A pitching duel broke out in Cincinnati on Friday night as Nick Lodolo and Justin Steele combined for 14 strikeouts and each picked up a quality start. It was the Reds offense that got just enough done on the day, though, as they held on for a 3-2 win. The victory extended their winning streak to six games and pulled them into a 2nd place tie in the National League Central.

Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (31-33)
2 6 1
Cincinnati Reds (31-33)
3 5 0
W: Lodolo (6-2) L: Steele (0-3) SV:Diaz (13)
Box Score | Game Thread

Nick Lodolo got himself into trouble in the 1st inning with a 1-out walk to Seiya Suzuki. After stealing second base, Suzuki moved up to third on an infield single to put runners on the corners with two outs and Reds killer Ian Happ coming to the plate. Cincinnati’s lefty locked in and struck out Happ to strand both runners.

Neither team mounted much of a thread over the next few innings as both starting pitchers racked up the strikeouts. But in the bottom of the 4th inning the Reds were able to get a little bit of a rally going when Elly De La Cruz walked, then stole second base when he was caught off the bag at first and just took off for second and beat a bad throw by Michael Busch. Spencer Steer struck out, but it happened on a wild pitch and Steer reached first and De La Cruz took third. That extended the inning for Tyler Stephenson who doubled down the line and brought in both runners to make it 2-0.

In the bottom of the 5th inning Blake Dunn hit a liner into left field for his 1st big league hit and he showed off his speed as he turned it into a double. Stuart Fairchild followed up with an RBI single to extend Cincinnati’s lead. The Cubs would get that run back quickly as Dansby Swanson hit a solo homer in the top of the 6th to cut the Reds lead to 3-1.

Nick Lodolo’s outing was complete after six innings of 1-run, 7-strikeout baseball. Nick Martinez would take over in the 7th for Cincinnati and fire off a perfect inning. Justin Wilson had to work around a leadoff single, but he was able to get the job done.

When the 9th inning began it was time for Alexis Diaz to come into the game and try to pick up the save. After getting to fly outs to center to start the inning, Diaz walked Michael Busch to bring the tying run to the plate. Miguel Amaya then doubled high off of the wall in left field, bringing Busch around to score and make it a 1-run game. The Cubs called on Nico Hoerner to pinch run for Amaya and pitching coach Derek Johnson made a mound visit to talk things over with the Reds closer. Patrick Wisdom came to the plate and fouled off two pitches after reaching a 2-2 count before Diaz got one by him for a strikeout to end the game in a Cincinnati 3-2 win.

Key Moment of the Game

The wild pitch on strike three to Spencer Steer in the 4th inning. The strikeout would have ended the inning, but Steer reached first and the inning stayed alive, giving Tyler Stephenson a chance to hit and it was his 2-run double that gave Cincinnati a lead that they wouldn’t give up.

Notes Worth Noting

Nick Lodolo lowered his ERA to 2.92 on the season through nine starts. He’s now got 56 strikeouts and just 12 walks in 52.1 innings pitched.

Nick Martinez continued to dominate as a reliever. With his shutout inning his ERA is down to 1.01 out of the Reds bullpen in 25.2 innings.

Cincinnati has won six in a row and has won 11 of the last 14 games.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds

Saturday June 8th, 4:10pm ET

Ben Brown (1-2, 3.33 ERA) vs Andrew Abbott (4-5, 3.39 ERA)

47 Responses

  1. Indy Red Man

    Happy for the Dunn kid. First hit and ends up being the winning run. They’re finding ways to win! It’s been a nice run!

    • sultanofswaff

      How he hits same handed pitching could determine whether he keeps a place on the team. Between him and Fairchild the one who does not exhibit extreme platoon splits will probably be the keeper, given the other skills seem to be relatively equal.

  2. AllTheHype

    Great win. But I just wish somehow I could get these stats thru Bell’s dense head.

    Diaz last 3 months
    Sep ’23 9.2 IP 8.38 ERA
    Apr ’24 12 IP 3.75 ERA
    May ’24 9.1 IP 8.68 ERA

    Seriously, time to wake up from the nap, drink a cup of coffee, and smell the roses. Stop making the 9th higher leverage than it already is.

    Maybe Krall needs to fix the problem by optioning him. There are better options in Louisville anyway.

    • JB WV

      The Reds have struggled offensively a good part of this year. Diaz has struggled a good part of this year. When the offense starts getting healthy, TJ, Fraley, India…the team gets healthy. When Diaz has a look on his face with the tying run in second and 2 down that is so intense you see smoke coming out of his eyes, he gets healthy.

      • stuckonthenorthshore

        Bruh…..if you are going to reply make it coherent enough for a drunk baseball fan to get

    • Jason Franklin

      My vote is let Cruz be the closer unless the team wants to trade for a legit closer. If they did that and brought up Santillan while keeping Martinez in the bullpen, it looks a lot better.

    • DW

      Even though the results aren’t fully there yet, I think Diaz is moving in the right direction. His fastball velocity is inching back up…fairly consistently in the 94-96mph range today. He was also much more fired up. If he could just cut down on the walks it would be huge.

    • Still a Red

      Hmm seems like Bell needs to get him to 12 innings/month and things will be ok

    • MFG

      Diaz and Simms make me nervous.
      They both tend to walk or hit at least one hitter per outing.

  3. Tom Reeves

    Currently tried for the Wild Card. Tied for second in the division and 6.5 back from the leader. 2 games under .500. Starting pitching and bullpen has been pretty strong. And the bats are heating up but not yet on fire.

    Hopefully the Reds stagger the next slump a bit so that it’s not everyone at the same time.

  4. Dennis Westrick

    Unfortunately, won’t pick up a game on Milwaukee as the Bernies won 10-0 over the Tigers!

  5. Melvin

    “Cincinnati has won six in a row and has won 11 of the last 14 games.”

    Keep it going! Let’s make some trades and get even better. 🙂

    • Red Lasso

      I don’t like the stress!

      But I do love the winning!!! Let’s win tomorrow and guarantee another winning series.

  6. Melvin

    Chris Welsh – “When is the last time we had back to back nights with a sacrifice bunt”?

    I like it. It shows a plan. It shows we can win more than one way. 🙂

    • Jason Franklin

      Seems like ever since Hurtubise came up, the team suddenly remembers that baseball includes fundamentals.

      • SteveAReno

        Hurtubise knows the fundamentals.

    • sultanofswaff

      I’d prefer guys getting on base and then hitting for power–that’s what teams that go deep into the postseason do.

      • Melvin

        @sultanofswaff I understand what you mean but if you face a really tough pitcher you have to be able to manufacture a run or two. If we could have done that in 2020 we probably would have advanced in the playoffs. As I’m sure you well know we didn’t score a single run in the entire series. In my view you have to be able to play the game in different ways in order to succeed consistently. Not playing one particular way and being unpredictable is always best in virtually any sport. Winning, even if you have to play “small ball” is always more fun.

      • Redsvol

        “Just win Baby”.

        To win it all we probably need more power. But we will have that when Ces, McLain, and marte get back.

        The Arizona diamondbacks did pretty well in playoffs last year just keeping the lineup moving. Had some power but not a power hitting team.

        I’d just like a playoff appearance and maybe a series win so the fan base finally gets rewarded a little bit. Phillies, Yankees and dodgers have just about paid for their appearance in the final four.

  7. Moon

    If the Reds split the next two games with the Cubs and the two with Cleveland I will consider it very successful homestand.

  8. Doc

    Maybe it’s time to lock up Lodolo long term. He’s certainly performing as the ACE of this staff.

  9. RedsGettingBetter

    This streak is not like the 12-game last year yet, but winning 11 out of 14 and still counting is really good in the big leagues. Just seeing when the Reds were 20-30 before facing the Los Angeles Dodgers in that moment it was unthinkable they could be 31-33 today.
    Reds now go to look for a series win tomorrow after secured a split. They should take advantage of the starting pitching matchup on Saturday because the finale game brings Shota Imanaga for the Cubs so that would be a tough rival…
    Díaz struggled again being lucky about the rocket at the wall by Amaya were not a tying-game homer…

    • Tom Reeves

      It’s not unthinkable. When they were in LA, I posted on here that I thought they’d be back to .500 by June 15th. They seem to be beating my projection but it’s close.

  10. DHud

    Diaz cannot be relied upon if this team wants to truly compete

    Even when he’s getting outs it’s because he’s effectively wild. All it takes is a disciplined team at the plant to render him just wild

    • Longtimefan

      They need to make Diaz wear shorter pants with stirrups. He spends more time fixing the bottom of his pant leg than concentrating on his pitching. Literally after every pitch he bends down and pulls his pant leg over his shoe tops. I think it has cause his back to be sore and lessened his velocity and movement. Lol.

      • DW

        Maybe getting a little pine tar or resin down there?! Haha

      • JC

        I just said the same thing about his pants. Drives me crazy watching this after almost every pitch.

  11. Jason Franklin

    He has some of the nastiest pitches in the NL. You may be right about getting him signed sooner rather than later. I think Lodolo and De La Cruz need extended before their price gets too high. McLain also if he comes back looking good.

    • Jason Franklin

      Yipes. I think my comment was teleported to the wrong spot. Sometimes the replies get jabberwalled here.

  12. TR

    Very nice, as a fan, to be on the winning side of a one run game with outstanding pitching and timely hitting. The Reds have a split series, now make it a winning one.

  13. Jim t

    Very nice win!!! Got great starting pitching, some timely hitting and while it wasn’t pretty Diaz got the job done. Let’s win Saturday and take the series.

  14. GreatRedLegsFan

    This is definitely another team with Friedl in the lineup, his bunt hit was amazing. Also, Dunn’s double was outstanding, the guy has some serious wheels.

    • Jim t

      While TJ has provided a spark the starting pitching has been very good.

    • redfanorbust

      100% agree about Friedl. We are playing good baseball of late with the still depleted group we have. Now can’t wait till get Marte, CES and Mclain back. Will be interesting to see who gets cut/traded or sent down when we are back to full strength.

  15. Tom Reeves

    NL East Combined Run Differential: -1

    NL Central Combined Run Differential: +5

    NL West Combined Run Differential: -32

  16. Roger Garrett

    Reds starters keep them in the game and have IT.IT being they battle and compete which is all you can ask for.Bad that Williamson got shut down and hope its not for long.Anybody know about CES?

  17. old-school

    Really good to see the Reds win and get this 2024 season back on track, as they were on life support a few weeks back. Also good to see some young players “graduating” into good MLB players. I said before the season Reds have a chance if Greene and Elly break through into All stars and great players. Lodolo might be doing the same.

    Some concern about the starting pitching though as it looks like Williamson wont be back any time soon and could miss the year and Ashcraft is back in AAA trying to regroup. Martinez is excelling in his role in the bullpen so leave him there and Spiers can certainly give you a few starts but thats not a plan for the next 4 months. Crochet of the WHite Sox or other SP from the MLB ne’erdwells would slot in nicely in the 5th spot in the rotation and hopefully continue this run of baseball where the Reds have a chance to win every game they play because of the strength of the starting rotation.

  18. Jim t

    Only 4 teams in the national league are above 500 at this point of the season. The wild card is very possible for this team.

  19. Old-school

    Its looking more and more like Marte will be the only significant internal addition before the AS break

    Williamson out indefinitely and per Charlie Goldsmith CES doing strength work soon but wont swing a bat for weeks.


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