Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (71-81)
4 7 0
Chicago Cubs (82-69)
2 5 0
W: Gray (11-7) L: Darvish (6-7) SV: Iglesias (32)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Reds got on the board early, capping a 3-run first inning with a home run by Aristides Aquino. From there Sonny Gray, Michael Lorenzen, and Raisel Iglesias kept the Cubs down as the early lead held up.

The Offense

The Reds got things going in the top of the 1st, taking it to Yu Darvish. Josh VanMeter singled up the middle and then scored on a Joey Votto double to put Cincinnati up 1-0. After a strikeout, Aristides Aquino unloaded on a fastball in the middle of the zone and put it in the bleachers to make it a 3-0 game. It was his first home run since September 2nd. For anyone else that wouldn’t feel strange. For Aquino it feels like he last homered in 1957.

The Reds bats went quiet for a while after that, including striking out 8 times in a row in the middle innings. But the Cincinnati bats got working again in the 5th and it began with Sonny Gray who lined a single into right field. Joey Votto would walk later in the inning to move him along and Eugenio Suarez followed up with an RBI single to take the Reds lead to 4-2. There wasn’t much offense to follow, but the Reds did threaten in the 8th when Votto again walked and Suarez followed up with a single. Nothing came of it, though, as Votto was thrown out at the plate on a fielders choice in an ill-advised attempt to score on a grounder to second base.

The Pitching

Sonny Gray did what he’s done for the entire second half of this baseball season: Get. It. Done. The Cubs did get a run in the bottom of the 1st when Kyle Schwarber doubled in a run. And he would do it again in the 3rd on a triple to cut the Reds lead to 3-2. But the Reds All-Star pitcher shut things down from there. Gray finished the day with just those 2 runs allowed in 6.2 innings. He gave up 4 hits and walked 3 batters while striking out 9. But when he left the game in the bottom of the 7th there were runners on the corners.

Michael Lorenzen made quick work of things though, striking out Nicholas Castellanos on 4 pitches to end the inning and the threat. He came back out for the 8th inning and worked around an infield single for a shutout frame that included a strikeout.

Michael Lorenzen handed the ball off to closer Raisel Iglesias for the bottom of the 9th. For his part, Lorenzen moved out to center field. Iglesias put him to work right away as the first batter he saw hit a fly ball that Lorenzen had to run down for the first out of the inning. Nico Hoerner struck out to follow as he swung over an 86-MPH slider on the 5th pitch of the at-bat. University of Cincinnati’s own Ian Happ was next and he battled for a 7-pitch at-bat, but struck out looking at a 97-MPH fastball on the outside corner to end the game.

Notes Worth Noting

Sonny Gray recorded 9 strikeouts on the night, giving him 199 on the season. He needs a single strikeout in his final start of the season to reach 200 and join Luis Castillo at the 200 strikeout mark. If that happens they will be the only teammates to ever record 200 or more strikeouts in the same season for the Cincinnati Reds.

That stat above is impressive enough, but tonight marked a new Major League record by Sonny Gray. He allowed 4 hits in the game. That makes it 32 consecutive starts where he allowed 6 or fewer hits in a game, breaking a record he was sharing with Nolan Ryan.

The win gave the Cincinnati Reds the season series over the Chicago Cubs.

Raisel Iglesias picked up his career best 32nd save of the season.

Pete Alonso hit his 48th home run of the year for the Mets tonight. That means that Eugenio Suarez has some catching up to do.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Chicago Cubs

Wednesday September 18th, 8:05pm ET

Tyler Mahle (2-11, 5.11 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (13-10, 4.59 ERA)

11 Responses

  1. Steven Ross

    I agree Eric. Peraza had good ABs most of this road trip. Much better than Tucker who has no business batting 5th. He’s had an awful September yet gets a pass from nearly everyone including Bell. Peraza had a sure double taken away by Bryant. He smoked that ball.

  2. Matt WI

    Thankfully it didn’t matter, but Joey killed the opportunity for an insurance run, getting hung up between 3rd and home. How can someone so good and cerebral be so bad at baserunning? He didn’t go on contact and literally seemed to wait until the Cubs already had the ball to break for home. Then he just gave himself up at home. Ugly.

    Awesome to see Lorenzen be dialed in and get a huge out. And Sonny Gray. Just wow.

    P.S. Also needs to be noted that the Reds cemented the season series against the Cubs, which also cemented the “beer a game” bet between me and my Cubs fan friend. Ahhhhhhh.

    • lost11found

      Take time an enjoy the payoff there.

    • SultanofSwaff

      I think the contact play is the dumbest in all of baseball. You never see it succeed…..or at least at a higher probability than taking off when the fielder throws to first or simply waiting to see if the next batter gets a hit. Maddening that they basically tell professional ballplayers to turn off their brain.

  3. Matt WI

    I only watched from the 6th on, but noticed the ump had a strong preference for calling strikes on outside pitches to righties/inside to lefties. That part of his zone was off. But he was fairly consistent. You know, the necessary human element of being only mostly wrong.

    • Eric

      He was extremely susceptible to framing, yes!

      One pitch however, late in the game, made me laugh. As Caratini had been framing nearly every pitch that wasn’t straight down Main Street, he finally framed one that was borderline-low, right at the bottom of the zone, and the ump called it a ball. If Caratini hadn’t framed it, it would have been a called strike.

      …and then ESPN had the unmitigated GALL to show us a graphic about how “oh, that really did pass through the strike zone and should have been called.

      Well, ex-SCUUUUUSE….MEEEEEeeeee but if he hadn’t framed nearly every other pitch until that time… *chuckle*

  4. SultanofSwaff

    I’d like to take a moment to appreciate what Lorenzen is doing right now. He just made multiple starts in CF, then follows it up by getting a hold in a high leverage situation, and just for kicks finishes the game on defense. ERA now 3.06, OPS higher than O’Grady and Peraza, nearly equal to Barnhart and Galvis.

    Votto ‘only’ at 112 Ks on the season….thought it would be higher when I checked. Oddly, 79 came vs. RHP even though his OPS vs. righties is .830.

    • JB

      Wow I thought his k’s would be higher. I wonder how many are looking. 100?

  5. JB WV

    After getting shellacked by the Cubs the past few years it’s nice to turn it around. Kind of screwing them on that last WC spot maybe. Progress.

    • JB

      Would love to see Cubs not make it. Hoping Brewers win the division but I think it’s to late. Post season isnt over until Cubs and Cards are sitting home.