A five-run second inning stood up for the Cincinnati Reds in a 5-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals before 16,931 at Kauffman Stadium.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (33-35) 5 5 1
Kansas City Royals (18-49)
4 8 1
W: Williamson (1-0) L: Lyles (0-11)  SV: Diaz (16)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

After scoring five runs in the second to take a 5-1 lead, Cincinnati’s offense went basically silent for the rest of the game. But the pitching staff took over, with the bullpen shutting down the home team over the final four innings to preserve a one-run victory.

It was also the Reds’ ninth win in their last 11 road games. The Reds go for the three-game sweep Wednesday.

As this wrapup article goes live, the Reds have now pulled within a game and a half of second-place Milwaukee, which blew a ninth-inning lead in a 7-5 loss to Minnesota tonight. Cincinnati at the moment is three games behind first-place Pittsburgh, which was tied against the Cubs in Chicago in the sixth inning at 10:45 p.m. Eastern time. Also, Cincinnati is only two games behind San Francisco for the third and final National League wild-card playoff berth.

The Offense

Elly De La Cruz led off the second inning with a walk, stole second and went to third on a bad throw. Spencer Steer then lined a hit to left to tie the score at 1-1. An RBI double by Kevin Newman made it 2-1, and Stuart Fairchild followed with a single to make it 3-1. T.J. Friedl then singled to right to score Newman for a 4-1 lead. Fairchild and Friedl then double-stole third and second, respectively. Matt McLain then walked to load the bases with one out. Jonathan India popped up to right field for out number two. With De La Cruz up for the second time in the inning, a Jordan Lyles wild pitch scored run number five.

India and De La Cruz, the last two outs of the second inning were the first of 14 Reds in a row retired by Lyles after the five-run second-inning uprising by Cincinnati.

Royals reliever Jackson Kowar extended that streak to 16 before issuing a two-out walk to Friedl in the seventh. India’s eighth-inning walk was the only other baserunner of the night for Cincinnati.

Friedl’s two hits paced the Reds hitters.

The Pitching

Brandon Williamson surrendered an unearned run in the first, due primarily to a tapper by Bobby Witt Jr. off to Williamson’s right that he rushed in throwing to first. The throw bounced to first, resulting in runners on first and third with one out. R.J. Melendez then hit a deep sacrifice fly to right that would have been the third out had it not been for Williamson’s errant throw.

Second-inning doubles by Edward Olivares and Matt Duffy scored KC’s second run to make it 5-2 Reds after two. A two-run homer by Witt drew KC within 5-4 in the third.

Williamson went the first five innings, allowing seven hits and three earned runs. Significantly, he did not issue any walks.

Righty Daniel Duarte, recalled from Louisville earlier in the day, retired the side in order on seven pitches in the sixth in his first major league appearance since April 2022.

Ian Gibaut entered in the bottom of the seventh, and three of the first four batters he faced reached on two walks and a hit batsman. That prompted Manager David Bell to summon Lucas Sims, who responded by striking out Nick Pratto looking and Salvador Perez swinging.

Sims then allowed only a two-out single in the eighth facing the heart of the KC order. Sims was definitely the Reds’ pitching star of the game.

Alexis Diaz entered in the ninth and retired the Royals in order for his 16th save.

What’s News

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds at Kansas City Royals

Wednesday, June 14, 8:10 p.m. ET

Ben Lively (3-4, 4.21 ERA) vs. Daniel Lynch (0-2, 4.41 ERA)

132 Responses

    • SteveAReno

      Appreciate Kevin Newman being our “power hitter” in that game, too. Elly’s English is getting very good but his paper, rock, scissors game needs more coaching.

    • Jim Walker

      Yes on Sims. He is learning that as a high leverage reliever a well placed 95+ MPH fastball with the threat of a killer breaking pitch is more effective than a killer breaking pitch with the threat of a 95+ MPH fastball. Still, he was about to drive me over the edge by baiting Perez with 3 straight breaking balls from 0-2 to run the count full with the bases loaded before he put him away with heat to end the KC 7th.

  1. Melvin

    Cubs leading Pirates by one bottom of seventh in Chicago.

  2. VaRedsFan

    Bengal guy holding up the Ted Lasso “Believe” sign in the Sims clip above.

    • Brady

      When Diaz got the final out, Sadak said “Barbecue Sauce” and I’m pretty sure it was a Ted Lasso reference + a nod to the KC BBQ culture. Pretty awesome.

  3. Tampa Red

    Probably too much to ask, but how about some well-deserved acknowledgment and appreciation of the job Bell has done with what he’s been given this year?

    Back in spring training, Bell said their identity was going to be to play hard, aggressive and to the last out. They’ve done literally that very thing. I’ve loved watching them play, especially since the Cessa/Overton experiment ended. That doesn’t happen without leadership.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I’m with you. The idea to go aggressive on the basepaths certainly came from him and-or the front office. This team would not be as competitive as they are now without that strategy.

    • Brian Rutherford

      Jim Day has been around the organization for many years and said the locker room for this group is different. There has been so much turnover and new guys coming and going but David Bell has kept them focused and playing hard.

      I am 100% sure he has more information about the players than myself so I don’t question his moves much.

      I agree Tampa Red, great job so far and much better than expected from most of the preseason prognosticators.

      • greenmtred

        I agree, you guys. I have nothing to add.

    • Tourniquette

      Absolutely agree. Bell has been crapped on for the past few years with a terrible roster. His game last night was *chefs kiss* good, minus Ricky. Good on him for getting the win, but man, Cowboy said it best with “I need a drink.”.

      Bell has this team playing harder than I’ve ever seen them play. I’ve never seen a Reds team play with this commitment. Kudos to Bell and the rest of the coaching staff.

      • Tourniquette

        Also, every player post-game makes a point to mention that they play until the last out regardless of score. That’s 100% on coaching. Awesome.

      • MuddyCleats

        Talent, as you mentioned, I think is the difference. Not to take anything away fm the Coaches, but this team is much more athletic than in the past and the young guys are perhaps more hungry?

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I’ve always said that “these players” seem to love to play for Bell. But, that can just as much be an aspect for “these players” as much as Bell. But, I’m still willing to give Bell the benefit of that nod.

        But, to totally give Bell much anything else isn’t smart. I mean, just tonight, he takes out a reliever after pitching a clean inning on 7 pitches in a close game to put in another pitcher, a pitcher we may need if it goes extra innings? Then, has to take the second one I mentioned out because he wasn’t performing, causing the next reliever to have to step up even more. When Bell has already been worried about how much work his relievers have been getting.

      • Jim t

        Steve his handling of the bull pen is another reason we are playing well. We lead the league I believe in 1 run wins. We also have a starting staff that does not go deep into games. He needs to make sure he has pitchers available to cover multiple innings nightly. We as fans have no idea how these relievers feel night to night. His results lead me to give him the props for how they are pitching .

      • Tampa Red

        Steve, it’s not smart – as you put it – to second guess Bell’s handling of the bullpen this season. The Reds now have 33 wins on the year with only 4 of those coming from the Big Three.

        In fact, I’d say Bell’s handling of the BP is one of the main factors in their surge up the standing over the last several weeks.

    • Redlegs

      I agree. I think that he needs an assistant to help with some of his in game managing but I love how this team plays. I think the players will be upset if he’s not resigned next year if they continue to play the way that they are.

    • TR

      Well said, Tampa Red. Well done, David Bell. Keep doing what you’ve been doing recently. To this old lifetime fan, a new day seems to have arrived for Reds baseball. How nice to see the Reds challenging the opposition with speed offensively and defensively.

  4. Klugo

    Minus the MILW series, this team has really been rollin.

    • Dewey Roberts

      I agree, but the schedule is absolutely brutal over the next 30 days. We will be playing mostly division leaders. Ouch.

  5. Andrew Brewer

    I thought this game was lost in the bottom of the 7th with the bases loaded and one out. I walked away and came back to find out that the Reds had one another one !, 5-4. …Tomorrow Ben Lively takes the mound. We’ll take ’em anyway we can get ’em…

    • Andrew Brewer

      ^”won” another one, 5-4.

    • Tourniquette

      I was right there with you. Left to take my dog out and BAM! 5-4. This team is so freaking fun, I’m not mad if they lose. But they keep winning! Lets go to .500 and beyond!

    • David

      well, it’s always time for CES. 🙂

      But there have to be some roster moves. I noticed that Henry Ramos has been outrighted off the 40 man roster, if I read that right.
      I think they will keep 3 catchers for the near future.

      That leaves the Wil Myers and Joey Votto question to be answered. And when Fraley gets reactivated from the DL, one of the outfielders will likely be sent down (Hopkins/ Benson/ Fairchild).
      If Joey is hitting in AAA (0- 3 tonight at Louisville) and if Myers is hitting/not hitting (3 run homer tonight for Louisville, 1-4), then more decisions to be made.

      • David

        PS, Henry is still on the 40 man, last look at Reds roster.
        Nick Senzel was 2-3 at Louisville tonight.

        Fraley and Senzel will come back, Hopkins will go down (my guess) and maybe Benson ( keep him?) or they will free Barrero from bench purgatory and send him down to play everyday at AAA.

        The key day, per BK the other day, is June 15, and onward. A lot of teams may make roster moves that day.

      • RedlegScott

        With all due respect to Votto, who has truly earned his spot in the line-up, CES would likely have more impact than any of the other aforementioned players and should therefore be a higher priority. The problem is where to play him, right?

      • Bob S

        I think that Votto and Fraley will replace Hopkins and Barrerro when they are activated. I hope that Myers is traded or released, but with the money owed him, getting released doesn’t seem as likely to happen.
        The other option has to be to trade for a starting pitcher…but who Senzel? Hines? Arroyo?

    • MuddyCleats

      Until he becomes better as a First Baseman, CES is my DH. CES’s physique, approach and actual swing reminds me so much of Edgar Martinez which is promising

      • Indy Red Man

        They reported on WLW the other day that CES has 5 runs saved defensively at 1B so we might have to change that narrative too. It was that and he doesn’t walk until he drew walks every day

      • AllTheHype

        CES is an outstanding 1B defender. It is 3B where he is iffy.

  6. Bdh

    Congrats to Williamson for getting his first career win! Other than that Dodgers start, which he was able to buckle down for 3 more innings after they got their 6th, he’s been pretty solid. With the offense the reds have if he can keep going 5-6 innings and give up 3-4 runs before turning over to this bullpen the reds will always have a chance

  7. TJ

    Any updates on Justin Dunn, Teejay Antone, Lodolo, Ashcraft, or Santillan?

    • Hanawi

      Santillan pitched for Louisville on a rehab assignment. Gave up 3 hits and a run in 1/3 of an inning.

  8. Rednat

    Staying in KC for the games. Really nice stadium with huge dimensions. Steer would have 2 homers and Stephenson one if this game was at gabp.
    Anyway I have been watching EDLC closely and have been really impressed. He seems a little more comfortable at ss than 3rd to me. Obviously I think he would be a heck of an outfielder but then I thought about Eric Davis and Nick Senzel and all the injuries they have endured. If keeping EDLC in the infield puts years on his career, then maybe it is worth keeping him at shortstop or 3rd.
    I ran out of money so will be headed back home tomorrow. GABP may not have all the bells and whistles as Kauffman and Busch Stadium but as usual no city compares to Cincinnati ( in my biased opinion anyway)) . Ok enough of the sentimental stuff. Go Reds!

    • Tomn

      I feel like EDLC’S talent is wasted at 3b. He either belongs at SS or CF in my mind. McLain is doing an excellent job at SS though so I think cf will be edlc’s destiny.

      Great group of young players who can win the division this year. I believe!

      Please bring up CES!!!

      • wkuchad

        I want EDLC at SS and McLain at 2B for the next 6 (hopefully more) years.

        I’m a huge fan of India, but I move him to LF or 3B ASAP.

      • Earmbrister

        Agree with Chad. Put that cannon of an arm at SS, with the subsequent moves of McLain and India.
        Agree that McLain has done an excellent job at SS, but he seems like the ultimate baseball player who can thrive at multi positions. He has experience at both 2B and CF, and his speed will play in CF.

      • Chris

        My issue with EDLC so far, whether it’s at SS or 3B is that he has a really bad habit of needing to set himself up with throws by putting his throwing hand with ball into his glove and even double pump sometimes, thus causing him to take too long to actually throw the ball. Last night the ball in the hole, with his canon of an arm he could have thrown the batter out, but he took too long to get rid of the ball. I’m surprised that habit of his has not been dealt with.

    • Earmbrister

      Rednat, I’m very jealous that you’ve gotten to see a couple of EDLC first games. And you got two Reds wins.

      Hope your absence today won’t cost us the sweep 😉

  9. Jim t

    Love how the team is playing. Gained ground in standings tonight as well.

    Newman with a big knock tonight. Really like his approach at the plate.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree very much with your 1st sentence. This group they have been putting on the field is a well balanced group offensively and defensively. They play well as a unit complimenting each other. They are demonstrating a team is sometimes more than just the sum of its individual guys. Krall and Bell would be well served to keep these factors in mind as guys become available from the IL.

      • wkuchad

        I don’t think there’s any chance any of our young guys lose their starting positions as some of the vets come off the IL.

        However, I think the fact that they’re about to come off is what is keeping CES in the minors, unfortunately.

  10. RedsGettingBetter

    Sims was really really outstanding letting the Reds stay in 1-run lead. He was the hero. According to Mark Sheldon, the team is weary because of playing 15 games in a row so maybe the offense shut down after 5-run 2nd inning is due to that …
    Williamson actually was not good but he figured it out to give no walks along 5 IP although reach 3-ball and full counts frequently

    • wkuchad

      Williamson needs to be in AAA. I think he could be a legit back of the rotation starter for the Reds, but he needs more time in the minors. Unfortunately we don’t have a lot of options until guys come off the IL.

  11. AMDG

    I was a bit surprised to see 0.150 hitting Hopkins made the pinch hitter over Barrero.

    Since the beginning of June, Fairchild has batted in 11 games (42 plate appearances) with a 0.189 average over that span, and Hopkins has batted in 7 games with a 0.158 average (20 plate appearances).

    Meanwhile Barrero has see all of 9 plate appearances in only 3 games.

    Even if Barrero never develops into a great hitter, he’s certainly not any worse than Hopkins or Fairchild hitting under 0.200 this month.

    • Tampa Red

      I believe that was as much a defensive move as an offensive move. You have the lead, and Hopkins is a much better OF’er than Barrero. Why burn two players in a none on, two out (I think) situation?

      • wkuchad

        Agree Tampa, I was thinking the same thing.

      • Chris

        Valid point, but I also think that Bell looks at Barrero as the worst hitter on this team; I agree with him as well. IMO Barrero is going to get sent down when Senzel comes up on Friday.

    • Jim Walker

      Fairchild was 0/10 in his first 3 appearances in June but is 7/27 (.259) in his last 8 appearances and has slugged at .519 with an .852 OPS in those 8 appearances. His K rate has been 22.6% versus 28.7% during the entire season.

      This 8 game segment coincides with when he began starting every day and remained in all games to the finish versus being subbed out as soon as the opposition brought in a RH pitcher.

      Perhaps what we are seeing is that Fairchild is not the guy to be the RH hitting side of a platoon; but, he could hold his own in total overall OPS compared to what the guy he has most often been platooned with does on his strong side of the platoon (Fraley with an .866 seasonal OPS vs RH pitching)

      • Jim Walker

        Let me be clear. I am NOT saying to bench or dump Fraley. He and Senzel paired as a platoon at one corner OF spot could be a step forward for the Reds.

        What I am suggesting is maybe they should do whatever they have to do to open up the other corner OF for Fairchild who is also their best alternative CF for when Friedl needs a day off.

      • old-school

        Senzel is coming back likely Friday in Houston. He will be the Platoon partner in LF. Friedl will play CF against righties. While Barrero has nt played much, its been all CF against lefty starters for his usage this month. Since McLain and then EDLC arrival, the Reds arent using Barrero in the INF at all. RLN favorite Will Myers will man RF every day. We can all scream at the clouds over Myers but when he comes back….and thats sooner rather than later after his 3 run moon shot last night…..He is playing RF most days the next 5-6 weeks with an occasional spot start at 1b or DH.

      • wkuchad

        I’m a big Fairchild fan, but I like him most as a #4 outfielder. He can play all three outfield positions with solid defense, and he can hit decent against both righties and lefties. He’ll get plenty of playing time as guys need a day off and injuries happen. Look at our starting outfield this year. All three have been on the IL, and two of our starters on it twice. We need a player like Fairchild in that #4 role.

      • Jim Walker

        OS>>> The Reds have a clear choice to make. Are they more interested in putting their best team on the field to make a playoff run or in trying to get a return on Myers (and Newman) and dodging some of their salaries in the process?

        Given the way Myers hasn’t performed this season and has been beset by illness upon injury upon illness, it seems to me he needs to be on rehab for an extended period. I’d think at least two weeks. He has been so bad at MLB (44 OPS+) that leaving him on rehab cannot possibly hurt his trade value, especially with the team playing better than when he was active.

      • greenmtred

        I’m half on your Fairchild bandwagon, Jim. He’s not an automatic out, has some power and speed and appears to be an excellent outfielder at all three positions. I’ve always considered defense to be very important, and the Reds have been improving as the season progresses, Fairchild, Friedl and Benson out there must give the pitchers some confidence.

      • Jim Walker

        Chad>> You may be correct. How you describe using Fairchild is essentially how he was used in 2022; and, in the process, he compiled a 116 OPS+. However, when he plays, he needs to stay in games and not be subbed out at the first sign of a RH pitcher being used by the other team.

  12. Amarillo

    If we keep playing like this the whole season and end up winning the division, David Bell will win Manager of the Year. Without a single Starter with an ERA under 4, Bell has had to be really careful with the Bullpen, and thus far it’s worked out. They’ve been playing excellent baseball.

    • wkuchad

      At this point, this team has very much overachieved based on my expectations.

      I was worried about our starting pitcher depth, but they’ve been even worse than I imagined. Despite that, the Reds have been REALLY fun to watch, primarily due to our young offensive stars and the bullpen not giving the game away every night. Besides the whole Barrero situation (which is weird), I think Bell has done a great job with the young guys this year.

      I’m still not hopeful on winning the division due to our starting pitching situation, but I’m just enjoying the ride right now.

      • Jim t

        @wlushad, have to agree with you about winning the division. The starting pitching is very suspect. I am very surprised with how Bell has managed to keep the team competitive with the starting pitching having injuries and depth issues. Hope he can continue to get the results but it will be tough.

    • Redgoggles

      The Redleg Nation article – really mostly the comments – announcing David Bell winning Manager of the Year will be must read material.

  13. Mark Moore

    Stuck it out and the reward was sweet. Too bad today isn’t an afternoon game. But we play the hand we’re dealt.

    Series win feels great. A sweep tonight would really put the icing on the cake, even with it being against this weaker KC team.

  14. Doc4uk

    CES at 1B and Steer in LF . Fraley and Senzel platoon in Right and Friedl and Fairchild in CF. Benson and Barrero and Hopkins sent down to AAA . Votto and Myers platoon at DH.

    • Tomn

      I would NEVER platoon Friedl. Not the way he’s playing. He should be in the AS game along with Diaz and Steer.

      • greenmtred

        And I wouldn’t send Benson down, either.

    • Rob

      DH is a weakness on this team. Ideally, this would be your opportunity for a thumper…. a guy who could bat 7th and bang 30 HRs. Like a CES. I do not think Votto or Myers provide any value here if they are only going to hit 220 with 10HRs and clog up the base paths. A Votto walk is actually a negative in my mind because he can’t get first to third and prevents the guy behind him from doing the same. If he bangs doubles and homers and strikes out and hits 240, I can deal with that. But no walks and singles. That may have been valuable in his youth but not today. I just won’t believe the organization would call either of these guys up from Louisville until they start banging. We don’t need slow 220 single hitters.

      • wkuchad

        “clog up the base paths”

        That you Dusty?

      • greenmtred

        He’s channeling Dusty, maybe, and I used to wince when Dusty said that, but with the speed on the team now, I can see some sense in it.

      • Still a Red

        Hah…channeling Dusty. I remember when Dusty first came to Reds and I read all his little ‘sayings’ and thought “O Brother!”…but over time I came to see the wisdom in some (maybe not all) of them.

  15. SultanofSwaff

    Just a reminder—save for September of the covid season, David Bell doesn’t have a winning record in either April or September in 5 seasons. Certainly not a small sample size, suggesting he both doesn’t prepare teams well nor motivates them sufficiently to finish out a season. This narrative that he gets his guys to ‘play hard’ has no merit. Talent….or more to the point, YOUNG talent is the difference with this year’s team imo.

    Recency bias is the biggest blind spot from commenters on RLN.

    • wkuchad

      The narrative that he gets his guys to ‘play hard’ has as much merit (or more) as “he both doesn’t prepare teams well nor motivates them sufficiently to finish out a season”

    • greenmtred

      With all due respect, Sultan, what it suggests to me most strongly is that his roster wasn’t talented enough. Good players? Sure, a few. Terrible bullpens, though, and serious holes in the lineup and lots of injuries. As you say yourself, the difference is talent, and I will say that, to a significant extent, it always is, regardless of the manager or the players. Managers who have won World Series (Sparky, Lou, Stengel and so on) have had terrible records with lesser players. Do I think that David Bell has had some bad times? I don’t know, really, but the September swoon raises questions. Do I think that he–and other managers–can learn from past mistakes? Yes, I do.

      • Chris

        I don’t agree with that. I give Bell all the credit in the world for this current team and how they are playing. In fact, I’m shocked at how well he has managed them so far. That said, the ’20 and ’21 teams were very good, and they did indeed choke. While I give Bell credit for what is going on with this young team, I also blame him a lot for the failures of those previous two teams. I get the sense that Bell is a good manager with young teams, but not so much with veteran teams.

    • AC

      Imagine that. A guy get’s some talented players on the team and magically remembers how to manage. It’s never been about Bell, and it’s very rarely ever about the manager. Good players win games, bad players generally lose them.

      • Jim Walker

        I think Bell has been aided by having a couple of difference makers brought up (EDLC/ McLain) and also in a backhanded way by having the injury situation in the OF limit his extreme tendencies to micromanage.

        It really has been up to the players he puts on the field at the start of the game these last several weeks versus Bell trying to pull a rabbit out of the hat with midgame substitutions based on platoon matchups.

        And let’s not look by that the bullpen seems more settled into roles; and, the guys are performing in them.

      • wkuchad

        I hear what you’re saying about the bullpen and roles Jim, but yet there’s still constant complaints every single night about his bullpen usage.

        The other ‘narrative’ was that Bell wouldn’t play the prospects when they were brought up (which I found silly).

        The team isn’t winning in spite of Bell. I think he’s done a solid job with the young guys, bullpen management, and most (but not all) of the (midgame) substitutions.

        Bell was getting blasted early in the season for starting Newman versus lefties and also for benching Fraley versus lefties. Both seem like solid managerial decisions to me.

      • greenmtred

        That wasn’t really what I said, AC. It isn’t about magic or remembering; it’s about adapting to changed circumstances. And of course, as I’ve said many times–to the point of boredom for other commenters–good players win games.

      • Hanawi

        Bell has never been a good manager so not sure he remembered anything. They are playing two of the worst teams in baseball.

      • Chris

        Tons of talent on the ’20 and ’21 teams, but horribly managed. Bell over tinkers, and is getting away with it now, because this current team needs lots of tinkering because the starting staff has been horrible. Previous teams had good starting staffs that Bell would constantly pull guys too early handing them over to a subpar bullpen. Making Doolittle his star reliever needlessly, etc.

      • greenmtred

        Talent on the ’20 and ’21 teams, yes, but historically bad bullpens, lots of injuries and poor performance by some of the presumptive stars–Suarez, mainly, but in–I think it was ’21–Castillo started out the season as though he’d forgotten how to pitch. He righted the ship, but cost the Reds some games early. A question: can you name a team with a terrible bullpen (last 20 years, say)that won the WS or even went deep in the playoffs? Not too many, I bet.

  16. SultanofSwaff

    This is such a fun team! I’m starting to wonder what their ceiling is. Do they have the ability to get to 90 wins? Tough call. They’d have to go 57-37 to do so, which seems daunting in the abstract. Maybe offensively we simply out-hustle our way to the division title (which might only take 85 wins?). On the other hand, the starting pitching struggles suggest the team will astound in fits and spurts but never quite reach cruising altitude UNLESS two or three of them turn the corner and dominate for long stretches. Certainly going to be interesting moving forward.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Starting pitching is indeed the big weakness currently for this team. At this point, there is truly only one pitcher that can be counted upon to give a decent start each time, Hunter Greene. I love Abbott, but two appearances does not yet make a trend. Lodolo and Ashcraft are question marks because of health and performance issues. I think we’re seeing about the best Williamson has to offer, at least at the moment. Lively probably has to pitch pretty well tonight to retain his 26-man roster spot, and Luke Weaver is essentially roster filler who has the advantage of a $2 million guaranteed contract that ownership probably doesn’t want to eat. A journeyman righty named Brett Kennedy has an ERA of 2.63 at Louisville in five starts, and he starts today for the Bats. He may get a look at some point. Levi Stoudt may get another chance if he can stop walking more batters than he strikes out.

    • Jim t

      @sultanofswst couldn’t agree more. Fun team to watch but very hard to attach season predictions to. My big concern is starting pitching. I think we will go as far as our pitching takes us.I would love to land a frontline starter but like many don’t want to give up our young prospects to get one. Krall has some tough decisions ahead of him.

  17. Roger Garrett

    This team is young and fun with no position player over 30 outside of the 2 catchers and nobody other then those 2 and Newman one would consider a vet.Krall has done this and it hasn’t hurt that Myers hasn’t played much and Joey at all even though being injured has to be bad for both.Young guys with above average speed that can hit and play defense are just having fun and so are we watching them.Want to give credit to Bell and his staff then thats ok with me but its the same staff but the players are different.Hats off to Krall for re-doing this roster and can’t wait to see it continue.GO REDS

  18. Mark Moore

    Looming “problems” with roster spots as soon as this weekend. Exciting times, to be sure. Hope may be a Dangerous Thing … but I’ll take all I can get from these Reds.

  19. AMDG

    It’s probably not entirely coincidence the Reds were 7 games under 0.500 in the games which Myers played, but are 6 games above 0.500 since he was injured.

    Once Votto and Myers return, and get plugged into the heart of the lineup on a daily basis, the Reds offense will likely take a step or two back.

    If nothing else, hopefully we will get to experience another week or two of winning before they return.

  20. JB

    Good to see Williamson gets his first win. This team will get it done. Grit and enthusiasm will take this team where it wants to be. Bandwagon baby!!

  21. Old-school

    Apparently marlins on the trade market for catcher. There is a league wide dearth of catchers. Wonder where they could find one?

  22. Votto4life

    People who think the Reds can acquire Chapman for chump change are out of their minds. He is a left handed reliever, with an ERA in the twos, who throws 100 miles per hour. There is no one else like him on the trade market.

    Chapman is Kansas City’s biggest trade chip (I don’t think Greinke will approve a trade) so they are not going to give him away for the likes of Nick Senzel or Will Benson. It would take two of the Reds top 20 prospects and probably another in the top 50.

    Personally, I hope the Reds don’t acquire him, he should have been thrown out of baseball. Anyone who assaults a woman doesn’t deserve to play IMO. I doubt, Bob Castellini would approve the trade anyway.

    But make no mistake about it, A. Chapman would be a very valuable addition in terms of baseball. With Chapman and Diaz in the bullpen, you would essentially be limiting your opponents offense to 7 innings, to 21 outs instead of 27 outs. That is valuable.

    Some want to stick with the plan, which is fine, but baseball is a funny game, funny things happen. Next year the Reds could underperform or like last year be riddled with injuries. Another team in the division could get out of the gate quick and run away with the division.

    Next year is never guaranteed. All that is guaranteed is right now and right now the Reds are 2 1/2 games back in a very winnable division.

    • greenmtred

      Votto: do you think the price would be that high even though Chapman is a short-term rental?

      • Votto4life

        Yes. Someone is going to over pay for him. I’m not sure he is worth it but every team needs what he brings to the table.I don’t think the Reds are interested, I just hope the pirates and brewers are t interested.

    • Chris

      Disagree. For starters, the Royals have been rumored to want to move Chapman and Barlow in a package, because they want to move Barlow’s $5.3 mil contract. Because of that, and the fact that Chapman has a one year contract (2 month rental) and the personal issues you mentioned, he won’t cost a lot. 2 or 3 month rentals just don’t get a whole lot anymore. Think about what the Reds got for Castillo and Mahle. Those were young guys who will be around a while and not rentals. Chapman is a rental, and if Barlow is combined with him, that brings the value down too.

      • Votto4life

        Chris totally unrelated comment. In 1872, The Brooklyn Atlantics had a young shortstop/Catcher named Thomas Barlow. It is rumor he is the first player to bunt. Bunts were called “Harlow’s dodo” at the time.

        Anyway, when Thomas Barlow was 22 years old and was injured on the field. Several years later he wrote this letter (see below) to the Boston Times describing his sad demise as he became the first baseball player to subcontinent to drugs.

        “It was on the 10th of August, 1874, that there was a match game of baseball in Chicago between the White Stockings of that city and the Hartfords of Hartford, now of Brooklyn.

        I was catcher for the Hartfords, and Fisher was pitching. He is a lightning pitcher, and very few could catch for him. On that occasion he delivered as wicked a ball as ever left his hands, and it went through my grasp like an express train, striking me with full force in the side.

        I fell insensible to the ground, but was quickly picked up, placed in a carriage, and driven to my hotel. The doctor who attended me gave a hypodermic injection of morphine, but I had rather died behind the bat then [sic] have had that first dose.

        My injury was only temporary, but from taking prescriptions of morphine during my illness, the habit grew on me, and I am now powerless in its grasp. My morphine pleasure has cost me eight dollars a day, at least.

        I was once catcher for the Mutuals, also for the Atlantics, but no one would think it to look at me now.”

  23. Indy Red Man

    It could mean a lot if Krall would go out and get a lefty and/or a legit 4th/5th starter. It shouldn’t be that costly prospect wise? Nick Pivetta with Boston for instance. He’s not even starting for them and he had 4.50 era the last 2 seasons in a tough park/division to pitch in. They won’t be able to cover for these other scrubs forever and this division is right there!

    • Indy Red Man

      Or Brent Suter? He’s left-handed, good, old, cheap, versatile, and Colorado is rebuilding

      • JB

        Now Suter I can get behind as a lefty out of the pen. God knows the Reds need help in that department and I’m still not sold on Young for the whole season. But in saying that ,Young needs help and Suter is a guy that can give them that.

    • JB

      Pivetta? He got moved to the bullpen because he had some of the worst advanced metrics in Major League Baseball. “The right-hander has a 52.4% hard-hit rate (fourth percentile) and an average exit velocity of 93.2 mph (second percentile). In other words, Pivetta is getting hit as hard as anyone in the league.” Yeah let’s get him and solve the problems.

      • Indy Red Man

        Everyone else in that division is over .500 though. A ,340 ft flyball to left is off the wall? Milw, Pitt, and the Cubs don’t hit like that. I’d take a flyer. Has to be better then Weaver & Williamson

  24. Protime

    You play to “win” if the Reds continue to generate productive hitting, aggressive running, gritty pitching and reliable defense will result in a “winning” product. You have to seize the moment. The opportunity is here and it can’t be wasted. Believe it, and live it!

  25. Jim t

    Would love to win tonight and sweep the Royals and take 2 of 3 from the Astros finishing the road trip at 7-2 and heading home .500.

  26. Redgoggles

    Gonna be tough to make it/stay at .500 with Houston, Atlanta, Baltimore and San Diego on the horizon.

    • AC

      Let’s enjoy them beating up on bad teams and holding their own against good teams. Wasn’t too long ago they were doing neither. Bottom line is this team needs significantly more pitching to compete over the course of a 162 game season and against the best teams in the playoffs.

  27. J

    I’m not complaining or trying to tell anyone which topics to discuss or not discuss, but I don’t think I’ll ever understand the motivation for discussing hypothetical trades the Reds are approximately .00001% likely to make. To me, it’s like talking about what I’d do if a random stranger decided to give me $10 million because they really enjoyed reading one of my blog comments. (FYI: I’d start by getting a car that isn’t falling apart.)

    • wkuchad

      What about discussing hypothetical offseason free agent signings the Reds are approximately .00001% likely to make?

      Because you know the Shohei Ohtani talk is going to start up immediately after this season is over. 🙂

      • J

        Those seem slightly more interesting to me, because at least we know the players who are actually available, the list is finite, and we have at least a vague sense of what it would take to sign them. With trade speculation, the odds of discussing a real-world scenario are minuscule.

  28. wkuchad

    NL Central – the only division in baseball where every team currently has a negative run differential.

    I really hope our division doesn’t improve next year, because the Reds certainly will.

  29. greenmtred

    Why wait? Where would he play? Would we have to get rid of the third catcher to clear space for him? So many questions, but fortunately there’s still time to resolve them.

  30. Jim Walker

    The AAA Bats played Wednesday afternoon and got stomped by StPaul (Twins AAA) again. The score today was 11-3.
    Rehab Report:
    Votto (1B) was 1/4 (single) w/ 2 Ks; 1BB; appears to have played the entire game.

    Myers (DH) 2/4 (singles) w/ 1 K; lifted for a PH in the top of 9th.

    Senzel (LF) 04 w/ 2Ks; 0BB; Senzel batted and made an out in the bottom of the 6th. Played in the field in the 7th but was replaced in the field for the 8th w/o having batted again.

    Not Rehab but everyone really wants to know:
    Encarnacion-Strand (3B) 1/5 (single) w/ 2Ks; 0BB

    • Old-school

      Reports were Senzel was playing 3 games at AAA then joining the Reds in Houston Friday( Sunday game cancelled so probably only 2 if he was pulled) with Fraley eligible to join Sunday and per bell Fraley insistent he is activated then and Votto joining before his mandatory end of rehab a week from Friday. Id imagine Myers is more than ready to get back to MLB life and Krall is wanting him back as well to make decisions by the AS break.

      AAA pitching is awful. Get your timing back and see some pitches and move on. Matt Reynolds is Babe Ruth in AAA.

      Let the next stage of the season commence.

      • Jim Walker

        You may be correct but there are also other plausible possibilities. Let’s start with Votto.

        Votto’s contract is so large, goes to such an advanced age, and was in force so many years ago there may well be full or partial insurance coverage on it. If there is any deducible period on it, that will be reset when he is activated. Also, any payments already earned will stop accruing when he is activated. The Reds are going to be very sure they get this one right; and, it is as much about him being able to bear up over time versus having one strong week on rehab.

        Myers’ season has been so wrecked by a myriad of ill health and injuries, it would also make sense to leave him on rehab too rather than rush him back, especially when there is no place for him to play without disrupting the success the team has found without him. A .900 or higher OPS at AAA over 2-3 weeks is going to do as much for his establishing he is physically sound and creating marketability as rushing him back to MLB.

        Senzel is Senzel. He will either show up in Houston; or, it might turn out he tweaked something running out the grounder he hit in his final PA Wednesday or in making one of the two OF plays he made in his final defensive turn before being removed. Time will tell.

  31. Kevin H

    Some interesting decisions coming up. I can see Hopkins and Barrero go back to Triple A. Maybe Fairchild, however after that who? A catcher? Will they get bold and carry a 5 man bench?

    Will Myers be released? I for one am looking forward to see how it all plays out.

    • Harry Stoner

      I’ll venture the random, maybe controversial thought that Barrero is on the future trade block and the Reds would be careful not to burn up his last option if so (or under any circumstance) if they can avoid it.

      He may be one of the more valuable current trade chips…for his promise, not his performance…and still having an option may increase interest.

      He’s not going to net another Sonny Gray / San Martin deal but he doesn’t seem to have much of a future with the Bell led Reds.

      Whether they can still find room for him in the meantime is another story.

      Benson is showing signs of life (albeit a whopping .246 vs RHs) and Fairchild gets a hit or two just often enough to keep the RLN fan club hopeful.

      Hopkins not going to cut it this year.

      I don’t see Myers NOT coming back for at least another crack at it, so something is going to have to give.

      Barrero is really the odd man out.

  32. old-school

    Brewers lose again and Cards suffering continues giving up a 3 spot in the 10th and down 3 and risking the sweep.
    MLB.com has article arguing the Cards should trade old but productive Paul Goldschmidt for young pitching while he can still land a haul…Contreras is 6 for his last 50 and beating water coolers to pieces and still owed 70 mil+ for 4 more years and the pitching stinks. Flaherty is bad and wanting to fight the giants and Matz has an ERA of 6 and Wainwright stay a year too long.

    Cubs have good pitching but still way under .500.

    Pirates and Reds might be the most talented teams in the NL Centrtral with the Pirates having the better SP.

    • Votto4life

      The Reds can win this division in 2023. Who knows what will happen next year. I think the Reds should be adding pitching soon.

  33. Old-school

    And the Cards do it and get swept. Now 15 games under .500 and the worst team in the NL and 3rd worst in baseball. Reds are 1 game behind the brewers for 2nd place.

    • Votto4life

      I think the Cardinals struggles are more implausible the the Red’s success. The Reds need to try to win this thing now. The Cardinals may be back in full force in 2024

  34. Mark A Verticchio

    The team has a real chance in a weak division this year, I would hate to see team chemistry broken up by playing the likes of Votto, Myers and Senzel. I might be in the minority but the Reds don’t owe Votto playing time, as some suggest. He has had a great career and been paid well for it. The truth is that the Votto contract, though not awful compared to some, has hamstrung this small market franchise these last few years. If you look at the current 26 man payroll of the 30 teams in MLB today the Reds is around 25 million the next closest is the A’s at 42 million. Let’s bring up CES and maybe Senzel for Barrero and Hopkins and let this story play itself out for awhile.

    • Optimist

      Of the three, Votto actually may be the most useful. If he has any sort of return to form he could add LH power. Doubtful that either Myers or Senzel can add that much the remainder of this season. About next season, very little chance he returns, and even Senzel likely to be moved by then.

      • Pete

        I don’t know if you’ve been watching Louisville games, but Joey Votto looks old, very old. I don’t know how much we should expect him to help the Reds.

    • Pete

      The team is finally developing a winning culture. I worry does the return of the players mentioned revert back to the former culture. I’d really like to see it stay at status quo right now with the addition of CES but I know that’s not realistic. Praying for the best.

  35. Jim Walker

    Tweets coming over from all the Reds beat types about Nick Lodolo. The news is good news that is not as good news as many may have hoped to hear.

    Lodolo is “progressing well” but will be in a boot for another 2 weeks; and, it will then be another 4-6 weeks before he can expected to return. So, early August is the best case scenario for his return.

    • Mark Moore

      Just hope he heals well. That’s the most important thing.

      NLC Division Crown is possible. But getting out of the first round on the winning side of the ledger isn’t likely in the crystal ball for us. And I’m fine with that. Build momentum and confidence in 2023 for 2024 and beyond.

    • Harry Stoner

      This was bothering NL back in ST and it sounds like they tried to push through it.

      I hope they take all that time plus a couple weeks just to be sure.

      Hopefully this doesn’t become a chronic problem.