Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (4-2)
7 7 1
Cincinnati Reds (2-4)
12 10 1
W: Gray (2-0) L: Hendricks (1-1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Now that’s more like it.

Starting what is clearly their best lineup for the first time since Opening Day, the Cincinnati Reds scored a convincing 12-7 victory over the Chicago Cubs to break a four-game losing streak. Mike Moustakas, Nick Senzel and Tucker Barnhart returned to the lineup from absences of varying reasons and powered the Reds to a 9-0 lead after six innings. The 12 runs scored tonight were the most for the Reds since August 17, 2017, when they beat the Cubs, 13-10, at Wrigley Field. You might remember that as the game when Phillip Ervin had three hits, including two homers, and drove in four runs.

Moustakas said after tonight’s game that he woke up Sunday not feeling well, and that the organization’s policy in light of the COVID pandemic is to just stay home if that is the case.

Senzel also had been out due to feeling ill, though he also did not test positive for COVID. Barnhart was on paternity leave since before the Opening Day game due to his wife giving birth to their second child last week.

Both teams’ bullpens were largely ghastly tonight. Between them, they gave up 10 earned runs and nine walks, making for a very sloppy final few innings.

The Offense

The offense had mostly quality at-bats against Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks, who pitched a complete-game shutout in Chicago’s opener. But that was not going to be the case today.

They got a chance to use their noisemakers in the bottom of the fourth inning:

But there were more longballs …


The early returns for newcomers Moustakas and Castellanos have been outstanding, as they have OPS numbers of 1.683 and 1.242, respectively, after the first six games.

The Pitching

Gray was lights-out, and just might be the best starting pitcher in the game not named Gerrit Cole.

Lefthander Brooks Raley relieved Gray and faced four batters: two hits, two walks and three runs allowed in the seventh. His time with the big team may be short-lived. Lucas Sims pitched 1.1 scoreless innings to rescue Raley. Cody Reed continues to be given chances to earn opportunities to contribute at high-stakes moments, but he surrendered a two-run blast to David Bote and two other hits in the ninth. Raisel Iglesias had to get up in the bullpen before Reed could record the final out.

Notes Worth Noting

John McNamara had the unenviable task of following Sparky Anderson as Reds manager. He won the NL West title in 1979, and his team had the best record in baseball but did not make the playoffs in 1981. He then was fired in mid-season in 1982 after Dick Wagner tore down the entire team via trades and free agency.

The Reds extended their major league record with the pitching staff’s sixth consecutive game to start the season with 10 strikeouts or more.

Presuming he starts Thursday, Shogo Akiyama will have the chance to face his countryman Yu Darvish in what is sure to be a special treat and challenge for both players.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds

Thursday, July 30th, 6:10 pm ET

Yu Darvish (6.75 ERA, 0-1) vs Luis Castillo (1.50 ERA, 0-0)

22 Responses

  1. Colorado Red

    Very concerned about the BP.
    Brooks is good against lefties, but there where none to face.
    Not a smart move by Bell.

  2. Indy Red Man

    I don’t know? AA has alot of potential. Ervin has proven to be decent vs LHP. JVM has some potential I think. He works the count and has good obp potential with some speed/power. Farmer is decent. Maybe 3 deep at catcher?

    Overall though, to have a relentless and successful offense then they need the lineup that played tonite!

    • Chris

      What in the world are you talking about, in respect to Aquino. They guy came up last season and played for 2 months, and in the 1st month he broke HR records on a daily basis for a rookie. Second month was bad, so with that, you have decided that he’s 26 and finished? That’s just ridiculous.

  3. Kevin Patrick

    Yeah… any bad reputation the bullpen has is not Lucas Sim’s fault. In other overlooked players news, I like having Jankowski in the games late for defense. I was glad to see him speeding to catch that last out.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      I agree on Jankowski. Good reserve OF and pinch runner.

  4. Gonzo Reds

    Thanks Tom for getting the McNamera nod in there, I noticed that in the crawl during the game but didn’t notice it mentioned by the broadcast crew though it might have been and I just missed it. Man, how good were we in ’81? I still think we could have won the WS had they not designed the playoff format to exclude us!

  5. Moses

    How great is this?

    “Great”, according to the Fox19 story/video, but problematic that the staffer on the right has his mask on his chin, not over his mouth and nose. If people don’t smarten up about such things, it’s going to hasten the end of this fragile baseball season…

  6. Hanawi

    Raley actually faced 5 batters. He also hit one of them in addition to the 2 walks and 2 hits.

  7. FreeHouse

    Brooks Raley is just not that good. As for Cody Reed I was a big fan but I really think he’s gotta go. Maybe Antone and Kuhnel can take those two bullpen spots.

    • tomn

      Antone looked GREAT the other night. I think maybe he should be our 5th starter (assuming Disco is coming back soon).

  8. JB

    I think the Cody Reed deal is reaching the end. Now that a relief pitcher has to be in for 3 batters at least , I think the loogy is dead. It’s best arms in the bullpen no matter what. His leash is at its end.

  9. GreatRedLegsFan

    It’s clear that the first two cuts will come out of the bullpen, as several guys have underperformed. Hopefully Lorenzen and Iglesias will get back on track.

    • Gonzo Reds

      MLB and the players are talking about, with the virus situation as it is, just leaving the active rosters at 30 and not reducing them to 28/26.

      I agree with above that while you’d like to have some balance between L and R, with the new rules you have to just go with your best RPs and roll with it. Kuhnel needs to come up immediately. We have Bowman and others down there as well to give a shot to if the current pen isn’t going to get it done.

  10. mudpuppie

    I agree. Bell and a weak bench is not a good combination. He plays by the little league rules that means everybody has to play every game. Wonder when the last time he put the starting lineup out there and they played the whole game. My guess would be never. Combination of our manager, the bench and the bullpen showed last night that even a 9 to 0 lead in not “bell” proof…. Scary

  11. SultanofSwaff

    Absolute must win and Sonny delivered big time. No joke he’s going to be at least top 3 in cy young voting.

    So much length in the lineup with Moose and Senzel back in it. Yeah, I agree with the others that setting and forgetting the lineup might be the best strategy moving forward. The one batter relief pitcher is dead, so while you might get a favorable matchup in a high leverage situation once, it may mean you get an unfavorable matchup later, so it’s probably optimal to just to leave your best hitters in the whole game.

    The Cubs bullpen won’t allow them to run away with the division, but winning today’s game is still very important.

    • mudpuppie

      I agree 100% Go with you best set lineup everyday. Colon, Davidson, Farmer etc. should only play in case of injury to the starters. Regarding Cody Reed, I had such high hopes for him but about ready to throw in the towel. So sad….. If you combined the cubs and the reds bullpens, it would still be lousy…

      • Tom Mitsoff

        I did some spreadsheets Thursday morning on the Cubs and Reds pitching. Reds relief ERA is 7.72, and Cubs is 9.64.

  12. tomn

    Suarez? What is wrong with the guy? Maybe I’m over-reacting as it is so early, but that throw from 3rd base that skidded on the grass maybe 20 feet from 1st base was laughably horrible. He looked like he didn’t even try. His ABs (I guess until last night when he had two hits) have been futile. Looks like he’s trying to hit every pitch into the river.

    He doesn’t look like he’s having any fun – even in the two wins.

    Something doesn’t seem right. Hope I’m wrong.

  13. Charlie Waffles

    Great night again by Sonny Gray. Well worth the price of Shed Long and a draft pick. The Yankees GM Brian Cashman has to be kicking himself today.
    The left side of the bullpen leaves a lot to be desired. Garrett is a little inconsistent, but usually holds his own. However, Raley and Reed are not getting the job done. I was so hopeful on Reed, and maybe he can get back on track. Raley, not confident in him at all. The Reds have to shore up their left hand bullpen arms and do so in a hurry. Only a trade can help. Nothing at Prasco. Or maybe bump Miley to the pen and insert Antone into the rotation, or maybe Mahle. That would be about the Reds only other option now to do something to help the left side of the bullpen.
    I think the Reds could match up with Tampa Bay for a trade for a good arm.

    • Doug Gray

      For about two weeks we’ve been having issues with the “comment is in moderation” system. There’s no rhyme or reason that we can find – it’s just seemingly flagging random comments as needing moderated. We’re hoping the next WP update takes care of it.