The Cincinnati Reds saw Nick Lodolo and Matt McLain make their spring training debuts on Sunday afternoon. Technically it was also the debut for Jonathan India since the game he started on Friday was cancelled and none of the stats accumulated in the first 4.5 innings counted.

Game Recap: Reds 5 – Guardians 3

Nick Lodolo looked outstanding in his first start of the spring and the offense gave him an early 2-0 lead. The Reds offense added on to that with a big 3-run homer in the 4th and held on from there as the bullpen was able to walk the tight rope at the end.

The Highlights

Nick Lodolo made his spring debut and made easy work of Cleveland in the 1st. He got a soft liner to lead off the game and then back-to-back groundouts to sit the Guardians down in order.

Cincinnati wasted almost no time to get on the board as Jonathan India led off the bottom of the 1st with a solo home run. Elly De La Cruz followed up with a double and a stolen base before scoring on a groundout to first base that extended the Reds lead to 2-0.

Lodolo returned for the 2nd inning holding a lead and it was more of the same from the lefty. He got another line out to Elly De La Cruz, and then he racked up a strikeout and a pop up to end the inning and his outing for the day. Brent Suter took over for Cincinnati in the 3rd and he lost the no-hitter, giving up a leadoff single. But he was able to pick off the runner before getting a groundout and a flyout to keep the shutout going.

After Buck Farmer worked around two singles in the top of the 4th to keep Cleveland off of the board, Cincinnati’s offense went back to work. The Guardians new pitcher Joey Cantillo recorded two outs rather quickly, but then he walked Jeimer Candelario and Will Benson to extend the inning for Tyler Stephenson and he made him pay the price as he crushed a 3-run homer to put the Reds up 5-0. It was Stephenson’s third home run of the spring and he’s now homered in three straight games.

The game slowed down from there for a bit. Fernando Cruz, Tyler Gilbert, and Brooks Kriske all fired off shutout innings as the Reds held on to a 5-0 lead through the 7th inning.

Cleveland got rolling in the top of the 8th inning against Justin Bruihl. He allowed four singles and a walk, leading to two runs for the Guardians as they cut the deficit to three runs. Peyton Gray took over for Cincinnati in the top of the 9th and he also ran into a bit of trouble after allowing the first two batters of the inning to reach. But then he caught some good luck after a pitch ran in on Juan Brito, but the ball caught his bat as he bailed out of the way, and the ball rolled out to Gray who turned a double play as Brito never ran to first. An RBI double followed to make it 5-3, but that was all that Cleveland could muster as the Reds held on for their 8th win of the spring.

You can see the box score for the game here.

Nick Lodolo on his outing

Monday’s Game

There is no game on Monday as the Reds get the day off. Cincinnati returns to the field on Tuesday night in Goodyear against the Chicago White Sox. It’s going to be a late one, too, with first pitch set for 9:05pm ET.

18 Responses

  1. CI3J

    If Lodolo can actually stay healthy, it changes the complexion of the Reds’ entire pitching staff.

    A healthy Lodolo means Martinez is moved to the bullpen, which means a lesser arm gets bumped out. It makes the rotation and bullpen that much stronger.

    If the Reds can run out a rotation of


    for the majority of the season, they should be in a really good spot. Every single one of those pitchers, at their best, is no worse than a #2 pitcher in most rotations.

    • jon

      And then to have Williamson,Martinez and Phillips waiting in the wings instead of the nightmare replacements last year.

  2. Tom Noonan

    After seeing Martinez, I’m wondering if bell should think about him as a starter. Pretty impressive.

    • AllTheHype

      I think he was signed as a starter, paid as a starter, and he will start unless he falls flat in that role early in the season, or gets injured. Someone else will get bumped, but doubt it is him.

    • Doc

      He certainly has been more impressive than Abbott thus far this spring.

      • Tom Noonan

        Yes. That’s what I was thinking.

      • Jason Franklin

        Pretty sure Bell said that no roles were set yet and that Spring was to be a battle for the rotation. Unless he is lying, then Martinez should beat out Abbott for the rotation. Would Abbott be better sent to AAA to start the season until they need someone?

  3. Reddawgs2012

    This is just an emotional reaction after a meaningless spring training game…but it would be really cool to see India and Stephenson remerge as legitimate forces in this lineup. It would help fill the Marte void and might guard against potential sophomore slumps from some of the younger guys too.

    • AllTheHype

      Indeed, and there will be sophomore slumps. If I had to guess right now, I’d say Steer, Friedl, and Abbott could be prime candidates to struggle a bit this year. Just a hunch.

    • MBS

      @Red, Yes, and especially Stephenson. He was a legitimate middle of the order bat, and to get that out of a catcher is a big edge over teams. India was ROY, and quite good obviously, but the redundancy surrounding India is a lot better.

      • Melvin

        It wasn’t too long ago that Stephenson was by far our best all around hitter.

  4. Melvin

    Lodolo pitching at all much less pitching well was more than I expected after earlier reports. It’s a good thing. 🙂

    • 2020ball

      Goes to show assuming the worst isnt always the best way. He still has some stuff to prove to me but i see no reason yet to think he cant be an effective starter for us this year

      • Melvin

        I’d be more than happy for that to be the case.

  5. wkuchad

    Did India get much action in the outfield?

  6. Justin T

    This is great news. Its hard to not get excited about the possibility of Lodolo being healthy this year and showing what he can do. Love to see Tyler off to a great start too.