The Cincinnati Reds will look to pick up their first win of the season this afternoon as they play host to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park. The Pirates grabbed a 5-4 victory on Opening Day Thursday evening and then the two teams sat around with no game on Friday. Today’s first pitch is set for 4:10pm ET.

Starting Lineups

Pittsburgh Pirates

Cincinnati Reds

Ke’Bryan Hayes – 3B Jonathan India – 2B
Bryan Reynolds – LF Spencer Steer – 3B
Andrew McCutchen – DH Wil Myers – RF
Carlos Santana – 1B Tyler Stephenson – 1B
Connor Joe – RF Kevin Newman – DH
Oneil Cruz – SS Stuart Fairchild – LF
Rodolfo Castro – 2B Curt Casali – C
Ji Hwan Bae – CF Jose Barrero – SS
Austin Hedges – C TJ Friedl – CF
Rich Hill – SP Nick Lodolo – SP

Starting Pitchers

Stats from 2022

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB% K%
Rich Hill 124.1 4.27 1.30 7.0% 20.7%
Nick Lodolo 103.1 3.66 1.25 8.8% 29.7%
Links: Nick Lodolo’s Stats | Rich Hill’s Stats

Nick Lodolo

Managers do all that they can to avoid sending lefty hitters to face Nick Lodolo. The ones that are deemed good enough to give it a shot probably shouldn’t because last season they still managed to hit just .109 against him with one extra-base hit in 53 trips to the plate. Righties had far more success, hitting .252 with a solid walk rate and solid power against him.

2022 Splits

RHH 388 85 14 3 13 9.0% 28.4% .252 .351 .427
LHH 53 5 1 0 0 7.5% 39.6% .109 .226 .130

Pitch Usage (from 2022)

4-Seam 2-Seam Change Curve
Velo 94.5 94.2 88.4 81.6
Usage 36% 23% 11% 30%

Rich Hill

The chances that the Reds face a pitcher older than Rich Hill in 2023 aren’t good. The lefty is 43-years-old and entering his 19th season in the big leagues. Left-handed hitters had a higher average, walk rate, and on-base percentage in 2022 than right-handed hitters did. Righties hit for much more power, and the sample size against lefties was small – an indication that managers were only playing their absolute best lefties against Hill, which skews the data for sure.

Everything that Rich Hill throws these days is slow. He barely touches 90 MPH with his fastball. His breaking balls average 69.5 and 72.0 MPH. His sinker works in the low-80’s. Perhaps a good idea for the batters to step forward in the box this afternoon.

2022 Splits

RHH 454 107 24 6 14 6.8% 20.3% .255 .311 .442
LHH 72 18 3 0 1 8.3% 23.6% .277 .347 .369

Pitch Usage (from 2022)

4-Seam 2-Seam Cutter Curve Slider Change
Velo 88.7 83.7 84.4 72.0 69.5 82.2
Usage 36% 2% 13% 36% 11% 2%

When and Where

  • Game time: 4:10pm ET
  • Where: Great American Ball Park
  • Watch: Bally Sports Ohio,
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 46°, cloudy, 15% chance of rain

News and Notes

Louisville starts their season tonight

The Triple-A season began yesterday, but not for the Louisville Bats. Their game was postponed due to the weather that rolled through much of the Midwest. They’ll get started tonight at 6:05pm ET with a doubleheader. Over at you can check out the full Bats roster and read a little bit about the start of the season.

Joey Votto is the only Reds rehabber with the Bats today. He is expected to play in both games – getting the start at first base in one and taking on the designated hitter role in the other.

Around the Beat

The Reds are embracing “small ball”

Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote about the Reds plan to use some more small ball in the 2023 season than in the past with manager David Bell. Cincinnati won’t be the only team doing that, though, as the new rules encourage more stolen bases and that alone is going to add more of the “small ball” kind of stuff to just about every team’s game plan this year. But more than just the new rules, Cincinnati’s roster is younger and faster than the ones in the past, giving them even more incentive to try and push things on the base paths.

Injury Updates

In an article over at The Cincinnati Enquirer behind their paywall, Bobby Nightengale provided some updates on some injured Reds players. Among the players expected to return soon, only Tony Santillan’s start date seems to be pushed back a little bit. After his last bullpen session his knee was a bit sore afterwards and has while things checked out fine he’s had things pushed back a little bit.

160 Responses

  1. LDS

    I realize there’s a price to pay for the local writers to get access to the club insiders. Goldsmith, in particular, tends to be short of news value and more like “human interest” stories in an old-time community newspaper. Regardless, let’s see how long the small ball mindset prevails.

  2. DHud

    If Bell let a LH hitter face a LHP the sky might actually come crashing down. Put Fraley in 150 games and leave it.

    • JB

      Paul O’Neil would be parked on the bench.

    • Jim t

      TJ Freidl is in the line up. He is left handed.

      • DHud

        Correct. My contention is Fraley not in the lineup. Fraley is by far the better offensive player over Friedl

    • LDS

      Fraley has a career .148 BA against LH’ers. He’s purely a platoon player.

      • DHud

        In 115 career ABs

        That’s roughly two months.of ABs. Not at all sufficient data set

      • DHud

        LHH also hit better against Hill than RHH, so do we care about that data or only the ones that prove our point?

      • Jim t

        Seems the RHH’s are doing quite well to this point.

      • DHud

        Jim t hindsight does not prove an argument

        Yes. Great India and Newman hit HRs. My point is still in place that Bell’s stringent decision making based on LH/RH matchups is contentious at best

      • LDS

        I agree that Bell is a L/R fanatic regardless of stats

      • DHud

        Also in no situation would Fraley be in the lineup in place of either of those two.

      • DHud

        I guess not entirely true – Fraley could be DH instead of Newman

      • Jim t

        The point is that Bell opted for a RH hitting line up and they a up 3-1 after 1. With 2 RH’s hitting home runs. Replacing a guy who doesn’t hit lefties well is not a bad decision. One that happens in baseball many times every day. Also statistics support that theory.

  3. Old-school

    Just brutal baseball weather. Temp has dropped 15 degrees and super windy. Can we just cut the season to 144 games and eliminate March and November from the calendar? April 10 to September 20. Regular season. WS is over by October 15.

    • Michael

      OS, agreed. But seeing how everything revolves around $$$, I can’t see it happening. I wouldn’t attend a sporting event in this weather unless my kids were playing.

    • Melvin

      I’ve never understood why games this time of year aren’t mostly played in a warmer climate or in a dome stadium. I know we wouldn’t get our first series at home like we usually do but we could just postpone “opening day” to our first series. Personally I don’t think there should ever be another stadium built that doesn’t at least have a retractable roof.

  4. Bet on Red

    so whats the deal with bally sports…. are we going to lose the whole broadcasting show

    • Randy in Chatt

      Right now I am watching it on the Bally Sports app here in Chattanooga via my smart TV downloaded Bally Sports app thru Xfinity. They had it advertised on cable TV on the listings guide but are doing a replay of a Nashville Predators hockey game for some reason. I m afraid they will cut those out too though.

  5. JB

    Most all time stolen bases for the team is 310. I think the Reds will beat that this year.

    • Michael

      JB – No chance. Barrero and Benson won’t be on base enough for that.

      • Michael

        When Elly is called up, then he could make a huge impact on the base paths. I think 50 SB is possible if he is called up by June 1.

    • MBS

      @JB, I’m with you, this team is fast, maybe not 80’s fast, but they do have shorter base paths, a timer on the pitcher, and less throw overs.

  6. LarkinPhillips

    Lodolo’s changeup has a couple nice swing and misses already today.

  7. LarkinPhillips

    30+ pitches in the first inning. Be lucky to get 3innings from our starter today. Pirates definitely have a game plan to take pitches and work counts.

  8. old-school

    Lodolo needs to throw more strikes and trust his stuff. He gets Hayes 0-2 and needs 9 pitches. He then gets a 1 pitch out and easy first except he then nibbles and nibbles and 30+ pitch inning and scoring inning. You cant walk guys especially when you are 2 outs and no one on base.

  9. Tom Mitsoff

    Looks like about three or four innings tops for Lodolo with that high pitch count. At least he escaped major damage.

    • Melvin

      Yep. Something has to change. Either we get a real good bullpen or we have to start pitching more to contact (not to mention throwing more strikes). Five innings from our starters will not get the job done.

  10. Tom Mitsoff

    One thing I am noticing is that the “waste” pitches on 0-2 and 1-2 counts by Lodolo and Greene so far are not really close to the zone. Nothing to make the hitter worry.

    • VaRedsFan

      That’s been a staple of D. Johnson’s pupils

      • greenmtred

        These guys have all pitched for some years and been coached by people other than Johnson. Do you really believe that he teaches them to throw pointless waste pitches? Maybe they simply haven’t developed enough command to do otherwise?

    • Erik the Red

      Not many close pitches being thrown by both of them. This is the Pirates not exactly one of the elite teams either.

      • Melvin

        It seams like sometimes that our pitchers are afraid of contact. Maybe they should remember that they have eight other guys out there to help them.

  11. Mark A Verticchio

    Horrible first inning the run is bad but 35 pitches. How long will Lodolo be around. The Red’s pitchers nibble way to much, like Larkin said when you get two strikes go after them.

  12. Old-school

    Folks, Im going to beat the drum on India. Extend the guy now. Hes a competitor and the de facto leader of this team.

    Padres extended Cronenworth today who is a year older in service time but 3 years older chronologically at 29. He got 7 and 80 starting next year.

    • Old-school

      And while I’m at it…extend Ty Steve

      • old-school

        And no…I am not extending Kevin Newman despite the 2 run jack.

      • Melvin

        Well buddy. The next time Big Bob & Son spend much more money than they absolutely have to I’ll be real surprised.

      • Greenfield Red

        Usually agree OS, but I keep thinking of Geno, Bailey, and Mesorocco. All three extended. All three flamed out.

  13. Mark Moore

    A little late to the party today. Did see India crank one. Had to laugh at TySteve blowing a bubble as he rounded 1st after smacking that one to the wall.

    And then HELLO NEWMAN!!!

  14. Roger Garrett

    Would be a sign if nothing else for the fans to rally around if both were extended.Just got to wrap up your best players as early as you can if you are serious about competing

  15. old-school

    Hello Newman. Rich Hill…no soup for you!

  16. Mark A Verticchio

    I have thought all spring that people were to down on the Newman trade he is only 29 and could be a utility guy.

  17. Beaufort Red

    Can someone tell Sadak we didn’t platt yesterday.

  18. Hanawi

    Has to be a pitching philosophy from DJ that sees these guys nibble all of the time. Doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s a starter or a reliever. Need to be more efficient with their pitch counts.

    • Mark Moore

      Not what we saw during ST by my recollection. Way more efficient and aggressive.

  19. VaRedsFan

    Agree with OS….Cleveland just locked up Gimenez….7 years/106 million. Indy and Ty …do it.

  20. Mark Moore

    Did Newman have to wear the Viking getup after he smashed that one? India wearing it made us laugh.

  21. Dennis Westrick

    A walk by Lodolo and a error by Myers gave the Pie-Rats a cheap run in the 1st. This team is their own worst enemy!

    Plus, the Reds starters, so far this season, are averaging 27 pitches per inning! Nearly impossible to pitch more than 4 innings with that pitch rate! If our starters can only go 4 innings then Bell becomes more of a factor selecting which arsonist to bring in from the bullpen! Gotta do better!

  22. old-school

    The farce is C Trent wrote an article this week about DJ’s pitching approach. Its FAH.

    Started in Alaska in a summer league with a pitcher saying F… all hitters. DJ amended to fearlessly attack hitters.

    Can anyone say the Reds pitchers FAH. No they do not. They are told to miss bats and the best way to do that is nibble and miss the strike zone.

  23. Tom Mitsoff

    Looks like Myers couldn’t touch Hill’s breaking pitch with an ironing board.

    • Old-school

      Myers has struck out the most of any player in MLB history against Hill

  24. Roger Garrett

    it seems to be just what our pitchers do.Mahle just drove us all crazy by doing it.Got to throw strikes and trust your pitches.Guys have major league stuff or they shouldn’t be here.

  25. Dennis Westrick

    Lodolo at 80+ pitches thru 3 innings! Good grief!

  26. Roger Garrett

    I would consider it a good year if our pitchers would just throw strikes and our hitters would show some patience at the plate.We nibble on the mound and start swinging in the parking lot as if we might lose our spot in the dugout.

    • LDS

      It must be the small-ball philosophy that Bell was touting in the Goldsmith article. Strangely, it looks exactly like last year’s philosophy

      • greenmtred

        Maybe if the guys who hit homers had hit singles instead we’d have seen some small ball. Clearly preferable.

  27. Bet on Red

    Nice lodolo to get the Pitcher of record hopefully

  28. Old-school

    Give Lodolo credit for battling and competing thru 5

  29. Hanawi

    Too many pitches, but good first outing of the year overall for Lodolo.

  30. LarkinPhillips

    For some reason it makes me mad that Bell pulled HG after 85 pitches but let Lodolo go 108 pitches. I still think the HG hook was too early on opening day. Good bounce back from Lodolo.

    • BK

      The scheduled day off made the entire bullpen available for use on Thursday. Today is day one of six straight days with games scheduled–very different circumstances.

      • LarkinPhillips

        I’ll give you that logic. But I still think HG could have finished the third inning on opening Day.

      • Melvin

        One might argue that, even with a day off for the bullpen, Greene would be better than anyone else available even if a little tired.

    • Michael

      LarkinPhillips, I agree. Maybe not mad, but irritated. Intentionally walk Cruz and let Greene try to finish the inning.

  31. VaRedsFan

    Strong finish by Nick the last 2 innings.
    Glad Bell let him go back out for another inning. 100 pitch number is just a silly arbitrary number that’s puffed out there by talking heads.

    Now 4 innings of bullpen.

  32. Old-school

    Lodolo 3rd strike to Cruz was called a ball
    First strike to barrero was a ball
    Strike 3 on Friedl was a ball

    Its bad

    • Harry Stoner

      Strike 3 on Friedl did look way high (and outside.)

  33. Mark A Verticchio

    I wish the umpire was as kind to Lodolo as he has been to Hill.

  34. Harry Stoner

    “Now 4 innings of bullpen.”

    Sending fear into the hearts of Reds’ fans…..

  35. VaRedsFan

    Ball 4 called strike 3 on TJ.
    The importance of framing. there catcher does it, ours don’t.

  36. Old-school

    Spencer Steer strike 3 a walk…not a strike

    Last inning balls and strike compromising the integrity of the game

    • Mark Moore

      It keeps getting worse IMO. Well past time for the consistent robo-zone. HP Chumpires are putting their own “spin” on the game and that’s not a good thing anymore.

  37. LarkinPhillips

    Should be bases loaded and one out if not for the extend a zone beyond the plate. That’s a big difference maker right there.

  38. magi210

    Ump hasn’t been endearing himself to the Reds today.

  39. Mark A Verticchio

    Two batters that inning called out on ball four.

  40. Harry Stoner

    Will we see Gibaut join the 2023 version of the ‘first batter walk’ club?

  41. Old-school

    Spencer Steer looks fine defensively at 3b


    Good news: Reds are ahead 3-2. Bad news: It will soon be in the hands of the bullpen. Yes, the bullpen they did not care to spend much on for the fans. Cross your fingers.

  43. Jim t

    Steer looking much better defensively than he did this spring. Hope I didn’t jinx him.

  44. Kevin Patrick

    I honestly just wish they would take away the box of the strike zone on TV…I find myself getting really pissed off regularly. I mean, if the ump is going to miss the occassional Rich HIll pitch, its understandable. Friedl should be pissed though.

  45. Hanawi

    Nice quick inning by Gibaut. Probably send him out for the next one too.

  46. LDS

    Good inning by Gibaut – no walks. Only 10 pitches.

  47. Jim t

    Question? If the heart of the Pirate order comes up in the 8th inning do you use Diaz then or wait until the ninth?

    • VaRedsFan

      if 2 runners on…use him for 1+ innings

  48. Jim t

    Nice aggressive base running by Myers.

  49. old-school

    Joel Luckhaupt has hilarious tweet on Reds who homered in first at bat. Kudos to Newman for doing so. TS did . Dietrich, Casali and Duvall as well. Anyone predict Bronson Arroyo homered in his first at bat as a Red?

  50. Jim t

    Hitting Fraley here a good move or bad?

    • Hanawi

      I would have just let Fairchild hit. He has slight reverse splits for his career and I think he has shown good stuff when gotten the opportunity.

      • LDS

        I agree Let Fairchild hit. No real reason to go to Fraley. It worked out but absolutely over managed.

      • Jim t

        Hitting Fraley there is not over managing. It’s a move employed by many managers and is based on data.

      • old-school

        I disagree. Fairchild splits are irrelevant in a vacuum. It’s who is a better hitter against a righty. No one can say Fairchild is better against a righty than fraley. Thats not supported by the data.

      • greenmtred

        Baseball decisions that work out are, by definition, good decisions. How else do you reasonably evaluate them? By whether or not they comport with your opinion? Pinch hitters, in particular, are considerably more likely to fail than to succeed.

      • LDS

        Even when a decision works out, it doesn’t mean it was a good decision. It was unnecessary at that point in the game. Regardless, Fairchild wasn’t given the opportunity.

      • Jim t

        The score was 3-2 at that point. Hitting Fraley was absolutely the right move.

      • LDS

        I’ll suggest that had Fraley not homered, many of you lauding the move would be critical of the decision. Regardless, it’s a win.

      • Jim t

        @LDS not me. It was the right baseball move.

      • BK

        @LDS, you’re right. You should not judge a decision based on results but on the soundness of the logic that went into the decision. This was the right decision and it worked out.

  51. Bet on Red

    why wasnt fraley in since the begining

    • Jim t

      Sat him against a left. Which he was hitting below 150 against lifetime

  52. Tom Mitsoff

    Good pinch-hit decision by Bell. 😉

  53. Jim t

    How about that! Bell sits him against the lefty then use him with 2 on against a RH and he cranks one.

  54. Old-school

    Fraley is really really good against righties

  55. Old-school

    That winker for Fraley LF switch is aging really really well

  56. old-school

    Gibault and Farmer outstanding.

    This is fun. Need 6 more outs.

  57. Bdh

    I can’t believe the reds only had to give up Winker + Suarez to land Fraley!

    In all seriousness once one of Williamson/Phillips cement their spot in the rotation that trade looks dang good for Cincinnati

  58. VaRedsFan

    Barrero doesn’t have any hits to show for it, but he’s had 3 good AB’s today.

    • Old-school

      He’s playing really good mlb defense at SS too

    • Melvin

      I saw him in the dugout reviewing/studying his previous ABs.

  59. Mark Moore

    Lodolo settled down enough and good innings from Gibault and Farmer. Would still love to play some add-on here.

  60. Tampa Red

    I guess Bell and/or Johnson forgot to tell Gibaut and Farmer to nibble around the edges and not throw strikes. Dang it!

    • DHud

      And neither walked the first batter. Unacceptable.

  61. Mark Moore

    Farmer bucked up and avoided that initial BB we’ve all come to know and (not) love. I was a little nervous for him to start a 2nd inning. But if he’s dealing, he’s dealing.

  62. Brian Rutherford

    We should be up by at least 9 runs. Poor management by Bell. Should have let Lodolo pitch through 7. Pitch numbers are just arbitrary. Just terrible decisions on top of more terrible decisions.

    • greenmtred

      Pitch counts are probably different for different pitchers and may well depend upon specific situations. We’ve argued about pulling Greene, but he’d just thrown 30+ in one inning and had more 100+ mph pitches than all the other pitchers in baseball combined. For all you know, Lodolo was gassed. It’s a long season

  63. old-school

    Pedro Borbon finishes the 8th.

    Bullpen 13 in a row

  64. VaRedsFan

    9 up 9 down by the pen.
    Bottle this up and drink it for the rest of the season.

  65. Old-school

    Votto homers.

    This is a good day

  66. Melvin

    Votto homers in his first AB? Cool.

    • Mark Moore

      I forgot they were playing. Good for Joey. He’ll be back here before we know it.

  67. Mark Moore

    Nice little mop-up by Sanmartin to finish another clean inning.

    This game should break the 2.5 hour mark at this pace.

    3 more outs and this 8-game monkey is off our backs.

  68. bug

    Bell made several good moves today! He let Lodolo go over 100 pitches and pick up the win, instead of jerking him early like he did Greene. Then he followed the left hand starter with right-handed relievers. Then he made a great call on pinch hitting Fraily. All smart calls. Wish he was consistant with his common sense moves. Maybe he’s learning.

    • Mark Moore

      Have to agree with these calls today. I personally won’t give him credit for “learning” and leaving his tinkering ways behind just yet, but this was encouraging to see.

  69. Mark Moore

    And Diaz summons up a pizza K for the crowd!

    • TR

      Suddenly the Reds have a closer in the making.

    • Dennis Westrick

      Happy for the Reds, Lodolo and Diaz! But have to ask! Why use Diaz in the 9th inning of a game when you are up by 4 runs! Why not let Sanmartin finish? He only threw 3 pitches for the last out in the top of the 8th inning! Seems a waste in a game that any reliever should be able to close out!

      • Jim t

        He needed the work. When was the last time he pitched.

      • Harry Stoner

        Two sides to the story:

        The Bell Factor: use your better / best reliever against the strongest part of the lineup irrespective of the inning.

        The flipsideof that is also The Bell Factor: pulling a reliever no matter how strong they are pitching because the L/R projections make you nervous.

        The flipside of both of those is also The Bell Factor: use your best reliever as “designated closer” despite how much you’ve shown prefernce for Bell Factor 1 or 2 and drove Rafael Iglesias into exile.

      • greenmtred

        Bell isn’t the only person who sees the logic in using your best reliever at the time of most peril. Iglesias didn’t like that and whined and sulked. A complicating factor may have been that saves–a stat of questionable utility–is likely an important factor in salary negotiation.

  70. Melvin

    Good win today. Bullpen came through. It would be great to see more of that.

  71. VaRedsFan

    Well done boys and RLN…
    I won’t even say….”but it was the Pirates”

    • Mark Moore

      Yep. The Pie-Rats who had beaten us 8 straight before today. That’s one chubby monkey on the back regardless of anything else.

  72. Hanawi

    Nice win. Solid work from the bullpen today. Good outing from Lodolo.

  73. LDS

    Now that’s how a bullpen is supposed to pitch. 4 IP, no hits, no BBs, only 3 SOs

    • Harry Stoner

      Zero walks.

      I’d love to see the bullpen develop some huevos.

      Every walk means a $1K contribution to the Cincinnati Zoo or Children’s Hospital.