Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (45-39)
6 11 1
Cincinnati Reds (38-43)
8 9 0
W: DeSclafani (5-4) L: Lester (7-6) S: Iglesias (14)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

It was fun at times, stressful at times, infuriating at times, but the Reds held on for an 8-6 win over the Cubs and it gave them the series win.

The Offense

The Reds didn’t waste any time on Sunday getting things started. After being shut out on Saturday, Nick Senzel led off with a walk, and Kyle Schwarber helped out by dropping a line drive off the bat of Joey Votto to put the first two runners on. After a third straight pro-longed at-bat, Eugenio Suarez unloaded on a 457-foot 3-run homer to put the Reds on the board and ahead. The offense went quiet after that until the 6th when Phillip Ervin singled in Yasiel Puig on a blooper into right field, making it 4-0.

The next time the Reds got on the board it was the same duo doing the damage. In the bottom of the 8th, clinging to a 4-3 lead, another RBI single to right field by Ervin brought in Puig. The inning wasn’t over, though. Kyle Farmer came on to pinch hit for Derek Dietrich after the Cubs brought in a lefty reliever, and Farmer came through with an RBI single to bring Ervin around from second to extend the lead to 6-3. Nick Senzel then came through with 2 more on another RBI single that made it 8-3.

The Pitching

Anthony DeSclafani may have had his best start in quite a long time as he fired six shutout innings against Chicago on Sunday. He allowed 5 hits and walked one batter. He also struck out seven, including the final batter he faced in the game, David Bote, on a 97 MPH fastball that stranded two runners on the bases to end the 6th.

The Reds turned to Michael Lorenzen to start the 7th inning, and things didn’t go well as the Cubs got right back into the game after an RBI single by Albert Almora was followed by a 2-run homer by Kyle Schwarber to cut into the Reds lead, making it 4-3. David Bell turned to Amir Garrett to finish out the inning and he did just that. The lefty came out to start the 8th, but walked the leadoff batter and was replaced by Raisel Iglesias. He worked around a walk of his own to maintain a 4-3 lead. With a 4-run bottom of the inning, he returned for the 9th with a big lead to work with. That’s a good thing because he allowed a 3-run homer to Jason Heyward before recording the final out of the game to seal an 8-6 win.

Notes Worth Noting

Eugenio Suarez’ 457-foot home run is the longest of the year for any Cincinnati Reds player at the Major League level.

Joey Votto is slumping. He’s now 0-4 in his last 1 game.

Nick Senzel went 2-4 with a walk, run scored, 2 runs batted in – and it should have been more. He was robbed of a 2-run homer by Jason Heyward, who had a heck of a series.

The Reds are 5.5 games back of the Cubs.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Milwaukee Brewers vs Cincinnati Reds

Monday July 1st, 7:10pm

Adrian Houser (2-2, 2.94 ERA) vs Tyler Mahle (2-8, 4.35 ERA)

23 Responses

  1. Kyle

    I’m glad we won the series, but man, what is going on with raisel? I hope he reverts back to career norms because we all know he’s better than this

  2. Rich H

    Before a million people pile on David Bell for pulling Disco for Lorenzen, just remember the context of the situation. He traded probably one more inning of Disco for a real chance to add to the lead with 2 runners on base. Lorenzen has also been pitching very well, and owns a better FIP and ERA+ than Disco. Just keep in mind the context and decision making process before going nuts because of hindsight. I don’t know that I feel clearly one way or the other about pulling Desclafani, but I can understand the thought process.

    • docmike

      I agree, just because a move doesn’t work out doesn’t mean it was the wrong call. I’m not sure I would have made that move either (we did already have a 4-run lead), but the reasoning behind it was sound. A hit by Winker would have padded the lead even more, and most of the Reds starters this year have struggled after the 7th inning.

      If you blame Bell for taking Disco out (and Lorenzen’s subsequent meltdown), then you have to give him credit for pinch-hitting Farmer for DD in the 8th. That hit by Farmer was a big one.

      • Don

        When pinch hit for disco, I said to myself it is right move. He had gotten out of a couple of jams and even though pitch count was low, trying for more runs was right call

  3. TR

    Big series win to wrap up the first half. Are the Reds ready now or after trades to make their big move in the NLC?

    • Alberta Pettis

      Does anyone have any clue as to why MLB stopped the Reds/Cubs game in the 8th inning and went to the Dodgers game? The score was 4-3, so not a blowout and not into extra innings. So, what in the world was their thought process (if they even think!). This was so disgusting. So I had to look at Redleg Nation to see how we got the 8 runs.

  4. Mark

    This series with the Brewers the Reds really need to win 3 of 4 split at home is not good enough. Go Reds!!!!

  5. Jeff Morris

    Nice win by the Reds today….but Iglesis had two strikes on Heyward, and should have put him away with a slider OUT OF THE STRIKE ZONE, or at least tried….to throw a slider or change up down….instead he throws another fast ball that Heyward is probably waiting for….and he drills it for a home run. If I was Bell, I would pull Iglesis into my office, and talk to him about that, along with the pitching coach!

  6. Rich H

    I don’t have any statistics on what you’re asking (really interesting, by the way) but I have listened to some discussions about the value of pitchers in the same way. Also, in a less related way, fantasy football. In both cases the experts talking about it generally sided with going for the guys with ceiling as opposed to consistency. The general thought was that high and low peaks provide more value to a team than someone who can consistently be mediocre, provided there are more dominant performances than implosions. I’m not sure, but I kind of feel like WAR values players more along those lines as well. Maybe Steve or Matt is around to to expound on that?

    • Rich H

      @Steve when I say ceiling, I mean in game ceiling. For instance a pitcher who allows a 1.5 ERA in six games and a 7 ERA in three is more valuable than a guy who gives you a 3.33 ERA in all 9. Basically, the value in being spectacular in 6 is greater than the value in being good in all 9. I believe that’s because of the impact to win expectancy or something. Again, I’m trying to recall the conversations, but I believe that was the gist.

    • Lwblogger2

      You can kind of get the stat and it seems to matter some for starting pitchers with the Quality Start percentage stat (QS%). In a vacuum you can look at it and say that pitcher “a” gives his team a chance to win the game x% of the time. Sample size is so small though. Over a full season and 30 starts 1 game means a 3.33% swing.

  7. Aaron B.

    The Red pants were a nice uniform change and brought some good luck…
    They were literally Redlegs today, nice, and such a big win… the bullpen has been exposed, Duke needs to be cut and they need some new talent by the deadline, just gonna have to bite the bullet and trade a prospect or better yet spend some money. Bob could have been more aggressive on the spending to bolster the bullpen, this was foreseeable. Still, it’s not too late and management did land Iglesias and Dietrich for nothing, so they have my respect. The bullpen is a glaring weakness, Bell likes to go to it early and often.

    • Lwblogger2

      Agreed. Vulnerable at the moment but still a good bullpen and certainly not a glaring weakness.

  8. David

    Tomorrow is July 1st. And I guess “by the numbers” the Reds are halfway through the season.
    Zach Duke is still with us. People have been clamoring for him to be….released.
    No major trades or personnel changes have been made.
    Scooter Gennett is back, but Alex Wood is not.

    The Reds are two games out of 3rd place, and only 5 -1/2 games out of first.

    Judging by the way each team has played so far, I don’t think ANYONE is going to run away with it, unless the Brewers get a much better starting rotation. I actually think they have the shortest path to getting a lot better by the trade deadline.

    A lot of people claim the Reds should be
    1) Sellers!
    2) Buyers!

    I kind of fail to see where they are going to be Buyers! and upgrade their lineup with something they can afford. The Outfield is the obvious place to pick (there are THREE outfielders!) but also probably the place where the Reds organization is the deepest.
    A much better hitting catcher would be great, but most teams aren’t parting with those right now.

    Realistically, unless the Reds are willing to give up a lot of minor league talent, I don’t see what they can buy that improves them by much.

    And everybody has a scouting report on everybody else’s players. No team is going to give you much for Raisel right now.

  9. George

    Thanks for the reality. Many folks are so hungry and thirsy for wins that any ray of light to them is like an oasis in the dessert, but even then, it is a mirage.

  10. Optimist

    Seems the Reds are settling into a .500 team from here out. If the Pirates don’t collapse/fire Hurdle, it’s possible 86-88 wins takes the division. How do the Reds plan for that? I still lean to sell, considering how many 1/2 season contracts they are carrying, but that could be right into the teeth of a tightened division. Brewers here/Cubs in PGH could really make this interesting into the break.

    • Optimist

      I agree but IIRC most had them pegged in the 72-78 win range, but revising upwards with the pitching and DBell not flopping after the 7 game skid. The big concern now is that they sense a need to “contend” this year (however justifiable) and they postpone, again, trading talent and sacrifice playing time for the Sept. callups. Granted, the farm is thinner this year, and they only get 3 callups, but this is not the year to go all in nor even 1/2 way in.

  11. Don A

    Actually a pitcher cannot pitch his way into a save. He already was in position to earn the save when he entered the 8th. The fact that the Reds scored multiple runs did not take his save away either. They talked about it on the television broadcast.

  12. Eric

    I try to make positive comments. I really do. Sometimes, I type negative ones, just so I can backspace through them, cancel the comment and go on with my day, having gotten the sentiment off my chest, if only to myself.

    HowEVER, I will say here that I think my favorite moment of the game was watching the sea of blue exiting the stands in unison.

    The announcers are right: we’re glad that they come to Cincinnati and stimulate the local economy. But what I can’t STAND is watching a Reds batter come to the plate at GABP, and the lower-deck backdrop is more blue than red! Or watching the Stupid Cubs™ (hi, MBE!) score a run, and from the cheering pouring through my TV from the stands, you’d think the game was at Wrigley Field.

    Best way to deal with that, though, is for the Reds to WIN. And win, they did.

    • RedDawg12

      You have to wonder of those “fans” that live in Cincy were Cubs fans back in 2010-2012 when the Reds were regularly dominating them…

    • TR

      If so, some in blue are ‘fair weather fans.’

  13. David

    Freidl really not doing that hot at Chattanooga. Maybe he has reached a ceiling at AA.

    I don’t think we can expect him to be at the ML level anytime soon.