|Chicago Cubs (63-52)
|Cincinnati Reds (54-59)
|W: Chatwood (5-1, 3.92 ERA) L: Gausman (3-8, 6.26 ERA)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
The Cincinnati Reds (54-59) got embarrassed by the Chicago Cubs (63-52) 12-5 on Thursday night. The most important series to come to Great American Ballpark didn’t exactly get off to a great start.
The game was billed as a probable pitcher’s duel. That’s the funny thing about baseball, though, as the game does not care about what’s on paper. Both Alex Wood and Cole Hamels lasted just three innings, apiece. Both pitchers combined to give up 10 runs on 15 hits.
After those three innings, the score was tied at five and it appeared that we were going to get a very good game. The Reds would not score from then on, however, while the Cubs put a touchdown on the board.
Two things stood out as a Reds fan watching the Cubs.
The addition of Nick Castellanos is big stuff for them. Two of his three hits were homers, which gave him more RBI (two) than runners left stranded (one). They slotted him in the second spot in the lineup and he is now hitting .284. An outfield bat they got at the deadline must be nice.
The other thing was Ian Happ. Dude cannot hit against any other team (.235 average) but run him up there against the Reds and he goes off (.309). He had two hits, a homer, and four RBI Thursday night. One of the many points he beat into the ground, Thom liked to remind those of us watching at home that Happ tees off on the Reds to the tune of a 1.152 OPS. Ain’t that just peachy?
One last piece of negativity before a few positive notes: it is time for David Hernandez and the Reds to part ways. His service has been commendable, in the last year plus, but he has been a consistent train wreck out of the bullpen this year. He allowed five earned runs on six hits and two walks in 1.2 innings on Thursday. He was soundly out-pitched by none other than Kyle Farmer.
Speaking of good notes, Farmer replaced Hernandez in the top of the eighth, with two outs and runners on first and second. Farmer was able to get Jason Heyward to ground out on a pitch that didn’t register on the radar gun. He then pitched a scoreless ninth inning to allow the rest of the bullpen a breather. Dude is a jack of all trades.
Aristides Aquino continued his torrid start in the majors. He had a pair of hits, including a dinger that will probably make it around the world in less that 80 days. He wasn’t just a bat, though. He gunned down Anthony Rizzo trying to stretch a single into a double, in the first inning. The throw was clocked at 101 MPH. Maybe he’s the next position player to get a crack on the mound?
Last, but certainly not least, is Phillip Ervin. Dude had the weirdest stat line I’ve seen in a baseball game. He went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, yet didn’t score a run. He’s absolutely mashing right now. It doesn’t matter if the pitcher is a southpaw, a righty, or Pat Venditte, Ervin is hitting every baseball that comes plate-ward and it’s been fun to witness.
If the Reds are going to #SneakOnIn, they pretty much have to win Friday’s game. Trevor Bauer will be on the mound to ensure that happens. The lineup will be tasked with hitting Yu Darvish, though. You may remember the last time Darvish faced the Reds as he shut them out for six innings. Hopefully Friday brings a different set of fortunes.