a stand-up triple from EDLC was something to watch. As was CES’s banger. Way more fun to watch this group than the shortened, hard-pressed ST of 2022.

  14. Old-school

    Count Nick Solak out. Hes been sent to the minors.

    • David

      Is he still on the 40 man roster? Because his presence there is likely blocking someone else……who could be Christian Encarnacion-Strand. That kid is STRONG!

      • David

        To answer myself (and all the fans tuned in at home), Nick Solak is still on the 40 man.
        Tejay Antone and Justin Dunn are on the 40 man, but will likely be moved to the 60 day IL, IMHO.
        Chase Anderson (candidate for 5th starter) is not on the 40 man, but likely Connor Overton and Luke Weaver will not BOTH remain on the 40 man, if they are offered a minor league assignment rather than be on the big club; without a big league job, they may BOTH opt out. That also opens a spots on the 40 man roster.
        ELDC is on the 40 man roster.
        Although Stuart Fairchild is on the 40 man, and is doing a little better hitting this week, and although I like him on the ML 26 man roster, I don’t know if he makes it, is cut or outrighted, or what is his fate.
        If Benson is NOT on the opening day 26 man roster, then something is really stupid in Reds Town. And obviously, ditto CES.

      • Optimist

        Benson will be on the 40-man and MLB rosters. Overton likely to be DFA (or whatever the term is for moved off the 40-man) and likely accept the AAA move – he came from the Pirates that way, so who else would claim him at this point? IIRC Weaver signed a $2m deal – so it’s extremely unlikely he’s moved off the 26-man.

        After that, I guess we’re in the rules timing situation – when do players get sent to the various injured lists opening spots on the 40-man? Aren’t Antone, VladGut and Santillan all going to the 60-day list? If so, that could save both Lopez and Fairchild, and if Joey and Senzel start the season on IL, I hope Fairchild stays on the MLB roster An outfield of Myers, Benson and the 3-Fs is barely passable, but could surprise.