After watching a monsoon come through and then starting the game three hours and twenty minutes after it was initially schedules to begin while it was still raining, the Cubs topped the Reds on Saturday night to even up the series. This afternoon Cincinnati and Chicago will face off with the winner taking the series victory. First pitch is scheduled for 2:20pm ET.

Starting Lineup

Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs

TJ Friedl – CF Nico Hoerner – 2B
Elly De La Cruz – SS Seiya Suzuki – RF
Jeimer Candelario – 3B Cody Bellinger – CF
Spencer Steer – 1B Christopher Morel – DH
Jake Fraley – DH Patrick Wisdom – 1B
Tyler Stephenson – C Ian Happ – LF
Jacob Hurtubise – LF Dansby Swanson – SS
Jonathan India – 2B David Bote – 3B
Will Benson – RF Miguel Amaya – C
Nick Lodolo – LHP Ben Brown – RHP

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB K
Nick Lodolo 40.1 3.12 0.94 9 46
Ben Brown 46.1 2.72 1.06 17 55
Links: Nick Lodolo’s Stats | Ben Brown’s Stats

Nick Lodolo

After back-to-back 4-run outings, Nick Lodolo rebounded in his return from the injured list and allowed just one run in 5.1 innings the last time out as he faced off against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The splits with Lodolo are huge. Not that right-handed hitters are performing well against him this season, but he’s just dominated lefties. They don’t get many chances to see him, but they are also hitting .148 without an extra-base hit against him in seven games this year. Righties are hitting just .207, not drawing walks, and are only showing a moderate amount of power against him. Not shown below is that he’s pitched better on the road – holding hitters to a .389 OPS in his three road starts.

Splits

Split PA H 2B 3B HR BB K AVG OBP SLG
RHH 130 25 6 0 4 6 37 .207 .262 .355
LHH 31 4 0 0 0 3 9 .148 .258 .148

Pitch Usage

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change
Velo 94.2 94.1 81.3 87.9
Usage 32% 22% 29% 17%

Ben Brown

The big league debut for Ben Brown went about as poorly as one could imagine. He came out of the bullpen on March 30th and allowed six runs in 1.2 innings. Since then he’s thrown 44.2 innings and allowed eight runs (1.61 ERA). Brown has spent time between the bullpen and rotation. In his last outing, a start against Milwaukee, he struck out 10 batters in 7.0 hitless innings.

The splits do exist for Brown, but they are a bit strange. Right-handed hitters aren’t getting hits and they aren’t walking, but they are hitting for a bit of power when they do occasionally find a hit. Lefties aren’t hitting for much average, either, but they are drawing plenty of walks against him. They are not hitting for any power at all, though.

Splits

Split PA H 2B 3B HR BB K AVG OBP SLG
RHH 92 15 5 0 2 4 28 .177 .209 .306
LHH 92 17 3 0 0 13 27 .215 .326 .253

Pitch Usage

4-seam Curve Change
Velo 96.8 86.8 91.8
Usage 62% 37% 1%

When and Where

  • Game time: 2:20pm ET
  • Where: Wrigley Field
  • Watch: Bally Sports Ohio, MLB.tv
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 65°, cloudy, 5% chance of rain

News and Notes

Justin Wilson is back, Alex Young to Triple-A

Prior to the game this afternoon the Reds activated Justin Wilson from the 15-day injured list and optioned Alex Young to Triple-A. Young had just returned from the injured list himself and had pitched in just three games where he allowed four hits in 2.0 innings with two strikeouts and no runs allowed (and he stranded the one inherited runner he had).

Division Standings

Team W L GB
Milwaukee 35 23
Chicago 29 30 6.5
St. Louis 27 29 7.0
Pittsburgh 27 31 8.0
Cincinnati 25 33 10.0

133 Responses

  1. Beaufort Red

    EDLC batting 2nd and Benson still playing. One leads MLB in strikeouts and the other has the highest strikeout percentage in all of MLB. It’s almost like Bell is so intent to prove his point he’s ready to call it a season. I find the front office just as culpable. Why not Hurtubise 2nd and move EDLC down the lineup?

    • PTBNL

      What lineup would you put out Beaufort?

      • Beaufort Red

        Swap Hurtubise and EDLC. I did say EDLC leads MLB in strikeouts didn’t I. .Number 2 hitters are generally contact hitters who can move over runners EDLC is lost.

      • Oldtimer

        ELDC has the third highest BA on the team. Fraley highest, Stephenson next, then ELDC.

      • Beaufort Red

        Another K. You just keep on hanging in there. Kinda like batting Kingman 2nd.

      • Beaufort Red

        7 for 55. Leads MLB IN strikeouts. Why not Dave Kingman?

    • Ted Alfred

      C’mon…we all know why. David Bell thinks he’s the smartest manager in baseball and he knows, so just sit back and enjoy the ride…implosion…whatever. I called this 2024 season playing out just like this when Bell was extended last year, and then again in late March before this season started…although my prediction of 74-88 might have been a little generous….we’ll see.

  2. Eddiek957

    I kind of think Elly could use a day off.

    • Mark Moore

      I’ve said that before. And not just one of the “we didn’t play” days. yes, it leaves us with Espinal at SS which is a bit challenging, but I think Elly’s head is pretty messed up at the moment. Not sure what the cure would be, but a down day probably should be part of it.

  3. Mark Moore

    Day with TJ pregame … you could tell he thought they shouldn’t have played last night. Got to shake that one off and Kick This Stupid Cubs Pig!!!

  4. Mark Moore

    I’ll admit to this crowd that I muted the “manager’s comments” bit on the WLW feed. I didn’t watch last night (aside from the 1st inning on my phone) and I can’t possibly place the (usual) truckload of blame on our #50 of 30 Bell because he most definitely doesn’t control the weather, but I just wasn’t in the mood for what I assume was the normal passive, bland, yogurt commentary. the majority of the challenges still find root in the organizational management and leadership IMO.

  5. Dennis Westrick

    Didn’t stay up for last night’s game due to the late start! I need my beauty sleep!

    After reading the game summary and looking at the box score, I wanted to rail on Hunter Greene’s pitching performance!

    But, after reading Doug’s synopsis of last night’s events, my anger is instead directed at MLB!

    It’s inexcusable, given the weather and field conditions, that MLB did not postpone the game until today as a DH or on a mutually agreed upon date when both teams have an off day!

    Pure stupidity, greed, carelessness on the part of MLB! Gotta have that TV revenue!

  6. RedBB

    Weird to see them playing 2023 highlights in the pregame…is the game delayed or something?

  7. Mark Moore

    Cowboy noting Elly is on a 7-for-55 streak … 😮

    Make that 7-for-56

    • Mark Moore

      And Cowboy placed a fair amount of the blame on the coaching staff. Said he didn’t come up here missing to this degree and somebody has to help him.

      Sound familiar, friends?

      • Ted Alfred

        I mean, look at the batting averages up and down this lineup. It’s not just cuz all the players are terrible hitters… maybe our all-knowing Reds manager and his coaches are not putting them in the best positions to have success?????????

      • JB

        I’m just trying to figure out how Mckeithan got a big league contract to be a hitting coach. He basically hasn’t done anything to warrant the hire. The way they are hitting the front office should be giving him an extension any day now.

  8. JB

    Look at Bellinger. Didn’t try to kill it. Just slapped it into right for a hit.

    • Dennis Westrick

      In reply to your comment on how the Reds hitting coach got hired, the bigger question is what MLB team would hire a manager with NO experience as a ML manager?

      Oh, that’s right! His last name is Bell so he must know how to manage in the big leagues!

      In Bell’s defense, which I don’t say often, that fiasco last night was not his fault!

      • doofus

        Uh, is it true that everyone that ever managed a MLB team had no experience doing so until after the first game they managed?

      • Votto4life

        I have always felt a hitting coach can only cause harm. If a player hits well enough to make it to the major leagues then he knows how to hit. The only thing a hitting coach can do is disrupt a swing that was already successful.

  9. Mark Moore

    OK, a little drama but no damage. Now Nick can settle in for the next 6 innings.

  10. Dennis Westrick

    Forgot to mention that Congratulations are in order today! On this, only June 2nd, our Reds are now a full 10 games out of first place in the NL Central Division! Don’t know who deserves the most thanks? Bell, the FO, the players or all?

    The good news is that the Reds are still only 3.5 games out of the 3rd (and final) NL Wild Card spot!

    • Mark Moore

      I say we “share the wealth” all around, Dennis.

  11. JB

    Bases loaded and no outs. Can the Reds get at least one. Jon does it. Now up to the strikeout king.

    • JB

      Shocked that he k’d. Friedl took care of it.

  12. RedBB

    Was going to say that Ben Brown Minor League stats suggest a reversion to his mean very soon but didn’t want to jinx it. His stuff does look good though but I’m unsure he has a solid third pitch.

  13. Mark Moore

    TJ against the wind and it still made it out!!!

  14. Brady

    Three down-the-middle fastballs that don’t appear to have a ton of movement and Benson can’t touch em.

    • Mark Moore

      Nope. Saw that and it has me thinking the Wil Benson experiment probably needs to end. Unless a complete change of scenery can help get through to him, he’s a career AAAA player from what I see. I don’t even think Japan or Korea would be an option since he’s vulnerable to the breaking stuff.

  15. JB

    Puts Freidl between the strikeout masters to break up everybody from going to the bathroom all at once. Bell is a genius.

  16. Dennis Westrick

    Before anybody gets too excited, we were ahead 4-0 last night in the top of the 2nd inning!

  17. Beaufort Red

    Oldtimer justified EDLC batting second because of his batting average. So how’s that working out?

    • Indy Red Man

      Cubs are really had. Swanson is back to his early Braves hitting. Morel is at .198.
      Happy is their Candelario except he makes $20+ mil year. Steele back to reality.

  18. Mike W

    That was a borderline bad call on that last pitch to Elly, but still, he and Benson — both of whom I think lead the NL in strikeouts? — need to have an eye exam after this game. The K rate for each of them is embarrassing! Bell, plz arrange for an exam to be given after this game, yes on a Sunday evening. Reds, just pay the $5K or whatever the cost may be. And if you can’t buy two eye exams for this evening, have things prearranged and waiting to happen in Colorado when the two of them get off the jet. And Bell, do not take No for an answer! MAYBE their eyesight is perfect. At least then you can take that off the list of why they miss by so much and so often.

    • Dennis Westrick

      I’ve been calling for vision testing for ALL active Reds hitters! Any team that averages 9+ SOs per game needs a new batting instructor, vision testing or both!

  19. Jason T.

    Benson should be in AAA, Elly too. If Elly is up no way he hits 2nd. Both look lost. Elly is taking way too many good pitches.

    • Mark Moore

      I agree on Benson. And we have options for his position. Elly needs solid coaching which, just by way of observation, isn’t happening (or isn’t getting through). We don’t really have any viable options at SS to replace him either.

      • Beaufort Red

        He can play SS, just not bat second. But when Marte is eligible it might get interesting.

      • Jason T.

        Still obviously super high on Elly. And you’re right, not many options for SS. Coaching for any 22 year old is huge. Just not sure what’s going on behind the scenes to facilitate that. Elly also seems timid to swing at a lot of strikes that are in the zone. That’s alarming. Drop him down in the order for sure. Need to get his confidence going.

  20. Mark Moore

    2-for-2 on ground balls with eyes from Candy. Let’s make something out of it, boyz.

    • Indy Red Man

      Candy read that Steer single too & got us a run. On his eternal quest to be average. Mattered too since we’re obligated by contract to get random guy(s) thrown out on the bases every game

  21. Old-school

    Some good at bats today from Friedl, India, TS, Candy, Steer, and Fraley

    • Jason T.

      Very nice at bats. Hitting and not trying to pull everything. They’ve all been good today.

  22. JB

    Reds picked off first again. They have to lead the league.

    • Dennis Westrick

      Yes! The 2024 TOOTBLAN award should be given to the Reds! Why wait until the end of the season!

  23. Old-school

    It’s time to deal with Benson K issue and Elly slump.
    Drop Elly to 7, platoon Hurtubise and Fairchild and send Benson to AAA, Ive seen enough. Need professional quality at bats 1-9 to win games and Elly and Benson dont do it. Elly gives you enough with his speed,power and arm. Benson doesnt.

  24. Jonathan Linn

    I think social media has made us all too critical of players. ELDC will be fine and should be in the MLB team. Look at Aaron Judge. He had a strikeout problem and he turned it around. Strikeouts don’t really matter in the big picture. An out is an out no matter how you make it.

    • JB

      Yeah who wants Sacrifice flies and moving runners up into scoring positions.

    • doofus

      Not really. A sac fly is a productive out. An out that moves base runners is also productive. A strikeout is not productive. There is a difference.

    • Mark Moore

      Point of clarification … being able to watch this many games live and have an on-line forum to comment real-time means what we have been thinking all along gets posted rather quickly.

      Elly may or may not be fine … it’s far too early to tell. I agree with the Judge comp, but the Hateful NYY’s also have a strong reputation for solid coaching. I still maintain we’re lacking on that front in Cincinnati.

    • Jason T.

      When Elly produces consistently like Judge then I’ll absolutely applaud his success. Elly clearly is pressing and needs something to help his growth. Coaching, dropped in the order, that was my point.

      • Jonathan Linn

        Look at Judge. Took him a couple of years in the MLB + minors to take care of his strikeout problem. Coaching is probably the key. Maybe get Larkin to help him with defense. Prince Fielder may be another good comp + speed.

        I agree a sac fly ball is different than a strikeout but that isn’t every time.

    • Dennis Westrick

      I agree! Elly is still young and essentially still in his rookie season! He would definitely benefit from some professional hitting instruction from someone like a Joey Votto maybe?

  25. Mike W

    I agree — IF his eyesight is found it be 20/15 — that Benson could use a week in the Minors to get his wing groove back. But I adamantly disagree with any suggestion of EDLC going down! Yes, his BA is sub optimal — but it’s still better than half the guys starting today’s game (what about them). And he leads in HR’s, and obviously (the world in) SBs, but most of all his walk or single is an almost guaranteed be on 2B. Thats not true of anyone else. He’s a sure shot to score from 2B on any single that gets past any infield. That’s not true of anyone else. Same with his being on 3B and scoring on any sacrifice fly, suicide squeeze or wild pitch. But you know what else? Elly is an All Star quality defensive SS! Let’s have an ophthalmologist get him contacts to be seeing 20/15. All EDLC needs to do is get the barrel of HIS bat squared with the ball a little more often (like Steer, India, Stephenson and Fraley) — and when he does, look out MLB!

  26. Old-school

    Friedl with the 3 run big fly and gives you some stability in the outfield as does Steer who has struggled but clearly a core guy. I’d go with Friedl, Fraley Steer Hurtubise and Fairchild in the OF. I’ll take Fraley with his plate discipline over Benson. Get India some reps in the OF too when Steer plays 1b. They need to see what he looks like in LF when Marte and CES and McLain come back. Candy is slowly climbing to north of average and he and CES can man 1b and DH

    As I type this Benson K’s on 3 pitches. End this nonsense.

  27. JB

    Benson’s body language after he struck out on three pitches tells it all .

    • Indy Red Man

      Yeah I’m a Benson guy, but he looks bad.
      Send him down to work it out. He was unbelievable when he came back from the minors last year

  28. Mark Moore

    Beginning to see some signs of the Bizzarro Zone … hope that doesn’t get in Nick’s melon.

  29. Reddawg2012

    Genuine question. Why do Will Benson’s hat and helmet always fall off anytime he runs?

  30. Mark A Verticchio

    What to do with Benson and Elly? You just can’t have two guys in the line up who virtually strike out almost every time. I do agree that if this continues when Marte comes back he has to go too short. Elly is only 22 years old, some time in triple A may really help him.

    • JA

      They are both young fast players.
      If I were their coach, i”ll send them for bunts from time to time, even if they fault, to become less predictable.

  31. Indy Red Man

    Cubs broadcast talking about Lodolo leading league in hbp. Wish he’d thrown more of the Sale sliders that catch outside corner then the back foot sliders that get away and hit guys. His stuff is #1 starter good though

    • JB

      Yeah I was thinking the same. Wonder why he doesn’t start that way out and it clips the corner.

  32. Mike W

    I agree with all the posts following my last one!
    Hopefully the Red’s management will catch on to all us brilliant fans. I do not like being double digits behind and in last place!

  33. Mike W

    There it is! Expert confirmation. ?
    The Red’s announcer just said “I’m not sure he’s (Elly) seeing the ball.”!
    Seriously though.
    With two strikes you shorten the bat and swing.
    Elly simply watched a fastball in the exact middle of the zone, go by. He’s not confident, he’s confused.

    • Jason T.

      He looks lost. He’s done this a lot the last 2 or so weeks. Looked at pitches in the zone without a swing. And a lot too. Very lost.

  34. dimondfvr

    And it’s not helping ELDC’s confidence to be placed in the lineup day after day and come away with another accumulation of K’s. I just don’t get the thinking of management to march both Elly and Benson out there day after day.

  35. Reddawg2012

    I’m glad the Reds are winning today but it’s hard to be too excited with Elly and Benson looking as bad as they do at the plate. We can’t afford the consistently horrible at bats. Maybe it’s time to move Elly down in the order and give Hurtubise a longer look in the OF over Benson.

  36. Mark Moore

    Thrall and Cowboy fielding the “Ask Cowboy” questions. Just bantered about that infamous appearance by Tom Browning in the bleachers across the street. Cowboy noting whatever he got fined he made up in Kangaroo Court. It was the kind of thing the teammates really liked.

  37. Mark Moore

    Bike Helmets to get out of the inning. Good recovery by Candy after dropping the liner, though he may have been able to tag the bag for one anyway.

    • Mark Moore

      Nope, dropping the liner was the best thing there. Didn’t realize how far off the bag he was.

  38. JB

    Bellinger would look good in a Reds uniform. Front Office wasn’t paying him 80 million for three years.

    • LarkinPhillips

      He probably didn’t want to platoon like Bell would’ve wanted either.

  39. Dennis Westrick

    Say Thank You Nick! Pitcher’s best friend, the old ground ball DP!

  40. GreatRedLegsFan

    First time as long as I can remember Reds have so much pitching depth, bullpen in particular.

  41. Indy Red Man

    Williamson 4 shutout today. He needs to be w the Reds. Idk who for Benson? Maybe Hinds?

    Tired of this bs on the bases.

    Whisky tango

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      He should be promoted soon and join the starting rotation, replacing either Montas or Ashcraft.

    • Mark Moore

      Yep. Got back and then came off. Fundamentals.

  42. Mike W

    Wow, i just heard we have the worst team BA in the NL and second worst in ML (only ahead of the White Sox). Maybe the optometrist we use tonight for Benson and Elly will accept $25K and give the entire team an exam. He/she can dilate our guys’ eyes after this game ends and they can return to normal size during the flight to Colorado.

  43. GreatRedLegsFan

    Some roster decisions lie ahead once CES, Marte and McClain become available. OF should be good enough with Friedl, Fraley, Fairchild, Hurtubise and Steer. IF with CES, JC, Marte, EDLC, India and McLain. Gone: Benson, Espinal and Martini.

  44. Indy Red Man

    Good ump today! Very strong on close ones

    • Frogem

      Have been thinking the same things the whole game. Brian O’Nora now one of my favorite umps. Need more like him…proves it can be done and no reason for such poor performance by so many others.

  45. Indy Red Man

    Wow that’s 5 hits in 6 hitters with a laser 5-4-3

  46. Mark Moore

    2 nice plays from Elly … just couldn’t quite turn the Bike Helmets. Still can limit the damage here.

  47. Old-school

    Lodolo nice 6 innings and Reds offense gets some runs

    This is a win unless bell and bullpen hand it over

    Thankfully Sims is burned

    • Dennis Westrick

      Don’t forget about Astronaut Farmer, better known as Bell’s teacher’s pet!

  48. Old-school

    Lodolo pitched!
    Only 3 k’s

    Martinez multi-innings?

    • Hanawi

      I’d let Martinez try to finish it if he can avoid trouble.

    • Dennis Westrick

      More often than not, Nick Martinez has been an effective RP and spot starter for this 2024 Reds team! I would like to see Bell use Cruz as The Closer once in a while! That would mean Bell would have to vary from the script chiseled into the stone tablets he carries around!

      • Harry Stoner

        Martínez ERA as a starter is 7+.

        ‘Effective’ he was not been.

        ‘Willing’, maybe.

        Hopefully, he’s not needed in that role anymore.

  49. Indy Red Man

    Maybe Martinez should be the 8th inning guy with Cruz. Demote Sims. Williamson for Justin Wilson. He’s the new long man/situation lefty

  50. Hanawi

    Elly needs a day off. He’s too good to send down right now though. Marte coming back will be big for this team. Benson can go. The constant shuffling drives me insane. Fairchild had a .900 plus OPS in May and got on 2 of his first 3 at bats yesterday and then got replaced and hasn’t seen the game since. He never had bad splits coming up, so I think his struggles against RHP is at least partially due to seeing them much less. I would play him over Benson every time.

    • Tom Noonan

      Elly Is a great asset at SS. Agree that he shouldn’t be sent down. They could certainly put him down in the order though. 7th?

      Friedl
      Hirtubise
      Steer
      Fraley
      Candy
      Stephenson
      Elly
      Español
      Benson/Fairchild

  51. Mark Moore

    Lucky nobody was on and the win blowing in.

  52. Indy Red Man

    Might be a good idea to quit throwing Belly heaters down the middle like he’s a 9 hitter. Martinez is nails out of the pen though

  53. Old-school

    Martinez nasty

    Theres your high leverage bullpen guy

  54. Dennis Westrick

    Martinez retires the side on 11 pitches! So, that means Bell will probably not bring him back to start the 8th inning! Wouldn’t want to effectively manage, i.e. save, the bullpen! Gotta stick to the Roulette RP script!

  55. Hanawi

    Hopefully Steer is coming out of the brutal slump he was in. Need him to be the leader in the middle of the lineup until some of the other guys get back.

  56. Jeremiah

    De La Cruz needs at least a day off more often. Espinal not the greatest hitter, but could fill in. Bell kind of treating De La Cruz like Cal Ripken Jr. at times. I think he seems tired at times, maybe mentally from struggling at the plate.

    This would be a nice win though for the Reds. Maybe take two out of three here and in Colorado and you have a little momentum.

  57. Dennis Westrick

    OK! OK! Bell made a liar outta me by bringing Nick back for the bottom of the 8th!

    Nick at only 22 pitches in 2 innings of relief! Dare Bell bring him back to close it out?

  58. Mike W

    Dang Arizona!
    Comeback win in the 9th, or we would have moved into a tie for 8th (from 9th in the Wild Card race)!
    Hurtubise’s intensity — face and following the ball — reminds me a bit of Rose.

  59. Old-school

    Diaz warming for the 9th cause thats the rules

  60. Indy Red Man

    Benson has a great eye. That and his speed/power keeps me hoping

    • Beaufort Red

      Huh!!!! I hope you’re joking.

  61. Mark Moore

    And the Golden Sombrero is complete … 😐

    • Harry Stoner

      Given all the silly hype, an “Electric” Sombrero is more apt.

      EDLC has more sombreros than a Fernando de Fuentes western.

  62. Dennis Westrick

    Never fear campers! Elly’s SO with 2 men on and 2 out got the Reds to the magic number of ten (10) SOs for the game!

  63. Mark Moore

    Buckle up, friends. Here we go.

  64. RedBB

    Diaz meltdown coming…..3…..2….1….

  65. JB

    Nice pick by Steer. Not sure Candy picks that.

  66. Old-school

    Steer is a great defensive first baseman

  67. GreatRedLegsFan

    Maybe it’s to remove Elly from the 2nd spot, at least until he can get on base again.

  68. Jeremiah

    Reds win! I thought Martinez would finish that one out, but bringing Diaz in worked today. Nice pitching all around. Fraley nice hitting, offense just getting a little better recently so that is helpful.

    For as much as us Reds fans sometimes complain, imagine the Cubbies fans after this series. It’s a long season though, will be interesting to see where the NL Central is around July, mid July.

    • Dennis Westrick

      Having lived in Northern Indiana for many years, I can tell you that Cub fans are used to losing seasons with few exceptions!

  69. Dennis Westrick

    Thank God! I can breathe again!

    For the life of me, i don’t know what Bell’s infatuation is with Diaz. And, under NO circumstances, deviate from the script!

    Nick Martinez was “in a groove” having retired 6 of the 7 batters he faced on only 22 pitches!

    Why not have Nick at least start the 9th?

  70. Mark Moore

    Time to go rip through the yard so I can keep on top of it. Series win against the Stupid Cubs always feels good.