The Cincinnati Reds never trailed in the game after taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning, but it only felt like a safe lead for about five minutes. After another 3-run inning in the 7th, Cincinnati held a 6-2 lead, but the Dodgers scored three of their own in the bottom of the inning to make it a 1-run game. The Reds bullpen didn’t make it easy, but Alexis Diaz closed out both the 8th and 9th innings to seal the win.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (57-48) 6 8 0
Los Angeles Dodgers (58-44)
5 12 0
W: Williamson (3-2) L: Miller (6-2) SV: Diaz (31)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Reds wasted no time on Friday night as Elly De La Cruz led off the game with a triple and scored a few pitches later on a groundout by TJ Friedl. Matt McLain doubled into right field and then he came around to score when Jake Fraley homered off of the foul pole to put Cincinnati up 3-0. Los Angeles got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning after Freddie Freeman walked and came around to score on a 2-out double from J.D. Martinez.

In the bottom of the 2nd inning Chris Taylor hit a 1-out blooper that hit off of Matt McLain’s glove as he was running back towards right field. Taylor attempted to take second base on the play, but the ball bounced right to TJ Friedl, who came up throwing to second base where Jonathan India made the tag in time. That play may have turned out to be a big one because Enrique Hernandez followed with a double, but with the bases empty when it happened it gave enough wiggle room to the Reds and Brandon Williamson to get out of that jam with Miguel Rojas flew out to center to end the inning.

The Dodgers threatened in the 3rd inning when Mookie Betts led off with a walk and moved up to second base on a Freddie Freeman single. Will Smith would hit a deep fly into right field, but Jake Fraley caught it and made a good throw in to second to keep Freeman at first, with Betts advancing to third. J.D. Martinez then hit a hard grounder to third that Elly De La Cruz came up with and fired to second to start an inning-ending double play as the Reds kept their 2-run lead.

Los Angeles would threaten once again in the 4th. Amed Rosario would lead off with a double. Chris Taylor would walk with one out to put two men on. After a pop up to Joey Votto for the second out of the inning, Miguel Rojas hit a chopper down the first base line past a sliding Votto. Rosario would score, but Taylor and Rojas were both in between bases and eventually Taylor would be caught in his run down and tagged at the plate to end the inning.

Mookie Betts led off the 5th inning with a single, but Brandon Williamson got Freddie Freeman to ground into a double play before he struck out Will Smith to end the inning. J.D. Martinez led off the 6th inning with a single, but once again Williamson was able to get the ground ball he needed and the Reds turned another double play. The lefty would walk Max Muncy after that. It would be the last batter he faced as Cincinnati turned the game over to Lucas Sims. He needed two pitches to get a fly out to end the inning.

Cincinnati got back at it in the 7th inning as Spencer Steer crushed an 82 MPH slider that hung over the middle of the plate into the stands in left field for his 15th homer of the season. It extended the Reds lead to 4-2. Tyler Stephenson followed up with a single and then Will Benson walked, and at that point Nick Senzel came off of the bench to run for Stephenson. A wild pitch moved both runners up a base. After Elly De La Cruz got ahead 3-0 in the count, the Dodgers decided to intentionally walk him to load the bases and face TJ Friedl with one out. The move didn’t work out as Friedl was hit by a pitch to bring in the club’s 5th run. Matt McLain followed up with a 4-pitch walk to bring in another run and extend the lead to 6-2. Phil Bickford came out of the Dodgers bullpen and got a line out and a pop up to end the inning.

Lucas Sims returned to the mound for the bottom of the 7th and things didn’t go his way as he gave up a leadoff ground-rule double and then walked James Outman – with ball four being a passed ball that allowed David Peralta to trot down to third base. Mookie Betts followed up with a walk of his own to load the bases.

A pitching change saw Ian Gibaut enter the game to face Freddie Freeman with no one out. A single by Freeman drove in two runs to make it a 6-4 ballgame. Will Smith would fly out to right field for the first out of the inning. Gibaut would then strike out J.D. Martinez for the second out of the frame, but Amed Rosario singled up the middle to plate another run and make it 6-5. With Max Muncy due up, the Reds brought in Alex Young to try and get a lefty-lefty matchup. It paid off as Muncy flew out to center to end the inning.

Young returned to begin the 8th and he struck out Chris Taylor to get things going. Lefty David Peralta came through with a single into right with one out. With another lefty due up, the Reds stuck with Young to face James Outman and he made an out, man – grounding into a force out. Mookie Betts came to the plate next, but not before the Reds called on Alexis Diaz out of the bullpen. Outman stole second base on the first pitch. Later in the at-bat, Betts crushed a hanging slider down the line, but it was foul by about 10 feet. Two pitches later he would ground out to Nick Senzel at third base to end the inning as Cincinnati clung to a 1-run lead.

The Reds went down in order in the top of the 9th, setting up Alexis Diaz to go for the save against the Dodgers 2-3-4 hitters. Freddie Freeman flew out to start the inning. It took Diaz two more pitches to end the game, getting another fly out and then a ground out to pick up his 31st save of the year.

Key Moment of the Game

Alexis Diaz getting Mookie Betts to ground out to end the 8th inning with the tying run on second base.

Notes Worth Noting

Brandon Williamson put together another good start. His ERA is 2.45 in his five starts during July.

Matt McLain continues to be an extra-base hit machine. He picked up two more doubles on the day and is now hitting .305/.375/.525 in 63 games since being called up in May.

Alex Young’s ERA now sits at 2.20 on the season.

Vladimir Gutierrez threw a hitless inning with two walks and two strikeouts in his first rehab outing since having Tommy John surgery last year.

Milwaukee lost. That coupled with the Reds win puts Cincinnati just a half-game behind the Brewers in the standings.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Saturday July 29th, 9:10pm ET

Luke Weaver (2-2, 7.20 ERA) vs Emmet Sheehan (3-1, 6.75 ERA)

133 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Good win. Williamson is becoming a pretty good pitcher. Wish he could have stayed in longer. In my view we need bullpen help more than a starter. Probably both.

    • VaRedsFan

      Well….Weaver pitches today….so your headline might be different tomorrow Mel.

      • greenmtred

        Well, he could still say that Williamson is a pretty good pitcher. I have a certain amount of anxiety about Weaver facing the Dodgers.

      • TR

        I have a good amount of anxiety when Weaver faces any team, let alone the Dodgers. But after usually doing less than five innings and the Reds behind, this young team often pulls out a surprising win. Whatever the Reds do or don’t do by the trade deadline on Monday, should be to strengthen the bullpen for the NLC title run.

      • MK

        That usually means a Reds win and a lot of complaining about Weaver.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      Williamson looking better with every outing, moving forward with a starting rotation of Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Abbott and Williamson will be great, plus Phillips, Stoud and Petty in the wings.

    • jmb

      Yes, another solid start by a guy who took a step backward last season and looked bad at the beginning of this one. Somehow, a little after he got the call, he’s put it all together. Richardson has been moved up to AAA. As he’s 23 already, we may see him later this season.

    • BK

      Yes, four of our starters have been excellent for several weeks now. With Phillips at AAA and Greene, Lodolo, and Dunn on the mend, the top priority should be the bullpen.

  2. Rednat

    big win for the reds. If we can just stay close these 2 series on the road. from August 4th -20 th we have a lot of winnable games and could create some seperation in the division

  3. LT

    If Weaver’s charm continues, we’ll win the series tomorrow. See everyone tomorrow.

    • DevAJS

      I guess he’s already slated for the start, but I wouldn’t mind skipping Weaver since we had a day off. Put him up against the Cubs.

      • Rob

        This just seems like throwing gasoline on the fire. Not saying we have better options than Weaver but 1) we had an off day and he could easily be skipped, and 2) there are alot of starting pitchers on the trade market. Miami and Atlanta sure look serious about improving. The nightmare scenario is Weaver going less than 4 and we have another dose of bullpen exhaustion….right before a fairly important Cub series. Just don’t understand the why here ….

    • DHud

      Weaver tomorrow with Diaz pitching two innings today could be a disaster

  4. LarkinPhillips

    Not the prettiest win, but a big win. Now hopefully we find a way to win one of the next two and win another series.

  5. David

    Take that, you smelly Brewers. Drinking all that stale beer for breakfast will get you nowhere!
    Your third base coach is a hamster, and you manager smells of elderberries. Now, go lose some more games, before I taunt you again!

    I think the Brewers will probably lose all three games against the Braves. Amazing that tonight they managed to put up 7 runs and still lose. It’s just the Reds and the Brewers hex on them this season that makes their pitching look so good.

    • Tar Heel Red

      <David…We all saw this move coming. The barn swallows have now come home to roost…only question is African or European?

    • PTBNL

      The Brewers told the Braves, “none shall pass” and ended up dismembered.

      • Tar Heel Red

        “I am among the Knights who, until recently, said ‘Ni'”

  6. Andrew Brewer

    Yes, this was a big win ! Bell’s move to put Diaz on the the mound against Betts in the 8th, that was the game winner. Three double plays sure helped us out. The Reds have still got it going on !

    • Andrew Brewer

      I am corrected, 4 dbl plays for the Reds…

    • TR

      Elly leading off and stretching what would normally be a double into a triple set the tone of the game. With his speed, just meet the ball and get on base. Home runs will happen.

    • Jim Walker

      Absolutely correct on the GIDP. Recall just a couple of months ago how it was nerve wracking hoping the Reds got at least the man at 2B on those grounders? What a change that has been largely under the radar due to the high flying offense.

      Don’t mess with the middle, and ELC with his rocket arm at 3B has also made a difference.

  7. Mark Moore

    I was in my hotel, watching Bravos over Bernies on the TV and our Reds on my phone. The triple to start really set the tone.

    This is the way to start a West Coast road trip. Left the Dodgers a bit stymied. Some interesting defensive changes at the end and they probably helped to an extent.

    Let’s get another before the Trolley Dodgers buy up every available player on the planet and then get out of LA.

  8. Klugo

    The boat is definitely taking on some water. The pitching holes are growing. Can we stay afloat until the reinforcements show up? That’s the question.

  9. Indy Red Man

    Up early cleaning up the dog’s Triple Crown. Urine, poop, and vomit. Horrible storms southside Indy last night scared both my dogs half to death. One has heart murmurs so I wasn’t totally convinced she’d survive, but she did.

    Huge win! Now go out and get Hader and that would lock up a playoff spot imo! Or Bard or Gallegos? Or Lorenzen? Gallegos will be 32 so they might deal him. He’s as steady as they come. I know the Cards wouldn’t make any big deals with us, but we traded Travis Wood to the Cubs so who knows? We need somebody bad!

      • Indy Red Man

        Thanks! They’re both hanging in there, but they’re 14

    • greenmtred

      Hang in there, Indy. I hope today is a better day.

    • Melvin

      Indy – Hope your power is on. Mines not.

    • Jim Walker

      Good Luck with the pups and storms Indy, Melvin, and everybody else over Circle City way. They played out or missed us here Dayton way overnight. I lived in Anderson, Kokomo then Indy proper from approximately 1971 through the middle of 1977 (74-77 in Indy; far East/ NE areas, Castleton/ Lawrence environs). One of the better and still fondly recalled eras of my life. Not really sure why I never moved back over that way.

      • Daytonnati

        Sounds like there might have been a lady involved 🙂

      • Jim Walker

        @Daytonanati>> There were a couple of memorable relationships of the sort you suggested; but, mainly it was my time for becoming myself in a major metropolitan area 100 miles from family and prior friends after commuting to college daily from “home” in the Dayton Area.

  10. Redsgettingbetter

    The Reds got a very huge win because I think the first target of this series at LA was not being swept. Now, they have a nice chance to take 1 of 2 remaining and the series. The saturday game is expected to be wild since the starters ERA are above 6,50, let’s see how Weaver can leave alive against LAD lineup and the offense supporting him one more time.
    The Cubs won their 7th game in a row and are convinced to set the upcoming 4-game series as very huge against the Reds… I thought that could be a smooth series for Cincy just on the trade deadline guessing the Cubs was going to be a little bit weak as they will be selling some players but it seems the things isn’t going that way

    • Indy Red Man

      I wouldn’t be shocked if the Reds, Brewers, and Cubs all made the playoffs. They’re all probably better then Arizona and SF. I think Miami’s upcoming schedule will finish them off. They already came out of the break losing 8 straight.

      • Jim Walker

        Cubbies are getting that multiple callup kick the Reds got to light their fire.

        If my quick schedule look is accurate, they still have 6 games with the Brewers and 8 with the Reds. Reds should probably hope for a split between the Brewers and Cubs and hope they can win at least 5 head to head.


        Cubbies haven’t played a ton of winning clubs lately. They lost 2 of three to Boston out of the ASB and they’ve been feasting on the listless Cards, Washington, and the White Sox.

        The Reds will be their buzzsaw

  11. TJ

    I’m just spitballing here, but I’m wondering if the Reds are thinking about a six man rotation once Greene and Lodolo come back. Once Greene is ready, Weaver has to come out. I was mainly thinking about keeping Abbott’s starts and innings down, but Lively has showed to be a pretty good starter so far. If the Reds reduce the stress rotation wide, it might prove for a fruitful Sept.

    • Soto

      TJ, Good point. I think you can almost guarantee a six man rotation down the stretch, or at least a couple of bullpen days with an opener. I foresee a lot of bullpen arms being shuffled back and forth from AAA the rest of the year also. Whatever it takes, they have to have Abbott available for the run to the playoffs. This staff has been held together with a few rolls of duct tape and about a thousand bandaids. So far it’s staying together but it’s a perilous situation.

    • MBS

      I was wondering the same thing. I also could swear that I heard, or read Krall saying there was no plans on limiting Abbott this year.

      If there is a plan to in fact limit him, I’d be onboard with a 6 man of Abbott, Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Wlliamson, Lively. We’d still have Phillips in AAA.

      If there isn’t a plan to limit Abbott, then I’d Like Abbott, Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft with 1 of Williamson or Lively joining the pen. Lively could be a long man, and Williamson could be the missing lefty that we need in our pen.

      • TJ

        @MBS…. yeah, who would would’ve thought we missed our long relievers so much. Most recently Hoffman and Lorenzen. When you don’t have great starting pitchers, they become much more valuable.

      • DHud

        I’m 100% on the Lively to bullpen plan

        He has been great for us floating the gap, but my thought process is 1) he could be nails in the bullpen as well where we drastically need it 2) 6 man rotation would mean a 7 man bullpen which would be no bueno and 3) rather see Williamson continue to get worked as a SP with future in mind

    • Rob

      If you lengthen the number of starters, then you shorten the number of guys in the bullpen. I get the idea of controlling Abbotts innings but the flip side of this is more innings and work for a bullpen already running on fumes. If the 6 starters pitch 5 innings each, or 30 innings total in 6 games, then the 7 man bullpen has to cover 24 innings or 3.5 innings per week. That is like 80 innings a year! Sounds pretty laborious to me. And flexibility probably becomes a lot more awkward. You may end up with your “good “ relievers pitching in 10-2 games. And vice versa in tight games. I don’t think 6 man rotations is the answer. If you want to limit someones innings, then skip him every third start. And this idea definitely doesn’t work if Weaver and some AAA guy are part of your rotation. Weavers 3-4 inning starts are a primary reason why our bullpen has already eaten a lot of innings.

      • Rob

        3.5 innings per week per relief pitcher. Equates to like 80 innings per year per reliever. I believe 70 innings equates to a high number for a reliever.

      • old-school

        Good points but dont forget rosters expand in September by 1 pitcher and Reds have several RP potentially coming back and i do drive the AAA shuttle bus back and forth on I-71 and lots of mileage there and more to come.

  12. J

    Maybe the Reds were reading these comments, because they looked like an entirely different team last night. Guys were being patient, got ahead in the count, looked willing to take a walk, etc. Elly’s first at-bat set the tone. Just by taking one loopy pitch low for ball two (which he normally doesn’t do), he got a fastball in the strike zone and didn’t miss it.

    Even Bell looked like he’s ready to get more serious, bringing in his closer for four outs.

    I hope this wasn’t just a one-day deal and today everyone goes back to swinging at everything…

    • Jim Walker

      Bell may feel liberated, relaxed, and actually manage more effectively since his contract situation is settled. Whether or not he was really Krall’s man for the job, he is his own man now as it would presumably take a sizable payout to dismiss him.

      It certainly wouldn’t be the first time something like that happened.

      • J

        Well, if Bell has been stifling his good managing instincts and now feels free to start using them to make more rational decisions, such as occasionally using his closer in the 8th and demanding everyone take more pitches, this extension is going to work out great.

    • Redgoggles

      Believe it or not, I actually didn’t like a few of his moves last night. I would have left Wiliamson in for one more batter as it could have even opened up the 7th for him as his pitch count was so low and it was facing the bottom of the order. A bit risky in a 1 run game, but a worthwhile risk to save an overused bullpen. I also think Wiliamson is maturing enough to trust him with it.

      I didn’t like bringing Sims back in, due to the time he had to sit with the Reds batting around in the 7th. LeCure even mentioned in the post-game show how difficult it is for relievers to “get back up” for the second inning. I think some can handle better than others but Sims strikes me as a max-effort adrenaline-type of guy, so I wouldn’t have started with him. I did like Diaz for the occasional 4 out save last night, but not as a normal practice. I would think Sims would be out tonight, and if Diaz is needed tonight then I’m guessing he would be out tomorrow if used tonight.

      I didn’t like hitting Votto against the LH reliever, but then having Senzel hit for Benson. I think Benson is giving better ABs than Votto at the moment, and it’s not even close.

      If CES is going to be used primarily as a pinch-hitter, I’d say let him play every day at AAA to continue his development, with emphasize on plate discipline. Bring up Fairchild for late game speed and OF D, and use Newman to PH.

      I do think Bell deserves the extension – considering what he had to deal with last year – but I’m still skeptical that he will make for an excellent manager. But I do value the overall consistency of the front office and coaching staff, which is clearly trending in right direction. It’s one less thing (new manager/coaches) that all the young players have to deal with in adjusting to the major leagues.

      • LarkinPhillips

        +all the points. I was going to write exactly what you said. I said several of those points throughout the game thread last night.

      • J

        RG, if I had said all those things, I’d be hearing that I’m supposed to “just relax and enjoy the season.” The Reds are defying expectations and winning, so Bell must be doing an outstanding job, case closed, and any nitpicking about any of his decisions is just unwarranted negativity.

        But, yes, Bell made several questionable (at best) decisions last night, and it makes sense (to me, anyway) for people to point them out even though the Reds won and Bell made some perfectly sound decisions to go along with his less sound ones.

      • Redgoggles

        You (we all) should relax and enjoy the season, lol.

        You and I probably aren’t so far apart, but focusing (and only emphasizing) on a mans fault over and over does tend to suck the joy out of the ride, at least for me.

        I brought these particular “nitpicky” things up to illustrate the fact that it is possible to be skeptical of the manager and still believe that he deserves the extension he received. I’m not sure that landed.

  13. Rick

    I would’ve let him finish the 6th inning & maybe start the 7th. He’s making progress but his WHIP needs brought down. I usually look at whip & batting average against the pitcher as the 2 main variables in my eyes.
    I agree with Melvin, bullpen really needs to be addressed.
    Need a setup man that can miss bats as an 8th inning bridge to Diaz. As currently constructed it’s going to take a toll through August and beyond.

    • MBS

      He’s been very pitch efficient in his last 2 outings. 5.2 IP 77 NP this outing, and 6 IP 80 NP in his last outing. Hopefully he will get a shot at a 7th soon, our pen could sure use extra effort from our starters.

      • Rick

        I love the pitch efficiency & his feel for the hitters.
        I hope that he can work up to some 7th inning outings. BP arms could use it, and
        would allow for the better arms to cover 2 or 2+ innings.

  14. LT

    For the record, I love J the sneaky Fraley. His production compared to how much are paying him, it’s a bargain. But I am blown away at this stat, unless the stat I got is wrong: 15 HR and 1 sac fly. That’s why I call him sneaky. He just sneaks in a HR here and there, but in situations where a sac fly could add an important run such as in the game last night, he has not been able to hit a fly ball to outfield. Can’t explain that.

    • J

      If it’s easy to find out or calculate how many sac flies the team has as a whole, and what % of RBI’s have come via sac flies, I’d love to know those figures. My hunch is Fraley is basically the same as every other Red in that regard, because I can hardly remember any sacrifice flies all year. (Or, for that matter, the last several years.) It’s the sort of “situational hitting” that nobody seems to know how to do anymore. It feels like I’ve seen about a million fly ball outs to end an inning where I’ve thought “if only the last batter could have managed to do that…”

      • LT

        Agree. It’s a lost act, not sure about across baseball, for the Reds.

      • Rick

        I’ve had those same thoughts.
        Tony Perez was clutch for those moments.

      • Jim Walker

        Agree that very few teams and guys seem interested in situational hitting these days. Of course, the pitchers may be trying harder to avoid letting the hitters get the ball into the air in certain situations or on the ground to 1B side in others.

      • J

        I remember, for example, whenever Larkin was up in a situation where they really needed a ground ball to the right side or a fly ball to drive in a run, my thought was always “no problem, he’s got this.” And he wasn’t the only one I had faith in. Now there’s absolutely nobody I have that kind of faith in, and I don’t remember the last time I had it. Maybe it was a young Joey Votto.

      • J

        I don’t know, Jim. It seems to me that pitchers used to try pretty hard to stop guys from accomplishing their missions in those “situational” situations, and now I don’t know how many of them even think it’s necessary to worry about it. Just the other day I was complaining about a right-handed Reds pitcher repeatedly not throwing inside to a right-handed Brewers hitter who was clearly trying to go the other way to advance a runner to third. Our pitcher almost looked like he was trying to help the hitter accomplish his goal. (I actually don’t remember the outcome of the at-bat. I just remember being disappointed by the pitch locations based on the guy’s obvious intent to hit to the right side.)

      • Redgoggles

        Same for me. Related to this is the inability or indifference to change approach when reaching 2 strikes. It’s a lost skillset, and I miss it.

    • Redgoggles

      His HR was pretty fortunate, hitting the foul poul and all. I haven’t seen that in a while, and I can imagine how frustrating it would be to me if LA did it instead.

      I like it when Jake Rakes.

    • Jim Walker

      Fraley is what he is; and, that’s strange as a hitter. Take a look at his Statcast page:

      Per his spray chart, nearly all his 2B and HR are to the RF side of even Right center Yet his 1B hits are scattered somewhat evenly around the field.

      Taking matters a step further, his Maximum EV is in the 75th percentile (good trending toward outstanding) but his Average EV is at the very bottom, 1st percentile (poor) and his Hard Hit percentile is 13th, also in the poor range.

      I think he swings to pull everything; and, when he makes solid connection hits a lot of 2B and HR to RF. The rest of the time he makes weaker contact but ends up with a fair number of leg hits in the infield or bloopers that fall in front of the OF in all fields.

      • Harry Stoner

        Interesting info, Jim.
        Comp Fraley w RLN fav Fairchild and see a mirror image of SF’s pull hitting to LF, a bit more extreme, even than Fraley.
        I didn’t see a breakdown on Fairchild’s hitting umph.

        A real ‘strange’ factotum on JF remains his productivity. Fraley is #14 in the NL in rbis despite trailing anyone else in the top 20 by 125+ abs.

        I was very ho-hum on JF following the trade, and remain somewhat indifferent.

        Yeah, he’s a platoon player, but right now the Reds aren’t going to get that productivity out of Fairchild, or perhaps anyone else on the team.

        OPs can be deceiving.

        Fraley may be a strange hitter but as long as he’s hitting clutch, w a K rate far lower than SF, the Reds are benefitting from him.

      • VaRedsFan

        @Jim – I’ve noticed that anything he hits the opposite way is always very weak contact. Everything he pulls is hard hit most of the time.

      • Jim Walker

        @Harry> I agree they don’t have the full array of hitting on SF in ’23 on the chart next to the spray chart. Same story for 2022. I’d guess because he doesn’t have a qualifying number of “events”.

        I do not think I have ever explicitly advocated for replacing JF with SF one for one. I have said and continue to believe that the Reds have enough offense even without JF to use him in a trade for what they do not have enough of right now, pitching.

        While such a trade would quite possibly put SF back on the MLB active roster, the everyday corner OF following a Fraley trade would almost certainly be Steer and Benson.

        Fairchild’s spot would be a typical “4th” OF. We saw last season and in the month prior to him being optioned this year that when in that role and not tied to platoon duty, there is good reason to believe he would OPS at .800 or slightly better. That’s not a Fraley replacement per se offensively but it is an everyday OF on many teams and a solid long term injury replacement even on a playoff caliber team.

  15. LT

    Another interesting stat I saw. Almonte, Dodgers reliever, did not give up a run in his last 15 outings, gave up 3 to the Reds last night in a wild fashion. Caught him on a bad day and won the game.

  16. RedlegScott

    Hats off to Young and Diaz last night.

  17. Tim

    Keys to moving forward as I see it:

    1. EDLC must cut down on Al’s, especially if he remains in the lead off spot. I like having a disruptor on base and last night was a perfect example.

    2. Need a shut down reliever.

    3. Votto needs to eliminate Ks if he’s going to remain in the lineup.

    4. One of the returning SPs need to be nails

    5. The performance level of our current rotation must stay constant or better yet, continue to improve.

    6. Better scouting and preparation against good pitching.

      • Old-school

        Hes over 32% in ~200 PA

        That will be interesting to see if he can cut that in august sept.

  18. Redgoggles

    Votto is now over 100 ABs. Wondering at what point Bell will start adjusting the playing time according to performance? I can’t imagine they brought CES up to sit 60% of the time, and Votto (and Friedl) are the ones scuffling the most recently.

    • MBS

      CES has had at minimum 3 AB’s on July the:

      17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25. he sat the last game against the Crew, and the opener with the Dodgers. I’m guessing he’ll be back tonight.

      • Redgoggles

        Wow, that’s way more than I remembered. Thanks for sharing.

      • MBS

        Full transparency my eyes are going, he was off the 25th, but played the 26th. Still only 1 game completely off vs the Crew, and last night he just had 1 AB pinch hitting.

        Everyone seems to be inline to get a day off now that we have 9 players for 8 spots. Votto does seem to be the weak link, but his playing time isn’t reflecting that reality yet. I think 2 or 3 games a week would be ideal for JV in the near future.

    • J

      Based on past experience, the best bet is that Bell won’t make any adjustments based on Votto’s performances. When a righty started and Moose wasn’t hurt, Moose usually played, and I don’t recall him hitting 8th or 9th very often. Pham hit #3, every game he played, no matter what had been happening. Suarez started and hit in the middle of the order despite being one of the lowest rated hitters in the league for months. And so on. Votto has earned more respect than all of those guys put together, so unless he asks to sit, I think Bell is sticking with exactly what he’s been doing. Votto will start at first or DH against almost all righties, and hit 6th most of the time. Maybe Bell will surprise me and adjust based on performance, but I’m not optimistic.

    • VaRedsFan

      Before last night, Friedl had 2 hits in 3 of his last 5 games. I wouldn’t call that struggling lately.

      • Jim Walker

        In the month prior to last night, Friedl’s seasonal OPS had dropped by a tad more than 10%. During that month his OPB/SLG/OPS line was .300/.341/.641. That is eye catching.

        However, in the last 5 games previous to Friday the same line for him has been .333/.550/.883. Hopefully, this is a sign of resurgence.

      • Redgoggles

        Friedl’s OPS the last 15 days is .522 and the last 7 days is .523 which would include the 2 hit games you mentioned. I’d call that struggling lately. The last 30 days is .551.

        Assuming it’s not injury related – and my eyes tell me he’s trying to hit for more power which is not his value to the team – maybe it’s worth giving Senzel or Benson a few more games a week?

  19. Tim

    As I mentioned in previous posts, I believe Bell has set up a lineup that he hopes gels by the playoffs. That lineup is basically designed to be parallel top and bottom halves with big sticks at the end of each half to create RBIs. The success of the lineup will be determined by getting base runners on at 1 and 2 and 6 and 7 with guys at 3 and 4 as well as 8 and 9 who can figure out how to bring them around. One other factor is to make sure the GIDP guys are not where they can stop them.

    If Votto doesn’t get back to form soon, he has to be removed from the everyday lineup. If EDLC doesn’t cut down on his K rate he needs to go to 6 or 7.

    India should never be at 3 because of GIDP.

    Now I will return to my real job where I actually know what I’m talking about.

  20. LarkinPhillips

    Saturday discussion topic: 1.what would a trade to get Hader and Snell loom like? 2. Would it be enough go make Reds have an actual chance at WS? 3. Would you personally make that trade?

    • Indy Red Man

      I think they’d atleast make it to the Braves in the playoffs with those 2. I’d take either or both, but both would probably cost too much.
      I’d always want to trade for someone that might possibly resign, but Snell will be 31 in December. He’s going to get atleast 4-5 years big money somewhere and thats both pricey and risky for a team like the Reds

      • Indy Red Man

        Hader will be 30 around next opening day next year. Now he might take a 3 year deal and be effective throughout, but can the Reds pay 2 closers? I think I’d rather spend my Votto $ on a big hitter or starter, but getting Hader as a rental would be huge in itself

    • west larry

      I would make that trade, if it didn’t require more than three of the reds prospects between # 25 – 50.

      • LarkinPhillips

        Would you do that trade as SD standpoint? No way I would if I were in their shoes.

    • MBS

      1) I don’t know, as good as both are they are still rentals. I’m guessing a few good A ball prospects would be an option, or 1 very good one and a couple of flyers.

      2) Probably not the WS, but NLCS seems like a real possibility. Who knows though, getting hot at the right time can go a long way.

      3) 100% if we can hang onto Marte, Phillips, and all of the recently promoted rookies. I wouldn’t gut the farm, but I would prune it back a bit for a chance at a real run.

      • LarkinPhillips

        Maybe an Acuna type prospect or two? I would make that trade from the Reds side. But I would guess they would want Arroyo for the trade plus an acuna type player. Not sure how I feel about Arroyo being moved for a rental.

    • old-school

      I think i would grab Lorenzen. He an AS and high character guy and good in the clubhouse. Tigers stink and arent interested in MLB ready guys so could probably get him for a high ceiling lower minors talent and minor league bullpen arm. Lorenzen might decide he wants to sign next year too.

      • LarkinPhillips

        Who would you propose there OS? I like the idea of Lorenzon as well.

      • old-school

        Id be ok with one of the young SS in the low minors and a bullpen arm. maybe Ricardo cabrera or Victor Acosta and Joe Boyle or Karcher. I’m not trading any good SP prospects or top position prospects for a rental. The Giolito trade was concerning though as was what Krall got last year at the deadline so Im not overpaying for a 2month+ rental.

        Reds SP prospects with petty,Phillips,Richardson have had phenomenal years. Krall has said that is the #1 organization priority in the minors and its working and he wont trade elite SP prospect capital nor will he trade the likes of Marte/Arroyo/Stewart/Collier or any of the just graduated to mlb guys-CES./

  21. LT

    No, I would not make the trade. The Reds hitting is not good enough to make WS, imo. Now if we trade for Hader and Soto, I would do it.

    • Rob

      We are not talented enough to expect to be a serious WS candidate. But I don’t know that matters. The Phillies were a third place 87 win team last year and made it to the WS. To me the objective is to win the Division , play at home, get some playoff experience, and maybe even win a few games. A WS trip would just be icing on the cak of a magical season. I believe we are a good team but lacking a couple solid pitchers to feel confident about getting in.

  22. old-school

    McLain is now the Reds best position player. What a rookie season this young man is having. He hits for avg. gets on base, has some pop, good speed and plays a premium position well. Hes on pace for 4 WAR+.

    India has retreated to a league average player after a great first 75 games and Friedl has struggled in July after a great first few months.

    Steer is having a great season hitting. His plate discipline for a rookie is refreshing and he hits the ball hard.

    Fraley leads the team in homers/RBI’s and Steals and should easily eclipse 20/20 and maybe 25/25. When’s the last time the Reds had a guy lead the team in HR/RBI and steals? Barry Larkin 1996 did it.

    Benson has had a great 6 weeks. Elly needs to cut his K rate down but is really good at 3b and should improve with more seasoning.

    Stephenson has had an off year.
    Votto OPS is .580 something against lefties and cant play defense. OPS against righties is still respectable.

    Need to see CES more at first base. Sample size too small. Fix that Bell.

    • TJ

      I say no to Lorenzen. He’s just too inconsistent in my opinion.

      • Indy Red Man

        Cheaper alternative to replace Weaver and he’s got experience in the pen. He’s got better stuff then Lively as well.

    • Jim Walker

      EDLC is the straw that stirs the drink but MMcL is the “juice” that powers it. 😉

      • TR

        You are right on regarding McLain. The epitome of a young solid ballplayer. This big series is in his backyard, where he grew up.

  23. Mark A Verticchio

    Saw the line up for tonight, no Benson but Bell continues to bat India 5 and Votto 6. Steer 7 and Strand 8th, that is not the best line up construction on Bell’s watch. To me that along with wearing out his bull pen are two areas where he needs to improve over the rest of this year and the next three.

    • J

      It’s just mind boggling to me that they’d offer him three more years without at least asking that he rethink his lineups a bit. It’s hard to imagine anyone on earth thinks this is the best possible lineup the Reds can field in this game. I don’t even think Bell believes it.

  24. old-school

    Votto playing 1b and hitting 6th again. Benson sitting. Im ok with him hitting against a righty but his defense at 1b is atrocious. Im ok throwing him starts at first base some….but the everyday first baseman??? Uggh.Steer hitting behind Votto in the 7 hole? Gimme a break. Steer is a top 4 hitter on this team. Maybe a top 3 guy.

  25. Jim Walker

    AAA Bats lineup has posted. Barrero, Marte, and Robinson are playing. Fairchild isn’t playing; but, to my recollection, he has started or appeared in a Saturday game only once, July 8, since being sent to Louisville. So, nothing out of the recent ordinary seems to be afoot.

    • J

      The trade deadline is still more than five seconds away. The Reds can’t act yet.

      • Jim Walker

        Yeah, I am trying the ol’ reverse jinx to hopefully help Stu get out of purgatory one way or another 😉

  26. Indy Red Man

    Benson was just off last Sunday and I didn’t know platoon guys were part of this time off schedule to begin with? Freidl is the one having a horrible July. Good news is their pitcher has a 12 era in July with 12 walks in 12 innings. We might be able to keep pace with Weavers merry go round action.

    • J

      Might be a good game to lead off with a speedy lefty who always tries to draw walks. If only the Reds had a guy like that.

      • Jason Franklin

        You’re preaching to the choir here. Could you imagine if Benson led off? How about this:

      • J

        I like it better than the one Bell picked. Mine would probably be something like:


        Votto could sit next to me on the bench and offer advice, or perhaps play for India and I’d adjust the lineup a bit.

    • Jim Walker

      They wouldn’t be fixing to do something totally crazy like selling high on Benson to cut (eliminate) the prospect capital cost in a deal for top line pitching I hope.

      • Old-school

        No…this is Votto always gets vet favorite treatment

      • Longtimefan

        I wonder how long it’s going to take the rest of the league to catch on to the Brewers success rate against the Reds. Breaking balls and off speed pitches are the young Reds cryptonite. I don’t know why anyone would ever throw EDLC a fastball. Keep throwing him breaking balls. You don’t even have to throw it for strikes for him to flail away at it and most of the young guns are pretty similar. The Dodger pitcher last night came out throwing 100+ mph fastballs and the Reds quickly scored 3 runs. The next 4 innings he started throwing breaking balls and we didn’t touch him. Our hitters are very susceptible to slow stuff and eventually that’s all they are going to see. I’m really surprised that the Brewers are the only ones so far that have figured that out. If our guys don’t get better at hitting slow stuff it’s going to eventually lead to their demise. I’m hoping that our young guys are so talented that they will be able to quickly figure it out. Being unable to hitting the breaking ball has derailed hundreds of top prospects throughout baseball over the years.

  27. Jason Franklin

    More I think about it, I feel that the Reds actually could be improved by having a thumper in that lineup. I mean, not an EDLC, but a veteran power smashing guy. What would it cost? Who would lose time? Maybe Krall is looking down this road too?

    • Votto4life

      I agree Jason, although I was ridicule for stating as much the other day because apparently if you want the Reds to add some offense people automatically think you are referring to another Mike Moustakas. Some folks learn all the wrong lessons in life.

      • J

        I think you’re referencing my sarcastic quip, which was intended to point out that Krall doesn’t exactly have a strong record when it comes to signing established major league hitters (Moose and Myers were the two examples I offered), and the team’s bigger need is pitching, so it makes little sense to give anything up to acquire more hitters. Some folks just can’t deal with sarcasm very well.

      • Votto4life

        @J. I thought Dick Williams signed Moose, but maybe I am wrong. Regardless, if your response was just a sarcastic quip about Nick Krall, then I misread it and I apologize.

    • Tim

      They should be getting a LH first base that hits like a 1B should for the future

  28. LT

    Braves up 3-0 first inning. We are already winning before even taking the field 🙂

  29. Hanawi

    India apparently scratched with left heel pain. Senzel to LF. C Trent said Steer to 3B and Elly to 2nd but that would be very strange.

    • Hanawi

      Nevermind, he got it wrong. Elly to SS and McLain to 2b

      • Jim Walker

        This further clouds where is Benson though.

      • J

        It would sure stink if Benson has been traded, but my guess is that Bell has decided he “needs” a day off, and once Bell decides something like that, he rarely changes his mind.

      • Jim Walker

        I would more think Benson himself is also dinged or not feeling well.

        The Braves early lead in Atlanta may have encouraged the India scratch; and, given the opportunity, Senzel may be a showcasing appearance. Boras’ assessment of Senzel in the Enquirer today left the definite impression he was shopping him.

  30. steve-o

    Can anyone tell me when, if ever, a visiting team hit for the cycle on just four hits, in the first inning at Dodger Stadium?