A pitchers duel led to a tightly contested game on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh. Nick Lodolo struck out eight batters and allowed one run in seven innings and the bullpen did the rest to hold onto the lead given to them thanks to a 2-run home run by Santiago Espinal. The Cincinnati Reds evened up the series with the Pirates with the win, leading to tomorrow’s afternoon matchup where the winner takes the series.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (35-38)
2 9 0
Pittsburgh Pirates (35-38)
1 4 0
W: Lodolo (8-2) L: Falter (3-5) SV: Diaz (16)
Box Score | Game Thread

Nick Lodolo and Bailey Falter dueled for the first four innings of the game, with both pitchers keeping their opponents off of the board. That changed in the top of the 5th. Jonathan India hit a laser off of the wall in center for a double and then came around to score when Santiago Espinal took a 1-0 fastball and put it into the seats in left for a 2-run homer.

In the bottom of the inning the Pirates almost got one of those runs back when Michael A. Taylor hit a long fly ball into the left field corner, but Spencer Steer made a leaping catch at the wall. It wasn’t entirely clear if he robbed a home run or simply prevented an extra-base hit, but the catch kept Taylor off of the bases and Lodolo put up another clean inning.

Nick Lodolo kept cruising until there was an out in the bottom of the 7th when Ke’Bryan Hayes connected for a solo home run to cut the Reds lead in half. Lodolo would then hit the next batter before settling back in and retiring the next two hitters to complete the inning and sending the game to the 8th.

Fernando Cruz took over for Lodolo in the bottom of the 8th, ending the lefty’s day with seven innings of 1-run baseball that saw him strike out eight batters. Cruz issued a 1-out walk to Andrew McCutchen. Bryan Reynolds then hit a long fly ball to center, but Stuart Fairchild made a running catch on the warning track and then tossed the ball back to the infield where Elly De La Cruz caught the relay and jogged towards first before tossing the ball to Spencer Steer to easily double off McCutchen who had nearly reached third base by the time the ball was caught.

Alexis Diaz entered the game for the bottom of the 9th with the Reds hanging on to a 1-run lead. The Pirates called on Jack Suwinkski to pinch hit for Connor Joe, but Diaz sent him back to the dugout after throwing a 96 MPH fastball by him. A groundout to shortstop and then a check-swing grounder to first ended the game as Cincinnati evened up the series with a 2-1 victory.

Key Moment of the Game

The 2-run home run by Santiago Espinal in the 5th inning.

Notes Worth Noting

Jeimer Candelario seemed like he was dealing with issues with both of his legs are various points in the game while running the bases. He was even checked on at one point by the trainer and manager, but he remained in the game. After flying out to end the top of the 8th he was replaced in the field and removed from the game.

Nick Lodolo moved to 8-2 on the year. He lowered his ERA to 2.76 and now has 15 walks and 70 strikeouts in his 65.1 innings pitched this season.

The Reds struck out just four times in the game.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Pittsburgh Pirates

Wednesday June 19th,126:35pm ET

Hunter Greene (5-2, 3.61 ERA) vs Mitch Keller (8-4, 3.36 ERA)

76 Responses

  1. Jim t

    Greatest player I have ever seen, Willie Mays passed away. Saw him play at Crosley Field On quite a few occasions. His catch in the World Series was unbelievable.

    • SteveAReno

      Mays was awesome. Always enjoyed his play along with Roberto Clemente.

      • Jim t

        @Steve another one of my favorites. Sat behind him in the sun deck at Crosley Field on quite a few occasions.

      • TR

        As a kid, other than the Reds, Willie Mays was my favorite big-league player. When the New York Giants came to town, it was time to make the trip, before the interstate, from Trenton down to Crosley Field to see the phenomenal Willie Mays play ball.

      • Laredo Slider

        Love this Mays quote: “They throw it I hit it, they hit it I catch it.”

    • Oldtimer

      Saw him a bunch at Crosley and a little bit at Riverfront. RIP Say Hey Kid.

      • Daytonnati

        I remember the night 18-year old Gary Nolan struck Willie out 4 times at Crosley Field. I think he ended with 15Ks.

    • Jason Franklin

      @JimT I wish I had some of the experiences that you guys speak about. I would have love to have seen Mays or Clemente in person/live. Heck, or Bench or Morgan. 🙂 RIP to Mays.

    • Melvin

      Never saw him play. Just remember seeing his famous catch being replayed over and over again. Awesome player for sure.

  2. SteveAReno

    On the subject of pitching, we haven’t had too many pitchers that went 8-2 in their first ten games on a team playing .500 ball. Fernando Cruz now has 14 holds and most on the team. Cruz is approaching top 10 in all MLB with Holds.

    • Jason Franklin

      Exactly. Lodolo is one of the nastiest pitchers (not throwers) out there. Plus Cruz has potentially the best splitter (I Believe by fan graphs) in MLB. There’s some positives to look at on the team.

  3. Jason Franklin

    I really think that if the Reds were in a bigger market and had a better record, than Lodolo would probably get some all star consideration. He is the ace of the Reds and it’s not close.

    • Mark Moore

      He still might. Frankly, I’ve lost all interest in the ASG. The voting process is pretty close to a sham IMO. Take the break and come back rested.

      • Jason Franklin

        You’re right. It’s just a popularity contest decided by market shade. Plus being Lodolo probably still has some sort of innings limit, he could use the rest.

      • Melvin

        He can go and not pitch. I’d be happy.

      • Votto4life

        Very well said Mark. I haven’t watched the ASG in years. I would rather the Reds players rested and spent time with their families.

    • DW

      If he were a Dodger or Yankee he would be all over the headlines

    • Melvin

      Seems like I remember the Reds Jack Armstrong making the all star team with a 5-0 record. Lodolo is much better. He should make it.

      • Oldtimer

        Armstrong was 11-3 when he made ASG in 1990.

      • Melvin

        Yeah. That makes sense. I think maybe he started out 5-0.

      • Melvin

        He did pitch some in 88 & 89 so maybe he wasn’t classified as a rookie.

      • Harry Stoner

        Reds traded Jack Armstrong for Greg Swindell.

        That’s kind of mind blowing.

        IIRC Swindell last strong season as a starter was with Cinnati

      • Dewey Roberts

        He had a brief run of success and then fizzled out.

  4. Mark Moore

    Quick game; quick recap.

    Several of my clients are off tomorrow, so I’ll be in a good position to tune in. Hope Hunter was watching Nick tonight.

  5. Melvin

    “Nick Lodolo moved to 8-2 on the year. He lowered his ERA to 2.76 and now has 15 walks and 70 strikeouts in his 65.1 innings pitched this season.”

    Awesome! Allstar? 🙂

  6. Melvin

    Two runs wins the game tonight. Unless you think we can count on Espinal to pull us out on a regular basis……need I say we need help? 🙂

    • Moon

      I was going to post the same thing. He may end up being the one Reds representative on the All Star team. I think Elly is the only other player with a chance.

  7. gusnwally

    I remember asking my dad. Pop, how come we almost always see the Giants or the Cardinals. We never see the Dodgers or the Braves. He replied. If I have to pay 1.50$ to get in this *^$#*& place, I am going to see Willie Mays or Stan Musial. Pop was a pretty smart guy.

    • DaveCT

      Same question, different answer: Ted Williams.

  8. Eddiek957

    Nice game. I’d like to see India leading off. Fairchild what a catch

  9. JB WV

    Draft contract up with the #2 pick. Two top hitters projected to be the first two, but if the Reds drafted the top rated pitcher who supposedly is as good or better than Skenes, with what is already there…? Interesting choice coming up

    • Jason Franklin

      I don’t think there has been much talk of this years top pitcher being better than Skenes. Don’t get me wrong, he is the top pitcher this year and there is some value to that but the Reds really need a thumper in the lineup. I could see either Condon or Bazzana being to the show in a couple years. It keeps flipping between Bazzana and Condon as who the Guardians will draft.
      The other reason that the Reds may go with the pitcher or another top 5/6 guy is how much they could lowball the contract. I wouldn’t be surprised if they went the penny pinching route over talent. I mean, look at who owns them, Mr. Kroger himself.

      • Redsvol

        I think they are going Chase burns and will save some money to apply to their 2nd rounder and comp B picks. Too much smoke regarding reds and burns.

        But I would prefer they go with condon. We need a couple fast moving outfielders. The cupboard is bare. I also worry about how violent burns throwing motion is. Sure fire injury coming there once he is forced to throw every 5 days in the minors. Hagen smith has a smoother delivery.

    • Votto4life

      Yeah, I saw a mock draft by MLB pipeline the other day. They have the Reds selecting the pitcher from Wake Forrest.

      I don’t know, pitchers are just so injury prone. Tommy John Surgery is almost a given with pitchers today. I’m sure the young man is a great prospect, but this team desperately needs a middle of the line up bat.

      Charlie Condon is a 6’7” slugger with enough power to hit 50 home runs at GABP. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an Aaron Judge type in the Red’s line up?

      This draft is a golden opportunity for the Reds. I just hope we don’t blow it.

      • Melvin

        As I said recently I watched both of Condon and Bazzana on Youtube. It goes back and forth as to who’s rated #1. Both are awesome and the kind of hitters that don’t come around often. Condon is a slugger and could hit 50 HRs like you said. Bazzana on the other hand seems to be a very good second baseman with speed and power. Those kind don’t come along too often either. He also bats left and Condon right. I’d be happy with either one but if I had to choose it would be Bazzana. PLEASE take one of them REDS.

      • MBS

        Reds please don’t listen to @Melvin, lol Condon or Kurtz for me please

      • Melvin

        @MBS – Watch it buster. :D….At least we agree on Condon. 😉

      • redfanorbust

        Agree with you for reasons you listed. Hope he is available. Only way I see Reds getting Chase Burns (great name for a pitcher) if Guardians take Condon. Can’t imagine the Reds taking another middle infielder (Bazzana) but then again these are the Reds….

    • DW

      No way are any of those pitchers even close to Skenes. He is such a rare talent. Five very legitimate pitches. Excellent control of all five. Triple digit heater. And excellent command. MLB ready immediately. I don’t think we have seen anyone like him.

  10. Jeff Morris

    Nick Modulo BETTER be on the NL All Star team as a pitcher this year!

      • Jason Franklin

        Not sure what he is talking about. Modulo is a term used in math.

    • IrishMike

      I grew up in Dayton. My grandparents lived in San Fran. When I was 13, I visited them for the summer (the “summer of love” by the way) I was allowed to take a series of buses – by myself (I know – a different world) and see the Giants at Candlestick. Willie was my favorite player and the Giants were loaded… Cepada, Jim Ray Hart, Juan Marichal… saw a double-header ( a real double header … 2 games for one ticket) where Koufax and Drysdale of the Dodgers faced off with the high-kicking Juan and Jim Perry (brother of Gaylord), who I think won the Cy Young that year, of the GiantsNothing more tragic than to also see Mays in his twilight years with the Mets… no gas in the tank.

    • TR

      Nick Lodolo, 7 innings, 8 K’s and zero walks. the Reds have a pitching ace.

  11. Indy Red Man

    What a W. They won with their ace and we won with ours. Followed it on my phone

    Diaz deserves flak but last 2 years he is elite as it gets with save %. Something like 93% although he may have a pact with the pitchfork guy since he usually puts multiple people on

  12. TJ

    I was also thinking of Tyler O’Neill. Can’t stay healthy, but he has good power and plays good outfield defense.

  13. LDS

    The Reds won on pitching fortunately. The hitting, despite the hit count wasn’t great. Three DPs and a caught stealing isn’t great despite the higher hit count. But at least Cruz and Diaz did their job and didn’t waste Lodolo’s efforts. The Reds are currently 9-9 against the Central Division. They need a win today. A losing record against intra-division rivals is simply not acceptable and will be the end of any playoff dreams. Maybe they can trade Bell for an everyday outfielder, throw in a prospect or two. Lots of wasted opportunities over the last few years.

  14. JB

    We all get a little giddy when the Reds win. Reality is this team can’t hit enough to keep the wins coming. Pitching keeps this teams hopes alive for now. Tonight the hitting relied on, of all people, Espinal. Relying on Espinal,Benson,Fairchild,Fraley and others is not a good formula. They desperately need a outfield bat and need to make a move before it’s to late. Relying on Marte and maybe McLain , who have been out quite awhile , is not going to make it. It didn’t work last year and it won’t work this year. Krall is going to have to trade some prospects. You have Elly,Marte and McLain blocking Stewart,Arroyo and Collier. The Reds don’t seem to care about moving some to the outfield and get playing time there. So they need to move a few of them. No place for India as well. What’s the plan Krall? Throw in Candy and you got 7 guys for 3 positions. Make a move.

      • JB

        It’s always next year with the Reds and their fans. Meanwhile Elly ,McLain and others are one year closer to free agency.

      • Melvin

        Yes JB. Excuses year after year. I’m afraid Krall will sit in his “lazy chair” and barely get up for a little while close to the deadline and then tell us the prices were to high. Afterwards he’ll sit back down and get “comfortable” again knowing as long as we’re semi competitive he’ll please Big Bob. That kind of crap needs to change.

      • Dewey Roberts

        JB, I prefer to try to win this year and every year than always be looking to next year (which really never comes because it can keep being put off).

  15. west larry

    To Melvin: Yes we need a big bat. Even if that 6’7″ dude turns out to be Dave Kingman instead of Aaron Judge, we need to go get him and hope. If he isn’t available, then that great hitting second baseman is. I’m sure the pitcher is a great prospect, but we need the big bat more. And we certainly aren’t paying 30 to 35 million a year for one, if their is one, in free agency. Get the bat!

    • Melvin

      Hard to argue. I’d be happy with him. I do think Bazzana will hit more home runs than some might think especially in our Great American Launching Pad. 😉

    • DW

      I don’t agree with drafting for current team needs. You can always trade prospects to fit your MLB level needs. Drafting the best player available is the way to go in my opinion.

      Which also means that Krall needs to trade from the glut of infielders to get a power hitting outfielder. And hopefully not just a rental.

      • west larry

        No! No! No! It’s not in the reds DNA to trade a boatload of prospects for a superstar outfielder. Get the bat, he might be ready sometime in 2025.I understand your logic, but that best player available seldom works.

      • CincyDo

        Or sign free agents. Nick Castellano was a good sign.

      • Melvin

        Well gentlemen. The best player available just might be a power hitting outfielder. 🙂 We do need help now too though.

  16. Mark Moore

    Line-up posted per Gameday … TySteve is MIA after not catching last night (puzzling). TJ and Candy not in the mix (expected).

    Hunter is going to have to be really “on” today to get this done and get out of Pie-Rat Island with a series win.

    • Melvin

      No TS especially when we don’t have Friedl or Candelario? Well we wouldn’t make it unfairly hard on our opponent would we? 🙂

    • VaRedsFan

      I’d rather have Ty too. Especially since he stung the ball 3 out of 4 times last night.
      Having said that he is 1-12 with 6 Ks vs Keller.
      Bring him in later in the game for 2 AB’s

      India is 5-12 vs. Keller

  17. Mark A Verticchio

    Something is wrong with this team, Big game today, off day tomorrow and no Stephenson or even Martini, especially with Candy and Freidl out. Sometimes it looks like Bell doesn’t want to win. This may be the weakest line up I have ever seen the Reds put on the field. Would all the Bell supporters please explain what this man is trying to accomplish. Krall needs his head examined as well this team has needed an outfielder forever yet he just fiddles away. Sometimes I just hate the fact that I am a Reds fan. I just can’t help which team I root for and this organization is making my choice difficult everyday.

    • Melvin

      Martini is evidently still recovering from a HBP the other day so we’ve got three guys who can’t play. lol I guess we just can’t afford to put him on the IL so we can bring someone else up to help. 😉