The Cincinnati Reds extended their winning streak to seven games on Saturday evening, but it wasn’t easy. Chicago would claw their way back to make it a 1-run game and were threatening in the 9th before the Reds would close things out and seal their third win in a row against the Cubs.

Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (31-34)
3 10 1
Cincinnati Reds (32-33)
4 6 0
W: Abbott (5-5) L: Brown (1-3) SV: Wilson (1)
Box Score | Game Thread

Andrew Abbott struck out the first two hitters of the game, but then found himself in trouble after Cody Bellinger single and stole second base. Dansby Swanson followed up with an RBI double to put Chicago up 1-0. Abbott then walked Ian Happ to put another man on, but he buckled down and got a fly ball to shallow left field to end the inning.

It didn’t take long for the Reds to get that run back. With two outs in the bottom of the 1st Jeimer Canderlio turned on a hanging curveball and sent it into the seats in right field for a solo blast that tied things up.

Andrew Abbott would get himself into and out of jams over the next two innings to keep the game tied up . In the bottom of the 3rd Cincinnati’s offense went back on the attack. Jonathan India walked to lead off the inning and TJ Friedl came through with a 2-run homer to give the Reds the lead.

Chicago once again put pressure on Abbott in the 5th when Dansby Swanson doubled and Ian Happ followed up with a 2-out walk. The Reds lefty then fell behind 3-1 to Mike Tauchman before firing a fastball down the middle. Tauchman hit it well, but he hit it to center field and left just enough room for Friedl to track it down on the warning track to end the inning. In the bottom of the inning Cincinnati padded their lead when Jonathan India picked up an infield single and took second base when the throw from Patrick Wisdom sailed out of play. Will Benson laid down a bunt to move India to third and then the Reds second baseman would score on a groundout to make it 4-1.

The Reds went to their bullpen to begin the 6th inning and the Cubs got to Emilio Pagan for a run after a single from David Bote and a double from Yan Gomes that cut the lead to 4-2. Two innings later Fernando Cruz took over after Sam Moll tossed a perfect inning. Cruz gave up a 1-out single and a 1-out double to put two men in scoring position. Pete Crow-Armstrong grounded out but both runners moved up and made it a 4-3 ballgame and had the tying run 90 feet away, but Patrick Wisdom ended the inning with a fly out to left field.

Cincinnati handed the ball to Lucas Sims for the 9th and he began things by walking Christopher Morel. Cody Bellinger grounded into a force out, but then Dansby Swanson singled to put runners on the corners with one out. That was enough for manager David Bell and he called on Justin Wilson to take over for Sims. He would get Ian Happ to pop up in foul territory and Tyler Stephenson made a sliding catch near the Reds dugout to record the second out of the inning. A few pitchers later Wilson got Mike Tauchman to hit a grounder to Spencer Steer at first base to end the game.

The win gave Cincinnati their 7th in a row and guaranteed them a series win against the Cubs with a chance to grab a sweep on Sunday.

Key Moment of the Game

Justin Wilson coming out of the bullpen with one out and the tying run at third base and stranding two runners to pick up the save.

Notes Worth Noting

The Reds were out-hit on the day 10-6. No Red had more than one hit, but TJ Friedl and Jonathan India both had a hit and a walk in the game.

Elly De La Cruz stole his league leading 34th base of the season.

Sam Moll’s shutout inning lowered his ERA to 2.19 through 15 outings this season with the Reds.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds

Sunday June 9th, 1:40pm ET

Shota Imanaga (5-1, 1.88 ERA) vs Frankie Montas (3-4, 4.00 ERA)

90 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    Pretty much. Though I still say the TySteve grab gets at least an honorable mention. I gotta believe that fired up Wilson. Plus it was Ian UnHappY that was out via that pop-up.

    • wkuchad

      That was definitely one of my loudest yells/cheers during the game.

    • Doug Gray

      The only reason I had against using it was that it would have just been a foul ball and we don’t exactly know what would have happened. Big time play, though.

      • Harry Stoner

        Well, Wilson did induce the pop up rather than a sac fly or a hit or even a tough groundout.

        So Wilson + Stephenson co-authors on that one particular play.

        Took out Happ and likely let some air out of the Cubes’ tires.

      • SteveAReno

        Justin Wilson deserved the recognition. He also got the Save. I was at the game and if you could see his face on the third out you would be very happy about it. He is healed and will be an important bullpen contributor.

  2. Indy Red Man

    Wish Bell would bury Sims like he buried Farmer, but atleast he went and got him before they tied it or worse. Martinez last 9.1 ip with 3 hits, 1 run. Finally see their ace tomorrow with a chance to sweep

    • Roger Garrett

      He needs to take a look at Sims.Prior to today he had threw 20 inning and gave up 17 hits and 5 left the yard and 10 runs total walked 13 and struck out 23.Whip of 1.48.Walks and homers are what relievers can’t do especially in high leverage situations.Bell was bailed out by Wilson because Sims should never gone out to face the heart of the order.Bell scripted Moll then Cruz then Sims and Wilson turned it into a win.Bad decision by Bell period.Great play on the pop up by Tyler.

  3. Melvin

    “Reds survive late scare, win 4-3 to extend winning streak”

    That’s for sure. haha

  4. RedsGettingBetter

    Huge win to keep the streak going forward.
    Sims is struggling again and does not seem a reliable option to high leverage situations right now.
    Reds moved up to 4-11 in 1-run games so far.
    The offense has not been hot in the last two games but hit in clutch situations and the pitching with solid defense permit to win. The luck also was present in many plays…
    Tomorrow is the harder game of this series so they will face Imanaga who has been very good for the Cubs. I hope Montas could be at the top of this challenge…

  5. Jonathan Linn

    Tyler Steve looked like Johnny Bench in that catch

  6. Jeremiah

    Great play by Stephenson! Who in their right mind when the Reds were 20-30 could have envisioned them being 1 game under .500 within just a few weeks? Certainly not me.

    I think it’s going to be very interesting to see if this has just been a very hot spell, and they settle back into mediocrity kind of like they did last year mostly after the 12 game winning streak, or the Reds are legitimately a good team, and get to a point where they’re staying at least several games over .500.

    I have no idea, the ebbs and flows of the baseball season with streaking teams seem to be more than I remember as a younger fan.

    Cubs seem to lack talent overall. I think they’re dependent on Bellinger and Swanson to be stars, if not, they’re just not that great. But they could get hot too at some point. I just hope for baseball’s sake there is not a 84 win team in the playoffs and going to the World Series, I think it dilutes the regular season’s importance overall.

    Still so early, but nice to be back in it basically just 65 games into the season. I have no clue what to expect, but it’s fun seeing the Reds play well.

    • Reaganspad

      Right mind?

      So are you saying those of us who did are crazy folks?

      Isn’t the definition of fanatic a synonym?

      Shoot, I thought the 83 Reds were going to rip off a few of these streaks.

  7. Klugo

    TJ friggin Friedl for Player of the friggin Week!
    TySteve out there trying to win a Gold Glove.
    Abbott battling without his best stuff to the tune of 1ER over 5.
    Candelario do his best switch hitting Joey Votto.
    And we got.another huge series win with a tough one tomorrow.
    Let’s Go Reds.

  8. DHud

    *breathing into paper bag currently over reds win streak and standings position

  9. Jeff Morris

    For Lucas Sims, it’s time to cut ties and waive him.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      Maybe it’s time to choose between him and Farmer and recall Alex Young.

    • wkuchad

      That seems like a shortsighted decision at this point

    • Jeremiah

      Simms, Gibaut, Farmer, maybe even Pagan now are all about the same Pitcher I think. Sims did have a good ERA last year. I feel like he’s like a 4th, 5th guy out of your bullpen but the Reds have kind of set him up like a 2nd guy almost. I think they need a dominant righty in the bullpen if they try to make a run this year.

      • Still a Red

        I’d say Martinez is your dominant right hander…and Cruz was too tho iffy of late

    • Rcsodak

      But they just promoted him in an article. That dooms any move. ?

  10. JB

    Couldn’t watch the game but I see my boy Friedl with the bomb. The dude is LEGIT

  11. Roger Garrett

    Bell made the wrong call with Sims in the 9th.He just did but Wilson bailed him out.Sims should never close until he cuts down on the walks and home runs.

    • wkuchad

      Whatever. Sims has a very solid year last year and probably has the most experience closing in the bullpen vs Diaz.

      • Mauired

        13 walks and 5 homers in 20 innings. Sims has been awful. Time to move on.

        Santillan should be in Reds bullpen. He might be the closer if Diaz falls off.

      • Harry Stoner

        What do “Last year…” and “Experience” have to do with the fact that Sims has been very hit and miss, on and off, in and out, effective and ineffectual, yin and yang?

        I’m not suggesting that the Reds punt on him just yet, but he hasn’t been dependable this season.

        So, you’re thought is to keep running him out there because he had a good season last year?

        Bell handled it okay. I don’t fault him for giving Sims a shot: A two run lead. Starts the inning instead of coming in with men on base.

        And then he yanked him before things go worse.

        Wilson pulled it out, but Stephenson was the tide turner.

        The Reds won.

        That doesn’t mean Sims’s poor performance goes unrecognized.

      • wkuchad

        Hilarious. If we “cut ties” with every player suggested on this site, half the team would be gone.

      • wkuchad

        Also, “experience” pitching in the 9th with a 1-run lead isn’t meaningless.

      • Mauired

        Sims ERA is 4.43 and his career ERA is 4.52.

        He’s not good. Definitely should not be the main setup man and backup closer.

        Reds have better pitchers in Louisville

      • Harry Stoner

        You’re being self-delusional at best.
        Not like these lame rhetorical arguments can convince anyone else.
        “Experience” means you’ve done it before.
        That has nothing in particular to do with what you’re doing now.
        You’re bending over backwards to try and convince people that Sims’s past performance somehow negates his current performance.
        Your cred is dropping as fast as his is.
        Know when to quit on a bad argument.

      • 2020ball

        Just ignoring his past performance and plus stuff because it follows your argument is also pretty short sighted, just sayin. Also I see no reason to put his argument down here like you’re doing, but I’m not one to talk so…

      • Mauired

        Plus stuff?

        He has a MLB average fastball that gets hammered into the seats, and a good slider that he rarely has control of.

  12. Roger Garrett

    Senzel goes 3 for 3 with his 6th homer against the Braves today.Always liked him and thought when they moved him to the outfield it was a bad move.Hope he can stay on the field this year.

    • Mauired

      He’s having a good year with the bat. I don’t watch the Nationals so unsure how his defense is at 3rd everyday.

  13. Michael Wilson

    Yeah, I don’t agree with the “who’s rested” theory either. When you absolutely, positively can not walk a batter, why would you go with Sims?

  14. Melvin

    Alright. We’re on a roll and being VERY competitive. Now lets make some moves and be VERY GOOD. Let’s not settle for anything else. It’s been a LONG time.

    • wkuchad

      What’s main area you want to improve?

      Bullpen – solid up and down – we’d likely DFA guys to improve; we already need to cut someone when we eventually need a 5th starter

      Starters – maybe one make sense here with Ashcraft’s struggles and Williamson called back from rehab; I really like our 1-4 though

      Infield – likely no with Marte and CES eventually coming back; it just doesn’t make sense to add an infielder

      Outfield – maybe yes – we have Friedl, Fraley, Benson, and Steer, but adding a well-above average OF that mashes lefties and holds own against righties would help this team

      • Moon

        I would like another solid closer. Perhaps that guy is already on staff but then develop him into that roll. It is not Sims. And I think they could use another catcher for Maile. Maile just cannot hit well enough. Even a guy that can hit .230 would be 50 points better than Maile. I think there is someone out there the Reds could get that would fill that need. The rest of the guys are probably good enough for now. But if you can get a pickup someplace that improved the team without compromising the future by giving up an important prospect you do it.

      • Melvin

        “but adding a well-above average OF that mashes lefties and holds own against righties would help this team”


      • Melvin

        “Bullpen – solid up and down”

        Disagree on that one. Are we much better than last year? Sure. Need some guys that can lock down innings 7-9. Some may turn out to already be in the organization but we need more. Maybe some already on the roster go in trades. Who knows?

        Starters – Starting pitching has been pretty solid with Aschraft being the weakest link. This time last year he might be the Ace. Always room for improvement.

        Infield – is okay especially with Marte coming back and possibly McLain. Doesn’t mean we couldn’t improve if a deal came along.

      • Melvin

        Here’s the thing. We’ve been losing for so long and have been programmed for so long to accept mediocrity that’s it’s hard to know/realize what a good team really looks like. We have to “push” ourselves to overcome that and strive for more. We’ve had a little taste of winning and it’s exciting. We can’t be satisfied. We can and should be better. We need to be if we really want to win.

      • 2020ball

        True but you’re kinda dodging his point by just saying the pen isn’t what you want, when the numbers say otherwise. Gonna need a better assessment than that too convince me it needs a major improvement.

        That said every team should be looking to improve, as you’re saying. I’ll always take more talent on the team.

  15. Jeremiah

    Reds pen is just a little better than “Ok” I’d say. I think they need a dominant Right handed reliever if they were serious about making a run, and still in the race come late July. Sam Moll is probably their best reliever it seems. Diaz I think is unstable overall, but aside from his High ERA he’s actually done ok closing out games with 2 blown saves.

    I did check and surprised to see the Reds bullpen has the least blown saves in baseball at 3.

    If you’re in a playoff race game in the last weekend of the season, and Hunter Greene or Abbott goes 7 innings, who do you bring in to close it out? I think Moll and probably Diaz.

    Cruz is solid too…I kind of like the bullpen because it’s kind of a blue-collar bullpen with a lot of slightly better than average guys overall, but in a Playoff run I think you need an upgrade with at least one more dominant thrower.

    • Still a red

      Well you have to be in a save situation to blow a save and there weren’t many in May. Not sure what their save pct is.

  16. Votto4life

    The Reds are playing very well. It’s hard to believe they are just one game under .500. They are also +17 in run differential. The only other team with a positive run differential ,in the division, is the Milwaukee Brewers.

    While David Bell’s decisions are often baffling, I do give him credit for righting the ship over the past few weeks. I really hope it continues.

  17. Mauired

    The schedule finally softened and Reds have taken advantage big time. They are the hottest team in baseball.

    Next week with Guardians and Brewers is going to be real tough. I hope it’s not a regression.

    But following next week, there is a much easier stretch. Home and away with Pittsburgh, and Red Sox, and Cardinals to finish June. They could win a lot of games this month.

    • Rcsodak

      They have troubles with both SL and Pitt. Let those chicks hatch

  18. Rednat

    Reds playing good fundamental baseball. I was at the game today and i really didn’f see any glaring mistakes. Benson gets the bunt down. good aggresive baserunning with India coming home on contact expanding the lead. Even Steer getting doubled ip at third was not a bad play. He was running on contact.

    I guess if i were splitting hairs India didnt quite hit EDLC in the right spot to turn the double play but otherwise perfectly played game.

    The strength of this team ( and organization) is the starting pitching and hopefully it can carry us to the playoffs this uear.

    • Melvin

      “Benson gets the bunt down. ”

      At least one sac bunt three games in a row. Wow & Cool.

      • LarkinPhillips

        And we have won a couple one run games. Crazy how good fundamentals and strategy win close games. To bad we couldn’t di that earlier this year. We wouldn’t have 11 one run loses.

  19. Mike W

    A public shout out to the GM or Owner who obviously directed Bell about 3 weeks ago to: let starters pitch out of trouble and deeper into the ballgame; and that bunting is a smart thing to do in numerous situations (sacrifices and singles); and try not to use closers in non-save situations; and minimize player substitution and let your solid players play the whole game (vs lefties or righties). Yeah! Finally! He’s managing the way everyone, but him, knew was the right way to play baseball for the last 5 years. No more Bell Ball!

    • Jim Walker

      I agree. It certainly seems like Bell caught some heat from somewhere. The change seems to have started when there was a hint of a kerfuffle involving whether Stephenson was the clear choice for the #1 catcher. Since then, he has been and has been an emerging leader. Maybe some of the public Bell sycophants in the clubhouse let him know in private there was a limit to their support.

      • Melvin

        Stephenson DOES seem to me to be an emerging leader. That’s good.

      • Old-school

        He can lead from the bench today

        Dh would have been a pseudo rest day plus the off day tomorrow and Thursday.

      • Melvin

        Benched again Jim as we type these things. If he’s not hurt/ailing why not DH today? As has been pointed out off days tomorrow and Thursday.

      • Mauired

        Typical Bell logic. Reds are facing one of the toughest lefties in the sport. Reds offense struggles against lefties. So let’s remove one of the biggest weapons Reds offense has against lefties in Stephenson and give him the day off.

        This has moved has resulted in Reds losing 3 out of every tries so far this season. Having Maile and Espinal in usually ends in disaster.

        But Bells motto is “if it’s broken don’t fix it”

      • Old-school


        I almost posted this morning who was going to sit today. Bell had Espinal written in a week ago with the lefty and a sunday day game and Maile was written in as well. So lineup with Espinal in infield and maile catching was on a stone tablet. The ripple effects are then who DH’s and who sits among Steer candy india stephenson?

        Steer to DH candy to first base india stays 2b and Ty steve with his # 2 fWAR on the positional side gets 3 days off this week.

        Bright side is we got a great pinch hitter if needed.

    • Richard Fitch

      Or …

      maybe David Bell was saving his starters for the dog days of summer, when he knew he’d need to rely on them if he hoped to have a reliable starting staff in July and beyond.

      Or …

      maybe bunting in numerous situations and giving away precious outs never was the “smart” thing to do, but old baseball thinking still prevails with a certain segment of fan bases.

      Or …

      maybe closers should always be used when the game is on the line, which is often in the 7th and 8th inning. But old baseball thinking …

      Or …

      maybe putting your players in situations where they are likely to succeed was always the best strategy when you don’t have multiple all-stars in the lineup, hence lefties vs. righties. But again, old baseball thinking …

      Or …

      maybe “everyone” who knew how to manage this team from their couches are just a handful of disgruntled self-hating Reds fans who hate the new metrics game, long for the Great 8 days and can’t accept that baseball is a different game than it was 40 years ago.

      Or maybe, David Bell is a better manager than many on here will ever admit.

      Just maybe.

      • Melvin

        Personally I don’t care what “school” we use old, new or inbetween as long as we win. You have to be flexible and not too stubborn about doing things a certain way. Just win.

  20. TR

    A phenomenal team turnaround with another one run win, a series win, and today the Reds go for a sweep & the key .500 average. Not a good weekend for Cubbie fans in Cincy. My shoutout, for this surprise, would be the Reds Director of Pitching, Derek Johnson.

  21. wkuchad

    I was very glad to see Abbott get the chance to tough it out and get the win last night. Great experience for him. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted his last batter to be his last. But I’m glad it worked out the way it did.

  22. Jim t

    Fairchild leading off and TJ batting 7th against a lefty. Go!!!!

    • Mauired

      Excellent move of moving the best leadoff hitter in national league out of the leadoff spot for no reason.

  23. Mauired

    Pagan out again. That was fast and a waste of 8 million.

    Spiers up again. How many options does Spiers have left this season? Seems like they have burned through a lot and not even halfway through season.

    • west larry

      My understanding of options is that you can use the current years option as much as you need to. but no matter how many time you use it. that option counts as a years worth. ad you only can option a player so many times over the years. Martini had option left and he is thirty-three.

    • wkuchad

      I believe once you use an option, it’s good for the entire season. So you’re not burning add’l options.

    • Mauired

      I meant to say how many more times can Spiers be sent to Louisville?

      The new rule is only 5 in season demotions to minors. Seems like he has already been demoted two or three times.

    • MBS

      So will Spiers by starting in place of Ashcraft, or working in the pen? Either way I’d like to keep him up here. He’s looked great in AAA, and very good in his cups of coffee on the Reds.

      • Old-school

        Beat reporters saying Spiers tuesday and pushing greene back a day with high pitch counts lately

  24. jmb

    I’d love to see the Reds get Crochet, but I’d also like to see them get Detmers, Ward, and Adell from the Angels. I’d be willing to give up Stewart, Arroyo, and Rodriguez to the Angels (perhaps Fairchild, Dunn, and Hurtubise would also have to go), and I’d be wiling to send Phillips, Allen, and Jorge for Crochet. The Reds then would have the dept to trade Candelario and Montas (and maybe Martinez), as each will be sought after at the deadline.

    • Jimbo44CN

      From what I have seen of Adell, no thanks, as far as Crochet is concerned, maybe, but we really don’t need another starter, and giving up Hurtabise , Dunn and Fairchild. Really hard pass.

      • Mauired

        Adell seems to be the right handed Benson. 25 year old former 1st round pick with tons of power and speed. But struggles to make enough contact.

        Baseballs a funny sport. I’ve seen some world class athletes with hall of Fame potential bust out completely just because they can’t make contact 25-26% of time instead of 22-23% of the time.

  25. Mark A Verticchio

    No Stephenson as DH, Bell just can’t enjoy success, especially with 2 of the next 4 days off. Oh well, hopefully they will continue to win.

    • Mauired

      Its like raising the white flag before the games starts by not having Stephenson in against Imanaga. It will be fun watching Espinal and his one pitch pop-ups instead.

      • Mark A Verticchio

        You are 100% correct, I still believe what success this team has is in spite of Bell, for the most part. I will give him credit for some bunts recently but the bull pen handling is still not great.

  26. Mark A Verticchio

    The big issue right now to me is that no matter how long the winning streak lasts they must be better than last year after it ends. After the 12 game streak last year they had a losing record.


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