In a game featuring Hunter Greene and Zack Wheeler as the starting pitchers, it was the difference in bullpens that mattered on Friday afternoon. The Phillies bullpen threw 3.2 shutout innings and allowed just one hit, while the Reds bullpen gave up two home runs and five hits in 3.1 innings as Philadelphia came out on top of Cincinnati 5-2 in their home opener.
|Cincinnati Reds (3-3)||2||6||0|
|Philadelphia Phillies (2-5)||5||10||0|
|W: Soto (1-1) L: Law (0-1)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
The Reds went down in order in the top of the 1st inning as they faced off against Zack Wheeler. The Phillies didn’t do any better against Hunter Greene in the bottom half as Greene struck out Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, and J.T. Realmuto on 12 pitches.
In the bottom of the 2nd inning Hunter Greene ran into some trouble. The first pitch of the inning was lined into left field for a double by Nick Castellanos. After retiring the next two hitters, he walked Jake Cave and Kody Clemens to load the bases. That led to a visit from pitching coach Derek Johnson. It didn’t make a difference as Greene followed with a 5-pitch walk to Brandon Marsh to bring in a run and bring Trea Turner to the plate, but the inning would end there with a lazy fly out to center. Greene’s pitch count rose to 45 thanks to the 33-pitch inning.
The Reds got their first hit of the game in the 3rd when Will Benson blooped one into center. He was erased on a fielders choice on a hard hit ball by Jose Barrero up the middle. Barrero was then thrown out trying to steal second base before Jonathan India popped out to end the inning. Philadelphia tried to get something going in the bottom of the inning when Realmuto singled up the middle and moved to third on a Nick Castellanos double. Greene worked out of the jam by getting a pop up and a fly out to end the inning.
Cincinnati’s offense got going in the 5th inning with two outs when Spencer Steer doubled to the wall in left field. Will Benson followed up with his first walk of the season, leaving things up to Jose Barrero. The shortstop came through with a liner up the middle to bring Steer in to tie the game up at 1-1. That lead didn’t last long as Trea Turner singled to lead off the bottom of the inning and then scored on a double into the right field corner by Kyle Schwarber. J.T. Realmuto popped out and Nick Castellanos struck out, but at 93 pitches and a lefty due up the Reds turned to Alex Young out of the bullpen. He seemed to get out of the inning on a ground out, but the call was overturned and put runners on the corners. Young did get the next batter to ground into a force out and hold the game at 2-1.
TJ Friedl got things rolling in the top of the 6th with a leadoff double. He would move to third on a ground out and then come around to score when Tyler Stephenson lined a double into left field to tie the game up. Alex Young came back out for the bottom of the 6th and retired the Phillies in order by striking out the side.
Derek Law took over in the top of the 7th inning and seemed to have struck out Trea Turner on a 1-2 pitch, but the umpire fell for the ole “missed his spot so it’s not a strike” thing, even though it clearly was in the strikezone. The next pitch was lined up the middle for a leadoff single and the Phillies had something rolling. That turned out to be a big play as two batters later J.T. Realmuto crushed a 2-run homer to put Philadelphia on top 4-2.
After Law walked Nick Castellanos it was back to the bullpen and Reiver Sanmartin took over. He’d get a force out at second base on a grounder where Jose Barrero salvaged one out on a bad throw by Jonathan India. The next batter singled on a high hopper off of the glove of India. A wild pitch followed to move the runners up a base, but a line out to center would end the inning. Sanmartin returned for the 8th inning and gave up a solo homer to the leadoff batter, extending the Phillies lead to 5-2.
Cincinnati needed at least three runs to keep the game going in the 9th. Wil Myers wasn’t ready to call it a day just yet and line a single into left field to lead off the inning. The next two hitters were retired, but Craig Kimbrell walked Stuart Fairchild to bring Jose Barrero to the plate as they tying run. Barrero grounded into a force out on the first pitch to end the game as the Phillies won their home opener.
Key Moment of the Game
J.T. Realmuto’s go-ahead 2-run home run in the 7th inning.
Notes Worth Noting
Hunter Greene threw one change up. That’s one more than he threw on Opening Day.
Will Benson picked up his first hit and his first walk of the season, but he was also pinch hit for later in the game.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Philadelphia Phillies
Saturday April 8th, 4:05pm ET
Nick Lodolo (1-0, 3.60 ERA) vs Bailey Falter (0-1, 3.38 ERA)
I follow the games from afar as I’m chasing a toddler around so I actually see very little of the games. Why isn’t Hunter using the change-up? That was a huge weapon for Castillo and he’s been pretty good. I’d think Hunter (or the coaches) would want to use it more than one time over two games.
Doug does it concern you that Greene, according to the box score had no ground outs.
In the last two games, the Reds have looked a lot like the team that lost 100 games last season. It is just too hard to overcome the bullpen consistently having to cover 4 or 5 innings.
Especially THIS bullpen.
Reds lost because they scored 2 runs. Twice the phillies brought in good lefties throwing 99 mph- soto and Alvarodo. Bellavides didnt have an answer. 2 old righty catchers on the bench didnt help nor did friedl fraley hitting back to back.
Hard to Win with india and Fraley and myers going 1-13 or whatever.
Law and San Martin dont seem to have stuff+
Need a win tomorrow. Greene was rescued by Young. Hes got to be better. Im refraining from lumping 2023 bullpen with years past but not looking good last 2 games and the next 2 weeks schedule will stress this pitching staff and bullpen
How was Greene’s pitch selection today? Did his change-up make a reappearance? Hopefully, Lodolo can pitch the Reds back to a winning record tomorrow
Nope. He only threw one changeup. He got ahead of most hitters then started trying to get them to chase and got himself in long counts where he had to throw fastballs. He needs to attack the zone when ahead instead of letting the count slip away.
Thanks, sounds like DJ isn’t doing his job. Someone has to get him to realize he can’t just blow the ball past the average major leaguer. He’s got to learn to pitch.
I agree. Hunter has to be better and quit trying to strike everyone out. He has to get deeper into games. That is the responsibility of a #1 pitcher.
6 hits won’t get it done – especially with our pitching staff.
No he continued to nibble after getting ahead in the count. I don’t get it he has the stuff to just blow them away. Stop with the nit picking at the corners and just finish the batter off. Frustrating to watch.
On the bright side Alex Young looked good again.
It makes no sense. He was having success with the changeup in Spring Training, and now has just completely given up on it. It seems like he doesn’t trust the pitch, even though he’s exactly the type of pitcher that if he mixed in a changeup, it would make him that much harder to hit because you’d be constantly trying to get the timing right. Luis Castillo is a great recent example of a pitcher who has a similar profile to Greene, but only became elite once he started using a changeup.
I really hope someone can get to Hunter and explain to him that if he wants to take the next step, he has to throw and trust his changeup. As long as he just keeps pumping fastballs, MLB hitters will eventually catch up to them the more they see them.
The fact that Greene can already compete with basically 1.5 pitches is testament to his raw talent, but if he wants to become the elite pitcher that his talent says he should be, he’s got to change.
Again, sanmartin sucks!!!
With the exception of Diaz, the 2023 version of the Reds bullpen is a catastrophe! Watching this team is like watching the movie Groundhog Day!
Relax ole chum. Lol..
It’s pretty much the same thing as last season. They keep the game close until the 6th or 7th inning, then middle relief comes in and winning is quickly out of reach.
The Reds’ hitters faced what is currently the worst bullpen in baseball and still managed to look miserable. Absolutely pathetic.
Meanwhile, Suarez is hitting like an All-Star. Castillo is an ace. Winker has been good thus far with the Brewers. Sonny Gray has been fantastic. Castellanos is a doubles machine.
I wish I could be patient, but watching losing baseball is beyond old. How long will it take Hunter Greene to become the ace Castillo was/is? By the time that happens it will be time to trade him to Los Angeles for the next box of prospects.
Yep, the Reds just lost to a wounded Phillies team with a bullpen that is as bad, if not worse, as the Reds BP!
You forgot to mention that Frank Robinson was AL MVP.
And Paul O’Neill got four rings in NY.
Jon – You’re only telling one side of the story.
Suarez was horrid for two years in Cincy. They gave him a long leash and he couldn’t correct things. Can’t blame FO for moving on.
Castillo was an ace, but Cincy couldn’t pay him what he was worth.
Same with Sonny, and Wade Miley, but note both were hurt for significant time last year.
Castellanos and Winker struggled last year, the former making piles of money in the process.
You forgot to mention two other guys the Reds moved on from: Zach Cozart and Scooter Gennett. Ask the Angels and Giants, respectively, how they turned out.
Things aren’t that bad. Reds are on the upswing.
I mostly agree, but Cincy could have afforded to extend Castillo. He got a very reasonable deal, especially considering how good he is. The Reds could have paid him, they chose not to.
“ Castillo was an ace, but Cincy couldn’t pay him what he was worth.“
Luis Castillo signed a 5 year contract with the Mariners for $108 million dollars. That’s a little over $21 million Dollars a year.
Last year the Reds had a payroll of $80 million dollars. This year they have a payroll of $60 Millions. The difference alone was enough to sign Castillo.
They paid Mike Minor $10 Million dollars last season and they couldn’t afford Castillo at $21 million?
Come on now. Is your last name Castellini by any chance?
But we got lots of exciting prospects for those legit big leaguers who actually preform. Didn’t you know our prospects are exciting and could be good someday? Who cares about winning when you have prospects!
“Hunter Greene threw one change up. That’s one more than he threw on Opening Day.”
That’s a big deal. Have to think he will learn better. Not only will he probably get more Ks but it will also be less stress on the arm and more than likely go longer in the game.
It may become apparent that Tyler Stephenson doesn’t need to be catching when Hunter is pitching. Getting more from the pitcher is a huge part of catching.
Bullpen had 1 bad game. Let’s relax till May. LOL
Yes, I am with you the bullpen has been ok so far. A few guys have had a bad start to the season, but this is the first game that Law didn’t have anything today. There are definitely a few guys in the pen that have not done a whole lot so far. But there also a few that have done a pretty decent job thus far.
Bullpen is not going to be perfect every day. Even Diaz is going to have a rough day from time to time.
What major league team of the total 30 has a perfect bullpen every game? Probably none. I see some signs of hope in the Reds bullpen. Bullpens are always a collection that takes time to come together, and there’s never very many of them. Hang in there; the season is still young.
Exactly, and we have to score more than 2 runs. 5 to 2 or 10 to 2 doesn’t matter if we only have 6 hits and 2 runs.
One bad game? The bullpen gave up 2 runs on opening day with Farmer taking the loss. They were lights out in the next 2 games against the Pirates. The bullpen gave up one run in the opener against the Cubs. In the second game against the Cubs, the bullpen gave up 10 runs with the loss falling on Farmer yet again. And then the opener against the Phillies, the bullpen gave up 3 runs with the loss falling on Law. So more correctly, in 4 out 6 games, the bullpen has been largely ineffective.
Hey great news the 3-22 record is still possible for another day.
The last two games have not been quite as fun but Hey Barrero got a hit and so did Benson.
Some need to take a deep breath though here. It’s only game 6. Also, everyone here should realize anytime we are over .500 winning wise that should be considered a blessing. No one picks this to be a winning season.
Small sample size only applies when they don’t like what you say about a player they like.
The order of the bullpen is what had me baffled
Young looked good although I would have let greene finish the inning he was still 10 pitches under 100.
Why they went to law next is the real question. I know he has been a good story so far but he has marginal stuff at best and was one of the last in to this bullpen. Cruz / Farmer / Diaz
This bullpen is certainly a collection of meh choices to get to Diaz and it will cost them wins till it gets properly dealt with
I don’t disagree about Law. He’s got a bit more experience than most of our pen, so that’s probably your answer right there. Law and Gibaut are towards the bottom of the pen. I don’t know anything about Herget, which is the only reason I wouldn’t say they were the bottom 2.
I’m not a fan of attacking the pen when the starter can’t complete 5 innings. I really thought Greene would go deeper today. Hopefully Lodolo can go a little further his 2nd time around. I think we’ll see a bit more length out of Cessa this time around to.
It’s still early in the season, but Young has been impressive. I think most of our pen will be fine, but Diaz, Santillan (when he returns), and Young could make a nice high leverage trio for the Reds.
Yeah, you could argue that Young deserves the higher leverage situations instead of Sanmartin.
I agree. Part of being a top-of-rotation pitcher is eating innings consistently. Greene has room to grow.
Stephenson has caught 4 of 6. Meanwhile we have two more right handed hitting catchers on the bench. Neither of them are DH or pitch hit worthy and are just there to give Stephenson a break. Could have used a pinch hitter for one of the lefties today. But, hey we have three catchers so there’s that.
Thats a really good point
I just wonder if Krall wanted a pause to figure out catching and health and young pitching this year. Its not a bad idea with Stephenson coming off injury
I really wanted Reds to sign good FA catcher to pair with Stephenson but $20 mil plus wasn’t happening
Maybe they find Stephenson catching partner next year but Stephenson is healthy and hitting and needs a long term contract
Reds lost last 2 games because of the pen but I will take a tied game going in to the 7th every time out.Pen is better but we need some innings from the starters or it will be worn out sooner then later.Top 3 starters are young but the sooner they learn to trust their stuff the better they and the team will be.Mahle nibbled and at times so did Castillo so is it what they are being taught the problem?Greene is electric but major league hitters won’t chase if it isn’t close.It just appears our pitchers once they get 2 strikes nibble and let the hitter back in the count.
Something has to change with the pitch calling for Greene— it’s the same nonsense we saw the first half of the last season. Too much overreliance on the fastball, especially up in the zone. I counted maybe two or three change ups, but he needs to throw a lot more, especially against left-handers.
Not sure why in his first at bats Stevenson always seems so eager to swing at the first pitch…. Have yet to see him have any success with that strategy. Barrero‘s first at bats were excellent but in his final at that after seeing the previous batter walk, he gets fooled on a the first pitch curveball out of the zone. Need a better game plan in that situation.
I thought for the most part the Reds did okay especially considering they faced Wheeler. Greene seems like he gets flustered at times even though he does not show it outwardly and his release point gets messed up. He’s young. Phillies have many veterans on their team who also happen to be above average or blue chippers. They know how to stay more calm and collected. Reds have mostly rookies or 1-3 year hitters. Myers so far has looked lost. They started Barrero and Benson neither of whom are hitting their weight. Reds need time to sort out their team and figure out what’s what. Many changes in store next month or two, so yeah it’s early and I for one am going to give the team another month or two to start making any judgements.
Votto seems like he still has a ways to go. Williamson too even more. Good news is Santi may be ready real soon from what I read/hear….and Senzel is playing and injury free so far. Strickland threw another scoreless inning. David Bell must love that….Oooh Boy. 🙂
I’m afraid Votto may be done. I would hate to see him come back and struggle to hit .200. He’s had too good of a career to end like that.
Senzel has earned nothing. He would have to be hitting .400 with power for me to give up on any of the guys currently active.
We need a good Tony Santillan asap. And probably 1 more. Bullpen has no electricity compared to rest of the league.
Santillan made his rehab debut Friday night in Louisville. He blew through an inning on 11 pitches (7 strikes), 1K, no BB, 0 hits, and 0 runs.
This said, I hardly recognized Santillan. Physically he looked more like Jumbo Diaz than the Santillan I recall. The Louisville Bats website has him listed at 6’3″, 285Lbs and he looked every ounce of that. Since he has been out with back issues, this weight situation may be something to watch.
@ Jim, There was a sobering article on Santillan about a month back or so from Nightengale I think. He was in so much pain and so frustrated with things last season, he left the team during the season and went back home struggling physically and mentally. Ultimately, his back healed and he gave an update this spring saying he feels great and is in a great spot. He was delayed not so much from his back this spring but because he had got no throwing in and needed to build his back arm up. Now that he is in a good spot and hopefully back soon with the Reds , maybe he can work on the conditioning side of things back in a structured MLB clubhouse with trainers and such.
@OS> I hope you are correct on Santillan getting everything back on kilter, most of all for him as a person then for the Reds and for us fans. I am certainly pulling for him.
However, it seems to me that carrying all that weight is a looming issue in keeping his back healthy, especially when he starts pitching in several games a week at MLB.
When I first saw Santillan on the screen Friday, I wasn’t even sure it was him. Then I wondered if he was wearing some sort of cumbersome back brace or support. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.
Jim – “This said, I hardly recognized Santillan. Physically he looked more like Jumbo Diaz than the Santillan I recall. The Louisville Bats website has him listed at 6’3?, 285Lbs and he looked every ounce of that.”
Whoa. That’s a lot of weight to carry around. Sounds like an injury waiting to happen. I believe he did throw a scoreless inning on Tuesday night too but still….so did Strickland. 😉
I want Joey’s last season to be a good one but I never thought it really mattered as we look at this team going forward.Reds just have to take a good look at the position players.Lots of guys starting with Ty Steve need a look see at first base this year and Joey just muddies the water IMO.Maybe Vosler or even Myers or maybe Steer could handle the defensive side of the position.Of course unless the Reds spend next year or extend some guys we will never compete anyway.
Would prefer not to see Law in tight games. Even his outs are loud. Zero faith in him.
I agree. His last two outings looked very pedestrian, stuff wise.
The Reds have a 2024-2027 window. I expect them to competitive in 2025. They might get lucky and be competive in 2024. They will probably rebuild about 2028 due to being a small market team. They have the young players coming to win a championship. I am sincere in saying this. They will need to continue to develop the young players the next two years. They will probably need one free agent outfielder at the cost of about $20 million on a one year contract in 2025, 2026, and 2027. They will need to spend about $30 million on free agent relievers; this is a conservative estimate. They will need to spend about $15 million on a free agent starter. I think they will develop the fifth starter, and this will save cost. The GM has an eye for talent, and he will need to make sure he has the right free agents. They have so much young talent, and this will keep the payroll down to a reasonable level for a small market team. They can increase their ticket prices because I think the fans will pay more to see a quality team. If they do not spend, I think they will just be using this young talent to make money off the fans because they are not going to win a championship. When you have all this young talent, you do not have to spend as much. I think it is a big positive when all of the top three starters and closer are young. Look at how much money you save. When you only need one free agent outfielder, and I understand some of you may say two or three, but I say one; you save money there as well. I already see the entire infield, and have one player moved to the outfield in my mind. I expect one of the outfielders on the present team to prove himself worthy of being a starter on the competitive team. So, I give you plenty there to criticize, if you like. I am sure many of us have the same goal. Go Reds!
3-3 6 games in. Bullpen has had 2 bad showings. Lost in this is Reds are scoring, minus yesterday game. Senzel is better than a few of the outfielders they have now. Just can’t stay healthy and they keep tinkering with his swing. Cause apparently 264 in his rookie year wasn’t good enough and why does every player have to hit for power. Toney Gywnn didn’t hit for power. I don’t believe Rod Crew hit for power. Could be wrong as I didn’t look up Crews numbers.
Hopefully Votto comes around. This lineup has the potential to be good when you add those two go to with the top five of India, Friedl, Stephenson, Myers, and Fraley.
I agree Kevin. The narrative that Senzel should be cut,traded,sent to AAA etc., and piling on for Senzel is at a fever pitch but he still has elite plate discipline and can hit the ball to all fields. His lack of health and lack of power contributed to a woeful 2022 season. But, players adjust and bounce back and by all accounts he has a new swing and positive attitude. I have no idea what the future holds with Senzel other than the obvious, which very few people want to admit or even acknowledge. Senzel had a complication from surgery and was in a boot in December. The Reds knew that and still….knowingly and intentionally, tendered him a contract for $2.3 million. They knew he could be delayed to start the season because he had to both heal the foot but also get back into baseball shape and conditioning, which set him back to prepare for spring training and OD.
He will get opportunities to play on the 26 man roster for sure. Hes not being paid to play in AAA when he is 100% healthy.
Saw Carew play when he was an Angel. He was a master with the bat, hit the ball like a tennis player returns a two handed backhand. Could hit it pretty much where he wanted to. Seven batting titles. There don’t seem to be many Carew, Wade Boggs, Pete Rose type hitters around anymore. All about the power now. Senzel might be stuck in no man’s land, a little power, a little contact, and a little glove.
@OS, The issue I see for Senzel is that he can never get back the lost years and time. The calendar says 2023 is his age 28 season. The nearest season he has to a full season was 4 years ago, and his production since was at the 87 OPS+ level.
Since then, in the pieces of seasons he has been able to be on the field, he has compiled a 64 OPS+ in 622 PAs. Until and unless he demonstrates differently on the field, it is hard to see how he will ever grow beyond being an average MLB player at best given the situation that he has been through.
My belief is the Reds tendered him because they were on the hook for his rehab costs regardless and hoped they might realize some value directly from him or if he came into camp strong enough to be flipped versus paying out the rehab costs only to see him sign elsewhere. Also, Cot’s and BBRef both place his salary at $1.95M versus $2.3m. But regardless, it is difficult to envision the Reds in their current posture holding onto Senzel through 2 more even more expensive arbitration years.
Senzel’s real competition at this point may well be playing alongside him at Louisville in the person of Matt McLain. McLain had a big spring and has picked right up in Louisville. He has OF experience as a CF at the D1 college level and plays SS. Friday night McLain was flipped over to 2B, and given his competence at SS would seem to be an easy transition to 3B.
I enjoy your post and your baseball knowledge.
What does being 28 have to do with anything. I only ask as it seems like some on here focus in age and we know players play well into their early to mid 30’s. Remember Senzel played college ball so was what 23 when drafted? I could be off abit.
I do agree though the window with the reds maybe over soon.
I dont disagree Jim. My only point is Senzel if healthy is going to play a lot in the next 2-3 months. Hes not going to be traded or play in AAA or be DFA’d. It also wouldnt surprise me if he bounced back from a wretched 3 years and got back to being himself as a player- disciplined spray hitter to all fields and good infielder. Time will tell
Reds have consistently moved on from players once their arb number or option number got north of $3.5-4 mil. Hamilton Peraza Farmer Bradley Barnhart Garrett.
Theres also lots of players who clicked later on – Gennett, Duvall, Drury, Phillips, Naquin after there first team gave up on them
Carew was not a power hitter, nor were Wade Boggs or Pete Rose. I’ve heard speculation that the rule changes will lead to more small ball. I hope so.
Joey Votto is a full week into his rehab stint of up to 20 days. So, far the results are nothing to get excited about, at least in a positive way.
In 5 games, Votto has made 20 plate appearances. He has struck out 12 times, walked 3 times, and had 3 hits (1 HR). 8 of the Ks have come in the 14 PAs during the 3 most recent games he has played in.
On Thursday Votto struck out in the final inning of the game with 2 men on and the Bats trailing 5-3. Friday, he led off the 9th with the Bats again trailing by 2 and struck out.
So far, the only positive things to say about JV’s rehab stint are that he is getting his work in and knew his own status well enough to stand up against the pressure to start the season with the Reds and play his way into game condition versus MLB competition.
It seems that Jonathan India is playing out of position. Third may be his best postion. His lack of quickness and poor hands are a detriment. Our pitchers deserve athleticism on both sides of the keystone.
I will be at the game today in Philly. My sons, their gals and I are heading to the game.
I’d be onboard with bringing McLain up to play 2B if India moved to 3B.
But honestly, between Steer, McLain, EDLC, Marte, and India, someone from that group should be packaged in a trade for a young starting pitcher. The Reds don’t have enough positions for all of them.
On a bright note looks like Adrew Abbott is doing well.
Just finished watching yesterdays game(I record them all) and noticed a couple of things. When Castellanos was on third with Steer playing way over in the shortstop hole, it was an obvious distraction to Green when Casty was able to go halfway down the line and dance around. Manager or coaches should have moved steer back to normal 3rd base position. Most likely the right handed batter would be pulling the ball down the 3rd base line anyway against a 100 mph fastball. He got into trouble after that and his pitch count went up. Second, they took him out too soon. True Young did good, but you could have saved him for later. Anyway, I believe they took him out too soon. Let him finish the 5th. Next, everybody is hating on SanMartin, but the guy threw two double play ground balls, but India made a bad throw on, and he gave up one gopher ball. It happens and Realmuto is one of the best. Last, Myers is just not up to it. Not great in the outfield and has two strikes on him before you can blink. Don’t think he s the answer in right. Bottom line, we have to score more than two runs.
Correction. Would NOT be pulling the ball down the third base line.