The Cincinnati Reds had a bullpen day of sorts and used seven pitchers on the night. For the first eight innings of the game the Dodgers were kept off of the board before they would finally break through in the 9th. It wasn’t enough, though as the Reds topped Los Angeles 7-2 to pick up a win in the series opener.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (19-25) 7 11 0
Los Angeles Dodgers (29-17)
2 4 0
W: Martinez (1-2) L: Glasnow (6-2)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Cincinnati started the game off with a bang as Will Benson hit a 439-foot home run to begin the game. Elly De La Cruz followed up with a single and stole second before scoring on a double by Tyler Stephenson that made it 2-0.

Two innings later it was De La Cruz getting things done once again. This time around he led off the 3rd with a ground-rule double before stealing third base and once again coming around to score on a hit by Stephenson – a single into center – to make it 3-0.

Nick Martinez, who came into the game in the 3rd after Brent Suter, Emilio Pagan, and Justin Wilson kept Los Angeles off of the board in the first two innings. Martinez kept that going through the next two innings before Cincinnati added to their lead. Once again it was De La Cruz making things happening as he drew a 1-out walk and then stole 2nd and 3rd before scoring on a wild pitch 3rd strike that extended the inning, but made it 4-0.

Martinez would keep things going as he kept the Dodgers off of the board through the 7th inning, firing off 5.0 innings of 1-hit, no-run baseball before turning the game over to Lucas Sims in the bottom of the 8th. He kept the shutout going with a perfect frame of work.

The Reds offense kept on rolling in the 9th. Jeimer Candelario would double to start a rally that saw Santiago Espinal walk before an RBI double. Will Benson then walked to load the bases. Elly De La Cruz grounded into what would have been a force out at second, but the throw got away at the bag and everyone was safe (this was originally ruled an error on Mookie Betts but was changed to a single for De La Cruz). Mike Ford then capped off the inning with an RBI single, but Will Benson was out at the plate trying to score another run on the play. Still, it was 7-0 as the game headed to the bottom of the 9th.

Up by a touchdown the Reds turned the inning over to Sam Moll. It wasn’t hit best outing as he walked Mookie Betts and gave up a single to pinch-hitter Andy Pages before he would strike out Miguel Rojas. Cincinnati then turned to Buck Farmer to try and complete the shutout. He would strike out the first hitter he saw, but a walk followed to load the bases for Gavin Lux and he came through with a 2-run single to put the Dodgers on the board. Farmer ended the game a minute later when he struck out Chris Taylor and give the Reds a 7-2 victory.

Key Moment of the Game

The top of the 9th inning that saw the Reds score three runs and turn a 4-0 game into a 7-0 one. With the Dodgers offense, being in slam range doesn’t seem like the most unlikely of scenarios they could reach but being down by seven felt like it really put the game out of reach.

Notes Worth Noting

Elly De La Cruz went 4-4 with a walk, double, four steals, three runs scored, and an RBI. He now has 30 stolen bases on the season. The next closest player in baseball has 17. Only three players even have half as many steals as De La Cruz. Only 12 teams have at least 30 steals, and one of those teams is the Reds (duh). He raised his average 19 points and his OPS 37 points on the night.

Tyler Stephenson remained hot. He’s had multiple hits in three straight games in which he’s had an at-bat (he entered the game on Wednesday but didn’t register an at-bat). After a bit of a slow start in April, he’s hit .311/.380/.489 in 15 games played since April 24th.

St. Louis did not play on Thursday. With the Reds win it moves them ahead of the Cardinals by a half game and gets Cincinnati out of a tie for last place in the division.

The Dodgers haven’t lost by at least five runs since April 19th.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Friday May 17th, 10:10pm ET

Frankie Montas (2-3, 4.20 ERA) vs James Paxton (5-0, 2.58 ERA)

75 Responses

  1. Jason T.

    Great win. Martinez was huge. Totally dominated a talented lineup.
    Great pitching all around really.
    Elly was electric. Hoping he’s going to get hot again as we need him to do so. He’s like a man among boys on the base paths. So much fun to watch.
    Hope this can propel the bats. Benson with a deep home run. He looked better tonight, less pressing and swinging at bad pitches.
    I thought they played solid D too. Really fun game to watch!

    • DaveCT

      EDLC is like a 15 year old on the base paths vs. a U12 little league team

      • AllTheHype

        Great analogy. Make me chuckle.

    • greenmtred

      Circumstantial evidence, but it seems that the day off did Elly wonders.

      • doctorrockett

        Elly, TySteve, and Willie B are all players who seem to rise to the occasion when the time comes. Especially Elly. Last year against the Dodgers and Braves he seemed to relish the opportunity and attention when pitted against prime opponents.

        He’s one of those rare talents who tend to flourish in pinstripes or Chavez Ravine…and you better believe those folks are going to come calling.

        Sign. Him. Now.

        Bodes well for WHEN we reach those bright light nights of playoff baseball. I eagerly await.

    • MBS

      Martinez has been great in this role. 17.33 IP as a multi-inning reliever with 2 ER, good for a 1.03 ERA. With Lodolo going down it was huge that Martinez was able to give us starter innings in relief, 5 IP, 1H, 0BB, 4K.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      I hope FO will take the step forward and sign EDLC long term before is too late. Him, plus McClain, Stephenson, CES, Marte, Steer and Friedl are a good core of position players to build around a competitive team. Most of the other position players currently in the roster are just role players, so there’s a lot of work to do in particular concerning the outfield.

  2. Melvin

    The Reds snuck up on the mighty Dodgers. Good for them. Won’t the guys who went to bed be surprised tomorrow. 🙂

    • Jason T.

      Indeed! They’ll be surprised and pleasantly so. Nice to wake up to a W!

      • greenmtred

        I had to do a classic double take when I saw the score.

    • VaRedsFan

      Staying up until 1:00 for the win was worth it.
      Up at 6:00 AM for work today.
      Sleep is overrated.

      • Jason T.

        Oh absolutely was. Same wake time for me too and zero regrets!

    • JT

      Yes indeed I woke up with my mouth wide open after reading about it.. The thing is can the Reds play good consistent baseball from here on out and not get in there own way and play sound fundamental baseball too. That needs to happen first thing first

  3. Melvin

    EDLC continues to be amazing. Hope the Reds sign him soon. If not, the way he talks about LA, that’s where he’s going. The longer they wait the more expensive it will be.

    • Jason T.

      Yep. They should have been all over this. The guy is on another level. He’s working hard, learned English, is a game changer, what’s not to like?

      • Jason T.

        Ha, true! Bob has to like the $ that he brings to the attendance.
        Elly is so much fun to watch!

    • DW

      I think you’re right Melvin. They need to sign him to a long term contract if he is willing. I think we have seen enough to justify that now.

    • Still a red

      You’re all wrong. Everyone is saying we need to trade for new talent. EDLC is the only one that will bring any return. He’s gonna want the high life of LA and play with Ohtani…not eat skyline chili.

    • LarkinPhillips

      No chance to sign him now. He is a boras client. He also has a jump man deal so he isn’t worried about waiting to free agency. The only chance we had to sign him was before he debuted and at that time it was a huge risk.

      • jmb

        Before the season began I said trade him to Pads for Merrill and Salas. I still do that deal, but would the Pads? Reds would be trading a star who makes lots of errors, but also excites, in exchange for a better shortstop and a nice left-handed hitting catcher to play behind Stephenson. In other words, letting a star go, but building a team.

  4. DW

    Way to go Martinez and Elly! Great night for Stephenson too.

    • Jason T.

      Stephenson was looking good. He had a great game too.

      • TR

        It appears Stephenson has recovered from injury. He’s a natural hitter. As time goes on, I see him at 1st. base/DH. Hopefully the Reds have a talented catcher or two in the pipeline.

  5. Tom Reeves

    Reds are 2 games out of the WC race.

    One hot streak and this team is at .500. Doubt that happens before June but it likely happens in June.

    Martinez going 5 innings on 1 hit baseball last night is awesome!

    And then I don’t know what else to say about Elly except get in some regular days off. Every time he has rest, he comes back dominant.

  6. Redsvol

    Nice win against a very good team. Pitching and offense both working during the same game.

    Starting pitching continues to be a strength this year. When we get just a few hits we look like a good team. Imagine that! And none of them have to be home runs- just keep the line moving guys!

    • Redsvol

      Did kind of use up the bullpen though. Probably hurt us in the series.

      And check out that attendance – almost 54,000 for a Thursday night game in Chavez-ravine. I’d like to see some 40k numbers in GABP when team comes home.

  7. Indy Red Man

    Nice win and loved hitting the Over in the 9th. Martinez might end up pretty valuable! Benson crushed that HR too! If Freidl could work with him and add bunting to his arsenal then he wouldn’t K so much. Force them to make a play. He’s talented and I think he’ll get it back

  8. JB

    Don’t understand why Bell didn’t just use Martinez to start the game. Burns three pitchers in two innings and then brings in Martinez. Oh well, Bell knows things.

    • VaRedsFan

      Not to mention Moll, who gave up a walk a bloop single, and a strikeout and was yanked after 3 batters in 7-0 game with 1 out in the 9th.

    • AllTheHype

      What’s the difference in pitching those 3 pitchers in innings 1-2 versus 6-7? They still have to pitch?

      • AC

        Everybody knows you get more tired in innings 1&2, except for Bell, apparently. How’s that guy even have a job? It’s not like all 3 of those guys are available today, either. At least it will be in the less taxing 6th or 7th innings.

      • greenmtred

        AC: Can I assume that you decided that the sarcasm was evident enough that the font would have been superfluous?

      • JB

        How do you know he would have used those three in innings 6-7? Maybe he leaves Martinez in through 6 and sends Suter out for 2 and Moll 1?

    • JT

      Yes indeed I woke up with my mouth wide open after reading about it.. The thing is can the Reds play good consistent baseball from here on out and not get in there own way and play sound fundamental baseball too. That needs to happen first thing first o

    • Daytonnati

      I think he wanted a lefty to face Betts, Ohtani, and Freeman out of the gate.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Exactly, and pulled him right after. have to give Bell props for what he did with the pitchers yesterday.

    • Old Big Ed

      The theory was to use a lefty against the top of the order (especially the two lefties, Ohtani and Freeman), and give them more flexibility in later innings how to pitch to those guys.

      It also gave them a slightly better chance to get the early lead.

  9. Redsgettingbetter

    Martinez had something to finish against LAD when he tossed 4 perfect innings in spring training in a rain-out game that was not official. It was really outstanding to completely shut down the video-game LAD lineup thru 5 frames.
    Elly is just from another world. I think what kind of things he will do after gets maturity in next years. Could FO extend him being Boras in the deal? I think 8 years for $200M maybe…

  10. AllTheHype

    What would an EDLC extension look like? Hmmm. He’s going to be viewed like Juan Soto in a few years. Anything we can do to get him locked up for 9-12 years.

    Acuna, Wander Franco, Tatis Jr similar profiles. Tatis Jr is probably the best comp in terms of hype, ability, and the point in his career when he signed. He got 14/$340M. Thinking 12/$300M for EDLC would look great right now.

    • Mark Moore

      I’m thinking he showed last night how much he “loves LA”. Any contract at this point would only serve to make his arb years more affordable. Boras and he probably won’t agree to that anyway. I seriously doubt they will want to sell us any FA years unless they come at a premium.

      But no harm in trying.

      • Jim Walker

        Given EDLC’s tender age and apparent ceiling, I think Boras would go for a buyout of his arbitration years and perhaps toss in 1 FA year to get it done at a favorable rate to EDLC.

        Why? Because with the heck for leather way EDLC plays, he is eventually going to get hurt, miss time, and possibly even clearly lower his eventual ceiling. Better to have $100m wrapped up by age 26 than maybe half that with an uncertain future due to injury.

  11. old-school

    Great win. Solid effort from Martinez. What can you say about Elly?
    Nice to see Stephenson getting that OPS in upper 700’s. Maybe he has a bounce back year after injuries.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree TS resurgence is about as big of a story as EDLC right now,

  12. Mark Moore

    What a joy and treat to wake up to a win against the Trolley Dodgers and watch Elly’s performance in those innings where we scored. Barnes couldn’t contain him and really didn’t try. TySteve had a great night as well.

    This is the stuff that Hope is built on, especially given the patchwork lineup and pitching from last night.

    • Jim Walker

      Know I am singing to the choir Mark but why do you suppose it is that every time the Reds look to be scraping the bottom of the barrel just to get 9 healthy guys into the lineup, the team seem to play better?

      Could it be that just like we workaday folks these guys do a better job when they know what they are going to be doing from the get go and are not jerked around among positions and pulled or inserted from a game on the whim of an opposition manager’s choice of his pitcher’s handedness???

  13. Mutton Lettuce Tomato

    Understated but huge part of last night was Espinal at 2nd base… his defense was exceptional. India doesn’t make most of those plays that helped keep the Dodgers off the board. It would be interesting to keep him there for a while and see if it’s a consistent thing.

    • MBS

      I’m game, I’d go Espinal at 2B, India at DH, and Ford PH. I think that makes a better lineup, and fielding team.

  14. Dennis Westrick

    Not to beat a dead horse but, Y’all know one of my pet peeves is WALKS issued by Reds pitchers! Noticed in the box score of last night’s win over the Dodgers that both Moll AND Farmer issued walks in the bottom of the 9th in a game the Reds were winning 7-0! Moll, whom I like, walked the first batter he faced. And, Farmer issues a 2-out walk! Good grief!

    Of course, the walks contributed to the 2 runs scored.

    Great job by Martinez! And, EDLC was awesome!

    Big challenge tonight with LA’s Paxton, a lefty, who’s 5-0 on the season!

    • Jim Walker

      Stu got in late and had what turned out to be a significant double off a leftie in the Reds 9th. That’s 2 big hits in his last 2 games. If he can get back to what his career numbers indicated at the start of the season, that will be a lift for them.

  15. LDS

    Doesn’t matter who owns the club, who is in the front office, who is managing on the field, heck, it doesn’t even matter who is in the lineup, any day the Reds beat the Dodgers, especially in LA, is a good Reds’ day. And hopefully, in Bell’s infinite wisdom, he doesn’t see the need to sit Stephenson in favor of Maile tonight.

    • Roger Garrett

      Nope that will be on Sunday but even then I would use him at DH to get his bat in the lineup.Just an idea of course.

  16. old-school

    I may be in the minority here but I really like the Espinal acquisition. No, hes not an everyday player but he is a really good utility back up. His glove is clean at 3b/SS/ and 2b. Juan Castro could pick it back in the day and always gave you great late inning defense. Reds have a solid 12/13 backups in Fairchild and Espinal. Now, if only they could figure out 7-11.

    • Jim Walker

      IMO, the 7/11 stuff isn’t going to get resolved until they quit platooning 2 OF spots. Maybe Marte’s return forces the issue or maybe they trade for a guy who can hit from both sides of the plate with a composite OPS+ in the 95-115 range while playing against both LH and RH pitching. I thought Stu could be this guy; but, in a pretty fair opportunity, he’s washed out versus RHP.

      • Roger Garrett

        I agree 100%.The platooning also effects the batting order and while most say it doesn’t matter,players like to settle into playing a set position and hitting in a certain spot for my money.

  17. JT

    Yes indeed I woke up with my mouth wide open after reading about it.. The thing is can the Reds play good consistent baseball from here on out and not get in there own way and play sound fundamental baseball too. That needs to happen first thing first o

  18. RedBB

    The current use or non-use of Stephenson is baffling…Tyler needs to be in the lineup 3/4 game at a bare minimum, Then get him some AB’s as DH. Maile just isn’t getting it done…

    • Will the Red

      110%! The only reason to not play TySteve that much is if he’s injured. Maile just appears to be a black hole on offense.

    • greenmtred

      Stevenson has played in 35 games, Maile in 22. Stevenson has 102 AB’s to Maile’s 55.

      • Indy Red Man

        Yeah, but it needs to be 4-1 in at-bats vs Maile and not 2-1? Realmuto has 144 at-bats and he’s 33. Bell is just fine with throwing out Espinal and Maile when we’re getting shutdown on 3-4 hits multiple times a week

  19. Laredo Slider

    Dodgers seemed to be sleep walking, we’ll see if the Reds woke them up.

  20. docmike

    It is so nice to be able to plug in a legit major league starter whenever a member of the rotation goes down. When Lodolo was hurt at the beginning of the year, Martinez started a couple games. When Montas went on the IL, he filled in for a couple more starts. Now that Lodolo is hurt again, he gives them 5 solid innings (effectively a starter’s workload) out of the pen.

    It is so much nicer being able to use Nick Martinez, instead of the parade of ridiculousness (Luke Weaver, Brett Kennedy, Connor Overton, Levi Stoudt) the Reds had to run out last year.

    • Dennis Westrick

      Where’s Hunter Strickland when you need him?

    • Oldtimer

      Weaver has a better overall performance in NYY bullpen than Martinez does with Reds. Do some research before you say something foolish.

      Weaver 3-0. 2.25 ERA 165 ERA+ 31 K and 4 BB in 30 IP. 0.68 WHIP. NYY bullpen.

  21. Jeremiah

    EDCruz awesome last night…Martinez awesome. Martinez has struggled some but overall that looks to be a really good signing. Even when he stunk at times he has been able to eat up some innings at least.

  22. jmb

    Benson was boasting big after hitting his homer–not a good look for a Mendoza line lover.