The Reds offense came alive once again in another come from behind win. Cincinnati scored five runs between the 6th and 7th innings to beat the Chicago Cubs 8-4 on Thursday night to grab the first game of the 4-game series between the two clubs.

Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (31-32)
4 5 0
Cincinnati Reds (30-33)
8 9 0
W: Greene (4-2) L: Assad (4-2)
Box Score | Game Thread

Cincinnati had a good opportunity in the bottom of the 2nd inning when they put two runners on with one out, but they couldn’t come through and both runners were stranded. The Cubs didn’t waste their baserunner in the top of the 3rd. Miguel Amaya led off with a single and then scored when Seiya Suzuki hit a ball into the upper deck in left field to give the visiting team a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the inning the Reds tried to get a little rally of their own going. Will Benson led off with a single and TJ Friedl followed up with a walk. On the 1-year anniversary of his big league debut, Elly De La Cruz took the first pitch he saw and hit it 115 MPH into the seats in right field for a go-ahead 3-run homer.

The score remained 3-2 until the 6th inning. Cody Bellinger doubled to start the inning and then he came around to score when Christopher Morel homered just beyond the glove of a leaping TJ Friedl in center to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead.

Cincinnati went right to work in their half of the inning. Jake Fraley singled to start the inning and then Tyler Stephenson was hit by a pitch to put two men on. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners up and that made it easy for Fraley to score when Jonathan India lined a single into left field to tie things up. After striking out Will Benson, Javier Assad was replaced on the mound by Luke Little to give the Cubs a lefty-lefty match up with the Reds having runners on the corners. TJ Friedl did mind the match up and lined an RBI double into right field to put Cincinnati up 5-4.

With 98 pitches on the day, Hunter Greene returned to the mound to begin the 7th inning. He would get a pop up and a grounder to shortstop and need just seven pitches to get that accomplished. But he would follow that up by walking the next batter on six pitches and that would end his day as Cincinnati went to the bullpen to bring in Fernando Cruz. Tachman would steal second base and then take third on a wild pitch. With a full count, Cruz came through with a slider that locked up Seiya Suzuki for a called strike three to end the inning and preserve the Reds lead.

In the bottom of the inning the Reds found themselves with the bases loaded thanks to three walks by two pitchers. That brought Jonathan India to the plate with two outs and three runners out there to potentially bring in. He wouldn’t get the chance to bring in more than one as he walked on five pitches to extend the Cincinnati lead to 6-4. Porter Hodge wouldn’t get another chance on the mound this day, either, as the Cubs called on some help from the bullpen after he walked the last three hitters he faced. Chicago brought in Kyle Hendricks, who was recently demoted to the bullpen due to poor performance in the rotation. The first pitch he threw to Will Benson was lined into right field for a 2-run single that made it 8-4 and capped off the inning.

After both teams went quietly in the 8th inning it was time for Alexis Diaz to try and put the game away in the 9th. He’d walk the leadoff hitter before rebounding with a strikeout of Dansby Swanson. Three pitches later he also struck out Pete Crow-Armstrong. Chicago then called on Michael Busch to come off of the bench. Diaz would strike him out, too, ending the game and keeping the Reds winning streak alive at five in a row.

Key Moment of the Game

Will Benson’s 2-run single in the 7th that gave the Reds some breathing room and put the game out of reach.

Notes Worth Noting

Cincinnati has won five games in a row and 10 of their last 13 games. With the Pirates loss to the Dodgers, the Reds moved ahead of Pittsburgh in the standings and are no longer in last place (both are 6.5 back, but the Reds are ahead in winning percentage). If the Cardinals lose tonight – they are trailing as I type this – the Reds would also jump ahead of them by winning percentage and all three would be 6.5 games out of first place.

Tyler Stephenson and Will Benson were the only Reds with two hits. But TJ Friedl, Jeimer Candelario, Jake Fraley, and Jonathan India all had a hit and a walk.

The bullpen combined for 2.1 hitless innings and five strikeouts. The walk to lead off the inning by Alexis Diaz was the only baserunner they allowed on the night.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds

Friday June 7th, 7:10pm ET

Justin Steele (0-2, 4.10 ERA) vs Nick Lodolo (5-2, 3.11 ERA)

64 Responses

  1. LDS

    Pittsburgh is 7 out. So the Reds are really out of the cellar. Let’s see if they can keep it that way.

  2. Melvin

    “Cincinnati has won five games in a row and 10 of their last 13 games.”

    That’s great. Awesome. Now we need to figure out now how to keep it going and not falter down the stretch this year. More discipline and fundamentals would go along way towards that. Let’s keep winning. 🙂

    • Stock

      We didn’t have healthy pitchers last August and September.

  3. Melvin

    With the way we’re playing, and some guys coming back, if we could somehow pull off a trade package that would acquire both Rooker and Miller from the A’s that could very well take us from just being competitive but into actually being good.

  4. Klugo

    TJ is Friedl is the man. It’s like I can see the pitchers thinking , “oh gosh, not this guy again”.

    • jmb

      You’re right! He’s a “gamer”! He’s the heart and soul of the team, I’d say, not India. He plays hard and lays it all out. Could be a new Rose type.

  5. Dennis Westrick

    Reds are no longer in last place in the NL Central and are now 6.5 games behind Milwaukee and only one game out of 2nd place in the Division!

    In the NL Wild Card race, now only one (1), yes one game out of the 3rd WC spot!

    • Stock

      One game out of the 2nd wild card spot.

    • jmb

      Yes, but who are they winning against? Winning is fun, of course; as was said in “Bull Durham,” it’s better than losing. But you have to be able to beat the champs, not just the chumps. True, the Reds swept the Dodgers, but what other teams have they swept? Answer: the White Sox, Angels, and Rockies. Chumps! And what teams have they been swept by? Seattle (1st place), Arizona (last year’s NL champ), and Baltimore (picked by many to win the AL). And how many series have they lost? Again from “Bull Durham”: “Can’t I enjoy the moment?” “The moment is over.” This team is not built to compete with the champs. There’s work for Krall to do asap.

      • Ronnie

        The number in the wins column is just that…a number. I started cheering for this team 3 years ago (long story). I have never seen such a negative fan base. This team has barely seen the playoffs in the last 20 years. Let’s stop complaining and enjoy the streak. Once you make the playoffs everyone has a 0-0 record and anything can happen.

      • redfanorbust

        Agree with your facts but losing for extended periods at least three/four of some of your best hitters will tend to put a team in the “not built to compete with the champs” category.

      • Mauired

        Ronnie it’s ironic that you complained about the fans being negative and mentioned that the team hasn’t done anything in decades in the same statement. You would think someone would see the connection there.

  6. kypodman

    Once again the Reds win the first game of a series, that is 7 in a row and 8 of 9.

  7. JB WV

    With all the hype of India batting with the bases loaded after the slam last night, he didn’t force it and drew an important walk to put the Reds up 2. Veteran ab, and Benson iced it.

  8. Tom Reeves

    Gotta love a David Bell managed team!

    • LDS

      Haha. Yep, leading candidate for manager of the year. Cinched it with the team’s performance in May

      • Mark Moore

        yOU ForGOt the sARCasM FoNt 🙂

        Agree … this is the kind of “stat” the FO tends to use to support their anointed guy.

      • Melvin

        We’ve seen this act before. lol He’s better than he was when he first started at least. Personally I’ll wait until we actually win something before even thinking about that. Winning in crunch time is what really matters. We were just about out of it with nothing to lose (like his other winning streaks). It (manager of the year) is a LOOOONG way off. 😉

  9. Tom Reeves

    Yep, he shepherded a young team through a rough patch, kept them calm, and help them adjust to the adjustments the league had made. Sure sounds like manager of the year attributed.

    • Mauired

      He had as much to do with that rough patch as his players with his terrible lineups and in game substitutions. Benson in leadoff. Mike Ford in 3 hole. Several others.

  10. CFD3000

    Cardinals lose. Reds now in 3rd by percentage points, can tie for second with a win tomorrow or two of three this weekend. Nice win tonight and a great start to this important series. Can we also say the quiet part out loud or do we jinx him? Will Benson has been nicely productive this last week and a half or so. Here’s hoping things are starting to click. We know the potential is there… fingers crossed for Billy B.

  11. RedsGettingBetter

    The Reds offense is working right now. They have scored 42 runs in the 5-game winning streak that’s good for 8,4 each game so if we consider the solid Reds pitching, it’s impossible to lose anyway.
    This is the seventh time in a row the Reds win the first match of a series.
    Pirates lost so they are 29-33 to fall in last place alone.
    Cards was defeated by the Rockies (BTW Reds just swept them) so they are 29-32 being 4th place on winning percentage.
    Reds are 3rd place right now at 1 GB Cubs …

  12. CFD3000

    Two more observations on the current standings and despite a miserable May. Not only are the Reds in position to claim 2nd place in the division but that would also put them in wild card position. And despite being in last place as recently as… yesterday the only team in the NL with a better run differential that is not in first place is the vaunted Braves. I remain cautiously optimistic.

  13. Melvin

    Hurtubise with two sac bunts were a big help in my view. That’s a valuable asset. Move runners over to 2nd and 3rd twice if I’m not mistaken.

    • Redsvol

      I’m not sure we win that game 2 weeks when Friedl was still on the DL. He just seems to give his teammates confidence.

      Proud of hunter for getting us almost thru 7. The bullpen becomes so much better when they only have to cover 2.1 instead of 3.1!

      Friedl, hurtibese, and Dunn. 3 on base machines.

    • DW

      Absolutely! I am really liking what he brings to the club. I would hate to see him sent back down.

    • Jimbo44CN

      My thoughts exactly. This kid is doing all the right things and is great on defense, has speed, hits to all fields. Really liking him in Left.

  14. AllTheHype

    Hunter threw 17 splits, or 15.3%. His season avg is 6.7%.
    7 balls
    3 called strikes
    5 swinging strikes
    1 foul
    1 fly out
    0 base hits

    • DW

      Good info. Glad he using a third pitch more consistently.

    • sultanofswaff

      This. I was quite frustrated with him/the coaching/his catcher in April when he was not using the splitter at all. You can see in the reaction of the hitters that pitch isn’t even on their radar. This will elevate him into an All Star caliber player rather than a #4 starter who struggles to get through five.

      • AllTheHype

        The split is one of the toughest pitches to command with same arm slot and arm speed as the FB. It was probably just a confidence thing, an evolution of that pitch in his arsenal. Can’t just throw it to throw it. He has to have confidence that he can locate it, which is starting to happen now.

        In regard to your All Star comment, absolutely. This is next level for him for sure.

    • old-school

      Cruz obviously has a great splitter but Montas does too.
      Maybe Montas is helping Greene’s growth as well with developing his pitch arsenal. Montas developed his splitter in 2019 and it really helped him become an elite starter for the A’s

      • AllTheHype

        Yeah those guys are nasty with their splits. I think Montas provides a great workman-like example to the other guys on the staff, not to mention his ability to provide insight on pitches.

      • AllTheHype

        But one of the things to take form Greene last night was not just that he threw 17 but that he threw 10 for strikes. Early on it was an infrequent show-me pitch that he was either afraid to throw in the zone, or couldn’t command it well enough to get it there. But now, he’s obviously commanding it, at least last night he did. And when he does that and batters have to defend it, it will make his FB that much better.

        It’s next level if he can do that consistently. He will be a TOR guy at that point.

    • redfanorbust

      Important pitching stat for Hunter and the Reds. I thought they had given up on a third pitch and just were going to try to get better placement on his other two but seems not and really hope this trend and results continues and gets better.

  15. Jeremiah

    Reds are rolling…everyone seemed to start hitting at the same time overall. I wonder how much of it seems to be Friedl’s effect? I’m not sure, but Candelario, India, Steer, Stephenson, all kind of picked it up. And now De La Cruz and Benson coming out of their slumps.

    I’ve been impressed with India especially, he’s getting on base at a pretty good clip the last 30 games. I almost think he’d be the better option hitting second, but De La Cruz picking it up, so it’s kind of all working now.

    Whether they play this good or even consistent for a couple months remains to be seen, but quite a turnaround recently. This team was dead in the water before that Dodgers series. The season is so long, if you have talent and it’s early there’s always a chance to turn a season around.

    • Earmbrister

      Candelario picked it up at the start of May after really struggling in April. Benson just woke up in the last two weeks after a tough May. Adding a quality bat to a lineup makes a big difference. Man it will be nice when we eventually get McLain back, be that in September or in April. Maybe Marte will surprise us, or CES.

      It didn’t make sense that the Reds offensive struggles would continue – practically the whole lineup was in a slump. The starting pitching has been pretty good all year, they’ve taken some pressure off of the hitters. Hopefully Williamson will pick up where he left off last year. It’s nice to have some starting pitching depth.

      Even the bullpen seems to have turned it around. They don’t seem to be giving up many walks recently.

      For all of the doom and gloom here lately the Reds are already back in contention for at least a wild card berth.

      Enjoy the ride – Go Reds!

  16. JB WV

    Gotta love the inadvertent beer shower the cubs fan received from Elly’s home run. Watched it a few times now and laugh harder every time

  17. Mark Moore

    Before I opened the recap, I was thinking Benson should get a shout out for the way he nailed that pitch to play add-on. Jury is still out on him, but moments like that continue to show his potential.

    • Mauired

      Yeah he’s still almost top 20 in National League with his 22 extra base hits. Only two behind Reds leader Jeimer Candelario. Also second on the team in Home Runs.

      4th on the team in OPS ahead of India. Strangely you hear for Benson’s head everyday but not a peep about India.

      For as bad as he’s been he’s top 3-5 in every Reds offensive category. He does need to cut down the strikeouts to reach his potential though.

  18. sultanofswaff

    For all their money it’s curious the Cubs didn’t invest in their bullpen.

    • Mauired

      They blew it all on Swanson. Guys making 25 mil per year. Lol. He’s worse than Candelario. One of the most over hyped players I’ve seen.

  19. Melvin

    I post these articles as food for thought and discussion. I don’t necessarily agree with them. Personally I’m very hesitant to deal Arroyo. As I’ve stated before, I’d like for him to eventually be my SS and EDLC my CF. Just to add to what’s already been said about trades, everyone can see what they think. I’m sure Doug will have some good ideas/articles coming up soon.

    • AllTheHype

      Reds would do that in a heart beat. But not Chicago. Not given what they asked for when 2 years of Cease was on the trade block.

      Phillips has much less value now, Arroyo has declined a bit in value given his injury, and Richardson was always a fringe prospect, not a top one.

      I would have no doubt that Chicago would be asking for something we don’t want to part with as a centerpiece, like Lodolo or McLain. Then add a lot more top prospects to that.

      • Melvin

        I don’t really want to give up Ashcraft despite his recent outings but what if he were part of the deal?

      • AllTheHype

        Even then it would probably be Ashcraft + Marte. or Ashcraft + Arroyo plus some. I’d maybe bite on the latter but I suspect White Sox will “shoot for the moon” like they did with Cease.

        Marte would be an untouchable for me. He’s got that rare combination of exit velo and contact that makes me want to see where his ceiling will be. I do think he could benefit from elevating, like McLain did. And I think he’ll figure that out. I think he’s going to be special.

      • Harry Stoner

        Trading Lodolo at this point would be sheer madness.

    • Votto4life

      Arroyo will be the Reds starting shortstop as early as next year. I wouldn’t deal him. But, Richardson, Phillips and a lesser prospect, sure.

      There are many reason why a Robert trade will not happen. He is expensive, often injured, and more importantly, it’s just not how the Reds do business. I think the last big name acquisition, during the season, was the pitcher who will remain nameless. Before that you probably would have to go back to Tom Seaver (although I am probably missing one or two.)

      • Melvin

        Not saying I’m totally against it right now but I’d be a lot more on board for a Robert trade if not for his injuries.

      • AllTheHype

        Roberts is not getting traded for nothing. Phillips and Richardson are essentially nothing.

    • MBS

      I’d do that trade in a heartbeat. I think it will cost more unfortunately.

  20. Indy Red Man

    Robert goes on the IL just rounding first? We don’t need that. How about something small like that reliever the Rocks brought in Sunday? Guy was throwing 99 with an era in the mid 2s in Coors and can go multiple innings. We phased out Espinal and Martini and the offense is much better. Now it’s time to phase out Sims and upgrade high leverage

    • Melvin

      I’m all for upgrading the bullpen that’s for sure and maybe even the BEST thing we can do. Having a Charleton-Dibble-Myers after 6 would be HUGE. We saw what it did for us in 1990.

    • Indy Red Man

      Vodnik. 1 hr allowed in 35 innings

      • Melvin

        I’d be more willing to stand pat with our current offense if I knew we could acquire this guy along with a guy like Miller too. I’m greedy though. I want to shoot for it all. 🙂

      • Votto4life

        But, according to Chris Welsh he has the name of a villain in a James Bond film.

      • west larry

        I don’t want Roberts at his apparently high price. And. as you pointed out. he is injury prone. No thanks. a hard pass. I’d love to have Vodnik…but what would his asking price be? Colorado could use a lot of help I wonder if would want prospect or a couple of guys off the 26-man roster?

    • Jim Walker

      In 2022-23 combined Robert Jr. had 7.1 bWAR on 996 PAs (401/595). In 2021, he had 3.6 bWAR on just 296 PAs. For his MLB career, he has produced a bWAR for every 125PAs. Not counting the COVID year, he has averaged 431PAs per full season, that’s a 3.5 seasonal bWAR rate. At these rates of production, he looks like a good risk to me for the known amount of money he would cost.

      • Melvin

        I think we’re all just a little too “Senzel paranoid”. I know Robert Jr. is much better though.

    • Mauired

      Reds can upgrade their bullpen without making a trade. Just promote Santillan or Maxwell. Young too.

      Vodnik would be a good pickup at the right price. But is he for sale? Rockies like to hold on to guys for no reason. Partly why they can get better.

      Kopech from the White Sox is probably available. Puk from Marlins as well.

  21. RedBB

    This offense got healthy quickly which is a great sign. Last night 8/9 of the lineup had an OPS over .700 w/ only Hurtubise below that.

    Up to 9th in the NL in OPS and 6th in runs scored where most of the season we were close to last at least in OPS.