The Cincinnati Reds needed a win in the worst kind of way. And with the offense in a big time slump it was the pitching that needed to come up big on Tuesday night. Andrew Abbott took it on himself to do just that as he tossed seven shutout innings before turning over a 2-0 lead to the bullpen that stepped their game up and got the job done as Cincinnati took a home a win to open the series against the San Diego Padres.

Final R H E
San Diego Padres (25-26)
0 5 2
Cincinnati Reds (20-28)
2 3 0
W: Abbott (3-4) L: Musgrove (3-4) SV: Diaz (8)
Box Score | Game Thread

The Reds offense got things moving quickly when Jacob Hurtubise walked and Elly De La Cruz beat out an infield single to put two men on to start the bottom of the 1st inning. Jake Fraley was hit by a pitch with one out to load the bases and put the home team in a situation to get in front early. That didn’t happen as Tyler Stephenson struck out swinging and then Mike Ford grounded out to end the inning.

When the top of the 2nd began, Jake Fraley didn’t take the field. After going to the umpire to make the change, manager David Bell got back to the dugout and promptly threw a chair in frustration. Stuart Fairchild headed out into center off of the bench, and Will Benson slid over to right field where Fraley had been playing.

In the bottom of the 2nd the Reds once again began their half of the inning with a walk, this time by Jonathan India. He’s move over to second base on a 1-out single by Will Benson. They would both move up a base when Joe Musgrove tried to pick India off and threw the ball into center. Jacob Hurtubise then hit a sacrifice fly into left that saw India limp off of the field after it appeared his ankle/lower leg was stepped on at the play at the plate. Elly De La Cruz then followed up with a double down the right field line to bring Benson in and make it 2-0.

When the top of the 3rd began, Jonathan India was on the field and ready to go. So was Andrew Abbott, who had already tossed two shutout innings. He kept that going for the 3rd and 4th innings, too. Adrian Morejon took over for San Diego in the bottom of the 4th inning after Joe Musgrove threw 66 pitches in three innings in his first outing in three weeks. He threw two hitless innings before another pitching change for the Padres came and saw Jhony Brito toss a scoreless 6th inning.

Andrew Abbott kept pace as he held onto a 2-0 lead with just 83 pitches as he began the top of the 7th. He needed just nine more to get three outs in the inning as he continued to keep the San Diego offense off balance. That, however, would be the end of his night, as Fernando Cruz took over for Cincinnati in the 8th inning with a 2-run lead. Cruz had to work around a 2-out single by Luis Arraez, but he struck out Fernando Tatis Jr. to get out of the top of the 8th and keep the Reds on top by two.

The Reds sent Alexis Diaz to the mound to start the 9th inning and he walked the first batter on four pitches. The crowd groaned, but Diaz clamped down to strike out Manny Machado on three pitches. Two pitches later Jake Cronenworth grounded into a game ending double play as Diaz completed the shutout for Cincinnati in a 2-0 victory.

Key Moment of the Game

Alexis Diaz not allowing his leadoff walk to rattle him. He threw four straight balls to start the inning, then needed just five pitches to record three outs and pick up the save.

Notes Worth Noting

Andrew Abbott’s seven shutout innings lowered his ERA to 2.68 on the season.

The Reds had just three hits in the game and Elly De La Cruz had two of them. The other was by Will Benson.

The game took just two hours and 18 minutes to complete.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

San Diego Padres vs Cincinnati Reds

Wednesday May 22nd, 6:40pm ET

Michael King (3-4, 4.31 ERA) vs Nick Martinez (1-2, 4.23 ERA)

61 Responses

  1. Dennis Westrick

    Tuned into tonight’s game just in time for Diaz to pitch the top of the 9th! When he walked Profar to start the inning I nearly had a heart attack!

    All is well now as my blood pressure has dropped below 190/110.

    • Mark Moore

      Missed you earlier on the thread, Dennis. Worth watching the compressed game. Abbott was AMAZING!!!

    • Dewey Roberts

      If our pitcher’s could just throw a shutout every night, we would have a chance. Of course, our hitters blistered the ball once again with three sizzling hits. Go batters!

    • Oldtimer

      Diaz threw 4 pitches outside and high because Profar is the SDP best hitter. You really gotta pretend like you know something about baseball.

      • Harry Stoner

        So you’re saying that in a two run game, you purposely walk the first batter to put the tying run at the plate?

        That is a kind of baseball that I don’t pretend to know anything about.

      • Grand Salami

        Haha. That’s why Stephenson practically sprinted out to the mound after that lead off walk. Right?

      • Oldtimer

        That’s what it looked like if you watched. Four pitches high and outside to Profar (.339 BA). No other pitches high or outside.

      • Doc

        You semi-intentionally walk the leadoff hitter to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Manny Machado. I think OldTimer forgot about the sarcasm font!

      • Oldtimer

        Nope. He gave him nothing to hit. His next 5 pitches were strikes.

      • AMDG

        Sorry, but a “closer” should never INTENTIONALLY bring the tying run up to bat in the 9th inning.

        Diaz has an awful 7 walks per 9 innings pitched this year. And it’s more likely he walked Profar because he’s just not that good of a pitcher.

      • JB

        “You really gotta pretend like you know something about baseball.”
        Wow. Pot meet kettle.

  2. Mark Moore

    Andrew Abbott is brilliant … that says it all for tonight.

    That’ll do, Pig. That’ll do.

    • Dennis Westrick

      Bell using Diaz was NOT brilliant! DP bailed him out!

      • MK

        As the team is built they need Diaz. Thinking long term not short, it was a way of building confidense and hopefully getting him back in order. After Stephenson’s visit it looks like it might have worked.

  3. Dennis Westrick

    Stupid Fish blew a 4-3 lead in the 7th against the Bernies!

    Cubs and Pie-Rats both currently losing!

  4. Oldtimer

    As Joe Nuxhall said in April 1964 after the Reds were no hit by Ken Johnson of Houston but won 1-0, to wit:

    Sometimes You Just Gotta Throw A Shutout To Have A Chance Of Winning.

    Nuxy was WP that night.

      • Roger Garrett

        I do too.Nuxy had a way with words.

      • Harry Stoner

        One of my favorite things about listening to Nuxhall as a kid was when he didn’t say anything.

        Minutes would go by and you’d just hear him chewing on something or smoking a cig.

        You’d hear the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd and it would be seconds before Joe would swallow or exhale or wake up.

        He was great.

        Back when MLB still had some pastoral-ness about it.

  5. Rick

    AA got us a win, lowered that ernie & whip.

  6. Grand Salami

    The offense is still a mess but Abbott and the two leverage arms in the pen got it done tonight!

    I was very worried after the Reds failed to do more damage with Musgrove who looked like he had AAA stuff out there tonight.

    Padres bullpen will be gassed so the Reds need to work over these starters.

    • Oldtimer

      Only two Reds batters has hits. ELDC had two and Benson had one.

  7. Roger Garrett

    Bell appeared to be angry in the dugout and took it out on a chair after Fraley was hurt.Have to think about that one but in the meantime AA was brilliant for sure.Dude got 2 runs and made them stand up.

      • Jim Walker

        Let’s hope so.

        Put up or shut up time.

    • DHud

      I think that was some “are you kidding me, what POSSIBLY else could go wrong??” coming out of Bell

      Friedl McClain Lodolo Montas all been on the IL, Diaz/Cruz/Sims struggling, no one on offense performing

      Been a rough season to be David Bell (love him or hate him)

      • redfanorbust

        Agreed DHud. Rough season for all of us. I dare most teams to lose three of their top five hitters for extended periods and do much better. We are going to struggle when we line up with players like, Hurtubise, Fairchild, Ford and Espinal. Add Canderlio .216, India .216 and Benson .195 so yeah IMO runs will be at a premium until if/when we ever get back to full strength.

  8. Optimist

    This was an ace-like performance. He had a few last season as well. If he keeps this up . . .

  9. Old-school

    2-0 wins are things of beauty on occasion if you ignore the larger context of Reds season long pattern of cant hit. SP has been really good. Elly is MVP of the team and Stephenson has had a nice bounceback and big time strike em out throw em out double play. Diaz finished well. I will leave it at that.

  10. Rednat

    Not sure the reds are ” in a slump”. I think this is just who we are. The pitching is there but its tough to strng 5 or 6 wins together winning 2-0.

  11. Harry Stoner

    Reds had only 6 Ks…about half the expected number.

    Reds ran Musgrove’s pitch count up to 66 in 3 innings.

    Matsui threw 24 in his one inning.

    Remarkable numbers for this team of free (aka reckless) swingers.

    Did the Reds read Freddie Freeloader’s quote about LA’s hitting strategery against Ashcraft?

    • Rednat

      I thought it was an interestimg comment. Is this good for the game though? Are the batters so overmatched by the starting pitchers now that they have to pray their arm gets tired?
      Does the mound need to be moved back? Does the ball need to be juiced? I would argue that after watching the last few reds games it is time for the league to start “reeling in” the pitching a bit.

      • Melvin

        I’m pretty sure they lowered the mound at one point because of this problem.

      • Harry Stoner

        I hear you on this.
        I guess the “tire out the pitcher” strategy has its analogies in other sports, though, too.
        Certainly, the “get to the bullpen” strategy is time honored in baseball.

        I was speaking more to the Reds’ unexpected and unusual patience at the plate.
        More pitches suggests (at least possibly) that their being more selective.
        More bip should lead to good things to come.

        One game doesn’t make a trend.
        It only highlights a couple unusual things about tonight’s game.
        The other being that the Reds actually won.

    • Still a Red

      I don’t think the team is full of free swingers if you look at the pitch-by-pitch in the game summaries, with the possible exception of Fraley. They do tend to be swing and missers mostly at balls in the zone or outside it with two strikes and a breaker. Now I haven’t checked that with data on fangraphs.

  12. Michael B. Green

    We only walked two batters. They walked 4 and made 2 errors. We were error free. That allowed us to win despite only 3 hits. Great job fellas! Let’s build on it.

  13. MK

    I’ve seen enough of Mike Ford. Martini was doing just as well as Ford did when everyone was clamoring for Ford. Glad Martini is back.

    • JayTheRed

      Mike Ford reminds me of Moose when he was with us. That’s not something to be happy about.

      • Tar Heel Red

        I was thinking the same thing. His mechanics at the plate are fine…until he swings. He has one of the slowest swings I have ever seen.

    • JB

      Martini was terrible in his first go around and Ford was doing well at AAA. All Ford and Martini did was switch spots and proceed to give the same stats at AAA and the Majors. It was worth the shot. Now the Reds have both of them on the big boys team and I’m expecting the same lousy results. Why not let Capel give it a shot. I mean he can’t do any less than those two. Heck if not Capel then bring up Dunn or Hinds. You really can’t be any worse than Martini and Ford. At least Dunn,Hinds and Capel can play the outfield.

      • Optimist

        Since the pre-season I’ve been hoping and expecting one or more of Dunn/Hinds/Hurtubise to be up sometime in June, and the other 2 later this season. None of them broke out hot in AAA, and Dunn and Hurtubise have missed time with injury.

        Hurtubise is up for obvious reasons, and given a chance may prove himself.

        Dunn is finally getting warmed up after missing about a month of ABs, and Hinds too is heating up after a very slow start.

        Hinds is younger so they can take their time with him, and it seems they can still wait bit on Dunn, but if he really turns it on for a few weeks he’ll be here before July 1.

        It won’t be like last year’s wave of callups, but one of them should be a valuable MLB player, and if they’re at all lucky, more than one.

      • Pete

        Optimist: I doubt anyone is higher on Blake Dunn than I am. But you must trust me he is not the same player as last season. My best guess is somethings barking in his body probably to do with the shoulder. He can’t throw the ball and he looks horrible at the plate. Nearly every hit I’ve seen him get is a ball that he beat out because of his remarkable speed. His exit velocity, on the balls hits is probably in the Billy Hamilton range.

        Outside of the Reds dismal start this has been my greatest disappointment within the organization. The guy plays as hard as anyone we will ever see so it’s not lack of effort. But his bat is painfully slow and his arm isn’t even adequate in the outfield. Real bummer.

  14. Laurel Goble

    These pitchers that hit a batter needs to be thrown out of the game. It’s happening too much and players are being injured too much!! Some seriously.

  15. Redsgettingbetter

    Abbott has been outstanding in his last two outings, just giving up 1 run on 14 IP.. He’s now 3-4, 2.68ERA in 57 IP not bad for the 5th starter.. The offense continues struggling, it’s very concerning especially after Steer and now Fraley get injured, just frustrating, sometimes I want to throw a chair…

  16. TR1

    Calling Fernando Tatis Jr Fernando Cruz Jr after that strikeout would have been beautiful trolling. Not sure it was intentional but made me laugh caused you basically said Cruz was his daddy.

    • Doug Gray

      Nope. It’s because I’m brain dead.

    • Mark Moore

      Regardless, he made Tatis look just plain silly.

  17. Reddawg2012

    The Reds winning really is such a strange feeling lol. It’s kind of weird not being frustrated when the game ends.

    Do we think they could…gasp….win a series?

    • Mark Moore

      We’ll know by this evening. Tomorrow’s game is looking “iffy”.

  18. Indy Red Man

    I think Abbott is one of those guys that makes me wonder how he does it. Justin Steele was it last year and now his era is over 5. It goes to show how important command is because challenging guys with 92 doesn’t seem sustainable? AA isn’t really a nibbler either, he’s just smart. Might be reading a hitters swing like Brantley talks about

    • Jason T.

      Abbott is an extremely intelligent pitcher. Excellent command and seems to be getting more pitch efficient. I really wish we saw this intelligence out of Ashcraft. Ashcraft is his own worst enemy. Long term he may just be a bullpen guy. Not ready for that yet but he gets in the way of his own success. Talented, yes.

      Injuries or not, being dead last in hitting average speaks volumes. Just a bad hitting team. They did work counts better yesterday but that doesn’t show in the results with just 3 hits. I actually didn’t mind Hurtibise leading off. Anyone but Benson actually.

      • Jason Franklin

        I would not give up on Ashcraft. He is an anomaly though. Most guys who can reach 100 on their fastball don’t try to be a ground ball pitcher.

  19. Bill J

    Any guessing, Hurtubise & Ford 0 for 3 each last night, tonight Hurtubise does not play Ford will.

    • Mark A Verticchio

      Ford back in the line up, but with Fraley out the choice was Ford or Fairchild. I would take Fiarchild, move him to center Benson to right and DH Martini at least that improves the defense. On a side note only EDLC and Stephenson playing at their March position expectations. Steer playing but first instead of left and Candalario at 3rd instead of DH, Marte would and should have been at 3rd but he made a dumb mistake.