This is TJ Friedl’s world and we’re all just living in it, or at least that’s what it felt like on Saturday night. The Reds outfielder hit a go-ahead 3-run home run and then added an RBI triple late in the game to help Cincinnati defeat the Chicago White Sox 5-3. The victory evened the series up and sets up Sunday for the winner to grab the series.

Final R H E
Chicago White Sox (11-23) 3 8 0
Cincinnati Reds (14-19) 5 8 0
W: Law (2-4) L: Clevinger (2-3) SV: Diaz (6)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

After retiring the first two hitters of the game, Nick Lodolo allowed a single and a walk to put two men on base. A ground ball down the third base line was snagged on a dive by Nick Senzel, who pivoted on one knee and fired a bullet across the diamond to just beat Andrew Benintendi to the bag and end the inning. In the bottom of the inning Jonathan India led off with a single, stole second base, and then scored on a single by Spencer Steer.

The Reds lead didn’t last very long as Hanser Alberto homered to lead off the 2nd inning for Chicago. The next inning the White Sox would take the lead by putting together a 2-out rally that saw Luis Robert Jr. hit by a pitch, Yasmani Grandal single on a ball off of a sliding Jonathan India’s glove, and then an RBI double by Andrew Benintendi that made it 2-1.

The White Sox would add another run in the top of the 4th with another home run to lead off the inning – this time by Seby Zavala. Adam Haseley could double and two outs later Luis Robert Jr. was hit by a pitch again. That would be it for Nick Lodolo on the day as his struggles continued. Derek Law entered the game with two one and two out, down 3-1. He was able to get Yasmani Grandal to fly out to end the inning with no further damage. Law returned to the mound in the 5th and tossed a perfect inning.

Cincinnati’s offense came to life in the bottom of the inning. Curt Casali picked up a 1-out single and Jonathan India walked to put two men on. That led to a trip to the mound and whatever was said didn’t work. On a 3-2 pitch, TJ Friedl took a 94 MPH fastball from Mike Clevinger and put it two rows deep into the seats in right field for a go-ahead 3-run home run.

Cincinnati stretched the bullpen out on the day, with Derek Law returning to the mound for the 6th and he once again got the job done as he worked around a walk to complete 2.1 hitless innings and hold onto the Reds 4-3 lead. Ian Gibaut took over in the 7th. He gave up a long double to Luis Robert Jr. with one out, but got fly outs from Grandal and Benintendi to end the inning and hold onto the lead.

The Reds added to their lead with some 2-out magic in the bottom of the 7th. Jonathan India singled into right field and then TJ Friedl lined a triple into right-center as India scored from first base without a throw to make it 5-3.

Ian Gibaut returned for the 8th inning and sent the White Sox back to the dugout in order. The Reds offense couldn’t add on after the first two hitters of the bottom of the inning walked, setting up Alexis Diaz for the 9th inning to try and hold a 2-run lead. He gave up a 1-out single to Tim Anderson, but three pitches later got a game ending double play from Andrew Vaughn to seal the win, pick up a save, and even up the series at 1-1.

Key Moment of the Game

TJ Friedl’s home run in the 5th inning that put the Reds on top for good.

Notes Worth Noting

Jonathan India’s three hits helped raise his average on the season to .298. He’s walked nearly as often as he’s struck out (17-to-21) and now has gone 7-for-8 in stolen base attempts this season.

TJ Friedl’s big night pushed his line on the season to .324/.367/.486 with 16 runs batted in.

Nick Lodolo has allowed 18 earned runs in his last four starts that have covered 17.1 innings. He’s allowed at least two home runs in each of those four starts.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Chicago White Sox vs Cincinnati Reds

Sunday May 7th, 4:10pm ET

Michael Kopech (0-3, 5.97 ERA) vs Graham Ashcraft (2-0, 2.00 ERA)

79 Responses

  1. Brennan

    I’m not one to comment on managerial decisions but if Bell doesn’t find a way to put Friedl in the lineup everyday I might start.

    Also, where in the world is Votto. The silence feels extremely ominous.

    • Doug Gray

      TJ Friedl has played in literally every game this year.

      • Old-school

        @ Doug.
        Friedl is arguably the reds best hitter. From April 25 to May 1…he didnt start 4 of 6 games and was benched 3 straight games because of David bells handedness. That happened. Getting a meaningless pinch hit at bat in the 8 th inning when the game is over doesnt count. It’s not like Reds have Mike Cameron or Eric Davis playing over him.

      • Ted Alfred

        When I saw the postgame interview with Friedl and saw how short he was compared to Jom Day he immediately reminded me of Lenny Dykstra physically. So I googled TJ’s draft history etc to get more info on him, find out when the Reds drafted him, where he played in college Etc…and found an article where he says he tried to actually grew up trying to craft his game after Dykstra, who was just a great player for the Phillies in his day who always reminded me a lot of Pete Rose the way he played the game. Obviously he’s got a long way to go to be compared with Dykstra, but they’re definitely is something about the way he plays the game, along with being 5’10”, plays CF, bats and throws left, always going really hard…just really similar to Dykstra. He and India are the kind of players you can build a
        winning team around. Its too bad he’ll already be 28 in August. Also found an ESPN article that said he received the largest signing bonus of $732,000 in mlb history of any non-drafted free agent at that time in 2016…interesting to say the least.

      • 2020ball

        The Reds made a very shrewd move to figure out he was eligible and sign him. I remember reading about it at the time, I believe from this or Doug’s sister site, and he always struck me as a major leaguer but not a starter. Glad I was wrong about that and he’s been very enjoyable to watch since he’s come up. I’m not that concerned about his age, he was a late-bloomer type, and 28 really isn’t that old.

      • Melvin

        “When I saw the postgame interview with Friedl and saw how short he was compared to Jom Day”

        Friedl is 5’10” If you want to talk about a lot of power in a little body think of Matt McLain at 5’8″. 🙂 Joe Morgan was 5’7″.

      • Melvin

        Old-school – Yep. Let’s hope that baloney finally stops. He’s on pace to be on the all star team….possibly. 🙂

      • 2020ball

        The baloney that only happened in like 3 games at the beginning of the year?

        No idea what you guys are going on about, Doug’s take is the right take here.

      • Melvin

        2020 – Not trying to prolong the discussion but it happened last weekend Sat. – Mon. that he didn’t start. Oh well. Let’s just hope he plays all the time now as much as possible. 🙂 He and India are like the heart and soul of the team.

      • Doug Gray

        April 25th-May 1st he had 16 plate appearances in 6 games.

        Some of you guys will complain about almost anything.

      • CI3J

        Doug, Friendly has started only 27 of the Reds’ 33 games this year. That means he didn’t start nearly 20% of the Reds’ games to date.

        For the best hitter on the team, that’s criminal. It’s great that he got at least a pinch-hit AB in all 33 games, but it’s absolutely stupid not to start him against left-handed pitchers when stats say he hits them nearly as well as right-handed pitchers.

      • Doug Gray

        TJ Friedl is on pace to play in 162 games this year. Yet here we are with you using the term criminal to describe his lack of playing time.

        Would I play him more than David Bell does against lefties? You betcha. But man, come on. You and others are overreacting here.

      • CI3J

        *Friedl, not Friendly

        Although he seems like a friendly guy too.

      • VaRedsFan

        Not overreacting…you are underreacting.
        A game off every month is fine. But to not start vs. most every lefty is just foolish. You realize that they are missing his defense for 6 innings of those games too right.
        Do you also realize that he is being replaced in the lineup with:
        Fairchild .200?
        Meyers .212?
        Barrero .225
        Senzel was sub .200 before last week.

        You can’t make a case that these guys should be taking his place in the everyday starting lineup….no matter how you try to spin it. (appearing in games mularky).

      • greenmtred

        Old-school: I can’t take credit for this thought because somebody (Wkuchad? Jim T.?) else suggested it a week or so ago, but Friedl, in this still-young season, is vastly outplaying what most of us expected of him. Don’t we have to consider that his use is a factor in his emergence?

      • greenmtred

        He’s also about the same height as Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle.

    • Redsvol

      totally agree. If he needs a rest use him as the DH. Lord knows Tyler needs some days off, he just isn’t the same guy this year. Numerous injuries can really sap a players upward trajectory.

      I’m among others here that Barerro needs to play every day also. When he makes contact, the ball really jumps off the bat. Awesome night for India – sign him up.

      Not sure what to think about Lodolo, this is several stinker outings already this year. Bullpen (Law & Gibault) saved the game from getting out of control. Kudos to Bell for letting them pitch multiple innings. I am not a fan of the 1 inning outing by middle relievers.

      • Ron S

        Does anybody think Lodolo’s problem might be between his ears?

      • Ted Alfred

        I think Lodolo will be fine, but it’s going to take him time to figure it out…like 2-3 more years. I think Ashcraft is the stud of this rotation… not only does he have the stuff, but more
        importantly he has that total Bulldog mentality you want to build a pitching staff around. The kind of guy who could be a #1P in the playoffs when it really matters and give you quality games every time out. I really think the Reds need to sign him and Alex Diaz to long-term deals this year. Diaz is another guy who obviously has great stuff, but more importantly he seems to have that rare, fearless mentality you need in a great closer. Between the guys down at Triple A that are coming and some of the pieces on this Reds team you can see the Reds have the opportunity to really build something here if they sign the right guys to long-term deals and develop the rest of the guys the right way. They could have something really special here by the 2025 if they don’t mess this up.

      • 2020ball

        Lodolo isn’t some veteran guy, I’m really not that concerned by these sort of outings. He kept the team in the game enough today, I personally thought he could have stayed in but was fine with the decision.

      • Melvin

        In my view Lodolo and Greene for that matter too are two very good pitchers just going through growing pains.

      • TR

        TJ Friedl is a ‘make it happen’ type ballplayer who I like to see in the lineup as much as possible. He’s a contact-type hitter and is able to put down a bunt to move runners into scoring position. TJ does not have the greatest amount of talent but he works hard and it shows.

      • greenmtred

        It might not be a matter of rest. It might be that they’re not using him in situations where he’s unlikely to succeed. I don’t know, of course, but he is playing a lot and playing very well.

  2. Bdh

    Ummm this bullpen is legit tough and we still haven’t seen Santillan + Antone! All but farmer under control for next year too!

    This summer Votto will return, the AAA guys (McLain, De La Cruz, CES and Hopkins) will be up, and Benson who’s off to a very good start of May should get another shot. Adding that to the front 6 of the current lineup will make for an entertaining finish to the season.

    • Tomn

      Don’t think antone will be back this year. I HOPE santillan is. Not sure Benson adds much at all. He’s doing a little better at AAA. McLain and CES should be up now. Eldc is not as advanced. Think he needs more time at AAA. Steer goes to the bench or AAA. Fairchild too. Both should continue to develop there vs minimal playing time w the Reds. Votto? Will he return at all from his Injuries? Hope so.

      • Bdh

        Last updates were end of May for Santillan and 2nd half for Antone. The 2 I’m worried may not pitch at all this season are Gutierrez and Dunn. Would like to see some innings from both of them this year even if it’s at AAA

        All 3 of the AAA top prospects will debut this year and Hopkins should as well

        Steer to AAA should 100% NOT happen. He’ll be fine. Could be as simple as getting a few more days than usual off or going back down to 7th in the lineup when help arrives.

        Think Votto just said today that he already feels much better than he did at the end of April and his next rehab assignment is coming soon

      • 2020ball

        Steer is fine as a bench player who starts occasionally, there’s no need for him to go to AAA unless you want him learning outfield or something.

  3. Dennis Westrick

    Has Bell finally abandoned the one (1) inning per RP? The bullpen was lights out tonight!

    Kudos to Bell for pulling Lodolo so early! Yes, I know! I actually complemented Bell for an in-game decision! Maybe he reads RLN?

    • CFD3000

      Dennis I’ve been on this issue for awhile. That’s two games in a row where Bell has used effective relievers for multiple innings. He’s been listening? Credit where credit is due. Hope it lasts.

    • greenmtred

      He does, Dennis, and bases his decisions on our comments.

  4. Dennis Westrick

    Checked the latest MLB standings! Yankees and Cardinals (the Yankees of the NL) both dead last in their divisions! Life is Good!

    BTW, Reds 5.5 games out of first in the NL Central and 4 games back in the very early NL Wild Card race!

    • David

      Pennant Fevah!

      If the Reds could get a little better ( a better 4th and 5th starter, some power, etc.) and we ALL KNOW where this could come from, they could become a dark horse for the division.

      You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one……

      The Cardinals are not a very good team, frankly. Even though they had a great Spring Training record (so, so meaningless), they just aren’t that good, when bothGoldschmidt (0.302 average, 0.900 OPS) and Arenado (0.241 average, .639 OPS) .
      don’t hit. Obviously, Arenado is not hitting so great this year.
      Nolan Gorman (DH) has 7 HR!
      By the stats, St Louis has better offense and a better Team ERA than the Reds. So….why are they losing so much? Will they turn it around?
      Bad luck? Bad bullpen?

  5. Oldtimer

    Another game in person tonight. $98 each for similar Scout Club seats in handicapped row. Expensive but worth the extra $ for older folx like me.

    Once again, Friedl in CF and Senzel at 3B and leave them there. Both play good defense at those position. Both made key plays in defense to keep Reds close in early innings.

    India outstanding tonight. Friedl ditto. Bullpen was dealing for 5+ innings. Lodolo not at his best but Reds defense kept the Reds close enough to win when Friedl hit in the clutch in middle innings.

    We went 2 hours earlier tonight. Visited Reds HOF and it is very well worth $10 admission. Traffic after the game still bad but we picked a better parking spot because we arrived earlier. Home in Florence 45 minutes after the last pitch. Not too bad.

    I can’t afford $100 seats often but when I go, I will pay it.

    PS weather nice but not quite as good as last night.

    • Redsvol

      Just awesome @Oldtimer. How do you get tickets – box office? I’m same way, I can’t go often so when I do I want good seats.

      I agree on senzel and friedl. Plug them in and let them play for a couple months. Have to admits, I gave up on India last year. Glad I was wrong!

      • Oldtimer

        I walked up to ticket window on game day. You can buy them on line before that.

    • VaRedsFan

      Scout’s box are great seats. I like to pay up for club level seats when I go.
      100% agree on the Reds HOF. loved it.

  6. Mark Moore

    It was a travel day. Watched a little bit during our dinner stop. Listened to the entire game. It was as intense as the driving rain we had in Western Wisconsin for a while. Happy with the result.

    Let’s take the rubber game tomorrow!

    • LT

      Let’s get some cheese curd and bratwurst. Was in MKE last weekend and guess what it rained a lot too.

  7. JB

    Bullpen ERA moved up to third now in the N.L. ,behind The Mets and Pittsburgh.

  8. redfanorbust

    I know this is Reds country but what in the world happened to the Cardinals? 1-9 last 10 games. Milwaukee 3-7, lost 6 in a row. Pittsburg in first place lost six in a row! Cubs 4-6 and Reds 6-4 last 10 and 5 1/2 back. Crazy division so far.

    • Moon

      Pittsburgh finally coming back to Earth as expected

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      “What in the world happened to the Cardinals?”

      Karma. FINALLY

    • Melvin

      Them staying in last place and not being competitive is something I’ll have to see to believe. If so heads will roll. The division is up for grabs. Has been for years. Just Big Bob & Son don’t want to try and take it.

    • David

      I still think Milwaukee wins the division.

      Cincinnati has (so far) been TURRIBLE in division play. Playing out of the division (remember that 3 game sweep of the Texas Rangers??), the Reds have done well.

  9. Soto

    Fun game. What a great effort from the young guns. Senzel is finally where he belongs. Barrero had some great plays. We have our center fielder. We have our 3rd basemen. We have our lead off hitter, but I’m starting to think he needs to start getting some time in leftfield. McClain looks like a stronger infielder. I absolutely love the energy of the young guys. Can’t wait to see this team when CES and McClain come up. Hopefully EDLC will get rolling and join them soon after. Don’t count Votto out. Let’em loose. Youth = energy = butts in the seats.

  10. Melvin

    The “kids” down on the farm had a good night tonight. McLain now has 137 PA. Past the small sample size?

    • Jim Walker

      IMO McLain still needs to be seen more at AAA unless there is a long term injury at MLB because this is his 1st rodeo at AAA and what he is doing represents a quantum leap over what he has done at any other level.

      Also, with the MiLB format of week long series versus the same team, it is into June before the Bats start seeing teams for a second time. What happens when McLain starts being seen a second time by pitchers could be telling.

      • oklared

        I am pretty sure seeing him night after night they are making adjustments. Seems to me it might be harder for him seeing different pitchers
        with them collecting data and adjusting during week during week.

      • Jim Walker

        I think as time goes on teams see a lot more specifically curated video of hitters

      • Mario

        Can’t wait for McLain to prove the doubters wrong. I don’t expect him to be a .336 hitter in MLB but .275/.350/.400 is the expected slash line as a rookie.

    • Melvin

      It’s hard to say. He certainly is tearing it up now though isn’t he? 🙂

  11. Rednat

    Fun game . I am 4-1 in games attended so far this year. I was 6-14 last year. So things are getting better. At least at home.

    Lodolo and Stephenson are starting to worry me. Stephenson looks uncomfortable at the plate. Is Lodolo “ tipping” his pitches maybe? Anyway if these guys fizzle out the reds future gets a lot dimmer. We really need them to perform

  12. Votto4life

    I have been advocating more time for the guys in AAA, but it’s starting to feel like their at bats in Louisville are just being wasted at this point.

    So, this is how I would shake things up….

    David Bell fired/reassigned
    Name Freddie B. interim manager until a through search can be conducted to find a permanent replacement.

    Cessa moved to the bull pen
    Abbott called up and moved into the starting rotation
    SanMartin demoted
    Casali DFA
    Steer demoted
    Newman DFA
    Ramos demoted
    CES promoted
    McCain promoted
    Robinson promoted
    Hopkins promoted.

    1. 2b India
    2.Cf. Friedl
    3. SS McClain
    4. 1B CES
    5. 3B Senzel
    6. DH Meyers
    7. C Stephenson
    8. LF Hopkins
    9. RF Fraley/Fairchild

    Give EDLC another month and then decide if he also belongs in Cincinnati.

    • Votto4life

      Opps, I wouldn’t DFA Newman. Sorry

    • Rednat

      i usually agree with you Votto for Life. But not in this case. (Albeit I would like to see Robinson up here). I would wait until next year to bring the young guys up. Build up the anticipation for next year. I like Bell but i would like to see somebody else at the helm when the young guys arrive. I kind of want to see someone outside the reds organization as new manager though. Just for a full new fresh start!

    • VaRedsFan

      Don’t they owe Casali this year and next year? It’s not my money, so cut him as far as I’m concerned. The are so worried about needing catcher 5 and 6, that they are overcompensating.
      Meyers gets a little rope, but not much more….end of May. He makes big money….but he can’t continue playing like he is….again…not my money…but DFA

      Agree with all of the other stuff, except Steer.
      What are you doing with Barrero?
      To me, he and Mclain should just swap. Go back to AAA and hit like Mclain is now to earn your way back.

  13. Reddawg2012

    The bullpen has to be considered the strength of the team at this point, right?

    5.5 games back on May 7. That is not good or impressive, but it’s a whole lot better than things looked last season at this time.

    Hoping Lodolo can figure it out soon. We need him!

  14. William

    Reds fans are tired of losing. I hope the owners hear you. I generally agree with Votto4, but the best place for Steer is in the MLB. He has potential. The MLB pitchers are adjusting to him. He will make his own adjustments and become a better hitter.

  15. Old-school

    India and Friedl are quite the 1/2 punch at the top of this lineup.Friedl is now 5th in the NL in hitting at .324 and OPS .853 and wRC+ 125

    India is 4th in the league in runs scored and 11th in OBP with an OPS of .813 and wRC+ of 120

    Friedl fWAR 1.3 and India 1.0
    Senzel and Fairchild are at 0.3 and Fraley at 0.2.
    Every other hitter is below replacement level 20% of the way through the season

    This offense is different when India and Friedl hit 1/2 in the order and are on top of their games. Id also like to see India score 100 runs and Friedl compete for a batting title and try for 200 hits. No one does that anymore. India and Friedl both have 36 hits through 33 games putting them both on pace for 180 hits. India is on pace for well over 100 runs scored.

    Put them 1/2 every game and see what they can do over a season regardless of SP handedness.

    • Kevin H

      Senzel is hitting and fielding well. Probably as of now 3rs best player on the team.

  16. JB

    Personally I think this team could win the division. It’s a poor division and all the other teams are scuffling. Heck the Cardinals just signed Contreras to that big contract and they already don’t want him to catch anymore. The Reds need to make the moves and play the kids who are hitting and pitching and try to win the division. Heck if nobody wants to claim the division why not the Reds. Let’s stop with the next year garbage and win it this year.

  17. DHud

    Beginning to think more and more India needs to go to LF

    His defense at 2B this season has not been good. And opens IF up for McClain

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I think there is way, way too much of the “this-guy-needs-to-move-to-this-position” thought process. Find out what someone’s best position is — probably obvious in most cases — and leave him there to sink or swim. It’s becoming quite clear that Nick Senzel is a pretty darn good third baseman. He was moved all over the place in deference to Eugenio Suarez. The idea was understandable, but it hurt Senzel in several ways. Barrero needs to stay at shortstop, and sink or swim there, despite the fact there are other top prospects in the system at his position. That will serve him and the team the best in the long run. Plus, McLain shouldn’t be moved from SS unless he proves at Louisville he isn’t capable of playing it on an everyday level. Players have the best chance to succeed when they are put in the best position to do so.

      • DHud

        Right, put in the best position to succeed

        That’s exactly why players are moved off positions for other positions

      • Tom Mitsoff

        In India’s case, he was a third baseman in college. Is that his best position? Who knows? We haven’t seen him there. Right now, you can’t take his bat out of the lineup because he is probably the team’s best offensive player. I don’t have the defensive metrics in front of me, but the eye test tells me that plays that force him to move significantly can be an issue. Brandon Phillips he is not. Based on what I’ve seen the past year-plus, India’s long-term future is not at second base.

      • DHud

        Exactly. Don’t think long term he has the hands to stick at 2B. And besides 1B, LF is generally thought of as lowest on the defensive spectrum. So to keep his bat in the lineup, to the grass he goes.

      • Melvin

        That sounds fine but if everyone is playing their natural best position there’s going to be a lot of trading going on which is fine as long as they’re good trades. The most difficult task, I would think, would be figuring out who to keep and who to trade. I mean what if EDLC and McLain both have SS as their natural best position? I’d assume they would keep EDLC but lose out on another potential star.

  18. Hotto4Votto

    Don’t post much so far this season, but I have been pretty pleased with the overall efforts and results. It’s easy to see that the Reds are building something here.

    Really impressed with Friedl’s start. I have been high on TJ throughout the minors and I’m happy to see him take his chance and run with it. India’s really rolling and Stephenson’s been solid in the middle of the order. Steer and Barrero still have a ways to go, but I like how they’re battling and seem to be focused on the process. The bullpen has been solid too overall. I am impressed with the job Gibeaut and Young have done. Sims has come back firing. Diaz, Farmer, and Law have been very solid.

    The big three in the rotation are up and down, but that’s to be expected. They’ll find their groove. If only we could shore up the last two rotation spots this season could get really fun when the AAA eventually come up.

  19. Mario

    We all get to speculate on where players should play but we don’t get to make the decisions. I don’t think the team would move India anywhere in the middle of the season. McLain and EDLC have not played any OF in the minors so I have a hard time believing the Reds would ask them to play in the OF this season.

  20. Kevin H

    Yonder Alonso didn’t make it in LF. Neither did Mesaroco. So just because you “think” they should move to left or 1st doesn’t mean it will work out.

    • greenmtred

      You’re right, Kevin: It doesn’t always work out. But it doesn’t always fail, either. The Reds may soon find themselves having to choose between trading a talented rookie because another talented rookie is playing “his” position, or keeping both bats by having one change his position. My suspicion is that shortstops have less trouble changing position than, say, first-basemen because shortstops are usually pretty talented all around athletes.

  21. Mark Moore

    Anybody see that the Sox player Jimenez ended up in the hospital for an appendectomy? Saw that bit of news over on MLBTR.

    • Melvin

      Yeah. That’s a tough situation. I’m sure he’ll recover.