Cincinnati Reds pitching let down a sellout Opening Day crowd by walking nine Pittsburgh Pirates, three of who scored, in a 5-4 Pittsburgh victory.
|Pittsburgh Pirates (1-0)||5||6||0|
|Cincinnati Reds (0-1)
|W: Zastryzny (1-0) L: B. Farmer (0-1) Sv: Bednar (1)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Reds reliever Buck Farmer came on to open the top of the eighth and walked leadoff batter Ji Hwan Bae on four pitches. A stolen base and sacrifice bunt later, Bae scored the eventual winning run on a sacrifice fly by Oneil Cruz.
Cincinnati started the bottom of the first inning by loading the bases with nobody out on singles by Jonathan India and Jake Fraley and a walk to T.J. Friedl. But Tyler Stephenson followed with the tailor-made 6-4-3 groundball that scored India, which short-circuited what could have been a big inning. That turned out to be a rather important turning point in the game, unfortunately.
In three previous starts against Cincinnati, Pirates starter Mitch Keller had allowed 11 earned runs in 14 innings. He didn’t exactly have Reds fans shaking in their sneakers. But his effectiveness jumped tremendously in the second half of 2022 — similar to the same trend for his mound opponent today.
Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth, Spencer Steer gave the sellout crowd something to cheer about:
435 feet for the first blast of the year??@spenc__er ? #RedsOpeningDay pic.twitter.com/g2eRIb7HDq
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) March 30, 2023
Then, the home team came all the way back in the fifth on a two-on, two-out triple by Jason Vosler, making his Reds debut:
Allow us to introduce you to Mr. Jason Vosler!@VoslerJason ? #RedsOpeningDay pic.twitter.com/WYoOmoOuWi
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) March 30, 2023
But with the bases loaded and two outs, former Red Dauri Moreta struck out Will Benson — the second time in five innings Cincinnati failed to capitalize on a bases-loaded opportunity.
India made the bottom of the ninth interesting with a one-out double to get into scoring position, but Pittsburgh closer David Bednar struck out Friedl and Fraley to end the game.
India and Fraley led the Reds offense with two hits and a walk, each on base three times. On the other end of the spectrum, Will Benson took the golden sombrero with four strikeouts, and Friedl struck out in three of his four at-bats. Reds hitters struck out 15 times.
After being presented with a 1-0 lead, Hunter Greene at times looked unhittable, and at other times just couldn’t find the strike zone. Seventy pitches through three innings foretold a shorter-than-hoped-for stint on the mound. Oneil Cruz crushed a 100-plus-mph pitch into the right field stands at 111 mph for a solo shot to tie the game at 1-1 in the third inning. In that same inning, a Greene pitch was recorded at 105 mph by the in-stadium technology:
105 mph?!?!?!?!?!?! pic.twitter.com/XspOvpOeYY
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) March 30, 2023
We’re not sure what happened, but the Baseball Savant game feed at one point displayed that Greene had thrown a pitch at 105.2 mph. The previous record was 105.1 in 2010 by Aroldis Chapman. But what could have been an all-time record was removed without explanation.
In the fourth, Ji Hwan Bae hit a one-out opposite-field double and stole third. Greene, demonstrating his inconsistent control, got ahead of the career sub-.200-hitting Austin Hedges 0-2, but could not put him away and walked him. Manager David Bell changed pitchers, bringing in righty Fernando Cruz to face Oneil Cruz with two on and one out. Pittsburgh’s Cruz drew a walk, loading the bases. Then on the third straight full count, Bryan Reynolds walked to force in a run and give the visitors a 2-1 lead. Again, on the fourth straight full count, Andrew McCutchen walked to make it 3-1. A wild pitch with Carlos Santana at the plate then made it 4-1. Santana hit a bouncer to third which Steer fired home to get the second out of the inning.
Bell then brought on lefty Alex Young to face Canaan Smith-Njigba, who struck out to mercifully end the inning. Young’s first outing as a Red was effective and timely: 1 2/3 innings, 11 strikes in 18 pitches in high-leverage situations.
Greene struck out eight in his 3 1/3 innings, but that was counterbalanced by allowing five hits and walking three. Cruz threw 10 strikes in his 24 pitches.
After two strong innings by Derek Law, Buck Farmer entered in the eighth to allow the eventual winning run. Ian Gibaut pitched a scoreless ninth.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds
Saturday, April 1, 4:10 p.m. ET
Rich Hill (8-7, 4.27 ERA in 2022 with Boston) vs. Nick Lodolo (4-7, 3.66 ERA in 2022)
It may be hindsight, but Bell really took Greene out too early. It was still a tie game at that point, and Greene was only on 80-something pitches with two on and one out. Let the kid try to get out of the jam.
If there’s one thing you can say about David Bell, he does not trust young players. At all. That’s going to be a problem since the Reds have a lot of young players knocking on the door.
And why he needs to be gone before the farm makes it to the majors.
Greene had thrown 30 pitches in the inning and his effectiveness had waned. Removing him with an off-day tomorrow was a solid decision.
And he had lost his command. Had Bell left him in and runs had scored, we would have criticized Bell for leaving him in too long, not caring about winning the game and endangering Greene’s health.
My problem w/ Bell was not taking Greene out, but bringing in Cruz rather than a left hander to face the Pirate lefty O. Cruz.
Lefties hit .154/.241/.192 last season against Fernando Cruz in the big leagues. They hit worse than that in Triple-A against him. Not that righties hit all that well against him, either – but he’s got reverse splits and is better against lefties than righties.
Good observation Doug. It’s almost like Bell does this for a living and knows more than most of us. Go figure.
Earmbrister, with the deadpan, for the win. Thanks for my coffee on the floor.
It’s a long season. Most young pitchers don’t toss 100+ pitches in their first start of the season, but are usually ramped up to higher workloads.
This loss is on Krall (and ownership). We have three starting pitchers making basically major league minimum. We brought in no one to help/support their inexperience.
We’ve had a horrendous bullpen for at least two straight years. Sign a few guys that can throw a strike.
The key to this year is development of our young pitchers and position players, but creating a culture of losing is helping nothing.
Hunter greene was a major reason the Reds lost by only throwing 3.1 innings in 82 pitches and not being able to get hitters out. The 4th and 5 th starter did not lose this game. They didnt pitch!!! They certainly will in a few days but not today
Hunter couldnt throw strikes and couldnt get his team to the 6 th inning.
I don’t disagree with you. My biggest gripe of of the off-season was lack of upgrading our bullpen and signing ONE decent starter. But Greene’s pitching inefficiency was a major issue today.
Exactly right @OS, exactly right
I wanted a vet starter and 2 good bullpen guys and $20+
million more in payroll for pitching. We could be bemoaning things together mon and Tuesday against the Cubs if things go sideways.
Jon India looks really good
Nick Krall did not sign Griffey Jr., Joey Votto, or 3M.
43 mil in dead money in 23. Not his fault.
Not his fault, yet the anchor that is trying every day to drown him … I cannot imagine working for Big Bob and Phil.
Reds need a pitching coach. Derek johnson is a great throwing coach and pitch design engineer. Strike throwing and getting outs is the job of a pitcher. Reds sure missed a lot bats with 9 walks
Taking out Spencer Steer while Will Benson stayed in the game at 0-4 with 4 k’s was a terrible locker room statement by David Bell
Kudos to India fraley steer Derek law and Alex young for competing.
Bronson Arroyo used to say his goal was 30 starts and 200 innings. Maybe reds SP needs to think that way instead of I need to miss bats and avoid contact.
Odds of Newman starting Saturday instead of Barrero?
Barring injury or illness zero … you’ll owe us another crow sandwich.
Rich hill is pitching
Newman will start at SS and Barrero will start in CF
Benson sure as heck wont
Depends partly on the who the pitcher will be, and I can’t wait for Newman to get his chances. We need more offense.
Taking out Spencer Steer while Will Benson stayed in the game at 0-4 with 4 k’s was a terrible locker room statement by David Bell.
This is my biggest issue with Bell, as I alluded to above. Bell does not trust or support younger players, and the impression I get is he’s just adding extra pressure to these kids who are already dealing with the pressure of trying to perform in the best baseball league in the world.
These kids need a manager who will be in their corner, sink or swim, who will pick them up and encourage them. They don’t need someone like Bell hovering over them whose mantra with young kids seems to be “You better perform perfectly right now… Or else! I got a perfectly good journeyman who’s ready to take your spot!”
This is why I have a sinking feeling Barrero and Benson will be riding the bench for the next few games. Maybe we’ll see them again against the Cubs. Feel free to bookmark this post and rub it in if I was wrong.
It’s baffling why Krall thinks Bell is the right person to lead this rebuild, when Bell seems to be exactly the wrong kind of person for it.
He replaced a young player with a young player and that means he doesn’t trust young players?
Jeez, its one game people. The whole roster is littered with youth so I don’t think Bell has much of a choice on what age bracket he ends up playing the most this year.
Stuart Fairchild isn’t a young player. He’s 27-years-old. Not that Spencer Steer at age 25 is exactly young in terms of baseball, either. Certainly not old, but I wouldn’t say he’s young, either.
And really, the roster isn’t littered with youth. It’s littered with inexperience, perhaps. But of the position players there are two guys on the roster who are under 25. On the pitching staff there are three guys under 26. This isn’t a young team.
Steer is the most questionable defensively of all the guys in today’s lineup, I’m pretty sure thats where Bell’s head was at. A lot of managers will make moves like that. His spot in the order didnt even come up, why is everyone reading so much into a small inconsequential move?
Fair, it is a lot of late-bloomers or guys who took some time in the minors to make it. They’re near the bottom of the average age charts when I looked them up, but I dont think it includes Votto. Maybe my point is more that he’s replacing Steer with a guy who’s essentially the same age.
I’m ready to follow the “defensive replacement” idea…but with Vosler?
This all just struck me as more of Bell’s “managing”.
With the DH he can’t do it with double switches anymore so he’s got to find another way to fiddle around with things.
My main issue with Bell is that he appears to think he’s the 10th man on the field.
Pitchers can repeatedly enter games unprepared to throw strikes and he does nothing to address the situation.
But he’ll shuffle players and lineups until the cows come home. To what end?
Anything he does will be criticized as “managing” by you and others though. No manager is going to have his entire bullpen ready if guys cant throw strikes and there’s the batter limits attached to them anyway so I’m not sure what you mean by “addressing the situation” if a guy isnt performing. Cruz lost us the game today, the moment looked too big for him. Him being the only guy they warmed up is on Bell and Benavides. I personally might have let Hunter go one more, but I’m fine with a quick hook for a player who has the highest potential on the team and I dont see a need to overreact to any of this on day one of a transitional year. But to each his own.
Bell subbed a faster player to try and get a SB and put a runner in scoring position. This had nothing to do with how anyone was playing.
Why does Krall think Bell is the right person? Because Bob said so in the interview today. The sam3 interview where he told everyone to forget last year. Maybe it’ll be like football where the manager is fired shortly after the owner’s endorsement but somehow I think not.
Spencer Steer is a top 100 prospect who you traded 1.3 years of Tyler Mahle for. Hes part of your core. He walked twice and homered and got a viking helmet put on his head by Jon India. He got benched in a 1 run game by a AAAA player who got thrown out and switched by a journeyman non -3b vosler who wont be on the roster in a month and Benson got to finish a game no one knew how long it would go who went 0-4 with 4 k’s
If people dont understand bell squashed a guy who deserved to finish that game and rewarded others who didnt…. I cant help you
Youve obviously never played at a high level or coached a son or daughter at a high level or competed in a winning locker room. Steer was screwed… period.
Fairchild isnt vince coleman or Billy Hamilton or Rickey Henderson.
Vosler isnt brooks Robinson
Benson was 0-4 with 4ks and overmatched.
Bell sent a terrible statement to a player who played winning baseball today and competed his tail off
He replaced Steer when the best defensive line-up was needed in the top of the ninth. That’s good strategy. He needed a better defender at third and Vosler had only one error in 215 innings for the Giants last year. Get used to this strategy. You will see it in the OF too.
Sorry, but you don’t give up offense for defense in a game where you’re trailing. That’s trying to insure you only lose by what you’re trailing. And look out if you go extra innings.
Squashed? A terrible statement? Finish a game as a reward? I have no idea what any of that means or why that’s even a reward. For crissakes, I dont see why anyone even cares. I’m 100% certain Steer and everyone in that clubhouse don’t.
And yes I played. I wouldn’t care at all, it was a move to help the team try and win.
If a manager’s managing for extra innings then he shouldnt have a job.
Doug, this IS a young team. Baseball Reference hasn’t posted the average age per team yet this young season. However, we can look at last year’s numbers. The Guardians had the youngest average age for both their batters and pitchers, at 25.9 and 26.3 respectively. For perspective, the fifth youngest average batter’s age was 27.0 (TBR), while the fifth youngest average pitcher’s age was 27.5 (DET). The Reds had the 8th youngest pitching staff last year, and have moved on from Strickland (33), Minor (34), Castillo (29), Detwiler (36), and Anderson (34). The are even younger this year. This is a VERY young pitching staff.
The Reds had the fifth oldest (29.4) set of position players last year. Since then they have lost Pham (34), Farmer (31), 3M (33), Solano (34), Naquin (31), and have Votto (38) on the IL, not on the field. There are only 13 position players on a 26 man roster, so essentially half of the position players have been turned over, with all of those departing players being over 31 years old. This team will probably be in the top 10 for youngest batters in 2023, and that’s before any callups, which will only make them even younger.
Don’t look now, but this team has gotten really young.
Steer was lifted to get a faster runner on 1B as the potential tying run. I like that move except for the fact that the following hitter had looked overmatched all game long.
Perhaps Bell should have gone all in by having Newman bat for Benson?? Newman’s career .611 split vs RH pitching while weak was probably a better bet than Benson in the rut he seemed stuck in all day.
Old-School: my impression was that Steer, as an important potential run late in the game, was lifted for a faster runner, not as a reflection on his play.
Its over. One game. On to Saturday.
Steer, India, and Fraley competed well and looked really good hitting. It would bode very well if India returns to his ROY form, Fraley plays like he did 2nd half of 2022 and Steer steps forward in 2023.
Hopefully, Lodolo can pitch well and the righty dominated offense can put some crooked numbers on the board against the oldest active player in baseball.
I can agree but lets be honest if that was Joey would he have done the same thing or any other vet we have had like Suarez or Farmer who were then and are still way below average runners.Steer is at least average if not above average on the base paths.Some have said Bell was looking at Steer and his defense late in this game and ok thats a stretch for me but lets say that played a part as well.We know in the top of the 9th Fairchild stayed in the the game and 3 other players already in the game changed positions when if it was defense then just bring in Newman.Bell did not lose this game and managers rarely do because players play the game and they are expected to perform regardless.Bell has shown he is partial to vets and has little or no patience with younger players and with a team of now younger players or lets say under 30 he ain’t the guy to manage them.None of us can fix him and all of us starting with me probably should just give him a pass.Lets be real all sports are struggling now with those that officiate the games making it all about them rather then the players and Bell is the same way.
Roger: you and others seem pretty attached to the narrative that Bell doesn’t play young players; the three top starting pitchers, Diaz, Steer, Stevenson and India are evidence that this is not necessarily the case. Others have pointed out that most managers would rather use established major leaguers, and that makes sense, too. Given that CES and EDLC were sent to AAA because they have injuries and need to work on defense, and that Barrero barely hit last season but is starting this season, it raises the question of which young players Bell is keeping on the bench in favor of vets?
A microcosm of the season to come…poor starting pitcher followed by a terrible bullpen.
For those whistling by the graveyard, telling yourself it’s only one loss…nope it’s 101 losses.
I actually thought the bullpen did ok today. Greene going only 3.1 innings was not good. Sure, he got the strikeouts but that was about it. Both Law and Young did a pretty solid job. This bullpen is supposed to be terrible and really none of them were terrible. Law and Young were good. Buck Farmer should be a middle reliever not a setup man.
To a lot of you on here breath people it’s 1 game and we only lost by 1 run.
Oh PS. The Blue Jays beat the Evil Cardinals. Brewers lost to the Cubs.
“This bullpen is supposed to be terrible and really none of them were terrible.”
Fernando Cruz walked three batters in 1/3 innings. His walks also forced in two runs. I think most people would describe such an outing as “Terrible”
Cruz in fact could not have been any more terribel
Ok that is one pitcher that was not good that one day. Cruz overall has done a nice job both last year and this past spring training. It’s one performance get over it.
Not yet it isn’t. Right now, it’s only one loss. There will be more, of course, and there will be wins.
Very disappointed in Greene’s performance as others have said today he was a thrower and not a pitcher. 105 was nice but it meant nothing in leading team to victory. I think Bell took him out to soon but worse was his choice of Cruz, who the Pirates scouted well. Bad day for Stephenson both catching and hitting. He was to anxious in the first inning and that may have been the biggest play of the game.
Everyone forgets Stephenson had a tough injury and there is no guarantee to make a wonderful comeback after that.
The Reds did all the same things today that led to them losing 100 games last season. How about that.
Exactly! today was just an extension of the 2022 season. Yet, there are those here who views today’s lost in a vacuum, like last season never happened. There is a sucker born every minutes.
Incorrect! There was excitement today. Green was plowing pirates down and just lost it in the 4th inning for some reason. India playing hard and just looked like the Rookie we saw before on the bases. How about Spencer Steer’s at bats. Even though Barrero and Bensen didn’t hit anything today. Barrero showed why he is a great defensive SS a few times. Barrero needs to be more patient at the plate he was flailing at pitches just like last year. Hopefully someone says something to him quickly.
Also, Law and Young looked very good today in the bullpen. We are not going to win a lot of game just remember that but have fun enjoy the good parts of the game.
As for David Bell, I was not shocked one bit when he pulled what he did today, both with the pitching staff and with his pinch hitting. He has to have as many players as possible I swear.
Last point I enjoyed most of the game today the players played hard, and we just lost by 1. It’s one game. If they are losing by one run consistently in May, maybe, they should be looking how the game was managed instead of blaming players.
I don’t get the comments about Greene losing it in the 4th inning. He got a strikeout, then a guy was a mile late and slapped a ball down the line opposite field for a double. Then he walked one guy. That isn’t losing it. I’m confident had he finished the inning he would have gotten out of it and left the game with 4 IP, 1 run, 8+ Ks and no one would be talking about his bad outing other than he threw a lot of pitches. Cruz gave up 2 runs charged to Greene that I don’t think Greene himself would have given up. But one hit and one walk in an inning is not losing it.
Are you really gonna jump to conclusions after one game of a 162 game season?
Had the Reds won today, would it be wise to say that this team has solved all of its problems and is ready to contend?
It’s not even April yet people.
This is how they have fun, Earmbrister. They wouldn’t have it any other way.
@Luke J – If Greene was taken out because of a pitch limit for that day or for health reasons of any kind precautionary or whatever than that’s fine. If he was taken out because of performance then I don’t agree. I wish Bell would have left him in to fight through it.
Earmbrister if you read my post, you would realize I am not jumping to conclusion over one loss. This team lost 100 games last year! This teams’s losing pattern was established long before yesterday. You seem want to pretend last year didn’t happen.
This team has three starting pitchers and a terrible, terrible bullpen. The Red’s front office did absolutely nothing to improve this team over the off-season. Why anyone would expect a different result is beyond me.
V4L, why do you assume I expected any particular result on opening day? And why would you assume a loss just because the Reds lost 100 games?
Do you follow the reds just to be able to say “I told you so”?
As for me, I didn’t want the front office to muddy the waters this year with a couple of ML signings. None of us can predict with 100% accuracy which of the youngsters are going to succeed and which are going to fail. And a couple of additions are not going to make this team a contender.
As for my expectations, I expect to see one or two of the youngsters blossom. I predicted a 75 win season. I guess that makes you comfortable labeling me, and other fans like me, as suckers. Yours is certainly one way to go through life …
Walks, walks, walks and missed opportunities with runners in scoring position. Picking up right where we left off.
Brush it off and look to Lodolo to have a solid start on Saturday. It just hurts because we seemed to have this one within reach and then couldn’t seal the deal against another team that lacks a roster full of star-caliber players.
In the post presser David Bell said: “We’re ready. The team feels it so it’s real.” Somewhat earlier, Tyler Stephenson swung on the first pitch to produce a weak roller for a DP with no outs and the bases loaded. Horrible result, no credit for the RBI. He still (is probably told) goes through the entire clubhouse where he receives many high fives That “is real” too.
Don’t blame Bell? Going back to 2021….team collapsed down the stretch with the easiest schedule of the teams battling for a playoff spot….2022: 3-22 to start the year, leading to a 100 loss season….2022/2023 season: now 8 straight losses to the Pirates, yes, the Pirates …….Bell has been the manager thru all of it, yet he still has a job…..I don’t know what a guy can do before someone making decisions says: “He’s really not a good major league manager”…..let’s move on
David Bell should have been fired after the 3-22 start last year. I was shocked when he survived it.
Now I am convinced he wasn’t fired because he was under contract for another season.
Little Phil has made it clear that the Reds are not going to pay players not to play, I am sure they are not going to pay a manager not to manage. So, we can expect to see David Bell in the dugout at least until his contract expires.
and when his time ends as the Reds manager, he will never sniff another big league manager job
Well he is paying Moose a king’s ransom not to play.
I think Bell has a long leash due to good old fashioned nepotism…and perhaps the cheapness to hire someone else.
@GPOD correct. David Bell will never manage in the Major Leagues again.
The talent of David Bell in MLB is in a front office like the job he had before he was appointed manager of the Reds.
Harry Stoner, you are correct the Castellinis are paying Moose not to play, but Phil’s remarks at the Rosie Reds luncheon, made it clear that they are not happy about it.
I think there has been a decision made that the Reds are no longer in the business of signing multi-year contracts.
I think that is why we haven’t seen any multi-year contracts the past couple of years or extensions for players like India and Stephenson.
Moving forward, I think the Reds will play the young players while they are cheap and trade them in year four or five. They will supplement the roster with single year free agent contracts (e.g. Drury, Pham, Meyer etc.), then rinse and repeat.
I believe you are correct that nepotism played a major rule in the Reds hiring David Bell. As you also point out, money also played a role.
Removing Steer who had been on base 3 times and replacing him with Fairchild who was thrown out stealing was a joke.Bell then inserts him in left and Benson goes to right and Myers to first and Vosler to third just to show the world he is managing the team.Guy is a clown and why remove Steer to begin with cause he can score on a double just as easily as Fairchild.As Old-school said in the game thread is Steer you starter at third or not and if he is why mess with him in the 8th inning of game one.Walks and striking out 15 times was why this team lost today but Bell always will jump at a chance to throw a young player under the bus and move players all over the diamond.
How is he thrown under the bus? If he is reacting the way you all seem to think he should then I wouldn’t want that sort of attitude on my team, especially from a young unproven player. I’m certain he didn’t, thank god.
I think both positions have validity.
Bell is shuffling around “young unproven players” with..in this case Vosler, a not-so-young-unproven player.
Fairchild, also an unproven, a linchpin in the Bell Shuffle today.
I don’t think Steer went in and kicked over the water cooler.
“Thrown under the bus” is likely hyperbole here.
Bell is going to tinker and tinker and babble out postgame mewl.
We’re stuck with that for awhile.
One thing he won’t do is address the “first batter walk” pandemic.
Did Bell walk the first batter? Or any of the 9?
Is it Johnson’s responsibility? Maybe.
But it’s Bell’s job to acknowledge the problem and focus Johnson on fixing it.
Did you watch the game? Do you think replay got the call right on Fairchild? I don’t. Bell was trying to manufacture a run with a faster player. How Steer hit had nothing to do with the decision.
It was close. Replay must have been inconclusive so no reversal. So I guess that means the call was the right one. Technology reigns. But yeah I thought it was close.
One of the Pirates ran back into the outfield after they showed the play on the jumbotron. Fairchild was safe. No point in having replay if it’s not used to get the call right.
Even the Pirates players thought he was safe. That was a blown call after looking at several angels shown on replay myself. I don’t know how NY missed that.
It was bang bang. Everyone whos complaining about the CS when it was so close replay couldnt even tell what happened then it was a correct gamble IMO. The ref just happen not to do “tie goes to the runner” and NY cant overturn it.
If y’all want a manager thats just going to sit on his hands and not try and win just so he can give an atta-boy to a rookie, then good frickin luck I guess. This is the big leagues, Steer doesnt need a reward for a nice game like he’s in little league.
No, but pretending that the decision was something other than using a faster guy to pinch run at a crucial point makes it easier to stoke the outrage machine.
Greenmtn, probably a good thing they didn’t pinch run Maile or Casali …
Well the average speed of a ML player is 27 (ft/sec). Speer’s is 27.4 and Fairchild’s is 29. We can all debate whether the difference was worth taking out a guy who walked twice and hit a HR.
1 game in and criticism of Bell starts already. 9 walks lost the game Not David Bell. Hunter Greene struggled after the Cruz homerun according to Brantley. Also 9 walks lost the game not David Bell. Did I mention 9 walks?
If Greene had been allowed to stay and gave up more runs the same people would be saying Bell left him in too long.
One last thing the game was exciting. Reds battled back and had a chance to tie in 9th. All one can ask for
If Greene was left in too long (in the 4th inning with 83 pitches) and fans complain, then fans are dumb. I think an intentional walk to Cruz would have been the right call. I assumed they would do that but brought out the bullpen instead. A lot of folks really high on Benson this spring. Wonder how many are already off the bandwagon. He is a huge guy with a lot of holes in his swing. I hope he does well, he could be a very important player in this rebuild.
Claiming people here are blaming David Bell for one loss is a really disingenuous comment to make Kevin. You know better than that.
People are not complaining about David Bell because he lost one game, they are complaining because that one loss, was preceded by 100 loses last season.
If David Bell managed any other team to a 62-100 record, he would have been fired a long time ago.
If you seriously can’t see that David Bell is a terrible Major League manager, then I really don’t know what to say.
You got that right, Votto4Life! No,..no complaints because of one game’s boneheaded moves. Boneheaded Moves is Bell’s middle name,..and the proof is in the pudding. He’ll be gone after this year,..or the fans will revolt. Mark my word. Should have been gone long ago. Nothing wrong with him personally. He is just a POOR MANAGER!!!
David Bell is still manager of the Reds because he comes from a long established Cincinnati baseball family going back to his grndfather, Gus Bell. Previously he had the job he’s best suited for, the front office as VP of Personnel for the S.F. Giants.
He probably would have been fired: that’s what teams traditionally do when the FO needs a bucket of eyewash to distract the fans from the fact that they didn’t build a decent roster. It’s not that managers are unimportant, but they have far less impact on wins and losses than players do. “Good” managers lose when they don’t have good players.
Kevin thank you for saying that about the game being exciting. This is all we can ask for this season. The team played hard. These are not All-Star players on the Reds.
But saying Bell had nothing to do with the Lose is folly. Bell made some poor decisions for sure.
All managers have something to do with losses. And wins. If we are evaluating decisions by their outcomes, all managers make bad decisions, too. One problem with retrospective criticism of decisions is that it implies that an alternative would have worked, and there is no knowing that.
The only thing I can ask for when you’re down to the last out and you have two strikes on you, don’t take the third strike if the pitch is near the strike zone, but SWING!
Kevin, I heard there were 9 walks, is that true?
Too many fans placing too much emphasis on the age, instead of actual production and results, of the ballplayer.
Seemed to me a call or two different and we would be pleased. Looked like a few close calls went Pittsburgh’s way
It was a fun game, Greene needs to tighten up a bit. Benson with 4K’s I think, but Steer, India, and Fraley looked good.
Young seems like a real find, and Vosler came up big. There’s a lot to like, we’ve got 161 more to go.
It’s a long season. They’ll be losses.
Greene is young. He struggled but he flashed his stuff. Cowboy emphasized the umps strikezone was tremendously inconsistent (very tight to start and too expansive by the end of the game).
The lack of control from the bullpen guys was maddening.
I like the pinch runner and Fairchild was safe. MLB isn’t the NFL. They don’t overturn calls to get them right, they overturn calls when they absolutely must. In the playoffs replay functions like the NFL. During the regular season the standard seems much higher.
On the bright side, the cards lost.
Always good news.
I’m just glad I didn’t predict wire to wire. 🙂
I resisted doing that myself, Melvin.
I’m not able to watch day games but when I look at a box score that includes 9 walks and 16 strikeouts by the home team that looks like a nervous, young team to me. I know some of the players are in their late 20’s but, in general, this is an inexperienced team. This is how they gain experience. Hopefully they learn from it and it fuels some improvement.
Inauspicious start by Benson and Barerro at the plate. Hunter and Fernando Cruz needed to pitch better.
My new approach to Reds fandom for 2023 is to root for the Reds to lose. Not only do I want them to lose, I want the loss to be as ridiculous as possible. The comedy aspect is their only entertainment value, at this point.
By that measure, this was a wonderful game. They were good for a laugh! High fives all around.
I feel the same way sometimes
Well . . . it’s a loss. Still, more good things than I recall from last year’s first few games. But, a loss. To paraphrase Grant, “Lick em Saturday, though.”
A needed turn around is called for. Take the next two and the series.
Gonna repeat part of what I said on the game thread: “New season, same old Reds! Bad Bullpen, horrid base running (coaching?), lack of clutch hitting, too many strikeouts by Reds hitters, too many walks by the Reds pitchers, etc.!”
Despite the poor start, still have 161 games ahead. Not gonna abandon this team! Been a Reds fanatic since 1961.
All, Bell lost this game by bringing in Cruz instead of having Young warming up at the same time. The Pirates only had 2 right handed hitters in their lineup. WHY WOULD YOU NOT HAVE A LEFTY WARMING UP ALONG WITH CRUZ!!!! He had Young warming up too late. When Keller got into trouble did you see the Pirates bullpen, a lefty and a righty was warming up. If Young comes into the came the score remains 1-1. (dropped mic)
The first bullpen selection critique of the year in game one. Ouch.
It was clear Cruz didn’t have it from his first batter. The reaction of the fans was as animated as any in the game up to that point. He was getting more sarcastic applause for a strike than a Reds baserunner had earned in sincere applause.
The Pirates were so lefty-heavy that I tend to agree. Forcing pinch hitters in the 4th would probably have been desirable too. First game and I have no idea of spring evals so I’m not going to hold a grudge on this one.
Read Doug’s comment above about Cruz’s reverse splits: he’s nails against lefties.
Nice Opening Day by Steer, India , Fraley and Law. Good to watch them battle back.
Would anyone be upset if Bell was fired tomorrow?
He’s a bad manager and more of his moves backfire than work out.
I’ve seen years of this nonsense and have had enough.
I’m with you.
I wouldn’t be upset at all, I just choose to be reasonable and not overreact to small game-to-game nothings. I think his seat is hotter than people think.
Agree with you, but unfortunately, I think it goes much deeper than that. The farm system doesn’t seem to be well staffed either.
Krall seems to know what he is doing but he’s probably going to have to use a heavier hand very soon or all the talent that we have in the system will go for naught.
The game today was on the balance negative but not terrible. But, judging from the David Bell negative mentions, concerning. I count about 80, filtering out 10-15. I made just one. No comment but my interest is in the long term success of the team, which I believe is determined THIS year. The pipeline is solid, positions are there for the taking, is there a discipline that brings the success (from David Bell)?
If the question is whether David Bell is the guy to instill focus and discipline, count me among the doubters. And since we have already seen 4 years of Bell, this is probably more of an indictment than a doubt at this point.
My sense is Bell has the “good cop” side down by not throwing players under the bus in public; but, he doesn’t get results on the field as guys keep making the same sort of mental miscues which have little to nothing to do with physical ability.
i know alot of comments will be on the pitching which is fine. But I just don’t see the pitching as the major problem with this team. the problem today is the same problem we have had this entire century it seems…. many of our players just seemed overmatched at the plate. I look at Friedl and Barrero who came up through our system have and had success in the minors. but when they get up to gabp… it is like they never swung a bat before. not sure if it is the hitting instructions or nerves or what.
it just seems so common place now for our reds to strike out 15 times or more a game. frustrating problem to have
Friedl hit .240 last year and had a .740 ops. Not great but not awful for his first year in the bigs. And you say he is over-matched based on one game?
Especially considering Benson looked the MOST lost.
Friedl put in some decent ABs and Barrero had a couple bad ones but still more comfortable than he looked last year.
As noted, it’s one game and jumping to conclusions after even a three game series is still premature.
Since 1980….43 years…..the Reds have made the playoffs only six times. Six. I was born in 1961. In those 19 years between 61 and 80 the Reds made it to the playoffs seven times. I watched the game yesterday only because of tradition. What I saw was a hodgepodge of inexperienced players and a horrible manager. For many of those 43 years I heard about the future being bright because of the talent in the minor leagues. As I’ve shown seldom did that actually lead to the Reds making it to the postseason. I admire anyone who has faith in this organization. But even yet another Reds incarnation leads to success it will be fleeting. The Reds won’t keep those players for very long. They will be traded away for more prospects which will begin another “rebuild”. It’s the Reds Way.
Sorry didn’t read every comment here, but it seems Hunter got frustrated with the umpire (for good reason) a couple of times and that led to his struggles in two innings. Hopefully umpires don’t squeeze the zone on him all season (to be fair it was done to Keller as well).
He needs help from his catcher on close pitches. Ty was jerking his glove back into the zone, instead of cradle and hold on the edges. I saw at least 3 pitches from Greene that Ty did this, and cost Green a walk or not getting a K
Agreed, his framing was forced and not effective, IMO
Yeah blame the umps: Hopefully Green can control his emotions and not let a bad call send him into a tailspin
The move to pinch-run Fairchild for Steer makes sense. What Bell was trying to do there is get perhaps the fastest guy on the team on the base paths with a chance to steal or advance an extra base on a hit to get into scoring position. Why? You saw in the ninth inning why. Bell was trying to get his team in a position where they didn’t have to face Bednar, who is legit a top-notch closer. If the game is tied, Pittsburgh probably doesn’t use Bednar in the ninth — saving him for a potential “close” with the lead.
No doubt Tom thats what he was trying to do and it makes sense but don’t you have to look at the inning being played first.Benson according to what I have read had been overmatched on his first 3 times up and Barrero has fanned twice in 3 trips and I have along with everybody else the benefit of knowing how it turned out but was anybody surprised.What surprised me was Fairchild trying to steal and I said it on the game thread that now instead of India leading off we lead with Barrero.We know how that turned as well in that India doubled with one out instead of nobody out.Bell didn’t have to do anything in the 8th IMO cause Fairchild for Steer ain’t that much difference.Maybe he should have hit for Benson and even Barrero based on what they had done in the game.Hey I probably should just give Bell the benefit of the doubt and move on so i will.
Many of us thought that Fairchild was safe; it was a very close play. Given the difference in speed between the two players, Steer wouldn’t have been close.
Tom, perhaps that make sense in a strategic manner even if you discount the optics of taking out your “hot” player of the day instead of Benson or Barrero. But again, the Cowboy got me thinking. He said he was surprised that Fairchild was not given the opportunity to steal in the SP when the team had 3 players with 5 or more stolen bases and Fairchild had ample opportunities with a good OBP (.410). Yet, he didn’t even attempt! one stolen base. How does David Bell explain that? You have a guy who was DFA and not given the opportunity to gain confidence in this skill only to get called upon in a make or break moment in the bigs!
–TySteve’s 4 at-bats were all really poor.
–Did anyone see Greene throw a changeup? Me neither.
–Barrero only had one poor at-bat. He showed good pitch recognition all day.
–good to see Vosler finally connect on the inside fastball after getting beat there multiple times.
–Fraley is a legit dude and you get the sense he knows he belongs now.
It’s just one game. For me, almost to a man I like each of the guys and feel they have the potential to be contributing pieces on a legit playoff team in some capacity…..this team is a lot easier to root for because you can see there’s upside.
Don’t get the hesitation with Fraley from some people
“Oh but his LH splits…” Just let ball players play
Can the mayor of Cincinnati institute capital punishment for any reliever that comes into the game and walks their first batter from here on out?
Aftab probably would considering his Bengals shennanigans.
He was marginally booed at the parade. And seeing him at two different points he seems to be purposefully walking 100-150 feet ahead of his banner, I wonder if he was seeking to avoid anything worse.
At the game there were neither cheers nor boos when he was announced, but that may have been becasue he walked the game ball out to the mound with his wife and children.
A few observations.
1. Umpires were terrible.
2. Fairchild was safe.
3. 9 BB’s is ridiculous.
4. 16 strike outs on offense is terrible
5. Hunter Greene threw over 80 pitches and didn’t complete 4 innings.
6 loved seeing Steer and India have a very nice game.
9 walks to the Pirates is unacceptable. MLB is trying to spend up the game but when you are throwing pitchers who can’t throw strikes the game still went three plus hours..
I am also very concerned about Reds having Stephenson catching Greene. Greene was dominant at end of last season throwing to Romine. Romine and Greene seemed to always be on the same page. If Reds are planning to keep 3 catchers all year, having a personal catcher who will continue to help Greene develop as a Pitcher would have made a lot sense.. still shaking my head that Romine wasn’t kept around to help develop Greene…
It’s not that Bell made the “right” or “wrong” decision to remove Greene. It’s that the decision Bell made produced results that led to an eventual loss, which has happened far too often throughout his tenure. He’s just not a good in-game manager and it doesn’t look like he’s learned anything from his mistakes.
I saw Bell quoted as saying Cruz was going to be OK; that “his pitch” is the splitter and “today the Pirates were not chasing (the splitter)”.
So, if a pitcher is being warmed up to come in the middle of an inning, isn’t it likely there will be men on base when he comes in?
Given this likelihood, shouldn’t the pitcher coming in be able to throw quality pitches in the strike zone versus hoping to trick batters into chasing pitches breaking out of the zone? Shouldn’t the manager or pitching coach make sure the incoming pitcher understands he has to spot his best fastball in the zone to stay even or ahead in the count before he tries to get guys chasing?
Yep. When hitters see that more than half of the pitches offered were in the dirt a team with good plate discipline doesn’t bite . I don’t understand the move to Cruz at that point, I guess we are still playing the “no roles” game.
I do not have a complaint against Bell for his use of pitchers, we say Hunter lost his control in the but some of the same pitches he had called balls ( not all because he was definitely pulling some of his pitches) Keller got strike calls on. I am not saying they weren’t balls but inconsistently called. The same was true for Cruz both bases loaded walks came on pitches on the bottom of the zone that were strikes for Keller. I believe one of the broadcasters noted this and said the that perhaps Hunter’s pitches were so fast that the Umpire couldn’t see them cross the plate. If that is so the man should not be calling balls and strikes. Bring on the automated strike zone. We may have still lost and we may still argue with it but at least it would be consistent.
Reading the comments are always fun!
Just wanna point out, I dislike Bell but you can’t give him that much slack,
Fairchild pinch running situation wasn’t a bad thing, defense for 9th, and a chance to get in risp, He was safe but we can’t change bad umping.
Close competitive game. Farmer pitched alright a run is going to happen from time to time. Greene if he wants to become an all-star he needs to lay back a few miles sit back at like 95-97 and use his heat when he needs it. I don’t care if you throw 105, if you can’t retire the majority of the batters then their is a problem.
Very impressed with India, Fraley, Steer, Volsler, young, law, gaubit.
Barrero, Friedel, Benson will need to bounce back, ITS OKAY its game one.
Give them more at-bats, I want to point out its their FIRST opening day for them.
I want to point out moreta was freaking out when he started then calmed down and had some filthy breaking balls that just overmatched the reds.
Point is each game is just a small portion of the season, players will rebound lets take saturday. (Btw Lodolo>Greene) Just saying
After India doubled in the 9th, it looked like Friedl and Fraley were taking all-or-nothing cuts to win it instead of putting the ball in play. Regardless, a loss is a loss.
Hoping Cruz bounces back. Bell micro-managed the game – as do many managers in the game. Excepting out Greene’s arm or pitch count, I would have left him in to get out of the jam in the 4th. Builds character and bulldogs.
You cannot play an athletic style of ball that is now openly available to teams if you strike out a ton.
When will we quit walking batters?