The Cincinnati Reds were on national television – or at least kind of – as the Apple TV+ Friday night exclusive game. Hunter Greene and Jose Quintana for the New York Mets were up to the task as they went toe-to-toe for six innings, allowing just one run each (Quintana exited after 5.2 innings). That’s when it became a battle of the bullpens, and on this night the Diaz brother who missed all of 2023 came out with the save for his club as the Mets grabbed a 3-2 win to open the weekend series.

Final R H E
New York Mets (2-5) 3 4 2
Cincinnati Reds (4-3)
2 7 1
W: Smith (1-0) L: Cruz (0-1) SV: Diaz (1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Reds didn’t waste time scoring their lone run off of Jose Quintana as Spencer Steer took a 2-seamer and hit it 390 feet into the left field seats to put the home team up 1-0. That’s where the game remained as Hunter Greene was cruising along until the 5th inning.

Greene would walk the leadoff batter and then give up a 1-out single to Harrison Bader. The next batter was hit by a pitch to load the bases as the young Reds righty put himself in trouble by loading the bases. Francisco Lindor made him pay for it as he hit the ball deep enough to center to make it easy for Tyrone Taylor to score on a sacrifice fly to tie the game up. In the 6th inning Greene returned and worked around a single for a shutout frame and end his day with seven strikeouts and just one walk over his 6.0 innings of work.

The Reds would threaten in the bottom of the inning when Santiago Espinal and Will Benson drew 2-out walks, and Espinal advanced to third base on a pickoff throw that had Jeff McNeil called for interference. The inning would come to an end when Luke Maile popped up to end the inning and strand both runners.

Cincinnati made a pitching change for the 7th, calling on Fernando Cruz to take over for Greene. The reliever struggled as he walked three batters in the inning before a fielders choice would plate the go-ahead run. The Reds would try to get something going again in the bottom of the inning after Jonathan India singled and moved to third on a 2-out double by Jeimer Candelario. The Reds would call on two pinch hitters while the Mets made a pitching change in between, leaving Tyler Stephenson at the plate where he would draw a walk to load the bases for Elly De La Cruz, but the Reds shortstop struck out to strand all three runners.

Jeff McNeil padded the Mets lead to 3-1 with a 2-out solo home run in the top of the 8th inning. An inning later the Reds were down to their final three outs against Edwin Diaz, but Jonathan India got some help from the former All-Star closer when he had an ‘excuse me’ check swing bunt back to Diaz, who had the ball clank off of his glove for an error as India reached safely. Spencer Steer followed up with a walk before he was pinch run for by Bubba Thompson.

That move paid off as Christian Encarnacion-Strand grounded the ball to shortstop, but Thompson beat Francisco Lindor the bag at second before Lindor threw out Encarancion-Strand at first. Jeimer Candelario then hit a sacrifice fly to bring the Reds within a run. A wild pitch would then move Bubba Thompson to third where he represented the tying run, but Jake Fraley struck out to end the game.

Key Moment of the Game

Jeff McNeil’s home run in the 8th inning which put the Mets up by two runs.

Notes Worth Noting

Elly De La Cruz extended his hitting streak to 12 games.

Jonathan India had three of the Reds seven hits on the night.

Spencer Steer homered and walked twice. He’s now hitting .423/.500/.808 to begin the season.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

New York Mets vs Cincinnati Reds

Saturday April 6th, 4:10pm ET

Luis Severino (0-1, 5.40 ERA) vs Nick Martinez (0-0, 5.40 ERA)

71 Responses

  1. Mark A Verticchio

    Just could not get the big hit tonight.

    • Jeffrey A Yocum

      Yea, very frustrating to waste a quality start. Bullpen has been very uneven. It’s early in the season & roles are still in flux. Expect to see Santillan pretty soon. Martinez may move to the pen when Lodolo returns. It’ll sort itself out, but it may take awhile.

      • MuddyCleats

        Good to read of Hunter being inspired by Montas. I was hoping he could have a positive effect on the young pitchers and it sounds like he has already helped Green which was needed. Too bad Reds didn’t grab a veteran LHP who could have been a mentor to the young southpaws, but maybe Montas and others will help bring them along as well. Also noted Hunter threw a couple of pretty good changeups which is encouraging. Good to see him pull things together and pitch deeper into the game!

  2. KevinIn

    Hoping for some help. We are coming to the game tomorrow on our way up north from spring break. Another site I was told to be there 2 hours before gates open. By my calculations we would have to be in line 3.5 hours before first pitch??

    I thought the bobblehead craze was abating a bit. Also, another question, we have left field seats and would love a chance to watch some batting practice. How long will it take to get the bobblehead through the gates? Will that cut into bp time?

    Any help would be appreciated!

    • Oldtimer

      Get there early and go to Reds HOF museum. I went on bobblehead day last year. Got there very early. Parked in city lot across the street for $20. Spent an hour or so in Reds HOF before going to my seat.

    • GMan88

      Something that really frustrates me about GABP is the foot traffic in the aisles because there are NO vendors. It will be bad on a night like tonight. I hope you don’t have an aisle close to your right in left field or you will be obstructed all night.

  3. DW

    Seems all too often when Hunter Greene pitches well the bats go silent.

  4. RedlegScott

    Every time I ask myself whether Candelario belongs in the clean-up spot with that below .200 average, he gets a hit. I’ll guess I’ll keep asking.

    • earmbrister

      JC warrants that question but you don’t question whether CES belongs in the 3 hole with a .161 average?

      Small sample size for both.

  5. Rednat

    First game this year where we really missed Friedl,McLain and Marte.

    Can we hang in there until these 3 make their way back to the lineup

    • CI3J

      It’s highly unlikely McLain will be back this year.

      • Rednat

        That worries me. Do we have enough offense?

      • greenmtred

        The Reds are averaging over five runs per game. Prior to last night, the average was a little under six. The game was frustrating, but some of it was just bad luck: hard hit balls finding gloves.

    • Rob

      I really anticipate, that with the injuries, that we will see the exact opposite at the trade deadline. Hanging in there is vague. But if we are within 5-10 games of the lead in mid July, I expect Krall will aggressively look to add MLB pieces via trades. Like others, I don’t know that we can expect first place come July but a pretty good chunk of money and additions have been invested into this team for 2024 to just walk away from. And then you also the recent history of the deadline maneuvering of the Rangers and Dbacks and their charges into the playoffs.

      We will have to see how this plays out but the big improvements this club has made may not necessarily result in first place by July. The injuries have taken a toll but I guessing we still have the talent to hang close until July when additions can possibly be made.

      • greenmtred

        Don’t forget that Friedl and Marte will be back–always depending upon whether they pick up where they left off–that would be the equivalent of adding a serious boost without giving anything up.

      • Rob

        True. I was conjecturing more on our position in the standings and possible moves thereof. If we have a 5 game lead after their return, then we will only need to tweak. If we are 5-10 games off in mid July, then that is an entirely different matter…..likely requiring additional MLB talent. Last year, we watched other teams trade and move ahead of us and go a long long way in the playoffs. Even with Lodolo, Friedl, and Marte returning, it still remains very possible that we will need to make up some ground after July 15th ish. Too, this year we have already spent a chunk of change showing our commitment to compete. I seriously doubt we would not add to this in July unless we were mired in 4th place. The injuries will probably throttle our progress but I still think we will be very much in the race come July.

  6. RedlegScott

    Agree. Espinal and Fairchild aren’t exactly tearing it up at the plate along with Candelario. I hope it changes soon.

  7. CI3J

    I know it’s still early, but here’s a scary thought:

    What if EDLC and CES are actually not ready for MLB yet?

    Both are scuffling a bit at the plate, and they may need a Benson-style trip to AAA to get right again.

    But the question is, who would replace them in the lineup if that happens?

    • Oldtimer

      If CES to AAA then Mike Ford to 1B.

      If EDLC to AAA then Espinal to SS.

      Harken back to 1962. Gene Freese broken ankle. Hotshoot rookie Tommy Harper wins 3B job. Goes nearly 0 for first week and gets sent to AAA San Diego. Kasko SS to 3B. Cardenas SS.

      He is Reds starting OF for next 5 years then goes on to 15 year career in AL.

      • 2020ball

        Id play Martini at first before id swap CES and Ford. I really do not like the idea of that swap, kick in the teeth for only minor struggles from a young player and youre not replacing him with anyone clearly better. No thanks, IMO, bat him lower in the lineup and keep him working at it.

      • Oldtimer

        I think of Martini as regular DH vs RHP.

      • Chris

        I get so sick of the CES doubters. Do you even watch the games? CES hit the crap out of the ball multiple times. Bad luck is bad luck. CES is probably the best hitter on this team, and the back of his baseball card will show that come the end of the season. As for EDLC, yes he’s struggled a bit but has a hit in every game and probably the longest hit streak in MLB right now.

      • wkuchad

        Chris, the back of CES’ baseball card is lacking at the moment, but that will change over time.

        If we’re going with the youth movement, we unfortunately have to have a long leash before we send guys back to the minors.

        That goes for half our team at the moment.

    • Reddawg2012

      I have been concerned about Elly and will continue to be concerned until he stops striking out 50% of the time. It seems he hurts the team more than helps as things currently stand.

      CES has been really unlucky. A BABIP of .200 is almost impossible to sustain. I’ve got to think he is going to get better. He hit two scorchers tonight and had nothing to show for it. He does need to be more selective at the plate though.

      • 2020ball

        Elly isnt on some bad track though, hes still so raw and young. Let him play, i can assure you you’ll all turn on Espinal quick if he’s your choice instead.

    • greenmtred

      That is a scary thought. CES was slow to get going when he was first called up–this is my recollection and all of the usual warnings apply–and he did hit the ball really hard a couple of times last night. Elly does have a 12 game hitting streak going, too, and that is not negligible, but it represents, for the seven games this year, one hit a game. I wouldn’t panic about either of them after seven games, but there could come a point….

  8. Will the Red

    They’re gonna let EDLC, the man with a 12 game hitting streak dating back to last season, figure the hitting stuff out in the majors, ya broken records ?. And barring some bizarre set of circumstances triggered by the totality on Monday, the same for CES. But our hitting coaches need to earn their paychecks.

    Anyone know why Maile is playing more then Ty Steve? He CAN’T profile as a better hitter.

    Reds had a lot of chances tonight. Let’s make those chances count tomorrow!

    • Grand Salami

      Yeah, it wasn’t truly a pitchers duel so much as bad luck. Their guy walked 4 and struck out 4. At least one of those Ks was totally bogus. I can’t count how many lineouts the Reds had that led to outs.

  9. Rednat

    That worries me. Do we have enough offense?

    • TR

      A slow offensive start to the season is not unusual. It reminds me of one of the best hitters in Reds history who is now in the Blue Jays organization.

      • greenmtred

        It’s not really that slow. Over 5 runs per game.

  10. Old-school

    Thats a tough L. You hold the opposition to 3 runs and 4 hits and they commit 2 errors and you still lose. Had some hard hit balls for outs but I do think this was a game where not having McLain Friedl or marte caught up with them against a vet lefty and a good pen.

    Yes, it’s early, but the Benson handedness splits are careening into his old pattern. Elly is going to play SS the next few months but the missed 6-4-3 DP was a ball that wasnt so much a 22 year old SS missing a play but a 6’5 SS not having the low center of gravity and soft hands to quickly turn 2. He looked like a 3b( or outfielder) trying to play SS with a glove that was too big for him. We will all get to see how this plays out with McLain out 4-6 months and Marte suspended.

    • greenmtred

      Old-school: It’s not that I’m pleased with Elly’s defense, but that play last night looked to me to be a case of his having trouble getting the ball out of his glove. We’ve all seen that happen to excellent veteran middle infielders on occasion. I don’t like to read too much into what I see on TV, but he looked shaky after his errors the other night and again after the play last night. I wonder if he’s beginning to experience some crisis of confidence. Talk about reading too much into things…..

      • MBS

        @Green, it’s always the transitions with EDLC. He just doesn’t have the soft hands of a SS. I love the kid, but he’s not a short stop, he’s a very tall dude.

        Unfortunately @Old is right, EDLC is going to remain at SS probably for the entirety of 2024. That being said, India is playing like a man who wants to be regarded as an everyday player. If he holds onto 2B in 25, McLain could slide back to SS, EDLC to 3B, and all is right in the world.

      • old-school

        Im open minded GMR and we are all going to get to watch this unfold at SS with Elly the next few months because its August at the earliest for McLain. Lots of great shortstops struggle early in their careers and so Im ok with being patient and allowing for growth and development. Last night was the first time though the optics for me were off as a shortstop for Elly, with him being so long and glove and hands not so smooth with the quick toss to 2b that needs to be done thousands of times as an MLB SS. He struggled with that same shovel the other night as well. Optics could also have been my bad eyesight too with my progressive lenses.

    • Jim Walker

      IMO, EDLC never had a shot at the GIDP on that play. The EV was 92.7mph but the launch angle was -25 resulting in a long hop (or 2) before he got to it with his heels on the edge of the OF grass. From where he fielded it, even with a clean pickup and exchange, it would have been a tough angle to get the ball to India in a position for him to wheel it on to 1B quickly enough and with enough on it to complete the DP.

      • greenmtred

        I thought the same, Jim. For me, the jury is still out–and will be for awhile–on the question of his future as a shortstop. Good observations by MBS and Old-school. He’s not the first tall shortstop, but there haven’t been many, and whether that’s because the height is truly an impediment at the position or because tall players have a clear advantage at some other positions and there’s a traditional view of shortstops as short and scrappy, I can’t say. Presumably we’ll have a clearer idea by season’s end. But the too-tall argument needs to account for tall players at other positions who do fine with grounders. Scott Rolen springs to mind–a 6’5″ third baseman with multiple gold gloves.

  11. Reddawg2012

    There were two runners on with no outs in the 5th inning, and Steer and CES both hit absolute rockets right at a fielder that turned into outs. That was when I got a bad feeling that this was not our night. The Reds xBA in this game was .328. The Mets was .147.

    Granted, walking the bases loaded in the 7th against a team that had been struggling to score runs didn’t help much either.

  12. NYRedsfan#1

    Cruz cannot come in and walk the bases loaded, period. I know he got a ground ball that Elly couldn’t field cleanly but that would have been a tough double play had he been able to flip it cleanly.

  13. CFD3000

    Frustrating loss, but I agree that it was just one of those nights. Reds kept knocking on the door but never got the clutch hit. 0-11 with RISP is rough, but despite the 2 errors the Mets made some key defensive plays. Baty’s diving catch at 3rd felt like the turning point in the game and that moment when I thought well – this might not be the Reds night. But I liked the Hunter Greene start a LOT and if he’s learning to be more aggressive in the zone that will carry forward quite well thank you. I guess that’s Frankie Montas’ influence and if so he’s an even bigger add than we thought. Win today, win the series, keep the momentum!

  14. doctorrockett

    Observations from the game yesterday evening-

    1. The Apple broadcast booth team was, to quote Bet on Red, “horrible to the point of legal action.”

    2. Seeing a catcher like Alvarez steal strikes for the Mets made the lack of said skill in Maile all the more evident. Although HG peppered the zone all game (more on this below), Maile cost him probably 5-6 more called strikes.

    3. After reading HG’s comments after the game, the Montas pickup was invaluable. He credited watching Montas and hearing him talk about pitching as the reason for his strategy this game. It was a pleasure to watch him attack the strike zone all night. I eagerly await his next start.

    4. Pagán is not going to be a good fit for home games. The Mets hitters looked uncomfortable and off-balance at the plate against HG, Cruz (when he threw strikes), and TJ. When Pagán was in, they were loading up with just about every swing they took, clearly seeing the ball well coming out of his hand. I’m hopeful he goes on a decent run of showings before the AS break and we trade him for some kind of package. I don’t foresee a good fit here. Ready for Santillan to take his spot.

    5. Worried about EDLC’s approach at the plate.

    • greenmtred

      The Apple broadcast was execrable.

    • CFD3000

      Excellent point about Alvarez (and Maile). In a close game those little things become big things. On Tuesday Jeff Brantley was praising Tyler Stephenson for having improved his pitch framing. But Alvarez is another level or two better and yesterday that mattered.

    • redfanorbust

      In response for your #2 comment, mostly I don’t like the idea of a automated home plate umpire but after watching last nights game I am not so sure anymore.

    • MBS

      Let’s hope it more than lip service. If this is Green’s mindset, it will be a big leap forward.

      “That’s the only way I’m going to be able to do that,” Greene said. “Is by throwing strikes and trying to put guys away as early as possible.”

      Use of that elusive 3rd pitch would be nice, 48 Sliders, 46 4Seemers, 5 Splitters. So 5% 3rd pitch usage is the same amount he mixed in the change up in 22, and 23. If that can go up to 12% – 15% that would be great.

  15. docproc

    All I ask is that Bell leave India and Steer hitting 1 and 2, regardless of who’s pitching.
    But of course, he won’t. He’ll relegate the guy with a 1.308 OPS to 6th or 7th in the order because he bats right-handed. Even though his OPS against RHP is 1.374 this (young) season.

    • greenmtred

      We don’t know that handedness is the issue. It may be the profile of the particular pitcher and how it matches up with Steer or, more likely, some dynamic with the rest of the order, as others have suggested. Of course, Steer was very productive in his few games batting seventh, though I think that is simply because he’s very productive overall.

    • MBS

      VS RHP

      1 India (2B) 2 Candy (3B) 3 CES (1B)
      4 Benson (CF) 5 Steer (LF) 6 EDLC (SS)
      7 Stephenson (C) 8 Fraley (RF) 9 Martini (DH)

      VS LHP

      1 India (2B) 2 Candy (DH) 3 CES (1B)
      4 Steer (LF) 5 EDLC (3B) 6 Stephenson (C)
      7 Espinal (SS) 8 Fairchild (CF) 9 Benson (RF)

      Just based off of early returns this feels like the best lineup. I’d protect EDLC with 2 good RHB’s surrounding him in all games. This setup gives a lot of stability in the lineup, where the top 3 remain the same every game. Benson continues to move to the end of the lineup vs LHP, and everyone else just slots down 1 spot.

      • MBS

        @Doc, I forgot to mention, I prefer Steer in a more traditional RBI spot in the lineup. I always feel good when he gets to the plate with runners in scoring position.

  16. Jimbo44CN

    I did not get to see much of it due to trying to watch it on my phone, but it was another cold night and neither team did much in the hit department. It’s just one game and a lot of people on this site want to send CES and Elly down, on and on. It’s just one Game on a Cold night in April. Gonna happen. Go get em today.

    • Rob

      Ditto. Interesting how fans last August and September, fans were clamoring for the playing of the young guys and the 2024 advantages therein. While finishing 2 games behind the Dbacks! Now in April, it is just the opposite. Does that suggest that expectations are currently very high?

    • Mauired

      Not only cold but the umpire was calling a lot on outside balls strikes. In the seven when the offense was rallying, both Steer and Elly were called out on pitches out of the zone. Elly to end the inning with the bases loaded I believe. To be fair the ump was doing that to both sides but seems to hurt the Reds more because the Mets pitching was taking more advantage of the wide zone. I for one can’t wait for the robot umps, because a different strikezone every night drives me nuts.

      It’s ironic though, Elly finally starts laying off the tough close pitches outside of the zone and is rewarded with a strikeout anyway.

  17. Michael B. Green

    We are 21st in fielding, 19th in (pitching) BB/9, and 23rd in (pitching) HR/9. Looks like the same team again. Was hoping to see vast improvement in these areas.

    • greenmtred

      In seven games, a bad appearance or two can skew pitching numbers substantially. The infamous eye test doesn’t paint such a dire picture of the pitching, overall. The fielding is a different matter: we have two excellent fielders who are starters and they’re both injured.

  18. Michael B. Green

    Last in DP’s turned too.

  19. Michael B. Green

    Last in fielding assists.

  20. Jim Walker

    In the bottom of the 7th following the 2 out Candelario double, down 1 run with 2 outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd Bell spent 3 of his 4 bench spots to end up with EDLC facing a LH pitcher. Did the Reds not realize the Mets would bring on a LH pitcher to face the original PH choice, Martini, then pitch around their 2nd PH choice, Stephenson, to get to EDLC versus the LHP?

    In summary, the Reds replaced a RH hitter with a career .706 OPS vs RHP with a LH batter with a sub .400 OPS vs LHP knowing 1B was open and the Mets had a LH pitcher ready to bring in. When the LH pitcher was brought in the Reds countered with a guy whose career OPS vs LHP is .811 but then the Mets worked around him to face a guy with .507 career OPS vs LH pitching. This made the OPS net result of the Reds maneuvering minus .199

    Finally the use of the 2 PH forced Bell to send Fraley into the game as a defender, locking his lineup slot in to where they were lucky to get him to the plate in B9 to make the final out,

    Bell got caught playing handedness checkers against an opponent playing 3D chess

    • greenmtred

      Just checkers for both managers, Jim. We’ve all seen the game–move and counter move. In the end, Bell ends up depleting his bench late in the game and the Mets deplete their bullpen.

    • Rob

      I questioned this also. It seemed fairly obvious to me that the Mets would be bringing in a lefty if the Reds went with Martini or Fraley. Think I would have opted to leave Fairchild in to bat and see what the Mets would do. No way in the 7th inning do I risk burning 2 pinch hitters. The situation was important but not critical to run the risk of losing 2 bats with 2 innings yet to play in a 2-1 game. Sure, pinch hit for Fairchild if it is Smith’s 2nd or 3rd batter when it is only 1 pinch hitter. Let Fairchild bat unless the Mets make a move. 7th inning. Plenty of time for urgency.

  21. Indy Red Man

    Tough one. HG pitched well, but that one run was a gift and Elly/Cruz gifted them another run. We had some hard hit outs too.
    That’s the first game under 4 so definitely not worried about the offense once it warms up. I guess they can’t play Tyler and Maile at the same time without 3 catchers, but I’d rather have Maile’s bat in there then Espinal vs lefties

    Tough one because the Cubs are getting Texas and LA out of the way and still ahead of us. Milw and Pitt will flatten out.

    As for SS, never understand the narrative that McLain was just ok there. Less then a week watching MM/Elly at SS told me Matt is far superior. Elly needs either 3B or OF imo.

    • Oldtimer

      In 1964, Ken Johnson (ex Red in 1961) threw a NO HITTER against the Reds for Houston Colt 45s (that was their nickname in 1964). He lost the game 1-0 due to bad luck. Joe Nuxhall threw a shutout and beat him that day.

  22. Jim Walker

    Another interesting play from last night….

    What do folks who were watching/ saw a replay think of the Apple commentators’ opinion that Bubba Thompson should have tagged and moved from 2b to 3B on the flyout which scored India from 3B on the 2nd out of the Reds 9th.?

    Of course, as fate goes, the opinion was no more than out of their mouths than the Mets Diaz uncorked a wild pitch which would have definitely allowed Bubba to score the tying run had he been on 3B.

    The replay showed that the Mets were clearly aligned to throw home on the sac fly, and their cutoff man cut the throw off above the mound maybe 10-15′ on the 1B side of 2B. Since the cutoff man’s back was to 3B, I doubt they could have gotten Bubba if he had been running on the catch. However it would have been a pretty big risk as if he had been thrown, the game would have been over,

    • Rob

      I dont know that he could have made it. Maybe 50/50 or less. The ball was fairly shallow and Bader is a gold glover with a good arm. A little deeper and maybe it is a Go. Bubba scores from 2nd on most any hit following that. Probably the right call but it didnt work out.

    • greenmtred

      I would probably have rolled the dice. Of course, if it’s true that changing one event changes the events that follow, had Bubba been on 3rd, the pitcher wouldn’t have thrown the wild pitch. But maybe the hitter smacks the pitch over the wall, and so on.

  23. jj

    I think EDC struck out with bases loaded? Even a hit would have won the game

    • greenmtred

      As somebody above pointed out, it appeared that he got jobbed on the 3rd strike call. Great players–probably all of them–who e struck out with the game on the line.

  24. Michael B. Green

    I really, really like EDLC but he came up with the bases juiced and did not swing at a pitch and struck out looking. I think he needs something to spark some confidence in him. He’s definitely paying his dues right now. He needs to step up defensively.