Cincinnati got out to an 8-0 lead on a Jose Barrero grand slam off of the light tower in left field. Things were going well until the final two innings when the Red Sox just beat up on the Reds bullpen and scored eight runs and had the tying run on third base before Alexis Diaz was able to close out the game.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (25-29)
9 12 0
Boston Red Sox (28-26)
8 14 2
W: Lively (3-2) L: Bello (3-3) SV: Diaz (13)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Reds were able to load the bases in the top of the 1st inning but came up empty on cashing in. Ben Lively would retire the Red Sox in order in the bottom half of the inning and when Cincinnati came to the plate in the 2nd they got back to work. Will Benson lined a 1-out single into center and then moved up to third base on a single by Stuart Fairchild. Benson then scored on a fielders choice that saw TJ Friedl beat the relay throw to first base on an attempted double play.

Boston put together a bit of a rally in their half of the 2nd inning. Masataka Yoshida walked to lead off the inning and moved to third base on a Jarren Duran double. Ben Lively got a ground out to Jonathan India, who held the runners and got the out at first base. Another walk would load the bases, but Lively got out of the jam with a strikeout and a line out to strand all three runners and hold onto a 1-0 lead.

Will Benson led off the 4th inning with a fly ball high off of the Green Monster in left center and hustled around the bases for a triple. He would be stranded there after a ground out and back-to-back strikeouts. When the bottom of the inning started TJ Friedl was replaced in center by Jose Barrero. Friedl had a slight limp after his ground ball fielders choice in the 2nd inning, but remained in the game after being checked on by the trainer.

Jonathan India led off the 5th inning with a laser off of the wall for a single. He then raced around the bases and scored from first base on a Jake Fraley double to center to extend Cincinnati’s lead to 2-0. The Reds couldn’t capitalize beyond there and the game headed to the bottom of the 5th as Ben Lively returned to the mound with 62 pitches under his belt. Enrique Hernandez led off with a single to give the Red Sox some life, but Lively struck out the next two batters before Raimel Tapia crushed a ball off of the Green Monster. Jose Barrero caught it on the ricochet and fired it towards the infield as Hernandez rounded third. Matt McLain took the relay and fired to the plate where Tyler Stephenson was able to tag out Hernandez to end the inning and keep the shutout alive.

Cincinnati went to work in the top of the 6th and they got some help along the way. Will Benson led off with a single – his third hit of the day – and then he moved up to second on a wild pitch. Jose Barrero worked a 1-out walk. Matt McLain then grounded a ball to shortstop, and Enrique Hernandez threw the ball into right field, bringing Benson in to score to make it 3-0.

Lively returned for the bottom of the 6th inning and struck out Rafael Devers to start the frame and then got Justin Turner to ground out. But Masataka Yoshida singled and that led to a pitching change to bring in Alex Young to face Jarren Duran in a lefty-on-left match up. The move paid off as a soft fly ball to Stuart Fairchild ended the inning and kept Cincinnati on top by three runs.

Things kept on going for the Reds in the top of the 7th. The first three batters of the inning reached base. After a ground out led to a force out at the plate, Stuart Fairchild walked to bring in a run and make it 4-0. Three pitches later Jose Barrero hit a ball off of the light tower in left field for a grand slam to make it 8-0.

Fernando Cruz took over the game in the bottom of the 7th. After getting the first two batters out he gave up a single, double, then a triple that made it 8-2. A broken bat single followed to bring in another run and cut the Reds lead to five before a fly out finally put the inning to a close. Cincinnati got one of those runs back when Tyler Stephenson tripled off of the wall in center and then scored on a sacrifice fly off of the bat of Spencer Steer.

Buck Farmer had to work around a leadoff single, but he was able to with the help of a double play on a line drive caught by right fielder Stuart Fairchild that saw Masataka Yoshida forget how many outs there were and easily be doubled off at second base.

Eduardo Salazar took the mound to start the bottom of the 9th inning. After getting Enrique Hernandez out, he walked Enmanuel Valdez before a double and single followed to make it 9-4 and put runners on the corners. That led to a mound visit from pitching coach Derek Johnson. Two more singles followed and it was 9-6 with runners on first and second, leading to a pitching change.

Cincinnati had to call on closer Alexis Diaz to try and salvage the game. Things did not go well and Masataka Yoshida doubled in another run to make it a 9-7 ballgame and place the tying run on second base. A ground out led to the second out of the inning, but a run scored and the tying run advanced to third base. Diaz came through with a strikeout of Triston Casas to end the game.

Key Moment of the Game

Before the bottom of the 9th inning it would have easily have been Jose Barrero’s grand slam, but we’ll have to go with Alexis Diaz striking out Tristan Casas with the tying run on third base to end the game.

Notes Worth Noting

Ben Lively did not strike out more than four batters in a game while he was in Triple-A this season. He’s struck out eight, eight, and six in his three starts this season in the big leagues. His ERA with the Reds this season dropped to 1.99 in his 28.2 innings between three starts and two relief appearances.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Boston Red Sox

Wednesday May 31st, 7:10pm ET

Luke Weaver (1-2, 5.45 ERA) vs James Paxton (1-1, 5.14 ERA)

165 Responses

  1. Tom Reeves

    Gritty win!

    It’s neat seeing this team come together!

    • CFD3000

      I didn’t watch the game – couldn’t! – but gritty doesn’t look quite right. The Reds were 1-15 with runners in scoring position, and nearly coughed up an 8 run advantage. Diaz wasn’t his sharpest but came on with just enough wiggle room. So maybe an exciting and gratifying win?

      • Reddawg2012

        I think gritty is the perfect word. They put together soooo many grind it out at bats where they made the Red Sox starter throw tons of pitches, which ran him from the game early. The Red Sox bullpen is bad and the Reds found a way to take advantage of that and finally break through in the 7th inning.

        What Diaz did should be commended. Coming in with everything unraveling like that, after having hardly anytime to warm up, and slamming the door was extremely impressive. I didn’t view it as him not being his sharpest.

      • CFD3000

        Fair enough Tom and RedDawg – as I said I couldn’t watch the game (somehow Asheville, NC is local Reds country) so only had the box and play by play to go by. And since you did see the nitty gritty, I’ll defer to your assessment. Perhaps a gritty win with room for improvement in hitting with ducks on the pond and with bullpen success?

      • Jimbo44CN

        No, Diaz was superb in that situation. Home crowd really fired up and screaming after scoring 4 runs. He came in and got the outs. Superb.

  2. CFD3000

    Blacked out in Asheville, NC – because MLB thinks that’s local to Cincinnati – but I might have to watch this one tomorrow. Just great to see a win at Fenway. And it looks like a terrific night for Lively and Barrero. Bummed that Diaz was needed to close it out – that should never have been necessary up 8-0. Hoping for another win tomorrow night without need for a closer. Thursday’s Greene vs. Sale could be an amazing game. Go Reds!

  3. JB

    It’s never easy in Fenway. The little band box is a doubles haven. A lesson learned tonight by the young team. Great win.

    • M8

      Definitely right. Let’s try to get another one.

  4. Redsvol

    I’m usually not a Bell basher, but that was some terrible bullpen management. Had to use 5 relief pitchers when only 2 – or max 3 – should have been used. Alex Young – 4 pitches, pulled from game next inning. Buck Farmer – 12 pitches and done. I don’t think Cruz was ready to come back from his rehab assignment so fast. This 1 inning per relief pitcher is going to wear out the bullpen by July. Now Diaz is burned for tomorrow.

    On the other hand, the players played well – especially the offense. Hats off to Jose (give me more at bats) Barerro, Will Benson and Ben Lively!

    • Jim t

      Diaz isn’t burned for tomorrow. If he would have brought Young back for another inning he may have been burnt for tomorrow. Young is our only lefty in the pen. He will be needed again before this series is over. Salazar and Cruz have to be able to close that game with the lead we had. If not they shouldn’t be on the team

      • wkuchad

        Thank you Jim, I was thinking the exact same thing.


        I feel the same way about the bullpen being used so much by 4 or 5 guys. Seem like all they can throw is fast ball in the middle. Of the plate.

    • JayTheRed

      Heck yah, Lively has been a huge help. The guy’s ERA is down to 1.99. I’ll take that thank you. Benson raised his batting average around 100 points tonight. and Barrero crushed that grand slam. Loved the hard play by Stephanson too getting his first triple.

    • Reddawg2012

      Diaz is not burned for tomorrow (today). But if Buck Farmer or Alex Young had pitched a second inning, they likely would be.

      Finding a way to blame this on Bell is wild. The guys he put out there in the 7th and 9th innings kept giving up hits and runs. At a certain point, he had to go to Diaz or the game was going to completely slip away. If you want to blame someone, look at the relievers who gave up 3 runs and 5 runs and with an 8 run lead. David Bell isn’t perfect and I’m not his biggest fan, but I wish people would stop trying so hard to make everything his fault.

    • Luke J

      I’m usually as anti-Bell as anyone, especially his bullpen usage. But even I disagree with you. As others have said, they needed a couple of those bullpen arms for later in the series, and the Reds had the game firmly in control. Then when they were up 8-0, they had no reason to utilize their better relievers. Those are situations where you just need 6 outs without giving up 8 runs. So you roll out lower leverage guys and hold on for the finish. And that’s what Bell did. The only thing I would have done differently is I would have had Diaz warming up when Johnson went out for the mound visit. They got him up on the next batter and rushed his warmup. It was clear at that point Boston was stringing hits together and Diaz would be needed. It was already a save situation by that point, so Diaz should have had that time to begin getting loose. But otherwise, it was good bullpen usage last night.

    • greenmtred

      When those relievers–except for Diaz–cane in, the Reds had a substantial lead. With two more games against the Sox at Fenway, why would you burn up any of your relief pitchers? As an aside, I was blacked-out, too (3 1/2 hours from Boston), but got the game on NESN. For you guys who think Sadak talks too much, try Wakefield, Youklis and whoever the main announcer is: incessant chatter, often not about the game in progress.

  5. Rut

    Lively is likely fools gold in terms of anything long term… but it is exactly little career best busrts and spurts like this from guys who otherwise will not be difference makers over the entirety of their careers that make winning possible for teams like the 2023 Reds.

    Now, let’s hope mgmt can jump on board this train and call up the guys who can perform even better and even maybe add something or someone at the deadline… have to at least try to take advantage of good luck when you get it, or else you deserve the bad karma that follows ignoring it

    • greenmtred

      It’s too early to tell about Lively, but his pitching style–excellent control mostly keeping his pitches out of the hot zone–plays well and might hold up for a while. I’m sure we all really hope so because the Reds don’t have to trade prospects for him. The NESN announcers were impressed.

    • Capnhook33

      100%. If he could somehow give the reds 100-120 innings of reasonable pitching that’s a total steal. In 15 years it’s gonna be wild to see what might make the hall of fame for pitching. In 5 years we are probably going to see league leaders in innings pitched under 200 innings per year.

  6. Dennis Westrick

    They say baseball is a funny game! The Cubs, who just got swept by the Reds in a 3 game series, have beaten the team with the best record in the majors (Rays) in back-to-back games by one run in each game! Go figure!

    • Kevin H

      And the A’s with the worst record in baseball beat the braves again. That makes 2 in a row for Oakland

  7. Indy Red Man

    Ugly 9th, but a win is a win. Great night for Barrero and Benson. They may get a lot of action depending on Freidl/Senzel? It takes depth to make it work! Now bring up EDLC and quit playing around. His arm could make a difference in the OF with balls off the wall

    • M8

      Can’t wait for them to bring him up. For defense and offense

  8. Dennis Westrick

    Let’s hope the Giants beat the Pirates later tonight! Brewers lost, so we did pick up a game on them! Just have to keep finding a way to win but not blowing an 8-0 lead in the process!

    • Doc

      A few days ago the criticism was how poorly the Reds performed in 1 run games. They were just improving their 1 run record last night.

      A win counts the same whether you do or don’t blow an 8-0 lead, though technically they did not blow it because they never trailed in the game.

  9. VaRedsFan

    There were questions in the game thread about the bullpen usage tonight.

    Young finished the inning. The Reds led 8-0.
    Pulling him was fine IMO, as you could probably use him again tomorrow.
    Cruz didn’t get the job done ….3 runs allowed.
    With a 5 run lead, Bell used Salazar….again, I feel this is fine. He was trying not to have to use Diaz, but Salazer couldn’t finish and he was forced to. Perhaps it was a hitter too late. He did have to get warm, though when it started to get away.

    You can’t use every good reliever when you are up 8, and 5 runs.
    I even wondered why they had to use Farmer tonight, but I guess it’s a good thing he did.

    • Indy Red Man

      Flashbacks of Bell leaving David Hernandez in to get blasted game after game. That poor guy might be in therapy now? Overall though Bell has done ok this year. It’s not like he has a ton of great arms in the pen or his starters are going 6-7 consistently

    • JayTheRed

      I own up on it I was ok with what Bell did to run the bullpen. You would hope Cruz would have done better Salazar I don’t really know anything about him.

  10. Rednat

    reds could be in first place in the nl central by weekend’s end. hope to see big crowds when the brewers come in to town this weekend.

    • TR

      Big crowds at GABP if EDLC is brought up for Brewers and Dodgers. It’s time says this lifetime fan.

      • Still a Red

        But where do you play him? SS…but McLain, Player of the Week is there. Move McLain to 2nd, but are you really going to displace India. Move India to 3rd? Bye-bye Senzel and India out of position? Seems, with his arm left field would be good…but he’s never played there…do you make him learn it on the run? DH him? I suppose its a nice problem to have…but its still a problem.

      • David

        I think we will be an outfielder down, with Friedl hurt (again) with a strained hamstring. If Friedl is gimpy, then put him on the DL, and don’t play with a short roster.

        Matt McClain could play outfield.
        Or EDLC could play third, if Senzel is hurt (sore knee the other day).

        But I doubt that EDLC will be called up. Magic 8-Ball says “Doubtful”

  11. Rcsodak

    This pulling the pitcher with 5.2 pitched drives me about as nuts as a 4 pitch night.

    • Reddawg2012

      It was the third time through the order. The Red Sox have one of the most potent lineups in MLB. The bullpen was fully rested. I see no problem with Weaver being pulled when he was.

      • greenmtred

        Evidently Tampa Bay was the first team to notice the difference for pitchers between the first and third times through the order; it’s significant, and I’m betting that pretty much all teams pay attention to it. Starters league-wide do not average six innings per start.

      • Melvin

        They’d better find a way if teams don’t want to burn up their bullpens half way through the season.

    • greenmtred

      I’m pretty sure I heard that Lively hasn’t pitched deep into a game in years. His velocity was still good, but the Sox were starting to make hard contact which probably means that he (Lively) was a little tired and missing his spots. Short outings for pitchers is the norm in MLB and has been for a while. 5.2 innings is just about the average for starters.

      • jay johnson

        Bell pulls his starter as soon as anyone gets on base in the sixth inning,no matter what.
        It drives me crazy.Every time.its so predictable

      • 2020ball

        Dude, every manager is doing this

  12. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Alright, I don’t know if anyone else saw this or not. I hope I’m not reporting something not new.

    I just saw this on The Reds have the highest OBP in the NL.

    • wolfcycle

      maybe, but hit terrible with RISP

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Dude, with how this team has batted in previous years, this is a definite improvement!

        Not to say you are wrong. But, I checked that. . .OBP is 6th in the NL with runners in scoring position. You want to go BA? 8th.

        Dude, with where this team’s been in previous years, this is a definite improvement.

      • Doc

        That’s probably why they inly scored nine runs!

    • greenmtred

      Top five in all of MLB. They left eleven guys on base last night, but my impression is that they’ve been doing pretty well for a few weeks now. Is your assertion based on an impression, wolfcycle, or did you look it up?

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I just look up stuff like that every once in a while.

  13. LT

    Not sure which player is star of the game, Lively or Barrero? Lively and Weaver have made up for what has been a disappointing season for big 3. Let’s win the series tomorrow with Weaver.

    • Harry Stoner

      The “Little 3”–Weaver, Lively, Williamson–are going to be crucial.

    • TR

      And then sweep Boston with Hunter Greene on Thursday.

    • greenmtred

      Benson deserves some consideration, too, or maybe he should get Comeback Player of the Game. My favorite play of the game was Barrero making a perfect throw to McClain who made a perfect throw to Stephenson to cut down the runner at the plate.

  14. JB WV

    A loss after being up 8-0 would have been devastating. Diaz is nails.

    • Doc

      And yet there were people on this site bellowing to trade him! Too funny.

  15. LT

    Another double digit hit game, but surprisingly Reds are outhit by Boston 14 to 12.

  16. Indy Red Man

    Our pen will most likely regress big time. Sims? Overrated imo and often hurt. Brantley actually said in April that it’s just a matter of time before he becomes the closer like he’s neck and neck w Diaz?
    Gibault and Farmer and Law? Back of their baseball cards say this isn’t continuing. Idk?

    Bottom line is starters are hard to find so why not get a real setup man somewhere. What about Chapman or even Garrett from KC? They’ve both been good this year and we need another lefty

    • VaRedsFan

      I agree about the bullpen….smoke and mirrors IMO.
      Except for Diaz, they all have a few warts that will surface from time to time.

      I’d be on board with Chapman, but not Garrett. AG was always a “me first” type of guy IMO.

    • JayTheRed

      I wouldn’t mind giving Chapman a run.

    • Jimbo44CN

      This bullpen has had some hiccups but overall is doing pretty darn well. We definitely don’t need Garret back, too much of me, me,me in him.

  17. Lid

    The kids are all right! Barrero destroys the monster, EDLC with the walkoff bomb, and
    Abbott goes 7IP, 2 ER, 8Ks.

  18. Rednat

    i am really excited about Barrero. i think he is a close second to edlc as far as ceiling potential in the entire organization as far as the potential to be an all around great player. that ball looked like it was still rising when it hit the tower over the green monster!

    • JayTheRed

      Yes, he hit a monster shot tonight. I’m sorry but there are too many other players in the minors that have more talent than Barrero at this point.

      • M8

        But he can’t keep striking out at crucial times. He’s got to step it up more or they will get rid of him

    • LT

      I saw the Punisher hit more monsterous HRs. Only time will tell with Barrero but so far hes shown that he’s a slow learner imo, not an instinctive hitter, imo.

    • Beaufort Red

      No way. Eh has ONE good game in 2 years.

  19. Bdh

    Great to hear Bell say that it’s minor with Friedl and that Senzel will be back tomorrow as well. With a left handed pitcher throwing I imagine we’ll see a lineup similar to this

    1 – India – 2B
    2 – McLain – SS
    3 – Steer – 1B
    4 – Stephenson – DH
    5 – Senzel – LF
    6 – Fairchild – RF
    7 – Newman – 3B
    8 – Barrero – CF
    9 – Maile – C

  20. AllTheHype

    Went to the game today at Fenway, what a treat. Barrero’s shot would have landed on Lansdowne Street had it not hit the lighting supports.

    Great game by Benson. He had quite an excited reaction at third on the triple.

    And I saw, in person, why Fraley doesn’t play much against LHP. His splits don’t lie. He had 2 at bats against LHP and looked totally and completely out of sorts against marginal LH relievers.

    Will be going to the game again tomorrow, my wife’s 50th BD.

    • MBS

      Yes, Benson’s night shouldn’t be overlooked. His AAA were solid, and if his AAA game translates to the Reds, then we got some options with LHB’s in the lineup.

      • TR

        I’m encouraged to see a number of speedy guys in the Red’s lineup and Benson certainly has that.

      • Melvin

        Sorry for the confusion Jim t. It’s the wife of AllTheHype. 🙂

      • Melvin

        “Will be going to the game again tomorrow, my wife’s 50th BD.”

      • Jim t

        Happy Birthday to Mr’s Melvin!! She shares a birthday with my son.

    • Still a Red

      Hah…is that your birthday present to her, or her birthday present to you? 🙂

      • greenmtred

        I think Melvin was quoting AllTheHype’s comment, hence the quotation marks. Are both wives going to the game on their birthdays?

    • Tim

      You need to write a book man. Who can get his wife to a ballgame on HER birthday?

      • AllTheHype

        She’s a Red Sox fan so getting her to a Reds game on HER birthday had to be at Fenway. Part of the deal lol.

      • PTBNL

        I’m guessing you didn’t date each other in, let’s say, 1975 per cance?

  21. Moon

    The Reds are 25-29 exactly 1/3 of the way through the season. That of course equates to a 75-87 record for the year. Not great but a great improvement over last year for sure.

  22. Kevin H

    Reading some comments and agree Cruz and Salazar has to be able to finish. Bell went longer than I liked, however can’t depend on the big four all the time.

  23. Jim t

    What I really like about this team is how they battle each and every at bat. They work the count which frustrates the heck out of the opposing pitcher. Evidence was tonight with Bello’s reaction and the fact he was at almost 60 pitches after 2 innings.

    Also while the home run by Barrera was nice the improvement in his pitch recognition is even better. Doesn’t seem to be chasing balls off the plate near as often recently. If he becomes the player many thought he could be it will be huge for this team. Having the kind of talent the reds seem to have in the minors and the young players on the major league roster opens up quite a bit of possibilities for acquiring players to fill holes on the team. Example starting pitching.

  24. William

    Why is De La Cruz still at AAA? The Reds still do not know how to develop a championship team. I am glad I also follow a different team.

  25. Old-school

    Baseball is a funny game . Bullpen implodes but Reds outscore red sox to win 9-8 led by the B&B brothers offensive fireworks- Barrero and Benson

    Raise your hand if you had them in your parlay?

    5-7 with 4 Runs 3b GS 4 RBI

    Great win

    Red Sox have to be wondering what just happened.

  26. Redgoggles

    Barrero, Benson & Lively lead to a Reds win. We all saw that coming, right? Very cool.

    Is this organizational depth we are starting to see?

  27. VaRedsFan

    For those that like to watch Quickpitch in the mornings on MLB Network in the mornings. Near the end of the show, there was a clip of the EDLC walkoff homer, and the impending jubilant celebration as he rounded the bases.

  28. Indy Red Man

    Sounds like it’s nothing serious w Senzel or Freidl so somethings got to give w EDLC?
    Platooning Senzel makes sense except I feel like his energy is important to the team. Barrero and Fairchild have the ability to play full-time imo although they’re both flawed. Problem is it’s hard to develop playing occasionally. Personally I value Stewie more then Senzel, but you can’t K 150 times and hit 3-4 hrs? I feel like we’ll see 15-20 hrs combined from Stewie/Barrero if they play semi-regularly.
    Plus CES and Benson and Hopkins? Good problem to have

    • Indy Red Man

      Jumped on Reds Over 3.5 (-160) mgm. Juice is high, but they’re been destroying lefties. Paxton is washed up

    • Jim Walker

      It is not a popular thing to say; but, given the Reds overall depth of talent and Fraley’s severe handedness splits, the move may be to cash in his value on the trade market for pitching depth.

      Why? Comparing Fraley and Fairchild to date offensively, they have nearly identical OPS/OPS+ marks for both this year and their careers, ~100. Fraley gets there by being off the scale high vs RH pitching but also low off the scale vs LH pitching. Conversely, Fairchild’s handedness splits are virtually flat. His floor is his ceiling.

      With Fraley an additional roster spot is tied up to get the same OPS/OPS+ output Fairchild can provide without tying down that extra spot. With Fraley, there is also the risk of being forced into a poor handedness match by substitution as a game unwinds. Also, Fairchild is clearly the better defensive OF; and, his baserunning skills are superior.

      So, which way should a team go? I don’t think there is a clear cut answer. If a team had a RH batter that could produce versus LH pitching at the same exaggerated level as Fraley does versus RH pitching, that would be the choice. Absent that person and with a depth of talent, saving the roster spot by going with Fairchild could well be the better choice.

      • greenmtred

        Very interesting thoughts, Jim. A problem, though, is that Fraley is an outfielder and the guys at AAA–soon to arrive, we assume–are infielders. Making Fairchild full-time makes sense, but trading Fraley leaves us with one less outfielder. I’m assuming here that the Reds would be packaging him with prospect capital for pitching.

      • Harry Stoner

        I know Fairchild is the fair-haired-boy here, but his K rate remains too high for me to feel comfortable with him full time just yet.

        His and Fraley’s ops may be similar, but Fraley’s clutch hitting..and productivity win out at the moment.

        That is, if someone has to make a choice between them.

        Sure Fraley is awful against lefties, but how many does he face? The way Bell likes to juggle his players the current mix seems to be satisfying to him.

        Myers is really the odd one out.

      • Jim Walker

        Harry> I agree SF needs to get his K rate down some but his OBP is in the .330-.350 range regardless. Fraley’s OBP is in that same range this year and his strong split OPS only is in the .840s against low 200s on his bad side. Last year his strong side OPS was much better which made his overall OPS 20 percent better. That drop off frames this discussion.

      • wkuchad

        I really like Fairchild, but if it came down to keeping one of them, it’s Fraley all the way for me. I love how he’s been used this year. Starting against all righties, and an amazing bullet to bring off the bench if the starting pitcher is a lefty. Seems like he’s started against a few lefty’s lately, some due to injuries.

        Also, GMR is correct – the Reds are very short on outfielders. I really don’t want to get rid of either. The Reds have had plenty of chances to play some of these infield prospects in the outfield this season. They’ve chosen not to, which makes me think they’re staying in the infield.

      • old-school

        @ Jim, I think you are minimizing how good Fraley is a lefty hitter agaisnt righties. That is an important skill as 75-80% pitchers are right handed

        Fraley’s slash line against righties is .289/.381/461/.842 with a wRC+ of 123. That is outstanding. Not to mention he had numerous clutch hits in late innings to help the Reds win. Saw a stat yesterday the Reds lead the majors in wins when their starting pitcher exits the game losing.

        Moreover, The Reds are not utilizing Fraley against lefties. He has 26 PA in 54 games. Overwhelmingly, the Reds are strategically deploying him against righties, as the they should. If he gets 3 at bats a week agaisnt lefties in non-high leverage situations , I dont care.

        Senzel is playing LF tonight and would be a great platton partner in LF against lefties for Fraley.

        So the question is really who is the better LF against righties? Fraley or Fairchild? Overwhelmingly Fraley

        Theo ther question is who is the better LF against lefties? Fairchild or Senzel? Senzel wRC + agaisnt lefties is over 200. He’s hitting like .440 and literally is one of the top 3 hitters in MLB against lefties.

        So I’ll take the platoon of Fraley/Senzel in LF over Fairchild. The fact Fairchild is equally medicocre hitting against Rh/LH is a weakness ,not a strength. He has 1 HR in 134 PA and still strikes out way too much. Hes a nice 4th OF though and with Myers to come back soon, and EDLC to come up soon, tonight’s line up doesnt bode well for Fairchild or Benson. Plug in myers in RF and EDLC at 3b and that could be your lineup against lefties in a week with EDLC playing a lot of SS and some 3b as Bell has said he has versatility in his players and will make things work.

      • Jim Walker

        @Old-School>>> What I was trying to say was that this year and for his career, Fraley is so weak against LH pitching that it pulls his outstanding OPS vs RH pitching down to an overall average or lower OPS/OPS+. Those are the numbers. Never mind that he is being platooned. One way or another he ends up with enough PAs versus LH pitching to drive his overall OPS/OPS+ that much lower.

        So, if you’ve got a guy, be it Fairchild, Senzel, TJ Hopkins, or whoever that can match or exceed Fraley’s total output without the hassles of platooning and in the process play better defense and be a better baserunner, perhaps that is preferable to having Fraley and at times getting him caught in dead end match ups because of substitutions, etc.

        BTW, I think they do intend to pair Senzel with Fraley to open up 3B for EDLC in the short run because when EDLC and McLain have split at SS in the minors, EDLC has played 3B for the most part when McLain was taking a turn at SS, including this year at Louisville. And if Senzel continues his resurgence, he is going to have a better overall OPS than Fraley.

      • old-school

        @ Jim

        Reds have played 54 games in 9 weeks tomorrow. fraley has 26 plate appearances against lefties and is 1-23 with an .043 BA. No one is debating is he bad agasint lefties. But, baseball is a situational game at its core and the Reds are not utilizing him against lefties in high leverage situations. Hes literally hitting against a lefty 3x a week and they arent game 7 of the World Series situations. Bell has to be prudent. Pinch hitting for Fraley in a 7-1 game against the Marlins in the 7t inning is stupid. Fraley is a good hitter against righties and a terrible hitter against righties. Fairchild is mediocre against both with a bad K rate and 1 home run.

      • Old-school

        Terrible hitter against lefties….smh

      • MBS

        @Jim, Fairchild doesn’t excel against anyone, so you’ll just have a mediocre player all of the time. .747 OPS vs LHP, .737 vs RHP

        I think you stick with Fraley .842 OPS vs RHP / Senzel 1.159 OPS vs LHP you’d have a nice compliment.

        Senzel stunk against everyone last year but in 19 (his last sample size worth looking at) he had a .897 vs LHP, and that’s probably more like what we should expect.

      • Melvin

        I think one thing to consider in all of this is that we don’t have any LH hitters on the bench. Benson did well last night but….. It would be nice to have enough depth to use Fraley off the bench. Friedl is an EVERY DAY PLAYER. There are no LH hitters in AAA hitting well this year.

      • MBS

        I didn’t read you’re last paragraph @Jim, Yes I agree that’s what they are planning on doing. I see Senzel getting 2 or 3 of 9 starts in LF, and 2 or 3 of 9 starts at 3B / 2B. That turns Senzel into a role player, but at this point that a win for Senzel. He’s lost his status as an everyday player.

        If you got CES and, Marte on the corners, and EDLC, and McLain up the middle, and you trade India. The 2024 OF might look something like this.

        LF Fraley / Senzel
        CF Friedl / Barrero
        RF Steer / Benson

        That’s 10 everyday guys, then Stephenson, and a back up catcher. You’d still have 1 bench spot. The nice thing about Senzel and Barrero as utility players is they could cover every single spot on the field except C/1B/P. Maybe the 13 man could be a 1B/DH type, but mostly a pinch hitter.

        BTW RLN, I’m not saying trade India, just that it seems like a real possibility.

      • Jim Walker

        @MBS>> True about Fairchild to date. But you know you have consistency at league average level through the entire game without 2 (or even 3) roster spots being tied up to support a one handedness hitter who you don’t want hitting from his weak side in high leverage situations. Those roster spots are especially valuable in the Reds circumstances with a wave of high ceiling guys coming up.

        Now if you think Fraley is a main cog 2-3 years from now. OK favor him. If not, sell high and go with the consistent leqgue average flat split guy until he is pushed out by the comers.

  29. Mark Moore

    One in the can in Fenway. Splitting the next two would be a major boost. Seems like Paxton could be ripe for the plucking.

    Good to hear Friedl and Senzel are available today and I hope that’s the case. TJ’s sounded like it could be a nagging thing.

    Frustrating game on many fronts, but shutting things down after a win is always a good thing.

    • Jim Walker

      Fingers crossed on Friedl and Senzel. In Bell speak nothing is ever initially serious enough to be thinking about IL but often several days later, the guy ends up on the IL. Recent examples are Friedl’s oblique and Myers’ kidney stone.

      Since this situation involves two guys, hopefully, they are taking a proactive approach and getting a body to Boston ahead of time just in case. However, all the likely suspects, i.e. Reynolds, Lopez, Vosler, would require a double move to also open a 40 man spot if they are activated. EDLC would not require a 40 man move; but, I don’t think he gets jerked around in a precautionary taxi squad type move.

  30. RedsGettingBetter

    I think Bell did the logical move bringing Cruz leading 8-0 and Salazar 9-3 but I disagree with Bell don’t be prepared having another arm ready if Salazar quickly struggles against one of the best offenses in baseball and it happened. I think Salazar should be replaced maybe by Gibaut or Sims after he faced his 3 batters and letting Díaz warming just in case… But the win is just the target and they made it… Hopefully the offense stays hot against Paxton tonight and Weaver continues improving as he did in last games…

    • wkuchad

      You don’t have another arm ready when up 9-3. Our bullpen has been overworked enough this year. It’s a shame Salazar couldn’t get the job done.

      • RedsGettingBetter

        Salazar is a rookie with just 3.0 IP at big level facing one of the best offenses in baseball is expected he could struggle. The BP had a off-day and you should win the game you are playing not lose it hoping to win tomorrow…

  31. Hotto4Votto

    I like seeing Barrero have a nice game. I had hoped coming into the season he’d get every day playing time up through the end of May at the least, and that didn’t happen and that’s a bit unfortunate. Still, I think there are some positive results, he’s hitting better, he’s doubled his BB% from last season, and cut down on his K% significantly. Things are moving in the right direction for him. And he’s still just 25.

    • wkuchad

      I have way less complaints about Bell than most on here, but I would have liked to see Barrero get more starts earlier in the season. But with McLain up and EDLC soon, there’s no room as a starter until someone gets hurt. However, he’s going to get playing time, likely as a platoon partner with Friedl in CF and a OF/IF utility player. And it’s nice to have someone like Barrero ready to cover CF or SS (two key defensive positions) if someone does get hurt.

      • VaRedsFan

        Agree on the injury angle, but Friedl doesn’t need a platoon partner.

      • Old-school


        I agree with you on Friedl but Bell has made many comments on how he likes having Friedl and Fraley ready as platoon switches situationally in the 5/6/7 inning off the bench. There are rumors today on WLW that Castellini wants EDLC in uniform Friday. Charlie goldsmith has an article up with direct quotes from Bell on how he handles india and EDLC when it happens and Bell was very direct saying we do whats best for the team and we have players with positional versatility and my job is to make it work- paraphrasing

        It sounds like EDLC could be here this weekend and lots of player movement with Senzel Barrero and Steer having OF experience now and the DH and EDLC and Mclain having already shared SS in the minors with on at 3b and the other 2b when not at SS

      • Melvin

        “Bell has made many comments on how he likes having Friedl and Fraley ready as platoon switches situationally in the 5/6/7 inning off the bench.”

        I can understand about Fraley maybe but keeping Friedl on the bench so he can use him later in the game makes NO SENSE to me. The guy has proven to hit LH pitching really well. Why give up a few ABs early when they could make the difference in the game?

  32. Stock

    Many on here have been talking that the Reds need to go out and spend money to bring in a FA starting pitcher next year to join Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft and Abbott. They may already have him in Lively. He has been very good thus far.

    • wkuchad

      The Reds absolutely 100% need to acquire (either through trade or free agency) a well-above average, reliable starting pitcher before next season starts. It’s our #1 need in my opinion.

      • redfanorbust

        Agreed wkuchad at LEAST one SP. IMHO Pitching wins games and while our team is on the rise there are differences between good and great teams and pitching is that difference. We as Reds fans should not settle for mediocrity or just a good team. After 30+ years of wallowing we deserve a great team as soon as possible. PS. Reds please draft a SP with your 7th pick in the draft.

  33. Still a Red

    Barreo’s HR brought back memories of Tony Perez’s HR in WS that just vanished into the night sky over the Big Green Monster. Those were the days…

  34. Bill J

    Besides hitting the mammoth home run, De La Cruz showed some other encouraging signs Tuesday. He went 1-for-3 but walked twice and only struck out once. He saw an average of just over five pitches per at-bat, evidence that his focus on good swing decisions has started to pay off.

    De La Cruz has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 25/20 in the May, outpacing his 18/2 ratio in nine games in April.

  35. DHud

    Best part of Barrero’s GS was how he got to it. Facing an erratic pitcher that had just walked in a run, he wasn’t over eager and didn’t chase. Then up 2-0 he knew a get-it-over fastball was coming, was ready, and did not miss it

    Just an outstanding plate approach

    • redfanorbust

      Great noticing and post. Agreed.

  36. SultanofSwaff

    Speed has been an important component to the offense that often gets overlooked. Infield hits, beating out double play balls led to extend innings last night forced the starter to the showers. The team OBP is very good, and if you can pair that with the ability to run the bases well, it puts a ton of pressure on the defense. Both last night and in the Cubs series you could see defenders mishandle balls because they were rushed. I’ve always preferred a 7 deep lineup of high OBP guys over a lineup with a few mashers because it is less likely to slump. That said, it won’t be long before we possibly have both.

    • greenmtred

      I agree, Sultan. The Reds, prior to last night, were 50 for 51 going 1st to 3rd on hits.

  37. Indy Red Man

    Time for a Lively discussion. Heater at 93+ and he was able to get lefties out with backdoor sliders and that changeup K to Devers was poetry in motion. He’s got C+ stuff atleast and his IQ seems to be off the charts

    • Tom Mitsoff

      What’s off the charts is his control of several pitches. He consistently gets ahead of hitters with pitches precisely located away from the center of the strike zone. If I’m running things, he is on this team as long as he continues to pitch effectively, or until there are five pitchers in the organization who are performing better at the major league level.

      • Daytonnati

        Remember when we got Kevin Gausman in here for a cup of coffee. He seemed to have figured something out and was turning some kind of corner? We let him walk, which in retrospect was probably a mistake. I am not saying Lively is suddenly a front-line starter, but he was a high-draft pick for a reason all those years ago?

    • JB

      He has way better than C+ plus stuff Indy. The movement on his pitches is really good. The big three would like some of that movement

  38. Steven Ross

    Barrero’s slam gets the attention and rightfully so but the relay from Barrero to McLain then Stephenson to nail Hernandez at the plate was perfection. Not only are the Reds winning but playing sound fundamental baseball. Didn’t expect that so soon. Dare I say, they’re fun to watch this year.

    • DHud

      Yes, that play was great

      Barrero had a couple other plays defensively though that showed he definitely needs more reps and training in CF. He got turned around on one off the wall and air mailed a throw over everyone

      • Old Big Ed

        Barrero isn’t the first OF to have a problem with balls off the The Wall. On the ball to CF, that wall is 20 feet high and the ball hit at least 15 feet up. The RF (Fairchild, I think) had been coached to know that he needed to back that play up, which he did beautifully. That corner, called The Triangle, is triples heaven.

        He did air mail one throw to the plate, but the other runner took no extra base on it.

        Barrero has the chops to be an excellent CF. He has a great arm; he is fast; he takes good routes; and he knows where to find the shortstop when needed. You are correct that he needs some reps out there, but he will learn fast.

  39. SultanofSwaff

    The season is 1/3 over.

    Friedl, McLain, Diaz. These 3 are on pace to easily accumulate ~4 WAR. Greene, Steer, India, and Lively (?!) have a good shot to exceed 3 WAR.

    Not exactly the ’76 Reds……yet. We need to be talking about adding talent, not trading away talent because of perceived redundancies at certain positions. Too much recency bias here. So long as guys like Myers, Casali, Benson are on the roster, so long as injuries occur, and so long as the DH exists, I don’t get the hand wringing.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Agreed completely. The purpose of any trades, as long as the Reds are close to the top of the division, is to improve for 2023, not three or four years from now. I’m not saying to blow up the rebuild at all. For example, you absolutely don’t decimate the farm system to get someone to help at the big-league level. I am absolutely not in favor of trading India — unless you can get an outfielder of his production level with approximately the same amount of team control time left. Absolutely not for prospects. India is too good offensively to just be auctioned off.

      • wkuchad

        It depends how things play out over the next several weeks. But right now the only big trades I make would be to improve both 2023 AND beyond. I wouldn’t give up anything meaningful for just a 2023 rental.

      • VaRedsFan

        Agree WKU, no trading of prospects for rentals.

      • Brian Rutherford

        Agree to all of this. What is the point of waiting through the losing and having patience for the younger guys to get experience to only trade them away?

        The only trades that should be made are from a position of strength and with this year and more as the motivator.

        I think India has earned 2nd base and anyone who says move him will be messing with chemistry. How do you tell a guy performing at his level “sorry bud but you have to make room for this prospect who hasn’t proven a thing at this level”?

        This is the best our team has looked since Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Austin Kearns, Homer Bailey burst on the scene. It even looks like it could rival the days of Eric Davis, Kal Daniels, Barry Larkin, Paul O’Neil Kurt Stillwell and others.

        Please make good decisions!

    • greenmtred

      Great comment, Sultan. It’s worth remembering that this stretch of good baseball is about two weeks old, and we don’t know how the AAA guys will adapt to MLB or how they will be assimilated into the team.

  40. Indy Red Man

    I think they know what they have and they probably won’t do much this season, but they’re going to have to trade some younger talent at some point. Barrero for instance…where would he play? If he doesn’t start for us, but some of these rebuilders see his potential and want him to start then that builds his value and potential return. Bottom line is they have a chance to be special and just have to nurture these young guys and keep making a dept under the radar moves

  41. SlippinJimmy

    “The Manager to be (Un)Named Later™” did what he does–pull the starting pitcher after a great outing THE SECOND he gets 1 man on base, yet when Cruz and Salazar are getting CRUSHED, he is reluctant to get take them out.

    Fortunately, the Reds survived his mismanagement to hang on for the win. This is like watching an entirely different team. If only the pitching would stabilize!

    Jose Barerro and Cedric Benson have been a big, elaborate deke–they will now bat .350 and hit 40 homers each this year. EDLC eat your heart out…

    … or not.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      You have clearly thought this out very well but may I offer something that you probably didn’t think about in your process?

      Starters get taken out “in a second” because there’s someone warming up behind them ready to go.

      The relievers did not have someone ready to go behind them the second their inning began. They can’t be pulled THE SECOND 1 man gets on base against them.

      • SlippinJimmy

        I apologize, allow me to elaborate further.

        Exactly, starters have someone warming behind them.

        So while he should’ve had a second option readying for Cruz, he most certainly should’ve had a second option warming the second Salazar stepped out of the bullpen. What was that, his 3rd outing or something?

        The idea that “oh well, we have a big lead, it’s okay if we give up a couple of runs” is a slippery slope, as we all saw last night.

        What I’m saying is: Manage to WIN the game, rather than to try not to lose it.

      • wkuchad

        Just my opinion, but Bell has 100% been managing to win games lately. Pulling Lively when he did was the correct call. And you don’t bring in a reliever with a 6 run lead and immediately have someone warming up behind them. That would be nuts.

      • Jim Walker

        @SJ>> Absolutely agree. This was a game that they could not let slip away without making the maximum effort to hold the lead. That goes whether it was a learning experience for future seasons or a game they needed to hold onto for the standings this year in addition to learning how to close a game.

        With an 8 run lead and 9 opposition outs remaining, play it like the game was still up for grabs. Use Farmer or Gibaut to open (and hopefully) and complete the 7th.
        If the Sox did not score in the 7th, use Cruz in the 8th. If the Sox did score in the 7th, use whichever guy between Farmer and Gibaut was who had yet to be in the game to pitch the 8th.

        Then if the lead was still 5 or more, open the 9th with the mop up guy but have the heavy artillery on call and into the game if the lead drops to or below slam range.

        Finally, there is no way the tying run should have even been at the on deck circle before Diaz was on the mound.

    • AllTheHype

      Not defending Bell, but pulling Lively for Young with 2 outs in the 6th, a runner on, and two LHBs coming up was absolutely the right call. Not letting Young start the next inning in favor of Cruz was probably a move to save Young for the rest of the series. But way too much leash was given to Salazar in the 9th. It was almost disaster.

    • BK

      You are not blaming two pitchers whose sole purpose on the team is to eat innings when the Reds are behind or have big leads. The fact is that Bell deployed his best bullpen asset when they faltered in time to protect the lead. Cruz and Salazar must be able to provide innings in a game like last night, or they must be replaced. Nearly every manager I’ve watched over the last 50 years would have used Cruz and Salazar in last night’s game.

  42. SR

    As somebody pointed out, we are 33% through the year. The bullpen is already showing signs of fatigue. This is a real cause of concern, and there is no proven relief help in Louisville or Chattanooga. The solution is Bell is going to have to let starting pitchers go deeper if they are throwing well, and expand his pitch count thresholds.
    Bell apparently feels the need to protect starters from racking up pitch count aggregates, but in the next breath is running big pitch count numbers and appearances at relievers. The bigger the pitch counts, the slower the bullpen arms will recover as the year wears on. Fatigue causes injuries and ineffectiveness.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Starters are near last in innings pitched. Relievers I believe are 2nd in innings pitched. We need to find some balance soon.

    • Old Big Ed

      Almost every team is smelling its bullpen start to rot.

    • Votto4life

      The pitching situation was foreseeable. The Reds chose not to address it this past off season. They went into this season making no effort to win. Hopefully, they will address the pitching in the off-season. The team as currently constructed is not going to finish .500, let alone win the division.

  43. MBS

    I don’t know who coined it, but I read the “Little 3” last night, and it made me chuckle. Weaver, Lively, and Williamson have had some Big outings for being the Little guys. I don’t know how much more juice we can squeeze out of that group, but we need them to continue to produce that juice, if we want to stay relevant.

    Abbott seems ready, and a promotion has to be just around the corner. Speaking of corners, Greene seems to have turned one, now we need Ashcraft to do the same. His last outing makes me feel like we may be in the midst of it.

    Any word on Lodolo? I don’t know if I’ve heard a timeline on him.

    • Indy Red Man

      I was also impressed by what I saw of Levi Stoudt in Miami. For some reason he only had 13.1 ip in Louisville in May and he walks way too many guys, but he’s got a live arm! Bell may have to roll out guys like this with an opener or short leash, etc, but atleast its not batting practice like Cessa or Minor or some of these other scrubs of recent years.

  44. Michael B. Green

    It would not surprise me if De La Cruz is called up for the upcoming homestand v. MIL or the series v. LAD. If there still are Super 2 concerns, I could see him up for the 06/19 series v. COL.

    • Optimist

      This site has long since eliminated the Super 2 concerns – it just doesn’t matter. If he’s not up for the Friday game, there’s really got to be a good story about it. There could be other pieces in play – trades, DFAs, IL updates, but EDLC is now in the “charter a jet to get him to the next game” category.

      If CES has a 1:1 BB/K ratio the next 10 games, he’s up too. Abbott is the next spot start in the rotation schedule, or earlier as needed.

      Next 2 weeks should see lots of transactions.

  45. Mark Moore

    Lineup is posted. Friedl isn’t starting against a LHP (not surprising). Senzel will get his chance to tackle the Green Monster.

    A little curious that Newman is leading off, but he has hit well of late so maybe it works out. Regardless, it’s an all RH batting lineup to start from HDTBell. Here’s hoping they crush a struggling Paxton tonight.

    • Rednat

      Newman haS impressed me of late. He can be a tough guy to get out. Reds may be putting him on display for mid season trade

      • redfanorbust

        Hey Rednat. Agreed that seems highly likely.

      • Votto4life

        I agree Newman is fine as a role player. I just didn’t want to see him starting over the young players. But yeah, he can contribute to the team as a utility guy.

        You are also probably right about showcasing him. I doubt the Reds will pay him what he wants next season when they have younger, cheaper options. Which would probably be a good decision.

    • Harry Stoner

      It wasn’t a week ago that India was saying he was okay moving to the 3rd spot but he’d “be back at leadoff against lefties…”

      I guess Bell couldn’t help himself.

      Good thing Vosler, Pinder, Reynolds and Strickland are out of reach.

    • Brian Rutherford

      What exactly does HDT Bell stand for? With the roster he was handed on opening day but he has them only 4 games under 500 and 3 games out of first place, what does David Bell have to do for you to stop the name calling?

      I appreciate your passion as a fan but it just seems like you are hoping the dude fails and even when he’s right he’s wrong. Hasn’t he earned any respect from you at all?

  46. Kevin H

    Senzel back in the line up and left field. Makes one wonder if they are comfortable with Senzel in lf for when De La Cruz is called up.

    • Mark Moore

      Could be the case. Some platoon work with the LH OF’s plus he can play 3B when needed (and even 2B in a pinch).

  47. Votto4life

    Like everyone else I want to see EDLC play in Cincinnati, but honestly, why rush him? To me, as soon as EDLC is called up, the clock starts ticking for the Reds.

    The Problem is pitching. So unless, De La Cruz can throw a slider, I see no need to rush him.

    Hopefully, the front office will make an effort to improve the starting rotation this winter. Because if they don’t, they will be waisting Elly’s time here in Cincinnati, just as they did with Joey Votto.

    • Rednat

      i agree with your comment on ELDC. When he comes up I want there to be a plan for him as far as position, playing time etc. If he came up now I am afraid he will be bounced around like a ping pong ball from position to position and I don’t think that is a good idea. in my opinion EDLC looks like a right fielder and i would like to seem him get a lot of reps in the outfield in Louisville before coming up

      • Kevin H

        Right now it would appear 3rd as Senzel has been playing left field more. I myself rather have De La Cruz in the infield. Reds have a outfield right now and Hopkins already a outfielder knocking on the door.

        Not to mention Hinds in double A and Hendricks is playing well in high A ball. Interesting decisions for sure and will be fun to watch it all play out