Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (19-20) 5 9 1
Chicago Cubs (20-19) 7 6 0
W: Kyle Hendricks (3-2)  L: Scott Feldman (2-4) SV: Wade Davis (9)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread | Statcast

The Hitters

Zack Cozart really wants a donkey, doesn’t he?

He continued his outstanding season, going 3-for-5 at the plate. Billy Hamilton led the game off with a single, stole second base, and scored on a single by Cozart to give the Reds an early lead (which didn’t last long — more on that later).

In the third inning, the Reds’ shortstop blasted a solo home run into the left field bleachers, giving him a home run in five straight games at Wrigley Field.

The tale of the tape (the wind miiiiight have helped this one a little bit):

Down 7-2, the offense struck again in the seventh inning, breaking the 18-inning scoreless streak of Cubs reliever Mike Montgomery. Cozart got the two-out rally started with a single. Joey Votto then drew a walk, and Adam Duvall followed with a line-drive single into left to score Cozart.

Eugenio Suarez was unfazed by a pitching change, sending a two-run double into the left-center field gap to reduce the Cubs’ lead to 7-5.

Unfortunately, the comeback effort fell short. The Reds didn’t manage a baserunner in the final two innings (although they probably should’ve; the game ended on a very questionable replay review to rob Votto of an infield single).

The Hurlers

For a second straight night, a Reds veteran starting pitcher was knocked around by the Cubs offense. Scott Feldman, though he wasn’t beaten by home runs like Bronson Arroyo on Tuesday night, couldn’t build on the momentum from his previous two starts. He lasted only 2 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs (five earned) on five hits. He struck out four and walked three.

He had a disastrous second frame, allowing five runs to put his team in a four-run deficit it would not overcome. The right-hander’s command was all over the place, as he gave up three walks and hit a batter in addition to allowing three singles in the inning.

Bryan Price sent him back out for the third, and things did not improve — although it wasn’t all Feldman’s fault. Ben Zobrist laced a double to start the inning. Feldman struck out the next batter and should’ve had the second out against Miguel Montero; however, Duvall dropped a fly ball in left field to put runners at second and third. (In Duvall’s defense, the wind was blowing hard — as it typically does in Chicago — but it was still a catchable ball.)

Then, Cubs skipper Joe Maddon showed why he’s regarded as one of the best managers in the game. He called for a safety squeeze with pitcher Kyle Hendricks at the plate in a 3-2 count, and it worked beautifully. Feldman faced one more hitter, allowing an RBI single to make it a 7-2 game before he was removed from the game.

As has been the case in many games this season, the bullpen kept the Reds in it.

Austin Brice was once again solid in relief. He threw 2 1/3 perfect innings, with six of his seven outs coming on the ground (the other was a strikeout). Brice has allowed only one run in nine innings this season. With the way Luis Castillo is throwing in Double-A, that Dan Straily trade is looking might good right now.

Drew Storen tossed a scoreless sixth inning, inducing a double play after giving up an infield single. Wandy Peralta continued his dominance in the seventh, striking out one in a perfect inning. (Shameless plug alert: I have a piece about him coming out tomorrow, so keep an eye out for that.)

The eighth was a little more rocky. Raisel Iglesias walked three hitters to load the bases but struck out the side to cap off 5 1/3 shutout innings from the bullpen.

Not-So-Random Thoughts

– Turns out Cozart’s feat of homering in five straight games at Wrigley is a pretty rare one.

Can he set the record tomorrow?

– With a walk in the fifth inning, Votto reached base for the 20th consecutive game. That’s decent.

– Speaking of Votto, Patrick Jeter wrote an excellent piece on the Reds’ first baseman today. Go check it out.

– #VoteCozart

– #VoteVotto

What’s Next?

The Reds will try to avoid a sweep as they wrap up their three-game series with the Cubs on Thursday afternoon at 2:20 p.m. ET. After a brief stay in the minor leagues due to innings and service time concerns, Amir Garrett (4.25 ERA, 4.59 xFIP) will take the mound for Cincinnati, looking to build on his strong rookie season. He’ll be opposed by Cubs ace Jon Lester (3.45 ERA, 3.62 xFIP).

24 Responses

  1. Geoff

    That call was horrid. This starting pitching is the worst I’ve ever seen. When will this franchise put a contender on the field again? I’m losing patience.

    • Simon Cowell

      embrace the futility. You’ll feel better and have less anger issues.

      • Geoff

        Not when I know that they can be a winner like 2010, 2012, 2013.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        And once again, three of the five projected starters at the beginning of the year are on the DL, two of them on the 60 day DL. Thus, the starting pitching is pretty awful but what do you expect? You may lose patience but it’s not going to change the reality of the injury situation.

      • Jim Walker

        Actually its all three on the 60 day list, As of a couple of days ago, Finnegan joined Bailey and Disco to clear a 40 man spot for the waiver claim guy they optioned to AAA.

        Here is my frustration and complaint. This is the second year they’ve found themselves in the very same mess. What were they thinking in their offseason planning?

        Did they really think Bailey was going to be back capable of pitching regularly and deeply into games from the get go? The Enquirer ran a piece well ahead of spring training in which Bailey was, in retrospect, sounding the warning alarms. He was quoted as saying that his elbow did not feel normal; he guessed that anymore there was no normal; but, that he was soldering along. Then there is Arroyo who such as he is has answered the bell every time he has been asked too. Yet he was a last minute flyer longshot add in.

        And finally there is my biggest frustration. They have seemed to totally backed away from the two guys they spent the most time and effort developing last season, Reed and Stephenson. I’ll concede what happened to Reed last year in MLB was brutal; and, he was just as bad in his (one) MLB start this season. However, Stephenson for all the kicking around he gets, wasn’t a total disaster. He looked a lot like Bailey to even Cueto looked at similar stages in their careers; yet, he seems to have totally disappeared except for mop up roles..

      • Jim Walker

        Reed got the start for Louisville today in one of their AAA late morning getaway games.

        Reed just finished his day with 7IP/4H/2R (both earned)/9K/3BB/1HR; 95 pitches/59 strikes. If he put together another couple or three like this outing there is absolutely no reason to leave him at AAA. Either he gets his arm slot/ control issues resolved or he doesn’t.

        Maybe some Super2 avoidance (after the 2018 season) gymnastics going on with Reed? He is at ~137 days of MLB service time right now. If S2 was involved, they’d probably want him at >2 years+ 120 days (2.120) at the end of 2018. From June 1, there are just over 120 days left this season. Knock 35 days off of that to build his current total to a full year and he would be comfortably under 2.120 with a full 2108 at MLB.

  2. Jim Walker

    The 2nd inning was an example of how the parts have to work together. On the one hand if a couple of tough defensive plays had been made, the Reds are out of the inning with little harm done. On the other hand if the pitcher doesn’t hand out 4 free passes, the big plays might not have been needed.

    • vicferrari

      If I recall following on Gameday- in the 2nd when its still 1-1, has Jay 0-2 hits him to load the bases, then gets ahead 0-2 on Schwaber who then gets a hit. Little things that lead to big innings

      • Jim Walker

        Sounds close to my memory too. For sure an 0/2 when Jay got hit by the pitch. The pitch obviously got away from Feldman. I’ve not seen any account of what Feldman wanted to do with the pitch. I’m guessing it was supposed to be a little up and a little in maybe to get Jay to elevate and chase and if not to comeback with a fastball low moving off the plate to get a swing and miss at 1/2.

  3. Jim Walker

    Not really meaning to single anyone out as a greater offender than anyone else because most all Reds hitters are the same; but, with 2 out in the 8th, the Reds down by 2 with the bases empty and a home run threat on deck, why does Barnhart swing at a 3/1 pitch? The entire goal of that AB has to be to get the tying run to the plate. The pitcher is going to try to avoid the same. He will try to make as good of or better pitch at 3/2 as at 3/1. Take the 3/1 and force him to throw another strike.

    Same with BHam in the 9th except two of the pitches he swung at were really bad pitches at ant count.

    • Bill Lack

      This happens WAY more often than it should. I agree that it’s very frustrating.

  4. Simon Cowell

    the Reds best starting pitcher so far in 2017 gets pinated by the 2016 champions. Don’t ask disgusted, surprised, or outraged. This was anticipated before the season even began. This is what we should expect until we have a better starting 5.

  5. Gonzo Reds

    Well, we accomplished something this week, we got the struggling Cubs rolling again. Hey, we’ve got the 2nd pick in the draft, any preferences on who we take?

  6. bouwills

    At the end of the day, Reds are 19-20 while the World Champ Cubs are 20 -19. My major issue is that Cody Reed or Robert Stephenson can give the Reds about the same statline as Arroyo & Feldman have the last 2 days. Why not let our young guys start & let Feldman & Arroyo clean up ?

    • cfd3000

      Agree. What’s better – losing early because your starting pitcher is awful and then is looking forward to his imminent retirement, or losing early because your starting pitcher is awful and then is looking forward to his next start because he’s learning to be a better pitcher?

  7. cfd3000

    Obviously the game was lost on walks and errors and poor decision making at the plate, but how is that call at first overturned to end the game? What happened to “conclusive” evidence required to change a call on the field? Frustrating that the replay system failed so badly in this case. Should have been Duvall up with the wind blowing our and a chance to tie the game. As if the Cubs need even more help… Dang.

  8. vicferrari

    Hopefully due for a hot one, seems they start losing when the bats go cold when they get decent starting pitching, then they get lousy pitching and start hitting late in games and come up a bit short, then they start clicking (or maybe all that happened when they play the PIrates)

  9. Kevin

    Kind of like young teams are inconsistent or something.

  10. james garrett

    To run Feldman and Bronson out there every 4 or 5 days and expect something different then what we have seen is goofy.Aldeman is at best a 5th starter but none of these 3 would be starting for any other team in baseball.The Reds have chosen to go this way so we will continue to talk about it the rest of this year and probably next year.The Reds hitters for the most part rarely display patience at the plate regarding the game situation as alluded to by JIM WALKER.Walks are ok but for the most part we don’t see that as being something important.

  11. Bill M

    Make all the excuses you want there is something wrong in the front office & with the coaching staff. You can’t play defense like they did last nite & you can’t expect home runs to win every game.