After taking the series in dramatic fashion over the Washington Nationals to start the year, the Cincinnati Reds hit the road for the first time today as they begin a series against the Philadelphia Phillies. It’s supposed to rain much of the afternoon in Philadelphia, but clear up a few hours before the scheduled first pitch at 6:40pm ET.

Starting Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

Philadelphia Phillies

Jonathan India – DH Kyle Schwarber – DH
Spencer Steer – LF Trea Turner – SS
Christian Encarnacion-Strand – 1B Bryce Harper – 1B
Jeimer Candelario -3B J.T. Realmuto – C
Santiago Espinal – 2B Alec Bohm – 3B
Elly De La Cruz – SS Nick Castellanos – RF
Stuart Fairchild – CF Bryson Stott – 2B
Luke Maile – C Whit Merrifield – LF
Will Benson – RF Brandon Marsh – CF
Andrew Abbott – LHP Cristopher Sanchez – LHP

Starting Pitchers

Stats are from 2023.

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB% K%
Cristopher Sanchez 99.1 3.44 1.05 4.0% 24.2%
Andrew Abbott 109.1 3.87 1.32 9.6% 26.1%
Links: Andrew Abbott’s Stats | Cristopher Sanchez’s Stats

Andrew Abbott

There were two pretty big splits last season for Andrew Abbott. The first was that he was dominant against left-handed hitters. He held them to a .495 OPS and gave up just three extra-base hits to them in 20 games and 85 plate appearances. Righties performed better, putting up an .800 OPS against him while walking more than twice as often and making more (but not tons of) contact.

Despite pitching his home games at Great American Ball Park, Abbott was much better at home. With that said, it was more of a fact of the matter that his BABIP was nearly twice as high on the road – .399(!) to .207. On the road he had nearly identical walk and strikeout rates, and he allowed six fewer home runs while having just five fewer batters faced on the road as at home. But that BABIP difference led to an OPS different of 179 points.

2023 Splits

Split PA H 2B 3B HR BB% K% AVG OBP SLG
RHH 374 85 23 1 14 10.7% 24.6% .259 .337 .463
LHH 85 15 1 0 2 4.7% 32.9% .185 .224 .272

Pitch Usage

4-Seam Curve Slider Change
Velo 92.8 80.7 82.6 86.5
Usage 50% 15% 18% 16%

Cristopher Sanchez

There are pretty big splits for Sanchez. As a lefty, he is dominant against left-handed hitters. Teams don’t send many lefties out to face him, but the ones who do get that chance probably shouldn’t. Last season they put up a .401 OPS against him. Right-handed hitters were solid against Sanchez, posting a .765 OPS against him. They don’t walk much at all, but show good power and hit .260. He threw nearly three times as many innings at home as he did on the road in 2023, so there’s a sample size issue here but his ERA was nearly twice as high at home (3.93) as it was on the road (2.08).

2023 Splits

Split PA H 2B 3B HR BB% K% AVG OBP SLG
RHH 316 78 17 1 15 3.5% 21.8% .260 .292 .473
LHH 80 10 1 1 1 6.3% 33.4% .133 .188 .213

Pitch Usage

Sanchez didn’t throw a cutter in the past, but this spring he showed one off in his one game that had pitch tracking, throwing it 15% of the time. His velocity was also up nearly 2 MPH in that game back in late February.

4-seam Slider Change
Velo 92.2 83.1 82.1
Usage 51% 11% 26%

When and Where

  • Game time: 6:40pm ET
  • Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
  • Watch: Bally Sports Ohio, MLB.tv
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 51°, cloudy, 5% chance of rain

News and Notes

Sam Moll’s rehab

Things haven’t exactly gone well for Sam Moll while on his rehab assignment (shoulder impingement) with the Triple-A Louisville Bats. He pitched in two of the three games that the Bats have played since their season started on Friday night. The first time out he allowed two runs on three hits in an inning of work. On Sunday he allowed another run on two hits in an inning of work. His velocity is down by quite a bit. He’s averaged 91.0 MPH on his fastball through the two appearances. Last season he averaged 93.9 MPH on his fastball. There’s a reason he’s rehabbing, but being down nearly 3 MPH isn’t a great thing to see.

Division Standings

Team W L GB
Pittsburgh 4 0
Milwaukee 3 0 0.5
Cincinnati 2 1 1.5
Chicago 1 2 2.5
St. Louis 1 3 3.0

230 Responses

  1. Randy in Chatt

    I guess Bryce Harper’s cartwheel flip into the camera well yesterday didn’t effect him one bit.

  2. AllTheHype

    Important start for Abbott. Lodolo is going to push someone out of the rotation soon. Abbott was the last spot given out of ST, presumably because he got hit around some in the second half of the year last year.

    Personally, I am not sure on Abbott’s long term effectiveness as a starter, although there is value in innings eater types. But I think that is what he’ll become longer term….. a 4.30 ERA innings eater guy.

    • Optimist

      Psst – league average ERA in 2023 was 4.62.

      • AllTheHype

        4.45 ERA was LA for starters last year, so I think his worth if things go right is roughly LA. But there is risk with Abbott that things will not go as well as hoped.

    • DaveCT

      In the Reds’ world of LHP, so much rests on Nick Lodolo. If he can get to 25 or more starts over the next few years of team control. it’s be an enormous boost to the starting staff. That he’s pitched over 100 innings just twice in three college and three pro seasons is the concern.

      Since becoming a starter in his final year of school (2021), Abbott has made 22, 24, and a whopping 31 starts. One, it’s no wonder he wore down, but he also takes the ball every five days and gives you innings (as you point out). I don’t think Abbott has ever really profiled as any more than a no. 3/4 starter, though after watching him several times last year dissecting the competition as he rose through the system gives me confidence he can be very successful. And it’s not like it isn’t great to develop a no. 3/4 guy out of a second round pick that had been starting exactly one season.

      • AllTheHype

        I agree with everything you said….and particularly just getting a (so far) viable ML starter out of a 2nd round pick is a big win for the organization.

        We’ll see. Part of the second half probably was fatigue. But I do remember some a couple starts early in the second half where it seemed the league was adjusting to him as well. Upper outside quadrant nibbles to RHBs were either taken to get ahead (which forced him in the zone) or slapped to RF. And he didn’t really have an answer when he was forced in the zone. The result was he had to work a lot harder and throw a lot more pitches to get outs. And of course, he got hit around some. I think this was just the league adjusting to him, and I expect that to continue.

        The league is smart and as they adjust, he’ll need to as well.

        I’m rooting for the kid. Love his work ethic and mentality.

  3. DaveCT

    Looks like Andrew Abbott drew the short stick to start against the Phils and not the Nats. That’s quite a dangerous lineup.

    That said, Abbott is such a competitor he’s not exactly going to back down. This will be a great early test for him. And I’d like to think Montas, Greene, Martinez and Ashcraft will be in his corner big time.

  4. Old-school

    Abbott’s decline in performance late 2023 coincided directly with him blowing past any prior innings totals by over 30+ innings. That would suggest fatigue/ tired arm contributed to his decline. He trained in Texas over the Winter with Tejay Antone to build endurance and to better handle the marathon nature of 30 starts.

    See how he does. I like how he attacks the strike zone. Tall task in Philly.

  5. CI3J

    Abbott was clearly running on fumes as the season wound down last year. Before that, he was in the discussion for the Reds’ best starting pitcher. But sometime around August, he hit the wall (plus I think his innings were being managed anyway) and could no longer go deep into games.

    After August 1st, he only had one start where he lasted 6 innings or more, whereas in June and July, he had 8 such starts.

    I really hope Abbott can take another step forward this year. People seem to forget just how good he was until he hit that wall.

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    Viewing the Philly lineup we can notice the difference to the Nationals one is abysmal. Really good talented & experienced team. The Reds should play great baseball if they want to win at least one game out of three.
    The Moll’s velo down is concerning. I think 3 MPH less than last year is so bad maybe an injury is hurting there…
    The weather forecast in Philadelphia for tuesday and wednesday is really brutal. If there would be a chance to play a game is really a miracle…

  7. Tom Mitsoff

    Telecast has lost the audio from the stadium.

  8. Melvin

    Can’t believe India made it on that one. Not so sure.

  9. LarkinPhillips

    Why did India not slide there? Makes no sense at all not to slide into home.

      • LarkinPhillips

        Bonehead to push it there in general. Really bonehead not to slide. A good slide he is probably safe still.

  10. Ted Alfred

    How in the heck is india not sliding there when he would have been easily safe… are you kidding me?

    • bug

      I heard that!!! No excuse for that kind of incompetence. That’s on India and CES. If they are going to continue to do that kind of thing, their efforts to compete this year are futile.

      • Jim Walker

        Also the 3B coach *if* he sent him or did not yell whatever they yell for a guy to break and hold. It was a terrible risk with the fly out being medium depth and only the 1st out of the inning.

    • doofus

      But India is a great clubhouse leader… who is a bonehead on the bases. Inexcusable.

      • doofus

        Is India afraid of sliding because he might aggravate his plantar fasciitis?

      • VaRedsFan

        Slide head first if it is bothering him

  11. Bet on Red

    like the agreesiveness but he should of slid

  12. Jim t

    On deck hitter should be yellow and waving for him to slide.

    • doofus

      India knew it was shallow. This is not on on deck hitter.

    • VaRedsFan

      Shallow or not. CES still has to tell him.

  13. Reddawg2012

    Triple and single in the same inning and 0 runs to show for it. I’m sure that won’t come back to haunt the Reds.

  14. Roger Garrett

    Now that we have that inning out of the way lets right the ship,get out heads in the game and play ball.GO REDS

  15. Ronnie

    Abbott scares me this year. Kid has great stuff but seems like he got hit around once teams had film on him.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      He looked good after he got through the first two batters. High pitch count, though. It will likely be another bullpen-heavy game.

      • Ronnie

        I don’t worry about his pitch counts. Kid is pretty accurate. Greene is the one with the horrible pitch counts. Always averaging 20 pitch innings.

  16. LarkinPhillips

    19 hopper down first base to score those runs. Nice pitch by Abbott and terrible result for a 2 run double.

  17. Melvin

    Is it just me or does Espinal resemble Barrero?

  18. Erik the Red

    This Phillies team from an offensive standpoint looks to be like the real deal. Not sure Abbott will last more than 4 innings.

  19. DHud

    ya know, abbott threw some really good looking pitches that inning. walked one which will always hurt, but kudos to phillies for putting the bat on the ball and using the steal to get another runner in scoring position

  20. Mauired

    Nice hit for Elly from the right side. Love the effort to add bunting into the mix. Such a big part of Friedl’s game. It’s really a great tool to have for speedy players to get some extra hits especially while in slumps at the plate.

  21. Jason T.

    Nice back to back singles by Elly and Stu.
    Like the aggressiveness.

  22. Roger Garrett

    Guess we don’t have a bad inning out of the way

  23. RedsGettingBetter

    Typical frustrating game so far. Reds hitting and get on base but don’t score.

    • greenmtred

      They’ve won two out of three and averaged almost seven runs a game so far. But this one is frustrating for now.

  24. doofus

    Need to find a center fielder. Wrist injuries are difficult to come back from within a season.

  25. VaRedsFan

    Teams are running at will on the Reds.

  26. Mark A Verticchio

    Sometimes an inning like the top of the first can set up the entire game. The Reds need to move on from a bad mistake by 3 people, 3rd base coach, India and CES.

  27. GreatRedLegsFan

    Looks like a CES demotion is in the horizon.

    • AllTheHype

      day after walk off, tough crowd.

      • Melvin

        He’s only got one hit tonight. What a bum? 😉

  28. Reddawg2012

    The Phillies have thumpers up and down their lineup. Meanwhile, hitting fifth for the Reds, Santiago Espinal.

    • greenmtred

      And yet here the Reds are, out hitting the thumpers.

  29. Melvin

    From what I’ve seen so far I don’t see how Abbott can be taken out of the rotation.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Agreed. He essentially had a tough time getting into the groove for the first two batters, then a slow roller against an extreme infield shift did him in. Otherwise, he looks like at his peak last year.

      • Melvin

        if Ashcraft pitches like he’s capable of it’s probably Martinez to the pen. He’s not bad either.

  30. Tom Mitsoff

    That changeup has the Reds batters completely off-balance.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Reminds me of watching Reds hitters trying to hit against Bruce Sutter and the “split-fingered fastball.” I never could understand why they time and time again swung at pitches that were way below the knees. Tonight looks just like that.

  31. Bet on Red

    this guy is throwing filthy pitches

    • Melvin

      Might have to pick him up on my fantasy team. lol

  32. RedsGettingBetter

    Reds didn’t capitalize in the first two innings and now Sanchez settled and turned into Steve Carlton on the mound

  33. doofus

    Abbott has put a few extra pounds on around the middle.

  34. VaRedsFan

    Which one of Fraley or Benson will emerge to hit lefties? Maybe give Bubba a spot start. With the other two as mid game substitution.

  35. AllTheHype

    India sees a lot of pitches when he’s the lead off batter. He just has a different approach, for the better. Willing to take the BB.

  36. Melvin

    Good AB by Steer. Hope I’m wrong but India didn’t look to be running too well around 2B.

    • VaRedsFan

      He never looks like he’s running well. Barefoot on broken glass. Hope it was just that he just new it was only going to be 2 bags to 3rd, so he trotted in easily.

  37. Ronnie

    Attaboy Steer. Kid is a pro. Gonna be great for years.

    • Daytonnati

      I love Elly and CES and McLain, but I think Steer is the guy to build around. Plays like a 10-year vet.

  38. VaRedsFan

    2 strike oppo-approach. Teammates need to copy.

  39. DHud

    is it just me or does india look painfully slow?

      • Melvin

        Yeah. Shouldn’t have been 0-2 to begin with. Bum. lol

    • DHud

      worse pitch execution. 0-2 on a guy swinging at anything all night and you throw a fastball middle-middle

  40. doofus

    Candelario signaled for India to slide. He did not.

  41. VaRedsFan

    Hoffman among a long list of pitchers that leave the Reds and find success.

    • JB

      Never understood why they let him go. He wasn’t a starter but found his groove in the pen. Can go multiple innings and can reach 97.

    • greenmtred

      I’m pretty sure he made a couple of other stops before he did find success.

  42. Mark A Verticchio

    I would have pinch hit for Fairchild, but Bell is the manager, like it or not.

  43. Dennis Westrick

    Ten (10) strikeouts by Reds batters through 6 innings! Looking a lot like last season!

  44. Michael B. Green

    And there it is. Abbott retires 11 of last 12 and Bell pulls him.

  45. Daytonnati

    I love Elly and CES and McLain, but I think Steer is the guy to build around. Plays like a 10-year vet.

  46. Melvin

    Abbott was still pitching well. Hope it doesn’t come back to bite us taking him out before 90 pitches. Maybe he was tired.

  47. Old-school

    Abbott strong start. Competes in the zone

  48. Michael B. Green

    Mark the time before the score changes.

  49. Indy Red Man

    Abbott went from 94 to 91 mph with 92 pitches. Some of RLN think its 1976 evidently where guys threw 126 pitches

    • Michael B. Green

      Velo and spin rate does not matter. Getting outs matters. Abbott was getting a ton of outs. No reason to pull him. Nothing wrong with throwing 110-125 pitches.

  50. MBS

    Nice outing by Mr Abbott. I’m very happy with what we’ve seen from our rotation so far this year.

    Let’s see if the pen can hold them to 2.

    • MBS

      I wouldn’t have guessed he could range that far, and the throw from that position leading the pitcher to 1B. Very Nice!

      • Tom Mitsoff

        It was interesting because the previous hitter Realmuto grounded one to CES’ left which it looked like he could have dived for and at least knocked down, but didn’t. But then he came right back with that sparkling play.

      • LarkinPhillips

        I thought the same thing Tom. I chalked it up to him still getting comfortable over there.

  51. Melvin

    Good play be CES. I don’t see the poor defense from his reputation.

  52. Old-school

    2 pretty good young lefties.
    Pretty entertaining baseball game

    Phillies are good

  53. GreatRedLegsFan

    He’d have run Thompson for CES and also have Espinal to sac bunt but, you know…

  54. GreatRedLegsFan

    Not easy to replace three gold-caliber gloves in MaClain, Friedl and Marte (and also some good bats), here wishing for the best.

  55. Ronnie

    Hope i am wrong but leadoff walks always score against us.

  56. Old-school

    CES playing a nice first base

    Good quick throw on the pickoff as noted by Chris welsh

  57. Brian Rutherford

    Nice inning by Wilson. That guy had me worried after spring training

  58. Michael B. Green

    Pitcher #4 is the one with the off outing tonight. Micro-managed yet again.

  59. Michael B. Green

    And here comes pitcher #5. Good lord…

  60. Melvin

    Oh boy. Diaz in. Here we go. Here’s hoping for the old Diaz tonight.

  61. Tom Mitsoff

    This use of Diaz is going to be veerrrry interesting. His biggest issue has been control, and he’s coming in with two on and one out.

  62. LarkinPhillips

    Why bring in Diaz here? Makes absolutely zero sense.

    • greenmtred

      I disagree: it’s not a save situation but there’s still some pressure in the situation. You can’t just stop using him until you’ve replaced him, and this is only his second appearance of the season, so it’s too early to give up on him.

      • Old-school

        I agree GMR. Reds need Diaz to be Diaz to win this game against an Elite Phillies team.

  63. Melvin

    Diaz still throwing 93/94. Thanks for the base running blunder Phillies. We’ll take the out.

    • LarkinPhillips

      That last slider was nice. Other two were pretty bad. No fastball control still. He was all over the place. Did hit 95 once.

  64. Old-school

    Diaz rebounds!! Awesome

    Phillies Tootblan

    Win this!

  65. RedsGettingBetter

    Brent Suter throwing a 85.7 MPH fastball in the middle? scaring

    • Tom Mitsoff

      He’s not a hard thrower. Changing speeds is his thing.

      • RedsGettingBetter

        Ok I know he isn’t a hard thrower but always locates better

  66. TJ

    Good job Diaz. Great move David Bell. Way to get Diaz done confidence

    • LarkinPhillips

      I wouldn’t. I’d let Diaz have a victory for the night and build confidence back up. But idk who I would pitch the 9th leading or not. Maybe Sims?

  67. Brian Rutherford

    Nice BP management by David Bell. Made sure to get Suter out of there and Diaz shuts the door. Nice job to all.

  68. JB WV

    That looks like the guy from most of last year. Slider breaking late and the fastball over the corner with a tail.

  69. RedlegScott

    Trot Diaz out there for the 9th? We shall see.

  70. GreatRedLegsFan

    Good game, sort of post-season feeling…

  71. LarkinPhillips

    Not scoring in first or second inning is looming large now…

  72. VaRedsFan

    Phillies RP’s throw some serious cheese with movement.

  73. MK

    Too bad they don’t let the relievers prepare by pitching multiple inning appearances in Spring Training.

  74. Old-school

    Diaz 14 pitches and 5 outs with the Tootblan.

    Kudos to Diaz for competing his tail off and bouncing back.

    Huge for the Reds bullpen

    • VaRedsFan

      Did we take stock of all the people that wanted to send him down after 1 inning?

  75. Harry Stoner

    That’s the Diaz we’ve come to know.
    Throwing strikes.

  76. LarkinPhillips

    Great inning by Diaz. Bell is a genius and I love crow with BBQ sauce. Let’s win this Reds!

    • bug

      Been watching Caitlin Clark take down Angel Reece. It was a good thing,..though I’m normally an SEC fan. Sounds like Diaz turned it around. No one is happier to eat crow than me,….if that is the case. I have it recorded, so I’ll check it out. In any event,..sounds like Steer had a big swing. I watched the first part and Abbott was GREAT!!! I love his grit and talent. Only bad for him, was luck. Go Reds!!! Nice win.

  77. doofus

    If only India would have exhibited some wisdom and slid in the 1st inning. This game would have been in the books.

  78. RedsGettingBetter

    Diaz looked better tonight but i don’t know if continues throwing his fastball between 92.2-93.3 is concerning

  79. doofus

    This ghost runner in extras does not belong in the major leagues. It is Manhattan bowing to the networks.

    • Melvin

      Know what you mean. Kind of saves the pitching though.

  80. JB

    Have they said who is up in the Reds pen?

  81. Melvin

    Taking till he throws a strike now.

  82. Mark Moore

    Finally home from our long weekend. Started watching during our dinner stop. Listened to the WLW feed and now back on the TV feed. Nice work by Diaz Let’s convert this in a big way and put the hurt on these guys to start the series.

    • Mark Moore

      And as I typed that, Steer SLAM to put us up by 4!!!

    • Melvin

      With Friedl hurt what do you think of that Steer guy JB?

  83. AllTheHype

    Steer is a professional hitter. Let me tell ya.

  84. Old-school

    C’mon RLN

    This is FUN

    They’ve played solid baseball since the 3rd inning across the board

  85. doofus

    I wrote “High 5 Mel” and it is awaiting moderation? To agree with someone is not allowed? What kind of algorithm is running this site?

    • Amarillo

      You probably typoed your email. “First posts” are always moderated.

    • Melvin

      Especially if you agree with me. hahaha

  86. JB

    Phillie Fans are going to run that guy out of town.

    • Melvin

      Must be “fun” to play in Phillie. lol

      • JB

        Well there’s always those cheese steaks to cure the blues.

      • Melvin

        The fans there seem so nice and forgiving. lol

      • doofus

        My sons are Phillie fans. They are not that bright.

      • TR

        Phillie fans are known as some of the most unforgiving in baseball. But, on the other hand, Philadelphia has some of the most beautiful suburbs in the country.

  87. Mark Moore

    Well, we won’t see Brogdon again this series. Too bad 😀

  88. Indy Red Man

    6+ in every game. It’s obvious that Bell is a genius))

  89. Harry Stoner

    Antone and not Cruz in the bottom?

    Bell taking another risk here.

    Would be great to see Antone nail it.

    He was a mess last time out.

  90. doofus

    Umpire has had a questionable strike zone all game.

    • Mark Moore

      Yeah … that was a good take by Elly on that last one. I say he got hosed.

  91. VaRedsFan

    Maybe Antone can have a bounceback effort like Diaz?

  92. Melvin

    Reds are promoting David Bell big time with all these commercials. 🙂

    • Tom Reeves

      They should. Look at how this team plays and never gives up!

      • Melvin

        Wins are all that matters to me. The best kind of team is one that wins a lot and doesn’t make you think about the manager very much. Hope that keeps up.

  93. AllTheHype

    It’s redemption night. First Alexis, now TJ.

  94. JB

    Hope somebody is up in the pen. Let’s not wait until it’s tied.

  95. Melvin

    Wow. That was a BAD call but we’ll take it. lol

  96. Indy Red Man

    Our whole pen is sub 96mph. We have to be the only team in the league with that distinction. Lucky call for Antone there

    • AllTheHype

      Sure seems that way. And other team’s pens are the oppo.

  97. Dennis Westrick

    And, of course, Antone has to walk the first batter he faces!

  98. Mark Moore

    No, it doesn’t “catch the black” … the black is off the plate and out of the zone. The movement and the way Steve-o framed it did the job. Plus, the chumpire is a little challenged.

  99. LarkinPhillips

    Tysteve seems to have taken a large step forward in receiving the ball and had a few nice throws yesterday as well. Hope this continues throughout the season.

  100. Mark Moore

    I shall celebrate tomorrow by grilling chicken and peppers … and maybe cracking on of my Innis & Gunn Rum Cask beers.

    • AllTheHype

      No Steer on that grill? Come on. Need to slam on of those down too.

  101. Harry Stoner

    Huge win.
    Antone shakey but a big step forward.
    Diaz on form.
    Steer showing no sign of ‘sophmore slump’.
    Thompson doing his thing.
    Bell’s lever pulling worked out this time.

    • Melvin

      Yeah. He did a lot of what I would have done tonight and won the game. He was a good manager. lol 😀

  102. LarkinPhillips

    Antone is such a feel good story. So happy for him. He still makes me very nervous though.

    • VaRedsFan

      His sinker looked good tonight….
      He was all breaking stuff the other day it seemed.

  103. Dennis Westrick

    Huge strikeout of Harper! And, a huge win for the Reds in their first road game!

    • Harry Stoner

      Harper did not look good in that AB.

  104. doofus

    Philly post-game SME’s are castigating Brogdon. I thought he pitched well.