Chicago took the afternoon game in today’s doubleheader by a score of 6-2 (read about it here). That put the Cubs four games up on Cincinnati in both the division and the wild card standings. Tonight the Reds will try to get that game back in the night half of the set of games. First pitch is set for 6:40pm ET.

Starting Lineups

Chicago Cubs

Cincinnati Reds

Mike Tauchman – CF Jake Fraley – DH
Nico Hoerner – 2B TJ Friedl – CF
Ian Happ – LF Spencer Steer – 2B
Cody Bellinger – 1B Elly De La Cruz – SS
Dansby Swanson – SS Nick Martini – LF
Seiya Suzuki – RF Christian Encarnacion-Strand – 1B
Jeimer Candelario – 3B Will Benson – RF
Yan Gomes – C Noelvi Marte – 3B
Christopher Morel – DH Luke Maile – C
Jose Cuas – RHP Lyon Richardson – RHP

Starting Pitchers

Lyon Richardson 7.1 8.59 1.91 6 5
Jose Cuas 53.2 3.69 1.57 32 59
Links: Lyon Richardson’s Stats | Jose Cuas’ Stats

Lyon Richardson

Pitching at four different levels this season, Richardson’s had experience facing all kinds of hitters in 2023. That makes his splits listed below far less useful, with a bulk of his time coming in Double-A (he has just 17.1 innings between AAA and MLB this year). With that said, he’s been much better against lefties than righties across all of the levels he’s been at this season.

Splits (MiLB & MLB)

RHH 143 30 8 0 3 14 53 .238 .322 .373
LHH 155 24 5 1 1 21 45 .181 .297 .256

Pitch Usage (AAA & MLB)

4-Seam 2-Seam Curve Slider Change
Velo 96.8 94.9 79.1 85.4 79.1
Usage 44% 5% 16% 4% 29%

Jose Cuas

Acquired at the trade deadline, Cuas has made 11 appearances for the Cubs since arriving and they’ve all come out of the bullpen. His ERA is 0.75 with Chicago in 12.0 innings, but he’s also walked 11 batters with just 7 strikeouts since joining the Cubs.

Left-handed hitters don’t do much hitting against Cuas, but they do walk a whole lot. Right-handed hitters have a high average, and they walk at a good rate, too. But righties – like lefties – aren’t hitting for much power against him. It likely doesn’t matter much because the most innings he’s pitched this season is two, and he’s done that twice.


RHH 142 36 6 1 3 16 28 .290 .373 .427
LHH 100 16 1 1 3 16 31 .203 .370 .354

Pitch Usage

4-seam 2-seam Change Slider
Velo 92.4 92.8 87.7 82.5
Usage 17% 50% 4% 29%

When and Where

  • Game time: 6:40pm ET
  • Where: Great American Ball Park
  • Watch: Bally Sports Ohio, (out of market)
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 82°, sunny, 0% chance of rain

News and Notes

Even more roster moves

Cincinnati made a bunch of roster moves prior to game one. They did the same thing prior to game two, activating Tejay Antone from the injured list, calling up Lyon Richardson (who is starting tonight) and Carson Spiers from the minor leagues, optioning TJ Hopkins to Triple-A,  designating Alan Busenitz for assignment, and placing Fernando Cruz and Ben Lively on the COVID-19 injured list. We covered all of that here if you want more details – particularly about Richardson, Antone, and Spiers’ time in the minors this season.


*Standings at the start of the day*

Team W L GB Playoff Odds
Brewers 74 59 0.0 96.8%
Cubs 71 62 3.0 75.0%
Reds 69 66 6.0 14.1%
Pirates 61 73 13.5 0.0%
Cardinals 58 76 16.5 0.0%
Playoff Odds via Fangraphs

145 Responses

  1. Old-school

    What else could go wrong?

    How bout a covid outbreak- now Greene lively and cruz.


  2. Melvin

    Fraley didn’t look to be limping to me in running to first in the opener. Hopefully it won’t hinder him and he’ll be okay.

    • Jim Walker

      At first blush, when I saw Fraley batting leadoff, I thought a previous Louisville lineup had been posted by accident because MLB rehab guys always bat 1st at AAA.

      • Jim Walker

        But if I really say it, the radio won’t play it
        Unless I lay it between the lines

        Didn’t realize Bell was old enough to be a Peter, Paul, and Mary fan. 😉

  3. Ted Alfred

    Anybody know how long they have to be out with the current Covid 19 rule?

    • Jim Walker

      One of the beat guys tweeted ahead of game one that Bell said Greene was out at least 7 days retro to yesterday (Thursday)

    • MK

      I think until they pass two CoVid tests

  4. MK

    Great insight by Larkin. Cubs success is from great starting pitching and offensively beating up on opponents. Go figure.

    • Melvin

      Now that we know that we can try it. 🙂

    • CI3J

      “Team is successful by doing things better than other teams. More at 11.”

  5. Jim Walker

    Does it count as striking out the side if you also walk 3 guys but still allow no runs in the inning?

  6. MK

    I would have flip flopped Friedl and Fraley in the order so Fraley does slow down TJ.

    • Pete

      TJ has lost the plot – I’d move him down to bat 9th. An auto out leading off isn’t optimal.

  7. Old-school

    Fraley with the sweet line drive swing

    Glad to have a professional hitter back

    • Ted Alfred

      Friedl is really in a rut. Swung at ball four that was a foot outside…. could have had a big first inning going.

      • J

        Friedl doesn’t like to walk. He liked to to it for a couple months, but then he found out how much fun it is to wear the cape, and he stopped walking.

    • Jim Walker

      If he could OPS even .750 vs LH pitching, I would agree with you. Votto’s career OPS vs LH pitching is still .850 despite the last several years. Versus RH pitching it is .954. That’s a professional hitter. Joe Morgan OPSed at .769 vs LH pitching and was a professional hitter; so, I don’t think my .750 bar is too high.

  8. Jim Walker

    Cubs going to bring in a lefty and Bell decide if he wants to play the game with his LH hitters facing LH pitching or RH hitters facing RH pitching.

    • CI3J

      It’s absolutely maddening how easily Bell can be manipulated by other managers. It’s like playing against the computer set to “easy” in a video game.

  9. J

    A single, steal, bunt, and fly ball scores a run. A single, strike out, and fly ball is a guy still standing on first base.

    Whether or not Fraley is capable of stealing a base, Friedl needs to bunt in that situation. He might reach, but at least he has a productive out. Sitting back and waiting for Friedl to suddenly remember how to hit isn’t a great strategy.

    • Melvin

      The way we’ve been scoring we should be playing for everyone single run possible one at a time. That includes bunting runners over, hit and runs etc.

  10. J

    Still not a whiff of urgency from this team. You’ve FINALLY got a leadoff runner on base, and your strategy is to just let the next three guys try to hit home runs.

    • Jim Walker

      I’ve seen a bunch of urgency from Richardson when the chips were down so far.

  11. J

    If you’re serious about winning, you can’t stick with Richardson.

  12. Old-school

    It seems like the league has adjusted to the Reds but the Reds havent adjusted. Hitters mostly overwhelmed since the AS break

    That said- we are seeing some sorting

    McLain Steer and Fraley are the reds best 3 hitters and its not close

    • J

      Benson has the team’s second highest OPS of all regular players. So, I would say it actually is close.

      • Beaufort Red

        Was the Benson we saw a month ago fool’s gold? He’s starting to look like the hitter that was sent down the beginning of the season.

      • J

        He’s slumping along with almost everyone else. Hard to know what to make of it.

      • Old-school

        I hope so.. I think sample size is starting to hit benson as it is Friedl

      • Pete

        Friedl statistics were off-the- chart quality from after All-Star break of 2022 to All-Star break 2023. That is one heck of a sample size you’re looking at over 450 plate appearances. I think we are looking under the wrong rock here.

        When just about everybody’s statistics start to crater, I’m looking for a common denominator.

      • Melvin

        I once heard a travel coach tell his players what to do after they asked him what should they do if they’re in a slump. He said, “Swing as hard as you can”….Boy was that dumb. Do you think he and David Bell are possibly cousins or something like that? 😉

  13. AMDG

    It is at least encouraging that the newly acquired dead weight is helping hold the bench in place.

    I figured they had to be good for something 😉

  14. Melvin

    Swing for a homer with two strikes with a man on second and have trouble scoring runs….. Of course.

    • J

      It would sure be nice if they would hire someone who could help the hitters learn how to hit.

    • JB

      Elly bunted in the first game to move Friedl over. I fainted for two innings.

      • Melvin

        Wouldn’t want to go through that again would you? lol Probably won’t have to. It’s really not about learning how to hit but more of philosophy of hitting and what you expect out of your hitters. David Bell expects very little of his players in all basic fundamentals of the game….but they like him. 😉 Just like kids visiting a grandparent who let’s them do anything they want. lol They like him/her.

  15. Jim Walker

    When you are hot you are hot. When you are not, you are not

  16. JB

    Just tuned in and Bellinger with the homer. Is this a recap of the first game? Rain delay?

    • Old-school


      Tucker barnhart Jim Day cooking demo soon

  17. JB

    Bellinger would look good in center next year for the Reds but that isn’t happening.

  18. J

    The Reds still haven’t quiiiiite learned the art of pitching around the one guy you shouldn’t be hanging breaking balls right down the middle. The baseball IQ on this team is practically zero.

    • JB

      And it’s with every team. Every team has a Red killer and they toss it in to them.

    • Melvin

      It DOES seem like they let one player basically “kill” them every series.

  19. JB

    Ross is a genius. Starts a righty and then immediately brings in a lefty. Like taking candy from a baby. Would have loved to seen Bells face.

  20. JB

    Friedl says “Hey Bell I can hit lefties. Stick it”

    • Pete

      A blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then. I wouldn’t get too excited about this.

      If the Reds hitting instructor is no help to these guys, they need to venture off on their own for their career’s sake.

      • JB

        I believe Friedl is hitting over 312 against lefties. I’ll take a few more blind squirrels.

      • Pete

        Can’t breakdown by handedness pre and post All-Star Break but overall:

        Pre: 304/380/458, wRC+ = 124
        Post: 216/254/365. wRC+ = 59

        The former is near All-Star level, the latter will get your ticket punched to Louisville. Blake Dunn is eyeing the man’s job and TJ is leaving him an opening.

      • JB

        Yep let’s bring up AA player. Let’s see if he can get a few at bats in AAA first before he comes up .

      • Pete

        Of course but he is coming for it and he is moving fast – just saying it wouldn’t hurt if TJ started to pick it up a little…. If not Dunn, it will be someone. Friedl has worked his rearend off to get here, do what is necessary to save it even if it means going to Driveline or the like.

  21. RedAlert

    Elly needs to be hitting no higher than 8th in this order … automatic out – ZERO plate
    discipline , ZERO knowledge of strike zone … up there guessing at pitches … he is killling this team batting in the top of this lineup, and Bell sits there like a statue and continues to let it happen

    • Beaufort Red

      Careful. I criticized EDLC and was called out be someone for being to harsh. I was told “he’s only 21, what were you doing when you were 21”? I foolishly said maybe he should play right because he had the arm for the throw to third. I said a lot of the great ones played right, Clemente, Betts, Parker, Acuna etc. Boy was I wrong. Oh Acuna at 21 , 111 games OPS 917 .293 26 HR. My apologies Mr Acuna

    • Melvin

      He would do well to be a little more patient for sure. Rarely have I seen him get ahead in the count. He pretty much swings at whatever the first pitch is. He’ll learn but it’s painful to watch right now.

    • Ted Alfred

      Sorry…he will not hit lower than 4th no matter how bad he hits with Bell as the manager. His K% could be 50….it would not matter.

  22. J

    That’s twice Steer has hit deep fly balls that could have scored a run if the Reds had stolen a base. Didn’t the team used to try to steal sometimes? Wasn’t it supposedly this team’s “identity”?

  23. Old-school

    Marte incredible defensive play

  24. JB

    I’ll tell you what, Marte this last week , had shown he can play third.

  25. LT

    How can you win if your clean up hitter strike out so much? Elly continues to find himself in 0-2 count, how not improved much.

  26. Pete

    Marte has some serious skills at third base. Obviously, he is very inconsistent at this point but with enough time and development, he could win a gold glove.

    My biggest concern is David Bells deer in the headlight routine is going to squander heck of a lot of talent the Reds have going through the system. They are doing very well with development down on the farm system, but holy cow once they get up to the show it seems to go south quickly.

    • Ted Alfred

      Agree about Marte…he is getting better and better as he is playing more.

      Get rid of Bell or waste the best window the Reds have had to win in a long time. There is no other way to not ruin what they are trying to build.

  27. Old-school

    Fraley friedl benson all quality AB against the lefty Smiley

    • JB

      Yeah and the next time the Reds see a lefty, they will be on the bench. Smh

  28. BuzzKutter

    What happened to someone, anyone being able to hit a ball out of this park? It’s not like I am seeing a lot of contact swings.

  29. J

    It’s amazing what a walk and a stolen base can do. Maybe someday the Reds will try to do some of that.

  30. Ted Alfred

    I would have left Richardson in, he was only at 90 pitches and he was still throwing the ball well. The 2 out walk three of the balls were really good pitches that were just a couple of inches off the plate…oh well

    • J

      I would have suggested to Moll that he throw to first at least once. It wasn’t too shocking that they were thinking about a steal, because they’re actually somewhat strategic.

  31. Redgoggles

    I remember earlier in the year when losing by 3 in the 6th, I still liked our chances.

    What the heck happened?

    • BuzzKutter

      Nobody looks even semi comfortable at the plate. Take pitches right down the middle and swing at anything off the plate.

  32. RedAlert

    Putrid offense continues … it’s simply
    amazing how these dudes hack away at pitches out of the zone.

    Sadak and Larkin are AWFUL to listen to

  33. BuzzKutter

    This is getting sickening to watch. Nobody even looks like a tough out. Usually you can look at the lineup and hope when so and so gets up we may get something going. Right now it doesn’t even matter where we are at in the lineup.

    I have no confidence in anyone.

  34. Old-school

    Not looking good on the playoff chase…but Noelvi marte has been outstanding at 3b

  35. J

    And there’s the obligatory walk. A couple batters late, but I assume he’ll score anyway.

  36. J

    The contrast between these two teams is amazing. One team is actively seeking walks, and stealing every opportunity they get. The other team has one guy who has any interest whatsoever in walks, and has done nothing in three situations where stealing would have made sense.

  37. Beaufort Red

    Sadak said it was a good AB by Friedl. He STRUCK OUT! What am I missing?

    • BuzzKutter

      He didn’t strike out on 3 pitches!

      • Beaufort Red

        Well, we’ve sunk that low. We get kudos for foul balls.

  38. RedAlert

    Can’t win at home … unbelievable how
    mediocre they play at home …. Can’t win at home don’t deserve to advance to playoffs . Most of these guys are totally lost at the plate .

    • BuzzKutter

      They are facing a string of absolute lockdown pitchers. Bell will say that all these guys are unhittable.

    • Ted Alfred

      Be interesting to see what happens to the attendance the rest of this year and the beginning of next year if this is the path they stay on. And I wonder if Red’s ownership will attribute any of this nosedive on the field and at the gate to Bell

  39. J

    Watching this team hit is like watching the winning lottery numbers being revealed. I know what’s 99.999999% likely to happen every time, but I still might tune in to watch — just in case.

  40. Moon

    It is beginning to look like one run is going to it for the pillow brigade.

    • RedAlert

      11 whiffs and counting from THIS group of Cubs pitchers …. Insane …. SWING THE FREAKING BATS !

      • Moon

        You know, the pitching has not been too bad. But the hitting is just horribly pathetic. They have done exactly what the Pirates did. The Pirates were hot early in the year and then fell back to earth. The Reds got hot and shot to first place in the division only to follow the Pirates back down into the abyss of suckdom.

  41. RedAlert

    Players show zero sense of urgency …same as their manager

  42. JB

    Doesn’t anybody protect the plate with two strikes?

  43. RedAlert

    No consequences for these dudes … play continuously regardless if they strikeout 4 times a game or not ….. fear nothing from manager

  44. old-school

    Glad to see a professional hitter get 3 hits…. Jake Fraley welcome back.

  45. BuzzKutter

    Come on Spencer that didn’t even make it to the plate.

  46. RedAlert

    Can’t win ballgames averaging double digit strikeouts a game …. Atrocious plate
    approaches and it never seems to change ….

  47. Protime

    Pathetic! Absolutely no game discipline. Bell’s extension signing was the beginning of the end. The hitting coach had been MIA. No fire in the belly, unemotional uninspiring. Bell needs to out there and stir things up, get thrown out of the game on a close call. Nothing else I’d working.

  48. RedAlert

    Reds can’t get a break this game either …. everything going against them … cheap hits by Cubs finding holes

  49. Roger Garrett

    I said it several weeks ago that it would be the lack of hitting that would be the problem and it is.Sure injuries hurt but the book on how to get these young guys was shared to ALL by Corbin Burnes and its still the same.Reds don’t or won’t or can’t even help themselves by putting balls in play.Would could argue after a long road trip and with a day off and two new guys to help on offense they would have came out ready to go and well they have been bad.Nothing else to say if you can’t score you have no chance and 3 runs in a doubleheader at home while still in the play off race is just awful.Growing pains I guess.

  50. Redsgettingbetter

    Another golden sombrero to EDLC…

    • TR

      It seems like homerun or nothing, with the major league reality, too many K’s. I hope he can learn to meet the ball, and use his incredible speed on the bases.

  51. old-school

    The straw that stirs that drink.

    NIck Martini!!!

    • Protime

      That’s and old Reggie Jackson line when he played for the Yankees.

  52. Melvin

    It would be nice to see a little fire in these guys.

  53. BuzzKutter

    A walk off would go a long way right now for some much needed energy.

  54. LT

    I am at airport and ordered at martini after I see the HR. C’mon let’s complete the come back.

  55. LDS

    Will someone please explain to Bell that pulling hitters for runners in a tie game is probably not an optimal strategy

  56. LT

    Yea yes yes Marte. Reds win reds win reds win. That’s why I don’t give up on this team. They have grits.

    • Melvin

      You mean they eat a lot of smashed mushy corn? 😉

  57. Melvin

    Wow. They pulled that one out but barely. Good job Marte for the game winning hit.

  58. RedAlert

    Man that is such a big, big win !!! AWESOME !!!!

    How’s that feel Cubbies !!!!!

    • RedAlert

      This kid got a chance to be something special … great glove and dude hits the ball hard !

  59. Moon

    Reds continue to hang on by their fingernails…they need to pull their bars out of their collective mothballs and start scoring some more runs for the pitching staff.

  60. Protime

    Great comeback!!! Beat those Cubs…..

    • TR

      That took the smile off many of the Cubbies faces.

  61. Redsgettingbetter

    Marte! Keeps the Reds breathing… Come from behind win again… I think it is #42

  62. TJ

    Way to go David Bell!. Made all the right moves. Manager of the year. Grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat. Reds should extend the extension.

  63. LDS

    Amazing, Tinker Bell pulls it off thanks to the Cubs throwing error. I think it’s time to send EDLC back to Louisville for a tuneup. He’s been well under .200 for the last month with a SO rate approaching 40%. He’s too important to the Reds future to leaving him here flailing away.

    • Beaufort Red

      It needs to happen , but it won’t. Right now EDLC is a cheerleader who’s an automatic out with the 2nd highest strikeout rate in baseball since the All Star break. If that’s not mind numbing enough, Bell still has him batting third. Unbelievable

    • Moon

      I hate to admit I was thinking the same thing. He is really struggling and maybe he needs to go back to AAA and work on some things.

      • Melvin

        How bout a couple of days off then move him down in the order? Let him work back up a little at a time.

      • LDS

        Not enough @Melvin. He’s on the Aquino trajectory. Bell & company are either clueless to fix it or responsible for it.

  64. BuzzKutter

    Really nice win. What did someone say earlier? What can a single and stolen base do for you? Well it can win you a game. Great for Marte, but CES with the hot and Stuart with the steal.

  65. LT

    Hang in there folks, it’s going to be a bumpy ride in September. Martini and Fraley really give this line up some punch. The Rooks need to step up more, yeah, you Elly and ECS, and Benson, and Marte.

  66. Doc

    Maybe people should bad mouth individual players more often. Bunches calling for Marte to be sent down (small sample size apparently doesn’t apply except to Votto, for whom no sample size was big enough) and who has three hits and two rbis, including a game winner in the DH!

    70 wins and counting. All who had the Reds at under 70 wins can sit down; you were wrong!

    • J

      There seemed to be a lot of “CES needs to be sent down” stuff right before his 4-hit game, and tonight he had two more hits. Plus, a lot of people went bananas when Martini got his first start and hit fifth. Maybe there really is something to the bad mouthing theory.

  67. J

    That was exciting! And now I’m considering restarting the Ian Gibaut Fan Club.

  68. West Larry

    I am usually a critic of Bell. But I’ve got to give him credit for keeping his left-handed line up when the Cubs pulled their right-handed pitcher after 10 pitches and replacing with a lefty. Bell keeping that lefty line up in paid off twice. The first time when Freley and Fredl teamed up to score early, and by leaving lefties in the whole allowed Martini tie it in the ninth.

    • J

      Well, yes and no. Bell has NEVER pinch hit early in a game as far as I can recall, so it wasn’t like he actually made a decision. I suspect he never even considered pinch hitting for any of those guys for even one second. In this case it was probably a good decision, but in other circumstances his “it’s too early to pinch hit” theory has undoubtedly cost the Reds some runs.

    • Melvin

      Well it’s not like he can empty his bench very early in the game. That’s one of the dangers of “stacking” a lineup.

  69. Protime

    Finally, Bell didn’t screw this one up…..